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Taiwan Housing Project
For buildings, there are zoning laws. For automobiles, traffic ordinance enforced by police officers.
For aircraft, there’s air traffic control and for industry, patent laws, labor laws, etc.
Despite all the regulations, scofflaws are common and people “break the law” constantly.
The world of rock ’n’ roll bands is different. Though it prides itself as a libertine anarchy where all is permitted, unspoken rules are in place which nearly none dare transgress. In the modern era, these regulations are as strictly enforced as in any gulag.
Political statements must consist of kitsch platitudes, the music a rote recitation from the nostalgia file. Appearance must be mundane and performance a tame approximation of a half remembered snore-fest from the golden age of “mTV unplugged.”
Any deviation will be punished —monetarily and critically— and rebels are banished to the kingdom of no-one-cares.
Faced with such prospects, conformity in “indie rock” is ABSOLUTE.
On the outskirts of this work camp though, is one notable rule breaker … a group of delinquents with outlaw values: style, ideas, physicality, vivacity … when turned to the “on” position, they resemble a terrifying power tool or downed “live wire.”
Who is this group that never got the memo to manifest mediocrity? TAIWAN HOUSING PROJECT: A band powerful enough to exorcise its audience of the degenerate culture which is poisoning them: Popular radio, mini series, political idiocy, toxic architecture, Hollywood film, and graphic design… stimuli created explicitly to numb and retard its victims, and to tame any deviant impulse.
Who are the members? TAIWAN HOUSING PROJECT was formed by KILYNN LUNSFORD (Ex-LITTLE CLAW) who, onstage, performs like a reborn Little Richard. Fur clad, ax wielding, slashing, tearing, “flame on.” MARK FEEHAN (ex-HARRY PUSSY) flanks the stage, picking and grinning like a loosed convict with a taste for vengeance. These two began the band as a experiment in perversity but it quickly transformed into a way of life, a hope bringer, a font of joy for them and their devotees. More members were added (Pat Ganley, Adam Cooper, Kevin Nickles, and Kevin Boyer of groups such as TYVEK, DAN MELCHOIR, WRITHING SQUARES, TICKLEY FEATHER, et al), shows were played, a 45 was released (on the excellent M’Lady’s imprint) and now …… a debut ALBUM on KILL ROCK STARS RECORDS, called “Veblen Death Mask.”
“Sometimes you gotta burn the village to save it” is THP’s philosophy, and in keeping with that, their live style is a take no prisoners, destroy the stage, ecstatic orgy of sound.
BUT — cleverly concealed under the noise and abandon, TAIWAN HOUSING PROJECT play bewitching pop songs which could bubble up comfortably in a reform school disco or European youth hall.
“Multidimensional Spectrum”, and “Authentic Alien Perfume” are hit parade material. If the hit parade took a detour through a Hieronymous Bosch painting.
Spin this record — the “VEBLEN DEATH MASK” LP — and join TAIWAN HOUSING PROJECT in resisting the rules of the gulag.
— Ian Svenonius
Cold Beat, aka Hannah Lew, returns with the announcement of her third album, Chaos By Invitation, out April 7th via her own Crime on the Moon label. As compared with previous releases, Chaos By Invitation began in Lew's home, alone, with additional tracking done later by Phil Manley (Trans Am) at El Studio and Mikey Young (Total Control) — only to return to Lew's home for completion over the course of many months. As a result, the offering is much more personal and direct than Into The Air, which was more of a band effort. Collages from Lew's home environment make up many of the textures of Chaos By, woven in to create an intimate atmosphere, a sort of chaos by necessity and design. The album also features performances by her friends Kyle King, Alex Shen, Jackson Blumgart, and Mikey Young.
The album moves through themes of sensuality/intangibility. Lew attempts to reconcile the distance between these two modalities throughout the album. One can hear the surrender in Lew's voice as she grasps to hold onto the end of a rope during «In Motion» — as if succumbing to a strong current of emotion. Chaos By Invitation examines what can be machine-readable and what is only felt in the body.
Inspired musically by bands such as NEU! and Tubeway Army, Lew was also influenced by her own burgeoning interest in astronomy. The first single, «62 Moons,» is a song about love taken for granted, analogous to the 62 moons of Saturn, which are in constant loving orbit around a beautiful siren planet with many satellites. The artwork (above), done by Kevin McCarthy — of legendary Bay Area post-punk band Rank Xerox — was made to be machine readable, with some far distant expectation some synthetic intelligence would be able to understand this extremely personal and human album.
The Writhing Squares
Writhing Squares is the inner-city Kosmische skronk perpetrated by Kevin Nickles (Ecstatic Vision) and Daniel Provenzano (Purling Hiss). Hailing from the scenic sewers of South Phila, the duo’s short but sweet resume includes a much-heralded self-released seven-inch and a couple cassette outings, but In the Void Above is the longstanding promissory we’ve all been waiting for them to deliver.
Utilizing a formidably small gamut of sounds (reeds, voice, electronics, bass), the end result is like a collision of Blurt, Hawkwind (United Artists era) and Uli Trempte’s Spacebox, where the ensuing sonic boom is as vibrant as it is dense. Look for Writhing Squares to tour throughout 2016, maybe even comin’ to your house for supper, soon!
531 North 12th St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123