Monday, March 26, 2007

Grouper



wide

Radio Dept



The Radio Dept. was formed by Elin Almered and Johan Duncanson in 1995 who were in the school together in their early teenage. The name was taken from a gas station/radio repairer in Lund {Sweden} which had a large sign with the name »Radioavdelningen« {The Radio Department in Swedish...} hanging outside their shop. Just like today Elin and Johan hung out with people who, if they didn't play music, were into photo, film, art and the likes. The Radio Deptartment was a suiting name as it became a department of it's own among their friends' activities.

Since 1995 members has been coming and going and at some points there has never really been a Radio Department at all. Martin Larsson and Johan Duncanson started playing together in 1998 and decided to use the name The Radio Dept. Since then the band has done lots of gigs and lots recordings. The Radio Dept. has recorded on 4-tracks in friends' living rooms or at home, in smelly wharehouse, in demo studios with blinking fluorecent lightning and at schools.

In the autumn of 2001 Lisa Carlberg, bass player and the love of Martin, and Per Blomgren, drums, joined the band and they started rehearsing in the way bands so often do. Lesser Matters is their debut album.

Kepler



From Ottawa, Ontario, Canada's KEPLER is a culmination of over three years of the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears. "Fuck, Fight, Fail" is at once a dense and restrained affair. Using out-takes from earlier recordings and newly minted material, many months were spent arranging and recording the record.

Suggested adjectives for description of said product are as follows: dark, unsettling, lush, soft, calming, brooding, depressing (especially), uplifting, haunting and pillow-like. One could also talk about "interplay," "textures," "lyrics" and sound fairly intelligent in doing so. Ultimately, the results are more worth listening to than discussing.

Harmonia



A touch more immediate and song-oriented than its predecessor, but no less enchanting and lovely to hear, De Luxe again features the trio experimenting with a variety of approaches, most particularly including vocals here and there for the first time. There's also a guest musician helping out, namely Mani Neumeier from Guru Guru, and while he's not playing all the time, where he does appear, as on the wonderful lengthy jam "Walky-Talky," a blend of his percussion and swooping guitar filigrees and keyboards, it's a fine choice. His slow, subtle build throughout the song helps send it higher and higher without seeming to. The various vocals really do fit the music in a lovely way, and it's little surprise that Brian Eno might have felt even more of an affinity with the group than before, being non-musical but still affecting, like mysterious chants or barks. The motorik pulses and rhythms, however soft and subtle, still dominate the proceedings, while the glazed, warm feeling of the whole album is astounding. "De Luxe (Immer Wieder)" makes for a just majestic enough start -- Rother's sudden guitar builds over five minutes in avoid brute domination for a structured, rising approach -- while "Notre Dame" consists of a series of mini-movements exploring central themes. There's also a bit in the way of straight-ahead rock in a distinctly Neu!-like fashion, with "Monza (Rauf und Runter)" easily coming across as an analog to Neu! 75's "Hero," a charging, fantastic number that is without question one of Krautrock's best individual songs. Meanwhile, in an amusing nod to the unspoken '70s rock rule -- thou shalt have one song based on the works of Tolkien -- one track is called "Gollum." What his creator would have thought of the half-goofy, half-brooding track is anyone's guess.

De La Soul



The last album of De La Soul's creative prime, Buhloone Mindstate was also their last with producer Prince Paul. After the claustrophobic De La Soul Is Dead, Mindstate is a partial return to the upbeat positivity of 3 Feet High and Rising, though not its wildly colorful invention. Instead, Buhloone Mindstate takes a calmer, more laid-back approach -- the music is often more introspective, and the between-song skits have been jettisoned in favor of a tighter focus. The surrealism of Buhloone Mindstate's predecessors has largely evaporated, and the production, while still imaginative, doesn't quite dazzle the way it used to. Then again, it's admirable that the group is trying to mature and progress musically, and they would never experiment quite this ambitiously again. There's quite a bit more live instrumentation here, with extensive, jazzy guest work by the JB Horns. In fact, the guests threaten to overpower the first half of the album; "Patti Dooke" and "I Be Blowin'" are both extended showcases for the horns, and the latter is a full-fledged instrumental led by Maceo Parker. They're followed by a group of Japanese rappers on "Long Island Wildin'," and it isn't until the terrific single "Ego Trippin', Pt. 2" that De La really takes over. Many of the record's best raps follow: the reflective old-school tribute "Breakadawn," the jazzy "I Am I Be" and "In the Woods," and the Biz Markie collaboration "Stone Age." If Buhloone Mindstate is a great deal more straightforward than De La's earlier work, its high points are still excellent and well worth the time of any fan. In fact, many De La diehards feel that this album is hugely underrated. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide


A Sunny Day in Glasgow



A Sunny Day in Glasgow began as the bedroom recording projects of Ben Daniels and Ever Nalens. Ever moved to Glasgow to go to art school, Ben moved to London to, essentially, walk around alot and kill time. Both returned to Philadelphia after a couple years deeply affected by the weather there and decided to pool their musical ideas in the summer of 2005. After a couple of months Ever decided to leave the project while Ben pushed on, enlisting his sister, Robin, to handle the vocals. After a few months of recording as a duo, Robin's identical twin and Ben's other sister, Lauren was brought in to fill out the sound. The songs were all recorded in Ben's apartment in West Philly, with most vocals being recorded at their Mom's and Dad's houses in the suburbs (less cars driving by to get picked up by mics). The three put together a few songs they had been recording and released them as "The Sunniest Day Ever EP" in March of 2006. It was through college radio that several bloggers were exposed to the band and began writing about them. Eventually Pitchfork gave their song "C'mon" 4 stars and the band started getting serious label attention (well, a few phone calls with Gnarls Barkley's label at least). In October the band came to terms with NYC/Bloomington/Berlin based Notenuf Records for the release of their full-length record, which should be out in February 2007. They are very happy about this.

"Scribble mural comic journal"

Thursday, March 22, 2007

BIRTHDAY TIME!!!!

There will be more posts soon.





Tuesday, March 13, 2007

SXSW



I am on my way to my homeland! Austin,TEXAS for SXSW. I made a mix kinda? These are most of the bands i am going to see play this week. I probably will see more than this list but i am doing this post in a hurry. I am still packing. Have a great week and if you are in Austin this week email me and we can get together and see a band or eat some tex mex or just get down and party!!!


SXSW MIX!
1. Cyann & Benn - Beyond reality
2. About - Strike you as the enemy
3. Holy Fuck - Tone Bank jungle
4. Black moth Super Rainbow - Count backwards to black
5. Greg Ashley - Medication #5
6. Beirut - The canals of our city
7. The Mountain Goats - Woke up new
8. The Rapture - The Sound
9. Peter Bjorn & John - Up against the wall
10. The Theater Fire - These tears could rust a train
11. Devin the Dude - Doobie Ashtray
12. Shitdisco - Reactor Party
13. The Presets - I go hard, i go home
14. Vietnam - Welcome to my room
15. Marissa Nadler - Mexican Summer
16. Jesu - conqueror
17. Boris - Akuma No Uta
18. The Ponys - Shine
19. Voxtrot - Four Long Days
20. 120 days - C-Musik
21. Black lips - Sea of Blasphemy
22. Fujiya & miyagi - Electro Karaoke in the Negative Style
23. The Besnard Lakes - Devastation
24. Citay - Seasons Don't Fear the Year
25. Deerhunter - Heatherwood
26. The Black Angels - Manipulation
27. No Age - Neck Escaper
28. Rock plaza Central - My Children, Be joyful
29. Dan Deacon - Wham City
30. Jandek - They Told me about you
31. Girl talk - once again
32. Mika Miko - Capricornations
33. Spektrum - Moody feels good
34. Mastodon - Megalodon
35. Rakim - Remember that
36. Ghostface Killah - Whip you with a strap
37. Bill Callahan - A Man Needs a Woman or a Man to Be a Man

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Theater Fire


The earliest roots of The Theater Fire run all the way back to 1995, when songwriter Don Feagin and bassist Mark Castaneda formed Vena Cava with a couple of friends. In the next five years, they would recruit horn-harp-percussion player Jesse Brakefield, songwriter Curtis Heath, pedal-steel-bells-banjo-guitar player Sean French, drummer Nick Prendergast, and horn-piano-percussionist James Talambas. After a few months playing and writing with this lineup, the band realized how quickly the sound had progressed, and how little the new songs and sounds resembled what had begun as Vena Cava. With a debut release and many shows on the horizon, they decided to change the name, and start anew. Their self-titled debut was released on Christmas Mountain Records in 2003.

The Theater Fire has a knack for spinning yarns about drifters, hangmen, brothers, and lovers grappling with their own honor, trust, guilt and loss. These tales are woven together by arrangements that include weeping pedal steel and violin, strains of accordion, mandolin and xylophone, plucked banjo and guitar, sorrowful brass and the clip-clop of found percussion. The songs combine influences as diverse as zydeco, bluegrass, mariachi, country, gospel and rock and roll - yet somehow remain unmistakably The Theater Fire.

I had the pleasure of seeing these guys play in Austin a couple of weeks ago and these guys are the real deal! If you want to know what Texas music sounds like this is THE BAND. Listen to Everybody has a Darkside and if your in Austin for SXSW go see them play. I think they are playing everyday.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Great Lake Swimmers


"Ongiara" continues to explore the worlds of indie folk, roots music and alt-country pop, with a focus on lyrics and the craft of songwriting. The new record is permeated with a rich natural reverb, courtesy of London, Ontario's Aeolian Hall, which creates the magical background on which the songs are painted.

