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Sun City Girls

Live at the Sky Church - September 3rd, 2004 [VINYL LP & DVD]

Sun City Girls: Live at the Sky Church - September 3rd, 2004 [VINYL LP & DVD] (Twenty One Eighty Two Recording Company)

A 2004 live performance in LP and DVD from the experimental, irreverent and twisted rock trio Sun City Girls performing at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, from strange songs of weird, blunt or vulgar intent to experimental cutups--an unorthodox exorcism in sound--all presented with bizarre theatrical accompaniment as documented on the accompanying DVD.

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product information:

UPC: 860000397025

Label: Twenty One Eighty Two Recording Company
Catalog ID: KHZ 1002LP
Squidco Product Code: 28655

Format: LP + DVD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: USA
Packaging: LP + DVD
Live at the Sky Church - September 3rd, 2004


Sir Richard Bishop-keyboards, flute, reeds, lap steel guitar, electronics, vocals

Charles Gocher-percussion, drums, electric bass, vocals

Alan Bishop-vocals, electronics, electric guitar

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Artist Biographies:

"Richard Bishop was born in Saginaw, Michigan in 1960. He is best known for his 26 year involvement with the band Sun City Girls and as an experimental solo guitarist whose work often reflects the shadow worlds of India, the Middle East, North Africa, and other points along the Gypsy trail.

"Technically, I began playing the guitar when I was 11. My parents bought me this cheap Buck Owens styled red, white and blue guitar and talked me into taking lessons. That lasted about three weeks - it just didn't work out.' A few years later I thought I would give it another try and proceeded to teach myself how to play the damn thing."

Richard, along with his brother Alan, left Michigan in 1979 and settled in Phoenix, AZ. In 1981 the brothers joined up with drummer Charles Gocher and formed the long-running experimental underground group Sun City Girls, who, from 1981-2007, produced an extensive discography of over 50 full length albums, 20 one-hour cassettes and a dozen 7" records. Also in the early 1980s Richard was a member of the group Paris 1942 which included Alan Bishop, J. Akkari (Jesse Srogoncik) and former Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker.

Bishop's first solo record, Salvador Kali, was released by John Fahey's esteemed Revenant Records label in 1998. It was issued under the name of Sir Richard Bishop (the name stuck). The album showcases Bishop's own particular obsessions and roots, drawing from a variety of worldwide sources. Locust Music issued his second record, Improvika (2004), which consisted of nine extemporaneous pieces for solo acoustic guitar. Up next was Fingering the Devil (2006), which was recorded at an impromptu session at London's Southern Studios on a day off during Bishop's 2005 European tour. This was followed by two more releases from Locust: Elektronika Demonika (2006), a recording of electronic sound experiments, containing no guitar at all; and While My Guitar Violently Bleeds (2007), featuring three extended compositions for acoustic and electric guitar. Richard's 30-minute film God Damn Religion, a seizure-inducing montage of occult imagery was released in 2008 on DVD, also by Locust.

In 2005, Bishop began performing full time as a solo artist, playing throughout Europe and the United States.

Bishop's next album, Polytheistic Fragments, was released by the Drag City label in 2007. It includes works for acoustic, electric and lapsteel guitar, plus two piano compositions. In 2009, Drag City issued The Freak of Araby which was Bishop's tribute to late Egyptian guitarist Omar Khorshid as well as a celebration of the Middle Eastern music that Bishop's grandfather often played for him as a young child.

Bishop's most recent full-length, Tangier Sessions, was released in 2015 by Drag City. It consists of a series of improvisations recorded in Tangier, Morocco in 2014 using a 19th century parlor guitar of mysterious origin (pictured below).

Additional SRB albums have been released by Unrock; Ideologic Organ; Southern Lord; VDSQ, and other labels.

In 2010, Bishop joined forces with fellow guitarist Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) and drummer extraordinaire Chris Corsano to create the group Rangda. Three full length Rangda releases have been issued by Drag City with additional LPs on Unrock and Ba Da Bing! Records."

-Sir Richard Bishop Website (

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"Charles Gocher Jr. (November 12, 1952 - February 19, 2007) was an American musician, writer and visual artist, most famous for being a founding member, lyricist and drummer of the experimental rock group Sun City Girls. He also released Pint Sized Spartacus, a solo album under his own name, in 1997. Charles lost his long battle with cancer on February 19, 2007 in Seattle, aged 54. The two other members of Sun City Girls, brothers Alan and Richard Bishop, embarked on a tour of the United States and Canada called "The Brothers Unconnected" in tribute to Charles' death, featuring showings of the man's video works and stripped-down, acoustic versions of selected Sun City Girls songs, including several tracks written by Gocher himself."

