Thursday, April 27, 2006

And I'm off

Me and thousands of others are heading for Coachella as of tomorrow. I will therefore be out of updating ability until probably Tuesday - I know, sux0rz. I'll be back on Tuesday with a full report.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Oh hey I'm going, too

This is being done (or has been done, or is going to be done) by any other person with a blog going (which, I'm sure, is an abnormally large amount relative to the rest of the population), but I'm going to Coachella and I feel inclined to let everyone know that. Lame, yes, but it's true. I am going. It is fact.

For those unfamiliar, Coachella was started in 1999 and is held in Indio, California. At the time, it was established as an "alternative festival" to its commercialized and unfocused peers, i.e. Lollapalooza, as well as an attempt to make a festival in America akin to what Europeans had been putting on for the better portion of the 90's. It has been tremendously successful, particularly since 2004, when The Pixies, Radiohead, The Cure, and The Flaming Lips all shared a headlining bill. My favorite part about the thing is usually not so much the headliners, however, and more the huge variety of side-stage acts. Goldenvoice, Coachella's organizing company, does a tremendous job every year of designing a top-notch line-up, and this year is no exception. There is certainly far more competition in the way of indie rock festivals now than there was seven years ago, but Coachella still stands out as, arguably, the industry standard.

Anyway it should be a good time, and it's this weekend. If you are looking for tickets, however, Sunday is now sold out completely due to the strange billing of Madonna, of all people, as a dance tent headliner. I have tickets for both days, though, thankfully. If I can manage to procure a digital camera, between my friend and I we should be able to take a bunch of pictures, and I'll post a little "review" or whatever.

Oh wait this is an mp3 blog. Here's some stuff from some of the less-known/heralded bands playing this weekend:

Download "Think Long" by Mates Of State from their 2006 LP Bring It Back

Download "Just For the Kick" by Coldcut from their 2005 LP Sound Mirrors

Monday, April 24, 2006

2006, Part Twelve

Keiji Haino & Yoshida Tatsuya - New Rap (2006)

A completely under-the-radar sort of release, New Rap is the result of a collaboration between Japanese improv guitar god Keiji Haino and acclaimed Japanese underground drummer Yoshida Tatsuya. Loud and at times even cacophonous, Haino's high pitched screams and wails soar over Tatsuya's emphatic drum rolls and snare hits, as well as Haino's own manic mangling of his axe on this, not their first collaborative release. It's just totally caught me by surprise as a wonderful piece of artsy rock improvisation that is successful, which not all rock improvisation necessarily is. Here's a sample:

Download "West Broadway"

Friday, April 21, 2006


Sorry, I don't have a lot of time/energy to type out a blurb on this right now. All I'll say is Leonard Cohen should be completely obvious to most people, but it's amazing how few people know who he is. Author turned songwriter, started in late 60's, very good, here's a song:

Download "Suzanne" from Songs Of Leonard Cohen

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

johnnies come in packs of three

Arab Strap write gritty, jarring songs about emotionless (or emotion-saturated, whatever the case may be) sex and the violent and helpless quality of infatuation. Aidan Moffat has one of the best Scottish drawls ever put to record, effortlessly pasting full songs out of what are, essentially, diary entries formed around poetic devices. Anyway, I've really been enjoying them lately, and particularly reccomend what is arguably their masterpiece, 1998's Philophobia, or anything in between (including last year's excellent The Last Romance). Here's a song:

Download "New Birds" from Philophobia

Monday, April 17, 2006

2006, Part Eleven (and re-launch, or something)

So the blog's back after a three-week hiatus. Lucky you. I know, logo's sort of cool, right? It's a picture of Danish royalty watching the 1980's debut of The Ascension by Glenn Branca (see below). lalz. I made it in MS Paint because I no longer have the money to have anything to do with Adobe Photoshop. Double lalz. Anyway:

Home - Sexteen (2006)

Home is like a lost treasure from the Pavement and Guided By Voices-dominated lo-fi rock period of the early 90's that nobody knew about. Driven by the sort of fanboyish, slacker aesthetic that music encited, Home began releasing the first of what would become a staggering 12 casettes on their "label", ScrewMusicForever. Long after their lo-fi brethren had come, experienced critical and scene praise, and gone, Home continued with what therefore become entirely their own self-driven compulsion to make odes to the ordinary but intricate. However, like all compulsions, Home seemed to gain that sobering self-consciousness which can spell the end of compulsive desire, and disbanded two to three years ago after Home XII. Away from the symbiotic nature of their band's interplay, each member's individual artistic drive developed independently, and the trappings of their old style were shed. New arrangments were explored, if only internally, until the inevitable reunion of their individual talents was realized this past year.

