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Archives for 06/04/2006 - 06/10/2006

Saturday, June 10, 2006

NY Monsoon - Kualas

posted by on June 10 at 3:09 AM

Played Galapagos in Brooklyn.

It hasn’t stopped raining the entire tour. The load outs are wet, we are wet, the equipment is wet, and our socks are wet, but the music and the pizza are dry. If I were on Noah’s Ark, I would get the kuala bears, find and a corner with some nice dry hay, and sleep. And when we woke, we would have a pillow fight, and eat Count Chocula.

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City to city and Dave’s i-pod pours a goldmine -
Television, D’Angelo, The Constantines, Cobra High, Nightmares on Wax, Judas Priest, and Arcade Fire.

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Someone outside the club asked me what our music sounded like. I was so wet and frazzled, I told him, “Kind of like Rush, kind of techno, kind of pyro muppet mexi-jazz.”

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He said, “What’s mexi-jazz?”

I said, “Like mexi-fries.” He was in a band as well. I asked him what they sounded like.

He said, “We sound like Rush too.”

Trent - out.

Head Like a Kite

Photos: Marlon Schaeffer


Friday, June 9, 2006

“Fingertips Pt. 3”

posted by on June 9 at 9:28 PM

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This track by the Pase Rock (heard Thursday at Chop Suey before Spank Rock took the stage and at other clubs recently) is turning out to be one of the summer jams of 2006. Little Stevie Wonder sounds amazing in this new context. Tell me where that beat’s lifted from (I think Bell Biv Devoe also used it in “Poison”), and I’ll buy you a drink next time I see you.

A Pox on Ani DiFranco

posted by on June 9 at 2:58 PM

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For me, listening to Ani DiFranco has always been about as appealing as eating gruel while sitting in a corrugated tin shack in the middle of nowhere—while wearing a burlap bodysuit. I can’t fathom why she’s so beloved. DiFranco has another album coming out August 8 titled Reprieve—and what an ordeal it is to endure. Can anyone explain the appeal of this woman’s unfeasibly popular, libido-killing, blanched folk music? Because I’m stumped.

Last Night’s Noise For the Needy Shows

posted by on June 9 at 2:53 PM

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Although I wasn’t able to make it to Neumo’s Noise For the Needy show last night, it sounds like it was quite a success and the artists didn’t disappoint (see Kurt B. Reighley’s review of Jesse Sykes’ set earlier this morning). I did make it down to the Sunset to see Hypatia Lake and the Turn-Ons. Hypatia Lake (pictured above) were damn impressive—and I obviously wasn’t the only one who thought so—a rep from Sad Robot Records was checking ‘em out too.

Now I Know WTF? (A Little Music-Anthropology)

posted by on June 9 at 2:10 PM

A few days ago I made this post titled WTF?

Well, now I know, and I thought I’d share the answers with you.

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The two singers are Danny Ja Armi (translation: Danny & Armi). Hence the D&A on the sweaters of the background dancers.

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Danny (ne Ilkka Johannes Lipsanen) is a very famous singer from Finland. He’s, like, the Finnish Tom Jones. Performing pretty much non-stop since the mid 60’s. He does a traveling tour that goes all over Finland to huge crowds, similar to a traveling Branson, MI show or Lawrence Welk.

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Armi (ne Armi Aavikko) is, as you can probably tell from that link, dead. (BTW, doesn’t she look like Nick Garrison as Hedwig in that photo?) She was Miss Finland for 1977 and soon after joined up with Danny for some duet performances that were amamzingly popular in their homeland.

In 1978 they released their smash hit “Tahdon Olla Sulle Hella” (I’m missing some crazy Finnish lettering here, but i don’t know how to do that on the blog, sorry!) It was so big they decided to try to “wow” the english speaking world with it. Hence the now classic, at least to me, “I Want To Love You Tender”.

Armi died of complications from pneumonia, possibly acerbated by chronic alcoholism, in 2002. And Danny still performs in his traveling show to this day. They could never have imagined that thirty years after the original song was recorded they would become a worldwide phenomenon, due entirely to the internet.

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As a special gift, I give you this link. The full original song in Finnish. The link expires on 8/15/06 so get it while it’s hot!

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God bless you Danny ja Armi!

Noise for the Needy

posted by on June 9 at 1:55 PM

Noise for the Needy continues to take over the city this weekend with their week’s worth of benefit shows. In an effort to raise money for New Beginnings, Noise for the Needy organized an onslaught of great rock shows featuring bands like Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, Mark Pickerel, Slender Means, Arkade, Hypatia Lake, Mon Frere, Tourist, the Valley, and Ms. Led. There’s also an all-ages show at the Crocodile with Rock & Roll Soldiers, the Blakes, the Boss Martians, and the Pharmacy. The shows kicked off on Tuesday, but there’s still a lot of action left. And all shows are $10 or less, with the money going to a great cause. Worth checkin’ out if your weekend looks bare.

If you want to know more about the people behind the project, Hannah Levin wrote about Noise for the Needy in this week’s Rocka Rolla column, and you can also visit their website,www.noisefortheneedy.org where they accept online donations.

