Saturday, February 28, 2009
Need New Body - Brite Tha' Day
I mentioned Need New Body when I compared them to Pizza in my last post and I realized it's been way too long since I listened to them. This song, "Brite Tha' Day" is the first track on their third album Where's Black Ben? God damn, these guys are so strange. The label "beardo wierdcore" is pretty appropriate in this case. I saw them at CMJ a few years back in the basement of some club and without going in to too many details, it was easily one of the most awkward and uncomfortable shows I've ever been to. The music was pretty fun but shit that was a crazy night. This is one of those songs that gets stuck in my head quite a lot for no particular reason. It's so fucking bad and awesome and catchy. Maybe I've just cursed you and you'll forever sing this song where ever you go.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Pizza - Newton
It's been a while since I wrote about some pop oriented stuff and I just picked up this Pizza record so I figured hey, why not. It's good, therefore you should know about it.
Pizza is Allen and, uh, Princess Nicotine (Nicole). Sunsets Suck is their wicked short debut CD-R with handwritten liner notes and some really cheesy cover art. It's super charming weirdo pop, like a less artsy/more girly Need New Body. "Mamaskool" especially reminds me of NNB with the half rapping/half singing and bloopy synth.
Sunsets Suck is all over the place, mixing off kilter childishness with catchy melodies and danceable beats. And it makes for a really great combination. There's something so fantastic when you put silly lyrics and titles together with upbeat pop, especially in such a bizarrely awesome way as Pizza does. If you name your band my favorite food and make an album called Sunsets Suck with a song on it called "Dinosaurs," I really don't give a damn what kind of music you make. You're already cool.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I went to this show having not heard any music by any of the performers beforehand. But I had heard plenty about ID M Theftable and the Lord & Karlheinz duo, not to mention that fact that Semata Productions hardly ever puts on a bad show so I knew the likelihood of an epic night was pretty fucking high.
This show could be likened to the month of March in reverse. In like a lamb, out like a lion. The Jajuno Trio (James Coleman on Theremin, Jules Vasylenko saxin' it up, and Noell Dorsey "singing") started things off with a whisper, literally. Noell was audibly breathing, Jules looked like he was working on the saxophone but I couldn't necessarily hear anything, and Coleman was being very delicate with his Theremin. Super minimal, super quiet, and super awesome. At first, everything they played kind of melted together so you couldn't discern one instrument from the other. And I love shit like that. Is that coming from the sax or the Theremin? Who knows, man!
Although billed to go on last, Audrey Chen & ID M Theftable played right after Jajuno Trio and it was definitely my favorite set that night. Chen played her cello with some added electronics and Theftable stayed mostly on the electronic side of things. Pretty straightforward. Except when they opened their mouths. Both Chen & Theftable conjured some of the fucking craziest sounds to ever come from humans. I would not have been surprised to be told those noises came from shrieking cats, moaning monks, evil demons, pissed off gorillas, ancient witches, or anything else. It was completely off the wall and totally fucking amazing. I loved every second of it. The best part was how well they improvised together. It seemed like they knew exactly what the other was about to do and everything sounded so perfect. I've seen a lot of live collaborative improvisations but these two are easily the best. It couldn't have been better if it was planned.
Then Lord & Karlheinz came on and it sounds like it should be pretty easy to describe. Power electronics with live drums. Done. But this shit was so much better than that. Karlheinz looked so fucking angry the whole time and Lord was whooping and smiling and having the time of his life. Complete opposites, these guys. But totally amazing. And there was really dramatic lighting that made everything look wicked cool. At the end of the set, Karlheinz grabbed all two racks of pedals and electronics and just fucking smashed it into the ground. Total badass.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I just received Eluvium's Life Through Bombardment in the mail yesterday and it is fucking gorgeous. It's a 7xLP boxset, with each record housed in an individual page. From the Temporary Residence site, "The seven jackets are then bound into a beautiful dark green hardbound, linen-cover book, with metallic gold foil stamping and embossed text on the spine, and a beautiful full-color print embossed into the front cover." So, yeah. This is epic.
I saw that this set contained "a bunch of rare and unreleased non-album tracks" and I'd like to clear up any confusion people might have about this. Life Through Bombardment puts Lambent Material, An Accidental Memory In The Case Of Death, Talk Amongst The Trees, When I Live By The Garden And The Sea, and Copia all on vinyl for the first time. So, by "a bunch", they mean 5 extra tracks. And as far as the "unreleased" bit goes, every single song on here has been released in some form before.
