Thursday, July 19, 2007

Corporeal Punishment

I know I've left you stranded before, left you wallowing in deep swampy pools of the dimmest water without a wooden plank to helplessly grasp. or even half of a bright orange life-vest. I was off gallivanting with prostitutes and steamy wads of cash ejected from offshore slot machines on open-water steamboats, I apologize. I do indeed enjoy writing for you my crew, or maybe this is just writing for me.

Some days when I wake up to consume my black morning sludgewater I think of you and I think of me and I think of the sea-green waters that have yet to be traversed by us and I get excited at the prospect. Other days I wake up with crustacean eyes and a barnacled demeanor, I stare up at the timber ceiling in my room. Suddenly I bust in to my own cabin with a group of sweaty, grimacing, tattooed strongarms clutching thick coils of thick rope with their sweaty, meaty paws. I've come to keelhaul myself.

I can't tell you how difficult it is to play the role of punisher and punished simultaneously, to be the one standing shipside of the plank with a scimitar:

"Ye broke the cardinal rule of music blogging: not hosting yer own MP3's. Whats worse, ye been using Badongo, putfile and (Spits on the deck) RAPIDSHARE?" and then quickly jump to the oceanside of the plank to play the tattered me in tattered sackcloth, hands tied with shaggy, cutting searope:

"No no... I swear! I'm getting to it... I'll start hosting as soon as I can, I swear"

I jump back boatside and eye myself squinteyed for a second, my posse of gnarled sailors behind me, reething their muscles and waiting for me to try and escape so they can exact their flogs against my sallow back.

"so ye been sayin' for a fornight now and I haven't seen anything. And ye been slackin on the posting m'boy, you know what that calls fer!"

"I know I know, please, please don't do this! not again!"

I readjust my captain's tricorner, sheath my curved blade, saunter out to the end of the plank next to bearded me and stare darkly into my eyes and then pinch my cheeks and say:

"too late ye scurvy dog, say 'ello to Davy Jones!"


Under the boat it's quite peaceful. Everytime I plunge, Buddy Holly plays for some inexplicable reason.

Buddy Holly - True Love Ways

The ropes cut deep into my hands as the bottomside of the boat, splintered and be-barnacled, rasps along my face and stomach and legs drawing blood that in turn draws the sharp toothed harps and pianos. These sea creatures live for chum like me, they pluck along behind me and lick their lips. They are slow moving creatures though, often being drawn astray by schools of violins, bottom feeders, following boats for scraps of resin: dropped overboard. The strings converge and scatter as I skitter along the sharp base of the boat.

I ignore these hyenas, mere scavengers, it is the blood-thirsty saxophone I worry about. Traveling alone, these creatures can swim faster than seven deckhands can pull, and typically, I'm pulling myself alone so any sign of the sax could be certain death. I've heard stories of keelhauling ropes suddenly going slack and waters turning chunky and crimson. Everyone present at those fishy feasts said they heard the faint glimmerings of Paul Desmond, of Take Five. I shudder to think even now of the jaw gnashing fates of those men and women.

So far I've come up on the other side, blue cheeked, lacerated and bloody, coughing up saltwater, but I've survived. I welcome myself back to the boat, slap myself (painfully) on the back and hand myself a hot cup of joe.

"ye lived through it again meboy, now hurry up and get that MP3 hosting"


Check out my new roomie's blog: Battle of The Midwestern Housewives

Check out Sufjan doing a performance at BAM about the BQE. Apparently he will be playing old stuff and new stuff. I'd like to see it considering the live version of Majesty Snowbird is one of my new favorite musics. Are you going?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Just another creepy video

I think that, perhaps, Neil Sedaka could be one of the most brilliant men in existence in our time. Let us begin a short journey through this half-assed post wherein I try to pass off clicking around on a bunch of youtube videos and embedding them as an actually well thought out musical analysis (which I suppose you don't come here for anyway [if you're a moocher here for the mp3's just skip to the bottom!])

here we go:

I've known gaydars that could pierce through thick iron walls wrought from the deepest forges at the molten center of Detroit, alas my gaydar glands withered at birth and never went through the same growth spurt as my peers. but I can still see that Sedaka is as gay as two canarys in an appletini birdbath.

here's the classic Breaking Up (with your boyfriend) is Hard to Do

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen:

watch how uncomfortable he is in this one:

Neil Sedaka with Fountains of Wayne at Joe's Pub (I was at this show, it was quite splendid).

His genius is possibly second only to mine. The funny thing is he has been famous for so long that he has the same demeanor of a dictator who will kill one for the slightest infraction, an index finger bend, a poorly placed butt-scratch, but does it with a sadistic sense of humor as well, like instead of putting one in front of a shooting squad he confines one into a room where only reality TV is playing. I love him. Here's some downloads for those who want them:

Neil Sedaka - Calendar Girl

Neil Sedaka - O, Carol

Neil Sedaka - Come Back Jo

Neil Sedaka - Lets Go Steady Again


Monday, July 16, 2007


I can't believe there was ever a world, the geetar-exclusive world of my parents, where disco was lambasted for the color of it's skin. for it's keyboards. for the colorful-chessboard floors where knights and rooks tested their boogie-mettle, kings and queens of every color did coke off the pawns, bishops swung their index-fingered fist the only way they knew how: diagonally. Travolta-ly.


Well, our friends The Cansecos are making sure that disco is not merely en passant (ok, I recognize that my meticulous, self-parodying, metaphoric stilting has just now slipped and gutted itself on the knife blade that it walks daily, please forgive) and if you haven't already listened to the Juiced Remix sessions via P-fork or GVB then it's your serendipitous disco-day! for The Cansecos have remixed their September bound album and posted the resulting crotch-heat on their website. If the album is as good as this remix I smell a possible successor to The Avalanches classic "Since I Left You" in my party rotation. or at least an accomplice.

check it oot

The Cansecos - Side A

Side A is a jaunty frolic through some sampled Donna Summer and cascading strings.

The Cansecos - Side B

this 'uns a manly, synthy, bass bumpin side that likes to take it slow in bed but still has that hot disco man-musk emanating from the black curly bush on it's chest. damn, I just turned myself on.

Check out that fucking bassline at 15 minutes in and you'll sprout an extra pair of testicles by accident.

check out their older stuff on myspace and maybe buy their self titled album from 2002.

check mate.
(ugh, let the self flagellation commence.)

Friday, July 13, 2007


These days, the Zeitgeist moves faster than anyone cares to remember. I remember only several years ago when the moons and stars were still aligned. Back when the curvature of spacetime had not been warped sticky, like four dimensional honey, dripping with the sheer weight of useless information; Blogs: millions upon millions of satellites orbiting that blazing ball of gas, Google.

Sean Bell was shot and killed by undercover police at his bachelor party. Papoose is a rapper from Bedford Stuy in Brooklyn who wrote a song called "50 shots" about the incident. The incident was important and terrifying, but much of media has performed it's obligatory outcry and the story has fallen back back back through the pages of the newspapers. The Zeitgeist has moved on. So will I.

