Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Genre research project 12/1357: Marrabenta

Ghorwane - "Majurugenta" (Majurugenta)

Marrabenta is a popular style of Mozambican dance music combining traditional Mozambican dance rhythms with Portuguese folk music. It was developed in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique, during the 1930s and 1940s.

Marrabenta gained national popularity in Mozambique during the 1930s and 1940s while the nation was still under Portuguese colonial rule. Before the popularity of Marrabenta, Portuguese musicians in Mozambique played fado, a type of traditional Portuguese folk music. These musicians introduced the traditional orchestration and other influences of fado, such as the use of guitars, mandolins, drum sets, and other conventional Western instruments, to Mozambique. The Catholic Church, as a site for cultural interaction, also played a role in the development of the new genre, contributing influences of tonal harmony and the basic use of progressions like I-IV-V. Mozambican musicians combined the influences of church music, secular Western music, and African rhythms to create an entirely new genre.

Monday, December 30, 2013

A diminutive figure in a filthy loin cloth

The Jesus Lizard - "The Art of Self Defense" (Liar)

Dana White is never going to let me use the songs I want for my UFC entrance music.

Genre research project 11/1357: French pop

Françoise Hardy - "Bati mon nid" (La question)

French pop music is the pop music sung in the French language. It is usually performed by singers from France, Belgium, Quebec, or any of the other francophone areas of the world. The target audience is the francophone market (primarily France), which is considerably smaller and largely independent from the mainstream anglophone market.

The first distinct French pop music styles that emerged were the French rock and the yé-yé, which originated in France during the 1960s. They were influenced by the American rock & roll of the 1950s. In the early days, this style of French pop music was easily distinguishable from the earlier category of French music called chanson in English. Eventually the early French pop music and the chanson styles crossed over and combined.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Genre research project 10/1357: Shōmyō

Shōmyō (声明) is a style of Japanese Buddhist chant, used mainly in the Tendai and Shingon sects. There are two styles: ryokyoku and rikkyoku, described as difficult and easy to remember, respectively.

Shōmyō, like gagaku, employs the Yo scale, a pentatonic scale with ascending intervals of two, three, two, two, and three semitones.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Playlist for 12-26-13 (2013 Retrospective Edition)

Hey everybody,

Another year of radio done, and thanks to all the kind folks who listen every week. The people who call and say nice things and have good requests mean a lot to me. I know that can sound empty, but "people being kind and supportive" is probably my favorite thing in the world at the moment, and if you're someone who does that, I wish you all manner of good tidings in 2014.

This show was exclusively things that came out in 2013, and when I put together the playlist, it was originally 4 hours long, so Lord knows I didn't get to all of it. Hopefully you liked what I DID get to.

hings that Are Square 12-26-13 (2013 Retrospective)

(*) Charles Bradley - Changes - Changes/Ain't It a Sin

FKA Twigs - Water Me - EP2
(*) Blood Orange - You're Not Good Enough - Cupid Deluxe
Baths - Phaedra - Obsidian
(*) Omar Souleyman - Ya Yumma - Wenu Wenu

DJ Rashad - Drums Please (Feat. DJ Manny) - Rollin' EP
(*) Death Grips - This Is Violence Now (Don't Get Me Wrong) - Government Plates
Forest Swords - Thor's Stone - Engravings
(*) Four Tet - Unicorn - Beautiful Rewind

Boards of Canada - Reach for the Dead - Tomorrow's Harvest (For Melissa in Aliso Viejo, CA)
The Haxan Cloak - Excavation (Part 1) - Excavation
The-Drum - Sim Stem A - Contact
Le1f - Swerve - Tree House

(*) Danny Brown - Smokin & Drinkin - Old
Half Goon - Zoo - Terrorizer
Pissed Jeans - Bathroom Laughter - Honeys
Nails - God's Cold Hands - Abandon All Life

Deafheaven - Dream House - Sunbather
Julianna Barwick - The Harbinger - Nepenthe
(*) Destroyer - Maria de las Nieves - Five Spanish Songs
Waxahatchee - Swan Dive - Cerulean Salt

