Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm never gonna learn to be alone

 From the first note of Cloud Nothing's latest album, Attack on Memory, it is evident that they've strayed a bit from the indie-pop-punk that gained them acclaim. "No Future/No Past" opens the LP with a dark, Slint/Drive Like Jehu vibe. It's follow-up, "Wasted Days," sounds as if the band is starting to remember its roots a bit more....but then it turns into a nearly 9-minute kraut-rock jam (which you tend not to hear on albums resembling any variety of "punk," aside from Fucked Up). It could be tempting to think of Steve Albini's production that helped this sound along, but Dylan Baldi, chief Cloud Nothing-er, is quoted as saying "Steve Albini played Scrabble on Facebook almost the entire time [we were recording]. I don't even know if he remembers what our album sounds like." By the fourth track ("Stay Useless," posted above), the group is clearly back on familiar ground. Catchy hooks, powerchords, etc. Attack on Memory is a fine example of the power of sequencing on an album. They get to show you how they've grown and expanded as a band, and before you have a chance to question it, they've gentally coaxed you back to safe ground. You get a long, quality journey, with a nice, comfortable end. Like a (insert sexual metaphor here).

Playlist for 7-26-12

You guys,

I slept on my neck super weird last night and I can't turn my head as easily as i'd like. I suspect this will put a hamper in my viewing of the tennis match I'm going to tonight. (Ha. I'm hilarious).

Anyway. Here are songs I played last night:

Things that Are Square 7-26-12

(*) = New release

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Lay Me Low - Let Love In

Swans - Love Will Save You - Various Failures
Xiu Xiu - Dear God, I Hate Myself - Dear God, I Hate Myself
Shearwater - Hail, Mary - Palo Santo

(*) Liars - His and Mine Sensations - WIXIW
Young Marble Giants - This Way - Colossal Youth & Collected Works
Prinzhorn Dance School - Do You Know Your Butcher - Prinzhorn Dance School
The Microphones - Great Ghosts - Live in Japan

Arab Strap - I Saw You - Ten Years of Tears
(*) Dash Jacket - January - Ten Thousand Things
Orange Juice - Moscow Olympics - The Glasgow School
Television Personalities - The Glittering Prizes - ...And Don't the Kids Just Love It

The Dismemberment Plan - OK Jokes Over - !
Parts & Labor - Fractured Skies - Mapmaker
Jesu - Silver - Silver
dälek - Ever Somber - Absence

(*) Aesop Rock - Gopher Guts - Skelethon
Mr. Lif - Pull Out Your Cut - Emergency Rations
(*) Dirty Projectors - Offspring Are Blank - Swing Lo Magellan

The Replacements - I Will Dare - Let It Be
Aberfeldy - Love Is An Arrow - Young Forever
Tullycraft - Superboy & Supergirl - The Singles
Allo Darlin' - Dear Stephen Hawking - Henry Rollins Don't Dance

A Silver Mt. Zion - God Bless Our Dead Marines - Horses In the Sky

Friday, July 20, 2012

Playlist for 7-19-12

Happy friday, folks!

I played you all kinds of songs last night, because I love you. Here are those songs:

Things that Are Square 7-19-12

(*) = New release

Psapp - Sad Song - Worried Noodles

The Magnetic Fields - Take Ecstasy with Me - Holiday
Acid House Kings - This Heart Is a Stone - Sing Along With...
Jens Lekman - I Don't Wanna Die Alone - The Opposite of Hallelujah
Jacob Borshard - Batman Summer of 89 - Unreleased

(*) Shonen Knife - Pop Tune - Pop Tune
The Unicorns - Tuff Ghost - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?
Hasil Adkins - Blue Suede Shoes - Peanut Butter Rock and Roll
Harry and the Potters - Song for the Death Eaters - ...And the Power of Love

(*) Dash Jacket - Drifting - Ten Thousand Things
Cause Co-Motion! - Only Fades Away - It's Time!
Prinzhorn Dance School - Don't Talk to Strangers - Prinzhorn Dance School
Gang of Four - Armalite Rifle - Yellow EP