A complete show schedule is after the jump.

Continue reading "Noise for the Needy" »

Gnarly Gnarls

posted by on June 9 at 1:54 PM

Man”¦ the hype behind the whole Gnarls Barkley thing was way too much even for my tastes. But nonetheless, I have a lot of respect for the project and appreciate the album for what it is”¦ a pop album. Apparently things were totally out of control last night on the MTV Movie Awards. The Gnarls Barkley performance was amazing”¦ Way to redeem the SW saga’s last 8 years of failings”¦ Check out the epic performance here.

Records…Dead?

posted by on June 9 at 12:49 PM

This will be old news to Dave Segal (he was there, man!), but I just listened to this recording of a Mutek panel devoted to that venerable question, “Are Records Dead?” hosted by blogger/journalist/dj extraordinaire, Philip Sherburne.

This is pretty nerdy stuff, but if you buy records, make records, spin records, or sell records it’s worth a listen. Mr. Sherburne suggests you listen to it while doing some light housework, but I think it could also make for a relaxing bath.

So what does everyone think? DJs, what do you prefer? How long will you lug around crates of vinyl when MP3s are so very light? Record buyers, at what point do these things become only collectibles/fetish objects without real functionality? Record stores, how the hell are you staying in business?

“The Woman Is Wild, a She-Cat Tamed by the Purr of a Jaguar”

posted by on June 9 at 12:47 PM

Personal story: When I was a little kid I distinctly remember sitting in the back of the Frizzelle station wagon and riding the freeways of San Jose while my mom listened to the radio and, often as not, cried. The station she liked played Hall & Oates ALL THE TIME. Two months ago, I started buying and listening to music that reminds me of my parents, that I’d rejected because it was mainstream or whatever but that, on relistening, makes me pretty damn happy. I’ve been listening to Hall & Oates ALL THE TIME. The big hits, mainly—”Maneater,” “Private Eyes,” “Rich Girl,” “Sarah Smile,” “One on One.” Imagine my surprise when I learned, last week, that Hall & Motherfucking Oates are playing the Paramount. Ladies and gentlemen, they’re playing the Paramount TONIGHT. Hannan Levin writes in Stranger Suggests:

Hall & Oates
(MUSIC)
It’s an unfortunate reality that the mere mention of Daryl and John’s surnames produces snickers and recitations of the chorus from “Maneater.” They’ve been reduced to an ’80s punch line, but the reality is that their white-boy soul fusions were built with some exceptionally strong pop songwriting skills. Do yourself a favor, go listen to “Rich Girl” with fresh ears and hear it for yourself. (Paramount, 911 Pine St, 292-0888. 8 pm, $37”“$67, all ages.)

I part ways with Levin on this because I’ll go to bat for “Maneater” any day of the week and twice on Sunday. It’s just so catchy and so supremely weird. Some of the lyrics I’m just learning now—for instance, who knew he’s singing “The woman is wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar” [and why the initial cap? is this just bad grammar, or a reference to the car? {also, aren’t those pictures along the side amazing? the saxophone? the beret?}]—but that chorus is as deep in my psyche as the topography of California.

EXTRA DOUBLE-SCOOP CAN-YOU-BELIEVE-IT INSIDE TIP: It just so happens—it’s so cosmic—that Harvey Danger has been working on their fabled cover of “Maneater” and will be perfoming it this very night, giving you, Seattle resident, the opportunity, since the Hall & Oates show starts at 8 and Harvey Danger take the stage (at the Crocodile) probably somewhere between 11 and midnight, to see two hit bands doing “Maneater” in one night.

And people say this town is boring…

I Anonymous: Music Edition

posted by on June 9 at 10:29 AM

In addition to the fierce anti-Ben Harper screed in this week’s paper, there have been a couple other good ‘n creepy music-related I, Anonymous submissions in the I, Anon forum.

First up is a relatively fluffy entry asking an age-old question: How come rock bands insist on looking like scowling, humorless twats in their publicity photos?

The second entry is much weightier and creepier, involving a local female concertgoer, the recent Too Short show, and an allegedly misplaced penis.

(Feel free to offer your answers to the first entry and outrage over the second in the comments.)


Movement/DEMF Day Three (Redux)

posted by on June 9 at 8:42 AM

[In which the author pays tribute to Carl Craig while nearly overheating, lounges around for a bit in both the literal and figurative senses, then closes out the festival with a wonderful last few hours and late night scenester adventures.]

Prior DEMF posts here:
Day Two
Day One
Day Three

Carl CraigThose that know me outside of the blogosphere know that I haven’t been able to shut up about being able to see Carl Craig. I’ll make an attempt to be a bit more even-handed here in my full recap of the last day of this year’s DEMF (and the close to this series of posts), but please bear with me if I gush a bit.

The last day of the festival started the earliest, on account of Carl Craig choosing the opening slot for the day. I left my hotel to a warning from housekeeping to drink lots of water since it was supposed to hit 92 degrees (it reached 91, matching the 1969 record), making it the hottest day of the festival. The lack of cloudcover didn’t provide anything in the way of relief either as I rushed to the festival only to be met with an extreme feeling of solitude. The afternoons are always a bit slow, but this was particularly empty (tumbleweeds will be fitting for the film adaptation). That is, until reaching the Pyramid stage where Craig was playing. There may not have been many people overall (a hundred or so when I arrived), but it filled out over the course of the set, as did the festival grounds at large.

