Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Squarepusher Discusses his Ufabulum Live Show



Reposting from Pitchfork.

!!! - THR!!!ER



Talk about things to look forward to! 2013 is really shaping up to be a great year for music, already in the first quarter even. Besnard Lakes, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Tomahawk, The Knife... and now !!! is releasing their first album since 2010's Strange Weather, Isn't it?.

Thr!!!er comes out April 29th in the US (4/30 in the UK). Nice Nice Nice

Luscious Jackson - Under Your Skin



So not a fan of these type of videos that show the band playing, but I LOVE this song and the album it is on.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Besnard Lakes Album out April 2nd, 2013



In spring of 2010 Mr. Brown sent me The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night and I immediately feel head-over-heels in love with the band. I listened to the album non-stop and made it to LA's historic Troubador to see them live (it was an amazing show and I talk about it here). Now word has come down that the band has a new record slated for release on jagjaguwar. The new album is titled "Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO" and above is the first official audio the band has released from it.

SoundGarden - By Crooked Steps Video



Directed by Dave Grohl. I wanted sooo much to dislike King Animal based on two facts: the ticket prices when they first reunited and the song they had in The Avengers, which basically sounded like audio slave. However, King Animal pretty much sounds to me like the next logical step after Down on the Upside, which I always thought was quite the high note for the band to go out on.

Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Destroy Angels - The Loop Closes



Although I did enjoy the eponymous EP that came out two years or so ago, this song - found on last years An Omen E.P. - is probably my favorite thing Reznor has done in a 'band' setting since... I don't know when. With An Omen having been released so close (relatively) to their upcoming debut album Welcome Oblivion I'm hoping this is a harbinger of what is to come. By no means do I mean to suggest I don't like the last few NIN records because I do, but this has a certain throw-back feeling to the simpler digital feel of some of the tracks on Pretty Hate Machine, which in sheer terms of song-craft I don't think he ever topped (certainly each NIN album got better in terms of production and imagination, but the song cycle on PHM is, in my opinion, really just perfect.

HTDA's debut album, Welcome Oblivion, is out March 5th on Columbia Records. I for one have found it fascinating to watch Reznor's career take the twists and turns it has. He's almost more fascinating as a businessman than a musician.

New Song from The Knife - Full Of Fire



New music from The Knife!!! This makes me VERY happy (in a dark and creepy kind of way). The song is the soundtrack to a short film by Marit Ă–stberg*.Their upcoming new record (their first since 2006's masterpiece Silent Shout) is reportedly a double album that comes out April 8th. It is available for pre-order in a variety of formats from their website here.

Here's the trailer for the album:




Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Sonic Mastery of Zen Guerrilla



I don't remember most of the specific details for the show where I saw Zen Guerrilla the first time. They were probably playing with Cash Money (later Cash Audio) and maybe the Quadrajets as well. Probably at the Empty Bottle in Chicago. Somewhere around the hazy aethers of 1998. Whatever night it was Zen Guerrilla made an immediate impression on my friends and I. It was common at that time for us to stop by the merch booth on the way out and plunk down money for a disc or 7" (still do when I go to shows, but unfortunately it's not as common these days). One of us must have done so (my money's on Mr. Brown) because soon after Positronic Raygun was in very heavy rotation amidst our little group. It is a fantastic record and while it didn't completely capture the sonic explosion of the group's live performance, engineers Scott Herzog and Matt Kelley helped the band come pretty close. It's blues-flavored RocknRoll Hendrix style - dipped in the sheer cosmic slop of cranked-up reverb and distant radio signals. Even the outro, an almost three-minute loop of a single bar of music dubbed "Frequency Out" has such a strange, otherworldly sound that I have been known to put it on repeat and listen to it for hours on end, often because I don't want the tone the band sets to end.

I was able to see the group one other time, sometime in 2000 I think at the Bottle opening for Nebula. Once again they were magnificent. Hadn't lost a step. And at both gigs their show-stopping set closer, a balls-out cover of Iron Maiden's The Trooper, was really just a smash in the teeth (almost literally for one of us, as the second time the singer Marcus dove off the stage at directly at my friend Hawk who had but a single instant to move before being crushed by the much-larger man. I felt bad that Marcus had ended up landing pretty much face-first on the beer-soaked floor, but I was glad I didn't have to drive my friend to the Hospital).

Dramarama - Anything, Anything



It's weird, I never heard this song before I moved to LA. Here they play it on pretty much every rock station, still, despite it being considerably old. Even KROQ plays it, and their rotation is about fifteen songs wide and really only dips into the 90's for (of course) Nirvana and (inexplicably) that Harvey Danger song Flagpole sitta (which I actually dig).

