Friday, July 31, 2009

Skogar - Healer/Destroyer (Native Parts, 2009)

Skogar - Blast From The Past

I just got sent a couple releases from the unknown-to-me Swedish label Native Parts and since this is my favorite of the two, I figured I'd start with this one. Skogar (aka Johannes Brander), is the force behind Native Parts and apparently has serious musical creationism skillz. Healer/Destroyer was made while he was struggling with an undiagnosed sickness and it was actually never meant for public release. Thankfully, he changed his mind because this record is fucking wonderful.

This is a mostly melancholic affair filled with the kind of songs that play in your head as you stare forlornly out the window on a rainy day. It starts out halfway cheery with an organ/harmonium thing on "Blast From The Past" and some Casio beats and melodies on the short but sweet "Oh Ohh O."

After that, though, things turn a bit... atmospheric. Subtly dramatic guitars that fill up song after song. "50 MG" and "Remake Of Nothing III" meander through some thick cold forest haze, maybe hoping to find a bit of light indicating a warm cottage off in the distance. The title track begins in a similar way but towards the end goes into a strange fantasy land with bizarre ominous keyboards and fairy dust star twinkles. Then "With Vocals" comes on with it's relentless threatening guitar and you know shit just got serious. No more fucking around. You just got yourself caught in 6 minutes of eerie doom.

At least the last song, "Ditch" isn't quite as frightening. Just sad. A lonely guitar, dragging it's feet through the house, moping around, wishing it would stop raining. Having only heard this one release from Skogar, I don't know if his music is usually this gloomy. Regardless, though, Healer/Destroyer is pretty fucking great and I'm hoping his next release is longer and maybe a bit more cheerful.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Benny Nelson & Brandon Terzakis at Weirdo Records

Seriously guys, Weirdo Records is the place for live weekly experimental awesomeness. This is the third time I've been there within the past month and it looks like August & September are only going to be better. If you haven't gone yet, you're already missing out. This past show had Benny Nelson and Brandon Terzakis collaborating with a chord organ and prepared guitar (respectively).

They bookended their set with two pre-recorded pieces that they brought on CD. Regardless of how weird it was to sit there with the two of them doing nothing while their music played overhead, the music itself was pretty great. But the stuff they played live, that was something special.

It started out, literally, almost completely inaudible. The thunderstorm of pedestrians and traffic out on Mass Ave was either ridiculously distracting or added an interesting atmospheric/field recording feel to the music, depending on your viewpoint. Benny was pressing down on two organ keys, so I knew I was supposed to be hearing something, but Brandon was hunched over some electronics and his guitar so I couldn't be too sure if he was actively creating or not.

The music was so delicate and so subtle, I feel like even if I were listening to it at home or on my headphones, no matter how loud I turned it up, it would still be barely there. But slowly, very slowly, the volume increased. Every few minutes or so, I'd notice that it was louder than before, even though I couldn't pinpoint a specific time where it changed.

The piece lasted maybe 15 or 20 minutes, hardly changing at all, 95% static save for a slight wavering and the continual amplification. Benny's two fingers infinitely pressing those two keys, and Brandon doing who knows what with an e-bow and various pedals and knobs, doing almost nothing while making such light beautiful drone. Then, abruptly, the music cut out and I realized just how loud they got it cranked up. It was weird hearing nothing after I thought what I was hearing was bordering on nothing. They smoothed things out and cleansed your aural palette with a little more quiet tones before playing the last taped piece. The whole thing was simple, understated splendor.

Most likely you didn't see this show, as there were only a handful of people there (including plenty of local noise makers like KFW, Howard Stelzer, and Ophibre). So if you didn't, you can look forward to a split (not collaboration, sorry) between Benny and Brandon coming out soon courtesy of Mr. Whitman. Otherwise, just hope they'll do this again. And if they do, trust me, you don't want to miss it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Technoir MA - Technoir MA EP (self released, 2009)

Technoir MA - Roundabout

Technoir MA, occasionally known without the MA, are a couple of dudes from Somerville that know how to put smiles on faces. They do the catchy indie electro popgaze really really well.

Their new EP is 20 minutes worth of truly wonderful tunes that are 100% danceable while avoiding the "dance" label, similar to A Faulty Chromosome or Radio Dept. They got the dreamy guitars, echoey electronic drum beats, and a singer who has no business in the 21st century. I have a feeling Kevin Shields will be throwing some Technoir on the next Sophia Coppola movie.

The first song, "Roundabout," starts out and I always think I accidentally put on White Williams' "New Violence." It quickly turns into something entirely different, though, and just as cool. "Lovers To Lepers" has a great fucking riff that for some reason reminds me of recess in elementary school. Yeah, I don't know either. The last one is a slower song with a tropical rhythm section and perhaps a slightly-too-obvious title: "Islands."