Craig’s set took bits from his Fabric release, fit in some Detroit classics, some house, some techno, and a lot of tracks that fit in between. He even dropped some minimal over the course of his three hours. The trainspotting wasn’t so important as the overall effect, which was a set that took the time to explore, and had a life of its own. Rather than being just a set at the festival, this was the set at the festival, bringing in DJs as well as people of all backgrounds (Shawn Rudiman and Kevin Saunderson dropped by, the latter greeted to his classic track “Good Life”). Behind Craig, his daughter danced to the varying beats, while myself and others did the same despite the heat.

After Carl Craig, it was time to find some relief. Not having enough energy for Adam X on the main stage (a few brave souls toughed it out, although the bulk of people hung out in the shade), I made my way over to the Beatport stage. People were sitting on the ground both under the tent and in its surrounding area to Klimek’s set, which didn’t seem to be a live set as much as a Winamp playlist (he didn’t even stay at his laptop). Even with no performance to speak of, people spoke in hushed tones if they spoke at all, just taking in the experience and conserving their energy. Mikkel Metal didn’t alter a working formula too much, although there was at least a person to watch.

Continue reading "Movement/DEMF Day Three (Redux)" »

Jesse Sykes’ new material

posted by on June 9 at 8:33 AM

Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter debuted a bunch of new material at the Noise for the Needy fundraiser at Neumos last night. I particularly dug “Air Is Thin,” which featured sublime backing vocal accents by bassist Bill Herzog, violinist Anne Marie Ruljancich, and guitarist Phil Wandscher, and the rockin’ “Walk Away.” In fact, the whole set - which was composed almost entirely of material from their next album - was more driving and harder overall, which Jesse and Bill both attributed to the recent addition of new drummer Eric Eagle. Their third full-length won’t be in stores until Jan. 2007, but based on what I heard last night, it should be well worth the long wait and any delays (they’ve been working on it since February!).


Thursday, June 8, 2006

YoYoYoYoYo

posted by on June 8 at 6:06 PM

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photo: Tony Ware

Spank Rock: prepare for the hipster clusterfuck. At the risk of luring in yet more scarf-wearing, Vice-reading Capitol Hillbillies to the Spank Rock show tonight at Chop Suey, I’d like to recommend you attend what is sure to be an urbane evening of marble-mouthed XXX raps, cowbell-plunkin’, B-more-bounce rhythms, computer-game FX, jagged glitch-hop beats, and booty ogling. Stranger hiphop columnist Larry Mizell Jr. grumbles that Spank Rock are “utter hipster bait” and doubts that they’re “the next shit.” To which I say, some hipster bait is worthwhile (Spank Rock, for example), and even if they’re not the next shit, Spank Rock are plenty exciting and their YoYoYoYoYo album never fails to uplift this jaded muthafucka. Now where’s my scarf?

Sia Michel Reviews Joan Jett’s Live Show in the NY Times

posted by on June 8 at 12:41 PM

It’s just nice to see the former SPIN editor’s byline again, but it was also very nice to see how smokin’ hot Ms. Jett looks. She’s 47? Sheesh—Iggy Pop must have shared his secrets with her. Read the full review here.

“Make Some Fucking Noise!”: An Exegesis

posted by on June 8 at 12:21 PM

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After enduring the 37th command in an hour to “Make some fucking noise!” at the Lady Sovereign/Streets gig last night at Showbox, I had reached the end of my tether. “No, goddamnit,” I thought, “you make some noise that will inspire us to make some noise.” Enough of this constant hectoring to push our vocal cords to their limits, just because you have insecurity issues. Earn your crowd noise, don’t beg for it. Show some ingenuity.

Next time an artist onstage badgers me to “Make some fucking noise!” I’m going to produce a CD-R of people furiously, loudly copulating and bribe the sound man to play it in the monitors at top volume. There’s your fucking noise, G.

New Product

posted by on June 8 at 12:04 PM

The woman in this video is Paris Whitney Hilton, resident of New York City and key employee at Paris Hilton Inc., a vertically and horizontally integrated entertainment corporation whose financial tendrils extend from the U.S. hospitality industry to a number of Greek shipping conglomerates and the boardrooms of companies like Warner Music Group and Amazon.com.

Its core product is “Paris Hilton,” a celebrity construct targeted at adolescent males and the lucrative “tween” market, whose disposable income and receptiveness to mass media make them the most highly desired demographics in the media business. Shareholders and directors get sweaty at the thought of penetrating this notoriously fickle market, so when Paris Hilton, Inc. unveils new features and services they stand erect and take notice.