These ten new songs are largely inspired by Canada's majestic natural environment ("Your Rocky Spine") and our reciprocal relationship with the land ("Put There By The Land"). "Where In The World Are You", "Passenger Song" and "Changing Colours" touch on themes of grace and understanding in life journeys, and the latter reflects on the cycle of living and dying. "There Is A Light" is a love song thinly veiled as a protest anthem, and similarly, "I Am Part Of A Large Family" contains a message of peace. Album closer "I Became Awake" is a country-infused lullaby which speaks to revelation and self-realization.

In addition to the core band of Tony Dekker (voice, guitar), Erik Arnesen (banjo, electric guitar) and Colin Huebert (drums, percussion, glockenspiel, timpani), the new album features special guest appearances by singer-songwriter Serena Ryder (backing vocals, autoharp), Bob Egan of Blue Rodeo (pedal steel and dobro), Sarah Harmer (backing vocals) and Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy and Arcade Fire (string arrangements). Mike Overton (upright bass), Darcy Yates (electric bass), Mike Olsen (cello), and Mike Bonnell (organ) also contributed their talents to this recording.

The title of the album was taken from the Toronto Harbour boat that carried the band to their initial recording sessions on Toronto Island with Dale Morningstar. However, "Ongiara" was mainly recorded in the Aeolian Hall, the centuries-old acoustic jewel in the heart of London, Ontario. It was engineered by Andy Magoffin, and mixed at the renowned House of Miracles. Renowned artist and Juno winner James Mejia (HolyFuck, Wintersleep) created the artwork for both releases.

Panther



Charlie is Panther, and Panther is some mutant form of Charlie. Churning out shattered pop hits that few have the ears to comprehend, Portland, OR’s Panther is a one-man disaster squad. Panther’s music is hard match of damaged soul, falsetto disco and broken synth fueled freakouts which is as addictive as it is challenging. This solo affair of Charlie Salas-Humara isn’t easily ignored for his unpredictable and energetic solo performances tainted with throbbing bass, minimalistic hooks and jittery dance routines. Panther’s influences run deep and take as much from Pop and R&B as Free Jazz and Punk.

In the past year Panther has infiltrated MTV2 (up for Video of the Year), Spin Magazine, and modern dance academia. While touring with both Ratatat and Gossip, he has managed to polarize audiences thoroughly between the immediate super-fans and super confused gawkers. Panther live is as much dance as it is music and as much art as it is performance.

Secret Lawns is the eagerly anticipated full-length follow up from last year’s Yourself 12”. Listening to Secret Lawns you’ll discover Charlie knows no boundaries, not only in terms of genre but also social and societal. Panther recorded and played all of the instruments himself, excluding the guest accompaniments from members of Yacht, White Rainbow, Plants, Point Line Plane, and E*Rock on a few of the tracks.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Gramm


Though many producers have pushed forward the clicks-and-cuts style of experimental ambience developed by German experimentalists Oval (among others), few have been able to match their knack for making abstract cuts into pieces of undeniable beauty. Jan Jelinek's first LP as Gramm is one of the precious few, and it's obvious from the opener "Legends/Nugroove," a track that drifts along with droning, melancholy synth accompanying the various extreme-frequency percussion detritus in the track. While the beats are slightly more straight-ahead on "Type Zwei" (another highlight), the atmospherics are similarly down-tempo, nocturnal, and even dizzying at times. Though they're stated simply and rarely vary from track to track, the synths are also extremely effective at creating a reflective mood. For all the abstract chill-out fans who need a bit more to dwell on than four-four or breakbeats, Personal Rock offers almost as much experimentation as beauty.

Henri Texier




Henri Texier is an outstanding French bassist who has concentrated most of his activity in his native land. Born in Paris, Texier began his career at age 15 playing piano in nightclubs, but he soon switched to bass in order to play in the big band of Jef Gilson. That brought Texier into contact with drummer Daniel Humair, and together they developed one of the strongest rhythm sections working in France in the early '60s. Texier and Humair quickly found work backing up touring American artists, among them Bud Powell, Donald Byrd, Phil Woods, Dexter Gordon, and Chet Baker. By 1968, Texier and Humair had been joined by pianist Martial Solal, and the three collaborated on some pivotal recordings made with vacationing saxophonist Lee Konitz. Also in 1968, Texier formed the group European Rhythm Machine, which featured Woods, Humair, Gordon Beck, and George Gruntz.

