Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Belong - Same Places (Slow Version)


Belong - Same Places (Slow Version) (excerpt)







Belong is one of the greatest bands ever. Not only do they craft some of the most beautiful music but they also love their fans. Same Place (Slow Version), part of the Table Of The Elements Guitar Series, isn't due out until August 5th, and even then there will only be a limited number of copies. But the fine men of Belong decided to release the album digitally, for free. You can download it right now, right here.

Same Places (Slow Version) is one 14 minute track that is utterly gorgeous. It starts out with the wall of noise Belong have become known for and then about 6 minutes in, the volume drops and everything fades away. We're left with a quieter but no less thick drone. Very slowly and delicately, it builds, but not into the giant wall it started out as but into something much more subdued.

Warm and warbly, looped and murky, this song is more minimal and subtle than most tracks found on their full length, October Language. However, it is just as (if not more so) breathtaking and magnificent as anything found on their debut. It's absolutely exciting to hear what Belong can do with such a long stretch of time, as opposed to the more traditional song lengths they've previously worked with.

I can't recommend Same Place (Slow Version) enough. If you haven't already and if it isn't already sold out, pre-order the vinyl from the various online retailers. But either way, you should be downloading this song right now. You couldn't give me any reason I would find acceptable not to download this.

Sway - Rock Bottom


Sway - Blackberries








Just like most other types of music I listen to, I'm pretty picky when it comes to country (or alt country or no depression or whatever else you wanna call it). In fact, I don't like much country at all and if I do, it usually has an old-timey feeling to it or is influenced by folk as well. Occasionally, though, a band comes along and changes the way you think about a particular genre. Sway did that for me, spun me around and made actually like country music. Well, at least made me like their country music.

Rock Bottom is Sway's second release, the first being the double disc Music Forever. Truth be told, I'm more a fan of their debut album, but Rock Bottom still has plenty to love. Plus, it has a raccoon on the cover. How can you not like that?

Sway is a trio consisting of Catie-Rae, Lillie, and Chris and while they all share vocal duties, it's Catie-Rae that is in the forefront. With good reason, too, as she has a wonderfully unique voice that immediately pulls you in upon first hearing Sway. It's easy going and charming, a perfect match for the music. With guitars, mandolins, banjos, and light percussion, everything just flows nicely and is super catchy. They're the sort of songs that you find yourself singing along to, not even realizing you knew the words. Soon enough, they'll be stuck in your head (especially "Leigh Cheri" and "Hated") and you'll be singing them everywhere you go. People will be asking, "What song are you singing?" And you'll be able to tell them, "Oh, it's just some little country band from Boston called Sway." And then you can feel all cool and stuff, because everyone is always trying to find awesome bands nobody has heard of.

On it's own, Rock Bottom is fantastic. But my only issue with it is when I compare it to Sway's debut. It doesn't seem to have the same sort of magical feeling that Music Forever has (despite the cover art). No songs about moms or mermaids ("Mermaid" was one of my favorites from their debut) and gone are the little laughs found before and after some the songs. Also, Rock Bottom has much better production values (thanks to Chris), which I wasn't too into at first. It's probably not noticeable if Rock Bottom is the only record of theirs you've heard, but there was some grit to Music Forever that I really dug and I thought it fit Sway's sound very well. But upon many, many listens to Rock Bottom, I have grown to embrace the clean sounds and realize it's probably better for them to head in this direction.

Rock Bottom is self released (you can buy both of their albums on their MySpace page for $8 each) featuring awesome cover art from the unequaled Jeff Havens as well as photocopied inserts designed by Catie-Rae. I highly recommend both of their records, even if you're afraid of country music. I promise this will put a smile on your face, regardless of what type of music you listen to. Also, it should be noted, that I'm friends with these people but I assure you that I am capable of writing entirely unbiased reviews. For real.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This Is What Happens When I Work A Lot

I miss all of the cool videos. Pitchfork posted a shit ton and there's a bunch more from various sources. Instead of embedding all of them into this post and overwhelming everyone's browser, I thought I'd just link them instead. Good? Good.

Zach Hill - Dark Art
The video for Zach's (from Hella) new solo single, Dark Art, is him running through a suburban neighborhood in corpse paint. Fun stuff.

Hella - Try Dis
Typical Hella strangeness with a superhero (played by an older man with Down Syndrome) on a journey in his rad car.

