Friday, January 31, 2014

Lost within the shade, I call out for a helping hand

Pallbearer - "Foreigner" (Sorrow And Extinction)

Playlist for 1-30-14

Jesus Christ, let's just get out of this week alive, OK?

At least we have some decent music.

Things that Are Square 1-30-14

(*) = New release

(*) Marissa Nadler - Dead City Emily - July

Mirah - Monument - Advisory Committee
SubRosa - House Carpenter - No Help for the Mighty Ones
Son House - John the Relevator - Father of Folk Blues
Jens Lekman - If You Ever Need a Stranger (To Sing at Your Wedding) - When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog

(*) Xiu Xiu - Stupid in the Dark - Angel Guts: Red Classroom
Arab Strap - Cherubs - Elephant Shoe
Paul Baribeau - The Well - Unbearable
Françoise Hardy - Bati mon nid - La question

(*) A Silver Mt. Zion - What We Loved Was Not Enough - Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Brotherhood of the Bomb

Techno Animal - "We Can Build You (Feat. El-P & Vast Aire)" (The Brotherhood of the Bomb)

Techno Animal is one of roughly 30,000 side projects of industrial metal zeniths Godflesh. And while "largely instrumental hip hop project" wouldn't be the first thing you'd expect from the members of a metal band, Techo Animal shares a decent protion of Godflesh's DNA. These aren't crate-digging jazz albums reworked into imble beats, Techno Animal is the massive clanking sound of a 20 ton jaeger b-boy. Like likeminded Dälek (who also guests on this album), Techno Animal specializes in the intersection of hip hop, industrial, and shoegaze wall of noise. The instrumental tracks often don't hold up as well as the ones featuring guest emcees, but "The Brotherhood of the Bomb" still manages to be pretty worthwhile and incredible unique.

Genre research project 26/1359: Medieval Folk Metal

In Extremo - "Macht und Drummheit" (Mein Rasend Herz)

A sub-genre of Folk Metal that emerged in the mid-to-late 1990s from the German Neo-Medieval movement along with Medieval Rock. It is considered appreciably heavier, more aggressive and powerful than its twin. Also, guitars and drums play an even more important role.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Genre research project 25/1359: Country Soul

Elvis Presley - "Long Black Limousine" (From Elvis In Memphis)

Country soul has its roots in Gospel, Rhythm & Blues, and Country music, while musically emphasizing the signatures and textures of country music over the grittier and horn-driven sound of Southern Soul.

Playlist for 1-23-14

Happy Friday, folks!

I hope you have a lovely weekend planned. I, personally, will be going up to LA for a game night tonight, eating breakfast and lunch with some friends tomorrow, going to the Night Vale live event at Largo, and then on to the Echo for some dancing. And on Sunday, we rest. I hope you are also having fun, however you define it. <3 br="">

Things that Are Square 1-23-14

(*) = New release

(*) Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Independence Street - Wig Out at Jagbags

(*) A Silver Mt. Zion - Rain Thru the Roof at Thee Grande Ballroom (For Capital Steez) - Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything
The Blood Brothers - Crimes - Crimes
The Men - ( ) - Leave Home
Liturgy - Harmonia - Aesthetica (For Colin in Irvine, CA)

Dissection - Night's Blood - Storm of the Light's Bane
Michihiro Sato - Nikata Bushi - Improvised Music from Japan
Madlib - Slim's Return - Shades of Blue
(*) Run the Jewels - Pew Pew Pew Feat. DJ Q-Bert - Pew Pew Pew

Babla & Kanchan - Kaise Bani - Kaise Bani

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Genre research project 24/1359: Experimental Rock

The Velvet Underground - "Run Run Run" (The Velvet Underground & Nico)

Experimental rock or avant-garde rock is a type of music based on rock which experiments with the basic elements of the genre, or which pushes the boundaries of common composition and performance technique.

