March 1, 2015

Keeping Me Sane

Cold. Snow. Ice. Limited hours of sunlight. Here are the things keeping me sane and happy to be indoors these days.

Trash Kit - Confidence - Upset the Rhythm - My favorite record of 2015 thus far (even though technically it was released on 12/31/14). They are a post-punk all girl trio from London with gang vocals and shades of Afro-pop. RIYL: Delta 5, Raincoats, Slits, and Lizzy Mercier Descloux

Kim Gordon - Girl in a Band Memoir (book) - Well written and insightful, it is a treat to be given such a personal look into the private life of one of Rock's most respected women in music. Don't let the press snippets fool you though, while there are some juicy, unkind words about people like Courtney Love or Billy Corgan, there is more time dedicated to the fishing trips of her youth as there is the year that punk broke or any one of the many Sonic Youth line ups. Kim has crossed paths with so many interesting people both in and out of music that it only furthers my belief that she is truly the definition of kool.

Dengue Fever - The Deepest Lake - Tuk Tuk  Spooky! Exotic! Surfey! Far Out! This record unfolds like a psychedelic Cambodian Rock movie soundtrack that brings gives us an idea of what the B-52's and The Cramps would sound like if stranded on Forbidden Island.

Os Brazoes - S/T - Mr. BongoSO GOOD! - Os Brazoes were a short-lived combo from Brazil’s tropicalia era best known for their temporary role as Gal Costa’s backing band. Their one and only album, released in 1969 is now a fully a licensed reissue through Mr. Bongo. YAY! Most of the songs here are covers (favorites being Tom Ze & Jorge Ben) and would appeal to any Os Mutantes / groovy, acid soaked psych fan. This record typically goes for crazy money (over $200) so I am happy to have this record be affordable and obtainable to the masses.

Finding Vivian Maier - documentary film - How could I not love a story filled with mystery and intrigue based around a nanny who as it turns out, took decades of stunning street photography that rivals some of the most well known of that genre but nobody knew it until her storage place was auctioned off. 

Menace Beach - Ratworld - Memphis Industries - Massive media attention or a major buzz is such a crap shoot. It doesn't seem to have a lot to do with talent, just timing, touring, and maybe a big budget for PR. Menace Beach is as good as Speedy Ortiz, Pity Sex, or Swearin' (all bands I like) but for whatever reason, this U.K. two-piece band remains off the radar. Highly recommended for those who love noisy pop from The Breeders to Weezer.

Favorite Local Beers: 
Earl Grey Brown Ale - Ardent 
Bourbon Barrel Aged Scotchtown - Center of the Universe 

Music I have listened to but didn't love enough to go into detail about : A Place to Bury Strangers - Transfixation, Juliana Hatfield  - Whatever My Love (ugh, the lyrics), Alan Watts - This is It (more like a drum circle field recording), Jose Gonzalez - Vestiges & Claws, Grooms - Comb the Feelings, Kate Pierson - Guitars and Microphones (not bad but not GREAT - her voice sounds spot on though.) Lorelle Meets the Obsolete - On Welfare (debut that isn't nearly as great as their newish album)