Wednesday, December 31, 2008

MP3: Tim Fite - Bread In The Water

Tim Fite - Bread In The Water

Here's a funny story. The All Things Considered show on the nation's radio wanted to do a piece about these ducks who like dance all over the fishes. True story. And they thought to themselves, "Who best to write a song about this real world craziness? Oh, I know! Mr. Tim Fite!" So they approached Fite and proceeded to ask him if he would be willing to lend a helping hand. To which Tim replied, "Dude, I'm a buncha steps ahead of you guys. I already wrote that song. Like, last year. That's old news. You cats just ain't hip enough to keep up with me. But sure, I'll let you use my song."

Jonathan Coleclough & Andrew Liles - Burn

Jonathan Coleclough & Andrew Liles - Blackburn

I talked to Howard Stelzer at that BSC show earlier this year and he mentioned how excited he was about seeing Jonathan Coleclough at Brainwaves '08. So if Stelzer was excited, I should be too. Right? Right. Well, I decided to do a little research which got me pretty excited, hoping that my modest expectations would be exceeded. Jesus. They were fuckin exceeded alright. And Burn captures some of the amazingness I witnessed that night at Brainwaves.

Coleclough and Liles called this particular collaboration Burn for a very good reason. My guess, though, is that the reason gets lost on almost anyone listening to this who hasn't seen them live or read much about them. Coleclough does on Burn the same thing I saw him do at Brainwaves. Hooks up some audio sensor thingies to a pane of glass and takes a micro blow torch to it. What comes through the speakers is the most delicate, precise, and beautiful sounds of glass cracking ever recorded. Most of it sounds like it's in super sow motion but every now and then, a big piece will crack off and startle you.

While the burning and cracking glass is usually the forefront of Burn, Liles helps keep things interesting. At Brainwaves, he played around with a lot of various tape loops, laying down absolutely gorgeous drones. Here, I'm sure he's doing something similar, but there's also the occasional real instrument being played, like a piano or guitar. No matter what it is he does, though, it complements Coleclough's burning perfectly.

Burn is an absolute masterpiece in minimal drone soundscaping. Essential for all fans of the genre. Even without the whole glass "novelty" thing, this is still a truly superb piece of work.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Reaching / Ophibre - Répéter Profils

Ophibre - Répéter
Link removed.

Ophibre and Reaching are two dudes who make noise. Ophibre is one of my local Boston favorites and Reaching is new to me, being introduced to him on this here Répéter Profils split cassette.

Reaching is a relatively new guy but seems to be pretty prolific already. Just take a look at his releases on Discogs. There's about 20 in a year. Not too shabby. You can download a lot of them from this section of Reaching's website. Which I think I should. 'Cause I like what I hear.

Reaching's side, the "Profils" track, is a much darker affair than Ophibre's "Répéter." It walks the line between black ambience and power electronics. There are long stretches of rumbling, stuttering bass with quiet industrial clanging going on somewhere far on the horizon. Or sometimes the bass is forgone and it's just static, like the air is totally still and you're the only one around but you can still hear those machines banging in the distance. It never really gets too loud, nothing that's gonna shred your ears, but it does get pretty scary. There are points when it revs up and starts growling at you like its about to devour you, though. But it growls, you see? Never roars.

Ophibre's track is squirly and all over the place. It's low-key but still crazy. Nothing ever really jumps out at ya. It meanders around in a chaotic way. On average, it sits on the high end of the tonal range keeping you on your toes. Occasionally it'll veer off into the deep end sounding like a machine with a pulse. It's a bit like a stretched out preview for a horror movie, switching back and forth from one thing to another, giving you that unsettling feeling. It works. And I like it.

Apparently there are two versions of this tape, one available from Ophibre's Oph Sound label and one from Reaching's Dirgehead Distribution. I'm not sure of the differences as I only have the Oph Sound release, but Discogs claims the Dirgehead one is untitled. Whatever. All I know is that my tape is spraypainted with "Make It Stone" by Krylon. And that's cool.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Hum - Sundress (Demo)

I've raved about Hum in the past. I just fuckin' love 'em to death. Can't get enough of their epic space rock. They're one of the bands that I would kill to see reunite and tour a bit. Oh wait. What's that? They are reuniting!? Fuck me. That's some of the best news I've heard all year. OH. Right. They're only playing one show. In Chicago. Fuck that.

Well, there's two bits of good news. One is that the idea of them getting together and playing a show is not completely out of the question. So maybe an actual tour is in the works? I hope so.

Second bit of good news is that this lead me to their website where I found of bunch of free EPs and such. Sweet! I'd already heard the Hello Kitty 7" but there's also the Puppets 7", Sundress 7", and Stars EP, which was only released in the UK. I've bundled those four up into a zip file that you can download right here.

They're all awesome and if you're a fan of Hum they're pretty much mandatory. There's a couple of live tracks and some demos and videos as well. I recommend heading over and downloading everything they have to prepare for the forthcoming Hum World Tour Of World Domination*.

