Tuesday, November 3, 2009

+ so... do you come here often?

i have a new plaything that has been diverting my attention away from this. my bad. i ain't done with this one just yet, it's just that i've not had as much time to write as before, and the inspiration well has been kinda dry lately. it'll come back to me i'm sure but in the meantime... 12blocksfromthebeach.blogspot.com

Monday, March 30, 2009

+ i don't love you to death, but i'd die if you left

it's funny how random ideas and words thrown into the ether can bring up long buried memories. this morning, i was listening to the debut record from seattle band telekinesis, which itself is quite terrific - power pop at its shining best and due out on merge records in the next week. i mentioned on m+n that in the song 'great lakes', i may have a found a worthy successor to beulah. someone else followed up by saying 'that's a big call'. as i do always, i started to second guess myself, and thought hmm i better listen to some beulah just to make sure and yes, i maintain my claim. but now, i'm sucked into the 5-album-and-countless-bsides vortex of beulah and i started to reminisce about the documentary 'a good band is easy to kill' about the band which came out in 2005.

"i don't love you to death, but i'd die if you left". in their own words, the band might just have foretold their own successes and failures. FOR SHAME, for beulah was a fantastic band that i am holding out might still make a comeback (as long as miles is good for it, kidneys working and all). a wonderful (and timely) feature-length documentary, just about my favourite musical one perhaps because of the level of fangirl-dom i reserve for this band.

mostly a tour diary with a multitude of clips collated from their last US tour (and props go to filmmaker charles norris for getting so much out of just one camera. i have learnt a lot from his skillz), there's an air of resignation as the band nears the end of its tour - not necessarily of defeat but a tacit acknowledgement of doomed inevitability. whatevz, it's just great to see what the band would've been like since i never had that opportunity. i'm just wishing analog set had one done before they petered out (though it was certainly not for lack of effort. lord knows i spammed kenny multiple times when set free was released).

as for telekinesis, the whole album can be streamed here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

+ waiting for black metal records to come in the mail

have a nice life "deathconsciousness" (enemies list 2008)
i didn't get around to talking about this album much because i came to it so late in the game but it ended up as one of my favourites from last year. combining an ambient shoegaze buzz over a doom-drone framework, i suppose you could throw names like nadja, swans, jesu and 4ad around as a point of reference but it's not really like any of those. it's far more melodic and emotionally-weighted and at times really quite ghostly and sparse sounding (which just shows that you can come out a black metal band and still make pretty music).

lyrically, it sits well within the depresso-core genre which may not be everyone's cup of tea (even by their own admission, they're aiming for “most depressing record in the history of music”) and even though it's not mine either generally, this record became a companion at the right possible moment when i was feeling pretty bleak about things. not so now, but the music still resonates deeply.

that said, there must still be some sense of humour maintained when you have song titles like "waiting for black metal records to come in the mail" (itself the most upbeat, like a less abrasive version of a place to bury strangers) and "holy fucking shit: 40,000". so perhaps by that reasoning, you could say it's just music for shut-ins (made by shut-ins - a band incidentally of 2 dudes from new england getting their masters in history, and recommended to me in the first place by a self-proclaimed shut-in.)

anyway you can stream most of the album from last.fm (not all probably because it's too long, clocking in at just under 90 minutes) or download my most favourite track 'bloodhail' from the built on a weakspot blog.

extra golden "thank you very quickly" (thrill jockey 2009)
not really what i expected, even with no expectations to begin with. kenya benga meets american indie rock. actually less indie and more, a.m. radio/paul simon-esque territory. as with dengue fever, and to an extent, macha, it's 'world music for white kids' in a way that is far less disingenuous than say, vampire weekend.

+ good birds fly home

"TEXAS is Exponential Record's SXSW Label Sampler which features over 17 tracks from various Texas based producers. The album is a window into the bubbling electronic scene in Texas and covers the gamut of electronic sounds from Dubstep to Electro to Downtempo. The album is a completely free download."