(*) The Hive Dwellers - Sitting Alone at the Movies - Hewn from the Wilderness
The Pogues - Dirty Old Town - Rum, Sodomy, & The Lash
John Prine - Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore - John Prine
Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers - If I Can't Trust You With a Quarter (How Can I Trust You With My Heart?) - Starlight Hotel

(*) Dirty Projectors - Dance For You - Swing Lo Magellan
Momus - Lucky Like St. Sebastian - Circus Maximus
Vic Chesnutt - You Are Never Alone - North Star Deserter
FOG - What's Up Freaks? - Ditherer

(*) Aesop Rock - Leisureforce - Skelethon
Madvillain - Great Day (Four Tet Remix) - Remixes
cLOUDDEAD - Dead Dogs Two - Ten
Don Cherry - Brown Rice - Brown Rice

Einstürzende Neubauten - Zampano - Silence Is Sexy
(*) Future of the Left - I Am the Least of Your Problems - The Plot Against Common Sense

(*) Hot Chip - Motion Sickness - In Our Heads

Friday, July 13, 2012

Playlist for 7-12-12

Happy friday folks,

You guys. I'm excited to go Comic-Con after work today. I've been seeing all these photos on various blogs and I just want to get this day over with, jump on a train and get down there, already. I feel like I'm missing everything.

If you're going, look for a dude dressed as Dr. Jacoby from Twin Peaks on Saturday. That's me. I'll give you a hug if you want one. 

Anyway. Here's what I played last night.

Things that Are Square 7-12-12

(*) = New release

Os Mutantes - A Minha Menina - Os Mutantes

(*) Dirty Projectors - About to Die - Swing Lo Magellan
Ava Luna - Wrenning Day - Wrenning Day
Bar Kokhba Sextet - Abdiel - Book of Angels Volume 10: Lucifer
Dosh - O Mexico - The Lost Take

Matmos - Enigma Machine for Alan Turing - For Alan Turing
Prefuse 73 - Point to B - Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives
Busdriver & Radioinactive with Daedelus - Pen's Oil - The Weather
Danny Brown - Grown Up - Grown Up

(*) Aesop Rock - Gopher Guts - Skelethon
(*) Doseone - I Fell - G Is for Deep
(*) Liars - A Ring On Every Finger - WIXIW

(*) Dash Jacket - Nothing, Beautiful - Ten Thousand Things
Beulah - Maroon Bible - Handsome Western States
Naomi Elizabeth - Call Me Maybe featuring Someone Like You - Call Me Maybe (For Michael in Los Angeles, CA)
The Cramps - Fever - Songs the Lord Taught Us

(*) Delicate Steve - Afria Talks to You - Positive Force
Archers of Loaf - Web in Front - Icky Mettle
Kevin Greenspon - Carpool Pepsi - Kevin Greenspon + Cloud Nothings
The Jesus and Mary Chain - My Little Underground - Psychocandy

(*) The Hive Dwellers - Somebody's Phone Is Ringing - Hewn from the Wilderness
The Modern Lovers - Government Center - The Modern Lovers
Aberfeldy - Vegetarian Restaurant - Young Forever
Little Wings - The Shredder - Discover Worlds of Wonder

The Feelies - Everybody's Got Something to Hide (Except for Me and My Monkey) - Crazy Rhythms

Battles - Tij - Mirrored

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

To the one true God above:

 "Prayer to God" is a legendarily ugly song. Almost overly so. But what helps elevate it from an unlistenably hateful screed delivered from a lesser band to something that is going to make it a cult hit for decades to come is the dark humor/debased social storytelling from industry troll/anti-charismatic frontman Steve Albini. Lyrically, the song's protagonist starts out almost humbly, addressing his prayer "to the one true God above," followed by an admission that he realizes he hasn't prayed in a long time. And sure, God is likely busy with other prayers, but clearly something has come up that is of sufficient importance to warrant the breaking of years and years of spiritual silence. "There are two people here, and I want you to kill them."

