June 30, 2008
Title - More Greatest Hits
Hometown - UK
Label - Jungle Records
Street Date - Out Now
RIYL - quality 80's girl post punk, This Heat, The Envelopes, electro-dub-psych pop with silly lyrics, Blondie tributes, early B-52s, song titles The Vaselines would covet, Siouxsie with a sense of humor, The Sparks, Talking Heads
The Hits - 2 discs and very little to complain about in the bunch but disc 1 is the best.
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Major
I hate when this happens. Family Fodder is yet another group I should have certainly heard about before this decade. I heard a few clips via a recent Other Music email and now I am obsessed and in love. The CD arrived at my doorstep today and I am 100% baffled as to how this band didn't make it to the hipster status that bands like Liliput and Young Marble Giants are enjoying in present day.
This collection is a complete anthology of the band and don't let the TERRIBLE cover art scare you away. I don't know what they were thinking there.
Lastly when you put disc 2 into your computer or what have you, the track listing is is correct up until track 12 but then the order is wrong for 13 -15. Use the back of the CD case for the proper list of songs. It looks like it is wrong in iTunes so consider yourself warned. The correct list for the second disc is:
14) My Baby Takes Valium
I am short on time and energy to do a full review of this 2xCD today so here is what allmusic has to say - even better, it was written by my friend Daphne who I didn't know wrote for the site, YAY!
by Daphne Carr
"Family Fodder was less a band than a never-ending collective of musicians messing with tapes in the basement of a London flat. Begun in 1979 by Alig Pearce, a label called Small Wonder released their first 7" when they still went by the name Te Deum. (Interestingly, the other two singles released concurrently by the label were the first Cure single and Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead.") The band was led by odd splices of tape, dub effects, and Dominique Levillain's chanteuse vocals. Influenced by Syd Barrett, the Kinks, and This Heat, Pearce moved his compositions from psychedelics to drones to proto-electronic music full of cut-up location recordings. The band thought themselves to be very serious musicians but the music takes on a light air due to the splicing and humor throughout. The group toured three times between 1981 and 1982. In 1983, Pearce borrowed some of the band's record advance money from their new label, Fresh, to fund another project's tour. The resulting album, All Styles, came out of these diminished funds and was scratchy, ill planned, and home-recorded. It sold only about 100 copies when released. Pearce went on to be a professional accordionist and in 1989 reformed Family Fodder with Levillain, Hobbs, and Wilson. He also tours under the name Johnny Human. With the 1999 reissue by Dark Beloved Cloud, Family Fodder has found a new audience with avant and new wave enthusiasts."
There is also a great deal of info about the band here.
These aren't real videos of the band but at least you can hear a few songs:
NAT GEO MUSIC TO WEBCAST BJÖRK AND SIGUR RÓS CONCERTLIVE FROM ICELAND ON SATURDAY, JUNE 28Fans can see concert only at worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com
Nat Geo Music, the music division of National Geographic Entertainment, will Webcast an open-air Náttúra concert live from Iceland on Saturday, June 28, 2008. Two of the world's most important and visionary musical entities, Björk and Sigur Rós, will headline the free concert.
The event will be available exclusively at worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET (begins at 8 p.m. BST/London or 7 p.m. GMT/Reykjavik).
To be held in a large park near the centre of Reykjavik, all of the performances will be during daylight, with Iceland's capital city and dramatic rolling scenery providing a perfect backdrop to what is expected to be one of the biggest concerts the country has seen. The Náttúra concert looks to raise awareness of the impact of the growing aluminum smelting activity on Iceland's natural landscape.
One of Nat Geo Music's main goals is to offer artists and experts who care about global culture and the environment an outlet to create awareness for important issues. Spotlighting these amazing artists performing live in a spectacular backdrop allows our worldwide audience to enjoy great music and become aware of Iceland's environmental concerns and join the conversation," said David Beal, president of National Geographic Entertainment.
Commenting on the gig, Björk said: "Too often battles being fought for nature turn into something negative and into mudslinging. We will not go that way, we are not saying that this and that is forbidden, we are rather asking 'what about all these other possibilities?' The 21st century is not going to be another oil century but rather a century where we need to recycle, think green and design both power plants and our surroundings in harmony with nature."