Bubbling electronics you say? I'm so there! Amongst others, one to check out would be Day of the Woman - a new project for Houston's Yppah (Joe Corrales) from the Ninja Tunes label teaming up with Pollination (aka Low Scores aka Nick Noeding from Albuquerque, NM) and Stenographer (Dave Salinas, also of Houston, TX). The group keeps a lot of the shoegaze and melodic aesthetic of Yppah but with a great "live band" vibe. Niiiice. Can't wait also for Yppah's new album "They Know What Ghost Know" to drop in May on Ninja Tunes. His first record was so sweet, I'm sure this'll be too (the word is that it is also meant to have more of a band-vibe to it).

Plus, I was pleasantly by the surprised the appearance of one Ma Bell on the comp in two tracks - guesting on Rae Davis' track, plus his own composition. Ma Bell is otherwise known as Mike Bell, from the Lymbyc Systym, as well as drummer to the stars (most recently Crystal Castles and Her Space Holiday, but these days hitting the skins for Balmorhea).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

+ making plans

if i get to see even a fraction of this, i'll be happy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

+ going back to the 512

south by, here i come. i was depressing myself looking at listings when i didn't think i could go, but no more. it's sunshine and smiles from here til march. already looking forward to the analog set reforming to play 'the golden band' in full at the insound party and the tomlab/asthmatic kitty showcase - parenthetical girls, no kids etc. bring on the good times!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

+ the only band worth blogging about

damn, i wish i'd known about this earlier. like say, before the tape relay christmas special. still, better late than never when it comes to the analog set. a new song! holy shit! except it's not new, and it's kinda random, a one off for a digital-only charity compilation. also featuring christmas/hanukkah songs from pattern is movment, laura gibson, anathallo, bodies of water, someone still loves you boris yeltsin and social scene's jason collett.

as for this song 'winter birds', it's more of a kenny solo track wrapped up in the name of the set. lee didn't play on it, and mike lymbyc played drums instead of mark. still rad but.

Monday, December 8, 2008

+ notes from america - part 1, the live bits

since it was mostly a work trip, i was not out every night whoring myself to the various venues around. well actually, i probably would have if getting around los angeles was easier but as we know, it must easily be the largest city in the world with the shittest public transport. however i still managed to sneak in a couple things here and there..

* on random last.fm correspondence, i met up with ben from santa monica who is well into his local hip hop and was gracious enough to give me a ride to the brainfeeder show feat. flying lotus, daedelus, kode9 (uk), hudson mohawke, gaslamp killer, martyn (norway) and ras g.

most of these guys are locals centered around the low end theory club night and dublab.com who make various (and plenty good) incarnations of instrumental hip hop/cut n paste electronics, and seeing it all together made for a fantastic night. the crowd vibe was great too, everyone was really into it, not too much hipster posturing and no aggression - just locals having a good time blah blah.

anyway i already blogged about it in detail here so there's not much more for me to say other than that i'm glad i got to see another, more energetic side to flying lotus.

* the next night, same venue, different scene altogether at the dodos show. i didn't care much for the main support, some minimalist rockabilly duo who did nothing for me. the dodos were solid, and i really had to see this show to make up for the sxsw showcase where i was physically there but so not aurally. too busy talking to my girl jess, who i had not seen in a year and did her best to get me in trouble with lone star tall boys. by the time i came back in march and gotten hold of visiter, i was pretty sore at myself for so readily dismissing them. anyway the echoplex show was great, pretty much what i expected from the two albums with fine ex-metal drumming that really pops out at you.

* oh look, it all comes around. so same austin venue, different band! and much colder climate. on the outside stage of mohawks in austin tx, i saw headliners gang gang dance. they were... okay. it's not like i didn't know the new album well enough - in fact i seem to be in the minority amongst friends who actually rate saint dymphna quite highly, so i enjoyed hearing the new stuff. and though technically proficient and concocting a good set in theory, it seemed just to lack a certain sparkle. not all the band's fault perhaps. i think the outdoor space and certainly the cold seemed to scatter the sound. if it had been in a more intimate indoor room or even a backyard show, it could've been something quite special, but instead i felt kind of disconnected to the whole spectacle. oh well, better luck next time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

+ skweee. rhymes with...

my learned friend in texas has put me onto yet more new music i was not aware of. seriously, it's hard to feel at all up-to-date when he's all "do you know about skweee music?"

come again? skweee-wah? sounds pretty 8-bit to me. according to wikipedia:
"Skweee is a musical style, with origin in Nordic countries Sweden and Finland... combines simple synth leads and basslines with funk, r'n'b or soul-like rhythms, overall rendering a stripped-down funky sound. The tracks are mostly entirely instrumental, though there are exceptions.

