Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cyndi Lauper-Shes So Unusual-1983

Took a trip to Newbury Comics once again, looking around though some random cds with no real intention of buying anything, and i see this girl, maybe 15 years old, looking through some cds. Shes got her iPhone in her hand, earphones in, and shes got some album in her hand as well. It just looked weird; there she was in a cd store, an obviously young person raised on mp3s and not albums, with both of the mediums in her hands. It just struck me funny.

So i was thinking about how, with all this Michael Jackson neglect, and a general neglect of the 80s music scene, i should get some random shit. For some reason, Cyndi Lauper popped into my head first. I was thinking of looking for some Madonna, but fuck that. I dont know if Cyndi is any different, but i dont remember hearing about Madonna having any technological recording breakthroughs or anything, like Kate Bush etc., but after Madonna quickly flashed through my mind Girls Just Want to Have Fun popped in. Even though its bubblegum pop, its great. Her 1983 debut had 4 top 5 singles, and was probably a top-selling album of the year. The obvious classic to share off it is Time After Time. This shit is timeless, as much as Billie Jean is, or God Only Knows by the Beach Boys.

shes so unusual

Tears for Fears-Songs from the Big Couch-1985

On this trip to Newbury Comics, i was chilling with Metaghost and i said i should dig deeper into some 80s action. He was like "dawg.. tears for fears."

Oh yeah.. those guys. The only track i know by these dudes is the classic, Everybody Wants to Rule The World; guys writing that kind of song in 1985 aught to be dropping pretty solid albums, right?. Although I know it is also a single, I do not know Shout. Like Bille Jean, this track just eluded me through my life. It opens the album on a pretty epic synthy pop note. But its really track 3 im all about; such a good song.

Goddamnit they cut that shit short! Its a 4 minute track on the album, just over 3 minutes on youtube. Fuck that. That outro guitar solo is awesome. So there are more 80s classics i need to get into; Duran Duran, The Cure.. damn those are the only 2 names i can think of. I could use some help; please do post comments/ suggestions here on the blog, or on our facebook group. I would much appreciate it.

songs from the big couch

Van Morrison-Astral Weeks

Even though i intended this bunch of posts to share an 80's theme, this classic by Van Morrison was recommended to me numerous times by numerous people. I know Van Morrisions album Moondance, which was his follow up to Astral Weeks, and i know some various other singles through his career; i was looking around aimlessly at Newbury Comics and found this one sitting there staring me in the face again. Looking at it now, the only track that comes to mind as a popular, possible single is The Way Young Lovers Do, which i really only know because of Jeff Buckleys excellent cover. Dig:

Moondance was chock full of hits; it was ten tracks, and most of them were between 2:30 and 5 minutes. Astral Weeks is 8 tracks, the shortest being just over 3 minutes and a majority of the tracks running between 5 and 7 minutes. He obviously was making some waves after Astral Weeks and decided to cut things short to get more radioplay, and man oh man did he do a good job at that. Thanks Van; your shit was classic.

astral weeks

Tiny Hawks - People Without End

Happy Easter weekend swordsmen.  Our household has already prepared baskets and egg coloring with the little uns for later so now I shall drop a few eggs on the swords before I disappear into my bunny suit tomorrow morning :)

A perfect union is a hard thing to come by in our age of high divorce but take heart to know that Tiny Hawks had formed one of their own. This is an equal parts split of Math Rock and Punk Rock from this Providence RI 2 piece. While they may not be around anymore (damn there goes my example) its not rare to see their name getting thrown around especially seeing as this sort of combo platter is now all the rage with newer bands. This was there last release and arguably there best so now you have to enjoy it....sorry.

People Without End

The Number Twelve Looks Like You - Mongrel

Changing speeds a bit here but not something I fear will turn anyone away:) Alternative mathcore with splashes of many other genres thrown into a blender. Every instrument including vocals are restless in their delivery simply wanting to always move forward. It makes for an ADD fueled listen but there is a lot to love.  Past releases were far too muddled for my blood but I dare you not to find at least one thing you like about this album.  Unfortunately they did break up last year so 

Jon Karel the drummer (also Sawtooth Grin and Horse the Band) is off  the wall an amazing drummer. So many sick licks to even mention. check his stuff out on youtube and you will see what im saying.


This Music Moment-"Rock With You'", 2011

So this is a two, possibly three-part relevant blog post, concerning one particular night at Owen O'Learys (for you boston folk), and a night coming up this wednesday, 4/27. A little while ago i posted about how I had never heard Billie Jean, or much other Michael Jackson for that matter, until one fateful night a few months ago. I got my ass chewed out by many folks; i know. It is a crazy thing. Ive heard it a lot.

But soon after i bought thriller and absorbed the glory of Billie Jean etc., i went to owen olearys to see my friends vince and keith do their acoustic show of awesomeness. I didnt know that Ananda, a singer who sometimes contributes to their show, would be playing with them the night i arrived, fresh into Michael. I sat down at a table with ananda and the crew between their sets, and told her about my Michael neglect through my life. She reamed me out propper; said "i grew up in Trinidad, and when i was 8 years old i got a bus full of fellow Trinidad citizens to sing along with my rendition of Billie Jean. And they all knew all the words. Do you know how small Trinidad is on the map?! And you were in AMERICA?!". She really drove the point home; how the fuck did that happen?

So she tells me about how great Off the Wall and Bad are, and im like "well shit im on it. tomorrow ill be picking them up." She goes cool, but check this out. She goes up on stage with vince and keith and they kick out the sickest acoustic version of Rock With You, from his debut Off the Wall, in perfect form; the album is probably the strongest, most hit-packed premier since the beatles or elvis, and right before madonna and then the unstoppable force that is Lady Gaga. Serious Shit. Heres his video for Rock With You, 1980.

These guys, vince keith and ananda, are all professionals; shit was tight as fuck. Keith had some loops built so's he could solo over the verses; ananda has one killer fucking voice, and vince has the drums locked down. I rocked out to it, and when they were done ananda was like "you know that one?" and i said "no, but fuck yes!"

off the wall

The Mercury Program

Any band that makes such heavy use of the vibraphone deserves some sort of "medal of fucking righteousness" One of those bands would undoubtedly be The Mercury Program, an entirely instrumental math rock group but with a very signature sound all their own.  Pretty smooth jazzy in areas with propulsive drumming. This is one of those groups where the drums are so dank that every other member could seriously be out to lunch and it would still be crushing. I am happy to say we do not have issue with that here.By the by if this is not a familiar name to you and you are in enjoyment of such similar ventures on this page:


But seriously of the two albums I'm posting start with their 2002 release, Its a great way to get acquainted. A personal note of mine, the first track "Tequesta" has been my alarm in the morning for about a year and a half now and is one of the best things to hear in the morning for some reason. My guess would be because it rocks faces, but that's more of hypothesis than anything else.  


All The Suits Began To Fall Off (2001)

A Data Learn The Language (2002)

Chez Viking (2009)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Buke and Gass - Riposte

Its nice to see some interesting blood on the scene these days. Buke and Gass are a Brooklyn based 2 piece that is carving a name for themselves. Where does this name come from you might be wondering? well heres the break down. Singer Arone Dyer plays the Buke (a self-modded six-string baritone ukulele) and Aron Sanchez plays the Buke (a guitar/bass hybrid made by him).  Oddly enough Sanchez was previously a maker of instruments for the Blue Man Group. The two instruments together form this really interesting and pleasant sound and with the addition of Arone's extremely strong vocals its a very unique listen. You could say its folk rock and that maybe as close as your going to get especially coming from two unique instruments. I can very easily see these two getting a lot of exposure. Not something you come across often at all.


