Friday, November 30, 2007

BabyGenius Classics For Intelligence CD (Moz., Bach, Vivaldi)
Meg Baird - Dear Companion CD
Johnny Dyani/Mal Waldron - Some Jive Ass Boer CD
High Dependency Unit CD
Meneguar - Tone Banks 1 "Some Downs" CS
Locrian/Daleth split CS
Son of Earth - Pet LP

Got a sick stressed kid tonight so playing some calming music. The soccer-mom classical comp works every time ("Musical power to stimulate developing minds!") but the Meg Baird is even better. Shit, that's gonna have to go in my Top 10 of the year. It's getting contentious over there. The year needs to end so I can finalize that shit.......put on the Dyani/Waldron disc on a whim because li'l Claire was going through the CD binder and happened to pull it out. The capacity is 400 discs and it's almost full with random obscure burns of albums, mixes, whatever in there and I never play any of them. Remember when people burned CDRs? Maybe they still do, I don't know. This crazy downloads/external HD/iPod world I'm in gives me amnesia. Anyway, this album was kinda spiky and chirpy and did not have a calming effect. I'm always pretty intrigued by the South African jazz scene though, and Waldron is the American guest here, a post-Monk pianist I never listen to, but he's good, hinting at Cecil styles more than I realized..... High Dependency Unit is like the Shellac of New Zealand, another of my Kiwi co-worker's homeland favorites (he calls 'em "HDU"). I'd have to say they're one of the best post-Shellac bands I've heard, with a nice control of soft gentle harmonics floating over the top of the post-rock with some of the same appeal as say Jesu. Unfortunately I'm just not interested in any bands that sound post-Shellac, not even the ones who are good, not even Shellac (at least over the last few years -- I might be ready to revisit though, but really, when?)...... Meneguar cassette is the first time I've ever heard the band. I have heard the Woods CD At Rear House, which had an indie/Shrimper odd-pop tendency that I found a little off-putting, but it's growing on me. That sound is here too, but really only for the first minute or two -- the rest of these two (C40) side-longers is just stretched-out instrumental whatsis that gets pretty sublime, reminding me of a less jagged Sun City Girls circa the Planet Boomerang LP (!).... Locrian side of split cassette has been a favorite for awhile. Really just sounds like a sublime krautwise organ drone-song, which I didn't know they had in their vocabulary. I do want to hear a release of their brutal pointy-headstock tech-metal-drone crossover style as seen live and heard on MySpace. Daleth side is impressive and ambitious for a one-man band but I'm not so into its particular grand prog-metal instro-style, but it probably is better than hearing another one-man metal project in a run-of-the-mill black/beard style, so....comes in a nice embossed cassingle slipcase thing, good record. Son of Earth LP is a pretty fantastic Dead C style amp-drone album. Lots of subtle and quiet stuff. If it wasn't for the writer's strike I would review this and the Meneguar over there....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Psychedelic Horseshit - Magic Flowers Droned LP
Def Jam, Inc. book by Stacy Gueraseva
Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor Concerto" CD
Winnie-the-Pooh book by A.A. Milne
new Harper's Magazine