Performers may also attempt to individualize their music with unconventional time signatures, instrumental tunings, unusual harmony and key signatures, compositional styles, lyrical techniques, elements of other musical genres, singing styles, instrumental effects or custom-made experimental musical instruments.

Some of the more common techniques include:
  • Extended techniques: Any of a number of methods of performing with voice or a musical instrument that are unique, innovative, and sometimes regarded as improper.
    • Prepared instruments—ordinary instruments modified in their tuning or sound-producing characteristics. For example, guitar strings can have a weight attached at a certain point, changing their harmonic characteristics. Alternatively, the string may be divided in two with a third bridge and the inverse side played, causing resonating bell-like harmonic tones on the pick-up side.
    • Unconventional playing techniques—for example, the tuning pegs on a guitar can be rotated while a note sounds (called a "tuner glissando").
    • Extended vocal techniques — any vocalized sounds that are not normally utiliized in classical or popular music, such as moaning, screaming, using death growls, howling or making a clicking noise.
  • Incorporation of instruments, tunings, rhythms or scales from non-Western musical traditions.
  • Use of sound sources other than conventional musical instruments such as trash cans, telephone ringers, and doors slamming.
  • Playing with deliberate disregard for the ordinary musical controls (pitch, duration, volume).
  • Creating experimental musical instruments for enhancing the timbre of compositions and exploring new techniques or possibilities.
  • Use of dissonance, atonality and noise
  • Use of electronic devices, digital manipulations and modular synthesizers.
  • Experimental rock is also very often influenced by 20th century classical music

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Shades of Blue

Madlib - "Slim's Return" (Shades Of Blue: Madlib Invades Blue Note)

If you're unaware of the concept behind this album, it's like this: Madlib (production genius behind Madvillain, Quasimoto, and tracks for Talib Kweli/De La Soul/Ghostface/Mos Def/etc.etc.) got access to the archives of jazz label Blue Note Records (who essentially put out albums from every classic jazz musician you can think of). He then pieced together a mostly-instrumental hip-hop album out of their music. Shades of Blue is the finished product and you're listening to it right now.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Playlist for 1-16-14

You guys!

I haven't done a radio show in 2014 yet! Because of the omnipresence of college basketball. But I was able to come up for air for a scant 45 minutes last night. And in that brief time together, this was the soundtrack of our love:

Things that are Aquare 1-16-14

(*) = New release

(*) Four Tet - Druid 3 - Ltd Edition Rare Sendspace Mastered Edit Audiophile Mix Deluxe 100k Edition

Monolake - Ghosts - Ghosts
Le1f - Hibiscus - Tree House
Hymie's Basement - You Die - Hymie's Basement
Sigur Rós - Ba Ba - Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do

Warpaint - Love Is to Die - Love Is to Die (For Leah in Irvine, CA)
Owen Pallett - Game of Pricks - AV Club Undercover
Wingnut Dishwashers Union - Never Trust a Man (Who Plays Guitar) - Burn the Earth! Leave It Behind!
The Go-Betweens - Love Goes On! - 16 Lovers Lane

Bell Witch - I Wait - Longing

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Genre research project 23/1359: Moombahcore

Hadouken! - "The Vortex" (Every Weekend)

Moombahcore is a style of Electronic Dance Music that combines the tempo, beats and rhythm of Moombahton (Reggaeton-like tempos and beats and the shrill synths of Dutch House) with genres such as Brostep, Electro House and Fidget House to try and create a more intense form of Moombahton.

[Editor's note: I have found the downside to this genre project.]

