welp: Music from the Mailbag

Ali Barter – “Backseat”



This is an early cut off of the Australian singer’s new album, I’m Trying my Best. Nice fast rhythm, and a catchy melody, but she sings in a self-consciously coy baby brat voice. If this were 10 years ago she would probably be playing the ukulele. This Indie 103. -style song’s lyrics seem to be mocking girls who date musicians, and it’s even a little stalker-y. But the video makes it look like a sweet love story. And is the video supposed to be taking place in the 90s or are barrettes currently in vogue for manic pixie girls?-ET

“The Ernie Kovacs Album: Centennial Album”



Originally issued on LP in 1976, this Omnivore reissue is released to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the TV pioneer and comedy anarchist’s birth. Though Kovacs earned his reputation for the surreal visuals of his small screen work, the tracks compiled here underscore how Kovacs, who started in radio, could turn words into magical havoc as well: “Albert Gridley” profiles a can-you-believe-it story from a Joe Average who needs constant prompting by Kovacs to recall its key elements, while perma-pickled poet Percy Dovetonsils waxes delirious about a neurotic cat. The tracks flow freely and heedlessly into each other, punctuated by bursts of dialogue (“John?”) or oddball music – a perfect distillation of Kovacs’ gleeful disregard for entertainment norms, and as such, belongs next to “Mad” magazine (RIP), “Mr. Show” and “Mystery Science Theater 3000” on the shelf of all self-respecting free thinkers and under-the-radar fliers. Omnivore’s CD adds six previously unissued tracks culled from Kovacs’ early radio and TV career, including a curiously straightforward, if affectionate take on “The Inch Worm.” -PG

Mika – “Tiny Love”



This is like Queen opening for the Wondermints at Spaceland in 1997.  I don’t hate it. – AF

Thunderpussy – “Never Know”



This sounds like Sunday night at the Coconut Teaszer circa 1989.  If you don’t know what that means, count your blessings and thank the deity of your choice.  Words like “stale,” “bland,” “contrived” and “generic” come to mind, but to really understand how much I hate this, picture yourself on the patio of the aforementioned Sunset Strip loser club, in the waning days of hair metal, doing Jaeger shots with a bunch of hairsprayed and headban-ed douchebags, and listening to them yammer on about how “you gotta treat it like a business” and how some A&R guy’s secretary said she thought their band was going to be the next Guns n’ Roses.  Then punch yourself in the face a few times.

I mean, I REALLY hate this.  I hate the name, I hate the artwork, I hate the fact that it reminds me of the countless nights I suffered through being stuck on bills with bands like this, and I hate that kids will probably hear this and think it’s real Rock and Roll, despite the fact that no one will ever feel weirded out or threatened or inspired to break something by this insipid corporate entertainment product.

The production is pretty good, though. – AF

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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