Marvel's Doctor Strange Movie

image courtesy of screenrant.com


This news is hours old so I'm not breaking anything here, but I just have to say that the fact that Marvel Phase 3 will contain a Doctor Strange movie is AWESOME!!!

Now, who to cast, eh?

UPDATE: Well, I've started a petition to get Hugh Laurie cast as Stephen Strange, not thinking that it will work per se, but as a method for showing Marvel support (or, I guess, lack thereof, for the actor getting the role). Read about and link to sign it on Joup: Laurie FOR Strange.

Also, check out Laurie's LastFM site here.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

An Unexpected Gem of a Compilation



Oh, along about ten or eleven years ago there was a great little record store in Bridgeview, IL. It was about the only good thing in Bridgeview that was good, unless you count numerous adventures in Guidish Park trailer park (now known by some other, uppity name). Anyway, the store was called Unabused Music and it was run by a great uy named Mark. He specialized in having weird imports, bread-and-butter albums by great bands and generally just a nice selection of interesting left-of-center items. I discovered Au Pairs via a 6-disc compilation set I purchased from Mark.



It doesn't look like much. Frankly it looks like it's trying waaaaayyyyy too hard. But something made me buy it* and I was very glad that I did.

Along with Au Pairs there are a number of standout tracks that introduced me to a bunch of bands that I'd either heard of but never really heard or just plain had never heard of. This is one:



The live version of Chelsea's Right to Work on the Shit Factory is a lot more... concise and in general a better listen, but the one above is quite the interesting watch. I mean, the performance above pretty much becomes a shambles at one point, but that's part of the whole atmosphere of this scene - or at least as I understand it through my research, not having been there.

Lastly, the first track that really did it for me on the aforementioned Shit Factory was The Fall's Rowche Rumble - I'd always been aware of the accolades The Fall were given but they had remained on my periphery until I heard this track and fell absolutely in love.




.............

* This was when I was in a band called The Yellow House - a band that ended up making some pretty decent strides in really making a name for ourselves. It was easily my most radio-friendly group, kind of a combination of Blur, The Kinks and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. In a Magickal effort to help us achieve our goal (which in the end it didn't) I named the Record Industry my 'god' and began making a weekly 'sacrifice' to it by no matter what buying two new CDs every Monday. This turned out great for my record collection, however the band eventually died right on the cusp of something great.

Ka sera sera


Start 'em early

Prepare your child for a job in the fast food industry with this helpful (and - in some cases - disturbingly prophetic) play kit!

Did somebody say lower your self esteem?

Dog Faced Hermans - Keep Your Laws Off My Body

The Cure - carnage visors



This is The Cure that I reeeaaallly love: Cold, dark and eerie. I'm glad they finally lightened up, but damn is this an exercise in PERFECT TONE.

Carnage Visors was hard to come by for most of the 90's. I remember seeing it on the B-side of the Faith cassette at Wind Records in Oak Lawn, IL. I didn't buy it, it disappeared and then when I went to buy Faith on disc it didn't have Carnage Visors. I eventually found it on an Import of B-sides and rarities, but I've still never bought Faith, probably just from the force of habit of waiting to come across a version with CV on it. About time I do that though - I'm largely unfamiliar even with it as an album but I remember at the very least The Drowning Man and The Funeral Party are great.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Flaming Lips - Seven Nation Army ( Live )



The Flaming Lips doing Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes but with the verse lyrics of The Butthole Surfers' Moving to Florida.

"My name... is Florida."

Butthole Surfers @ Doornroosje 1985



I never saw them live but out of everything I've found thus far on youtube this clip comes closest to what I always thought one of their shows would have looked like back in the day. Completely fucking insane. How couldn't it be, the original name of the band was The Inalienable Right to Eat Fred Astaire's Asshole. Why the change guys? Really?

Anyway, while googling the aforementioned original band name I found this excellent page HERE that is an oral history of the Surfers. Wow - such a good read. Should be converted into one of those Brilliant little 3 31/3 books.

Also, in researching my missing copy of Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac I found the cover artist's website. Pretty wicked: http://www.macioce.org/

Assembly Line People Program - Glass Static



One of the best live bands I saw at Chicago's Fireside Bowl back in the late 90's. There's such a rift with a lot of groups from this time (my own from the time - Schlitz Family Robinson included) where they were very time/place and just missed the proliferation of digital/inter-tube age. A LOT of great bands from that era just haven't developed a posthumous presence online and it's a shame but totally understandable. One day maybe...

