Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hall & Oates - Voices (1980)

A recent comment on this blog called me a cross between SR Prozak & an effeminate hipster, which is really cool to me. Also, according to people who I know, "hipsters" are really into Hall & Oates these days. If this is true, this is the greatest thing that hipsters have ever done, because Hall & Oates are the epitome of genius.

This is Hall & Oates's best record, and this is their most "rock" record. Some of this kind of sounds like Buzzcocks and I also hear quite a bit of the power pop of the 70s creeping into these songs. Either way, choruses are super catchy, but the verses and pre-choruses of these songs often offer the most interesting twists, regularly catching me off guard with wildly unexpected melodic phrasing. Check out the aggressively successful hit single "Kiss on my List" for a perfect example. That pre-chorus, man. That pre-chorus makes me want to become a better person.

In a cool "connect the dots" moment, one can see how the chords at the beginning of "Hard to be in Love with You" became "Out of Touch" a few years later. You've gotta lotta nerve, Daryl Hall. (got-ta lot-ta)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Shape of Chicago Rock to Come

Merlin Wall is a band about a medical student fantasizing about death via the music of Hall & Oates, Prince and a whole bunch of obscure power pop bands that I've never heard of. Hopefully, Pitchfork gets wise to this freaky dreamy pop music, then some Heaven's Gate type ish goes down.

Pagan Youth is a band where I steal ideas from artists such as The Zombies, Motown and Hall & Oates while Brandon just wails on the bass guitar. We are more into self-improvement projects than cosmic suicide cults, but really anything that involves the destruction of civilization is cool.


Pink Torpedo is a freaky zeeky psych band with a free demo featuring Pagan Donahue on drums.

Spells are what it sounds like to be a ghost.

"On 1/29, Pagan Youth, The Merlin Wall & Spells will be performing live music at Pancho's in Logan Square due to increasing entropy in the universe. Please join me in attendance." -Douglas Pearce aka Douglas P

Monday, December 6, 2010

Don Cherry - Mu (1969)

Various jazz musicians such as Don Cherry and Ed Blackwell just absolutely freak out on this freak show. Cherry is wailing on that trumpet and that piano while Ed Blackwell switches between legit player nonsense and subdued polyrhythmic games. This whole album reminds me of Sun Ra, in that it's really fucking weird, but in a way that seems like it probably makes perfect sense to someone. However, that someone is not me. I am but a mere white man who cannot jump.

This rip is divided up into several tracks, which is nice because having 40 minutes songs is annoying.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Egyptian Lover - On the Nile (1984)

My friend Bria found this video of cool guys dancing to The Egyptian Lover's "My House (On the Nile)":

She asked me to find the song for her, and, rather than deal with the hell of social interaction, I decided to post the full album on my blog rather than meeting up with her or even sending her an e-mail. In the past, I've expressed love for the bizarre effects and minimalist song structures of 80s electro & hip-hop; The Egyptian Lover is the Holy Grail of this sound. These songs are slow and slightly unsettling, much like The Egyptian Lover's rapping. He whispers about sex with an unnerving tenacity, and this is something that I can really relate to. Why don't you come over to my house? Why don't you come over to my house? Brett Favre could use some lessons from this guy.

And man I can't believe how materialistic and shallow hip-hop is nowadays. I wish things would go back to how they were in the 80s when hip-hop actually had meaning and substance.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vader - Necrolust Demo (1989)

I went to go see Immolation and Vader a few days ago, and the metal was quite true. Immolation is one of my favorite bands of all time, but I was surprisingly impressed with Vader. If you were to ask my opinion about Vader, I would say something along the lines of "yeah the demos were good, everything else is kind of boring." That's just the kind of elitist that I am. I'm gonna have to reevaluate this opinion, though, because I really liked almost every song they played.

That said, here is Vader's Necrolust demo, which exists in that late 80s extreme metal stew that I'm so obsessed with. This is really, really fast thrash metal with stupid production. I'm almost reminded of Massacra in the way that these hyper-speed riffs flirt with major tonalities and smoothly metamorphose into new themes. I have a fetish for this stuff.

*link removed*

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sonny Rollins - Newk's Time (1957)

I have a hard time associating heroin with the super vibrant godhead improvisational genius of all of those bop dudes. Instead, all I can think of is a few stressful experiences with addicts in high school and the muck and filth of Trainspotting. This record seems to be just outside of the Rollins canon, but for anyone interested in this period of this man's genius, it is essential. Rollins is famous for the way that he uses rhythm in his solos, and many of the statements that he makes here work almost entirely because of the rhythm. Although capable of the type of rapid, melodic flurries the term "hard bop" calls to mind, Rollins's most memorable moments come when he introduces a catchy rhythmic line, then plays within the framework he establishes for himself. This one goes out to all my bloggers with token appreciation of "various jazz musicians."

*link removed*

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sergei Prokofiev - Piano Sonata No. 6 (1940)

I've had a three disc Prokofiev piano sonatas collection riding in my car with me for a few months now, and it is a beautiful, beautiful thing. See, driving for me is unavoidably stressful. I'm a guy who is pretty turned off to the world around me, but something about driving in a car flips every "fight or flight" switch in me and it is awful. Now, normally, I don't even understand what people are talking about when they discuss things like "being in the mood" for a specific song or "I can only listen to that when I'm in a certain mood." The fuck? It's just music, you emotionally obsessive twat. Anyway, this Prokofiev stuff is really engaging and beautiful and it turns a truly hellish experience for me into something that I really don't even mind at all. So, when I am driving, I am "in the mood" for Prokofiev.

This sonata starts with some fucking heavy piano riffing, the idea behind which I plan on ripping off for a Like Rats song sometime soon. You heard it here first. This piece is also unbelievably melodically rich with dissonant, rapidfire statements that somehow still make intuitive sense and are completely engaging. Transcend your boring, stressful reality with Prokofiev's melodic mindfuck piano experience number six.


*I started reviewing new metal releases every week for ALARM. Here's a thing I wrote on the new Autopsy, which is really good.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Like Rats - Like Rats (2010)

So the new Like Rats record, released by Cosmic Debris Records,is available for order or download over at You can have the mp3s for free and just pretend that everything is working normally on this blog or you can internet us a few dollars and we will mailbox you a physical vinyl record with cool artwork featuring a photo by Noel Rod0-Vankeulen (one of Shea's photo buddies) and Regan did the layout and he has a gold record hanging prominently in his apt because he did the layout for Lupe Fiasco. I'm really happy with how this turned out, so join me in jubilation. This is more of that Celtic Frost worship, with some steps taken towards a more proto-death metal sound. Andy will record your band and do a really good job at Bricktop Recording in Chicago, so get into that. Love is love, everything is love, please like my band, one what? One love.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Buzzcocks - Singles Going Steady

My rock band aka Pagan Youth aka Pagan Diaper is playing a Halloween show as the Buzzcocks, because the fucking Buzzcocks are one of my biggest songwriting influences. I'm doing double-duty with Like Rats is playing as Black Flag, so be on the lookout.

As a young youth*, I remember checking out the Buzzcocks and being sorely disappointed because they weren't that punk, you know? I was into The Broadways & Rancid & NOFX & assorted skacore bands and had started to dig into The Clash & The Ramones. I thought the Buzzcocks were stupid, but I was actually the one who was stupid. Why can't I ever do anything right please help meeeeeee.

