Golden Palominos: C/D

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Sub-REM jangle pop or dark NYC avant-ster?

IMO: 'Dead Inside' one of the most overlooked gem of the NYC 90s scene..

Fabrice (Fabfunk), Thursday, 6 March 2003 14:35 (11 years ago) Permalink

"This is How It Feels" was/is a great record .. underappreciated..

That Stipe one wasn't too bad either .. "Omaha" and "The Animal Speaks" .. to hear Lydon doing a Bob Kidney song is too cool.

Lots of gems among the rest of the catalog .. not all great, but worth a listen...

dave225 (Dave225), Thursday, 6 March 2003 14:42 (11 years ago) Permalink

I don't have the last two proper albums, but...

Definitely search the first, self-titled one - it's early 80s NYC scenesters (Fier + Laswell, plus Zorn, Frith, Lindsay, etc.) going bonkers and sounding great. The drumming on some tracks is way indulgent (e.g. "Under the Cap", or the out-of-control drum machine on "Cookout") but it works. And, when done well, having two bassists is a wonderful thing. So, this is their jazz-funk album.

Also search: Thundering Herd - this compiles albums #2-#4 in their entirety (although the album sequences are mixed up) plus two tracks from the 1st one. You want the Syd Straw songs, especially the Little Feat cover "I've Been the One" and "(Kind of) True." I think Visions of Excess is the most solid one of the three - A Dead Horse is a little too uniform in sound, and the songs on Blast of Silence aren't as memorable (although "Something Becomes Nothing" is fantastic). I remember Drunk With Passion as being okay, but if you have Thundering Herd already, then it's not vital.

My problems with This is How It Feels are the lyrics and the high mix of the vocals (which makes it apparent how dreadful the lyrics are). The music is kind of like a less-crazy version of Laika, or maybe if Garbage weren't terrible. I'm tempted to run the whole album through a distortion unit to make it more palatable, because there are some good ideas on it.

What are your opinions on Dead Inside? From what I've read about it, it sounds like pretentious death-obsessed spoken word stuff, which would turn me off. And how is Pure? I'm not sure what they were thinking when they put a close-up of a breast on the cover.

Ernest P. (ernestp), Thursday, 6 March 2003 15:21 (11 years ago) Permalink

'Dead Inside' is entirely electronic, usually based on dark ambient soundscapes, with occasional fits of break beats. I guess you could compare it to 'Badtimes'-style Laika, with death-obsessed sultry spoken word stuff on top. I love it

Fabrice (Fabfunk), Thursday, 6 March 2003 15:40 (11 years ago) Permalink

Pure's a fair amount darker than This Is How It Feels, if my recollection's right. Ernest, you probably wouldn't like it since Lori Carson does most of the vocals -- however, they are less precious. It goes well with Insides' Euphoria. I dig it.

Andy K (Andy K), Thursday, 6 March 2003 15:54 (11 years ago) Permalink

Some of the stuff on that first album still blows my head off. Dense avant/instrumental funk = classic. The more songly stuff I can take or leave, mostly leave.

Lee G (Lee G), Thursday, 6 March 2003 16:24 (11 years ago) Permalink

Anton Fier used to live on the 3rd floor of my building!

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Thursday, 6 March 2003 21:45 (11 years ago) Permalink

have the first two albums (but not for long...). Based on them DUD.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Friday, 7 March 2003 23:31 (11 years ago) Permalink

2 years pass...
How weird that so few people seem interested in the GPs... Dead Inside is such a gem.
I don't know whether Fier stopped the project after that or put it on hold (not that it makes much of a difference)

Baaderonixx le Belge (Fabfunk), Friday, 8 July 2005 09:10 (9 years ago) Permalink

I tend to like early and later GP, the first few albums (which have a sound more akin to early Marterial, with Zorn and Laswell hanging around on the first) and the latter ones, "This is How it Feels," "Pure" and beyond, which have a more slick, poppy approach, but are also seeping with atmosphere. The mid period late-eighties material tends to rub me the wrong way, so I've learned to avoid it- even though I own most of it.

