Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Sky Drops - Clouds of People (2006)

I honestly cannot recall if I got these guys off of soulseek or if I found that traversing the blogosphere, so if they seem familiar I make no claims at uniqueness. What I am sure of is that they makes some damned fine music that is a very much reminiscent of Elephant 6 pop but without being a molded copy unworthy of play. While making sounds in Delaware of all places, The Sky Drops makes use of a something close to the wall of sound that shoegazers so masterfully employ. The vocals are harmonious and the mood is jovial. Nice afternoon listening material before diving into the heavy work load of my college courses. As this is an EP it is quickly heard and easily replayable.

To be had here:
The Sky Drops - Clouds of People [192 VBR kbps]

Monday, October 27, 2008

Skywave - Echodrone (1999) & Synthstatic (2003)

Skywave was first given to me by danger dog, but as he is lazy when it comes to posting (too busy with Mech Warrior games and whatnot) I've taken it upon myself to share this with you. They cite the notable shoegazers "The Jesus and Mary Chain, Galaxy 500, The Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine" all as influences on their myspace, and they aren't out of line invoking such references either. The songs are decidedly more noise-pop than anything space rock and heavy that sometimes gets called shoegaze, all the while they make great use of the wall of sound. Connections via membership to other recognizably fantastic bands like A Place To Bury Strangers only makes them all the more intriguing. One thing I really enjoy about them is that they are retro sounding but don't feel as easily commercialized as more famous acts like the Raveonettes (though I will admit I like me some Raveonettes for time to time). Out of the two albums I'm sharing here I do like Echodrone more, especially the songs "Sixteen" and "Under the Moon."

To be had here:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Harry Nilsson - Pussy Cats (1974)

Harry Nilsson was a character of an unforgettable nature. A close friend of John Lennon, the man is no where near the famed Beatles name recognition, but that's not surprising given the more limited listenership for the much odder songs he penned. I can't recall where I even ran across the album for the first time, yet I do recall trying to show it to friends and not getting them to understand. However, when the Walkmen came along and covered this album almost entirely, keeping the title even, they began to see it wasn't just me being eccentric again. Nilsson did achieve success in his day, although the staying power of his music is outshone by many contemporaries as far as radio repetition goes (fuck that by the way). Nevertheless, perhaps the moment I realized even I was underestimating Nilsson's strangeness is when I sitting with some of the local musicians of my age range in these parts in a garage attic hearing The Point! That is an album I highly recommend (share if you have it, I haven't downloaded it), a soundtrack completely written by Nilsson and about a round-headed boy in a village where everybody and everything is pointed, most noticeably heads. The songs on Pussy Cats are a mixture of Nilsson's own and off-the-wall covers of Bob Dylan and, my favorite, the children's song "Loop de Loop." He's really not well conveyed by the written word, you must hear what he sang and played.

To be had here:
Harry Nilsson - Pussy Cats [192 kbps]

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ecstasy of Saint Theresa - Pigment EP (1991)

The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa are an early 90's Czechoslovakian shoegazing band, who now mostly only perform ambient material. This is their first EP, which is a far-cry from the sounds they're making now. I would frequently listen to this EP whilst riding my bike when I was in high school.

The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa - Pigment EP (1991, Self-Released)

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Depreciation Guild - In Her Gentle Jaws (2007)

These guys really know how to merge genres. Consisting of two young men both brandishing guitars and backed up with Nitendo sounds, The Depreciation Guild has managed to overcome my initial weariness that this might be another spastic pop-rock with cartoonish sounds lain over thing. Fortunately, they knew exactly what the weakness of being too gleeful could expose them to, and took a more controlled and sober mood that I'd definately say fits with a shoegaze act. The use of the electronics does two things for the music really, allows them to get away without a conventional rhythm section and provides a uniqueness that seperates them from many other comtemporary shoegazers. The chiptune side really shows in the opening of the songs, with a gradual ease from electronic humming and synthetic drumming to guitar being brilliantly executed. The singing is more melodramatic than I'm used to, but it certainly isn't anything overpowering. A nice experience for fans of shoegaze.

To be had here:
The Depreciation Guild - In Her Gentle Jaws [256 VBR kbps]

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aidan Baker - Scalpel

Aidan Baker is an extremely accomplished musician from Toronto, and in my opinion, this is one of his best releases.
My first experience involving Aidan Baker was driving home from work one night through pouring rain when the song Our Needs Bear No Relations To Our Desires (found on Scalpel) came on the radio. After it ended and they revealed who the artist was, I took out a pen and scrawled his name on the inside of an empty cigarette pack. This album is a perfect example of the Folk/Drone/Ambient genre in it's full, and I highly recommend you give it a listen.

