Panda Bear just released an awesome video for "Comfy In Nautica." It features a lot of skateboarding, some sort of fish eye camera, over-exposed nature scenes, and some sort of ritualistic throwing of the board into the sea.
It's pretty cool. I love the song. Maybe you should just get that below ...
I'm on a bit of a Manchester streak here. First the Control review, now Manchester-based Nancy Elizabeth (although she's half Ian Curtis' age were he alive today).
Nancy Elizabeth (MySpace) is another, absolutely refreshing member of the British folk movement. She "mixes folk with post-rock influences to make her enchanting and dynamic music." I agree with the folk part, I agree with the enchanting part (I'm listening right now and can't seem to type at a speed greater than one word/minute), and I see the dynamic part, but post-rock? Maybe not so much. Ms. Elizabeth's sound is utterly serene and peaceful with an underlying organic and imperfect vibe. This'll make me sound like a hippy or something, but listening to this music sounds like the moonlight shimmering on a calm dark sea: there's something tumultuous under it, an ebb and tide, that occasionally pokes itself out of the "sea" that is her body of music, but for the most part, this stuff is incredibly delicate and harmonious.
She released her debut LP, Battle and Victory, on October 1 via The Leaf Label. From what I understand and from what I've heard, it's a very solid opener.
The Black Ghosts (MySpace) sound instantly recognizable ... why is that? Ahhh ... the vocals. And indeed, the duo is comprised of Theo Keating and Simon Lord ... of Simian fame, and yes, he was the contributing vocalist for Simian's "Never Be Alone"/Justice's remix called "We Are Your Friends." Small world, eh?
So you've most likely heard the Blacks Ghosts somewhere, although you might not be as hip to them as the other Simian off-shoot, Simian Mobile Disco's grody hits like "Hustler." The duo's been cranking out killer club track after killer club track, though, and deserves all the attention your ADD mind is willing to give them. The group released the EP Any Way You Choose to Give It on L.A. favorite I Am Sound Records (you can pick up the digital or CD version here), and it's quite a treat. The Black Ghosts combine Simian's psych-pop haze with uber-funky, get-down-and-bogey club beats and bass lines. And of course Simon Lord's still dishing out his instantly recognizable, quirky vocal talents. The pair is not to be missed so hop on that bandwagon!
Over at BBBD, we're a little too cool to settle only for the songs on the EP, though, so below you'll find the hefty extended mix of the exquisite "Any Way You Choose to Give It," the Whip's rawkin' remix, and the Boy 8 Bit Dub. Fun fun, guys!
I'm still very much up in the air about this film, and I thought that sleeping on it would help. It didn't. I do know two things for certain, though, that shaped my perception of the movie. (1) I didn't really have much interest in seeing a melodramatic story of Ian and Deborah Curtis' pitiful marriage (I wouldn't've had an interest in seeing anyone's) and (2) I wanted a biopic that made more sense to me. That is, I wanted a film where I leave it with a better understanding of, for example, why Ian was so terrible to his wife, where all those songs came from, why the couple didn't get a divorce, why he became involved in Factory Records, why ...
Control answered few of those questions. And maybe expecting that from the movie was too much. I suppose it was supposed to be about the other side of Ian Curtis; the side that lost control of his private life as he'd lost control of his public "rock-star" life; the side that was in love with two very different people; the side that had to deal with epilepsy in the realest of circumstances. I ended up being not as interested as I'd intended and hoped I'd be with any of the movie’s content, and that was the primary failing point.
Yes, it was a tremendously beautiful piece. Impeccable. I recommend seeing it in a theatre as none of the trailers, screen shots, or posters articulate the film's distant grandeur. It is the visual counter-part of and complement to a Joy Division song: cold, removed, and cavernous with attention paid to the minutest detail. Absolutely gorgeous.
I enjoyed some aspects of the movie (aside from the aesthetic element) quite a lot though so don't get me wrong. I loved the imagery of Ian returning home from tours as though he was returning from war, armed with his military duffel bag and all. I liked the morbid reference to Ian’s ultimate suicide-by-hanging in his perpetual fascination and noting of the clothes hanger that resided in the Curtis’ kitchen and that he eventually used to commit the deed. I liked the manager's line, "Cheer Up. Could be worse. Could be the lead singer of the Fall" (because (a) Sam Riley played Mark E. Smith in 24 Hour Party People and (b) not one pop music historian or critic hasn’t noted the obvious similarities between the two men). Cute. I was completely awed by the final performance during which Ian couldn't bring himself to performing in front of the ravenous crowd (“They keep wanting more from me. I’ve lost control”; “It used to be so simple.”) (The singer from Crispy Ambulance took his place for some part of the set.) To me, that final set (of which we only saw “Love Will Tear Us Apart”) was the most moving and memorable part of the film.
