Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sun City Girls - Dante's Disney Land Inferno

The Sun City Girls were an American experimental rock band, formed in 1979 in Phoenix, Arizona. From 1981 the group consisted of Alan Bishop (bass guitar, vocals), his brother Richard Bishop (guitar, piano, vocals), and the late Charles Gocher (drums, vocals). Their name was inspired by Sun City, Arizona, an Arizona retirement community. Charles Gocher died after a long battle with cancer on February 19, 2007, bringing an end to the group.

They found little mainstream success, but they continue to inspire a devoted following and have recorded numerous critically acclaimed albums, released in small editions by labels like Placebo, Majora, Eclipse Records, Amarillo Records, and their own Abduction Records. Their music was hugely varied, spreading across genres such as spoken word, free improvisation, jazz and rock. Their records typically incorporated lyrics that rely heavily on their interests in mysticism, paranormal topics (especially UFOs), religious cults and other esoterica, often also manifested in their song titles, lyrics and album art. Performances by the group were often wildly unpredictable, sometimes verging on performance art, with elaborate costumes, kabuki-inspired makeup, and the creation of a festive, ritualistic atmosphere with audience participation.

Critic Steve Leggett writes, "Throughout its history SCG has remained a challenging, unpredictable, and eclectic musical unit, operating outside the commercially driven aspirations of the mainstream recording industry, and the group has become somewhat of a beacon to independent musicians and artists everywhere." Writing in the Village Voice, Ted Hendrickson argues, "They've never made any sense, conventionally speaking, and that's what makes them fun."

The Sun City Girls should ring a bell in your ears. The Bishop brother's going on a roadtrip here, mixing avantgarde with experimental, psych with freak folk. It's like a melting pot of diverse styles but onto two discs. If you don't have it or don't know them yet, get it.

[ Abduction / 1996 / Avantgarde / VBR ]

Disc I
01. Sexy Graveyard (11:51)
02. Hector and Chino (04:32)
03. Soft fragile Eggshell Minds (02:43)
04. A Bad Dream (01:23)
05. The Geography of the Swastika (11:11)
06. Flesh Balloons of Tibet (01:20)
07. Pay the Fiddler (01:54)
08. The Brothers unconnected (03:06)
09. Hippie Conglomerate (00:52)
10. Five Minutes (01:08)
11. Charles Gocher Sr. (07:16)
12. A Man is an Insect is a Flame (02:05)
13. Jack the Ripper (04:43)
14. Persistence of Vision (01:18)
15. Dear Anybody (03:05)
16. A Secret revealed unwittingly (02:35)
17. Helen Waite (04:11)
18. Jessup's Diary (08:34)
Disc II
01. The Ballad of (D)Anger (01:43)
02. Bitter cold Countryside (04:29)
03. Ruby on the ferris Wheel (06:29)
04. The Ballad of Co-Dependency (01:39)
05. Joan of Arc (03:20)
06. Holiday for Shakespeare (02:47)
07. The Harley of Horror (08:42)
08. Let's Pretend (02:02)
09. Floppy Pus (01:09)
10. Bloody Zipper (01:30)
11. Family of Nails (02:22)
12. Fourteen (07:29)
13. Sal Manilla (02:57)
14. Six Kids of mine (03:34)
15. Dan and Ross (01:46)
16. Book of Revelations (06:56)
17. Bird of Prey (06:21)

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