Sigur Rós, who released their fifth album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, this week, believes the issue of aluminum smelting in Iceland is one that can no longer be ignored. "We are not a political band and don't think musicians should set themselves as spokespeople on anything at all, but sometimes you see things going on in your own back yard and find that just as a human being you cannot stand by and do nothing. The changes that are going on in Iceland need to be the subject of debate and not snuck through the back door because no one lives in the wilderness and there is urban apathy or a general lack of awareness," said Sigur Rós vocalist Jón Thor Birgisson.
June 29, 2008
Title - Swimming
Hometown - NYC
Label - Vagrant
Street Date - Out Now
RIYL - Mark Robinson fanning you with Creation Records LPs
The Hits - Abandon, Over the World, Carried Away, New Man, Love In Ruins, Sex Tourists, This Could Go Wrong
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Strong
This is the best record Teenbeat never released. This is what I wish Vampire Weekend actually sounded like. This is my soothing happy place when the rest of my world (AKA Richmond) is a gross sticky humid oven-like mess. Try to imagine The Doves splashing in puddles.
Many reviews blame Swimming for being too subtle, too "pastel" in its beauty, but I love the fact that there is nothing obvious screaming out at you between the verse and chorus. I am of the mindset that you don't have to be beaten upside the head with a melody or a hook to make a record work. Rather than following the all too common trend of a band pooping out a few obvious hits and then wasting every one's time with some filler spread out over the the rest of the release, French Kicks have opted for consistency rather than a punch and get out.
Long time fans of the group will not be dishing out smarmy elitist frowns because they feel the band was once poised to be the next IT band and somehow they blew it. (the press however seem to feel otherwise) The French Kicks may not have reached the ultimate point of hipsterdom but not every band needs to hit that sweet spot according to the media's eye. The spotlight doesn't make a band good. Most of the time it means one great band had better luck than another great band..or they had a bigger label, or a better publicist hyping the media up. Just ask Tapes 'n Tapes how that early media worship worked out for them in the long run. (imagine the sound of a candle's flame being snuffed out here)
To coin an unoriginal phrase, fame is fleeting. Why not just let a band (French Kicks) be good and remove the expectation that they should have been something bigger and something other. Just enjoy.
June 26, 2008
Horna - black metal from Finland.
June 25, 2008
June 24, 2008
June 23, 2008
Title - S/T
Hometown - Belgium
Label - Station 55
Street Date - Out now
RIYL - Post-punk, Blonde Redhead, stuff in French, Peter Hook bass lines, nu-dub, beginner's shoegaze, lyrics extracted from Serge Gainsbourg material, Sonic Youth in training
The Hits - Yssandon, Snoopy, Orange
Richter Magnitude Scale - Moderate
Christian Vogel is a busy man. He is known for releasing experimental electronic music, being one half of Super_Collider with Jamie Lidell, singing / playing guitar in a new band called Night of the Brain, mixing a diverse group of artists such as Radiohead and Maximo Park, participating in sound installations, being involved in four different record labels, acting as main producer at the studio Station 55 in Barcelona... and now he has a new thing to add to resume: producing, mixing, and releasing the debut record for Cafeneon, a Belgium group .
* Most referenced band of the weekend - Poison Idea
June 21, 2008
* 75% male /25% female
* Most common band shirt in crowd: Government Warning
* Record most purchased at show: Direct Control - Farewell LP
* Beer of choice: PBR
* Surprise of the night - high number of metal shirts
(Sunno))), Metallica, Hellhammer, Pentagram)
* Different from last year: more people over 30
* Total Abuse didn't play but was supposed to.
* Crust punks look as silly as ever.
*Best joke of the night - singer of Warkrime commenting on the kids with bald heads and saying they look like an HBO special on Nazis.
These are the bands I saw today:
EMPTY GRAVE (VA)
GUILTY FACES (CT)
BRAIN HANDLE (PA) - One of the three best bands of Day 1. They don't do it for me on record but live was a different story - baseball jokes and band on band violence. The drummer of the band had the best homemade shirt ever. It read "I would rather be computing eligibility". Punk as fuck.
