the clientele, "the violet hour"
It's difficult to believe that The Clientele have only gotten around to releasing a full length album now, six years after they appeared on the Fierce Panda 7" compilation, Cry Me a Liver. Although the London-based trio have released a steady stream of 7" singles, EPs and even a critically acclaimed singles compilation in 2000, The Violet Hour finds the band exploring a larger framework and expanding their sound. Overall, the production sounds more focused than their previous efforts, though it does retain much of the charming muddiness of some of their earliest releases such as "All the Dust and Glass." The guitar work, for which The Clientele claims a signature sound, is also as warm and complex as ever, while the feather-soft percussion drifts along in the background. Aesthetically, the emphasis on time and minutiae is intact. Longtime fans of the band have no doubt noticed The Clientele's affinity for referring to seasons, days of the week, and times of the day in their lyrics. The Violet Hour continues in this tradition. "House on Fire," the second single from the album, certainly ranks among the best of the band's songs, and is a good example of the fullness The Clientele is maturing into. Their previous songs have generally clocked in at around two minutes each, but on this album, the group seem to be gently spreading their wings a bit more, stretching out the length of their newer songs. As a bonus, two videos are included on the disc in a beautifully arranged CD Rom track. The first is for an older, yet classic Clientele tune, "Reflections After Jane," and the second is for "House on Fire." One is tinted and the other is in black and white, but both are images of a suburban London or the band playing cards in a pub, filmed in a similar scratched patina style, slightly out of focus at times, and entirely in keeping with the heart of the band's sound. - Jessica Tibbits
"NEW YORK NOISE: DANCE MUSIC FROM THE NEW YORK UNDERGROUND 1978-1982"
There are altogether too many various artist compilations currently out in the market that presume to document a particular musical scene or, worse, claim to serve as a kind of audio history lesson. All of these releases seem to be suggesting that they are the "final word" on a particular genre or scene. Most fall far short of this goal. Recently, Rough Trade released a "post punk" primer, which included a few great rarities from the original era like Liquid Liquid and World Domination Enterprises, together with a bunch of head-scratchingly inappropriate inclusions from newer artists. Very little thought seems to be given to track sequencing in most cases, making for an uneven listen that is more annoying that it is educational. Many of these compilations also recycle the same tracks that have appeared on numerous other releases. I can count on one hand the number of compilations that I have found to be valuable, and among them is Soul Jazz's In The Beginning, There Was Rhythm from 2001. True, some of the tracks included were widely available on CD already, but the selection and sequencing of tracks was truly inspired. So, I had high hopes for the newest Soul Jazz "music history" comp, New York Noise: Dance Music From the New York Underground 1978-1982. The compilers have attempted to marry the disparate genres of post-punk dance, underground disco, no-wave and hip-hop under one big NYC banner. With a few exceptions, they succeed. Liquid Liquid's "Optimo" is a great starting point, combining African rhythms and punk urgency into a tense, funky groove. Filling out the "mutant disco" quotient are rare selections from Konk, The Dance and The Bloods. Bill Laswell's Material are included, with a dialogue-sampling disco-house meltdown that sounds way ahead of its time. NYC underground avant-disco prodigy Arthur Russell is here under his Dinosaur L guise, with the typically brilliant "Clean on Your Bean #1". It's nice to hear this crisply remastered song without having to shell out $700 for the original 12" on Sleeping Bag. ESG and The Bush Tetras represent for the ladies with a couple estrogen-fueled funk tracks. Defunkt's "Defunkt" seems a little out of place; it's nice, but a rather typical late-70's disco-funk number. Rahmelzee vs. K. Rob's long-winded "Beat Bop" stands along with Grandmaster Flash's "White Lines" as a masterpiece of the first era of NYC hip-hop. I'm not sure what the compilers were thinking by the inclusion of DNA, MARS and The Contortions. Sure, these bands were included on the epochal 1978 No New York LP which defined the no-wave