Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Oh, I am weary. I am tired.

Deafheaven - "Violet" (Roads To Judah)

The Mogwai influence is way more evident on their first album. And definitely explains this cover.

Everything Here Is So Cold

Wyrd Visions - "Freezing Moon" (Half-Eaten Guitar)

So, the story is that Wyrd Visions put this album out in 2006 and few people heard it. One of those few was Phil Elverum of Microphones/Mount Eerie, who decided he wanted more people to hear it, so he re-released it this year. And now I've heard it and am sharing it with you.

Also, this song is a Mayhem cover. So there's that.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Come fade to white with me

Baths - "Fade White" (Ocean Death)

Sorry. I briefly forgot how much I loved Baths (both "the band" and "the water one you can read in"). Glitchy, textural, death-obsessed electro-pop tunes packed with tiny hooks is the jam. Thankfully they put out a new EP to remind me.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Genre research project 49/1359: Space rock

Space rock is a subgenre of rock music; the term originally referred to a group of early, mostly British, 1970s progressive and psychedelic rock bands such as Hawkwind, Gong and Pink Floyd, characterized by slow, lengthy instrumental passages dominated by electronic organs, synthesizers, experimental guitar work and science fiction or outer space-related lyrical themes, though it was later repurposed to refer to a series of late 1980s British alternative rock bands that drew from earlier influences to create a more ambient but still melodic form of pop music.

Man's entry into outer space provided ample subject matter for rock and roll and R&B songs from the mid-1950s through the early 1960s. It also inspired new sounds and sound effects to be used in the music itself. A prominent early example of space rock is the 1959 concept album I Hear a New World by British producer and song writer Joe Meek. The album was inspired by the space race and concerned man's first close encounter with alien life forms. Meek then went on to have a UK and US #1 success in 1961 with Telstar, named after the newly launched communications satellite and thus intended to commemorate the new space age. Its main instrument was a clavioline, an electronic forerunner of synthesizers. Space rock emerged from the late 1960s psychedelic music scene in Britain, and was closely associated with the progressive rock movement of the same era.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Whom horns caress and whom God mourns

Behemoth - "Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer" (The Satanist)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I’ll be fucking dead by then

Have a Nice Life - "Burial Society" (The Unnatural World)

Genre research project 48/1359: Polyphonic chant

European polyphony rose out of melismatic organum, the earliest harmonization of the chant. Twelfth-century composers, such as Léonin and Pérotin developed the organum that was introduced centuries earlier, and also added a third and fourth voice to the now homophonic chant. In the thirteenth century, the chant-based tenor was becoming altered, fragmented, and hidden beneath secular tunes, obscuring the sacred texts as composers continued to play with this new invention called polyphony. The lyrics of love poems might be sung above sacred texts in the form of a trope, or the sacred text might be placed within a familiar secular melody.

These musical innovations appeared in a greater context of societal change. After the first millennium, European monks decided to start translating the works of Greek philosophers into the vernacular. Western Europeans were aware of Plato, Socrates, and Hippocrates during the Middle Ages. However they had largely lost touch with the content of their surviving works because the use of Greek as a living language was restricted to the lands of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium). The ancient works started then being translated. Once they were accessible, the philosophies had a great impact on the mind of Western Europe.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I'll die off like a lemon tree in the snow

Sun Kil Moon - "I Can't Live Without My Mother's Love" (Benji)

File under: cool things that made me cry at work today.

The newest Sun Kil Moon LP just became the placeholder for my album of the year. Heartrendingly intimate with lots of excellent storytelling and a staggering body count for an album this mellow (since nearly every song is about mortality in one way or another).

Also, as I was wondering about the title, Wikipedia had this quote from SKM's Mark Kozelek:

"I have this light, nice memory of going to see the movie Benji, at a Los Angeles movie theatre when I was a little kid, visiting my grandparents. This record is filled with so much darkness, I wanted to give it a light title, for contrast. Benji is a great movie, one of my favorites."