The first of these two people, "Her," is an ex-lover. The protagonist describes scenes of domestic intimacy: the fastening of necklaces, the closing or garments in getting dressed (suggesting time spent together, undressed), and--just so the listener is aware that this woman isn't simply some desired specimen, perhaps observed from afar--a spot on the base of her neck where he used to lay his face. Three quick scenes of a shared, physical relationship. If God likes, he can just strike her in that place once, killing her quickly. The idea of the "mercifully quick death" is perverse. "Her" has clearly engaged in something that the protagonist views as justifiable for death. But because he "loves" her, he will do her the "favor" of making it quick. In fact, as he thinks about it, he enjoys the poetic nature of having God strike her there. That's where it should be done.

Him," on the other hand...

And of course there's a "Him." What else would warrant the God-assisted murder of an ex-lover? The protagonist could give a shit about Him and whether or not he suffers in his demise. The protagonist's attitude noticeably changes. Where he was talking about Her, the thoughts--even murderous thoughts--were tied to scenes of putting on jewelry delivered almost gently, over the comparatively bare-bones guitar-only bed of music. Him gets the full band, complete with the thuggish pounding drums of Todd Trainer. The protagonist also lets his first "fucking-as-interjection" slip. The thought of Him raises the protagonist's blood. So much so that after professing to not care if it hurts when Him dies, he decides that in fact, yes....he does care....Him should definitely hurt when he dies. He should "cry like a woman" first (a bit of misogyny there, inserted by Albini to help flesh out while Her decided to seek solace with Him in the first place). He wants Him to be killed in a way that, after he's cried, gives him hope that somebody may come, and then God can dash those hopes and fucking kill Him. Fucking kill Him. Fucking kill Him. Repeat over and over, getting louder and more deranged as the idea and bloodlust and desperation and impotency (because why ask God to do it, otherwise) racks the protagonist.

As a final note, when the protagonist says "there are two people here...," the word "here" suggests that these two people are in the room. The protagonist has perhaps captured them, and is now hoping for divine intervention to do his dirty work in a scene that gets more and more terrifying and fucked up the longer one dwells on it. Which, for a two and a half minute song, is quite a lyrical feat.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

And this mighty river I may never see

I think everyone on the internet has seen the meme-level cover art for this album. But behind that image is a solid album of late-50's gospel country (as evidenced by the above track). Granted, some of the tracks have fairly metal-sounding titles ("Satan's Jeweled Crown," for instance), but the album is front-to-back Jesus-tunes. Now, I was raised in the church. I am no stranger to a song about "the Lord." But, as one might expect, the vast majority of modern Christian music is pretty uniformly terrible. The same way modern "country" music is pretty uniformly terrible. But what "Satan Is Real" has, that neither of those genres has, is a feeling of genuineness. This is a little rough, a little goofy. I mean, they put a 12' tall wooden devil on the cover of their album, you know? Imperfect people bringing you an imperfect product in the realest, most artistically true way they can, and that's admirable. I'll support anything honest and from-the-heart in the world of music.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love

Hey, guys. I made you a mix-CD. It’s about the apocalypse. It starts with the rise of the Satanic messiah, then there’s raising of demons, zombies, disease, the decay of civilization, war, destruction, people fighting for supplies, the rise of a dark new cannibalistic society, and then I had to give folks SOMETHING to hold on to.
The playlist:
1. The Mountain Goats - Satanic Messiah
2. Miasma & The Carousel of Headless Horses - Asmodius Arise 
3. Old Time Relijun - Daemon Meeting
4. Jeffrey Lewis - If You Shoot The Head You Kill The Ghoul 
5. Shannon and the Clams - Toxic Revenge
6. Les Savy Fav - Raging In The Plague Age
7. The Cramps - Fever 
8. Blood On The Wall - Dead Edge Of Town
9. Final Fantasy - The CN Tower Belongs To The Dead
10. Giles Corey - Empty Churches
11. Black Sabbath - Electric Funeral
12. Blackalicious - Sky Is Falling 
13. Aesop Rock - Food, Clothes, Medicine 
14. Liars - We Fenced Other Gardens With The Bones Of Our Own 
15. The Gothic Archies - Crows
16. Misfits - Skulls 
17. The Angels of Light - New City In The Future 
18. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Death Is Not The End 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

So my brain became stained with the horror

Mommy? What's a Gravedigga?

