Bouncer . . . or Agro-bouncer?

Watching the watchmen, getting Unwound, surfing with the aliens in Man . . . or Astroman?

In more earthly matters, Meat Puppets drummer Derrick Bostrom recently undertook his first solo venture in the form of a pseudoband called Today's Sounds. That project's debut, Songs of Spiritual Uplift by Today's Sounds, is completely freaked out. The first time I listened to it with a friend our reaction was riotous laughter followed quickly by an exchange of confused glances. Is this guy serious? Songs of Spiritual Uplift is four cover songs: "Nursery Rhyme" (first performed by The Archies for a Saturday-morning cartoon show); "Let's Turkey Trot" (originally recorded by Little Eva as a follow-up to "The Loco Motion"); an old country song called "Still Going Steady"; and that timeless Buckner and Garcia novelty hit "Pac-Man Fever." The song selection looks like a joke, but Bostrom plays the record in a dorky yet straightforward guitar sound accented with quiet R2D2ish keyboards in the background. Curiosity got the best of me and I called up Derrick to ask him what the fuck is going on. "It's definitely a comedy record," he said. "But I take my comedy very seriously. It's specifically designed to rock out to, just with a little humor. I think it has an immediacy common to most alternative music, compounded with the idea of serious artists recording hack forms of really nonhip records." Uh-huh. (Amarillo Records, P.O. 2443, San Francisco, CA 94124)

Remember Vern from Unwound? Well Mocket--the latest warrior in the Olympia horde, just released a single called Bionic Parts on his record label, Punk in My Vitamins. "Mocket is a part of the keyboard/Japanese-American revolution," says Vern. Whatever--Mocket plays excitable, sinister punk peppered with keyboards and boosted by dual male/female vocals. Once again, Olympia has produced a great band that forges new frontiers in punk rock. K Records owner Calvin Johnson may have put it best recently: "Olympia is calling again, and young America, as usual, will sit up and take notice. They like punk in their vitamins, Mocket in their belief system and Bionic Parts scattered on their dance floor." (Punk in My Vitamins, P.O. Box 2283, Olympia, WA 98507)

Johnson recently demonstrated his dance-floor expertise with a new single from his funky conglomerate Dub Narcotic Sound System. "Shake-a-Puddin" is the first single-track release from Dub's new album Boot Party. You can party your boot off to trip funk with hot lyrics like "Tearin' up the box, heatin' up the sauce, directin' all the Sweet-N-Lows to go and get lost." So far, Dub Narcotic System is one of the few bands pursuing the reanimation of disco to do so with style. This record is for ultrahipsters only--squares need not apply. (K Records, Box 7154, Olympia, WA 98507)

Finally, from the Washington, D.C., sewah crawls The Make Up, founders and crusaders of the "Gospel Yeh-Yeh" creed, a self-proclaimed "liberation theology" of love which urges its followers to "get theirs" and "off the pigs in all their forms." Manson for the '90s? Not quite. The Make Up is kidding, and this band could play circles around ol' tweaker eyes. The group's Dischord debut, Destination: Love-Live! At Cold Rice, is full of poetic guitar disco. Teetering on the edge of campy schlock rock, Make Up whips back and forth between slow, eerie melodies to feedback-splashed howling. The revival is coming our way Sunday at Hollywood Alley. (Dischord, 3819 Beecher Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20007) Somebody give me a witness.

--Brendan Kelley

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