the best of the black/white bands
: "Snarly Yow"
I’m not sure about the percussion. The last two Black Dice
albums have been fairly amazing in part because of their general lack of traditional rhythm. There’s not much of anything resembling a drum sound on either of those records, but discernable rhythms nonetheless emerge from the ever-shifting textures and waves of noise and sound. "Snarly Yow"
, the first song from their upcoming album Broken Ear Record
, begins with some untraditional rhythm, but it sounds too electronic, almost like some bad late '80's European techno. I half expect some guy to start talk-singing in heavily processed German. So initially I'm turned off. As it progresses, though, and the background sounds eventually engulf the rhythm, "Snarly Yow" starts to reel me in. But then it shifts into some pretty mundane tribal drum-circle stuff, sort of like Sunburned Hand of the Man
, and although it's completely fine and enjoyable, it's slightly disappointing, coming from these guys. If Black Dice is going to start sounding like one of their peers, however inadvertently, I could think of many groups more appropriate than the hit-or-miss Sunburned Hand. Thankfully this part gets washed away by some white noise after a couple minutes, replaced by steady delay glitches and intermittent bursts of static. This last half of "Snarly Yow" harkens back to Creature Comforts
, their last album, and ends the song on a relative high. From the few songs I've heard from Broken Ear Record, I'm doubtful it'll be able to hold its own against Comforts and the amazing Beaches and Canyons
. I've heard slightly less than half, though, so perhaps the rest of the record will be amazingly awesome. Let's hope so. I think it comes out in September, so we've got some time to wait.
Will Oldham = Antiques Roadshow
Another brief entry sans mp3. Related to the short discussion of ________ is the punk rock _________, Stereogum
has a (a band) = (tv show) thread
up that is amusing.
UPDATE: Here's "Various Times"
, by The Fall
and now, more hits from the ninth grade
: "Polar Bear"Ride
: "Vapour Trail"Ride
Elizabeth Carrington used Ride
's song "Decay"
as the soundtrack to the first project we had to make in video productions our freshman year of high school. The song feels pretty goofball fourteen years later, but back then I thought it sounded amazing, like the world was about to end, but with some melody. Shortly thereafter I picked up their album Nowhere
, and learned it had a few songs that were dramatically better than "Decay". "Polar Bear"
made me feel like I was slowly drifting into a yawning chasm of pleasant distortion and indifferent harmonization. Along with "Blue Jay Way", "Heroin", and two or three minutes of a Spacemen 3 song I heard after accidentally tuning in to WRAS
when I was twelve, "Polar Bear" was one of the first songs to make me think that maybe listening to or making music while on drugs could potentially be a good idea. As much as I dig "Polar Bear", though, "Vapour Trail"
has always been Nowhere
's undisputed highlight. It's a gorgeous song, with the string section nicely complementing Ride's reliably awkward singing and slightly psychedelic guitar sound. It's ridiculous that one of the primary song-writers from this band has to resort to playing third fiddle in Oasis.Nowhere
was the only Ride album I ever owned. I loved "Twisterella"
when it came out, but never had a copy of it until college, when I taped it off of Crog or Sean. It's more straight-forward guitar pop than anything off Nowhere
, sort of like Grand Prix
-era Teenage Fanclub, but it's still a fantastic tune, that sounds as good in a Gap today as it did on 120 Minutes back in '92.
: "Meccanica"Pugh Rogefeldt
: "Har Kommer Natten"
A fella named the Amazing Jaxon
put together a mix cd of "non-anglo psych, prog, folk, funk", and posted it up over at ILM
. It's a fine compilation, and an act of remarkable kindness to share it with anybody who cares. Some of the songs are by people I've long wanted to hear (Igor Wakhevitch
, Tom Ze
, Nino Ferrer
), but most of these folks are brand new to me. A ton of records have just been added to the bottom of my "to buy" list, dammit.
For those too lazy to click through, here are a couple of my personal faves from Jaxon's comp. Like much of Faust's work, the first few minutes of Franco Battiato
are an almost unsettling cross between the playful and the ominous. Later on, when the synth bass note, acoustic guitar, repetitive solo, and creepy choral business are in full force, "Meccanica" could be a fragment from some '70's horror film score. The drawn out, mellow ending might be kind of a let-down, but it could also justify interpreting the song as a musical expression of a lunar voyage, if you wanted to take the time to think of some sort of overarching theme for a review. Meanwhile, "Har Kommer Natten"
, by the Swede Pugh Rogefeldt
, is a fuzzy, stumbling little burst of acid-folk that sounds not unlike Dungen
I wanna be free to know the things I do are right
Faith No More - Easy Like Sunday Morning
Several days after the fact now, I can't remember if it's the Lionel Richie original or this cover that I heard in a jeans commercial on the tv. I guess it doesn't matter too much. I think this was the bonus track on some FNM import single that my friend Carlos had circa 1996 (and prob. still has).
