Wednesday, August 16, 2006

our space is strictly limited!

I really took a laugh the other day reading this fine spam email about a hot new website called onemillionbands. It is the next NY Times cover story, the next playground to network with "multi-platinum selling artists." Though "space is strictly limited!" And only costs $0.10 per pixel.

Anyhow, no real need to read further about it, thought the message is reprinted below. Instead, just take a view of this YouTube wonderful bop jam from Ornette Coleman Quartet in 1974, Roma, with James "Blood" Ulmer twisting his scales in a perfectly, chopped dimension. Fine. Fine. This is right before he formed Prime Time. Shame this quartet didn't cut an album, or a duet with Blood and Ornette on violin.

Ornette Coleman Quartet - Roma 1974 #1

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
From: James Napier [onemillionbands@hotmail.co.uk]
Mailed-By: hotmail.co.uk
Date: Aug 13, 2006 10:58 PM
Subject: Promotional opportunity from OMB - not spam

Hello all,

Here’s a unique opportunity to promote your artists and your label. One Million Bands is a brand new musical project aimed at creating extremely affordable advertising and maximum publicity.

Along with multi-platinum selling artists around the world, we’re also networking through the huge MySpace community, providing unsigned bands with an exciting place to promote themselves.

Unlike other advertising mediums (magazines, radio etc) which only host your information for a limited time, One Million Bands will be around as long as the Internet is, giving your bands and your label a permanent advert and a
permanent place in history.

We’re also negotiating advertising slots with major festivals around the world, including but not limited to: Leeds & Reading festivals, Download festival, V festival, Isle of White festival and T in the Park festival in the UK, Summerfest, Ozzfest, Chicago Blues Festival, Aspen Music Festival, CMA Music Festival to name but a few in the USA. Can you imagine the
publicity?

Many other festivals around the world will be subject to our attention for 2007/2008.

‘Our revenues have increased 40-50% since placing online adverts this way.’
- James Callaway, President, DS Laboratories, USA 2006

Sold a million records?

Haven’t sold any?

Doesn’t matter. Be a part of history at One Million Bands. Pop over to the site and have a look at our FAQ, or drop me a line at james@onemillionbands.co.uk for a chat.

Best Wishes,

James Napier
Founder & musician, OMB

P.S Our space is strictly limited!

www.onemillionbands.co.uk

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

hepyouth

A traumatic Allan Kaprow astral projection would be tumbling out of oak trees and hurling folding chairs with Hepatitis (B) Youth. The loosely rooted Bloomington collective have issued Day Tour 2005 DVD, a complete 30-minute document of one day small town upheaval. Performances are spontaneous of the crew -- 3/8 or so being Justin Clifford Rhody, Carlos Gonzalez, and Bridget -- rolling outta small sedans and setting up jack-rabbit style at Kroger, rooftop car garages, Chocolate Mouse ice cream shoppe, TD’s tiny two aisle record store, and other spots. Gonzalez strong arms a snow shovel to dig loose the start of each blast of one-to-two minutes which flips from near-melodiously, restrained tinkerings and blunt gnarled hacking. Carries the same confusion as Hurray’s recent LP, which I need to write up here.

I’ve seen the Hep – B, C and D versions -- and always feared getting bashed up over a good listen. The DVD, filmed by Jeremy Hogan allows for safe, at home absorption and is framed with some great before/after locations shots. Hogan’s minimal movement/zoom approach evens out with HepC’s constant movement. I’ve boiled down two parts of the DVD down to audio spots. Check it.

Hepatitis (B) Youth - Live Kroger Loading Dock
Hepatitis (B) Youth - Live Atop Car Garage

Monday, August 14, 2006

color coded

Been riding the third rail on Brooklyn’s, via SE Michigan, Awesome Color these past few weeks cause it offers up a conundrum I’m trying to shake: blitzing from the birth canal of The Ashton Bros. is noble, and yours truly is clearly guilty to a degree on it, but completely bellowing from their muscle-taught R&B/skronk just seems to damn green. Each time this CD spins I wanna stop it at the first bit “Grown.” And if so, tis a shame to miss out on “Free Man,” a fine jam for this quickly fading summer epoch that these three – Allison Busch, Derek Stanton, Michael Troutman -- are diggin in. But back to “Grown” – it just feels like the rabbit ear antenna’s to “TV Eye” – just a fub for first track. The southern’ harmonica drawl and full horn/synth on the rest wipes that away. The guest sax splatter from Wade Kergan and Busch’s minor drum fills throughout “Hat Energy” continual bang and propel forward and give hint to a surely doubly frantic stage set. Though AC’s high energy finds equilibrium in their slo-plow blues drawl that Stanton serves as if emptying a ginormous metal cotton-candy round. His continual spooling of notes (and shard coarse vox) fester into a circular whirl that shoots right down a day-glow drain. Think I’m set to dive with now...

