Sunday, July 29, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mushroom with Eddie Gale

Masterpiece. Many things to do. More later on this god damn thing. Here's what you should know: Eddie Gale (Blue Note superstar), Mushroom (San Fran psych collective). result: one more reason to quite your day job and start eating dirt.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

ummm... what? i guess i'd rather have andre shilling organic food than diet soda or something, but this is still bizarre and unsettling. is he going to rap about the wonders of fresh produce? maybe a song about freshly baked organic bread or the ridiculous WF deli? the olive bar?

anyway, tonight i present to you an album by the great Mr. Kim Fowley, or as this album claims, Kim Fowley Jr. somehow existing as both an outsider musician and as one of pop's top producers, Kim is possibly one of the weirdest of the rock and roll mutants: he started out as a kid in Hollywood with actor parents, started his first band with Phil Spector and Sandy Nelson, recorded countless 60s novelty singles (Alley Oop, Nut Rocker, etc) and sat underneath the piano during Zappa's "Freak Out" sessions before moving to England and working with every up and coming star in the mid 60s (cat stevens, yardbirds, etc, etc) then coming back to the states to record hundreds of gold records, recorded a bunch of Kiss albums, started the Runaways in the late 70s, pioneered synthpunk in the 80s, and still had time in between all the gold records to make a couple thousand solo albums with absolutely no commercial potential. oh, and he's REALLY FUCKING CRAZY! "Son of Frankenstein" is one of his better albums of the 80s, featuring the notorious spoken-word freakout 'Invasion of the polaroid people' and a handful of bizarro pop hits in typical Fowley stream-of-consciousness style. if you, the audience, approves, maybe i will post his late 60s solo albums where he sounds like iggy pop on mushrooms backed by booker t & the MGs. now THAT'S entertainment!

i'm not sure what to think of joanna newsom. yes, she's a good harpist, but her voice sounds like a pixie stoned on nitrate singing bjork covers. plus she hangs out with that pedophile-folk creep devendra banhart. but maybe i'm just horribly pessimistic about any musician that gets recognition by the music magazines (i am, after all, a bitter and cynical human being that is unable to appreciate 'popular' music). either way, this album has some nice songs that are good for a rainy day like today, and it also has some songs that are pretty forgettable. don't believe the freak-folk hype, kids.

milk-eyed mender

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I had a dream about Dusty last night. It happens every couple of months. They're always really pathetic. And when I remember them in the morning I always feel this odd, slightly self-righteous sort of loneliness. There's a pattern to it. I could probably make it into a song or something.

Anyway, now there's a German in the room who speaks very good, very concise English. Full of command sentences. He ends up sounding very demanding. I find him hilarious. But he doesn't know that.

Here's a pretty solid release from the pseudo-legendary Bronx duo Camp Lo.

Camp Lo-In Black Hollywood

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Glass Candy-Silver Fountain

William Basinski-El Camino Real

France is a cat penis and I am in heat

Dear Balzac.

I so enjoyed your most appropriate correspondence with Lady Bickington that I giddily proceeded to put the shat in my under-garments with anticipation of your return to Bickeley Bik Bik estates.

I certainly hope you will have more regard for the delicate sensibilities of such virginal ladies as us in the future.

Go to fuck you.

Monsignor Chinaman.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Daniel Menche-Animality

