Friday, November 28, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

GPS 3 new ones!


Ahhh the day before thanksgiving...You are probably cooking all kinds of crap or getting ready to...just got this latest email about 3 more offerings to be thankful for from the Great Pop Supplement. things are definitely looking up exchange rate wise so this won't be too hard on the wallet this holiday season.
First up is Remos third ear. I'm having trouble deciding if this is a reissue of 70's period psyche-folk stuff or this is a current band? If I didn't know better the myspace even seems period, old washed out photos of band members, the recording sounds grainy and all tripped out, atmospheric nature samples, heavy wah guitar. Lots of Zepplin Echo....or like an acoustic, bongo Wooden Shjips...that homage to the sound but utterly authentic.
Tom Baxindale is working all over the map at times I get a slightly warped carnival sound, like a breathy Tom Waits or something, not grating, layered vocals...accordion and banjo. Singular singer songwriter sound, with a hint of gypsy in there, quick high nylon guitar like old traditional story songs from docks or bars.
Crayon I just couldn't find anywhere...I don't think it's this band happy crayon which is pretty insane yelling distorted synth...hopefully they post more info about this release soon.
Well, the chestnuts are roasting and the turkey is brining...editing the stilts show for Friday's podcast...no post tomorrow, just eating.


From GPS:
anyway, this is to advertise 3 x new 7"'s, and a 200 copy cd. usually i only tend to go out on something that is ready to mail straight away- however i'm having to mail now because of a mix up with the cd and release date. so PLEASE bear this in mind: while it is ok to order now, it won't be til a week or so that i mail them out ok?! the 3 new singles are by remos third ear (very eerie, 'middle of the woods' kinda swedish psych folk gear- 3 trk killer ep), tom baxendale (uk singer songwriter in an acoustic / psych vein not unlike gene clark in places perhaps, old gig partner of previous gpster pete greenwood), and then perhaps as a slight departure, crayon (sombre synth tones give way to slightly warped pop gear!) ...hoping those hastily invented on the spot descriptions haven't scared you off!?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Castanets on Asthmatic Kitty

Played this last night to get a feel for it and it's freaking bizarre...in an entirely different thing then just rocking the fuck out with a shitload of distortion, this is like somewhere in Xiu Xiu world, at least the remix....which isn't that accurate of a representation I think of his style, but it's nothing like I expected.
Raymond Raposa has an insane falsetto, I'm still having trouble believing this is actually his voice and not auto-tuned or fed through one of those harmony/vocorder pedals. It's warbly and really controlled for being in this range, then it drops back to a lower whisper you strain to hear, but it's the high parts in a anti-meldoy that get your attention:
she's such / a strong animal / just as strong / as me
That's what can be so interesting about super produced stuff like this, it really sounds like aliens made it, it's so foreign, so opposite from the no-fi I've been used to. This fills the space in a minimal full way. It's the way you should go for work like this...don't just enhance what's there like Steve Albini, make it On vinyl all those little plastic imperfections sound so wrong in this compressed silence.
Now this remix is the first taste I'm getting of the Castanets and I don't think it's represntative of his style...it lends itself to a remix ...being so unique. The rest of his work sounds very somber Will Oldham kind of just heartbreaking, pushing the alt-country envellope all over the place with non traditional instruments and arrangements, but lyrically driven. He's a great vocalist and you can't help but sympathize immediately with the emotion...the sadness of course...and you might just want to prepare yourself.

From Asthmatic Kitty:
This limited edition 7” includes a remix of “Strong Animal” from Castanets recent In the Vines full-player, as well as “Golden”, an outtake from that same album. The remix was part of a series of remixes given out via the interweb to help promote In The Vines. This one was too deliciously geared for dance floors so we felt that not putting it to wax was a crime to the night. West Coaster and Hero to All, Rafter, manned boards and faders and clickers for it. Bass up, mids wherever. Artwork is by Castanets good friend Tara Jane ONeil. Here's to big airplanes and weekend agoraphobics.

1. strong animal (rafter remix) – 3:11
2. golden – 4:37

Monday, November 24, 2008

Crystal Stilts at More Condos Less Artists 11-21-08 - (an open letter to photographers)

Take a look at that picture...I have a shitty iphone, and I'm happy with whatever dumb picture gets taken because I could care less.... Brooklyn vegan posts really annoy me when it's pages and pages of pics...who cares. Was the show even good?
I guess you don't give a fuck.
I was shooting in the dark by the way, but there were so many flashes gong off that I got at least 5 pics just lit by other peoples flashes....what the fuck people.

I'm sure Cheap Time and the Crystal Stilts have no problem with getting a little press, having people take their picture for their online music sites... whatever... but this show was seizure inducing.
Who cares if you fucking getting another shot for your portfolio?
This is about the band, and you are fucking with their performance, you are effecting the show for the audience and the band. You are a fucking distraction that has nothing to do with the music, you are a visual artist, you don't belong here.
You know why you have to take 9000 pictures? Because you are a shitty photographer.


I kept hoping the moshing crowd was going to break your fucking lens, push you over into the PA speakers. Dicks, reaching over people's heads holding the flash button down.... I just wanted to see someone accidentally dance jump up and smash the lens into your teeth.

You aren't a photographer if you get lucky once every 100 pictures. I see you going through the pics on the LCD, it's a god damn flip book.... fuck it shoot a movie, pull some stills....that would make more sense.
They are just fucking weird leeches who stare at their LCD's doing.... I don't know what.....hoping to sell a shot to some music publication down the road?...There has to be money in it for these asshole to be clambering over each other with bags and bags of equipment...I guess if you're really lucky someday you'll sell 8x10's on your website for $20, or have a show at some half ass gallery.
You make a name for yourself documenting other peoples performances. It's sad.

Where's the fucking skill in any of it? You show up at a show and point your camera...you're doing nothing but fucking up the performers and the show actually.
The heckler was less annoying...the dude chanting Arliss...I'd take 5 more of him over you trying to get a good shot. I wish crowds would start kicking these assholes....crack a few lenses, break some shit...let the photographer fucks shoot with zoom from the back row or risk getting their shit fucked up.
If I was fucking epileptic I would take it out on your camera...if I am epileptic and I don't know it yet, I'll take it out on your camera.
Fuck you.


That being said, Cheap Time opened and was a fucking powerhouse kick ass trio. With great pauses in rocking the shit out for a second of silence then jump back on the mic and into the sound. Like the NY Dolls and the Ramones dream band, they have as many hooks and harmonies and choruses to keep you up for weeks. Tight and satisfying, they don't give you a second to applaud, it's one song into another for a punishing 45 minute set.


The Crystal Stilts then set up... all kinds of weird black boxes perched on suitcases. Cardigans all around...guitarist JB stares at the back wall, either that or he's monitoring some kind of custom tube pedal and barely strums, just quick additions. One chorus strum here and there, or in that Velvet Underground monotony. It's hard to really decide what's making this sound come together...Frankie has the signature sound for sure, she banging away with the caveman drummer approach, hunched over staring at the top of the snare, hidden by ponytails....holding some kind of woodblock sticks...I swear. The tamborine on top of a tom, that's the thing that works so well on Vivian Girls and the Stilts, it's this ever present sleigh bell time sound that adds another layer of rhythm to the snare kick snare kick 1,2,3,4 time.

Brad Hargett is huge, with crazy robert smith fucked hair, holding the mic with both hands, and barely moving...this isn't a doom and gloom band, but everything would lead you to believe that so far. It's almost like a Brian Wilson nightmare...it's sad and hopeful somehow. Like that sad bastard in art class who out of nowhere makes something really nice.
The vocals of course are buried thanks to some effect box he would reach down and adjust here and there. But this is fast, even danceable...really Velvets influenced again, especially this choice of venue, the overhead projector casting a mesh fence shadow across the wall in someone's apartment in the village...really is this a joke? It's too perfect.
They sound like a crappy recording so it's perfect, it's a wall of sound, all bass and echo vocals...with Frankie harmony here and there. It's like they unabashedly took the best parts of JAMC, Velvet Underground and just go with it...there's nothing not to like...it's the perfect homage to the sound... time period, making it seem new again because they do it so well.


In Summary:
Photographers: Chill the fuck out, have some respect for the people there to watch the show, not further their career, especially if there isn't a press area like you fucks should be corralled in. More Condos Less Artists isn't the venue for you...go to terminal 5.
Bands: I don't know where you stand. Cheap Time said something at the end about having a seizure, and please stop, so he can't be the only one. I know you want coverage, so you probably side with the photogs, but maybe that band of horses dude had a point? Then again there's a lot of hype with the Stilts, they could have been in bed with every one of these people, what do I know?
Audience: Kick the shit out of annoying photographers, or at least mosh into their lens, maybe cause some damage. You don't have to make it obvious.

I'll post the show Friday...look for that.....and I'm not cutting out the heckler dude. Anyone that just yells 'Larry Sanders season 2!' or 'Anyone who likes Jimmy James from News Radio, make some mutherfucking noise!' is pretty awesome in my book.

Crystal Stilts have a 12" that
Compiles their s/t 12" and the Shattered Shine 7" and it can be had all over place or from Insound. Cheap time has a couple singles that are sold out at the source, but Insound looks like they have some copies as well as the usual distos to the right there...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Los Llamarada at The Charleston 11-12-08 podcast

I'm beginning to like the Charleston... maybe it's the rules posted in capital letters on their myspace page:
5. WE ARE A DIY VENUE, RESPECT AND UNDERSTAND WE CAN GET SHUT DOWN FOR BEING TOO LOUD and/or STUPID.

7. DON'T BE STUPID.

What's rule #6 you ask?
Bands drink draft beer for $3...really just a guideline...but it makes sense after you drink the cheap beer, reread rule #7.
I have to say I never really went to see anyone there before, let alone go in there period. It's right off the L and probably annoying every Friday and Saturday...good for them, they get everyone passing by...and have free pizza with every drink.

But the downstairs is a different story...the typical basement..move the kegs to the side, set up some half benches, throw in some stools and you have the best venue for a band like Los Llamarada. I saw they were playing Cakeshop and Maxwells, but this would be the place to go in the middle of the week to see what that no-fi rock was all about.
I made it just as hank IV was ending their set and a ton of people were exiting...I ended up picking up the single before the lead singer made his way upstairs.

Finally Los Llamarada was up, having just come from a show in Ohio the night before. It was like some kind of seance, or fringe church in a basement...the avant guard church. The lights are bare bulbs, concrete walls. It wasn't overwhelming in volume, but the performance is mesmerizing.
What sounded like a soundcheck, all fills and feedback slowly worked it's way into the first song. Primarily everything is grounded in a typical beat and then a lot of drone keyboard is underneath...almost feedback...that John Cale sustained tone that adds this layer of noise to everything, the sound that never ends, that doesn't need to change to get attention...you can lose track of it after a while.

Johnny Noise on guitar has huge restraint for this avant noise sound...it's really pared back garage style...it's not guitar focused in it's delivery. It's the right ammount for the droning keys, it takes the front by default, to lead off a song and work on rhythm with the drums.
Estrella Ek Sanza has this vocal delivery that's half spoken word, half chant, swaying back and forth with his eyes closed, head lifted up, straining to find the microphone. The music can fall of and he's still ranting...he's got to fill every hole with a word.
Halfway through Estrella moved over to synth and Sagan took over vocal duty in the same style with more yelling. But not aggressive, kind of a yelling in the middle of the forest, by yourself.

Live, this is loose for sure, more psyche, less looking for the right takes, messy, you chose to go along for the ride more and watch exactly whats happening in front of you.
The pieces are all interesting, they aren't hitting you over the head, combining all kinds of elements, switching off on vocals...mostly their recording style, or lack of, is a huge part of their sound, the imperfections, hearing what you want out of the mud...but they prove they can deliver an entirely different side to their music live.

This is challenging, without a doubt.

Go get the live show MP3's
here.... that's the podcast for this week.
I'm using megaupload for hosting, put in the code and get downloading.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vampire Blues/ I Hear The Vibrations, by Wooden Shjips (7" on Sick Thirst)


Here's a 7" I'll probably never see...although ss is supposed to be getting a very limited number of these in, maybe I'll see it quick enough.... get on their mailing list if you're interested.
Vampire Blues is a Neil Young cover? That's worth the price of admission and probably the low pressing number. This is a tour single sold at shows...so again good on you if you end up with one.
The thing I've been into most about the shjips is when that guitar starts screaming in the middle of the track, just blown out, uncontrollable. When it goes into experimental territory...when it kind of turens it's accessibility on it's head a little. It takes it's time going anywhere and then there's that ultra echo vocals with sustain that never ends, just all the good things about psyche...like the Crystal Stilts latest full length I've been listening to a tons...it takes the best things about early JAMC and just plays it. There's no trying to go comercial period or producing the sound. Like the shjips, they love what they love and are reproducing it.
I get that maybe they are treading where a bunch of period bands alreayd went,but it's anew take on the era, filtered through today...or just with an unabashed appreciation and taking it to it's extreme.
I don't know too much about that era and some of the greats these guys are probably influenced by, I'm too obsessed with now, so this will do nicely.
It will hyptnotize me to sleep at times though...

It's available overseas at Norman recs who says:

Hey we got some copies of the Wooden Shjips ltd edition tour 7" 'Vampire Blues/ I Hear The Vibrations'. You may recall how quickly we sold out of their previous tour split with The Heads so you best be getting yer skates on. 'Vampire Blues' is a cover of a Neil Young tune from his 1974 'On The Beach' album. I have to confess to never having heard the original but their version is a real grower. The guitar is suitably fuzzy, the percussion fairly simple and the overall atmosphere a druggy, lazy, stoned haze. A good old fashioned blues rock and roll tune with lovely warm analogue sound. The flipside 'I Hear The Vibrations' has a brilliant repetitive bassline that's really prominent in the mix while layers of psychedelic guitar swirl around. This has their authentic 70's sound but thankfully manages to avoid becoming too proggy and adopting some of the more embarrassing cliche's associated with 70's rock. Again I love the overall sound here presumably all played and recorded with old kit. Upon second spin I can declare I thoroughly approve.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Black Ladies on stationary heart



A long long time ago I heard about a new label putting out a casiotone / fox pauses split single ... they were called stationary heart, and I was smitten by their ultra limited release...the sleeve was really great and when it finally showed up in the mailbox it was like getting this amazing piece of art.
Now it's finally joined on the 7" shelf by the black ladies..., thanks to Stationary Heart's website redesign and this round of latest releases it looks like John is going all out since last time I had a look.

I love these experiments by default like this. Two guys playing together...bass and drums, probably just friends and the sound develops, they might decide to play a show and feel like adding a guitarist for another layer of sound. But after a while there's no guitar that fits, or isn't around/just doesn't work. Well then fuck it...this is what we ended up with and what we want to do. And I'm not even saying that's what happened...and they are already anthems, at the fucking champs agility level, head shaking, you have to move... and hear where this beat and pounding bass is going.

Two grunts kick it the A-side and the drums are working overtime, really straining to get
every crash to fill in any holes super frantic...this is the definition of the sweat filled basement show you're just blown away at.
I like the bass is really forward but all grinding away, not delicate, probably no picks, you would just end up with bloody stumps on those huge strings. Or miles of tape wrapped around every night. To say nothing of the drummer who must be reaching across every piece of the kit for the another tom fill...it's punishing period.

The sleeve is amazing, stationary heart really puts together a nice package, it's thick cardstock with heavy ink printed...not offset, but silk screened... must be, these great browns and reds...a bunch of passes and then a hand cut square right out of the middle of the back. The vinyl is this weird green/grey mess, and I think this edition runs every color in between. A beautiful thing.
The drumming is insane I just have to say it again, there's an untold number of riffs and changes, there's no telling where it's going, the slower moments are even more rewarding, where they give in to a kick/snare groove because it's just too good to pass up... but only for a few measures and it's onto somewhere new.

The B-side The real Jurassic park starts with a cymbal roll and this side is even heavier if that's possible with nice stuttered pauses and more changes with slightly electronic sounding bass this time. But it doesn't try to dress it up with any weird sounds or recording tricks. It's straightforward performance. The bass sounds like it switches between that rat pedal fuzz and some kind of bubbly underwater sound just slightly...only after a million listens.It's heavy and relentless, the stuff that could drive trucks or blast apart rocks in the quary. No doubt they will leave countless bands starting up in their wake.

All instrumental by the way, if you couldn't tell...and I can't get enough of this sound. Aces. This would be a show to catch live for sure, and somehow this recording captures that. All on your pathetic, sad turntable at home in your safe, comfortable livingroom.
Wimp.

$6 at stationary heart.

Listen to Naked Caveman track A1...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Drunken Barn Dance on Leroy St Records


Winters Tale / Evelyn wears a Tiara

Scott from Leroy Street Records sent this single to me a little while back from Drunken Barn Dance. The mason jars on the sleeve full of...what I'm assuming is liquor....resting in the snow definitely gave me some idea of where this was going.
By the way...I always have to appreciate an artist/label willing to go that extra step of pressing a 7" on colored vinyl. It says something right away about the band... we're willing to go that extra distance since we're already out on somewhat of a limb to begin with. Let's go all the way...test this branch. I appreciate the self destructiveness. No prisoners.

I tried to figure out what this was reminding me of and then it hit me...this has John Darnielle written all over it, it's uncanny, really the sound quality....if it was recorded on an old tape deck I'd swear it was from 'Nine Black Poppies'. It has the same packed, lyrically epic feel, where you can't possibly catch everything the first few times through.
At one point he's singing about turntables so I feel right at home but then he says something about spilling drinks on it, and I really disagree with that....It has that similar Mountain Goats rush to get the lyrics out even, just push them out over the frantic strumming acoustic, belted out in one take, there's so much of the story to jam into 2 minutes followed by two big windmill hits and that's side A.
Whew.


The B side is a slower power strummed number with lots of space. FT has a real penchant for that storytelling ballad.... just plain literary...full of those little descriptions of a depressing winter scene.The whispered vocals to a strained belt...the whole range is here.

gather round till were concentric
gather round like we're infectious

and from the satellites that watch us

you can't intimidate the kids they're building armies outside

There's definitely some kind of gunshot sound off in the distance here, like a huge timpani drum boom...or is that fireworks? A distant popping. I keep looking outside, but that's just the speakers again. You think you'd get it...the same place every time.
Then a slightly overdriven solo at the end with the master tape (?) messed with to get the warble of slowing down at the end...I almost get a Ben Gibbard feel here at times too...but less emotional...heart on his sleeve... more calling it like he sees it, with twists of irony and alliteration.

Is it winter already? It is now.

DBD says:
We should say at the outset that most rules serve some purpose. And there are rules here. Although they are broken with semi-regularity, they exist nonetheless. Adult beverages are mandatory. No more than a couple of takes. No more than a handful of tracks, including vox (such as they are). This process of course destroys many a hard-wrought song and melody, but the sweet outweighs the sour... Life has too few truly unguarded moments, what with posing and re-posing for your online picture and all. These are ours...


Get it from Leroy St. Records

Hit the paypal button and tell them what color you want white/grey/or both....only 299 left.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fucoustic - Folderol (self released)

Fucoustic - Folderol

After
seeing them at Don Pedros last year and talking with them after the show....I got a little obsessed with "Fucoustic plays Fugazi" and randomly listening to them here and there for puzzled Fugazi fans. Recently they contacted me about their new album of even more Fugazi reinterpretations and I spent some time with Folderol for the past few months.

I had to investigate the title right away....Folderol is defined as Foolishness; nonsense. It's amazing Fucoustic see their project that way because it seems that to them nothing is taken more seriously than Fugazi. You can most definitely call them a tribute band, not cover band....this is passionately reinterpreted material not just played with different instruments.
It took foolishness maybe in the beginning to embark on this project but the result is anything but.
Most importantly, none of this is done with a sliver of irony.
This could go so far as to inspire the next generation of acoustic guitarists to pick up the cliche, overused folk implement, whether or not they know about Fugazi.
This could even be an entry point for some people not knowing where to begin in the Fugazi underworld.
It certainly isn't without energy of it's own...it's not like the Iron and Wine cover of 'Great Heights', going the opposite way from the original, making it almost unrecognizable...a really sad sweet version to put on mix tapes. This is aggressive and it makes no difference it's done with acoustic guitars.
I swear these versions are even louder than the source in cases...they have even more energy...I know, I know that's practically sacrilegious, but it doesn't take anything away from the original...ever.


This time Fucoustic tackles material from the more challenging albums; Repeater, Red Medicine and Steady Diet of Nothing. These may have been the songs that had particular meaning and didn't immediately lend themselves to easy covers.
In Provisional, they employ a drum machine for the first time, but it's the most minimal tinny sounding beat, like the acoustic compositions themselves, stripping the rhythm down to the most essential piece and then putting it back together completely differently. Right inbetween verses, they have the greatest sounding slide, scraped guitar solo... their version of Fugazi's dissonant sustained harmonics. It's recorded so clean, so compressed, every note can be heard, every string ringing, every ridge ground as the pick runs down it.

They also interestingly do 'Merchandise', Fugazi's condemnation of band merch as if to say in Fucoustic's case that they are aware of what they are doing and how it might come across, they've come to terms with honoring a band that means so much to them. They aren't making any apologies if met with criticism, this is the way they see it, and are doing a damn good job. They mess with the harmonies a little and like other tracks taking basslines and lead guitar and translate them into 2 6 string acoustics. It's true to the original but things are emphasized.
On 'Around the Corner' they use the top of the acoustic as percussion, pounding away between chords....strumming muted strings, creating the bass chord structure. Vocally they are at their best on this track... very much in the spirit of Fugazi down to the layered vocals.

I've given up on trying to listen to my Fucoustic vs. Fugazi playlist, there's no obvious comparison, no formula to the reinterpretation. It's always recognizable, but completely different. It's really some kind of lost unplugged sessions, I have to remind myself that this isn't Fugazi. They keep tricking me....down to the vocal quality... and I know the words to the songs unconsciously. I'll sing along when it comes up on random and forget for a minute it's not an alternate version.

It's really something to have the endurance and willpower to devote your professional music life to recreating another bands material. Going to this length in live performance and recording. You get the sense that if they have anything personal to say at some point they decided it's best summed up already by the DC band, they just want to do it their way.

This is an anomaly of fandom, creating something so closely based on the original that it becomes it's own entity, an essential part of the Fugazi story completely endorsed by Ian himself (who gave them a tour of DC last time they played the Black Cat).
Sadly I don't think they will be coming back to play live thanks to homeland security and some Visa troubles.

Any band should be so lucky as to have a tribute like this... a retelling of the familiar stories shedding new light on the original. Folderol just seems to bring up more questions then ever...how far are they going to carry this out? Is it still enjoyable? Now that they've met Ian, has it come to some sort of a conclusion? Do they have things they've been waiting to release? Their own music?


Folderol is available in the US from CD baby.

Go download one track from Folderol: no surprise

Andreas emailed me after the review with a few answers to my questions:

jason,
... we will carry on as long we feel like doing it and as long as there are opportunities to play good gigs (means: if we find the right gig-places) and as long it is possible for us: my daughter is 8 months now and daniel just got a son 3 weeks ago!).
we played our last gig this august, but are planning to play some shows next year nearby where we live.
so we carry on: it is a very special thing, like you said, a tribute, a homage to wonderful music - and hereby quality counts.
and the best thing, yes it already happened: Fugazi like what we recorded and played, and so do some great people like you!

kepp your eyes open, thanks! Andy

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mudboy - Mudmux Vol 1 on DNT records. Interview Pt2

This is another single I got a little confused at what speed it's meant to be heard...it's certainly frantic enough at 45, but 33 sounds just a little too slow, so 45 is what I'm sticking with.....it's more bent elecronic-y.
(Tynan says it's most definitely 33 - ed)
Immediately this is really creating some kind of 90's horror movie theme tension, like any good John Carpenter soundtrack.... combined with all kinds of clipped and cut up beats behind panning back and forth. Quiet sinister wind howling, breathy noises and I think there's a conversation ...or some kind of human voices somewhere in the mix.
Apparently this was an old midi file unearthed on a floppy from what I'm getting was a previous project from mudboy called Extreme Animals(?). Or maybe he just knew them to get permission to use this? This track originally entitled 'Raprockpoprocks' now dubbed 'Lil John Carpenter Tribute Song', which leads me to believe there's some lil' John samples/influence in there somewhere, along with the mixed in metal clanging, and cymbal crashing which pokes out over the synth line every few measures.
It increasingly gets electronic and glitchy and takes you out back where it started on
slow deliberate synth bassline.