At the end of the Talk Amongst The Trees record (side H), there is a track called "Swallows In The Bath." This is probably the rarest song in the boxset, because it was only available on a limited edition compilation from Keepsake Records (Keepsake Volume 1), which may or may not even be around anymore.
Then on the back of When I Live By The Garden And The Sea (side J), there's the other 4 rare tracks. 3 untitled songs (one each for piano, orchestra, and Rhodes & tape) that were only found on the Australian release called Indecipherable Text, which was a 2-disc set containing those 3 tracks plus Lambent Material and Talk Amongst The Trees (neither of which were available in Australia before that came out).
And finally, you have "Carousel" which was on the 100th Temporary Residence release, a compilation called Thankful.
Not that I'm complaining (because I'm definitely not) but I would not consider these "rare" tracks all that rare, nor would I consider this collecting (according to TR) "virtually every Eluvium song ever released." The two notable exclusions are Travels In Constants (Vol. 20) and the split with Jesu. There's also a bunch of various remixes that could have been put on too for comprehensiveness but that might be stretching it.
But, if you're an Eluvium fan, this is a must. You might already have everything that this comes with, but you don't have it on vinyl. And that's what this is about. Sexy, black vinyl, packaged in a hardbound book. Hell yes.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The other day I went up to Portsmouth, NH with my family for my birthday. We just kinda walked around, enjoyed the place, ate at Friendly Toast, you know the drill. And seeing how it was my birthday, I dragged them into this not so little record store called Bull Moose Music.
Wow. You need to go here.
It's big. Definitely not your average used record shop on the corner. And they sell tons of stuff. Their metal section was pretty admirable (one of the first sections when you walk in) and they actually had an experimental section. Sweet! They do the mixed new/used thing so you don't have to go back and forth to see if they have a specific record you're looking for. I didn't get a good chance to look through, but it seemed like they had a decent vinyl selection, too, with plenty of new stuff and even a special little section for 10"s. Oh, and their price labels come off nice and easy, leaving no residue. That is a fucking plus and a half.
And they actually had a vault. Like, one you keep reeeeeally special stuff in. I bet there's boxes of rare shit I've never heard of like super limited signed copies of some tour only split 7" with Stars Of The Lid and Fennesz. And then they throw wicked secret parties in there where you get to hang out with Zach Hill, Andre Benjamin, and Wayne Coyne. I mean, what else do you do with a vault in a record store?
I was able to pick up a few CDs before my family rushed me out of there. I found used copies of Khanate's Capture & Release and Larval's Predator Or Prey. And I got the motherfuckin deal of the century when I found one of 500 copies of Brendan Murray's Commonwealth with the cardboard sleeve for $3.98. LESS THAN FOUR DOLLARS FOR THAT BITCH. Go to Bull Moose and seek the deals. They shall be had.
Perispirit (no site yet, sorry dudes) is Ricardo Donoso and Luke Moldof, both of whom have various other groups and aliases they use to make music. I saw them for the first time at the last Intransitive show and they were selling this debut double tape at that show. As of now, it's their only recording. And it's pretty fucking epic.
These two guys are all about the drone. Seriously, Forced-Choice Test is 80 minutes worth of amazing drone. Perispirit are able to masterfully perform on both ends of the drone volume spectrum. Some of the tracks dabble in the more easy-going, minimal drifting drone and those are really, really good. They are absolutely beautiful, filled with sweet and dreamy tones that sound like heaven. Each of them create a specific mood and they help to balance out the heavier songs.
I can't get enough of thick rumbling low notes, the kind that rattle your guts and shake your whole body and Perispirit have got major power droning skills. When I saw them live, I said in my review, "It felt like I was being punched in the throat. It's the kind of noise that leaves your body numb afterwards from vibrating so much." Sadly, due to the fact that my speakers are a couple of pussies, I can't quite recreate that same throat punching experience even with songs that I know would just destroy live. The best I can do is crank this shit up real loud and sit on the washing machine during the spin cycle. Maybe if you have a sound system that's more badass than mine, you can get the full effect. Either way, you should go see Perispirit live and buy this tape because how else are you going to know what it's like to get punched in the throat and like it?
Monday, February 23, 2009
Light - When The Flood Waters Come Rushing In
But there’s something that’s telling me this isn’t your momma’s black metal. Maybe it’s more like gray metal.