Arjuna Genome - Alive with Emily - The Universe Is Blinking
(*) Advance Base - Young and Insane - Tomorrow's Homes Today
Palm Reader - Silence = Death - Unlucky

Yuppies - What's That? - Yuppies

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Genre research project 9/1357: Lowercase

Tetsuro Yasunaga - Improvised Music From Japan

The term "Lowercase music" was coined by Steve Roden to describe his album Forms of Paper. Lowercase was primarily defined as a new form of extreme sound art. Lowercase artists base their music on very quiet sounds and will often employ a liberal use of silences to juxtapose these sounds so as to amplify their intensity. Through the digital magnification of microsounds, Lowercase artists may also reveal auditory experiences once inaccessible to the human ear. Examples of this include the recording of plants using amplified contact microphones, anthills and underground ant colony chambers, the sound of snow as it falls onto a sheet of ice, and bacteria being flash-frozen in a Petri dish.

John Cage's notorious piece 4'33", radical in its use of silence as a compositional basis and its declaration of distant nontraditional sounds as musical, is often cited as a major influence in Lowercase music. The Wandelweiser group, founded by Antoine Beuger and Burkhard Schlothauer in 1992, is notable for composing and performing music based on these ideas and releasing them through Edition Wandelweiser Records.

However, Lowercase hasn't remained just a matter of adjusted Field Recordings or composed music. Artists from the field of Free Improvisation contributed to the genre and translated its aesthetic into a new sort of improvised music. Among notable Lowercase improvisers are James Coleman, Axel Dörner, Radu Malfatti, Mark Wastell, Nmperign or Onkyo players. Composed or improvised, Lowercase's original intentions are still kept up and even Roden himself gives Lowercase improvisations from time to time.  

Monday, December 23, 2013

Genre research project 8/1357: Maracatu

Mestre Ambrósio - Mestre Ambrósio

Maracatu is an ancient carnival tradition from the north-east of Brazil. Maracatu has its roots in the sugar fazendas and slave estates of Pernambuco state, where black African slaves formed religious brotherhoods to preserve African culture and heritage. Each year the crowning of the slave King and Queen was celebrated with music and dance.

This rich cultural ceremony - first recorded in 1674 - has been preserved through the centuries by the maracatu naçãoes - literally 'maracatu nations', which form the colourful parades of drums, dancers and costumed kings and queens of today's world famous Recife carnival.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Genre research project 7/1357: Sounds and Effects

Walt Disney Studios - Chilling Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House

Sounds and effects recordings are non-musical audio works, compiling recorded sounds, sounds recreated synthetically or by other means, sounds of known objects or abstract noise manifestations. Those short recordings are generally used individually to illustrate other works (eg. Sound Effects Vol 21: More Death and Horror) or as a generator of a functional atmosphere (eg. Halloween Sounds & Music for Your Parties, Trick or Treaters & School Festivals).

These recordings may include musical sounds that are presented in a non-musical contexts, such as music heard from the radio of a passing car; the key distinction is that the music is an incidental component of the sound effect or atmosphere, rather than the focus of the recording.

The creation, preparation and presentation of sound effects distinguishes them from Field Recordings, which documents original, authentic sound in its natural setting, usually for research and study.

Genre research project 6/1357: Concerto

Antonio Vivaldi - "La Primavera" (Le Quattro Stagioni: Europa Galante/Fabio Biondi)

Concertos are multi-movement Classical works for orchestra and one or more soloists. Concertos for solo instruments evolved in Baroque Music during the turn of the 18th century from the Concerti grossi, which include a small group of soloists called the "soli" set against a full orchestra referred to as the "tutti". Concertos intensified this distinction of part and whole, and seek to explore the relationships between individual and collective, between one and many. This remains the situation, therefore Concertos continue to be highly popular and have held a unique position in Orchestral writing in all periods including Modern Classical.