El-P - Stepfather Factory
A seriously creepy song about a factory that makes robot stepfathers. The video is animated and it looks awesome.

Sam Sparro - Black & Gold
Slick looking guys with canes, top hats, and sweet dance moves.

The BPA - Toe Jam
The BPA is Fatboy Slim's side project and Toe Jam (gross) has David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal doing vocals. The video is pretty great. There's lot of naked people and the black censor bars are used to make cool designs.

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - Buriedfed
Miles starts out singing alone, but by the end he's joined by what looks like a bunch of people coming straight from a Halloween party.

Deerhoof
This isn't a song, it's a piece WYNC did about how Deerhoof "leaked" their new single "Fresh Born" in sheet music format, hoping that their fans will create their own version before the new album officially comes out in October. Genius.

Thunderheist - Jerk It
I believe this video is actually a fan made video for a contest Thunderheist is having, but either way it's crazy cool. Some girl holding onto a chicken. Yeah, that's about it.

Gnarls Barkley - Who's Gonna Save My Soul?
The official video for Barkley's new single has a a girl breaking up with her boyfriend in a diner. Then he takes his heart and puts it on the table.

Poochlatz - Thanks For Giving In


Poochlatz - Thanks For Giving In








Creeeepy. Scary noise, hissing feedback, and distorted growls are what you'll find on Poochlatz's Thanks For Giving In. Hailing from Israel, Poochlatz recorded this live in Tel Aviv in 2006, and it's a 20 minute, mostly electronic noise fest. There are 5 people credited as playing guitar, bass, vocals, sampler, noises and visuals, with no percussion to speak of. Remember how I said that Gnaw Their Tongues record was like a torture scene in a horror movie? Well, this is just as scary but Poochlatz sounds more like music that would be found in a nightmare. Seriously, the vocals in this scare the hell out of me. I can't tell if he's angry or in pain, or both. Maybe he's neither and he's just finally gone bat shit crazy.

Scary is good, though. In my book anyway. This is another record that won't get worn out from overuse, but it's definitely an album I'm glad I have. It's awesome. Just a little...extreme. Even for me. So if that sort of thing sounds right up your alley, by all means, go out and buy it. It was released by Something In The Road on CD-R, limited to 150 numbered copies. It seems to be sold out on their website, but they offer free downloads for most of their releases (including this one), and you can do that right here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No Noise


I'm pretty pissed right now. After my car died, it became nearly impossible to go to shows in Boston on my own. So now I really have to pick and choose which shows are going to be worth the 80-100 bucks I'll be spending on getting there and back.

The two shows I decided would be completely and utterly worth that amount of money were the Hair Police, Heathen Shame, Red Horse, and Puritan Agenda show put on by Intransitive Recordings at The Middle East Upstairs on August 5th and the Xiu Xiu/Prurient show at The Paradise on August 27th. I don't really care that much about Xiu Xiu, it was Prurient I was interested in. But then, apparently, Prurient decided not to play Boston. No, he'll be playing New York and a bunch of other dates with Xiu Xiu, but he changed his mind about Boston. What the FUCK.

And the it turns out I'll be in Maine for that Hair Police show. I know I'm probably just being a whiny bitch right now but come on. The two noise shows I was most looking forward to (not to mention the only two shows I'd be going to on my own) are shot down. So I am very very sad. And fucking angry. I'll have to be satisfied with trying to deafen myself by listening to noise at home on my headphones instead of live in some sweaty smelly club.

On the bright side, I'm listening to this new record I just got in the mail today by Fricara Pacchu called Midnight Pyre and it's fucking great. I'll probably write more about later on, after I listen to it some more but I can tell you right now that I already love it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Asobi Seksu Interview

Yuki Chikudate of Asobi Seksu at The Middle East Downstairs


I love Asobi Seksu. Citrus is an amazing album and they're working on a follow-up right now. Not a lot of info about it, but you can check out this cool interview with Yuki Chikudate (lead singer of Asobi Seksu) that The Walrus did.

A few years ago, CMJ announced that they were going to be playing the marathon, but it ended up not happening. I was pretty bummed because I had just fallen in love with them and hadn't seen them yet. Lame. Later on, though, I got the see them play Boston. Unfortunately, Yuki was pretty sick at the time and it made for a sub-par show. They opened for The Ataris (wtf?) but that allowed me to head over to another club and catch Dalek. That was a pretty sweet night.

