Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Torche Is Awesome

Real review coming super soon, like maybe tomorrow. It's hard to write about new music, though, when all I've been listening to is Torche's Meanderthal. Good GOD that record is bad ass. Here's a video of them playing "Healer" at Lola's opening for The Sword on May 9th, 2008.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Flying Lotus Video

I'll have an actual review up soon but in the meantime, here is the wicked dirty, super colorful, totally NSFW Flying Lotus video for "Parisian Goldfish" (from Los Angeles) directed by the awesome Eric Wareheim of Tim & Eric fame. From Dance Floor Dale found via Nialler9.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Catch Of The Week: September 27th (Hip Hop Edition)

Time for another Catch Of The Week post, where I talk about the songs that have been stuck in my head recently and hopefully will free them from my mind in doing so. Although, last time I posted "Randy Described Reality" by Built To Spill and god dammit that song has been on constant repeat in my head for like 2 months now.

Danger Mouse - Public Service Announcement (from The Grey Album)

As good as Jay Z's The Black Album is, it just can't compare to Danger Mouse's Beatles/Jay Z mashup, The Grey Album. That thing is packed with the most killer beats that trump anything found on either of the originals. And it's filled to the brim with hooks, every single song gets stuck in my head regularly. I'm posting "Public Service Announcement" because that opening line is what really does it for me. "Allow me to re-introduce myself. My name is HOV! H to the O V." I hear that shit and you better not stop, I just gotta hit the rest of the album. "Encore," "99 Problems," "Dirt Off Your Shoulders," that stuff is top tier. I could listen to it all day. Aaaaand sometimes I do.

Tim Fite - It's All Right Here (from Over The Counter Culture)

Tim Fite is the fuckin' man. This guy does something no one else is doing but it doesn't really matter. Everyone else could be doing it and Fite would still be the best at it. His free album, Over The Counter Culture (download here), is all hip hop and it's hot. Tons of great songs, but "It's All Right Here" is easily the catchiest and the lyrics are hilarious. "I want you to buy my record so I can sell out in 60 seconds. At the Best Buy, I wanna be the best guy. You know that I'm better than the next guy even though we both sound exactly alike. Is that Jadakiss or is that Tim Fite? I dunno but I'm still gonna buy it. Consumerism is the shit now try it." It doesn't get much better than that.

Outkast - Ms. Jackson (from Stankonia)

Whenever I hear someone say "I'm sorry" the little high pitch Andre 3000 sounding voice in my head continues with "Miss Jackson. Hoooo! I am for reeeeal. Never meant to make your daughter cry. I apologize a trillion times." And then that's stuck in my head for at least a couple of days. And that "For ever ever" part gets used on a daily basis. Not out loud, though. 'Cause that would be weird. And really annoying.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sebastien Grainger Still Rocks

Photo: Superlaser.ca

Death From Above 1979 were one of those flash in a pan bands. 1 full length and that was it, they were gone. Granted, they had an EP before that and a remix album just prior to their breakup, but for a band with only 1 actual record, they were fucking huge. Everyone talked about them, everyone loved them, and everyone cried like little girls when they called it quits (I think, or maybe that was just me). We had/have electro-disco-dance-shaboinkin duo MSTRKRFT, in which Jesse Keeler (one half of Death From Above) takes part in, but we hadn't heard anything from Sebastien Grainger, the singer and beat maker of DFA79. That is....until now.

Right now Grainger's got a little solo project going on called Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains. Sadly, no mountains are actually involved (I don't think they know how to play any instruments, although I'm probably just being stereotypical). He records alone and tours with a few extra people to help him bring the noise on stage. Currently, there are a 7" and digital EP out, both titled American Names, and he's got a self titled full length headed our way on October 21st on Saddle Creek.

The tunes he's cranking out aren't quite as Death From Abovey as Death From Above, or even MSTRKRFT for that matter. Instead of dirty dance punk, it's more like dirty anthem rock. It's thick, melodic, dense, and sweet. This is clearly where we get to see the lighter side of Grainger and I think I'm OK with that. For now.

