The Mod Squad
What do Twiggy, Burt Bacharach, Sly Stone and disco Barbie dolls have in common? Everything, if you're the Pizzicato Five. The Yber-stylish Tokyo combo takes to Western pop culture like a trio of dustbusters, sucking up references into a stereophonic sound spectacular that gives new meaning to the word "eclectic." Think avant-retro pop, or think of Nancy Sinatra, Deee-lite and Digable Planets collaborating on a new James Bond soundtrack. Celebrating consumer culture with a Warhol-like blankness, this mod squad is known for kitschy candy-drop visuals and fizzy-sweet releases like their breakthrough Made in USA (Matador). S.F.'s own cruise-ship directors Frenchy open the Great American Music Hall show Thurs, Feb. 23.
Road to Ruin
Poster-art poster boy Frank Kozik is in the midst of launching his own vinyl-only label. Striving to uphold the working motto, "Quality Out the Ass," Man's Ruin Records will press picture-disk singles and 10-inch EPs dressed in sleeves featuring the artist's instantly recognizable, bold-hued cartoon graphics. This week Kozik ships out the first two releases: the atmospheric monkeywrenching of Sonic Boom (d/b/a Experimental Audio Research) and the punk Sinatra-isms of tough-guy swing favorites the Useless Playboys. Other scheduled projects include a drums-only excursion by the Melvins' Dale Crover, something from a new band lined up by the Dwarves' Blag Jesus and a split 10-inch with Led Zep covers by Killdozer (the Steve Albini-produced "When the Levee Breaks") and Ritual Device ("No Quarter"/"Hot Dog"). And look for Kozik's first book of his artwork, also titled Man's Ruin (Last Gasp), to hit emporium shelves in about two months.
Sia Michel, James Sullivan