So here I am in France. I don't know how many of you have been following. But for the past month I have been residing in a luxurious flat in Barcelona. Pictures thus far have been unavailable due to Anton's obsessive camera hording. No, he's just busy taking wonderful photos. Soon I will post them in one giant flood of jpeg's for you all t enjoy/envy. hah ah ahaha.
We took the bus to Lyon at night. We were supposed to board at 1:50 am at gate 28. Instead we boarded at 2:30 am at gate 26. It involved a torrid series of conversations with people much more attractive and well-dressed than us. That's all I'll say. When we arrived in Lyon we had to make our way to L'Arbresle, a small town allegedly 25km outside of Lyon. This turned out to be more like 50km. These two egregious errors led me to speculate the French leg of our adventure to be a disaster. However, when we arrived in L'Arbresle our thoroughly attractive host, Vincent, had the car running. And we proceeded to take a 15 minute car ride through possibly the most picturesque parts of Europe I have ever been through. We arrived in Bully at about 3:00 pm. When we finally pulled onto the road to the main house of the vineyard I was ecstatic to be in France. Briefly, our roommates are fantastic, everyone except Vincent's parents, Renee and Collette, speak perfect English, and I have since been spending my days waking up at 6am to tend to Beaujolais grapes until noon, and eating and drinking the rest of the afternoon away in the most beautiful countryside on the face of the planet. To give you a bit of an idea, today I cleaned the fields (weed whacking/whippa snippaing, as the aussies would put it) till 10am. At which point Renee (Vincent's dad) came traipsing up with a fucking bucket of wine. I am henceforth very drunk and lazy. Henceforth, the best part of living here is the irresistible draw to forget the rest of the world exists. Everything is so peaceful. I can't even hear a car in the distance. My world revolves around the sound of the wind in through the foothills and the babbling of the river. That is perhaps the most hippie thing I've ever written. But I don't know how else to describe it (because, once again, I'm very, very drunk). I've NEVER felt so at home on the countryside. Let it not be said the French don't know how to live. Good food, good tobacco, good wine, good music, good conversation. That's all.

More about that when I'm a bit more coherent.

Daniel Menche is a huge inspiration of mine. His collaboration with John Weise, Behold the Scathing Light, is one of my favorite things of all time, including the foothills of the Alps. This is one of his most recent excursions into poly-rythym and drone and stuff. It's a fucking monster of a record. Please take the time to have your mind blown.

Also, he is pooor, with three 'ooo's. So, as always, if you can afford to, please give graciously to the suffering musician:Here

That's all for now. I'm gonna go eat local Brie in chunks the size of pieces of pie.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

this one's going to be short because i only get wireless on my porch and there's an ear-puncturing noise going off every 10 seconds, sounds like a jackhammer grinding on a huge sheet of metal. painful.

soft circle is the new solo project of hisham bharoocha, who used to be in black dice and lightning bolt. he plays guitar, drums, keyboards and sings at the same time doing real-time looping. Full Bloom came out in february and is very chilled-out indian-influenced psychedelic album that sounds not unlike the animal collective. in other words, it's really fucking good.

We leave for France in a half hour. All we have to do is get on a bus, but for some reason I'm just as nervous as I was when I left for Dublin.

Oh, how I wish I would have taken my mom up on those Muzzy tapes when I was a kid.

"Bon jour, Muzzy... Je suis la ju vie" or something like that.

Wish me luck.

I'll post again as soon as I'm able.

Here's a Caps N Jones mixtape to enjoy in my absence.

Also, everyone check out DJ Jubilee. Start with the videos I posted above. He's a legend in the New Orleans Bounce scene, which is possibly more obscure than the D.C. Go-Go scene in the late 70's and early 80's. It's also just as addictive.

I'll see you in wine country.

DJ Jubilee-Do The Jubilee All

DJ Jubilee-Back That (Ass) Thang Up

Friday, July 13, 2007

Iron and Wine-Shepherd's Dog

this is basically a bad Paul Simon album. That's pretty much it. It had moments. I can see what he was going for. But I'm not exactly sold on it. Plus Sub Pop is systematically destroying what little faith I have left in the record industry. Who am I kidding? I don't have any faith in the record industry.

I forgot to write something about my experiences with Woody Allen today. Well, I'm a little tired, and mostly drunk so I'll just post the email I sent to, one, Merkel Earl Phillips instead of actually wasting a bunch of time re-typing the whole affair.

There are a lot of things I probably left out. You can hear about them when I am back in Howard's biding my time till I return to my West Coast paradise.

The Woody Watch:

Dear Merkel,

Woody Allen is shooting his new film here. Today I spent the entire afternoon on the set. I was probably less than 10 feet from Scarlett Johansson at one point. I know it's sort of lame to say, but she's fucking beautiful. I used to have a mad crush on her. I still sort of do, actually. But geez, it's really surreal actually. Cause you expect a lot of that to be make up and lighting and airbrushing and stuff. But no, she's just a fucking knock-out and that's all there is to it.