Full review on diskant.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Do you like things that are supposed to be scary but are actually cute? Do you like hallucinogenic drug trips (the good kind)? Do you like lo-fi psych folk pop? Then by all means watch the video for "1973" by Tahiti Boy & The Palmtree Family. It looks like a modern day Sid & Marty Krofft directed it.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
You may remember the WYLD WYZRDZ (Braden McKenna) from when I reviewed his then latest record, We Are Everyone in September. But then again, that was about 6 months ago so I'm not gonna fault you if your mind is like a sieve. Not everyone can a memory as fucking ridiculously encyclopedic as mine.*
I described We Are Everyone as a noise/drone record and it certainly was but Light Upon Light finds Mr. WYZRDZ laying the pop on real thick. It's jangly and psychedelic with lots of lyrics that make this a lot more song oriented than tracks like the 20 minute epic "I Am Ocean" found on We Are Everyone. And hearing this record has lead me to a theory I developed...
There's this scene going on here in the Boston area that I thought might be self contained within this city of ours. It's one that involves bands like Guatemala City, Many Mansions, Turtle Ambulance, Truman Peyote, and quite a few others. They all seem to have a similar sound that's based on beat oriented raga psych drone. Or something like that. Anyway, when I heard Light Upon Light, that was the first thing that came to my mind. Not that I thought it was impossible for this to be more than just a local trend, but hearing a record come out of Utah with such a similar sound made me do a double take.
So there's your RIYLs. And throw in some Wolf Parade, too, because McKenna's vocals kinda remind me of one of those Paraders (can never get the two of them straight). But to balance out the blatant pop of Light Upon Light, McKenna mixed in some floating ambient tracks to better tie in his history as a drone man and what you end up with is a fucking grade A crowd pleaser.
Light Upon Light is another really great album from McKenna. This WYZRDZ guy isn't intent on letting things get too boring and the new sound he's got is pushing all the right buttons. And one person projects make me weak in the knees so there's always that. Oh, and did I mention it's free? Yeah, like totally free. Download this shit ASAP along with the rest of the McKenna's stuff as both WYLD WYZRDZ and Navigator or any of the other ridiculously cool freeness at Magic Goat.
*there are no such things as encyclopedic memories
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Usputuspud - Tanja Jack Track
Last year I jizzed in my pants when I heard Usputuspud's Disco tape. And ever since, I've been jizzing my pants every time I hear it. Now it looks like I'll be jizzing my pants twice as much because Usputuspud's released a new tape.
Live In The Shit was recorded live (presumably in the shit) and it's every bit as good as Disco. It's super lo-fi warbly dance drone. Maybe Live is a bit less dancey than Disco was but I guess that makes sense. It's not like this one was called Groove or anything.
The A side, "Summer Of 83 Really," is heavy on the shimmery drone with a beat only showing up about 7 minutes in. And even then it's not like it's a real dance jam or anything, it just has this dense throbbing that escalates as the music gets thicker and louder. It's fucking awesome. But the B side is even better.
Flip the tape over and you're treated to some sweet harmonicas fading and echoing. After drifting around for a while, a quiet beat sneaks in and before you know it, you're bobbing your head while a simultaneously light and murky drone fills your mind and it grows and grows. You're surrounded by this overflowing, impenetrable beauty and you don't know if you want to start dancing or chill and ride it out. I honestly don't think I could love this any more.
Sometimes you hear some music and you think it is so perfect that it must have been made for you or something. I kind of feel that way about Fuck Buttons, Belong, and most certainly Usputuspud. It's exactly what I want in music and I seriously can't get enough of it. I'd love to have this permanently playing wherever I go.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Pulse Emitter - 1
I've never heard of either Grasslung or Pulse Emitter but when I read "pure analog synth" there wasn't much I could do to resist. And why would I even try? I'm a sucker for analog synths, especially of the drone variety, and this split's just what I needed (just what I needed).
I don't think I've ever seen a split titled one way (Grasslung / Pulse Emitter) and have the tracks sequenced in the opposite way (Pulse Emitter first, Grasslung second). For whatever reason, that's the route they chose for this. Kinda confusing. Maybe it's their way of sharing the fame.
