Wednesday, May 23, 2007

self serving bullshit, a new crush, and this week's playlist

Two more reviews on the Foxy Digitalis site, this time around for James Blackshaw and Woods.

I'm swooning HARD from one track specifically on the new Keren Ann disc. She's that Israeli-born Parisienne who could basically be lumped in with that whole Norah Jones/NPR set but whatever. The new disc is kinda psych-lite, some Mazzy Star thing going on in the first track that's lovely, but it's the song "In Your Back" that really slays me. Lyrically it's basically aching & lovelorn but it sounds gorgeous. It makes me feel like when you get a phone call from a girl you're starry-eyed and super crushed out on and wondering if she's thinking about you, and since that feeling is utterly ephemeral and transforms to either sour grapes or is consummated, thus killing the butterflies and pinning them up in a little glass case, it's nice to find it distilled and encoded onto a little plastic disc so you can slip into it whenever you like. (just in case you think you want to call me a pussy, I should let you know that I'm wearing a Darkthrone t-shirt as I type this)

I've also been slacking on putting up my playlists from my radio show so I'm going to try to archive them here more regularly to indulge my own sick needs

Some Velvet Morning - May 21, 2007 - 89.3 FM streaming live at
  1. James Blackshaw - "Cloud Of Unknowing" - Cloud Of Unknowing
  2. Windy & Carl - "Smeared" - Mind Expansion, Vol. 1
  3. The Delta Waves - "Lovers Leap" - Dream In Real Time
  4. His Name Is Alive - "USA vs Gamelan" - Cloud Pop
  5. Odd Clouds - "track 6" - Cleft Foot of the Woods
  6. The W-Vibe - "Tape Like Cross" - Game Program
  7. The Soundtrack Of Our Lives - "Broken Imaginary Time" - Behind The Music
  8. Outrageous Cherry - "The Book of Dead Time" - X-Rays In The Cloudmine
  9. MV & EE with The Bummer Road - Canned Heat Blues - Mother of Thousands
  10. Stone Breath - "Sunshine In The Eyes Of Death" - Lanterna Lucis Viriditatis
  11. The North Sea - "Take It From Me Brother Moses" - Exquisite Idols
  12. Gary Higgins - "Thicker Than A Smokey" - Red Hash
  13. Six Organs Of Admittance - "This Hand" - Dark Noontide
  14. Giant Skyflower Band - "The Archangel (Hurray For The Beast)" - Blood Of The Sunworm
  15. Franklin's Mint - "Carousel Baby" - Gold
  16. Bonnie Prince Billy - "Lay & Love" - The Letting Go
  17. Hush Arbors - "The Werewolf Om" - Hush Arbors
  18. Current 93 - "Then Kill Caesar" - Black Ships Ate The Sky
Marissa Nadler - "Fifty Five Falls" - Ballads of Living & Dying

Friday, May 18, 2007

sun warmed synapses opened

So since the last time I updated (over a month ago, I know) I've started writing for Foxy Digitalis, an online webzine for weird music. I just had my first review published there, on The Stumps, a New Zealand band, so click that link there if you want to read it.

I probably would have been updating more had the sun not been making a regular appearance over the skies of Detroit. You have to realize that when you live through a winter as ugly as there is here, those first few days of warm sunshine feel like some sort of blissful opium fueled hallucination. You're not quite sure if it's real or not but you don't really care either, I'll usually take a false sense of security over reality any day. In conjunction with this warm weather I've found my new favorite CD to listen to while staring up at a tattered American flag waving atop a skyscraper. "Person Pitch", the new solo effort by Panda Bear (aka Noah Lennox) of Animal Collective. I have a hard time coming up with words to describe something this pure and good that sounds like it comes from Utopia so I probably won't write all that much about except to tell you to go buy it. It's full of lots of warm reverb laced vocals and softly throbbing drum machine loops that will have your heart beating in some kind of sympathetic rhythm to it (like when you put two clocks next to each other and their second hands fuse, ya know?) I've found the closing track "Ponytail" to be especially hypnotic while watching the weatherworn stripes of the flag on top of the Guardian Building in a slow motion wave set against the muted blue sky. That flag is some sort of admittance of our flaws and it somehow made me feel better about being from here. We're far from perfect but at least there's enough of us to own up to it.

I also really like the new album by The North Sea called "Exquisite Idols". It's a meditation that reaches the realization that Ravi Shankar is to India what the Louvin Brothers are to America. At least that's what I got out of it. There's no need to further classify. OK, maybe raga-billy, or What Happens When Sitars and Banjos meet. But anyway, it's really just a celebration of life and diversity, many spokes emanating from the same hub. If more people took that to heart we might not be doomed. "Take It From Me Brother Moses" is a raucous hillbilly gospel stomp but then followed immediately by a debate devoid of structure between a digital tongue and its analog mouth in "Cover Me With Knives".

Thee OhSees
is a band you should really be paying attention to as well. They have a new record called "Sucks Blood" that's equal parts dilated pupil psych swagger and a soft pillow to lay your fried mind on for the come down. Same thing goes for Gowns, not that they sound like Thee OhSees, just that you should probably be listening to them. There's a tune on their new album "Red State" that really got under my skin. It's called "White Like Heaven". It's a fever dream of a huge black humming monolith in a desert that you're floating towards, drawn by its energy, and once you reach it you just bask in its aura, suspended in its amniotic droning, oblivious to anything else going on in your fucked up little head. Listen to it here but so help me god don't you dare open your eyes and acknowledge the body you're imprisoned in and ruin it.

I don't mean to be so abstract but give me a break. I've been watching the films in the new Alejandro Jodorowsky box set. They've FINALLY been given a proper release. Jodorowsky has the rare combination of an unflinching artistic vision coupled with a complete lack of ego. These sort of movies would seem contrived and pretentious in less skilled hands. This is what William Blake would have been doing had film been his medium rather than ink and paper. I first saw El Topo about 8 years ago on a terrible VHS tape that seemed to be about a 6th generation dub, and it was in English no less. But now I've got that, Holy Mountain, Fando Y Lis, and an early short film called La Cravate about a girl that sells heads. To sweeten the deal, the soundtrack CDs for El Topo and Holy Mountain are included. I plan on writing a bit more on them once I've watched them a few more times. Until then, be good.