The American Names 7" has a couple of rockin' tracks, "American Names" and "Ways To Come Home." Both are also found on the digital EP and forthcoming full length, although "Way To Come Home" is actually titled "(Are There) Ways To Come Home" on the full length, so it may be a different version. Who knows. I ain't gonna lie, I probably wouldn't care as much as I do if it wasn't Sebastien Grainger making this music but I'm still digging his new sound and hope the full length doesn't disappoint.

Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains - American Names

Sebastien Grainger & The Mountains - Ways To Come Home

Thursday, September 25, 2008

ATP Purchases

OK, this'll be the last post about ATP. Promise. I just wanted to share my sweet purchases with you.

The one thing I really wanted was the Mogwai / Fuck Buttons split tour EP but they didn't have any. Boooo. So I picked up Mogwai's Batcat EP and the Colours Move single from Fuck Buttons instead. Both are fantastic. Colours Move has an amazing remix of "Sweet Love For Planet Earth" by Andrew Weatherall and the Batcat EP has one of the best song titles ever: "Stupid Prick Gets Chased By The Police and Loses His Slut Girlfriend" Oh, Mogwai. How do you come up with such fantastic names?

Fuck Buttons - Sweet Love For Planet Earth (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

Mogwai - Stupid Prick Gets Chased By The Police and Loses His Slut Girlfriend

I also grabbed the only Spectrum CD available, Indian Giver which is labeled as Spectrum Meets Captain Memphis. It's pretty great but not quite as impressive as the live show.

And of course, I had to get one of the ATP hoodies. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite hoodies ever due to it's exceptional comfyness and supremely fun spin art style graphic. Just in time for winter!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Notable Bits From ATP NY

*No fridge in the room at Kutscher's resulted in cooling beverages at first with ice in the sink and later by putting them on top of the AC unit.

*The part of Tortoise's projection that looked like really high contrast distorted/pixelated waves crashing. Gorgeous.

*I remember hearing Thurston Moore playing the song "Psychic Hearts" as an encore which leads me to believe he didn't play Psychic Hearts in order. Which is fine, I guess. But weird.

*The dude standing right next to me passing out during Built To Spill's "Randy Described Reality." Twice.

*The dude standing right in front of me passing out right after Built To Spill's "Velvet Waltz." Twice.

*Built To Spill playing extra songs after they finished Perfect From Now On like "Going Against Your Mind."

*Falling asleep for a couple of minutes during the movie Man Bites Dog and waking up to see a woman being raped on her kitchen table by a serial killer and the film crew documenting him.

*Only sleeping for a total of about 2 hours from Thursday morning (10 am) to Saturday night/Sunday morning (4 am) combined with eating/drinking far too little food/water and drinking far too much Red Bull (no booze for me) caused vomiting sometime Friday morning in a toilet filled with boiling water.

*Every water source at Kutcher's (sinks, toilets, showers) somehow spouting nothing but scalding hot water from about midnight to early morning. The toilet tanks can't fill up because the water evaporates before it gets to the proper height.

*Patton Oswalt saying "I'm gonna have rape for dinner."

*Easy Lionel.

*Living off of bagels, apples, carrot sticks and peanut butter got pretty tiring. For the first time in my life, I craved some real food. Like, vegetables or something.

*Seeing some of every band except Bardo Pond (arrived too late), Alexander Tucker, Silver Mt Zion (saw 'em already and didn't want to miss a minute of Les Savy Fav) Bob Mould, and Gemma Hayes.

*ATP hipsters taking over the local Shop Rite.

*Playing Tumblin' Monkeys.

*Fuck Buttons sounding a buzillion times better than that show with Caribou at The Paradise.

*Talking to some woman who recognized me from that show with Caribou at The Paradise and who knows people who used to run the radio station I used to run (WMWM).

*Wishing it was more appropriate to dance to Fuck Buttons. I mean, wtf?

*Being completely surprised at the awesomeness of Edan & Dagha.

*Being underwhelmed by Wooden Shjips but at the same time pretty sure their set would end with a bang (but not seeing it because I know Fuck Buttons is way better than any sort of exploding Shjip).