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

All of my life, I've been waiting for you

SubRosa - "The Usher" (More Constant Than The Gods)

Apologies for being a bit behind on this one. SubRosa's 2013 release on Profound Lore has me more excited than any new ("new") release in months. This female-fronted SLC quintet does doom/sludge metal in a way that doesn't just exhibit the genre's standard heavy gloom--which it certainly provides--but with the addition of clean vocals and a twin-violin attack creates something beautiful and oceanic. These songs have the 10+ minute run times you'd expect from doom metal, but SubRosa's songwriting seems so much more on-point, imbuing the tracks with a gorgeous, post-rock feel instead of the normal downtrodden slog. Sadly, because these songs average out around 10-11 minutes a piece, they probably won't see as much radio play as they deserve (especially now that we're in Kyle's-show-gets-shortened-every-week-due-to-basketball-preemption season), so I'm going to ask you to listen to this track eight or nine times to make up for that. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Genre research project 22/1359: Heavy Metal

Black Sabbath - "War Pigs" (Paranoid)

Heavy metal (often referred to as metal) is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom and the United States. With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles are often associated with masculinity, aggression and machismo.

The first heavy metal bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath attracted large audiences, though they were often derided by critics, a status common throughout the history of the genre. In the mid-1970s Judas Priest helped spur the genre's evolution by discarding much of its blues influence; Motörhead introduced a punk rock sensibility and an increasing emphasis on speed. Bands in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal such as Iron Maiden and Saxon followed in a similar vein. Before the end of the decade, heavy metal fans became known as "metalheads" or "headbangers".

During the 1980s, glam metal became a commercial force with groups like Mötley Crüe and Poison. Underground scenes produced an array of more extreme, aggressive styles: thrash metal broke into the mainstream with bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, while other styles of the most extreme subgenres of metal like death metal and black metal remain subcultural phenomena. Since the mid-1990s, popular styles such as groove metal (e.g. Pantera) which blends extreme metal with hardcore punk, and nu metal (e.g. Slipknot), which often incorporates elements of grunge and hip hop; and metalcore have further expanded the definition of the genre.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Genre research project 21/1359: Breakbeat

The Prodigy - "Smack My Bitch Up" (The Fat Of The Land)

Breakbeat (sometimes breaks or breakbeats) can refer to two distinct but related things: It is both an electronic music genre and the distinct percussive rhythm from which this genre takes its name, usually characterized by the use of a non-straightened (percussion instruments do not play directly on beat) 4/4 drum pattern (as opposed to the steady beat of house, techno and trance). These rhythms may be characterized by their intensive use of syncopation and polyrhythms. Both meanings are closely connected to hip hop and b-boying (breakdance).

As a musical device, breakbeats have been known and used for almost a hundred years, but the name and modern meaning of the term traces its origins to the rise of hip hop in the United States in the 1970s. The eponymous electronic music genre is widely regarded as a derivative of the United Kingdom's early rave music, where breakbeats were added to the music to form what became known as breakbeat hardcore. However, breakbeats had been used by American hip hop DJs and turntablists in instrumental sets well before the advent of rave in the UK, and it could be argued that the two scenes developed in parallel.

Today, breakbeat lives on in the form of strong regional scenes in the US and UK. Breakbeats are frequently used in the production of such diverse music genres as hip hop, jungle or drum and bass, hardcore, UK garage (including 2-step, breakstep and dubstep) and even pop and rock. Since the 1990s, breakbeat has been used extensively as background music to TV adverts as well as in action film soundtracks, especially in the form of big beat.

Friday, January 10, 2014

If drinking don't kill me, her memory will

George Jones - "If Drinking Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)" (I Am What I Am)

Genre research project 20/1359: Field Recordings

NASA Voyager Recordings - "Symphonies of the Planets 5" (Symphonies Of The Planets 1-5 NASA Voyager Recordings)

Field recording is the term used for an audio recording produced outside of a recording studio.
Field recordings can be either of two varieties. Field recording of natural sounds, also called phonography (a term chosen to illustrate its similarities to photography), was originally developed as a documentary adjunct to research work in the field and foley work for film. With the introduction of high-quality portable recording equipment, it has subsequently become an evocative artform in itself. In the 1970s both processed and natural phonographic recordings became popular.