All in all, way too fucking short. It's an EP, I know. But I want more. Sue me. So would somebody sign these guys already? I want a full length.

P.S. This is under the Creative Commons License so feel free to chop that shit up and make your own kickass remix. They won't mind.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oneida, Sunburned Hand Of The Man, Big Bear, Glenn Jones at Outside The Lines Studio

Glenn Jones

Big Bear

Proceeding chronologically with the recent shows I've been to (also saw Benny Nelson & Brandon Terzakis last night at Weirdo, review soon), here's a recap of what happened at the highly honorable Outside The Lines Studio, which, in case you don't know, is a gallery/studio space for adult artists with developmental disabilities. The place is a big warehouse that is overrun with art everywhere. Sculptures in every corner, paintings on every empty wall. Awesome, right? Even more awesome is the artists get %85 of all sales. That is fucking outrageous. In a really really good way.

Anyway, Glenn Jones (of Cul De Sac) started things off (replacing World Map). Apparently I saw him at Brainwaves last November and I didn't remember until he started his set. I was more than happy to see him again. This guy plays the most amazing guitar. It sounds like he's got 4 or 5 guitars all going at once. I have no idea how he does it but it's wonderful. Simultaneously dusty and clean, with a slight Americana sound. So good. I especially love when he plays the banjo. Because, well, I love the banjo.

Big Bear played next and HOLY SHIT I have never been able to hear all instruments and vocals live before. Whoever did the sound somehow made everything stand out from each other. I heard Jordyn's singing clear as day, both the keyboard and guitar, AND the bass. I never hear the fucking bass. It blew my mind. I have no idea what went differently but it was weird. I'm actually not even sure I liked it better or not. Either way, though, they mostly stuck to songs from their new record, with a couple older and newer than new ones. Fucking great. As usual.

I mentioned before that I thought seeing Sunburned Hand Of The Man live would push me one way or the other over the fence regarding whether or not I actually like them. Well, this performance definitely landed me on the "Sunburned is not my thing" side. I don't know if this is how they usually do things, but they had some bearded ponytail wearing guy come up twice to do some freestyle singing. That didn't go over too well with anyone I don't think. After coaxing everyone for too long to "fucking dance already" some guy in the audience ran up to the singer, grabbed the mic and yelled "I fucking hate you!" and threw both of his sandals at him. Taking it in stride, the singer said "Now there's a man with courage!" But even if it was all instrumental, I don't think I would feel any differently. I might be permanently writing Sunburned off after that night.

And then thee glorious Oneida stepped up, totally fucking outshining Sunburned's set. I didn't know this until Saturday night, but Oneida is seriously a band that can not be fully appreciated until seen live. They are a totally different beast. An amazingly beautiful beast of destruction. They played a bunch of stuff off of Rated O (which I just picked up at the show and can't wait to hear). The best part was seeing how much Oneida enjoyed playing live. They just radiate this sincere carefree joy that makes it's way into the audience. Everyone loved them. They were super tight. Kid Millions needs to get a fucking award or something. Dude is honestly one of the best drummers out there. Oneida is worth seeing live just to watch Kid smash his drums.

P.S. This show made me realize that I don't like to take pictures if I want to rock. So I apologize for never ever having any pictures of (especially) Big Bear and (specifically) Oneida.

Monday, July 27, 2009

L'Acephale - Malefeasance (Aurora Borealis, 2009)

L'Acephale - From A Miserable Abode (Alt Mix)

Portland's L'Acephale has a new release, Malefeasance, that comes just in time for Boston's summer. The heat is up, the sun is out, and we're finally done with all that fucking rain. Now it's time for some blissful sunshine via L'Acephale's wondrous tunes.

Malefeasance is full of charming upbeat melodies coming straight out of a John Hughes movie. The choruses are catchy as fuck and I swear "Väinämöinen Nacht" has been stuck in my head for weeks. Most of the songs fall somewhere between dance jam and ballad, the kinda of thing that will get played at every single high school prom next year. L'Acephale has really captured the essence of summer with Malefeasance and I guarantee this is the most charming record you'll hear all year.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Show Worthy 7/27 - 8/2

Benjamin Nelson on Rare Frequency via

Monday, July 27
Benjamin Nelson & Brandon Terzakis at Weirdo Records (donate, 8:00, all ages)
Nelson + Terzakis = prepared guitar + chord organ = sign me the fuck up


Friday, July 31
Magic People, Life Partners, Quits at Jacques Cabaret ($10, 8:30, 21+)
Magic People are fucking weird. But in a totally awesome way. Industrial minimal punk doom with a dose of hilariously absurd lyrics. Not too sure about Life Partners... But Quits are Wayne Rogers and Kate Village from Major Stars plus some crazy man on drums and they just fucking shred. No songs. Just insane psych meltdowns. Also, Kim Phuc might be playing?

