Friday, March 31, 2023

Music For Your Weekend


Nüshu - Sexe Étranger

Some of my favorite music over the past 10 years has come from the Montreal. It's to the point that, if I'm browsing music websites and I see a band from Montreal, I will drop everything to listen to them. 

I mean literally. My dinner will burn. My dog won't get walked. My son will go hungry. So of course, when I saw Nüshu's Sexe Étranger some through the pipeline, my family ate charred pizza that night. 

This release is wonderfully produced, the songs are unconventional rock in the best way, and I listened to the whole thing from start to finish several times this week. Maybe they will cast a similar spell on you.

Kendra Morris - Nine Lives I'm equally a sucker for modern soul. Kendra Morris is from New York City by way of Florida, but she sounds like she's from 1960's Detroit. 

Soulful, funky jams lay the foundation over Kendra's smooth and sultry vocals. It brings to mind other soul revivalists of recent such as Adrian Younge, Nicole Willis, and Daptone label artists. 

Ms. Morris is not a new-comer by any means, with an impressive list of collaborators including DJ Premier, MF Doom, and Ghostface Killah, she is both a seasoned musician and filmmaker to boot. She does great music videos, check out the awesome animation she did for this MF Doom/Czarface video.

Datach'i - Bones

One of the things I want to accomplish with these "music dumps", as the kids call them, is to explore other genres perhaps less familiar to typical Spacerockmountain fare. 

While rock music is my love, I've flirted heavily with electronic music in my day. Love me some Plaid, Venetian Snares, and Aphex Twin. Those are basically the only electronic groups I know. 

Luckily for me, this release by LA-based electronic artist Datach'i brings all those three references to mind. There's something truly beautiful about this record... melodically it's pretty obvious... but I also enjoyed reading about how it's a tribute of sorts to his recently departed father. Immediately engaging. 

Shitty Life - Limits To Growth

There are certain things that will grab my attention when looking through the vast ocean of music that is Bandcamp. One thing that will always catch my attention is album artwork that's clearly the insert for a cassette tape release. Music therein will be worth my time, nearly 75% of the time. The other is profanity. 

I cannot help it. Arrested development is not just a funny TV show, it's something that happened to me in my youth. Poop jokes never have fallen out of fashion for me, unfortunately for my wife. 

This is just a great Italian punk band that I have no notes for. The music is catchy and hard without the trappings of that pop punk schlock. 10/10.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Tropical Popsicle - The Dawn of Delight (2013)


Here's a record from the not too distant past. Now a decade old, this lone full length from a San Diego band called Tropical Popsicle features 13 blissed out tracks that are equal layers psych-pop and garage, with an icing of 80's cold wave.

You've heard it all before, right?

There's something just slightly better about Tropical Popsicle, however, than your average 2000-teens garage revival. The music pushes the nostalgia to include, not just the better parts of 60's psych but also 80's synth pop. The result is both simultaneously recognizable and new... in a different place and time, with the backing of a major label, Tropical Popsicle could have been huge. Maybe the same could be said for anybody. But then, would that anybody also have record artwork nearly as interesting? Ooh-La-La. 

Vinyl also available through Volar Records. $10 frikin' bucks!

Monday, March 20, 2023

Music For Your Week


Unwound - The Future of What

Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing one of the best American bands from the esteemed Olympia, WA scene of the 1990's. 

Their sound is one of destitution, anger, madness, and beauty as well. But not in an overt, cartoonish, Deftones-esque way... which in my opinion is low hanging fruit aggression. Rather, Unwound embrace dissonance in both harmony and chord progression to create a musical environment that's grey and depressed, with moments of churning, wild, desperate ferocity. 

The Future of What is the band's third record, originally released in 1995. Many of their most beloved songs are from this record. 

Olimpia Splendid - S/T

Speaking of "Olympia", the self-titled 6 track EP by  Finnish group Olimpia Splendid, was a welcome find this week. Formed in 2010, Olimpia Splendid are a trio from Helsinki making lo-fi, fever-dream, DIY indie rock. It was easy for me to lose myself in this release, and by the time I got to track 4, I was like... hold the fuck on a minute... is this snake charming music and I the snake? 

