Monday, December 29, 2008

Abosi Seksu

Abosi Seksu was recently featured on Bandstand Busking playing "Gliss" and a seasonal cover of The Ramones' "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)" outside in the cold, as well as "Walk On the Moon" warm and inside of doors. All AS needed was an acoustic and a xylophone, and it turned out rather beautifully. Their Me & Mary single dropped recently and their forthcoming album Hush drops Feb 17 on Polyvinyl. You can pre-order it here.

"Walk On the Moon"

"Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)"


MPP Listening Party

That's right, Mr. Gabriel Chicoine has arranged for an Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavillion listening party in Amherst Tuesday Jan 6 at Mystery Train Records. They'll be giving away download cards for the album (as if you haven't heard it already) as well as some posters from Domino whilst spinning the record, so come on down to Mystery Train Records (178A North Pleasant Street, behind that tattoo place) around 5:45PM.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Just saw this Take Away Show with Satine and it's pretty beautiful. No idea how well-known Satine is, but her Myspace is gaudy and she played with some philharmonic orchestra in Paris recently.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Xcepter Xmas

"The Son of Man at the head of the table
Surrounded by the fauns of fable
Peace on Earth
Peace in Space"

Arty NYC denizens Excepter upped a couple Christmas tunes to their Myspace ("Deck the Halls" and "Little Drummer Boy") as well as this weird video from Nov 4 of something called "Heads." Their record Debt Dept. was one of my favorites of the year and new material from them in any form is always good.

I wouldn't call that a 'song' necessarily, but do indulge in these as well:

"Any and Every"

"Rock Stepper"



Thursday, December 25, 2008


Christmas as a religiousless, purely romantic holiday: WHAM!'s "Last Christmas"

Christmas as a religiousless, purely romantic holiday:

Got my first listen to Animal Collective's forthcoming LP Merriweather Post Pavillion this evening. I must say I'm impressed. Previously heard tracks "Brothersport" and "My Girls" are still phenomenal, as are "Daily Routine," "Bluish," and "No More Runnin'." More listening on the way, but as of now it stands as a great, entirely danceable electronic record overflowing with ecstasy and pounding rhythms. Departure almost entirely from shrieking = good.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


" We moved to California during the gold rush; we pawned our gold for guitars and rented a space on Turk Street in the loins of downtown San Francisco. Amid work and school, we devote a portion of our week to making music; this portion religious people call the "sabbath." " - NODZZZ's Myspace

These guys NODZZZ are playing with Wavves for two shows in Brooklyn after Wavves' Feb 5 date at Bard College mentioned previously so maybe they'll be playing at the Bard show too. Also on those Brooklyn bills: Blank Dogs (who I've been digging), Woods (who I've heard of but haven't investigated) and Gary War [who I've never heard of (but is actually very cool - listen to "Highspeed Drift" and "Clouds Went That Way" on the Myspace)]. Anyway, NODZZZ has a fairly compact sound: tame punk structures, whiny rock n roll, blasts of buzzing guitar. Perhaps a bit straightforward, but the Black Lips do that and everyone likes them.


There's always the end of the year list pile-up, we know that. There's also the realization that I haven't heard every one of the most critically enjoyed records of the year for one reason or another.

Arthur Russell - Love Is Overtaking Me

A long, 21-track record of guitar songs ranging from folky pop arrangements to straightforward storytelling rock to country ballads, compiled from material recorded over the span of two decades from the 70s to early 90s before Russell's death in 1992. Dude's music has been starting to be reissued and his name has been mentioned more often as a strong proponent of avant-garde cello pieces as well as jazzy disco, but these are very tame, more traditional guitar songs backed by simple percussion and appropriate horns.

Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part 1 (4th World War)

Some funky, soulful jams with many social issues addressed, etc. Not quite as compelling as I thought it might be, but a good relaxing listen.

The Walkmen - You & Me

First song, "Dónde Está la Playa," sorta could be a Grizzly Bear song, which is good, but Hamilton Leithauser's voice borders on Britt Daniel's, whom I can't stand. Others are great too, including "In the New Year" and "Postcards from Tiny Islands," but the album is too long and doesn't succeed completely.