I didn't like how Factory Records was all but ignored. Tony Wilson looked like a fool -- more of a cheesy car salesman than a visionary -- and was barely in the film. Martin Hannett got about thirty seconds of time on screen and didn't really convey the sort of musical genius he undeniably had. I liked the band ... Peter Hook was cute and stoic; Bernard was goofy, shy, and quite the little boy. All in all, I wanted more of everything but Ian (and certainly not Debby), and not getting that underwhelmed me. Maybe had this movie been made before the legend began, maybe when we didn't all know that Joy Division, Tony Wilson, and all those guys were at the debut Sex Pistols show, maybe if we didn't know Ian suffered from epilepsy, maybe if we didn't know that he hung himself, maybe if those details hadn't be previously glamorized, romanticized, and exaggerated ... then maybe I would've fallen completely for the film. Not so.
In the end, I just wound up asking again, “What’s the story behind Joy Division?” and “How the heck did such beautiful, heart-wrenching lyrics and instrumentals come from a bunch of soccer-loving, beer-guzzling, rather unengaging Manchester lads?”
Below are three of my favorite songs by the Manchester quartet. The cut of "Passover" is remarkable in that it's a recently unearthed "personal" Martin Hannett mix. I believe it to be better than the version that made it onto the album. "New Dawn Fades" is from Still, the double LP that solidified Joy Division's immaculate, yet so far from perfect live performances. "Wilderness" is from the legendary Unknown Pleasures.
Lyon, France isn't normally associated with the country's hip music scene, but now that Spitzer (MySpace) has busted onto the scene with a four-track EP, Roller Coaster, that may very well be changing.
The duo's sound lays somewhere between the minimalist dance music that put Berlin on the map and the glitch-y, hyper-active, hard-hitting electronic club sounds that brought Justice to international stardom.
Simple hooks layered atop each other with plenty of twists and turns to justify the rather lengthier tracks. The EP is really something and I hope it finds its way to N. America soon. It's the perfect from Ed Banger's intensity that we've all be waiting for. Dig "Kaspersky."
Remember the Teenagers? The buzzword of early late 2006/early 2007? Well they've all but disappeared (thank God!) and are back, ready to serve us up a single of a touched-up and re-recorded version of "Scarlett Johansson," a single of remixes through Kitsune Records, and finally cross the Ocean for a N. American tour in January! Woo!
So I'm sure I'll be discussing the Parisian trio quite a bit more in the coming months as I must see them live when they're at the Echo on January 22.
Anyway, the below "Homecoming" remix is pretty great ... the infectious bass line's stays pretty much intact, but the vocals are all sped up, re-sampled at a much higher BPM, and mixed up, at least at the beginning. And you can't say no to hand claps (or maybe hand clap-esque drums, I guess). Stream the new single version of "Scarlett Johansson" below, too. It's way cleaner and sharper, but still just as much goofy fun as the demo that won us all over ...
Sunburned Hand of the Man (MySpace) has been an experimental psychedelic noise collective (I don't even want to classify them as anything as they defy all generalizations and genre peggings) since its inception in Charlestown, Massachusettes way back in 1996. A collective in the most literal sense: the lineup changes, goes through phases; they used to be holed up a Charlestown loft that saw members and contributors come in and out on a regular and frequent basis; none of their releases have been expected or planned terribly far in advance ... they just sort of wax and wane like the moon.
In their tenure as a group, Sunburned has played with a plethora of heavyweights -- from Sonic Youth to Mission of Burma to Dinosaur Jr. -- as well as a myriad other bands, from Magik Markers to Sunn O))) to Wolf Eyes. To say the least, Sunburned has been around, paid its dues, collaborated with the best of 'em, the juniors and the seniors alike.
And now they just released the phenomenal masterpiece, Fire Escape on Smalltown Supersound, Joakim's Norwegian label, which also is impossible to sonically classify or pigeonhole.
The LP was recorded ... crystalized by Kieren Hebden of Four Tet fame. Essentially Hebden -- who "discovered" the group several years back -- asked if Sunburned would assemble in London for a recording session. A four-hour Hebden-led jam ensued which Hebden then reworked, mixed and remixed, and finalized into the full-length form that's now available for purchase. Oh yeah, EYE (from Boredoms) did the album artwork. Quite a collaboration, yes? It's a great, great record: a serene, untouchable culmination of maestro Hebden's ability to work and rework music in a jazz-like, utterly naturalistic manner and Suburned's bizarre, weathered sound experimentation.
