April 26, 2009
Initially, I wanted this podcast to be a sort of “indie rock” podcast as I really haven’t ever created one. Therefore, I set right off with a new(ish) song by Abe Vigoda, and a new song by Swan Lake; but from there slipped off my path. I dipped deeper and deeper into psychedelia and finally popped my head back out at the end with a Dan Deacon song off of his most current album, Bromst. The end result was a podcast with a creamy, weird center surrounded by a juicy exterior of normalcy. Eat up!
- [Δ0:00] Wild Heart by Abe Vigoda: This is an awesome cover of Stevie Nicks’ Wild Heart by the Los Angeles indie-tropical-punk(whatever) band Abe Vigoda. I love the hypnotic bass and the plucked guitar.
- [Δ5:46] Paper Lace by Swan Lake: This band owns. Why? Because they have three of Canada’s best musicians (Carey Mercer from Frog Eyes, Spencer Krug from Sunset Rubdown / Wolf Parade, and Dan Bejar from Destroyer). As an added plus they all have crazy voices too.
- [Δ9:26] Cathedral Blues Two by Vampire Hands: I’ve been in love with this song for the past month or so, and I can attribute almost all of that love to the drums. The semi-tribal drums crash down and are reborn repeatedly; they must be using two kits. Power!
- [Δ13:47] Zero (Animal Collective Remix) by Yeah Yeah Yeahs: I adore every Animal Collective remix that is released. Sure, I am a complete sucker for anything Animal Collective, but honestly, they’re great. Unlike your run of the mill remixes, they distort the song instead of slicing it up and slapping a beat on. They’re experimixes if you will. Also notable: I’ve never actually heard the original song.
- [Δ18:02] Lazy TV by Black Dice: Bloop Bloop Bleep Bloop, ’nuff said. (I’m so unprofessional, but seriously, this song kills)
- [Δ22:45] Oneness by Many Mansions: Marimba laden psychetronica. What more can one ask for on a hot spring day? Also, supposedly he smoked up some weed and dropped some LSD and took a walk in the woods and there he climbed a tree. There were birds all around him.
- [Δ26:32] Ratalintu by Shogun Kunitoki: When they first started in the early 1990’s, Shogun Kunitoki only performed electronic music with Commodore 64 computers. Now years later, they are still working with old and new electronics but have added a new organic feel (drums, etc). Note: they aren’t Japanese as their band name would suggest.
- [Δ29:13] Surprise Stefani by Dan Deacon: Dan Deacon has taken a new approach on his new album; he’s replaced (some of) his electronic instruments with real, honest to god, instruments. The result? An onslaught of drums, mallet percussion, and other things. He’s touring with a massive band; you know you want to see it.
January 6, 2009
As we move deeper into the heart of winter we search for the heaviness in which we find warmth. Meals become more hearty, jackets cover fleeces which cover sweatshirts, and thick scents of pine fill the air. This month’s podcast keeps steadfast with this winter heft by presenting music that piles upon itself. Instead of a classic structure, these songs tend to not be put into sections, but instead build layer upon layer until an ultimate climax is met, a point at which there is no direction but down. Hence, a network of layers is created, just like the bundles that protect your body from the snow storm.
- Seabird by Black Dice: Black Dice, a popular noise outfit based out of New York, creates music that is not only layer based, but is completely dependent on layers. Seabird, as well as the rest of Black Dice’s catalog, not only piles layers upon layers of sounds, but also connects them. When a drum beat comes in, it is almost guaranteed that it will be connected, either in a rhythmic or more free pattern, to another sound. Listen as chimes unearth themselves amidst washes of synth arpeggios and hi-hat grooves.
- Mirror Friends by Lucky Dragons: Lucky Dragons has been said to “edit his music like a magazine”, though I’d fancy it as more of a collage. Luke Fishbeck, the mastermind behind Lucky Dragons, cuts and pastes pre-recorded and sampled sounds in a way that creates songs that never quite lose their spark.
- Baleen Sample by Animal Collective: Although Animal Collective has gone in an almost completely different direction since their acoustic days, they still hold some of their styles close to heart. In this song, which is an instrumental track on the Prospect Hummer EP (recorded with Vashti Bunyan in 2005), steady guitar strums fade in and out as an almost watery soundscape in the background creates a blissful backdrop. Similar techniques to these are still found in their new releases such as Merriweather Post Pavilion (which is absolutely incredible if you haven’t heard it yet).
