Monday, January 31, 2011

Review :: Electronic Voice Phenomena :: Luciernaga

Life Passes Away Like Idle Chatter
Fabrica Records

I got passed this tape last week and couldn't resist buying it. I've developed a fascination for tape releases over the past year, and with more tape labels pushing out the in-between work of great bands, they've become unavoidable. Luciernaga (español para firefly) is a solo project by one of the members from DC's Birds and Wires, and I believe he relocated to Brooklyn sometime in the past year, because I haven't really seen the band on a billing since last summer's Fort Reno series.

The Luciernaga project sounds like cuts from one of David Lynch's student films. "Long Wave" is one of the more listenable tracks on the album--and let me throw in that I listen to a lot of noise, and "listenable" can either be a compliment or a deprecation, frothing from my lower lip, in league with other grave markers like accessible or pleasant. But in this case I believe "Long Wave" succeeds. It bears strikingly little form or texture and yet it provides a surface with a beginning and an end. As the droning proceeds, the flat plane illuminates around the edges and presents the idea of a world or world-ness, and the notion of exploration follows shortly behind. Now if only David Lynch had his hands on this tape, he'd probably feature a pair of twin dwarfs dancing on a glass table, one vomiting resignedly down through the wing collar of his tuxedo shirt and the other reciting inchoate nursery rhymes about blind rabbits. Other tracks from this tape vary in terms of listenability, let's say, on a scale from Bill Pullman to Robert Blake in terms of who you'd want to be behind the wheel of the car you were being driven home in.

From the insert:
This audio cassette collects material recorded over a three year period (2008 - 2010) which include field recordings, samples, performances on acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards and various effects most of which are of an analog nature.

Luciernaga :: Long Wave

Other killer tape labels to plug into:
Skrot Up
Scotch Tapes
NNA Tapes

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Video :: Remote Viewing :: Lumerians

Did I mention that this is an Osmonds cover? Check it out. This shit brings me closer than ever before to realizing my dream movie project: two pulsating palm prints of light, one red, one blue, hovering in circles around footage of early flying machines. And since I'm a realist, I'm only planning public access release.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

News :: Our Machine Watches Your Machine :: The Supreme Court of Canada

Headquartered somewhere deep inside of America's top hat, the fine folks over at the Supreme Court of Canada kick out the mixtapes like it was still 1992. I can't begin to count the number of great bands I've discovered as a result of their efforts. This week's special guest curator was none other than Mark Sultan aka BBQ of the King Khan and BBQ show. This garage rocker's the best thing to happen to Canada since the French discovered fur-trapping. If you can make it, dig The Inner Space's "Kamera Song," and the lost gem "Snacky Poo" (which is what I call a shot of Beam). I have to admit I get a little lost around the Ornette Coleman song here, but for the most part you get a great idea of where BBQ's head is at with this mix.

Postscript: I realize that we're totally ripping the mixtape and playlist from their site, so I urge you to click their link above and browse some of their other comps. You won't regret it. 

Post-postscript: the tape curated by Nick Isberg got me through a whole day at work. "Cocaine" by Dick Justice describes pretty accurately how I feel about tacos.

Mixtape 14 - Mark Sultan by Supreme Court of Canada

01. Raw Power - Fuck Authority
02. Charlie Feathers - Wild, Wild Party
03. Del-Mars - Snacky Poo
04. Five Keys - My Saddest Hour
05. Silver Apples - I Have Known Love
06. Ornette Coleman - Holiday For Heroes
07. The Zeros - Handgrenade Heart
08. The Inner Space - Kamera Song
09. The Falcons - Oh Baby
10. Eddie Gale - The Rain
11. Clara Rockmore - The Swan
12. Pussy - Comets
13. The Outsiders - Misfit
14. Lee Moses - Bad Girl Pt. 1
15. Ruth White - The Litanies Of Satan

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Video :: Remote Viewing :: Cloud Nothings

The Cloud Nothings album is out today on local label Carpark Records. So to celebrate the release we're posting some watchin's. After you're done with the videos, you should make a move over to Red Onion to pick up a copy on vinyl. This first one came out this past week and involves some awesome hair braid on hair braid action, which mainly reminds me of the last time I got drunk in Georgetown.