So Black Dice (MySpace) have a new music video for "Kokomo" from their latest LP, Load Blown, and it's not intended for those prone to seizures. It looks like the animated companion to Black Dice/Jason Frank Rothenberg's Gore book. It's actually pretty cool. Download the track below, too ... one of my favorites from the record.
I'm not even going to bother with writing any sort of review for The Darjeeling Limited, because it will invariably end up sounding like a rehashed amalgamation of all the reviews I've read so far and, most importantly, just sound bad. (Oh, and where the hell was Bill Murray!? Talk about a tease.)
I liked the film okay, I thought it was gorgeous, I liked the film.
One thing that surprised me was the soundtrack. I usually love Wes Anderson for his soundtracks. They're always really cool collections of old rock, blues, and "easy" classics with these bizarre, out of left field folk tracks, world music tunes, and all that weird stuff. I love it. The most awesome mixtapes!
Anyway, the soundtrack for The Darjeeeling Limited is sort of not as fulfilling as I'd hoped it'd be. The first tune, "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)" by Peter Sarstedt was featured in Hotel Chavalier, the freebie thirteen-minute short that Anderson wound up sticking to the beginning of the feature. It's fine, it's a Wes song, and I like how it pops up throughout the entire film.
After that, I lose interest pretty quick (that's not to say that I lost) interest during the film) just because 90% of the songs are Indian folk pieces, and -- sorry -- I don't really care to have a compilation of all Satyajit Ray's hits. I do like the Kinks songs, I love how there's a Debussy song (could care less about Beethoven's Seventh again), and yeah, I dig the Rolling Stones. Grab my favorites below.
Metronomy blew us away with the debut LP a few years back, finally made the leap across the pond that is the Atlantic for a few East Coast N. American shows, helped with production and all for Kate Nash, just released a new single, "Radio Ladio," and probably has a tremendous amount of more cool stuff to come!
"Radio Ladio" is one of my favorite tracks the quasi-solo outfit's put out yet. It's got the usual amount of hokey glitchy-ness and off-kilter beats, but the song's got a heavier bass that gives ya the chills when it drops, and the vocals have gotten more solid. Metronomy could be the LCD Soundsystem for Casio/Korg lovers all over ... still plenty lo-fi for those of you who are Metronomy traditionalists, but with more funk, more beat, more hooks, more all of that stuff that makes a good pop song than ever before. I present to you ... Metronomy's "Radio Ladio."
Holy smokes! This is unheard of ... DFA has, for reasons unbeknownst to me, never/rarely given much of anything away, and when they do, it tends to be a crummy streaming audio track or some sort of lo-fi video. What gives?
Well, I don't even know how much of an EP it is ... it's two live songs (one by Prinzhorn Dance School, the other by Shocking Pinks) and a pretty ridiculous LCD Soundsystem live video for "Us Vs. Them." Yeah, good package, but it seems like more of a grab bag than anything else. Check out the video after the jump and grab one of the videos below (you really ought to just download the thing, especially since the PDS thing is like, twenty minutes of a live radio set).
The following concert review was penned by BBBD contributor, Bryan Hood. After the jump are some additional notes by the author. I remember asking my friend Rhett if he’d be buying Interpol’s latest album, Our Love to Admire. Without hesitation he said no. I pushed on reminding him that he loved Interpol’s Turn On the Bright Lights, and thought that Antics was a satisfactory (if not good) follow up. “I don’t know,” he said, “I just feel like they’re one of those bands that you only really need one album of. They’ve got a good sound, but it’s a sound that doesn’t change.”
I bought Our Love to Admire shortly after it came out. I enjoyed it a great deal, but Rhett was right. As good as Interpol’s may be, you know what you’re getting when you listen to (or in this case go to see) Interpol. Tuesday’s show at the building Magic made magical (a.k.a the Forum) did nothing to persuade me otherwise. The band played a good mixture of new stuff and the old standards, getting great crowd reaction all the while. Each song managed to loudly recreate the atmosphere and tension you’d expect of Interpol. But that was the problem; there was no element of surprise, the whole set was just Interpol by numbers. The band was good, but you couldn’t help but feel that what you were watching up on stage wasn’t a band so much as it was a group of professionals. There were some moments of inspiration though, times when one could really appreciate Interpol. These moments mainly came during songs from Turn On the Bright Lights. On songs like “Say Hello to the Angels,” “Stella was a Diver,” and the always amazing “PDA,” it was apparent that Interpol were capable of so much more, that even while producing glacial sounding music they could still show some semblance of passion.
I realize that this might sound like a very negative review, but really it isn’t. I got to see a very technically proficient band, perform some of my favorite songs of the last few years. But sometimes, you just want a little bit more. It’s not always because you’re hungry for more, sometimes you just know you could be seeing better.