Andrew Eckel via

Saturday, August 1
Andrew Eckel, Steve Walther at Lilypad ($10, 7:00, all ages)
Remember Eckel? The guy that did the crazy ass Make A Laser Sound? Now you can see that wacky shit live and I can pretty much guarantee that his live show will be just as awesome as the record. He'll be playing piano and joined by Jonah Sacks on cello and Louisson playing bass.

Max Lord by Jane Wang via

Saturday, August 1
Graveyards, Greg Kelley & Jason Lescalleet, Ghost Grass at Wire Sounds (donate?, 8:00, all ages)
I think Graveyards is normally John Olson, Chris Riggs, and Ben Hall but this incarnation includes Vic Rawlings on cello/electronics. Kelley & Lescalleet do amazing trumpet/tape stuff. And Ghost Grass is Max Lord, who's hosting the show at his loft in Downtown Crossing. He does awesome electronics shit with all sorts of crazy synthesizers and whatnot. This show is going to be killer. I know there's a lot of other things going on Saturday night but I think this one is where all the cool kids will be.

Saturday, August 1
Friends Forever Fest at Chatham Village Hall ($5, 4:00, all ages)
If you're going to be anywhere near South Chatham on Saturday, there's an awesome little fest going down with a bunch of cool bands. Totally worth it just for Animal Hopistal and Peace, Loving but there's also Total Bolsheviks (ambient coolness), Dead Rambler (folk/haunting/acoustic/etc), Brava Spectre (screechy psych nasty tribal stuff), Western Syndrome (high speed brutal punk metal), and The Zookeepers (totally awesome catchy indie pop with a free album). Lots of fun should be had. 3 rules though. "No drinks. No dope. No bad vibes." Easy enough, right?

Sore Eros via

Sunday, August 2
Sore Eros, Eat Cloud, Youngest at Great Scott ($8, 9:00, 18+)
Ducktails and Oneohtrix Point Never were originally scheduled for this show which would have made it 100% epic. They hand to cancel for whatever reason but this show is still mostly epic. All the info for the new lineup is somewhere on Lemmingtrail which at the moment is switching servers so I can't give you all the details. I know a Prince Rama side project is supposed to play, and that may or may not be Youngest. But Sore Eros is super great chill stuff from CT and Eat Cloud does hypnotic poppy electronics from Providence. So this show is still gonna rule. And there's also a little daytime thing happening around the corner at O'Brien's with Station Wagon and Kilojoule around 2:00 for $5. I think they're trying to incorporate both shows into one "event." Kinda weird but whatever. That just means more good tunes.
Update: Prince Rama side project is Prince Llama, features members of Prince Rama, Concord Ballet Orchestra Players, more. Also, Coralcola has been added. Fuck yeah dude. This shit just got real.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Haiku Review: Memory Cassette - Calls & Responses EP (Acephale, 2009)

Memory Cassette - Last One Awake (Friend Version)

Memory Cassette
Calls & Responses EP (download)
/super blog buzz band/
/puts out free remix ep/
/lights up, crowd goes wild/

Friday, July 24, 2009

MP3: Coralcola - Egggirl

Coralcola - Egggirl

Remember Coralcola? The dude from Worcester that gave us that awesomely free 747 EP? Well, in addition to making sweet summer mixtapes and remixing The Pandas and Universal Studios Florida, he's got an all new dreamy dance jam for you to devour. "Egggirl" is a 10 minute blissful beat filled techno epic that has pretty much been on repeat ever since it arrive in my inbox. It sounds a bit like The Field except maybe not quite as lush. Or Swedish. This will probably end up on a new EP come fall so if you're craving more (which you should be 'cause it's fucking great), thankfully you don't have that long to wait.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Video: Bark Bark Bark - I'm Needy (Milk:Blood RMX)

Here's another one of those videos with appropriated film and cheapo digital effects but this one's much better than the rest. For one, part of the song has the castle music from Mario. For two, the footage is mostly stuff from those "Best Car Chases" shows mixed with stuff like booty shakin and the Hindenburg. For five, the FX aren't lame. For eleven, the song is totally bitchin.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


My little sister is up visiting me for a few days so you're just gonna have to wait until she leaves before I get back to regular posting. We'll be busy playing Guitar Hero and eating pizza because I'm such a cool brother.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Homegrown Fest at Church

I was only able to go to the second night of the Homegrown Fest at Church but I'm OK with that. You know why? Because that night had one of the best lineups I've ever seen. Fucking ridiculously awesome. Because so many bands played and I could easily write a whole review for each set, I'm just going to post the pictures I took coupled with what I wrote on Twitter immediately after each performance. There are more photos on my Flickr page if you're into that sorta thing.

Gary War
"Gary war just played good clues. I am happy."

Magic People
"Magic people just played a very short but killer set to a surprisingly unappreciative audience."

