Saturday, June 25, 2011

Angels of Light - The Angels of Light Sing "Other People" / Akron/Family

After leaving the amazingly excellent and influential band "Swans" Michael Gira settled into his new project Angels of Light. That's when it happened.... the "settling".

The Settling - When an aging musician picks up an acoustic guitar and begins spinning intimate lyrical themes.

This as we all know can go one of two ways be incredibly mediocre or translate the musicians vision to a new genre perfectly.  In the case of Mr. Gira he pulls this off without nary a hitch. He even brings along his newly discovered hopefuls "Akron/Family" (A Brooklyn based "freak folk" group) to back him for his next album The Angels of Light Sing "Other People".  They themselves just released their first album which by all approximations was and still is a flipping great album. Let just not talk about anything after their split release it tends to get a little muddled after that.

Back to the whole point of this post. The Angels of Light song "My Sister Said".  Yea its a good album no doubt but this song is unimaginably gorgeous in every way. One of my favorite songs of all time.  I don't have many songs I would say that personally speak to me but this one rocks my very core. EVERYONE at some point in their life needs this song and I cant say that strongly enough.

The Angels of Light Sing "Other People"

Akron/Family (2005)

Akron/Family and Angels of Light Split

Monday, June 20, 2011

1994! / Algernon Cadwallader / Snowing / Boys and Sex. Summer Singles

 Let me begin by saying I am extremely excited to be attended this Wednesday's show at the Bug Jar in Rochester NY. Playing will be none other than previously mentioned Algernon Cadwallader and equally awesome Snowing and 1994! as well as some local fair. I highly recommend anyone in the area to check this shit out as it will be an earthquakingly good time, info below.

While I have already covered Algernon let me speak of the awesome that is 1994! and Snowing. These three groups share a location of Philly PA with one another and also sound wise are reconnecting with that classic 90's emo sound in different ways.

Snowing has a nice two guitar indie rock attack going that mixes some catchy ramshackle vocals with some hot as hell math lite instrumentation. 

1994! Has the emotional shouting vocals and amps up the speed and math quotient by 2.5. For a two piece they are extremely interesting especially the drums which are restless and intricate.

Its a nice little split to get your beak wet on these groups so check your ears at the door.

Summer Singles

Zvoov - Everbrown (2011)

This is a sleeper album. On first listen, nothing really pops. Everything is well-executed and sounds nice, but there's nothing really jaw-dropping.

After a few listens, the album definitely starts to grow. The guitar parts are subtle, sneaky, and dark, highly reminiscent of Slint. The rhythms have an understated but groovy swagger. Its clear that a lot of thought went into composing each song. The parts are polished, interesting, and stand up to repeated listens.

In contrast to a lot of math-rock albums I've been listening to, there is nothing extreme or astonishing on this record. But a face-melting chopsfest does not appear to be Zvoov's intention here. Instead, they use restraint and have created a thoughtful, well-crafted album. Its an interesting approach to the genre and well-worth a listen.

Also, the drummer is one of the tallest men on earth.

Everbrown is available for free on Zvoov's Bandcamp.

Derek Bailey - Ballads (2002)

Fact:          I love Math Rock.

If you haven't figured that out yet then you clearly don't follow this blog. But it can be exhausting if too much is consumed, hence today we have Derek Bailey. As its fathers day today for some reason it reminded me of this album. Bailey is a taste that divides listeners, Avant-garde improv. acoustic guitars. Now if that doesn't sound awesome then this is just not for you. Many of his releases even for me are just too much as far as an enjoyment stand point which is why I've always clung to Ballads. This was actually in response to many critics claims that maybe Derek had no clue how to "normally" play the guitar.  Well it kinda splits the difference with actually playing "straight" and his crazed picking and plucking.  Discontinuity between notes is one of the many things listeners will notice with his playing style. An idea or rhythm will disappear as quickly as it's played.  There is a longing feel to the album even a slight romantic bent but I cant say exactly why. Again most people are not going to be jamming this shit with their windows down this summer but I cant say I know too many acoustic guitar players that use this much emotion in their composition and playing style.