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SUN CITY GIRLS

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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Sun City Girls biography
SUN CITY GIRLS were formed in 1979 in Phoenix, Arizona, it's a trio made of two brothers: Alan and Richard BISHOP later joined by drummer Charles GOCHER. The band's name comes from an Arizona retirement community. Initially part of the local punk scene, they released a high number of self produced cassette tapes quite impossible to inventory as some of them were produced in a very limited number of copies. Later they added elements of world music, jazz and lengthy improvisations to their punk substrate. Their first omonimous LP appeared in 1984. Their discography includes 25 Cassette releases, 45 LP/CD and 12 EP. After the death of the drummer Charles in 2007 they announced the end of the band.

Sun City Girls official website

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Live At The Sit & Spin, Seattle May 17, 2002Live At The Sit & Spin, Seattle May 17, 2002
Abduction
Vinyl$50.00
Box of ChameleonsBox of Chameleons
Audio CD$59.95 (used)
Funeral MariachiFuneral Mariachi
Abduction Records 2010
Audio CD$24.69
$11.99 (used)
Eye Mohini: Sun City Girls Singles 3Eye Mohini: Sun City Girls Singles 3
Abduction Records 2013
Audio CD$13.76
$28.23 (used)
You're Never Alone With a Cigarette (Singles Volume 1)You're Never Alone With a Cigarette (Singles Volume 1)
Abduction Records 2008
Audio CD$70.99
$34.98 (used)
Carnival Folklore Resurrection Vol. 11/12: Carnival Folklore Resurrection RadioCarnival Folklore Resurrection Vol. 11/12: Carnival Folklore Resurrection Radio
Abduction 2004
Audio CD$79.99
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Carnival Folkore Resurrection 13: 98.6 Is DeathCarnival Folkore Resurrection 13: 98.6 Is Death
Abduction Records 2004
Audio CD$149.99
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Piasa Devourer of MenPiasa Devourer of Men
Abduction Records 2007
Audio CD$29.95 (used)
Carnival Folklore Resurrection Vol. 9/10: High Asia / Lo-PacificCarnival Folklore Resurrection Vol. 9/10: High Asia / Lo-Pacific
Abduction
Audio CD$99.95
$94.95 (used)
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SUN CITY GIRLS shows & tickets


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SUN CITY GIRLS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SUN CITY GIRLS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Sun City Girls
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
Midnight Cowboys From Ipanema
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cloaven Theatre #1
1986
3.00 | 1 ratings
Grotto Of Miracles
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fruit Of The Womb
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Polite Deception
1986
4.00 | 1 ratings
Horse Cock Phepner
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hatchet Rain
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Fresh Kill of a Cape Hunting Dog
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bleach Has Feelings, Too!
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
To Cover Up Your Right to Live
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Folk Songs of the Rich and Evil
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Exotica on Five Bucks a Day
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Famous Asthma
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cloaven Theatre #2
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cloaven Theatre #3
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Audio Letter to Mitch Myers
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tibetan Jazz 666
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Multiple Hallucinations of an Assassin
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
That Old Western Sieve
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Grave Robbing in the Future
1989
3.00 | 2 ratings
Torch of the Mystics
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dawn Of The Devi
1991
4.00 | 1 ratings
Kaliflower
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Juggernaut
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Piasa...Devourer of Men
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Jacks Creek
1994
4.00 | 2 ratings
Dante's Disneyland Inferno
1996
4.00 | 1 ratings
330,003 Cross Dressers from Beyond the Rig Veda
1996
3.00 | 1 ratings
Dulce
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sumatran Electric Chair (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vol. 6)
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Libyan Dream (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vol. 7)
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Handsome Stranger (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vol. 8)
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
High Asia/Lo Pacific (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vols. 9 & 10)
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wah
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Flute and Mask
2002
3.00 | 1 ratings
Uncle Jim's Superstars of Greenwich Meantime
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live Room
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Piano Bar
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
Funeral Mariachi
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Gum Arabic
2010