*Hum World Tour Of World Domination has not yet been planned by the band.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sweet Vinyl Goodness

I'm back from visiting my family and I return with a new turntable. Despite the cripplingly small nature of our apartment, I still need to collect music in all of it's glorious analog and digital ways. Tapes, CDs, and vinyl all have their special place in my heart and now, NOW! I can transfer my record collection of new and old with the Audio Technica AT-LP2D USB Turntable. Thanks Mom!

As we speak, Hototogisu & Burning Star Core's self titled collaboration on Yik Yak is making it's way from vinyl to iPod. Soon to be followed is the recent purchase of Black Moth Super Rainbow's burnt bacon scented Scratch-N-Sniff Drippers 10".

I didn't get to listen to too much new music over the holidays, so it might be a bit before I start posting any reviews. But I also received a gift card to Aquarius Records. I've been home for less than a day and it's already spent. Some good stuff is coming my way and I'll be sure to let you all know how awesome it is. Until then, I'll be digitizing as quickly as this turntable allows.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Just like every other blogger in the world, I'll be going home for a few days to see the family. Which means I'll be breaking my month long streak of posting at least once every day. Sad, I know. Somehow I think you'll live.

To hold you over until Sunday, though, I made a little Christmas mix. Nothing special, just lots of good songs with the word Christmas in the title. I'm a fucking genius. Since I'm lazy/don't want to plague my server with tons of songs I know no one will listen to anyway, I just made a zip file with all of the songs and the CUSTOM COVER ART and threw it up on Media Fire. Enjoy the holidays.

1. Dev/Null - Christmas Themed Horror Movie From The 80's (from Lazer Thrash)
2. MC Chris - Fuckin Up My Christmas (from Life's A Bitch & I'm Her Pimp)
3. Kid606 - All I Wanted For Christmas Was My Braces Off (from Who Still Kill Sound?)
4. The Locust - Pulling The Christmas Pig By The Wrong Pair Of Ears (from Plague Soundscapes)
5. By The End Of Tonight - It's Christmas Time Again (from Fireworks On Ice EP)
6. The Flaming Lips - Christmas At The Zoo (from Clouds Taste Metallic)
7. Mogwai - Christmas Song (from EP+2)
8. The Walkmen - No Christmas While I'm Talking (from Bows + Arrows)
9. White Town - Why I Hate Christmas (from Socialism, Sexism, & Sexuality)
10. Medicine - Christmas Song (from Shot Forth Self Living)
11. Windy & Carl - Christmas Song (from Introspection)


Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas Miracle

One Cello X 16 - Coda (from One Cello X 16)

My friends, history has been made. My wife has done two things that have never before happened. For the first time ever, Elise has introduced me to some music that

1: I had never heard of
2: I really liked

She was listening to an episode from one of her favorite shows, Radio Lab, and there was a piece about this woman named Zoë Keating who plays the cello. Admittedly, there are lots of people who play the cello that I've never heard of. It's not like I claim to be a super music genius or anything (even if Elise thinks I am).

But maybe I should have heard of her before. Maybe I actually have and just don't remember. I'm not just trying to make excuses, either. She's worked with DJ Shadow, Tarentel, and John Vanderslice, and she was in Rasputina for 4 years. That should be enough for me to recognize her name. Whatever the reason for this slip-up, though, is inexcusable. Everyone should know about her.

Keating performs solo under the moniker One Cello X 16 (kinda cheesy, I know). But she makes music that I am an absolute sucker for: the one-(wo)man-band-loop thing. Tyondai Braxton, Navigator, Lichens, White Rainbow, they all do it and I love them for it. Now I can add One Cello X 16 to the list.

But just because she works in a niche genre doesn't mean she doesn't make unique music. Quite the contrary. I've yet to hear music like Keating's. I'm a fan of cellos and I like when people make new and original music from classical instruments. Keating does exactly that. She plays the cello and loops it over itself, creating dozens of layers of beautiful cello and turning herself into a micro avant-garde symphony.

She has a self titled EP out which is fantastic, as well as a full length called Natoma which I have yet to hear. The EP is sold out and only available digitally. Natoma is available in CD and digital formats from her website. She's working on a third album. I have no doubt that it'll be awesome.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Videos: Pulp Fiction & Reservoir Dogs

Say what you will about Quentin Tarantino and his movies, but he and Karyn Rachtman (his music supervisor) seem to have an encyclopedic knowledge of music and have a real knack for picking the absolute perfect song for scenes. And he reclaims the songs so that whenever you hear them again, you immediately think of those specific scenes. I always get a little on edge whenever I hear "Stuck In the Middle With You" ever since I first saw Reservoir Dogs.