Still not completely sold on the Psych's good but not great, I like it but don't love it, etc. I am intrigued by it and want to give it more listens, but it's a pretty vicious drag through the mud. They're a song band, freewheeling existential noise-pop-something, their name is an exact description of what they sound like, and at album-length the "psychedelic" increases in duration and the "horseshit" becomes an entire messy stables, a physical space that the band and later the listener must navigate musically, an aesthetically Herculean labor, not necessarily in a bad way (i.e. instrumentally the band is very often amazing but the tunes aren't clicking with me as tunes like they did on the Who Let The Dogs Out 7-inch).... Picked up the Def Jam book on a whim at the weak branch library up the street. Not exactly great literature but it's fun to read with plenty of anecdotes, like the one about Rick Rubin getting kicked out of his NYU dorm for playing music too loud every night. At the residence hall hearing he argued, "I am a punk rock musician, and volume is integral to the music. To have punk rock without volume is to diminish its artistic value and merit. Therefore, volume is a necessary part of me doing my art." He also argued that by listening to his music, he was studying, just as other students were up late studying for law classes or whatever. They ended up letting him stay. Another memorable story is the time Slick Rick "walked into [the Def Jam office] and after being unable to get the staff's attention, took out a pistol and fired three shots into the ceiling, yelling 'Attention, peasants!'".... the kids love the Beethoven and improvise surprisingly intense and interpretive ballet-style dances to it. Shit, I love it too, probably because I'm a Dad. Instant fuddy-duddyhood.....speaking of which, the Pooh book involves reading the first two chapters out loud to L'il Phil. More kid stuff, but A.A. Milne was a genius. These books are hilarious, especially when Milne goes off describing Pooh's thought patterns, just goofy stuff like, "When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it"......always great to get the new Harper's in the mail. Now reading the intense lead article on the Iraq oil infrastructure. I've already been thinking of infrastructure collapse a little too much, not only the dams in New Orleans and the bridge in Minneapolis, but mainly watching the entire public transit system in Chicago slowly crumble over the last five years, along with hundreds of other examples that are much smaller but nonetheless evident on a daily basis, like having to walk or work or drive around a large, messy, and seemingly ill-advised construction project every day, or elevators in your building always being out of order, whatever. Anyway, it's a good article. And this might be considered a spoiler, but the last line of the always-classic back-page "FINDINGS" feature is a doozy: "All possible universes exist."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Monster Island - Children of Mu 2LP
Temple of Bon Matin - Flower Footed Ghost CD
Theo Angell and the Tabernacle Hillside Singers - Auraplinth CD
David Kilgour - Sugar Mouth CD
The Gordons - The Gordons/Future Shock CD
Mike Tamburo and His Orchestra - Ghosts of Marumbey CD
Buck Gooter - Animals CD
Eric Ostrowski - Magnificent Forest CD/DVD
Adventures of Little Mouse Vol. 1 DVD

Just got the Monster Island double-LP. It's pretty ambitious and I hope to write something more in depth about it soon over at the regular mag...sides 3 and 4 are one big zone-out....Temple of Bon Matin is brand new and excellent flowing ruffneck "deep south psychedelia"....The Theo Angell album is absolutely one of the best of the year.....A guy from New Zealand at work has been lending me all his favorite homeland stuff: the Kilgour disc has a wonderful dreamy sound that flirts with abject pop cheese and trumps it at every turn. The Gordons sounded cool but lost me a little on first listen, I need to give it another one....Mike Tamburo disc hasn't registered yet, check back later....Buck Gooter is a couple older townies from Harrisonburg, VA doing noisy weirdo bedroom rock. Could be comparable to Screaming Mee-Mees except with a drum machine. Might be pretty good, again, check later. They sent it to me wrapped in a used organic blueberry waffles box......Not feeling the Eric Ostrowski. Didn't like Noggin, don't like the solo. I'm not sure how to put it, but I feel like he, solo and with Noggin, constantly uses extended violin technique not to play MUSIC, or even really ORGANIZED SOUND, but just to play mere extended violin technique. The films on the DVD are better but similar in that they strike me not as works -- for example, the titles don't seem to matter -- but as examples of technique. And in this case, it's Brakhage's technique..... L'il Phil Dolman is going off over here (he's four now), he just said something about a "hippopatomysterious in the Serious Tower", strictly off the top of the dome..... Hey, finally processing a track off the Tamburo disc, and whoah, I assumed it was the Bon Matin. Would not've guessed the Tamubro, with no Fahey worship fingerpicking in sight, this is a cloudy nervous 15-minute krautwise jam called "oh my lord, please spare this soul from these demon hauntings," I likes, more on this record later...... just put on the Little Mouse joint for the kids, sweet wordless Polish animation from the 1960s or 1970s. Awesome odd orchestral jazz score. Laid-back and completely dialogue-free high-jinks by the titular mouse, scruffy cats, back-alley rats, musical crickets, scary storks, much more... right now the kids are rapt, which means I should be cleaning the house, see ya!

UPDATE: Oh yeah, the Gordons has officially sunk in. For some reason I was thinking it was from 1990 or so (I know absolutely nothing about the Flying Nun label, I was always an Xpressway guy) but once I gave some thought to when it was actually recorded (freakin' 1981), okay, I get it. Better than the Birthday Party? At least I'd rather listen to the Gordons now that the Nick Cave shock effect has worn off.

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