Concertos have been written for all sorts of instruments, however Concertos for pianos, violins and cellos have been the most popular.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Genre research project 5/1357: Pimba

Quim Barreiros - Comer Comer

Pimba is a musical genre characterized by its humorous lyrics. The main objective of the genre's artists is to entertain and they don't care too much about being musically complex. In fact, pimba has an extremely basic harmonic structure in most cases. Some of the instruments used in this genre are accordion, cheap rhythm boxes and synthesizers as well as electric guitars (although the guitar work in most of the songs is very simple). This genre is very popular in Portugal. Many pimba artists regularly give concerts on TV shows as well as in local festivals. Pimba is always present in the festivals of the Portuguese rural areas.

Pimba music is a cheap and mass-produced affair - extremely basic harmonic structures and catchy, short melodies, sometimes lifted from existing Portuguese folk songs, other times thinly veiled adaptations (or even outright plagiarism) from mainstream pop music. It draws superficially from Portuguese folk music (particularly with the use of the accordion and certain popular rhythmic structures), but mixes it with instrumentation and basic arrangements from Anglo-American pop music. The lyrics are also simplistic and rough, based on clichéd dramatic love stories, partying, repetitive use of expletives and straightforward overt sexual innuendo.

Playlist for 12-19-13 (Christmas edition)

Thanks to the folks who listened/called in/requested last night. It was much appreciated. Thanks for humoring me in one of my traditional radio shows. You guys are great.

If you missed it, these were the holiday classics we played:

Things that Are Square 12-19-13

The Vandals - Hang Myself from the Tree - Christmas with the Vandals

Bright Eyes - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - A Christmas Album
Arab Strap - Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) - Unreleased
Neil Halstead - Home for the Season - This Warm December (For Melissa in Aliso Viejo, CA)
Okkervil River - Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas - Don't Fall in Love with Everyone You See

The Lucksmiths - The Winter Proper - Spring a Leak
Jens Lekman - The Cold Swedish Winter - When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog
The Just Joans - Last Christmas - Seasonal Greet
Belle and Sebastian - O Little Town of Bethlehem - 2002-12-18 Peel Christmas Party

The Polyphonic Spree - Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - Unreleased
The Pogues - Fairytale of New York - If I Should Fall from Grace with God
The Aquabats - Holiday Road - Holiday Extravaganza
Garfunkel and Oates - Present Face - Present Face
Patton Oswalt - My Happiest Christmas Memory - Feelin' Kinda Patton

Yo La Tengo - It's Christmas Time - Merry Christmas From Yo La Tengo
Shannon and the Clams - All I Want for Christmas Is Yuo - Shannon and the Clams Ruin Christmas
The Sonics - Santa Claus - Here Are the Sonics!!!
The Kids of Widney High - Christmas Is the Time - Let's Get Busy

Galaxie 500 - Snowstorm - On Fire
The Halo Benders - Snowfall - God Don't Make No Junk
Low - Little Drummer Boy - Christmas
Parenthetical Girls - Thank God It's Not Christmas - Christmas (For Leslie in Costa Mesa, CA)

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Cold White Christmas - Etiquette
Grauzone - Eisbär - Eisbär (For Leslie in Costa Mesa, CA)

Sunn O))) - Cursed Realm (Of the Winterdemons) - Black One

If I knew what was wrong, I would tell you

Paul Baribeau - "If I Knew" (Unbearable)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Genre research project 4/1357: Cowpunk

Meat Puppets - II

Cowpunk, or Country Punk, is a type of Punk Rock music that mixes together Country, Rockabilly, and Contemporary Folk music with the familiar punk rock sound. The genre has its roots in the late 1970s in the United Kingdom with bands like The Mekons, and gained momentum in the 1980s, especially in Los Angeles, with bands such as The Beat Farmers, The Blasters, Green on Red, and X (who, although not Cowpunk, have influenced the sound with their rockabilly and country mix of punk).

Famous artists in the genre include Meat Puppets, Jason & The Scorchers, Rank and File and Hank Williams, III.