- Afternoon Saints by Lee Ranaldo: Lee Ranaldo has been in the business for a while now. Although he is better known as a guitarist in Sonic Youth, his more underground personality is deeply rooted in the noise and (experimental) visual art community. In Afternoon Saints, a collage of bells (Pink Floyd anyone?) rises and falls in intensity creating a being that can only be described as “organic”.
- Jeep Uzi by WZT Hearts: WZT Hearts, a noise group from Baltimore, has the ability to create a wide variety of moods with its music. In this song, the resonating ringing of bells is followed by a shaking response, an odd mood of relaxation amidst anxiousness is created.
- Holy Quinn by Stag Hare: Stag Hare creates music that slowly builds block upon block until a point where there can be no more building. At this point this wall of rhythm is revised and turned into something almost completely new. Music to stare into the sun to.
- Golden by High Places: I feel as if High Places sometimes gets labeled too often as a “cute indie noise band”. Sure, a girl with a high voice sings over tinny bells, but I feel as if the music is much deeper than these labels imply. High Place’s music washes over you like a wave, beats progress and slowly fade away as chugging rhythms slowly take their place.
July 21, 2008
Mincemeat or Tenspeed:
Mincemeat or Tenspeed, the Philadelphia-based project of Davey Harms, was as awesome as usual. Luckily I got a spot directly in front of him and was able to see what exactly what he was manipulating on his table of guitar pedals and other gadgets. The performance started out with a rhythmic shower of raw square waves and slowly morphed into a more subdued sound. After a long session of knob twisting and pedal pressing he simply placed two hands on two different pedals. Finally, after building some suspense in the audience (enough to make someone scream “DO IT!”) he pressed the pedals. Unlike the crowd’s expectations the sound didn’t start blasting, it only took another shape; only to be shaped again, and again, until, shortly after two pedals fell on the floor, the sound sucked back into silence. And that’s the beauty of Mincemeat or Tenspeed.
War on Drugs:
Somehow, War on drugs was able to fit two electric organs, two drum sets, two guitars, and their five members all onto the small stage. Despite the tight fit they put on a great show. I’ve never listened to them before, and although they didn’t seem right opening for Black Dice I really enjoyed them. I couldn’t get over the fact of how Wilco-ish they were; the singer looked exactly like Jeff Tweedy and sounded a lot like them too. Their songs were nice and poppy but sometimes slipped into a big swirling sessions of blown out guitars, droning organs, and waves of cymbles; a nice touch. I’d highly recommend checking them out; I will soon. Expect these guys to get huge.
Finally, Eric, Bjorn, and Aaron came on stage and began to set up. Eric taped a drum pad to a box with duct tape while Bjorn opened up his suitcase of psychedelic sounds. Suspense was building up, and I was contemplating whether or not I should put in my earplugs in order to prepare for the loudest band in New York when a blasting bass tone not only entered my ears, but entered my entire body. At that point I realized there was only one way to listen to Black Dice music in order to get the full experience: really really loudly. I immediately forgot about my earplugs and let the sounds embrace me.
The first song, aptly titled “Chicken Shit” (is this new or a creative title for “improv” on the set list?) jumped around from sound to sound and beat to beat until morphing into something more recognizable. Out of the burning sounds came pieces of the song “Scavenger” off of their latest album Load Blown. Maybe it was just the decibel level of the music, but after fully enjoying myself through the entire set I was catapulted into some sort of nirvana during “Roll Up”, a song which I had lost interest a long time ago after listening to it a countless number of times. As the warmth of the blasting sounds surrounded me I felt compelled to close my eyes and do the dance that I always knew would go along with that song; why was this happening?!? Never have I felt such a powerful experience at a concert. When the loopy synths of “Drool” came peeking through I became lifted into another world. Noises punched me and blanketed me until, suddenly, the music stopped. I had landed. Extremely satisfied, I just stood there for a few more minutes, left the venue, and drove home. Absolutely incredible, thank you Black Dice.