Thursday, February 26, 2009
Y`all have heard of The Boondocks (if not, please watch some episodes, its really really good).
the soundtrack has some great ass shit. hip hop at its finest with apperances by Asheru (he produced the theme for the first season [el sonido campeon], which is a better beat that the theme from the second season), Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, MF Doom, Little Brother, Pete Rock, Danger Doom, Dead Prez, The Roots.... damn, that lineup probably made you shit your pants. Anyway, it also has some funny audio clips from a lot of the episodes, including a cameo by Sway. thats right, Sway, and his inexplicable head-wrap.
Anyway, if you down with hip hop, download this shit. its fucking great.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
We venture into the heady terrain of Japanese Psychedelia with one of Ghost's greatest albums, "Lama Rabi Rabi".
"The incipient fascination with and appreciation of Tibetan culture by Batoh started to fully emerge with this album, in both title, design (the title is shown on the cover art in the style of the Tibetan alphabet, while art from that culture appears on the back) and similar other signifiers. Not that Lama Rabi Rabi is strictly about that country or its situation - Ghost would wait some years more for its specific effort on that front - but it does showcase the sense of depth Batoh brings to his art, evident throughout this strong album. The lengthy, fascinating "Mastillah" starts Lama on a striking high, with a series of percussive instruments meshed with acoustic drones and low, wordless mantras, leading to a steady rhythm pace from Yamazaki through a shimmering combination of the above, mixed with flute and stringed instruments. The immediately following "Rabirabi" makes this sense of religious celebration even stronger, with Batoh's slightly distorted vocals carrying through a rhythm-driven number, at once rock (thanks especially to the bass) and not, punctuated further by a chorus chanting the title. From there on in the majority of Lama addresses the heavier jam side of the band, where acoustic instruments easily have the force of their electric counterparts and often predominate. The banjo/flute/booming drum combination of "Mex Square Blue" and the more conventionally psych-fried "Bad Bone" are two fine examples. The more stripped-down, hushed folk side of Ghost emerges as well. "Into the Alley" is stunningly lovely, Batoh and his acoustic guitar accompanied by a variety of subtle background shadings from other instruments, while the brief "My Hump is a Shell" combines piano, guitar and what sounds like a musical saw to rich effect. Most striking of all would be "Agate Scape," an eleven-minute piece with both quiet beauty and echo-laden instrumental builds." - Ned Raggett
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Formed in the early 70’s by the monstrous Crocus Behemoth (aka David Thomas), Rocket from the Tombs represented Cleveland’s dying factories and urban wasteland just as the Detroit pre-punks had done in regards to their decaying city. After sometime, the group caught the eye of guitarist Peter Laughner. Laughner joined RFTT and along with bassist Craig Bell, drummer John Madansky, and guitarist Gene O’Connor, the lineup was solidified.
From the beginning, tensions ran heavily through the band as Behemoth’s vocals were unlike anything heard before (save Captain Beefheart) and could only be tolerated by Laughner. What’s more, RFTT had a thoroughly artistic approach to their music and Laughner and Behemoth, strongly influenced by Lou Reed and later Television, had an even more artistic direction they wanted the band to head in. This clashed with the other members’ loud/fast ethos that fell more in the vein of the Electric Eels and The Stooges.
In late 1975 the group would split into two radically different beings. Laughner and Behemoth (now Thomas again) would form the highly artistic punk/experimental band Pere Ubu. Meanwhile, Gene O’Connor and John Madansky would change their names to Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz respectively. They in turn recruited a young man named Stiv Bators (born Steve Bator) who had once auditioned for RFTT as lead singer.
"Before the Dead Boys, there was Rocket from the Tombs. Most of the stuff on this CD you'll recognize from Young, Loud, and Snotty. Songs like "Sonic Reducer" "What Love Is" and "Down In Flames" were pretty much all written before the formation of the Dead Boys, with slight variation. Peter Laughner essentially penned the original lyrics to these songs, though they were later re-written and re-arranged by Stiv Bators. Cheetah Chrome and others later left Cleveland for New York City where they reformed the band and began playing as the Dead Boys.
This is a great collection of RFTT's only available material. Despite never having formally recorded, only one rehearsal demo and these two sets are known to exist, the sound quality is surprisingly good. The whole thing is real gritty and raw with a total Stooges/Alice Cooper/MC5 vibe to it. "Ain't It Fun" is especially great. Super mellow and strung out, like something you might hear while shooting up in a drug den somewhere. "Never Gonna Kill Myself Again" is a total Rolling Stones floor stomper and maybe has the coolest song title ever. Lots of stuff on here to keep your interest."
ain't it fun?
Do yourself a favor and get this, you little freaks. This is probably one of THE most important records to ever come out of the California punk scene.
"Minutemen were a highly influential, freethinking punk rock trio from San Pedro, CA, comprised of guitarist/vocalist D Boon and his childhood friend, bassist/vocalist Mike Watt, along with a former high school classmate on drums, George Hurley.
The group played funk influenced punk rock music in the early 1980s never finding (or even seeking) much mainstream success, but influencing many subsequent musicians. The group ended when Boon died in an automobile accident in Arizona in December 1985.
