Sep 29, 2009
A trio of black Detroit brothers recorded 7 songs in the early seventies of rock/soul/prog/proto-punk and then moved to Vermont and changed scenes. Thankfully now they are getting some due and are even touring again. I caught them in Chicago on Saturday for a wild set. The crowd went ballz-out crazy for the punk stuff and swayed side to side for the peace-n-love reggae shit. One soul song started with a shout-out to Marvin Gaye and the first few lines were a cover of his "God is Love." The variety was intesreting but I can say that the Death songs that were played were everyone's favorites. These old-ass men can still play the shit out of these songs.
Also interesting is that the rock influence from the original album, guitarist David, died in 2000 of lung cancer which almost assuredly ended all hopes of a live show reunion. They put a life size black and white poster of David on stage with them. Dave decked out in a white karate gi, afro, his hands on a black guitar balanced on the ground. Death playin acting as a proper memorial.
Also, also interesting is that the 7 songs they recorded so long ago are real good. While the live show had clear divisions between their post-Death soul and reggae material, the album effortlessly jumps genres and is never jarring. I can hear the "Yes" influence in the proggy "As the World Turns," and the early punk trappings of "Freakin Out."
This is the type of album that music blogs were created for.
Sep 28, 2009
I have seen Tyvek play a billion times around Detroit. They are fucking awesome. Just look at the poster above from their latest record release show! It's incredible. The album they released a few years ago, "Fast Metabolism" contains some punchy, catchy, lo-fi/lo-maintenance, punk. This album rips some shit apart. Play "Give it up," "Frustration Rock," and "Mary Ellen Claims," on repeat and try to get "Honda" out of your head. I'll post the latest one some time. Check em out live if you get the chance.
Sep 26, 2009
Some of my friends saw Screaming Females play in a basement in their hometown of New Brunswick, NJ this spring. I couldn’t make it and really regret it, not only because this band rocks, but also because with each write-up in Rolling Stone and performance on MTV, the likelihood of seeing them in a basement again rapidly dwindles. But if their increasing popularity means that something not totally shitty is piercing the mainstream music consciousness, I guess I can’t complain too much.
Screaming Females is a bit of a misnomer—there is only one female in the band, and she doesn’t scream that much. Still, this isn’t one of those bands that has gotten attention simply for having a girl at the forefront. This is no obnoxious boot-wearing, tambourine thigh-tapping waif. You may as well forget about lead singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster’s gender; the point is that she can shred, sing and songwrite with the best of them.
Power Move, the band’s third album, channels the 60s with the occasional sunny surf-rock lick; the 70s with crunchy Sabbath metal riffs; the 80s with Paternoster’s Siouxsie-esque death yowl; and the 90s with plenty of fuzzed-out Pumpkins-y guitars. Tied together with lots of glorious feedback and dime-a-dozen shredding guitar solos, all of these elements combine to create a distinct sound without becoming a derivative reference-fest. My only complaint is that by starting the album with the strongest track, there is nowhere for it to go but downhill. That’s not to say that the rest of the album is disappointing—there are several strong moments, like the epic, echo-y anthem “Adult Army”—but opener “Bell” has the best of it all: a concise, catchy, rocking nugget of pure punk goodness. The album is worth a listen for that track alone.
Recommended trax: Bell, Lights Out, Adult Armyhttp://www.screamingfemales.com/
Sep 22, 2009
Everyone's favorite big booty harp player Joanna Newsom shattered all expectations with this 5 song epic LP. Or EP according to Rolling Stone's 2 star review. "Hey I should really listen to this Ys record, but instead I think I'll write another Led Zeppelin retrospective." Not only the is album structurally daring but the arrangements within are as well. Van Dyke Parks (who also arranged one of my very favorite songs, Phil Oche's "The Crucifixion") deserves much of the credit as do Steve Albini and Jim O'Rourke, the other two members of the Ys dream team. It's about time for a follow up.
Sep 19, 2009
Taking a breather from pop/rock/lo-fi, here is a collection of odds and ends from Italian film score master Ennio Morricone. In my film review of "What have you done to Solange?" last week I mentioned that I would post the soundtrack album where you can find the gorgeous theme song. That and many many other catchy, interesting, and often weird and dated songs are contained within. Basically, Ennio Morricone is a huge badass. Not only did he score giant influential films, but he also did slasher pics, and on occasion, pop songs. Check out the video below to see what I mean.
