Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Marcus Eads - Saint Francis River Basin (2016)

This is not the first time I have taken a break from frequently posting on this blog (much thanks to Larry for keeps things from going completely dark). In fact I've found it a requirement that I step back and focus elsewhere, especially at transitionary periods of my life. I could go on by my job changes all that shit but really I am looking forward to not sweating that at all and just sitting around with some new music again. We'll begin with the basics this time, the very condensed and beautiful basics of American Primitive music.

I hope you've all remembered to regularly listen to the illustrious music of John Fahey, for it is central to getting the most out of this album. Like all players of American Primitive music, Marcus Eads owes much to Fahey's synthesis of the folk traditions of the United States. Though as we all know time has kept going and Eads has the influences of other finger-picking guitarists and popular music of the last decades. Still I believe you'll hear much of the simple folk traditions in these songs. These tracks are just guitar, played with open tuning and picked by his skillful fingers. If uninitiated to the style it may seem old-fashioned, but keen listeners will notice the degree of progressiveness that innate to the semi-improvised and every evolving sounds a well-handled acoustic guitar can offer. I haven't much more to say than I enjoying this album immensely.

Marcus Eads is from Seattle originally but now lives in Minnesota, something he shares with another of my favorite contemporary American Primitivists, Steve PalmerSaint Francis River Basin has been released by the Manchester, UK based North Country Primitive and as of writing this still for sale as a compact disc or digitally.

To be had here:
Marcus Eads - Saint Francis River Basin

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Downtown Boys - S/T (2012)

Downtown Boys are a bilingual political punk band from Providence, Rhode Island. If you're like me, you don't readily associate this New England city with an amazing music scene, but a little digging uncovers a full blown rash of rather crazy noise rock bands such as Lightning Bolt, Arab On Radar, and Six Finger Satellite. Does RISD have Noise Rock as a major?

Anyway, Downtown Boys bring a similar spastic energy to this, their self titled record. Punk rock this good is closely akin to late 70s UK band X-ray Spex(the saxophones help), and some from the Southern Californian scene of the same period and later.

I'm not personally super into mixing politics with my music. I'm kind of a "don't fucking let the maple syrup touch my hash browns" kind of guy. But I respect the passion it can bring to the delivery. Vocalist Victoria Ruiz is an astoundingly gifted screamer, always at a 10 but still able to give a dynamic performance. This is a raw, caged animal of a recording...  lo-fi while still very in your face.

Downtown Boys have a highly reputed live show, all dates of their current tour listed on their bandcamp. Looks like they'll be playing my old alma mater. What a treat it would be to see this band erupt in the tiny Downstairs Cafe, or wherever it is bands are now playing on that strangely secluded campus in the woods. I know that all of the heroin addicted anarchists, the circle drumming biology majors, and interpretive-dancing-to-express-their-own-psychosis students will be blown away.

$4 for 10 songs.
Sample song:
Bandcamp link:
Downtown Boys - S/T