They were influenced heavily by bands such as Wire, Gang of Four, The Pop Group, The Urinals and also funk bands of the late ’60s and ’70s were an important influence. nearly all of their early songs had unusual structures and were less than a minute long — even later when the Minutemen’s music became slightly more conventional, their songs rarely passed the three-minute mark."
listen to it from start to finish on a road trip
Sean Coonery is back again with his weekly contributions! First up we've got Low.
Their music is commonly described as “slowcore,” a subgenre characterised by slow tempos and minimalist arrangements. They are one of the earlier bands to adopt and popularize the style, making them considerable contributors to the slowcore movement. (It is worth noting that the band dislike this label. In an interview Alan Sparhawk says of descriptions of their music: “What’s the cheesiest? Slow-core. I hate that word. The most appropriate is anything that uses the word minimal in it, but I don’t think anybody’s made one up for that”) Parker and Sparhawk’s striking vocal harmonies represent perhaps the group’s most distinctive element.
all around the pants
I downloaded and i danced. fuck yes. James Chance was given a contract to record the Buy Contortions album, but first he was told that he must record a disco album. So he composed all this music and told the same Contortions musicians to record it. The label gave him a lot of money to record this James White & The Blacks album, so the Contortions got pissed off and they broke up. But then they kind of came back again, but with a different line up. Then they broke up again.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Another Andres request. Pure magnificence.
"The Pop Group was the quintessential experimental (and agit-prop) combo, integrating elements of jazz, funk, rock, dub and classical music. Their music was revolutionary in word and in spirit. Y (1979), one of the most intense, touching and vibrant albums in the history of rock music, was the outcome of the Pop Group's quest for a catastrophic balance between primitivism and futurism: the new wave's futuristic ambitions got transformed into a regression to prehistoric barbarism. At the same time, the band's furious stylistic fusion led to a a nuclear magma of violent funk syncopation, monster dub lines, savage African rhythms (Bruce Smith), dissonant saxophone (Gareth Sager), and visceral shouts and cries (Mark Stewart). The lyrics celebrated the unlikely wedding of punk nihilism and militant slogans. Both the method and the medium were permeated by an anarchic and subversive spirit. In fact, Stewart's declamation was closer to Brecht's theater than to "singing". Another dose of lava-like anger was poured into the funk-rock foundations by the anthemic rants of For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder (1980). Both albums sounded like assortments of mental disorders. A sound so revolutionary (in both senses of the word) had not been heard since the heydays of the Canterbury school."- Scaruffi
Everyone has their price
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Described as: "electronic gospel-folk", this is completely different from my life in the bush of ghosts. Great nonetheless, theres even a Robert Wyatt cameo.
Is there such a thing as too much Eno?
I can't believe i just found out about this album, its been out since march of last year. If you're not familiar with why?, you should be. Look at that cover and tell me you're not intrigued, this is one of those unclassifiable bands, they mesh everything into a delectable pot.
This goes out to all my underdone, other-tongued lung-long frontmen/And all us Earth-growths; some planted, some pulled
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
"Over the past three decades, Robyn Hitchcock has come to represent different things to different people. Throughout his solo career, much of which was compiled for a pair of jam-packed boxed sets, Hitchcock has stood alone as a kind of post-modernist Dylan, combining Roger McGuinn’s Rickenbacker guitar sound with René Magritte’s surrealist humor.
As frontman for the Soft Boys, Hitchcock first gained our attention as the Syd Barrett of the post-punk paisley scene, a mantle which he continued to hold, notably, when backed by the Egyptians, with whom he briefly tipped his toe in the mainstream with the 1991 near-hit "So You Think You're In Love" from the radio-friendly Perspex Island.
What’s increasingly clear is that, no matter what’s going on in the backing tracks, Hitchcock is, at heart, an emotionally frank folk singer with a genuine knack for translating complex emotional states into startlingly original poetry.
This candor has been even more visible in his recent work with the Venus 3, comprised of fellow travelers and Minus 5 members Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and Bill Rieflin. Having released the acclaimed Olé! Tarantula back in 2006, RH & the V3 have returned with Goodnight Oslo, aided and abetted by guests Colin Meloy (Decemberists), Morris Windsor (Egyptians/Soft Boys), Sean Nelson (Harvey Danger), Welsh singer Lianne Francis, and horn player Terry Edwards.
Goodnight Oslo finds the 55-year-old Englishman blending his past personas more cohesively than ever, culminating in a portrait of an artist increasingly comfortable with both who he has been and who he has become. It’s a compelling and confident work and one of his best albums in years." by Paul Myers
Grab this before it gets pulled.
Monday, February 16, 2009
More implacable Cecil-ness for the bearded folkie in you.
"More so than with any label, the greatest recordings on Blue Note, those that pull rank on the merely great and that we can most comfortably say will belong to all ages, seem to prove a burden for many listeners to embrace, no matter how enthralled they are by the sounds of Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Blue Train —the label's signature sounds, really. Consider Out To Lunch! and Point of Departure, often dismissed as acquired tastes, or worse, noise, and flouted as inspired nonsense—such chivalrous chicanery!—irrespective of the idea that applying whatever principles—"drawbacks" of shape and form—might lead one to this critique could likewise have at Finnegans Wake. And so too with Cecil Taylor and Conquistador!, another warranted entry in the Rudy Van Gelder series, with a bonus cut of "With (Exit)."