Awesome Color - Grown
The Stooges - TV Eye (Take 5)

Friday, August 04, 2006

good touch

Niblock. Pointing out that Phill Niblock was born in tiny-town-Anderson is held back in my catalogue of tempting Indiana facts until a last ditch effort is required to convince a non-Hoosier that the we got root for some fantasma. Yeah, yeah. John Glenn or MJackson maybe, but Niblock?! Fug, yeah...

“Valence,” the first piece of the third CD on Niblock’s new Touch Three set, fills up the house with its steely center and gauzy undertow. All I can do is listen and be swallowed and saturated until its end. What else to do? Built from Julia Eckhardt’s repetitive viola notes, Niblock sewed each together to remove breathing spaces, leaving the natural decay of the tone, and the attack of the subsequent iteration of the same tone. Each note was represented by several repetitions, perhaps ten for each tone, of about 15 seconds duration each. Each piece uses a few tones.. If Richard Serra were to construct a Tilted Arc II off a corn-filed state route east of Anderson or anywhere really, Niblock’s work could be the vibrating essence.

Ulrich Krieger and Franz Hautziner, two of my favorite Euro-apoco-jazz players are sourced for a few pieces here. Ulrich's "Parker's Altered Mood, aka Owed to Bird" slightly alters itself as if you were cupping hands over ears. It feels weightless, unlike the rest of the set, almost as if the sheets of sound are incessantly falling from above. The earthy reed seems wholly celestial here. “Not Yet Titled” with Hautziner carries the most significant changes throughout its 22-minutes. Easily mistaken for an organ piece, a roaring low end appears three-fourths through and counters the high octave tone. As Niblock writes in the notes, One only hears the sound of the instrument... The microtones do the work.

Phill Niblock - Not Yet Titled (excerpt)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

bag o' kaiser

Just got around to viewing Grizzly Man this past week and had forgotten, until the credits rolled by, Henry Kaiser wrote/organized the score along with Richard Thompson. The pieces projected an achingly bright North American outdoors vibe sorta absorbing the thematic gestures of National Geographic nature films with subdued backwoods country. Been awhile since I'd listened to any Kaiser at all. Despite years of blasting the John Oswald duo Improvised and With Friends Like These (a blue-print for six-string rethinking with Fred Frith). Surely it's just a tick in my head, but Kaiser continually falls to the back of the brain; he just never leaps forward. Clearly my issue. Though whenever I spin Outside Pleasure with its static waves and chordal obliteration, it feels right-on, especially the 4th side's precision group rock movements.

Immediately after this, I noticed that Bagatellen had Kaiser and bassist Damon Smith (also heard on the GM sndtk) posted for their monthly Listen feature. "Six Of Two" is wonderfully short vibration of strings and gnarled tree bark. All manners of slapping and flaking away.

Henry Kaiser & Damon Smith - Six Of Two

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

the nz backstroke

Super find yesterday (in the $1.99 rack of the local record mart) of a favorite loaned out some time ago and never returned home: Peter Jefferies & Jono Lonie's At Swim 2 Birds. Recorded nearly 20 years ago overlooking the Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, NZ, I find this as Jefferies most deeply moving gestures alongside The Last Great Chance in A Dull World. Sharply stark and open to bouts of sun rays and deep thunk movements (earth or mind), the two pass through violin, piano, guitar, drums, and tape splicing. Each piece seems fragmented and adjoined with and translucent orbs hovering between the notes. The incompleteness of this album is what makes it such a soul heavy listen. Another instrument or melody would sink each piece. As in all of Jefferies work, except eh... Two Foot Flame, the role of absence leads over his instrument choice and even lyrics at times. This ability lets him create such staggering instrumental albums... Drunken Fish reissued this version CD proper back in '97 after two previous tiny pressings LPs by Flying Nun ('87) and Xpressway ('89). Well worth the $1.99, though if anyone wants to part with an LP, ring me.