aesthetic, but does this qualify as dance music? Only an epileptic on ecstasy would try to dance to these noisy, herky-jerky rhythms. Ditto Glenn Branca's eight-minute, multiple-guitar fantasia "Lesson No.1." These tracks are all quite good, but they stick out like a sore thumb on a so-called "dance music" compilation. These are minor quibbles, however, as the music is brilliant, and MARS' "Helen Fordsdale" has always been my favorite track from the No New York compilation. Words are insufficient to describe the drama and intensity of this two-and-a-half minute explosion of rock n' roll chaos. All in all, New York Noise is a valuable compilation for those of us who don't mind pedantic compilers giving us a lesson in musical history. - Jonathan Dean
PINK AND BROWN, "SHAME FANTASY II"
The guitarist dressed in silly pink stocking apparel that masked his identity. The drummer dressed much the same but in brown. If they gave interviews, I guess its fairly unlikely they got asked, "So why did you call the band Pink and Brown?" Imagine Oxes stripped down to a lower density screechier hollerin' clobberin' combo and you'd have a fairly good idea of where these two light-hearted heavy-handed San Francisco scene stalwarts were coming from. Actually you'd probably have a band who sound so much like Arab On Radar that they could be the same silly post-punkers, albeit with the vocals mixed lower or not at all. As for where they're going to, who knows? Brown plays in Young People who sounded like Cat Power might if she got some interesting noises into her guitar and wrote better songs on the one song I heard. Pink plays in a bunch of other bands I've never heard. But I have heard this CD and can say that compiling everything they released before giving up this fancy dress gig was a pretty good idea and if you've ever grooved to the kind of jagged rock storms that the Skin Graft label served up in abundance, you'll probably have a pretty good time at the Pink and Brown party. Its itchy, scratchy nerd rock as opposed to math rock, because these are the kids who burnt their homework and ran through the streets squealing with socks pulled over their heads. The vinyl version of this album only features the five new songs they recorded on New Years day 2003 so unless you were a completist Pink and Brown fan, the CD seems a better bet, as there are 22 tracks on that. But how does this rate on my Loadometer? Not as madcap noisefried as Lightning Bolt or Sightings, but a lot more fun than Neon Hunk. Don't even think about getting this until you have that stompin' Noxagt album on Load which I reviewed a few weeks back. - Graeme Rowland
DJ SHADOW, "DIMINISHING RETURNS"
Anyone who has seen the turntablism documentary Scratch will remember the scene featuring Josh Charles, AKA DJ Shadow. He stood in the secret basement of his favorite record store (location undisclosed, of course) amid huge stacks of dusty, obscure vinyl, explaining the philosophy and allure of "crate digging". His inexhaustible energy for searching out rare groove, forgotten soul, and hopelessly esoteric breakbeats has given his albums a dark, shadowy atmosphere wholly appropriate to his moniker. While most of Shadow's early mixes were characterized by clever constructions of breakbeats from rare jazz and funk instrumentals from the likes of David Axelrod and Cannonball Adderly, his recent work (with the exception of most of his disappointing major label album) has taken him to the farthest reaches of psychedelia and European progressive rock. Being somewhat of a rare psych and prog enthusiast, I admire this new direction and am downright envious of the incredibly bizarre tracks he has managed to dig up for this 120-minute live BBC mix. Diminishing Returns is a new, independently released 2-CD set that comprises the entire two-hour BBC mix as well as a brand new bonus track. The first hour of the mix focuses on underground, old school and leftfield hip-hop tracks. Many of these funny, clever and/or weird raps are matched with alternate breakbeats from another source. There is no tracklisting or sample credits to be found in the nonexistent liner notes, so most of these artists remain completely enigmatic to me. Someone more clever than I should try to name all of the artists and songs used here, but I am hopeless at blindly identifying tracks. This first part of the session is a dynamic hour of rarely-heard hip-hop gems, but it cannot hold a candle to the genius of the final 40 minutes. For this last half of the mix, Shadow creates a seamless adventure through all things