So Classic with qualifications, I suppose.

James Slone (Freon Trotsky), Friday, 8 July 2005 10:02 (9 years ago) Permalink

The first two albums are wonderful: still the best post-DNA showcase for Arto Lindsey, the best showcase for John Zorn in an avant-pop context, and one of the best showcases for John Lydon, period.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 8 July 2005 11:58 (9 years ago) Permalink

"Pure" was a highlight of the 1990s...

Brett Hickman (Bhickman), Friday, 8 July 2005 18:55 (9 years ago) Permalink

I was obsessed with the GP's for a while in the 90's. I always dug the idea a bit more than the execution — Drunk With Passion was kind of appealing to me ca. '92, with Richard Thompson's guitar and all, but kind of worthless now.

When This Is How It Feels came out, I was blown away — and positively flummoxed as to why it tanked: it had beats and basslines, tunes, one of Fier's best killer lineups (Bernie Worrell, Bootsy), and shades of Graham Greene's End of the Affair for lyrical inspiration. Upon further review, though, it's less impressive, and the breathy/whiny tone of the thing hasn't aged very well in the post-Tori/Garbage era.

Pure was This Is How It Feels redux but without the tunes — I gather Fier's relationship w/ Carson had hit the skids by then. I actually had an Anton Fier solo album from Japan that was LITERALLY This Is How It Feels redux, with Phew singing over that record's backing tracks — in some respects it's better, actually. But I don't listen to it anymore either.

Visions of Excess is still the classic, tho'...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 8 July 2005 20:00 (9 years ago) Permalink

I liked Visions and Blast, for the vocals of Syd Straw and John Lydon and Jack Bruce, for the material, the Moby Grape and Little Feat covers, and maybe for the guitars, but I had a problem with Anton himself- I never liked his drumming much, a little stiff or something. I guess I liked him in the Feelies, but I didn't think he had the right feel for the classic and country rock.

k/l (Ken L), Friday, 8 July 2005 20:10 (9 years ago) Permalink

with Phew singing over that record's backing tracks

who is Phew?

I met Lori Carson around the time "everything I touch" came out and she told me she absolutely loved "This is How It Feels," but that Pure was really strained to make because Fier didn't tell her he was going to have someone else sing half the record.

kyle (akmonday), Friday, 8 July 2005 20:23 (9 years ago) Permalink

okay I looked that up and it was dreamspeed and/or blindlight, which I forgot about; I guess Tzadik reissued these a few years ago. are they good?

kyle (akmonday), Friday, 8 July 2005 20:29 (9 years ago) Permalink

Phew did a really good record with Can's Holger Czukay in the early 80's -- her schtick's a touch Yoko-esque in that it's kind of singspiel.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 8 July 2005 20:47 (9 years ago) Permalink

11 months pass...
what is up with the shitty versions of the first four albums on the market now on "dressed to kill", with horrid photoshop cover art? does fier not own the rights to the celluloid albums?

kyle (akmonday), Friday, 16 June 2006 04:52 (8 years ago) Permalink

the recent lori carson album is swell.

keyth (keyth), Saturday, 17 June 2006 00:08 (8 years ago) Permalink

Golden Pals definitely classic. The first album has to be segregated from the rest as an anomaly and I find it to be an analogue to the first Material album.

The format of Visions of excess was refreshing and Blast of Silence, while uneven, contains pure gems that should not be missed. Why hasn't Syd Straw gotten the love she deserves?

To all This is How It Feels haters, get over yourselves. The album is brilliant and the lyrics are breathy not whiny. If you think they are whiny, it is no wonder you don't understand love (or sex).

J Arthur Rank (Quin Tillian), Saturday, 17 June 2006 11:20 (8 years ago) Permalink

4 years pass...

so these guy(s) are touring now?!

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 30 March 2011 12:35 (3 years ago) Permalink

?!? I know they did a gig last year with Syd Straw, but are they doing something more now?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 30 March 2011 15:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

Now that the Victory Cafe is closed, Anton has a lot of time on his hands.