ALSO I just realized Jona Bechtolt a.k.a. YACHT released the Summer Song EP this year, appropriately on DFA. There's only four tracks, including the Salvia in the Club remix of "So Post All 'Em," but it's a great twenty or so minutes of "Fucking Positive" white dance music to follow up the euphoria of I Believe in You. Your Magic Is Real. He's busy in Europe through the end of the year (NYE show in Paris ooh la la) and we hope he comes back and plays more shows in America (he was superb at The Grind at Clark University) but here's a video for the title track of the EP.

YACHT - Summer Song


I can't really deny how nuts this video is, and the song ain't bad neither. Pretty hard to imagine that a human can move like that.

Beyoncé - "Single Ladies"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


So it seems that New Years Eve will actually mean something this year - NYC's Knitting Factory will provide a final send-off for itself with a New Years bash curated by Akron/Family, featuring Deerhoof, Dirty Projectors, Deer Tick, Megafaun, Akron/Family themselves, and a bunch of others. Sounds like a lot of fun, especially for an all-ages New Year's event.


Just came upon news that Wavves will be playing at Bard College's SMOG Feb 5. This is exciting, for Wavves' ST cassette is cold sold out and Wavvves ain't out yet. Listen to the Myspace songs and love the fuzzy punk beach blasts.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Well NIKE got Cornershop, so the "Prince of Persia" video game series got Sigur Rós. That's right, "Sæglópur" appears in the new trailer for the new "Prince of Persia," out just in time for the holidays.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


This is something going on tonight - Brazilian Pub 75 North Street (McKay Street entrance), $6, 18+. Come see bands. Come donate to the Eagle Santa Toy Fund. Come drink ale.


' new 7" is out on the Breaking World Records (great label name), recorded "2007-08 IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS." That is nondescript (W Mass is full of towns, principalities, gothams, etc) but the music fits the label's descriptors quite accurately:

"beautiful self described 'tropical' jams/gems"

"circular guitar over fuzzy, hazy drum loops and percussion coconuts washing ashore"

"influences from all over the 'world' without surrendering to mimcry [sic]"

"let your hair down type of party music"

All these work. Click the link up there for a Myspace version of "Beach Point Pleasant," a rotating swirl of rainbows, or act fast and pick up their 7" somewhere cos there's only 300.


Ducktails will be releasing a split LP on Not Not Fun with Sun Araw sometime soon. Sun Araw's Beach Head LP is somewhat hard to find but here's a little sample:

Thursday, December 18, 2008


If anyone's watched any ESPN as of late you've seen that new LeBron James NIKE "Chalk" ad that cameos Lil' Wayne for a two-shot total of about 0.6 seconds. The commercial's black and white and rad, but what was surprising to me was the song choice of Cornershop's "Candyman" feat Justin Warfield, a great track from Cornershop's record When I Was Born For the 7th Time, released in 1997 on David Byrne's label Luaka Bop. The rest of the record is pretty great as well, including a cover of the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)." I remembering picking this CD up at a bookstore in Cape Cod years and years and years ago and loving it. Glad to see it slip into the current mainstream again (the other being a fairly recent Target ad with their song "Good Shit" reworked to "Good Stuff").

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It has been a strange time round these parts in regards to listening. Can't just stop hearing new sounds, but some backpedaling meant everything began sounding stale. I have sought and do seek the interesting.

Ricardo Villalobos - Vasco EP

Now hold on, it says "EP" up there. You say the first song's half an hour? That's an entire EP, right? Well it keeps going, as the second, third, and fourth tracks are each at least a dozen minutes long. This is not casual listening, though it must be casual listening. Villalobos is not someone I know a terrible amount about, but this EP sparks interest. It's basically some minimalist techno running circles around itself, revolving around the same backbeat the entirety of the compositions while emphasizing simplicity with various inorganic blips and snaps. Dude's from Chile and moved to Germany in youth and has been producing work all decade. I've heard the name but never checked him, though now I recommend it.