The Pharcyde-Labcabincalifornia-1995

Three years after Bizarre Ride, the Pharcyde released another classic album, Labcabincalifornia. Although it is a bit more mellowed out and introspective than Bizarre Ride, it was a natural progression of their styles, and their production skills took a similar progressive step. It is lined with classics just as much as Bizarre Ride is; Bullshit opens the album on a chill note; Somethin' That Means Something speaks to their position as a successful hip hop group desiring deeper relevance; Runnin' is a chill ass jam talking about taking care of your business; and their track Pharcyde, number 2 on the album, talks about coming back full force and saying "fuck ya'll" to the haters. Classic flows ensue:

Legend has it that the album title refers to the cabin that the group lived in while they produced the entirety of the album; most importantly, they apparently did so in a ridiculously fast time period, and completely bonkers on mushrooms. I cant remember if its 2 weeks or a months, but these folks just went balls out trippin' and produced some of the finest jams of the mid 90s. Fuck yeah Pharcyde.


This Music Moment-2011

After a spur-of-the-moment decision to go to a hot yoga class at 6pm, i came out reinvigorated with a fully awake mind and body, and i did not want the night to end. It was about 9pm when i left my house to visit the bar Owen O'Learys, where my pal vincey plays an acoustic gig with an excellent guitarist/singer/bassist/loop master Keith.

Its a great time, and i know a lot of fine folk that all go on Wednesday nights, but the bar is a small 15 minute drive away, and i needed some music to listen to. Before acerola posted The Psychic Paramount, i was talking to him on gmail and he said he damn near shat his pants when her heard it, and before he posted it he gave me a sneak peak. Its great shit; acey, i am damn well digging it. But as we talked about it and i listened, it reminded me of another band acey said he posted near the start of this blog; Maserati.

I remember hearing this track on a review of the album on NPR; it kind of blew me away that they were reviewing this kind of instrumental album, but then it totally clicked that these dudes totally want to buy this music and use it in their broadcasts. Its perfect for them, and most importantly it is the perfect highway driving music. They are a tight group, with solid drums and repetitive bass structures below the 2 guitars, using delay pedals as mini-loop stations and creating dissolving, mathy guitar structures in perfect harmony. Its nuts how tight those two are, with their delay pedals factoring into their performances. Great tunes to bring me somewhere fun for the night. Enjoy it while it lasts, sluts!
pyramid of the sun

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Psychic Paramount - II

It seems like too long since their last release but for most of these former Laddio Bolocko members this is their greatest to date. Lets get down to the run down. This is heavy psych like a cloud of electric smoke in your face on a moon filled night. By the way when I say heavy I mean HEAVY. From the first opening notes this trio will try to pummel your face against a wall. Structurally krautrock and drone loom their heads but its done so flipping loud and emotionally you never get the feeling of boredom.
II marks a special turning point for psychic paramount. Finding them in 2011 they have seemingly identified their strengths. Far from saying previous releases were bad but just II is that incredible. Its easy to see that the noise has been dialed back and this showcases just how varied this trio can really be. I've been spending an extended period of time as of late with II and can justifiably say that it gets better with every listen


The Organ Beats-Sleep When We Are Dead

Heres some friendly promotion i would like to share with you folks, and this concerns you Boston area people especially. Today i got an invite from mr. Danny, drummer of the Organ Beats and brother of their singer, Noelle, saying that on June 3rd they will be playing a sick ass show on a goddamned boat with Mellow Bravo and Viva Viva. Aw shit yes! Nighttime music cruise with a band im friends with? Damn right.

