Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sounds of the Russian Woodpecker

Evian Christ - Duga-Three [free download mix for Dummy Magazine]

The Russian Woodpecker [or Duga-3 (Russian: Дуга-3)] was a notorious Soviet radio signal that could be sporadically heard on the shortwave radio bands worldwide between July 1976 and December 1989. It sounded like a sharp, repetitive tapping noise, at 10 Hz, giving rise to the "Woodpecker" name. The mysterious and unclaimed signal was a source for much speculation, giving rise to theories such as Soviet mind control and weather control.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Playlist for 6-27-13 (Summer beach party edition!)

Hey guys,

Thanks to everyone who listened to Mat and my super awesome summer beach party edition of Things that Are Square last night. I hope that it gave you the strength to make it through whatever nonsense you have to do today and get to that weekend. Grab it by the lapels and give it a big kiss on the face for me.

Check out these beach blanket ballads:

Things that Are Square 6-27-13

Akron/Family - I'll Be on the Water - Akron/Family

Beat Happening - Down at the Sea - Beat Happening
Half Japanese - Daytona Beach - Greatest Hits
Beachniks - Brighton Beach - Funky Head
The Oscillators - Doug Buggy - Incogneato (For Johnny in Pomona, CA)

Jonathan Richman - Rooming House at Venice Beach - I, Jonathan
Arabian Prince - Let's Hit the Beach - Situation Hot (For Ivy in Costa Mesa, CA)
The Diskettes - Cabin by the Sea - Weeknights at Island View Beach
Laura K - Beach Comber - Dressing Up

Tullycraft - Wild Bikini - Surf Beat Fun
The Drums - Let's Go Surfing - Summertime
Miracle Fortress - Beach Baby - Five Roses
Jeffrey Lewis - Sea Song - It's the Ones Who've Cracked that the Light Shines Through

Jacob Borshard - Kokomo - Cocktail: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Low - Surfer Girl - A Lifetime of Temporary Relief
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Surfin' USA - Barbed Wire Kisses

Dead Kennedys - Funland at the Beach - Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables
Wavves - King of the Beach - Kings of the Beach
Queers - Rockaway Beach - Sinkhole Split
Hüsker Dü - Standing By the Sea - Zen Arcade

Belle and Sebastian - Ease Your Feet In the Sea - The Boy with the Arab Strap
Marine Girls - The Lure of the Rock Pools - Lazy Ways/Beach Party
Little Wings - Sand Canyon - Discover Worlds of Wonder
LAKE - Christmas Island - Let's Build a Roof

Secret Mommy - The Beach - Hawaii 5.0
Lullatone - Driving Home with a Towel on the Seat - Summer Songs

Righeira - Vamos a la Playa - ???

Friday, June 21, 2013

I dunno, man...

Macintosh Plus - "リサフランク420 / 現代のコンピュー" (Floral Shoppe)

I'm going to go on record as saying that I'm not 100% sure I understand this whole vaporwave thing. Sorry, internet.

For the record, this song translates to "Computing Lisa Frank 420/Modern," according to Google Translate.

Playlist for 6-20-13

Happy Friday, my loves,

I hope you have exciting-type things planned. Like some kind of cocaine-fueled sex party. Or going to the movies with your friend. There are a lot of different kinds of exciting-type things.

But while you do that, reminisce on the good times we had together. Think of me fondly, and remember the songs I played for you:

Things that Are Square 6-20-13

(*) = New release

Boom Bip - Third Stream (Four Tet Remix) - Corymb

(*) Boards of Canada - Split Your Infinities - Tomorrow's Harvest
Elite Gymnastics - Little Things 2 - Ruin
Matmos - Aetheric Vehicle - The Marriage of True Minds

(*) Baths - Phaedra - Obsidian
El Stew - Igloo Condo - El Stew
RJD2 - Good Times Roll Pt. 2 - Deadringer
Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - It's Like That - Mecca and the Soul Brother

TTC - De Pauvres Riches - Ceci N'Est Pas Un Disque (For Estelle in Irvine, CA)
Aesop Rock - Gopher Guts - Skelethon
Deltron 3030 - Positive Contact - Deltron 3030
Allo Darlin' - Wu Tang Clan - Covers

The Lucksmiths - A Downside to the Upstairs - Where Were We?
Suspicious for the Winter - Empty Streets - Between Two Waves
Pavement - Stereo - Brighten the Corners
(*) Shannon and the Clams - Heads or Tails - Dreams in the Rat House

Smog - Dress Sexy at My Funeral - Dongs of Sevotion
Jim O'Rourke - Halfway to a Threeway - Halfway to a Threeway
Grouper - When We Fall - Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill
Silver Jews - Slow Education - Bright Flight

(*) Sigur Rós - Yfirborð - Kveikur
Stars of the Lid - Requiem for Dying Mothers - The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid

She swings her hips and dances to the Wu-Tang Clan

Allo Darlin' - "Wu Tang Clan" (Covers)

Last night at the gym, I added 5-15lbs to almost all of my arm workouts while listening to this album. My goal is to have a maximum discrepancy between how tough I look on the outside and how tough I am on the inside. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

How can anyone be certain they're NOT LeVar Burton?