Woody, not so much. I was probably even closer to him and for the entire time they were actually shooting (not including setup and stuff like that). He's fugly, I'm sorry. I know he's one of the most brilliant American film makers alive. But Christ on a cracker if that guy didn't look like he's gonna blow away in the wind or melt or something the whole day. And it was really funny cause at one point he was surrounded by the gaggle of hip young beautiful people and they were all in awe. Completely ga ga over this guy. He probably could have, and has, slept with every one of them. It was all very strange. It's probably one of the only times such a colossal dork was treated like such a god. It'd be like if super-models started trying to make out with Eric Barton or something. No offense to Eric, but you know what I mean? It was exactly like that. It was awesome. I kept thinking to myself, "If I were that guy I'd be laughing my ass off in my head everyday". "Ha ha. I win".

Anton got a bunch of pictures. He has more of Woody from yesterday. Today he wasn't in the right place and didn't get any really good ones of either Woody or Scarjo (which, by the way, is top contender, right up there with Brangelina, for THE WORST celebrity nickname ever). I should have had his camera. I had so many good opportunities. Scarlett getting into her private fucking super-ride with a REALLY hot driver who kind looked like briscoe but hotter. Woody Allen doing a cheesy magic trick with a coin for some thoroughly uninterested teenage girl. A tech person getting smashed in the head with a big metal pole, doubled over looking like he was quite possibly quietly crying.

Today is technically our last full day here. Then we go to the vineyard. I'm scared. and excited.

I miss you

write me soon.


Stars of the Lid-And Their Refinement of the Decline (CD1)

Stars of the Lid-And Their Refinement of the Decline (CD2)

Stars of the Lid have always sort of been in a league of their own. This record is one more nail in the coffin of everyone else who tries to make effective ambient music and ends up making derivative shite. It's their first new full-length in six years. And it's probably the best ambient record to come out since their last one "The Tired Sounds of..." which is also delicious.

This is the sort of music you put on and have "moments" to.

Corny, reverent "moments".
suicide- zero hour

2 live sets from 1978, the best band in the world, simultaneously making punk rock obsolete and making every industrial band look like a bunch of weenies. the audience seems very frightened, and with good reason. alan vega is a very scary man and martin rev is most likely not even a human. still ahead of their time and they didn't even own any real equipment, just a fucked up organ and a primitive drum machine.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Today involved a delicious wheel of Camembert, a litre of Gold (Spanish Coca-Cola), a huge warm baguette, and hanging out on the open set of Woody Allen's next film, which is an ode to Barcelona, tentatively title, Midnight in Barcelona. Scarlett Johanson(sp?) is still fucking gorgeous and Woody Allen is still a total badass (closing in on 80 and only sat down once). It was actually pretty fun. Anton took some great photos, which will be posted eventually, and later was thrown around by security. Good times were had by all. Especially the celebrities, who probably went and ate dinosaur eggs with gold flaked, leperchaun penis. I don't know. What I'm trying to say is they're all rich, excessively rich. It was very obvious how rich they all were. Whatever. I'll post in more detail later.

No albums tonight from me. There is a decent concert down the block and I'm already too drunk and impatient to post anything of importance. Although there is still a slew of albums I have to give to you before I get to the farm. A lot of which is stuff I'm either really excited about (William Basiinski's new piece, El Camino Real) or stuff I'm not really into but think you might want to hear before you waste a bunch of money on (Iron and Wine's new album).

Tomorrow is my last day in Barcelona. I still have to buy my ticket out of here. yikes.
while the television personalities' first album And Don't the Kids Just Love It is creepily cheerful and poppy, their second album Mummy You're Not Watching Me is the exact opposite: noisy, gloomy and much weirder. maybe the drugs were kicking in?

the index made 100 copies of their (second) self-titled albums, which is one of the rarest and most valuable albums of the 60s. luckily for us it's been reissued since the 80s so you don't have to pay hundreds of dollars for a copy. jangly garage rock with a heavy british influence and nico-esque group vocals, recorded with a massive amount of cheap reverb. they have a great naive/fey approach to their covers of songs like eight miles high and you keep me hanging on.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

altered beats- assassin knowledge of the remanipulated

this is one of the great albums put out in the 90s by the now- comatose Axiom label, this one focusing on hip-hop and the use of sampling & turntables. some cool tracks from Bill Laswell and company, the highlights are the Invisibl Skratch Picklz (the greatest DJ crew in the world: Qbert, Mixmaster Mike, Shortkut, Apollo & Yoga Frog) dropping some wax knowledge and Prince Paul & Bootsy Collins' incredibly drugged-out cover of "if 6 was 9". also features dj rob swift, dj krush, jah wobble, DXT and others. i will post the Axiom Dub album soon. the liner notes alone are worth tracking down this out of print CD (an excerpt below):

