Friday, July 8, 2011

Serpent Throne - White Summer-Black Winter (2010)

Serpent Throne's White Summer-Black Winter is a gnarly instrumental album that's more rock and less stoner/doom than usual (although a few church bells do ring out here and there for good measure). So if you're in the mood for some pretty straight-up 70s throwback metal without the trebly caterwauling of the old-timers, scope this out. There are plenty of dynamics from track to track to keep it interesting, even if the album as a whole dully aches for some Greg Lake-ish vocals. The only major drawback in my opinion is that this band suffers from "boring drummer syndrome," which would typically be an instant deal-breaker for an instrumental band like Serpent Throne, if it weren’t for such righteous riffage. All in all, White Summer-Black Winter feels like a classic, something you’d pluck out while rifling through your dad’s old tape cassettes and be left scratching your head, which is unique given that it was released a year ago. I give it three chicken wings and a celery stick, without the ranch. This is a good thing.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

metaghostin' Vol. VII - Your Life is Hella Noir

Your Life is Hella Noir - 59'16"

In creepy-as-shit news, a former student of mine was murdered last night (or the night before, depending on how your perceive time). This is a true story.

That said, I had already compiled this mix to help people live a life of high adventure in search of jewels and the solution to unsolved mysteries, and damn the nightmarish convergence!

1. Reign of Kindo - "Thrill of the Fall" / This is What Happens (2010)

You are in an opening credits sequence; your life is fancy: you enjoy bourbon, Lucky Strikes, and fine broads with them curls. You've led a distinguished life and now you're retired, Detective Whoeverthefuckyouis — enjoy these technicolor titles while you still can.

2. Bjork - "An Echo, a Stain" / Vespertine (2001)

Chief calls you up, tells you to high tail it to the scene of crime. Which crime? Some crime. Oh, you want specifics, you needy bastard? John Doe, found dead on the steps of a building with a neon sign, his legs are missing and so are the contents of the briefcase splayed open atop his crushed head.

3.  Rachmaninov - "Prelude in B Minor, Op. 32/10"

Something fishy in the air, but at least you got the dough to put yourself up in some swank digs. You're sorting your thoughts in the lobby, gettin pissed so you can forget the image of that legless stooge, when in comes one of those fine broads from the opening credits.

4. Wayne Shorter - "Speak No Evil" - Wayne Shorter (1964)

The two of you adjourn to a nearby club, where the booze is cheaper and a semblance of privacy can be found in the squall of a saxophonist's soloing.

5. Stan Getz & João Gilberto - "Corcavado" - Getz / Gilberto (1964)

The band cuts to a different tune and so does the broad, saying oh mister oh mister you gotta solve a thing, my brother's a mess, he's in over his head, and oh no oh no mister, I'm afraid. She passes you a note then excuse me I have to powder my nose in the ladies room.

6. Fela Kuti - "Monday Morning in Lagos" - Expensive Shit / He Miss Road (1975)

On some wild goose chase as always, Detective. How'd you find your way all the way out here, halfway across the Earth, searching for a man with no name and the contents of briefcase that may never have existed?

7. Deftones - "Passenger" - White Pony (2000)

Trouble always finds you, instead of the other way around, and of course you got kidnapped dummy. At least they gave you some drugs.

8. Dirty Projectors - "D. Henley's Dream" - The Getty Address (2005)

But why mescaline? How's that supposed to benefit the situation? What's Don Henley doing here? What's he got to do with that dead body you can't seem to forget? Can't they drive any slower? You start to vomit.

9. dredg - "Traversing Through the Arctic Cold We Search for the Spirit of Yuta" - Leitmotif (1999/2001)

Who knows how long you were out, but your mouth tastes rancid, and goddammit they seem to have left you in the desert. You're thinking about how strange it is that the desert is actually the coldest place you've ever been, when a man pulls up astride what looks to be Llama but you were never good at naming animals because fuck zoos.

10. Big Wreck - "Overemphasizing" - In Loving Memory of (1997)

Coulda sworn there was supposed to be happy ending somewhere, but then the ending credits just snuck up and bit you in the ass. You get home, depressed as shit, thinking about writing existentialist fiction and quittin the liquor because it never did you no good. Sure as shit ain't gonna answer no phone calls from the chief.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Absence Makes the Heart Grow...