Odd as it may sound, if you are new to Taylor's music, and before proceeding to the Caf' Montmartre sessions, you're perhaps best off starting with this record, an avant-garde jazz walkabout of sorts, or at least a Cecil Taylor walkabout; here we can bear witness to the qualities, in different ideas, forms, themes and styles, that characterize an entire body of work—archetypes of interaction and by-play, suggestion and statement, however indirect, and then subversion of whatever feeling, emotion, idea, had been conjured up in the first place, and thus we continue on with the journey.
For the seasoned listener, the principal value of this release is naturally having it available again, and, more importantly, the alternate take of what was the original album's second and final track—side B for the vinyl lovers. Two minutes shorter, this "new" version of "With (Exit)" is even more disturbing and, frankly, invasive, than the official take, with Taylor creating textures that pulse and recoil, frantically trapped in one dark alley of a nightmare, and turning, alone, down another. Speaking analogously, it is though the happy version of "Dedication"—once titled "Cadaver"—had been chosen to close Point of Departure —instead of the proper requiem—or that we have discovered the lost soundtrack to Dementia, such is the gap between these two takes.
In terms of Conquistador! as a whole, note the by-play of Taylor and altoist Jimmy Lyons, foil and compatriot both, depending upon the composition, or the movements within the composition; and, let it be said, that along with Armstrong and Hines, Dolphy and Little, Coleman and Cherry, theirs is a partnership that seems so inevitably wrought and well-suited, one can scarcely imagine the sound of the one without hearing the sound of the other—that is, until spinning Jazz Advance or Burnt Offering."- Colin Fleming
Like Fushitsusha, Harry Pussy, Mainliner, Skullflower and Chrome, Gravitar took Rock to its logical conclusion of utter extremity, enveloping their massive onslaughts in debauched, raging Sonic Miasma. True Motherfuckers of the netherworld, opening your Third Eye to unfathomable, Blakean visions. Respect.
"A set of rarities and unreleased tracks from 1996 make up You Must First Learn To Draw The Real (Monotremata, 2000), a collection that often matches the power and intensity of their masterpieces. These improvised jams transcend psychedelic rock. Often they sound like a guitar transcription of John Coltrane's and Sun Ra's cosmic-jazz suites. Geoff Walker's epic guitar runs the gamut of Hendrixiana. Eric Cook's drumming is sometimes the cathartic destruction that allows for rebirth and sometimes the quiet observer of a cataclysm of biblical proportions. The other guitar's carpet bombing sets a background for the act. Night Dub is a hypnotic piece that lays a steady, disjointed rhythm for the guitar to drop cascades of metallic tones. The band exhausts its cacophonous repertory in the sublimely raw Blues For Charlie. The ferocious, frenzied, propulsive maelstrom of URR ranks among the most intense rock and roll attacks of all times. The sixteen-minutes opus Rocket To Dearborn is an ever fainting raga that centers on one guitar's wall of reverbs and squeaks. Contrary to first impression, these are carefully orchestrated pieces that employ guitar effects in a scientific way and match it to mathematically calculated rhythms. The ebullient psychedelia of the early albums has been supplanted by a far more refined, even pretentious, art." - Scaruffi
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Nucleus's first, another excellent offering.
"When Carr brought together keyboardist/oboist Karl Jenkins, saxophonist/flautist Brian Smith, guitarist Chris Spedding, bassist Jeff Clyne and drummer John Marshall, established musicians all, to record Nucleus' first record, Elastic Rock , one doubts that he could have envisioned the impact the album would have, not only on the British scene, but on the international stage as well. A few short months after recording their first record they won the top award at the Montreux Jazz Festival and found themselves playing at the Village Gate in New York, to an audience who was wondering exactly what it was they were hearing. And if it weren't for a manager's greediness, Elastic Rock would have seen Stateside release, and the broader history of fusion might have been coloured a different way. But sadly that didn't happen and Nucleus, after an initial flurry of activity on the North American scene, ultimately returned to England where they maintained a successful career there and on the European continent, for the next ten years or so.
From the opening burst of Jenkins' "1916," with its anthemic horn-line supported by Marshall's flurry of activity, it is clear that something new is happening. The album as a whole, while incorporating certain elements of rock rhythms, is a more relaxed affair than what was to come later. If a comparison must be made, then Miles' In a Silent Way is a precedent, although Carr claims not to have heard it at the time of recording, which just continues to reinforce the reality that advances in music come from many sources and usually at the same time. Like In a Silent Way , Carr chose to build side-long continuous suites of music, although there is less reliance on hypnotic groove and more on composed melodies, mostly from the pen of Jenkins, who would write the majority of Nucleus' first two records. And while there are some similarities between the trancelike groove of "Torrid Zone" and "Shhh/Peaceful," there are differences as well. While "Shhh/Peaceful" would rest on a certain ambience for nearly an entire side, "Torrid Zone" would lead into "Stonescape," a more conventional ballad, albeit played with a certain elasticity in time by Marshall. Segueing into "Earth Mother," Jenkins delivers an oboe solo over a group improvisation that, as rocky as it gets, is still relatively subdued compared with their next album, We'll Talk About It Later , which was recorded eight months later in September '70." - John Kelman
Moor's playing never overshadows or takes over any song. It perfectly compliments everything that's going on with Earth-esque desolate repetitions, looped sound-scapes, distorted riffs or just overall ambience. Rupture adds his rhythms and familiar samples to the mix creating a unique blend.