Some of the seemingly more erudite and forward-thinking musicologists and critics who fancy themselves as outside "experts" on hip-hop have identified the turntable in the hands of the DJ as an instrument, with the singular scratching and backspinning techniques akin to soloing on a saxophone in the jazz idiom. An informative analog, to be sure, but in essence it falls short of the quantum conceptual leap that urban brujos like Grandmaster Flash, Grandmixer D.ST (known today as DXT to protect the innocent) and other illuminati made long ago: the turntable is more like a drum than anything else. Aside from the obvious phsical resemblance of the circular platter to the typical drum head, the turntable/mixer system is in effect "played" with the hands , the black wax rhythmically manipulated by the fingers, just as the tightly wound skin of a conga or West African tribal drum is coaxed into sonic nuances with open-handed slaps, cupped mutes, and pitch-bends (such as those created by sliding the fingertip from the outer edge of a vibrating skin toward its center -- a motion that is particularly striking in its absorption into DJ legerdemain.) Turntables were first used in DJ fashion to isolate "break beats" -- the crucial beatwise hook buried in a rare groove that, to quote Rakim, "moves the crowd," heightening the urgency of the music and inspiring dancers to their most individualized and innovative steps. In the same way, the Ghanian master drummer uses specific rhythms or "calls" to elicit a response from the drummers and dancers, completely changing the mood of a particular song and often elevating the tempo to feverishly hypnotic peaks. Finally DJs and drummers alike undergo a very real physical transformation -- a DNA flux -- owing to the practice of their art, with the hands and fingers of the DJ often morphing into gracefully thin, wiry, almost elastic appendages, and the palms and metacarpals of the drummer rendered thick and soft with constant playing.
Just as the turntable hearkens back to the original pulic telephone, with the advent of the next millenium it also encapsulates and foreshadows new explorations in necessarily clandestine modes of communication and information dispersal. The reasons for secrecy are simple...even now the effects of media control and censorship of, for example, the so-called information superhighway are being felt: ideas not in keeping with the (fully imaginary and uptopian) American mainstream are rejected or openly persecuted by that enitity's elected custodians and their constituents; thus, access to the "highway" is often limited due to what is presented as reanimiation of Big Brother designed to monitor and homogenize that flow. Hip-hop, supported until now only by the wheels of steel and the ingenuity of its proponents, has become a forum for transmittal and discussion of such allegedly controversial topics, and with any luck the music will continue to evolve even further into an innately understood Esperanto or language, instantly download-able to our young descendants through genetic code or an apparatus such as -- dare we imagine it -- William Gibson's wet-wired implants... from the stylus directly to the brain. However the transition is realized, it will undoubtedly be the tune of approximately 33 1/3 revolutions per minute.
Of course this idea of hip-hop or for that matter any African-based music -- which comprises virtually all the music identified as "American" in this part of the world -- as a valuable source of information to its initiates is not a new one. Nor is the observation that it must conceal itself in some way to thwart the destructive intentions of its enemies. Poets and authors from Paul Laurence Dunbar to Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka) have identified the need to "wear the mask," while latter-day voices like Chuck D describe hip-hop as the "Black CNN" -- an oft-cited, even nearly cliched, but still indelibly valid assessment. Still others on the fringe see hip-hop as a constantly adapting changeling, using "...'virtual absence' -- being everywhere and nowhere -- as a stepping stone, and by incorporating all the elements of a virus into its culture, [thriving] in a place where everything that had been possibly put in its way to kill it has failed..."(cf. DJ Spooky, Tha' Subliminal Kid, in his notes to Valis I: The Destruction of Syntax[Subharmonic]). Axiom's Altered Beats ascribes in theory to all these modern viewpoints, with a significant twist: not only does the mutability of hip-hop language -- whose satellite dish is the turntable -- protect the user's identity, inform his or her perspective on the world, and incite fear and misunderstanding in all detractors, but ultimately it should aspire to render possible a deeper, almost bone-chilling exploration of the real, primordial and ungettered self... and this exploration, under ideal conditions, would be aided and abetted by a free, unfettered, completely experimental and even, in the Taoist sense, nearly incomprehensible music -- thus suggesting endless interpretations, endless solutions to endless mysteries...and from many, the One would emerge. -Bill Murphy