Peter Jeffereies & Jono Lonie - At Swim 2 Birds
Peter Jeffereies & Jono Lonie - Piano (One)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

from beirut

Lebanese trumpet player Mazen Kerbaj had planned to spend most of July touring in the US but opted for staying in his home city, Beirut, with family during the Israeli bombings. His blog is a mind-deflating read for us sitting here watching this unfold via the daily paper and Drudgereport headlines. Out on his balcony, Kerbaj's has been dueting with the planes and bombs ("i recorded two hours of bombs + trumpet from my balcony yesterday night. some bombs were really close -- what kind of mouthpiece do the israeli pilots use to have this sound? the tension you get in your playing is incredible. Now i feel bad to draw or play music while people are burning"). He asks that we speak out:

to the question: "how can we help?"

the answer is: speak.

speak about the shit happening here. speak with your family. with your friends. with people you don't know. in a bar, a restaurant, at work. with the people in the streets. talk to everybody. talk to buildings. from here, it seems for us that no one in the whole world cares for those fucking burned children corpses.


And if you don't know what this is about, check the news.

Kerbaj is of the first wave of Middle East free improvisers. Staggering trumpet action, ice sheets and garbled syntax that surely will survive this war and blossom in the times to come.

Mazen Kerbaj &  Franz Hautzinger - Sahel al Bekaa
Mazen Kerbaj &  Franz Hautzinger - Abu Tarek  
Mazen Kerbaj - Songs for Evan (part 3 & 5)

Also, here is a link of an improvisation recorded by Mazen Kerbaj on the balcony of his flat in Beirut, on the night of 15th to 16th of July 2006.
mazen kerbaj / trumpet
the israeli air force / bombs.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

home unspeakable

So where the hell has Heath been since I tried to kick the come back last month? I know where I've been: moving from the Carolinas back to Hooiserville, all the prep work, post work and procrastination takes a toll. And I'm here now, with most of the boxes emptied and sent out to the recycler. Don't call it a comeback, but lets hope it is. All of the records/CDrs that have been moved from state-to-state that have yet to get splayed out for you all is quite criminal. Time to let it all flow...

Right before I moved I cashed out my credit at the great CD Alley in Chapel Hill, and amongst the box sets I piled up, I found a fresh copy of Blowhole's 1995 LP, Gathering. Four bones, I think. It was packed up when I got it home, and have yet to listen. Nonetheless, right after the Internet went up at the new house, I heard that Jeph Jerman had posted a new MP3 at his web site -- for those scratching heads, he was in Blowhole. Entitled "Neighborhood and Porch Chimes," Jerman writes that it is "... a recording of my new neighborhood, filtered through a cheap mic, battery powered amp and baby monitors. enjoy."

For the past twenty years Jerman has not only created, but brought forth the idea of stoping, listening and letting yourself be overcome with what is happening around you. I first knowingly came upon his work, under the name Hands To, on the Egress which was "a song cycle comprising short songs played entirely on the remains of dead cactus found in the Sonoran desert outside Tucson, Arizona." I picked up the LP for the similarities of design (white sleeve, glued on photo) to Loren Mazzacane records. I haven't played it in years, but it is a favorite.

From his website, Jerman writes: the idea called music is not separate from "sound in general", yet we have made it so by devising rules by which music may be ascertained or known. music is in the listening, and this is what i am about.

all sound is the same, namely a vibration, and our minds have separated one set of vibrations from the general over-all vibration and labeled it. music is therefore, a judgement.


The piece below is about 36 minutes, and it is great breeze to drift off to. Shut things down and let it flow...

Jeph Jerman - Neighborhood and Porch Chimes (34.6 MB)

Monday, May 29, 2006

can i get some bohrium on my goat?

Damn, Heath and I hit some harsh spring hibernation, so deep, we didn't even know where the other was buried. Thanks for the emails and comments as to our health and whereabouts. I'm gonna be movin back to Hoosier lands in the next week, so I'll keep a closer eye on the JFAD infrastructure. While we have been out about four weeks it's not the same spell as the Table of the Elements vacancy in their every-couple-a-year festival presentation. It has been ages since the Yttrium festival, and it looks like a multi-set CD and DVD will be out this year so most of y'all can get a heap and feel for what you missed in 1996.