In the '70s, Texier took time off to learn a number of additional instruments, including oud, flute, cello, and various types of percussion, and to develop his singing voice. Upon his return to full-time performance, Texier played in a number of ensembles, often with Louis Sclavis and drummer Aldo Romano. In 1986, Texier began a fruitful relationship with Label Bleu, which has released most of his work since then. In the early '90s, Texier's son Sebastian Texier joined on as reed player with his father's groups, often playing clarinet. North African motifs have played an important part in Texier's work since the mid-'90s and in 2001, Texier's trio began to tour Europe accompanying the practically silent 1970 Algerian film Remparts d'Argile.

Henri Texier has a strongly physical approach to the bass, although his tone is often described as "bell-like." American auditors may feel that Texier simply walks a crooked line between hard bop and free, but in France Texier has gained recognition for his work in developing a type of jazz that is uniquely French and not beholden to American models. In June 2001, Texier was made a Chevalier of the l'Ordre National de la L├ęgion d'Honneur, the highest honor the French government accords to its artists.

Varech

Friday, March 02, 2007

Rameses III



Rameses III are architects of the most beautiful swathes of blissful ambience whose releases have previously found homes on labels like Celebrate Psi Phenomenon, Music Fellowship, Scarcelight, MYMWLY, Barl Fire and Type.

On Honey Rose, the group’s first release for Important, the South London trio build a bucolic soundtrack to Jon Spira’s mysterious short film “Suityman”. Whilst the influence of Bruce Langhorne, Boxhead Ensemble and much of the 4AD roster can be keenly felt on this six song EP, so too can the wondrous drone narratives that are such a feature of Rameses III’s previous works. More structured and melodious then much of their output, Honey Rose is the perfect place for a newcomer to begin exploring the music of one of the finest purveyors of ambient drone operating in music today.

Drakkar Sauna




Jabraham Lincoln
You will be forgiven for not knowing what to expect from this record, and listening to it might not give you any more of a sense of what its about than you previously had. Beginning with a song that you can’t quite pinpoint, and certainly will be unable to describe properly to anyone else, this Kansas duo immediately set the stage for the record. Welcoming both klezmer and flamenco elements, “Teach Me Your Legs” will remind you of Animal Collective one second, with the powerful harmonies swelling to the point of breaking, except instead of a tribal denouement, the track transforms into a marching band sound which will tickle the fancies of Elephant 6 fans.

The smorgasbord that opens the record is followed up by a much simpler track, one that again features the jovial harmonies of the band’s two central images. The rather simplistic lyrics of “Decoy Schmecoy”, which run “actually you have a nice body/actually you have a nice voice” recall the better pure-pop moments of the Gerbils, and the musical tone of the track follows suit.

Unfortunately this strong opening is not supported by what follows, as the third and fourth track veer far from the path set by the first two tracks and tamper with might as well be two buddies sitting bar-side singing aimlessly. Luckily the aim of the album is restored with “Get Kazoo People”, a quietly beautiful work of experimentation worthy of a Gang Gang Dance recording.

Unfortunately, in what seems to be this band’s goal, the next pair of songs are a completely different venture and return the album to the pits of slovenly sing-alongs. All is not lost however, as the jovial lyrics and start-stop instrumentation of “There’s Not Enough Tits on a Wolf” create a genuinely interesting, and most importantly for this record, listenable experiment in song-writing. If there is one thing this band does better than anyone, it’s defy any predefined song structures. If verse-chorus-verse is your fetish, this is a castration.

The album varies so greatly in music and lyrics that amongst all the bands I’ve already mentioned, a certain Waitsian element comes through here and there, a testament to the bands willingness to mix things up. I should clarify that the only way that Waits is recalled here is the sandpaper with which the music is produced as tracks often have a deep murky production often furthered by sinister shakers (particularly on the 9th track titled simply “.”).

As the album began, so it ends, as the final three tracks (including album highlight “Om, John Surrat” which features some fine whistling) are all very strong combinations of klezmer elements as well as the sugary sweet pop of bands like The Gerbils. The vocal harmonies remain, as does the general sense of camaraderie between the two band members.

Spring Mix


Spring mix

1. Wooody Wooodpecker - Dan Deacon
2. Umbilical Noose - Dandi Wind
3. Pure Magic - Girl Talk
4. give in - 4hero
5. Sovatex - Marsmobil
6. Flash gordon meets Luke Skywalker - Scientist,Prince Jammy & The Roots Radio Band
7. West Side - Studio
8. Sun and Ice - The Field
9. Lady - Chromatics
10. Homecoming - The Teenagers
11. Coconut - The Sea and Cake
12. If it's Monday Morning - Lee Hazlewood
13. Find a Way - Lavender Diamond
14. Where in the World Are You - Great Lake Swimmers
15. Dear Prudence - Song of Green Pheasant
16. Comfy in Nautica - Panda Bear