Can't resist the night's sweet blood

Dissection - "Night's Blood" (Storm Of The Light's Bane)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Genre research project 3/1357: Vanguarda Paulista

Patife Band - Corredor Polonês

The Vanguarda Paulista or Paulistana (São Paulo state and city Vanguard, respectively) was a Brazilian cultural movement that lasted from 1979 to 1985 in the city which demonym was used by the musical critics to give name to the new arising genre. It united artists of distinct musical styles that had no access to the established major labels due to their experimental, vanguardist bias - a barrier to a successful go-to-market plan specially in the Brazil of the 1980's, a period locally known as the ¨Lost Decade¨ due to the economic problems faced by the country by then.

That context obliged artists like Arrigo Barnabé and Grupo Rumo to finance their own records which thanks to their first listeners' word of mouth marketing started a trend of consumption of alternative albums focused on new experimentations in MPB among university students. Followed by other names like Itamar Assumpção, Premeditando o Breque and Língua de Trapo who used to present themselves at the Lira Paulistana theater, the movement gained visibility and favorable critics from the specialized media. Nevertheless, the movement never achieved the commercial success as expected by the labels, which led it to its gradual dismantlement.

Nowadays part of the artists who took part of the Vanguarda Paulista movement is still active, though with no unity under a cultural movement as the existent in the begining of the 1980's and the new generations of musicians influenced by the compositions of the original genre are now usually labeled as new (paulista) vanguardists.  

Alison, I'm lost

Slowdive - "Alison" (Souvlaki)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Genre research project 2/1357: Cowboy

Mary Robbins - Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs

Cowboy Music was originally handed down from the genuine Old West articles, its repertoire consisting of songs sung on the open range to pass the time on cattle drives. This tradition continued to inform country & western music long after its attendant lifestyle had all but disappeared, since romanticized cowboy mythology still held a fascination for many. That fascination resulted in the production of innumerable Western and cowboy films, and with those films came a revival of interest in cowboy music. Actually, it wasn't so much a revival as a hunger for more mythology -- singer/actors like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry relied far more on new compositions which evoked similar themes of cowboy life. The performances and production of cowboy songs depend largely on the context -- while movie songs were usually recorded with modern soundtrack-style orchestras, old-time groups like the Sons of the Pioneers relied on traditional, unadorned acoustic instruments. While it's the spirit of cowboy music, rather than specific standard songs, that has generally survived in country music, some artists have sought to preserve the tradition and educate their audiences about authentic cowboy songs; Michael Martin Murphey became a notable figure in these efforts during the '90s.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Genre research project 1/1357: Soft rock

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Soft rock is a style of light, melodic, radio-friendly Rock music which gained huge commercial success in the 1970s. It employs clean, highly polished production values and arrangements, often led by piano and/or acoustic guitar, aided by bouncy, harmonious bass guitar and with smooth, restrained use of electric guitar. Artists make frequent use of catchy, high-pitched harmonies, simple verse-chorus structures and sentimental lyrics, whilst additional layers of gentle synths and orchestration are not uncommon.

The style took cues from 1960s Folk Pop, Country Rock and Baroque Pop, with artists such as Carole King, Bread and James Taylor initially pioneering the sound. It remained hugely popular throughout the 1970s and early 1980s; Elton John, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, Christopher Cross, America and Air Supply exemplified soft rock's abundance in the US charts during this period. The sound still retains a moderate degree of popularity, with singer/songwriters such as James Blunt and Jack Johnson adopting the style, whilst the influence is evident in UK bands The Feeling, Coldplay and Keane.

Playlist for 12-12-13

Hey guys!

Another good show! With good requests! And good music! With a decent host! And good feelings!

Songs were played. Songs like these:

Things that Are Square 12-12-13

(*) = New release

(*) Songs: Ohia - I've Been Riding With the Ghost - The Magnolia Electric Co.: 10 Year Anniversary Edition

Fog - Cockeyed Cookie Pusher - Hummer
The Divine Comedy - Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World - Victory for the Comic Muse
Another Sunny Day - You Should All Be Murdered - London Weekend
Stellaluna - (Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Smashed 40: Slummer Jams

The Wedding Present - Once More - Tommy (1985-1987)
Wise Blood - B.I.G. E.G.O. - '+'
Chromatics - Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) - Night Drive (For Melissa in Aliso Viejo, CA)
Sigur Rós - Ekki Mukk (D33J Remix) - Unreleased

Kraftwerk - Pocket Calculator - Computer World
Don Cherry - Brown Rice - Brown Rice
Can - Paperhouse - Tago Mago
(*) Fuzz - Loose Sutures - Fuzz

(*) Danny Brown - Smokin & Drinkin - Old
Dr. Octagon - Earth People - Dr. Octagonecologist
Satan's Satyrs - Alucard - Wild Beyond Belief! (For Colin in Irvine, CA)
(*) Guerilla Toss - Pink Elephant - Gay Disco

Pere Ubu - Non-Alignment Pact - The Modern Dance
Fugazi - Instrument - In on the Kill Taker
Don Caballero - Delivering the Groceries at 138 Beats Per Minute - What Burns Never Returns
Ponytail - Die Allman Brüder - Ice Cream Spiritual
Tweak Bird - Spaceships - Reservations (For Taylor in Irvine, CA)

(*) Tim Hecker - Amps, Drugs, Harmonium - Virgins

Monday, December 9, 2013

Won't stop licking til you tell me quit

Danny Brown - "Handstand" (Old)

I dunno how dirty you wanted to get today, but if the answer is "real drrty," I got you covered.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Playlist for 12-5-13

Hey guys!

Sorry for the delay in playlist posting, but Friday was super busy, then I drove to LA and had my parked car hit by a truck, and then I ran the Spartan Sprint in Malibu, and then I saw a bunch of friends' bands at the very cool Comic Book Hideout in Fullerton. I've had a full weekend. But now here we are, together, again. I know that sometimes it takes me a while, but I always come home to you. Never forget that. <3 p="">
The playlist:

Things that Are Square 12/5/13

(*) = New release

The Special A.K.A. - Free Nelson Mandela (Ext. Vers.) - The Singles Collection

Frank Zappa - Peaches en Regalia - Hot Rats
The Dead Milkmen - Punk Rock Girl - Death Rides a Pale Cow
Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard - Broken Broken Broken Heart - 'Em Are I
All Dogs - Carry/Keep - Slouch/All Dogs Split

The Tallest Man on Earth - Graceland - The King of Spain (For Emilie in Portland, OR)
The Six Parts Seven - Fuck Everything - Daytrotter Session
Mark Kozelek - Love Hungry Man - What's Next to the Moon
(*) Destroyer - Maria de las Nieves - Five Spanish Songs

Woody Guthrie - Hanukkah Dance - Hard Travelin': The Asch Recordings Vol. 3
The Four Vagabonds - Coming In on a Wing & A Prayer - Kickin' Hitler's Butt
Bill Callahan - Spring - Dream River
Human Behavior - Crag - Golgotha

Melt-Banana - A Dreamer Who Is Too Weak To Face Up To - Cell-Scape
Big Ups - Goes Black - Eighteen Hours of Static
Wolves in the Throne Room - Woodland Cathedral - Celestial Lineage
Jesu - Silver - Silver

Tortoise - Gamera - Millions Now Living Will Never Die
Jan Jelinek - Do Dekor - Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records
(*) Blood Orange - You're Not Good Enough - Cupid Deluxe

(*) Shearwater - Natural One - Fellow Travelers
(*) Xiu Xiu - See Line Woman - Nina
The Just Joans - Some Boys Are Bigger Than Others - 6.9 Love Songs
Tullycraft - Lost In Light Rotation - Lost In Light Rotation

The XX - Night Time - XX (For David in Irvine, CA)
(*) Fuzz - Sleigh Ride - Fuzz

Friday, December 6, 2013

I know a thing about darkness

The Go-Betweens - "Love Goes On!" (16 Lovers Lane)