Chugga chugga, rap part, breakdown/mosh, repeat
The Damned - New Rose My Chemical Romance - Helena
I saw most of the new Don Letts
(B.A.D.) documentary ”Punk: Attitude
” on IFC the other night (I missed the Rollins intro I think). It does a good job up to 1981, for both sides of the Atlantic, but gets a little fuzzy past that. Once they get to the mid-80s & beyond, they’re moving too quickly to really talk about anything too substantially besides Nirvana, the Year That Punk Broke
& blah blah blah about the current state of “Punk”. One quote that stuck with me (I can’t remember who, Glenn Branca maybe? Thurston Moore?) was something to the effect of the OG punk being “rock inspired punk” & the new jack pop-punk being “punk inspired rock”. I’m stretching for these ends of the spectrum but I forgot that I
love the first Damned LP & like so many other got-dang MTV superhits, the video
for My Chemical Romance’s Helena has worked its popgothpunk magic on me, maybe. I prob. like it for same reason I had/have a weakness for the Alkaline Trio
Oh, I also like the part where Rollins breaks down the Limp Bizkit formula & says they'd be his fave band too, if he was 12.
We're All Cooking the Same Goose
: "I Love You You Big Dummy"The Embarrassment
: "Sexy Singer Girl"
A year or two after forming the Buzzcocks
alongside Pete Shelley
, Howard DeVoto
decamped and created the less overtly pop-minded Magazine
. One of the first bands to play punk-influenced music that broke from that scene's close-minded doctrine, Magazine helped necessitate the critic's creation of that semantically nebulous piece of jargon, "post-punk". They started up in '77, released their first single, "Shot by Both Sides", early in 1978, and quickly established themselves as a fairly complex and adventurous band operating on the periphery of the punk-rock demimonde. Their best work compares favorably to Wire
's Chairs Missing
and early Public Image Limited
. I'm just starting to get into them, honestly, and have yet to hear much of their catalogue. One of the songs that impressed me most immediately, though, is their cover of Captain Beefheart
's "I Love You You Big Dummy"
. Released as the b-side to "Give Me Everything" in 1978, "Dummy" is more straight-forward than most of Magazine's stuff, the synth hiccups and horn bleats notwithstanding. Still, though, it's an anthemic stomper of a song, with that open-E bass riffing that I love so. In fact, that open-E bass note sounds remarkably like another obscure old chestnut that I've long loved, "Sexy Singer Girl"
, by the Embarrassment
. I believe I've talked about the Embos before
, but to refresh, they were an antic punk/new-wave quartet from Kansas in the late '70's / early '80's. Like DeVoto, Embarrassment guitarist Bill Goffrier
also moved on to a notable second act, fronting '80's indie stalwarts Big Dipper
(who can be heard here covering DeVoto's former partner
, courtesy of Mystical Beast
). Anyway, "Sexy Singer Girl" is a simple little song, but remains supremely satsifying, in no small part thanks to the afore-mentioned bass-line. To anybody who saw the France try to play this at the Ultramod back in the spring of 2001, I sincerely apologize.
maybe maybe maybe, ah, no
is "completely idiotic and ridiculous and also awesome"
, but maybe a little too calculated? As in, yeah, it's kind of retarded, but I can't fully appreciate it, because I know the band is smart enough to realize how ridiculous it is. They're trying hard to make staggeringly stupid pop music, but the seams are far too visible for me to completely dig it. And yes, luggage is the appropriate comparison.
I Jammed Econo
It's prob. against mp3 weblog rules to post something w/o a song but I've got no access to the one I want now & I need to get this out of my head. After Dark & I got shut out of the 9:45 viewing of the Minutemen movie
on Friday I was totally bummed. We were on the ZBC list & got the boot because it was sold out. So I went yesterday, all by my lonesome & it was great, I got goosebumps.
But I have this one, irresponsible question:
Are the Minutemen the punk-rock Rush? And I do not mean this musically. I mean in terms of the audience. Outside of a couple of girls that I know & evidenced the selection of talking heads in the movie (besides the guy from Saccharine Trust & Kira), is it just white dudes who like them? Or is it just the selection of people that the filmmaker came up with?