Like most of Rupture's stuff there are so many sounds that pegging it to one specific style is impossible. Elements of dubstep, noise, electronica, experimental hip hop, avant garde, world music, and even post rock stand out.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
For Sean-E Dawg. Nucleus was a cornerstone of British Jazz Rock, who are largely unsung nowadays, but in the early 70's they released a slew of beautiful, atmospheric Fusion, in the best tradition of Miles' "In A Silent Way" and Bitches Brew", and also Weather Report's first two albums, masterpieces of the genre. The group was led by Trumpet player and Miles biographer Ian Carr, and an impressive number of Brit Jazz luminaries played in it, including some that went to play in Soft Machine's later incarnations. Their post 70's work is forgettable, but at the peak of their powers this group was bringing the hot shit. In this one Allan Holdsworth plays guitar, never on wank mode, providing texture, colour, direction and fury when necessary, but never forgetting this is a groupmind thang.
Drums - Clive Thacker
Engineer - Roger Wake
Guitar - Allan Holdsworth
Percussion - Trevor Tomkins
Piano [Electric] - Dave MacRae, Gordon Beck
Saxophone [Tenor, Soprano], Flute [Alto, Bamboo] - Brian Smith
Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Ian Carr
Raul asked for some Holdsworth features, and we start with this comp. Be warned: this is far from the Lifetime's best work (which will be uploaded later on) but still better than 90% of the tepid fuzak that was being released at the time, including Pastorius-era Weather Report (sorry Jaco nuthuggers). So here it is.
"This collection, a combination of the two releases Believe It and Million Dollar Legs, features what was known as The "New" Tony Williams Lifetime. Long gone were the original members of the trailblazing group: John McLaughlin, Larry Young, and eventually Jack Bruce. But it was six years later, and Tony was still pushing the concept. Many of his fusion contemporaries were already finding the commercial success that Williams was still searching for. For the most part, Tony was trying too hard to please, and it showed. The two "New" Lifetime records were uneven at best. Parts of Million Dollar Legs are simply unlistenable. But Williams's immense talent and the contributions of the young and exciting guitarist Allan Holdsworth provided a few outstanding performances, among them "Red Alert." Composed by bassist Newton, "Red Alert" is anxious and compelling. In unison, Newton and Holdsworth open with urgent low-register lines. The players step into a higher register and then back again. Williams's insistent pounding is like a rapid heartbeat. Pasqua's electric piano serves as a bit of a salve, as he is not asked to be as demonstrative as his band mates. Meanwhile, Holdsworth lets loose with synthesizer runs. Of course, he was not playing synthesizer! Holdsworth was still in the early stages of his illustrious career, but you could hear in his solos that he was going to be different. "Red Alert" is both a demanding tune for the player and a warning to the listener. Be prepared to be knocked over." - Walter Kolosky
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
First of all I want to invite my fellow chasm filler. bloggers to post any material featuring this artist. Ozstriker I'm talking to you!
Allan Holdworth will be giving a class next Wednesday February 18th at 2:30 pm and will be playing live at the Inter Metro's theatre Thursday February 19th at 8:00pm.
"Allan Holdsworth (born August 6, 1946) is a British guitarist and composer. He has played many different styles of music over a period of four decades, but is now best known for his work within the jazz fusion genre.
Holdsworth's first recording was with the band Igginbottom on their lone release, Igginbottom's Wrench, in 1969 (which was later reissued under the group name of "Allan Holdsworth & Friends"). In the early 1970s, he joined Tempest, upon which the albums Tempest (1973) and Living in Fear (1974) were released during his brief time spent with the band.
Following this, Holdsworth worked with various popular jazz fusion groups and artists, including Gong, Soft Machine, The New Tony Williams Lifetime, Jean-Luc Ponty and, later in the decade, the progressive rock band UK."
"The Art Ensemble of Chicago is an avant-garde jazz ensemble that grew out of Chicago's AACM in the late 1960s. The group continues to tour and record through 2006, despite the deaths of two of the founding members.
The Art Ensemble is notable for its integration of musical styles spanning jazz's entire history and for their multi-instrumentalism, especially the use of what they termed “little instruments” in addition to the traditional jazz lineup; “little instruments” can include bicycle horns, bells, birthday party noisemakers, wind chimes, and a vast array of percussion instruments (including found objects). The group also uses costumes and face paint in performance. These characteristics combine to make the ensemble's performances as much a visual spectacle as an aural one, with each musician playing from behind a large array of drums, bells, gongs, and other instruments. When playing in Europe in 1969, the group were using more than 500 instruments.  Contents
Members of what was to become the Art Ensemble performed together under various band names in the mid-sixties, releasing their first album, Sound, as the Roscoe Mitchell Sextet in 1966. The Sextet included saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, trumpeter Lester Bowie and bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut, who over the next year went on to play together as the Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble. In 1967 they were joined by fellow AACM members Joseph Jarman (saxophone) and Philip Wilson (drums), and made a number of recordings for Nessa.