"Should Have"

"Should Have" - Cloud Nothings from John Ryan Manning on Vimeo.

For those of you who didn't catch this next one when it came out last fall, here's a video that makes me miss my MTV. It's a simple tale: shovel-toothed nerd kills homeless man, replaces organs with machine parts, programs him to respond to remote control and play basketball. It's a plan too good to fail. There's also a Herbert West/Re-animator thing going on that thrills the Lovecraft fan in me.

"Hey Cool Kid"

And, finally, a live set that brings the whole act, led by frontman Dylan Baldi, down to Earth. With Beach House moving to Subpop this past year, Carpark kind of got the spring board treatment. But the hometown label continues to dependably bring lightweight acts to the foreground without wearing away any of the homegrown, sweat-and-toil earnestness that makes independent music great.

"Should Have [live]"

And now I'm looking forward to a solid tour from Cloud Nothings come SXSW season.

Monday, January 24, 2011

News :: We Can See the Future :: Bass Drum of Death

I'm pretty sure this is what it sounds like if you decide to take a bath with your hairdryer: a lot of wailing and amplified guitar hiss so that if someone were to hear you from the other room, they'd think you were having one badass scrub.

Bass Drum of Death just finished off a couple of successful shows up in NYC this past week, and their debut album is slated for release on Inflated Records next month.  Sonically, they've got a lot in common with another of my favorite bands, Purling Hiss. But these guys put a lot more emphasis on the rock, sweating and shouting like Iggy Pop before Nico gave him the VD. Oxford, MS (and more specifically Cats Purring) is giving other music scenes in the country a run for their money these days, and I'm predicting a brilliant 2011 for those deep fried southerners. And if BDoD don't drop through the District on their spring tour, well, let's just say we'll be the waving to you from the grassy knoll. We're talking to you John Barrett. Ah shit, who am I kidding? Cut a couple solid records first, then we'll make you famous.

Here's a couple of tracks off of GB City:

Bass Drum of Death :: Heart Attack Kid
Bass Drum of Death :: Get Found

Welcome to your Monday morning. Try not to be a douche. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Review :: Psychotronic Wiretap :: Young Prisms

I never get sick. I'm behind the times... I have no idea what a netty pot is (Neti?), and my idea of "holistic" involves a lot of bitching and moaning, looking for sympathy, and calling out sick. I never imagined I'd be rapping on a bulletproof window for a bottle of NyQuil, then carded twice for it. Of course I drank way more than is directed... that was my plan in the first place. I didn't plan on it fucking me up way more. The only way to appease the demons is this track from Young Prisms, from their debut LP Friends For Now, out on Kanine Records this week. Equal parts woozy and lockgroove, it's the undecipherable drowned-out vocals that turned my stomach, and the hard-hitting drums that gave me support as I exorcised the plague.

Catch the San Fran fivesome Feb. 1st at Rock and Roll Hotel with Radio Dept. I'll be there sipping on my Texas tea, trying to replicate last night's fever dream.

Young Prisms :: Feel Fine

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Review :: Double Unconscious Served Neat :: Smith Westerns

Smith Westerns
Dye It Blonde
Fat Possum

Some days I feel like I'm breaking my back sifting for gold here when what's needed to cure my prospector's fever is to head back into town, settle up to the bar, and proposition the first working girl without a cold sore on her face. Sometimes you get to town, though, and all that's left are hairless, powder-skinned boys in search of parental figures. And so it goes with the Smith Westerns who burst into the foreground of the indie rock scene like the poxy child pirates from William Burrough's homosexual planet-opera series. They serve up some T Rex style jams here that work so well I bet Bolan would have been flattered, that is, if he could have put the powder down and pursued his other interest, himself.