Anyway, these are extremely, phenomenally catchy pop songs played with just a little bit of punk edge. What I care about are the little melodic tricks that elevate these hooks to transcendental status. The key change in the hook of "Ever Fallen in Love..." is the most obvious example, as is the major to minor chord change in "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" (total Beach Boys rip on that vocal melody; not just cuz it's falsetto although that makes it more obvious; I know because I also ripped off "Keep an Eye on Summer") as is the sharp five going into the chorus in "I Don't Mind." Another band known to always be doing cool stuff like that is THE BEATLES. So tite.

*link removed*

*First time I've ever seen this video. Weird.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dream Death - Journey Into Mystery (1987)

As you should know by now, Celtic Frost is my goddamn favorite band. This is a nice slab of Celtic Frost worship, complete with extended, chromatic doom passages, and lightning fast sliding power chords over d-beats.

This is a weird record that doesn't quite sound like anything else that I'm aware of from this time. It's quite a bit slower than other emerging death metal bands, and it mostly avoids the bluesy shuffles and overt Sabbath worship of other doom bands (except for the extended shuffle solo section in "The Elder Race"). The rhythmic emphasis typically lies on the beat, giving it a very methodical, plodding feel. If you are a frown-lover, this album will give you plenty of opportunity to frown. The drum performance is also impressive, which is important for a band with so much space in their songs.

Dan Polak, you know about this record, right? Because if you don't, I think it will be your favorite thing.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Alkaline Trio - Alkaline Trio (2000)

Just got back from a stint on the fucking Warped Tour defending pop punk with my doggs in This Time Next Year. Surreal and exhausting experience as a whole. I grew as a person a bit, and also delved into modernist fiction. As such, here is a Warped Tour related post. I made an effort to watch Alkaline Trio as many times as I could because they didn't always play the same setlist, and they were one of my favorite bands growing up in the post-Slapstick Chicago punk scene. My life was made up of teenage depression and shows at the Fireside & The Metro featuring The Lawrence Arms, The Honor System & Alkaline Trio. I don't think I ever saw Tuesday, though.

Anyway, this is a fantastic collection of raw pop punk songs where dudes obviously like The Misfits. Skiba always fakes the chorus the first time through, either by singing it an octave low or doing it instrumental or by skipping it altogether. Also, resolving a sixth up a half step to a power chord on the tonic is super common. Kind of a black metal sound, which is interesting because I had a brief conversation with Skiba about black metal and his Until the Light Takes Us shirt. I wonder if his interest in this musical subculture came before or after he wrote these songs.

Remember that I got into US Maple because of the lyrics to "Goodbye Forever." When a man says ow...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Death Strike - Fuckin Death (1985)

It should be obvious by now that I am a fan of primitive things. The absence of technicality reduces songs to an intuitive experience. "Does this work or not?" Although it is risky to strip things so bare, there is also potential for greatness in doing so. When it works, it really works. This is the zen meditation of proto-death metal. Let all riffs drift away until you're only left with power chords and Discharge-style drums. Acknowledge other thoughts, but let them pass into the abyss.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Farid al-Atrash - Compilation

So, I don't know anything about Farid al-Atrash or about Arabian music in general, but this was left at my old apartment by the previous tenants, and it is fucking amazing. I'll post a few more things like this once I figure out how to rip a tape and once I find a computer that can read tricky CDs ("Big Pimpin" content forthcoming).

Monday, July 12, 2010

Negative Approach - Total Recall

Another issue of Jettison Quarterly has hit the internet. Once again, I've written about cool records, and I also did an interview with former Punk Planet editor and current Cell Stories mastermind Dan Sinker. Check it out, ya dingus. Here's one of my reviews from a previous issue of Jettison.

Negative Approach is possibly the most pissed band I’ve ever heard. This is the musical tradition of The Stooges passed to the next decade: your lizard brain screaming disillusionment with civilization. What separates Negative Approach from other hardcore bands of the early 80s (besides their palpable ferocity) is their effective use of mid-paced rhythms and recursive phrases. Riffs morph sinuously from verse to chorus, referring back while always driving forward into crashing bursts of rhythmic intensity. While most of these songs ostensibly lack dynamics, tension and release are achieved through a manipulation of structure and managing expectations of how a phrase will terminate. As long as humans are crammed together in cities and neurotransmitters are thrown out of balance, this music will be relevant.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

DJ D-Man & Billy Boy - Dooky Boody (1995)

My friend Bria recently asked me to help her track down the songs on this list. I was surprised about the lack of availability of most of this material via my usual internet piracy waters, and I had to resort to old-ass tricks to dig most of it up. This inspired me to post this dang ol Dooky Boody so that someone who is looking for it can find it and discover pleasure in their lives.

"She got a big ol dooky boody" is one of my favorite vocal hooks to come out of my home city, and that paired with the "duh doo doo dun dun dun" melody is a real tapeworm for your ears' dookie booties. The production on this track isn't really that cool since it's mostly just a Percolator sampler, but I don't even care at all because the only thing I can think of is a nice .7 waist-to-hip ratio. Although maybe a "Dooky Boody" is more like a .15 or something. Check Urban Dictionary.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

September - Dancing Shoes (2007)

My Kylie Minogue post got taken down, so, here's this September record to fill the void.* This is really along the same lines: disco dance pop that bangs it from top to bottom. Bang bang bang. You probably remember "Cry For You" from the radio a few years ago. "Just Dance" was popular around the same time, and these two compositions are eternally linked for me as "songs where I like the pre-chorus more than the chorus."

The melodies on this record tread the epic dance pop path, but defy expectations just enough. The beginning of the chorus of "Can't Get Over" bites a well-known pop song that I can't quite get off the tip of my brain right now,** but the second part of the phrase takes an epic twist that really gets the endorphins flowing. The real strength of this album is its focus, though. The tempos stay up, and there aren't tons of syrupy bullshit ballads buffering the singles.

Also, I was listening to mainstream urban radio today, and they transitioned from Mobb Deep "Quiet Storm" into some fucking stupid-ass Black Eyed Peas song, and it was unbearably jarring. Evan Parker into September is my blogger tribute to this upsetting transition.


*Just kidding, nothing can fill the void.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Evan Parker - Monoceros (1978)

When dealing with experimental, modern, atonal, etc. music there is a key component that separates the listenable from the unlistenable. Evan Parker certainly has this intuitive ear for melody amidst his aggressive free improvisation on the soprano sax. For fans of US Maple, Cecil Taylor, & Leo Ornstein.

This flurry of notes and changing registers is what I imagine social interactions to sound like to an autist.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Guest Mix Volume 13 - Helm

If you care about the cool internet blogosphere music community people, you will recognize Helm for his insightful commentary and his deep dedication to heavy metal. He is also a brutally talented artist (see the illustration above), and his work is visible on his blog ASides-BSides. This mix features some awesome weirdo "techno thrash" bands, as well as one of the coolest bands that I've heard in awhile, Socrates Drank the Conium. Once again, my guest poster wrote a lot, so I will shut up.