As noted above, the musicians were all active multi-instrumentalists: Jarman and Mitchell's primary instruments were alto and tenor saxes, respectively, but they played many other saxophones (ranging from the tiny sopranino to the large bass), flutes and clarinets. In addition to trumpet, Bowie played flugelhorn, cornet, shofar and conch shells. Favors added touches of banjo and bass guitar. Over the years, most of the musicians dabbled on piano, synthesizer and other keyboards.
In 1969, Wilson left the group to join blues singer/harmonica player Paul Butterfield's band. That same year, the remaining group travelled to Paris , where they became known as the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The immediate impetus for the name change came from a French promoter who added “of Chicago” to their name for purely descriptive purposes, but the new name stuck because band members felt that it better reflected the cooperative nature of the group. In Paris the ensemble were based at the Théâtre des Vieux Colombier  and their distinctive music with percussion roles dispersed throughout the quartet was documented in a range of records on the Freedom and BYG labels. They also recorded “Comme à la radio” with Brigitte Fontaine and Areski Belkacem as a drummerless quartet before welcoming percussionist Famoudou Don Moye to the group in 1970.
In 1970 the ensemble recorded two albums with singer Fontella Bass, then Lester Bowie's wife. These were The Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass and Les Stances A Sophie. The latter was the soundtrack from the French movie of the same title. Bass' vocals, backed by the powerful pulsating push of the band has allowed the “Theme De YoYo” to remain an underground cult classic ever since.
The ensemble returned to the United States in 1972, and the quintet of Mitchell, Jarman, Bowie, Favors and Moye remained static until 1993. Upon their return to the States, they came to prominence with two major releases on Atlantic Records: Bap-Tizum and Fanfare for the Warriers. Members of the group made the decision to restrict their appearances together, allowing each player to pursue other musical interests. It seems likely that this has contributed to the longevity of the ensemble. Despite the self-imposed limitations the Art Ensemble managed to release more than 20 studio recordings and several live albums between 1972 and 2004.
The makeup of the ensemble changed in 1993, when Jarman retired from the group to focus on his practice of Zen and Aikido. Bowie died of liver cancer in 1999, and the group continued as a trio (featuring a number of guest artists in their performances) until 2003, when Jarman rejoined the ensemble. In January of 2004 Favors Maghostut died suddenly during the recording of the group's latest album, Sirius Calling. The group was joined for their 2004 tour by trumpeter Corey Wilkes and bassist Jaribu Shahid, but it remains to be seen whether they will become permanent members of the ensemble, though a 2 CD live release by this quintet from 2004 is scheduled for release in 2006 on Pi Recordings.
Ensemble members embrace the performance art aspects of their concerts, believing that they allow the band to move beyond the strict limits of “jazz”. Their operating motto is “Great Black Music: Ancient To the Future”, which allows them to explore a wide variety of musical styles and influences; the band's distinctive appearance on stage also reflects this motto. As Jarman describes it, “So what we were doing with that face painting was representing everyone throughout the universe, and that was expressed in the music as well. That's why the music was so interesting. It wasn't limited to Western instruments, African instruments, or Asian instruments, or South American instruments, or anybody's instruments.”
My favorite Stones hands down, at their psychedelic zenith. Lennon & McCa even laid down choruses on it. Compulsory listening.
If we close all our eyes together then we will see where we all come from.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Primal Swedish protodronerocking dementors that penetrate your frontal lobes with aural icepicks.
"Like a Swedish version of communal krautrockers, Amon Düül [I], the ominous music saunters around the room, occasionally breaking into political slogans or stage play recitations, not unlike The Mothers of Invention or the improv scenes by The Committee in “Billy Jack.” You may also hear the seeds of the more avant garde, psych/folk bands emerging from Scandinavia today, such as Finland’s Kemialliset Ystävät and Avarus or Norway’s Origami Republik. In either event, it’s certainly not “musical” and it’s a very antagonistic listen combining sloganeering, stage plays, Scandinavian folk melodies, documentary-styled sound bytes and a totally wigged-out, 60s’ political vibe not unlike Ya Ho Wa 13, with Persson assuming the mantle of Father Yod. Nevertheless, it is a key artefact from the formative Swedish psychedelic scene – just be prepared to have your brain pulled in 40 different directions at once!" - Digitalis
Monday, February 9, 2009
Sweet mother fucking josef! Is this shit what you think it is? You bet your fucking ass it is bitch! If you're a fan of David Cronenberg's adaptation of the book, then this is for you. Magic shrooms are highly recommended with this one.
"Canadian-born composer Howard Shore breathes life into David Cronenberg's adaptation of William S. Burroughs's surrealist vision with dark symphonic passages and keening alto saxophone improvisations provided by jazz legend Ornette Coleman ."
I've come out of my premature retirement mah bois! This one's for my boy Howard Roark. Highly influential album by the master Ornette Coleman. This guy's one of the most important jazz figures of all time, not only pioneering in the free jazz movement but also improvisation. Without a doubt, one of the most important and greatest albums of all time.
"The Shape of Jazz to Come was one of the first avant-garde jazz albums ever recorded. It was recorded in 1959 by Coleman's piano-less quartet. The album was considered shocking at the time, because it had no recognizable chord structure and included simultaneous improvisation by the performers in a much freer style than previously in jazz.
