Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Norrbottens Järn - Drömmarnas Värld (1975)

I was blown out of my mind the first time I heard this album; it certainly doesn't seem like something that should have culturally defused to reach me. I do think thanks for that goes to lost-in-tyme, an excellent if sometimes embattled blog that specializes in finding old jems. Beyond the fact that it is over a decade older than me, which has never really prevented my enjoyment before, there is that it is a strange album even for its time. Psychedelic-folk is the best label I can think of, but it doesn't stress the oddness. Of course, I haven't a damned clue if this sort of album was even weird to the Swedish generation that saw its creation, and I heavily doubt many even know what it is. It definately gives an aura of mystery in pondering about what they were thinking in Luleå, Sweden upon forming this group. The name is even weird to me, with Norrbottens Järn being translated as Norrbotten's Iron for me by a Norwegian friend. Let me give you the run down, it is 70s rock and folk with strong European differences from what was the norm in America. Most obviously it is sung completely in Swedish, with the only words I can understand being "David Bowie" but is is said 'Ba-owie.' The mood slides around from guitars and drums to chorus-style refrains to solos on the accordion (I shit you not). "Konserverad Gröt" is the best song for sure, and you must really listen to is fully through to understand why. "Diskoplast & Hippievadd" features the before mentioned accordion throughout, not be to missed. Overall it is extremely psychedelic and reminds me of perhaps what Devendra Banhart and his cohort might be doing if they embraced electric guitars more and liked to sing in Swedish. Cool as fuck, rest assured.

To be had here:
Norrbottens Järn - Drömmarnas Värld [256 kbps]

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Green Kingdom - Meadowview (2006)

I'll be honest, even though this guy is from Detroit and apparently still here making music, I've never heard a word of him from a friend or on the street. Nevertheless I found him on these vast seas of internets. This one man act of ambient tunes was definitely able to hold my interest long enough for me to get through the album and not forget it none to quickly either. It is interesting to note that according to what I've read he is self-taught, always something to admire as it can't be done by fools like me. I haven't got a lot to say here, just get it if calm ambient sounds tickles your fancy, this is a fine addition to a collection of such music.

To be had here:
The Green Kingdom - Meadowview [192 kbps]

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Natural Snow Buildings - The Dance of the Moon and the Sun (2006)

This is one of the two "full length" albums released by Natural Snow Buildings, the reason for the quotes is that they seem to be like much more than a single album. By golly gumdrop, there are 25 tracks, with 4 of them topping 10 minutes long and only 2 are less than 2 minutes. However, this longevity of the songs is well-suited for the drone-heavy post-rock-folk they make. The band is consistent of two French men, one on guitar another on cello. They can be folky, more often ghastly, but there's never a doubt that they're talented. Hopefully fulfilling the wishes of another brave person who left a comment, and it is absolutely huge taking hours upon hours to upload on this shitty DSL. Moreover, they're on Megaupload because even halved they were too large for mediafire to accept. I do have some more recent releases, EPs if you can call them that, but they are also too large for mediafire so if you want them just say so I can put them on Megaupload or something else.

To be had here:
Natural Snow Buildings - The Dance of the Moon and the Sun [256 VBR kbps]
Half 1
Half 2

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lollipop Train - Junior Electric Magazine (2000) & David Candy - Play Power (2001)

As per request, here we've got both Lollipop Train and David Candy. First, Lollipop Train is a spot on name for the style of extremely sweet indie pop jumbled with spoken-word musings. The whole thing is very very similar to, yet predating, Death by Chocolate. As to why this is, no surprise at all. It is Death by Chocolate, just before Angie Tillett called her work by that name with those particular bandmates. Basically, consider this album zero that goes with the two Death by Chocolate albums I've already made available.
The second is a slightly stranger case of musical happenstance. David Candy is a pseudonym that seems like a real name or at least the main stage name of a performer, but in fact it is a remote and seldom spoken of secondary outlet for Ian Svenonius. Now, if this name is familiar (and if it isn't this is why it should be) it is because Svenonius was a member of amazing post-hardcore act Nation of Ulysses, followed by the more funky punk of The Make-Up, breifly Cupid Car Club and currently of Weird War. More or less the man is like a rabbit who's fucking makes music. Now why might a post-hardcore rocker of notable standing bother to make a quirky album along the lines of the before mentioned confectionery-name-plus-talking-over-psychedelic-music stuff? Because he wanted to. According to wikipedia's David Candy entry "The character of David Candy was part of a series of 'Magazine-Style Records' which included other imaginary acts such as Death by Chocolate, Maria Napoleon, and Lollipop Train." He only did the single release with
this name and it finely fits into the theme.

