Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Currently-March 24, 2009

Been writing a ton of new shit lately with the boys and I'm pretty sure that it has something to do with listening to a TON of new things. Trying to figure out a little bit of a new angle to work things from and getting into some albums that have previously eluded me. I think I'm learning that the key is to temper the weird shit with a little bit of obviousness. Look dumb and play smart, if you will. Here's some songs that have been particularly interesting to me in these past few weeks. Come out on Wednesday and hear how much I rip em' off.

The Bats-Made Up In Blue

-I put these EPs up a while ago and not nearly enough people downloaded them. They're incredible in their simplicity and concurrently how that simplicity piggybacks how hard the songs are to play. The rhythms played in this tune specifically sound rather simple (and are, kinda) but the way everything is woven is truly brilliant. Something I try to constantly copy and can never pull off.

Can-Sing Swan Song

-This came on in the van on the ride home from Iowa and I realized how modern this song is. It sounds like it should be the new Devendra Banhart single. That's no dis on Can, but when you think about it, they really do sound similar. Can is such a strange strange band, and one that I didn't get into until very recently. Their ability to weave songs in and out of genre while still sounding like the same band is incredible and something I admire a great deal.

Kevin Ayers-Shouting In a Bucket Blues

-My old boss, Joe, turned me onto Kevin Ayers and I hated it at the time. As I got older, the nonchalant nature of his recordings really struck me. A virtuoso indeed, the guitar playing on here is hilariously bombastic yet still tasteful. The lyrics are by far what hits me hardest with Kevin's stuff. The opening line of "Sometimes I get too drunk and feel so goddamned low..." is so plaintiff that it almost goes unnoticed. I listen to this song at least once a day and will continue to until I start the cohabitation that is on the horizon. The most "male" song I have heard that has absolutely no masculine qualities.

Harlem-Psychedelic Tits

-This is one of the obvious "garage" records I just can't stop listening to. This fucking kid can SING. The Black Lips wish they were still this good, and Harlem wishes they started the trend cos they'd likely be rich. We can't always get what we want, folks. Again, fantastic lyrics about, what I'm guessing, is sex on hallucinogens. The way the chorus decays is radical and propels this seemingly simple song into one that I'm sure I will be able to place in my life when I'm older.

The Clash-Something About England

-What a bizarre fucking song. Can't believe that this is the same band that wrote 'Janie Jones'. The Clash has made a HUGE reintroduction to my listening pile. When the snare cuts in with the hi-hats at the end of the first "verse" it is incredible. They made the political lyrics palatable and made the goofy ones important, the way a band is supposed to pull it off. Mick Jones is a fucking genius and his harmonies are something that should be mocked. Honestly, please, kids, I'll never smite you for mimicking the Clash.
No one will.

The Zeros-Rico Amour

-Not much to say about this song, but somehow it keeps coming back to me so I figured I'd put it up and see what you guys thought about it. The cadence of this song is just perfect. Steady, lumberingly fast, and delivered very articulately. This is the kind of stuff I always loved about punk. Songs about nothing, the embrace that fact.

Narrator-Wolves In the Walls

-One of the best songs that a friend of mine has ever written. Any friend, any band, any time, this song speaks louder than it could have possibly been intended to. The delivery on the vocal is magic, and totally encapsulates how I would expect Sam to speak to himself in his head. Aside from that, everything sounds like it is passing through the other notes. There's nothing to hold onto until the second verse and then you are offered some beds of notes and nothing more. It reminds me of people who have no association with the song. I hope that one day I put together something that can come close to matching how important this song feels.

The Clean-Whatever I Do It's Right

-The bass in the intro is enough to make you cream your Levi's, but what really dominates this song is the vocal's dance with the drums. The Clean got so much of the simple shit right that it is frustrating. Verse, verse, verse, bridge, verse. The songs aren't following shit, they're just being played. The feel of these songs is something that makes my face hot with envy, must be something in the water in NZ.