Their newest product, a musical entertainment called “Stars Are Blind,” was leaked to the Internet this week, and shareholders are pleased not only with the clever marketing, branding and positioning efforts, but also with the tremendous innovation it took to bring this to market. The technology behind producer Fernando Garibay’s implementation of the remarkably lifelike vocals is the product of at least two years of R&D and cross-industry collaboration. Digital effects specialists view director Chris Applebaum’s work as a crowning achievement in CGI realism, noting that the televisual Hilton’s movements and expressions are nearly indistinguishable from those of actual human beings. Although end-user adoption is expected to be limited, corporate customers in the chain nightclub and cruise ship industries are sure to make extensive use of this product in their lifestyle and “experience marketing” efforts.

Some analysts question the potential of Hilton, Inc. to successfully extend its brand, whose core strengths lie in film and publishing, to such diverse markets as musical entertainment and canine/simian accoutrement. Yet, in hopes of engorged future balance sheets, they maintain “strong buy” ratings on all its associated properties.

Smart Writing About Gettin’ Dumb

posted by on June 8 at 11:55 AM

This review is hardly new, but it’s new to me. It’s perhaps the most intelligent description you’ll ever read about hip-hop’s dumbest offshoot, hyphy (that is until Mudede writes one). I was suprised by someone being willing to make mythological references to the genre that brought us ghost-ridin’ the whip.

Contain your female, handle your drugs, never lose cool. Hyphy rejects this macho Apollonian pose, finding it unnatural and inhibiting. Instead it prizes a Dionysian authenticity of feeling over some make-believe authenticity to street stoicism.

Here’s some video for you as well. Keak da Sneak, hyphy veteran.

Link to the Video

This Morning in Music News

posted by on June 8 at 11:55 AM

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It’s official: The Murder City Devils are reuniting and will headline the Capitol Hill Block Party on July 29. Lest you think this is the start of some Pixies-like revival, this is a one-time deal, kids. MCD rep Gabe Kerbrat couldn’t have been much clearer when I contacted him for comment, saying, “The band is not back together. It is just one show.” While they’re certainly free to change their minds, it seems unlikely everyone involved would have the time for a full-scale reunion, particularly multi-tasking drummer Coady Willis who has obligations to both Big Business (also playing the Block Party) and the Melvins.

In other news…

It’s not as weird as Lemmy Kilmister’s mole, but Grandaddy has put some strange stuff up for auction on Ebay.

The Dixie Chicks are having a difficult time with ticket sales is some markets (unsurprisingly, many of these are red states). Personally, I think their booking agent should have put them in larger clubs instead of sticking them in arenas. Their more liberal audiences are probably less enamored of shelling out cash for a huge arena show—and a lot of people who wouldn’t normally attend would go see them if they were playing, say, the Showbox or the Paramount.

This new Joe Strummer documentary looks potentially great; no word yet on a Seattle screening or a U.S. DVD release date. Update: Looks like June 27 is the DVD release date.

What Beatles Song Are You Today?

posted by on June 8 at 11:42 AM

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I’ve long believed that one’s list of top 10 Beatles songs could effectively reveal much about one’s personality. The fact that the Beatles catalog encompasses so many styles and evokes so many emotions makes it a sort of sonic Rorschach Test. Hell, you might even be able to pick your soul mate by comparing his/her favorite tracks from the Liverpool quartet’s 200+ treasure trove to your own.

You could probably achieve similar insights by asking folks for their top 10 Rolling Stones songs or top 10s from any other band with a vast supply of stylistically diverse material. But, taking into account those of all rock/funk/soul bands of the past 50 years or so, the Beatles songbook perhaps conveys the most universal significance to the most people.

I will now list in no particular order my 10 favorite Beatles tracks as of June 2006. Feel free to critique and to contribute your own top 10s (with commentary, if you wish). Let the amateur psychoanalysis and sociological theorizing (and match-making) begin!

01 Tomorrow Never Knows
02 She Said She Said
03 I Am the Walrus
04 It’s All Too Much
05 Paperback Writer
06 Rain
07 Ticket to Ride
08 Strawberry Fields Forever
09 Dear Prudence
10 Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and Monkey

One More Music Blog

posted by on June 8 at 10:44 AM

Oh, and this one is so much a part of my daily routine that I forgot to mention it, sort of like how I’d forget to mention that I brushed my teeth this morning. Add it and read it religiously [sic].

Japanther @ Beaver Mill ““ The Dark Ride

posted by on June 8 at 8:28 AM

The Contemporary Arts Center in North Adams, Massachusetts is haunted. For real. It is located in the 5 story, 140,000 square foot “˜Beaver Mill.’ In the 1800’s they manufactured textiles there. In the 20’s, they began making electrical parts. The place is room after room through narrow hallways and stairwells. It has that smell of earth, rusted circuitry, brick, and machinery. We played with a band called Japanther, and they completely dominated.

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Two sisters, both engaged to married, were run over in front of the mill during the 40’s. They also say one of the workers there spontaneously combusted in the 20’s. The guy just up and exploded. Places like this kind of freak me out. I was waiting to round a corner and see the dead sisters holding their decapitated heads.

Think séance. The Shining. Icabod Crane. Blair Witch. I couldn’t stop thinking about the dead sisters. I heard whispers in my head. I did the best I could to provide the people of North Adams with quality rock action, but the heebie jeebies had a hold. The place was so big, and haunted. I mean, somebody spontaneously combusted in there.

