The point of Sun City Girls’ performances is that it’s never clear what’s going to happen next. The two-disc set Carnival Folklore Resurrection Radio, originally assembled for a WFMU special, takes the band’s mastery of inconsistency to its dissociative limit—intermittently touching base with the idea of radio, then meandering off again. A sneering country sing-along leads into a spoken-word riff about 9-11 by somebody impersonating ELP’s drummer, then a Visigothic stomp through the Batman theme, then a spaced-out answering machine message, then an assemblage of old exotica records, park sounds, and solo harmonica. Then some shortwave noise, then a Sublime Frequencies-ish cutup of hissy little melodies and voices from (evidently) Bangkok radio and, possibly, the Girls’ imitations of same. A detuned acoustic-guitar doodle that becomes a free-jazz trio . . . a site recording of funeral organ and sobbing mourners . . . someone singing along with France Gall on the radio . . . several alternate takes of the rain’s greatest hits . . . a duet for piano and overhead airplane . . . the theme from Swept Away reduced to a feathery shambles . . . everything goes on much too long or not long enough. Nothing is sacred, everything is permitted, the uncontrollable tuner can pick up every sound in the world, and you’re next.
Sun City Girls play the Coral Room April 13.
See also: East Via Shortwave by Richard Gehr
Midnight at the Oasis of Haphazardly Looped Hallucinations by Geeta Dayal