Monthly Archives: December 2008

2008 Can Totally Suck It

ITALY-FRIAR/So yeah, 2008. Fuck 2008. Right in its ear.

Actually, outside of a brief bout of deafness, 2008 was pretty good for my ears, even if most of what I fell in love with was released in 2007 (or 1971).

May next year at least bring a swift, painless death with minimal terror; barring that, some improvements will be nice. I will hopefully be writing for another online outfit as well as keeping a semi-regular schedule here. So as we “ring in” the “new year” with “scare quotes” at the very least we can be guaranteed that awesome new sounds will be tickling our brains via a Rube Goldberg contraption of tiny hairs and bones and whatnot.

Now, I’ve never had much truck with the whole “happy new year” thing and the puking and yelling and the all woo hoo stuff. I try not to be so dour as to refer to it as “a papist conspiracy to control time” but let’s face it, that’s what it is. A dead dude in a dress from a prescientific age is ruling our lives at this very minute FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE. Continue reading

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Ask a Physicist!

john-tyndall-physicist-bigFor more than a generation journalists have thought nothing of getting the political, sociological and economic opinions of musicians. Countless musicians have, in return, given great weight to their opinions and what it means for their work. It’s now never enough to be able to say “I specialize in a form of nonverbal emotional communication that transcends the boundaries of race, class and nation” – they must also offer their opinions and solutions on multifaceted geopolitical issues.

And so we end up with a collection of opinions which are no more likely to be more thorough or accurate than your average non-musician, but are given great weight and esteem.

Despite this trend, music journalists rarely seek out non-musicians and get their opinions on music – theory, practice, business, style, whatever – as ill-informed as they may be on these disparate and complicated subjects.

I think this is a travesty.

A travesty I would like to correct with SCIENCE! Continue reading


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Hercules and Love Affair

This is the song Antony was born to sing. It’s a bit too long, but it’s perfectly catchy and lacks the weightlessness that plagues nearly every other track on this self-titled record. This quality drought is strange, but it can be explained away by saying “this is a DFA production” – not an entirely accurate description of the creation process, perhaps, but an accurate appraisal of the results. Lots of people like the DFA thing; their crusade to reclaim vapid dance-pop from the guidos at WKTU. Continue reading


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Om & Current 93 – Inerrant Rays of Infallible Sun (Blackship Shrinebuilder)

21055lp_216This wee split sounds exactly like what you’d think it sounds like. While this may be a cop-out in terms of music journalism 2.0, it beats saying nonsense like “…the mystical union of sonorous bonghits from a land that’s the crossed out stepchild of Black Sabbath and The Incredible String Band…” cut off only by the soundless scream of a knife being drawn across the windpipe of the soul unfortunate enough to put such nonsense to paper.

Let us clarify things, rather than obscure them: Om is a post-stoner band that is hard bass and ride cymbals and monosyllabic words about something or other. “Post-stoner” in this context means “slow and throbbing but without silly lyrics about getting baked.” Current 93 is totally batshit crazy in a really great way. Mr. Tibet proves it possible to be deeply religious, to be totalized without being fanaticized to the point where socialization with those outside of your little memeplex becomes impossible. Continue reading

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Fennesz – Black Sea


Christian Fennesz is a dude who does serious things. Let us consider three of these things; a trilogy that’s heavy on the melody and light on the noise.

While the 2001 classic Endless Summer beat the season into your ears with a semi-steady pulse and melodiese buried in sand, Venice was a soft wash that was afraid of waking you up. Black Sea, just to be different, is a hard wash whose melodies sit off to the side, afraid to approach you because you are just too damn good looking. Continue reading

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Arranging Albums In Ideological Order

che2I’ve had this conversation many times over with many different people – what is the meaning of their support of an artist when that artist has “hells of lame” views on topic xyz?

The mighty Thoreau over at Unqualified Offerings has dug into the issue via 24 from a few angles over the years, though the conversations I end up having with people are largely centered around music or the occasional biopic of unsavory persons and things. It came up again recently during a conversation about the latest Che movie, a popular source of hagiography and silly mustaches.

My friends like getting my responses on shit like this because my hands get wavy and animated, resembling a Mr. Clean float drifting off course. I’d like to think I offer a unique and witty perspective as well, but that’s neither here nor there.

Here’s the real secret: the issue is ultimately inconsequential. Continue reading


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SCSI-9 – Easy As Down

scsi-9-easy-as-downThe slickest night at the cleanest Thai fusion restaurant with the most abstract menus (all the dishes are represented by gradiated circles comprised of gradiated circles) and the most beautiful clientele. The lights are just right (also circles), both too bright and too dark. Hypermediated semi-ethnic food eaten by impossibly tall, semi-ethnic models. Expensive cigarettes and cocaine, minus all the hairy old rich dudes who supply these things in the quest to divest clothing from those very same models.

No lines, no scratches, no imperfections. Nobody dies and nobody grows old. Continue reading

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Flying Lotus – Los Angeles

flying_lotus-los_angeles_bI’ve been told by those I know well and love truly that California would be a terrible place for me. When pressed for explanation there’s an uncomfortable shuffle, followed by a “well, just…because…”

Anyway, this is the California of my heart. Apologies to Mike Patton. Rubbery cartoon basslines jaunting about in 90s hip hop fun times, listening to same era IDM on the side. Los Angeles has a consistently uplifting soul to it that carries through a few of the harsher moments. Obviously, this is “harsh” in the same way a taco from Taco Bell is “spicy” but no doubt there’s a guy out there saying ” t-bell is so spicy love it” in his Twitter account right now.

It’s important to make room for a diverse range of experiences when describing consumables. As I said below, it’s the most universal appeal-y album since Endtroducing. Hopefully Mr. Flying Lotus won’t follow in Mr. Shadow’s footprints and do a faceplant into a bucket of tire treads.

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Ear Bailout

flying_lotus-los_angeles_bcover_qua_paintingdifferenceandrepetitionvr25111ffzh5nl_sl500_aa240_ Continue reading


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