Chuck Berry - You Never Can Tell (from Pulp Fiction)

Beware! There be spoilers in this video if you for some reason haven't seen Reservoir Dogs.
Stealers Wheel - Stuck In The Middle With You (from Reservoir Dogs)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Nekrasov - The Form Of Thought From Beast

Nekrasov - Today The Sun A Golden Illusion

What's that you say? You want more black metal? No problem. Consider it done Here's some bleak nastiness from Australia.

Nekrasov make my favorite kind of black metal. They make the kind of BM that actually got me liking BM in the first place. The first thing I look for in BM is a true wall of guitars that gives no hint of actual strumming. I want guitars so fucking thick that it just makes a solid sheet of drone, only wavering when the chord changes. And The Form Of Thought From Beast has that in spades.

There are some amazing songs on Form Of Thought that range from full blast shredding to doomy ambience. It's the best. There's one song, "Dreams Of Swallowing, Black Space Expansion" that honestly sounds just like a thunderstorm-destruct-athon with a mad wizard standing on the edge of a cliff spewing ancient spells trying to conjure some ocean beast.

And then there's the 20 minute title track, which should be the music played in the scene from The Neverending Story where Atreyu is trudging through The Swamps Of Sadness after his horse Artax died. But, as we all know, that's a kids movie and BM has no place in shit like that. Maybe someday I'll remake The Neverending Story and make it a hundred times better (Impossible, I know. Just let me fucking dream a bit, huh?)

The Form Of Thought From Beast is so so so easily one of the best BM records of the year. It goes from fucking brutal metal punishment to nightmare dronescapes and back again. I shit you not, it does not get much better than this. Self released, super limited, bad ass packaging, and probably wicked sold out (just a guess).

Video: Jihae - Fig Leaf

NY's Jihae ("jee-heh") make beautiful soft hazey dream pop. "Fig Leaf" is off of Elvis Is Still Alive and the video is such a refreshing change from all of the usual grainy Super 8 footage, be it authentically retro or not. It's nothing fancy, but the black silhouette paper cut out puppets put against solid colored backgrounds really works for me. As it does for the music as well. My favorite part is the jester acrobats performing for the royalty. It's pretty great stuff. A+ Jihae.

Yussuf Jerusalem - A Heart Full Of Sorrow

Yussuf Jerusalem - We Ain't Coming Back

Sticking with the metal theme for now ('cause it's been so long since I posted any before that Turisas record), I found this little gem by a guy/band named Yussuf Jerusalem on the infinitely wonderful Champagne and it kills.

A Heart Full Of Sorrow starts out filthy and balls to the wall. It's crazy intense right from the start but only lasts for the first song. Then it turns into some folky bedroom stuff. It's really lo-fi, driven by a drum machine and grainy guitars. Was this guy really just screeching like a demon? Now he's sounds like a regular dude.

It's got hints of old fashioned punk ("Greetings From Novi Sad") and pop ("We Ain't Coming Back") as well as the folk, but somehow it all fits together. It's all pretty lo-fi and dirty, but the only straight up metal track is that first one. It's actually pretty confusing to me because I get totally lost when listening to Sorrow. For some reason, I inevitably end up spacing out/paying attention to something else and I forget that I first put on a black metal record.

If it wasn't for the first song, I would never guess that Yussuf Jerusalem makes black metal. But I feel like they put that song on Sorrow first to set the mood and make sure everyone knew that they're a black metal band. That's kind of cheating, I know, especially because the rest of the record sounds nothing even remotely like metal. But at the same time, I think black metal is really breaking all boundaries lately and can take on any form it wants. I'm pretty sure I don't care if Yussuf Jerusalem are the "real deal" or not. Their music kicks ass and that's enough.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jumalhämärä - Slaughter The Messenger

Jumalhämärä - Discover The Pigtail

I was just thinking about how Turisas might be a bit over the top for some people and how maybe I should make it up to those of you with a review of a more proper black metal record. In comes the amazing Finnish Jumalhämärä.

Well, I guess I wouldn't really call the black metal on Slaughter The Messenger "proper." It's actually a pretty weird and experimental type of metal. The first track, "The Swing," is pretty jazzy at times and also kinda bluesy and psychedelic. But all the while, this guy is still screeching and howling over the otherwise un-metal-like music and it's awesome.

Then the next song has one of the best titles ever (which seems to be the case with metal bands). It's called "Discover The Pigtail" and it's a bit more "regular" metal, albeit a proggy kind of metal with keyboards. Fucking fantastic.

"Dawn Saturnine," the last track, is the most straightforward black metal song on Slaughter. You got your thick guitars, nonstop pummeling drums, and you're growling vocals. I guess because of that, this is the least impressive song on the album. The first two had their own unique sound but "Dawn" could probably be any of the thousands of black metal bands out there that I've never heard. It's still really good, it's just that it doesn't follow the same weird/proggy/jazzy metal of the two previous songs.

It's a shame Slaughter is so short. There's only three tracks, not even breaking 20 minutes. But similar to Built By Snow's MEGA, this record is packed to the brim with awesomeness. I have never heard anything quite like Jumalhämärä. This is some special stuff guys. Keep an eye out.