*Staying in a room that's right between stage 1 and 2 allowing for easy access of peanut butter, comfy chairs, and different clothes.

*Still not understanding the draw to Polvo. They just sound too dated for me.

*Still not understanding the draw to Low. Nothing about them interests me.

*Drinking red wine poured into my mouth from Tim Harrington of Les Savy Fav. Bonus: I never drink. One of my friends caught the once in a lifetime moment on his camera. I'll be sure to show you once he gets back to England and puts it on his Flickr.

*Getting a completely unique wine stained Les Savy Fav shirt in the process.

*Tim Harrington pointing to me and pulling me up on stage to dance with everyone.


*Not expecting Lightning Bolt to be better than when I saw them at Great Scott and totally blowing those expectations away. I still don't know how it happened.

*Propping myself up by holding onto Tim Harrington's shoulders who was sitting right in front of me for the last Lightning Bolt song and then him putting me up on his shoulders and rocking the fuck out.

*Tim Harrington apologizing when I told him I don't drink alcohol but explaining to him it was the coolest thing he possibly could have done.

*Making Brian Gibson (of Lightning Bolt) smile.

*Having my face close enough to Gibson's bass that I could lick it. It's pretty dirty, though, so I opted not to.

*Playing in the playground at 3 am after Lightning Bolt on toys that are not nearly safe enough for real playgrounds.

*Robin Guthrie's god awful stock photo montage projection.

*The dude in a bear suit with a headband and a shirt that said "Rude" dancing to EPMD. I had no idea how easy it was to get ladies. All you need is a bear suit.

*Talking to Andy & Ben (Fuck Buttons) who are cool guys but sadly didn't have any copies of the Mogwai/Fuck Buttons split tour EP.

*Thinking the lead singer for Le Volume Courbe was Soko (she's not).

*Holy shit Spectrum was awesome.

*Swinging on the swings with the guitarist of Le Volume Courbe for like 5 seconds before he decided the swings sucked.

*Mogwai beating out the Big Bear/Part Chimp show at Great Scott for the loudest noise I've ever heard.

*Some dude crowd surfing to the stage while Dinosaur Jr was playing, taking his shirt off on stage, then stage diving only to have no one catch him. Funniest thing all weekend.

*Crazy ass bassist of Meat Puppets throwing his bass 15 feet into the air, catching it, and continuing to play it at the very end of their set. I was totally expecting it to smash into his face.

*Waiting for a fucking hour for My Bloody Valentine to come on. Worst torture ever.

*Breaking out in dance when "Twist & Shout" came on over the loudspeakers waiting for My Bloody Valentine.

*My Bloody Valentine beating out Mogwai for the loudest noise I've ever heard.

*My body nearly vaporizing during My Bloody Valentine's ridiculously epic 20+ minute climax.

*My ears still hurt. I'm not kidding.

ATP Recovery

I'm home. And I'm not dead. And I'm also not quite ready to write anything yet. When I am, you'll be the first to know. In the meantime, here's a picture taken by Ryan Muir (for Pitchfork) with me watching Lightning Bolt. I'm the dude in the gray shirt hunched over in front of Gibson.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Well, there shall be a lack of posting here at Anti-Gravity Bunny until early next week as I'm taking off for the My Bloody Valentine curated ATP New York. Try not to be too sad. I know I won't. I'll try to take lots of pictures. For those unable to go, I leave you with this mix I made of some of my favorite songs from some of my favorite bands performing at the festival. And look, I did it all without Muxtape! Have fun while I'm gone and try not to miss me too much.

In case you're wondering, I put these in order of which the bands perform. So you can feel like you're actually there!

