The Mutant Sounds of The Los Angeles Free Music Society

by Derrick Bostrom in


Among the many benefits of a reunited Kirkwoood brothers is that they now have an opportunity to get out there and surpass their bothersome status as a mere footnote in the biography of Kurt Cobain. Now, don't get me wrong: it's great when you can find entertainers more popular than yourself to help carry your water. In fact, The Meat Puppets have always counted on the kindness of strangers. Back in the day, some of our very first traction was among the ranks of L.A.s existing avante-guard music scene.

Yep, the Los Angeles Free Music Society was but the first in a long line of organizations that recognized the band's undeniable greatness. And even as much as I love to pull out "Nevermind" or "Purple" every so often, you always tend to remember your first. That's why I was so jazzed to find the Mutant Sounds blog. Among the obscurities to be found there are many works by the LAFMS, including work by Doodooettes, Solid Eye, as well as World Imitation alumnus, the amazing Steve Thomsen. Even folks who like their noise in small doses will enjoy the comparatively poppy Darker Skratcher album and of course the Light Bulb cassette, which contains the first-ever piece of music released by the Meat Puppets themselves.

Though some of the post-Nirvana Puppets fans might not give a shit about the noise contained on these records, I can assure you that it makes Your Truly a little nostalgic to put them on. Click on over to Mutant Sounds and check 'em out. And if your really lucky, maybe one of the album cover scans will feature a legible address that you can send some money to. I'm sure they would appreciate it.

From the blog:

"The Los Angeles Free Music Society, formed around Tom Recchion in 1972, was a collective of underground artists loosely inspired by Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart (but also all jazz and classical avantgarde movements). Le Forte Four, who released four lunatic electronic-folk albums starting with Bikini Tennis Shoes (1974), Doo-Dooettes (two albums), Smegma (one album) and Airway (one album) were some of the performers devoted to free improvisation, abstract cacophony and demented chanting."