"Who knew reports were so awesome. I sure didnt."

"Quits just fucking lit my face on fire and melted my brain."

Infinity Window
"Once infinity window finished i realized that i think i forgot to breathe the whole time."

Bobb Trimble & The Flying Spiders
"Holy shit gary war just played with bobb trimble. Coolest thing ever. Except bobbs guitar. Wooden with oak leaves carved in it."

Then once I got home...

"So Gary War played with Bobb Trimble because he's an official member of The Flying Spiders. Nice. Thanks internet!!"

"Sightings were painfully amazing to watch."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Show Worthy 7/20 - 7/26

Monday, July 20
Black Beauty at Weirdo Records (donate, 8:00, all ages)
OK, so here's what I got. Black Beauty is Josh Friedman. He is from Vermont. He plays guitar. Heavy psych guitar a la Blue Cheer. He may have worked at Weirdo Records before. And somehow, with all of that information, I can't find a single site maintained by him or his project Black Beauty. But whatever. Sounds cool.
Update: Check the comments for a bit more accurate info on Black Beauty. Thanks, Angela!

Karlheinz at The Piano Factory

Tuesday, July 21
Neckhold, Sharpwaist, Karlheinz at O'Brien's ($6, 9:00, 21+)
This show is going to be fucking brutal. Power electronics destruction all around. Neckhold's from Australia so this is a very special show. Also, The Vomit Arsonist may or may not be playing. But fuck, everyone else could cancel and you should still go because Neckhold is fucking awesome.

Pineapple Explode via

Tuesday, July 21 / Wednesday, July 22
Pineapple Explode at PA's Lounge with Young Mammals, Battle House, Thief Thief (Tuesday) / at Outpost 186 (Wednesday) / at All Asia headlining Open Mic Night (Wednesday)
In case you're not picking up what I'm putting down, you should get your ass out and see Pineapple Explode. They're wonderful folk acoustic stuff with banjos, accordions, and ukuleles. I would recommend seeing them with Thief Thief etc at PA's 'cause that lineup is intense but that's the same night as Neckhold so... tough decision. But you have THREE chances to see them. I don't want any excuses.

Oneida via asphaltstadt

Saturday, July 25
Oneida, Sunburned Hand Of The Man, Big Bear at Outside The Lines Studio ($10?, 7:00, all ages)
Sweet Jesus this is one killer lineup. The epically impressive Oneida is fresh off their recent 3xCD release Rated O that's only one part of a goddamn trilogy. Sunburned is just Sunburned. Ya love 'em or ya hate 'em. I'm still not sure where I stand. I think a live performance would push me one way or another. And thee mighty Big Bear is opening, back from their short tour with Child Bite supporting their new 7" split. By the way, please check out Oneida's website. It's beautiful and that cellular animation thing on the left is just so fucking cool.

Torche by Jana Miller via

Saturday, July 25
Harvey Milk, Torche, Cable at The Middle East Downstairs ($12, 8:00, 18+)
Harvey Milk rules. Torche rules even more. Why the FUCK did this show have to be the same night as Oneida?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Haiku Review: Sonolmoss - Imaginetically (Decimal.One, 2009)

Sonolmoss - Sourda
Link removed

Imaginetically (download)
/electro hip hop/
/lush, chill, like postal service/
/bob your head, don't dance/

Friday, July 17, 2009

Katchmare - Hand In The Water (Scissor Death, 2009)

Katchmare - Icy Masters

Katchmare (aka Nick Hoffman) is a mostly new-to-me name. A while back I picked up a split tape he did with Ophibre on Tape Drift that was pretty awesome. For some reason, I never reviewed it. Go figure. Anyway, I liked his side quite a bit but never did a whole lot of research on the guy. Then I found out he's got a new double tape release on Scissor Death called Hand In The Water.

The first tape has two "rejected studio compositions" that got un-rejected and made it onto this new offering. Have no fear, though. These songs are absolutely deserving of an official release and worthy for your listening pleasure. Both pieces, "Icy Masters" & "Holy Dread," are like an enormous seemingly blank canvas painted with disappearing ink. Plenty of tape hiss and background noise that has no physical substance. But when you hold it in the right light, haunting tones make their way into your ear canals. There is the occasional aural barrage, with sounds like a broken robot typewriter stuck on a single key, repeating for an entire minute or waves of backwards tape coming in and out of focus.

The second tape was recorded live at Elastic Arts in Chicago and both sides have the same title: "April 13, 2009." The A side starts with what I can only assume was the house music, some jazzy old school lounge tune. I love how that wasn't edited out because what Katchmare plays afterwards is so far from the house music that it's not even funny. If Hoffman was performing in a venue that plays that kind of lounge music regularly, I can only imagine the type of audience he had. Luckily, the crowd (if there is one) is mostly silent, though perhaps only due to sheer terror and/or confusion.