Sexteen is the sound of a band re-united with new ideas, yes, which explains the stylistic polarities contained within, but it also is one far less characterized by big ego. These guys, having never experienced success, never even had the opportunity to let it go to their head. This is no better evidenced than in the album's premise: a concept work about about fucking. Yes, you read that right: it's a concept album about fucking. The result is slightly goofy, sure, but far more sincere than you'd expect, and moreover the refinement of their songwriting after nearly 16 years of practice completely trumps any gimmick to Sexteen's lyrical content. The sound is jumpy, foot-tapping, sometimes labored, but always delivered with that sort of whiny irreverence that lo-fiers did (and do, apparently) so well. It's a great album, and a complete surprise. If nothing else, it's an album allows you to listen to a song about foreplay and/or fingerbanging ("Teasing and Pleasing") that, somehow, manages to not come across as completely ridiculous, which is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Download "Push"

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sorry, dudes

I haven't updated in almost three weeks now and that's bad. However, the first week I explained away already, and the rest of my reasons have to do with actually studying hard this quarter and for the remainder of my time here at this University, especially in light of the whole potential fifth-year thing. I can't afford that. Does this mean I won't be updating anymore? No. I probably will get back to the every-other-day basis updating schedule soon, it's just the beginning of the quarter seems to take the wind out of me more thoroughly than its remainder. Anyway, enough excuses.

To make up for it I'm going to post this huge megamix I assembled which is, in reality, completely arbitrary, but is nonetheless titled "The Best Of 2006 Part One". Well, I guess that's what it's titled - it doesn't really have a title. Anyway, the point is it's a 31-song mix that's meant to highlight some good material from the first half of this year based upon my estimates of what is good. 2006 has been a pretty dense year already, so I'd imagine more indulgent sprawling mixes can be expected from me and others. Here's the tracklisting:

(Band/Artist - Song - Album)
01 - Band Of Horses - The First Song - Everything All the T ime
02 - Ceephax - Hardcore Wick - Hardcore Wick 7"
03 - Eliot Lipp - Rap Tight - Tacoma Mockingbird
04 - Lilys - Where the Night Goes - Everything Wrong Is Imaginary
05 - Stereolab - Excursions Into Oh, A-Oh - Fab Four Suture
06 - The High Violets - Invitation - To Where You Are
07 - Colleen - The Ukulele Song - Mort Aux Vaches
08 - Citay - Shalom Of Safed - Citay
09 - GHQ - Drift-Void - Cosmology Of Eye
10 - Et Ret - It Was Pure Folly - Gasworks
11 - The Fiery Furnaces - Teach Me Sweetheart - Bitter Tea
12 - Destroyer - Painter In Your Pocket - (Destroyer's) Rubies
13 - Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid - Morning Prayer - The Exchange Session, Vol. 1
14 - Whitehouse - Language Recovery - Aceticists
15 - No-Neck Blues Band & Embryo - Five Grams Of Widow - EmbryoNNCK
16 - Herbert - Harmonise - Scale
17 - Drop the Lime - Unfold - Shot Shot Hearts EP
18 - The Knife - We Share Our Mother's Health - Silent Shout
19 - Ellen Allien & Apparat - Way Out - Orchestra Of Bubbles
20 - Delays - Cavalry - You See Colours
21 - Tokyo Jihen - Shuraba (Adult Version) - Adult!
22 - Wet Secrets - Boat Gas Death Train - A Whale Of a Cow
23 - The Ladies - Non-Threatening - They Mean Us
24 - Danielson - Kids Pushing Kids - Ships
25 - Belle & Sebastian - Song For Sunshine - The Life Pursuit
26 - Loose Fur - Wanted - Born Again In the USA
27 - Darando - I Want Your Love So Bad - Let My People Go
28 - Home - Raging Angel - Sexteen
29 - Mogwai - Auto-Rock - Mr. Beast
30 - Scott Walker - Cossacks Are - The Drift
31 - The Arctic Monkeys - When the Sun Goes Down - Whatever People Say That I Am, That's What I'm Not