Turisas - The Varangian Way

Turisas - Fields Of Gold

I know The Varangian Way came out in 2007 so some of you may know all about it, but it's one of the best metal records to come out in years so I feel it's my duty to shed as much light on it as possible. But I know I'm going to have a hard time making you believe it with the description that's to follow.

Turisas make ridiculously epic Viking metal with synths and orchestras. It sounds kind of like if Dragonforce turned Viking and was highly influence by The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. So right now you're either thinking that I'm bat shit insane or that I'm just messing with you. I assure you neither are true. The Varangian Way is something that needs to be heard to be believed.

The music is crazy cheesy with the choirs and accordions while simultaneously uber epic with double kick drums and cliche climaxes. But it's still so good. I'm pretty sure the cheese makes this record.

These guys seem so dedicated, too. Otherwise I might just write them off as some weird metal dudes. The band photo in the sleeve is fucking unreal and there's a part in the back that says "All solos on this recording performed on electric violin." See? These guys are for real. I mean, what kind of metal band does all of their solos on a violin? Only the hardcore. Only Turisas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Catch Of The Week: Fuck Christmas Music

Man, I hate commercial Christmas music. Enough already. Please. I just heard a funk version of "Santa Clause Is Coming To Town" and I wanted to kill myself. So I play music like this instead.

Marnie Stern - Steely (from This Is It...)

Marnie Stern and Zach Hill should just get married already. Their music is so alike it's uncanny. And then their babies would make the most spastic mathy drum rock ever. It'll be great! "Steely" is one of my faves from the infinitely long This Is It.... It has a killer riff and the lyrics are so catchy. "Tell me your name! This is no accident!" ""I'm like a raging animation. I wonder what it's like to be one." "I'm hoping it's true! I'm hoping for you!" That whole chorus is nuts. I love it.

Hot Lava - Mummy Beach (from Lavalogy)

I posted the video for Hot Lava's "Brainex" about a month ago and while that song is super catchy, it can't compare to the sheer campy horror ridiculousness of "Mummy Beach." It's a song about a beach with mummies on it. "We got mummies at the beach. Mummies! We got mummies in the sand. Mummies! We got mummies in the souvenir shop. Why won't they stop? They'll never stop." The lyrics are amazing. Whatever songs you planned on writing about mummies? Forget about it. They'll never be cooler than this.

Rainbo Video - Xenoglossy 17 (unreleased...maybe?)

Hey, this song is pretty cool. Dancey electro club stuff. I can get my groove on to this. Wait... Is that..? Holy shit. He just sampled Duncan Sheik. And it's good? Bravo Rainbo Video. Bravo.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Video: Julian Koster In A Mansion

Last week I wrote about how I saw Julian Koster play some Christmas songs in a mansion using his singing saw. It was awesome. Well, now here's the video I shot. It's the whole set, unedited, so it's pretty long (over half an hour). There's some good stories and cheerful tunes.

The ( ) Moppers - Manifest Destroy (Slow Destiny)

The ( ) Moppers - Side B

The ( ) Moppers are a couple of mysterious dudes. Minimal to no internet presence. No MySpace or web page as far as I can tell. I think they're from San Francisco. Discogs lists them as having only two releases totaling 56 copies. That's about all I got. Manifest Destroy (Slow Destiny) is a cassette (37 copies released on Custodian, Color Zoo Containers) with hand made artwork, each one being entirely unique. Cut and paste collages with humans that have animal heads. That sorta thing.

The music on Manifest Destroy was recorded live in '04 and is, umm, pretty weird. It's droney and minimal but probably not the way you're thinking. As far as what instruments are being played, your guess is as good as mine. There's some super low end bass that wobbles back and forth, testing the elasticity of my ear drums. And I mean super low end. Like the depths of the ocean floor low.

While I would definitely describe this as minimal, there's tons of stuff going on. There's lo-fi crunches coming from god knows what. Maybe a shitty drum machine? It sounds kinda like that freak-folk all the kids are talkin' about these days. I mean, The ( ) Moppers aren't folky but there's that feeling that they would wander around the room, finding various toys/pots & pans/sticks/pipes/forks and record whatever sounds came out of them. Occasionally an actual beat shows up for a few seconds but then it disappears into The Nothing (I try to throw in Neverending Story references as often as I can).

I'm not totally sure what this is "about" or what their "goal" is. But does it really matter? It's highly experimental, simultaneously thick and sparse, and I'd give Manifest Destroy (Slow Destiny) a solid recommendation. If you can find a copy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Circusbreaker - Objective Facts Concering Destruction

Circusbreaker - City Connection

In my never-ending search for cool blogs, I found OngakuBaka, which happens to have pretty good taste in music and updates frequently (a rare thing, let me tell you). The writers, Dan and Steve, seem like regular dudes like me. Guys who listen to lots of music and like to write about it. But then there was a post about Circusbreaker and it turns out that's the name Dan records under. So a guy who writes for a blog I read makes music. Cool. The thing is, it's not shitty music. It's not even just halfway decent music. It's actually really fucking good. And I say that not because I was expecting it to be bad, but just because it came out of nowhere and took me completely by surprise.

