Saturday, December 17, 2011

maudlin of the Well - Part the Second (2009)

I don't know why it's taken me so long to make a post about this record. Probably has something to do with why I rarely make posts about any records — I let acerola do that shit, fuck finding links!

But no, this is some top-notch music that does a great job of bridging the gap between the previous pair of maudlin of the Well records, Bath and Leaving Your Body Map, with the more ornate modern classical compositions of Toby Driver's solo work and Kayo Dot. As with all of his projects, there are always those elements that can be a bit grating if you don't keep an open mind towards the experiential nature of what he writes (like all the groaning on Rose Quartz Turning to Glass), but there's simply not a whole lot in the world that's like this, just things that are somewhat similar. A must listen for fans of Henry Cow, Final Fantasy 7, and slutty guitar solos.

Free download in FLAC and all that other shit: Cha-Ching!

Stage Kids - Killer Tofu (2011)

Previously on Plenty of Swords..... 

They are back and JESUS MAGIC CHRISTMAS this couldn't get any better. Those of you out there that thought they were too young or lacked ideas well your face just got noise checked. This is as sure footed as it gets for instrumental math rock. Super well produced and spit shined. I think its also safe to smack about the fact that everyone must have leveled up on their instruments at least 5 times as well. The ideas flowing here are numerous and are just curve ball enough to make you fist pump at the same time as your brain smiles. Electronic elements are sprinkled into the math rock this time ever so slightly as well as the completely electronic songs.

If you missed them the first time then heres your second chance at a brand new life filled with lush guitars and complicated poly-rhythms. Put this under the tree because your entire family will thank you for it.

Killer Tofu

(also nice Doug reference.....)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Jo Jo and the Scooters- Inspiration (Graceland, 1986)

I will not say much, because i do not feel entitled to talk about something of this magnitude with my insufficient knowledge of it. The other day, on a break at work, i had the sudden urge to hear You Can Call Me Al. And luckily, now that i have a nerdphone, i looked that shit up and watched the hilarious video with Chevy Chase. Later that night, i went to see a friend play an acoustic set at Owen O'Learys, and at one point in their set, the excellent Ryan McHugh, who was serving as a stand-in-for-the-night guitarist, kicked into a nice version of Graceland. When they finished, i mentioned to my drummer pal vince that i had just had that sudden urge to hear Call Me Al; Ryan the guitarist said "oh yeah? lets do it" and Mia B and the two of them kicked it out proper. I returned home and immediately found myself a copy of Paul Simons landmark 1986 release. I have not absorbed it fully yet; I have been alternating between Phontes latest and Graceland.

All that said, Graceland is one of those albums, like Moondance or Thriller, that are just untouchable: Pop Music cornerstones. I am deep in this right now. Perfect pop sensibilities to keep in mind for Jo Jo and the Scooters. So that covers a classic of undeniable pop which enters into the Olivia Tremor Control category of the band equation; next, please cite a math/rock/pop outfit that influenced excellent current bands like Mister Metaphor. Part 3 is electronica.. lets see what you got.


Ninko- Sunrise on Cloud City (Linkzzzzz)

Fellas requested for linkz; here is one. Just as my old computer began its downward spiral, the 2011 RPM challenge was under way and i had a game plan. I created a few tracks, but was sidelined by my malfunctioning audio software. It was a concept album about a galactic fight taking place on earth and in the cloud cities above it, and the first track is one of my better electronic works. I had different plans for it, but once my computer wasnt able to allow me to record live audio i was at a stalemate. This is how it ended up:

Sunrise by ninko

there ya go.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Prophet Nathan

Get ready for this.... "Tennessee Two-some" as they embark on a stylistically interesting musical adventure. like some sort of math-pop monster that at times tears up the landscape with awesome drum and guitar.  Other moments shift to some soft singing or samples but always the drums remain consistently great.  Influences drip off the sleeve but there is a large honesty that keeps me pulled in. Not too mention the previously stated instrumentation.  Both releases are well worth the gandering.

The Prophet Nathan

Phonte- Charity Starts at Home (2011)

I have proclaimed much love for The Foreign Exchange, and afterwards Little Brother, and a big part of my appreciation of these two groups came down to the Phonte factor; Phonte fronts Foreign Exchange, and began his music career in Little Brother. He is a gifted vocalist/ rapper, renowned (in not only my own world) as a chorus genius, proficient foremost in creating vocal harmonies that go 6 parts deep with hooks to match. I mean, check out the chorus of the Foreign Exchanges track, Maybe She'll Dream of Me. Ain't no room for suckers in that studio; just the straight sickness right there.

So, 2011 finally saw to Phonte releasing his first solo effort as an artist, Charity Starts at Home. As usual, when given the mic to talk about what is on his mind, Phonte rises above any fronting and speaks about life as an artist making it through each day to rise and shine with the next. His rhymes are very personal, introspective and creative, and he knows when a tracks melancholy only requires subtly, and knows when to drop a serious chorus to enrich the positive emotions he talks about (as he does in Sending All My Love). It seems Phonte favored focusing on his rhyming on his debut solo release, letting some lovely female vocalists fill in on his hooks while he focused his own vocal parts on the verses. Great stuff; he worked with a number of producers for this release, including a much anticipated (for myself) reunion for a few tracks with 9th Wonder as his beat maestro; track 2, The Good Fight, properly kicks the album up a notch after starting so very strongly with Dance in the Reign (produced by Swiff D). Blam: The Good Fight:

Phonte - The Good Fight

charity starts at home

Jo Jo and the Scooters

So, i have big personal news for all you Swordsers: i finally have a working laptop capable of letting me produce intense, gigantic audio recordings. I am very excited. Ive been talking to Metaghost about how liberating and exciting it is to have a high-class machine ready for me to use its audio functions to their potential, and i have a lot of ideas that have been laying dormant since about six months ago, when my previous computer stopped working properly.

One of these ideas was borne from a fake band name my father referenced a while back; i was home, listening to some random music when my dad peeped his head in to ask what i was listening to: "who is this? Jo Jo and the Scooters?". He makes up names like this all the time; his standby fake band name is Mickey and the Finns, but he often gets creative with it. Jo Jo and the Scooters stuck with me for some reason; i was listening to a lot of Mister Metaphor (for the first time), and had also rediscovered my love for Olivia Tremor Control. At the same time, i was deeply involved in electro-pop, listening to loads of Hot Chip, Starfucker and Miike Snow; expanding my technical production ideas by absorbing myself in electronic-heavy dance/pop outfits.

Anyways, this mostly goes out to Acey and Franklin (as metaghost already is in on this): Here we go gentlemen. When my father first uttered the words Jo Jo and the Scooters, i thought of classic do-wop pop music, only updated to modern standards. I expanded this initial idea to becoming a mix of Olivia Tremor Controls vocal stylings, Mister Metaphors polyrhythmic math/pop skills, and added electronica as bonus points. Im ready to go. Things to come. This is a warning.