Phred "Psonic" Psmith (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 March 2011 15:26 (3 years ago) Permalink

I only find a mention of a concert in Ghent, Belgium in June

Line up:
Kevn Kinney vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Lianne Smith vocals, acoustic guitar
Tony Scherr slide guitar, bass
Jim Campilongo fender telecaster
Chris Morrissey bass
Anton Fier drums

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 30 March 2011 15:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

I don't understand Dutch but in case someone does:
http://www.uitinvlaanderen.be/agenda/e/the-golden-palominos/0afed8b2-c031-4ff4-8fd2-a3e2baabf688

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 30 March 2011 15:35 (3 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

Goddamn if this isn't one of the best things Sir John ever did:

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 21 December 2012 03:16 (1 year ago) Permalink

numbers band version of the song is like the best thing ever

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 21 December 2012 03:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

?? Linky?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Friday, 21 December 2012 03:34 (1 year ago) Permalink

Check it out, Jack Bruce vocal instead of John Lydon: https://soundcloud.com/filmcode/the-animal-speaks-jack-bruce

Rumba de Schmillsson (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 21 December 2012 03:35 (1 year ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

Just put this whole Lori Carson era on this morning – and after reading a few articles, Fier comes off as a massive, possibly abusive control-freak who was banging at least one of his female collaborators and playing mind games in the name of "art." This interview, which is ostensibly while Fier was still on good terms with Carson and producing her solo work, puts their whole relationship in a pretty disturbing light, with Fier playing the role of the ever-unsatisfied perfectionist, playing people off one another and canceling tours at the last minute and Carson trying to please him by writing "pornographic" lyrics and comparing the new collaborator situation on Dead Inside to "having your ex-husband make this really incredible baby with his new wife." It's pretty fucked up:

http://innerviews.org/inner/carson.html

It all seems an awful lot of drama for what, in retrospect, was ultimately little more than über-sensuous dance music that took more than a little inspiration (and performers) from Bill Laswell's ambient dub experiments of the 90s (which themselves didn't exactly change the world). There's a heavier emphasis on sampling – some of which were more obvious than others (TIHIF had a super prominent Orb sample tho one of the remixes from Dreamspeed actually uses a Fred Frith sample from Guitar and another Sly Stone sample from Fresh which is kind of interesting). And the tunes w Carson are generally pretty solid. But it's not like these guys were conquering the world here.

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 9 February 2014 16:29 (5 months ago) Permalink

The Lori Carson era def wasn't the same kind of 'band' that it was before. I love those two records and her solo albums as well. She wrote a book recently, haven't read it. She obviously really soured on the music industry after Everything I Touch Turns Wild, probably something to do with Fier.

"But it's not like these guys were conquering the world here"

Laswell has no shortage of ego.

akm, Sunday, 9 February 2014 18:05 (5 months ago) Permalink

Although in that interview, Laswell comes off rather sweet to Carson – almost as if he felt a little badly about how she was treated.

As for the book, hadn't heard it but it def. sounds more than a little influenced by her relationship with Anton based on the Amazon description:

At 24, Lisa Nelson is a waitress in a New York City diner and a hopeful singer-songwriter with a talent for the guitar and a gifted voice. She is in love with Gabriel Luna, a famous musician and elusive playboy more than a decade her senior. When she becomes pregnant, and he doesn’t want her to have the baby, she faces a monumental decision. What will happen if she goes against his wishes and raises their child alone in a world of poverty and struggle? Alternately, where will her life go if she puts her career and her desire to please Gabriel first? Lisa decides to have an abortion, but many years later, famous in her own right, she looks back and records this story of what-ifs as a message to the child she never had. In this first novel, Carson, herself a singer-songwriter, commits her artistry to paper, creating a lyrical story of love, longing, and acceptance. Beautifully imagined and authentically told, the result is a deeply meaningful exploration of an often painful subject. --Cortney Ophoff

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 9 February 2014 19:21 (5 months ago) Permalink


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