-- Forget Paul Banks and Carlos D, Daniel Kessler and Sam Fogarino are the real stars.
-- The crowd was easily the most diverse one I’ve been in. People of all walks of life were there, Tibetan monks and Cosmonauts included. Also those who worship the night and fans of the Eagles.
-- Getting into the Forum was a fucking chore. I was really looking forward to catching Liars’ opening set, but after what spending like an hour crammed into a line with a thousand other angry people, I was too late.
Pacific! Give the Concretes' "Keep Yours" the Remix Treatment
And it's a killer, killer remix. No offense, but ever since the Stockholm fifty-piece (don't they literally have like, fifty members?) lost it's M.V.P., Bergsman, they've been shuffling around looking for (a) a solid singer and (b) a solid sound that's different than their previous one but not so distant as to alienate old listeners.
And in all honesty, they've not done the best job. Hey Trouble fell flat for me ... it was lackluster attempt at finding a new sound, one that revolved around girl-group rockabilly and sugary harmonies. In order to make up for the major deduction of Bergsman, they drove themselves to gluttonous poppy excess. Which is, to say the least, a little strange for a Swedish pop outfit, but hey -- who can blame them.
Anyway, anyway ... Pacific! -- a duo from Stockholm's rival for Swedish pop culture dominance, Gothenburg -- remixed "Keep Yours," one of the better tunes from Hey Trouble, and made it better than the original.
The remixed version is all chopped up and completely re-edited. The bass line and goofy backing vocal harmonies sound like 80s high school prom music melded, oh so seamlessly, with an old fashioned rocky, dance-y vibe. Like everyone should be doing the Twist or something.
Many of you know about this by now, but Alden Penner (I wish he'd kept the Alden Ginger pseudonym) -- the little, pale, pasty ex-Unicorn -- has formed a new band called Clues.
1. the Unicorns are my favorite band 2. Alden Penner/Ginger was in the Unicorns 3. Alden Penner/Ginger was an integral part of the group 4. Anything that Alden does post-Unicorns is phenomenal/will become my favorite band
Per usual, everything surrounding Clues in shrouded in a mysterious darkness, whispered rumors, and hyped-up concerts, namely Clues' live debut at Pop Montreal. After the jump, you can view nearly seven minutes of the debut show. I like the cape. I like the new music a lot ... it's more composed, more orchestrated, more eloquent ... not just a bunch of three-chord guitar hooks. No, this sounds like baroque pop at times, then at others, like ... *sob* the Unicorns. Sorry, you can't deny the connection. It sounds exactly like what they'd be making these days ... the start-stop thing, the abrupt, sharp hooks, the short little spastic jams ... ohhh, man.
Yeah, I'm verklempt. Just listen to the sampler and check out the video. It's neat.
Saul WIlliams + NIN + Radiohead = The Inevitable Rise & Liberation of Niggy Tardust
I absolutely love how "pull a Radiohead" is now a commonly used phrase. Yes, Radiohead will be added to the new edition of the Oxford Dictionary as a verb ... (as in, "yeah, we Radioheaded our debut")
Apparently Saul Williams is doing the same thing, except his is way gaggier because (a) he collaborated with friggin' T. Reznor/Nine Inch Nails, (b) the album's called The Inevitable Rise & Liberation of Niggy Tardust (what!?), and (c) uh ... who the hell is Saul Williams anyway? Okay, a lot of people know who he is, but as Mr. Reznor himself says:
You obviously will be the judge of this in the end. One thing that is very different in our situation is that Saul's not the household name (yet!) that Radiohead is, and that means we need your support on this more than ever.
No, this Williams/NIN collaboration will most likely not make somewhere between (allegedly) six and ten million dollars, but hey -- I like the idea. Don't know if I'll pre-order it, though ... hmm ...
To complement Liars' (MySpace) wunderbar eponymous fourth long-player, the continent-hopping trio released an EP of demos from what they're dubbing the Liars Sessions. They're definitely demos, but they're definitely good.
You can download all four of the rough, rough demos right here for ... nothing as long as you forfeit your SSN, DOB, street address -- you know, the usual. Nah, I'm just kidding. But if you're really that averse to getting your grubby, pirating hands on them through legitimate means, snag a couple of the demos below. You will be surprised but very happy.
Sounds like Vitalic produced a rap track or something. Not quite.
Switzerland's dynamic DJ duo, Audioporno just did a remix for M.I.T.C.H. (AKA a Parisian rapper with a lame name -- sorry, M.I.T.C.H., you ain't no Biggie), and in my humble opinion, it is one of the pair's best to date!
It really does sound like a Vitalic-produced hip-hop tune. Maybe a little rougher, though. Oh, and Uffie's contribution is a major plus, too.