The current producers are both newcomers and old, experienced producers from the Scandinavian Electro and electronica environment. The major outlets of skweee music are the Swedish record label Flogsta Danshall and Finnish record label Harmönia."

it took a bit of digging around but i managed to unearth a couple of records worth hearing, one in particular is a compilation from said swedes, flogsta danshall who appear to be at the forefront of all this skweeelling (btw, that's a verb i've just made up. pioneer-stylee) and another by a finnish chap called eero johannes, who's taken it to the next level by having it come out on the planet µ (planet mu) label (next up: pitchfork hyperbole?)

anyway hit me up if you want to hear some. or check out the following sites for all your skweeeing needs:
+ nation of skweee
+ eero johannes
+ claws costeau (another artist)
+ flogsta danshall
+ harmonia myspace

Monday, September 29, 2008

+ i have no instruments...

...i'm using yours.

bloody prodigious 21 year olds. they have the gall to release several albums in the last couple of years that not only show their well-honed musical talents but also breadth and range. i mean seriously, how is it possible to even be this... introspective? diverse? skillful? prolific AND consistently great?! i'm looking at you kids --> peter broderick. keith kenniff. thomas meluch. connor kirby-long. isn't time for you to be young slackers or something?

the new Peter Broderick album is breathtakingly gorgeous. i was actually quite surprised to learn that he was born in 1987, not 1967. amazing for the output (and genre-hopping) that he's managed in the last couple years, such as the instrumental post-classical releases on the Type label (alongside fellow boy-genius Keith Kenniff who I've already lavished much praise for his Goldmund/Helios output and Canadian wunderkind Connor K-L as Khonnor), his arranging collaborations with Justin Ringle in the folk band Horse Feathers and touring work with Efterklang. and now this Home album, just come out on the PDX based Hush label (and on Bella Union in the UK).

there is the occasional dip into the dronier elements of his Type stuff, and even a toe in postrock expansiveness but the minimal instrumentation of just guitar and vocals keeps it well in the folk arena, albeit of a haunting, ethereal kind with the layered ahhhs of his lovely voice and the quiet eeriness of the instruments he's not using. it's a good mix of the sounds of his fellow youthful maestros mentioned above (tom meluch is otherwise known as benoit pioulard) and more well known strummy types like bon iver and jose gonzales.

get yr hands onto:
home album sampler (from the Hush website)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

+ rest easy, age kindly

lymbyc systym live set on dublab.com
this really blows me away and captures the amazingness of the band's live capacity. whilst their records are beautiful and sweet, the bell brothers really do explode in a live setting. more expansive and captivating, you can hear jared's passion on the organs and mike's drumming just pops out at you. my heart feels like bursting whenever i listen to this dublab set and as a few other reviewers have previously noted, the lymbyc systym can say so much without saying anything at all. great recording from dublab too, top work they're doing recording sessions from folks like why?, holy fuck and matthew david.

other lymbyc systym goodies to explore:
+ myspace
+ website
+ tape relay podcast in which they are featured
+ a video i made with a lymbyc soundtrack and footage of them at an off-sxsw show

Monday, September 22, 2008

+ tape relay updates

i'm moving all my archived segments and interviews slowly to mediafire.com/taperelay now since i am getting no love from both the podomatic and last.fm sites, both of whom insist on compressing and downgrading the sound quality. so screw you both! i'm leaving tape relay segments in all its 192kbps glory.

the latest segment, and one that i'm most excited about, is going to air tomorrow. Texas native Lee Gillespie records a semi-regular series with me called A,TX where we talk about Texan sounds (predominantly Austin music) and this upcoming one is sort of the non-rock deal with music from 60s funk band Mickey and the Soul Generation (DJ Shadow's favourite funk band wouldn't ya know), Tree Wave (8-bit chip tunes/synth pop), Yppah (instrumental shoegaze-flavoured hiphop on the Ninja Tunes label) and my new favourite band, Lymbyc Systym (electronic styled post-rock).