This live piece has much more of an actual foundation than the studio recorded ones. It starts out with dark, thick, rumbling drones that give way for shrill tones that are highly abrasive. Like steel wool lasers cleaning out your ears. They dance the line of "how long will these people take this" but fortunately they're never sustained for a long enough time to permanently damage you or anything. And right before the 9 minute mark, it explodes. Briefly. It's a contained explosion that immediately collapses in on itself before it destroys it's creator. Then there's some mild-in-comparison industrial construction for a couple of minutes before the tape ends. Flip it over.

Those shrill notes at the beginning of the live performance are made out to be soothing lullabies compared to how the B side starts. Higher, longer, more scratchy, wobbly, diamond cutting shrieks that I can only assume cross most people's threshold of enjoyment and tolerance level. But just because you made it this far doesn't mean you can handle the rest. It's all thunder and lightning for the rest of the show. Stretched out dentist drill drones, bursts of jackhammers and nail guns, tons of stuff not for the faint of heart. But if you can make it through, you're all the better for it. As Calvin's Dad would say, "It builds character."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gregg Kowalsky - Tape Chants (Kranky, 2009)

Gregg Kowalsky - IX

This album is called Tape Chants and you thought it wouldn't end up on this blog? Not a chance.

I almost feel like saying just that this is an album stuffed with lazy minimal textured tape drones and be done with it. There's really no point in beleaguering or persuading. If that phrase doesn't instantly make your nips hard, then there's no fucking way you're going to enjoy this album. The 20 minute centerpiece of organic inebriated soporific mind expansion is just gonna drive you fucking nuts with boredom. And the little minute long interludes are gonna pass right by you while you're thinking someone's breathing down your neck.

My concern numero uno however is where the fuck is the vinyl? CD only for a record like this? Come on Kranky, you're slacking.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Idealist - I Am The Fire (Nosordo, 2006)

The Idealist - The Cranium

It sounds like capital punishment via an electric room, which would be similar to the electric chair except this room would be more like a Tesla laboratory and you'd die from lethal amounts static electricity.

Full review on diskant.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Goat Of Arms at Weirdo Records

I had no idea Goat Of Arms had such a following. When I went to Weirdo to see Steve Norton, there were only 6 people in the whole room. Last night when Goat Of Arms played it was the exact opposite. There must've been 20 to 30 bodies squished into this tiny closet sized record store along with a whole drum kit. It was very, um, intimate.

The band brought a large tray of chocolates that they handed out to the audience (which seemed to consist mostly of everyone who knew everyone else). There were also some Tofutti Cuties being passed around (peanut butter ftw!). Somebody brought their dog. It was more like a party or cookout with friends than a proper "concert." And that just made it all the more pleasant.

So Goat Of Arms are a girl/girl accordion/drum duo. Imagine an accordion accompanied to some percussion. That's pretty much what Goat Of Arms sounds like. It's nothing surprising or out of the ordinary. Not to dis their music or anything. They're fucking great. They play wonderfully charming minimal, slightly foreign sounding tunes that I haven't heard from the likes of anyone else (partially because they're the only accordion/drum duo I know of). It was entirely acoustic (anything else would've been madness) with most of the drums and cymbals having some sort of padding to soften the blow. The drummer would occasionally sing in Spanish, doing the whole aye-aye-aye yelping thing. It sounded like it had been a while since they last played live, with the sporadic slip-up in timing & synchronization and the periodical mis-starts but that all added to the semi-uncouth magic of the evening.

One of the highlights was halfway through their set, some kid walking by on the sidewalk shimmying his way through the front door to sneak one of the chocolates left right by the doorway. I don't know who he belonged to or how the hell he knew there was free chocolate inside. Everyone who noticed looked at each other completely baffled and incredulous. We silently laughed as the band continued playing, either not noticing or not caring. 'Twas a great night that you should've missed only if you went to Gay Gardens to see Animal Hospital et all.

Aaaand I picked up a copy of Dead Machines Plays Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. FUCK YEAH. Should have a review of that (plus all the backstock of vinyl I got piling up) once I get my stylus in the mail.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Big Bear, Child Bite, Ketman, The Gondoliers at PA's Lounge

Big Bear

Big Bear

Child Bite

Child Bite

The Gondoliers

More photos on Flickr.

Big Bear and Child Bite put out a split 7" (green vinyl with killer artwork and it's only 4 bucks, fucking buy it already) and this was the record release show. It was also the beginning of their tour together. Aaaand if you went to this show, you got a free copy of the 7". Fuck. YES. Nothing so sweet as the words "free Big Bear 7"."