I met Danny through a mutual friend, Shaun C, and we grabbed some dinner before heading to Noelles apartment to watch the Star Wars Holiday Special. That shit was outrageous; it seriously began with a 15 minute scene at the household of Chewbaccas family, and the entire thing was Wookie-talk with no subtitles. It was buggin'. Shaun and our group of friends are close with the Beats, and a while back together they filmed a sick video for Happy Birthday, off Sleep When We Are Dead. Shaun is featured as the boy baking a cake waiting for someone to come home for their birthday party. Its awesome:

They play such great catchy rock, with Noelles awesome voice kicking out great melodies. That girl can hold a tune. Ive only seen them live once; a few years ago, Shaun hosted a Halloween/ Music party at his house where he got a bunch of his and his friends bands to put together a bill. It was a great night, and the Beats headlined. At that point in the night i had had a few beers, but i distinctly remember when they busted out Never Gonna Make it Outta Here Alive. I LOVE those Oohs that start the track. Everyone at the party knew these songs well, so the entire crowd was Oohing along with Noelle; it was a fucking great show.
The Organ Beats - Never Gonna Make It Outta Here Alive by ninko

So heres the info for that show, and below that a link to their free-or-pay-what-you-feel download for Sleep When We Are Dead. Support these guys fools!

Mellow Bravo- Highs and Lows

Also on this awesome cruise ship concert will be Mellow Bravo, a tight rock band out of boston who know how kick out the jams and keep it solid. Im not too familiar with these guys but I know they are tight with the Organ Beats and their friends, and I have heard from many folks that they put on a sweet show. Should be a goddamned great time.

Mellow Bravo - Highs and Lows by

Terraformer - EP

Belgium three piece Terraformer rush out of the gates tapping there way through exploding landscapes. Sure there's some Heavy Metal/Sludge tendencies going on but you can not deny the tasty time changes running loose.  Great sense of direction keeps each song sounding fresh and exciting. Even when the lights get turned down and the slow burn hits they remain moody as all hell and filled with pent up noodle riffs. I will say with a lot of math groups embracing the sunnier side of math rock Terraformer seem extremely comfortable living in the dark tinged math of 90's Pittsburgh. End scene.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

3nd - World Tour

You could say that 3nd share a lot of similar aspects with the equally amazing band Toe. Both are from Japan and play technical instrumental rock. The differences though are always what counts the most. 3nd's guitars have a lot more range in their melodic delivery and dynamic wise. Next are drums.....which you know what im going to say....Takashi is a drum overlord. That isn't to downplay 3nd's own drummer but seriously the guitars of Toe could be playing hot cross buns in unison and Takashi would make it awesome. Ok Ok Ok enough of the comparison's. These guys can get downright fast but never lose their catchy nature.  What always struck me as odd though is while many of there contemporaries (such as the above mentioned Toe) get a lot of critical praise, you rarely hear about 3nd. Also another tidbit of info is the bass player from Natsumen (previously posted..wink wink nudge nudge) which as everyone should know are also fucking nasty.

World Tour

Ariel Pinks Haunted Graffiti-Before Today

Another post of some music i am unfamiliar with, and again stemming from that Saturday night at a friends party: an old friend showed up, and after some music talk i asked him what he was currently listening to. He told me he'd been deep into this Before Today album, and I knew Ariel mostly just by name. A while ago, another friend showed me his video for Are You Gonna Look After My Boys, which was pretty damn lo-fi and weird but catchy. Willy showed me his track Round and Round, which caught me by surprise and got me looking into his newer, studio produced work. Round and Round is nice; looking forward to the rest of it.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti: Round and Round by theharro

before today


This is just the song of the day. I got out of work, flipped through my iPod looking for something to listen to while i drove around for a few minutes before going home, and i settled on Starfuckers first, self-titled album. Track one starts things off with a great pop bang; just cool instruments, a nice groove and catchy harmonized vocals. It was a nice drive home.

Florida by starfucker_usa


Monday, April 18, 2011

Wallpaper-Gettin' Drip

The first video i want to share is classic wallpaper. Ive said enough about him in my more in-depth previous posts; Gettin' Drip is a track about going to the store, picking up some booze and bringing it to a friends house for the preparty before going out for a night of getting down. Its a great low budget green screen video extravaganza; love the backup vocals that those puppets provide.