This is a hand painted case that belongs to Brain Handle.
WARKRIME (CA) - Much better to me live than recorded too - another favorite of the entire day. Sarcasm at its best.
DIRECT CONTROL (VA) - Hometown favorites (I watched them from the floor so with me being short and all, I couldn't take a clear picture of the performance.
ANNIHILATION TIME (CA) - As seen from the back of the club.
Outside the venue:
June 20, 2008
Listeners suggest lyrics live on the radio and Teddy would in turn have less than 2 hours to craft a new song a song around the listern's lyrics.
June 19, 2008
Anaal Nathrakh - Hell is Empty, and all the Devils are Here - Seasons of the Mist (2007)
Anaal Nathrakh are a UK band that blast-beats together Black and Death metal. Think Brutal Truth (okay, I know they are more grind than black or death) meets Frost......... Frost!!!! I love Frost for all their wicked sickness (speed doom?!?) and a member of Anaal Nathrahk (Mick AKA Irrumator) is also in Frost. I had high hopes for Hell is Empty but I am disappointed to have spent my $$$ on a record that has only two songs I really really like. ("Until the World Stops Turning" ...which I know sounds more like an emo title than anything METAL and "Castigation and Betrayal".
Somewhere in my pile o' CDs to listen to is another record by Anaal Nathrakh so maybe that one will be better.
Akista - Sang Nordique - Hospital - Reissue of the 2002 release
It isn't every day that a black metal CD opens with something that sounds like a surf band rising from the dead. Just like the Aquarius review promised they really do sound like crust punk meets Darkthrone as well as something more retro 80's than 2000 something. Sang Nordique goes from a chainsaw hacking through mud to songs like "La Nature De Mon Pans" which is more zombie sweater pop than putrid filth. The final track "Fin" places you inside a kick drum with a French speaking demon riding a motorboat. Cool?
This might be one of the most un-Black Metal records of all time so if you are a traditionalist I would steer clear of this one but for those who aren't scared of some major mixing of genres, this comes highly recommended.
I also have to wonder what is in that French Canadian water to produce so many diverse metal bands over the past few decades.
June 18, 2008
If there was any question if sex and crazy sells, well I guess the answer would be yes. What I wonder is how many kids are running around singing this painfully catchy song and thinking it is about an actual candy product. So glad I am not a parent....
June 17, 2008
06.09.2008 LAST.FM ANNOUNCES GLOBAL PREMIERE OF THE NEW SIGUR ROS ALBUM
LONDON/NEW YORK, June 9 - Last.fm, the CBS Corporation owned social networking music Web site, today announced that the new Sigur Rós album Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust, is now globally available for fans to listen to for free in its entirety on the site today, two weeks before its official release on June 23.
Last.fm, the official online media partner of Sigur Rós for this album, will make all twelve tracks live on the site today at midday GMT. Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust - which translates as "With a buzz in our ears we play endlessly" - is the fifth studio album from the critically acclaimed Icelandic band.
Listen to it here: http://www.last.fm/music/Sigur+Rós/með+suð+í+eyrum+við+spilum+endalaust
June 16, 2008
As a music fan I couldn't help but take note of what songs were played during the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year. Every city has their own style and collection of material; with only a few overlapping songs played at each arena. For those of you who aren't sports fans (like me 99.9% of the time), each place that hosts a sporting event has someone who DJs short clips of music when the game play is paused. For example in hockey music will be played when the teams are preparing for a face off. The music tends to be riff heavy; inspiring, comedic, or energy building.
Here are some examples of the music played over the past month of playoff games: Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Blur, Kiss, Tom Petty, Green Day, Hendrix, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, Quiet Riot, Social Distortion, Led Zep, Van Halen, The Ramones, The Clash, The Kingsmen, Gnarls Barkley, INXS, Men Without Hats, and various theme music from familiar favorites like Star Wars, Jaws, and the Lone Ranger. And what is it with almost every arena playing Have Nagila anyway?