The Tuss-Rushup Edge/Luke Vibert-Mate Tron

I only have 5 days left in BCN. It's a little scary. It's also exciting. I don't quite feel ready. But I suppose I didn't really feel ready to pull of this leg of the journey. And here I am, a month later eating delicious yellow plums and watching a matador get gored on the afternoon news with delight. As it turns out it happens way more often than most of us are led to believe. Every other day it seems there's footage of some deluded jergoff getting thrown into a wall or stabbed in the ass. You stupid fucker. I hope that bull tramples your stupid hat too.

Anyway, here's some new music from Richard D. James and Luke Vibert, respectively. The Tuss is Richard's newest escapade into the early techno of his AFX project. It's just as good. A little more flirtatious with sonic aesthetics a bit more recent than the boundaries of classic electro.

And Mate Tron is Mr. Vibert's most recent foray into the sleek-but-stoner-acid he's been steadily amassing a surplus of since the beginning of his post Wagon Christ career.

Both decent records, if a bit standard, but totally worth downloading.

By the by, Woody Allen is in town with Scarlett Johanson(sp?) and Penelope Cruz, who I think lives here anyway, filming his new film. There's even a blurb in the entertainment news called Woody Watch. Needless to say Anton has been on the hunt for Woody since this weekend... But really, aren't we all?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Grouper-Way Their Crept

Yesterday I went to Vic. Vic is not short anything. It is typical of Catalonia in that its ancient elegance and geographical beauty is underepresented by it's name, which would be more fitting on a New Jersey auto mechanic's work shirt. Or as the name of an American Gladiator... No, work shirt.

despite its name, Vic remains a charming little Spanish town. Halfway between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean almost exactly it was the perfect getaway from Barcelona which, after almost a month has start to seem less enchanting than full of awful smells.

This weekend included, but was not limited to: an inspiring train ride through plateaus and mountains. A huge, quiet flat on the fourth floor, Alison Krauss cds(NOT my decision, although it reminded me of Dusty which was nice), a few glasses of clara (Estrella and orange Fanta), Fiesta Major, Lucrecia (a Cuban Rhumba singer with an amazing voice and a hilariously lackluster supporting band.. Think, a brokedown Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine. That bad.), a 7 euro mohito, almost getting hit with fireworks, a dance club with no dance floor and lots of people staring at us, stomach problems, a gorgeous man named Afis from Ghana and the longest awkward silence I've ever experienced (it actually deserves it's own post. Maybe I'll write about it some other time. Long story short I spent a good fifteen minutes trying to keep finger food in my mouth at all times), no smoking, an impromptu Bastardgeist photo shoot next to a castle, on top of a mesa in Tona, good food, Giant dancing puppets that sprayed sparks all over cars and people and everything (the best of which were arguably a mysterious mythical figure known only as "Big Head" AND a fire-breathing donkey made out of table... it's hard to describe), a million things I wish I would have sampled, go-cart racing, and some other stuff.

There are copious photos. Anton is uploading them as we speak.

Point being, I have one more week in the Catalonian capital. And I have to get last minute shit in order for our tour. I'll be on a farm in the Beaujolais countryside for two weeks after this. They have internet. But I'll undoubtedly have much less time to post when I'm there. And after that I'll be wrapped up with playing shows and promoting the Bastardgeist debut (Do you have you copy yet? I know it's slightly ironic to be writing this on a site dedicated to "stealing" other peoples' music *p.s. I do formally encourage you to throw some cash at a copy of any of the records you find on here that you like. especially the ones by struggling artists if you can afford it. don't be a dick*, BUT... Wanna buy one?). So I'm gonna post this now.

It's partly for Kari and Jake. But also for everyone. I mentioned it before. It's the debut Grouper album, Way Their Crept.

I want to try to post the collaboration between Grouper and Xiu Xiu in the next couple of days as well.

There are so many things I have yet to post (new William Basinski), but who knows, maybe I'll have more time than I think at the farm. According to the guy who runs it it's only five hours of work a day and if it's raining we can work indoors. I don't know what that means. Probably that I'm volunteering myself for the salve trade... Well, joke's on them cause I can barely lift a coffee table.


