TAPES IN THE MAIL, VOL. III

SCREED

Glendale's Hucklebones sent in a three-song tape from a recent show at Edsels Attic. The lone ballad "Once You Walk on the Water" is intended as a tribute to the late Doug Hopkins, and it succeeds without falling into the trap of being mawkish or betraying easy Doug-we-hardly-knew-ye sentiments. The other two rockers sound more like .38 Special than the Gin Blossoms, and maybe that's the Hucklebones intent. Your move. Call 931-6025.

Lastly, two 45s from Tempe's punk label Cactus Prick Records. Each single is split between two bands, usually doing two songs apiece. Bob and Gas'olene should've marked their single 33 rpm since I was really enjoying them at 45 rpm until the grim truth hit. Slowed down to their normal speed, these bands sound ordinary. And the songs take longer to finish. Ditto for the Primitive Tribes side. It's hard to get excited about punk this lethargic, this tuneless, this dull. If these bands want to really be rebellious, they'd be advised to ditch this retro-punk material in favor of something really retro and radical like Rudy Vallee (who, like Bob, also likes to sing through a megaphone). (No number.)

At least Misery Index breaks the monotony of guys who can't sing and play by bringing on the squeaky voiced Vanessa. Listed as "wankgirl" in the credits, Vanessa is a delicate cross between Betty Boop, Lene Lovich and a drunk Ruth Buzzi. Index's lone contribution, "Mechanical Man," has a strange bridge wherein Vanessa yelps her forlorn tale about taking her monkey to the country but "now my monkey's dead." The song is credited to one "Manson," but I'm too lazy to dig up a copy of Good Time Charlie's Lie! album to confirm if it is, indeed, an original. Anyone who's in the know about such matters is invited to call in with that information. Call 708-869-1921. Hey! These guys are from Illinois!! Out! Out!--Serene Dominic

With his side project--All Night Parcheesi Club's tape Pickle Juice Communion--local expert ax plucker Joe Myers joins an elite group of songwriting geniuses. We're talking Lennon and McCartney. We're talking Lou Reed.

That's right. Like those rock Hall of Famers, Myers has invited his musical woman-friend, Casebeer, to record with him. Like Yoko and Nico--and decidedly unlike Linda--before her, though, Casebeer just might be the best thing here. Her smoker's wheeze catapults the story song "Arnie," the tape's leadoff track, into a spoken-word gem. It's something like hearing a 92-year-old grandma trapped in a 29-year-old poetry slammer's body. You probably won't find a more delightfully quirky song locally. And Casebeer's also on the tape's next-most-memorable song, "Odd Angels," a lovely little female bonding session between the raspy-tongued Casebeer and lithe-voiced vocalist Ralo. Elsewhere, there're oodles of melodic guitar and banjo noodling by Myers, along with enough art-school self-consciousness to make you gag the whole livelong semester. My only complaint? That there weren't ten more songs like "Arnie" here. But I guess that's between Casebeer and her boyfriend.

Too bad Ice Cube wrote the hip-hop "Amazing Grace" (Dead Homiez") first. Otherwise, Iroc Loc's single would be a highly original, catchy funeral dirge, gangsta style. As it stands, "Memories" is a highly derivative, catchy funeral dirge, gangsta style, delivered in a melancholy, Snoop Doggy Dogglike conversational voice. It might make you hum the chorus to your grave, but it sure as hell won't make you forget Ice Cube.--David Koen

Brad Singer wants you all to come. To a party, that is, to celebrate his Zia Record Exchange's 14th anniversary. When Singer throws a bash, he doesn't scrimp on the entertainment; we're talking Giant Sand, Elastic Purejoy, Weezer, Flathead and America's sweethearts, the Piersons. How much will an evening of such entertainment cost you? Not a damn thing! All you have to do is pick up an invite from any Zia location. The bash will be on Sunday, May 8, at the Rhythm Room. Showtime is 7 p.m.

Is your life problem-free? If it is, then you might want to load up on anxiety at Angstfest. Industrial hot shots KMFDM are headlining this nonmelodic extravaganza; Sister Machine Gun, Chemlab and local acts are scheduled also. That's Sunday, May 8, at Club Rio. Showtime is 8 p.m. Call 894-0779.

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