The B-side takes you in a completely different direction...originally by the DarkDarkDark band called 'Come Home'...it's all accordion and slow vocals from Nona Marie Dark. Another ominous track Mudboy devolves into tempo bending slowness by the end, drawing out a single word for seconds, turning them spectral. The voice turned ghostly entity who is asking you to come home...but probably by now means come home to die. The vocals are two different takes layered across channels
with real huge separation. I'm getting the feeling Mudboy tends to take things on a dark path, and gravitates towards working this kind of thing.

Mudboy seems to be somewhat of a renaissance man based out of providence and has done sound installations, builds custom instruments and sells artwork/music releases on
his site.
The DNT packaging as always is amazing...this is no exception...the printed sleeve is ultra thick ink and almost seeps through the other side...real handmade and one of a kind.
Mudboy says:

Cover art is a hand made blue and platinum 4 pass silkscreen by R Lyon in collaboration with
Kevin Hooyman. Using an experimental marbelled printing technique to generate the skyscape.Each one is unique. Limited to 535.
All of them on clear Blue vinyl.
Apparently this is part of a series of reworking various material across a bunch of labels. I haven't been able to find any info an Vol.2, but I'm guessing it's going to be a mixed bag of cassette, 7", and CD-R.


S-S records has this to say: Mudboy – Mudboy's Mudmux Vol 1 7" (DNT) $5
Eccentrics seem to gravitate to the organ. From the straightlaced dudes romping on movie house pipe organs to soul masters like Timmy Thomas to underground heroes like Quintron, the keys off an odd home. Mudboy is the name now burbling about the organ underworld. His album on Not Not Fun is a great mind blitz. Here he embarks on what is to be the beginning of a series of him screwing around with other people's songs. On Mudmux he remixes or adds to or something songs by the Extreme Animals and DarkDarkDark for one eerie ballad of sorts and a tune that resembles an outtake from a soundtrack of odd movie music. On blue vinyl. 300 press.

Available direct from DNT or ssrecords

As promised
here is Episode 31, the last part of the interview with DNT records....the mudboy track is played at the end although I'm kind of convinced now it's supposed to be 33 not 45 as played...oh well.... you be the judge.

From Raphael himself........
PPS- extreme animals isnt an old offshoot of mudboy- its a separate band, part of paper rad sort of. Just buddies.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A place to bury strangers

I was recording a podcast this weekend with some friends...kind of a Matt(x10) situation and I gave up playing singles and started playing Crystal Stilts. My friend Ryan brought up A place to Bury Strangers having a similar sound, and I happened to come across this single on Insound....but the only thing to me that's the same is a lot of reverb and feedback...even on the drums.
I think the thing that separates A place.... and JAMC from Vivian Girls and Crystal Stilts is that the Girls and Stilts don't ever rely on or hope for feedback, it's just a warm, really distant sound, very controlled. A place... want the soundscape of almost pure sound...a shattering high pierce feedback on sustain...well.... god knows what effects are in a chain from the strings to the amps. Like Justice Yeldham or something, take the sound that's so taken for granted and really make it unrecognizable.

The track here 'I know I'll see you', has a real early cure phased bassline punctuated by waves of just metallic washes of neverending string sound.
But this track feels a lot gentler than other ones like Runaround.... screaming, overmodulated guitars, that alomost take over every other sound...I kind of thought my laptop speakers were a little fucked up for a second or it was skipping streaming from myspace. It's super JAMC here...down to the drum machines....I wonder if they use tthem live? Either way I'm guessing it's hard on the ears.
I think my only disapointment is that this was then this was remixed for the B-Side...ouch.

It's available from Insound: VINYL FORMAT. Double A-side featuring a remix from The Clapp. A dark metallic ring of the gritty tin of guitars, "I Know I'll See You" is a saw-soaked raw track, fusing Factory Records-esque mystery with addictive pulses of eardrum piercing austerity. Static-laden sonic qualities create sounds that evolve to sound like a slinky Werewolf attack of saturated distortion; hardly surprising given front man Oliver Ackermann's sideline building hand-wired guitar pedals.

Now it's all making sense after checking out this pitchfork video of the Death by Audio space...this is the guy from A place to bury strangers. That space is huge and as amazing as I thought it must be.
I bet he keeps the best sounds to himself.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Los Llamarada on Avant! records


I thought I'd skip ahead a few reviews in the stack next to the record player and jump right to Los Llamaradas in hopes of catching them tonight at
the Charleston....my neighborhood 'friends basement' venue.

Avant! was kind enough to contact me and airmail a copy from Italy...this single all started with Rocco from Disordered and I have to give Avant credit for picking up the torch on this one and finally releasing this gem.


Los Llamaradas roughly translates to 'Sudden flare up'...but I swear I saw this word printed on a deli awning the other day riding around and thought, 'Hey maybe that band is some product inside?', but no...now I'm more confused than ever.

The A side 'Against the day', starts rock/post punk enough but then a harmonica is piercing through the ultra low fidelity of the entire track, that's a new one. Mexico's own Times New Viking?(....are they the new standard to be judged against for this shitgaze sound?)
Whereas TNV are almost upbeat....matt & kim, this is dark, lots of yelling...and now I think the harmonica sound turned into a synth on the B-Side?
'The Last time' (B-1) is a slower number with what has to be a melodica warbling over distorted vocals and slow beat. I honestly am not sure at times if this is entirely in English or it's just in universally no-fi, I don't even care...you can appreciate the raw primitive rock. I just love the sound quality of this....it's a recording that you're just glad they made at all....no gimmicks. The B side is a little softer, but it's pure loudness that digital can't capture...that's funny that the cheapest cassette can have a wider overmodulated range than any digital recording... it just complately clips it off.

