As I've detailed elsewhere, I many years ago began within the crit world in the pages of Sound Choice, the DIY publication pooted out by the bizarre and likely demented David Ciaffardini, the Rob Kall of the music print industry. The very first review I ever had published was of Daniel Johnston's cult classic Hi! How are You? beloved of Thurston Moore and other luminaries. However, where Sonic Youth's hetman finds a baffling legitimacy to Johnston, I never have and e'er preferred those who are strange but genuinely talented: Jandek (who almost exceeds even my grasp), R. Stevie Moore, Kevin Coyne, genius ranteur Copernicus, and cats like this guy, Jim from the Moon.
There's a lot of rawness to his work, a quality matching the intensity of the gent's passions while bringing out dimensions quite different from what's glommed in the mainstream and even many alternative venues. The sustaining force, though, is a fire raging within, finding release in psychedelia and a proggy mellifluity sometimes torn to shreds (as in Lover, Do You Love Me?), other times mournful to the point of being damn near funereal…then there's a 60s San Francisco mutated folk vibe popping up every so often. Frankly, I wouldn't have been at all surprised to have found this disc on Young Gods Records or another of the highly intriguing venues Howard Wuelfing wings my way for FAME printspace. I mean, catch Jilted Lovers, an eerie Tim Buckleyan threnody, and then listen as War is to Oil breaks into an Amon Duul II conflagration from outer space.
There are also traces of Black Sun Ensemble here as well as some Gary Lucas, but Space, Flesh, & Woe is pretty damned individualistic and very much in alignment with newer generations breaking all the rules while observing whatever fits their needs, resulting in some pretty bold experiments. What really nailed me, though, was a pre-listen given to Sometimes, a haunting track with brief simple lyrics that can't help but bore through your skull, set up residence in the limbic system, and refuse to vacate. Scary sometimes. Other than the drums, Jim plays everything and manages quite well in forcing his way through the progrock door…though that may well not have been his intention. Works for me, though.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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