In the end I like to post this stuff to try and catch the artists' attention even if just for a second to say, "Hey, thank you. This was awesome and I still enjoy it to this day."

sys.exe - liquid sky



I know this guy. I really dig his stuff. He's doing some Christian Fisting remixes for us soon.

I'm excited.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Janice Whaley - Wow

I'm not even sure where to start with this one. It began with me reading one of my favorite blogs, Condemned to Rocknroll. Someone left a comment on one of the articles about an all-acapella Smiths cover project. I'm not very into covers, but I happened to have cracked The Queen is Dead and Meat is Murder back out today and of course, like an addict reintroduced to their favorite substance the second I get a nibble of The Smiths it's a very short distance to obsession. Pretty soon I'll be laying on the living room floor, reading Neil Gaiman's Sandman and listening to The Headmaster Ritual over and over and over again.

So after listening to that I did some snooping and found some more of her music. I'm really digging this as well.


Free embed music player from ReverbNation.com

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Nick Cave - Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow



One of my favorite Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds songs from what is DEFINITELY my favorite album by the group - how have I never seen this video before???

Brilliant!!!

(note Jarvis Cocker in the smashing green suit)

Chelsea Wolfe - MER

Psychetect




Klint Finley is the mastermind that runs one of the best information-nexus sites on the internet, Technoccult.net. He also has a description-defying music project called Psychetect. It is fantastic. It takes me to strange inner spaces where reality melts and my thoughts turn into liquid fire. It is equally great to write to and great to zone uncontrollably; a much-appreciated Shamanic presence in the sometimes bleak and chaotic inner landscape that bubbles around beneath the furthest corridors of my consciousness.

Psychetect's E.P. Extremism is available for $2 here on bandcamp (you can also link to it through technoccult, which is probably an even better route to take because if you've never seen the site before you'll be able to get a feel for just how much information is there.



Battle Tapes

In my absence from keeping this blog there are SO MANY things that I have forgotten to put here. Take Battle Tapes for instance. In September 2011 my life had gone through a bit of a storm - I'd went through the slow death of Borders Books - a place I'd worked as a supervisor at for 5 years. And brother, it was a slow, painful death. Near to the end I was able to jump ship and begin a new career in the cryogenic field. That was August 2011, so like I said, September that year was a learning curve to say the least (I'd never had any experience in cryo-anything). Around this time my beautiful wife surprised me one Friday with tickets to see Helmet the following evening at, of all places, The Viper Room. Neither one of us like the Viper Room very much and this show was no exception. In fact, it pretty much made us HATE it. The place is soooo cool, if it was only run a little better. Case in point, the show had two bands on the bill and was supposed to start at, if I remember correctly, eight-thirty. Well, the club superimposed a local showcase in front of the Helmet gig and we ended up sitting through (by which of course I mean standing) two very, very bad "So Cal punk bands". Think of how much green day just absolutely sucks while trying oh so hard to convince every one - including me thinks, themselves - how 'punk rock' they are and then multiply that by about two thousand.

Yeah, that bad.

Anyway, by the time Helmet's opener came on neither my wife nor I were in a mood to tolerate even one more shitty band. Good thing Battle Tapes came out and BLEW THE FUCKING DOORS OFF THE CLUB. Really, I mean they were the highlight of the show, not really because they were better than Paige Hamilton and crew, but because when we had to leave only about seven songs into Helmet's set (Helmet! At a club as small as the Viper Room!!) it didn't hurt that bad because Battle Tapes was just that good.

I signed up for their mailing list and a few months later received word that they had released an EP for free on their site. Said EP is still available for free download here and I've posted their widget above so you can even hear it first.

It's sooooo good!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Corrections House - Hoax The System




The long-whispered about featuring Sanford Parker of Chicago Black Metal/Industrial band Nachtmystium along with Scott Kelly  of Neurosis, Mike IX Williams of Eyehategod and Bruce Lamont of Yakuza and Bloodiest has finally arrived. Above is their bandcamp, below the first video. Great throwback to the Industrial days of old. 

FIDLAR - Cheap Beer



The guys in FIDLAR bring the old school aesthetic without sounding like they're rehashing anything. Debut album came out today on Mom + Pop Music. What's more, you can buy the album directly from the band in what has to be the best Bundle pack I've seen in a while - either as CD or LP w/ t-shirt or (and this is my favorite) as CD or LP with a custom SKATE DECK! How freakin' cool is that? Mine cracked about a year ago so this might be the way to go if it doesn't sell out right away. I don't skate very often these days, but it's felt weird to not have a deck. I've had one on hand since about...1987.

