VNRuñderkinder: The V&R Commandments

Monday, August 3, 2015

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Napkin V review by Alex Smith

Welcome to another edition of Alex's Music Nook™ sponsored by Music Merchant, 157 Westwood Avenue in Westwood, NJ. Today we'll be reviewing "Napkin V", the latest release from world-renowned supergroup and zamboni enthusiasts Thickly Painted Walls. The first thing I like to do when reviewing an album is evaluate the title and determine its meaning. Napkin is a medium-sized word, consisting of two smaller words. "Nap" means a short sleep and "kin" means a family member, so I'm pretty sure the artist intended the listener to think of a short family member while listening to this album. Then there's just a "V" at the end, which is just a letter. I think it may be referencing that movie "V for Vendetta," which I never saw, so I might be a little lost during portions of the album. Alright, enough of that mumbo-jumbo, let's get to the good stuff, the music. The first track is entitled "mehr drawing/dead fly". I'm not sure what a mehr drawing is, probably a "V for Vendetta" reference, but the dead fly part I get. This song really gives you the perspective of a dead fly, you can picture him there on the counter, writhing and twitching as he takes his final fly breaths. This is a very strong opening track with a very powerful visual. Next up is "2legit2quit", a cute but unusually short song that is obviously a parody of MC Hammer's smash hit of the same name. The third track "the obsession (Satan's Scrotum cover)" is a unique twist on the Satan's Scrotum classic, whether it lives up to it or not is completely subjective. It may depend on how big of a Satan's Scrotum fan you are. Up next is "desperate oddity" a positively groovy track that I just loved! This song should be playing at every junior prom across the country. Next is "Jew Girl Walk (Bad Feet)" which I guess is meant to simulate an older Jewish woman walking around her local town center in uncomfortable footwear, but it just made me feel indifferent, like playing Xenophobe on Atari 7800. That's not necessarily a bad thing though. The final track is "bad shitmaker", an epic, rousing tune, and an appropriate way to end the album. In conclusion, this is another home run for Thickly Painted Walls. You get the usual stellar, innovative instrumental sounds as well as a very strong vocal performance from Walls frontman Stefan Frederic Walz. I was really impressed with his ability to alter his pitch to evoke the proper emotion from the listener, the mood could transform from beautiful to haunting in an instant. Overall, on a scale of 45 wangdoodles on top of 94 flufferpusses, I give it a penis stripe. This album is highly recommended. Also, don't forget to check out Music Merchant, tell the ultra-cool owner that Big Al sent ya! ;)