Then came “˜The Dark Ride.’ The absolute last thing I would have expected to be on the 3rd floor of the “˜Beaver Mill.’ “˜The Sensory Integrator’ it said. Part exhibit, part ride. You sit in this chair, like an electric chair, and it’s on a track, and it moves you through the exhibit. After we played, Hezzie, the CAC Director, got the keys, and opened it up for us. It takes up an entire floor. No lights were on.

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The brochure says, “Be a voyager through the Introcave and Gateway Station. Experience the Space Sculpture Garden and the Purity Vacuum.” We walked through with flashlights. There was all this melted plastic, hanging neon globular foam turds, and humanoid forms. I was already freaked out.

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There was something inbred about the whole thing. But futuristic. “˜Lost in Space’ mixed with “˜Deliverance.’ I don’t know. I kept waiting for it all to make sense, but it didn’t. I couldn’t get futuristic with the hanging foam globs and the Poltergeist happening. When we entered the Purity Vacuum, I thought I saw one of the humanoid things move and I heard a baby’s voice crying. I tinkled and ran.

Trent - out.

Head Like a Kite

Photos: Hezzie Phillips

* Japanther plays The Capitol Hill Arts Center on August 19th.


Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Please let that be you…

posted by on June 7 at 2:10 PM

The Rentals have returned! Have you missed them as much as I have?

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The band, featuring Matt Sharp of Weezer when Weezer was still a good band, is playing Neumo’s Monday, July 24. Tickets are $20 advance, and they go on sale this Friday, June 9. The show is all-ages.

I’m the happiest girl ever.

Shakin’ Some Ass to Alpert’s Brass

posted by on June 7 at 1:14 PM

My lone sibling is coming to visit me. He gets in tonight. I haven’t seen the bastard since December.

My brother and I regard each other with confounded anger, snide irony, nostalgia and love a la familia, but one thing I can always count on when he comes to visit, no matter how much I want to beat his head in sometimes, is that hilarity will promptly ensue. Our mutual love of the absurd makes hanging out with my brother a very special and surreal experience that often involves him saying some crazy shiznit that makes me spew all sorts of beverages and fall all over myself laughing, to the point where it becomes that silent laughter that’s so violent and paralyzing that all you can do is wait for the seizure and fits of wheezing to burst all your internal organs.

I’m preparing myself right now for what’s to come by listening to a compilation he recently made for me, gems from¦

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Specifically from Whipped Cream & Other Delights, and Going Places.

These silly 1960s horn serenades, ass-shaking rhythms, funky strumming and glockenspiel will make you want to bust out some interpretive dance down the aisles of some linoleum-floored retro-trash shopping center somewhere. It’s dementedly giddy. Just like the rest of my week will surely be.

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What do you listen to when you get a hankerin’ for some Quirk?

Raiding the Stephin Merritt Songbook

posted by on June 7 at 12:53 PM

From perennial Hot Tipper Jake comes the link to the website Meaningless, “a dedication to the songs of the Magnetic Fields,” featuring a whole bunch of musical artists I’ve never heard of covering compositions by Mag-Fields mastermind Stephin Merritt.

I’ve long wondered how covers of Merritt songs would work—clearly his songs are eminently coverable, but how would they come off divorced from the Magnetic Fields’ signature flat-affect/depressed robot delivery?

From what I’ve heard on Meaningless, it’s a delightfully mixed bag. A number of the covers are pretty straightforward, recreating something close to the song’s original style, with lovely results. (See “You and Me and the Moon” by the awesomely named Guantanamo Bay City Rollers). Others art it up admirably (the gorgeous “Book of Love” by the Harvey Girls) and pretentiously (Orbit Service’s “My Only Friend”). And some just bang out sweet, simple renditions of songs they clearly love (Our Lady of the Highway’s “100,000 Fireflies”—a song I first learned to love through another cover version, performed by Nick Garrison’s alter-ego Randi Sparks in his/her late-90s show Semi-Precious, which would make a great addition to Meaningless.)

The most ambitious entry I found was Boy Omega’s “Papa Was a Rodeo,” presented in a lush, piano-based arrangement with a tortured vocal performance that aims for something close to emotional honesty—an odd choice for a musical melodrama that’s eight kinds of ironic, but interesting nonetheless.

Thanks to the Meaningless artists for providing Stephin Merritt lovers with a fresh way to enjoy the songs we love, and confidential to Shania Twain: Just because a bunch of indie kids made a website doesn’t mean you’re not required to cover “Sweet-Lovin’ Man,” making Stephin Merritt rich and you even richer…

Design for Future Listening

posted by on June 7 at 12:13 PM

How will you use these?

via We Make Money Not Art.

Are There Other Music Blogs?

posted by on June 7 at 11:49 AM

Although it baffles me why you would look to any source other than Line Out to get your music news and views, I do understand the impulse and admit to reading other blogs from time to time. If you’re not already immersed in the indiecrat blogosphere, here are a few to check out.