Milo - "Almond Milk Paradise (Ft. Safari Al)" (Things that Happen at Day) [Hellfyre Club]

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Force is strong with this one though, over 9000 Midi-chlorians say so

Captain Murphy - "Between Friends (Ft. Earl Sweatshirt)" (Duality) [Free mixtape download]

Captain Murphy is the resin-caked rap side project of producer Flying Lotus.

Playlist for 6-13-13


Happy Friday! I'm stoked because a) my university job is about to get chill as hell now that school's out, b) going to a friend's birthday celebration at Beachwood BBQ tonight and c) hitting up a fancy cheese shop on the way to get all bougie about French cheese made by monks. What are things you're excited about this weekend? Let me know!

ALSO: I want to do some fun themed shows this summer, so if you have an idea for a two-hour radio show, let me know. It'll be fun.

Things that Are Square 6-13-13

(*) = New release

The Replacements - Here Comes a Regular - Tim

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Into My Arms - The Boatman's Call
Andrew Bird - Opposite Day - Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs (For Nuha in Irvine, CA)
(*) The Pastels - Secret Music - Slow Summits
(*) The National - This Is the Last Time - Trouble Will Find Me

Jacob Borshard and Laura K - The Old Treehouse - ePop032
Allo Darlin' - My heart Is a Drummer - Allo Darlin'
Ballboy - I Lost You, But I Found Country Music - A Guide for the Daylight Hours
Tullycraft - The Lonely Life of the UFO Researcher - Every Scene Needs a Center

(*) Future Bible Heroes - Keep Your Children in a Coma - Partygoing
Math the Band - Dogs - All Good Things All the Time
Mirah - The Dogs of BA (Krts Remix) - Joyride: Remixes (For Courtney in San Clemente, CA)
Ghost Mice - Oh Me, Oh Me - Andrew Jackson Jihad/Ghost Mice Split (For Alexi in San Diego, CA)

(*) Boards of Canada - Reach for the Dead - Tomorrow's Harvest
The Books - Thirty Incoming - The Way Out
Yosi Horikawa - Bubbles - Wandering (For Estelle in Irvine, CA)
Secret Mommy - Basketball Court - Very Rec

(*) Jon Hopkins - We Disappear - Immunity
Madvillain - Great Day (Four Tet Remix) - Remixes
Captain Murphy - Between Friends ft. Earl Sweatshirt - Duality
Nas - One Mic (Andrew Broder Remix) - Modern Hits

(*) Deafheaven - Dream House - Sunbather
Jesu - Silver - Silver
Boris - Farewell - Pink

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Mladic - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dress sexy at my funeral

Smog - "Dress Sexy at My Funeral" (Dongs Of Sevotion)

The argument could be made that this song is about Smog's Bill Callahan wanting his wife to not waste time in crying over him, now that he's passed, but to go out and live life to the fullest. Though, that feels a little too good-natured and serious for a Smog album. I suspect that this is more a song about a dying man wanting to be remembered as a stone-cold fuck machine. He wants his wife to make sure the gathered mourners are aware of "the time we did it/On the beach with fireworks above us/On the railroad tracks with the gravel in your back/In the back room of a crowded bar/And in the graveyard where my body now rests." After this laundry list of adventurous sexual escapades, Callahan figures she should "Also tell them about how I gave to charity/And tried to love my fellow man as best I could/But most of all don't forget about the time on the beach/With fireworks above us."

I feel like I could do worse for my own eulogy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Marriage of True Minds

Matmos - "Aetheric Vehicle" (The Marriage of True Minds)

Matmos rank very highly in my "favorite bands of all time" battle for musical supremacy. Their "musique concrète" approach to electronic music--using real-world recorded sounds for samples--appeals to the part of me that likes to think of itself as brainy and intelligent, and I enjoy the musically avant garde shaping of every day sounds into tracks. But what elevates them to "possible favorite band" status is their impish pursuit of novelty. Albums composed of surgery samples, audio "biographies" of LGBTQ historical figures, side projects of electronic covers of classic punk/hardcore songs done for an academic paper, etc. Their high-concept flights of fancy make me incredibly happy. And I think the backstory of their new album, The Marriage of True Minds, had me the most intrigued out of all the things they've done:  

