Thursday, February 20, 2014

Genre research project 30/1359: Prank Calls

Longmont Potion Castle - "Nash" (Volume 4)

A prank call (also known as a crank call) is a telephone practical joke. Prank phone calls began to gain an American following over a period of many years, as they became a staple of the obscure and amusing cassette tapes traded amongst musicians, sound engineers, and media traders beginning in the late 1970s. Among the most famous and earliest recorded prank calls are the Tube Bar prank calls tapes, which centered around Louis "Red" Deutsch. Comedian Jerry Lewis was an incorrigible phone prankster, and recordings of his hijinks, dating from the 1960s and possibly earlier, still circulate to this day.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Genre research project 29/1359: Ghetto House

Machinedrum - "Sacred Frequency" (Room(s))

By the mid-to-late 1980s, House music was an established and distinct style in Chicago. However, the house sound of names like Frankie Knuckles was played in the northern side of the city, the upscale clubs. In other parts of Chicago (most notably the slums - the ghettos - in the south and the west), a different style of house developed, seen as rougher and more suited to its locale. These tracks were often call-and-response chanted vocals (with heavy use of looped vocal samples), riddled with local slang and references, on top of 4x4 bass lines and uncomplicated drum patterns, usually at 140bpm.

This style, ghetto house, was almost exclusively released on one of the local house labels; Dance Mania, founded just before the ghetto house sound began to emerge. Dance Mania released many classic tracks by ghetto house pioneers, like DJ Deeon, DJ Funk, DJ Milton, and Jammin' Gerald, throughout the nineties.

Genres influenced by ghetto house include the Detroit equivalent, Ghettotech, the combination of Electro with ghetto house. Back in Chicago, the rising tempos of ghetto house led to a new sound, very much in the style of ghetto house but with highly unusual syncopation and a distinctive production sound; Juke.

[I dunno, man. That description doesn't sound like this album which is classified as ghetto house. Maybe this is the Juke sub-genre? Who knows.]

Friday, February 14, 2014

Playlist for 2-13-14

You guys!

It has been so long since I did a full two-hour show, and I missed you terribly. I'm glad we were fully back together right before Valentine's Day. What better way to show my love for you than 15 minute doom metal songs? <3 p="">
I even recorded this one for you so you have a souvenir of our night together. XOXO


And the playlist to follow along:

Things that Are Square 2-13-14

(*) = new release

The Magnetic Fields - The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side - 69 Love Songs

Allo Darlin' - Kiss Your Lips - Allo Darlin'
The Lucksmiths - Danielle Steel - Spring a Leak
Jonathan Richman - Give Paris One More Chance - Her Mystery Not of High Heels and Eye Shadow
Los Campesinos! - What Death Leaves Behind - No Blues

Professor Calculus - Stab Alley Remix - Booty Wrap
LITE - Bond - Past, Present, Future
Refused - New Noise - The Shape of Punk to Come
Les Savy Fav - Raging in the Plague Age - Let's Stay Friends

Reagan Youth - Reagan Youth - A Collection of Pop Classics
Wipers - Mystery - Wipers Box Set
The Stooges - Down on the Street - Fun House
The Jesus Lizard - The Art of Self Defense - Liar

Tom Waits - Come On Up to the House - Mule Variations
Champion Jack Dupree - Junker Blues - Blues from the Gutter
Akron/Family - Gone Beyond - Meek Warrior
Kind of Like Spitting - Passing Through - In the Red

(*) Sun Kil Moon - I Can't Live Without My Mother's Love - Benji
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Today I Was an Evil One - I See a Darkness
The Almanac Singers - Round & Round Hitler's Grave - Kickin' Hitler's Butt
Ghost Mice - Critical Hit - Andrew Jackson Jihad/Ghost Mice

(*) A Silver Mt. Zion - What We Loved Was Not Enough - Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything
Galaxie 500 - Ceremony - On Fire
Slowdive - Alison - Souvlaki

SubRosa - The Usher - More Constant than the Gods

If it's a fight they want, they've got it

Conflict - "To Whom It May Concern" (Employing All Means Necessary)

This band is so fucking fired up. I love this.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Genre research project 28/1359: East Coast Hip Hop

Wu-Tang Clan - "C.R.E.A.M." (Enter Wu-Tang)

In contrast to the simplistic rhyme pattern and scheme utilized in old school hip hop, East Coast hip hop has been noted for its emphasis on lyrical dexterity. It has also been characterized by multi-syllabic rhymes, complex wordplay, a continuous free-flowing delivery and intricate metaphors. While East Coast hip hop does not have a uniform sound or standard style, it tends to gravitate to aggressive beats and sample collages.

East coast hip hop is occasionally referred to as New York rap due to its origins and development at block parties thrown in New York City during the 1970s. According to Allmusic, "At the dawn of the hip-hop era, all rap was East Coast rap." As the genre developed, lyrical themes evolved through the work of East Coast artists such as the Native Tongues, a collective of hip hop artists associated with generally positive, Afrocentric themes, and assembled by Afrika Bambaataa.

Nas's 1994 debut album Illmatic has also been noted as a creative high point of the East Coast hip hop scene, and featured production from such renowned New York-based producers as Large Professor, Pete Rock and DJ Premier. Meanwhile, The Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep became pillars in New York's hardcore hip hop scene, achieving widespread critical acclaim for their landmark albums, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993) and The Infamous (1995) and spawning legions of imitators. Adam Hemleich comments on the collective impact of these emerging artists: "Along with Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and Mobb Deep all but invented 90s New York rap [...] Those three...designed the manner and style in which New York artists would address...rap’s hottest topics: drugs and violence."

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Genre research project 27/1359: Traditional Doom Metal

Candlemass - "Solitude" (Epicus Doomicus Metallicus)

Traditional doom metal is a style of Doom Metal that emerged in the early to mid-1980s, under the influence of bands from the previous decade such as Black Sabbath, Bedemon and Pentagram.

Traditional doom metal is rooted in Heavy Metal and utilizes a monotonous and heavy playing style, similar to that of Black Sabbath's early period: repetitive, rough and sometimes atonal guitar riffs; a "rocking to sleep" bass; and also some influences from both Blues Rock and Psychedelic Rock. Some bands attempt to complement the general slowness of their sound by adding some faster paced, dynamic sections, but this is rare and not essential to the overall sound of the genre. The vocal style utilized in traditional doom metal is clean and the atmosphere in the genre varies from cold, epic grief to despair and fury; rarely does it express any positive emotions.

Lyrics are typically based on themes such as depression, fear, grief, death and other pessimistic topics. Religion can also be a common topic in traditional doom metal; however, for many bands the use of religious themes is for aesthetic and symbolic purposes only.

Monday, February 3, 2014

We will flower again, I have surely seen it

Los Campesinos! - "What Death Leaves Behind" (No Blues)

This is the strongest LC! has been in years. Their new (well...3 months ago...sorry about that) album gives you all of the "sorta like pop punk with the histrionics and every song being about how awful love is but without that occasionally guilty feeling of listening to such a thing as an adult" vibes you've come to love and expect from 'em. And you HAVE come to love them. How could you not?

Ukulele Covers Project: Q

An embarrassing public attempt to teach myself to play ukulele and sing by covering a band for every letter of the alphabet.

I am not stupid enough to think that I could get away with playing a Freddie Mercury Queen song, so I wisely opted for a Brian May tune. A Brian May tune about the tragic heroism of people leaving earth in a lightspeed-capable ship to find new worlds to inhabit while their loved ones grow old and die in the relativistic single year the volunteers are away.

Fun fact: Brian May, in addition to being the guitarist for Queen, has a PhD in astrophysics, so when he writes a song about lightspeed-capable vehicles, it is factually accurate as well as being catchy and emotional.

If you like any of these covers I do, feel free to check out the original songs I am ever-so-slowly putting up on my bandcamp page:

15 Shuffled iTunes songs for February

1. Grizzly Bear - Colorado
2. Michael Jackson - Don't Stop Till You Get Enough
3. Jonathan Richman - Papel de Chicle
4. Indian - Directional
5. The Weakerthans - Aside
6. Odd Nosdam - Untitled 13
7. Andrew Broder - Things You Will Never Do
8. Sun City Girls - Blue Mamba
9. Atmosphere - Flesh
10. John Cale - Mary Lou
11. Grand Buffet - Americus (Religious Right Rock)
12. Soft Circle - Whirl
13. Percee P - Throwback Drum Attack (Feat. Karriem Riggins) [Madlib Remix]
14. Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin'
15. Gang of Four - I Found That Essence Rare