My favorite 50s British Invasion group that never was, Vincent Vincent & the Villains (MySpace) has a few more soul-, blues-, and gospel-infused old-fashioned rock tunes that are just wonderful.
Vincent Vincent has been around for a while now ... they did a bunch of demos a few years back, a couple musical-inspired music videos involving dancing walls and pens, a hokey police chase, and many other light-hearted theatre-like gags with eye shadow and blush to match, and finally wrote up a press release stating that a full-length is on its way and will be delivered to us (thank God!) by EMI.
Boy oh boy I cannot wait. For now, let's enjoy the two newbies -- "Bad Boy" and "Sweet Girlfriend" -- and remember how charming a song "I'm On My Own" is (and view the new video after the jump)!
Brooklyn's Blood On the Wall (MySpace) will be releasing the follow-up to 2005's Awesomer, Liferz, on January 22. So we've got a wee bit longer to wait, but as long as the Social Registry keeps throwing great mp3s at us -- like "Hibernation" -- I think we will be able to bear it.
From the sound of "Hibernation," this LP (the trio's third -- ooooh, a triptych in there somewhere! if only there were triplets) will be a little more punk, but by punk here I mean the sort of music that would be made if Thurston and Kim joined Pavement and played Nirvana covers. Maybe that's a really dumb way to put it ... Anyway, listen to "Hibernation."
Ruins is a very, very strange drum and bass duo from Japan. The duo released Refusal Fossil way back in May on Skin Graft Records (the guys who brought us AIDS WOLF, Pre, and many, many more). It's a bizarre record to say the least.
Okay, so Ruins came to life way back in 1985 or so. Tatsuya Yoshida -- a big-time Japanese underground drummer who also lends his talents to Acid Mothers Temple along with at least one thousands other prog/punk/experimental groups -- formed the band with the intention of it being a trio, but unfortunately the guitarist never showed and so he foraged on with the bass player as a rhythm-only band. When I say "rhythm only," I really mean it. These guys play real heavy, dense, and oftentimes incredibly speedy prog/metal (depending on how you look at it) fused with punk. Or something.
Tatsuya has remained the drummer for the past twenty-two years (he even showed up at CMJ this year!), but he's gone through a handful of bassists. I think he blew out their ear sockets or something ... rendered them unable to perform any more.
It's absolutely bizarre stuff, but truly mesmerizing. Check out "Etymology" below!
Perhaps K Records' most bizarre and non-lo-fi aesthetic group, Old Time Relijun (MySpace) (a) just released a new album, Catharsis In Crisis on October 9 and (b) is touring with AIDS WOLF! Yes yes yes!
The Portland-based quartet wrote and recorded the LP at Calvin Johnson's Dub Narcotic Lab in Olympia and got Steve Fisk to help with the mixing. You can probably guess what the long-player sounds like, then. I like to think of these guys as the Sun-Ra of blues-infused experimental garage. An overbearing pile of sounds, from saxophone to heavy, warble-y bass lines, primitive drums, and a vocalist who allegedly swallows a handful of pebbles before singing.
Listen to a few songs below before making the purchase, though: these folks are dangerous!
One thousand posts! I've written a thousand posts! It's been well over three years now, and BIBABIDI is still going strong. Certainly, the blog's changed since it debuted as more of a diary than a music journal, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Yes, I love this blog.
Thank you all for reading, fostering the "fan base," listening to my rants, commenting, downloading, spreading the word, all that fun stuff. I can't believe I've reached post 1000, especially considering the numerous times I've wanted to just quit it all. In all sincerity and honesty, it was all of you -- from those who left comments to those who introduced me to some great groups to those who sent me the closest thing to fan mail I'll ever receive -- that kept BIBABIDI alive.
Envelopes (MySpace) just notified me of the above video for "Life On the Beach." It's a pretty bizarre music video involving strange sea creatures killing off the band while they're partying on the beach ... I think.
I'm not quite sure. Figure it out for yourself. Quite a production, anyway.
Oh, and word is that the new album'll be out in February. About time!
Everyone's heard this now, right? Everyone puked up their breakfast/lunch/dinner, right? What the hell is Bloc Party doing!? What's this new single, "Flux"? What's wrong with the Bloc rockers? Oh right, apparently this is a demo that they made for Kylie Minogue when she wanted to break into the hardcore European techno scene (you know, where the parties go for one night, and then another night, like in Berlin).
Ohh, the lights, all around me ... ohhh, I feel so sweaty, oh man, I feel so on top of the world! Yes yes yes! Let's dance this night away! Please, more tainted or spiked drinks! Ahhhhhh!
Alright, so I'm going to diligently try to post a new mixtape here every week, hopefully every Monday, but you never know ... maybe Tuesday will prove more opportune at some point in future.