The thing that fascinates me about Papoose is his penchant for disseminating information, as if his raps were political pamphlets thrown, billowing down from a rooftop. He's New York's new wiz kid, produced, with ballyhoo, like the school braniac at a spelling bee.

Clearly NAS is no longer New York's answer, if you were prithee to the red-light, green-light middling sounds of "Hip-Hop Is Dead." Jay-Z is merely keeping house: making sure the floo is closed in the chimbly when he leaves for a month, getting creative with the leftover Ramen noodles and spices, stealing the neighbor's wi-fi.

Truth be told Papoose isn't really that great, listening to him is kind of like squinting your eyes and pretending the face you drew on the paper bag is Jay-Z. He doesn't have much charisma, his voice is like a younger Jay-Z, his rhymes lose footing very quickly by backpedaling over meaning. Why is he so lucrative? Well, I suppose you could ask that same question about Kanye. Why is Kanye so lucrative? Kanye's lyrics are frequently god-awful (have you heard the new one? we won't talk about the identity politics of "You could be my black Kate Moss tonight" or the even stranger identity politics implicit in positioning himself as the post-apocalypse God-child Tetsuo in 'Akira') but he's a fantastic composer of beats.

What is appealing about Papoose to Jive that he would be worth 1.5 mil? well, aside from the fact that he already has major draw (see his mix tapes: Busta, Nas, Mary J Blige, Swizz Beats, Just Blaze) in the NYC area, he has garnered much acclaim more because of his ideas than his words, very much like Kanye (and R Kelly's wily ego). 50 Shots was pretty widely accepted as being a return to the New Yorkpolitcal consciousness form that Ghostface said was dead after Amadou Diallo was shot in 1999. ("I knew New York was wack when they shot my man Amadou Diallo forty-one fucking times and ain't nobody stand up. But if that shit happen in L.A. somewhere, they would have went to bat for Amadou Diallo. It would have been hell. Stores getting burnt the fuck up. New York don't stand for nothing.") Its a return to "The Message" that Grandmaster Flash made popular so many years ago during Hip-Hop's honeymoon period at the Roxy in NYC.

case in point:

Recently I read an interview in Vibe about Papoose's signing to Jive records for 1.5 million. He spoke about his upcoming release in Sept. 07, "The Nacirema Dream" (see what he did there?), but what fascinated me most in the interview revolved around his work on the copious mixtapes emblazoned with his name. Specifically the stuff about his Law Library series.

(I have combined all three tracks into one for easier listening and easier access and heres some lyrics one, two, three but rest assured, I don't care for you, my readers, that much.)

Papoose - Law Library 1,2 & 3

Papoose's Law Library series trampolines upon a simple concept and it is this: people don't know the law without lawyers to explain it to them. If they can't afford lawyers why not eloquently (quite for papoose) describe a person's rights to him over a beat?

I'm not a big fan of the beats on the songs themselves: muzakky dimly lit tunes with green lampshades and spectacles. It fits the mood of the song and doesn't detract from the words, which is the idea.

These songs are what I'm talking about when I say his ideas are superior to his flow. There's nothing that special about the songs but they are riveting simply because of the sheer amount of useful information one is receiving in such a short period. He's no Aesop Rock, but then again, Aesop wouldn't be able to deliver these lines with such clarity, we'd be plodding through a swamp of metaphors and assonance before any sort of meaning could be arrived at.

Anyhoo, enjoy yourself with this one and we'll look out for Papoose's debut in Sept. it ought to be stupid big when it drops.

here's Ye with his stupid new expensive video (Scream anyone?)

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I woke up early this morning. I've been trying to go to sleep at a more reasonable hour. I've spent far too many a night in the past year closing my eyes and slowing my breath at the so-called witching hour, that hour in the night where the shapes and sizes of normal things like pillows and tables are transmogrified into horrible creatures, pint glasses and cigarettes, who beg me to sap them of their ambrosial broth.

The leaf, my friends, will be turned over.

I woke up early this morning and remembered that my morning ritual of coffee had been disrupted by a lack of it. I drew my pantaloons to my waist and proceeded towards the grocery store down the block to retrieve the seeds that would germinate into the brown liquid I do so dearly enjoy.

and I felt the deliquescent heat seep from the windowsills, the orange rust on iron bars, the chalk white stoops, the leftover gravel. It rained very hard yesterday, meaning something about the weather is changing, the scorching heat being shunted further east, over the sea, by cool sprays up in the stratosphere.

When I returned to my apartment and composed my breakfast and coffee into a satisfactory symphony of flavors, my computer greeted me with a sonic recap of my brisk footed circuit.

Bon Iver - Skinny Love

I don't usually use promos (last time I used one, a contrary reader called me the N word. Inappropriate.) but my canvas morning imbibed this music, plim: To swell, as grain or wood with water.

Story goes that Justin Vernon holed himself up in his father's cabin after the breakup of his old band (these guys) like so many Ed Drostes or Springsteens. He stayed there the three months of Winter and emerged, be-bearded and bedraggled, with this album.

Some of the music sounds like it could be buried beneath the scratch-n-sniff surface of Grey's Anatomy in some sort of papery montage treacly tripe, it does fall short at that. But other moments of the album work on so very simple a level that it burrows beneath the brick wall holding my nose up in the snooting position and my fingers hit repeat unhindered by my listening brain.

Bon Iver - For Emma

If Jana Hunter had an alter-ego of the opposite sex it would be Justin Vernon, I swear.

Here is a place to read more about the album: Amble Down

Here is a moospace

Here is a place to listen to the entire album: Bon Iver

oh, yes, and before I forget, Kitsch Me Gorgeous, that handsome devil, has a link to a recap of the 77Boadrum show in Brooklyn last Saturday that yours truly went to, as well as a link to a Boooootleg. check out this LIIIINK

and now for something completely different:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

smokin that shit?

As I proclaimed yesterday, fanfare accompanied, white stallions parading the promenade of my blog castle, hip-hop is my newest passion. There was once a time where I would falter and crumble to my knees as soon as a wanderlusting beat of the PHAT variety slipped brashly into the curvaceous folds of an ear or two. I lived in fear of the everyday gambol down any main thoroughfare, in fear of those humming, buzzing trunks.

Perhaps it was the whiteness that my parents had imbued into my skin and bones by refusing to listen to anything without guitars and screeching vocals, nay, refusing to listen to anything that wasn't, gulp, BLACK. I attempted to remedy this as a young fledgling listener, but my surveys of the landscape of hip-hop music was misinformed and, eventually, kidnapped. The temptation: sweet succulent rock-and-roll-sample candy by diddys and Will Smiths.

Wu-tang descended from the sky with Enter The 36 Chambers, light emanating from around her strange dark cover. I understood. I wanted more.

What is the purpose of this foolish narrative that I spin for you as an eight legged she-devil might for her lover, and later, her prey?

It is merely to prepare you for the weeks to come, for I have been consuming Ice Cubes and Ice-T's and Public Enemy's and Pharcydes with the fervor of a man once starved of certain culture. It's as if I were neglected in my childhood and prohibited from drinking anything but coke, caffeine-free diet coke. The kind that comes in the languid brass colored label so you know that its contents are merely the base, rewardless skeletal structure of the potentially delicious liquid confection.