Check out Asobi Seksu's MySpace page for some tracks, including a rad remix of Thursday by CSS.

Favorite Album For Every Year Of My Life Vol. 3 (2003-2008)


Here it is folks. The final volume. Volume 3 goes from 2003 to the present and was easily the most difficult of the 3 installments (see 1 and 2 here and here). I discovered that 2003 was the first year I started working at my radio station and (probably not by coincidence) was also the most difficult year for me to pick a single record.

Just to re-iterate from Volume 1's post, I allowed myself to pick up to three records for a particular year, as long as they were all from a different genre. My reasoning was that some records are almost incomparable because they're so different. But of course I always did my best to narrow it down to a single record per year (that was the basis of the list to begin with) and 2003 was the only year I ended up having 3 records.

Some may say that I'm weak-willed and indecisive. To that, I say I made my own God damn list. I'll do what I want. Go make your own if you want to. And then share it with me. Sharing is caring. Onto the list!

Volume 3: 2003-2008 (click here to listen)
2003 Explosions In The Sky - The Only Moment We Were Alone (from The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place) This is their best song. Period.
2003 The Thermals - I Know The Pattern (from More Parts Per Million)
2003 The Knife - You Make Me Like Charity (from Deep Cuts)
2004 Death From Above 1979 - Turn It Out (from You're A Woman, I'm A Machine) Turn It Out is quite easily one of the best opening tracks to any album.
2005 Eluvium - New Animals From The Air (from Talk Amongst The Trees)
2006 Belong - Remove The Inside (from October Language) One of the greatest albums of all time.
2006 The Knife - Silent Shout (from Silent Shout)
2007 Dan Deacon - Snake Mistakes (from Spiderman Of The Rings)
2007 Parts & Labor - Brighter Days (from Mapmaker)
2008 Fuck Buttons - Sweet Love For Planet Earth (from Street Horrrsing)

Some notable conflicts that occurred:
2003 The Postal Service's Give Up, The Mars Volta's De-Loused In The Comatorium (this got axed early on because while I was obsessed with it when it came out, my musical tastes have changed considerably), TV On The Radio's Young Liars, M83's Dead Cities, Red Seas, & Lost Ghosts, Melt Banana's Cell Scape (I told you 2003 was a rough year for me)
2004 TV On The Radio's Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes, Bjork's Medulla, Regina Spektor's Soviet Kitsch (I was this close to keeping this on my list because of how different she and DFA79 are, but then I realized I was just being a fucking idiot. Come on. You're A Woman is almost untouchable.)
2005 Sigur Rós' Takk..., Sleater Kinney's The Woods, M83's Before The Dawn Heals Us, Gorillaz's Demon Days
2006 Mogwai's Mr. Beast, Junior Boys' So This Is Goodbye
2007 The Besnard Lakes' The Dark Horse, Deerhunter's Cryptograms
2008 Belong's Colorloss Record, M83's Saturdays=Youth, The Mausoleums' Blackened Fawns Cleanse The Earth With Fire, Prurient's And Still, Wanting, Usputuspud's Disco, A Faulty Chromosome's As An Ex-Anorexic's Six Sick Exit,...

And now, just for ease of reading, here is the list in it's entirety. Just the albums.
1985 The Jesus And Mary Chain Psychocandy
1986 Slayer Reign In Blood
1987 Pixies Come On Pilgrim
1988 My Bloody Valentine Isn't Anything
1989 Pixies Doolittle
1990 Primus Frizzly Fry
1991 Slint Spiderland
1991 My Bloody Valentine Loveless
1992 Pavement Slanted & Enchanted
1993 The Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream
1994 The Toadies Rubberneck
1995 The Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness
1996 Weezer Pinkerton
1997 Mogwai Young Team
1998 Neutral Milk Hotel In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
1999 Sigur Rós Ágætis Byrjun
2000 Godspeed You! Black Emperor Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven
2001 The Strokes Is This It?
2001 Stars Of The Lid Tired Sounds Of Stars Of The Lid
2002 William Basinski Disintegration Loops I-IV
2003 Explosions In The Sky The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place
2003 The Thermals More Parts Per Million
2003 The Knife Deep Cuts
2004 Death From Above 1979 You're A Woman, I'm A Machine
2005 Eluvium Talk Amongst The Trees
2006 Belong October Language
2006 The Knife Silent Shout
2007 Dan Deacon Spiderman Of The Rings
2007 Parts & Labor Mapmaker
2008 Fuck Buttons Street Horrrsing