So, Bohrium, the fourth TOTE festival, is set for August 31 - September 4, 2006, Labor Day Weekend for the 9-5ers, at Atlanta, GA's Eyedrum. The five days seem to be named after Angus MacLise's calendar system or at least a homage to (day 1 is Sea Changes and Coelacanths, day 4 is Propellers in Love). There is a lotta heavy action spread across the five days, from a John Fahey/Elizabeth Cotten video to our Louisville bud Keenan Lawler to Jack Smith and Tony Conrad films, Rhys Chatham's Guitar Army, Leif Inge's "9 Beet Stretch" for 24 hours, Loren Connors, San Agustin and a giant roasted goat(!!). And that is just part of what is being touted out now. The TOTE crew will likely be holding some major diamonds close to the chest until we all get down there.... Yeah, really great to see Mr. Lawler on this bill. If you haven't heard his two LPs with Pelt -- Keyhole I and II go dig through the back crates at your record stop, cause they are probably in there. Both were recorded in deep, vibrating chambers of grain silos and metal galleries and are near my tops for each of their respected discogs.

Keenan Lawler - Fork in GA
Rhys Chatham - Guitar Trio (edit)
Loren Connors - Departing of a Dream Vol. II, pt. 2
San Agustin - Fall Line Highway

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

uninvited, like the clouds

Its been 25+ years, nearly 20 albums and dozens of side and solo projects that have brought the Church to where they are today. They have a more than impressive back catalog, and yet, they continue to have surprisingly strong releases year after year. How on earth do they do it?!

Today is the release of their latest, 'Uninvited, Like the Clouds' on Cooking Vinyl. And if you haven't heard them in a decade or more, not much has changed- and thats a good thing! The chiming Rickenbackers are present, the daydreamy lyricism, the soaring melodies. We are all truly lucky that there still exists a band doing this and doing it well.

While it seems ridiculous to compare a band thats been around for over two decades to anything else, its a necessary evil. The album opens with Block, a classic track that is part Floydian dream and part Spaceman hypnotic downhill acceleration to lift-off. Easy is MBV meets Maggie May. Song to Go is Tom Waits as covered by Air. Go visit a very wonderful Church fansite and learn more about all the time you've missed of this wonderful band that is still doing it.

the Church - Block
the Church - Song To Go

Friday, April 14, 2006

ghost volk

Spectre Folk seemed a pretty overt name for Pete Nolan to moniker-up as for his solo side. A see-saw of truth in advertising or bullshit speculation. But fug it, Nolan knows how to make it work. Within the Magick Markers and Virgin Eye Blood Brothers, his two-of-many outfits I'm familiar with, he can transcend the nothing gulch (which can and does happen in those two groups) and shape it into an abstraction of you just wanna wrap your arms around. After some self-released editions and a moving blossom on Static Caravan, the pressing machines have been called up to punch out a buy-in-the-store album called Requiem for Ming Aralia on Three Lobbed. The push toward giving this a modern volk tint is present in the PR blurbs, but while driving home at 2 am a few nights ago, SF shown through as a great, hand-me-down sound transgression as laid by Trapdoor Fucking Exit. The repeated/flickering guitar strings Nolan plays out (and the backing murk) mirror Michael Morley in spades, especially in the opener "Tendrils Floating Fastly" and the closer "Bindi Clip." Both are drawn in and out of the lines and feel as if recorded in a Louisville cellar a few yeas back. The Turtle's "You Showed Me" is not quite huffed with new life here, instead Nolan has taken flecks of it, melody/lyrics, almost as if scraped them from an old cassette and used those bits as as a blueprint; deftly eerie and sounding about 25 years older than it is. C. Spencer Yeh appears on "Indianana" and keeps the Dead NZ aura up with mild shatters of electronics. What is left after these is Nolan and a guitar and the aforementioned cellar. The voice warbles, rough and broken. It all just sounds aged with despair. I was hoping for another cover in "Been Here and Gone," but it is an original of late night loss feed through burned amps and blown mics. This is a fine milky-skin from the underbelly of the Midwest -- even if Nolan is a Brooklyn dweller now.

Spectre Folk - Bindi Clip

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

villa claustrophobia

Ardent Fevers is Jesse Poe's fourth release under the Tanakh moniker. It came out last week via Montreal's Alien8 Recordings. Recently transplanted away from Virginia, this is the fruit of his time spent living the past couple of years in Florence, Italy. A recent invitation to perform at the 6th Annual Terrastock Festival, this year in Providence, RI, brings he and a group back to my hemisphere for a two week tour, as well.