To be had here:

Junior Electric Magazine [160 kbps]

Play Power [128 kbps]

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sons and Daughters

From the very artistically active Scottish city of Glasgow, Sons and Daughters are some different from the rest of the crowd. Glasgow has many famously good band, like Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian, and Camera Obscura but luckily Sons and Daughters are not ripping off these artists but rather creating their own thing. They began as an offshoot of Arab Strap as the member Adele Bethel decided to form her own band. The band produces some upbeat, energetic indie rock that borrows more for country than reviving the post-punk of 1980s Scotland like some others have attempted with mixed results. I find them enjoyable overall. They're certainly no musical messiahs but they've got some pretty good song-writing abilities and know how to play their instruments. What else can one ask to be honest? I've got here their three full-lengths and one of their EPs for you. I am missing their first EP entitled Lovers. So if you've got that and want to share it with me; I'd be grateful. Oh, I'm trying to get to you requests, bear with me, I uploaded all these last posts in one day when I had an hour to spare, and I type the posts wherever I may be, so once I'm settled more I can respond to requests more promptly, please do continue to make them.

To be had here:

Love The Cup (2003) [192 kbps]

The Repulsion Box (2005) [224 VBR kbps]

Dance Me In (2005) [224 VBR kbps]

This Gift (2008) [320 kbps]
link repaired, sorry for inconvenience

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lone Wolf And Cub - Wonder, Is Ground On Frost? (2006)

An excellent Michigander post-rock outfit that sadly didn't last very long after the completion of this great album. I first heard of these from an old friend in Port Huron who wanted to know if I had any of their stuff to give him. At the time I did not and since the fool moved to Mt. Pleasant chasing a girl, but alas I did search out Lone Wolf And Cub. Allmusic.com erroneously labels that as post-hardcore and metal (I believe in confusion with a band that bears the same moniker from Chicago), but these guys are definitely no where neat heavy enough for those names. Wonder, Is Ground On Frost? wanders through eight laudably crafted instrumentals. The song titles are imaginatively done; likely because as instrumental post-rock songs titles are a mere formality. My favorite of these is "Be There Or Be Tiananmen Square." I'm gonna keep this post on the shorter side, but I just want to assure you that if you haven't ever heard Lone Wolf And Cub you should certainly not hestitate to give them a listen.

To be here here:
Lone Wolf And Cub - Wonder, Is Ground On Frost? [224 VBR kbps]

Monday, September 22, 2008

Benni Hemm Hemm

This semester is kicking my ass, so I'm posting when I can justify the time it takes away from my studies. I've been planning on this post for several days, but I was waiting for my Swede spree to end, for the lovely band Benni Hemm Hemm is Icelandic. I first heard them when their self-titled came out but I didn't pay too close attention, and since then have gone back and discovered for myself how wonderful the music they have made truly is. More or less music is the product of band leader and song-writer Benedikt Hermann Hermannsson. They have a well-balanced mixture of both English and Icelandic sung tracks within their discography. Benni Hemm Hemm features the hilariously pleasing song "I Can Love You In A Wheelchair Baby" which I still can't understand how I overlooked at first. From 2007 I'm sharing with you both the more heavily Icelandic main album release Kajak and mini-album Ein í leyni (the latter is self-realsed). Lastly there is the newest release you might've seen elsewhere lately, Murta St. Calunga (I do believe I got it from nodata myself). What I really enjoy is the ability to follow between heart-felt folk to cheerful pop without missing a step. I really have a hard time listing similar bands for reference, but they remind me of Belle & Sebastian and The American Analog Set in mild fashions, but definitely have too much uniqueness to be shoved into a group easily.