Fuck yes. That list is hot.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Parts & Labor Song


Parts & Labor - Nowheres Nigh








The new Parts & Labor song, "Nowheres Nigh" premiered over at Pitchfork today. The track will be found on their forthcoming record, Receivers, due out on October 21 from Jagjaguwar. The song has P&L going in a different direction. Not surprising as they changed drummers (from Christopher Weingarten to Joe Wong) and added full time guitarist Sarah Lipstate. Fear not, however, because it's still undeniably Parts & Labor. In fact, I'm not worried at all because this song kicks ass. And I highly doubt that these guys (and girl!) can make a bad record. I just don't think it's possible.

Update: Here's the cover art for Receivers. All big and stuff.

New Tim Fite Record


Dr. Leisure & Tim Fite - I Smoke, You Cough








I know Fair Ain't Fair just came out a couple months ago, so you'd be OK to not be expecting anything new from Tim Fite for a while. Well, on his current tour with The Watson Twins, he's selling what looks like a self released CD (not CD-R, strangely enough). It's called Just For You and is a collaboration with Dr. Leisure who is actually billed first (and who recently changed his name to Fisticuffs).

Take all of the weird humor found throughout Fite's work, multiply it by 10, and turn it into some weird sampling sound experiment. That's kind of how Just For You sounds. Very, very weird. There's some spoken word type stuff, a lot of loops, samples from various films and songs, it's just very chaotic and it doesn't make a lot of sense. But, if you you're a fan of the bizarre, then chances are you'll like this. It reminds me of Miranda July's early records on Kill Rock Stars. It's pretty much Tim and Greg having a good time making very different music than they normally do. I don't know if they're selling it anywhere other than on tour right now, so if you want it, you'll have to go see them live. Which isn't such a bad thing, I promise.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Best Release Date Ever


Both Matthew Robert Cooper and Belong have new releases coming out very soon. Like, 3 weeks soon.

Belong has their Same Places (Slow Version) one sided 12" for the Table Of The Elements Guitar Series (check out the Pitchfork article for more info). The opposite side of the record will have a laser-etched image from UK artist Savage Pencil. Right now, CD Universe is taking pre-orders for those who live in the US. So if you want one (and why wouldn't you) you should do so quickly because that shit will sell out.

And not to be one-upped, Matthew Robert Cooper (aka Eluvium) is also releasing a new 12" under his own name (instead of Eluvium), titled Miniatures. You can hear "Miniature 3" at Pitchfork and "Miniature 7" at Gaarden Records (who is releasing the record). And although Gaarden isn't doing pre-orders at the moment, they are "taking names." So shoot 'em an e-mail and get in line if you want a copy, as there will only be 2000 of them.

Oh yeah, the best part is that both records are being released on August 5. That's only 3 weeks from now! That is seriously going to be the best day ever.

Favorite Album For Every Year Of My Life Vol. 2 (1996-2002)


About a week ago, I made a post about a cool list that I saw on Gorilla Vs. Bear and how I wanted to do it. Basically, the idea is to pick your favorite album from every year since you've been alive. It sounds pretty easy, but it is not. I assure you. It took me many hours to finish and I had to make some of my own rules to get through it (see the first post for the rundown). Anwyay, last week was Volume 1 (due to the quantity restrictions on Muxtape) and now I present you with Volume 2. Only the best of the best, baby.

This mix will be up for about a week. Then I'll take it down and put up the third and final volume. So listen while you can.

Volume 2: 1996-2002 (click here to listen)
1996 Weezer - Why Bother (from Pinkerton)
1997 Mogwai - Mogwai Fear Satan (from Young Team)
1998 Neutral Milk Hotel - Holland, 1945 (from In The Aeroplane Over The Sea)
1999 Sigur Rós - Starálfur (from Ágætis Byrjun)
2000 Grandaddy - Broken Household Appliance National Forest (from The Sophtware Slump)
I need to point out that The Sophtware Slump is only on here because of Muxtape's 24MB file limit. Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven is certainly the best album of 2000 but all of the songs on that record are too long for Muxtape to handle.
2001 The Strokes - The Modern Age (from Is This It?)
2001 Stars Of The Lid - Requiem For Dying Mothers Part 2 (from The Tired Sounds Of Stars Of The Lid)
2002 William Basinski - Disintegration Loop 1.3 (from Disintegration Loops IV)
Disintegration Loops IV is part of what I'm considering a 4 disc set. I'm not saying that any disc is better than another, but I chose this song (which happened to be on the fourth disc) because of it's size, similar to the Godspeed situation. The set as a whole is what I consider to be the best album of 2002.