Upon hearing Gravediggaz's album "6 Feet Deep," (originally titled "Niggamortis," clever in a "totally unmarketable" sort of way) I had to take to Wikipedia to see if an album of such cartoonish violence was responsible for the Insane Clown Posse or not. Turns out, ICP actually pre-dates this album by a few years, and both were influenced by the same Geto Boys track.

But, even so, one of those groups contains members who are responsible for such massive hip-hop landmarks as "Enter the Wu-Tang" and "3 Feet High and Rising."The other starred in a movie with a 3.6 rating on and a plot synopsis that reads, "In the Wild West town of Mudbug, Sheriff Sugar Wolf arrives to confront an over-the-top villain, Big Baby Chips."

Admittedly, I am not overly-familiar with the other two emcees on the album, Frukwan and Too Poetic, but honestly, if Prince Paul and RZA are involved with a project, it almost wouldn't matter who else touched it. But, then again, it's not as if those dudes are getting involved with slackers.

Playlist for 7-5-12

Hey folks,

My band got back from tour and I'm back doing radio again. I was concerned that I would forget how to do a show in that time. Just kidding. I knew I would retain my normal level of "more or less listenable." Sorry for not posting the playlist sooner, but I've been under the weather, and sleeping all day without being able to sit upright isn't conducive to interneting. I'm sure you understand. 

Things that Are Square 7-5-12

(*) = New release

Bill Callahan - America! - Apocalypse

(*) The Hive Dwellers - Nothin' but the Buryin' - Hewn from the Wilderness
Real Estate - Fake Blues - Real Estate
Colleen Green - Green One - Green One + 3
(*) Allo Darlin' - Capricornia - Europe

(*) Dent May - Wedding Day - Do Things
(*) Advance Base - Summer Music - A Shut-In's Prayer
The Magnetic Fields - All My Little Words - 69 Love Songs
Stornoway - Zorbing - Beachcomber's Windowsill

Lake - Christmas Island - Let's Build a Roof
Galaxie 500 - Snowstorm - On Fire
The Antlers - Kettering - Hospice
Dustin Wong - Pink Diamond - Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads

(*) Delicate Steve - Two Lovers - Positive Force 
The Vaselines - The Devil's Inside Me - Sex with an X
(*) Liars - Octagon - WIXIW
Pop. 1280 - Dogboy - The Horror

(*) Future of the Left - City of Exploded Children - The Plot Against Common Sense
Industrial Park - Cold White - Cold White
Gang of Four - Guns Before Butter - Entertainment!
James Chance & the Contortions - Contort Yourself - Twist Your Soul

Love Is All - Talk Talk Talk Talk - Nine Times That Same Song
Dead Kennedys - Dear Abby - Bedtime for Democracy
Yo La Tengo - Mr. Tough - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass
The Babies - Meet Me in the City - The Babies (For Andrea in San Francisco, CA)

Grinderman - Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man - Grinderman 2

Monday, July 2, 2012

I can't work, I can't achieve

 I can't believe it took me this long to get into Gang of Four. Please make fun of me for this the next time you see me.

I think one of the things I enjoy most about Gang of Four (despite the fact that the music is great), is that it actually feels So many bands with that tag sound similar to this, but they don't feel too related to punk to me. Gang of Four's lyrics, while definitely more artful and elevated than the stereotypical punk song, are often rooted in similar concepts: Marxist ideology, the "working man," political prisoners, guerrilla warfare. "Damaged Goods," posted above, isn't the greatest example of this punk mindset know....who can resist a good lust-jam?