-Alex Smith

august 2011

Kristofor Giordano
Religion and Psychology
The Mythology of “The When McGruff Was King”
A theme is common to literature and film; a stranger enters a town and
exposes, intentionally or not, a spiritually decrepit social structure that up until this
point had no reason to defend itself. The trauma released by the collision of society
and outsider is closely related to Winnicott’s study of a baby separated from the
mother. In the acquaintance with the life-threatening absence of the mother’s
breast, Winnicott writes, “Trauma implies that the baby has experienced a break in
life’s continuity, so that primitive defenses now become organized to defend against
a repetition of ‘unthinkable anxiety’…” (p. 98). As the baby develops a system of
memory, it learns to “trust” the surrounding environment through a
gradual “building up of confidence based on experience” (p. 102). For the first time,
the baby may begin to form a relationship with a potentially dangerous outside
world through the act of play.
The role of play, which is essentially a relationship between structure
and anti-structure, familiar and unfamiliar, demonstrates a desire to mingle with
danger and ultimately contain it so that it becomes familiar and non-threatening.
The friction between structure and anti-structure is interesting enough that it has
become a theme for so many works of fiction in literature and film, perhaps because
it can be traced to a memory of our initial experience with the outside world. It is of
interest to me how anti-structure is introduced, and ultimately contained through
the act of play.
In a more commonplace manifestation, the carnival represents a model of
anti-structure; transported into town for a short time, it disrupts the regular order
and activity of the community. Within the carnival, I am introduced to strange often
grotesque faces, and rides, some convincingly life-threatening, that acquaint me
with unfamiliar and chaotic experiences. I may choose to look at the mechanics
behind this life-threatening entity, the structure itself, but I would rather allow
myself to be carried away by its lawlessness for the sake of the lie (that in actuality
it is relatively structured) that needs to be told somehow. I ignore the workers
making the fullness of the illusion possible or the “nuts and bolts” holding the rides
together. These inconsistencies are purposely forgotten to break with the continuity
of a structured life where such “obvious details” reinforce familiarity with the
surrounding environment.
Having been part of a traveling group of “clowns” myself, I will submit my
own experiences in playing with a model of anti-structure. The movement to which
I belonged was called “The When McGruff was King,” the name itself grammatically
incorrect, and was primarily a group who shared an interest in improvisational
performance and sound. The number of members fluctuated between one and
the many; it was never consistent. “McGruff” provided an unstable foundation
on which to pile on any and all forms of expression that could be brought to life
through performance. We adopted established modes of expression such as tribe-
like chants, costume, idol worship, and song; nothing was excluded if suggested. The
performances allowed us to transcend boundaries of what society might classify
useful forms of communication; namely getting somewhere, having a point, a goal or
destination. This experience is closely related to that of the carnival ride; to gain the
fullness of the experience you embrace the chaos, you do not concern yourself with
where the ride is going.
The experiences that make us insecure are often those that cannot be
given a clear definition. In the spirit of discomforting ambiguity, “McGruff”
constantly created new and unclear definitions of people, places and objects.
Upon exposure to “McGruff,” we were stripped of titles and assets that would be
useful in designating an individual’s role in a structured society. Our names were
used interchangeably to offset the structured order of titles and create confusion.
Instruments themselves were redeveloped, restructured, and finally destroyed.
Power tools became instruments. Instruments became weapons. Practice became
finished recordings and performances. Finally, the boundary between audience
and performer was destroyed altogether. The audience took over the stage and
performed a “McGruff” show, as the original performers watched from outside.
Similarly, the sites of “McGruff” performances were various and elusive. As
a general rule, we performed wherever there was space and opportunity to do so.
Performances took place with little or no planning on the street, in people’s houses,
school and church auditoriums or public parks. One member claimed he performed
in front of a large audience in a park somewhere in northern New Jersey, but there
was no documentation or witness to support the claim. The fact of whether this
event actually took place or not was irrelevant to “McGruff” anyhow. Regarding this
undocumented performance as equally valid as any other performance illustrated
how “McGruff” became everyone’s property and no one’s. “McGruff” put us in touch
with a profound truth; that all experiences catalyze into a structured, manageable
form through a collection of arbitrary descriptions that are also susceptible to
The magic of “McGruff” was bound to fall apart. Like the carnival, after
spending enough time inside you gain familiarity with how it is held together, and
notice that the pieces are made collapsible for the sake of easy transportation;
it must be unfixed to remain potent. Hierarchies were inevitably developed.
Individuals were give titles and responsibilities to ensure the survival and success
of future “McGruff” performances. It is difficult to deny an innate human need to
gain a sense of familiarity with the chaos to avoid interference with the stability of
securing a job, a place to live, and maintaining meaningful relationships. In part,
the spirit of “McGruff” was compromised as its structure became familiar to its
members. In another way, “McGruff” lives as a symbol for those who were part of it
or may yet become part of its spirit; as a phase of uncertainty, danger, and unknown
possibility, the creative experience itself.
Once after a performance in a coffee shop we were approached by a
gentleman in his mid-twenties, who enthusiastically declared, “I’m booking
you guys,” shook each of our hands, and walked away without any information
exchanged that would guarantee such a statement. Like this interaction, the
meaning of McGruff still puzzles me. For some reason the cliché phrase “You
complete me” seems applicable here. Trivial as it may sound, if this statement
has any bearing whatsoever it is in the relationship between structure and anti-
structure. As Winnicott writes, “One can think of the electricity that seems to
generate between meaningful or intimate contact,” in relating to, “the potential
space between the individual and the environment” (p. 98). Once trust is
established, the other provides a support for my vulnerability, just as I provide a
support for theirs. Like the act of play, the relationship between structure and anti-
structure must be variable to endure.