Also, we're playing around with the style, placement, and all that fun aesthetic stuff for this mixtape thing, so bear with us as we figure all that out. Regardless, you all should enjoy the thing for the uh ... rad music!
For every great song by the Cure, there was one bad song; for every killer album, there was a clunker. I don't know how a band with such a legacy was able to maintain such a rocky creative development. Bizarre.
I bring this up only because the first band I was reminded of when I first put Cheap Beat (MySpace) was ... the Cure! Lucky for them, their only release so far is an immaculate eponymous EP with only four songs on it. The singer has this sort of tortured-soul wail to his style, but it's poppy and accessible enough that you actually end up empathizing with him more than you would were he say, the XTC offspring from the Veils. Instrumentally, these Stockholm lads sound like the merging of the Cure and Echo & the Bunnymen. Yes, they are wonderful. I'm getting chills writing this post. This is a first. I really, really love these guys.
Wow wow wow. Spot-on verse-chorus-verse structuring to these tunes, dazzling, knock-your-socks-off "rave-ups," summery hooks and solid bass lines that are mingled with just enough darker, clean production to make every note absolutely serious, absolutely, undeniable heartfelt.
You can grab the whole EP right here, but how about listening to a couple of the songs before downloading all four below. Did I hype it up too much? Nope: these dudes rock rock rock.
BIBABIDI's trying something new for this concert post: video. We filmed bits and pieces of last night's Go! Team (MySpace) for your viewing pleasure and archival purposes.
Wow, what a charismatic and absolutely charming band! You know how a lot of singers will egg the crowd on by saying things like, "Alright people! I need to see some bodies moving!" and "Yeah, okay! Let's dance!" and stuff like that? But it never really works? Well, somehow the Go! Team's Ninja achieved the impossible and literally madeeveryone at the Ex Plex last night break it down. In unison. Waving hands in the air, twisting, turning, shouting ("GO! TEAM"), all that good stuff. So that's the setting, the atmosphere, the overall vibe. Keep that in mind as it's what made the actual material so enjoyable.
Aside from being extremely energetic on stage (Ian really likes his harmonica; the girl guitarist/bassist/keyboardist likes to jump; Ninja was a cheerleader in her previous life), the quintet was really on the ball ... no missed notes, no off-key harmonies, no screwy drumming (in fact, the drummer chick had a headset on, maybe to make doubly sure she was keeping time to the best of her ability), no nonsense. I loved it.
Oh, and the set was fantastic, too. They played enough of the old stuff to keep die-hard fans happy while sprinkling in loads of the recent material to keep the newbies dancin' ...
Overall, quite a wonderful show: (1) Ninja as cheerleader/puppeteer, (2) Ian as harmonica virtuoso, (3) entertaining, jumpy band, (4) entertaining, jumpy, non-irritating crowd ... Ahhhh, that was cool.
NYC's Music Related is prepping for the release of Nobuko Hori's (MySpace) debut LP, xtoyourmilkyhair. The twenty-something has been mostly been involved with animating up until this point (she's done a tremendous amount of spectacular work for herself and various other outlets, from album covers to music videos, the most recent of which is for Shugo Tokumaru's "Button").
Now, after exploring other realms of her creativity and collaborating with and remixing others' music, Ms. Hori is releasing her own LP! And it's absolutely fantastic! I like albums that seamlessly meld disparate sounds and style, and Nobuko's does so in a dazzling way: from distorted noise to melodious bedroom folk to experimental minimalist looping to space-pop to ... so much more. Yeah, it sounds like a bumpy and jerky ride, the album, but somehow everything's strung together in an absolutely stunning way. Grab a couple tracks below!
Wolf Eyes has always been a tough band for me to digest musically. They're real dense, huh? Really, really gritty; really, really scratchy and irritating ... if I'm not on the verge of a mental breakdown by the final "note" of one of their songs, I'm lucky. That being said, though, I do like 'em ... they're pretty fascinating and certain a wonder to behold live.
If you need something a little "fluffier" or more "accessible" than Wolf Eyes, though, I suggest listening to Demons, a Wolf Eyes side project.
Demons explore near-epileptic fits of droning analog synth textures that elicit comfortable remembrances of electronic-obsessed forefathers like Stockhausen and Cluster whilst simultaneously bludgeoning forward with the grating and scraping atonal complexities of Whitehouse and Throbbing Gristle.
Pretty damn impressive, eh? Grab a couple tracks below and check out the rad video clip from a live show the duo did at the Panic In Hamtramck ... And grab the latest LP, Evocation from No Fun Productions.