The first track here made its way to the interweb shortly after their previous album back in Sept. 2009. Needless, to say, I dig them both. I get into the glam, I do. Right now I'm groping around on the floor beneath my bed hoping my hand will settle on that familiar crinkled paper bag where I stash my silver headband and my sniff-and-feel-good glue. Ride on, diamond warriors.

Smith Westerns :: Weekend

Smith Westerns :: Imagine, Pt. 3

And in case you thought we didn't love and care for you, suffering some momentary disorientation without our friendly hand to hold, here's the video Fat Possum laid out last month. The boys take a stroll through the woods with some axes, and then off to Hot Topic to buy some yin yang jewelry. Good times.

We're your mommy and daddy now, little ones. Now get in the car.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

News :: RIP Trish Keenan

I can't possibly make any career-spanning observations or reaffirming definitions about the impact of Trish Keenan that haven't already been posted a thousand times over the past 24 hours. All I can do is offer my personal version of a voice, a voice, that completely changed how I perceive art. A friend of mine spun Broadcast's Tender Buttons in the dead of winter, and when the trickling opening glitches of that record gave way to some sort of ancient Gregorian hymn within 30 seconds, my brain sort of curdled. Music was no longer something to be listened to, but a tangible object to show-and-tell. Reaching back into their previous two records and associated EPs was like deciphering glyphs left behind by galaxy-trotting scientists from the Paleolithic Age. The voice dug up some incredibly rooted superstitions inside me, and sang about them as if they were sunflowers. Or black hyacinths. That, I think, is the core of my appreciation for Trish Keenan: she was the soothsayer of the unspoken, and to lose her voice too soon has left me with a long list of unanswered questions.

For what it's worth, watching Trish and her partner James Cargill perform their song "Black Cat" at the Black Cat in DC in 2009 was one of the most spiritually satisfying events in my life, a truly once in a lifetime occurrence that puts a smile on my face.

Broadcast :: I Found The F

Broadcast :: Valerie

Friday, January 14, 2011

Review :: Armchair Telepathy :: Jacuzzi Boys

Jacuzzi Boys
Bricks and Coconuts
Mexican Summer

I may be reaching behind my back to grab some shit from last year, but since it's only the 14th, it's not like you're going to hotwire a Delorean to rewind that far. The Jacuzzi Boys had a pretty good 2010, and this 7" was the highlight. This is what good garage can do: it's all nerves and teeth like an irradiated pit bull. Floridas Dying [sic] cranked this Miami band out a few years back, and I haven't seen them crawl up the coast once in that time. I'm not going to lie, though: what kind of an audience would they expect to find in DC anyways? Glad to see them find some elbow room on Mexican't Summer, even though I don't really see them getting a full length out any time soon given the label's current starting lineup (I'm not complaining, but Tamaryn?).  I think the Boys would provide a lot of balance to the, I'm probably talking up my sleeve here, because MS did put out a 7" for Eddy Current Suppression Ring last maybe the soft spot's there even though the viable market's not.

The A-side you're getting here's the best of this round-up, it's got ease, poise, and balls, too. Wut more you need, huh? Feel like fighting? Pour me another shot; I'll fight you.

Jacuzzi Boys - Boys or Coconuts

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Video :: Remote Viewing :: Clinic

It's taking me a while to get the internet running at the apartment (Verizon can suck it) so, glory be and hallelujah, we'll be back with more regular posting in the weeks to come. Can I get an amen? In the meantime, enjoy the newest video produced by the dudes at For No One, which pulls badass bands into an intimate setting to play whatever the hell they feel like (site name explains the rest). Clinic are a bunch of motherfucking show stoppers. They always play the same sound, but goddamn if all I ever want to hear is that one sound.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Review :: Armchair Telepathy :: Monochrome Set