To be had here:

Benni Hemm Hemm (2006) [320 kbps]

Ein í leyni (2007) [256 VBR kbps]

Kajak (2007) [256 VBR kbps]

Murta St. Calunga (2008) [320 kbps]

Friday, September 19, 2008

Säkert! - Säkert! (2007)

If you've listened to and enjoyed Hello Saferide you'll be pleased to know that Säkert! is the same Annika Norlin, if you didn't already. Now, in case you've never heard any Hello Saferide, which I'm willing to assume is a majority of you, she is a stunningly sweet chanteuse from Sweden. Make a note, I'm not done with this Swedish exposition yet. One of the most obivious differences between her work as Hello Saferide and what she's doing with Säkert! is that the latter is sung in English whereas this is fully in Swedish. The mood of the song vary from heart-felt sappy numbers to more upbeat pop ditties, but of course I haven't a damned clue as to what she's really singing about. She does get assistance from other singers, mostly male on this album just like she does in Hello Saferide, in order to create duets. Otherwise this is basically a solo effort of her music with what is surely a studio band. I find the entire thing quite lovely, though I tend to like the second half of songs more.

To be had here:
Säkert! - Säkert! [224 VBR kbps]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hemstad - Hemstad (2006)

Living up to my Swedish themed listening trend, Hemstad is a group of exceptionally talented musicians from Gothenburg. I was amazingly surprised the energy that this band contains is its music. The sound is filled to the brim with excitingly fast playing of various instruments. There are no vocals, and absolutely none that could enhance them in my opinion. They've got connections to the great James Ausfahrt, who I've previously praised. Begun with apartment recordings the band as evolved and changed members to become a solid force of Swedish musical prowless. I'm not done with this Swede spree, so stay tuned for more from our Nordic friends.

To be had here:
Hemstad - Hemstad [192 kbps]
note: first two tracks at 128 kbps

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Tallest Man On Earth - Shallow Graves (2008)

Judging on what I've uploaded to share with you in these coming days, I love Swedish music. Shallow Graves is as good as any place to begin with the plethora of amazing Swedish artists I've been obsessing over as of late. Likely amongst the finer folk albums to be released this year thus far, Shallow Graves has a strangely Americana feel for something coming from the Scandinavian peninsula. The playing seems to have bluegrass influence on it, with some fast picking to be heard. The singing is unique enough to not be confused with many others, but possesses captivity of a good folksy troubadour. Not truly the world's tallest man, rather a man also known as Kristian Matsson. The lyrics touch on the tried and true themes of nature and women. Not as far out there as the naturalismo of Banhart and his cronies, the music is more like a that of Pete Seeger or perhaps even Willy Mason (if he wasn't trying to hard to sound emotional). Read of him being compared to Dylan, but that happens too much in my opinion; we should just enjoy him as what he is, a good folk musician. I can get enough of this release to be honest, I do think you'll like it.

To be had here:
The Tallest Man On Earth - Shallow Graves [320 kbps]

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Gerogerigegege - Senzuri Power Up (1990)

Some of the very most prime Japanese noise to be had. The Gerogerigegege's music is even wilder than their name is to pronounce. The band is mainly a product of Juntaro Yamanouchi, who is also the owner/operator of Vis a Vis records. Definitely can be categorized as harsh noise, and with tracks entitled things like "Anal Beethoven #2" is it any surprise? The first song, "Gero-P 1985" begins with a sample of what sounds like an old detective show or cartoon, but suddenly bursts into complete chaos of noise. I was hooked thereafter for good. Highly recommended for any noise listener who hasn't has the exteme pleasure of hearing yet.