dusty, strange and rare, focusing on obscure psychedelic rock and strange progressive. Some of these songs are truly off-kilter and hallucinogenic, featuring trippy, introspective vocals, effects-laden guitar noodling and mesmerizing beats. This is an impressive assemblage of esoterica that you are guaranteed never to hear anywhere else. I almost expected Arcesia, the acid-addled big band leader featured on Songs in the Key of Z to come into the mix singing "Butterfly Mind." At a staggering two hours, the mix still feels tight and engaging, which is an impressive feat. The bonus track on the disc is an average re-hash of the kind of hip-hop/rock instrumental constructs that dominated The Private Press. Diminishing Returns is a satisfying DJ mix, right up there with gems like Coldcut's 70 Minutes of Madness. If DJ Shadow wants to retain his credibility, he needs to stay away from the feeble and average material evidenced on his major label album, and stick to the kind of musical integrity he displays on mixes like this one. - Jonathan Dean
What starts off as a seemingly random collection of noise gels into an amazing conglomerate of unique sounds and atmospheres. Each unnamed track seems to have a consistent theme running beneath the random bells and whistles that holds everything together. If it weren't for this kind of consistency, Diaspora would sound totally random and become too difficult to focus on. Part of what makes a record of sounds and noises successful is the quality of the sounds themselves: those used must be interesting and compelling or brutal and confrontational. Diaspora succeeds on this level by employing some unusual sounds and effects. Futuristic computers, ray guns, drones of impending doom, aquatic fans, solar explosions, and alien bells are all peppered over the duration of the album. In some instances, like the sixth and ninth tracks, these sounds are arranged in an intriguing way, as the tracks are both heavily atmospheric glimpses into a world of nuclear winter and heavy-metal killing machines. I find myself returning to particular songs and then becoming extremely engaged in everything that follows. As I listen to the first few tracks now, I realize that I am really attracted to almost every sound used. Hints of melody and coherency do emerge here and there and the short duration of every song helps things move along nicely. Délire has molded an album of eleven distinct tracks that belong together. Though the songs are indexed, Diaspora sounds like one long arrangement broken down into its elements. The videos included are a bit less interesting than the album itself. The sounds I hear just don't fit together with the videos in any way and it ends up making both the video and the music just a bit monotonous. I think of Diaspora as a collection of interesting sounds more than anything. There's nothing particularly amazing about the arrangements nor the album in general, but the sounds are just so captivating that I keep wanting to go back for more. - Lucas Schleicher
City Centre Offices
As soon as Dictaphone's debut album starts, I'm immediately put into a new world where I am a private detective in a modern neo-noir film. The streets are unfriendly in these times, and I am one of those who protects the innocent, taking cases for low prices or for free sometimes, just keeping the peace. Every good detective has his cross to bear, and Dictaphone is a perfect backbone to the life of a loner who walks a fine line between the light and the dark. M.=Addiction is full of tracks that ooze modern cool, with electronic and live percussion, guitar, keyboards, and live horns. The beats and grooves are jazz flavored, and the music does lean more towards that genre than any other, but to call this music jazz would be to rob it of its multi-dimensional character. Each track is a different person, a different canvas, a different case to be solved. "Tempelhof" is the scorned lover, needy only of answers, walking the lonely streets wondering why the night has cursed her so. The title track is the shot fired in the night, striking an innocent person. Who fired the gun? Who did they intend to hit? The awkward and sudden silence in the middle of the song asks a million questions in one second. It's as though the compositions call out for justice, for the answers to these questions that haunt them. Few tracks have vocals, but those that do carry a little more mystery, a little more depth, that makes the air they travel throuh palpable. Oliver Doerell and Roger Döring have created not just music, but a storybook of emotions and characters that can be accessed just by pressing play on the CD player. It is a fascinating listen, and I look forward to more cases to solve very soon. - Rob Devlin