-Wikipedia (

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"Alan Bishop is an American musician, most famous for being the bassist and vocalist of experimental rock band Sun City Girls. He has also released solo material under the aliases Alvarius B. and Uncle Jim. In the early 1980s Bishop played in the short-lived band Paris 1942 with Maureen Tucker of the Velvet Underground. Bishop is now a member of the Cairo-based band,The Invisible Hands. He is the co-founder, along with Hisham Mayet, of Sublime Frequencies, a Seattle-based record label focused on collating esoteric music and imagery from all over the world, most notably Southeast Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:


1. NoKoReach 1:02

2. Keep Your Eyes Open 17:11

3. Sending Young Children To Kill Them 2:30

4. You Are Extinct 0:53

5. On The Cusp Of Being Arrested 0:29


1. Brother Number One 4:14

2. Wear Your Love Like Venom 2:54

3. With Pleasure, Master! 15:00 DVD 1. Live At The Sky Church September 3rd, 2004 52:33
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"'Live at the Sky Church' is the Sun City Girls's provocative performance at the Experience Music Project in Seattle on September 3, 2004. One of only a few recordings to be released after Sun City Girls disbanded in 2007."-2182recordingcompany

"Even given the expansive, explosive parameters for live performance established during Sun City Girls' long history, the band's set (farcical romp? ritual exorcism?) at the 2004 Bumbershoot Festival was feral, hilarious and enraged. The fellows at 2182 Recording Company have done us all a solid by making the audio and visual record of the performance available via this combined LP and DVD release. Future ethnographers of Weird Americas old and new will rejoice. You should, too - and while you're at it, maybe offer up something juicy and warm to Shiva.

As the sounds and sights attest, the 3 September 2004 performance has a theatricality that's intensely unpleasant and bitterly, anarchically funny. The Girls enter the stage at the Sky Church in full costume. Alan Bishop (AB) wears a Freddie Kreuger mask and a keffiyeh tied over his scalp. As the band's noise cranks up, he cycles wordlessly through numerous routines: shagging golf balls into the audience with a pitching wedge; spastically grappling with a large, mic'd-up transistor radio; sitting in a chair and reading an oversized copy of Mein Kampf. Meanwhile Richard Bishop (RB) works over a guitar laid out horizontally on a table, hammering and raking at its strings with hollow metal rods; Charles Gocher beats on a bass guitar, then on a bass drum and also growls and shouts into a mic through a bullhorn. Both men are arrayed in scarves, skirts and veils. The abrasive sounds they produce are awash in static and accompanied by what sound like processed, collaged snippets from the collected output of Sublime Frequencies.

As the set progresses, the tension steadily ratchets up. AB removes the blankets that have covered a lumpy, upright form, and reveals a life-sized laughing Santa Claus automaton; the band has affixed a cartoonish Saddam Hussein mask over its features. AB dances grotesquely and soon unbuttons his jacket. His tee shirt is emblazoned with a lovingly realistic, full-color portrait of Osama Bin Laden (keep in mind that all this is happening in 2004, eight days before the third anniversary of 9/11 and 18 months into the second Iraq War). The noise and cavorting go on for about twenty minutes. Then, as the Girls were often wont to do, they shift the trajectory of the music on a dime. The distortion and collaging are silenced, and RB activates a cheap, keyboard burlesque of "Killing Me Softly with His Song." He sings along, after a fashion - it's not quite as unlistenable as the Girls' notorious cover of "Me and Mrs. Jones." AB accompanies him for a bit, then breaks into harangue: "Your culture's fucking dead! And your friends are dead! And your fucking music is dead!" He grabs a copy of Pol Pot's Brother Number One and reads aloud, caterwauling, "Sending your children to kill them!" It tracks, syllable for syllable, alongside RB's equally demented recitation of the song's chorus.

The visuals on the DVD are charmingly shot: a continuous, single-camera vantage, shakily hand-held, that focuses for the most part on one Girl or another. One wishes there were more attempts to get the whole band in frame. It would be even more useful to get consistent shots of the crowd, to see how the Seattle festival audience - an erudite, liberal bunch, listeners of KEXP's hip, indie-rock programming - reacted to the Girls' possessed antics. The band had a history of working crowds into froths of disapproval. Throughout their tenure, they were accused by some putatively progressive types of cultural imperialism and "present[ing] mocking images of the Other." Oy vey, the mind reels. Perhaps with such superficial, priggish charges in mind, at Bumbershoot the band covers "The Girl from Ipanema" and proceeds to do awful things with and to a couple bunches of bananas.

It's likely more than a few folks in Seattle took issue with the Girls' grim iconography and sardonically playful symbolic action. At one point, AB sits on the edge of the stage and asks the audience, "Oh, who are you? Are you mediocrities who invented the color beige? Oh, cool...." The camera briefly surveys the audience. There are numerous confused faces and at least one older white dude seems to be inviting AB off the stage for some fisticuffs. After a long, oppressive barrage of horror-movie organ and operatic, scat-sung gibberish, AB begins repeating, "Yes, master. Of course, master. With pleasure, master." He sounds like a parody of Peter Lorre, in the obsequious, Levantine guise he assumed in Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon. AB goes on: "With a thousand violins, master. With ten thousand rock stations and seventy-two keyboards... With twenty-five years of the history of the worst music ever produced, master, of course. I wouldn't want it any other way, master." His hostility is palpable. It's hard to say exactly to whom the vitriol is directed. The music industry? The audience? Donald Rumsfeld? The Sun City Girls were interested in obeying no masters.

As the performance winds down, RB says, "That's how we do it down in Crawford," invoking the location of the Bush Texas ranch. AB gives the audience the finger. It was September 2004. Mohammed Omar was touting the intensification of a Taliban-supported insurgency in Afghanistan. In Iraq the first Battle of Fallujah had ended; the second was soon to start. George W. Bush's infamously dunderheaded response to it all was, "Bring 'em on." In such circumstances, culture shouldn't be slavishly interested in "pleasure" or "entertainment" or obeisance. Later that day at Bumbershoot, Nickelback would play the headliner's set, preceded by Seal and Nancy Sinatra. Of course, master."-Jonathan Shaw, Dusted

Get additional information at Dusted Magazine
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