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  • Hear the latest from fuzz-punks Octagrape on Radio 1190.

    Courtesy photo

    Hear the latest from fuzz-punks Octagrape on Radio 1190.

  • Half Japanese, formed by brothers in 1975, just released a...

    Courtesy photo

    Half Japanese, formed by brothers in 1975, just released a 15th studio album. Hear it in rotation on Radio 1190.



Happenings at Radio 1190

This week is Vinyl Valentine’s on Radio 1190. Tune in a for your chance to win CDs, T-shirts and vinyl records.

Tonight Radio 1190 presents another Locals Live series at Innisfree, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave., from 6-7 p.m. with a performance by local art group, The Church of GweeGoop . The show is free.

Friday, tune into Radio 1190 at 3 p.m. to hear a live on-air set from Athens, Ga.-based psych-country band, Futurebirds. For details, check out

In 1980, weirdo-rock outfit Half Japanese released its first record and now, 36 years later, is back with a 15th studio album.

Though the group doesn’t appear to be as influenced by no wave and noise rock as they once were, the new record Perfect contains some of the musicians’ best song construction in years. And Half Japanese is still as jangly, wild and unchained as ever, despite its advancements in sleek production.

The title track of the album has heart-pounding, tribal drums that act as a background for a dissonant, joyful stomp of sustained and released guitar chords. Like past albums, the vocals contain a hybrid of singing, talking and shouting — all which sound more like a stream-of-consciousness poet rather than a rock band’s frontman. Even though Half Japanese may not sound as off-the-rails or untamed as they did in the ’80s and ’90s, Perfect is still a great late-career album from the group.

San Diego fuzz-punks Octagrape bring the raucous with a eighth release, the mammoth Aura Obelisk. Though the record is incredibly fast, loud and punky, the group transcends the tropes of genres and veers into territory that’s closer to psychedelic music. Much like Arizona psych-punks Destruction Unit, Octagrape uses heavy effects to alter the guitar, which results in a sound that’s more like a wave of color and light coming through the amplifier, rather than a stringed instrument. Though the sound is mind-manifesting, the group’s energy is intense and exhilarating enough to cue a mosh pit. Undoubtedly, this little-known group is a force of nature and needs more attention — which they may indeed get after releasing this monster album.

Out of Lexington, Ken., psych-pop experimentalist Idiot Glee takes the softer sides of psychedelia (influenced by music from the late-’70s and early ’80s) and delivers it in a spacey, silly and self-conscious way. Formerly on Burger Records, Idiot Glee just released his self-titled 12th album, and his delivery continues to simultaneously poke fun and celebrate pop music.

Much like Foxygen, Idiot Glee keeps things light and doesn’t steer down many dark alleyways of psych rock. If anything, Idiot Glee promotes soft rock and shows how listeners can find eccentricities and weirdness in the blandest of genres.

Calvet is Radio 1190’s music director. Read more reviews: