Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Video :: Remote Viewing :: Jeans Wilder

Jeans Wilder
Nice Trash
La Station Radar

San Diego's Jeans Wilder released this jaunty little number a few weeks ago, and by jaunty I mean that it sounds like something you'd hear in a horror movie. You know: needle scraping along well-worn grooves while the killer chases a woman through her house, eventually bumping into the turntable so that the music comes to an abrupt stop. So, yeah, "Sparkler" sounds to me like getting chased by a knife-wielding maniac who's wearing a potato sack over his head with a couple of eye-holes cut out. The various footage that's cobbled together for the video (overlaid with an appropriate amount of overheated film, bubbling and ripping) resides safely in the drawer labeled "Nice Trash." 

Go, Burlap-faced Stalker, kill kill!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review :: Paleoacoustics :: Human Switchboard

Human Switchboard
Who's Landing In My Hangar?
Faulty Products (IRS Records)

I was first turned on to Human Switchboard by my friend Nick over at Ghostcapital (well-worth checking out, by the way) and found their one-and-only full-length at Som Records here in DC. I really had no idea what I was in for, but the cover photo was right, the year was right (1981), and the IRS connection was right. Upon further research, their background story is the quintessential American post-punk dream... formed in 1977 on a college campus (Syracuse), cemented with a demo mixed by a member of Pere Ubu, debut performance in the basement of a Columbus, OH record store called Magnolia Thunderpussy... and I could stop there. But then, the band opened up their own used-record store to support their own record label. Hot damn, Ohio doesn't get much cooler than that.

There's a lot here that reminds me of The Modern Lovers, both pulling from the Lou Reed book of sing-speak. The female-male-garage-Farfisa thing also reminds me of Os Mutantes a good bit, albeit a much more meat n potatoes version. Either way, this is a bunch of dorks making fucking fantastic pop-noise that everyone else that you know personally would never dare even thinking about, much less channel it through a microphone. Elsewhere on the record, I'm astonished by the cringing sexual honesty, and for that alone, I encourage you to seek this one out. Check this cut from the b-side to hear for yourself.

Human Switchboard :: (I Used To) Believe In You

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Features :: Best Music :: 2010

Bear in mind that we're narrow-minded. We like what we like, and we just don't have the time and energy to give every new sound a chance. Our self-esteem is so unbelievably bloated that we're among the lucky few who can be absolutely confident that there was no other worthwhile music out there this year. Also, we only have so much Photoshop stamina, which once depleted means our best music of 2010 post must end, and we'll have to return to the world-forsaking shelter of our sunscreen and velveteen gloves. So if you didn't buy a single one of these albums, you're probably listening to total shit. And, let's face it, you're probably an asshole, too. What the do you think of that, big boy?

Happy holidays, scabs.

Twin Shadow :: Forget
Twin Shadow :: Forget
Terrible Records
Tyrant Destroyed

This one almost didn't make the list. I wanted to make this list noisy, I wanted the bands represented here to feel like they were grating against your skin, bearing away invaluable brain tissue with each listen. But here it is: we like the eighties at Machine Dream. And the sweet sounds of Twin Shadow satisfy some younger part of ourselves.

The Mantles :: Pink Information
The Mantles :: Pink Information
Mexican Summer

I'd like to get this San Francisco act out to the east coast a little more often. Their songs take on great span, which sort of classes them out of the more narrow garage genre. On last year's full length album, they converted us. "Don't Lie" sounded plaintive and honest without losing any of the edgy High Plains-masculinity that steers my waking dreams. For the Pink Information EP, the song that hollows me out, revealing the walls of my core has to be "Situations." At 2:46, the song comes on like an old western, poncho draped across the face, cigar clutched in the cheek. The space they give to the drums and guitar really speaks to the breaking of the waves when the drifters reach the west coast and find out they must turn back if they're going to continue.

The Young :: Voyagers of Legend
The Young :: Voyagers of Legend
Mexican Summer
Smiling God

I couldn't have been happier to find out about these guys. They don't sound at all like how I remember Austin bands from the years I spent there. I only wish they hadn't skipped over touring through DC in favor of Baltimore and Richmond (even though I can't say I blame them). It just would have been a good show, under-attended or not. I'm sure I would have had too much to drink, and at some point, I probably would have clasped the lead singer by the shoulders, shaken him, and thank him for not fucking around.

Royal Baths :: Litanies
Royal Baths :: Litanies
I Detest

We've written enough about this song, but we didn't mean to mask the fact that the rest of the album holds up magnificently on its own. From the opening chords of "After Death" to the humming exit on "Pleasant Feeling," this is a psych album that sounds like it's being played from the other end of a drain pipe, and it convinces you to strain your neck and head further into the sink to listen.

Future Islands :: In Evening Air
Future Islands :: In Evening Air
Thrill Jockey
Tin Man

Singer Sam Herring runs the game here. Out of the whole Baltimore scene his band is the most likely to draw me out to a show even if it's just to watch the cool kids dance in the corner by themselves. But what's most worthwhile in attending is the chance to hear the sound of Herring when he finds a pressure point in his soul that he's willing to press down on publicly, pushing harder and harder with his thumb until he comes out of the chorus growling, sweating and curling his lip despite what's ostensibly a dance-synth act. These are hometown heroes, and when they pass through DC, they can't leave without triggering some compulsion in us to follow them back to Baltimore. Needless to say, we find ourselves forlorn in the parking lot. Curse you, Mr. Herring, we hope you never find your salve.

Flight :: The Lead Riders
Flight :: The Lead Riders
Zoo Music
Turns to Blood

Fuck subject/verb agreement. Hands down the coolest album of the year. Past by the mailbox on the way to meet a friend for morning beers and eggs. Slipped it from the Zoo Music cardboard package and set it on the bar. Marveled at the feather-masked character in the chair. Dropped it on the turntable during the after-beers, pre-video games nap. Shit, I feel bad pressing this guy between so many other gutless acts. Every track stings. Every track puts me in a back alley fight with my better angels. Knowing that what people want to hear and what I want to hear are two completely different things and finding someone out there who's completely unapologetic about releasing the latter into the wild. I hope the pretty boys and girls of Oxford, MS in their pastel Polos and sheer summer dresses get mildly creeped out by this man when they catch sight of him in the square.

Deerhunter :: Halcyon Digest
Deerhunter :: Halcyon Digest

Pulling the bone-white slab of wax from the grayscale sleeve of this album was a great pleasure for us this October. Bradford Cox seems to make a point of releasing new material during holiday seasons (see: Thanksgiving Week Atlas Sound demos, new Christmas songs this week, etc...) and the haunted vibe of this record could only logically surface for the Halloween season. Take the phrase "victorian vampires" (from 2008's Microcastle), put the needle down on Side A, shut yer eyes real tight-like, and the term Southern Gothic immediately makes sense.

Wild Nothing :: Gemini
Wild Nothing :: Gemini
Captured Tracks

Jack Tatum's girlfriend is pretty damn cute, or she was after I drank 18 Schlitz at the Wild Nothing show at DC9 last summer. She took my $15 for the limited pressing of Gemini on clear vinyl, but she didn't take my dribbling come-ons, at all. After one listen to this record, it's clear that she has plenty of hazy compliments to sift through already. Something about lightning storms and innocent lust... girls love that shit. Apparently, so do most music bloggers at the end of 2010.

Ty Segall :: Melted
Ty Segall :: Melted
Goner Records

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Ty Segall is the cackling messiah of garage rock. He's impolite, he's noisy, and you just get the sense that he's telling it like it is. After he met all of our expectations at a frighteningly loud Comet Ping-Pong show, I felt at ease with this over-the-top opinion. Hell, I felt in awe of my burgeoning psychic powers, like my third eye was about to burn a hole through my forehead. There's nothing better after a rough day hacking a living than to come home and piss your neighbors off with this record on your turntable.That's right, motherfucker, my stereo goes to eleven, and you'll eat every last decibel like the guard slid it under the door.

Beach House :: Teen Dream
Beach House :: Teen Dream
Real Love

No surprise here. The third record from this Baltimore duo feels like a re-introduction, embracing the abyss of their previous two records while pulling the guts to the fore-front. Fortunately, the seance remains intact and provides a communion from past to present. Teen Dream arrived in DC last February during a blizzard that saw my liquor cabinet grow exponentially -- from zero bottles to one gigantic bottle of Jameson. I drank the entire thing before the snow could stick, listened to "Real Love" thirteen times in a row, and told all of my roommates that I was deeply in love with them, individually, in private, and completely naked. I was fired from my job the next day, and replaying this record now reminds me of unemployment and humiliating desperation in equal measure. Congratulations, Victoria Legrand, you win.

And now that we've got that all out of the way, we'll be retreating to the familial estate where we'll likely return to our hobby of mail-ordering rare animals and plants only to discover that they all disgust us. Eh, ignore the babble: we hate ourselves more than we hate you. But do yourself a favor and give these albums a chance.

Monday, December 20, 2010

News :: Our Machine Watches Your Machine :: Gorilla vs Bear

This past week GvsB posted a new winter track from one of our favorite 2010 bands. Somehow this is all I want to hear right now. It's the same light-streaked, yet bleak fare we've come to expect from the Baltimore duo (if it ain't broke, right?), and it's perfect for listening to while coaxing the last drop out from the bottom of the bottle. But then again, I'm also living out of a box right now, and I push a cart for a living, so maybe my opinion's not to be trusted.

Beach House :: I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun

Friday, December 17, 2010

Video :: Remote Viewing :: Crystal Stilts

"Blood Barons"
Crystal Stilts
live at Brooklyn Bowl

I'm legitimately excited about Crystal Stilts. The hype surrounding their 2008 debut, Alight of the Night, kicked my inherent sense of bullshit into high-gear, and, very fortunately, my instinct proved me wrong. Dead wrong. Their recent single "Shake the Shackles" is my most-played tune, not only according to my iTunes flying-machine, but also my left-brain that can never make sense of the lyrics.

Crystal Stilts are among the lineage of bands that obsess over alliteration, and they make every song-title, album-title, band-name, lyric-aside count... full-force, mang. Fuck FUCK yes. Here's "Blood Barons," (from Brooklyn Bowl, no less), and it reminds me of riding a carousel. Only, on the brass-cast pony behind me rides Jack the Ripper, and his reach is just-too-short to pierce my back. Over and Over.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Features :: Machine Dream Winter Mix 2010

320 kpbs
135 mb

East of the Appalachians: high of 29 degrees today, 80% chance of snow, winds 7mph out of the SW. Board up your windows and doors, lock up your sons and daughters, it's time for our winter mix, and this shit is coming to you LOUD. We're so happy, we're breaking out the bourbon and the Rudolph sweaters.

Download or stream below. Stay frosty.


01. Goodbye Horses (Flight)
02. Heart Attack Kid (Bass Drum of Death)
03. Funeral Baby (The Liminanas)
04. Eating Babies (Grave Babies)
05. Private Dick (Monochrome Set)
06. Captive Chains (The Young)
07. Mutant Beach Theme (Ancient Crux)
08. In Here The World Begins (Broadcast)
09. Cementerio (Los Saicos)
10. Lightening Strikes (Chuck Persons)
11. Eclipse of the Moon (Tony, Caro, and John)
12. Couch ft Ace Creator (Earl Sweatshirt)
13. Where You From (The Samps)
14. In The Garden of the Pharoahs (Wet Hair)
15. IxX999 (White Ring)
16. Love in Outer Space (Sun Ra)
17. End Times (Weekend)

MDtape 01 by Machine Dream

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

News :: Third Eye Laser Surgery :: Reading Rainbow/Coasting

5037 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C.

There's a show tonight featuring two promising new bands. Reading Rainbow's new LP just arrived in the mail yesterday along with a four other Hozac 7 inches (which I'll try to get around to reviewing soon).  First things first, though: I've gotta unpack my turntable at my new place. Shit's going to be waking up the new neighbors. Reading Rainbow reels out the pop tunes--they're pretty much the polar opposite of fellow Philly act, Purling Hiss.

If you're looking for something to buy at the record stores this week, see if you can pick up the new 7" split with RR and Coasting out now on Atelier Ciseaux. And if you haven't been to a show yet at Comet--which has quickly become my favorite DC venue--make sure you check out their lineup. The calendar is sparse, but it's updated regularly.

$10 cover
all ages

Coasting :: Kids

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Video :: Remote Viewing :: Shabazz Palaces

"Belhaven Meridian"
Shabazz Palaces

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Review :: Paleoacoustics :: Sven Libaek

Sven Libaek
Inner Space
Trunk Records

I love the 1987 sci-fi-rom-coming-of-age classic film Innerspace, starring Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan
. Especially the part when Martin Short makes out with Meg Ryan and the tiny Dennis Quaid jets himself in his little circulatory buggy from one open mouth to the next like some mechanical STD. To this day, when I make out with a girl I imagine tiny little spaceships are trafficking through our passion. Which means I've imagined it exactly one time.