Tortoise - The Taut And Tame

Thurston Moore - Psychic Hearts

Built To Spill - Velvet Waltz

Growing - Friendly Confines

Wooden Shjips - Dance, California (Radio Edit)

Fuck Buttons - Sweet Love For Planet Earth

Om - Unitive Knowledge Of The Godhead

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band - Hang On To Each Other

Lightning Bolt - Wee One's Parade

Shellac - The Admiral

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - All Saints Day

Mogwai - Stanley Kubrick

My Bloody Valentine - Come In Alone

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dave Stewart & The Spiritual Cowboys' Party Town Video

I watched Flatliners last night. Good movie. There was this Halloween party scene where Dave Stewart's "Party Town" was playing and everyone was dancing and having a good time out by the bonfire. It was the coolest. I totally wanted to be there. So I went to find the video online hoping that it would show more of the party with Dave Stewart & The Spiritual Cowboys playing. It makes sense, right? Well, instead of taking that route, they decided to make the video look like a preview for Flatliners, except they throw Dave and his band in every other shot, ending up making it look like a really weird movie, albeit one I'd definitely want to see. And is it just me, or are they not even using their second drummer? I mean, it looks like he's playing, but I'm pretty sure they just didn't want him to feel left out for the video.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I figured two in a row is nothing and decided to see how many new posts I could make that consisted entirely of videos before leaving for ATP. So, here's two more.

Shaky Hands - We Are Young
I just saw this one on Pitchfork, and it's pretty good. The song is fun and the video is wonderfully care-free, looking like it was filmed some 50 years ago.

White Denim - Shake Shake Shake
And that video reminded me of this video, which I never posted even though I wanted to. This song is totally awesome and gets stuck in my head all the time. And the video is full blown crazy weird fun. Yeah!

TV On The Radio's Golden Age Video

Two videos in a row? What what? Yeah, whatever. TV On The Radio takes precedent over my "spread the wealth" mentality. The video for "Golden Age" has monks, dancing cops, human heads turning into animals heads, Care Bear stuff, and a weird Power Rangers/Voltron/Captain Planet thing. So I obviously had to post it. "Golden Age" is from TV On The Radio's forthcoming Dear Science due out September 23rd. And if you've already seen the video, watch it again.

Still Alive Typography Video

(Kinematic) Typography videos are amazing. They're ridiculous amounts of fun. I remember that one from the scene in Pulp Fiction where Sam Jack is going "English, mother fucker! Do you speak it!?" That's one of my favorites and it's amazingly done. Anyway, this one is for the song "Still Alive" from the video game Portal. Yes, more video game/music stuff. But you know what? This song is so awesome and catchy, it's totally worthy of all praise independent of it being in a game. Go ahead. Give it a listen and see if you ain't singing this bitch all through the week. People will look at you funny. Trust me.

Also, if you're interested, click here to download "Still Alive."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lawrence English - Kiri No Oto

Lawrence English - Figure's Lone Static

Never before has an album so fully embodied my favorite audio and visual aesthetic (Tzesne's Cliffs Under The Mist is a close second, although too cliffy). There are few things I love more than the image of a seagull floating through a thick fog out at sea and Kiri No Oto sounds exactly like that. I almost changed my name to Grey (instead of Snow) when I got married and have been contemplating a seagull tattoo for quite a while (but am probably going to get one of the bunnies from this print that my wife made instead). I guess Lawrence English and I are on similar pages because his new album, Kiri No Oto (roughly translated as "the sound of fog") sounds pretty much like the first record I would make if I ever made music (and my follow up would probably sound a lot like Belong's October Language).

The entire album is simply beautiful. For the most part, it's very soft and always super subtle with very literal titles like "Organs Lost At Sea," "White Spray," and "Waves Sheer Light." And while this could be considered an "ambient" record, it isn't meant for sleepy-time. Not because you couldn't sleep to it (I assure you, you could) but because you shouldn't want to sleep to it. Kiri No Oto is full of such wonderfully fine delicacies you should want to spend the full 43 minutes sitting alone in a comfy recliner next to an open window blowing the cool salty sea breeze on your cheeks with a big pair of headphones on.

I just can't recommend English's new album enough. It's certainly not for everyone (not much I review is) but for those of you who have large gray pieces of art hanging on your walls just might be into this as much as I am.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

MP3: Bunny Lake - Strobe Love (Shinichi Osawa Remix)

Bunny Lake - Strobe Love (Shinichi Osawa Remix)

I had a little time to blog but nothing really to blog about so I thought I'd go on MySpace and search a random word (in this case, "bunny") and listen to one of the bands on the first page. I might do this more in the future but for now, I present you with Bunny Lake from Austria.