Hello. I am Helm from Asides-Bsides. I listen to a lot of Heavy Metal and sometimes write about it. Todd Nief of Primitive Future asked me to do just that for you so here's a mixtape and some notes on the songs below.

Waking up today was strange. I suffered from peculiar post-apocalyptic 'digital life' nightmares that I couldn't awaken from. Lots of shit went down but dreams being what they are, most of it is hazy now. All I remember is at the end of the dream I was too afraid to unplug myself from a grotesque body-horror life-support mechanism in fear of not so much death than being 'offline from the world'. Does that sound familiar?

I finally broke the dream paralysis by screaming at the top of my lungs - in the dream, in reality I barely coughed waking up. So, I take a look around in the room and see two monitors staring at me, an abundance of cables lining the floor, felt really weird. Of course I ran to the internet first thing. This playlist was assembled to put my foul mood to some proactive use, plus give me something to do until I felt better. Listening to the full thing seems to have helped, so there you go, self-medicating for information globalism with the Heaviest of Metals.

01 - Shadow of the Beast - Intro

This is a remix of an old Amiga game's intro music, called Shadow of the Beast. I put it on until I could figure out the first few tracks of the playlist but heh, it sorta fits the mood so at the end I left it in.

Here's the intro image from the game. The original tracker music is by Dave Whittaker, if you're interested. I love the synthetic flute, very melancholic.

02 - Obliveon - Cybervoid

This pretty much captures the emotions the dream conjured. Obliveon were a lesser known Canadian thrash outfit obviously influenced in thematics and sound by Voivod. They put out 'Cybervoid' in 1996. They remind somewhat of Meshuggah but I find their compositions to be more succinct and less abstract, hence more enjoyable. The interesting quality of this song is that the lyrics are hilarious on their own,

"Face the void, prepare for the fight
Victimized by cruel megabytes

but along with the music the end result is effective. Or perhaps it just did for me because of the dream paralysis.

03 - Protector - Nothing Has Changed

Well, this is a downer. Look at these guys,

They're German, they play thrash. Expecting Kreator-cloning or something, right? Well, yes although for my money Protector are more savage and visceral than Kreator (no kidding, check out their EP 'Leviathan's Desire'). But on this song we get one of the more depressing doom songs from a thrash band the are.

"The buildings are made of gold
The sun shines bright
Out of a blue, a clear blue sky
The streets are clean
The people laugh
The animals are free
No hate, no one cries
No more distrust
No more disgust
And no more war
Peace forevermore

No industry pollutes the water
The sea is filled with movement and life
The governments scrap all their useless weapons
They are not bribable any longer
Everyone is happy
No more pain

But suddenly it's fading away
I wake up it's 12 o'clock
And I realize, nothing has changed. "

I don't know, it's not just the lyrics. That monophonic guitar tone is murky as hell, the sharp harmonized solo on top punctuates the sentiment. The chant at the end "nothing has changed, nothing has changed" underlined by throaty screams of each word on its own. There's proper doom metal bands that have tried for records to achieve what this oddity in a thrash band's catalogue manages excellently. But where to go from here?

04 Osiris - Futurity (Something to Think About)

Oh, that's right, techno-thrash.

Not only this cover is exactly how I felt this morning, the music also captures a specific metal zeitgeist very successfully. We're back at 1991 here, thrash is trying to grow up, touches on existentialist concerns, the scope is modernist, so on. Here's some interestingly dated lyrics to go with it:

"Gazing into my crystal ball
It never seemed so dark before
The world is lost and lonely
Year 2011, twenty years from now
Will there be earth, will there be people?"

We'll see soon, Osiris.

Actually to be more precise Osiris are a bit late to the modernist techno-thrash/progressive metal party. The height of this genre's potency was circa 1989-90. When the Soviet Union collapsed, signaling the end of the cold war, a lot of this paranoiac techno-thrash (and lots of metal in general) lost its raison d'etre. But for all we know Osiris were perfecting these songs for a couple of years before the record was released. Anyway, I'll write about techno-thrash in detail in some future post, somewhere.

05 - Abstrakt Algebra - Shadowplay

Speaking of direction-less '90s metal, here's a pleasant upset: Candlemass founder Leif Edling puts out a post-metal record in 1995 and it's great! The cover's worth looking at too, (especially if you fold it out). Back when this came out I didn't know what to make of it, I were as confused about the future of metal as everybody else. Romantic doom/death had happened, Black metal had happened, nothing new and as diligently romantic (as is the essence of metal) seemed to be ready to emerge so almost all of us pursued the precarious poisons of post-modernity... perhaps this was the future, you know?

Well, it wasn't, but there's a lot of '90s artifacts worth interest nonetheless. Looking back now it's easier to appreciate them because they're benign growths on the strange tree of Heavy Metal, but back then the possibility of them being wicked stems of the new was slightly more worrying.

"Taciturned teasers with tattooed tears
A play of shadows they give
A blindfolded sojourn from Shakespeare to Marx
Directions vague and obscene

06 - Deathrow - Machinery

This is the absolute flagbearer of what is sometimes called techno-thrash (or less aptly, 'progressive thrash' or 'technical thrash' though my distinctions and reasoning on this will have to wait for a future playlist/essay). Germany, 1988, let's look at the lyrics.

"I am walking through the streets of my old town
Looking back on the days of my youth
There are factories in the fields where we used to play
Clouds of smoke hang in the sky and block out the sun

God bless this house, the car and the TV
Show us our idols in magazines
They build us prisons without any walls
Money rules we can't resist

Snakes of commercial TV
Decoy with their apples
False priests spit out their lies
Because God sells
If we don't pull ourselves out of this mud
Our children will have to pay for our sins

God bless this house, the car and the TV
Show us our idols in magazines
They build us prisons without any walls
Money rules we can't resist
We're just wheels in a great machinery"

I'm 26 years old, I was a little baby person back at 1988 but I remember having nightmares about nuclear bombs raining down on Europe just the same. It's kind of difficult to communicate why the combination of this austere music with that type of grounded social angst is so effective. If you haven't lived in a lesser country under the influence of the world's superpowers during a critical time such as the cold war it all probably sounds kind of funny to you. "Supermarkets sell us their shit, lol, supermarkets are our friends" you might be thinking and for all I know you might be correct. Anyway, Deathrow strike a nerve for me at least. For some synaesthetic understanding, listen at the end of the song how the lead melody tries futilely to escape the grinding gears of the rhythm guitars and drums. Listen how at the end the lockstep is absolutely suffocating.

07 - Socrates Drank the Conium - Breakdown

Well this is from 1973, Greece. I absolutely adore the record it belongs in. The lyric is pretty self-explanatory, but listen how the constant double guitar licks augment the already hectic 7/8 rhythm. "Too much smoke, too many people. Gotta get away, riding on the highway. Endless breakdown. Heavy Breakdown". Extremely effective piece, doesn't even need a Cold War to give it weight. I tend to view the 'On the Wings' record as an early precursor to stuff Psychotic Waltz would be doing 15 years later.