I heard a lot of great music oddly enough during this year's playoffs (I knew I liked hockey for a reason) but my top 3 songs all happen to be from one Pittsburgh game:
1) Basement Jaxx - Where's Your Head At (penalty call)
2) Helmet - Unsung (face off)
3) Fugazi - Waiting Room (player sent to the penalty box)
Here is a link to general hockey playlists broken down by style, game play, point in game, and special situations.
For you Washington Capital fans out there, check out this link; you can relive the best of 2007/2008. These are the key songs they played at the Verizon centter this past season.
They are trying to book a show for July 14 in Richmond, VA (I am a loser that never quite figured out how to play live without a proper band) but perhaps some kind local might be able to help them out. They are charming quiet indie rock and are the kind of group I would happily recommend to others.
June 15, 2008
1) Female artists (fronting a band or solo w/guitar) are not going away any time soon- they are more popular in the music industry than ever. What worries me is that gender is often the focus rather than the talent. Just because a girl is hot doesn't mean she needs to put a record out. Also, girl singer/songwriters seem to really like using guitar capos.
2) The L.A. Amoeba DVD staff on the second floor are always remarkably informative, pleasant, and helpful. You say you like primary colors and French films of the 60's? Let me show you this.... The Amoeba music department folks aren't nearly as warm and fuzzy.
3) "Soup to nuts" is the worst industry jargon of all time
4) Employees cannot live on sugar alone. Piles of it are positioned in easy to reach bowls all over the room and then handed out between presentations . There appears to be some wild misinformation that sugar pills digested hourly will keep a crowd fresh and focused. A massive room sized sugar crash is no prettier with kids the day after Halloween than it is with a bunch of people over 30 in the third floor conference room. Seriously you event planner types - look into getting fruit and trail mix...pretty much anything that doesn't come in bright blue and neon green will do.
5) The new Thievery Corporation full length coming late September on ESL is their best record to date and features Femi Kuti, Anoushka Shankar, Chuck Brown (of DC Go-Go fame), Seu Jorge, and more. I heard a lot, I mean A LOT of new music this week but this one blew me away and woke me from my mini M&Ms and gummy squids sugar comma.
6) Consider yourself warned indie labels: any label who wishes to release a new full length album from a key artist to a digital store first can pretty much kiss good-bye any support from the physical music retailers of the world. Even with the exclusive bonus material offered as an olive branch to the indie retailers in CD or LP form...a month long iTunes advantage will have every store but Apple's up in arms. The lesson to be learned, the game of exlusives is a dangerous one.
7) Rob Dickinson of Catherine Wheel fame playing solo with just a guitar and a raspy tired voice (that's what happens when you make an artist play when the sun is still out and they are still recovering from the late night before) sounds unbelievably like early Bevis Frond. Sadly when I asked Rob if he knew Bevis Frond at all, he knew the name but not the music. I promised him that it was a compliment, which to me it really is.
8) Ugly people seriously don't make music anymore. Where have all the ugly rockers gone? Oh right.....metal.
9) Vinyl is the new Mp3
10) This video clip about VP Records (found below) was my favorite visual of the week.
June 13, 2008
This band makes oddball black metal who also happen to have a logo with a skinhead pirate vibe.
Hot. I mean Arrgghhhh.
June 12, 2008
Last Night I:
A) Had the singer of Sugar RayMark McGrath apologize after playing a spontaneous show at a tiny work party we had last night above the Roxy. He was certain they weren't my type of music. He then tried to guess that maybe I prefered Interpol or Fall Out Boy where I had to reply honey if I wanted to listen to Joy Division I would and I don't like bands who wear more eyeliner than me. Mark proceeded to insist we were meant to carry on this conversation over dinner and wine when luckily my boss who had introduced us in the first place stepped in and ushered me away to the next work event down the street.
B) Met with Elliott Yamin who sang a few songs at another private work party. He had recently lost his mother and buried her in a part of Richmond called Church Hill. Being from Richmond it was a strange moment to meet this complete stranger famous to the world (but I have never watched American Ido so I can't say it was any different than meeting anyone else new) and know I was probably the only one in the room could visualize the exact location of such a sobering experience for him.
C) Watch Everlast of House of Pain play a short set at the same private party. Who knew that guy still was around no less working on a new record?
D) All of the above.