Click Opera is Momus, aka Nick Currie, musician, art critic, Whitney Biennial “Unofficial Tour Guide” and Wired News columnist. He’s a polarizing figure, what with all his opinions and stuff, and he’s also quite the prolific writer with a lot of interesting thoughts about life in Berlin, New York and Japan, the Slow Life movement, cultural relativism, etc. (He’s also the guy who predicted that “in the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen people” — the seed quote for a book I’m working on.)

David Byrne. A very thoughtful writer, generous and critical at once. Theater, culture, science, art, music. Line Out readers have pointed out his recent entry on packaging and music. Despite all evidence I will take full credit for helping get this debate off the ground :-)

The Original Soundtrack. Geeta gave up a promising career in neuroscience to hang out with us critics and write about techno and stuff. A good run of posts here on the relationship between cooking and music.

Woebot. Obscurists better keep a fresh pair of pants handy.

What’s on your feed list? Let us know in comments.

One of the happiest songs you will ever hear…

posted by on June 7 at 11:35 AM

Goods by Mates of State.

I’m not a huge Mates of State fan. I’ve been known to call the husband/wife team annoying in the past, but there’s something about this song. It’s poppy as hell, but it almost feels badass in how openly upbeat it is. The song just doesn’t give a fuck, you know? It’s gonna be full of cute keyboard, bouncy drums, and saccharine melodies whether you like it or not. Whatever’s going wrong, well, this song makes it all okay. Because it’s “aaaaallllll in your head.” I’ve already listened to it at least a dozen times this morning.

What song do you have on loop?

Joy Wants Eternity

posted by on June 7 at 11:13 AM

Take a few minutes of your day to check out this week’s Band of the Week, Joy Wants Eternity.

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Their songs are lush, atmospheric soundscapes reminiscent of Mogwai’s more beautiful and melodic moments. But they also obviously find inspiration in My Bloody Valentine. A new full-length album is due out in August, and they’ll be touring later this summer/fall. Visit www.joywantseternity.com for updates.


Tuesday, June 6, 2006

A Jukebox That Pushes Your Buttons

posted by on June 6 at 9:47 PM

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So apparently these new digital jukeboxes that contain massive amounts of music—much of it obscure and difficult—are starting to appear in public spaces. Writer Wendy McClure described one of them thus in the New York Times Magazine:

The jukebox was new, and with its cheerful, glowing computer screen, it looked like a particularly glitzy A.T.M. The music didn’t come from CD’s or records inside the actual jukebox but from an immense database somewhere on the Internet or maybe even outer space.

She then goes on to recount a night in a joint called Rossi’s where someone had selected Brian Eno’s Thursday Afternoon, which consists of minimalist, Satie-like piano and vaporous synth drones, with infinitesimal variation over its 61-minute duration. The patrons’ outraged, exasperated reactions to this ambient classic are hilarious, including one miserable college dude’s whine, “It’s like yoga music or something.”

And I thought I was ruffling feathers by playing “Revolution 9” in bars”¦

Dixie Chicks on NPR

posted by on June 6 at 6:44 PM

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Terry Gross is interviewing the cute ‘n fluffy rabble-rousers on NPR today (I couldn’t figure out exactly when from the website, but Lorraine Bracco is being interviewed right now and I think they are on next). I still haven’t heard the record and politics aside, I’m terribly curious to hear what Rick Rubin brought to the table. Any Slog or Line Out readers out there with an opinion on Taking the Long Way?

You can listen online here.

The Early Scoop on Decibel’s Lineup

posted by on June 6 at 5:31 PM

I spoke with Decibel festival director Sean Horton (left in the photo) at Montreal’s Mutek last week (more on that fest soon, I hope). He revealed some of the artists who’ll be appearing at the electronic-music event’s third edition (happening Sept. 14-17). Check Decibel’s site for info updates.

ALEX SMOKE
THOMAS FEHLMANN [DUB SET]
TELEFON TEL AVIV
TAYLOR DEUPREE
SUBTLE
GREEN VELVET
FUNCKARMA
APPARAT
DEXTER
TIM XAVIER
RICHARD CHARTIER
DJ CAMEA
RANDY JONES [AMBIENT SET]
NORTEC COLLECTIVE/STATIC DISCOS SHOWCASE [w/ Panopticon, Fax, and others]
FOURTHCITY SHOWCASE

And here are some acts to whom Decibel has made overtures: Bola, Daedelus, Francisco Lopez, Alex Under, the Dead Texan (Stars of the Lid side project), Ryoichi Kurokawa (one of the stars at this year’s Mutek).

Metallica Performs Whole “Master Of Puppets”.

posted by on June 6 at 3:55 PM

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Thanks to our sister paper Blogtown PDX for providing me with this tasty morsel!

I would pay cold hard cash to see Metallica play either Ride The Lightning or Master Of Puppets in their entirety! Read the complete set list here!

Say what you will about Metallica’s anti-Napster ways, but those two albums still rock hard.

R.I.P. Billy Preston

posted by on June 6 at 3:46 PM

“Fifth Beatle” Billy Preston has passed away at the age of 59. Preston played keyboards on Let it Be, The White Album, and Abbey Road.