Genre research project 19/1359: Hawaiian Music

Israel Kamakawiwoʻole - "'Ama'ama" (Facing Future)

The music of Hawaii includes an array of traditional and popular styles, ranging from native Hawaiian folk music to modern rock and hip hop. Hawaii's musical contributions to the music of the United States are out of proportion to the state's small size. Styles like slack-key guitar are well-known worldwide, while Hawaiian-tinged music is a frequent part of Hollywood soundtracks. Hawaii also made a major contribution to country music with the introduction of the steel guitar.

Traditional Hawaiian folk music is a major part of the state's musical heritage. The Hawaiian people have inhabited the islands for centuries and have retained much of their traditional musical knowledge. Their music is largely religious in nature, and includes chanting and dance music. Hawaiian music has had an enormous impact on the music of other Polynesian islands; indeed, music author Peter Manuel called the influence of Hawaiian music a "unifying factor in the development of modern Pacific musics".

Genre research project 18/1359: Indie Pop

The Smiths - "Cemetery Gates" (The Queen Is Dead)

Indie pop is a genre of alternative rock music that originated in the United Kingdom in the mid-1980s, with its roots in Scottish post-punk bands on the Postcard Records label in the early '80s (Josef K and Orange Juice) and the dominant UK independent band of the mid-'80s, the Smiths. Indie pop was inspired by punk's DIY ethic and related ideologies, and it generated a thriving fanzine, label, and club and gig circuit. Indie pop differs from indie rock to the extent that it is more melodic, less abrasive, and relatively angst-free.

The term "indie" had been used for some time to describe artists on independent labels (and the labels themselves), but the key moment in the naming of "indie pop" as a genre was the release of NME's C86 tape in 1986. The compilation featured, among other artists, Primal Scream, The Pastels, and The Wedding Present, and "indie" quickly became shorthand for a genre whose defining conventions were identified as jangling guitars, a love of '60s pop, and melodic power pop song structures (the genre was initially dubbed "C86" after the tape itself).

In the mid to late '80s, indie pop was criticized for its associations with so-called "shambling" (a John Peel-coined description celebrating the self-conscious primitive approach of some of the music) and underachievement, but the C86 indie pop scene is now recognized as a pivotal moment for independent music in the UK, as is recognized in the subtitle of that compilation's 2006 extended reissue: CD86: 48 Tracks from the Birth of Indie Pop. Indie pop continues to have a strong following and inspire musicians, not just in the UK but around the world, with new bands, labels and clubs devoted to the sound.

You gotta help me or there'll be an explosion

Hawkwind - "Brainstorm" (Doremi Fasol Latido

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Damn son, where'd you find this?

LE1F - "Damn Son" (Tree House)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

All we wanted was a good time

Half Goon - "Terrorizer" (Terrorizer)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Miles Runs the Voodoo Down

Miles Davis - "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" (Bitches Brew)

Not to be confused with the beer of the same name.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Genre research project 17/1360: Bluegrass Gospel

Patty Loveless - Mountain Soul

Religion has been a predominant subject matter in Bluegrass music since its inception, and continues to be a major theme to the present day. Bluegrass Gospel explores the same topics as Country Gospel, utilizing bluegrass instrumentation and vocals. Bluegrass-Gospel is naturally very similar to country gospel, sharing many of the same songs and the same basic attitude. The main difference, of course, is that it's bluegrass, so the harmonies are pitched high and lonesome, the tempos are a little faster, and the instrumental work is deft and blindingly intricate. Christian lyrics, intricate, fast tempos, expressive three and four part harmony vocals and the occasional A cappella chorus are popular distinguishing features of the genre.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Genre research project 16/1360: Bard Music

Przemysław Gintrowski, Jacek Kaczmarski, Zbigniew Łapiński - Wojna Postu Z Karnawałem