But what makes it so great is the fact that the conversation takes us all over the place with me learning about Tejano and Conjunto music that is native to the lone star state, as well as about 8-bit music AND about Houston's chopped and screwed hip hop tendencies. There is awesome stuff to be learnt on Tape Relay my dear friends, and you can't have a better guide than the incredible Lee who is perceptive, knowledgable, personable and really quite entertaining. okay /end gushing. just get onto it will ya!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

+ tell the people what you found, dear friend

9.45am do make say think - winter hymn, country hymn, secret hymn
i've been pretty slow coming onto the do make say think boat but boy, am i good at making up for lost time. quite possibly the prettiest and most melodic out of all the post rock bands that ever were.

10.51am lackthereof - your anchor
been spinning this one alot in recent weeks so i should mention just how sultry i find danny seim's vocals are. not absolutely loin-tingling but throaty for sure. lackthereof is the solo project for danny who otherwise drums in the band menomena (according to wikipedia, menomena actually began as the side project for lackthereof).

being a drummer, there's occasionally interesting rhythms and percussive sounds in what would otherwise be a relatively straightforward lofi buzzy indierock record (akin to any lou barlow-related project), though i would've expected even more percussive experimentalism. or maybe i'm just spoiled with the amazing far out-ness of zach hill's recent solo debut (drummer extraordinaire best known for his work with mathrock supergroup hella).

any misgivings aside, this is a really solid record with plenty of hooks and warm sounds, that sits both comfortably in the 90s era but also in no-era's land, which means that it may not necessarily generate excitement about a sound of the moment, but neither will it grate in a year's time. comfort music etc. and did i mention how sexy his vocals are?

11.26am {{{sunset}}} - the glowing city
this will take me up to lunch time (and a new haircut) nicely. from austin, tx but might as well have come from athens, ga. and i mean in the best possible way! led by the youthful-looking blonde-haired bill baird (dare i mention it almost looks like ringlets?), this is psychedelic-tinged folk rock that updates my beloved elephant 6 sound for 2008, bringing to mind bands like olivia tremor control and ladybug transistor, but with an extra sprinkling of romance, purpose and urgency (and er, electronics).

the world is awaiting is particularly wondrous. there's a touch of the sax of freedom in this too, low enough in the mix to avoid turning into the sax of kenny but prominent enough to inject the dab hand of soul into this white boy rock music. oh look, you can even stream the album in its entirety on last.fm or imeem.

2.47pm great lake swimmers - ongiara
not to be confused with kindercore/e6 band great lakes. neo-folk/americana. it's pretty nice but they're all starting to sound the same (and rather sam beamish) after a while, and frankly none of it even comes close to my favourite in this genre which is the bowerbirds record.

2.58pm bowerbirds - hymns for a dark horse / daytrotter session
so obviously it's prompted me to go back to bowerbirds. i think phil moore's delivery is just about perfect. an exercise in patience (especially for my restless ears), he'll cast a sensuous word or melody and then just let it linger in the air, for you to snatch and hold dear. one of my favourite records of 2008.

fittingly my favourite song on the album is 'the ticonderoga'. at the same time as i was getting into bowerbirds, lee was hooking me up with ticonderoga records. which, you guessed it, was the band prior to bowerbirds. ahhh it all comes around no? the self titled debut from ticonderoga is actually very similar to bowerbirds, only with less pastoral, and more electric, instrumentation. well worth checking out, as are the bowerbirds videos on la blogotheque and the 'birds daytrotter session, which features some older songs from an out-of-print ep.