Pulse Emitter's 13 minute synth piece is slow moving and spacey. It could easily be found in a scene to some forgotten '80s sci-fi movie where the main character is drifting through the emptiness in his space pod, twiddling knobs every now and then but mostly just letting the auto pilot guide him along to Planet Zortelk. Total headphone material. I could listen to this track over and over again just lying down on my couch for days and it would feel like no time had passed. It's that awesome.
Grasslung takes on the other 2 tracks, neither of which are quite as long as Pulse Emitter's. They still spill out all over the place, though, with that unmistakable synth sprawl. Grasslung's approach, though, is a bit darker and noisier. "2" sounds like giant iron bells being pounded with a soft rubber mallet whose echo mimics an air raid siren while a swarm of beetles buzz around your head. So yeah, not quite as relaxing as that Pulse Emitter track but just as fantastic.
The packaging on this split is absolutely gorgeous, too. A die cut bi-fold panel with an inner print of something that Gustav Dore could have done and a textured sleeve to hold the pro-printed CD-R. Very clean and old fashioned. And, of course, limited to 200 sold out copies.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The second single off of Fever Ray's endlessly relistenable self titled album finds itself a new home in video form. "When I Grow Up" may not have all the mystery as it's older video sibling, but it's still pretty fucking weird. Some young freak folk conjures the water spirits with a creepy dance and, obviously, there's some gross perv who's hypnotized by her ways. But lets be honest here. If I saw that girl wearing those, uh, "clothes" and grooving on the diving board to my backyard pool, I'd find it pretty hard not to stare.
Monday, February 16, 2009
This show was special for a number of reasons but the primary one was seeing a godawful band right before Big Bear. I don't think that's ever really happened before and I was looking forward to having Big Bear sound so good after torturing myself for 30 minutes.
So My Stupid Friends were the first band and they have me completely fucking baffled. They are absolutely terrible. But, they "know" they're bad and they act all silly about it. For example, they all have matching costumes, sing songs called "Jose" with lyrics like "Jose can you see," and frequently joke about how bad they are. It's one thing to be a funny joke band and be bad but... I don't think that's what these guys are doing. I think they think they're bad in a different way then I think they're bad. And, obviously, they're bad. Like actually bad. As my friend put it, "This is like some Andy Kaufman level shit." They finished their set with a disgusting cover of "Macho Man" and I proceeded to vomit all over the empty floor.
Then Big Bear came on and I'm pretty sure that my friends and I were the only ones there who actually liked them. After their first song a guy way in the back yelled "What the fuck was that!?" I'm pretty sure he wasn't trying to complement them but hey, ya never know. This wasn't the best I've ever seen Big Bear play, so the dramatic contrast between them and My Stupid Friends wasn't quite as dramatic as I was hoping for but there's no such thing as a bad Big Bear show. I've never been disappointed in a Big Bear show; they always deliver and tonight was no different. Also, this marks the first time since their lineup change that I've heard them play a song from their first album. I can't for the life of me remember which song it was, though. Maybe #6? Whatever it was, it was great to hear one of the classics, especially revamped with a keyboard replacing the second guitar and Jordyn singing instead of screaming. And I discovered that Joel is a "math enthusiast."
Warship was up next and they are the most fucking deceptive band I've ever heard. This is a mostly metal show and their name is Warship and their logo is super metal. They weren't metal. Like, at all. Pelican is 10 times more metal than them. Goblin Cock is 100 times more metal than them. Warship is borderline emo. So they get the award for biggest letdown of the night. They weren't so much bad as disappointing. Ah well. Onto the goblin cocks.
Ohhhhh Goblin Cock. I wonder which came first to Rob Crow, the idea of making a metal band or the name Goblin Cock. My guess is the latter. I mean come on, you hear that name and you instantly think of the nastiest most brutal fucking metal ever. Which is exactly what Goblin Cock and their stage looked like. They came out cloaked in black robes with a few skulls strewn about the stage and strobe lights aplenty. Which is hilarious. Because Goblin Cock basically sounds like Rob Crow watched This Is Spinal Tap and wanted to join in on the fun. Aside from some chugging here and there, Goblin Cock is not metal. But that's part of the fun. At one point, Crow mentioned something about how one of their songs was about"caring" and someone started chastising them for not being metal to which Rob replied, "Caring is too metal." Yeah, so is covering Tears For Fears' "Head Over Heels" (which was awesome, by the way). To their defense, the head on the guitarist's guitar said "Slut" and Rob Crow wore white face paint. 'Cause they're metal.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I was really excited to see 8 bit shoegazers The Depreciation Guild tonight when they play with super-hyped, big-thing-for-next-2-months The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart at The Middle East tonight. But you know what? I am too goddamn tired to go to that show. 2 shitty nights sleep, waking up early, and two long days of work make me have almost zero desire to go out tonight. So instead, I present to you the at least year old creepy ass video for The Depreciation Guild's "Nautilus" which can be found on both their free Nautilus EP (download here) and their free full length, In Her Gentle Jaws (download on their website).
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I love Tim Fite. He's always got something up his sleeve. He did two free Halloween albums in the past (which I have for your downloading pleasure here) and just when you think he's got in a groove, he goes and changes everything up by releasing a free EP on another holiday entirely. Fucking genius I tell you. Anyway, grab it now, grab it quick, 'cause it won't be there long.
Oh, and by the way, he just happens to be stopping by here in Boston this coming Thursday the 19th at TT The Bears. That's the day before my birthday and you can bet your sweet ass I'll be there. Come give me a present and maybe I'll buy you a drink.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
In honor of the recent news that Mr. Max Tundra will be joining senors Junior Boys here in Boston at The Middle East on May 8th, I thought I'd share the (only?) video for a song off of his last record, Parallax Error Beheads You. "Will Get Fooled Again" is a relatively proper introduction to Tundra, if you need one, as it showcases his glitchy, accessibly off-kilter pop. The video is bizarre, surreal, and, at times, kinda gross. But it's also hilarious. And weird. Fucking Christ just watch it already.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Hot Lava is no stranger to AGB. I shared their glorious "Brainex" video and "Mummy Beach" was given the Catch Of The Week treatment. So my love for them should be quite obvious by now. But whatever love I had, multiply that by a zillion because I just saw this fan made video for "Blue Dragon" over on The Walrus (where I find all the cool videos). Sheepfold Productions "had a couple days off" and decided to create what they saw as a fitting video for the charming "Blue Dragon." Well, shit. This might be the cutest, most endearing fan made video ever. I think it's best to go in knowing as little as possible. But if you already know the lyrics to the song, then you can probably take a guess as to how adorable this is.
Vladimir Martynov - A-A-A O-O-O Eh-Eh-Eh OO-OO-OO
The remaining songs on Night In Galicia alternate between edgy orchestral string drones and majestic vocal work that brings me to the same place as Yoshi Wada's Lament For The Rise & Fall Of The Elephantine Crocodile. The moods may be dissimilar but the technique and approach are very much alike. And considering how highly I regard Lament, that is one honorable compliment.
Full review on diskant.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Ophibre - A Harem Of Moths
I have a theory. I think the ratio of good to bad tapes is much higher than any other media. I don't really know why, maybe it's because people who put out tapes mean business. They don't fuck around and they know what they're doing. Tapes are special and you can't just put anything on tape (see my Bulbs review for more on that). So due to such a high ratio of awesomeness, I think I need to start reserving phrases like "favorite tape ever" and "best tape in the world" for really special ones. This... this might be one of those tapes.
Ophibre's side of this split is utterly impeccable drone. It kicks up like a some sort of UFO engine. It's got the exact frequency of the engine drone and it's fantastic. As time goes on, though, and you think of the title of the song ("A Harem Of Moths"), you realize that this isn't an engine. No no no, this is the fucking apocalypse. You see, I have a slight aversion to moths. They're hideous, terrifying, and disgusting. And this sound, this song that Ophibre made, is the sound of my nightmares. It's the unbearable and deafening buzz of a riot of moths. But, when all is said and done, I can detach myself from my mottephobia, and enjoy the shit out of "A Harem Of Moths." I mean, you have to. Because it's amazing.
As is the case with many split tapes I seem to find myself getting into, I have no idea who's on the other side. I'm a flat out newcomer to the Hunted Creatures parade. The name doesn't even sound familiar. But again, as with previous split tapes, this guy totally kills. The first song is live and much more dynamic than Ophibre's side. He makes dark and ominous noise with thunderous sporadic beats, followed by far away air raid sirens and gun shots. Talk about some scary shit. I would not want to be wherever this is supposed to be taking place, which is most likely Detroit in 5 years. Creatures' 20 minutes isn't entirely spent attempting to make you duck and cover, though. It's mixed with strange half-pretty drones that fuck with my brain. I'm never quite sure what I'm supposed to be feeling. Needless to say, totally cool.
