Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review :: Psychic Dancehall :: Dreamers

Psychic Dancehall :: A Love That Kills

The notion of a Psychic Dancehall hasn't been this perversely seductive since David Bowie's lip gloss defined my nightmares in 1986. Having released a 7" on ArtFag earlier this year, San Diego's version of Psychic Dancehall has had me wondering about a full-length ever since. Last month finally saw it's release, again on ArtFag, and it's streaming in full over here. Go, listen, eat a bag of Fritos, and read a few more words about it from me...

Dorian Wartime and Sylvia Innocent live in a rented apartment above a gay playhouse and write hypothetical scores for the performances that go on below them, one of which involves a transvestite beating her lover to death with a dildo. Where are your ArtFag credentials? They record in their own playhouse attic space, equipped with what seems to be a drum machine, a few cheap synths, and a crate full of Scott Walker, Suicide, and Phil Spector records. With Dreamers, the duo have created a melodically rich and stylistically diverse debut, one that stands out just for having hip-shake appeal and the potential to teach you how to croon. Not to mention a spectacularly-positioned cover of The Crystals "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)". It's dangerous, propulsive, druggy, and dare I say, just a little bit romantic throughout, which is to say this album could easily be renamed Natural Born Killers. Be a survivor and buy it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

News :: Pepe Deluxé :: In The Cave

Very little should be said of Pepe Deluxé here, mostly because I know pretty much nothing about them other than their recent signing to Asthmatic Kitty. Maybe I'll dig into them at a later time, but this is more a story about technology and science than it is about arts and entertainment. More about the green wedge of your Trivial Pursuit hex and less about the pink wedge. Sorry, pink wedge.

Long story short: the largest musical instrument on the entire planet is located underground in Luray, Virginia. A four-manual organ triggers hundreds of rubber mallets trained on the same number of stalactites that have been filed to perfect pitch using precision tube oscillators. The original organ (all 42,000 square feet) was completed in 1957 by a man named Leland Sprinkle, but fell into disrepair and remained silent for decades as it underwent massive renovation. I've had recurring dreams about this organ since I first saw it as (oddly enough) a cave- AND organ-obsessed little boy. I even named my hamster Leland Sprinkle, and developed most of my world-views while watching him chew cedar and shit splinters.

Earlier this year, Mr. Pepe Deluxé (actually two people) had the unique opportunity to exploit the newly repaired and retuned Great Stalacpipe Organ, composing, performing, and recording the very first piece of original music written specifically for the instrument. The composition will be included on their upcoming full-length in January 2012, featuring a handful of other songs recorded completely above-ground and having nothing to do with the greatest instrument known to man. Fortunately, the organ plays beautifully and resonates with tone colors I've not heard anywhere before. Unfortunately, in my admittedly ass-backwards and mostly emotionally unstable opinion, Mr. Deluxé have failed at presenting a piece of music as unique as the instrument itself, instead opting for a slight, two-minute slice of faceless hymnal they've criminally named "In The Cave." Honestly, I don't hate the piece, but I was hoping for something less pop and more pioneering. Less pinkwedge-core and more greenwedge-core. Decide for yourself below:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

News :: Upcoming Shows :: November

Unicorn Hardon making noise and drinking Pabst.

11/04 :: Scratch Acid :: 9:30 Club
              Zongo Junction/Co La :: Subterranean A
             The Cheniers/Edie Sedgewick :: Fort Fringe
11/05 :: Weekends :: Fort Fringe
11/09 :: Heavy Medical/The Deads :: Wasted Dream
11/10 :: Medications/Cloud Nothings :: Black Cat Backstage
              Aids Wolf/Unicorn Hardon :: Comet Ping Pong
11/11 :: El Reys (surf rock)/Les Rhinocéros :: Fort Fringe
11/12 :: Ted Leo/Medications :: Sacred Heart Church
              Radio CPR Record Sale :: La Casa
11/13 :: Youth Lagoon :: Red Palace
11/15 :: Ganglians :: Red Palace
11/17 :: Purling Hiss :: DC9
11/21 :: Cheap Time/Mannequin Men :: Black Cat Backstage
11/24 :: King Louie's Missing Monuments/Thee Lolitas :: Black Cat Backstage