SUN CITY GIRLS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Def In Italy
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Palm Trees of Victory
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Extra Sensory Defection
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Great North American Tricksters
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live From Planet Boomerang
1992
3.00 | 1 ratings
Bright Surroundings Dark Beginnings
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Valentines From Matahari
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at C.O.N. Artists
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pelican 92
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live from the Land of the Rising Sun City Girls
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cameo Demons and Their Manifestations (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vol. 1)
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Dreamy Draw (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vol. 2)
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Superculto (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vol. 3)
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Bullet Through the Last Temple (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vol. 4)
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Severed Finger With a Wedding Ring (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vol. 5)
2000
0.00 | 0 ratings
Carnival Folklore Resurrection Radio (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vols. 11 & 12)
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
98.6 IS DEATH (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vol. 13)
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Static from the Outside Set (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vol. 14)
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Djinn Funnel
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At The Sit And Spin, Seattle May 17, 2002
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
Alan Bishop & Richard Bishop Present The Brothers Unconnected
2008

SUN CITY GIRLS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Cloaven Theater video
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Halcyon Days of Symmetry
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
It's Not Over 'Till the Skinny Arab Lights the Fuse
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Burning Nerve Ending Magic Trick
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
If It Blows Up......PARK IT!
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Myths and Legends of the Blue West
2004

SUN CITY GIRLS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Box of Chameleons
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
God is My Solar System/Superpower
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bleach Has Feelings, Too!/To Cover Up Your Right To Live
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Fresh Kill of a Cape Hunting Dog / Def In Italy
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Folk Songs of the Rich and Evil / Exotica on $5 a Day
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Piano Bar + For Drummers Only
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
You're Never Alone with a Cigarette (Sun City Girls Singles Volume 1)
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mister Lonely OST
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
Napoleon and Josephine (Sun City Girls Singles Volume 2
2009

SUN CITY GIRLS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
And So The Dead Tongue Sang
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
You're Never Alone With A Cigarette
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Three Fake Female Orgasms
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Let's Just Lounge
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Napoleon and Josephine
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Caroliner tribute split-7
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Eye Mohini
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Borungku Si Derita
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Borungku Si Derita (double version)
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live...For Chilly
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Carl the Barber
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Uncle Jim's True Confessions of Homeland Security
2003

SUN CITY GIRLS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Uncle Jim's Superstars of Greenwich Meantime by SUN CITY GIRLS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Uncle Jim's Superstars of Greenwich Meantime
Sun City Girls RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams

— First review of this album —
3 stars Entertaining Sun City Detour

Phoenix Arizona's Sun City Girls (three men, as it were) spent three decades making dozens of albums full of some of the most uninhibited, free-range avant rock. The basic trio of guitar/piano, bass, and drums managed to cover everything from free-form noise improvisation to spoken word to delicate, subtle jazz. Getting into their huge discography is a lot easier now that their albums (mostly out of print) are available as purchasable downloads, but still, you can never really be sure what you're going to get with any given album. Brilliant albums, decent albums, unlistenable albums, they're all there for you to discover.

This 33-minute release, falling somewhere between an EP and a mini-album, focuses on a character named Uncle Jim, portrayed by bassist Alan Bishop, an eloquent, acid-tongued beat poet who has made "cameos" on prior albums throughout the band's history. The six tracks contain potent rants and treatises spoken urgently and forcefully by Uncle Jim, with backing music by the Sun City Girls as well as some sampling of other tunes -- Led Zeppelin's "Achilles Last Stand" is prominently featured in the opener "Liberties". This is hard core "I've had it up to here" beat poetry brimming with rage, sarcasm, and the sheer force of the most tightly composed prose, supercharged for maximum effect.