The write-up on their bandcamp states it best "their hypnotic music is a mix of weirdly tuned guitars, muddy drum machine loops, whispering vocals and trash can delays." They are signed to Fonal Records out of Finland, which seems a treasure trove of interesting Finnish music, so stay tuned for more choice picks from that.

thur-gone - Before Time

Here we have a simple recording of one Daniel Thurgood Bromfield, simply playing a piano. And it's not Bach or Mozart or anything, but one person's musical wanderings around the keys. From the sound of it, it's an inexpensive set up, with the microphone picking up all ambient sounds of the room and house.

The house is known as The Campbell House. I believe it's a student house on the University of Oregon campus. 

It's an interesting recording, and one can clearly hear a dryer or dishwasher in the background, and the occasional door or conversation happening in an adjacent room. A snapshot of someone else's life that could almost be your own.

There are a lot of niche markets out there in the world. Bacon flavored vodka, turkey and gravy flavored soda, and this... dinosaur themed dungeon synth. 

When you hear it, it totally makes sense... much more than meat-flavored beverages, anyway. You can probably already image what this sounds like... slow thudding, ambient synths with the sounds of dinosaurs roaring in the background. 

In a sense... very slow and heavy. A conversation starter for your water cooler breaks, if that's a thing that people still do. 

Monday, March 13, 2023

I.D.A.L.G. - Post Dynastie (2015)

Here's a quick write up on a record that deserves your wildest immediate attention. 

I.D.A.L.G. are a garage-rock-psych band out of Montreal. The vocals are often male and female sing in French, often with parallel melodies, which brings to mind older era-Thee Oh Sees. 

Post Dynastie is their 3rd release as I.D.A.L.G., and here's the curveball: it's a psych rock ode to Quetzalcoatl. You know, the Aztec feathered-serpent deity that created the cosmos?

This record has stayed with my thoughts for years and was a frequent addition to my old radio show. Happy to have it on vinyl as well, which as of this writing is down to the last 2 copies. Enjoy the rest of your week, friends.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Music For Your Weekend

Blind Owl Wilson - Blind Owl Wilson

This interesting figure from American music of the 1960s has one of the most noticeable voices of that era. Most recognizably a singer for the LA-based blues rock group, Canned Heat, Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson gained accolades for his harmonica playing from other musicians of the era including living blues legends such as John Lee Hooker. 

This release by Mississippi Records compiles his most famous tracks from Canned Heat as well as lesser known tracks. Blind Owl's high register voice may most closely resemble that of crossroads blues guitarist Robert Johnson. Some who knew him suspected Wilson might have been autistic, though no formal diagnosis was given prior to his early death at the age of 27. 

OPSEC - Affordable Death

This is hardcore punk I can sink my teeth into. I can only judge punk bands by the quality of the singer's voice. I can recognize good musicianship but if the singer's voice isn't awesome, I will not be a repeat listener... just like Gang Starr made clear in 1994 when Guru said "If your voice ain't dope then you need to chill".

Signed to NYC's Label of Goods, OPSEC brings the aggression and voice that makes me want to keep this EP easy access when driving my beat up shit box around Newark. The singer's voice is similar to that of the Canadian hardcore punk band S.H.I.T., or maybe even the singer of The Peechees. If you need to work out some angst this weekend, may this be the soundtrack for your efforts.

Mamalarky - Pocket Fantasy

Brilliant and wonderful things often emerge from terrible occurrences... it's just the way things happen. It doesn't make those terrible things worth it by any means... it just speaks to the resilience and persistence of the human spirit.

Take Covid, for example. If Covid had never happened, Mamalarky's sophomore release Pocket Fantasy may never have been happened. They were already a band, playing around Austin and making waves. But then the pandemic happened and the band retreated to Atlanta to live in an old house and record what you have here: an inspired and inventive rock record with catchy songs that eschew pop conventions. It's experimental in song structure but recognizable in essence. Not sure what compares.

on4ward - In Rainbow Roads

Sometimes you need a conversation piece that not only piques one's interest but also pulls you in for the whole ride. Some individual out there in the world, going by on4ward, took Radiohead's 2007 In Rainbows and decided it needed to be redone through an Nintendo64 sound bank, "mostly sounds from Super Mario 64" as noted on the artists bandcamp page. 