Fans of Leonard Cohen, Badly Drawn Boy, Calexico, David Sylvian, Elliott Smith, Tindersticks, Lambchop, the Church, Lee Hazelwood, Talk Talk... you get the idea. Spacious arrangements, rural roots, beautiful accents. Closing track "Take and Read" builds over 9+ minutes into a Crazy Horse jam. Understated, personal, serene.

US Dates
---------------

04/21/2006 - Terrastock 6 - Providence, RI
04/24/2006 - Cake Shop - NYC, NY
04/26/2006 - PA's Lounge - Sommerville, MA
04/27/2006 - Mezzanotte Lounge - Syracuse, NY
04/28/2006 - Mohawk Place - Buffalo, NY
04/29/2006 - Drake Hotel - Toronto Canada
04/30/2006 - Big Car - Indianapolis, IN
05/02/2006 - Lager House - Detroit, MI
05/03/2006 - Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL
05/04/2006 - Landlocked Music - Bloomington, IN
05/05/2006 - Huntington Youth Art & Music - Huntington, WV
05/06/2006 - The Velvet Lounge - Washington, DC
05/07/2006 - Knitting Factory - NYC, NY

Tanakh - Drink to Sher

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

lunar moos

Past few weeks I've been locked up inside The Bummer Road, the new lunar jamboree band of MV & EE and etc. While I'm sure there are a few more titles out, We Offer You Guru and Suncatcher Mountain have been my two windows. With the mighty flux of Tower Recordings and the MV (solo) & EE (duo) missives, I wasn't expecting that much of a variation on their time-warp blues and always perfect sky-coloring use of autoharp. But after a few hundred digital rotations, those thoughts were like an elephant gun to the foot (or hoof in the mouth), cuz Bummer Road careens around some deftly, overgrown and enchanted forests that I've never been too. The road has forked again we're all on a new adventure here. With Mo’ Jiggs lathering up some south-field mouth harp, the rest of the crew (Samara Lubelski is on violin at times) somehow opens a few bottles of night-time/morning dew ooze and feeds it through some tube-amps and lets is simmer until all is burned off. That has got to be MV on the yayli tambur and dov bantar and EE on the swarsangam, voice and percussion.

In celebration of a the new Bummer 2LP Mother of Thousands on Time-Lag the 'Road and Jigs got together his past week at Mass' Montague Bookmill for a heavy leaf performance sponsored by he Autonomous Battleship Collective and Mandragora. Not only did they organized the show, but but they've set up streaming stereophonic MP3s of the entire night:

MV/EE & the Bummer Road - First Set (acoustic)
Willie Lane solo - Second Set
MV/EE & the Bummer Road - Third Set (electric)

Monday, April 10, 2006

photogenic, schizophrenic you

There isn't much more to say that hasn't already been said about this track many times over from others over the years.

from Wikipedia: Napoleon XIV was the pseudonym of record producer Jerry Samuels (b 1938 New York City) who had moderate success with the song "They're Coming To Take Me Away Ha-Haaa!", released in 1966 (reaching #4 UK, #3 US). The song deals with mental illness brought about by the lover of the vocalist leaving him and was controversial at the time for its willingness to confront the subject directly—albeit humorously:

"Remember when you ran away and I got on my knees and begged you not to leave because I'd go berserk? Well, you left me anyhow, and then the days got worse and worse, and now you see I've gone completely out of my mind!"

Musically, the track is significant in that it does not actually feature any musical notes being played, although a melody was, quite naturally, planned for it. Instead, the backing is provided by a combination of drums and tambourines overlaid with a siren—presumably that of the authorities' vehicle "coming to take me away". The pitch of the vocals also raise and lower throughout the performance to signify the increasing insanity of the vocalist. The vocal effect was accomplished via a tape recorder modified by Samuels himself.

from AMG: Samuels went on to a career as unpredicable as his hit smash, making his living for a time selling marijuana roach clips to head shops. For the past couple of decades he's worked the piano bars of the Philadelphia area; on the recent Napoleon XIV reissue CD, he proudly notes that "I became probably the most popular entertainer at nursing homes and senior facilities in the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley area." (Presumably he didn't play his hit single for those audiences.) That reissue CD combined the 1966 Napoleon XIV album with some additional material from the '60s and some newly recorded tracks from 1995.