Monochrome Set
Early Recordings: 1975 - 1977
Captured Tracks
12" EP

Monochrome Set are the ultimate dustbin for me. Initially plugged into them by an East Portland record shop, their singles & sessions comp Volume, Contrast, Brilliance was the hidden trump card that only record clerks seemed to blush over. I spun that record every morning on my Jensen portable while scrambling eggs until I tripped over the power cable and smashed the damn thing... no one's fault but my own. At that moment (and my roommates can attest), I cursed wherever humanity gets its manna, certain that I'd lost the only tangible evidence that I ever had a soul. I fucking loved that record, and if anyone can find it for me, I will give you $30 for it. That's five burgers from Five Guys. Let the hunt begin.

In equal parts embarrassment and confirmation, Captured Tracks has exhumed pre-post-post-pre-punk gems from this London band for the rest of the world to consume. Embarrassment that I'm not as "dustbin" as I thought I was; confirmation that this band deserves much much more than post-punk obscurity. I find myself feeling queasy with contradictions. Either way, this release comes as an unexpected puzzle-piece to how lead-writer Bid honed his craft. The intro to Side-B standout "Flesh, Trash, Heat" is a dead-ringer for the self-referencing "Monochrome Set," released as a single several years later. This is melodic indie-pop way the fuck ahead of its time, and I truly command you to take notice here. Bonus video to drive the nail in deeper, as if it were necessary.

Monochrome Set :: Flesh. Trash. Heat

Monochrome Set :: Monochrome Set

Sunday, January 9, 2011

News :: Upcoming shows :: January

1/9: Julian Lynch/Wet Dream @ Subterranean A

1/17: Tyvek @ Comet

1/20: Fight Amp @ Black Cat

1/21: Yo la Tengo @ 9:30

1/25: Jolie Holland @ Iota

1/27: Small Black/Bear Hands @ Red Palace

1/30: Young Prisms @ Black Cat

Thursday, January 6, 2011

News :: We Can See The Future :: Dirty Beaches

The internet is packed away in some box underneath sanity and sobriety, and we're in no rush to dig those out, so bear with us while we work out our inner-demons for one goddamn minute. Here's an offering to quell the deafening cacophony of our single follower.

Beaming in from deep space like some lost Lee Hazlewood bootleg karaoke session, this cut comes from Dirty Beaches' upcoming full-length, Badlands, on Zoo Music March 29th.
It'll be interesting to see how this stumbling lament will hold up during the upcoming tour with Dum Dum Girls and Minks (March 6 at Black Cat). While it's easy to imagine Dum Dum Girls' psych-harem jangle, I kind of picture Dirty Beaches' Alex Zhang Hungtai as the opening eunuch, passed out drunk mumbling that he doesn't give a damn about anything. And that's totally and completely cool, since I'll be doing the same exact thing.

Dirty Beaches :: Lord Knows Best

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

News :: Upcoming Releases :: January

Artist :: Album :: Label :: Format 

Minks :: By the Hedge :: Captured Tracks :: LP
Wire :: Red Barked Tree ::
Beach Fossils :: Calyer :: Captured Tracks :: 7"
Widows Peak :: Brain Freeze Captured Tracks :: 7"
Bardo Pond:: S/T :: Fire Records :: LP
The Beets :: Stay Home :: Captured Tracks :: LP
The Beets: Time Brought Age :: Captured Tracks :: 7"

Smith Westerns :: Dye it Blonde ::Fat Possum :: LP
Tennis :: Cape Dory :: Fat Possum :: LP
White Fence :: ...Is Growing Faith :: Woodsist :: LP
Ducktails :: Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics :: Woodsist :: LP

Cloud Nothings :: S/T :: Carpark :: LP
Thank You :: Golden Worry :: Thrill Jockey :: LP
Sic Alps :: Napa Asylum :: Drag City :: LP
Brown Recluse :: Evening Tapestry :: Slumberland :: LP