See most of you soon (in Ohio).

Thursday, July 05, 2007

King Khan and His Shrines-What Is?!

This post is for Portland, the promised land.

Anton has gone out to explore La Ravel, the "dangerous" part of town. He's on a pilgramige to find the last remaining Gaudi he hasn't photographed from every possible angle. I started on the journey with him, but my back hurts and he kept asking me to walk slower (I'm a fast walker, I can't help it), so I decided to go home by myself.

Fortunately, I had a bottle of wine and a box of orange juice waiting for me back in the flat. I've since then been sitting on the terrace by myself enjoying this on my headphones and feeling showered and mildly buzzed.

God help me these guys are monstrous. Constantly referred to The Black Lips. With good reason. They are no doubt part of the neo neo neo garage movement. But King Khan has the edge up on everyone else because they have an apocalyptic horn section and for a few fleeting moments diverge onto these Sun Ra inspired tangents that make my toes curl. Maybe I'm drunk, but these guys are exactly what I want to hear right now. I've done next to nothing other than record my little kalimba tracks and bum around my neighborhood today looking for chilis to burn my mouth out with, and after listening to this record I feel like I've destroyed my fface on rock n' roll. Gimme a pack of Lucky Strikes and a bottle of bourbon , I'm putting What Is?! back on.


Tartit are a prolific group of Tuareg refugees from Mali who, in addition to forming successful associations dedicated to encouraging and preserving the music and culture of Mali, building schools for Malian children, and economic opportunities for women, occasionally make hypnotic, funky, mind-altering music. The band itself consists of five women and four men, Fadimata Walett Oumar, Walett Oumar Zeinabou, Mama Walett Amoumine, Fatma Mohamedun, Tafa Al Hosseini, Mohamed Issa ag Oumar, Ag Mohamed Idwal, Amanou, and Mossa Ag Mohamed. They formed in 1995 in Burkina Faso in response to the severe economic, social, and politcal struggles they were enduring at the time. They've released three albums throughout their musical career, Amazagh, Ichchila, and Abacabok.

The majority of their music relies on stark electric bass figures and the Ngoni (electric guitar) improvisations on said figures. Also call-and-response vocal patterns, tinde drumming, and the most satisfyingly recorded hand claps you've ever heard in your life. The result has often been described as a sort of desert-blues, which I can't entirely argue against. Although I don't really agree that it's the best description for this music. I will cede that its powerfully trance-inducing properties are reminiscent of the late Ali Farke Toure, one of the most renowned musical figures in African popular music, and the reigning champion of this so-called "desert blues". Coincidentally, Tartit played multiple shows with Toure before his death in 2006.
I hear a myriad of distinct musical influences on Abacabok, often times in the same song. It's clearly music steeped in traditional Malian musical tendencies. But the songs seem to contain shadows of other more modern musical trends as well.

Highly recommended.
Annette Peacock has been making music for thirty years with some big names (Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Bill Bruford), but her own music is overlooked and next to impossible to find. Not only was she one of the first people to play a Moog synthesizer, she also was first to patch her voice through a synth. A feminist balladeer, jazz-funk sex goddess, queen of the avant-garde... She's not an easy musician to categorize. So here's a few of her albums: the moog jazz/soul classic "I'm the One" (which is on my list of all time favorite albums), "The Paul Bley Synthesizer Show" (all songs written by Peacock, with her husband Paul and ex Gary Peacock on bass) and the more recent "An Acrobat's Heart", which uses sparse instrumentation to let her amazing voice shine through. Currently, "I'm the One" is selling on ebay for a starting bid of $99 (and that's for a copy that looks like a dog chewed on it). anyone want to buy it for me? didn't think so.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Animal Collective- Strawberry Jam

This is the new Animal Collective record, in its entirety.

And this post is for Megan, whom I love dearly. And who is the most genuine person I know. I don't treat her fairly sometimes, you know. And often times I have a hard time comprehending the depth of her character in much the same way as I have imagining the extent of some peoples' religious faith. I have these moments of clarity, though, where I realize how special and amazing she is. And it consumes me with emotion in ways I imagine are similar to a religious epiphany.