Coleman's major breakthrough was to leave out chord-playing instruments. Each selection contains a brief melody, much like the tune of a typical jazz song, then several minutes of free improvisation, followed by a repetition of the main theme; while this resembles the conventional head-solo-head structure of bebop, it abandons the use of chord structures.
The album was a breakthrough work, in that it helped establish the avant-garde & free jazz movement. Later avant-garde jazz was often very different from this, but the work laid the foundation for the format in which nearly all later avant-garde and free jazz would be played."
In this album the ladies take over. Eve Libertine sings most of the songs with some help from Joy De Vivre. Together they hit us with a barrage of lyrics tackling feminism, consumerism, marriage, sexual repression, love, the health industry, oppression, ext.... Musically it was some of the most experimental stuff they ever did. A complete onslaught of punk, post punk, noise, and dark industrial-esque sound collages. Listen to the madness that is "What the Fuck?" and tell me it couldn't be a long lost Cabaret Voltaire song or something like that.
I was just in a well-spirited argument with Abe about all this horseshit thats been passed off as music these days, I found it unfair that crap like MGMT and The Pains of Being a Ridiculously Long & Overzealous Name, gets praised til' kingdom come, true musicians and visionaries get the shaft. Case in point: Jon Brion.
Im tired of talking about how much I want to see Charlie Kaufman's opus Synecdoche New York, each time I mention that Jon Brion did the soundtrack, all i get are blank faces. "the guy that did the Punch-Drunk love soundtrack! I Heart Huckabees! Magnolia too!" Nothing. Then I have to get into this whole thing about how he produced Elliott Smith's Figure 8, Aimee Mann, The Wallflowers, Kanye West(UGH!), Eels; and that Fiona Apple album that never came out(seeing as Brion made it "unmarketable").
In 2000 Brion finally got selfish and cut a record of his own. Some would say that his past collaborations are heavy influences but he comes into his own. Extremely catchy, beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. Elliott Smith fans should feel right at home. One of my favorite pop records, gems throughout, it is out of print and underappreciated to say the least. Do yourself a favor, put that "The Fray" album in the microwave set it to 30 seconds, enjoy the fireworks(probably 1000x more entertaining than the album itself) come back here, and download Meaningless.
I don't easily forgive like I used to
And I seldom get carried away
No, you don't have the pull that you used to
But you can still ruin my day
Oh, you can still ruin my day
PT Anderson is a semi-deity
I cannot fucking wait.
"The Grays were a short-lived supergroup comprising singer/songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Jon Brion, Jason Falkner, Buddy Judge, and Dan McCarroll.
They only released one album, the out-of-print but highly regarded Ro Sham Bo (1994) on Sony/Epic Records"
Everything flows is without a doubt one of my favorite songs...EVER! And im very apprehensive in saying things like that, but really, its just great.
"Hard to believe now, but Teenage Fanclub first attracted critical attention for a record far removed from the sparkling power pop on which their fame largely rests -- with its gloriously sloppy and sludgy sound, their debut album A Catholic Education instead prefigures the emergence of grunge, its viscous melodies and squalling guitars owing far more to Neil Young than Big Star. With not one but two songs dubbed "Heavy Metal," it's pretty obvious where A Catholic Education is coming from; the title track (also here in duplicate) is a surprisingly snarky attack on the church (at least for a band not exactly renowned for its political agenda), while the great "Everybody's Fool" is a merciless scenester put-down without any of the gentle sarcasm that characterizes similarly themed efforts like Bandwagonesque's "Metal Baby." Regardless, for all its glaring differences in attitude and approach, there's no mistaking the effortless melodicism that remains the hallmark of all Teenage Fanclub records -- in particular, the opening "Everything Flows," for all its meandering abrasiveness, is still as good as anything the band ever recorded, and that's saying something."
I'll never know which way to flow, set a course that i don't know.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
One of my personal favorite albums, I call these uruguayan garage rockers the Stones of latin america. Not only because they do a wicked cover of "Paint It Black" almost topping one of their highly noticeable influences, it's kinda hard not to notice them borrowing a few chords and arrangements here and there from early stones material like Aftermath, December Children, Out of our Heads, yada yada yada.... enjoy.
"The most telling description of Henry Cow's music comes from the movement they started, Rock In Opposition (henceforth denoted RIO). Their music truly is "in opposition." It pounds with the fury and intensity of rock music, but it cannot be called "rock." It shows the intelligence and musical knowledge of classical music, but it refuses to fit into any established style. It has plenty of dissonance and avant-garde tendencies, and it certainly challenges the listener, but it does not drive the listener away. Above all, though, it is in opposition to the commerciality of music, and this music is certainly not commercial. They started as a fun, jazzy Canterbury style prog band (Legend), gradually moving in a more avant-garde direction (starting on Unrest). In Praise of Learning, a collaboration with Slapp Happy, saw them moving in a more purely avant-garde direction, but it faltered slightly at times, failing to live up to their first two releases (though their other album with Slapp Happy, Desperate Straights, is fantastic). On Western Culture, however, they take the best elements of In Praise of Learning, tighten them, and the result is a masterpiece.