This could be an example of the globalization...or lets say global music movement with this kind of sound. Stripped down.... recorded practically on the most inexpensive rig, the drums have that flat shallow sound with no room size captured at all. Could there be a future with enough cast off instruments and amps that bands could spring up all over the globe and just press record? I could be listening to Tyvek or NoDozzz, any number of bands from all over the US right now, but instead this band from Mexico come to me via an Italian label. There's thousands of miles in these grooves....the masters crossed oceans to get here. Columbus (The explorer or OH? whoa) of shit gaze.

It's still available from the source, Avant!.
From LL's myspace: (I love this description 'the sensation of being adrift', like one of those sense deprivation chambers)


Just received our new 7", released by Avant! Records (Italy). Three songs recorded live and straight to a radio / tape recorder, amps over couches; the same living room where we recorded most of The Exploding Now. A certain apocalyptic air had returned to our city. I think those were the closing times of some era. Flooded streets, increased police presence (except when they are actually needed, of course), and a crowd of dead bodies would soon reveal the face of the city. Newspapers kept a body count and discounted it when the numbers became both dull and embarrasing.

Estrella brought her melodica and played it near the tape recorder in selected moments, and sang one of her confusion rock songs. Juan played guitars that sounded both old and new. Daniel walked and runned in the same place. Then we went out for more beers. The recordings had a feeling of something found, not made. I trying to reach some point both below the ceiling and outside of it. In those days I liked to walk along a recently built fake river right in the middle of the downtown area, one of the distractions built by the local government; a suitable monument to itself. A friend was afraid of stepping into it. I had visited it during its construction, it looked like an excavated civilisation, or a sudden burial of our own. A sensation of being adrift.


We selected those songs and other tape recordings for a CD-R, The Olympic Scheme / The Next Life Stroll. Then Rocco from Disordered Records asked us for some tracks. His label later stopped its activities so we continued with Andrea from His Electro Blue Voice. The cover was designed / drawn by Herla. And now it's out, and Scott Soriano will also distribute it (http://www.s-srecords.com/) , and we will have it for sale during our East Coast shows, as well as our new S-S Records LP (Take The Sky, our first 4 track recordings), which should be out very soon, along with a new pressing of The Exploding Now (2007). November will probably see the release of some recordings by Estrella and Daniel's former side project, The Love Is So Fast (a five song vinyl on Siltbreeze records). And we've been recording new stuff and checking old tapes, so in 2009 we'll release something from the archives....

2 full lengths also just became available on S-S distro...
Look for a review of tonight's show later this week...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mayyors - repress at live shows

You know after listening to this single again, finding it on ongakubaka, I realized more how awesome this is. I like the attitude of the Ongakubaka guys, cassettes didn't kill the music business and neither will the internet....it's not going to stop me from at least trying to find this single, let alone make me a fan of every release I see.
Trust me I can consume a hell of a lot of music. I don't think I'm near my threshold yet.
This has to win best sleeve...and taking their lack of internet presence even further, there is no information anywhere. i think the tracks are in black ink printed on black cardstock on the back.

Mayyors are that combination of heavy electronic effected guitar fuzz, and frantic sound. It's such a shame this was out of print immediately and they haven't released a full length yet. The A side pt 2 'Airplanes' sounds really Land of Milk and Honey Ministry, that blew me away back then and Mayyors pick it right back up and run with it. The vocals are buried under tons of phaser, but the sounds they are getting on guitar are just great.
'White Jeep' continues this assault and I imagine live they run all together in one giant track of changing riffs, between the pauses of feedback and what sounds like reel to reel being slowed down.
I'm glad they are at least repressing this limited run for fans at their shows. It'll show up on a compilation someday...greatest hits.

Mt St Mtn says: ... Mayyors will have a small repress (100 copies) of their long out-of-print 2nd single, "Megans LOLZ" for this show. Repress will feature a cover variation and will only be available at their next few live shows (SF, LA, San Diego, Davis) for as long as they last.

People should go to these shows and take orders...like a Christies auction...phone in and bid on the single.


11/13 @ The S.F. Eagle, San Francisco The Fresh And Onlys, Mayyors, Skeletons (NYC), Bronze
11/14 @ The Ken Club, San Diego
Pets, Mayyors, Christmas Island, Widows
11/15 @ The Bad Pad, Long Beach
The Lamps, Mayyors, + more
11/20 @ UC Davis Firehouse
AIDS Wolf, Mayyors, Ah Kraken

Can't get this 7"? Don't have a record player? Want to hear this insanity? Go get that shit at Ongakubaka!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Zs / Child Abuse 7" on Zum records


Zum records, who put out that great Abe Vigoda / Mikaela's Fiend split single are back with another volume of a split single series (?) it seems like they have been putting out there recently.

Zum calls Child Abuse and Zs Brutalists...I can't think of a better categorization.


Child Abuse offers two pummellings 'Hat' and 'Beard and Conversations', they seem to be the more structured sounding of the two sides so I probably ended up on this side more... but I'm using that term, 'structured' very lightly.
Out of the murk I could hear a definite synth sound involved, a really messed up ring toned synth, which I approve of highly... or maybe now that I'm hearing it again...that's a heavily effected guitar. Drums come in the double bass variety or insane fast foot. A discernible groove makes it's way out from the chaos... you can imagine that live this is a sweaty challenging mess, but maybe they are just admitting they can have a handle on it before they let it go or it slips away again.
There's a bassline that could almost be a sax sound, a low bass electronic sound which has that wavering vibrato feel... the whole thing starts to grind to a halt, and I mean grind.... but picks up again for a big stuttered stop.
Vocals are really death metal style growls and distortion. Like old alternative tentacles stuff.... or cannibal corpse.
But it's not over....'Conversations' is about banging on a synth just out of sync to the bass cymbal fast off beat and high hat...and then it's over...not even 8 measures.

