Tag Archives: proms

Borngräber & Strüver – Urlaub

Kommische? Capiche?

My only complaint about this rather hefty three track EP is that the middle selection – “Berlin Tribal Music” is a seven minute filler piece. It is not unpleasant, but it lacks the relentless thrust which marks the lineage of Urlub. It seems odd to say “Well, twenty-eight minutes is too short, but thirty-five would be just right, so let’s glue on this floaty ethno-dubbish piece that feels completely out of place between two far longer tracks.” It seems unlikely that anyone actually said this out loud, but someone probably should have.

That said, this is a delightful nighttime driving soundtrack. Preferably urban and deserted; failing that, something coastal.

Opener “Riese” is the more upbeat of the two “bangers”; a single staccato melody sandwiched with perfectly smooth minimal tech percussion and surprisingly cheesy-but-effective synth washes.

Closer “Dancing Queen” is either so earnest my jaded brain can’t even begin to process it or so jaded my earnest heart is simply unable to keep up. This twofer seems to have a love of the kind of synthy string sound that would be written off as far too much cheddar in most other contexts, has enough “funk” swing to be just about excusable here.

http://www.myspace.com/borngraeberandstruever

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Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport

Tarot_SportGo hit their myspace and listen to the 7″ cut of the opener, “Surf Solar”. The whole album is like that, but longer and better.

Adding Andy Weatherall to produce was a good choice; this recording is a lot cleaner, at least in that there’s a lot more room for dirt. Plus it’s, like, mad techno-y and shit. Techno-esque. Technatic!

Fuck Buttons maintain their straight ahead and never look back approach to songwriting, in terms of both progression and overall length, but outside of a few questionable moments at the end of album closer “Flight of the Feathered Serpent”* where things get a bit too much live jam’d, there’s not a wasted moment here. Yeah, it’s all prom songs from the end of the world. And yeah, it’s pretty repetitive. But they learned a lot from Weatherall and Mogwai and even a bit from Coil, I think. The “noise” aspect is severely diminished, though it was never that strong to begin with. Having a lot of distortion isn’t necessarily noise, just noisy. It’s the difference between liking a Reverend Horton Heat album and dressing like a roadie for one of those alt-country types who likes heroin and puts punk rock stickers on his acoustic.

I challenge anyone not to like this stuff, even if they can only like it when no one else is looking because of “fucking hipsters something something something something” or whatever their hangups happen to be. I’ll be chillin’ in a rented tux at the end of time and they’re welcomed to come with.

* Yes, everyone really must get all pre-Columbian Mesoamerican exploitation flick for the next few years. Fucked if I know why.

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Mogwai – The Hawk Is Howling

One thing people must understand is that while these guys are a Scottish good time gal soundtrack for football (meaning soccer) games playing in the background while everyone gets knackered (meaning drunk) and a wee (meaning small) bit sad (meaning sadness), in America they’re the soundtrack to a prom night afterparty that never, ever ends. Prom night is very important to people, even people who hated the whole idea of proms, or went to alternative proms, or never went to the prom.

There’s an emotional attachment to the whole concept, except maybe in all-boy Catholic schools, but priest-bait training grounds probably have their own soundtracks and “edgy” literature provided by G. K. Chesterton. For the rest of the normals, proms are a kind of last hurrah, perhaps one of the last surviving transitional ritual spaces left in American culture, where boys become men and girls become women, even though it’s still just children dancing in the dark to whatever is floating in the musical atmosphere at the time. Continue reading

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