I only ever want her to be happy, and I'm always especially excited when she likes some music I show her. This is a good record for that. I imagine her listening to it on repeat and performing secret rituals that no one ever knows about. I think this is the kind of music she would do that to. It should make her so satisfied and happy.

Cause she's great.

And you should get to know her if you don't already.


Liz Harris's Grouper project sort of cropped up out of nowhere. Her haunting debut, Way Their Crept, stunned a lot of people with its blunt, at times, overwhelming sincerity. She's certainly not the first person to have the "lo-fi" thing work to their advantage, by a long shot. But there's an earnestness about her music that suggests when she recorded Way Their Crept the thought hadn't even crossed her mind. Way Their Crept is an effortless series of half-asleep solo meanderings from the sparsest of arrangements Guitar, voice, and keyboard all saturated in an ancient and "uninhibited" tape delay. Her two subsequent recordings, WIDE, and Cover the Walls and Windows, each show a steady progression to fuller and more song-oriented sound.

A friend of mine and her painfully attractive boyfriend requested I post some more Grouper after hearing Cover the Walls and Windows, which I had posted in May. WIDE is best described as the middle ground between her initial, more improvisational work and her recent dabblings in more structured song-writing.

Check out "Shadow Rise, Drowned". Charming.

Today was a good day for Grouper, actually. It's the first overcast day since we've been here. It was welcomed with open arms, as after over two weeks of brutal Spanish sun, I was starting to feel like a refugee. or a mole-person. something like that. Let's just say it's been very, very bright and hot. I woke up just fine, however, my stomach did not. By the time it did, it was hungry and pissed and I was already half way up the hills on my way to Park Guell (the beautiful, but touristy park that Guadi designed). By the time I made it home at 6 I thought I was going to pass out in the elevator. Fortunately, I didn't. And since then I've been eating oranges and olives and loving life. That's all.

Ike Reiko-Kokotsu No Sekai

Also, something else. Here's what I can only assume is a concept album about a Japanese girl with a partial labotomy who loses her shirt, for some reason, and the erotic hilarity that ensues.. I can't for the life of me figure out why else anyone should have to fake such a "tasteful"-sounding orgasm for that long. Fortunately, The booklet from the re-issue (that's RE-ISSUE!!) had this light to shed on the situation: ""Concupiscence, pink violence, and forlorn sleaziness - the ecstatic world of Ike Reiko"... oh.. ok... hmm. well done.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I have a new favorite band name. Reverse Dotty and the Candy Cane Shivs was pretty good.,.. but that really can't compete with Butt Stomach and DJ Dog Dick... no? you're too good for Butt Stomach and DJ Dog Dick? Well, then I guess you aren't my friend either.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Jason Lescalleet-The Pilgrim

“the pilgrim” has been an on-going project of jason’s since his father’s passing in 2005; that it has come to fruition as such a lavish edition (a full-color gatefold lp sleeve housing a full-color picture disc lp and... nestled deep within the “sealed” pocket of said gatefold, a full color 7” x 10” 8-page booklet with a 74-minute compact disc tucked inside) says everything about jason’s drive to celebrate his father’s life.

starting with his performance at the intransitive festival of electronic music (side 1 of the lp), jason began constructing a series of pieces based around his father’s interpretation of the hudak/lescalleet “figure 2” release as corrupted wind chimes and/or the sounds emanating from the floor of a ‘32 chevy... and in fact the latter sentiment captures the essence of this piece; low-end rumble made “rickety” by the combination of its tape-wow/flutter origins & the faint crackle of the lp-surface.

the next piece (side 2 of the lp) is an un-airbrushed field-recording of jason’s final exchange with his father, then lying on his death bed. given the context on first listen i could barely get through it (too much resonance with my own unchecked emotions on the loss of my mother a few years back) but on subsequent listens i can now appreciate it as one of the most intense listening experiences i’ve ever encountered, rendering many “audio documentary” style recordings powerless in comparison.

finally, the cd contains a single extended-length piece of immaculate low-end clusters and ripples; starting with the aforementioned corrupted wind chimes and continuing on a flowing, linear path through a frenzied climax of pure rage - before we’re again in the hospital, listening to jason’s daughter audrey singing “molly malone” over the faint backing of muted bells. just glorious.

where the live recording is all about re-capturing a hazy, time-worn memory (jason and/or his father as children), the piece on the cd is crystal-clear, assembled with the benefits of modern sound-assembling apparatus and a remarkably keen sense of frequency-relationships (jason and/or his father as adults) - when i first played this piece (at a more-than-fair clip) every single un-bolted appliance in my house was vibrating in resonance...

this set, in my mind, is the crowning achievment of jason’s musical life-on-earth thusfar; he’s managed to channel the infinite sadness of his father’s passing into a grand statement that’s both intensely personal and penultimately triumphant."-excerpt from Mimaroglu Music

If you do download it, and you like it, it never hurts to throw some money at the artist to show your support.... you heartless animal.