Unfortunately, this post has nothing to do with that movie, but a record of the same name that I picked up a while back at Academy Records in Brooklyn. This was a pure impulse buy... the one that I casually place under my arm to make myself feel better about approaching a record clerk. Needless to say, I had no fucking clue who Sven Libaek was, nor the $20 to walk out with it. Fortunately, some Brooklyn record clerks have compassion, and he took my $15 and let me go. I've been thanking him ever since. Inner Space has become, without a doubt, one of the most-spun records in my collection. I want vibraphones on everything I hear. If the District replaced every brick in this city with perfectly-pitched wood blocks and forced every resident to attach mallets on the soles of their shoes, I would cease to look for cheaper rent in Baltimore.

Hats off to Trunk Records for providing thorough background info as well. This collection (subtitled The Lost Film Music of Sven Libaek) compiles music from four films (one drama, three documentaries) composed by Libaek during his time in Australia from 1965 to 1974. It's fitting that two of the documentaries are water-themed... the aforementioned vibraphone drips and ripples throughout, while wah-ed guitars bob along the current. I strongly recommend checking out the Trunk website, not only for their fixation on topless women, but also for the catalog, especially The Wicker Man soundtrack.

Sven Libaek :: Dark World

Friday, December 10, 2010

Video :: Twelve Dark Noons

Twelve Dark Noons (Teaser)
Future Primitive Films
Sacred Bones

I have no idea what this is or will turn out to be. But it looks fucking awesome. That's all it takes these days. Maybe it's the picture quality... start feeding film through a Super 8, point the camera at water dripping from a faucet and I'll watch until the entire planet collapses into a sinkhole. Maybe it's the editing... the slow-then-fast zooms remind me of 1970 Czech cult classic Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, a personal favorite. Maybe it's the associated sound-collage... from what I understand, Aussie psych band and Sacred Bones associates Naked on the Vague has provided an appropriate sonic ritual to accompany the proceedings.

Maybe it's none of these things. Maybe it looks fucking awesome because, within a brief 30 seconds, I feel sunburned, late, panicked, and afraid of women, exactly in that order. I'm glad someone else takes the term "psychedelic" to mean the same thing, and equally happy to promote the associated Kickstarter page dedicated to raising funds to accomplish the film. Though, by this posting, I'm approximately $1,346 too late. Late, as in the psychedelic sense.

Much, much more info here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reviews :: Psychotronic Wiretap :: Anika

Any news of Geoff Barrow dabbling in new projects brings to mind what he's not doing with Portishead, but it also forces me to dig out my Silver Apples LPs to get back on his wavelength. Which is by no means a chore. That floating, droning, buzzing and generally busted vibe found its way all over Barrow's recent Beak> debut (not to mention Portishead's mega-gestated Third), so it's not entirely surprising to hear it resurface on his newest adventure.

Political journalist-turned-avant chanteuse Anika met Barrow while living between Bristol and Berlin. It's tough to determine how much of Anika's self-titled debut (out this week on Stones Throw) is actually hers and how much is a Beak> record fronted by a female vocalist. Either way, the results make me want to pump my fist for the revolution while coolly reclined in my comfy swivel-chair. Anika is a call to arms by a legion of spaced-out record geeks. And that's precisely why I'm able to get on board. Much better than watching Monday Night Football.

Anika :: Yang Yang

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reviews :: Armchair Telepathy :: Wild Nothing

Wild Nothing
Golden Haze
Captured Tracks

12" EP 

It can't just be some strange coincidence that the lead-off track on the Golden Haze EP (the title track in this case) shares a common fade-in technique as the first cut on its immediate predecessor in the Wild Nothing catalogue, Gemini. There are very few records in my collection that use a fade-in as the first track. While I hope they don't spoil it by repeating that choice again, it works to great effect as an introduction to this rapidly successful Virginia band. Think "Hand in Glove" from The Smiths' 1984 Hatful of Hollow fade-in. "Golden Haze" isn't a performance as much as it's a sneak peak into a band not playing for anyone but themselves. And that's not to say they're selfish. Jack Tatum and company give us an appropriate sequel to the smeared nostalgia of Gemini, full of twilight guitar and synth-lines that seem to wobble on a saw blade above the hypnotic beat. These songs casually drift in one ear and, upon some chemical process (which I attribute to a cocktail of freezing weather, childhood nostalgia, and, yes, alcohol) can't be bothered to leave the other.

It's cold as an unloving mother outside, and here's a song about it that's not really about either.

We caught Wild Nothing playing DC9 back in June(ish), performing for a small crowd and sounding much richer with a full band. Then they came back a short time ago, opening for Stars at 9:30 Club, but we skipped that shit, because we can't get it up for Stars. Now they're scheduled for a not-to-be-missed show at Rock and Roll Hotel with Abe Vigoda opening, flipping calendar, on Feb. 12. And it will probably still be as cold out as a handshake with your enemy.

Wild Nothing :: Golden Haze

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

News :: Upcoming Releases :: December

Artist :: Album :: Label :: Format

Bardo Pond :: S/T :: Fire :: LP
Pains of Being Pure at Heart :: Heart in Your Heartbreak :: Slumberland :: 7"

Celebration :: Hello Paradise :: Friends Records :: LP
Air Waves :: Dungeon Dots :: Underwater Peoples :: LP

Jeans Wilder :: Nice Trash :: Atelier Ciseaux/La Station Radar :: LP
Reading Rainbow/Coastings :: untitled :: Atelier Ciseaux :: split 7"

Unknown Mortal Orchestra :: The Sounds of Sweet Nothing :: 7"

Lower Dens :: Batman :: Gnomonsong :: 7"

Ride :: Nowhere :: Rhino :: Vinyl Reissue

face it: december's a slow month
we'll update this post as new information comes in
and after we figure out how to fit one cat inside of another cat and have them both continue to breathe

Monday, December 6, 2010

Video :: Remote Viewing :: Cheveu

"Quattro Stagioni"
Kill Shaman Records

Cheveu is finally putting out some new material next month courtesy of Kill Shaman. This shit was overdue starting as soon as the final track closed on their self-titled debut. For a pack of Frenchman, Cheveu crank out a beautifully crass version of budget rock that's unafraid to be masculine. If the video feels like it's got a Jarmusch, senseless-but-cool thing going on, that's because it features some of the cast and crew (along with a couple edited clips) from the film "Robert Mitchum is Dead," which rolled out at Cannes this year. The title of the movie alone is enough to get me out to see it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Review :: Armchair Telepathy :: Catwalk

(Please) Don't Break Me
b/w "No Room for Love"
Captured Tracks

 Here's an easy-going pop band with a 60s sound you could introduce to mom and dad sometime, maybe bring 'em over for Sunday supper. Catwalk hails from Oxnard, California (which doesn't mean shit to me), but they sound like they could be playing a back room in Liverpool. They keep the bassline and drumbeat as sweet and simple as their sentiment. And for those of you who like tambourine, this track has plenty of that sweet ass tambourine to spare. This is where the band really gets gritty. They turn the tambourine out like a budget prostitute, walk it around the JC Penney's parking lot so the johns can peek at some leg, and drop it back in the passenger seat of the Firebird for the ride home. And just when you expect them to peel out, spin those sweet radials, instead they flip on their blinker and merge carefully with the traffic.

//This is not metaphor. I plan to pay Catwalk's tambourine for sex.

They've got one more EP scheduled for February before Captured Tracks releases their debut LP in the spring. Buy them as they're released right over here.

Catwalk :: Please Don't Break Me

Thursday, December 2, 2010

News :: Our Machine Watches Your Machine :: MBV

I'm phoning this shit in. My mind was wiped today and now, because it's ringing in my head, I'm going to intentionally misspell the word for a big building full of books: libary. I sat in a chair all day while beams of light were projected at my cerebral cortex. Faceless voices kept mumbling rumors of my inadequacies. And now there's not enough beer in the house to get me drunk. So here's a preview of an EP coming out this month from the UK label, The Sounds of Sweet Nothing. Mucho grasshats, MBV, for the heads up. Right now my favorite track from this guy is "Nerve Damage," which you can hear over at the label's band camp page along with a few other sweet, hot shots of nothing. 

I need a few hours in the sensory deprivation tube, the sleep suck chamber, the babyhead coffin with the motherfuck lid.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra :: Thought Ballune

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

News :: Upcoming Shows :: December

12/2: Killing Joke @ Black Cat

12/3: Walkmen/Tennis @ 9:30

12/4: The Antlers @ Black Cat
         Warpaint @ Rock and Roll Hotel

12/7: Jeff Tweedy @ Lincoln Theater
         Diamond Rings @ Red Palace

12/11: Government Issue @ Black Cat

12/15: The Young @ Golden West (Baltimore)
           Reading Rainbow/Coastings @ Comet

12/16: Ex-Humans/The Shirks @ Comet

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Video :: Remote Viewing :: Weekend

"Monday Morning/Monongah, WV"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Review :: Psychotronic Wiretap :: Gang of Four

A band is only allowed one come-back album. I think that's a fair assertion... something everyone can agree on. Anything beyond that is no longer the valiant effort of the "band" - that being a solidified group of dedicated musicians - but really the privilege of a songwriter holding onto a name. Fortunately for Gang of Four, singer Jon King and guitarist Andy Gill have always been the clear core, and the torch is theirs to carry.
In advance of their upcoming record, Content (due Jan. 25 through Yep Roc), the Gang (can I even say that?) have offered up a free EP featuring a re-recorded take of "Glass," from their agreed-upon classic debut Entertainment, along with two additional non-album tracks.

The necessity of a 3-song EP made up of one re-recording, one rehearsal demo, and one dance remix is entirely arguable. But it's free, so no harm there. Maybe I'm too classicist, but reviving a highlight from a landmark album for no particularly good reason (the original was "too busy" and "old-fashioned," according to Gill) seems gimmicky, especially 30 years later (!!) However, it's possible that revisiting that material in the studio primed the engine for the sessions that make up Content. High-fidelity aside, that could bode well for their proto-dance-punk perfection.

Download it for yourself here, and catch them at DC's 9:30 Club on February 9.

Gang of Four :: Glass (re-recorded)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Feature :: Pitifully Short-range Teleportation :: Purling Hiss/Kurt Vile and the Violators

Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington DC
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I've been talking this show up for months now: two Philly bands coming from opposite ends of the rock spectrum  playing together in DC at one of my favorite venues.  Purling Hiss has a  more in common with the MC5, while Vile's songwriting is plainly tied to the early Greenwich folk-poet scene, but they both collide in screeching walls of psychedelic fuzz.  Let me just say that I walked into this one more sober than I wanted to be.

Purling Hiss :: Passenger Queen

Purling Hiss doesn't fuck around.  They play the kind of loud rock that makes me jerk my fist around and slur righteously about the divine kingdom.  I use the word "loud" the way fans of Blank Dogs or Best Coast use "lo-fi." I think of it as a near-complete aesthetic decision, only one that's way more likely to boot the motherfucking gods from their mountaintops.

Mike Pollize's guitar screamed into high gear from the first moment of the set and didn't settle back to earth for another 40 some-odd minutes (who the fuck knows how long? I'd curled into a fetal position in front of the stage amps way too early on to tell, compliantly taking pulls from my thumb). The thick bass lines powered through Pollize's enumerable micro-solos, giving his madcap guitar jams the bedrock they deserved. He put enough whammy bar on the deeper, less perceptible riff to put a big grin on your face, and finally he finished the set on his knees picking down low in the dirtier regions of his fretboard, locating frequencies that were first unearthed by the Japanese psychedelic experimentalist of the sixties, 50s-rocker turned communist death cults like Les Rallize Denudes.

Kurt Vile :: Hunchback

For anyone who sat through the entirety of Purling Hiss, Kurt Vile probably seemed like a banjo-picking hayseed. Ah, that's not really fair, but the distinction in noise quality was there. Vile pulled through with a solid set of the songs you're more likely to aurally comprehend from his albums. I find his recorded work thick at times and sonically hard to parse. To my mind, his trademark is his voice and singing rhythm. His lyrics actually express complete thoughts, which may possibly be what contributes most to his popularity (as an English major, I hafta admit it gets me, too).  The sentiment of his lyrics latches pretty firmly to the contemporary 20-something Weltanschauung, post-Warhol, post-atomic bomb, post-people who gave a shit about either of those things. To give you an example, here's a short line from his song "Freak Train" out on his Childish Prodigy LP:

Fabrication is my best friend, but I ain't never been so insulted in my whole life.

Vile's choice for starting out his set was a 12-string, which lent a tranquil, easy-going quality to his skilled guitar work. He moved between a few other guitars during the set as he transitioned between louder, more distorted songs, and finally back to a beautiful closer, playing solo acoustic. If you can say anything about the man, versatility is one of his talents.

The best surprise for me was that Pollize continued on from his set to play backing guitar with the Violators. I wouldn't have guessed it was possible for him to sit comfortably in the background, but Pollize was probably treating it like a cool-down.  And, shit, I'll say it, Vile is an amazing guitarist, too, and an attention-commanding frontman. You always get the sense that what he's saying (especially when you can't understand it) is absolutely true.

Overall, fantastic fucking show, reaffirming the fundamentals. I moved from bar to bar to couch afterwards, spit dripping from my lips from the strain of expressing my wonderment through what was left of my rock and roll lobotomy-cinched mind. Everyone I encountered got overtipped. And I do believe my light-bearing preachifying deserved some reciprocity.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

News :: We Can See the Future :: Secret Mountains

A new cassette release is out from Baltimore's Secret Mountains with an LP to follow sometime in 2011. These guys specialize in drawn out jams. This track kicks off with a little space rock noise that finally comes down to earth with Kelly Laughlin's bleached out vocals. There are also a couple graceful transitions here where the band gears up or grinds down, giving the song the feel of a miniature mixtape.

Pick up the cassette from Friends Records. And if you have no idea what do with a tape anymore, you sweet, darling idiot, consider asking for one of these machines from one of your Black Friday-loving family members.

Secret Mountains :: Rejoice

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Video :: Remote Viewing :: Yuck


Came across this one a couple of weeks ago via Weekly Tape Deck. Yuck put out an EP earlier this year, and now I hear "Rubber" will be on their full length due out on Pharmacy Recording Company/Fat Possum in January 2011. This track features a nice, fuzzy wall of sound, and the video is best viewed in wide screen mode, possibly within range of your perverted uncle, or really any family member who hugs just a beat too long.  I'd also recommend viewing it right before you sit down to eat.

Enjoy your turkey. Puke up a jello mold for me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Review :: Psychotronic Wiretap :: Atlas Sound

Atlas Sound

Bedroom Databank, Vol. 1

The event of a new one-off collection of home recordings from Bradford Cox is assuring news that Deerhunter's staggering Halcyon Digest hasn't sidetracked his prolificacy, nor his generous anti-ego. Not that the 11 songs included on the Bedroom Databank, Vol. 1 - posted this week free of charge on the Deerhunter blog under his Atlas Sound moniker - are brimming with universal genius... but that's obviously not the point. This is a keep-the-wheels-spinning daydream transmitted over the internet, straight from the synapses in Cox's restless brain. The result is a mixed bag of skittering instrumentals (including an elevator-meets-earworm wordless take on Kurt Vile's "Freak Train") and campfire space-jams. These songs sound like they crept out of a pile of dirty laundry in the corner of Cox's bedroom. The perfect soundtrack to this evening's trip to the laundromat.

Atlas Sound :: Freak Train (Kurt Vile)

Footnote: Mr. Cox has delivered a second installment of his Bedroom Databank series, less than 24 hours following the previous collection. Again, beautifully scattershot and a perfect soundtrack for scrubbing the dust-turned-rust muck off the shelving units in my bedroom. Fuck spring cleaning; this is a clearinghouse to prepare for the deep-freeze. In keeping with my habitual superstition, I'll start boarding up my windows now in hopes that Cox will supply an appropriate soundtrack tomorrow...

Download volume one

Download volume two

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

News :: Our Machine Watches Your Machine :: Weekly Tape Deck

Weekly Tape Deck in conjunction with Altered Zones co-premiered the new 7" from Pink Playground, which is out now on Zoo Music.

Zoo has been putting in the leg work these days, having released one of my favorite records of the year with Flight.  Actually, I can't believe I haven't talked about The Lead Riders here yet, considering how I shot an old man full of it the other day while he pissed his bus seat. Anyway, thank you, Zoo Music, for fucking up one more bus seat in Suck City.

Give Sunny Skies a listen, and while you're doing so, imagine you live in a town with the sprawling highway infrastructure of LA and the heat of Las Vegas, but with neither the beach nor the casinos. This time I mean Houston, a leading candidate for the most godforsaken city in the south. That's how you go around the rock bend and come back to shoegaze. Remember: it's not the heat, it's the humidity.

Listen to two tracks from the new 7" right over here. We're expecting an LP from these guys in 2011 thanks to the hard working folks at Mexican Summer. And here's an old track I was able to dig up from their FLA split with Bad Life.

Pink Playground :: Low

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review :: Armchair Telepathy :: Beach Fossils

Beach Fossils
Face It
b/w Distance
Captured Tracks

A new, cleaned up recording suits this band. They may sound a little more like label mates, Wild Nothing, but that shouldn't seem like a bad thing, or even somehow inappropriate to Dustin Payseur's upbringing.  Looking at the facts, both bands (and I could lump some other bands in here, too) have adopted a late-eighties Brit-pop guitar rock, and they've melded that sound with an all-American beach bonfire vibe. But this isn't a west coast thing. Since both bands hail from lower Atlantic states, it's safe to say this music better captures the grassy strands and island-dotted shorelines of the east coast. And so both bands become (sort of) southeast counterparts to the scum rock/psych pop coming from America's left coast, the better-known, beach-ier coast. But if the choice is between Brooklyn bedroom artists transplanted from their native Southland or LA's highway-bound dumpster divers, give me the sons and daughters of General Sherman's scorched earth any day.

I liked them when they put out their debut LP earlier this year, and I like them more now.

Beach Fossils :: Face It

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Video :: Remote Viewing :: No Joy

No Joy
Ghost Blonde

Out this past week, these Canadian ladies kick up the motherfucking jams. The video feels like a meth-fueled Cassavetes film at first before things turn very Lord of the Flies. If I were a betting man, I'd expect to see a lot more from this band in 2011. God damn them if they don't make it to DC.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

News :: We Can See the Future :: Minks


Here's some music for a cold, winter weekend. Caveat: I have no idea if it's cold since I haven't been out. Winter can suck it. This song's from the forthcoming Captured Tracks release, By the Hedge (Jan 12), thanks to the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Boston, strum-happy beams of light, MINKS. These guys eschew naiveté and infantilism in favor of straight-ahead gloom with a twist of Johnny Marr. Sway your hips to this shit. Twirl you mic cord like it's your flaccid penis...sweet Jesus, I should never be left home alone for this long of a stretch.

Post-script: judging from this band's Myspace url, these guys are practicing witches and should not be fucked with. Spells could be cast. Glyphs and smothered campfires could be found in the woods near your hometown. I have no idea what witches really do.

Minks :: Cemetery Rain

Friday, November 19, 2010

Review :: Armchair Telepathy :: Stereolab

Not Music
Drag City

Stereolab are on a planet of their own. Some call it future-retroactive, some call it retro-futuristic... the point is that they fall squarely within modern-times more than any band I can think of. In their universe, songwriting is "a state of mind," as Stereolab mastermind Tim Gane is quoted as saying... "not a length of time." The longevity of this band doesn't prove his statement, but makes it clear that he knows Stereolab exist on a different plane than any of their peers.

As of today, my iTunes machine calculates that I have 286 songs by the group. That is a fucking mind-blowing, shit-load amount by a band that pays so much goddamn attention to every detail in every song.
Not Music - Stereolab's "hiatus" record from the same sessions that produced 2008s Chemical Chords - only serves to compound my bewilderment. How is it possible to gather so many musicians in one room to follow such strange chord structures?? And with such precision? This is a real record played by real people, no mistake about it.

The initial result sounds like a snot-nosed toddler poking me in the side every 3 seconds; annoying at first, but after some time, I realize that the punk isn't gonna leave my side anytime soon, and before I know it, he's all I have. He walks with me, poking my belly at every intersection until I'm giggling at every odd chord change. And then, I'm convulsing in the crosswalk during rush-hour just because a vibraphone attack upsets my motorik gait. This is not music; this is a series of blind-sided sucker-punches that have been deliberately dropped onto Planet Earth by one of the most concise Martian bands of the past two decades. And somehow, the entire ensemble is in place to create a lush environment for the in-joke to sound sincere. As a fan, I'm in on it... and I want to share in the laughter.

Stereolab :: Super Jaianto

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Video :: Remote Viewing :: Flight

"Turns to Blood"
The Lead Riders EP
Zoo Music 


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

News :: Our Machine Watches Your Machine :: Altered Zones

This past week, Altered Zones posted an interview with the label founders of Not Not Fun Records. The label's most successful artist pick so far has been Ducktails, out on tour now with Deerhunter. I wish some of these younger labels coming up would sit down and put something more concrete down about their aesthetic, but what are you going to do? The best hint from these guys about what they're after--and I do think they're a label to watch--may be to check out the band Amanda Brown (co-founder/wife) plays in, LA Vampires.

B-T-Dubs, if I don't sound excited right now; it's because I just got back from the Grinderman show tonight where I watched Nick Cave dry-humping faces in the audience's front row, howling about getting his hand stuck in the cookie jar, while Warren Ellis leaped around and played the world's tiniest guitar; and all I have a taste for this second is music with some fucking testosterone.

Now you're not going to want to hear this track...but that's all I've GOT, motherfucker.

LA Vampires :: What is Woman? Magnetic

Monday, November 15, 2010

Reviews :: Armchair Telepathy :: Crystal Stilts

Crystal Stilts
Shake the Shackles

 Glad to see these guys getting back to the studio some more. After 2008's Alight of the Night, I'd predicted great things from this Brooklyn group. When they fell off the map for the past year, I'd sort of lost hope of hearing their depressive jangle again. The hooks on the below track play out as simply and smoothly as those from their best songs. And I found moments in "Shake the Shackles" where Brad Hargett's voice hits a more honest, earnest note than I've heard from their recorded material in the past. The B side is a little tamer, but as a whole this 7" is still fun to flip. Expect to see their sophomore (but they feel so old already) release out on Slumberland in early 2011. 

Crystal Stilts :: Shake the Shackles

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Features :: Subliminal Messages :: Royal Baths

"I Detest"
Royal Baths

Let me straighten out what I'm after here in this series.  I listen to everything I can get my hands on these days, and my attention span varies wildly in terms of what I'm able to devote to individual artists, albums, or songs.  Whether I'm riding mass trans, driving my car, or playing a record in my apartment, the music often gets the sideways stare of a passerby on a poorly lit street. In this category of posts, I'd like to slow it down and dig into what attracts me about a certain artist by examining a single track from a new favorite album of mine.  By necessity, I won't be offering any sort of rating system here; if I'm willing to rattle on about something for this long, you can assume I like it.  Instead I'll be picking away at my own aesthetic, reducing it as if over a slow flame until I can say for certain what kept my attention for multiple listenings.  I'm not writing a biography of a band or rewriting Pitchfork's review through my own lens.  And I'm not expert enough to talk about any intention the band may have had on the production side.  End disclaimer.

I don't believe Woodsist has yet to find a better fit for its catalog.  Royal Baths sounds more natural on this Brooklyn-based label than even the title band, the Woods. But the gel stiffens for sure when it comes into contact with the Woods, or really, rather the Woods Family Creeps adumbration of the host band.  Try their tracks "Family" or "Twisted Tongue" against anything on Litanies and your ears will surely latch onto the same root formula of folk music backed with the curved-spine of psychedelia as the intriguing deformity.  Royal Baths take the psychedelic instincts of the borough band and head Manhattan-ward, coaxing the most memorable vibes out of the Warhol Factory scene, borrowing (not stealing, mind you) Cale's guitar,  Maureen Tucker's percussion, and Iggy's lower key vocal styling (when he wasn't busy lacerating his chest with glass).

Not to play this geography bit too hard, but it's also interesting to consider Royal Baths in the context of their native San Francisco.  While the scene out west these days is killing every prejudicial notion I've held for the land of Hollywood and fish tacos, I wouldn't have been so quick to point to their psych scene as the cause.  Thee Oh Sees come as close as I can recollect to producing the near-monotonic pandemonium that you'll find buried in the less safe tracks on Litanies. While I wouldn't apply the same adjectives to the two bands, on "I Detest," Royal Baths reaches into the same expansive terrain.

From the thick baseline in the opening measures, you're quickly transported to the too dark backroom of a party where all of the drugs have ended up. It especially reminds me of the date night sequence from Haskell Wexler's ultra-cool flick Medium Cool where Zappa's Mothers of Invention expand minds by blowing away brain cells. Further to my point, the flatly resonating drumbeat carried methodically by drummer, Eden Birch (great name), rides in the background as if she were patiently absorbed by her own hallucination, unaware that there were other musicians in the room. 