Objective Facts Concerning Destruction would give a regular person a fucking migraine. It's loud-as-shit glitchy electronic dance noise. To start, think about "Total Recovery Is Possible" by Kid606. That song is genius because it starts out all crazy and chaotic and free-form, but then he slides this beat in and before you know it, it's the number 1 dance jam in America. So Circusbreaker makes music like that except he mixes in a ton of Lightning Bolt, Wolf Eyes, and Dev/Null.

"Each track is inspired by my favorite and most-played NES games of my childhood, and my current noisy interpretation of their gameplay." I'd say this is more along the lines of Millipede-type inspiration as opposed to The Advantage-type inspiration. Not much on here sounds inherently video-gamey, with the exception of being electronic based. Not that that's a problem. As with Millipede, just knowing that what I'm listening to was inspired by, say, Micro Machines or Bubble Bobble, is enough for me.

I've been listening to Objective Facts almost non stop since I downloaded it and it gets better with each listen. It satisfies so many moods at the same time. I get my glitch, noise, and dance fix all at once. And the best part? It's free!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Built By Snow - MEGA

Built By Snow - Implode Alright

Built By Snow - Invaders

Built By Snow make sweet sweet indie pop that makes me wish I wore glasses. They're the geek rock stars that are super cool. So cool, that their press kit is in 3D, glasses included! I totally wanna be their friends.

MEGA is a short but super dense record that's ridiculously catchy. Tons of fun electronics, keyboards, hand claps, the works. Imagine if Weezer made more electronic sounding music. Or a dudier and nerdier Matt & Kim. It's not the most unique sound in the world but it's no less fantastic and Built By Snow do it really well.

This is another one of those records that just makes me really happy whenever it's on. It's full of energy and it's light-hearted. Nothing on the album is too serious, even when some of the songs are about girls. They're able to write dorky love songs while incorporating lyrics about math, science, and video games. It's like twee-pop nerdcore. And that's just awesome.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Video: Hawnay Troof - Out Of Teen

Oakland's Hawnay Troof kick out some 8-bit electro jams chock full of crunchy punky synth. And maybe I'm just a sucker for the delicious 8-bit bleeps but I am definitely digging this song. The video has that foggy '60s look to it, even though you can clearly see a plastic knife wrapped in more plastic and you know those didn't get invented until like 1998 or something. But hey, I won't argue with Troof 'cause apparently they got no rules.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Neptune, Parts & Labor, Big Bear, Thief Thief at The Middle East Upstairs

Big Bear


Parts & Labor

Thief Thief

I've seen Neptune, Parts & Labor, and Big Bear play shows with each other in various combinations but this is the first time all 3 of them have played at once. Is it even possible that this show could have been any better? No. Well, yes, but I'm pretty sure that would just make me greedy.

First surprise of the night: My two friends who I thought weren't going to be there showed up. And that was cool. If there's anything we've learned from Into The Wild, it's that it's better to share experiences.

Thief Thief opened up with their fucking tight as shit math rock. Totally awesome. Thief Thief were one of the only ways the night could have been ruined. If they sucked, it could have put me in a bad mood. Fortunately, they were entirely worthy of playing a show with 3 of the best bands ever.

Big Bear came on with their still-new-to-me lineup with a different drummer and a keyboardist who replaced their second guitarist. Jordyn had her necessary thigh pad for intense tambourine smashing and after the obligatory excessive tuning, they tore the place up. All technically "new" songs but only because they haven't put out a record in over 3 years. One song actually was new, though. #23. Hadn't heard that one before but it's fucking badass and I hope it makes it onto the new album. Sadly, the banter was slightly sub par supposedly due to Jordyn's lack of caffeine. Hey, whatever. As long as you make my ears bleed, I'm a happy customer.

I think I was most looking forward to Parts & Labor as I've only seen them 4 times (as opposed to the dozens of times I've seen Big Bear and Neptune) and the fact that they were the only band playing that night that had put out a new record since I'd last seen them. Their newest album Receivers made my year end top 10 list and I was stoked to hear some of it live. Also, they morphed from a trio to a quartet and I was curious to see if that changed anything in their live show. Hardly. They were as awesome as ever and certainly didn't disappoint. Lots of new material was played, as well as some good ol' classics. They also played "an old song," something that had the word "Devil" in the name, I think. Couldn't find any info about it online but I assure you it was a fantastic song.

Here's where I thought the show could be just a bit better. In between sets, they were playing Big Business and I thought, "Hey, they should've played this show too." Only then could it have been better. But like I said, that's just asking a little bit too much.