2014's Benji: an album so bleak the songwriter decided to name it after a movie about a puppy.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Genre research project 47/1359: Pop rock

Pop rock is a music genre which mixes a catchy pop style and light lyrics in its (typically) guitar-based rock songs. There are varying definitions of the term, ranging from a slower and mellower form of rock music to a subgenre of pop music. The detractors of pop rock often deride it as a slick, commercial product, less authentic than rock music.

Much pop and rock music has been very similar in sound, instrumentation and even lyrical content. The terms "pop-rock" and "power pop" have been used to describe more commercially successful music that uses elements from, or the form of, rock music. Pop-rock has been defined as an "upbeat variety of rock music represented by artists such as Elton John, Paul McCartney, The Everly Brothers, Rod Stewart, Chicago, and Peter Frampton."

Sunday, May 18, 2014

To carry the seeds of death within me

The Body - "To Carry the Seeds of Death Within Me" (I Shall Die Here)

I almost didn't pick up the newest album from the Body because--despite how much I like their music/aesthetic/sample use/disregard of genre lines--their singing style tends to grate on me a bit. But then I heard that this album was produced by the Haxan Cloak (who, by the way, put on THE most visceral live experience I've ever witnessed last week at the Church on York), I had to pick it up. Those high pitched, shriek-y vocals are still present, but now there's the Haxan Cloak's descent-into-hell dub fingerprints on the Body's already-bleak sludge-whatever-it-is. It's a deep, dark album to be certain.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Genre research project 46/1359: Piano rock

Piano Rock is a style of rock music that is based around the piano, as opposed to most traditional rock music, which is based around the guitar. In fact some artists, such as Keane, eschew guitars completely.

Piano Rock has been a popular style since the 1970s, beginning with artists such as Elton John and Billy Joel, and it has continued to be so to this day, with the likes of Keane, Ben Folds, and Tori Amos.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Spare me from your kingdom

SubRosa - "Borrowed Time, Borrowed Eyes" (No Help for the Mighty Ones)

I have already gushed about this band when I posted about their 2013 album More Constant Than The Gods, but now that I've listened to their previous album and found it nearly as good, I had to share that, as well. SubRosa's inclusion of strings and not having normal doom/sludge metal vocals really expands the palette of the genre in a very beautiful way without sacrificing an ounce of the tone and emotion you expect from such music. I just hope that they a) tour out to Southern California soon, and b) get some better-looking shirts than the ones I've seen on their bigcartel page so that I can buy the hell out of one.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Genre research project 45/1359: Noise

Noise music is a category of music that is characterised by the expressive use of noise within a musical context. This type of music tends to challenge the distinction that is made in conventional musical practices between musical and non-musical sound. Noise music includes a wide range of musical styles, and sound based creative practices, that feature noise as a primary aspect. It can feature acoustically or electronically generated noise, and both traditional and unconventional musical instruments. It may incorporate live machine sounds, non-musical vocal techniques, physically manipulated audio media, processed sound recordings, field recording, computer generated noise, stochastic process and other randomly produced electronic signals such as distortion, feedback, static, hiss and hum. There may also be emphasis on high volume levels and lengthy, continuous pieces. More generally noise music may contain aspects such as improvisation, extended technique, cacophony and indeterminacy, and in many instances conventional use of melody, harmony, rhythm and pulse is often dispensed with

I wanna dance with somebody

Secret: my jogging mix is about 75% mashups. They are upbeat, constantly changing to keep me distracted, free, and plentiful. Awesome Echoplex dance night Bootie puts up tons of them every year, so you too can be a lean, mean dancing machine like me.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Genre research project 44/1359: Vallenato

Vallenato, along with Cumbia, is the most popular folk music of Colombia. It was born in the 1900s in the Carribean region of Colombia and is traditionally played with accordion, caja and guacharaca. Vallenato has four main rhythm types: son, paseo, puya and merengue. Today Vallenato is also present in Ecuador and Venezuela.