-K.Gio AKA KRIS127 AKA "the technician"

Saturday, April 14, 2012

homeocrapic goal tenure VHS review

The combination of noise and video seem nearly incompatible. How does one visually express a genre that is generally devoid of explicit ideologies or emotions, let alone any melodic or rhythmic qualities to suggest them? There's plenty of answers on youtube, but they're often very lackluster. The norm consists live footage with maybe some minimal visual effects like a looping change in hue, threshold or blotty in-camera effects; less likely a mishmash of random public domain or porn clips edited together with similar effects to give off the feeling of distortion (and to avoid flagging for innappropriate content); even fewer still are fully produced short films like those of Ezcaton, some of which have an actual [albiet lose] narrative or plot. Of course, the majority of what you'll find on youtube is just noise with a still image of either the album the track is from or a non-sequitur image. Now this is all fine and good as far as listening goes, and it's an invaluable tool for exposing newcomers to the genre. Hell, if it weren't for youtube, I wouldn't be typing this today. The problem is, the visual aspect isn't being utilized nearly enough, and if it's not interesting or unique enough to hold one's attention, then why bother wasting the effort on it?

This is in part why noise released on VHS has fascinated me. For one, it's on a physical format that predates the youtube boom by roughly a decade. Secondly, out of the above conventions listed above, I've neglected to mention the few but proud (ignore the joke) captures of noise sets from the 1990's, a time where, if one wanted a visual element or even just a visual archive of a piece of noise, one had no other choice but to record to the relatively cheap and pragmatically popular VHS format. There were even a few clips from noise "music videos," simplistic visual patterns that were nonetheless fitting for the audial component. It seems like when one puts something down on a bulky, high capacity brick of plastic as opposed to a short space of data storage, usually with the intent to distribute it to someone who had nothing better to do than to kick back and pop in a tape of sounds he/she couldn't hear anywhere else, the results markedly improved. At one point, I bought a newer VHS release by Unicorngun, "Stick This in your VCR and Smoke It!" It was jsut glitchy patterns set to droney noise, but again, it was more stimulating and obviously had more time and, for lack of better words, love put into it than just some crappy youtube video. This wasn't an advertisement, or a track some guy liked enough to upload it, or even a live set some insane completionist felt a duty to share: this was a finished product, this was something YOU paid for, something someone else put effort into, something they REALLY wanted you to see.

Unfortunately, the kind of quality I allude to is simply not present in Thickly Painted Walls' confused, sloth-like video collage "Homeocrapic Goal Tenure." Rather, it exemplifies the borderline depressing lack of truly great noise videos, with it's incredibly infrequent and unequal balance of live shows, post-production audio and the painfully boring, almost completely arbitrary extended sequences of anything from household chores to silent show-and-tell scenes that serve as both padding and an endurance test.

The "plot" of HGT, not like I'd expect one, goes something like this:

The beginning is apparently an outtake from a live show recording, maybe from before the actual performance. The visual component is this conical effect I've probably seen somewhere before. The least I can say is, I'm gla the whole thing wasn't like this, since this portion of the tape is highly reminiscent of the generic psychedelic video generated by early windows media player programs.

The next part is actually fairly captivating, the camera following a journey to the top of a dilapidated building then back down again through a filthy stairwell. The music comes in later and it fits well to the mood of the surroundings: piles of cigarrettes, empty beer bottles, graffitti and chipped paint accent a melancholic urban environment, reflected in the rough, almost grungy timbre of the, well, grunge-like music. You can tell there's a lot fo times where the camera man just wants to film as much stuff as possible to see if it'll make for good imagery, and while it's not perfect, this part does show some potential.

Immediately afterwards is where HGT pulls the dragshoot for what feels like hours, zooming out of backyard furniture or walking down a road with maybe a car or two passing by, while the three words from the title occasionally pop up on screen where they reamin for a few minutes and disappear without nay rhyme or reason. During these long, incoherent shots of any random thing you could imagine, there's absolutely no music, just ambient sounds of the camera motor and the outdoors. There's an extended scene with the camera following a cat who peeks out from a house corner, then runs off, and while this part has some good shots to it and is somewhat amusing, it's still incredibly dull without the music.

Mercifully, a live show comes up eventually. It's very long, the setup is limited, and it's very apparent the whole thing was improvised, but after all that nothingness it's a welcome break. Plus it doesn't actually sound too bad; makes me want to do noise of my own. It's not a planned, atmospheric number, just some nerd exploring the sounds his guitar and pedals can make, with some good and bad results.

A longer period of padding follows. Form what I can remeber, this guy has a disturbing amount of care for filming himself shoveling out his snow-covered driveway, even going so far as to film it form two different angles (right first for a couple minutes, then left for a couple minutes, without any juxtaposition or variety). Then he goes on to film his ironically terrible shoveling job. There's also several long scenes where he shows off his shitty paintings, even one scene where all that happens is he cleans up his studio. Not even student art films get this boring or meaningless!

Somewhere along the line there's another, more rocky/less noisy live show, but it's only three songs and the whole set is shot horizontally i.e. the person(s) in frame are standing on the right side of the screen rather than the bottom. The music itself is pretty good, with a few flubs from the sound tech laughed off or ignored.

After this is the final, extremely LONG part of the film where even mroe dull, arbitrary and utterly music-less footage is shown. You see these two roomates do everything: bake cookies, drop some whit in the appartment, clean said apartment, bitch about mice coming in... they even show reversed & black and white footage of themselves eating cookies just to add in a few more seconds. This goes on for ages and of course by this point I'm just trying not to fall asleep.

The last shot, ironically one of the longest if not THE longest sections of the film, is a covered-up outdoor pool with some water on the tarp reflecting some trees. This one shot, although thankfully not static, accounts for not only what feels like then mintues of barely audible and uninteresting ambeint outdoors sounds, but also the credits reel which is very stretched out since there's only about five people to mention, so a name pops up maybe every five minutes, if not moreso. There's an actual track from I guess "Fashionista" that starts up about halfway into the shot, making a grand total of four real music/noise sections in this goddmaned video (counting the second live footage set as one section, although technically it is three songs), but I was so fucking tired I jsut fastforwarded it to the end where it haphazardly cut off, leaving a minute or two of black tape, and finally whatever leftover stuff was on the tape. It looks like some kind of 90' TBC made-for-tv movie on my copy.

And whatever movie that was would probably have been far more worth my time than what preceded it, but liek I said, I'm too tired to be bothered with it.

Thickly Painted Walls are worth looking into for their audio output, but as director(s?), they fail miserably at every convention of filmmaking, and then some. A majority of the film is blatent padding, and the extent to which nearly every shot has no visual interest, balance, organization or dpeth is truly astonishing in how utterly, painfully boring it is. The few live shows are interesting listens but only a fraction of each is truly worth a listen, and no intentionally made music or noise bits on this tape whatsoever are worth sitting through the rough hour total (maybe more) of uninteresting wastes of magnetic tape that amount to the majority of this film, that majortiy being pure visual shit. THis hsould have just been one live section after another, minimal bullshit if bullshti was needed, to keep it interesting. Not this mess. I hope nobody follows this trainwreck as an example of good filmmaking, noise or otherwise. Not again. Please, not ever again.

written by simple

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thickly Painted Walls chooses her top 10 of 2011

1. Sonic Youth, "Simon Werner a Disparu" CD/LP/download

Considering the separation of Kim and Thurston, I like to pretend this is their real swan song, and how fitting it is., with no vocals.