Neptune played last, played a set consisting almost entirely of material from Gong Lake, and everyone loved them. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing some new stuff from them. The past 3 or 4 times I've seen them they've played the same songs. Fucking amazing songs, but always the same fucking amazing songs. So, yeah. They rock, I love them, I just want more.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Staples: The Double - Loose In The Air

The Double - Up All Night

Staples is a feature about, you guessed it, staples in my music diet. Albums that no matter how (im)perfect they are, or how old or new they are, I always come back to them because they're that awesome.

I saw The Double open for Pretty Girls Make Graves a few years back and was totally blown away. It's not very often that an "opening" band can do something like that but The Double is pretty special. I picked up Loose In The Air that night and it's never left my side since.

The Double is a dark band. Dark and scary. Their songs have a very abrasive, rusty-metal-scraping-concrete quality to them. But they're bizarrely poppy, too. There are songs on Loose In The Air that are pretty light-hearted, catchy, and even dancey but there's always this menacing feedback lurking behind each one that throws you for a loop. And then there's the organ/synth thing that gives all of it a wicked '60s vibe. It's the weirdest fucking thing but so completely amazing.

Each song is entirely different from each other. From the wall of sound on the opening "Up All Night" and the creepy lullaby of "On Our Way" to the atonal "What Sound It Makes The Thunder" and straightforward booty shaking on "Dance." It all fits together thematically while at the same time being so diverse. A truly unique band with an unparalleled vision. It's just a shame they haven't done anything in 3+ years. They recorded a few new songs in August but no updates since then. Come on dudes, you're leaving me hanging.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bronson - Waste Creeps

Bronson - Rocket Launcher

It's a pretty simple premise. Charles Bronson played Paul Kersey in the movie Death Wish. Then some guy who can do a mostly terrible impression of Bronson as Paul Kersey decides to make a record. As Paul Kersey. The confusing part to me is that the "band" is Bronson, the actor, but everything on Waste Creeps is clearly about Kersey in Death Wish.

Waste Creeps is easily one of the weirdest records I own. Not only is the concept strange but the music itself is fucking off the wall. It's some kinda punk but intentionally played poorly. And Bronson doesn't sing. It's more like spoken word. About creeps. And wasting them. It's filled with lyrics like "There's only so much I can do. I can't kill every creep. Though I'd like to." and song titles like "Punk Rock Creeps," "What Do You Do When Your Son Is A Creep," and "Beaurocratic Rat Fuck."

I'm not quite sure if I'd label this as a novelty record or not. I mean, sometimes it's hilarious and fucking awful (musically) but then a song like "Rocket Launcher" comes on and it's all dirgey and rocking and I think to myself, maybe this is really good stuff. But I can never decide. Maybe I'm over-thinking it. Just take it at face value.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Julian Koster In A Mansion

Photo: Ground Control Touring

Julian Koster - Jingle Bells (from The Singing Saw At Christmastime)

Funny story. My friend somehow got Julian Koster (of Neutral Milk Hotel, The Music Tapes, etc) to come over his place and play some Christmas carols last night. To make this as unconfusing as possible, my friend lives with his roommate on a state park that houses a mansion, which they have access to. Julian is doing a Caroling Tour where pretty much anyone can write him a letter and ask him to come play his singing saw. So my friend wrote him. And he came.

There was only about 8-10 of us there due to last minute rescheduling. Julian and his friend Neil knocked on the door at about 8:30, came inside, and we all did the introduction thing. We poured ourselves some hot chocolate, egg nog, and red wine, bundled up and headed over to the mansion.

We set up some chairs while Julian tuned his banjo and then he went right into this story about how Sylvester Stallone used to be a violin prodigy at 8 years old. Eventually, a song he wrote ended up being found in a hat at a thrift store by Ella Fitzgerald, who then popularized the song. Now, this story is completely fabricated (very well, I might add) and I had no reason to suspect that Julian Koster would lie to me. That, and the unfathomably surreal situation of me watching Julian Koster perform Christmas carols on a singing saw in a mansion made me not question his story even for a second. Turns out he was just setting the mood and my friends thought it was pretty funny that I believed him.

He played a few carols on the saw and he played a few Music Tapes songs on the banjo and finished off with a song on his tiny Magnus organ. It was a fantastic night, one that I'm likely never to experience again. Luckily, I videotaped the whole performance for your viewing pleasure. They only asked that I not put it online until the 17th. So wait a week and I'll give you all an early Christmas present.

Oh, and if you're hosting Julian and Neil sometime soon, Julian is a fan of cookies and Neil is really into cheese. Make sure you have some handy. They'll appreciate it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Doctor Octoroc - 8-Bit Jesus

Doctor Octoroc - The Legend Of Noel

What's that you say? It's December and you're still not in the Christmas spirit? What's the matter with you!? Oh, I know. You don't have the proper holiday tunes to get you in the mood. Well, I have just the antidote!