Matthew Shipp, "Equilibrium"
This entry in Thirsty Ear's ambitious Blue Series finds the series' headmaster stepping out once again to explore the realms of both the familiar and the unfamiliar. Shipp's reputation as a complex composer in avant and free jazz make him a prime choice to lead the Blue Series endeavor, and not content to simply orchestrate the undertaking, he has seen fit to step up to the plate with his own solo and guest spots. On Equilibrium, he touches on traditional jazz structures as well as free-jazz explorations, often augmented with accents of the urban and electronic modern. "Vamp to Vibe" does just as it says, with Khan Jamal's vibes trickling over Shipp's vamping, seesaw chords with a confidence and fluidity that is astonishing. Jamal is given free reign to work his wonders all over Equilibrium and his addition to Shipp's coterie of distinguished and talented musicians is a masterstroke. "Nebula Theory" is a free jazz excursion with the band members slowly drifting apart, tenuously held together by strands of notes that break and reform lending the track an amorphous quality that uses silence as effectively as sound. "Cohesion," like "Vamp to Vibe," relies heavily on a deep groove provided by Shipp's left hand and bassist William Parker. The ensemble digs deeply here, and the funky feel of the piece benefits from the contributions of the programmed breakbeats of electronic producer FLAM. His additions are subtle, never seeking to steal the spotlight from the ensemble, but they give the pieces a distinct energy, flirting with urban and club beats that breathe new soul into the already lively jazz compositions. He and live percussionist Gerald Cleaver work to act as a propulsive force, never letting the potential for conflict or excess disappoint the potential. Shipp leaves his mark all over "The Root," with FLAM sitting out on this more spacious piece. It is a virtuoso moment on Equilibrium with Shipp conjuring a flowing melody from his piano that captures the attention, unbound yet never meandering. "The Key" bounces, letting Parker's bass, Jamal's vibes, and FLAM's synths and breaks all shine out, each of them seizing a portion of the piece and making them ooze with ingenuity and makes this a particular highlight on the disc. The final track, "Nu Matrix," is another composition of sound and silence; patience and satisfaction. It stretches the ensembles interplay, each component loosely bonded and nearly independent. Equilibrium finds strength throughout its duration, effectively trying its hand at a variety of sounds and ideas, and convincingly making them feel natural together. The mix of traditional, free avant, modern, and experimental fusion results in a remarkably compelling whole that won't frighten off new listeners, but rather draw them deeper into the ideals that have come to comprise the Blue Series. - Michael Patrick Brady
Georges Montalba, "Pipe Organ Favorites"
Dual lives, fraud, Nice, satanic ritual, artistic theft, mighty Wurlitzers and trade unions—this CD has got them all. The captivating story behind this reissue on CD of George Montalba's first two LPs is too long and complex to get into here but is well documented in the sleeve notes for the curious. The background adds a certain aspect of fun to this disk that is much like the Simpson's, that is, it can be enjoyed on several different levels. There's the 50's exotica instrumental aspect with its pang of goofiness that I, for one, find is always a plus. There's the material being played: stomping rhythms and strong melodies that have you singing along in no time, mostly arrangements of very familiar material from Saint-Saëns, Rimsky-Korsakov, Falla, Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Grieg and Sousa, to name a few. Much more than all that is Montalba's (actually his name was Bob Hunter) brilliant arrangements for organ and two percussionists. His playing on the genuinely fabulous, mighty and majestic Wurlitzer pipe organ is a delight and it's all captured expertly and lovingly in hi-fi mono. The music is enormous in every way: dynamics, richness and variety of tone color, opulent expansiveness and dazzling showmanship in borderline bad-taste. It has an intensity (there's enough organ tremolo here to supply half a dozen or more 50s horror flicks) that will make some cringe, others smile, and most weary if not taken in appropriate doses. My advice is to pause the CD at half-time, take a nap, a shower and a cup of coffee (in that order), and then resume. Putting the smug perspective of hindsight aside, Bob Hunter's versions of these tunes really are spectacular—his mastery of different styles, playful combinations of familiar and exotic, restraint and lack thereof add up to some genuinely fascinating listening in the manner of, say, Quincy Jones. For a listening recommendation, perhaps what it comes down to is how you enjoy cheese—if you like your cheese rich, funky, exotic, made with artesian perfectionism and well aged then Georges Montalba's Mighty Wurlitzer is what you crave. - tom worster