My Current Temp

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blackout Fest, Athens, Ohio April 16-19 2009

Well, we finally got asked to play Blackout Fest in Ohio, but we aren't able to do it since it's a Thursday and we have to pretend that we are big boys with real lives. Kinda a drag. The bill seems like a true ripper, and we would have had the chance to re-match Times New Viking which woulda been fun. It's a seven and a half hour drive without stopping which means eight and a half or nine if you're us, and I would have to be back by six Friday. Not happening. Either way, Blackout Fest is one of the cooler festivals that happen across the U.S. on a regular basis, and if I'm not mistaken they've had at least ten of 'em, maybe more.
One of the bands that I was most excited about playing with, a band we shared the stage with in Columbus, that I'm pretty sure didn't like us, the Guinea Worms. Great stuff, but you could tell they thought we were posers. Whatever. Here's a song of theirs since I don't want to put up their recordings and cheat them outta scrilla. Hilarious song title.

Monday, March 16, 2009

SXSW can blow me...

We're not going this year, mainly because not only is it the biggest cluster-fuck in the history of man, but it isn't very much fun either. SXSW is always pitched to bands as this oasis of music appreciators and geniuses gathering to discuss the beauty of the sung note, when in actuality, it's a bunch of writers who cannot write and artists who don't make art tugging each other off. Nobody climaxes, even.

Another reason is, all there is to do for three entire days is drink beer. That is a bad scenario. I present you with an example.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Arab Strap-Philophobia

Yeah, I'm a bit salted lately, so? I've been really really stressed out and busy and all the other pedantic bullshit excuses, so shut the fuck up. Yeah, this record is sad, so?
Kidding aside, this record falls into the canon of records that you listen to when you break up with someone. Most records fall into the "got broken up with" realm and I appreciate the subtleties involved in writing from the opposite end. The sneering reality of not wanting to be with someone but not wanting them to be with someone else. 'Packs of Three' pretty much hits it on the head. It's possible that "It was the biggest cock you'd ever seen, but you've no idea where that cock has been" is the best opening lyric to an album ever, and "you said you were careful, you never were with me" is the best follow-up. Leaning towards overwhelmingly depressing most of the time is a sure way to get your record listened to on a limited basis, but the serene nature of the "sad" on here makes it o.k.

Give it a whirl.

This strikes me as the kinda record Sturdy would listen to while shooting. Kinda weird, but everytime I hear it that's what I think. So, all you photographers out there. Set up lights and shit to this (but take pictures to Fugazi).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cypress Hill-III Temples of Boom

I think it started in my pal's JoJo's bedroom. Talking about smoking weed but having no real idea what actual weed was because we were smoking brown shit that made you get a really bad headache, and chonged your eyes worse than you could imagine. This was the soundtrack. We liked rock and roll, but this was too great (even then) to pass on. I remember going to the Smokin' Grooves tour that these guys did with Tribe Called Quest and the Fugees and meeting B-Real at a hotdog stand after the show. He was just walking around. Shook his hand, had him sign my shirt. Weird.

This record is still in pretty heavy rotation and my appreciation for it just grows as I get older.

It's pretty genius, actually, and I don't give a fuck if you don't download this because it's too 'low brow'.
You're a bozo. This record is awesome.

spark another owl

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Lemonheads-It's A Shame About Ray

I remember hearing the Lemonheads maybe once or twice before I promptly made my mother buy me a 'Come on Feel...' T-shirt at Kohl's. It's strange, but I loved them in spite of their obvious wussy qualities which could/should have gotten me beat up. My sister thought they were the best, and anything that she was into pretty much fell into my lap. These songs instantly remind me of her, in college, and my first beers, and things like that. It was a rough time for the two of us but I'm certainly not reminded of it when I listen to these songs. There's something in them that makes you nostalgic for something you can't really even remember and that makes me happier than I can express.

So, Dee, here's to you.

It's A Shame...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Bats-First Three EPs

I've been obsessed with Surf City, this band outta NZ recently, so I figured that I'd throw up one of my fav NZ records. This is kinda pussy, yeah, but whatever. It's a good coming out of winter into some nice weather album and is really really easy to cook to. Has a member of the Clean, which could save any band, and some really fantastic Kiwi kinda shit going on throughout.

'Mad on You' and 'Earwig' are my favorites right now, but they change from day to day. Give it a listen. It's really great stuff.

The Bats