08 - Moahni Moahna - Tales of Xet Sof

My computer crashed while I was making the playlist so now you get the appropriate song to express this frustration. Here's the transcribed lyric,

"You only need to press this key, they said
So he did too bad, so sad, they gave him hell

Destructive instructions are easy to make
They are not constructive
Illusions, confusions breaking him down

What's the point in reading this book
Where's the one I trusted, he must die
Because he lied

Nothing happened whatsoever
Days were wasted, time was tight
Book of wisdom, none too clever
It's so wrong, but oh, so right

What's the point of reading this book

*customer support voice says something inaudible on right speaker*

Now he is older, trapped in a book
And he belongs there"

As you might have realized this is an epic Rainbow-esque song about Soft - Ware troubleshooting, a badly formatted manual, lying tech support and the inevitable fate of anyone who dabbles in computer science. Moahni Moahna are a band almost nobody knows about but they're hilarious and it's a shame. Radio's to blame.

09 - Psycho Symphony - Silent Fall

Well I wouldn't like to go into detail about how this Psycho Symphony song works because it's a headache and a half just listening to it, much less trying to scrutinize its various parts. I'll just say that it captures the emotion of feeling trapped in a dream, for me. All these unresolved melodies mirror the wild changes of pace and location in dreams and the foggy spatiality in them too. It takes real songcrafting skill to have phrases that are so everywhere and still hold it together and convey subtle emotions like Psycho Symphony do.

10 - Paralysis - Arctic Sleep

And this techno-thrash band from the Netherlands ties the whole thing off leaving us exactly where we started. Only now, much wiser.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Verlaines - Juvenilia (1987)

I'm posting this record because I've been obsessed with the long phrase that makes up the verse of the first song. That chord progression relentlessly forces all of my hairs to stand on end. If I can ever write a pop song that has a similar melodic effect, I will just pee in my own pants all day because that is all that there is left to do.

This is a collection of The Verlaines early EPs, and is chock-full of that good, nice, wonderful & catchy white-guy rock. Those Flying Nun white guys were really cranking it out in the 80s. Get obsessively into it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lisa Gerrard - The Mirror Pool (1995)

All of my readers should already have all of Dead Can Dance's releases, so here's Lisa Gerrard's first solo album which really just sounds like another Dead Can Dance Record. My recent musical exploration has taken me to look into solo works of artists that I like (Paul Westerberg, Bob Mould, Brendan Perry, Lisa Gerrard, Sisqo, etc).

The melodic possibilities of harmonic minor and its modes are explored in fascinating detail here. The songs are less "song-like" than a lot of Dead Can Dance material and function more as melodic adventures over droning backgrounds. I wonder how much of this is improvised, and I wonder how many cues Lisa took from Kind of Blue and how many she took from Indian classical music. That said, shit still sounds medieval as fuck, so blast this Lisa Gerrard album and this youtube video simultaneously and enjoy the best that life has to offer.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Demigod - The Slumber of Sullen Eyes (1992)

What makes this Scandinavian death metal release special is the darkness & murkiness that it shares with bands like Incantation & Immolation. Some of the melodic leads tend in a direction typical of Swedish death metal, but the dirges and mid-paced parts weigh the atmosphere down. For a perfect example of what I'm talking about, consider about four minutes into "Embrace the Darkness/Blood of the Punished." There is a nice melodic lead over a weird0 wobbly super low frownfest riff; love this juxtaposition of different sides of the death metal spectrum.

Demigod are willing to let a riff ride, which is a very admirable trait when riffs are good. This restraint is particularly admirable amongst riff-happy death metal bands. Phrases are often longer than the standard two measure melodic arc, and slight variations in percussion give motion. What a good way to write songs. Man although the one riff on the record that makes me go insane every time I hear it (the thirds with the backbeat about halfway through the title track) gets shorted a bit. Dang!

In conclusion, this Finnish band makes me think of sinking into a swamp more than any NOLA sludge ever has. A bog flows from my mouth, a bog flows from my mouth, a bog flows from my mouth.

Guest Mix Volume 12 - Nick Donahue

Nick is really funny. Nick is good at drums. Nick loves music. We have long talks when I drop him off from band practice (we are in PAGAN YOUTH aka DIAPER together). Nick also plays in CANADIAN RIFLE and sometimes in CIVIC PROGRESS. This dude wrote a lot, so I'm only gonna write a little. You know what it is, load it down.

Hi, and welcome to Nix Mix. I put this together in the style of a CD sampler, the most enduring and provocative format for compiled music to date. If you like Wimbledon, please stick around. You're in for a treat! A lil' something about the music:

Some of these songs were prophetic at the time they were written. Consider the way Big Black's "Passing Complexion," from the 1986 album Atomizer, anticipated the way it would sound if the theme music for all twelve characters from Street Fighter II (a game released a full five years later) were layered and played simultaneously.

David Axelrod's 1970 album Earth Rot, where the selection here is from, is a lot like that song "God Hates the World" (adapted from the pre-Auto-Tune original version of the supergroup charity single "We Are the World") recorded by the Westboro Baptist Church a few years ago. It tries to get you squirmin' by making you feel like you're taking a bubble bath on a cloud, and then the cloud starts singing to you about how you're gonna die. The primary difference is that Axelrod's presumed god isn't the celestial embodiment of a far-right militia on a murderous rampage. Still, I think it could be played through massive, Jonestowny stereo equipment around the world and serve as the sonic nudge needed to make things feel really apocalyptic for half an hour.

Making a mix can be a mournful process. For instance, I'm crying right now. But seriously, folks...

I want to say something. Whether you're playing on clay, asphalt, grass, or carpet, inside or out, it remains true: there's nothing wrong with playing the game of life and ending up with "love." I hope these songs help you on that path. Game. Set. Match.

. Wipers - Taking Too Long
2. Skull Kontrol - Camouflage
3. Big Black - Passing Complexion
4. Minutemen - Paranoid Chant
5. Polvo - Feather of Forgiveness
6. The Rats - Defiance
7. Zomes - Petroglyphs
8. Louie Lasky - How You Want Your Rollin' Done
9. Willie Colon with Hector Lavoe - Que Lio
10. Ruby Andrews - You Made A Believer Out Of Me
11. Gal Costa - Cinema Olympia
12. Magazine - Cut-Out Shapes
13. David Axelrod - The Warning Talk (Part III)
14. Cold Sweat- Nightmare
15. The Fix - Cos The Elite
16. United Mutation - Final Solution
17. G.I.S.M. - ABC Weapons
18. Rudimentary Peni - Sonia
19. Born Against- Five Dollars An Hour
20. Condominium - Barricade
21. Billy Bao - Factory of Repression
22. Masta Ace, Inc. - Boom Bashin'
23. O.V. Wright - He's My Son (Just The Same)
24. Richard & Linda Thompson - The Calvary Cross
25. Geechie Wiley & Elvie Thomas - Last Kind Words Blues
26. The Breeders - Oh!


Monday, May 10, 2010

International Harvester - Sov Gott Rose-Marie (1969)

This record starts out with an ominous theme stated amongst bird songs. Unlike much of the psychedelia of this era, the myth of a flower-coated noble savage does not exist here. Similarly, progress and refinement are rejected, and the dark side of nature is embraced.

A droning version of song structure is applied throughout and creates a hypnotic effect. A theme is repeated until it reaches atmospheric saturation and it begins to tickle ritualistic impulses. These are rich melodies filled with just the right amount of whimsical trippiness to mold your imagination into a beautiful, Stravinskian pagan scene.

