Thursday, February 28, 2008
The subject of this evening's post is one the most "underrated brit-pop acts of the 90's". Believe me, I could fill the Library of Congress with bands that fall under that heading. I could fill up the Library of Congress with a lot of other things believe you me (???). Anyways! The band of this evening is no other than Gene. Having been compared to The Faces and The Smiths alike, Martin Rossiter and co. oozed cynical croons all over the 90's and didn't clean up (yucky). Their music has been condemned to Anglophile dick-measuring banter.
Here it is in two Parts: Gene's To See the Lights; a compilation of b-sides and live goodies. Additionally it was never formally released in the United States.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Guitar feedback is back in style, but the question remains: did it ever really go out of style? A perfect garnish to any jam session, loud-primal-ear-wrenching-feedback is a saving grace to rock music. Take the most recent Magnetic Fields album Distortion exemplifies this trend. Complete with beautiful cascades of white noise and soaring feedback this album pulverizes from start to finish, but in a sleek elegant and refined way. Where does front man, Steven Merrit, get this idea from? Well, funny you ask! Merrit is not bashful to cite Jesus Mary Chain's Pyschocandy as an inspiration to his new album. This album paved the road for all the great noise rock outfits of our generation. Drawing their inspiration from the seminal Velvet Underground, JMC use artful orchestration to transmit their raw loud, uncaged approach to rock and roll. Using primarily surf-inspired melodies, JMC's melodic backbone perpetuates each song, which is embellished by an unholy amount of feedback.
Chew on this Download 1985's Pyschocandy by The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Friday, February 22, 2008
this week's selection is not one but two full length albums from the jazz-inspired, art rock outfit known as Ludus. How did I find out about these guys? Well, Morrissey put out a compilation during 2006 and one of their tracks just happen to appear on it. The track was jangly, melodic, and the atonal guitar solo added an extra shot of jazzy spunk to the mix. That song" let me go where my pictures go" before we proceed here are some reviews of the album:
"Ludus are surely the art and architecture of Malevich, Tatlin and Duchamp given voice" (Careless Talk Costs Lives, 1/03)
"A twofer of albums recorded in 1980 and 1981, that saw LInder confront the caveman attitudes towards women in rock which had survived punk. This she did in multiple, sarcastic vocals styles, against a tight but meandering backdrop of Beefheart/jazz-inflected guitar arrangements. Far from having dated, tracks like Herstory are as challenging to sexist and musical assumptions as they were decades ago" (eMusic, 11/06)
download Pickpocket/Danger Came Smiling
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
This year or past year has been the year of cataclysmic rock movies. Movies like Anton Corbijn's Control, Julie Taymor's Across the Universe, and Todd Haynes' I'm Not There blew the hair off of unsuspecting movie-goers all over the world. This is a slight exaggeration, because it would make no sense for all these movies to garner so much power. Come on! A musical comprised of age-old Beatles tracks set in a surreal environment sounds like a stoner's idea. I am in no way disrespecting the Beatles. Poor guys! It just that the idea of covering Beatles songs in a musical is not innovative, but rather a conceptual platitude. It is important to mention that I have not seen this movie, but that concept alone is the very definition of hackneyed. It requires little to no brilliance to grasp the concepts within the songs. Not to mention that the endless amount of resources that analyze every possible dimension to these songs. So, what could this movie possibly do to set itself apart from the ocean of present day Beatlemania. Additionally, the soundtrack is a trainwreck. Bono miraculously rapes "I am the Walrus", and "Helter Skelter"(a song that inspires beautiful mass-murders) gets murdered by this adult-contemporary-as-fuck-coffee-shop-voice. If you ever wonder what Beatles' song would sound like if Melissa Etheridge had her way with it, buy this soundtrack now to put that suspicion to rest. Anyways, you get the point!
I'm Not There on the other hand is a step up. It about Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan) during four different periods in his career. There is on catch! A different actor and actress (oooh la la) potrays him during these various stages. Heath Ledger (R.I.P), Cate Blanchett, and Richard Gere are among the cast of people who play this musician during his seminal career. All in all, not a bad idea. Given Todd Haynes record (going off of Velvet Goldmine; I have yet to see Superstar) the movie is bound suffer from an abstract sense of continuity, but this may also add to the "I'm Not There" motif. We'll see. I have not see these movies, so this review is not by any means "fair". They are preliminary reviews and they are more or less an experiment. I might change my mind and swallow my words. Like I said "we'll see."
Since I have seen and very much enjoyed Control, it would be fair to praise this movie. Because it had subjectively speaking more interesting subject matter, it would not be fair to belittle these movies in light of this. Additionally this movie's director, Anton Corbijn, has incredible photographer's eye, which more often than not delivers great art direction (cinematography especially). It would not be fair for me to talk "shit" about the art direction in both
I'm Not There and Across the Universe, because I just can't. If I did, it would be a hell of an assumption, which we'll save for another perhaps more interesting post. STAY TUNED!
Also check out my download du jour Cut Copy's Latest Remixed by Boys Noize
Monday, February 4, 2008
Imagine a more disco-centric Pet Shop Boys with an occasional visit from Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser. I am unclear as to whether she is actually on the album or not. Regardless, there is definitely a strong Cocteau Twins influence on the vocals. I am not the first blogger to rave about these guys nor shall I be the last. Why? Because of their DFA-produced and approved sound and their poly rhythmic disco approach textured oh-so-DFA-like, they are going to stick around for a minute to pester all you dance-music-hatin' punks.
Take this track Iris (download). If that is not Elizabeth Fraser, I will be damned. Not to mention that the song title is very Cocteau Twins-esque. As the group's name suggest their music invokes classical themes and their fashion sense makes plaid look oh-so-stylish. The NYC quartet also enlists the likes of Antony (from Antony and the Johnson's). His operatic voice adds to the Disco-New-Romanticism aesthetic. Find out more!
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Perhaps the title of this blog is unclear to you. Initially, it seems like it is a pun based off of the mathematical term "Fibonacci Sequence." -It is, but it also references flamboyant pianist Liberace. Just giving you something neat to wrap your head around.
Today's attraction is the hit British sensation, Sparks. Oddly enough, these purveyors of glam/new-wave/rock have had a long, critically acclaimed, and largely unnoticed career. I would then give you a description of the band, but Allmusic.com does a way better job. Here it is: