By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
As tripped out as Curt and Cris Kirkwood were in the early '80s, when the Meat Puppets were still a crazed psychedelic thrash-spazz band, there was another pair of brothers in Phoenix who were even weirder and ultimately more musically multidimensional. Sun City Girls' Alan Bishop (singer-bassist) and Richard Bishop (guitar) were incredibly prolific, releasing dozens of mostly cassette-only albums, such as God Is My Solar System (1987), Bleach Has Feelings Too! (1987), Exotica on Five Dollars a Day (1987) and Graverobbing in the Future (1989), where their skewed and satirically skewered takes on punk, jazz, folk, surf, world music and space rock were juxtaposed with crass jokes and performance-art goofiness.
The brothers were anchored in their trio by Charles Gocher, who once credited Houdini for inspiring his drumming style, which looked like he "was breaking out of manacles and a straitjacket." Gocher died of cancer last year, so, this week, the Bishop brothers will strum unplugged renditions of Sun City Girls' anti-hits in tribute. The Bishops' new CD as the Brothers Unconnected traipses across a typically broad landscape, from sea chanteys, raw blues and a loping country song (about smothering noisy infants and blaming it on crib death) to dreamier interludes where the acoustic guitars and even vocals drone like sitars.
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