Anyway, I've been listening to KMD's Black Bastards, their notorious album that was scheduled in 1994 but was unreleased by Elektra because of the hanging Sambo character pictured above. It was later released in 2001 by Sub Verse Records.

MF DOOM, before he was MF DOOM, was Zev Luv X in KMD. His brother, DJ Subroc was the group's DJ and was struck by a car in 1993 and killed spinning his brother into a deep depression and causing him to go into hiding only to reemerge in 1998 when he began performing in the newyorican poets cafe with his trademark mask.

what a weirdo:

On the menu today is two songs that describe the connection between MF DOOM's current style and the similarities between that and one of my favorite tracks on KMD's black Bastards album.

KMD - Sweet Premium Wine

Notice the pseudo-dialogue that takes place in this track. "You're drinking too much of that wine of yours!" If you're at all a MF Doom fan, or even any of the tracks on Madvillan which was only a little bit produced by Doom but mostly produced by Madlib, you'll recognize the style. Thats not to say that no one else has done this before, but it's definitely one of DOOM's little idiosyncrasies to crate up a dialog from old television and radio samples.

MF Doom - Beef Rapp

granted I could use a better example of Doom's pastiche work, but I like this first song from 2004's MM...Food.

And here's another of my favorite track on KMD's black bastards:

KMD - Smokin' That Shit

that bass is fucking phat.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

oh, hello again

Well, that was a fun weekend wasn't it? I had a couple of delicious encounters with some great music.

I'll take a moment at a later date to describe to you the Boredoms show I went to on Saturday with the 77 drums and the giant spiral of them. Absolutely incredible.

Anyhoo, the rest of my ears have been taken up by a lot of hip-hop. I recently finished Jeff Chang's "Can't Stop, Won't Stop" a book that I believe everyone with even a peripheral, tiny shadows and squiggles in the corners of perception, interest in hip-hop should read. There is nothing I'd rather do these days than hear the raspy, undertoe vocals of Doom or the curvaceous, bubble lettering of Busta. I appreciate, as much as a middle-class white male can appreciate, the words and the individual personas and the tiny projectile roots jutting from the thick rooty gnarls below the platinum glow of today's Lil' Waynes.

Anyhow, lets get on with it. I'd heard a few times about "The Cool Kids" from Austin's SXSW, where they performed. But I hadn't really given them a listen until Gorilla Vs. Bear posted a song called I Rock (formerly Mikey Rocks)

Cool Kids - I Rock

They're from Chicago Ill. and they slap some slow vocals over some thin beats and call it a song. And songs they is: I Rock is a thin concept with a thick, trunk buzzing note over a slow beat. Now, this tactic has been used by everyone from Ulysses S. Grant to Kevin Sorbo, songs based entirely upon thick bass beats are like cheap made for TV hallmark mini-series for the current Atlanta leaning hip-hop crowd.

It is sometimes hard to remember why those thick beats are so popular anymore, until someone does it right again like The Cool Kids in this song or Lil Momma's minimalistic beat heavy jumping Lip Gloss that everyone has heard but it needs a little reiteration.

Be, Poppin:

The Cool Kids new album "The Bake Sale" is scheduled for release later this year

check out their myspace page for more music.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Get a Brain Morans

It is America's birthday again. I'm going to see a lil band called Pterodactyl tonight with some other hot acts in Willyburg. I hope to see you there.

I am, at this moment, trying to decipher from the mist raging about my head, what the best song would be to give you on this most glorious of holidays.

My first instinct is to find something with fireworks worked into its fabric like a bejeweled American flag on the back of a denim jacket. Bros, of course, comes to mind, but I've inundated you with Panda Bear far too much.

How about some Ice Cube? Everyone needs a little Ice Cube.

blast this shit at the members of your family holding paper plates of hot dogs and potato salad.

Ice Cube - Amerikkkas Most Wanted

have some loch nessie monster:

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Does your Dog Bi-yai-yai-yaiiiite?

It is Summer.

Perhaps there is a certain musk that is released when the air is heated to a certain temperature. As boiling a kettle of water releases a whistling steam to attract one's attention so does the very marrow of the summer air whistle an imperceptible tone that attracts memory. I remember straw colored straw on brown chalky hills behind my house in San Diego when I was but a lad of six; my parents scrubbing the dirt from my knees and scolding me for vanishing from their panoptic windows overlooking our cul-de-sac. Yellow and blue beaches, bare brown feet of girls, dry grass clippings, surreal poolside games. Somehow all of these coagulated during the early ninties all in one place.

Television is not now, nor ever really was, a final destination for overtly creative minds with a penchant for the surreal. In the early Ninties that destination was (and still is) more likely found behind the mask of a foamy headed punching bag dressed to the nines in Mickey Mouse accoutrement or perhaps, if you will allow me to stretch-armstrong a bit, the emerging surrealist pseudo-realities of Gangsta rap ("you are now about to witness [more or less] the strength of street knowledge"). At that time, though, children's programming was entering a surrealist renaissance on a little channel known as Nickelodeon with programs like Ren and Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life and, of course my favorite, Pete and Pete.

Whats all this masturbatory faux-academia got to do with music? Well, if you've never seen Pete and Pete, FOR SHAME!! **stage direction for guthrie: accusatory finger pointed skyward atop a clenched fist of epic proportions**, you wouldn't know the R.E.M. sound-a-bit-like band Polaris who magnificently performed the opening credits and various songs throughout the show. Occasionally the writers of the show would warp episodes above and around and through Polaris' music like a klein Bottle, indecipherable.

Polaris - Summerbaby

Exhibit A: an episode of Pete and Pete season one called "Hard Day's Pete" wherein young Pete must search for his favorite song that he hears Polaris, conveniently and splendidly practicing in a garage on the way to school, playing one day. He hears the song only once and attempts to remember the song by snapping together various chords. A fantastic premise, for how many of us have heard amazing songs only once that escape to the darkest dregs of the cortex, drip down our spines and disperse through our nerves as a milky blue dissipating substance. I would not let Pete's song escape me, for it is an amazing example of the show's finger on the pulse of pop-media in its day.

Polaris' frontman, Mark Mulcahy of Miracle Legion (of whom I will speak in a moment), wrote an incredible gem of a summer song for this exact episode called 'Summerbaby' that I feel is necessary to broadcast across this internets. Unfortunately the music recorded for the show (featuring Mulcahy stuttering the around into an incredibly catchy Arou-hou-hou-hou-hou-nd) was only released on a Cassingle in Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal (I'd give my larynx and my left butt for that thing). However! The re-recorded versions are true-to-form and that form is the catchy, fuzzy side of velcro.

Miracle Legion was Mulcahy's band from the mid-eighties that, yes, also sounded like the jangle-echo of early R.E.M. And whats wrong with that?
The answer is this: nothing.

Their first EP, called The Backyard, is five songs of summery pop-perfection. Would you like it? Yes?

Miracle Legion - The Backyard EP

Now that you have the whole thing you should really really go buy some of their later albums that are more on sale than The Backyard EP.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A grrrrail?

If my writing seems to slug across your screen rather than the usual zip-line quick wit Blogalism you're used to, its because I have just now returned from a week long vacation. It involved me sitting in the dark recesses of a beach house, occasionally removing to the beach to darken my snowy complexion beaneath the golden strands descending from Apollo's airy chariot. Alas, my traipsing through these intertubes has left my skin beyond repairidly white and I found myself more often gazing upwards towards Apollo's twin sister, Diana. Her milky white crescent illuminating enough to display my epidermal shortcomings, but not reflecting her brother's rays enough to bronze them. Where shall I begin with the music today... where to begin...

Have I a platter of rad for you today, my friends! Well some may think it crass to call this rad but I think it, my friends, is not crass. For when was the last time you heard four hundred damn guitars playing at once? Never!

It is A Crimson Grail by Rhys Chatham a student of punk rock and a mentor/friend to members of Sonic Youth and Band of Susans. He began his career as a piano tuner for minimalist La Monte Young. and it sounds like this:

If vines growing up thick brick had a sound it would be this. If heat's fish-eye sine waves above a sweltering road could be plucked it would be this. If cumulo-nimbus could be compressed into a jar and slowly let out at the bottom of a swimming pool, retaining their shape, it would be this. If a lover's form could be effectively holstered into a hip flask, a quick, concealed dram beneath mahogany stairs would fill your body with these vibrations. Then there are two more movements, whose dimensions surpass description.

she's a doosie, hope you don't mind 20 minutes.

Rhys Chatham - A Crimson Grail

I've been reading Nabokov, can you tell?

buy A Crimson Grail

Friday, June 29, 2007


"A little later we all decided to use Patrick's car and go out to Berkeley to see Jim Morrison play at some ballroom there. We wanted to distribute the Blue Cheer LSD that had gone through the laundry by accident. Susan had stashed it in the dirty laundry the day before. Mark hadn't known and washed the whole load (about $400 worth of the stuff) with the detergent Cheer. Now the whole batch of LSD was Blue Cheer and Cheer combined. We planned to give it away free, providing of course people didn't mind the accompanying side effects of the detergent.
Jim Morrison was good, as usual, and so was the LSD, despite the slight stomach cramps. We even handed a lump of the goo to him onstage and he happily ate it. After the concert, we left to smoke opium at home, leaving Kathy and Eve to go backstage to try and fuck Morrison. While smoking opium and listening to KMPX (the best radio station at the time), we heard an unfamiliar song. It was great, unlike anything else we'd ever heard. I offered, since we didn't have a phone, to go out into the three a.m. morning can call KMPX and get the title and the name of the musician.
While I was in the phone booth, after I talked to the KMPX D.J. and found out it was a cut from a new album, Doctor John the Night Tripper, a black man with short hair walked up and stood next to the booth. I thought he was waiting to use the phone, but no, it was me he was waiting for." - Cookie Mueller

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Land of Milk and Honey

Its been a long time since 2002 when I became obsessed with droney wee-wee glacier pop from our snowier blond friends in the northern part o europe and islands nearby.

hey, slow that shit down assholes: snow sounds like arppegiated chords with reverb and you know it.

well, back from the dead, the glacier pop has come. at least for this music listener. like I've said in the past I have become gradually more obsessed with the cold opaque liqueur these evil Denmarkian kings (and queens) pour into my ear. and I haven't even thrown myself into the Efterklang yet.

Anyhow, I'm here as your fishmonger to breathe new life into your snowy, albeit neglected, folders of your computers with Slaraffenland.

Their album Private Cinema is a triumph of atmosphere and a clever Broken Social Sceneish use of the horn section. Don't go looking for these guys to change your life any more than Sigur Ros did back in 2001, they're not trying to change your life. They're just trying to make your ears happy and use up all of the little O's with a line through it: ø which is a depletable resource that they mine from the ground in Iceland and Sweden.

How do you think they pay for their instruments to make pretty, fairy pop for us? Growing white asparagus and playing as elf extras in Lord of the Rings? Thats racist.

Slaraffenland - Polaroids

Polaroids begins with (gasp!) beautiful Aurora Borealises of flute, a snare and a bass kick in, an (what?) arpeggiated chord on an acoustic guitar, a chant/hymnal vocal line, an incredible horn section. and then you kick back and take a nap and watch the earth turn very slowly.

I'd very much like for you to go to their myspace page and listen to more of their music.

I'd also like if you listened to a song that pitchfork posted a while back thats even better than the one I played for you above. Which is here

and you should buy the whole album because its quite very good.

and now for something completely different:

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Myspace Shuffle vol. !!

HYPO is Anthony Keyeux from Paris. He runs with the O.Lamm kids (who you should check out as well). I seriously can't find much about HYPO, mostly because I can't read Fraaansh. but check out HYPO's split album with Emmanuelle de Héricourt (another one of them Frenchies) called The Correct Use of Pets. The two collaborated on a majority of the music including my favorite track on the album:

Naughty Place begins with an electronic war beat; some real jock-strap thunder that actually didn't catch my attention at first. but then HYPO introduces the hook, which is so simple and so obvious and so damn near perfect that I have absolutely no idea why I haven't heard anything like it before.

The song is an engine in cold weather. constantly starting and stopping. but you keep turning the key. because each time you start it up again you hear a new rattle or a new bassline. It starts and stops and starts and stops. and finally the M83 vocals and synth intervals kick in and you've got the wheels turning. Unfortunately, it only moves a few verses and then burns up. You've gotta get out and push it started again.

HYPO - Naughty Place

On the same record EDH has a metallurgic song that starts as a harsh solid clang and eventually melts into a resonating tuba-blast driven pot of molten T-1000.

EDH - Lament

Here is the video for Naughty Place that is good in concept but doesn't really work with the movement of the song.

HYPO's moospace.
EDH's moospace.
buy the record

me on the internet? no way!!
also six degrees #13 (14) is going up soon if you'd like to hear my voice

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

oh yeah. oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah.

Ahh the internet. Its good for a few things, you know. have you been on it? I like to googles. and I like to use emails. I just heard about this thing called intent messenger: its like emails except faster!

Its gonna be the next big thing I bet. If you ever surf well you're gonna love surfing on the internet because its like riding waves that are made out of computers. and if you like surfing on the internet you should watch this video by this band Figurines because this is what it looks like when you're surfing the internet: Way fast! and catchy! and nothing makes sense!

This is from their album from 2006 called skeleton, a handsome likkle album of music.

Also this: Have you ever stood on the beach doing that heiroglyphics dance? Legs akimbo, arms in front and back shaped like a "Z" and you shoot those hands back and forth across your body, you shoot em back and forth across your body, and you're watching them big blue waves crashing and crashing and you just keep going even though you know everyones watching you and probably thinks you're a dork. but you don't care because you've got Hey Girl by the Figurines playing in your head.

Figurines - Hey Girl

and then the song cracks open at the end and you just start kicking sand around and jumping up and down yelling Come on Come on come on come on come on Come on Come on come on come on come on Come on Come on come on come on come on Come on Come on come on come on come on Come on Come on come on come on come on.

thats what surfing the internet is like.

you should buy their album maybe.

or maybe get ready to buy their new album which is coming out in the U.S. on September, eleventh (maybe its a topical album?).


Monday, June 25, 2007

good old panda bear

Panda Bear - A Musician and A Filmmaker

My saliva glands run overactive when I hear about something Noah Panda Lennox Bear has done in the past. I met one of his ex-girlfriends once (so she claimed) and I was immediately in awe of this beauty that could climb such a tower and topple such a mind. (Harpy's clawing at her back, tearing flesh from bone. Raw fingers gripping the shallow rock inlets searching for the next rough pull towards the top.)

perhaps I give Panda Lennox too much credit.

Digging through my computer files yesterday I came across an overlooked cache of music that confounded and enticed me, making my saliva glands, once again, work overtime so that I was a drooling, foaming fool. Buried betwixt the fatigue-green files on the insides of my Mac were countless musics that I had overlooked or tried to delete at one time or another: 'twas like finding a Jackson ($20) in the pocket of jeans I hadn't worn for three years.

It was also like finding three year old blue cheese salad dressing nestled squishily in the other pocket. why i would have put blue cheese dressing in there in the first place is beyond me, it may have been a fad at the time. Regardless!! I found some old old old old Panda Bear from Panda Noah Lennox Bear's first self titled album on Deakin's (of AC) Soccer Stars label that has since become Paw Tracks.

Some of it sucks! Some of it makes Noah Bear seem like a normal dude with a keyboard and a guitar who is just starting to write songs. It's also easy to hear some of his genius that would later firework from his mouth and fingers and rain down upon the hungering crowd like manna.

Panda Bear - We Built A Robot

Particularly the eleventh track "We Built A Robot" a synthy, bass pumpy, chiming song that is a very very distant cousin to Hot Chip's earlier work. Panda Noah sounds as though he built a robot out of Erector Sets with the kid from next door and when they turned it on it crashed through the front door and blinked in and out of vision beneath the lamppost lit streets as it fled off to god knows where.

Maybe I shouldn't post this. Don't worry Lennox Bear, if you want I can post some of my highschool poetry.

eeeughh, maybe not.

I don't even know if you can buy this anymore but I'm sure if you bought one of his other albums he'd appreciate it.

and now for something completely different:

Thanks to Joe's Pub ROFL and John Tofu Seroff Hut for a good time last friday. (thats where I saw this amazing video)

Friday, June 22, 2007

my, my, my, meg baird

Sometimes, I realize, I come across albums that both myself and my mother would listen to if we had found the same thing independently. It hurts to admit that, but sometimes things are so transcendently beautiful that it clearly works under any circumstances for anyone.

Meg Baird - Waltz of the Tennis Players

I save the best for last. Meg Baird is a member of the folky freaky band "espers" and recently (may 22) dropped her solo album called "Dear Companion."

Did I say dropped? Thats wrong because this album floats back and forth like a feather in a light breeze or falling leaves in warm rain or Joni Mitchell from an open white curtained window overhead or Nick Drake from a crackly record on a porch or someone humming a Dolly Parton tune in an empty subway station. If those sound like things you're interested in I'd pretty much say go ahead and buy the album from Drag City.

Meg Baird - Maiden in the Moor Lay

This one runs its fingers through overgrown yellow mustard plants exploding across an open field. Shadows of clouds drift somnambulant; dark islands amidst the sunlight.

I can't recommend it enough.

go to her myspace page to hear moar.

buy it from her label: drag city.

don't look for her on youtube, you get only one terrifying result.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happiness is a solid, Joy is a liquid

"...the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid" J.D. Salinger in "Nine Stories"

My body is a locus of infinite possibilities, my ears very much the same. My brain floats in a pool of inequalities. at times I will have the silicon fjords of Efterklang, glaciering around in there. at other times I'll listen to the hit-your-face-with-a-hammer sounds of bands like Black Eyes.

lately I've been taking in the sounds of "1 2 3 4" by Ms. Feist. now I'm not that big on the album but if you're not sold by watching this amazing video then I don't know what will sell you on this song.

right? I like the one guy in the striped red sweater that probably arrived late to the shoot and was all like "oh shit, I was supposed to wear solid red? well, I can't get back to my house now! My Dad dropped me off on his way to work."

anyhoo, theres all that going into my head these days and then theres this L.A. band Silver Daggers an amalgam of LA post hardcore and free jazz. They sound like "Cough" era Black Eyes but something about them allows for a much more accessible sound. They sound excited and youthful and joyous to be making the racket they're making whereas Black Eyes sounded tattered and haggard and defeated.

Silver Daggers - Joy

"Joy" is one of those rare riots that occurs not from anger or despair but sheer, unadulterated joy. Like when you and your buddies are all back together and wasted and you all just want to get into trouble and smash down walls and break windows and set shit on fire. The unstoppable bassline kicks in like a cinder block and the cacophonous brass section is fists thrashing the air.

Check out Silver Dagger's myspace page.

and buy their record at Load Records.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Brass Construction

Brass Construction - Changin'

I had been listening to Map Of Africa all morning. If you haven't listened to Map Of Africa you're missing out on some amazing DJ butt-funk (otherwise named Beardo-Disco by some jerks with a better wit than I). Friends were visiting and we dropped into the thrift store foolishly positioned around the block from hundreds of upper-middle class white art school kids with expensive lofts. I thought I'd help them out a bit since they obviously weren't about to get any money selling vintage rainbow-suspenders and Kenny Roger's amazing line of cowboy shirts (everything that man touches is gold). lo and behold there were two records that I espied. one, a yardbirds LP, a dandy record, the other: Brass Construction (inset).

What a funky day it would turn out to be. Brooklyn's Brass Construction, as I am told by, released their first LP in 1975 amidst the rising tide of Hop-Hop and disco. DJ Kool Herc most likely played them at his house parties where he invented the continuous break later to be known as hip-hop.

Changin' is my favorite track on the album simply because of that bass that bass that bass that bass. Good god it struts down the street through the admiring string strikes under open fire hydrants, the choppy keys leaning out their windows, the guitar jingles like hot asphalt, and the brass juts along like drivers watching from inside their steamy car pileups, pulling along trying to keep up with that bass that bass that bass.

You can get the full album here at this fucking!!! awesome blog Headfonehaus.

SOUL TRAIN: dancing to the groove.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lol, Wut?

New-Rave is probably the worst title for any type of music known to man. Spurred by a wanton Klaxon tongue and disemenated by NME's wandering jizz shots, new-rave has become synonymous with the colorful eye-hurt spitting out of pants and shirts in Vice's "Do's" section and hitting you at full force in vagina, mouth and ass. I'm not really into tights, thanks, but the music is definitely a force worth listening to, en mi opinion.

I'm totally into crystal castles right now partially because they seem to be doing the new-rave thing in a darker, less cloyingly unicorny way than The Klaxons or compatriots in day-glo: Hadouken!

I mean, this is electro-hipster distilled in a lab, vocodered, and jerked into a small slim-jim package. Don't say I didn't warn you when you snap into it's snot nosed 8-bit nintendo clicks and twees. If you're not a fan of MSTRKRFT do not open. Fortunately they cut the crap to a short enough length that nothing ever really gets tedious.

I'm a particular fan of Air War on their myspace page (complete with downloads so I'll refrain from putting some here) which is a stroll through a circuitboard, unintelligible vocals bouncing about and hissing like electricity, a nice steady thump making sure people's booties participate.

Crystal Castles - Myspace page #1

crystal castles - myspace page #2

Overall, though, Crystal Castles remix of It Fit When I Was A Kid by Liars is a great example of their potential. Though it relies upon the simple octave keyboard strokes heard in just about every lazy electro dance number, the song still manages to take the spacious, haunting Liars song, make it danceable and even retain the darkness of the original as a great remix should do every time.

Its here: XLR8R

Friday, June 15, 2007

Googly goo

So remember how I was telling you about that new Animal Collective song that they played at the show I saw last weekend? WELL!! I've tracked down a bootleg version that was posted on the Animal Collective message board. They people on Collected Animals (isn't that a clever name?) are calling it "Will To Joy" suspiciously similar to the title the people on youtube were calling it. hmmmmmmm.... its almost as if it were the same people.

Animal Collective - Will To Joy (?)

Sooooo this track is from their performance in Austin (I believe the first video I posted before was from Austin). Its quite pretty iddnit? I can't wait to hear the album version of it or, hell, I can't wait to see them again.

Also!!! Flight of the Conchords, the new HBO show, is FUCKING hilarious! I feel like a dirty whore for posting this but its seriously that good. Two bits to the man, woman or child that finds a full version of the robot song.


I'm a big proponent of the DC punk scene simply because it doesn't really get enough attention.

Whats that?
Bad Brains?
Dismemberment Plan?

pish-posh, not enough attention.

There are so many good bands from DC that fly under the radar simply because people are butts and only care about what craaaaazy Ian Mackaye will do next. Seriously its unfortunate that the tastemakers have deemed Antelope to be unworthy of more than a mediocre rating. Oh well, so much for listening to Antelope, right? Not to feed the ol' blog-o-sphere versus Pitchfork flame here but I find the review of Reflector to be more of a review of the DC scene than a record review. I think its one of the best releases of early 2007 and simply writing it off as post-punk thats not "anthemic" is fucking retarded. but every man to his own opinion.

anyhoo. Antelope writes guitar and drum licks that pop and snap together like k-nex. Listening to an Antelope song sounds like looking at schematics, which, if you know anything about me at all, you'd know that schematics are my newest pleasure. I love how everything just makes sense regardless of whether I understand what that triangle and squiggle line represent.

Antelope - Mirroring

Mirroring, the fourth track on Reflector, comes in with a little plucky raindrop guitar lick. The drums kick in with an unexpected subtle punch. The second guitar winds in. Vocals come in. Its like watching a basket weave itself, and when the song is over you've got a nice little carry-all for picnics.

Antelope - The Demon

The Demon starts similarly. You've got to give Antelope credit for understanding their aesthetic, also for writing lyrics that are thankfully non-sensical. I mean if you're a DC connoisseur you'll have already made yourself well acquainted with Q And Not U's wordplay, or lack thereof. Its not about what they're saying (ok, you could try and make sense of it if you're stoned) its about rythm.

Check them out if you're in Japan cause they're touring you now. otherwise: buy the record here.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

What's in a gnome?

(The scene: Late at night. Two men are seated at a long dimly lit mahogany table in expensive business suits. They are listening to the song "Priest, Poet, & The Pig")

Suit 1: "Wow, these guys are great. Long Hair. Thick Riffs. huge beards. kids like the beards these days."

suit 2: "Yeah, beards equal legitimacy and authenticity, always have, always will. Just look at ZZ Top. Who even owns any of their albums post-Eliminator? Nobody! but they're still fucking sweet! anyway, we've got to do something about that name!"

suit 1: "What? Band of My Morning Foghat? I like that name, its...its so distinct"

suit 2: "Nonsense. Distinct band names are going to be the death of this industry. We need band names now that are un-googleable. Back in the Sixties we used to glue adverbs and pronouns to maps of the U.S. and throw darts to figure out a band's name."

suit 1: "but google didn't exist back then"

suit 2: "You ever been on Acid? I wouldn'tve even known my own momma's titties if they were jiggling right in front of my nose back then, son.

suit 1: "Oh... thats...uh..."

suit 2: "we needed band names that were short and easy to remember. Naming a band "Yes" was a stroke of genius, I mean how many times do people say "Yes" in a day? It was free advertisement. We knew we had lost that spirit in the late Nineties when Godspeed You Black Emperor! came out. The only people who say their name in its entirety are dicks or kids that just found out about them and are on the verge of becoming dicks because of it."

suit 1: "so what do we rename these guys?"

suit 2: "We need something ubiquitous yet with neutered meaning to kids today. I know, Vietnam!

suit 1: "and we can capitalize the N so that it seems distinct without actually being different at all! Fuck you Soulseek!"

suit 2: "Welcome to the team, son. We'll need someone sharp like you to market the accessible, radio-friendly music we have here at Kemado Records."

(end scene)

Actually VietNam is one of my favorite new bands I've heard this year.

check out some more Dad-rock, foghat glory in their song Welcome To My Room. Before you listen to it you have to either get on a "hog" of some sort or be swinging around one of those oversized wrenches like Joanne here:

You can do it, Joanne.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sad pretty music

Hula - As For Hell

I have no idea why these guys aren't getting any press at all. It just goes to show that there is an important factor to getting your band noticed and its this: Marketing. MARKETING! When I think marketing I think of guys named Zack with bleach blonde gel-spiked hair who just want to "shoot the shit" with you in their office. Don't worry Hula! This tiny corner of the Blogosphere is here to help.

Hula just recently emerged with a new album for 2007 called The Cloud That Eats Hands and it is a gorgeous gorgeous album. Hula sounds like finally throwing out the coffee grounds from the coffee the two of you made the day before you broke up: Bittersweet. It's so easy to get bogged down by the "emo" or worse "boring" moniker when you make sad, pretty music and only a few other artists like Elliot Smith and Low capture this sound as crystal clear as Hula can.

The whole album shimmers with deep deep space, guitars that waltz in and out of each other's steps, gorgeous melodies and lyrics, and then of course the pastoral steel guitar that fastens all of the pieces together like glitter sprinkled over glue. The surprising thing is, every song is painted with the same palate and yet I never tire of the songs.

Hula - Helena

Helena is the first song on the album. Like a roller coaster chain it pulls you up to the top over and over and then breaks the tension not with a steep descent but with an unexpected slow motion plummet into a pool of water. Its a gorgeous windswept, mountainous song about "solar powered washing machines" and running away to live in a friend's cabin.

check out their website for more Mp3s and some music videos. Check out their live performance of Fallout, a drony dark monster lumbering through the forest. and buy their album so that they start marketing this shit more, more people need to hear from them!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Well, before the big blogs start lumbering their way to the leaks I'll point you fools in the direction of some muthafuckin' new Animal Collective tracks from Strawberry Jam. Takes a bit to load exactly because of people like me linking to these mofos. Pick yr poison bitches.



is it just me or does peacebone sound like a merry go round broke down?

strawberry jam is out in September and I already have a massive erection.

The Myspace Shuffle

I came across Katrine Ottosen opening for some crappity crap band whose name I don't even remember. Actually the most likely weren't that crappity crap but following this beaooooooteeful tiny waif of a Copenhagian...Copenhagonian...Denmarkian...Dutch? lady was a stupid thing.

Most North European music I hear these days (The Fonal Records kids, Efterklang) capture the pastoral beauty of their snowy dark countries but most hedge the cities, burrowing below them or soaring above them but never walking through them at night. Ottosen's voice is a wisp that shivers down nighttime brick alleyways in the snow, alone, on the way to a dimly lit bar with a baby grand piano in the corner for a drink.

Do Your Trick drifts on sparse keyboard strokes, tiptoe percussive samples and lots of open space. You'll listen but when the song finishes you'll blink, look at the time and wonder where the past four minutes went. Thats not a bad thing, its like watching snow fall outside your window.

Katrine Ottosen - Do Your Trick

Flower in The Night on her myspace is a slowed down spy movie peering around corners and clutching the bottom of moving trucks. and right in the middle an Air-ish arpeggio rolls in a beat and the song escapes through the city. Listen up:

Katrine Ottosen's Myspace

Unfortunately she doesn't play in the US, let alone New York, very often but according to her myspace she will be playing Rockwood Music Hall in the Lower East Side in New York City on the Seventeenth. Check it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Around and Around Again

Welcome to Simian Mobile Disco's world. An amalgam of Scottish countryside, Iraq and the set of ROOTS. Apparently everyone in this world is a pedophile, even the thirteen year olds. Seriously: if you can't grow a mustache then just don't. However! if you look like you should have a wispy pencil thin mustache comprised entirely of your big brother's pube shavings (like everyone in this video) then rock that shit dawg. Its one or the other. And also, SMD, don't make everyone look so depressed! The only person having a good time in this video is that sixteen year old in the track suit spitting down his slutty older sister's throat.
(To quote a line from El Topo: "we are deformed because of the many years of incest")

Yes Yes! This song, I Believe, has the best hook I've heard in the synth-heavy euro-trash disco scene since Da Funk. Its got the kind of beat that is made for guys who pretend to ironically dance like they're constantly in STOMP! and wear trashcan lids on their feet except thats just a cover up because they're just bad-dancing white-ass dumps. ALSO! it is prime for the awkward How-low-can-you-go?! crab walk grind that some dudes still think is cool outside of eighth grade dances and bar mitzvah's. Those aside, this song is prime for the I'll-take-you-home-tonight deal sealing make out sesh on the dance floor. I'm down with that.

Simian Mobile Disco is comprised of James Ford, the producer for the latest Arctic Monkey's album and The Klaxons, and Jas Shaw who, um, is in Simian Mobile Disco. This is from their new album Attack Decay Sustain Release due out June 18 which, by the by, is being streamed on the SMD website.

anyhoo: the first single from the album is a song called 'It's The Beat' featuring Ninja from The Go! Team who consistently tells the listener that the beat is the part of the song that one must vigorously shake one's body to. R2D2, fresh from being repeatedly beaten onstage and recorded for Excepter's live streaming project, generously provides his hip-hop stylings as the hook to most of the song.

oh, Pitchfork beat me to the punch? fancy that.

BONUS: listen to the excepter streams at the same time as SMD's album stream on their website if you want to add a little Tapatio to your euro-techno. It works surprisingly well, kinda like apples and cigarettes.

Friday, June 08, 2007

the only state's name that wasn't taken by a band

When I think of certain decades I have a sort of synaesthetic response. Its not so much that the 80's makes me think of gloworms, popples, Care Bears and/or unchecked AIDS epidemics. Rather, I think of various shapes and colors and sounds, each falling into place like colors on a Rubik's cube.

The early ninties were neons, Cherokee brand acid washed daisy dukes for boys and of course Big Dogs clothing: ergonomically designed to conceal FUPAs and forcefully exhume the most decayed cultural memes, print their corpses across mainsail sized t-shirts, and then piss in your eyeballs with whatever Dog pun pus they happened to concoct. Maybe this was a southern thing. that and Big Johnson T-shirts.

Anyhoo: I've been trying to determine what this decade, the aughts, will be remembered for? It seems the i-pod computer solids is the number one contender. All the dayglo klaxons tawdry-kaka thats coming into fashion now seems to be walking down that road. but there's a folk-art thing going too. a kind of earthy-tone, sea-foam green crayon running parallel to the Devendras and Newsoms. The very same seed that the "Dad beard explosion" has germinated from in the last few years. In other words it's cool to like The Band and CCR again so raid your attic for crackly old vinyl with your Dad's name written on the liner notes.

And thats where bands like Arizona are coming from these days. Arizona is an NYC band that likes to wear flannel and when you ask them why, they go "What?" and look around going "Get a-load of this guy" thumbs a-jabbin' at you. Their songs are catchy and lovely and carry around hatchets and corn-cob pipes. Check oot their myspace page because they are very very unsigned but if they stick around I bet they'll be puttin out some good stuff.

Te Amo Tanto sounds like Neil Young singing on a Grateful Dead track with a little help from Derek and The Dominoes. Check it.

Arizona's myspace page.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Not So Brief Hiatus

Alright don't be jerks now. I'm sorry. bloggy and I just had to be apart for a little while. I'll take you to a baseball game and buy you a hot dog to prove that I still love you.

anyhoo: I saw Animal Collective (just to prove how much I love them I come out of hibernation because of them) last Friday at the South Street seaport where the whole set was gorgeous and wonderful yada yada yada. Then they played this incredibly blissed out gem that even got the tiny little baby hipsters all around me moving their hips a little more than the alloted one inch diameter that separates disinterest from actual bona-fide dancing.

I have found, however, that this song will not be on Strawberry Jam and was apparently written several weeks before the show!!! DAMN DAMN YOU FATES!!! also apparently everyone on youtube is a dummy because no one got the whole song. It sounds like it was penned by Panda Bear on account of the harmonies and melody is so fucking strong but I could be wrong about that. let us piece it together, together, like a family again.

as soon as Avey Tare stops screaming and the samba egg starts coming in get ready to click the next one. They're not quite perfect but you'll get the idea of how it felt to be in the audience for this song.

aaaaaaand click!


fans are dubbing this song You Got The Will To Joy which doesn't make any damn sense, but hell if I care what Panda and Avey are saying. they're not really that kind of band now are they? I'd call it Bliss Conniption. or maybe Grandeurysm. oh god. and thats the ball game.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Dan Deacon

Browsing Brooklyn Vegan yesterday led me to a young chap by the name of Dan Deacon, as you can see from the video above he's out of his fucking mind and writes music that is the soundtrack to tea parties on the ceiling. He hangs out with the dudes of Ecstatic Sunshine in that Baltimore crowd.