Mixing History/Mixing the Dead

posted by on June 6 at 2:29 PM

At this site you will find the Dubstep History Mix. Horsepower and El-B of course play leading roles in this little history, which has this track list:

Horsepower ““ Classic Deluxe [Tempa]
Artwork ““ The Soul [White]
DJ Abstract ““ Identity Crisis [Vehicle]
Bogeyman Vs Lombardo ““ Disturbed
DJ Abstract Touch [Tempa]
Phuturistix ““ 551 Blues [Locked On]
El-B & Blaze ““ The Club [Ghost]
Horsepower ““ Let’s Dance [Tempa]
Horsepower ““ Electro Bass [Turn U On]
Nude ““ Digitize [Shelflife]
El-B & Roxy ““ Express [Ghost Ltd]
El-B ““ Lyrical Tempo [Ghost]
Hyper-Hypa and Julius feat. MC Juiceman ““ Congo Fever [Shelflife]
High Plains Drifter feat. Goldspot Productions ““ Sholay (epic mix) [Tempa]
Menta ““ Snake Charmer [Road]
Artwork ““ Red [Big Apple]
El-B ““ Two Thousand [Ghost]
Oris Jay ““ Biggin Up The Massive [Urban Underground]
Zed Bias ““ Pretty Pretty [Kritical Mass Productions]
El-B feat. MC Juiceman ““ Buck & Bury [Ghost]
Daluq ““ Supafine [Soulja]
Exemen ““ Far East [Manchu]
Darqwan ““ Confused ? [Texture]
Darqwan ““ Pipe Dreams [Soulja]
Menta ““ Rubba [Sounds of the Future]
Horsepower ““ Gorgon Sound [Tempa]
Groove Chronicles ““ Stone Cold [Groove Chronicles]


For some dark and haunting dubstep, this mix is it (checkout Blackdown’s “Crackle Blues,” which follows Burial’s “Distant Lights,” and also Digital Mystikz’s sorrowful “˜Forgive’). The mix’s track list is:

1. Kode 9 “˜Ghost Town’ dubplate 2. Burial “˜Distant Lights’ dubplate 3. Blackdown “˜Crackle Blues’ dubplate 4. Dusk + Blackdown “˜Submerge’ Keysound Recordings 12” 5. Burial “˜You Hurt Me (version)’ dubplate 6. Dusk + Blackdown “˜Mantis VIP’ dubplate 7. Blackdown “˜Mantis VI3’ dubplate 8. Digital Mystikz “˜People Unite’ dubplate 9. Blackdown “˜Lata’ dubplate 10. Blackdown “˜The Danger Line’ dubplate 11. Skream v Distance “˜Political Warfare’ dubplate 12. Skream “˜Deep Concentration’ dubplate 13. Blackdown “˜ZGK’ dubplate 14. Dusk “˜Mantis (Blackdown remix)’ dubplate 15. Sizzla “˜Obstacles (Blackdown refix)’ dubplate 16. Digital Mystikz “˜Forgive’ dubplate 17. Newham Generals “˜Mic Centre’ dubplate

107.7 the End Hires New Program Director

posted by on June 6 at 2:00 PM

Phil Manning, long time Program Director at 107.7 the End, resigned about a week and a half ago, and the station has already hired a new guy. His name is Lazlo, and he comes to Seattle from Kansas City where he was the Program Director for 96.5 the Buzz.

First glance at the Kansas City station’s website sorta made me wanna puke—their big Summer concert, Beach Ball 2, features 311, Dashboard Confessional, Yellowcard, Hawthorne Heights, and Pepper. Ugh. But their playlist does boast a little more meat, with bands like the Dresden Dolls, Damone, and Band of Horses. The station also has local and alternative/underground hiphop shows, as well as a live DJ spinning on air every Saturday night.

So, it’s hard to say what will happen when Lazlo arrives at KNDD. The new boss could mean big changes. Harms, evening DJ at 107.7 invites everyone to take the opportunity to let the new guy know how you feel. He set up an e-mail address that only Lazlo will have access to. So if you have an opinion about what you like or dislike about the station, if you wanna see something change or if you wanna see something stay the same, e-mail newguy@1077theend.com and let your voice be heard.

Sir Richard Bishop Plays Guitar Tonight at Wall of Sound

posted by on June 6 at 1:46 PM

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Photo: Mark Sullo

That simple statement alone should prick up your ears and spur you to rearrange your schedule to see the master six-string picker. Sun City Girls’ guitarist Sir Richard Bishop has just issued a new CD titled Fingering the Devil on Latitudes. On it he wrings crystalline, mellifluous tones from an acoustic, gracefully alluding to various cultures and ethnicities with respect and unerring facility. Throughout the disc, Bishop’s playing is heart-breakingly beautiful and subtly transporting. I believe the CD has already sold out, but let’s hope the man will have some extra copies to sell. He will be selling a limited-edition CD-R called All Strung Out. Show starts at 7 pm. Wall of Sound is near the intersection of Pine between Bellevue and Melrose in Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

WTF?

posted by on June 6 at 1:29 PM

Sitting at home sick today and used “Disco” as a search word in youtube.com. It gave me this.