To be had here:
The Gerogerigegege - Senzuri Power Up [256 kbps]

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Go

One of the legion of Detroit garage rock bands to sprout up in the 90s, The Go seems like it wouldn't be very remarkable. However, its position at the center of the scene and the membership of some notable Detroiters has made it worth of some attention. Moreover, the band has a good ability to re-invent itself without alienating its fandom, at least not much of it. There's been many names to pass through the roster of the Go, some of the more famous are Dave Buick (co-owner of label/store Young Soul Rebels) and Jack White (pre-White Stripes days). Although these individuals made contributions to the band, the real source of the sound comes from the singer Bobby Harlow and guitarist/bassist John Krautner as the songwriters. Their first album, Whatca Doin' is roughly done, yet quite melodic. It is quintessentially garage and earned them the right to share the stage with Michigan garage legends ? and the Mysterians. There is an unreleased album after this, but I haven't got it to give to you. The next released album is the self-titled effort where the album is markedly more snazzily produced. This is as it should be, for the travelled all the way to London to get it done, and it was issued under the British label Lizard King. Two tracks from this got put in some shitty film by the fuck face Wes Craven, nobody cared as it is nothing to brag about. Afterwards followed by Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride, which features way more of a psychedelic feel paired with a overall slower pace. This was released by a label back in Detroit, namely Cass records (owned by Ben Blackwell, member of the Dirtbombs and nephew of Jack White). Supposedly there's to be a fourth album soon, but it hasn't come out as far as I'm aware (do correct me if I'm wrong).

To be had here:

Whatca Doin' (1998) [160 kbps]

The Go (2003) [160 kbps]

Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride (2007) [256 VBR kbps]

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bunky - Born To Be A Motorcycle (2005)

Strangely named band and album, seems more like a child's show than a group of adults making music for other adults. I guess Bunky doesn't really care who listens to them though, but I doubt many kid would really get into their work. The indie pop (which makes the titling a bit more sensible) of the band is spliced with noisy, loud outbursts of spastic rock. I do mean spliced, there's not a sign of it one moment and next thing you know you're in the thick of it. Perhaps no better example can be found than on the track "Funny Like The Moon" where there is soft, almost like a jazz standard singing that jumps back and forth with fuzzed out guitars and howling vocals. Allmusic suggest that they're like Apples In Stereo and the High Water Marks of the Elephant 6 collective, and I'm in full agreement. My personal favorite track is "Yes/No" where Rafter Roberts (the male half of the songwriting duo) sings wonderfully. Emily Joyce is no less remarkable in her efforts throughout. If you like E6 or noise pop this is something you should certainly get. I apologize for the shitty bit rate, you can always find it elsewhere higher if you like it.

To be had here:
Bunky - Born To Be A Motorcycle [128 kbps]

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sanso-Xtro - Sentimentalist (2005)

A beautiful Australian woman making very interesting ambient music by way of digital effects manipulating her acoustic playing. In the same vein as Midaircondo, which I previously shared with you. In some ways this is an even better representation of what the style can be. Melissa Agate, as Sanso-Xtro is know outside of her music, has great control over what she wants to produce musically. The songs never seem busy despite the fact that there can be half a dozen or more small sounds shoring up all at once. The reliance on precussion instruments primarily I believe only enhances the albums allure. Lastly, she was extremely wise in the titling of her album, because as there are no vocals whatsoever to be heard, it is the single mood-setting word one has to prepare with. Thus you're searching for the sentimentalism of the music, and you'll not be disappointed in what you find. Most excellent for relaxing with after manual labor, at least for me.

To be had here:
Sanso-Xtro - Sentimentalist [320 VBR kbps]

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Matthew Dear - Leave Luck To Heaven (2003)

Ann Arbor-based electronic musician Matthew Dear is a fella that knows how to produce a fine album. I can even forgive that he's originally a Texan and only a Michigander by way of University of Michigan. His is the tale of the a DJ gaining respect to the degree of release some decently successful albums. Now, I've never been to a club in my life, and if I've got any say it I'll die this way, but I might just be tempted if I knew music of Mr. Dear's caliber was playing. However, I don't think he made this album for the club, but rather for people like us with some nice headphones and time. Very minimal, the songs are stripped just to what is necessary for the beat and mood. Leave Luck To Heaven has got both instrumentals and vocals so there's a nice balance. Dear does a good job at singing to boot. I think this is amongst the finest quality of microhouse made in these United States.