DooDoo Face

Dosh-One Through Seven

Some more dosh for you, heres a neat video someone threw together using track 3 from Lost Take, Um, Circles and Squares. Its got some cool ninja moves and some stop motion ants-carrying-food action.

Awesome album, i have been listening to it nonstop. Thanks again Dre and Dan!

the lost take

No Knife

Holy blast from the past, I used to be very much into these gents. Almost completely forgot about them. An indie rock flavored post-punk center with the creamy coating of lite post hardcore and angular math guitar's.  Vocals certainly finish out the cast and help you stay interested. A great point of reference during the 90's for many of today's groups in my opinion.  O and I failed to mention there is a nice pop sensibility that runs through these songs.  No Knife avoid the typical 90's indie rock stigma by pulling no stops in adding sprinkles of many different rock genres into something that is very much their own. Its solid like a Sunday, no joke. 

Riot For Romance
Fire in the City of Automatons

Mouse on the Keys-Saigo No Bansan

Since acerola posted this a few months ago, i have listened to it a lot. Its amazing stuff, and so well written, and I want to show you the video for a track of their EP Sezession that acey linked to. Ive shown this off a lot lately so some of you may know it, but its worth another listen for sure; ive been listening to it so much.

Creepy, artsy and awesome. Gotta love it.

an anxious object

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Of The Swaying Sort - EP


Some really nice California born technical math rock with equal parts emo rock (vocally).  I am also under the impression they are not together any longer which is a flipping shame. All instruments firing on all cylinders. Short post but that's all the info I am in possession of.

As a side note my three year old Maeson is standing next to me drumming to these guys and says:

"I want to be a scientist in a rock band"

Genre created. You heard it here first.

Dosh-The Lost Take-2006

I went to a friends house tonight, and connected musically with a few people, two of which were Dre and Brian/ Eric/ Dan, out of Denver Colorado, and the bunch of us got to talking and sharing all kinds of music. They did not have music available, but looking through my iPod they knew a lot of stuff that i had on there, and we started listening together and i branched off a bit into things they hadnt heard. Along the way, the two of them said that their biggest recommendation to me was Dosh, specifically his album The Lost Take. I have just now downloaded it and heard the first few songs and it is hitting home; certainly something i will be digesting heavily soon. Melodic, sweet electro pop so far, with a multi-instrumentalist at front and center, alone, creating sonically great things, as far as production and quality is assumed. Cool stuff so far; heres the first track that comes up on youtube:

This is a track from his 2008 album, Wolves and Witches; its 2 musicians preforming a whole lot of amazing live looping together, just kicking so much ass. More to come; enjoy The Lost Take.

the lost take

Talk Talk-1988-1991

Aw snap. This is a big one.
Talk Talk is a group that a friend of the blog, sweet willy, showed me way back in the day in highschool; i was blown away by the inverted post-rock arrangements they put together; acerola pointed this out to me earlier, how they use strings and horns to line the edges of epic pop rock tracks. Mark Hollis, the man behind the voice, brought in all kinds of studio musicians to record sessions that he then chopped up and spliced, back in the late 80s and early 90s, and used to form the basis and background to amazingly emotional music. Talk Talk had 2 albums that i listened to deeply; 1988s Spirit of Eden, and 1991s Laughing Stock. The track i will share, track 2 from Laughing Stock, is Ascension Day

Im not really sure what to say about this; it is something i have loved for so long that i feel just hearing it, intently, explains everything great you need to know about it. The one obvious fact i must land on is the tracks ending, how it builds up intensity up to almost unbearable levels right before the track suddenly cuts out; it is a jarring end, but the next track on Laughing Stock, After the Flood, immediately begins, and quickly shifts you from the momentum of one song into the driving awesomeness that follows. Both albums are long in running time yet short in tracks, and they flow beautifully together. They are true works of greatness.

laughing stock
spirit of eden