This Just In: What One Man Can Do…

I first heard about Sun City Girls when answering a Craigslist ad in 2004. A band was looking for a drummer and noted a strange mixture of “influences” – Velvet Underground, Four Tet, Chavez and Sun City Girls. Being familiar with 3 of the 4 influences, the ad piqued my interest and I auditioned for the band as a drummer, but on guitar. I didn’t have any drums at the time and neither did they, but they took my word for it when I said could “sorta” drum. We were a strange trio that never really had a name and essentially never had songs with structures. We’d get drunk and rotate instruments for hours in a basement, frequently taking breaks to listen to records upstairs (yes, we also eventually got drums). Despite a seeming lack of momentum, this “band” lasted almost 6 years and probably would have continued if I still lived in Portland.

I vividly remember asking them about Sun City Girls. “Eh, sometimes it’s high-brow guitar stuff, or a cacophonous mess. Sometimes it’s a violent puppet show or fucked up folk songs.” Made sense influence-wise, as the no-structure thing was at the core of our group too. In our record listening sessions, I got to hear some Sun City Girls, but I was more captivated by Alan and Richard Bishop’s “solo” stuff, especially the Alvarius B. material. I’m not an expert on the Bishop brothers, and there is years worth of material floating around, created, performed and compiled by them, so I’ll start you off with what I know and love most – Alvarius B. Abduction (SSG’s self-run label) has been good about leaking out collections of Alvarius B.’s freako-guitar-fuck meanderings, but they’re always limited. So, if the sound sample and description below is of any interest to you (and/or you trust my recommendations), come pick up the new(old) Alvarius B. piece now. It will be gone and there will not be any more made. If you ask nicely, I might even put on an SSG-inspired puppet show behind the counter.

*Don’t forget to check out the other less-limited new releases, reissues and restock list at the bottom!

Alvarius B. – What One Man Can Do With An Acoustic Guitar, Surely Another Can Do With His Hands Around The Neck Of God LP:
Listen: Drunken Patriot
The album title pretty much says it all. Yes we know that’s the same thing we said about last year’s Alvarius B. (Alan Bishop) archival release Fuck You and the Horse You Rode In On LP, but while What One Man Can Do… has a similar approach in attitude, it comes a decade later as solo acoustic guitar instrumentals recorded during the 1990s. Perhaps, if it’s contextualization you are seeking, you could consider this a continuation of the first Alvarius B. album (ABDT 004CD — acoustic guitar instrumentals recorded during the 1980s). Or, you could simply imagine that these are songs about strangling people like you with a low E steel guitar string. This (recorded straight to cassette) acoustic guitar sound has more of a resemblance to a performance on power tools than it does to strumming or picking a Martin flat top. So if you’ve been leisurely waking up on Sunday mornings to sit down, have a cup of tea in your non-smoking kitchen breakfast-nook, staring out into the garden while listening to your old Fahey records, step aside and let someone else own this piece of wax — someone who may take the body of an old fucked-up guitar and start pounding people like you into the pavement with it. Extremely limited one-time pressing of 400 LP copies.


What can you do? New releases, reissues and restocks…
13th Floor Elevators – Psychedelic Sound LP
Amon Duul II – Wolf City LP
Bad Brains – s/t LP
Band Of Horses – Acoustic At The Ryman LP
Barrington Levy – Prison Oval Rock LP; Sweet Reggae Music LP
Bill Orcutt – Solo Acoustic Vol. 10 LP
Black Sabbath – Sabotage LP
Blood Red Shoes – s/t LP
Bonobo – Black Sands 2LP
Brand Nubian – One For All 2LP
Cabaret Voltaire – Drinking Electricity LP
Cat Power – You Are Free LP; The Greatest LP; Sun 2LP
Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um LP
Chvrches – Bones Of What You Believe LP
Clash – London Calling 2LP
Cream – Disraeli Gears LP
Cocteau Twins – Stars & Topsoil: A Collection 2LP
Courtney Barnett – A Sea Of Split Peas 2LP
Cure – Disintegration 2LP; Three Imaginary Boys LP
Cymbals – Sideways, Sometimes LP
Danny Brown – Hot Soup 2LP
Darkside – Psychic 2LP, CD
David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant LP
Death – Leprosy LP
Death Cab For Cutie – Plans 2LP
Depeche Mode – Violator LP
Dr. Dre – The Chronic 2LP
Emptyset – Demiurge LP
Eno & Hyde – Someday World 2LP, CD
Fatima Al Qadiri – Asiatisch LP
Fennesz – Endless Summer 2LP; Becs 2LP, CD
Fred McDowell – Vol. 2 LP
Future Islands – Singles LP
Genius/GZA – Liquid Swords 2LP
Ghostface Killah – Supreme Clientele 2LP; Ironman 2LP; 12 Reasons To Die LP
Gil Scott-Heron – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised LP; I’m New Here LP
Horrors – Luminous 2LP, CD
Howlin’ Wolf – Back Door LP
John Coltrane – Ole Coltrane LP; Coltrane’s Sound LP
Jungle – Busy Earnin’ 12”
Justice – Cross 2LP
King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath The Moon 2LP
King Tubby – Controls LP; Roots Of Dub LP; Explosive Dub LP
LE1F – Hey 12”
Liars – Mess 2LP
Lightnin’ Hopkins – Blue Lightnin’ LP
Lily Allen – Sheezus CD
Lykke Li – I Never Learn CD
Maximo Park – Too Much Information LP
Merzbow – Grand Owl Habitat LP; Protean World LP
MF Doom – Operation Doomsday 2LP
National – Boxer LP; Trouble Will Find Me 2LP
Natural Child – Dancin’ With Wolves LP
Nguzunguzu –Mirage 12”
Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise LP; Marks & Angles 12”
Nirvana – Nevermind LP
Notorious B.I.G – Ready To Die LP
Orcas – Yearling LP
Pantera – Vulgar Display Of Power 2LP
Phantogram – Eyelid Movies LP
Pharcyde – Labcabincalifornia 2LP
Pixies – Doolittle LP; Come On Pilgrim LP
Queen – News Of The World LP
Ratatat – LP4 LP; s/t LP
Rodrigo Y Gabriela – 11:11 LP
Rolling Stones – 12×5 LP; Let It Bleed LP
Savages – Fuckers/Dream Baby Dream 12”
Seahawks – Paradise Freaks LP
Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun CD
Sly & Robbie – Underwater Dub LP+CD
Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream 2LP
Sun Ra – Continuation LP
Television – Marquee Moon LP
Thievery Corporation – Saudade LP
tUnE-yArDs – Nikki Nack LP, CD
Vampire Weekend – Contra LP; Modern Vampires Of The City LP
Vangelis – Blade Runner OST LP
Various – Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas 2LP
Various – Bleep: 10 LP, CD
Various – Cumbia Beat Vol. 1 2LP
Various – Drop On Down In Florida 2CD/BK
Various – Everything Is Shit LP
Various – Psych Funk Sa-Re-Ga! 2LP
Various – Reggae Veterans Vol. 1 LP
Various – Shangaan Electro 2LP
Various – Shik Shak Shok LP
Various – Turkish Freakout Vol. 1 2LP
Warpaint – s/t LP
Wooden Wand – Farmer’s Corner LP
Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out LP