To be had here:
Matthew Dear - Leave Luck To Heaven [160 kbps]

Monday, September 8, 2008

Clara Rockmore - The Art of the Theremin (1987)

This is a damned strange album. It fits in this precarious nook betwixt classical and avant-garde. Clara Rockmore was born way back in 1911 in Lithuania, and was a violinist of talent from a young age. However, with the advent of electronic instruments she began down another path that would forever immortalize her as an early great. The theremin is a machine invented in 1919 that has radio frequency oscillators with antennae, usually two as to control the volume and frequency. Rockmore would come to be proven as one the best players of this odd instrument. This is to say she succeeded in making very respectable music with something that has for the most part been utilized mostly as a curiosity or to make old skool horror effects for films. She played the works of classical composers like Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, and Saint-Saens to the accompaniment of the piano. Under the influence of Rockmore's skilled hands the otherwise hooky theremin became an elegant instrument that is eerily like a combination of strings and human vocals. I originally listened to this as something obscure and different, but after even a single play I was convinced of the true artistic importance of both Clara Rockmore and the theremin.

To be had here:
Clara Rockmore - The Art of the Theremin [160 VBR kbps]

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Other Two Comrades - The Other Two Comrades (2001)

How much Chinese noise do you have? Likely not much, it isn't common fair even amongst noise enthusiasts. Probably more do to the lack exposure that Chinese music receives and the relatively small amount of output compared to the vast population of the country. The Other Two Comrades will hopefully spur on the desire to explore the noise experimentation of Chinese musicians. From the best I can piece together, the name is misleading in the fact that there are three members of the band. Perhaps better said, at least three pivotal members. Supposedly there are two studio (or I think they're studio) albums and one live one, but thus far I've managed to obtain only one "studio" release. Musically not as harsh as acts like Merzbow, and less danceable than Deerhoof, the Other Two Comrades have succeeded in bringing something very unique to the noise they create. I have a hard time placing a band next to them, maybe it could be said they're somewhat like Raccoo-oo-oon but with Chinese flavor. Also, if you like this do check out the previous post of Mafeisan, a more eccentric Beijing-based noise collective. I could not find any album art, sorry. Lastly, if you do have access to more music by these guys, or other rare noise acts please to share them with me or the blog.

To be had here:
The Other Two Comrades - The Other Two Comrades [256 kbps]

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Slagsmålsklubben - Den Svenske Disco (2003)

College courses recently began for me, and oddly enough I've been posting with much more regularity. I do believe this is because of the added amount of management of my time I have to do, and blogging makes great procrastination. For example, I'm posting on my only day off in 8 days instead of reading about China and working on speeches. You lucky dogs.
Some of the happiest damned music on Earth. Slagsmålsklubben, of most obvious Swedish origins, make some ecstatic electronic pop. The name is less astounding when you learn it is just the book title Fight Club translated to Swedish. I enjoy them regardless of the cinematic roots of their name. Whilst not truly being 8-bit or chiptune, they're strikingly close. In fact, I've heard them called gamewave, which I think is something like what I just said, near 8-bit but not really. I think on the actual release case there were the track titles in both English and the native Swedish, but my tags have only the Swedish. If you want to see the English they're on wikipedia. Otherwise, stop fighting your urges and get this stuff to cheer up your hungover Saturday mornings, for we all know if everything goes right Sunday will be worse.

To be had here:
Slagsmålsklubben - Den Svenske Disco [224 VBR kbps]

Friday, September 5, 2008

Eux Autres - Cold City (2007)

Ah, finally I've done as I said and was requested of me. There is the second album by those lovely siblings dwelling in Portland. This is a note-worthy follow up to the promising first album, Hell Is Eux Autres. It is full of the cute harmony vocals and lyrics while there are noticeable improvements in the composition of the songs. Once again there are both songs in English and French, with the latter language seemingly under greater control especially in "Gratte-Ciel." Pretty much I can't see a need for me to go on and on with this post, if you liked the last album you will certainly enjoy this one very much.