Ricardo Villalobos - Vasco EP

Animal Collective
- "My Girls"

This song furthers my anticipation for the new Animal Collective record Merriweather Post Pavillion (Domino), which now comes out on vinyl Jan 12 about a week before the previous release date of Jan 20. The song exudes about as much unabashed ecstasy as the previously leaked track "Brothersport." Panda Bear's vocal, as always, sounds perfect and golden over sequences of blips and thunderous drums, falling into a trance-like danceable rhythm. Very promising.

Nico Muhly - Mothertongue

I've heard word about this gentleman, NYC-based Nico Muhly, BUT had not heard him til this week. Mistake. This record is great: ivory grandiosity to rival Sigur Rós; layers of semi-chanted vocals formulating words, but rarely sentences; whip-crack-dynamic highs and lows. The key is it's all done effortlessly, quietly pulsing and adding textures of everything - voices stuttering and mouthing phrases, harpsichords, regal horns, xylophones, tinkling keys. Do listen to this record. Then buy it.

Nico Muhly - Mothertongue

Big P.O.P.E. feat Wale - "Don't Go" (Diplo Remix)

I think this track would be in my top bangers of the year, up there with "Royal Flush," "9MM," "Robo Tussin," "3 Peat." Both verses are terrific and the chorus hits the spot. Wale wins wit this:

"I do not kiss, in fact I make em sip that Listerine margarita 'fore they arms around me."

That's from the Fear and Loathing in Hunts Vegas Paper Route Recordz mixtape out on Mad Decent which you can still download for the price of your choosing here.

Benoit Pioulard - Temper

Sort of mysterious, woodsy, foggy, drifting, dreamy pop from Michigan. Out on Kranky last October, I didn't know about it til last week when I came across it at WMUA (speaking of which: no show this week, but our time slot has changed for the Winter: SESAME STREET BANDAIDS 6PM-8PM FRIDAY NIGHTS 91.1FM/WMUA.ORG) but it's a good listen. There's a lot of tracks, 16 in total, and all the songs hum and wade into each other for the most part. The album is certainly lazy, a good lazy, glistening and folding up into itself for stretches only to bloom and extend itself again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Not to exploit or anything, but The Boston Globe has some great photos of the Greece riots.





O Tannenbaum

To The Left



Just Do It

Friday, December 12, 2008

Red Barn

BJ Warshaw, Dan Friel

Sarah Lipstate

Hampshie College's Red Barn was pretty bumpin last night - a decent amount of people for the free Parts & Labor, Bunnies, Eric Hnatow, Grey Skull, Ampere show. Parts & Labor was pretty great. It has become apparent that I don't know any of their songs well enough, that's for sure. Their drummer Joe Wong was bonkers, and they generally sounded awesome.

Before them was Bunnies, who carried a Melvins sludginess, at times swelling to something more upbeat. Eric Hnatow got his groove on before them with usual antics in tow: spasms of sweaty convulsions, a rope light, a beard.

Grey Skull was devestatingly loud and piercing, blurting out gagged back-of-throat nonsense sounds between intermittent cataclysmic barrages of feedback. I pray that a majority of the audience had earplugs in for their set because I didn't and I wanted to leave.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bon Iver

Bon Iver, a.k.a. Justin Vernon, is set to release his new Blood Bank EP January 20 on Jagjaguwar. I managed a listen and it's basically what you'd expect after For Emma, Forever Ago (which a number of people have been putting on best-of lists, but I'm pretty sure I heard it last year), quiet, sad songs with Vernon's falsetto snaking around hushed acoustic guitar, making for an accurate example of what his Myspace describes him as - Neo-Soul. "Beach Baby" finds some warm slide guitar phrases while "Babys" contains an urgent-sounding piano throughout. The real winner is certainly "Woods," which one immediately notices due to the auto-tune on his voice. He's played around with this before [overdubbed vocal in the chorus of "The Wolves (Act I & II)"], but this is literally an entire nearly 5 minute song of his voice playing with the pitch correction, folded over itself in a sort of hymnal/R&B exercise sort of like Imogen Heap's super-processed "Hide and Seek" (which I totally forgot about til just now).