Philosophically, Uncle Jim is a compelling character. If profane language and blunt, often politically-incorrect commentary don't make you uncomfortable, there's a good chance you'll be taken in by his ideas and impressed by his way with words. Though it has a lot to say about the state of the world, it is more or less apolitical and has more in common with people like George Carlin or Bill Hicks who don't sit comfortably with either the conservatives or the liberals, standing proudly outside the system and angered by the corruption of humanity itself. Or, if you'd rather not go to that level, just think of it as some good poetic ranting.

An obscure side project by an obscure band makes for a doubly obscure artifact, one that I think has a fairly small audience. But if the music of language and ideas gives you pleasure, by all means check this out.

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 Dante's Disneyland Inferno by SUN CITY GIRLS album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Dante's Disneyland Inferno
Sun City Girls RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams

4 stars A Delightfully Impish Look at Hell on Earth

That ought to get your attention. This is most certainly one of Sun CIty Girls' major works, and a rarity in their discography in that it sticks to a consistent theme and artistic vision, even as it sprawls insanely over three full LPs (or two full length CDs). As seen in the title of the work, Dante's Inferno was a starting point, but the Sun City Girls have taken this loose idea to create a mad fun house of graphic murder ballads, depraved childrens' songs, mind-blowing spoken treatises and poetry, and just a general sense of gleeful menace. This is how they choose to depict their idea of Hell. But it's not really a spooky work, and it certainly isn't very serious. But it's pretty intense, and it's pretty fun too.

There's over 30 tracks on this album, so I'll just hit some representative tracks and highlights:

"Sexy Graveyard" -- the 11 minute opener with quiet, unsettling percussion sounds and animalistic grunts and growls. Like a haunted graveyard at night, basically. "The Brothers Unconnected" - spoken word piece with minimal musical background, a bar room conversation detailing a graphic sexual role-playing game involving Marilyn and JFK masks. "Geography of the Swastika" -- one of the many appearances of "Uncle Jim" in the SCG discography, a character (brought to life by bassist Alan Bishop, I believe) who is a smooth talking beatnik jazz poet, but supercharged with paranoia and rage at the state of the world. Not political per se, but existential cynicism mellifluously shelled out in rapid-fire rants. All this with an absolutely cool jazz backing for 11 minutes. Far out. "A Man is an Insect is a Flame" -- a short song with a folk/children's melody, but played and sung as if by cavemen banging rocks together. And the lyrics are just wacked. "Bitter Cold Countryside" -- a singalong folk murder song, a bunch of country folk singing verse after verse about "city slickers" who came to town and ended up lynched, sung with drunked blood lust and glee in their voices. "Dear Anybody" -- A really funny sounding loping melody sung over an oom-pah electric piano part. Sounds like nonsense at first, but it all makes sense by the end. That's what they do a lot of the time on this album: it sounds like a joke, but they sprinkle it with serious bits of wisdom and profound observations so that you don't know quite what to think. It's Dada that won't let go of your collar. "Let's Pretend" -- the closest thing to a rock song on here, this song is loud, harsh and angry. Love it.

Not a lot of mention of music in the above descriptions -- this is one of those Sun City Girls albums where the music is mostly used as background, and the words are what's important. That may be off-putting to prog fans, but overall I think the words are good enough, and the album's concept is strong enough, to be a very worthwhile listen for fans of the outer fringes of musical art. As a massive chunk of frightfully focused macabre art, it falls just short of being a masterpiece partly because there are a few too many purely spoken word pieces that, while good in themselves, don't really lend themselves to a perfect score on a music site. A strong 4.

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 Bright Surroundings Dark Beginnings by SUN CITY GIRLS album cover Live, 1993
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Bright Surroundings Dark Beginnings
Sun City Girls RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is a live album featuring the Sun City Girls in their "power trio" configuration (electric guitar, bass, drums), playing largely instrumental psychedelic guitar-based music. With all the band's experimental/jazzy/poetry/noise efforts in their discography, it's nice to come across albums like this where they just rock out old-style. However, this disc definitely has its ups and downs... it's rare that I find any album that is start-to-finish brilliant by this band, and this album is sadly no exception to this rule.