And don't think for a second that just because there's a clarinet on one of the tracks that this is useless music dressed up with surface level "interestingness." Bizarre instrumentation and sound effects supplement textures and structures perfectly capable of standing on their own.

I would hesitate to draw too solid of a line between this release and the Norwegian black metal scene of the early 90s, but I will say that Scandinavians writing droney, minimalistic music that lashes out against modern civilization is one of my favorite things.


This review originally appeared in Jettison Quarterly.

Monday, April 26, 2010

War Cry - Trilogy of Terror Demo (1983)

Metal celebrity Paul Speckmann's (of Master & Death Strike duh) early work. While his later bands recorded some of the best primitive riffing of all time, this is Sabbath worship at its finest. Chicago metal, represent represent.

Later doom bands can plod, but they are not this heavy because their songs are boring. Later stoner bands know the pentatonic scale, but that riff factory is about worn out. This demo deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Saint Vitus & Trouble.

Also, I'm a connoisseur of "ooh"s, and the one at the beginning of "Wicked Warlock" is fucking phenomenal. Nice and drawn out. It's also cool because it sounds like dude is pushing down on his floating bridge while chugging, so the pitch keeps wavering. Happy accident or genius subtle touch? Either way: WICKED WARLOCK! OOH!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus & Max Roach - Money Jungle (1962)

Recently, I've been making an effort to control the magnitude of the media consumption in my life by tying up loose ends. This means I've been finishing books, finishing series, and plowing through archives of unlistened-to music. I finished Twin Peaks & Ken Burns' Jazz in the last week. While that Ken Burns film is pretty annoying in a lot of ways, there is some excellent material in there, like this little gem which you may have seen if you are my friend on social networking behemoths Twitter & Facebook: When presented with the Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon, Ellington kissed Nixon four times. When the president asked why, Duke replied "one for each cheek."

Anyway, Money Jungle is an old favorite of mine. This recording is weird in a way that almost seems aggressive, but actually quickly settles into a feeling of "oh actually these guys are just way the fuck smarter than me." Listening to this thing is throwing off my internal equilibrium and I'm reeling around in my chair. Or maybe it's just weird allergy-related sinus pressure.

On the title track, Duke's piano trills and Mingus's bizarre bass slides and Roach's surprisingly hard-hitting drumming are legitimately unlike anything that I've ever heard. This is kind of like a Sun Ra record in that it exists entirely in its own musical paradigm. The theme to Wig Wise actually reminds me a lot of Thelonious Monk, with it's slightly off-kilter pacing and almost dissonant melody, with a playful-sounding resolution to the phrase.

I've been meaning to really dig into Duke's discography for awhile, and I'm gonna do that as soon as I've caught up on my "to listen to" folder. Life goals, man. Life goals.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Guest Mix Vol 11 - Lauren Lorendewski

Hey look here, my friend Nora Liebenbowski is a genius geologist, and is really into death metal and Klaus Nomi. The above picture is of her living the dream at the Tibetan Plateau this last summer, which is probably cooler than anything that you and I will ever do. Read Ms. Lunarovski's paper here in several months when it is published. And hey, I recently got into The Lemonheads because people said my band sounds like them. Anyway, this mix is awesome. DEAD! YOUR GOD IS DEAD! FOOLS! YOUR GOD IS DEAD!.

I spend about nine months of the year sitting at a desk in Michigan nerding about things like plateaus and mountains. The other three months I attempt to fulfill the destiny of a girl raised in the suburbs by traveling, hiking, etc. As fucking brutal as modeling plate tectonics is, I sometimes have trouble working in front of a computer when there are so so so many cool rocks for me play with outdoors.

My mix is composed of the songs that help me get through my infinite work days-the ones that after a 12 hour date with my computer I realize I have listened to on repeat 3045834503485 times, mostly because they remind me of gratifying experiences anywhere but my office in Michigan. Actually, every day I just listen to the entire Bat Out of Hell album on repeat, but I thought people who didn’t get it might become bored with a pure Meatloaf mix:


1. Talking Heads - This Must be the Place
2. Alkaline Trio - Nose Over Tail
3. Nick Drake - Place to Be
4. Screeching Weasel - I Wanna be a Homosexual
5. Descendents - Pervert
6. R Kelly - I'm a Flirt
7. The Smiths - Miserable Lie
8. The Temptations - Isn't She Pretty
9. Yo La Tengo - Center of Gravity
10. Billy Bragg - California Stars
11. Archers of Loaf - Fat
12. Lemonheads - Rockin Stroll
13. Morbid Angel - Chapel of Ghouls
14. New Order - The Village
15. The Wedding Present - All This and More
16. Bob Marley - Don't Ever Leave Me
17. Woob - Creek
18. The Misfits - Skulls
19. Gorguts - Obscura
20. Klaus Nomi - Cold Song


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Zombies - The Lost Album (1969)

"I'll Call You Mine" is my favorite Zombies song. "Walking in the Sun" is also up there. It sounds like some bossa nova ass shit with the mournful brass playing somber melodies. So beautiful. "I Could Spend the Day" is quite a bit bluesier & heavier than standard Zombies fare, which actually works out really well in this case. And a bit more grit in Colin Blunstone's breathy voice is a welcome addition, if only to hear what it sounds like.

There is also a cool hokey "live" track with weird applause after each vocal part. Reminds me of Type O Negative's Origin of the Feces.

Fuck, I think "I'll Call You Mine" might actually be my favorite song. So what you should do is listen to these songs and feel extreme envy for The Zombies' song-writing brilliance and also the tone of Colin Blunstone's voice. Then, you can feel a bit better about yourself because some of these tracks are really weak.

Note: It is my duty to recommend these videos on insulin resistance and metabolism. As someone who thinks about nutrition a lot, these have been impossibly valuable to me. So far I've watched twice to try to absorb everything, and I'll probably give another go 'round soon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Moondog - Moondog (1956)

As seems to happen, I don't know, just about four times a year, a new issue of Jettison Quarterly is freely available for your internet reading enjoyment. Once again, my opinions on music are featured, as are conversations with Cutis Mann, Cody Hudson and Carrie Schneider, director Ky Dickens, author Joe Meno, Andy Butler of Hercules and Love Affair, designer Ra’mon Lawrence, and Ron Banks of The Dramatics. In celebration of this historic release, here are my thoughts on a Moondog record that appeared in a Jettison Quarterly of yore.

This record is well known for its idiosyncratic use of found-sound animal noises and baby cries, and its almost haphazard blending of genres and styles. These elements are, of course, essential to the feel of these recordings, as well as an important chapter in the inimitable legend of Moondog (a blind street musician clad in self-made, Thor-inspired garb). However, framing a discussion of this album in terms of its quirks fails to properly explain that the actual songs and melodies here are completely spell-binding. These microsongs state an idea and fill it out with bizarre percussion and found sounds. There is no room here for narrative and structuring ideas; these pieces exist as only as melody, texture, and slithering percussion. Moondog isolates melancholy through stark piano and violin melodies, and adds bubbling primal instincts through rolling, syncopated percussive arrangements. Sounds of frogs and passing cars whisper deep, important secrets of the nature of men trapped in modern society, but looking for more than civilization can offer.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kylie Minogue - Fever (2002)

Flawless dance/disco record. Bangers and mash front to back (not a bad track on here). This thing has burned the disco in my head out over and over and over again. Maybe I will post a September record at some point too, hmmmm. Not much to say here other than get this immediately and fuck life-haters.