The term bard came to be used in the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, and continues to be used in Russia today, to refer to singer-songwriters who wrote songs outside the Soviet establishment, similarly to beatnik folk singers of the United States. Because in bard music songwriters perform their own songs, the genre is also commonly referred to as author song. Bard poetry differs from other poetry mainly in being sung with simple guitar accompaniment as opposed to being spoken. Another difference is that it focuses less on style and more on meaning. This means that fewer stylistic devices are used, and the poetry is often in the form of a narrative. What separates bard poetry from other songs is that the music is far less important than the lyrics; chord progressions are often very simple and tend to repeat from one bard song to another. A far more obvious difference is the commerce-free nature of the genre; songs are written to be sung and not to be sold, as the bards are often working professionals in a non-musical occupation. Musically quite simple, as the poetic lyrics are the main focus, lyrics which were usually about people and their everyday conflicts or often very political. As a result, the music was underground and several of the artists faced persecution from the KGB.

Genre research project 15/1360: Chutney

Babla & Kanchan - Kaise Bani

Chutney music is a form indigenous to the southern Caribbean, popular in Guyana, Trinidad and Suriname. It development includes its fusion of calypso, cadence, and Indian musical instruments—particularly the dholak, tabla and dhantal.

This contemporary fusion of genres was created by Indo-Caribbean people whose ancestors were from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and the South Indian area around Madras. They were taken as indentured servants by the British to replace laborers on sugar plantations after emancipation. Chutney music was established in the 1940s within temples, wedding houses, and cane fields of the Indo-Caribbean. There were no recordings until 1958, when Ramdew Chaitoe of Suriname, a small country in South America, recorded an early rendition of chutney music. The album was entitled King of Suriname and all of the songs were religious in nature. However, Chaitoe soon became a household name with East Indians not just in Suriname but throughout the Caribbean. Although the songs were religious, they had a dance vibe throughout each track. For the first time Indo-Caribbeans had music that spoke to them and was not Indian, or European/American in style. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Genre research project 14/1360: Dutch House

Anti-G - Presents 'Kentje'sz Beatsz'

Instantly recognizable due to the ever-present high-pitched wonky synth melodies, Dutch House emerged as a distinct subgenre (as opposed to referring just to House tracks from the Netherlands) during 2007 and 2008. The sound of Dutch House is heavily influenced by that of Fidget House; indeed, it is possible to describe the Dutch House sound as being a minimalistic take on the aforementioned genre, stripped of its Electro House heritage. The genre became widely known in 2009 with 'Riverside' by Sidney Samson becoming an international hit. Tracks are typically made up of complex percussion and drumbeats, dramatic buildups and short riffs of high-pitched synths.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

15 Shuffled iTunes songs for January

1. LMFAO - Sexy and I Know It
2. Cars Can Be Blue - Perm Guy
3. Less Than Jake - Nervous In the Alley
4. tUnE-yArDs - You Yes You
5. Tom Waits - First Kiss
6. Fugazi - Lockdown
7. Can - I'm So Green
8. Dosh - One No One
9. Simon Joyner - R Is for Riot
10. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Dirty Blue Gene
11. Johnny Cash - Cocaine Blues
12. Marilyn Manson - The Last Day on Earth
13. U2 - Bad
14. Frank Zappa - Dumb All Over
15. Björk - In the Musicals

Genre research project 13/1357: New Orleans Blues

Champion Jack Dupree - Blues From The Gutter

New Orleans blues, is a sub-genre of blues music and a variation of Louisiana blues that developed in the 1940s and 1950s in and around the city of New Orleans, rooted by the rich blues roots of the city going back generations earlier. Strongly influenced by jazz and incorporated Caribbean influences, it is dominated by piano and saxophone but has also produced major guitar bluesmen. Major figures in the genre include Professor Longhair and Guitar Slim, who both produced major regional, R&B chart and even mainstream hits.

As a style New Orleans blues is primarily driven by piano and horn, enlivened by Caribbean rhythms and Dixieland music. It is generally cheerful in delivery regardless of the subject matter, with a laid back tempo and complex rhythms falling just behind the beat. Vocals range from laid-back crooning to full-throated gospel shouting.