Well, actually Doctor Octoroc is the one providing the remedy. 8-Bit Jesus is the first half of the forthcoming full length of the same name and it's exactly what you need. It's 8-bit Christmas music, with each song paying homage to a different video game. Doc Oc does an amazing job of making the songs sound like the traditional carols while still evoking that uniqueness of the games of Christmas past.

While 8-Bit Jesus is fun and all, it unfortunately feels a little too gimmicky. I mean, I know I'll never listen to this after the 25th. It doesn't have much staying power. But I guess with a name like 8-Bit Jesus you shouldn't really expect too much. Quick, go download it before 2009! Don't worry, it's free (for now).

Monday, December 8, 2008

Soplerfo - EP For Dogs

Soplerfo - Tame Nodes

Soplerfo is Sam Brelsfoard, a musician from Medford, MA (local flava!) and EP For Dogs was originally a 3" CD-R, repressed on 12" vinyl with a couple added tracks (including a Hrvatski remix). Right now, it's available digitally for free from Soplerfo's website along with a few other freebies.

For reasons I'm unaware of, Soplerfo's music is really difficult for me to describe. Maybe it's just the nature of his music. If you had to pigeonhole it, you could probably call it ambient electronic because it's quiet and, umm, electronic. It's pretty experimental with lots of laptop glitchiness but never to the point of breakcore. Oooo, that just made me think of ambient breakcore. Shit, I need to hear some of that. If it doesn't exist already, it should.

Anyway, this is really good stuff. I know there's tons of ambient electronic music floating around out there but this is special. Soplerfo is a unique craftsman and worthy of (at the very least) a thorough listening. If you're interested, there are still a couple copies of the 12" available at various online retailers (Mimaroglu!).

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Come see my wife and I at Baz Biz today selling her stuff. Argyle Whale FTW!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Video: Softboiled Eggies - So High

Band name = awful and disgusting. seriously, wtf.
MySpace quote = even grosser
Video = kinda fun
Song = nice and catchy
Sounds like = a happier shoegazier Joy Division fronted by a girl
Stop motion animation of girl eating rose petals = pretty cool actually

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sun Circle - Sun Circle

Sun Circle - 1

Good God how have I not written about this yet? I was going to listen to a new Suishou No Fune record that I picked up recently and passed by Sun Circle. I immediately did a search on my blog for Sun Circle and saw that somehow this record slipped by. I have no idea how that happened because this CD is bitchin'.

Sun Circle is Greg Davis and Zach Wallace, two guys who really know how to get their drone on. Wallace is the guy who did that wine glass armonica tape that I reviewed a while back and Davis is most known (to me) as the guy who collaborated with Keith Fullerton Whitman on Yearlong and who contributed to Project Bicycle. But as cool as it is that these two dudes got together to make some tunes, who they are is completely irrelevant to the sheer fantasticness of the resulting music.

Sun Circle is a limited edition (100 copies) CD-R put out by Lichen Records (sold out) of uuuuh-MAZE-ing drone. The first track has a humming organ as the bedrock with Wallace and Davis howling and chanting like some freaky cult. Their voices blend with the organ until you can't tell the two apart. What may only be 4 or 5 layers of sound end up sounding like an entire chorus in an enormous cathedral. It's utterly hypnotic and I love every minute of it.

The second track is a bit more dynamic and no less impressive. It's super sparse chimes and bells that grows and extends every repetition. At first, there might be a group of chimes and 1 bell but they keep adding just a bit more every...umm...strum? So by the end of the song there's a whole bunch of chimes and bells that echo for a little while. Yeah, that makes no sense at all but it's hard to describe. Go listen to some of it on their MySpace if you want to.

If this is really your kinda thing and your little collector heart is crying, fear not. There is an LP re-issue on the way. I don't know who'll be putting it out but if you befriend Sun Circle on MySpace, I'm sure you'll be one of the first to know.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Scuzzz Rock

Seems to be the thing everyone's into nowadays. Obviously there's No Age and Abe Vigoda and all those other bands who hail from California but I'm goin' even deeper with the scuz. I'm talking about the bands where calling them lo-fi is an understatement. Where the fuzz and reverb totally obscures everything else. Vocals are barely distinguishable from the guitars or anything else. It all smears together into one blown out rock fest. And I gotta admit, it's pretty fun.

Wavves - Wavves (from Wavves)

Wavves has been making lots of waves in ze bloogs lately. LOL. Sorry. I had to. Anyway, they had a 7" that sold out instantly and then a tape that was out of print quicker than you can say hipster music nerd. The tape was self titled (fine) but sadly the best song is also self titled (now you're just being a douche bag). So, disregarding the triple dose of extra letters, "Wavves" is a totally awesome song. It's like Zach Hill doing a cover of the Smurfs theme but completely drenched in reverb. It's the fucking best.

Ty Segall - Pretty Baby (You're So Ugly) (from Ty Segall)

Ty Segall is another dude from California (surprise) with super catchy lo-fi punk psychedlic garage rock. And...uh, it's good. He has a cool album cover.