Who'd like a banger in the mouth.

*link removed*

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Guest Mix Volume 10 - Danny Polak

Yeah, we've got Danny Polak, a man of impeccable taste, serving up a nice heavy, full course guest mix for you today. He is in culinary school, so he really knows how to put it in the pot, and let it steam, let it brew. But for real, Dan has obsessive tendencies with anything that he likes. I admire his weirdo connoisseur of knowledge of cologne, porno, heavy music, and food....makes perfect sense for this dude to be a musician and a chef. Anyway, the above photo is from LEFT HAND PATH's last show with the Cro-Mags. Dan also plays drums for LIKE RATS and we pretty much rock. This write-up is really funny and insightful, and these songs are really heavy, so please enjoy.

I have a love/hate relationship with music. There are times where I look into songs trying to find this hidden code woven into space and time that may unlock all the answers to mysteries surrounding this very world and our lives. For a moment, these random notes and rhythms make the bad good, the mundane exciting, and the dead lively. It is one of the only constants in life that is always there for you. You can talk through it but not to it. It makes you a better listener. I love music for these reasons.

Then there are times where I feel like it owes me something. When I cannot find the answers I sometimes feel betrayed. I hate music for these reasons.

And god forbid I listen to the continuous bowel movement that is popular music. Not to say that all 'pop' music is a stinky turd, but most of it is. I just cannot identify with a bunch of alpha (or beta) losers moaning over cheating on someone or whatever subject matter that is not really important that you can put over a digital drum beat that makes your peepee tingle when grinding and possibly vomiting on some random stranger in the club or where ever the hell these made up creatures in my head go. Even though the last statement sounds glorious, it also makes me hate music (granted that I just made an unfair generalization, but so what?). I am territorial about the things I like. I see it as more than just a beat with auto tuned singing over it and I want people to comprehend that.

I guess I have spent so much time engulfed in this musical fantasy land that I have almost severed all my ties with reality. I cannot really say that I care because we all need an escape sometimes. Mine so happens to sing to me, how about you?

Some years ago I had received my last mix tape. A real life mix too. You know, recorded on to a blank tape via compact disc and record player? It was so full of life, living and breathing. Although I did not like 100% of the songs, I can say that I still listen to it and will never forget that time in my life.

This is my creation for you. I hope you like it and can appreciate these songs for what they are. Some speak to me and some can put me into a trance that blocks out anything that had been riding on my mind for a short while. They make me happy and full. I love music for that.

Oh, and now that I am thinking about it, maybe I take back those rude comments earlier. When you think about it, having a tingly peepee is a damn good thing, right?


- Your Friendly Neighborhood Dan

1. Trouble 'R.I.P'
2. Acrimony 'Million Year Summer'
3. Candlemass 'Under the Oak' (Tales of Creation version)
4. Failure 'Stuck On You'
5. Kiss 'Goin Blind'
6. Leaf Hound 'Freelance Fiend'
7. Plastic Bertrand 'Ca Plane Pour Moi'
8. Anathema 'Are You There?'
9. Uriah Heep 'Traveller in Time'
10. Norman Greenbaum 'Spirit in the Sky'
11. Ride 'Chelsea Girl'
12. Only Living Witness 'Voice of Disrepair'
13. Captain Beyond 'Raging River of Fear'
14. Herman's Hermits 'End of the World'
15. Mindrot 'Despair'


Monday, March 15, 2010

Antonio Carlos Jobim - Wave (1967)

This is music that my mom likes. About once a month, she talks to me about being interested in new music, but she mostly sticks to her Putumayo CDs. However, I've managed to get her a few bossa nova albums that she plays regularly, and that is something that I feel good about. This is the least I can do for this strong woman who I love.

Click on that *Brazil tag to see how I feel about the bossa nova melody. My god, that shit is so beautiful! Most of these tracks are instrumental, with the melodies carried by wind instruments or piano. I wish the guitars were mixed a little bit louder so I could better hear the chord voicings. Lots of ii-Vs; that minor seven chord really just speaks to me and only me. You could never understand. No one has ever felt like this before. Perfect for getting lost in feelings that are being had for the first time ever in the history of the human race.

The "bum bum" in Lamento is fucking great. I feel it vibrate down the entire length of my okapi tongue.

link removed

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nitzer Ebb - That Total Age (1987)

I've been in a phase recently, where, if the music I'm listening to doesn't flirt with questionable political ideologies or symbols (either as po-mo concept art or genuine interest in extremist politics), I'm not interested. Via my attempts fill the always-empty hole in my soul with music, I found this blog: I Am Surrounded By Incompetence (highly recommended reading). And, on this blog,I found this Nitzer Ebb record, which I have not been able to stop listening to. I urge everyone who maybe thought the KMFDM song on the Mortal Kombat soundtrack was cool to really get into this.

Nitzer Ebb uses minimalist structure to create a stark, bludgeoning songs that evoke images of feral humans warring in the streets of a failed industrial megalopolis. It's no surprise, then, that Detroit techno musicians such as Derrick May have acknowledged the influence of the ol' Nitzer.

Also, I really like dudes yelling in my ear about muscle and hate, because that is basically what my internal dialogue is saying to my all the time.


Huh good thing I've been looking into meditation recently.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Magnolia Slim - Dark Side (1995)

This Magnolia Slim aka Soulja Slim record starts with Method Man telling you he's gonna send your ass back to the dark side, which is awesome. This release fits loosely into the New Orleans bounce scene, which is beautifully documented over at Twankle & Glisten. However, as a big-brained ape like yourself might guess, this release tends a bit towards the darker side than any of the other stuff from New Orleans that I've heard. Actually, David Gilmour commissioned this recording after being inspired by "Dub Side of the Moon." Each of these songs is based upon a Pink Floyd lyric.

It has a bit of that eery, lo-fi feel that characterizes the stuff coming out a few miles north in Memphis. As is typical of these lo-fi recordings, vocals are muffled and the occasional double-tracking further pushes the voice into the "supplemental rhythmic instrument" category. Slim's delivery certainly has elements of the sing-song bounce style, as well as that peculiar, Thelonious-esque deviation from the beat. God I love that measured awkwardness. What matters though is that this has that stark, slightly melancholy feel that characterizes everything that I truly love. I want you to listen to this.

And hey, "The Dark Side" has the same sample as that Notorious BIG song. #RIPBIG And also #RIPSlim


Guest Mix Vol 9 Shelby Cobras (Illogical Contraption)

Yo, it's that time again, except this time it's time for Shelby from motherlicking Illogical Contraption. Actually, I'm really excited to listen to the Gun album that dudes posted yesterday. Should be tite. Also, don't forget that I contributed my own Guest Mix to IC a few weeks ago, and it ruled. Anyway, Shelby really came through on this one, by coming up with an awesome theme and awesome cover art and awesome tunes. Whatchu know bout Dead Horse?