Before i get too far into this recollection of the last few weeks, possibly month, of my life and the resulting neglect of the Swords, I want to post up this list (with linked Swords articles in the artist name that include DL sources, and youtube vids for the tracks) which i feel are my top 5 songs for the start of the summer, a summation of my favorite snippits of albums i have dug deeply since this Swords bizness came up. And the list:

1.Wallpaper- Gettin' Drip
2.Organ Beats- Sleep When We Are Dead
(Also: their cover of Heaven is a Place on Earth)
3.The Pharcyde- Soul Flower
4.Ra Ra Riot- Shadowcasting (nice live acoustic version here)
5.Toe- Kodoku No Hatsumei

As a runner up who i have yet to post about, Sam Cookes Wonderful World deserves some recognition, not only because of his nostalgic and timeless perfect pop sound, but also because its use in Animal House makes such a great soundtrack for my favorite John Belushi scene.

Classic Summer Album Alert

This post is one solely for that feeling you used to get in high school, about the first week of june, when all of your classes were wrapping up and the finish line to summer was fast approaching and all you had on the horizon for the next 10 weeks was maybe a part time summer job, driving around to all kinds of places in your parents car with your newly acquired license, long days and late breakfasts, maybe a family vacation... the freedom and excitement you felt about having no one prescribe what you needed to be learning and discovering things for yourself, with all the best company.

Animal Collective - Sung Tongs (2004)

There are few musical moments I can remember more vividly than the first time I heard Sung Tongs. It was my second year in college and I was only slightly familiar with their previous release (the excellent "Here Comes the Indian") Checking out Sung Tongs was only natural.  Upon first listen my mind was blown all of over the surrounding floor in my dorm room. I was spending a lot time working on solo material and this music was seemed to be oddly in line with what I was trying to do. What was called "freak folk" at the time seems like such a distant and laughable memory, this is above all that Devendra Banhart posturing. In retrospect I now realize that there was some heavy president for Animal Collective's take on acoustic guitar campfire sing a longs. The 60's progressive folk movement held many an odd bird and most notably sound wise someone many are familiar with, a Mr. Marc Bolan ("Bang a Gong" anyone?)  Then known as Tyrannosaurus Rex a sort of hippie bongo loving acoustic freakout with lyrics to match. The other influence (the more obvious of theirs) is The Beach Boys. Classic classy harmonies stripped straight from a canned session of Smiley Smile creep in and out of Sung Tongs. The true secret in this album is the emotion pouring from Avey Tare and Panda Bear's lyrics and their choice of chords. Its a record almost dedicated to nostalgic childhood moments and it translates so well that you begin to place your own to each song. Its an incredibly difficult feat to accomplish as an artist but it clicks here. I know they are pretty flipping popular these days but again if your only familiar in passing then now is your chance.

PS. For you "Visiting Friends" haters it is a gorgeous soaring piece of music. everyone should take the time to relax in a room to it.

Sung Tongs (2004)

Refused-The Shape of Punk to Come

I was just surfing through some of the older posts on this site to get to some more downloading, and while doing so I was reminded of Refused for some reason; I was listening to A Troop of Echoes when i decided to look up the universally revered album that lead to the dismantling of the band behind it.

I remember seeing the video for New Noise back in highschool on some MTV afterschool and loving it, but never picking up the album; i would forget about them, and until just now I haven't heard anything else from their definitive masterpiece. Just from the first few tracks, i can tell how much they must have influenced bands like Mars Volta, Dredg, Bloc Party.. the list could go on. The range of sounds on this is truly special; in 1998, they were mixing a lot of sounds together that at the time was very new; great production for a punk-rock band, first and foremost, but then how they also added sampling in both spoken vocal snippits, but also sections of cool electronica; singing, screaming, winding song structures, and just limitless creativity for a 4 piece hardcore band. Here is New Noise:

It builds up some sweet heavy tension, before letting go to a cool electronic interlude before the vocals enter; The track is the centerpiece of the album, and after hearing the first 4 tracks that lead up to it, i can see how it is a song they decided to put dead center because it really solidifies the themes and sounds they spend the first 20 minutes of the album building, and put it to use for a very cool 5 minute single. I wont say anything more as I am just now starting to dig into the rest of The Shape of Punk to Come, but i am very glad i have rediscovered these guys. Dig it, fools!

the shape of punk to come