"Over the past four years, we have been re-enacting a classic para-psychological experiment known as the Ganzfeld (total field) experiment, which is designed to provide a scientifically verifiable way of investigating extra-sensory perception. Standard versions of the test involve the isolation and sensory deprivation of test subjects who are asked to relax and empty their minds while a remote agent attempts to transmit simple graphic patterns into their minds. After the session, test subjects are challenged to identify which symbol the agent was transmitting from a range of possible candidates, in order to see if a more-than-chance rate of correlation emerges. In our version, a test subject is isolated in a dark room. They rest on a mattress, and headphones are placed over their ears and halved ping-pong balls cover their eyes. White noise is played at low volume over the headphones, and a soft red light shines upon the ping-pong ball eye-coverings. The goal is to reduce sensory input through vision and hearing in order to permit other, possibly weaker perceptual pathways to open up. After a rest period and a countdown triggered by a set signal, test subjects or “percipients” are instructed to empty their minds and try to receive any incoming psychic signals. Resting comfortably in an adjacent room and staring at a fixed point in space, I try to transmit “the concept of the new Matmos album” from my mind into the minds of the targeted percipients. The test subject is asked to describe out loud any sounds they seem to hear in their minds, to hum along or sing along if they hear musical phrases, and to describe any objects or actions or events that they seem to see or hear during the session. When I feel that sufficient time has elapsed, the session is terminated. These sessions are recorded onto videotape and transcribed. Having gathered the transcripts together, M. C. Schmidt and I have used them as scores, instructions, source material, blueprints, or restrictions to guide the creation of the songs, sounds, words and music on this recording."

How close these tracks come to what Drew Daniel and MC Schmidt were actually going for is not known. And while I wouldn't put The Marriage of True Minds at the top of the Matmos ouvre, it's still one of my favorite things to be released this year. And just for comparison's sake, the above track was based on a Ganzfeld session with musician Keith Fullerton Whitman. The psychic imagery he reported receiving is as follows:  

"Visually I’m seeing an inverted pentagram, oddly. The shape of a small metal bracket. The word “grandiose” just popped into my head. Chinese checkers. The Swiss alps. I see the shape of an “S” spline curve. And in the noise I can make out distant Gregorian singing, massed singing. I can sort of see shapes like re-entry, coming back from space, sort of contrails. A thin melody like upper whistling. The word “piecemeal”. A long, non-repeating melody, sort of a long snaking pentatonic melody with no regular rhythm."

Friday, June 7, 2013

It's clipping, bitch

clipping - "Story" (Midcity) [Self-released pay-what-you-want download]

clipping is emcee Daveed Diggs, with beats by noise artist William Hutson (Rale) and Jonathan Snipes (Captain Ahab).

We try not to lose our hearts

Yo La Tengo - "Ohm" (Fade)

This may be projecting a tad, but I think Yo La Tengo is a band that clicks with me so hard because I feel like its members and I have a lot in common. They realize the correct answer to the "Beatles or Stones" question is "The Velvet Underground." But, like me, they're far more into Loaded than White Light/White Heat. And because they are goofy music nerds, like me, they don't absorb the Velvets' drug-addled streetwise thing, but rather just an appreciation for their unique combination of long-form krautrock-y guitars and oldies pop song sensibility. They don't have that rebellious edge. They'd rather write about love than looking for heroin. That is the fix that they, and I, are more fixated on.

Stay glued to your TV set

Wire - "Ex Lion Tamer" (Pink Flag)

Playlist for 6-6-13

Hey folks,

Hope you guys are having a nice Friday. Mine started with a pretty gnarly flat tire on my bike which led to me quickly having to teach myself the OCTA system, walking about three miles, and getting to work about 75 minutes late. But that's OK! Now we're here together, and that's what counts. XOXOX.

Things that Are Square 6-6-13

(*) = New release

Belle and Sebastian - Put the Book Back on the Shelf - Push Barman to Open Old Wounds

(*) The Pastels - Come to the Dance - Slow Summits
Nose Bleed Island - When We Won the War - More Tales From Blood Island
Dear Nora - Second Hand - Three States
(*) Shannon and the Clams - If I Could Count - Dreams in the Rat House

(*) Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds - Su Su - Haunted Head
Half Japanese - Firecracker - Greatest Hits
The Fall - Fortress/Deer Park - Hex Enduction Hour
Wire - Three Girl Rhumba - Pink Flag

Wipers - Is This Real? - Is This Real?
Ponytail - Die Allman Brüder - Ice Cream Spiritual
Religious Girls - Care Harder - I Want to Believe
St. Vincent - Bad Girls - Bob's Buskers (For Andi in Pasadena, CA)

James White and the Blacks - Don't Stop Til You Get Enough - Off White
Dan Deacon - True Thrush - America
Kids & Explosions - Use Your Words - Shit Computer
OCDJ - Fresh Socks, New Socks - Hooray
Ear Pwr - Future Eyes - Super Animal Brothers III

John Maus - Believer - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
Swans - Please Remember Me - Various Failures
(*) The National - I Should Live in Salt - Trouble Will Find Me

Mogwai - R U Still In 2 It - Young Team
White Rainbow - Major Spillage - New Clouds

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

There's many girls up in my world that make my head twirl

Antwon - "Diamonds and Pearls" (End of Earth)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

God forbid

Stars of the Lid - "Requiem for Dying Mothers Parts 1 & 2" (The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid )

Monday, June 3, 2013

There's still a subculture I feel adrift of

The Fall - "Fortress/Deer Park" (Hex Enduction Hour)