Monday, January 21, 2013

2013 Sundance Film Festival Shorts: The Apocalypse



I've been routing around looking at a lot of the shorts at Sundance. I REALLY liked this one.

From Sundance

JELLO BIAFRA & the GUANTANAMO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE LIVE @ SO 36



Biafra's new(er) group doesn't get the props or traffic they deserve. This is every bit as awesome as the Kennedy's - further proof who really wrote all those DK songs.

Fuck dockers.

Oh, and yes, that's Andrew Weiss of early Ween and Rollins Band fame, on bass.

Sound City Official Trailer



I respect the hell out of Dave Grohl but his music does next to nothing for me. It's textbook radio rock - not bad, just not for me. Likewise for most of the modern bands touted herein (Queens of the Stone Age and NIN being the exceptions). But I LOVE Neve boards and a lot of recording history happened at this place. I heard an interview with Grohl and Corey Taylor from Slipknot/Stone Sour on Kevin and Bean late last week and although I didn't particularly go in for the track they premiered for their shared music project The Sound City Players (which also features Rick Nielson of Cheap Trick and Krist Novoselic I'll put the song up as well. Props to Grohl for doing all of this, again it's not my cup of tea but it's cool to see someone with so much stature in the mainstream rock community actually do cool, creative and respectful stuff like this. And props to the bands who participated in the doc, from Fleetwood Mac to Slipknot to Cheap Trick and everywhere in between.



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wrong (2013)

'

This looks amazing. And come on - William Fichtner is THE shit!!! Directed by Quentin Dupieux, the man who made Rubber (2010).

Decoding Tool's "Holy Gift"



I found this about two months ago. It's been some time since I've listened to Tool. They're a band I love but I have a very specific mindset that I have to be in in order to listen to. Part of this is because they are not a 'passive' listening band. Tool is very engaging with their music, I cannot just put them on in the background. I wrote a massive chunk of my first, unpublished novel to Lateralus and to this day it remains my favorite of their records. This was a time when I was also really falling into Magick and the album fit perfectly - the enigmatic way in which the band conducts itself lends to their mystique, as does a lot of the little 'hidden' things they do in their music and on their website. If you're interested in what I'm talking about go here. That's a link that was hidden on their site back around the time Lateralus dropped. How many famous rock bands spend time talking about/doing this kind of thing? To some it would be an act, the whole Magick thing, or a fashion, but to Tool and their inner circle there has always seemed to be the air of research into our world, and in keeping with this Tool's Holy Gift makes perfect sense.

There is a video here that explains the concept, but the basic gist is that the Fibonacci Sequence is integral to the record Lateralus - it contemplates or draws upon it in several places. Could there then be some hidden meaning/message in re-arranging the track listing of the record in accordance with Fibonacci's numbers?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Swans - The Seer



Okay, so I'm fairly late in the game on this one. I spent a large part of the year (7 months to be exact) holed up and working on a screenplay that may never see the light of day due to artistic disagreements. In that time a lot of music came and went under my radar as I was completely unplugged from any semblence my usual practice of scowering high and low for new stuff. I played MAJOR catch-up during the last two months of the year, the whole time harboring a feeling that one of the albums that "got away" - Swans newest record The Seer yet somehow never managing to transmute that feeling into acquisition. Then, about  a week after I posted my top ten albums of 2012 on Joup a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Seer and I loaded it into my ipod. About a week after that on a day off I put the album on and had trouble ever turning it off.

Frankly, until this record the Swans frightened me a bit. About five years ago I picked up the Cop/Young God - Greed/Holy Money reissue put out by Some Bizzare Records and although I LOVED the music I had a bit of an adverse reaction to the general tone of the record. Now, this in itself is a little out of character for me. I love a lot of dark, sometimes violent music. I'm not a prude and I don't scare easy. However, at the time I bought this record I had just finished reading George Petros' book Art That Kills and it had unnerved me, made me question some of the areas of art that I dabble in. Sometimes things we take at face value have deeper meanings that we don't stop to contemplate. Petros' book - while covering many artists whose work I truly love and consider historically important - also covers some that, well, fell more on the 'leave that the fuck alone' side of things. What's more around this time some strange happenings had resurfaced and to put it very succinctly a friend and I were seriously questioning whether A) a Magick ritual we had crafted in the form of a song for our band The Forest Children had caused a violent crime in our old recording space, or B) we were losing out minds for thinking this might be the case. My initial reaction to the Swans record was a combination of a psychic hangover from Mr. Petros' book, this hazy personal event and, specifically, the lyrics for track #2 on the Swans disc, a song titled Job.

I put the record away for a while.