2. Chineselightbulb, "grey leather" download

The smooth grey leather painted over your skin, glaze my eardrums with saliva.

3. Inés Navarro, "Lentes del condensador" download

what can I say? this album would freak me out and motivate me to record all at the same time, all while being comfortably relaxed laying down in a bed with blankets. Summer or winter.

4. JLK, "empty spaces" CS

read full review here:

5.. Prurient, "Bermuda Drain" LP/CS

Everything was on point for this release; the aesthetics, the weirdness, I'm glad it wasn't just another noise album. The cassette release offered some interesting demoes and other tracks.

"If I could, I would take a tree branch, and ram it inside you." Forever stuck in my brain.

6. Cities Aviv, "Digital Lows" download

its nice to hear good lo-fi rap that's new, I may not follow that scene so well but this release caught me by surprise birthday cake.

7. MCDX3 "the tape says..." CDr

The tape says... CD-R?! Say What! MCDX3 may become the next Bob Dylan via this release (too bad it was limited to 15 copies)... maybe not, but he didn't sell his soul to the devil, or...?

8. The Avant Garde of Sussex County, "Hope and Dreams Album" download

Joke?Harmonika beat Dr. Beanstock to it! Garageband itunes free mix!!

9. Velvet Chrome, "Anthology" CS

This tape is my cup of tea...

10. Wonder Wheel, "Total Bundy" CS/download

Just the bass heaviness in "deep in the bottle" is enough for me. The raw recordings are contrasted by effected vocals to make this release of the full band version of Wonder Wheel, wondrous.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

JLK- Empty Spaces (Los Discos Enfantasmes) review

I'm opening my closet, I'm plugging in, digital crystal clear reel running along the grassy banks of the splashy agua field. I'm plugging in, I don't care, I'm doing it doing it now. Running down the hill, on the wooden skates, on my surfboard, waking walking. You ask why answer a question with a question? I don't know I say, its repeating though, its different too. The brown faux wood sticker pulsating speaker wound, catfound no cat. I'm trying, trying to figer it out, figer it out tiger. Locked in the closet now, cat out of the bag, quick n easy, forget about it smile, inoffensive and pensive

rock n roll waitress cowboy funk skunk trunk dunk skinny legs with the tight painted on jeans or stocking jukebox fuck DJ spinning krautrock all night and outta sight dancing blues and black burning hacky sack lou reed seizure heart attack no reason to not say that sound clicks off I hear my thought church bells ringing and video game screaming buzzer alert pacing honey comb behind that cockatoo walk in to the dungeon to get fucked mortal kombat contenders are along the sides glide into the center stage with the guitarra in hand demons encircle you and climb on in thru your temples and involuntary segovia death.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MCDX3 "Monterey"

traveling thru the jungle. ain't always so easy, essay.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Monday, October 10, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

VNR NF 12 & 11

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Beautiful Van with a great face. Back then van's didn't have to look like an angry monster, or a dumb dog. We had one of these when i was little. In green van version. A beautiful volvo commercial with the guy from that great sitcom Soap. (although the "olympia" looks pretty nice too!~)
Another non-monster... and look how that baby bounces around!  I can't wait to be at the top of the heap.
The best part of this Camaro commercial is flying thru the tunnel of chevy logos. They just don't mak'em right anymore! Its awesome to see it drive through that Tim Burton wonderland.

  Disclaimer: I originally saw all these videos on

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

VNR Newsflash 10

Scary news in a bathroom out west somewhere.