What is it about heavy metal that appeals to the beast in man? Is it that metal channels our innate urge to fuck, fight, hunt, and kill, the animalistic instinct we all sunbconsciously suppress, unleashing it in spasms of cathartic chaos? Is it our long-dead craving to suckle blood from raw, still-living meat, our hunger to thunder across the open plain indulging every whim for death and bloodlust? Perhaps, but perhaps it is something far less complicated. Animals are awesome, and so is metal. Maybe it's just that simple.

Either way, I present you, the readers of Primitive Future, with this, my partial study on Animals In Metal. During its production, I found myself becoming nostalgic for the days of the 90 minute Maxell cassette compilation, an item as commonplace amongst my high school friends back in the day as a can of Hamm's or the standard issue pair of black Chucks. I always took pride in my ability to fit exactly 44-and-three-quarters minutes of music on each side of a mix tape back then, getting the maximum value out of each blank tape I purchased. So I did the same thing here. The compilation presented below clocks in at 89 minutes and 35 seconds, which I've overindulgently split up into Side A (44:49) and Side B (44:46).
Call me old fashioned, but it is my belief that a compilation tape should hold some sort of "flow" from song to song, carrying the same theme while still exploring the many flavors of music available to our spongy brain tissue. Because of this, I've renumbered the mp3 files on this mix accordingly, so that you can drop the whole unpacked .rar file into its own playlist and hear the songs in the same order the creator (me) intended. Not ALL of the music here is metal, but it doesn't need to be. We are diverse and many-hungered creatures.
Oh yeah: if you get a chance, stop by my blog Illogical Contraption some time. Newbies are always welcome. And an extra special thanks to Todd, proprietor and mastermind behind all things P-Future. This exercise in digital tape-trading was way more fun than it should have been.

Biological Specimens From The Museum of Living Metal

SIDE A (44:49)

1) Rainbow - Run With The Wolf
2) Red Fang - Prehistoric Dog
3) Lair of the Minotaur - Demon Serpent
4) Belphegor - Swarm of Rats
5) Sextrash - Night Pigs
6) The Who - Boris The Spider
7) Hideous - The Curse of the Killer Owl of Death From Hell
8) Cryptopsy - White Worms
9) Gut - My Goat Gets A Cold
10) The Frogs - I'm Sad The Goat Just Died Today
11) M.O.D. - Don't Feed The Bears
12) Pentagram - Livin' In A Ram's Head
13) Neurosis - United Sheep
14) Hail Mary - Beating A Dead Horse
15) Dystopia - Taste Your Own Medicine
16) Grief - Rhinoceros

SIDE B (44:46)

1) Accept - Fast As A Shark
2) Cretaceous - Fossilized
3) Men's Recovery Project - Problem?
4) Teen Cthulhu - Bloodhorse
5) Worst Case Scenario - Ignore The Pigs Outside
6) Thor - Catch A Tiger
7) Dead Horse - Piece of Veal
8) Anaal Nathrakh - The Technogoat
9) Saint Vitus - White Stallions
10) The Neighbors - Greedy Pigs
11) Septic Death - Crocodile Tears
12) King Crimson - Dinosaur
13) Deicide - Serpents of the Light
14) Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast

(Courtesy of the PF/IC Music Exchange Program, Feb. 2010)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pestilence - Malleus Maleficarum (1988)

Now usually I don't do this, but uh, I'm gonna post two metal albums in a row. Pestilence's Consuming Impulse has been on my internally moderated "favorite death metal albums" list for quite some time now, but, as much as I've liked Malleus Maleficarum in the past, it hasn't gotten the same number of plays. Recently, I've been completely obsessed with this record. Even despite it's absolutely godawful cover art! That is like the worst color green of all time!

Aesop posted something about not liking the transition between Slayer and Morbid Angel a little while ago over on Cosmic Hearse, but this is one of the stepping stones between thrash and death metal that is fucking gloriously excellent. There is an awful lot of palm-muting going on, and melodies have an awful lot of notes. At some level, I prefer the more distilled down, heavier material to come later, but there is something to be said for this fucking flurry. I can't even imagine recording the vocals on "Parricide." So many syllables.

Also, Pestilence use major thirds as a primary melodic vector, which is a sound that really grinds my goat off. (Megadeth and Merauder have also used this technique to great effect).


PS It's my birthday. Comment and make me happy, you fucking lurkers.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Morpheus Descends - Ritual of Infinity (1992)

Retardedly primitive and heavy death metal with that percussive New York sound. Linear, riff salad song structures that don't meander off into irrelevance like most current technical death metal bands. This is not a random collection of upbeats and pinch harmonics; these songs detail one path of a branched narrative.

Detuned power chord melodies swirl in sonic whirlpools before coalescing into an absolutely devastating riff that just completely blindsides you. See "Proclaimed Creator" for an example. This song gets my vote for having the most crushing death metal part ever recorded.

Also, the production is hilarious, and each kick drum hit does that weird volume swelling thing, which actually makes this a lot more primitive and heavy. Hey Andy, why does that happen again? Basically, I'm going to steal some of these ideas for Like Rats.

Monday, February 15, 2010

US Maple - Sang Phat Editor (1997)

Like many teenage punk rockers, I first heard of US Maple via a catchy Alkaline Trio song. At the time, I was probably 15 and I thought I was into "some really crazy stuff" like At the Drive-In. Cool, man. US Maple, however, bummed me the fuck out, and that rules. Bum outs rule.

Those weirdo Napster found files stuck around in my life for awhile until I was ready for them, and, since then, US Maple has been dear to my heart.

Anyway, with any sort of modernist, deconstructionist what-have-you, you often run into the problem of "cool idea, too bad I never want to listen to it." This is not a problem with US Maple. Their damaged, chopped in half rock riffs have just the right style of discordant melody for my ears. Is it weird to say that the intro to "Mountaintop" is one of the catchiest things I've heard?

Also, I came across this video documenting US Maple recording Acre Thrills. The most fascinating part is the sequences showing the vocal tracking, because dude meticulously plans out and notates how his voice should sound on each part. Fucking awesome.

Also, please note that I made a guest mix for top-notch internet destination ILLOGICAL CONTRAPTION. The theme is "THE FUTURE" and I spent some time making something that I'm proud of that tells a narrative about what might happen someday. Please enjoy this music HERE.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Guest Mix Volume 8 - Drew Brown

Drew is one of the best drummers I know. And apparently, he's also one of the best drummers that people who know more people than me know, as he has played drums for Owen (New Leaves live @ Beat Kitchen) and Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy (hey a Prince cover). Keep in mind that these are people who have a very wide selection of drummers available to them. Oh yeah and he plays bass in Weekend Nachos. That's Drew on the right if you have the will power to pull your eyes away from Caution's seductive leather vest.

Drew has a music taste that is very interesting and foreign to me, so I was really curious to see what he would come up with for a guest mix. I am almost completely incapable of predicting whether or not he will like something. Like, I think I'll have him figured out, and then he'll completely love Arab on Radar or something and my model fails. Although science may not have the right answers, at least it's asking the right questions....