There's a Rainbow in My Heart for You
As good as the a-side of I Believe in Atlanta
is, the flip just may astound you. The first song, indeed, is probably the best of the lot. “We Got It Good”
is a champion. The first side might be totally white-bread, but with “We Got It Good” the producers acknowledge Atlanta’s pivotal role in the R’n’B / urban music world. This song’s smooth, up-tempo funk will obliterate you with its irrepressible good cheer. When that peerless scat begins a minute and a half in, all shit shall surely be lost. This truly encapsulates the spirit of Atlanta in song-form, and I can’t believe we didn’t crank this long and loud at our wedding last year.
On the penultimate "We're Ready To Fly"
, the album fully reveals its intricately woven tapestry of musical themes and narrative motifs. Yes, Atlanta is absurdly awesome, and the deft, unassuming fashion in which this fine album reminds us of this fact is a truly remarkable feat of intellectual engineering. If I ever did stop believing in Atlanta, this record would act as a defibrillator to my faith.
Seriously, how incredible is this record, and, by extension, Atlanta? Listen closely to "A Place In My Heart"
. Forty-two seconds in, you can hear the MSN lady saying goodbye. This song was recorded in 1986, a good eight years before the World Wide Web and widespread home internet access. The wizards who made I Believe in Atlanta possessed that technology before it even existed. That is how amazing Atlanta is, and why we should all bow down before her. Atlanta is indomitable, and will one day own all of us. "We Got It Good""We Belong Together""We're Ready To Fly""A Place In My Heart"
The Spirit of the Phoenix is Growing Strong
I was born in Atlanta. I spent a few years in the wilderness of Sarasota, Florida, but for the most part I was raised around Atlanta. I haven’t lived there in a couple years now, and although Boston’s pretty great, I miss the old gal pretty regularly. Despite its many flaws, I truly do believe that Atlanta is one of the finest cities in the world. The city’s amazing, unrelenting arrogance is one of the many reasons I love Atlanta. In 1986, to honor its first 150 years of awesomeness, the city commissioned a tribute album to itself, and called it I Believe in Atlanta
. It is, quite simply, the greatest album of all time
. I bought this for a buck at a thrift store in Kennesaw in 1996. God truly gave me a high-five that day. From the amazing peach-colored gatefold sleeve (slightly reminiscent of the Allmans
’ Eat a Peach
), to the photograph of a handsome, hopeful Andrew Young within (placed alongside brief but eloquent liner notes from the very man himself), I Believe in Atlanta
is a testament to the unparalleled excellence and unbridled ego of the City Too Busy to Care. Overwrought television theme music, charmingly naïve local musical theater, and the sort of songs you’d hear in Andy Sidaris
films all come to mind when listening to this unheralded treasure. Today I offer to you the first side, featuring “Look at Atlanta”
, which might be familiar to old Head to Head
listeners. "Look at Atlanta""The Town That We Call Home""On Our Way""Such a Lovely Lady""Doin' the Town (Up Right)"
make him cry like a woman
Sorry, major post-holiday laziness plus a recent uptick in work has prevented me from producing content for this wonderful site of ours. This
might tide you over until I can get my shit together again. Thanks for understanding.
Glove & Joy
Bart Simpson & Michael Jackson - Lisa, It's Your Birthday
This would have made a whole lot more sense a couple of weeks ago but Jeebus works in mysterious ways. Find yourself some Simpsons songs to download at simpsoncrazy.com
my favorite record of 2005, thus far
Gang Gang Dance
: "Glory In Itself / Egyptian"Gang Gang Dance
’s kaleidoscopic sound experiments hardly follow pop convention, but labeling them a noise band would be remarkably reductive and wrong-headed. As their second album, God’s Money
, proves, Gang Gang Dance are considerably more ambitious than your average knob-twiddler or haphazard neo-tribalist collective. There’s not much sonic similarity between God’s Money and Sung Tongs, but as with that record Gang Gang Dance has produced an album that could conceivably appeal to a more pop-centric audience
, without alienating their fan-base or shunting aside previous aesthetic ideals. The twitchy drones on God’s Money are usually semi-recognizable as songs, as with the surprisingly funky “Glory In Itself / Egyptian”
. If you listen hard enough, it’s possible to make out the lyrics to this one. Halfway through it turns into what almost sounds like a rap song, with a repetitive synth melody and bass-line that could have come from an early Neptunes work. Lizzi Bougatsos, artsy singin’ chick of Scarnsworth
’s dreams, obscures her words with delay and various effects, but they remain more discernable than on prior efforts. Like the album as a whole, you might have to put a modicum of work into understanding it, but once you do so some pure and refined enjoyment is your reward.
You can order a copy of God's Money here
serious posting resumes this afternoon
Until then, happy summertime