3.58pm steve reich - music for 18 musicians
this will take me nicely to 5 o'clock and closes the circle started by the gang gang dance piece 'retina riddim' which kicked off today's listening odyssey. this 56 minute piece composed by reich in 1978 of pulse, chord exploration, pulse (rinse, lather, repeat?) is highly melodic and richly toned and complements nicely brian dewar's 24 minute collage of rhythms, loops and samples that soundtracks the accompanying gang gang dance dvd footage.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

+ oh, i just like the sound of your voice

10.30am Pattern is Movement - All Together
a weird combination of mathrock meets showtunes. like if tomlab's avant pop went to chicago and decided to make a record for the thrill jockey crowd. an operatic tenor that veers in the falsetto ranges of say dirty projectors' dave longstreth and is reigned in by angular polyrhythms with the same organ tones of broadcast. there's also a lightness of touch, almost fanciful whimsy, despite these aforementioned rhythms, which i appreciate. anyway it's dense enough without being exhausting to warrant a second listen straight after the first.

11.15am Mom - Little Brite EP
electroacoustic folk ... yet another oxymoronic genre perhaps but pretty apt. an instrumental duo from denton, tx that combine the pastoral folk textures of the acoustic guitar and cello with electronic glitches and samples. less beat heavy than say talkdemonic but not unlike that kind of woodsy modern electronica, perhaps a touch of the efterklangs or icelandic namesakes mum. in any case, worth checking out the myspace

2pm The Remote Viewer - I Can't Believe It's Not Better
ambient? check. little bit of drone? check. nicola hodgkinson (of empress fame) on vocals? check.

2.33pm Inquiet - Ing Beyong
This dude from Melbourne, Sam, plays as inquiet (pronounced in the vaguely British fashion as "in qui et" or "ann ki et"), channelling this kind of homemade experimental folk pop occasionally bordering on animalistic ... ala grouper, lichens, high places etc. nice stuff but! thanks to alex ii for hooking me up with this.

4pm Porn Sword Tobacco - Explains Freedom
current mood dictates that this album be listened to over and over again coz it's all making perfect sense now (and by current, i mean last couple of months, and by mood i mean shithouse). not that this is shithouse, no sir. it is sublimely gorgeous and the relatively short lengths of music of this nature is an added bonus for my short attention span. boomkat says it best, "microscopic found-sounds, wildlife-documentary vignettes, de-tuned midnight chimes and ageing celluloid lullabies". dude's got a sense of humour too. ahh scandanavians, so much more human than your teutonic and anglo counterparts.

Friday, July 18, 2008

+ i'm on your side

new estate - out of the ground
sorely underrated melbourne band (not even the jerks at mess and noise are giving them much love these days). and it's not like the individual members aren't otherwise vaunted in their own projects (marc is popolice, mia and chrissy g in a dozen other pop bands like sleepy township, huon etc).

the new album (their 3rd) is less spazzed out than the earlier records, but no less frenetic, energetic and highly skilled, this is noise pop at its best. all 4 band members share songwriting and singing duties and yet still sounds pretty cohesive, though my favourite is marc regueiro-mckelvie's stuff because i like his singing the most. one of his tracks 'on your side' is an absolute killer, i can't get enough of it. very distinctly antipodean too, with the imagery of australian suburbia through all their artwork and band photos. myspaz delights

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

+ celebrate the body electric

have decided to track another day's worth of listening, since the last one felt so cathartic.

11.31am ryland bouchard myspace
he used to play as "the robot ate me". i haven't listened to robot in a good couple years or so, but i still like it. now he performs under his own name, and a nice name it is too. but that's beside the point. introspective acoustic pop, as they all are really. warming sounds for chilly climes. sounds just like portland yknow?