Here is WFMU's excellent post about the 21 Variations on the hit single. Included in this is Lard's version, which makes total sense to me since the vocals seem reminiscient of Jello Biafra in the first place.

Napoleon XIV - They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haaa
Napoleon XIV - Doin' the Napoleon
Napolean XIV - The Place Where The Nuts Hunt The Squirrels

Friday, April 07, 2006

neck face

Many stones have been unturned in the quest to throw somethin' nu on the No Neck Blues Band fire. Without much being really, truly known about these Harlem cats there's been a lotta speculation, waxing and anecdotal tribal bullshit out there -- though it all trickles down to that the clan is rarely off n' almost always right on. A few weeks ago I was beginning the early stages of packing up for our next move and pulled out NNCK's "Math of Crack" b/w "The Mouth of Gack" 7" (New World of Sound, 1995) along with some contemporary-from-the-era Shadow Ring and Tower Recordings disks. Been years since I spun any of them instead just repacking and moving from one house/state and back. The Crack and Gack were the drumless, machinery groan that the NNCK birthed from. I remember thinking of its warbled screech when reading Adam Lore's run-through of the discog in Ba Da Boom Gramaphone a few years later. Quite a deal of skin was stretched between there and the A Tabu Two 2 LP set and the double CD Letters From the Serth -- as someone said before, the NNCK locomotive was in full swing by then. It almost seems as its taken 10 years for them to warm up to their free swinging operandi of now. Catching them last summer in Chapel Hill they spent the first 20 minutes of small, inconsequential build up that seemed headed for the door. Before any crust gathered, clothes were shed, liquids poured and the finest, throbbing NNCK performance took place in front of me.

While I'm still sitting on last year's Qvaris 2LP, the brand new EmbryoNNCK collab with, you guessed it, Embryo has been knocking my knee socks right off. No simmer here, the two groups jack directly into waves of percussion fields -- alternating from gaterhing poppy dust and bass movements. While it has that near funky element of the Revenant disk, the abstraction is deeper though the groove (and smart editing) bring a focus that, really, hasn't been cut since "Math of Gack." Check it out.

Frank Cologne
Wieder das Erste Mal

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

letter from the past

Its probably been enough time that "folktronica" can now officially be the new "post-rock". Except that term is already dead. Now the new rage is "ambient pop"? Whereas "post-rock" incorporated loosened "jazz" structures into "rock", kinda, the others bring acoustic instrumentation and "pop songs" into the "electronica" world. Whoopdeedoo!? The list of bands recording their acoustic guitars into their laptops and adding glitchy beats behind it is growing ever longer these days. Too long.

However, City Centre Offices in Germany is doing a great job about choosing tasty ones to release. And their fancy new website has transfixed me nearly as long as their recent releases. Warm and spacious. The result of hours of daydreams. Lovely. They are quickly becoming one of my favorite labels to watch.

I'm Not a Gun's new album, 'We Think As Instruments' is the third album for this duo. John Tejada is one of the most prolific DJs and producers in the Techno world. His remixes and DJ-sets are well sought after, his label ”Palette“ is pumping out 12“ after 12“ of quality electronic music. Takeshi Nishimoto, classically trained guitarist and sarod player has been a long-time member in the jazz/improv scene in Los Angeles. He recently re-located to Berlin.

Their Venn Diagram is the spot where these bands circles cross: Bark Psychosis, Album Leaf, Dntel, Lali Puna, Notwist, To Rococo Rot, Bows, Oval, Remote Viewer, Múm, Tarwater, Mountains, Pole. In 2004, Iʼm Not a Gun was nominated for Best Instrumental Band by L.A. Weekly Music Awards. While they are often classified as the next step past Chicago's post-past, they are more than just a German version of the Hefty roster. Out on April 17th via Forced Exposure.

I'm Not a Gun - Move

Friday, March 31, 2006

argyle cardigan

When you open your album with a drum solo, the listener knows they are in for some fun. And Flin Flon have been having fun for a number of years now, releasing their long-awaited third album this year on Teenbeat.