"The Venerable Song (The Meaning of Which is No Longer Known)" is a side-long live version of a song also available on the "Kaliflower" studio album. And I'm sorry to say this, but it's a total drag. It's intended to be a spiritual/mantra number, very repetitive and filled with crazy shrieks and chants. But it just goes nowhere; worse yet, it often sounds like it's thinking of going somewhere, and then puts the brakes on and starts over at the beginning (or so it seems). Through the entire song, the guitar plays a single 4 note figure, one that's supposed to sound ominous, but by the time the song is half over I just want to shake the guy and wake him up. Maybe that's the point of the song... transcendental meditation achieved through numbing frustration. If so, consider this a huge hit.

Fortunately, the other two songs rule. Here is where guitarist Rick Bishop really shows what he can do, endless modal soloing that always seems to find new territory to explore. I hear a bit of Sonny Sharrock influence in his playing style. I'm also reminded of the early Amon Duul jams such as "Phallus Dei" and "Yeti". Charles Gocher (drums) and Alan Bishop (bass) provide a loose but powerful foundation, occasionally dazzling us with a particularly dexterous move.

Half painful, half transcendent. Sounds like a three to me.

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 Funeral Mariachi by SUN CITY GIRLS album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Funeral Mariachi
Sun City Girls RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams

— First review of this album —
4 stars This is the Sun City Girls' final album, following dozens of freakishly eclectic releases over nearly 30 years. Charles Gocher, the band's drummer also known for his crazy spoken word performances, was dying of cancer while this album was being created, and the mournful tenor of the work reflects this. Gocher's work, if present at all, is extremely restrained. Aside from the hyper opening track ("Ben's Radio"), this album explores the band's contemplative side, focusing mainly on Arabic musical themes (always the band's forte) and Ennio Morricone - styled instrumentals (mostly original, though Morricone's "Come Maddelena" is covered here).

"The Imam" uses acoustic guitars to make koto-like sounds, with gently chanted vocals. "Black Orchid" is a mournful funeral march with a strong Arabic melody. "Holy Ground" reminds me of late 60s jugband psychedelia like you might hear from the more serious work of the Fugs or the Kaleidoscope. The Morricone cover "Come Maddalena" is achingly beautiful, understated and very gentle but possibly the most emotionally powerful moment on the album. "Funeral Mariachi" has a late-night jazz ballad feel to it, thanks to stellar trumpet work by guest David Carter -- this track has the same sort of lonely beauty as King Crimson's song "Islands". "This is My Name" is stylistically similar to "Holy Ground", but ups the ante with some odd droney parts with guitar feedback. "Vine Street Piano" is another favorite of mine, another gentle cinematic instrumental led by a lovely piano melody - it's minimalistic beauty reminds me of something off Eno's Another Green World. "Blue West" has a clear Morricone influence, sounding like a theme for a spaghetti western, extremely effective.

This album proves convincingly that the Sun City Girls could play with finesse, a trait not always evident when navigating their wildly experimental prior output. But in some ways, it's the perfect cap to a career built on surprising people.

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 Box of Chameleons by SUN CITY GIRLS album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Box of Chameleons
Sun City Girls RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams

— First review of this album —
2 stars Box of Chameleons is three CDs filled with 128 total tracks, intended (I guess) as a kind of Sun City Girls audio scrapbook/collage. Very few tracks exceed two minutes, and very few tracks sound like anything other than an excerpt from a rehearsal jam. Rick & Alan Bishop (brothers) and Charles Gocher make a very adventurous team, rarely sticking to any kind of straightforward beat, in favor of impressionistic noise experiments that, at their best, resemble some of Henry Cow's improvised bits. Lots of electric guitars, bass, drums, odd percussion, and free form horn blowing. And LOTS of noise.