11.36am aktion unit cd-r
i had a weekend full of aktion unit and i want more! my favourite improvised noisemakers from melbourne, featuring my birthday twin dan and the always lovely rene. it was great to see both extremes of aktion unit - the saturday night set at static age festival (in the freezer that is the dirty shirlows warehouse) was chaotically brilliant - dan going nuts with the water container full of screws, taking to a shopping trolley with a crowbar, and his other usual pedal gadgetry, all the while kept in check by the droning bass of rene and rhythms of guest drummer kate (of the bands null set, tides and more recently, the laurels). it was an incredible sight to behold.

sunday night followed with the most beautiful softly stirring set in the confines of the warming, shag-piled bohemian grove warehouse. an electric toothbrush and handheld massager played through the guitar pickup, a fork scraping the insides of a large cooking pot looped to perfection and the gentle tapping on the neck of the bass. fine stuff for wintry evening.

the cd-r is a collection of live recordings from dec 07 to may 08, which is almost the only way you'd want to hear them as the room ambience that comes with the recordings works so well with the found-sound nature of the band. sights and sounds abound.

1.32pm abe vigoda - skeletons
just 2 minutes in and i'm liking it lots already. give me another minute and i might even say i'm loving it. it's got spunk for sure. my favourite to date of all these bands coming out of this LA noise punk scene (no age, health, mika miko etc). i like the tropicalia-skewed sounds, bit wonky, bit mathy. i could even draw a tiny comparison to maps and atlases (or at least why i like them for the same reasons).

2.30pm ponytail - ice cream spiritual
one of those bands that doesn't kick in my brain until the second listening of the album. totally hated it the first time, for some reason the second time, it just clicked into place. i like them more than deerhoof for sure, more fun, less esoteric. but i'm slowly worn down by the high energy, so although i want an element of noise buzz, i also want some space in between. the perfect answer seems to be...

3pm thee more shallows - book of bad breaks
have listened to this in a good half year. sounds good. i always wish there was a bigger bottom end sound to the album though. i think boomin bass is what sets aside noise records.

3.50pm vampire weekend - self titled
4 songs on this album are absolute guilty pop pleasures. can't stand the rest.

4pm a hack and a hacksaw - darkness at noon
cut n paste gypsie freakfolkdronica. that's a portmanteau of styles (and words) if ever there was one. i can hear the jewharp in my right headphone - it's a reminding me of rolf harris a wee bit much.

4.17pm guapo - elixirs
oliver laing from 2ser's night flight program got me onto this band, after i told him how much i've been loving justin broadrick and his band jesu, lately. not that they really sound like jesu at all, but perhaps they share roughly the same circle of friends, sensibilities and ambience. good god, i can barely begin to describe the sound though. (with a bit of help from boomkat), i'd take a stab and say something like doomy post-folk progressive psychedelic jazz? yeh sounds about right. 'the planks' is 3 minutes of of swirling frenetic psychpop deliciousness. btw, oliver is rad and so is his show. he likes mice parade, unrest and liquid liquid and that's good enough for me.

4.36pm alias - well water black
new album, resurgam is due out soon. this is the "single" from it, featuring the most awesome yoni wolf (aka why?) on vox. you think its gonna start as this totally banging dance song but then the twinkle of the glockenspiel kicks in and yoni starts singing like an angel and it's actually becomes a 6 minute heartbreaker (still with a kickin beat and other cool percussive stabs)

other favourite sounds of the moment...
gang gang dance - god's money and the rawwar ep. tribalist minimal dance punk. lee recommended them months ago but i'm only come into them now after slowly getting over my hipster complexes.
sally shapiro - disco romance. been playing this one in the car a lot. pretty self explanatory title for a change. pop songs about love set to a 4/4 disco beat.
lindstrom & prins thomas - reinterpretation. norwegian italo-disco house producers remixing their minimal techno selves for an even dancier, catchier affair.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

+ daily news

ampersand and exclamation alert! The new Maps & Atlases EP 'You & Me & The Mountain' is excitingly awesome! When a band heads in a direction that you totally hope it would, it's really fucking satisfying. The Chicago-based mathrockers have harnessed their noodle off kilter ways into these sweet sounding pop songs and I honestly cannot get enough of it. The squawk is not so prominent alas, which I actually found really endearing on my most favourite track from the last record ('The Ongoing Horrible' from the Trees, Swallows, Houses mini album) but in return, every song on this new ep is killer, and so sweet and loveable yet fierce and still tight. more here

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

+ a work day's musical thoughts

"here we come dropkick, half nelson, full nelson, willie nelson, willie nelson..."
i decided to chronicle my thoughts about the entire day's music listening. vingnettes and all.