It seems as though Fall has been the theme for all of these mixes.* In keeping with that, I figured I would just pull songs from my laptop's itunes that have been getting a good amount of plays as of late. There is no real rhyme or reason to the mix besides that they're all songs I've been listening to in the past month. Maybe you will like some of these songs, and if you don't...I don't care.


1. The American Analog Set - Punk as Fuck
2. Califone - Funeral Singers
3. Cass McCombs - You Saved My Life
4. Gameface - Gibberish
5. Japandroids - Sovereignty
6. Lali Puna - Faking the Books
7. Morrissey - Boxers
8. Owen - A Fever
9. Prince - Kiss
10. Red House Painters - Byrd Joel
11. Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime
12. Wilco - We're Just Friends


*Whoa, I guess Drew sent me this awhile ago. Well Drew, if you don't like it... I don't care.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Elza Soares - Elza Pede Passagem (1972)

Really squealy record with lots of nice vocal overtones. Some people have the genes that enable them to scrape their vocal chords together in completely insane ways, and Elza is one of those people. Her cornucopia overfloweth with squealy-ass overtones.

Did you guys remember that I had already posted one of her records? Did you remember this?

Anyway, this one is a bit more all over the place, although not quite entering into the tropicalia freakout zone that was existing in Brazil around the same time. There is some stuff going on here, though. The soaring chorus coupled with the sudden intro of those insane pipes in Maria Vai Com As Outras is really weird.

Tempos are a blur, which enable to Elza to say a lot of words really fast. Vocal melodies are loose, and vocals serve almost as an additional percussive instrument by augmenting the samba feel with a flurry of accents before switching into a surprisingly clear tone.

Track 7 is one of the most uplifting things of all time, so never have a bad day again.

(Sorry about the 128. Not really you're fine.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Skip Spence - Oar (1969)

There are a few records that exist entirely in their own universe. Although they can be placed in the context of some sort of musical movement, they are truly unique and offer an insight into the mind of an alien. Oar is one of these records. (I've talked about similar concepts in my discussions of Sun Ra's works.)

It's hard for me to write about this, as this music exists in a world completely outside of my own experiences. Listening to it turns me into a reality tourist briefly shedding my overanalytical science perception in favor of a much looser existence based upon floating in melting martian ice caps. Layered vocal tracks, open strings, and reverb create an emergent phenomena that absolutely must be experienced. Dangerous, damaging psychedelia that is orders of magnitude trippier than even the most fuzzed out of all guitar solos.

And I can't help but compare the vocals on "Diana" to US Maple. Oops. Oh and motherfucker was in Moby Grape too. Remember that shit from back in the day?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Marva Whitney - It's My Thing (1969)

I've already written about this record for trend-setting, paradigm-shattering web periodical Jettison Quarterly, but I really want to share it with my Primitive People. As such, here is the text that appeared in Jettison coupled with that mediafirewater.

James Brown not only had the luxury of being a complete godhead genius, he also had the luxury of being an astute talent scout, thus ensuring that he was always surrounded by the very best of the best. In this case, we’re talking about back-up singer Marva Whitney.

On this record, the ol’ J. Brown penned a bunch of tunes, and the ol’ M. Whitney took over lead vocal duties. At this point, Brown had already filtered gospel and soul through the twisted, boiling tubes and sieves of his brain in order to isolate the most essential elements. What remained was a deceptively simple structure of a few seventh chords, syncopated snare hits, and tight horn accents. When painted onto an aural canvas, these components became the quintessence of “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, as microcosms of human experience are isolated and implied recombinations open up new possibilities of existence.

A lot of these songs barely have vocal melodies, as Whitney is given free rein to improvise and embellish loosely over the minimalist grooves. Her belting, brassy voice soars unremittingly over the dancing worlds of mortals, while the band grounds the whole experience by tapping into rhythmic senses far beyond conscious control.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Guest Mix Vol. 7 - Erik B aka Don Mattingly

Yeah for this muxtape Dr. Mario in training Mr. Erik B aka Don Mattingly aka Erik B & Don Mattingly of Brilliant Corners arrives with a right proper donk on it. This dude is overstanding the pop music scene from multiple angles at all times, enabling him to bring us things such as this Amerie remix (an already ill song based on a Meters sample) which is turned into a complete mind-melter. Fuck yeah. And that Vistoso Bosses song is catchy as fuckkkkkk, too. Anyway, Erik has some white guy rock of his own in the pipeline, first show Jan 29 competing with my white guy rock band's first show. Fortunately, like my hoes, these shows are in different area codes. Brilliant Corners. Brilliant Corners. Brilliant Corners.

so i made this mixtape like a cassette with two sides and a fairly loose theme attached. the first side is about being a young white man channelling anxiety through powerpop and other dumb weenie music, and the second side is about being seduced by black ladies, falling in love, and then breaking their hearts i guess. aphex twin is the most natural transition between the two. its all pop music abounding in vitality, so fuck what you heard.

-erik bengtsen bka giorgio caetano

1. Crocodiles - I Wanna Kill
2. Rocketship - I Love You Like The Way That I Used To
3. Toms - Sun
4. Barcelona - C64
5. The Nerves - Working Too Hard
6. Orange Juice - Falling and Laughing
7. Marshall Crenshaw - There She Goes Again
8. The Ponys - I'm With You
9. The Flashing Lights - Highschool
10. Luxury - Green Hearts
11. Rivers Cuomo - Lover in the Snow
12. Aphex Twin - Flim
13. Aaliyah - Come Over (ft Tank)
14. Electrik Red - 9 to 5
15. The Diplomats - I Wanna Be Your Lady ft Cam
16. Keke Palmer - First Crush
17. Amerie - One Thing (siik rmx)
18. Candy Hill - Juicy
19. Vistoso Bosses - Delirious
20. 88 Keys - Wasting My Minutes
21. Ciara - I Don't Remember
22. T2 ft Jodie Aysha - Heartbroken (radio edit)
23. Mariah Carey - Shake it Off


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sergei Prokofiev - Piano Concerto No. 3 in C (1921)

I gave my ex-GF the Miles Davis autobiography for her birthday because I wanted to read it, and I recently took it back for myself, also because I wanted to read it. In this autobiography, Miles refers to Prokofiev as a "bad motherfucker who was terrible" or something like that, which is absolutely, unequivocally true. This shit is fucking bad.

If you read any of these words that I write in this bloggie, you should understand by now that variation on a theme is one of my favorite things. And hearing the twists and turns that a godhead freak of nature genius like Prokofiev can weave from a single musical idea is unreal. In Andantino con Variazoni, things eventually head down a bleak, somber path before activity returns to the music; this time, the orchestra plays with the theme while the piano dances chromatically in the background. My god does that smell good.

Infinite recombinations mimic the cause and effect decision trees that we use to imagine the future.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Formicide - Demo I (1987)

A mid-paced thrash riff with cool syncopated emphasis is a beautiful thing, and as such, this demo tape is fucking beautiful. If you are into something like Nuclear Assault, then you are gonna want to download this. If you are a fan of playing a riff over a fast thrash beat, then dropping it to half time and switching the tremolo picking to down-picked palm muting, then you are gonna want to download this. If you sit around in a trailer camp listening to Anthrax, then you are gonna want to download this. Also, there are Halford wails.