I find the open-ended suggestion behind the repeated "I detest" irresistible to contemplate.  What does he detest? Others, himself?  I'm sure he provides some answers in there that I just haven't cracked yet, but I prefer my interpretation that his scorn is simply untargeted. The ability to hate inwardly and outwardly in equal measure forms it's own kind of trance as the singer tries to hold his gaze long enough to certify his hatred. And so this becomes not the music of their other hometown hippie bands, but something else more in line with the deranged drug-stupor of the Manson Family.

So where's the pain? I'm the first to admit that what I look for in a good song is a twinge moment, either something inseparable from the whole or a momentary crucial stab. And I find it here in two places: at the minute forty-three mark when the bridge collides with the chorus and the guitar buzz revs louder, and in the call-and-response (Jeremy Cox and Jigmae Baer) teamwork. Where Baer's end provides a little more balance to Cox's voice on other songs from Litanies, his yelping on this track protrudes from the base of the singer's otherwise cool vibe like a caudal appendage (there: that's two spinal deformation references), and I love it.

Hell, I'm yelping and spitting right now like the pathetic Pomeranian that humps my leg in the fucking elevator every morning. I'm headed to work, and it's coming back in from taking the most satisfying shit of its little life. Good thing I've got Royal Baths to focus my spite.

Give the song a listen, and buy the album.

Royal Baths :: I Detest

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Reviews :: Transdimensional Reconnaissance :: Grave Babies

I've never been convinced of the term "industrial music," especially in the context of the past decade. In fact, I guarantee that no self-effacing musician gives a shit about what sub- upon sub-genre is thrown on them these days. Certainly not Seattle's Grave Babies. Replace the image of efficient pistons and clanging metalworks with an acutely precise team of bone-crushers. In fact, replace it with an acutely precise team of cinema sound-engineers, replicating the bone-crushing sound by snapping a thousand celery stalks exactly in time. I've actually never heard a human bone break, so celery is all I got. This is a "goth" band dripping ceremonial worm-gut harmonies over fresh salad. And I fucking like it. Salad goth.

Grave Babies :: Haunted

Friday, November 12, 2010

News :: Our Machine Watches Your Machine :: 5 Tunes

Everything in Philly is coming up pop these days, and Reading Rainbow are no exception. What a blissful, easy place it must be to live. Head over to 5 tunes to hear what the band considers essential to their own sound. It makes for great Friday listening if your office has three too many walls like mine. And just so we're clear, for those of you in the back who can't read the chalkboard, the site's gimmick relies on...fuck it, you're not that dumb. Follow the link for some great Middle East sounds.

Reading Rainbow :: Wasting Time

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reviews :: Armchair Telepathy :: Weekend


I've really been in the mood for screeching guitars lately. And these guys bring it in a Jesus and Mary Chain sort of way (not exactly, though, to their credit). They make me want to go into work tomorrow and just bat my pencil all day. Maybe let them all roll off onto the floor one by one until my office is hip-deep with writing tools and nobody can get the door open to bother me. What a sweet, thorny hell that would be. Just like these songs.  

//Sidenote: I'm really liking the way the Slumberland roster is shaping up lately. Over the summer it kind of felt like they were falling behind Mexican Summer, Woodsist, and others.//

Anyway, if you see it here, that means I'm buying it. It's the buy of the week, godammit. This is a great debut album. Get yourself one. And maybe instead of the pencil thing, I'll just gurgle my words all day until somebody slaps me.

Weekend :: Coma Summer
Weekend :: End Times

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Video :: Remote Viewing :: Frankie Rose

Frankie Rose and the Outs

Here's the recent video from the Frankie Rose project, which features ex-members of nearly every other girl garage group out there plus Crystal Stilts. For some reason I can get behind this band more easily than Best Coast. Only, I keep waiting for her to rip out the chainsaw and go to town. If you get bored watching people act bored to be in this music video, then just try to stick with this one long enough to get to the satisfying Carrie-style pig blood sequence. You got me why it looks like it tastes good. Hell, I'd say it's about time to try this trick at home kids. Find a girl you hate and ridicule her publicly. That's the message here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Reviews :: Transdimensional Reconnaissance :: The Young

The Young
Voyagers of Legend
Mexican Summer

Back from a long weekend in Austin where I narrowly missed paying the $50 to go to Fun Fun Fun Fest. It probably wouldn't have been worth the price of the wristband, though, since most of the bands played elsewhere in their off-hours. And I'd already caught most of the bands I wanted to see as they toured in Texas's general direction. This festival (like all of the rest hosted in the ATX) fails to properly flaunt the hometown heroes, so it's with some luck that a friend helped me stumble onto his favorite up-and-coming band, The Young. Pick it up at the nosebleed steep prices offered by Mexican Summer, an otherwise fantastic label. The songs only get crustier and more directionless than than the album's opener posted below. You can't catch this band playing FFFFest.

The Young :: Captive Chains
The Young :: Smiling God
These files and more can also be downloaded via band's blog if you follow this link.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Review :: Paleoacoustics :: Electronic Music Winners

Electronic Music Winners
Columbia/Odyssey, 1976

It's rare that I sift through the Electronic/New Age section of a record store (how are they clumped together anyway?), but this recent find at Red Onion Records & Books made a case to change my habits. Here's the premise: four distinguished judges must select the best electronic compositions from a pool of 129 unlabeled tapes representing composers from 15 countries. The results, seven in total, are contained in no particular order on this LP.

What this collection so beautifully exhibits is the common thread from classical composition to literally "computer music," while simultaneously setting itself apart from any recognizable form. Each of the seven pieces here demonstrate masters of composition grappling with music as technology. Like an equestrian attempting to ride an octopus, these men and women have little to guide them but the rules of nature. For instance, Joel Gressel's
Points in Time utilizes the ratio-relationships within the 12 semitones of an octave and applies them to rhythm, resulting in a constant accelerating and decelerating rubber band of tones. Paul Lansky's Mild Und Leise is a stunning lesson in timbral change, like watching piranhas trapped under a thick sheet of ice. Slippery and distant, until the ice gives way.