11am david grubbs - the thicket
this makes me feel like i should be in a car (preferably a jalopy of some sort) roadtripping across middle america, through the cornfields and blue skies of iowa, like a modern day horatio nelson jackson, straight out of a ken burns' one hour pbs special if you know what i mean.

11.45am cryptacize - dig that treasure
they sing like late 80s/early 90s pop artists, she in that pam berry, kerrie bolton (cat's miaow) vein and he like a young dustin reske (rocketship). it's positively vintage and rather delightful (nostalgic much?). i am listening to this record because i'm putting a couple tracks onto a mixtape for a friend of a friend who likes deerhoof and also wants to know what i am listening to. that's the worse kind of question to answer at a bangin' club on a saturday night, so i choose to say it with a mixtape instead. also i realise i keep typing the band's name as "crypaticize". LOLZ. i make myself giggle much sometimes.

12pm p:ano - brigadoon
actually i'm only really listening to the opening song 'covered wagons' coz it fuckin kills. group singalong, trumpet and harp flourishes, banjo, all harkening back to a sloop john b-framework.

12.04pm disco inferno - d.i. go pop
i somehow only managed to get 4 tracks of the album on the itunes. the other tracks decided to stay home and snuggle in bed instead. i can understand that. this is pretty all over the place but it's good to hear stuff old stuff to get a better historical context for the music that i do like. i'd read that Hood got a lot of their sound from DI and i can hear bits of the electronic bits but there's also a dark post-rock thread through the sound, a bit even like shellac.

12.17pm eyvind kang myspace
just checking this guy out to see if i want to hear a whole album. i'm not sure, it's kind of medieval experimental drone, sounds alright but i'm not sure i'd be able to differentiate between the nuances of this and all the other improvised drone i already have. perhaps a touch too much classical for me. but it does prompt me to have a listen to...

12.20pm efterklang - parades
it's a good bridge between eyvind kang (it even rhymes) and what i'm waiting to check out next, our broken garden. she's a member of efterklang but also has her own ep out. as for efterklang, i can only ever take them in small doses. the cacophany, the intricacies can all be a bit much for me sometimes, especially when i need simpler structures for me to concentrate on work. so only after a couple tracks in, i head over to...

1pm our broken garden - lost sailor ep
this is really gorgeous stuff. i like the organ sounds, somewhere between the wooziness of beach house, with vocals like rubies/concretes/laura gibson et al.

1.22pm bowerbirds - our dark horse
i've switched over from the headphones to the computer speakers, so i'm continuing with the mellow sounds so as to not frighten the workmates. bowerbirds it is. i'm really coming around on this. i think his laconic style suits this more than the indierockness of ticonderoga (the former band). i missed out on seeing them in austin, i should've because lee raved on about them but i couldn't get up early enough. at the same time, i'm looking at "dream beds" in an m+n thread, and combined with this, i wouldn't mind curling up for an afternoon nap. zzzz....(in a good way)

2.20pm tussle - telescope mind, kling-klang
i've switched back to the headphones to drown out my colleagues, not in a bad way but we've just an impromptu birthday celebration with gelato cake (yum!) and there is quite the jovial atmosphere, but i actually need to do some urgent work and it's way loud right now. in my ear, is tussle's whose album i am getting into proper-like after really sticking onto the "hits" for a long time.

i prefer the first album kling-klang to telescope mind actually, even though most reviews out there do not share my view. i find tm a little clinical and cold even, although warning and second guessing are killer tracks and up there as their best.' kk is more dubbier and i think more playful and warmer sounding. that said i tend to listen to both albums at once when it comes to tussle for some reason.