Holy Moley! How did this one pass under my radar!? Apparently Nick "Diamonds" Thorburn and Jamie "J'aime Tambour" Thompson (uh ... Islands ... uh ... the Unicorns) have re-united to form Juiced Elfers. Weird name, yes, but killer tunes.
I've only heard three live songs so far, one of which sounds like it was recorded with one of those "spy" pen microphones or something. The band just played at CMJ the other night, so that's how I got wind of this new side project. Wow wow wow. The group plays 60s rockabilly, dance-y tunes (i.e. the cover of the Troggs' "With A Girl Like You").
Okay, grab the below tracks ... I'll be listening to the complete Unicorns discography for the rest of the weekend. Expect no posts from me.
Plastic Operator (MySpace) is really refreshing, thank you. The globe-trotting electronic duo hailing from Montreal and Antwerp met at Westminster's University in 2001 when they were both studying audio production. And it shows. These two play melodious, atmospheric electro-pop that's clearly plays dues to the originators of the genre, from New Order to OMD, while simultaneously playing in a style that's current and modern.
These guys sound like a harmonious merging of 80s electronic, glitchy synth-pop of the 21st century, and the crisp, clean post-punk that came back with a vengeance in recent years.
You can buy digital tracks here, buy why not download a sample mp3 before shelling out the cash?
Strange|Beautiful put together this wonderful Deerhoof (MySpace) compilation that features a whole bunch of cool live songs, remixes, and all that jazz ... The inspiration for and bulk of the tracks featured on the mix came from a selection of tunes Deerhoof made available for free download, with explicit instructions to "play back with 0 seconds pause between songs ... "
Murcof (MySpace) is Fernando Corona's latest moniker. The Tijuana, Mexico native's musical style is heavily rooted in the classical and minimalist worlds, both of which he's explored over his career in a very experimental manner.
Cosmos is his third album as Murcof, and it's quite a phenomenal piece. Although it was originally intended to be an EP, Corona became so mesmerized with his own grandiose work that he delved further into the compositions and wound up producing a full-length album which was released on The Leaf Label on September 17. The recordings are a compounding of live orchestral sounds and electronic filtering, manipulating, looping, and re-constructing with the intention of "expanding the possibilities of acoustic instruments through electronics." Quite a lofty aim, but I'd say it was met aptly. More than aptly.
"Cosmos I" sounds like Philip Glass's rendition of the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack: dense and weighty orchestral melodies dragged out to infinity with an array of delicately sophisticated string loops that add to the cavernous, atmospheric quality and timbre of the piece. Absolutely gorgeous and chilling ...
Corona has transplated himself from Tijuana and now lives in Barcelona. That seems fitting to me for some reason ...
Friendly Fires is what would happen if you combined fruity disco dance music with sharp and clean post-punk. A fantastic sound ... one that's instantly hooky, warm, and summery in cases, yet really to-the-point as well. No ridiculous guitar solos, no lengthy drum fills, no nonsense. "Paris" is a wonderful song, but really, all the British trio's tunes are ...
"On Board" is a funkier, LCD Soundsystem-inspired that was just remixed by Nic Nell, a London casio-obsessed singer/songwriter/DJ of sorts. Everything he makes on his own sounds introspective and a little tense, offset by jumpy drum machine generated beats and spastic melodies. I sort of like the stuff. Anyway, like I said, he just did a remix for Friendly Fire's "On Board" and it's pretty jumpy and glitchy, but that sultry bass line keeps the thing going real strong.
San Francisco's Two Gallants (MySpace) will be playing at the El Rey tonight with Bltzen Trapper (MySpace) at the El Rey in Los Angeles tonight (good representation of the West Coast, huh?), so if you're around, looking for something to do, or some combination of the two, then perhaps tonight is your night!
The duo's Adam Stephens and Tyson Vogel play meticulously crafted, beautiful folk that springs from the pair's "honest, deep connection built on trust and respect" for each other. There's a tenseness to their sound that sets them apart from others in the folk/country/blues genre of indie rock/pop, and to me at least, that's the main selling point.
If you're not convinced, check out a couple songs below, but definitely try to make the trek over to the El Rey tonight if you can! It'll be a great show!
Whenever I come across a find like Greengate, I really want to resume my regular Japanese music post ... but unfortunately a group like Greengate is rare, and I don't think I could sustain a Nippon-themed column ...
Anyway, Greengate is the brainchild of Toshiaki Shibata and Tomoyuki Kondoh. The group has been around, in some form, since the late 1990s, but they never got it together enough until August this year to get a MySpace page, churn out a wonderful psychedelic/shoe-gaze/electronic pop tune as awesome as "Home." This tune reminds me a lot of the earlier Shibuya-kei stuff that I fell head of heels for in high school (Yukari Fresh, Pizzicato Five, Miniflex, Mansfield), so there's a pretty strong emotional connection here for me ...