Flin Flon started in 1997 with Teenbeat honcho Mark Robinson, whose name should be synonymous by now with smart, well-crafted American pop music. He has been releasing it since the mid-80s on his label under the names Unrest, Grenadine, Air Miami and beyond. Flin Flon's trio is filled out by True Love Always' Matt Datesman on drums and ex-Cold Cold Hearts bassist Nattles. Their new album, Dixie, has absolutely no southern feel to it whatsoever. It is precise Factory Records worship with Robinson's in your ear vocals and a locked-in rhythm secion.

The vinyl version of the new album will be released soon, with exclusive remixed versions, just as previously they did for their preceeding record, Boo Boo. Fill the dance floor.

Flin Flon - Cardigan

Thursday, March 30, 2006

sykurmolarnir

Never get tired of watching/hearing Einar Örn riff fluxus-like across the The Sugarcubes pop moments or Bjork obviously singing at an opposite spectrum. Seems odd to say, but a 1988 live video of the group was a crucial point in the ol' upbringing. Einar's grunt trumpet style and constant mash mouth observations seemed otherworldy.

Watching the 12 videos on The Sugarcubes' no-frills collection The DVD reminded me how uncomfortable they all seemed to be acting like a pop band -- which is what everyone wanted of them, probably, except them. From memory, it seemed hard to take anything past their '88 debut Life Is Good, let alone the videos that went along with "Planet" or "Eat the Menu." Though now, each video seems planted with some darkly hued Icelandic humor at the expense of everyone else, Americans and Brits, mostly. The absurdity of most shots -- the clothes, giant props, like in "Hit," feels like the group knew things weren't going to last forever. Óskar Jónasson's low-budget "Motorcrash" will always be a favorite, with the group watching the Reykjavik car wreck, staggering around with amnesia and Magga Ornolfsdottir looking totally dazed.

The one-off joint between Jesus & Mary Chain and Bjork would've made a great vid-single as a 'remix' for "Birthday," as it was a 7" B-side in '89. The Reid's Psycocandy-era videos shoulda been the direction 'Cubes went for....

The Sugarcubes with The Jesus & Mary Chain - Christmas Eve

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

back from the tomb

While I was stumbling around Boomkat yesterday my eyes nearly popped out of their head when I saw that Egyptian Lover had a new album. I am always a little skeptical when new albums come out from older performers, especially when they take a ten year break in between. But this has really caught my ear.

Los Angeles-based producer Greg Broussard was the man behind pioneering hip-hop/electro fusion artist the Egyptian Lover. Comparable in influence to Soul Sonic Force's "Planet Rock", Man Parrish's "Hip-Hop Be Bop (Don't Stop)" and Pretty Tony's "Jam theBox", Egyptian Lover singles such as "Egypt, Egypt", "My Beat Goes Boom", "Dance" and "What is a DJ If He Can't Scratch?" combined the abstract electronics of Kraftwerk and the Art of Noise with the emerging beat-heavy sound of electro and the vocal approach of rap. - Global Darkness

The sound is not at all far away from his songs from 20 years ago. Strong, hard 808s, vocoders and a darker feel with sexy whispered vocals that make Ying Yang Twins sound like they need some Viagra to keep up with the grown-ups. Coming to you from Egyptian Empire Records.

the Egyptian Lover - Party
the Egyptian Lover - Sintropolis

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

porest truth

Four years ago, I might've turned the shades a few notches and lowered the volume on Tourrorists instead of now wanting to slip it in the CD-juke at the local VFW. 'Cause even that cast is gonna laugh it up like this is Bob n' Tom AM or Sinatra. Scaly eyes are now open and from Sun City Girls' orbit of global truth-in-voodoo, comes the new Porest missive. Out on SCG's Abduction, Tourrorists is like the final exam, or post-study party, for those who've been mind banging on the Sublime Frequencies audio passports and Fox News. For those with keen sense, Mark Gergis (aka Porest) assembled SF's I Remember Syria and Choubi Choubi! Folk and Pop Sounds from Iraq. Prior to that he was in collage/cut-ups Mono Pause.

All the administration, flag-wavin', nation saving ideas that've been pumped across that states are crinkle like oven-baked cellophane. Gergis stitches field-recordings with skits, computer-voiced Jihad proclamations and a disruptive yet solidifying pop element. He'd could've just flipped that satellite TV dial like Russian roulette and recorded the chance-happenings, but opted for some right-on, subtle movements and juxtapose. Let's Roll!


Let's Roll
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