Occasional vocals peek in, and there are a few solo piano and solo acoustic guitar pieces that sound somewhat composed, but overall this enormous set of music plays like a sonic portrait of the band experimenting together, complete with all the advantages (invention, excitement, the occasional premeditated composition) and disadvantages (monotony, boredom, forgettableness) that this format provides. I can get into it when I just feel like zoning out and allowing myself to free-associate with the band, but even that kind of goodwill is put to the test over the course of three full-length CDs. I've never made it through more than one in one sitting, but maybe that's not a bad thing. Overall, two stars - not the place to start with these guys, but fans will certainly get off on it - for a little while, anyway.

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 The Handsome Stranger (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vol. 8) by SUN CITY GIRLS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.00 | 1 ratings

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The Handsome Stranger (Carnival Folklore Resurrection vol. 8)
Sun City Girls RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams

— First review of this album —
3 stars The Sun City Girls were in fact three men from Arizona, whose enormous discography is filled with strange, independently produced albums running the gamut from psychedelic guitar rock to spoken word performance art. This particular release leans a lot closer to the latter category, giving center stage to Charles Gocher (drums), who provides vocals for all tracks in his Tom Waits-meets-the-Fugs phlegmy growl. The musical accompaniment by Gocher and the Bishop brothers (Rick on guitar/piano, Alan on upright bass) is what I like to call "junkyard jazz", a clunky, drifting mood piece that gives Gocher's gory recitations a "poetry and jazz" feel. As musicians, they clearly have some pretty serious chops (as heard on other releases), but for this album, they keep the music pretty low-key.

The Sun City Girls' (particularly Gocher's) recurring lyrical themes are often very disturbing trips inside the evil nature of man - not "demons and goblins" scary, but "creepy guy in the country who keeps little girls' eyeballs in his refrigerator" scary. The glee with which they deliver these stories makes them even more disturbing. Through it all, the group manages to come across as nice guys in sneakers and t-shirts you'd probably like to hang out with, but who just have a pretty sick sense of humor.

"Shadowland" opens, and sounds a lot like Tom Waits circa "Swordfishtrombones", but distilled down to it's noisy core, with little discernible melody to hold onto. Think of it as a delirious, drunken romp through a barren wasteland. "Prisoner of Mold" is mostly instrumental - soft, ominous jazz led by piano, with upright bass and brushed drums, with Gocher's spooky groans just in the background towards the end. "Isle of Spree/Foley's Halloween" is a 7 minute recitation by Gocher with moody background music. The story is told from the point of view of John F. Kennedy, who meets John Wilkes Booth (referred to as "the handsome stranger") in Purgatory, they visit a bar together and Booth propositions JFK for sex. Fun stuff, huh? "Leprosey (sic) of Melbourne" is a brief, noisy number, and "Calcium Kiss" is its quiet flipside, with just piano and tender (for Gocher, anyway) sing/speaking about wanting to kiss the bare skull of his lover after cutting off her head and soaking it in bleach. Holy cow, Chuck.

Light entertainment follows, with "Grease That Lightnin' Bolt", a relatively straight swing number with saxophone and scat singing. "Carcass Investigation" is all mood, an abstract bit of avant ensemble play, which turns out to be an intro for the final track, the 11 minute "The Handsome Stranger". Gocher's vocal hits its most raspy and horrible registers here, as he appears to elaborate on the JFK/Booth story told earlier, but perhaps told from the point of view of the Devil. Hard to say. It's disturbing stuff, but also kinda funny in a dark sort of way.

Overall this album is a good concise example of this band's vocal-based work, and Charles Gocher's twisted stories and visions. It's definitely more interesting than it is pleasant to listen to, and a lot of it sounds made up on the spot (with 40+ albums under their belt, it's easy to assume they don't spend a lot of time composing each one), though Gocher's stories are literate and sometimes gripping. It'll certainly open your eyes, but it's definitely a rough listen that may not be your cup of tea. But if you like seeking out the Weird, you should check these guys out.

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Thanks to octopus-4 for the artist addition.

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