On to Zs.....this track, 'In My Dream I Shot A Monk' is that balance between strict on the beat verse sounds and then chaos. There's choruses of voices yelling...
I can't imagine how it's composed, what sessions in the practice space leads to this or what kind of people can revisit this night after night in rehearsal or let alone live. It's that Captain Beefheart, or Zappa on speed sound that's punishing for the performers....some would argue the listeners as well, but all I can think of is the preparation and time that went into what sounds to me like complete disorder. The vocals at one point follow a tom beat for a while and then it doubles back to everyone's free form jazz/sound noise. I swear there is real sax in here...or horn of some kind with a nice stereo mix going on, the drums panning back and forth. I think content-wise it's a dream about shooting a monk in the backseat of a car on the pacific coast highway. In the end the monk looked just like him, rolling up his sleeves and continuing down the highway. So he shot himself? Kind of.

I'm a little surprised to see that the Zs tracks were recorded in '03 and the Child Abuse ones just last year. These tracks completely make sense together and don't show any kind of age, just a log time for like minds to be split together on this single.

This is a great gateway 7" into these insane no-noise worlds of Zs and Child Abuse.
This is something you probably will have to listen to alone then make up your mind to catch them live ...as that's all I could think of is 'Who's making this noise?'

Zum records says:
Another in our split 7" series (most recent being the Abe Vigoda / Mikaela's Fiend 7") pairs New York prog brutalists Zs and Child Abuse. Child Abuse features Oran Canfield (Dig That Body Up...It's Alive, Optimists International, Murder Murder) and Luke Calzonetti (Meths, ABK, and Sheath). After a series of drums and keyboard recordings - including the "Blessed From the Bowels" track on Zum Audio Vol 3 - they added bassist Tim Dahl and released a full-length on Love Pump Records. This latest single includes a version of a Dolphy tune "Hat and Beard" along with the synth squak of "Conversations". Zs have enchanted and confounded many since their 2000 conception in Manhattan. Output by the band has found homes on labels such as Troubleman Unlimited, Planaria, Gilgongo, and 31G. "In My Dream I Shot A Monk" harkens to the vintage sextet formation that dovetails nicely with their current output, an aggro vocal workout of epic man-angst. Zum022 is in a black vinyl pressing of 500. Cover artwork from John Dwyer (Thee OhSees).

Friday, November 7, 2008

Podcast episode 30 - Tynan from DNT interview


Episode 30: Finally... my friend Matt departed the 7inches bunker so I could call Tynan from DNT records to talk with him for a bit in between the baseball playoffs and our coastal time differences. This is Part 1 of the interview, and I really appreciate Tynan for taking some time to talk about DNT with 7inches. I'm psyched to do this and hopefully will be able to continue this series of interviews in between the completely uninformative and useless mess of drunken episodes.
But don't worry they aren't going away....completely.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Foot Village on Too Pure (deathbombarc--shhhhh)

This is great it's being made available stateside...get on it thanks to deathbombarc.

But the B-side is a remix? I have to admit I'm a little skeptical I mean what's next? A 12" club dub of racoo-oo-oon? A vocal only B-side?
Knowing these guys it will be great. I didn't make it past the first side last night, it's a nightmare. I kind of sat there in awe...it's total balls, really compelling, like a car crash, or amphitheater surgery.


I think a conceptual project like this where you say 'Alright, we're going to use nothing but drums.' at the band meeting, could be a gimmick....and it is...that's got to be the first thing on anyone's mind. But this combination of kits sounds so different then drumming as you know it. And it's not that they use a bunch of eclectic pieces, handmade or found stuff...it's straight up standard drums from whatever bands they are playing with that night.
Vocally it ranges from a lot of yelling sounds to chorus chanting to near hip hop rhyme. It's definitely frantic, and kind of keeps me nervous, drumming and vocal yip sounds are just weird to string together into a verse/chorus 'song'. It's unnatural and hard to listen to. Literally it's like people yelling at you with percussion rhythms. It's not easy.

This track changed up a million different time signatures, while being really tight, it's an experiment in composition. Just when you think you have a handle on the beat they're messing with, it goes 'Holla back girl' on you. This band has to be a wet dream for DJ's and samplers...it's one insane hook after another, and anti hook, but all super clean. ...there's nothing like it.

Plus, I love these lyrics for 'Clubtraxx I-III'

The burning of the money is the currency itself.
Guns.
Opera and Obama sitting in a tree, F U C K K K K K
(gibberish)
When you see us in the club be like ugn, be like ugn
When you see us at the mall be like ugn, be like ugn
When you see us on the street be like ugn, be like ugn
But when you see us at the bank just shut up
Shut up.
Shut up.
Shut up.
Break your arm.
Break your own.
Break it all.
Break the bank.
And then shut up, shut up, shut up.
Yeah, shut up guys and listen
Right now you are closer than ever to achieving your dreams.
And if you listen to this song again, you're even closer.

This from Deathbombarc yesterday-ish:
I said it wouldn't be possible, but you'll be happy I'm wrong. The new Foot Village 7" on Too Pure, "Clubtraxxx" is now available at our distro in very very very limited quantity.

It's great, and $6.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

White Lung on deranged records


White Lung is back with this new single, Magazines. The first one is totally sold out...nice work.

With 'Magazines'...this direction there's lot's of nice guitar work, weird high muted harmonics piercing everything right before the chorus. I love these little weird touches...I'd be happy to hear them go a little more experimental even...it doesn't have to be all power chords. Get into a little Deerhoof territory, bring the weird sounds to the punk, I appreciate the effort.
If they are playing near you in Vancouver, please tell me about it, I'm curious how this is working out live. I want to believe this kind of energy plays out in shitty alternative spaces nightly.
I think 'Therapy' is the B-side and they show no signs of letting up anytime soon, this is even better, the guitar cramps-y line is sinister and great...another weird unexpected line of thought. This is really sounding like the YYY's, unintentionally I'm sure...but I could see them succeeding in the same circles. They have that potential for sure...this latest stuff is even leaning more that way then the kicked out of the garage sessions.

Mish has an insane voice. It's really serious yelling, she has to have had some kind of vocal training or she's going to be a mess after some kind of week long punishment like SXSW...how could you just sing yell like this? It's kind of low and she's growling like every other verse. You have to take this voice seriously...it's powerful. Like Karen O or something, it's unique, I think it's more than the standard punk too. The rest of what's going on musically seriously has to compete with these vocals. It's working out so far, maybe pushing guitar lines to standout more than usual...trying to come up for air. It's a nice fight to hear.