I am a MASSIVE GodFlesh/Justin K. Broadrick fan and after buying one of the earlier Jesu albums and finding myself smitten with the vocals of Jarboe I made the connection and dug Swans back out. At first I isolated the Jarboe-sung tracks, soaking in the haunting, spectral atmosphere I'd not made it to before. Then I held my breath and gave the entire two discs another spin from beginning to end.

Wow.

The first thing I noticed when I went back to Cop/Young God - Greed/Holy Money was how Michael Gira was so obviously a huge influence on them. Many a band quote Broadrick and GodFlesh as influences but I'd never really delved into what bands influenced them. But the overall tone of the album was just still too dark for me. Actually, dark is not even the tone. While beginning this post a couple of days ago I dug the record out again (much to my wife's chagrin) and listened to the entirety of the first disc. It still takes me to a mental place that I just don't feel comfortable going. But here's the thing - that in and of itself is a feat for an artist. Just because the record causes this reaction in me doesn't mean I don't think it's an important or 'good' record. Au contraire - this makes me think it is something extremely special, to be reserved for special occasions when my inner psychonaut feels the call to places darker than I normally trek.

Anyway, The Seer has trumped much of my list for last year - maybe all of it. It is a magickal, complex and limitlessly rewarding piece of music the likes of which I've not heard assembled in one place before. It is now time then, for me to go back and begin buying all of the Swans records I've missed out on over the years.

Tonight Tonight Tonight! Henry Rollins Radio Show

Before I watch Instrument I'll be listening to Henry Rollins' weekly radio show on NPR station KCRW. You can follow the link below and stream it if you do not live in Los Angeles or any of the sister areas in Southern California that carry this station. Week after week it is the BEST radio show I've come across, not because I'm a huge Rollins' fan (which I've become BECAUSE of the show) but because he plays the most eclectic array of tracks and his absolute Love of music seeps through every moment of the two hours from eight to ten that he's on the air.

KCRW Broadcast 199 - Henry Rollins on KCRW

Fugazi - Instrument



Whoah. Never thought to look for this on the 'tubes. Somehow it has evaded me since it's release in (I think) '99.

Dig in.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Alice in Chains



I'm posting this without even listening to it as I'm at work and the computer I'm on does not have speakers. After Black Gives Way to Blue though, Jerry Cantrell and crew have (yet again) earned the benefit of the doubt.

Whereas with a lot of folks my age (36) Nirvana was their important new band during high school in the nineties, mine was AIC. Not to say I didn't like Nirvana - I did and still do. To a point. But the first time I heard Dirt - specifically the track Junkhead - it was like Layne, Jerry and the boys were speaking directly to me, summating my experience (minus the heroin) and presenting me with music the likes of which I'd never heard before (and really still haven't since) while doing it. When Cantrell began touring again under the name Alice in Chains I was skeptical but hey - it's not his fault Layne died. I made peace with it. Then when I heard they were releasing an album I was a little taken aback.

But then I heard it.

Several old school bands have released new or 'comeback' albums in the last ten years that somehow seems to pick up EXACTLY where they left off. Bauhaus's Go Away White and now Soundgarden's King Animal spring immediately to mind. But how Cantrell did it w/out one half of the main songwriters is beyond belief.

In an interview I read recently he talked about how with this upcoming album he was in the unique experience of feeling sophomore jitters for the second time in his band's career. I don't know how well album sales and their tours are doing for the guys in Alice but I hope it's keeping them living a good life.

They deserve it for all of the wonderfully innovative rock they've made over the years and I for one will be buying this new album DAY IT COMES OUT just to help show support to a band from the past that STILL has not disappointed me to date.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Upstream Color Trailer #1



Chills.

BRMC's "Specter At The Feast"

Beginnging at the end of December Black Rebel Motorcycle Club began releasing teasers for their forthcoming record "Specter At The Feast"

I am excited.This is the third of six teasers (three more still to come). They're cool, but they won't give you the feeling of how awesome a Rock n Roll band they are. This will:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Justin K. Broadrick exclusive DJ set for Self-Titled



In writing a forthcoming piece on Swans I stumbled across this little gem over on Self-Titled Magazine's page. Click here for write-up/track listing. Super Awesome and thank you kindly to these fine folks at Self-Titled!!!

NEPHICIDE by JOGGER

While I've been off writing for my friend's magazine Joup I realized how much I've neglected my blog when I found that I had not posted anything on it since the video for Liars' No. 1 Against the Rush dropped in June.

June!!!

Anyway, while I work up some content here's my favorite music video EVER (only slightly hyperbolic of a statement there). The video's director, Matthew Robinson, has some great content on vimeo you can link from here.