Mild Und Leise - Paul Lansky

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

News :: Upcoming Releases :: November

Artist :: Album :: Label :: Format

Soft Moon :: TBD :: Captured Tracks :: LP
Tyvek :: Nothing Fits :: In the Red :: LP
Weekend :: Sports :: Slumberland :: LP
Hank IV :: III :: Siltbreeze :: LP
Les Sins (Toro y Moi) :: Lina :: Carpark :: 12"
Gary War :: Police Water EP :: Sacred Bones :: 12"

Dum Dum Girls :: Bhang Bhang, I'm A Burnout :: Slumberland :: 7"
Japandroids :: Heavenward Grand Prix :: Polyvinyl :: LP
No Joy :: Ghost Blonde :: Mexican Summer :: LP

Girls :: Broken Dreams Club :: Matador :: 7"

Royal Baths :: TBD :: Hozac :: 7"
Reading Rainbow :: Prism Eyes :: Hozac :: LP
Girls Names / Brilliant Colors :: I Lose / You Win :: Slumberland :: 7"

Sore Eros :: Know Touching :: SHDWPLY Records :: LP

first Tuesday of every month (except for this one)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Video :: Remote Viewing :: Future Islands

"Tin Man"
Future Islands
In Evening Air

Off of this year's release from the Baltimore band, here's the gorgeous video for "Tin Man." Dig the steel drum synths and singer Samuel Herring's subdued growl.  I have to say these guys make me feel a lot better about living way the hell out in the Middle East (Coast). You can catch them this weekend at the Blackcat backstage where they've drawn a solid dance crowd in the past. I could even feel the temptation rising in me. Don't resist it. Give in. Submit yourself to Wham.

Monday, November 1, 2010

News :: Upcoming Shows :: November

11/2: Deertick/Mark Sultan @ Black Cat

11/4: Future Islands @ Black Cat Backstage
         Fluorescent Scents @ Velvet Lounge

11/5: Clinic/Fresh & Onlys @ Rock and Roll Hotel

11/7: Black Mountain/Black Angels @ 9:30

11/8: Mountain Man @ 9:30

11/15: Glasser/Twin Shadow @ Black Cat Backstage

11/16: Grinderman @ 9:30

11/22: Delorean @ Rock and Roll Hotel

11/24: Kurt Vile/Purling Hiss @ Black Cat Backstage

Kurt Vile :: In My Time

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Features :: Pitifully Short-range Teleportation :: SVIIB

Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St NW, Washington, DC
Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's been a year and a half since I first caught School of Seven Bells at 9:30 Club, opening for Fujiya/Miyagi. This night they were headlining and Active Child opened.

In concert, Active Child is really two children playing parallel in a sandbox. There's a harp (fuck me, right?) and a couple of Macbook Pros. So that's what it takes these days. It's hard to imagine what a band rehearsal must look/sound like, two twenty-somethings heatedly bouncing in front of their laptop screens, feeling rad and beautiful at the same time. I got more Top Gun-theme off of them than I'd expected, and since I was already wearing my flight suit, I figured fuckin-A, right? My main problem was with the drum and bass side of the equation. There didn't seem to be enough of either. To quote my friend Dave, and I'm not sure he expected to see his name here, " we're watching the definition of a talent differential," referring to the harpist, Pat Grossi, and his mate. But for my dollar, dance music has to be more sympathetically sexualized and less androgynous. Put another way: bump and grind, not bob and mope.

I like Active Child's recorded work, but live on stage at the Rock and Roll Hotel, the act felt a bit thin. Pat Grossi can sure as hell carry a note in both his native baritone and his falsetto, but I never found a sense of the emotional reverberations of similar bedroom-laptop artists making their way around the interweb this year, melancholy or otherwise. Where Washed Out infuses his work with a perfect sense of post-college dread--future, what future?--left behind by friends and peers, working out the meaning of things back in his childhood bedroom; Active Child sounds like he's pleading with his step-father to buy him another new Range Rover after he wrecked the first one. It's probably that Active Child just isn't what I'm looking for in my eighties throw-back bands. I need my pretty music to have a rusty edge to it. I need to know that Phil Spector's got one round in the chamber, and he's willing to wait all night.

School of Seven Bells, on the other hand, is reminding me a whole lot more of Ride from the Today Forever EP, a personal favorite. It seems like with the absence of the twin (Claudia Deheza), Ben Curtis is driving harder on the guitar, straining the already spindly notes further; and although I wouldn't brand SVIIB's new sound as shoegaze, it does send my thoughts across the pond. Ben's more confident, out front, moving around the stage, and not hiding behind attractive twin sisters and lighting effects. And I like it.

"Windstorm" has more in common with any of the tracks from Alpinisms, relying on samples, loops, and the sisters' vocals as much as any from their first album.  It's also more stripped down. On stage and on record, the band doesn't seem to be  dealing with the same vocal harmonics that were the trademark of tracks like "Wired for Light" and "My Cabal." Alpinisms feels at times like an experiment in resonance manipulation, while Disconnect from Desire seems to be veering generic for a larger audience (and not in that bad way I might usually mean).

Alejandra kept dropping her guitar (was she done with it, or was she just not playing it to begin with?) in favor of strange hand gestures that seemed to be trying to draw attention away from the music and towards her face, which I suppose is not a bad move to pull.  She doesn't quite have the range that her sister provided in the past, and somehow she seemed less compelling on this go around than the last. I already know I'm a freak for conjoined babies in a jar, so maybe this is that thing. Also, there was a drummer this time. And, god, did he sound like Phil Collins (the other Phil) hitting play on a drum machine, completely spot-on with the rhythm and totally ready to win your heart.

I can feel it coming in the air tonight
Oh Lord
And I've been waiting for this moment all my life
Oh Lord

Active Child :: Wilderness
SVIIB :: Windstorm

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Features :: Weaponize Your Stereo Today :: Fan Death Records

Catch the fall mixtape streaming  from FDR's website while it lasts. The songs range from pop-drones to chainsaw revving on the listenability scale. Highlights include a new song from Broken Water (Olympia, WA), which picks up with a Ron Asheton-style grumbling Detroit lead-in and settles neatly into a downward-gazing female grunge chorus.

My personal favorite has to be the new Puerto Rico Flowers song. For those who don't already know, this is the new band fronted by John Sharkey of Clockcleaner (Philadelphia). It rides the line of being too derivative of Joy Division to deal with, but if you imagine Sharkey's sadistic thrill hunt set in a melancholy British fog, the reverie becomes too thick to dismiss. He's abandoned his deranged (think: neighbor masturbating out the bay window of his model home) guitar in favor of synths, a move I'm more hip to thanks to B'more  growlers, Future Islands. Clockcleaner also has a  track included in this mix, which will be riding on their new FDR release. Can't wait to pick that one up (catch Auf Wiedersehen out on Load Records now). Those guys made me fear for the safety of my neighbor's daughter, for what I might do to her. How could I be so sick without knowing it?

Listen to it. Love it. Cry yourself to sleep. Wake up. Eat shit at your job. Drive home too fast. Expose yourself to your neighbors.