Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Season of Rust Track by Track

The wonderfully multi-talented Mike Langlie, from the amazing music project's Cat Temper and Twink the Toy Piano Band, suggested that I write a track by track breakdown of the recent Tim Mungenast/Astro Al experimental album Season of Rust. So here it is. 

First a quick about the album sort of thing; Season of Rust was spawned from a gigantic series of recordings we did with Tim Mungenast a few years ago. It's the second and final (I think) album in our Rust series. The first being The Poetry of Rust. Perhaps its more like a musical double feature.

  1. The Hum Told Them- Tim Mungenast wrote the words. This tells a piece of a larger story about a construction or destruction crew guided by something unseen. They are still there. Much of the sounds come from Tim, DNA Girl, and I pounding on a metal pole at a lake in Weirdfield MA. There's also a buzzing painting sound that I tried for weeks to capture. Wind chimes from the backyard too.
  2. The Desert Swirls Through the Ancient Saucer Wreckage- Mandolin, metal on metal scraping. Guitar swirls. This was built out of multiple spot recordings and bits and pieces of one jam. It became a big audio collage. Musique concrète? Perhaps, except its metal. Metal on metal baby.
  3. The Sophisticat Explores the Beauty of Corrosion-  Rust doesn't just happen to metal. Rust happens to the mind. I played bass on this track. I think its the first time I played bass on a recording. Tim played swirling guitarscapes. DNA girl smashed horseshoes and other odd bits of metals. The original spoken word bit was so much longer than the music that I had to edit it down quite a bit, which probably made it better, but also made it a little more non-sensical. I dig DNA Girl's narration performance. Dr. Klang and Lev who had previously been characters on our prior album The Poetry of Rust, return briefly. I'm so glad that Seaweed Orchestra's only exist in a black rust spot in my mind. All the buzzes and statics are there on purpose. How else does rust sound?
  4. The Jet Set Find the Magic Mural-  Another spoken word bit. Drawn from a dream. Dreams don't dare enter my sleeping mind that often, but this one seeped in. I would like to have a rich aunt and uncle. If someone wants to volunteer, feel free. Tim of course played guitar. I purposefully didn't speak on this album. Figured the world deserved a break from my nasal tones. Tim did a great job with the narration. It feels like he wrote it. Airport diners are either good or annoying. This one is good and leads to zen. Layers upon layers of jamming piled on top of each other. 
  5. Awakening of the Metallic Bats-  Our characters, from the previous track, witness the metallic bats rise. Lots of metal scraping with a stick on this one. Mandolin patterns sketched by DNA Girl. Guitar beauty by Tim. 
  6. The Digging Continues- The story of the poor souls in the pit continues. Dig. Dig. Dig. Lots of real life construction sounds worked their way into the track. We had to redo Tim's voice because there were police sirens in the background that clashed with everything else. I think I played with a live guitar lead on this one. DNA Girl smashed metal. I layered it, so it sounded like Tim was having a call and response guitar dual with himself. DNA girl also did some percussion stuff and vocalizations. I think we alternated banjo playing on this one too. 
  7. Is There Rust in Space?- Flange flickering over horse shoes smacked together by DNA Girl. I think the jam this was culled from was close to seven minutes. This track is almost four minutes. Often times, shorter is better. I try to keep albums near the 40 minute mark. Most of my favorite albums are in that range so why not follow suit? I think the mind tires after that mark. Tim's swirl guitars are lovingly whacked. 
  8. The Heart of the Robot-  I played some effect loaded synth pattern on this one. I also made a feedback static sound. Tim rolled Baoding balls in his kung fu grip. DNA Girl experimented with metal. It was a tasty one to end the album with, at least I think so. Again, I tried to keep this one short.

That's it!

Hope you dig some Season of Rust. 

-Yours in Rust,

Count Robot

Sunday, March 14, 2021


Count Robot's Favorite 3 Albums of 2020

In 2020 there was an incredible amount of excellent new music.

I could drone on like a years worth of drone music, that was created by drones but I will jus keep it to my three favorites. So let's get right into it.

I prefer to remember 2020 as the year of Blue Oyster Cult. After years of no albums, I lost track of how many albums BOC released this year. Six? I don't know.... Incredible!