Anyway, The Gondoliers kicked the show off. Normally I'm not a big fan of bands with gimmicks, unless those gimmicks are awesome (The Locust, Harry & The Potters). The Gondoliers have been added to that list of exceptions. They were two guys on drums and guitar (with a shit ton of pedals), wore all white clothes, pitch black shades with words written on them (one said "Never" the other said "Quit!"), and kingly crowns that lit up. Of course, all the lights were turned out in the place, forcing them to play by halo-light. They didn't utter a single word to the audience. Instead, in between every few songs they had a computer recite in a Speak-N-Spell type voice little speeches they wrote that said something about how the governing party of The Gondoliers were not up for re-election and how even though they were quitting, it wasn't actually like quitting because they were letting Big Bear and Child Bite get their thing done (aka Palin's dumbass shit). Well, their shtick really got to me and I thought they were great. Not to mention their ridiculously awesome music. It wasn't anything super original but they did the math rock/sludge/metal/pop thing really well. Kinda reminded me if Torche was a duo and really into Don Cab. So it was pretty fucking great.

I skipped out for a bit and didn't see Ketman. Not that I'm all that disappointed. They're not really my kinda thing anyway.

Child Bite was up next and although I'd heard plenty about them and their "next big thing" status, I hadn't actually heard anything of theirs before I went to this show. I really enjoyed them. They had tons of energy to match their mostly-danceable punk rock fun. The bassist looked like a metal mix of Cheech and Chong and had massive hair that could not be contained by his hat. For some reason, he kept putting his hat back on and no matter how many times he did, his repeated head banging knocked it right off again. Kind of hilarious to watch. Also hilarious? The guitar/joystick solo duel. The lead singer had an arcade style joystick hooked up so it made crazy electronic sounds whenever you moved it around and pressed buttons. Kinda cheesy, mostly awesome.

And to finish off the night, Big Bear slayed, as always. This was the first time I'd seen them live where I was standing in front of Joanna playing the keyboard so it was weird to actually hear her. For some reason I always end up in front of Joel and all I can ever hear is his crazy guitar. Not at this show. They played 3 new songs (new as in not on their brand new record, which is self released and now available at their shows and you should buy because it's fucking great and you've been waiting years for it to come out). Those 3 new ones kind of sound like Big Bear's take on pop music. Which is fucking weird as shit and makes me think that Big Bear isn't quite as big as they used to be. If they keep heading in this direction, they'll end up being Regular Sized Bear. Which is fine by me. I love bears of all sizes. And their new sound is still awesome stop-n-start loudness.

Like I said, they just started their tour together so if they're coming your way, you best get out and see them. I'm fortunate because I get to see Big Bear pretty much whenever I want. You might not be so lucky. So take the chance to see them. And buy their new album and 7". Great stuff all around, I assure you.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Show Worthy 7/13 - 7/19

Monday, July 13
Animal Hospital, Truman Peyote, Our Brother The Native, Religious Girls at Gay Gardens (donate, 8:00, all ages)
Whoa this is a crazy awesome show. Animal Hospital & Truman Peyote are representing some of Boston's best accessible experimental (in a good way). Our Brother The Native and Religious Girls are on tour together and Fat Cat Records who saw OBTN at Death By Audio the other night said they were "rib achingly loud." Both OBTN and Religious Girls have that new ambient noise tribal dance stuff that you know you love. Like I said, this show is going to be crazy awesome.

Goat Of Arms at The Milky Way via telephag

Monday, July 13
Goat Of Arms at Weirdo Records (donate, 8:00, all ages)
If you're not able to make it to Allston Monday night, then go to Weirdo in Cambridge for some fun accordion and drums times.

Geoff Mullen & Keith Fullerton Whitman at Great Scott

Tuesday, July 14
Geoff Mullen & Keith Fullerton Whitman at Cafe Fixe ($5, 8:00, all ages)
Thanks to Non-Event for making this ridiculously amazing live collaboration happen yet again. Once a very rare occurrence, Geoff and Keith have performed together live maybe 4 or 5 times since the beginning of the year. BUT! This could be the last time. You never know. Anyway, mind blowing drone noise from two of the drone noise masters. This time it's going down at Cafe Fixe in Brookline with the caution that "the space is small and the espresso is amazing, so don’t be too fashionably late!"

Thursday, July 16 - Sunday, July 19
Homegrown Fest at Church ($10 per day, @6:00, 21+)
Ok guys. I mentioned it before. This is the one you've been waiting for. Boston's own Homegrown Fest, a 4 day psych/noise/experimental/mindfuck festival put on by Dan Shea/BOWAAC. Yeah, it's 21+ but the lineup is insane. Keith Fullerton Whitman & Geoff Mullen (yup, again), Infinity Window, Sightings, Bobb Trimble, Major Stars, Truman Peyote, Gary War, Kurt Vile, Blues Control, Sunburned Hand Of The Man, and TONS more. This is going to be fucking epic. Even if you can't go to all 4 nights, one will still be enough to destroy every other show this month. Full lineup and more info here and on Church's site.