"BRANCHES AND ROUTES"
Fat Cat have compiled two discs that show them to be one of the most diverse and eclectic labels in the UK. I'd be surprised if you can't find at least a few tracks here to enjoy. The bait of a previously unreleased and fairly low key slice of Sigur Ros ambience opening the second disc is probably strategically placed to lure in their fans. Soon they'll be smacked about the ears by Xinlisupreme's anthemic synth soaring "Murder License" which does distortion battle with Black Dice to see who can be the fattest cat. The Japanese duo win on brute force, but Black Dice know "Things Will Never Be the Same" for post-Boredoms psyche-stews after the "Murder License" has ben revoked. Mum's "Green Grass of Tunnel" still retains its child like wonder and beauty after so many plays and Party of One's bratty "Shotgun Funeral" is by far their best song and the only one I really need from them. Other album excerpts that ought to intrigue are the perky opener from David Grubbs' Rickets and Scurvy and one of the more concise and engaging tracks from Set Fire to Flames' low key desolate Telegraphs in Negative. Fennesz is always welcome round here and his "Badminton Girl" is a wistful, exhausted summer evening memory fading, representing the Fat Cat split 12" series. Matmos, Duplo Remote, Kid 606 and Com.A also have a track each lifted from their splits, each shimmying on with fractured dancefloor moves. This does however beg the question of why they don't compile the split 12" singles onto CD albums once the singles are out of print. The label's weakest tendency is a penchant for middle road quasi-avant pop and I could happily live without the sugar coated tedium of Bjork and Funkstorung, the Emiliani Torrini remixes from Team Doyobi and Process, and the gag-inducing Grain track. Mice Parade, Transient Waves, Him (misnomered as Seen) and the Dylan Group all coast by pleasantly making little impression. Giddy Motors stick out like a hammered thumb on the other hand, rockin' hard with the flipside of a single that hasn't been on CD before. Almost everyone should find a couple of surprise tracks from someone they've never heard before that impresses. Stromba and Programme were the new finds for me. Stromba take a grooving Tortoise turn and Programme hit hard with a robust French rap meets Big Black drum machine onslaught. Sylvain Chauveau's haunting piano isolation is a beautiful comedown to end the collection. - Graeme Rowland
Maquiladora, "What the Day Was Dreaming"
Maquiladora are the modern equivalent to The Band, recording slower, soulful rock music with an all-encompassing country influence. They switch vocalists, vary between dense and sparse compositions, and throughout each release, they plunge deeper and deeper headlong into territory that both soothes and expands the reaches of human consciousness. This music doesn't so much play through the speakers but swirl and mist out like a vaporous mist that the ears inhale. There are awkward moments like vocal stumbling and strained falsetto, but in listening to the record as a whole they hardly matter. On Dreaming, they found quite a cast of characters to assist in their endeavors. From Blackheart Procession member Phil Jenkins, to a few of the Acid Mothers Temple roster, the guests add interesting flourishes. With the core members' strong songwriting, it makes for the most cohesive and expansive record Maquiladora have mustered yet. "Sudden Life" opens the record with an almost "Money for Nothing" approach: minimal sounds are joined by tom drumming and, eventually, guitars and eerily treated vocals. It's honestly enough to make me rise off the ground, soaring towards the sky. As the album progresses, the lyrics paint a delicate picture of loss, hope, and the world around us all. The trio of shamans that are Maquiladora sound in tune with the elements, and it informs the sounds their instruments and voices make. They describe themselves as desert music, but on What the Day Was Dreaming, they prove that setting too barren for music as full of life as this. Dreams will be haunted, and the day will be colored with shades of this music, making it a just little warmer and brighter. - Rob Devlin
TRUMANS WATER, "YOU ARE IN THE LINE OF FIRE AND THEY ARE SHOOTING AT YOU"
Over more than a decade of splurging fast guitar strumming and melodic synchronised shouting, Trumans Water have proved themselves to be a force for the ridiculous side of rock music. Yet again they crash meteorites for troglodytes and yammer silly of the joys of resistance. Original guitarist Glen Galloway has rejoined mainstays the Branstetter brothers Kirk and Kevin for recording and writing but doesn't tour with them because he wants to stay home with his family. (Kevin now lives in Paris.) Some of this album shows them at their most straight ahead and uncomplicated, kicking out the jams on tracks like the hotwired-heart opening salvo "Rock of Gibralter," "Some Things Feel Rough," and a cover of the Flesheaters "Pony Dress" that'll have old fans bouncing around and wondering how they lost track of the band. It seems to be a common problem for them, mostly because almost every album comes out on a different label but it doesn't help that their website is a little out of date. Maybe they were just too busy flooding the roads of Europe. "Rock of Gibralter" is one of their catchiest tunes and unlike Nick Cave's unrelated MOR ballad of the same name it probably isn't about to get requested by servants of government. More likely it'll remind Thurston Moore not to sleepwalk to disconnection. "Say Hi to the Lie Machine" is another fairly straight ahead rocker, propelled by drum clatter but pulled left by tunings that make people who work in guitar shops turn blue. The verse of "Airs Smudgy Blanket" even recalls "I Fall" by The Damned, and Trumans Water manage to capture the spark of such early punk bands but avoid cliche and retrogression by cranking the weirdness levels and ditching corny rawk speak in favour of their own tower of babbling tongue. This is the band that introduced a generation of indie rock fans to Faust with their cover of "Sad Skinhead," and the almost epic "When Diet and Exercise Fail" has a similar momentum of magic roundabouts spinning absurdly out of control. Is that a theremin wailing above? They get out the sax to meander and obliterate a telephone recording of a woman ranting on the last track, but as speed flags here, interest wavers. There's certainly enough of the old Trumans Water magnetic energy to keep things moving and this album is as good a starting point for the curious to step into their trip as any. There are still the more chaotic moments, like the opening of "Pulverizer Bear," which also ranks high in the celebratory demented synchronized shouting stakes. Dramatic lurching spells are neither created nor destroyed, but dangerous stunts for "Trapeze Sharks" are fun to hear. Trumans Water might be some kind of antidote for an ailing spirit, most represented by a stomach covered by airs smudgy blanket when diet and exercise have failed. - Graeme Rowland
Concept albums often bring with them a certain amount of peril: an otherwise fine collection of songs can be easily spoiled if they fail to live up to the "concept" they're supposed to be a part of. Such is the case with this collection of ten songs that are supposed to convey the mood or atmosphere of ten photographs. Each image and song is compelling by itself but when put side by side, the music often fails to appropriate the atmosphere or feeling that each photograph projects. This isn't true for every composition. Laub's and Decomposed Subsonic's contributions are perfect listening for the images that accompany them. Midinovela's piece for "Radio" is perhaps the best presentation of sound for the still image it represents. Bursts of static and electrically charged rumblings creep throughout the duration of the track and while staring at the image I can't help but get creative. Images of a chaotic world where the only media left from the destruction of war is the radio pour through my mind. Markus Günter, Benjamin Brunn, Schmidt and Herzer, and especially Losoul all fail to open my imagination in that way. Standing alone, each of these songs are perfectly good chill-out tunes filled with light beats, minimalistic melodies, and perfectly accesible arrangements. It's a great compilation and every track sits well next to the other, but I can't help being let down after reading the liner notes and expecting so much more. The art is fantastic and the songs are great, but they just don't match up in the end. - Lucas Schleicher