Some notable conflicts that occurred:
1996 Tortoise's Millions Now Living Will Never Die
1997 Harvey Danger's Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone?
1998 Hum's Downward Is Heavenward
2000 Shellac's 1000 Hurts
2001 Daft Punk's Discovery, Explosions In The Sky's Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever
2002 Sigur Rós' untitled record, Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Yanqui U.X.O.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dirty Videos

Dirty On Purpose - No Radio
Indie-rock-ercise?


The Dirty Projectors - D. Henley's Dream
The part with the eagle reminds me of going to the next level in Super Mario Brothers 2.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Have A Nice Life - Deathconsciousness

Front and back of DVD case

Have A Nice Life - Holy Fucking Shit: 40,000








So here's a band that is 1: from Middletown, Connecticut which is right next to my home town (yeah!) and 2: really tough to describe. Tough because no one else is doing what they're doing (at least not nearly as well) and also because some of their songs sound so different from others. That makes for difficult review writing, in case you couldn't tell.

Deathconsciousness is Have A Nice Life's debut double CD-R release, packaged in a slim line DVD case with a portion of Jacques-Louis David's The Death Of Marat as cover art. It also comes with a sizable book supposedly written by a Professor of Religious History at UMass Amherst. I say supposedly because every instance of his name is blacked out, therefor not allowing anyone to actually confirm or deny it. I haven't read the book yet, but it's also titled Deathconsciousness and I believe it has something to do with Medieval history and religion. These guys sure went all out for their debut release.

"But the music," you ask. "What does it sound like?" Start thinking Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine, throw in some metal, then you're in the right ballpark. But not that metal-gaze stuff like Jesu and whanot. Well, maybe sometimes, just a lot fuzzier. And less metal. I told you it was hard to describe. Anyway, take a quick look at their influences on their MySpace page (sometimes that's just so damn handy, and others...well, let's just say not everyone takes it seriously) and we see Earth, Xasthur, Sunn (I'll assume of the O))) variety), and lots of other bands that you can definitely tell Have A Nice Life enjoy listening to.

The first disc, The Plow That Broke The Plains, is a more easy going, poppy affair than the second (The Future), which is the louder and heavier of the two. The Plow opens with a nice dreamy, spacey track titled "A Quick One Before The Eternal Worm Devours Connecticut." Did I mention these guys have the best fucking song titles? Like, ever? How about "Waiting For Black Metal Records To Come In The Mail" or "Holy Fucking Shit: 40,000." Great stuff. But that "Black Metal Records" one is a bit misleading. It's not very metal, especially not black metal. It's a great song, though. One steeped in '80s reverb and super rocking with a great riff and metallic (not metal) industrial drums.

The Future is where you'll find most of the metal influences. Not much is overtly metal, but it's more metal than, say, New Order. The last track on The Future is an epic 11 and a half minute closer titled "Earthmover" and it certainly feels like it will at least shake my house, if nothing else. But no matter how much I say about Have A Nice Life, I'll never do them justice. And I filled up this review with superfluous words that barely describe the music and I haven't expressed my enthusiasm nearly enough. Deathconsciousness is a supremely unique and gorgeous album that I love whole-heartedly. It's that simple. This record is fucking awesome. It's certainly one of the best records of the year by far. Go download it for 5 bucks from the Enemies List website (it's sold out otherwise and you still get the book, digitally of course). I promise it'll be the best 5 bucks you spend all year.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cool Stuff Overload

Santogold, Julian Casablancas, & Pharrell - My Drive Thru
Only a halfway decent song (commissioned by Converse) but a seriously cool video. 2D paper cut outs of everyone dancing all over the place. Nice.



Fleet Floxes - White Winter Hymnal

Fun claymation. See if you can spot the bunny! At least I think it's a bunny...