The answer is D
June 11, 2008
I am still in L.A. for work and already absolutely brain dead from 14 hours of presentations, meetings, and artist performances. One day down with two more to go! I wish I had the energy to post at 3:30 AM East Coast time but alas I do not. My head is in information overload mode point I have one stray factoid to share that I was unaware of until today.
The Kiss logo which usually features the lightning bolt looking double "S" is banned in Germany to this day because the "ss" is a little too close to the the Nazi Waffen-SS logo. Keeping this in mind, the band...IE their label and marketing people, have to modify their famous font when they release albums or tour in that country.
I've never been much of a Kiss fan so this could be a stupid super obvious piece of trivia to most people but I had never heard it confirmed from an official source until now.
PS: Shopping at Amoeba tonight was a kick as I ended up shopping next to Hank AKA Henry Rollins three different times.
June 9, 2008
The surprise for me came at the end the article - Jello's celebrating his 50th birthday. I only saw the Dead Kennedys once in 1986 - relatively late in their career. Nonetheless, when I think of punk rock, I still think of a guy with one green latex glove.
June 8, 2008
This list is me checking back in half way through the year and examining what has lasted the span of these six months as a keeper, what has made it to my donation pile, and what I still can't stop listening to.
This won't be an exact list as I have music scattered all over my apartment. I am sure to have forgotten / misplaced several 2008 records so consider this a close but not totally perfect reflection of newbie records and how they have held up (or not) through the year thus far post my original review.
These are the CDs I haven't haven't listened to again months IE won't make my end of year top 10 and I haven't decided if I will hold onto:
Glorytellers - S/T - Southern Records
Silje Nes - Ames Room - Fat Cat Records
Kate Nash - Made of Bricks - Geffen (didn't review but liked okay)
VA - Bippp - Everloving Inc.
Lykke Li - Novels - LL Recordings
VA - Papagayo - Toytown Recordings
Tapes 'N Tapes - Walk it Off - XL
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra...-13 Blues For Thirteen Moons - Constellation
VA - Messthetics - Hyped to Death
Monade - Monstre Cosmic - Too Pure
Le Loup - The Throne of ... - Hardly Art
Pram - The Moving Frontier - Domino
Clinic - Do It ! - Domino
School of Language - Sea From Shore - Thrill Jockey
Jane Weaver - Cherlokalate - B-Music
Evangelista - Hello, Voyager - Constellation
In the donation pile:
Thao with the Get Down Stay Down - We Brave Bee Stings and All - Kill Rock Stars
Ladytron - Velocifero - Sinnamon Records
Roots - Rising Down - Def Jam
The Last of the Shadow Puppets - The Age of the Understatement - Domino (review coming soon)
Helio Sequence - Keep Your Eyes Ahead - Sub Pop
M83 - Saturdays = Youth - Mute
El Guincho - Alegranze - Discoteca Océano
The Kills - Midnight Boom - Domino
Sun Kil Moon - April - Caldo Verde
The Teenagers - Reality Check - XL
Times New Viking - Rip it Off - Matador
Cat Power - Jukebox- Matador
The list of records I am a still going steady with is coming up in a few days. I am off to LA for work all week so if any of you fellow Lightning's Girl bloggers feel like stepping up to the plate, please do!
What I have learned from the above lists - Domino and I are having relationship issues.
June 5, 2008
Title - Velocifero
Hometown - UK
Label - Sinnamon Records
Street Date - Out Now
RIYL - Goldfrapp, Bulgaria (2 songs are song in Bulgarian - Mira's native tongue) T Rex in the disco, why oh why won't electro-clash die?, "You're So Vain" with glow sticks,
The Hits - Season of Illusions, Tomorrow
Richter Magnitude Scale - Moderate
I hope you really like the song "Mad World" by Tears for Fears because you basically will hear 13 versions of it remixed on Velocifero. "Mad World" is a great song so in way this is a backhanded compliment but not exactly what I would call this the best record of the year either.
June 3, 2008
*Drinking before the age of 21 is the only rebellious/naughty thing I did as a teen but I look at my punishment to be the fact that we mostly drank awful bottom of the barrel crap that was more water than anything else. Kids - don't try this at home, wait until you are old enough to afford good beer!