I listened to a couple of their songs and they're alright, nothing that compels me to listen to an entire album. It's dark disco punk rock stuff. But Shinichi Osawa thought it would be a good idea to take one of their songs, chop it up, drop the fidelity by about 10, and throw it around in a pile of dirt, making it better in the process. Good thinking Osawa! I commend thee for your troubles.

This track appears only on the Strobe Love 12", along with the original song and two other remixes. You can also find the original on Bunny Lake's debut full length, The Church Of Bunny Lake.

Mogwai / Fuck Buttons Split EP

Fuck Buttons - Colours Move (Mogwai Remix)

Mogwai - Mogwai Fear Satan (Fuck Buttons Remix)

Not only are two of the coolest bands around touring together right now, they also recorded a split EP that they're selling only on tour and in limited quantities. Luckily for you, some dude (ie not me) put it up online for all of the free-seeking internet music nerds to download. Or maybe he just did it for those who won't be able to make it to any of the shows and just absolutely need this record. Fair enough, right?

So from what I gathered, there's no album art or anything, the CD just comes in a hand numbered sleeve. Hooray for minimalism. The EP consists of two tracks, one by each band remixing one of the other band's songs. Wait, what? Mogwai remixing Fuck Buttons and Fuck Buttons remixing Mogwai? Holy shit. Can this get any better? Yes. Yes it can. If (and only if) Fuck Buttons just happened to remix "Mogwai Fear Satan" then...well, then I would just might cream myself.

Obviously, this amazingly fantastic short but sweet EP is the crème de la crème. I can't get enough of it. My only complaint (and it is a major one) is that it's so god damn short. Come on guys. I sincerely hope this begets future collaborations cause HOT DAMN that would be the shit.

Btw, I found this via nialler9. Thanks!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

WYLD WYZRDZ - We Are Everyone


I found this freebie over on Forest Gospel (aka one of the best music blogs ever). WYLD WYZRDZ (caps required) is a one man noise/drone project, who also happens to record under the name Navigator. He's from the city of Salt Lake and he really knows how to make some uh-maze-ing music.

We Are Everyone opens with the gorgeous "Slope," an 11 minute guitar drone piece with plenty of thick high end feedback and soothing plicks. And it's very appropriately named because it's a track that starts out full force and slowly drops a layer or two every so often until all of the electricity is gone you're just left with quiet acoustic strums and an (occasionally layered) voice chanting/moaning with no rhyme or reason.

There's a few more tracks that are good in their own way but I feel like they're more filler than anything else, because it's the last song, "I Am Ocean," that complements "Slope." "I Am Ocean" is almost 20 minutes long and is one of the most soporific, sleep inducing songs I've heard this year. I'm pretty sure WYLD WYZRDZ meant for that description to be attributed to the song "Dream Sequence" though. And while "Dream Sequence" really does a really good job of evoking the, uh, dream sequence thing, "I Am Ocean" is the one that's getting the standing ovation from me.

This song is seriously awesome. It sounds like some weird guitar/organ/harpsichord hybrid being strummed/keyed at regular 1.5 second intervals throughout the whole track. Of course, there's your traditional guitar pleasantries that give the song some depth, but this is really about the hypnosis. I actually go into some sort of trance when I hear it and if I'm not careful, I will find myself asleep only 4 minutes into the song. Literally. It's probably not safe to listen to it while driving and only while you're lying down if you plan on taking a nap.

"But wait, you called this record a freebie..." Yes, it's free. Go download it now from WYLD WYZRDZ' website. And while you're at it, grab Beach Party Forever!. Also, on the Magic Goat website, you can grab some Navigator albums, including Loop Dreams: Volume One. I doubt you'll regret it. And if you ever felt like being a good person, you could always buy one of the physical copies from A. Star.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Catch Of The Week: September 10th

Here's a new regular series type thing that I hope to actually keep up (unlike CineSounds and Staples). I'm gonna call it Catch Of The Week, although it will probably happen both more and less than once a week. Anyway, I thought it would be a way to share whatever songs have been stuck in my head lately, and possibly give me a chance to get them out of my head by writing about them. And if you have a better idea for a name, by all means share it. I'm not attached to the name Catch Of The Week at all. I think it's pretty cheesy and only slightly clever.