Justin Vernon had released some stuff under his own name in 2006, the 7-track EP/Mini LP Hazeltons. "Frail Sail" is pretty great, as is "Game Night," prominently featuring drums. That's right, it's not deathly quiet.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Best Live

What's music lists without considering music in the live spectrum? Actually I didn't think about doing such a thing until I was tipped off that it'd be a good idea, but here goes:

10. Felice Brothers 9/7 Club Helsinki, Great Barrington, MA

These guys are hell of fun, especially since they're from just over the NY border in the Catskills. They've got this rag-tag vibe, a sort of drawl which seems leftover from times when America was still forging westward towards the Pacific. They've got an endless array of stories and mythologies (who knows how many are true) to share while they make you feel like family.

9. Caribou/Fuck Buttons 3/25 Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA

The second time I've seen Caribou was certainly better than the first (again at the Iron Horse last year), with chaos drumming and trippy projections aplenty. This show came right before the drummer broke his wrist (yes, while drumming I believe) so I was lucky. Openers Fuck Buttons have received much buzz this year, and they were surprisingly impressive. They had already started as I walked in and the noise had already begun to deafen, creating a gap between where the audience chose to reside (far away from speakers) and the stage.

8. Between a Rock and a Tiny Bell (HEALTH, Han Bennink & Peter Brotzmann, Blarvuster, ZS, Black Moth Super Rainbow) Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center, RPI campus, Troy, NY

This show was bizarre. Free is always good and semi-local is always good, so some friends and I headed over to Troy, mainly for HEALTH and Black Moth Super Rainbow. HEALTH was fantastic and spastic, wildly prancing around stage and creating some real huge feedback noise. Black Moth Super Rainbow sounded just about the same as on the record, which would have been disappointing if not for the constant B-movie/kid show/horror projections in back of them. The real "what the fuck" of the show was Bennink & Brotzmann, however. Bennink is the greatest drummer I've ever seen live, and I'd never even heard any of his work until this show. He was absolutely phenomenal, making every single sound a drum kit could possibly make, or more appropriately every single sound a drum kit could dream of making. Truly a vision.

7. Holy Fuck/A Place To Bury Strangers/Tiny Whales 3/21 Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge, MA

For reasons unknown, Holy Fuck was the headliner of this show. APTBS absolutely killed, probably the loudest show I've ever seen. They tore through songs relentlessly behind strobing lights in the Middle East's tiny upstairs venue. See this band.

6. All Points West (Radiohead, Kings of Leon, Animal Collective, Metric, Chromeo) 8/9 Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ

Festivals are fun, especially when you can get single-day passes and not have to lower cleanliness standards by not showering for a week (like Bonnaroo). APW attracted be for the simple combination of Radiohead and Animal collective at the same stage, though separated by one of the lamest bands I've ever had to sit through, Kings of Leon (right up there with Jennifer O'Connor and Rig 1). Chromeo started the afternoon all dance-y and electro, while Metric's Emily Haines bopped around stage in a tiny gold suit. Animal Collective was jaw-dropping: loud, trance-like, druggy. They played "Brother Sport" and "Fireworks," the only songs I recognized amongst other new material. Radiohead was amazing as expected. Crystalline light show, all the new songs (including "Bangers & Mash"), and a great throwback to "Planet Telex," rainbow LEDs creating a visual which will remain with me for a very long time.

5. Jamie Lidell/Jennifer O'Connor 6/7 Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA

This was probably the most surprisingly fun show I saw all year. After Jennifer O'Connor's snore-fest to start the night, Lidell hit the stage as a true performer, flaunting a crazy gold jacket, amateur-at-best dance moves, and all the hits. He ended up onstage in the encore with a television encasing his head, another image I'll never forget. P.S. his saxophone dude is baller.

4. The Dodos/Tall Firs/The Amazements 4/10 SMOG at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

First off, this was one of the cooler venues I checked out this year. It was a simple garage cleaned up for shows and practice space, absolutely covered in graffiti. The Dodos literally only played for 35 minutes before campus security made them stop (who needs quiet hours?) but it was truly crazy. I was inches from the neck of Meric Long's guitar, pushed up against the stage by the hoard of students packed into the dusty, cigarette smoke-filled concrete box.