Buy It Here
Yesterday was free day for a lot of the museums in Barcelona. Anton and I had spent the first two weeks we were here strategizing how to plunder as much of the city's plentiful supply of art and culture as possible and it all was supposed to sort of culminate on this day. We planned for sky-trams and synchronized watches. Well, needless to say, none of that ended up happening. Instead we woke up at two and trudged down to Barri Gotic only to spend a total of fifteen minutes (literally) in the Textile museum before they closed. You might be thinking to yourself, "why would you want to spend more than fifteen minutes in the textile museum anyway". Well, no reason, really. Unless you count all the TUNICS!! AND BODICES!?!? sheesh.. uncultured people make me sick...

In all seriousness though, the Picasso museum, which I was led to believe would totally blow, was actually pretty great. There was a comprehensive exhibit of Lee Miller's personal and professional photography of Picasso. And while, by the end of it you sort of feel a little weird to be participating in such over the top idolization of this guy, even considering he was a brilliant artist, the photography was still surreal and captivating and honestly just as if not more engrossing than the subject. Or at least that's how I justified it in my head. It was free, so whatever.

I'm not really into museums. Especially art museums... I could use this opportunity to get on a soap-box about all the fucked up issues I have with high art, but I don't think I'd be saying anything that anyone hasn't said before. So for the sake of efficiency... I'll move on. (fuck an art museum, though)

To make matters worse (or better?) we ran into the crazy Canadians from the night before at the Picasso thing. They were being dicks though. By which I mean they were acting awkward and almost ashamed to see us. So we didn't really strike up too much conversation. What the fuck, though. It's not like we slept together... maybe they were just embarrassed they spent 14 euro on a shitty Spanish club. Well, kudos to them either way.

This post definitely just dove head first into one of those "I spoke to *insert person's name you've never heard of* yesterday. They said *insert inane inside joke* and we laughed till we crapped. Then I bought some ice cream and totally pigged out while watching *some stupid movie you don't care about*" so I'm going get to the point (I did buy some ice cream though... tiramisu.. it was delicious).

Map of Africa-Map of Africa

The name Map of Africa has been surfacing on random blogs for awhile now. But it's mostly been passing references or a brief raving on the excellent single "Bone" from this, their self-titled debut. That, more than likely, is symptomatic of the method in which Harvey Basset (a.k.a DJ Harvey) and Thom Bullock of Rub N Tug plan to promote this project. No one has quite called it a side-project, but it has all the familiar trappings of a side-project. It's also being released on Whatever We Want, a small brooklyn based label designed for "forward-thinking artists pushing their craft", whatever that means. From what I gather it means a limited pressing.

The album itself is more often than not a hip-shaking, fuck all, throwback rock record with all the sweaty charm of a Cymande song and a conversion van with a waterbed built in. That might sound gimmicky, and there are a few missteps that could potentially help you argue it as novelty. But the large majority of this album works. This is in no small part due to how much fun these dudes are having on tape. It's infectious. And almost makes me think the whole "ironic porn-stache" thing might actually be kind of cool... Not really though.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Here's something a little more positive. GorillavsBear has been reporting on these fellas for little while now. I've only heard two of their songs, but I think they're both fantastic. They list Peter Gabriel as an influence. And that's probably the responsible thing to do. They're called Yeasayer and this song is called 2080. It's from their new album which comes out in the fall. If you like it, you can download another song which won't be on the album, but is equally great, on their myspace.

The Smashing Pumpkins-Zeitgeist

I thought I had a lot to say about this album. Upon further review, I think it can all be summed up by saying, I really miss having heroes...

Note to Thome Yorke: Please, for the love of god, know when to call it a day.