Matthew Cooper - Miniature 3
From his forthcoming (still solo) album being released under his own name (instead of Eluvium). The reason he's changing aliases is because it sounds quite different than Eluvium material. This is more quiet and subtle (ala Brian Eno and Stars Of The Lid) than what he was doing before. I can't wait to hear the whole album. I love everything this guy does. Stream it right here.


Nisennenmondai - Pop Group







New band alert! Well, new to me anyway (and that's all that really matters). An all girl Japanese trio that makes noise. This song is kinda Lightning Bolty and Liars-esque. But apparently (according to Stereogum) they have many influences and a variety of different sounds, so if you don't like this, give another one of their songs a try.

I'm Writing About Movies Again


I have wonderful news to all of my faithful readers who miss my fantastic movie reviews. They're coming back! However, you will not find them on Anti-Gravity Bunny. Instead, I'll be writing for my movie theater's movie blog, Closet One. It's not going to be just me writing, it will be at least a few others as well, but it will be primarily about movies. We just started it, so there's only a couple of posts up now. There is a review of Wall-E that my boss wrote and I just finished one about Persepolis.

Head on over to Closet One to check 'em out. I know you're dying to.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

617Noise


Thanks to Under 21 In Boston, I found this fantastic collective on MySpace. It's called 617Noise (part of the Area Code Noise Collective, which has it's own Wikipedia article here and MySpace page here) and they/he gather dates of noise shows in the Boston area. That's pretty much it.

Right now, there's a bunch of dates in their Upcoming Shows section, some of which include people I actually know! Such as Eli Keszler playing at Mobius on July 10th and Ouest at The Piano Guild on the 13th. This is definitely a page I will keep an eye on, as these types of shows are generally more difficult to know about than the ones at more popular clubs like The Middle East and PA's Lounge. What a shitty time to not have a car.

Gnaw Their Tongues - An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood


Gnaw Their Tongues - Teeth That Leer Open Like Graves








Gnaw Their Tongues is one of those bands that I read a lot about, heard some clips here and there, but was never able to acquire anything of theirs because everything they release is too damn limited and they have such rabid fans that as soon as something is released, it sells out instantly. Or that's how it seems to me anyway.

When I saw that An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood (originally on limited edition vinyl earlier this year) was released on CD in a not-so-limited fashion on Crucial Blast (great label), I snatched it up immediately. And boy was I not disappointed.

Good God is this some heavy shit. Terrifying, crushing, destroying, horror metal. I guess that might be the genre I'd use to describe Gnaw Their Tongues. They reign from the Netherlands and create some of the most fucked up music I've ever heard. Which I guess isn't too surprising considering the name of their band and their new record, not to mention the song titles. There are tracks with names like "My Body Is Not A Vessel, Nor A Temple, It's A Repulsive Pile Of Sickness" or "Sawn Asunder And Left For The Beasts" or even "And There Will Be More Of Your Children Dead Tomorrow." Yikes.

For the most part, this is slow stuff. None of those blast beats found in your traditional black metal (although this is as black as it comes). Chugging, churning, nothing to easily bang your head to. And it's very cinematic. Music that might be played during a torture scene in some horror movie that would never ever get distribution in the US. This music is meant for wallowing in desperation and contemplating, nay, completing suicide.

The second track, "Teeth That Leer Open Like Graves," starts out with what sounds like an interview with a murderer, describing how he killed some family. The interviewer says, "So you put the bag over his head and tied it. And he did not die right away. Can you tell me what happened in regards to Joseph?" And then the convicted goes on to tell his story, after which the music kicks in. And those sort of sound clips are found throughout the record, along with the wretched sounds coming from the singer.

I gotta say, though, as awesome as this music is, it makes me feel a little...dirty. Listening to it. I mean, I'm a pretty happy, easy-going guy. I enjoy life. I'm not all that into death and killing and such. But every so often, I want some fucked up metal, and this is definitely something that I'll put on. But afterwards I probably need to go take a shower and watch My Little Pony or so something.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Favorite Album For Every Year Of My Life Vol. 1 (1985-1995)


I saw this list the guys over at Gorilla Vs. Bear made and it sounded like it would be fun to make, so I did one myself. The idea is to choose your favorite album for every year you were born. Pretty straightforward, right? Well, (as many others have been saying) this was really hard to make. And it turns out I had to add some of my own rules.