It's interesting and this homage is one of detail and love. The hipster in me wishes slightly it was done in 8-bit sounds instead, but probably only because I never owned a Nintendo 64 so the sounds don't muster the nostalgia that one who DID own an N64 might get from this. Either way, it's pretty incredible and I look forward to what on4ward does next.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Print Head - Happy Happy & Hardcore Pop (2021)

From 2017 to 2021 I had a radio show at a college in a small Pennsylvania city. I'd scour bandcamp, drinking beer, using student loans to buy music so I could play it over the airwaves to weird 50-something hipsters that never left the valley or truckers just passing through town. 

Print Head was from that batch of music purchased from bandcamp. There's not much information that I can find about this artist. It seems to be the work of a singular person, Brandon Saucier. It's got that lo-fi, recorded-in-a-basement quality that I cherish. It's angular and dissonant while not being completely alienating, incorporating punk and garage into it's experimental song structures... all of which clock in under 2 minutes for the most part. 

This release combines two of Print Head's earliest releases: Hardcore Pop from 2019 and Happy Happy from 2020. Both were self-released individually on cassette, and then Spanish punk label Discos Perquébien put out the double release in 2021. Since these efforts, Saucier has released around 6 other tapes. That's 8 releases total in 4 years, NONE TOO SHABS, as they say (no one says that). 

This particular double release is on the Discos Perquébien bandcamp page which I will link below, but should you want to check out all the other releases of his (don't get your hopes up over cassettes, they're all sold out), click here to get to the Print Head bandcamp page.

Click below for the 25 track double release.

Happy Happy & Hardcore Pop

Friday, March 3, 2023

Music for Your Weekend


World Domination Enterprises - Too Bad (I Can't Control Myself)

This is a post-punk band active in the 80s that is currently pushing out unreleased singles on their bandcamp page. 

Here are two versions of this song. The "RnB" version is just my cup of tea. Playing it while driving will increase speeds by at least 20mph. The "Rangalanga box" version is also quite good, much more drum-machine bedroom post-punk which needs to be a genre explored more. 

HUSHPUPPY - Singles Club (Remastered)

Here is a repost of an artist named Zoë Brecher and their incredibly catchy lo-fi pop music. 

Worthy of reposting for several reasons: Brecher has been making waves lately, getting more notoriety and well-deserved spotlights. She sat in as house drummer for Late Night with Seth Meyers recently, and also recorded with none other than the state bird of New Jersey himself, Bruce Springsteen, on his latest 60's soul covers record "Only The Strong Survive". 

Also - when first posted on Spacerockmountain - there was only a digital and cassette tape version of this available. But now there is vinyl! Blue or Yellow. It being Bandcamp Friday, all proceeds go to the artist, so that's cool.

Vangas - Facial Tissue

I've been digging through stuff I downloaded years ago to find some gems I never wrote about here. Vangas seems tailer-made for Spacerockmountain because it's aggressive scuzzy noise rock. 

Coming out of Georgia, this band makes music that's heavy but experimental. Maybe Unwound meets Pissed Jeans gets you close to what you'll find here. 

And with track names like "I Have Three Faces and I Hang With Dogs" (which is an awesome track) and the over 9 minute closer, "Two Men Fucking" you have music that's fun for the whole family, really. 

Required listening.

Burger Shot - Small Town Glory

There is undoubtedly 99% terrible music on bandcamp so when something unique finds the ears, my brain becomes magnetized. I'm not a connoisseur of the Vaporwave genre, and this could not quite qualify as that, but whatever this is... I fucking dig it.

Burger Shot is from Jackson, Wyoming and a project between two individuals, billybob and drey. They tagged the music herein as "Americanawave" which feels accurate. The music is like modern country, slowed way down ala Vaporwave, and chopped minimally like a wedge salad. 

Have you played a record at 45 instead of 33 by mistake, and liked it better that way? This is the opposite experience.