As compiled by WFMU's Music Director Brian Turner

NIHILIST SPASM BAND/Japan (Alchemy Japan)
This group of Canucks have been skronking for over two decades creating a strange, undefinable body of work evading both rock and jazz tags. It's a lotta noise, and it's done well on both traditional and homemade instruments. Recorded live in Japan in 1996, they just played their first NYC show recently.

A great new compilation of electric and acoustic music from Malawi in the heart of Africa that avoids the slickness and packaging of many world comps of recent years. Straightforward raw pop, African blues, Chewa folk, gospel, even a strange accordian/choir rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" all meet up on this nice collection.

Pearls Before Swine's subterranean waves promised revolution in a hazy cloud of smoke, and today a multitude of bands pay tribute to the music of Tom Rapp & PBS and prove there is very much still one nation underground. Flying Saucer Attack, Tower Recordings, Masaki Batoh of Ghost, Damon and Naomi and others who obviously have soaked in the Pearls' strange aura of folky confusion all contribute here.

STEREO TOTAL/Monokini (Bungalow)
Recent guests of the Stork Club on WFMU and all-around town sensations when they recently visited NYC, Stereo Total are a half-French/half-German outfit (with vocals in both languages as well as English and Italian) that emit goofball casio grooves, three-chord buzzsaw punk anthems and more. Imagine Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin jamming out in a garage with Trio and maybe you get an idea.

DAVID KILGOUR AND THE HEAVY 8's/David Kilgour and the Heavy 8's (Flying Nun)
Pavement, GBV and many more owe quite a bit to New Zealand's David Kilgour, who with the Clean, Great Unwashed, Stephen, the Pop Art Toasters and more blazed a trail in the 80s that do-it-yourself popsters would scamper down in the 90's. His latest is once again full of the sunny hookiness and pristeen strum-guitar that characterized his first two (poorly distributed) solo LPs.

COLDCUT/Let Us Play (Ninjatune)
After some killer singles, Coldcut continue to deliver the goods in this veritable buffet of soundclash. Jazz, funk, dub, hip-hop and more are all thrown into the blender with help from Jello Biafra, Talvin Singh, and our own Steinski (with a sexy softcore porn contribution!)

RALPH CARNEY/Ralph Sounds (Birdman)
Tom Waits sideman/collaborator with the Oranj Symphonette, B52s, Marc Ribot and more, Ralph Carney approaches the studio with the precision of a master who, for the most part, has no academic handle on any of his instruments (he comes closest on sax). Saw, cello, jaw's-harp, piano, trombone and more are all tossed together on these tracks; all improvised but thanks to Carney's amazing creativity build into fascinating themes and short songs.

JIM O'ROURKE/Bad Timing (Drag City)
One half of Gastr del Sol and collaborator with just about everyone in today's avant-indie circle, Chicago guitarist O'Rourke once again makes you pay attention as he evokes the freedom of Derek Bailey and the dream-like dissonant folk of John Fahey around a myriad of connective but independent sound sources; drone, pedal steel, trombone and more quietly interact around O'Rourke's gentle pluck to once again stunning effect.

RAYMOND SCOTT/Soothing Sounds for Baby (Basta)
This three-CD set compiles the music from a set of records cartoon music composer/band leader/electronic music innovator Scott produced for the Gesell Institute of Child Development in 1963. Finally, folks can hear a little-heard side of Scott, primitive synths of his own invention wheezed and whirred in hopes of, yes, putting babies to sleep. Liner notes by WFMU's Irwin Chusid.

JESSIE MAE HEMPHILL/Feelin' Good (High Water)
Finally a CD reissue of her 1990 LP and 1985 High Water label single will allow more folks to hear the amazing roots rock of Memphis' Jessie Mae. Far from the traditional woman blues-belter, Jessie's sweet voice becomes an element in her primitive rockin' tunes based in the great tradition of folks like Fred McDowell and the fife and drum groups that haunted the hills during her childhood. She rakes a mean electric guitar.

LUCAS AND FRIENDS/Discover a World of Sounds (Vinyl Communications)
An amazing collection of found tapes, home "radio shows", poems, and tons of kids abusing each other on mic was put out by Pea Hicks, who has most recently resurrected the Mattell musical toy the Optigan in his band Optiganally Yours.

KOMAR & MELAMID WITH DAVE SOLDIER/The People's Choice Music (Dia Center)
A web survey of what elements people like and dislike in their music yielded the two amazing tracks on this CD: "Most Wanted Song", and "Most Unwanted Song". The former is probably what you'd expect, slick, mushy oversinging by a female in a contempo R & B style. The latter mashes up country, rap, opera, and kids singing about the topics people least want to hear about. In other words, the perfect WFMU song.

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