Built To Spill - Randy Described Reality (from Perfect From Now On)

I've been listening to this record a lot lately for two reasons. One: it's the fucking best. Two: I will be seeing Built To Spill perform it in it's entirety at ATP NY in 9 days. The whole album is truly great but for some reason I get the first track stuck in my head more than the rest. Mostly the part where he goes "I'm gonna be perfect from now on. I'm gonna be perfect starting now." Yeah, that never goes away. "Velvet Waltz" is a pretty close second in catchiness the only problem is that I don't know any of the words to it. That's pretty annoying.

The White Stripes - Take, Take, Take (from Get Behind Me Satan)

Say what you will about The White Stripes and their talent, but I really love them. I don't think I've heard a record of theirs I didn't like and Get Behind Me Satan has a lot of good songs. "Take, Take, Take" isn't even one of my favorites and I don't know a lot of the lyrics, but "I hate to bug ya ma'am, but can I have your autograph? And it was all that I needed!" is something that repeats in my head all the time.

Muscles - Sweaty (from Guns Babes Lemonade)

That catchiest of the catchy. Especially during the summer. Whenever I'm even slightly sweaty and I go to hold my wife's hand, I have to sing this song. "I'm getting tired and I'm sweaty but I still wanna touch ya if ya let me. Because we hugged a few times and it was special." And then "My hand slipped into your hand and it was awesome and you were special." I swear, Elise and I sing this back and forth to each other like 10 times every week. Not in a gross way, though. 'Cause we don't do it in public. Or if we do, it's super subtle and people just think we're being weird.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Empire Auriga - Auriga Dying

Empire Auriga - Dreaming Of Breath And Stars

Wow. Sometimes black metal bands are hilarious. The liner notes for Auriga Dying say the band consists of Boethius on communications on 90000065B on transmissions. I mean, does communications mean vocals? Does it even matter? And does 90000065B really think his name is hardcore? 'Cause it's not. Like, at all. It sounds more like the name some nerdy computer whiz gave himself who makes electronic music using only his motherboard and a Talkboy. I'm sure he's going for that random star name thing, but come on. 90000065B? Really?

But names aren't everything. I mean, yes, Auriga is the name of a constellation, and Auriga Dying has celestial references throughout, including a quote inside that reads "Sleep my beautiful planets, and I shall awaken you not..." But that doesn't really matter. It all boils down to the music. And in that respect, Empire Auriga wins. They are fucking awesome. Grim, chugging, buzzing, and cinematic black metal. Hell. Yes.

Auriga Dying is black metal, yes, but it's also got some other stuff thrown in (like all good records). There's definitely some industrial percussion, especially on the track, "Dreaming Of Breath And Stars," and there are bits of shoegaze and ambience as well. All in all, a solid combination, which Empire Auriga pull off making it sound like they've been doing it for ages, when in fact, this is their debut album. Not too shabby guys.

This album isn't constantly going full blast, though. Empire Auriga know the importance of dynamics and they end the album with a few half soothing/half terrifying lullaby drones. The last track, "Dust And Ether," is a gorgeous spacey song with sprinkles of far away noises, sounding much like what I would expect floating in space to sound like (except for that whole "no air" thing).

I highly recommend Auriga Dying and I'm pretty psyched about any future releases from Empire Auriga. I mean, how could I not be? This record is so fantastic. It's out now on Moribund Records and can be purchased on their website. Also, head on over to Empire Auriga's website to listen to "Sorrowsong," another great track from Auriga Dying.