3. Albert Bouchard: Re Imaginos: 

I am not going to go into the whole bizarre history of the original Imaginos album. If you want the background, check it out here. With Re-Imaginos, former BOC member Albert Bouchard, reshapes the songs into old world/new world music. This is Bouchard performing broken down in the best way possible, musical theater. Wonderful production, such beautiful sounding violins! Heavy metal songs are transformed into semi-acoustic sea shanties in this excellent release. There's a tune called, Girl That Love Made Blind, which is a Christmas song filled with strange astrological creepiness presented in a politely, pretty, pagan, waltz. Girl That Love Made Blind never makes me tired of hearing the word, Christmas.

Such an excellent re-arrangement of Astronomy. Lost desert highway three AM country music is the sound that Gil Blanco County fills in my head.

Re-Imaginos could be an incredible musical. I would go see it.

Al Bouchard's vocals have a scratchy broken beauty, filled with ancient lore. He's the narrating invisible wizard. I've heard that Bouchard plans to make it a trilogy. I am all, all, all in.

2. Blue Oyster Cult: The Symbol Remains

The Symbol does indeed remain. It remains in my head. It makes me think of old BOC because of the title being a throw back to an older BOC album, Revolution By Night. This album popped right into the number two spot on my list after one listening. All sorts of interesting lyrics. Catchy riffs. Solid thick production. Tainted Blood is a vampire song! BOC has a great tradition of vampire songs, so I was glad to get another one added to the list with this album.

The chorus on Stand and Fight smacks you right in the face. 

Alien abductions return with the Edge of the World which has a grizzly howl of defiance in Eric Bloom's booming voice. 

One of my favorite songs on this album is Train true. It's so bonkers in the off kilter style that BOC used to work in quite often (anyone besides me remember the BOC ditty, She's as Beautiful as a Foot?). Nice to see a strong return of innovative fun. Buck Dharma's vocal deliver is righteous, slick, insane, and so good. Cheers BOC. You all rocked this one home!

1.  The Gypsy Moths: Wollaston Theater (EP)

Yes, this is not a full length album. As my man Ed Wood, would say, “So what?” 

Wollaston Theater is a treasure of rock and roll with soul, horns, guitars, and song craft. It's been in constant rotation. As a download, as a CDR, as a vinyl album too, yes all the formats for me. All so rock and roll awesome.

These Days Will Run is the opening song. Get's us pumped up right into the best party you've always wanted to have all in four classic songs. 

The Continuing Story of Arthur Duffy is a song about a real life criminal. It's a wild story of a song with so much guts. I could picture this song being blasted out of a jam packed juke joint in the middle of nowhere with people coming from hours away to experience this awesome slice of early rock greatness. A classic. As the lyrics say, “Let's go!”

City Point is a forlorn slick slice of rock and melancholy. I dig that. Often the best songs are sad, which makes us feel. This song is one of those in the best lush way. Those vocals! If you don't feel anything while listening to this tune, check your pulse.

We Can't Go Home is the final song. It's a great romp about skipping... school. It's so good it makes me want to go back to school just so I could skip school. This song has such an earnest wistfulness to it. Sweet melancholy that you can make dance. Skip with me now, is one of the lyrics. The eternal urge for escape from Monday morning. Let's skip, not just school, but the rat race. I dig it. 

One thing that blows my mind about this album, is that they love it so much in Europe. The lyrics are so wonderfully Boston, MA centric in vibes, that at first I didn't get how the astute music fans in the EU, and beyond, picked up on this great collection of songs by the Moths.

Now I get it, it's the afar romance that people have for us, as I have for the afar romance for London, Rome, Montreal, and more. It is the window into the other. That's what the Gypsy Moths have so deftly given the rest of the world, a view into the life of Boston.

Excellent production. Raw enough for you to feel it, slick enough to make you feel a little dirty. Pounding drums, crunchy, punchy guitars, phat horns, nice old school keys, and rock and flipping soul filled vocals are masterfully performed and captured. On the first listening I thought to myself, I'm picking an EP as my favorite album of the year.

So there it is, another favorite albums of the year post.

Late as usual

Lately yours,

Count Robot 2021