3. Saul Williams/Dragons of Zynth 4/12 Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA

I don't usually get motivated by the politically conscious, but Mr. Williams was an exception. He comes onstage with feathers in his hair, blue Bowie-esque facepaint under his eyes, over his cheeks. He convulses his way (in huge feathery boots) around the stage and into the crowd, inciting the liveliest crowd I've ever seen at the Iron Horse. He read poetry, rapped over beats from CX KiDTRONiK, and otherwise killed. I felt unity.

2. M83/School of Seven Bells 11/16 Pearl Street Clubroom, Northampton, MA

M83 was as close to perfect as possible. The drummer was flawless, whether he was behind the drum kit or the drum pad, surrounded by a see-through sound-absorbing wall which created drum sounds directly from the record. In fact, the drummer was hypnotic. Everything (synthesizers, guitars, etc) mingled and melded together to create a haze of processed sound, disappointing none.

1. Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno 12/2 Calvin Theatre, Northampton, MA

I'm not usually into seeing artists rehashing their old sound to sell tickets and wallow in superstardom, but this seemed like so much more. David Byrne and Brian Eno recorded a new record after a 27-year break since 1981's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts so Byrne decided to tour some of the songs as well as old material. David Byrne. Brian Eno. That means the glory days of the Talking Heads, some of my favorite music I was not alive to witness. I heard songs live I never thought possible (like material from that 1981 record) and songs I never thought I'd see performed by Byrne himself, such as "Once in a Lifetime," "Life During Wartime," "Crosseyed and Painless," and, ultimately, "Burning Down the House." These were the clinchers, not to mention the impeccable lighting and weird ballet.

Best of 2008

The time has come. I've boiled it down to a top 10 albums from the past year based on enjoyment, number of spins, and overall quality. Peep descriptions in the print copy here and enjoy the clips.

10. Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls

9. Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst

8. M83 - Saturdays = Youth

7. Gang Gang Dance - Saint Dymphna

6. Air France - No Way Down EP

5. White Denim - Exposion

4. Excepter - Debt Dept.

3. Deerhunter - Microcastle

Deerhunter - Microcastle from Adam Bruneau on Vimeo.

2. The Dodos - Visiter

1. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III

Monday, December 8, 2008

Giant Drag

Stereogum just informed me that Giant Drag (a.k.a. Annie Hardy) has not fallen off the face of the Earth after covering Chris Isaak (her version of "Wicked Game" is on her Myspace). She's got the new Swan Song EP coming sometime soon, four tracks already recorded and ready to go. Can't wait. If you're like me and literally can't wait, check out "Stuff to Live For" streaming at the first link up there.


The Very Best

So Esau Mwamwaya + Radioclit = The Very Best and their mixtape has been kicking around for a while now. It's basically reworked versions of other songs by prominent 'hip' artists (M.I.A., Vampire Weekend, Santogold) as well as some curveballs (Beatles' "Birthday," Michael Jackson's "Will You Be There") with Mwamwaya's strong vocal rising up over everything in a glorious manner. They've just released a 7" with "Kamphopo" (based on Architecture in Helsinki's "Heart it Races") on Green Owl Records which is appropriately using some green technology to make a conscious contribution:

"The packaging was produced with wind power, made with 100% Post Consumer paper, water based printing and packaged in corn plastic." - Green Owl

Pretty cool I guess. If you don't care about wax, you can always download the whole mixtape for free.

The Very Best Mixtape

Friday, December 5, 2008

Weezy F. Baby

Dude got nominated for eight Grammys. Big ups.


If you're into sound that's hardly songs and blippy noise then you might like this, Casper Electronics, which you can download for free at the link. It's a friend of mine, gentleman Roger Mason, plus Peter Edwards. It's called Aboard a Ship of Fingers and Nails. Also check Roger's brethren Ten Minute Turns for some nuggets.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Local Goings-On

Many things are happening coming up in the greater Pioneer Valley area and it is my duty to inform.