Just like every other Ophsound release, this one looks gorgeous and probably takes the cake for best packaged tape ever. It's wrapped in white corrugated cardboard and tied with string. The inner side of the cardboard has the liner notes, while inside the plastic case, the tape is wrapped in a see-through vellum with a printed pattern. Totally awesome. This is another five bucker and it's obviously completely worth it, even for the artwork alone. Check out my Flickr for lots of photos of the tape.
Monday, February 9, 2009
The Frogs - Who's Sucking On Grampa's Balls Since Grandma Ain't Home Tonight?
Finally! Someone other than myself recognized how cool I am. Marceline at diskant invited me over to party with them from time to time. That means I'll be writing for one of the coolest music sites on the planet. Here's how it's going to work...
I will continue my regular posting here on Anti-Gravity Bunny. I'll try to write something once or twice a week on diskant and whenever I do, I'll make sure to post a link to it from here. Anything that gets written on diskant will stay on diskant. I'll never do any duplicate posts and I will always alert you when I put something new up over there.
This is one step closer to actually getting paid for what takes up every second of my free time. I'm wicked excited. Diskant is a great site and now you have another place to read my fantastic musings.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Big Bear - 20
Back in August of '07, loud as fuck metal mathy hardcore crazy awesome band Big Bear played a rare all acoustic set due to David (the bassist) fracturing both of his arms in a bike accident. It was amazing and hilarious (the show, not the accident). Amazing because Big Bear is infinitely amazing and hilarious because they all did a shot of Jäger after every other song. So their normally witty stage banter turned into exceptionally ridiculous banter.
The best part of all of this is that now everyone can hear how Big Bear sounds acoustic, what Jordyn sounds like when she's actually singing, and how funny they are live because they posted the whole set as an MP3 on their website.
What I did for you was chop it up into bite size pieces (aka songs) so you don't have to listen to the whole set all at once if you don't want to. I didn't delete any banter or anything, just made 7 individual files, one for each song. This is Big Bear unlike you've ever heard them before and it's one of the coolest things ever. Seriously, even if you're a modest fan of Big Bear, this is absolutely necessary.
Download Big Bear - Live Acoustic Set At The Middle East 8-6-07
Kanin Krusete - Solace
The newest release from one of the newest noise makers to come out of Lowell, MA. Perhaps my favorite part of Kanin Krusete is that the name roughly translates as "Fuzzy Rabbit." That's not a dig at the music by any means, it's just that I'm such a big fan of bunnies. Especially fuzzy ones.
But the music on Black Bile is probably the exact opposite of what any fuzzy bunny would make. It's a spray-painted mini 3" CD-R packed with filthy, disgusting noise. There is absolutely no room for breathing on here. It's thick crumbling static with shrill shrieks and completely obliterated vocals. And even when you'd normally expect a slight refuge, the 3 tracks don't even have any silence between them. If this were a full length, it might not be wise to take it all in in one sitting, otherwise one is bound to go on a killing spree before the record ends.
Black Bile is available on Brise-Cul Records for a measly 5 bucks. You can probably make that just by shaking a can out on the sidewalk for 10 minutes. But if for some reason you're feeling especially cheap (lemme guess... the economy, right?) Mr. Fuzzy Bunny himself is always down for a trade. Just hit him up on MySpace.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Holly Miranda ft. Kyp Malone - Slow Burn Treason
I normally don't post stuff like this. AKA Not very experimental, found on big sites (P4K), etc, etc. But Holly Miranda is special. Very special. Do you see those 3 puppies up there? Only special people get to hang out in bed with 3 puppies.
"Slow Burn Treason" is super haunting and beautiful, evocative of many familiar things but still undeniably distinct. And it helps that two TVOTR dudes contribute their awesomeness. Kyp's falsetto harmonies really up the ante. David Sitek produced the song and the album it'll show up on, The Magicians Private Library giving it his special golden touch. It's really fucking good and I can't wait until Private Library gets it's eventual release sometime this year.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Et Ret - Community
Et Ret - Letting Go Of The Balloon
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.
This was one of those records that I just kinda stumbled on when I was working at WMWM. Gave it a cursory glance, and being the fantastic MD that I was, also gave it a listen like I did most things. From the opening track, I was hooked and knew I had found something incredibly special.
Et Ret is a single guy who focuses on playing the violin, with Gasworks being his only recording. While Gasworks is violin based, I can't quite tell how many other instruments are used. It's definitely not just the violin as there are tracks where the piano and acoustic guitar are easily recognizable. Not that that really matters. So you know what instruments are used. Awesome. That doesn't give you much to go on now, does it?
Gasworks is the ambient/drone record you put on when you need some substance; one that falls in line with the likes of Colleen, The Dirty Three, or Hammock. Most songs have a solid beat that make it easy to get things done instead of melting into your couch. Gasworks is not background music by any means; there are songs with so many mysterious layers that you are rewarded with even a casual listen. Then there are the sparse tracks that showcase Et Ret's mastery of bedroom electronics and guitar plucking.
This is a remarkably gorgeous record. There isn't a single song that is lacking. Everything has it's place in creating an overall cohesiveness while each individual track forms a mood all it's own.
I have a lot of ambient records and admittedly, there are some that get brushed aside as the years pass, despite their greatness. Et Ret's Gasworks is one that has stuck with me and I get the feeling I'll never be able to shake it. It has so much to offer and is ideal for so many situations that it has proven itself worthy as a record that I'll always keep close by.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Jandek - It's Your House
The other First Listen that I did seemed to go pretty well so I thought I'd give it another shot. This time I picked Jandek due to a recent conversation I had with a friend where we talked about just how insane this guy is. And I picked Put My Dream On This Planet because I've heard that it's one of his most difficult records to listen to so I figured why the hell not. At the very least, like Calvin's Dad always said, "It'll build character." It's just over 50 minutes long. I'll do my best to listen to the whole thing in one sitting.
So far so good. Just a guy with a shitty mic singin real slow. Reeeeal slow. "I don't care if I die. I don't even care if I'm in a wheel chair or in a bed unable to move. For all I know it's better than what I did today." Pretty depressing. Something tells me this is pretty stream of consciousness, off the top of his head, and most certainly not planned out. Sounds kinda like some 5 year old talking into his little toy microphone, just going wherever his mind takes him, except that this kid has already lead a rough life.
Jesus, there's still another 45 minutes of this. I hope it picks up because this is already dragging ass. There's no music, no beat, no rhythm, nothing except Jandek being a sad bastard and being extremely vague. Lots of pronouns, you (me?), they (the man?), it (sex?), and it doesn't mean a damn thing to me.
There's not a chance in hell anyone could actually enjoy this music (or lack thereof). I mean, maybe someone would be interested in this from a psychological perspective, but it's hardly entertainment. Jandek seems to be pouring his soul out but I bet he recorded this in one take and didn't do any editing or mixing, in which case even he wouldn't have to listen to it.
Just because some "lyrics" get repeated, does that make it a song? Or music? Or is music like art: in the eye/ear of the beholder?
During the long pauses, I kinda hope that maybe he passed out drunk or that he decided to grab a banjo or something. No luck as of yet.
"Uh. I looove you." Sounded like he was about to into "Wild Thing" for a second. Again, I'm not that lucky.
"I don't need to be conventional." I suppose he has a point...
Alright, first song is done. 28 minutes of that. Is the next any different?
Of course not.
Hey, it actually sounds like there might be some background noise. Is it raining outside? Someone rattling the tin door on his shack in the middle of nowhere? Maybe he's just drifting off the edges of sanity and shaking in his chair banging the legs on the floor.
OK, the end of "It's Your House" is actually pretty funny. He's talking about going outside and maybe seeing an animal, or a bird. I think the more fucked up/drunk/crazy he gets, the funnier he is. Similar to Dan Deacon's "Drinking Out Of Cups" but not nearly as good. Doesn't make the previous 45 minutes worth it by any means but it's still a nice way to finish it off.
It's finally over. I want you all to know that I tortured myself for your pleasure. I guarantee you I had better things to do than listen to this. But you're worth it. Maybe at some point I'll give Jandek another chance, maybe with one of his more "accessible" records.
I normally don't do this, but it's so awful I feel like some of you might be curious as to what the whole thing sounds like. I found this over at Killed In Cars, check it here if you want. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Add the word "gaze" onto any genre and chances are I'll like it. Dead Leaf Echo are part of the 21st century shoegaze Renaissance, making sure we don't have a lack of good "nu-gaze" (grossest name for a genre ever) to enjoy. The video for "Tears" seems to be a mix of the videos for The Jesus & Mary Chain's "Just Like Honey" and Asobi Seksu's "Me & Mary" with everyone wearing black and white and just kinda standing in a big white room playing their stuff with weird projections. I think it was Michel Gondry that said something about no one is ever original and it only matters what you do with it or some bullshit like that. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
Anyway, "Tears" is from Dead Leaf Echo's new album Pale Fire which is out now and is fantastic. You should get it.