The Finger, "We Are Fuck You/Punk's Dead Let's Fuck"
One Little Indian
Someone needs to tell the rock stars who like to listen to punk that listening to it does not qualify them to play or record it. The Finger, whose double album is only available on import but will soon be available on these shores, cannot record under their real names due to contractual obligations. However, recent interviews and coy comments made by Ryan Adams and Jesse Malin reveal them as two of the cohorts in this punk ensemble. So, to avoid problems with their respective record labelswho might not take kindly to their mild-mannered signings coming out with a blistering punk albumthe members adopt "clever" pseudonyms, such as Jim Beahm, Warren Peace, and Rick O'Shea. The music inside is just as trite as the names they came up with. Both albums total about 35 minutes, and feature probably the most trite lyrics a punk record has ever had. On "Vendetta," vocalist Beahm shouts repeatedly "Vendetta is my pleasure!" and on "Collar," he emotes "I give... you my leash... and I'll keep the collar!" Even though it seems impossible, it goes downhill from there, like the latter 95 minutes of any Luke Perry film. Not that all punk had deep and meaningful lyrics; hell, most of them you were lucky if you understood a word. On this recording, it just shows how painfully out of their element the contributors are. Every song is about the punk lifestyle, not the regular socio-political stance or vital satire shown by the Sex Pistols or the Buzzcocks. Every single song falls flat, so thankfully they're all very short, with most lasting a minute or less. A word to this lot: if you're going to rip off a genre, even for fun with your buddies on a weekend, make it an earnest take, not some half-baked album about the atmosphere you think exists around it. - Rob Devlin
Maximilian Hecker, "Rose"
Think back to 2001 and try to remember Max Hecker's first album. Remember how it teetered dangerously on the borderline of campy brilliance and revolting sappiness? Unfortunately, for his second full-length album, Hecker has fallen over the line, completely onto the side of sappiness. Gone are the edgy guitar distortions, swirling calliope-esque melodies and brilliant acoustic guitar fingerpicking. What we're left with is a weak collection of soft-rock rejects with wimpy guitar solos, not even edgy enough to earn rotation in hotel elevators. Sure, Hecker's crybaby falsetto voice was never rugged to begin with, but the music now is unchallenging and the words are overrepetitious and almost completely brainless. On Infinite Love Songs, words like "Hide your cheeks with dirt / come and wear my shirt," were just an example off the top of my head of the somewhat attractively bizarre word choices, while hearing "Hold me now / heal my wounds," in the song "I am Falling Now" here is a perfect example of a pitiful mess of a man of whom I have absolutely no sympathy for. The closest the album gets to the glorious marriage of chaos and order is probably the blurry noise in "My Friends," but the noisy section is haphazardly sandwiched by a MOR film theme-ish piano and synth melody. "My Love For You Is Insane," however, is a completely new direction in garbage with a revolting generic drum 'n bass loop and more whiny lyrics. Perhaps I'm just a snotty, jaded critic, but hints, subtlety, and abstract surrealism gain far more ground with me in a pop framework than unchallenging, overtly simplistic narrative prose. I guess what it boils down to is that I'm more keen on Tim Buckley than Christopher Cross. - Jon Whitney
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in the mood for love
Subject: The Greatest Living American Noise Artist
Hello and Greetings:
So I decided to go and see Emil Beaulieau, Prurient, and Immaculate Death
at the St. Louis show on the 17th of July at the Lemp Neighborhood Art
Center and this is what I have to say: I'd like to see anyone... you name
it... stand up to the power that is America's Greatest Living Noise
Artist. Emil Beaulieau played one of the most fun, most outrageous, and
most spectacularly goofy shows I've ever seen. In fact, I'd venture to
say that he sets the bar too high for anyone to get over. Emil Beaulieau
is not just sound, he is not just noise, and he is not just loud wankery:
he is a performer and an entertainer DEDICATED to entertaining whatever
crowd he encounters. I can't imagine him failing.