Tonight at Hampshire's Centrum Gallery [located on the top of donut 1 in Greenwich (not that I necessarily know what that means)] Eric Hnatow will be performing with Shira Erlichman and the Whitehaus Family Records "WinTour" (Gracious Calamity, Prince Rama of Ayodha, Peace Loving, and Many Manions). The show is free and, according to Facebook, "These kids rip like no other!" Good reason to attend. 8PM sharp start time.

Next up there's the WMUA Record Sale this Saturday, December 6. Come one, come all and buy vinyl old and new from special vendors and check out music from Mr. Hnatow, Teeth Mountain, Rabbit Rabbit, and Brown Recluse Sings. Festivities from 10AM til 3PM.

Parts & Labor doin up Hampshire's Red Barn on December 11 with Ampere, Bunnies, Grey Skull, and (yet again) Eric Hnatow. It's free with suggested donation to touring bands. Parts & Labor's new record is pretty nuts.

The Elevens in Northampton also has some stuff of interest coming up, including Viva Viva (who I've been semi-digging lately) with a bunch of others on December 12 and New Radiant Storm King (dudes who went to Hampshire in the early 90s. Don't know much about em except: Stephen Malkmus worked with em + they're on this Love/Arthur Lee tribute double 7" I grabbed over the summer from '93) on the following night.

Lastly, Three Fifteen is playing a reunion show at the Zeitgeist gallery in Pittsfield (to my knowledge) on January 3. They're a pretty loud buncha dudes with a decent following (at least in certain circles) and they're very fun to see so if anyone's around the area it should be a rager (also, click the link up there to download their anthology for zero dollars). Other bands are to perform, I believe, including my buddy Luis's Over the Mountain trio so check it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sol LeWitt

Wall Drawing #462. On four walls, one room, arcs 4 inches (10 cm) wide, from the midpoints of four sides, drawn with alternating bands of gray and black ink wash. January 1986.

A display of the work of Sol LeWitt, A Wall Drawing Retrospective, is taking residence at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA from now until, well, 2033. The 25-year long exhibit follows LeWitt's trajectory from 1968 til his death last year. The exhibit rests in MASS MoCA's mill building #7, specially chosen by LeWitt and renovated to hold as much of his work as possible. There's three whole floors dedicated to this, starting with his early work on the first floor, his middle years on the second, and his late career on the third. The content evolves from basic exercises in line and color to more involved arrangements of colors, shades, and textures, and ends up in a brilliant combination of vibrance, movement, and complexity. It's very overwhelming the entire walk through, which could take a couple hours. Even the less over-the-top pieces are amazing. Every piece is larger than life, on giant scale, product of either laborious calculations and number crunching or creative ways to express the idea of basic movement with simple building blocks.

Wall Drawing #419. The wall is bordered and divided horizontally and vertically into four equal parts with a 6-inch (15 cm) black ink band. Each quarter has alternating parallel 6-inch (15 cm) bands of white and color ink bands. Upper left: gray; upper right: yellow; lower left: red; lower right: blue. September 1984.

Wall Drawing #38. Tissue paper cut into 1½-inch (4 cm) squares and inserted into holes in the gray pegboard walls. All holes in the walls are filled randomly. April 1970.

Wall Drawing #422. The room (or wall) is divided vertically into fifteen parts. All one-, two-, three-, and four-part combinations of four colors, using color ink washes. November 1984. (foreground)
Wall Drawing #681C. A wall divided vertically into four equal squares separated and bordered by black bands. Within each square, bands in one of four directions, each with color ink washes superimposed. August 1993. (background)

Wall Drawing #335. On four black walls, white vertical parallel lines, and in the center of the walls, eight geometric figures (including cross, X) within which are white horizontal parallel lines. The vertical lines do not enter the figures. May 1980.

Wall Drawing #396. A black five-pointed star, a yellow six-pointed star, a red seven-pointed star, and a blue eight-pointed star, drawn in color and India ink washes. May 1983.
DH for scale.

Wall Drawing #793B. Irregular wavy color bands. January 1996.

Wall Drawing #901. Color bands and black blob. May 1999.

Wall Drawing #1152. Whirls and twirls. April 2005.

Wall Drawing #1112. Square with broken bands of color. December 2003.