Anyway, "Tears" is from Dead Leaf Echo's new album Pale Fire which is out now and is fantastic. You should get it.
Intransitive Recordings (aka Howard Stelzer) know how to put on a good show. He did that New Year's Eve show with Nerve Net Noise, Hive Mind, etc, and last night he gathered some more noise aficionados for a night of scary music.
Ricardo Donoso (of Semata Productions, The Epicureans, etc) and Luke Moldof (of Stillbirth) are Perispirit. They're a somewhat newish band with only one recording under their belt (a double tape called Forced-Choice Test made up specifically for this show, which you can look forward to a review of) but they have got some fucking chops. Due to my uncharacteristic tardiness, I only caught the end of their set. I came in just as all hell was breaking loose. It felt like I was being punched in the throat. It's the kind of noise that leaves your body numb afterwards from vibrating so much. So yeah. That was pretty awesome.
Ashley Paul was up next. HIGH end drone with live sax processing. Very shrill, very intimidating, very cool. Sadly, there were the loudest most inconsiderate dee-bags ever to be found at a noise show all over the goddamn place. Too fucking distracting. Hey guys? If you don't like it, leave. Otherwise, let the rest of the people enjoy what they paid good money for.
Sickness was fucking complete annihilation. Glitch power noise electronics ear shredding fucking violence. Kinda like End's The Sounds Of Disaster meets Prurient. Sickness taped a couple of tiny mics to his throat so he could groan and growl all throughout his set. Spit was dripping from his mouth, the table he set up was shaking so much it was about to collapse, it was terrifying. Do NOT miss this guy if he ever comes your way.
Surprise of the night: Thurston and Mats weren't alone. The two of them were actually joined by Bill Nace on guitar and Chris Corsano on drums. Together they unleashed the freest crazy noise jazz explosion I've ever witnessed. It was totally unlike anything I have ever seen before. Not a single person played their instruments in the "proper" way; everything was highly experimental. Screwdrivers and chisels used on guitars, t-shirts and who knows what else on the drums, and Mats was just going batshit insane on his wicked old and ginormous sax, occasionally taking a break from it to tweak some electronic knobs. Just incredible.
This was the first show Intransitive has put on that ever sold out. It's kind of a no brainer when you got Thurston Moore on the bill but still, an impressive feat for a noise show. Here's hoping it's not the last.
Here's a clip I shot of Thurston, Mats, and the rest going crazy. It sounds shitty but you get the idea.
Monday, February 2, 2009
This video for the Diamond Vampires remix of Telepathe's "Devil's Trident" is soooo cool. Comprised of various footage from the '80s, mostly sci-fi stuff, B movies, and the like, and it complements the music perfectly. All sorts of -scopes that make fancy visuals that I guess are supposed to be what the inside of that dude's brain looks like. And the part at the end that starts around 4:00 with some guy going through the laser portal? I fucking know I've seen that in another video before. If you know what it was, please let me know in the comments. Either way though, I can absolutely guarantee that it's used a hundred million times better in this video.
via The Walrus
via The Walrus
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I TOTALLY regret not going to this show last night. I forgot all about it until I was reading Enough Cowbell at work and saw that this fantastic show was indeed going down on the 31st. Many Mansions, Truman Peyote, and Guatemala City are all Boston natives, with Kegs Of Acid being the only out of staters. The three of them all have a similar psychedelic, tribal, dance raga thing going on and they're awesome. Kegs Of Acid I don't really know much about but if they were on that bill, they musta been good.
You can download a ton of stuff for free over at Asteroid M Project and it's all fucking great.
Truman Peyote - Catalog 1/14-5/12
Many Mansions - Return To Source
Now, if only I weren't working tonight as well, I'd head over to The Whitehaus and see the four of them play as part of PSYCHFEST with a ton of other wonderful local bands like Prince Rama of Ayodhya, Peace, Loving, Peace & Quiet, Concord Ballet Orchestra Players, MMOSS, Dana, and The Needy Visions.