Reporter sent there to investigate

sfw videoing

djm acting & editting

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thickly Painted Walls NAPKUME review by Inés Navarro

Inés sent you a message.
Inés Navarro
Inés Navarro6:27pm Jul 4th
bueno, la verdad es que me ecanto recibir esto. es dificil imaginarte escribiendo estas canciones, algunas demuestran sentimientos oscurisimos y no te veo, no te veo y.. eso es lo genial. una sorpresa que alimenta muchas tan simple que da un disco complejo por eso, yo quizas esperaba algo mas noisero, no se quizas ver la tapa en vnrtapes.blogspot me hizo creer que podria ser el disco mas enfermo de todos pero nada que ver ,pura belleza y pop del mejor,.creo que soy una estupida que se emociona en desmedida,.Me identifico mucho con esto pero en otros pasajes de las canciones realmente me pregunto ¿"que le pasa a este chico"?, no importa si te pasa algo, creo que tu voz es de lo mas expresivo que escuche en años y justamente este disco es de los que mas me gustan porque hay mucha voz y guitarra, que tambien es verborragica. quizas tambien camina y sea capaz de otras cosas, varias.
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well, the truth is that I receive this. is hard to imagine writing these songs, some very dark feelings show and not see you, boo and. that's great. surprise that fuels many fantasy ... it's so simple it's scary .. it's a record so complex, I expected something more noiser maybe, maybe not seeing the cover on vnrtapes.blogspot made me believe that the disc could be more sick of all but nothing to do, pure beauty and pop better. I think I'm stupid to be excited in sprees. I identify a lot with this but in other passages of the songs I really question "what's wrong with this boy?", no matter if something happens, I think your voice is more expressive than in years and just listen to this album is one that I like because a lot of vocals and guitar, which is also verbose. perhaps also be able to walk and other things, various.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette & KLF - Justified and Ancient (Stand By The Jams)

Tammy Wynette - Stand by Your Man

Thursday, June 9, 2011

where the fuck is that hottie from the haircut place on facebook, a review of EVERY SLUT COULD BE A STAR cdr debut!

i left my tv on in the background, it was just blue screen

i waslisteing to a rational cobain

this was all a dare, a dare to listen to cdr

i was happy to hear my guitar on tablecloth

o yeh i forgot i gotta finish this reivew

i like the transition from dusty pussy to big car

more cobain on auto anonymity

i like way chill bra

it shows that german are super esoteric and take a long time to summon spells

thers this great band dead reptile shrine like that

anyway, this cd is packaged well

i enjoyed the artwork especially the cover and tray and back and inset


but i have a ton of work to do

i was listening to all of wolds shit

wold is really amazing if u ever care



o yeh



really fucked up shit though..doubt ud be able to take it



wold is really good

I'm Gay is the album closer and its probobaly the most interesting and best track on the album.

thin guitar end.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

VNR Newsflash 9

VNR Newsflash 9 from mr. vnr video on Vimeo.

Every wonder where people go when they die? This esteemed reporter wonders too. In a small town in Nebraska there are rumors of ghosts inhabiting the town's park.

aktor stefan walz

kamra, editt david mcdevitt

Monday, May 16, 2011


Godard's Weekend

Monday, April 18, 2011


Sunday, April 17, 2011

T-PC in Northvale, NJ review

Overpriced and incompetent... unhelpful and smells like cigarette smoke. T-PC in Northvale NJ is one of the worst computer stores one could go to. They are unfriendly, stubborn, and ignorant. You would be better off doing your own research than having them do anything on a computer for you. Please go elsewhere and save yourself from wasting your time, unless you like annoying idiotic sales people and the smell of cigarette smoke with overpriced junk lingering all over the store as if it was a bodega.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

awesome music

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

VNR Newsflash 8

Thursday, April 7, 2011

thickly painted walls, ceiling fan winter

all tracks also appeared on the limited edition split cassette with Pradada "Junk Ruby/ceiling fan winter", V&Rstereo5, c70 via VNR released early January 2011
released 05 April 2011
all songs recorded and produced by stefan frederic walz 2011 vnr®


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