This is Sleater Kinney to my ears but actually even better, the second coming, or let's say SK for today.

I have to say I'm really liking their shirts too and if that isn't punk rock, then I don't know what fucking is. In fact I'm jealous...I want to make 7inch shirts like these. They are so awesome. Tape up the name on a black shirt and spray it with brown paint.

From Deranged records they still have colored or black vinyl...nice.

WHITE LUNG-Magazines 7” (Deranged/DY131) $4.50
After a short hiatus while Mish (singer) spent part of 2007 in Europe, Vancouver’s White Lung return with their most triumphant 2nd 7” featuring three new tracks which pick up where their first 7” left off. For those who missed their amazing debut 7” on Hockey Dad records, I included some reviews below and as if you still can’t read the writing on the walls, well I’ll do my best here. Take 1 part Bikini Kill and mix it to 1 part early UK post punk (like Wire) and you get White Lung! With any luck we should see an album in 2009!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Deerhunter - Nothing ever happened

Deerhunter...I'm having trouble still deciding what all the hype is about. I really liked the first split single with the alphabets, it was pretty raw and Liars sounding...lots of guitars, distortion.... in attitude at least...but I'm not into the Microcastle or even Cryptograms...it's just really quiet ambient mood music, like the equivalent would be trying to listen to the Orb in high school or something. I remember listening to that, but more because I heard how good it was. I never really enjoyed it. It might be on while I'm doing something else...but then I have less and less patience for that. I need to either pay attention and make time for it...or forget it.

I like Bradford Cox, I like the idea of Deerhunter, his mixtapes...really... he's won me over, I just have to wonder about the longevity of ths kind of thing?...am I wrong? Who's going to be listening to this in 5 years?
I hope I'll come around to appreciate it long after I thought I would be....and be dreaming of getting the full lengths on vinyl.

And I know I go through phases of stuff, maybe leaning more jazz or instrumental, and right now I'm definitely not in that place. I don't know then again I am willing to give experimental releases places to go nowhere...like the NNF stuff, pocahaunted, racoo-oo-oon, stuff like that so maybe I wanted more?

I think I just want someone to pick up where 'They threw us in a trench.....' left off.


Don't get me wrong I definitely picked this up...from Kranky.


Deerhunter - Nothing Ever Happened b/w Little Kids (Demo) 7" (4AD/Kranky)

Deerhunter
Nothing Ever Happened
PS, US The first salvo in a barrage of Deerhunter related noise this fall is this two song single that precedes the release of the Microcastle full length. Side A is the unabashed rocker from the album, while the flip side is the demo version of another album track. This is a limited edition one-time pressing release..
Kranky
45
$5.50


or from Scratch distro

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Muslims at Union Pool 10-26-08 (1928 recordings showcase)


photo courtesy amy.bee

Somehow I still had enough energy to walk down the street for this late Sunday show at Union Pool on Sunday night, but it was the Muslims, and I had missed them all CMJ...turned out it was a 1928 records showcase and I was introduced to some other great talent on the label.

Like The Sundelles who were up first and deserve their own mention because they were awesome, especially the bass player who was dancing his ass off all over the place to the Muslims later in the evening. This was a stripped down three piece. The lead singer, Ryan? I think, had his guitar in the middle of his chest and just started right into a jangly garage rock number, singing the hell out of it. Kind of like Frank Black...it really reminded me of the Pixies, the physical lineup...these really different individuals, contributing their own idiosyncracies and coming out with a really clear direction.
It's just a great 3 piece sound. The drummer looked like my friends brother. He had the snare right between his knees, pounding it with both hands. I'm still wondering...that doesn't really effect the sound does it? other than to just be that slave to the beat, that drummer bashing? Anyhow, they reminded me of a harder Dump....they aren't getting into twee or anything, but they could easily be in anyone's garage in Kansas...or outside Deluth. This was a performance of complete sincerity...I don't know how much this was still a part of CMJ, or just an excuse to put on a label showcase, but these three bands were already making sense together, and the browns are a great simple solid talent...the same ease of songwriting and sincerity you can't manufacture.

Next up were the Browns, they definitely played their first myspace track 'Dead Youth' first up. Listening to them now, it sounds like they have a lot more recorded texture and hiss going on in the studio. It sounded less Velvet Underground then the LP tracks, there's not as much distortion, and it's a little less rehearsed, it just wasn't as strong a performance for me...it still fit accidentally coming across this great show on some side street in a tiny college town, these guys just stuck here, filling the days in school, not really into their liberal arts degree. More about the weekend jams in the basements or garages with the heat turned up. But then again the Muslims were up next.

I was still kind of shocked it was possible to see them period...I got there early because I was convinced Union Pool would be packed with anyone who missed them, like me. Matty, the guitarist, came out complete with sprays of dried blood all over his pickguard, the strings were black with blood gunk. He started taping up his fingers with electrical tape, which kept falling off. It lasted for about 5 seconds every song until Matt had to come over to redo the whole job every so often.
I keep looking for the crack somewhere...when are these guys going to break? Would this be a shitty show? How could I blame them? At least 9 straight shows over 4 or 5 days. I think Thursday I saw them listed to play 4 shows? It's insanity, and completely punishing. You would have never known it, they were completely on and playing everything better than I have seen. These songs come off as hyper versions of the originals on the self titled 12". 'Beside Myself' was twice as fast, Matty plays the guitar high, swinging it back and forth while Matt's got the thousand yard stare into the audience where you can't tell if he's looking right at you. Matt's a little possessed, but definitely fun. The mic was echo-ing a bit and the band started making sounds...weird clicking, insect, jungle sounds. The drumkit this time was just the usual borrowed kit from the band before, but that didn't affect Brian's sound....last time I saw them with a hug standup snare, and I was worried they were getting into that specialized instrument trap, but thankfully they're at home on anything. On 'Future Rock' I think David, on bass, was a little surprised to hear the crowd yelling over him during the chorus, he stepped back from the microphone with a grin on his face, and gave up completely by the 3rd time, letting the audience just take over. I'm glad NY was giving them such a great reception, it's good to see a little appreciation for this exceptional band.

I saw the NY times published coverage of them from CMJ, so basically that's the last time I'll see them at Union Pool.