3.17pm fujiya & miyagi - transparent things
i just went for a walk down the block to see if i could my haircut today but i forgot they aren't open on mondays. blast. when i came back, tussle was still banging the drums and shaking those egg shakers but it just wasn't cutting it. i need something to allay my disappointment. so i've opted for the tongue-in-cheek motorik goodness of f & m. except i like them best when they actually veer away from the krautrock most and go soul instead. like on collarbones. new favourite party song. it's going straight to the next dj set (which'll be the powwow 10, in july with touch typist. excited!) i like it when these english gents sing their french in classic non-french pronunciation. just like how i would. also i think it's cute how they like to throw in "sock it to me!" in multiple songs.

3.50pm pause/record myspace
on the basis of a clever, slightly self-aware blurb posted today on m+n, i decided to check them out. i really REALLY like their work. i'm a surprised really how good it is. sydney and melbourne are not short on drone/improvised noise bands but this duo stand out to my ears, i like the strong brushstokes as it were. 'tidal loop' is the best out of the lot, sort of eerie psychedelic, and coromandel's not far behind with it's pulsating metallics. i'll be keeping an ear for them. here's the myspace.

4.28pm hot chip - made in the dark
as the end of the day nears, i start to seek more famiiar sounds. my brain is less equipped to deal with new sounds, whilst my body needs a good shaking. i've come to this record very late because i wasn't sure i was going to like it (i really only loved about half of the warning and bad reviews etc) but now i'm making up for lost time because this album is fucking great! i can't be the only one who likes this more than the last one am i? i think it's more consistent for sure, the warning had some killer songs but i would skip past every 2nd track, where as this one is good all the way through. i actually really like the r&b elements, and the lyrics also seem more playful, bit cheeky (hello songs about wrestlers!) it really is what a third album should sound like, a combination of 2 previous, patchier efforts. 'ready for the floor' is electro pop brilliance.

5pm tape relay playlist
this hasn't happened yet but in 12 minutes time i will put my pen down (figuratively speaking, since i only ever pick up a pen to sign my name on correspondence) to give the next show's playlist a run through and put yet more words to electronic paper to document my thoughts of the music i will be showcasing. it would be highly post-modern of me to then include my mini-chronicles to this already lengthy detailing of the day's listening, but i'm not that advanced. anyway it's probably nothing i haven't already said here before. for the record though, i'll be listening to collections of colonies of bees, helios, montag, thank you, bowerbirds, jonquil, the first 4 p's in the life at 45rpm series, borko, rational academy, okay, butcher the bar, cloudland canyon and dirty projectors. in that order. yes, i am THAT prepared.

this has been an interesting exercise. my day has passed remarkably quickly, and yet i was still productive workwise. might be worthwhile to do it again sometime. it certainly helped me tackle some albums i've wanted to make words about for a while. okay bye now. thanks for reading this far.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

+ i can figure out the difference between

mobius band - heaven
came out last year, did not get hype but that's a shame because they make good no-nonsense synth-twinged guitar pop (as much as synth pop can get no-nonsense) which is not particularly new or sexy but sure is satisfying (forget your coke zeros, i'll take an old fashioned sarsparilla any day).

some of his singing and the solid weightiness of the songs remind of the Dodos in that regard and look at how well they've been received. at other times, the sparkly guitars reminds me of the best parts of French Kicks (more solid structures though). Last year's album came out as a joint release between Ghostly International (an excellent label from Ann Arbor that i'm just coming into this year) and Misra Records (home to always high quality indie music).

myspace / website (where you can download a valentines day covers ep right now)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

+ signed, i wish you well

Helios - Ayres
Heavens above! I've not had a reaction to music like this in such a long time, I can barely contain myself. I'm not sure why entirely, since it's hardly a stretch from the other laptop folk I like, such as your Hoods, Brackens, Múm, Son Lux even.

But the impact is so visceral. the music has such a light, deft touch but at the same time feels quite dense, almost oppressive but in a good way... I feel quite ridiculous saying all that but I'm so giddy with excitement right now.

It's the first time in a long time where i've actually thought 'holy crap!' and can hardly contain my enthusiasm (but doing a good job nonetheless since it is monday morning after all, and i'm sitting at my desk all sedate-like, listening to this on the headphones but an instant ago, I had to yank them off and relay all the above information to my workmate Ben who is looking at me a little weirdly now)

helios/keith kenniff myspace