DH for scale

Related: Philip Glass is performing/talking about his music for films at MASS MoCA January 16 as well as screening a few portions.


David Byrne played the Calvin Theatre tonight. Best show I've seen this year, I do declare. "The Great Curve" was unreal, something I never thought I'd be able to see live. The set consisted of mostly Talking Heads songs with some David Byrne/Brian Eno collaboration stuff spliced in between. The whole theatre was packed with aging Talking Heads fans, who got down at their seats or in the aisles, begging three, count em three encores, the second of which surprisingly contained "Burning Down the House." He and his band also played "Once In a Lifetime" (phenomenal), "Life During Wartime" (rock n roll), and some My Life in the Bush of Ghosts stuff (souped up with weird lyrics in place of samples). Stay tuned for a proper review.

It must be noted how rad the dancers were who accompanied Byrne onstage, as well as the perfect lighting and everyone in all white.

Also, up top there is a bike rack which is a series which Byrne has designed for the city of New York.


Eleanoora Rosenholm has been catching my attention lately. They're not the only Finns to raise eyebrows this year - Paavoharju has gotten much praise for its less pop-oriented Laulu Laakson Kukista - but I haven't heard anything about em. Their website and Myspace pages are both in Finnish, so I still do not know much about em except they're a trio and the singer's name is Noora Tommila. Their debut Vainajan Muotokuva (Fonal) came out quietly this past June, and they apparently released another album, Ala Kysy Kuolleilta He Sanoivat in October. I've only heard the former. It's a moody blend of hazy electronics, multi-layered vocals, eerie orchestration, and synth-pop hooks.

Here's a creepy video for the last track on the record, "Maailmanloppu."

Monday, December 1, 2008

David Byrne

David Byrne's playing at the Calvin tomorrow. Tickets are expensive but I'll be there.

Africa Comps

With year-end lists shaping up and all, I can't help but feel weird putting a compilation on a year-end list. Since that's the case I'd like to mention how much I've been digging this Analog Africa compilation African Scream Contest: Raw and Psychedelic Afro Sounds. It's a great listen, very funk-heavy all the way through. The various vocalists are all, for the most part, excellent, belting out some crazy notes over multiple percussion layers and shredding guitars. Probably my favorite comp I've heard all year.

VA - African Scream Contest: Raw and Psychedelic Afro Sounds

Also mentioned in some year-end lists is Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds, and Nigerian Blues (Soundway). What I'm confused about is exactly why, since the record's listed as being issued last November. It's certainly a great blend of sounds, but not as in-your-face as some of the Scream Contest stuff, which actually did come out this year.

VA - Nigeria Special: Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds, and Nigerian Blues

Eleanoora Rosenholm


So these guys Tape have been subtly blowing me away if that's not a contradiction. Very low-key, repetitious, bedtime-ambient jams. They're a trio from Sweden who seems to have been around for a few years, but I hadn't caught wind til tonite. Luminarium came out this year on Häpna, which you can check out certainly.

Tape - Luminarium

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Tuesday was a vinyl day:

Kid Kishore's 7" (Social Registry's 'Social Club No. 9') is pretty bonkers. Hyperspeed tempo and weird sampling throughout. Dude knows how to mash and meld, but to questionable success.

Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue is one of the most perfect pieces of music I own on vinyl, well-regarded as one of, if not the best jazz record of all time.

"So What"

Talking Heads' Fear Of Music, produced in part by Brian Eno, is certainly an excellent Talking Heads recording. The year was before my time (1979) but it was their 3rd record and 2nd with production help from Eno. "I Zimbra" and "Life During Wartime" stand out, though everything here is worth the spin.
Fun Fact: Gene Wilder plays congas on a couple tracks?

"Life During Wartime" from Stop Making Sense

DNA on DNA is a compilation of DNA's material released in 2004, and re-released this year on No More. This is not necessarily easy listening, rather it's quite the opposite - cascades of drum sounds mixed with thrashes of guitar clanging mixed with keyboard clanking mixed with some sort of vocal outbursts. The 2LP packaging is beautiful, all glossy with collages of gig posters and band photos. Recommended for fans of noise music, definitely not for everyone.