This form of music originated from farmers who, keeping a tradition of Spanish minstrels (Juglares in Spanish), mixed also with the West African-inherited tradition of griots (African version of juglar), who used to travel through the region with their cattle in search of pastures or to sell them in cattle fairs. Because they traveled from town to town and the region lacked rapid communications, these farmers served as bearers of news for families living in other towns or villages. Their only form of entertainment during these trips was singing and playing guitars or indigenous gaita flutes, known as kuisis in the Kogi language, and their form of transmitting their news was by singing their messages.

The first form of Vallenato was played with gaita flutes, guacharaca, and caja, and later adopted other instruments like guitars. These troubadors were later influenced by Europe's instruments: piano and accordion. Shocked with the sound from the accordion, troubadors probably obtained later on accordions from Aruba and Curaçao. Vallenato was considered music of the lower class and farmers, but gradually started penetrating through every social group during the mid-20th century.

The price owed could never be paid

Panopticon - "Bodies Under the Falls" (Kentucky)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Genre research project 43/1359: Chicago Blues

What is now referred to as the classic Chicago Blues style was developed in the late '40s and early '50s, taking Delta blues, fully amplifying it and putting it into a small-band context. Adding drums, bass, and piano (sometimes saxophones) to the basic string band and harmonica aggregation, the style created the now standard blues band lineup. The form was (and is) flexible to accommodate singers, guitarists, pianists, and harmonica players as the featured performer in front of the standard instrumentation. Later permutations of the style took place in the late '50s and early '60s, with new blood taking their cue from the lead guitar work of B.B. King and T-Bone Walker, creating the popular west side subgenre (which usually featured a horn section appended to the basic rhythm section). Although the form has also embraced rock beats, it has generally stayed within the guidelines developed in the 1950s and early '60s.

Playlist for 5-8-14

Hey folks,

Thanks to everyone who tuned in last night.  I like to play you music and it makes me happy that you listen. Just promise me you'll continue to listen. Oh God, don't leave me. Please. I'll do anything.

Things that Are Square 5-8-14

(*) = New release

The Divine Comedy - Mother Dear - Victory for the Comic Muse

Elizabeth Morris - Optimism - Optimism
The Clientele - Reflections After Jane - Suburban Light
Lake -  Christmas Island - Let's Build a Roof
Low - Venus - A Lifetime of Temporary Relief

(*) Mirah - Radiomind - Changing Light
The Mountain Goats & Kaki King - Black Pear Tree - Black Pear Tree
Akron/Family - I'll Be On the Water - Akron/Family
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - A Minor Place - I See a Darkness

(*) Sun Kil Moon - I Can't Live Without My Mother's Love - Benji
Hem - When I Was Drinking - Rabbit Songs
Damien Rice - Cannonball - O (For Alex in Irvine, CA)
Songs: Ohia - Just Be Simple - The Magnolia Electric Co.

(*) tUnE-yArDs - Look Around - Nikki Nack
FKA Twigs - Water Me - EP2
Lullatone - Pajama Party Pop - ...Plays Pajama Party Pop Pour Vous
(*) EMA - Dead Celebrity - The Future's Void

(*) Baths - Ocean Death - Ocean Death
Balam Acab - Oh, Why - Wander/Wonder
Dntel - Why I'm So Unhappy - Life Is Full of Possibilities
Demdike Stare - Primitive Equations - Testpressing #002

Mogwai - Cody - Come On Die Young
Can - Future Days - Future Days

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Genre research project 42/1359: Swing

Swing music began in the 1920s, with its prime era between 1935-1945, and was one of the most popular styles of American music until shortly after World War Two. Swing Jazz relies on a larger backing rhythm section (comprised of drums, guitar, bass (stand-up or electric), piano or organ, and sometimes a tuba, in varying groupings) than other Jazz styles. This lays the groundwork for the 'lead' section, usually including brass (e.g. trombone, trumpet) and woodwinds (e.g. saxophone, clarinet). Creative and intricate soloing takes the fore on the bandleaders instrument of choice, giving each song its particular character. Swing is an up-tempo music that is highly danceable, its most famous dance perhaps being the Jitterbug.