Aidan Baker - Scalpel (2007)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Collections Of Colonies Of Bees - Birds (2008)

An absolutely brilliant display of sonic barrages woven into four lengthy tracks. Difficult to imagine that this is a side-project of the post-rock group Pele, in particular Chris Rosenau and Jon Mueller. The instrumentals that they create are difficult to place into a genre, leading to it being called glitch, post-rock, and IDM simultaneously. They're definitely louder than what I'd think of as glitch like The Books, Giuseppe Ielasi, and Radicalfashion. Nevertheless, they're no drone band, but I'd say the balance is much of what makes their music so fantastic. I've frequently listened album while doing myself assignments for college, and it never fails to make them pass more quickly, or at very least more enjoyably. I'm already excited to see what they might make in the future. By the way, we've finally got the internet running here on both my computers, this should greatly ease our ability to post, perhaps there'll even be something from that old scoundrel danger dog.

To be had here:
Collections Of Colonies Of Bees - Birds [320 kbps]

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bo Carter

The unequivocal master of the sexual innuendo, Bo Carter was a strange character from the history of the blues. Born Armenter Chatmon, he adopted the nickname of Bo Carter for his performances. I originally downloaded his material when I was trying to bolster my knowledge of the blues by way of grabbing as much as blues greats as I might find and spent hours listening to them. Save for the legendary Robert Johnson, none left such a prominent memory in my mind as Carter. The two collections of his work are from the 30s and in that context it makes much more sense as to why a man would think double entendres were so necessary. Maybe really like to sing about sex but the popular culture of his time only allowed it in hidden verse. Although many of his songs are like this, he does have more traditional blues themes in others. An interesting note is that his brothers sometimes played with him. Gives me the image of full emersion in blues from all around him. Certainly something fun to play for friends, but I even find him gratifying alone. There is more of his music to be found, these are just what I've got on hand.

To be had here:

Twist It Babe (1931-1940)

Banana In Your Fruit Basket (1931-1936)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Guitar Wolf - Jet Generation (1999)

Guitar Wolf is the thing of legends. Forged from other things of legend this isn't hard to imagine. Skinny, short and loud Japanese men with all the external trappings of the Ramones, which is a constant reference and underpinning of the act, shown in how each member takes on his instrument as a name and assumes 'Wolf' as a surname (Guitar Wolf, Bass Wolf, and Drum Wolf). The first time I ever heard of Guitar Wolf was on a negative review that basically dismissed the band as an attempt to make the loudest guitar playing they could and the reviewer thought it unnecessary and without merit. His objections were lost on me, but the idea of a Japanese fella blasting his guitar while screaming stuck with me and I knew I had to find some of their music immediately. As I was heavily into Detroit's garage rock, Guitar Wolf fit my listening preferences with a tailor made glove. With time my admiration, both genuine and whismical, have grown. Indeed, their cover of "Summertime Blues" has become a ritual for any car ride with my friends who also enjoy Guitar Wolf (a status only shared by Cap'n Jazz's cover of "Take On Me"). The way they prolifically produce album after album of noisy garage punk for two decades could be seen as myopic, but I'd rather believe it is unstoppable energy and passion for the sound.

Internet just re-established, should be posting more regularly once again.

To be had here:
Guitar Wolf - Jet Generation [160 kbps]

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Prima Donnas - Drug Sex & Discotheques (2001)

This bands name always makes me think of high school gym class where the teacher and many of the upperclassmen had a habit of denouncing everybody as "damned prima donnas." Not to wax on about the hours spent playing an indoor form of curling, but this music was released just prior to my enrollment in high school (I like to place a date on myself). I sure loved this sort of thing in back then, noisy punk with a dancey rhythm, and as I have been stonewalled from downloading anything fresh and the way my PC won't work for more than a few minutes you are getting shit I remember liking at one point. The music is one of first in a slew that burst into the indie world at the turn of the century along with bands like The Rapture, The Fever, The Fitness, and ending with the popularization of Franz Fredinand and the like. Musically, they are heavily influenced by the 80s love affair with keyboards, adopting the instrument to noteworthy effect. Lastly, their page at peekaboo records is full of fun hyperbole, but they are English snyth-punk musicians, so it is expected.

To be had here:
The Prima Donnas - Drug Sex & Discotheques [192 kbps]

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Various Artists - Music of Japanese Festivals

We're freshly moved into our new adobe, but the huge huge downside is that my landlord is sitting on his hands about getting my internet going. Thus the blogging has taken a far back seat when I have access to the internet, as I normally need it more for homework. However, there is only so much I can stand of my job and college. Today as I'm unsure how this post will actually get on to the blog, I've decided to give you something I never actually thought I'd listen to repeatedly. This is a collection of Japanese traditional music performed for festivals. It is astoundingly similar to what many modern psych-folk-drone groups do, but these musicians have the natural advantage of being raised in this atmosphere of rhythmic yet sparse pounding, chants and seemingly strange instrumentation all around. Of course Japanese traditional music has complexities (Nagauta, Jyoruri, etc) that as just an amateur music enthusiast I can't possibly hope to enlighten you about, but perhaps that same mystery about it is part of the appeal.

To be had here:
Music of Japanese Festivals