The first year that gave me problems was 1991. Did anyone else know that Slint's Spiderland and My Bloody Valentine's Loveless came out in the same year? I sure as hell didn't. I got to thinking, some records (Stars Of the Lid's Tired Sounds... and Daft Punk's Discovery) are so far from each other in terms of genre and style that it seems almost impossible to even compare them. So I gave myself a maximum of 3 records per year, with the stipulation that they couldn't be in the same genre. And that I would try my hardest to keep it to one record a year.

It took me a long time to compile my list, using Wikipedia and sifting through my own collection. I'm talking multiple hours. During the middle of it, I thought, this is fun but I'm spending way too much time just to make a list. And then I remembered Muxtape. You know, the website that lets you make an online mixtape.

Perfect! I'll make my list and then pick one song from each record to make a mix. But Muxtape only allows you to have 12 songs per "mux." Booooo! Hence, this is Volume 1 of my list. I will keep it up for about a week, and then replace it with Volume 2, and finally Volume 3.

And while I don't expect these mixes to be the best in terms of cohesiveness and flow, all of the songs found within kick ass. And that's all I'm really going for with these.

Volume 1: 1985 - 1995 (click here to listen)
1985 The Jesus And Mary Chain - Just Like Honey (from Psychocandy)
1986 Slayer - Raining Blood (from Reign In Blood)
1987 Pixies - Caribou (from Come On Pilgrim)
1988 My Bloody Valentine - Nothing Much To Lose (from Isn't Anything)
1989 Pixies - Mr. Grieves (from Doolittle)
1990 Primus - To Defy The Laws Of Tradition (from Frizzle Fry)
1991 Slint - Good Morning, Captain (from Spiderland) (this is one of the best songs in the history of songs)
1991 My Bloody Valentine - To Here Knows When (from Loveless)
1992 Pavement - In The Mouth Of A Desert (from Slanted And Enchanted)
1993 Smashing Pumpkins - Mayonaise (from Siamese Dream)
1994 Toadies - Tyler (from Rubberneck)
1995 Smashing Pumpkins - Thru The eyes Of Ruby (from Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness)

Some notable conflicts that occurred:
1988: Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back and Pixies' Surfer Rosa
1991: Smashing Pumpkins' Gish and Primus' Sailing The Seas Of Cheese
1992: Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works 85-92
1993: Bjork's Debut and Wu-Tang Clan's Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
1994: Weezer's Blue Album

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Heads - Dead In The Water...


The Heads - prologue / '69 shakes of the tail, mystic healer ("suck my tail pipe") (excerpt)








Sometimes I need super-awesome nonstop psych rock. I don't jones for it too often but when I do, I get really picky about just what can satisfy me. I was hoping that White Hills record I reviewed a while back would be able to keep me happy for a while, but sadly it fell short. Well, I can happily say I've found a record that rocks hard enough and lasts long enough that I probably won't need to go searching for a new one any time soon.

The Heads are some British guys who release a ton of stuff, most of it being limited in some way or another. Only a handful of CDs but plenty of vinyl; 7"s, 10"s, 12"s, they're some pretty prolific guys. And it seems like their CDs are mostly outtakes from jam sessions or compilations from even rarer releases, as is the case with their Dead In The Water... record. According to the liner notes, "This is a selection of one-offs from the archives plus a couple of 4track indulgencies and the odd field recording." That becomes pretty apparent when you take a look at the track titles (ex: "How many are left? (parts2and5),Mako/lake hyena/"Open Water",Sslow descent of the south face. tidal break, EP in A.")

Four tracks and almost all of them are over 20 minutes long, that means Dead In The Water... lasts for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. And for the most part, these songs are just the best parts of stoner rock freak outs. It's constant craziness with fucking killer riffs, lo-fi screeching guitars, and some tribal drums. Nobody actually does any singing (at least nothing that's recognizably human) but there are occasional snippets of field/broadcast recordings.

Because of the "experimental" nature of this album, I can't say all lovers of psych rock are going to be really into this. The song structures are anything but traditional. But don't let that stop you from rocking out. Dead In The Water... will probably outlast even the most ambitious and durable of you. It's relentless and made to break you. It never lets up and if you've made it to the end of the record, you'll probably just hit the play button again and keep on going.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dan Friel - Ghost Town


Dan Friel - Desert Song








My love for Parts & Labor knows no bounds. Seriously. I can't get enough of them. And it seems like the two mainstays in P&L, Dan Friel and BJ Warshaw, like to do their own thing as well, as BJ has recorded under the Shooting Spires alias and Friel releases stuff under his own name. And, thankfully, when on their own, they still end up sounding a bit like P&L. What that means for me (and you too, I guess) is more of the noisy pop of P&L without having to wait a few years in between each official record.

Friel's recent solo outing is Ghost Town. It sounds like a more electronic Parts & Labor sans vocals. From what I hear and read, it seems like I'm the only person in existence who actually likes the singing in P&L, so if you're anyone other than me, this will probably be a relief to you.

There are parts on Ghost Town that sound like they're actually from P&L songs, the melodies specifically. The melody in "One Legged Cowboy" sounds an awful lot like the opening to "Ghosts Will Burn." I'm not complaining, though. This is definitely a different enough record to please me and not make me think I'm listening to Stay Afraid or anything like that.

I assume this is redundant, but I just want to say it again. I love everything Parts & Labor. I love Shooting Spires, I love Dan Friel, and if (original drummer) Chris Weingarten ever released a solo record, I would undoubtedly love that, too. Ghost Town is a kick ass addition to the (hopefully) neverending catalogue of Parts & Labor records and spinoff records.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rachel's + Hancock = WTF


Update: I saw the credits another time and discovered that the song is "Water From the Same Source," the standout track off of Systems/Layers.

So I was waiting for the credits to end for Hancock (I work at a movie theater and usually have to watch every movie we get) and it got to the part where the songs used in the movie are listed. This is probably the only part of the credits I give two shits about.

So along with the George Thorogoods and the John Lee Hookers I saw "Performed by Rachel's." I had to do a double take, and then I thought, "Well, maybe there's another band named Rachel's." But then I saw "Courtesy of Quarterstick Records." Holy shit. Rachel's actually had a song in the newest Will Smith summer blockbuster. Whoa. Consider my mind blown. That's like Stars Of The Lid putting a song in Iron Man. Just...weird.

I can't for the life of me remember the name of the song, let alone which scene it was used in. Nor can I find any info about it online. So if you happen to see Hancock, keep your ear open for some beautiful, quiet, indie, neo-classical music. And then come back and tell me where they used it, 'cause that's just gonna drive me crazy.

Nadja At The Middle East Upstairs (aka I'm Famous)

Nadja playing SXSW '08 shot by fuzuoko.


In case you don't remember, I was a little excited about seeing Nadja on Friday, to say the least. It turns out, my excitement made me famous.

So I head to the merch table when I get inside and Leah Buckareff (one half of Nadja) is manning (womaning?) the station. I talk to her a little bit, tell her I'm excited to see them play, that sorta thing, and I buy some stuff. I see that Aidan Baker (the other half) is sitting off to the side in a chair, fixing his guitar. I go up to him, say hello, and he says, "Anti-Gravity Bunny, right?" I'm completely floored. How the hell does Aidan fucking Baker know who I am? I stutter a bit, and say, "Umm...yeah. How..." And he said, "I read that post you wrote." I said, "What post?" "The one about the show tonight." (he was referring to this one) I laughed and said, "Oh yeah, that one." He told me a friend of his found it and forwarded it to him. He thought it was funny. Aidan Baker thinks I'm funny.

If the light in the club had been any brighter, he would have seen that my face was bright red. I have never felt so cool in my life, or so simultaneously uncool. Clearly, he read the post where I geeked out about seeing him. And I could barely contain myself while talking to him. BUT, he, Aidan Baker, knew who I was. That makes me like, half-rockstar or something. Right?

He was selling a book he wrote, called Fingerspelling, which is fantastic, and I had him sign it at the end of the night. Another bit of uncool. Whatevs. The only thing I could refrain from doing was taking pictures, either of them or with them. Eventually, he and Leah went on stage, played together, and blew my mind. It was easily one of the best shows ever. They were utterly fantastic. And I don't think I've ever been so giddy in my entire life.

Oh yeah, Pontiak was cool and I left before Grails came on. I didn't want anything to ruin the beauty that I had just experienced. That, and I had to get up really early for work that morning. And Aidan, if you're reading this, I'm really not this big of a nerd. Usually. So if you ever wanna like, hang out or something, meet my bunnies (they're pretty big fans, too), whatever, just let me know. I'll try to play it cool next time.