Daryl Shawn's setup via deadbeatgeoff

Saturday, July 18
Daryl Shawn & Jonathan Lamaster at Outpost 186 ($10, 8:00, all ages)
Tape loops + violin = duh

Alash Ensemble by Peter Hasselbach via

Sunday, July 19
Alash Ensemble at New England Conservatory ($20, 8:00, all ages)
The Alash Ensemble are a group of Tuvan throat singers. So, obviously, I'm fucking excited as shit. Tuvan throat singing in my own backyard? Never in a million years did I think that would ever happen.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Haiku Review: Josstin Timberlake - Eat Fuck (CalmDownKidder, 2009)

Josstin Timberlake - Sfear

Josstin Timberlake
Eat Fuck (download)
/nasty 8 bit blitz/
/busted game, hard beats, sweet noise/
/owwww phantom thumb pain/

Friday, July 10, 2009

Miss Autopsy - Caterpillar (Lens, 2009)

Miss Autopsy - Caterpillar

Miss Autopsy isn't a "Miss" at all. It's actually a guy! HA! His name is Steve Beyerink. And in case you were looking for someone to give you an uplifting pep talk (aren't you always?) then STAY AWAY from Miss Autopsy. He's not gonna help.

I think Caterpillar is taking heavy influences from Albini and Slint except this is way way scarier. But not in the Gnaw Their Tongues hellish torturing scream filled nightmares kinda way. No, this is more like the "let's just back away from this dude 'cause he's giving me the fucking creeps" kinda scary. There's a lyric on the title track about him meeting a caterpillar in his garden who wanted to be his friend, but he squishes him with his fingers. Granted, he does also say afterwards that he can't sleep anymore once he kills the caterpillar BUT STILL. Definitely not the kinda guy I'm going to go out of my way to be friends with.

I think the vocals are what really do it, though. I mean, yeah, the minimal percussion and folky post-punk guitars definitely give off an eerie vibe but man his voice. Sometimes it's like an atonal pedophile dragging his claws down a chalkboard. Sometimes he sounds just like a regular depressed guy, but then you notice he's hiding a fucking meat cleaver behind his back.

There are a few tracks on here that could be considered pretty normal & digestible, though. Like "El Paso." Just a laid back solo guitar with Steve singing sad. And "Dead Loner Blues" is dark thematically but is otherwise not totally upsetting. Like your mom wouldn't think you were weird if she walked in while you were listening to it.

I'm sure Beyerink is a really nice guy in person but I'm guessing Miss Autopsy is a source of catharsis for him because it makes him seem sad or mad or both. Caterpillar is about as unsettling as it gets. It's fucking great if you like that sorta thing (aka miserable as fuck, disturbing, never ever catchy, anti pop). And it just so happens I do like that sorta thing. So Miss Autopsy, keep this shit up! It's awesome.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Monster Caves & Mario Karts

Braden J McKenna - Feedback From A Ghost

Braden J McKenna (Navigator, WYLD WYZRDZ, himself) has unloaded some more free awesomeness for everyone. I swear, he is the number one guy out there putting out consistently amazing music for free on a regular basis. <3 him.

Independence Day is from a band of his called Mario Kart with another guy named Stephen Walter on drums. It was written and recorded within 4 hours this past 4th of July and that's including a break to play Mario Kart (duh). It's more aligned to his Navigator work, lo-fi garage punkish tunes. And it's great.

Gigantic Monster Cave is some solo stuff under his actual name that is full of wide-eyed child magic songs, a lot of them dealing with a gigantic monster cave. His signature nonabrasive whine is sure to be found, but the music itself is more shiny pop-folk than the rest of his stuff. And it's great.

Download that shit. Then go to Magic Goat and download more shit from their Digital Magic Series. Totally worth it. TRUST ME ::nudge nudge::

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jungle Gym Vaginas - Wavy Caps (Scumbag Relations, 2008)

Jungle Gym Vaginas - Side A (untitled)

JUNGLE GYM. VAGINAS. Did you hear that? Say it. Out loud. JungleGymVaginas. Have you ever heard something so wondrous? So mysterious? So charming? So fucking hilarious?

There is ZERO need for me to describe the music to you. Because this band is called Jungle Gym Vaginas and that is ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW. For real. You think it matters what kind of music they make? Well you're wrong.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words - Lost In Reflections (Killer Pimp, 2009)

Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words - What I Wouldn't Give To Feel Alive

Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words is one Thomas Ekelund who created Lost In Reflections after being diagnosed with a "near crippling mental disease." How long after I don't know. All I know is that this was recorded in 05/06 and there have been many Dead Letters releases since then. Not that I think that context is necessary to fully appreciate Lost In Reflections. It helps, but it's not going to make or break the album.