Regardless, though, you all really ought to love Greengate. Soft-spoken, atmospheric shoe-gaze-infused psychedelic pop that's as contagious and heartwarming as some of Arthur Russel's older stuff ... or maybe just Cornelius (grin). This song took them six months to finalize, so cherish it, okay?
A band after my own heart, I swear (I wish) ... Brooklyn's Your 33 Black Angels was "dreamed in a West Harlem flophouse. There was a bottle of Wild Turkey, grown men in boxers, and far too much bachata music going around." I like it.
But really, these three New Yorkers sound like the Unicorns got grittier and more garage-y. They're old fashion, utilizing thumpin', simple bass lines, rough vocals, fun little synth ditties, and playful yet solid and confident drumming over production glitz, pitch-perfect harmonies, and choppy, cut-to-the-chase hooks.
I like them very much. My Y33BA "informant" said he hopes that the band doesn't get too big, and I agree: these three are too precious and warm. I don't think the limelight would suit them ...
I think I posted this Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya remix of Bonde Do Role's "Solta O Frango" a while back, right when the way out there off-the-beaten-path-of-noise-pop duo first started making their terribly contagious music, but what the hey, I'll put it up again.
I'm also writing this quickie because of the above video: a live performance of their "hit single," "Fuck Friend." I've never seen BBYYY, let alone received a press shot or anything (not like they've got any), so the video was quite a pleasure, not only because the rock out, but because I can now see grainy little images of the duo ...
I feel like Cool Kids have, in the blog world, gone from "wired" to "tired" to "expired" (to quote a certain magazine) already, but they're still plenty hip (or ... cool?) to me, and maybe some of you aren't super down to them yet, so let me pretend like I'm introducing them here ...
Cool Kids (Chuck Inglish and Mikey) hail from Detroit (Ingling) and a suburb of Chicago (Mikey), and boy can they rap it up (hey, I think that's a cute/funny way to put it). The duo sound like a rapper's wet dream: equal parts Kanye suaveness, Biggie's phat beats, heavy vocals, and simple, straightforward old skool beats reminiscent of the killer works of Erik B. & Rakim circa 1989. Really boss stuff. These guys are really cool in the truest form of the way ... they're all about tight, instantly contagious hook, catchy lyrics, and a playful yet I-don't-want-to-mess-with-them diction.
Great songs, too: "Gold & A Pager," "Flossin'," "Get Busy Sonn" ... you get the idea. Grab a few below and pretend like you heard it first from me.
I'm really digging Holy Fuck's (MySpace) video for "Milkshake," which comes from their latest, eponymous EP. It's a really cool video, partially because it was directed by Chad Vangaalen (I had no idea! what a talented dude! wow!), partially because it's uh ... Holy Fuck! Have you heard these new songs!? They're really good, really varied and different than their usual spastic noise sort of jam rock. Some of these tunes are almost endearing, heartwarming ...
Below are the first two songs from the EP, so now you've pretty much got three!
Labrador Records has been the greatest last.fm supporter and endorser since the service debuted its artist/label-uploaded and managed streaming and downloadable audio system. You can literally at least stream like, the whole Labrador catalog, and download quite a few tunes as well.
Well, maybe not all of it, but a lot a lot!
Sambassadeur (MySpace) (one of my/everyone's favorite Labrador group) now has their forthcoming LP, Migration up for streaming on last.fm ... listen to it here!
The record doesn't come out for another eight days, and that's in Sweden, so I don't even know when us Americans will be able to get our hands on a hard copy ... so enjoy the LP online for now!
The Broken Hearts are Amber and Nisha, two London burlesque-clad DJs who draw from the "iconography of Weimar Berlin, circus sideshows, and the Golden Age of Hollywood." Quite a mix, eh?
The gals have been all over the globe, are known for impeccably quirky, off-kilter, and sexy style, and apparently really solid sets. These two won't let you stand still. Now they're prepping the release of their stellar debut single for "Black Cat" on Mute Irregulars. It rocks. Realy hard. Equal parts garage, old time-y swing, and simply catchy, hooky pop, the Broken Hearts will start the party going but in the most unorthodox and unique way imaginable today. No more neon, no more disco balls, no more bright lights and overall gaudiness. No, Amber and Nisha have a sophisticated taste that's more reminiscent of a twisted flapper girl from the 20s than a 21st century jet-setter.
"Black Cat" was cut with Whitey, I think, and it's this great jazzy sort of swing tune that has been on repeat for the past ... three hours and forty minutes on my computer. "Blanco" reminds me of the hit song that the Waitresses should've made after "I Know What Boys Like" topped charts.