To be had here:
Eux Autres - Cold City [256 VBR kbps]

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Javelins - No Plants, Just Animals (2005)

Javelins, a band that intriguingly passed under my radar of Detroit music. Although it is far from a perfect grip of the scene, I'd like to think I knew the bands like this, for I enjoy them greatly. As you might have deduced, they're a three-piece from Detroit. The music they make is very catchy post-punk. It reminds me of Television or a less noisy Ex Models. The guitar is almost like math rock, but the clear importance on the vocals makes it feel different. The pace of the music is fast enough that you never really lose interest, which is something nice if you've been listening to far too much ambient and glitch (I gotta stop doing this to myself). Anyways, they're a genuinely pleasant listen and have ass-loads of potential should they keep making tunes. Be careful, however, if you're going to search for anything additionally by these guys on p2p programs (if you're on slsk say hi to me, I'm elzire [sometimes Antarktikos]) for there are several bands with the same or similar names.

To be had here:
Javelins - No Plants, Just Animals [224 VBR kbps]

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Head Wound City - Head Wound City (2005)

According to what I read this band was thought up drunkenly and because it didn't sound horrible the next morning and they had the talent to pull it off it was done. The group is made up of Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jordan Blilie and Cody Votolato of the Blood Brothers, and rounded out by Justin Pearson and Gabe Serbian from the Locust. A strange super-group to be formed, if I've ever heard one. I am a fan of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs but I understand why many aren't, and I feel the Locust is a prime noice outfit so I was really intruged upon learning of Head Wound City. My reservations were towards the Blood Brothers; I was never too huge on them and I recall my high school pals blasting it non-stop for a few weeks one summer to my large distain. Despite these worries, Head Wound City is a remarkably enjoyable band, and I find that I like them even though they're considerably more heavy than my usual fair. If this was any of the members main outlet it'd be a bit more disappointing, yet somehow I feel taht as an experiment of mixing musicians together to see what comes out it is a success. It is loud, intense, and as voilent as I think these fellas care to achieve.

To be had here:
Head Wound City - Head Wound City

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dance Disaster Movement

Brash, that is how they sound, and I'm going to guess that's how they live their lives. Dance Disaster Movement (sometimes merely DDM) was kicking around a few years ago; I haven't a clue as to what they're doing now to be perfectly honest. As always lack of information or any degree of responsibility is not needed for me to share these songs. The duo that makes up this group liked to run about clad in white and one of them was ballsy enough to go by Kevin Disco (really Kevein Litrow), the other was the less strangely named Matt Howze. The music is a stimulating blend of garage punk with electronic dance to create a howling, beat-laden, post-punk-like product. Only one true album came out of this sonic, disco-tainted pilgrimage: We Are From Nowhere. Stuff like this got big a few years back and then it seems to have winded down considerably. I, for one, don't see why as I like people making asses of themselves for my musical pleasure. Luckily there was a follow-up EP called Snow on the TV so we can ween a bit more fun out of this experiment. Highly reminiscent of LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture.

To be had here:

We Are From Nowhere (2003) [192 kbps]

Snow on the TV (2005) [192 kbps]

Monday, September 1, 2008

Badgerlore - Of Things Too Sorrowful to Be Reminded Of, and Things Too Beautiful to Possess (2003)

This album makes me think of a crazed shaman with too much time on his hands and sympathetic neighbors willing to help him make ridiculous sounds. Now, if that isn't a good enough endorsement then perhaps the roster will win you over. They're "Rob Fisk (ex-Deerhoof, 7 Year Rabbit Cycle), Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance, Comets on Fire), Tom Carter (Charalambides) and Pete Swanson (Yellow Swans), Glenn Donaldson (of Jewelled Antler renown) and Liz Harris (of San Francisco’s Grouper)" as last.fm reports. Basically, a collection of some of the best avant-garde and noise artists there are to offer in one complex package. I wanted to call it semi-acoustic art noise, but I'm not sure if that is really a name for anything or if it would mean something unbeknownst to me. Yet I got to say it in this post, so I win reader, and don't you forget it. Sometimes if you listen long enough you can think there is something more going on than there is, and you'll be like "whoa dude, when did this shit become post-rock?" It didn't, you're just being warped by the sound bombardments. Recommended listening setting: alone in a poorly lit, dusty garage with a strong beer.

Note: Half-Handed Cloud - Thy Is a Word & Feet Need Lamps has been re-upped

To be had here:
Badgerlore - Of Things Too Sorrowful to Be Reminded Of, and Things Too Beautiful to Possess [192 kbps]