[I dunno, dawgs. This sorta sounds like Big Band to me, but RYM categorizes it as swing so whatvz.]

Monday, May 5, 2014

Genre research project 41/1359: Chillstep

Chillstep is a sub-genre of Dubstep. It is heavily influenced by Downtempo, Ambient, Future Garage and Liquid Funk. The half-time beats and sometimes bass wobbles of brostep are often included in chillstep but they are less intense and more relaxing. Sub-bass is usually used in most tracks.

Primitive Equations

Demdike Stare - "Primitive Equations" (Testpressing#002)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Genre research project 40/1359: Conscious Hip Hop

Conscious Hip Hop is a term applied to Hip Hop artists whose lyrics deal with social issues. It has parallels with Political Hip Hop, although its focus is extended to topics such as religion, African American culture, everyday life and the state of Hip Hop itself. The term, while widely used by both fans and writers, is often the subject of controversy; artists such as Mos Def and Talib Kweli have rebelled against being labelled as strictly “conscious” rappers. Musically, Conscious Hip Hop is a very broad subgenre, embracing the whole spectrum of Hip Hop, although a more chilled out, Jazz Rap-influenced style of production is perhaps most commonly used.

Playlist for 5-1-14

Hey guys,

Thanks to everyone who called in during my show both this and last week for our fund drive. We were able to raise $375 on my show alone. Which is great. I'm so proud of you guys for helping me keep public, commercial-free radio on the air in Orange County. You guys are ultra-champs. And because of you, we can keep playing songs like this:

Things that Are Square 5-1-14

(*) = New release

Jens Lekman - Pocketful of Money - Oh You're So Silent Jens

The Lucksmiths - Fiction - Warmer Corners
Why? - Ape in Cage with Wire Cutters - Almost Live from Anna's Cabin
The Halo Benders - Snowfall - God Don't Make No Junk
The Mountain Goats - There Is Power in a Union - Unreleased
(*) Wyrd Visions - Air Conditioning - Half-Eaten Guitar
Yo La Tengo - Our Way to Fall - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
Low - Blowin' in the Wind - A Lifetime of Temporary Regret
Kind of Like Spitting - Passing Through - In the Red

(*) A Silver Mt. Zion - Take Away These Early Grave Blues - Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything
Chelsea Wolfe - Mer - Apokalypsis
(*) EMA - Cthulu - The Future's Void

Cerrone - Supernature/Sweet Drums - Supernature
DJ Shadow - Mutual Slump - Endtroducing.....
Wugazi - Sleep Rules Everything Around Me - 13 Chambers

Suicide - Rocket USA - Suicide
Carcass - Unfit for Human Consumption - Surgical Steel
Mineral - Gloria - The Power of Failing

Stellaluna - (Everything I Do) I Do it For You - Smashed 40

Thursday, May 1, 2014

15 Shuffled iTunes Songs for May

1. Deerhoof - Adam+Eve Connection
2. Les Savy Fav - No Sleeves
3. Mr. Lif - Daddy Dearest
4. 2 Skinnee J's - Wild Kingdom
5. Comets on Fire - Side Two
6. Patife Band - Maria Louca
7. The Clean - Oddity
8. Andrew Bird - Plasticities
9. Willie Nelson - Phases and Stages (Theme)/Washing the Dishes
10. Ozomatli - Cut Chemist Suite
11. Rilo Kiley - Does He Love You? [Not the live version at Fingerprints, but close enough]
12. Cause Co-Motion! - Only Fades Away
13. The Dismemberment Plan - One Too Many Blows to the Head
14. Neurosis & Tribes of Neurot - The Last You'll Know
15. Trash Talk - Manifest Destination