Everyone at the show
loved him and he is one of the nicest guys I've ever met. But to the
point: Beaulieau knows how to put on a show, that's the bottom line. No,
no. Not just a show... a great show, an incredible show. He combines
theatrics, comedy, and all out power into an event without equal. And
let's not forget Immaculate Death and Prurient!!!! I don't want to ruin
anything: but make sure to pay special attention to everything Immaculate
Death does. The crescendo of his show is a smack to the face I've never
felt before. So, pay attention while he is setting up, watch every
little move he makes... Prurient's sound is the most physical thing I
think I've ever experience within the realms of sound (or perhaps
anywhere). Using just two mics, some pedals, and a couple of amplifiers,
he summoned shrill squeeks, heavy rumblings, and noises that seemed to
eminate somewhere from a pit of evil too big to measure.
Just wanted to
let everyone know: do not miss these shows. I've never seen anything
like it before and I've never had quite so much fun at a show before.
Make sure to say hi to everyone, they're really freaking awesome and are
more than willing to talk with whomever's at the show.
Thanks for letting me know they were coming!!!!
Thanks for the note. Hopefully with the live dates here on The Brain, more people will take a hint and go out rather than sit at home staring at their belly button.
Subject: ministry of shit
"...and with the piggy reference, "Ice Ice Bacon" can only be Stockport's finest V/Vm crew
(come on, the artist name is Trotters)."
not quite ...but a nice pick.
how could i not pick trotters for a alias for such a preposterous track :)
I spam corrected. Spank you very much.
Subject: shit on me
that's Khia "My Neck, My Back"
Subject: Jonathan Dean's wish list
Jonathan Dean may soon get his wish. It appears that LTM Publishing plans
to re-release 23 Skidoo's "The Culling Is Coming". Follow link below for
Subject: Mrs. John Murphy
Was she not the bassist on ALL Pixies' albums?
Not according to the credits.
Subject: The Wishlist is a great idea!!
I wish that somebody would reissue every possible recording which involve the
mysterious figure L Voag AKA Xentos Jones AKA Xentos 'Fray; Bentos AKA probably
many other names. As far as I know, he has performed under the auspices of The
Homosexuals, Nancy Sesay & The Melodaires, Sarah Goes Pop, Die Trip Computer
Die. All of this shit is just mindblowingly good, and I wish there was some
way to get it other than P2P. This would also quell my fear that I might be
missing something. Given that L Voag's whole life seems to have been devoted
to cultivating obscurity, this may be a difficult wish to fulfill. But what
the hell, I can dream, can't I?!?
That's what the wishlist is for. Dreamers like us.
Subject: Mr. John Murphy
even scarier than John Murphy scoring 28 days et al, is that Graeme Revell of
SPK fame(?) now does the music for CSI Miami and scores films such as Titan
Revell's been scoring films for years. But what's scary is that he even rewrote his bio to omit all SPK activity in the 1970s ("Graeme formed SPK in the 1980s" it once said). I guess he doesn't want Warner Bros./Universal/Sony Pictures to find out he used to perform mock autopsies on stage.
Subject: (no subject chosen)
im interested on any info of when gybe plays in los angeles or san fran
Good for you.
Subject: kranky sounds
Sorry to bother you, but I'd just thought I'd let you know of a broken link on
the Kranky - Sounds page. Under Krank 055 - Keith Fullerton Whitman -
"Playthroughs", the link to modena is spelt wrong, it's currently mdoena.mp3.
Alright, I'll stop hassling you now.
It's not a bother, it's not a hassle. If we fuck up, we need to know. Thanks.
nic- i saw you at the electric factory...just wanted you to know that you have
to be the sexiest guy ever, love your dance moves.
Subject: sajjad ali
you know, this might have been funny if the joke hadn't just blown one of my altec lansing ACS300 speakers.
you think brainwashed.com or the owners of that site will buy the set on eBay for me? Seeing as they're bulky by to-day's standards they sell for quite cheap. I just don't feel like I should fork out any more than the $200 they cost new three years ago.
Uhm, sorry? =( Get some from Cambridge Soundworks. They rule.