Unlike previous releases, Western Culture is entirely instrumental and entirely composed, which is a large part of why it is their best work. While their improvisations often succeeded, they also often didn't. Their compositions, on the other hand, almost always were highlights on their respective albums. As for the vocals, they are simply unnecessary here, as the music tells a potent story (two actually) without the need for Chris Cutler's overly preachy lyrics. Western Culture is split into two halves, each telling its own story. The first, "History and Prospects," is a three part musical representation of the decay of western society (Henry Cow were far left politically). The second, "Day By Day," seems to look for equality in everyday life, as is highlighted by final track, "Half the Sky," whose title comes from the Chinese proverb, "women hold up half the sky." Not coincidentally, "Half the Sky" was a collaboration between Lindsay Cooper (who wrote the rest of "Day By Day") and Tim Hodgkinson (who wrote "History and Prospects"). Those familiar with the band's earlier work might be dismayed to learn that Chris Cutler and Fred Frith do not have any songwriting credits, but have no fear, for those songs are on Art Bears' excellent Hopes and Fears album.
"History and Prospects" opens with the mind-boggling "Industry," which is the band's single greatest achievement. An exercise in listenable dissonance for the first six minutes, it builds up to a pounding climax that features what is, quite frankly, the best drumming I have ever heard. This entire CD redefines the notion of a drummer's role in the band, as Chris Cutler does not limit himself to just rhythms, but instead creates his own musical themes with his trademark "pots and pans" style drumming. Indeed, one of the most compelling moments on Western Culture comes on "Falling Away" (the first part of "Day By Day"), where Cutler duels with Lindsay Cooper on what I believe is bassoon (or some other reed instrument). But, returning to "History and Prospects," don't be worried that Western Culture falters after opening with "Industry." The controlled chaos of "The Decay of Cities" and the faint, desperate, despairing saxophone whine of "On the Raft" are worthy follow-ups to "Industry."
Whereas "History and Prospects" largely focused on dissonance and Cutler's drumming, "Day By Day" features reed instruments prominently and is far less overbearing. Indeed, when "Falling Away" explodes into the racing reed instrument theme about a minute in, it wouldn't be a stretch to call it bouncy. It's still no easy listen — "Look Back" is similar to the darkness and despair of Univers Zero's Heresie – but it's more accessible for the newcomer to Henry Cow's music. Even "Half the Sky," which features more of the whining saxophone that colored "On the Raft," can't stay bleak for long, featuring happier reed sections later on.
Henry Cow left the world with a rich musical history — four studio CDs and the legendary Rock In Opposition movement. Even after they disbanded, Chris Cutler and Fred Frith would go on to produce plenty of excellent music in bands such as Art Bears, News From Babel, Skeleton Crew, Cassiber, Massacre, and far more (I don't like all of these bands, but they all feature Cutler and/or Frith). However, Western Culture is the clear masterpiece of the many Henry Cow and related offerings, a stunning slice of perfection that is essential for anyone interested in avant-garde rock music, or even just really good drumming. It takes a while to get used to, but once it hits, it hits hard. Needless to say, I give it my highest recommendation." - Aaron N.
Henry Cow's most potent recorded statement.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
"Tilt was Scott Walker's first album following over a decade of silence, and whatever else he may have done during his exile, brightening his musical horizon was not on the agenda. Indescribably barren and unutterably bleak, Tilt is the wind that buffets the gothic cathedrals of everyone's favorite nightmares. The opening "Farmer in the City" sets the pace, a cinematic sweep that somehow maintains a melody beneath the unrelenting melodrama of Walker's most grotesque vocal ever. Seemingly undecided whether he's recording an opera or simply haunting one, Walker doesn't so much perform as project his lyrics, hurling them into the alternating maelstroms and moods that careen behind him. The effect is unsettling, to put it mildly. At the time of its release, reviews were undecided whether to praise or pillory Walker for making an album so utterly divorced from even the outer limits of rock reality, an indecision only compounded by its occasional (and bloody-mindedly deceptive) lurches towards modern sensibilities. "The Cockfighter" is underpinned by an intensity that is almost industrial in its range and raucousness, while "Bouncer See Bouncer" would have quite a catchy chorus if anybody else had gotten their hands on it. Here, however, it is highlighted by an Eno-esque esotericism and the chatter of tiny locusts. The crowning irony, however, is "The Patriot (A Single)," seven minutes of unrelenting funeral dirge over which Walker infuses even the most innocuous lyric ("I brought nylons from New York") with indescribable pain and suffering. Tilt is not an easy album to love; it's not even that easy to listen to. First impressions place it on a plateau somewhere between Nico's Marble Index and Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music -- before long, familiarity and the elitist chattering of so many well-heeled admirers rendered both albums mere forerunners to some future shift in mainstream taste. And maybe that is the fate awaiting Tilt, although one does wonder precisely what monsters could rise from soil so belligerently barren. Even Metal Machine Music could be whistled, after all. " - Dave Thompson
"Spirit Of Eden occupies a space outside musical genres, an area between pop and jazz that is painted vividly with the colours and textures of blues, ambient, classical, rock... The first half of the record consists of a suite of three tracks which flow organically between each other, The Rainbow starting inauspiciously with subdued strings and the rumour of trumpets, the awakening of the record heralded by squalls of over-amped harmonica and electric guitar, Friese-Green in thrall to Lamonte Young, Cage and Stockhausen while Hollis invokes his fascination with Robert Johnson and John Lee Hooker. But where Johnson’s soul was sold, Hollis finds his saved amid the fall and rise, the surging tide. The passages of neo-classical ambience belie the loose and buried structure; there are refrains here, musical and almost lyrical, muffled talk of the lawyer’s song, the jailer’s song, the unending trial, before whispered silence drifts us into Eden. Time and again the battle between temptation and redemption ushers us between chaos and bliss, the storm gathering, those gentle passages between the fray opening up the clouds to reveal regions of crystal blue away from the shredding guitar that wails with the dependency and need that hold us back from salvation.