Video: LHC Rap

It's like the Super Bowl Shuffle of science. AKA AWESOME.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Robyn Update

So, a little while ago, I thought for a minute that I might like Robyn. It was definitely surprising to me that I was even considering it, but I'm not that close minded that I would totally brush off something like Robyn just because she's Robyn. I mean, that video for "Konichiwa Bitches" is great, and I liked the song enough to check out her new album. Well, lets just say I wasn't too impressed and am no longer interested. At least I still have "Konichiwa Bitches." Those robot and video game noises are too cool to ignore.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

MP3: Aphex Twin - Omgyjya Switch7

Aphex Twin - Omgyjya Switch7

I was watching Children Of Men last night, one of my most favoritest movies ever, and thought to myself, I really need to find out who does that "Zen music" song that Michael Caine's character plays to Clive Owen's character when they're smoking pot in the beginning of the movie. It's supposed to be ironic because the song is all fucking crazy drill n bass type stuff with a dude screaming. I remember the first time I saw Children Of Men in theaters, I heard that song and thought to myself, "Whoa, that song is awesome, I need to find out who did it." And then I never really bothered, either because I never remembered to or out of sheer laziness. Well, as I expected, this song as a whole is great, and I'm really happy to know that it's Aphex Twin that gets the job done. Although, when the song is played in the movie, it sounds a lot scarier, almost like they remixed it or something, because the track that I have doesn't sound exactly like the one used in that scene. Maybe it's just that whole "out of context" thing. That usually fucks stuff up a bit.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Zach Hill - Astrological Straits

Zach Hill - Stoic Logic

It's only appropriate that if one member of a band does a solo record (Spencer Seim of Hella, who recently released sBACH) the other member(s) should as well. Hence we have drummer extraordinaire Zach Hill (also of Hella) releasing his solo debut. Of course Hill has performed in numerous other bands (Flössin, The Ladies, Nervous Cop, Team Sleep, Goon Moon, Damsel, etc.) and mostly in his regular band, Hella, but never before has he released a straight up solo record. The closest either Hill or Seim has come is Hella's double "solo" album Chirpin' Hard/Church Gone Wild. I'm not exactly sure how it went, but I believe each of them wrote their own respective records and helped each other out when it came time to actually play the music. That's why it was still technically a Hella record. But Astrological Straits is a true Zach Hill solo record. Well, almost.

Astrological Straits has plenty of guest musicians. There's Les Claypool, Dean Spunt and Randy Randall of No Age, Marnie Stern, and many other people Hill has worked with in the past. But no matter how many guests show up on Straits, this is still undeniably a Zach Hill record. His signature unhuman-like drumming is found throughout and honestly, isn't that why we listen to Zach? I mean, have you ever seen this guy live? The man is a living blur. I don't know how he moves that fast at all, let alone with any sort of precision or premeditation.

So fear not, there's no mistaking that Astrological Straits is a solo record. It's two discs of mayhem, and truthfully, sometimes it's a bit much. I could probably do without the second disc, a single half hour long song titled "Necromancer." It starts out with Marnie Stern telling a strange story about a father with triplet daughters, one of which died and the other two who have special abilities. Then it goes into free form, semi-jazzy craziness with Hill on drums and Marco Benevento on piano. It's totally awe-inspiring, but not the sort of thing you listen to more than once or twice.

And that goes for a portion of the first disc, as well. It's a lot of noodling, that kind of reminds of Hill's collaboration with Orthrelm guitarist Mick Barr on the record Shred Earthship. The main difference being Astrological Straits is less metal/noise and more pop/jazz/noise weirdness. Seriously weird, too, like when Zach Hill sings (yup) it sounds like Charles Manson as an alien. It's pretty appropriate for the music, but that doesn't make it any less bizarre.

I really like Astrological Straits as a record but there are definitely some songs that stand out among the rest. And, I feel somewhat lame for saying this, but my favorites are the more pop oriented tracks, like "Stoic Logic" and the single "Dark Art." I'm not saying I don't like the more chaotic songs, because I really do. I just like the catchy ones better. No harm in that, I guess. I don't think it makes me any less a fan of Zach Hill, 'cause lord knows I am instantly gratified with anything he touches. So lets end on that. A high note. I love Zach Hill and Straits only confirms my faith in him as a musician. Yeah!

Here's the video for "Dark Art" directed by Scott Cramer and Zach Hill.

Aaaand while we're at it, here's the video for another highlight, "Hindsight Is Nowhere" directed by Katelyn Reeves, Mike Rafter, and Zach Hill.