He has a new album coming out this year on May 8 called Spiderman of the Rings. It's like Tamborello from Dntel decided to eat a bunch of crazy berries off the awesome bush. The lyrics make less sense than a meat loaf sandwich.

here's "Wham City" which is indeed long but worth the listen at least for the absurdly catchy middle part.

and here's Crystal Cat the closest thing to a dance track on the album.

gonna get my pants suit on?

Friday, April 27, 2007


Let me say this and let me say this real fast so that all you stupid people with pipes through your Broca's area will get it: I hated The Arcade fire. *GASP* what? How could anyone hate The Arcade Fire? Thats like hating America. or *GULP* loving terrorism!

Cool your rocket-skates there, Ashcroft, and look at me with both eyes. I will now, readers, stoop to all of your vomitous, poor tastes at tell you that, yes, I am a convert to the church of the Neon Bible. Now, before you pull out the bathing suits and streamers and Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil filled kiddie pools, I must tell you that I still dislike The Arcade Fire's first album Funeral and wish it were dead.

I'm not one of those assholes who dislikes something based on overhype. If anything I'd be the first to jump into that pit of rabid Tyra Bankses if someone told me it was cool. But the first Arcade Fire album, to me, sounds like a very very fat man blocking one of those moving sidewalks in an airport. Multiply that by ten songs and add Win Butler's stupid warble and you've got something that I find exceedingly more mediocre that people give it credit for.

Actually, that I find the songs mediocre even though I find them overbearing really attests to the arrangements themselves. I must give AF my commendations on penning songs whose forefingers are all pointing in the same direction. Truly, though, the new album changes directions ever so slightly enough, that I find myself enjoying their sounds.

The songs on Neon Bible sound either like a flick of the wrist or a full bombardment but never, in my opinion, sound like they're slapping me in the face with their "indyness." Neon Bible sounds more like they're juggling on a unicyle on a tightrope to me, a good thing. Theres a tautness about it that I find more appealing that Funeral's un-tautness. and a dark, monastic, cloistered feel to it. Theres more storm. The windows are a little more tinted this time around. and Win Butler's voice is lower in the mix, less'n he sings like Springsteen. Thats just fine with me:

Theres more uncertainty here I feel, because each song is more timid in approaching an answer than their last album. The cathartic and sublime (and predictable) endings in Funeral are replaced in Neon Bible by an obscuring deepness of sound most visible, I think, in (Antichrist Television Blues).

and of course intervention, the single, punches you in the face first thing with a fucking full organ. This song fulfills every tenet I've laid down for this album. It really couldn't possibly be a member of Funeral's repertoire, its far too tinted to allow us any sort of relief from it's bombardment, which I find much more appealing than the heart-on-the-coffee-table sounds of Funeral.

unfortunately this crapfest comes after it:

yes, I dislike the first half of this song, but get through the first two minutes of the festival of crap and the end finds itself as the darkest and most revealing Butler allows himself to get on Neon Bible.

"Theres a great black wave in the middle of the sea."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

No Brakes on Life

Its so funny how easy it is to forget about certain things.

This week has been The Dismemberment Plan in all of their iterations. Yesterday consisted of me listening to a couple D Plan albums on repeat. D Plan is not a huge thing in NYC which is so strange coming from Virginia because, well, if you don't like D Plan in Virginia you're pretty much banished.

Truth is it took me a while to get used to the idiosyncrasies in The D Plan's music. Its funny to watch those idiosyncrasies through D Plan's career, from "!" through "Is Terrified" and "Emergency and I" one can really hear each individual member's personal style coagulating from the hit you with a frying pan sound of "!" into the subtle weirdness of Emergency and I. Seriously check it out:

"!" is a pretty mediocre album that is telling of what the D Plan would become. but upon first listen its easy to notice how low the vocals are in the mix and how much the bass sounds like a fucking howitzer. Mixing must have been such a difficult task for D Plan througout their career since each member is fighting each other member for singularity of style but thats what makes the sound work so well. They're a unit that consistently sounds about to explode and the more subtle they were able to make that explosion sound, the better their albums were.

so anyhow here's the first song off of D Plan's first album called Survey Says:

now check out Is Terrified when they started to figure something out about their DC roots or something, and Travis Morrison found out about falsetto. Actually the song is pretty standard guitar rock during the chorus, but check out the synth and drums verses and post chorus.

And then of course Emergency and I when they managed to hone their sound to as sharp as it would ever be. I suppose The City is a bad example but its just such a great song that I can't pass up putting it on here.

and then maybe a little after that comes the Juno/D Plan split where the D plan released their biggest booty shakin' song, "The D ismemberment Plan Gets Rich" that I feel magnificently condenses their raucous premergency and I sound with the sharpness but ultimately too condensed sounds of Change.

god that song is so fucking great. shook my ass to that song on stage w/ D Plan at their last show (not their post-breakup last shows).

Friday, April 20, 2007

Chuck Brown and The Soul Searchers

Chuck Brown is to Go-Go music as the 4th duke of sandwich is to modern eating trends. What is Go-Go music you ask? Well Go-Go is a variation of Funk music developed in Washington DC by none other than Mr. Chuck Brown. The beats are typically laid back in a 4/4 signature with conga percussion beside a regular drum set. Sometimes it verges on a reggae-like or calypso percussion because of the syncopation. Also! The songs tend to bleed into one another so as to keep people shakin' they asses. Shows run very long because the artists work an element of jazz in there too, noodling around whatever foundation the song has laid down. Lyrics are sparse too, smidgeoned between keyboards and horns they are typically ad-libbed, call and response or just a repeated phrase.

Interestingly, because the music focuses on the live it seems like there are a lot of references to popular culture thrown in for almost no reason at all. For example when I saw Chuck Brown last night at Joe's Pub he worked in the Godfather theme as well as the Woody Woodpecker theme. and it was clear that the band and he had practiced it and worked it in beforehand because the three brass and two keyboardists all flowed through it perfectly. An intriguing bit of post-modern appropriation if you ask me. I would imagine theres a little bit of re-appropriation in the genre as well, but none of the songs last night "sampled", if you will, any tunes that could be poignantly deconstructed and I'm not familiar enough with live performances of Go-Go to say one way or the other.

Or this is just the last vestiges of my academic self, having crystallized into a kidney stone like obstruction, being pissed out onto this webpage. How many licks to the center of self-deprecation? one. Ah ta-hooo. Ah Three. The world may never know.

Brown basically just took his funk band in the 70s and completely and decisively created a new genre that people could dance to for a solid two hours straight. Thats right, fuck Pilates and swishy, neon track suits (okay, those can stay). Head to the 9:30 Club in DC which he apparently plays on a semi-regular basis and you'll see what I'm talking about.

He also has a new album coming out soon which apparently has some hip-hop influences on it. (he did have his daughter come on stage and do a little rappin' which sounded great) All in all imagine Go-Go as a kind of Funk paella that you can put anything delicious in and it'll taste just fine.

Heres Chuck Brown's big hit "bustin' Loose" from the album of the same title.

and another Go-Go band called Rare Essence for your listening pleasure

Also: get a load of Chuck Brown he is AMAZING!!!!