Mayyors - Airplanes (from Megan's LOLZ)

There is almost zero information about Mayyors (wtf chill out with extra letters) on the internets. They don't have a web site or MySpace page, they don't do MP3s, promotions, interviews, nothin'. They have two 7"s, Megan's LOLZ and Marines Dot Com LP, and they're both pretty cool. They're a bit more punk than the rest of these bands but no less scuzzy. They also seem to be doing more of their own thing and less like following some hip trend. Aaaaand they also have a super awesome album cover.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Video: Tobacco - Truck Sweat

Tobacco (main dude from Black Moth Super Rainbow) released a solo album that is just as good if not better than BMSR's stuff. It's called Fucked Up Friends and it sounds like if BMSR made a hip-hop or dance album. It's fucking awesome. "Truck Sweat" is the second track off the album and the video is toooootally weird. Definitely contender for Video Of The Year. But, uh, it's kinda NSFW. That is, if your work doesn't allow dildos to be used as microphones.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Obligatory Top 10 List

I'm going to act like I have to make a Top 10 list at the end of the year because this is a music blog and that's what music blogs do. I'll say that I'm doing this begrudgingly only because people love to read lists and it'll get lots of hits. You see, I don't really have an option at this point. It's fucking mandatory. But in reality, I love making lists and telling people what my favorite things are. So here they are. My top picks from 2008. (Disclaimer: Marijn came out in '07 but I bought it in '08 so screw you.)

10. Usputuspud - Disco (original review)
Usputuspud - Cherished Wig

A wonderfully dancey droney tape, easily the best tape in my collection.

9. Parts & Labor - Receivers (original review)
Parts & Labor - Wedding In A Wasteland

When one of my favoritest bands comes out with a new album, you can bet your ass it'll be on my Top 10 list.

8. The Mausoleums - Blackened Fawns Cleanse The Earth With Fire (original review)
The Mausoleums - The One Who Sees

Super blown out pop metal makes me weak in the knees.

7. Torche - Meanderthal (never reviewed it for some reason, but I did talk about their live show)
Torche - Grenades

I was a little late to the Torche parade. I didn't like 'em the first few times I heard them. I don't know what happened but something clicked and I fell in love with Meanderthal.

6. Prurient - And Still, Wanting (original review)
Prurient - Memory Repeating

At the moment, this is hands down my favorite noise/power electronics record. It's so fucking intense I can barely stand it.

5. Fricara Pacchu - Midnight Pyre (original review)
Fricara Pacchu - Possessed By Possibilities

Easily the weirdest record on this list and possibly the weirdest thing I've heard all year. Those crazy Finlanders sure know how to make good music.

4. Belong - Same Places (Slow Version) (original review)
Belong - Same Places (Slow Version)

Seriously, whenever Belong puts a record out, I will be right at the front of the line worshiping it.

3. Machinefabriek - Marijn (original review)
Machinefabriek - Somerset

This is the first record I've heard from the uber-prolific Machinefabriek and I have a hard time believing he'll ever put out anything better than this. It's a goddamn masterpiece.

2. A Faulty Chromosome - As An Ex-Anorexic's Six Sicks Exit,... (original review)
A Faulty Chromosome - Jackie O

This was sooooo close to being number one record of the year for me. It's one of the oldest records on the list and it still gets played more than any of the others. I am completely in love with A Faulty Chromosome.

1. Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing (original review)
Fuck Buttons - Colours Move

I called it. All the way back in March I knew this would be my favorite record of 2008. I said "This is so so so easily the best record of the year. I can't imagine anything else coming out that can top this. And my imagination is pretty good." Surprisingly, I was right.

Close calls:
Yoshi Wada - Lament For The Rise And Fall Of The Elephantine Crocodile
Mates Of State - Re-Arrange Us (this, along with M83's Saturdays=Youth were my top 2 most played albums)
Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles
Dan Friel - Ghost Town
Njiqahdda - Nji. Njiin. Njiiin.
Lawrence English - Kiri No Oto
Dev/Null - Necrobestial Sadobreaks

Now, just because you hate my list doesn't mean you should hate me too. Lets try not to start any fights just because there's no Animal Collective on here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

MP3: Wixel - Zaventem

Wixel - Zaventem (from Heart)

Indietronics? That's a new one on me. Regardless, it's pretty fitting for the Belgian Wixel. They're indie (both in terms of genre and how popular they are) and they use lots of electronics. So there ya go. Indietronics. "Zaventem" sounds like it could be a side project of The Album Leaf with the whole piano/electronics thing. But there's also hints of Fennesz, Explosions, and some Xiu Xiu as well. Not a bad combo. So here you have a song that is super chill and beautiful with a little noisiness but still something that I have a hard time distancing from The Album Leaf. It's really good but TAL is really good too. I'd say Wixel is perfect for those days when you've played through all your favorite Album Leaf records and are still jonesin for more.