Listening to Lost In Reflections is a strange journey of dynamic drone. However you don't realize just how strange until it's over. The first song, "The Room Seems Empty Without You," is a real slow burner. Something from way out west, like you've been dragging your feet through Death Valley for days on end with no water. It could be the foundation for some Godspeed song except here there's no grandiose climax (not yet). It's just you, the heat, and the endless horizon of sand and sky.

"Lost & Losing" goes from desert to ocean as you're floating face up, being dazzled by the sun beams shimmering through the water, listening to all the pops and cracks of the crustaceans scurrying along the sandy floor. Then "What I Wouldn't Give To Feel Alive" keeps you underwater, although now you're closer to death, hearing every little detail. Each guitar pluck echoes through the sea as if glimpsing a whale's heartbeat from miles away.

After you've made your way through the water, you become detached from Earth and drift through space. The stars buzz with their solar signals and the dust of the universe flows through your ears. And all of this up until now, going from land to sea to air, was the quest for "Himmelschreibenden Herzen." And the monumental 19 minute closer is absolutely worth that voyage. It's like traveling through a black sun, getting closer and closer to the core. Deafening bliss. Terrifying monstrous shrieking dark drone. Beautiful heavenly sunshine euphoria. Completely fucking amazing.

Lost In Reflections is something I couldn't even begin to imagine making. It's a record so deep and beautiful that I can hardly wrap my brain around it. This is of such high caliber, I'm surprised it's not exploding all over the place. Dead Letters should be a name up there with Fennesz and Eno. If Reflections wasn't the record to do it, I can't wait to hear the one that will.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Video: Garrett Davis & Kirsten Lepore - Story From North America

Ok, this is going to be difficult to explain. I know I get really excited about a lot of things and routinely profess my love for them. But you see, this video is different. It's different because I love it SO MUCH MORE than all of those other things.

I love the rhythm. I love the flow. I love every single lyric. I love the story. I love the animation. I love the imagery. I love the dad. I love the dad's voice. I love the son's voice. I love the old timeyness. I love the (faux?) outsider feeling. I love the dad's long nose and weird hair and worm nipples. I love the opening line. I love the dad caressing the spider's delicate legs. I love the page turning. I love that the dad decided to teach his son a lesson about morals upon being woken up in the middle of the night. I love that it ends with the dad saluting the spider and wishing him "Godspeed." I love every single thing about this video. I love Garrett Davis and Kirsten Lepore for making this. I hate Garrett for not making more music. In the past 4 days, I have watched this more times than I can count. I am currently memorizing every word.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Show Worthy 7/6 - 7/12

Daniel Harris via

Monday, July 6
Daniel Harris at Weirdo Records (donate, 8:00, all ages)
Harris uses instruments like the cello, glockenspiel, melodica, banjo, etc to make soundscapey folk tunes. Good stuff.

Tuesday, July 7
Animal Hospital, Quoins, Manners, Battle House at Great Scott ($8, 9:00, 18+)
This is gonna be a great show. Animal Hospital is blowing it up with his electroacoustic ambient post rock fantasticness. Quoins is new to me and there's no music on their Myspace so... Manners you should know already. Chill acoustic folky stuff. Real good. And then Battle House, who I've yet to see live, sounds like a mix between Wilderness and The Shipping News, doing that grandiose post punk thing. Like I said, great show.

Wet Hair via

Wednesday, July 8
Dianetics, Wet Hair, Happy Jawbone, Dead Luke at The Butcher Shoppe (donate, 9:00?, all ages)
It doesn't even fucking matter. Wet Hair people!! Ex-Raccoo-oo-oon! COME ON!

Big Bear

Friday, July 10
Big Bear, Child Bite, Ketman, The Gondoliers at PA's Lounge ($10, 8:30, 18+)
Big Bear & Child Bite put out a split 7" and this is the release party. You get a free copy of the 7" just for going. Shit, even if neither of them were playing that would still be worth it. Plus, the cover art has awesome alien walrus spiders on it. It doesn't get any better than this.

Nathaniel Bartlett via Tiffany Norman Fieldhouse

Sunday, July 11
Nathaniel Bartlett, Loop 2.4.3 at 119 Gallery ($10, 8:00, all ages)
Bartlett is performing as Immersive Music where he plays solo marimba and processes the shit out of it with his computer and eight channel cube of speakers to create "three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound projection." Um. YES PLEASE. Loop 2.4.3 is a couple of dudes making all sorts of transformative percussion. Super cool.

Sunday, July 11
Peter J Woods, Instinct Control, Sewer Goddess, Bereft, A Snake In The Garden, White Suns at The Butcher Shoppe ($5, 7:00, all ages)
Man The Butcher Shoppe is on fire this week. This is a killer noise show. The poster says it all. Harsh noise + circuit bent insanity = dead astronaut