Sep 16, 2009
Euros Childs (ex-frontman of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci) self-released a new album last week but because it is off the walls crazy (there is a section where he sings "do you like mayonaise? I like mayonaise. La la la mayonaise.) I am choosing to post this one instead. Things start off extremely well with "Over You" a bouncy sweet pop song. The album similarly bounces along, straight through the wtf moments of "Horse Riding" and "Ali Day" and into the melancholy set. The real star of the show here is 7th track, "The Miracle Inn," a sprawling multiple part mini-opera epic. If you like Gorky's this is by far the best solo album from the group.
Sep 14, 2009
The Gories' album "I Know You Fine, But How You Doin'?" is a collection of singles and album cuts that was produced by Alex Chilton. The sound of Eighties Detroit was thrown into a bucket and recorded. Listen to the taken-for-granted-confidence of "Nitroglicerin," and "View From Here." Imagine if Love's Arthur Lee fronted a punk band. Garage rock from Detroit's ex-reigning kings.
Sep 13, 2009
This B-movie title screen should have been the album cover to Destroyer's best album, Streethawk: A Seduction. As it stands, the current one is pretty boring and features decidedly less wheely-ing. As an album though, it is really solid. Every song is good, which is much rarer than it should be. Pop songs with unique song structures, melodies and arrangements. He has never been this good again. If you haven't heard it, or any Destroyer, then now is the time. A fucking basic.
Here is Destroyer's Bay of Pigs EP that came out not too long ago. Same Destroyer ingredients with ambient electronics and disco thrown in. Still sounds like everything Dan Bejar has every written, which is a good thing. The description may sound off putting to some but this EP is not likely to alienate any fans. Oh, I forgot to mention that the first song is 12 minutes long. The ole boy still has some tricks up his sleeve. More artists should be this adventurous.
Sep 10, 2009
A very 90s sounding shoegaze pop record from Lilys. A few of the songs have extended minimalist sound collage style passages, which get a little tedious, especially a seemingly endless passage of silence to end the record. Nitpicking aside the other 90% of the album is a dream-pop shoegazey classic. "The Hermit Crab" in particular is a pleasure. Sure the buildups take a while to build, but once they do it's hard to say they aren't worth it.
Sep 8, 2009
Scotland's Twilight Sad have released a new album that sounds pretty similar to their last. Singer James Graham belts out his lyrics with a strong Scottish accent while Sonic Youth guitars fuzz and feed in the background. It's honestly a nice sound, I just kind of wish they had evolved somewhat. Still a great record. If you've never heard them before this will sound amazing, if you have then it will just be another album.
Sep 7, 2009
"The Monkeys have made their mature album." Yeah, those critics can shut the fuck up. It's like when Supergrass made "Road to Rouen," and everyone was like, "what happened to the young whippersnappers who made 'caught by the fuzz?'" They made a sweet album. Same goes here. Yeah the sound is more restrained, but that doesn't mean these guys are ready for the final chapter of "A Clockwork Orange." Basically
Sep 6, 2009
Sep 5, 2009
Normally I don't post album covers with the reviews. I had to here. Caetano Veloso's self titled second album looks like one of those carnival boards with a hole for heads. So that everyone can capture their favorite memories of a topless babe petting a dragon. And apparently we have Phillips to thanks for the illustration. Thanks Phillips.
Album-wise we have a proto-tropicalia record filled with bravado. Veloso seemingly smirks throughout the entire thing which makes the set have a breezy effortlessness. If you like 60s Brazilian music this is as fine a record as I've heard from the era.
Sep 4, 2009
Hey, Sorry about the lack of updates. I will try to put up a new post at least once every two days for the next month. You know, get the sauce rolling.
This album sounds like what I wished "Muswell Hillbillies" by the Kinks sounded like. A sort of country, classic pop record with interesting vocals, arrangements and instrumentation. Filled with great pop hooks and parasitic melodies. I haven't checked or anything but I bet Rolling Stone is popping huge boners all over "The Ruminant Band" right about now. If they aren't then Spin certainly is. Probably a good thing.
A well written Album from start to finish.