The final section of the opening triptych washes in on cowed church organ, ruminative, reverent, before the implosion that is foreseen but irresistible, Hollis a rage against resignation, a cry of “that ain’t me babe” again and again before a confession of escaped weakness, a refusal to go under; “I’m just content to relax / than drown within myself”, anything but content, turning the ire to aid salvation. All the while the guitar is ferocity, harsh plains of bass and the biting wind of harmonica overset with clattering, broiling drums, percussive white-horses eroding the self to the point of catharsis and sublimation, unstoppable even when the rest has fallen by the wayside, Web and Harris together a source of elemental rhythm, powerful, refined, sometimes elusive and always measured to perfection." - Nick Southall
A forgotten gem of mancunian post-punk.
"The Passage's second album, recorded with the main lineup of Dick Witts, Joe McKecknie, and Andy Wilson, is understandably a different beast from Pindrop, if only because of the refocus on a slightly more straightforward lineup. The qualities that were evident on Pindrop -- a clever and sometimes unsettling intelligence, atypical arrangements, and surprising twists on established pop formulae; and a clear drive not to simply be part of the times but to use its common elements to other purposes -- all remain clear on For All & None. Instead of the hyper-gloss beat of so much new romantic releases or the incipient none-darker-than-thou goth underground, Witts and company's drive is magpie-like, making use of keyboards in particularly unusual ways and never embracing gloom as a specific raison d'etre. The piano/synth combination that heralds the wry anti-capital "Lon Don" is echoed throughout the album, driving notes from the former, contrasted then complemented by the various textures conjured up. Songs can shift on a dime from thick bass-heavy charges and roils to wistful guitar flows, or drop in sudden, striking silences; all while maintaining moods in involving ways (perhaps best seen in the two-part "A Good and Useful Life," touching on everything from art rock to synth disco and back again). Witts' singing is much clearer than on Pindrop, and the mix itself is generally more straightforward, though as "The Great Refusal" shows, intentional obscurity is one of the band's best qualities. The strongest song might be "Photo Romance," at once strikingly beautiful (note the bells) and extremely sharp with its critiques of the roles of love. LTM's reissue includes both sides of two related singles, including a crisp rush through "Troops Out" and the only officially released songs with Lizzy Johnson, whose lead vocals provide a striking contrast with the band's never-too-slick grooves. " - Ned Raggett
Do the Bastinado
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Mani Neumeier's barbarian rock horde in one of their more drug-blasted, wigged out efforts.
"'Hinten' was the second album by the three-piece Guru Guru comprised of: Mani Neumeier (voice, electric drums, cymbals, gong, contact microphone, kalimba, sounding being, zonk machine); Uli Trepte (bass, radio) and Ax Genrich (guitar.) And here they sound less lumpen/trudgin' than on their stellar "UFO" LP but every bit as Frei-Rock and exploratory. But unlike "UFO","Hinten" exhibits a more flexible and plastic structure: it's loose, yet tight. It's free flowing, yet scripted enough to accommodate a freefall of freak outs and it allowed themselves all the space in the universe yet managing to combine together with such effectively precise riffing JUST off enough to allow all concerned to wander off the path as many times as they liked without leaving a trail of breadcrumbs behind AND NEVER GETTING LOST. There are also more vocals present here, but only if you can call murmuring song titles over ten-plus-minutes' worth of an ensemble jumble of detuned, skittering guitars shrieking and groaning feedback with an overlay of contact microphone hi-jinks with jarring percussive strikes "vocals". And this was presented in a far clearer sonic image than ever before, courtesy of its self-production ably assisted by engineer Conrad Plank.
Even though the performance was several notches up on the tightness scale from "UFO", the chaos remained unchecked to an extreme because for all its pre-planned boundaries (which they wound up pushing through or just plain ignored for most of the time) the end result was a loose and gigantically sprawling, avant-proto-metal improvisatory monster that for all its audio strength caught the trio completely in the raw...And speaking of which, the cover's got that, too. What cheek. And when I say "cheek" I mean that literally cos it's a four times repetition of a photograph of a guy's backside with the word "GURU" painted twice across his bared glutei. Although it seems a long way round to go just to riff off the album's title, it did effectively scream "FREAK" before anyone got to hear it and the music sealed the whole deal with so many instantaneous stops-and-starts, false endings, guitar solos and outright freakery it both roots you to the spot and sends you off into a zone of anarchic mind-warp all at once. Makes you crack up at inopportune moments, too." - The Seth Man