Can someone explain to me exactly what this video is? Disco? Lounge? Retro ‘50’s Grease-like dance moves mixed with….Oh hell. It could be the meds, but i’m just tripping on this one.

My favorite part is when the two singers start the chorus, and the dancers all of a sudden come barging across the screen. Hilariously bad choreography.

Rocky Votolato Makes a Video

posted by on June 6 at 1:19 PM

Rocky Votolato just posted the new video for the song “White Daisy Passing” from his latest album, Makers. You can see the video on his Myspace page. And if you haven’t yet checked out the record (released on Barsuk back in January), you really should (if you’re into the acoustic singer/songwriter thing, of coruse). It’s his best yet. You can hear another track, “Portland Is Leaving,” here.

Music for 06/06/06

posted by on June 6 at 1:13 PM

Fans of the avant should consider investigating the second West Coast appearance of the Vox Novus 60 x 60 project, a concert of 60 one minute electro-acoustic pieces by 60 composers.

A surprising percentage of locals are on the program: Greg Bartholomew, Allen Strange, Mark Barreca (anyone remember the avant electronic improvising group Young Scientist?), and Meri von Kleinsmid. Details after the break.

Continue reading "Music for 06/06/06" »

Devil’s Date

posted by on June 6 at 12:12 PM

A few clubs around town are celebrating today’s “holiday” with special 666 shows. If you wanna get down with the devil, here’s where to go:

Neumos—Supersuckers, Zeke, $10
El Corazon—Left Alive, Church of Hate, Breakneck, Dead Whore River, I Declare War (7 pm, all ages), $8
Funhouse—The King and Beast Side Show, Kaskadia, the Imperial Legions of Rome, Robot Pi, $6
Dante’s—Womanipura, DJ Manos, guests, free
Studio Seven—Betty X, 2 Headed Chang, God Fearing Nation (7:30 pm, all ages), $6.66

Daft Punk at Coachella

posted by on June 6 at 10:30 AM

Two robots with whom I'd want to party

A link to audio from Daft Punk at Coachella. Despite being a crowd recording, it’s surprisingly good. All morning I’ve had dancing robots in my head, some of which can be attributed to this set.

[thanks Ario]


Monday, June 5, 2006

Kotche’s Cloches

posted by on June 5 at 11:16 PM

Here’s a great Pitchfork interview with lofty solo percussionist and Wilco drummer, Glenn Kotche.

Mobile, Kotche’s third recording as a drum soloist, has my attention right now. I also appreciate that he’s worked with Jim O’Rourke, whose music I’m just beginning to explore.

Solo drumming, you say? It’s not what you’d think, really. It’s heavy stuff, not only in instrumentation but in concept. “Monkey Chant,” with its slow-building to blinding rhythmic intensity, has its hooks in ritual from the Hindu sacred text, the Ramayana.

There are some piano elements and some strings and lots of spangled experimentation throughout, with weird rapping and grinding and cling-clanging and even some sort of squeegeeing, but it’s far from over-wrought.

Basically, Mobile is a lesson in evolution, where primate percussionism meets high-brow composition “ism.”

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Doomsday 6/6/6

posted by on June 5 at 7:59 PM

Tomorrow night local spaz-metal cut-ups Doomsday 1999 are playing their last ever show and bidding a happy birthday/fond farewell to crazy frontman Zack Carlson, who is turning 31 (old!) and moving to Texas (scary!). If you’ve never seen Zack perform with Doomsday, you are missing out on one of the greatest showmen I have ever seen.

To wit, three things I have seen Zack do while playing with Doomsday that I have never seen any perfrormer do before:

1. Fall out a window mid-song.

2. Spraypaint his face red while screaming into a microphone.

3. Crap his pants.

So yeah, if you can possibly make it down to Olympia tomorrow I highly suggest you go salute this baby-genius with whatever hand gesture you deem appropriate.

May I suggest:

Show details after the jump.

Continue reading "Doomsday 6/6/6" »

Today in Music News

posted by on June 5 at 6:07 PM

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Sorry for the temporary absence of these posts—I’m running the music section solo this week, so I’ve been a little buried.

Badly Drawn Boy, Rogue Wave, Alejandro Escavedo: Added to Bumbershoot.

This guy from Kansas City: Appointed as the 107.7 The End’s new programming director.

Green Day: Working on new album and still contemplating a movie version of American Idiot.

Pitchfork: Having a slow news day.

Are you a local band with a great tour story? A music fan who just heard a killer new band or caught an unusual live show? A publicist with a newsworthy announcement? Email me at hlevin@thestranger.com.

Stealing The Show

posted by on June 5 at 10:45 AM

Last night, I went to see Shoplifting at ConWorks (hosted by the temporarily venue-less Vera Project). Shoplifting was great, as always; Devon Welch is one of my favorite guitarists to watch. The band always throws a dangerous dance party where the personal and the politcal bump and grind.

The surprise highlight of the evening was opening band, Kiosk (on tour from Australia), who totally stole the show.

They reminded me of Huggy Bear (a band I never got to see…sigh) only fronted by some evil, teenage version of Bree from The Fitness.

Finally Punk were inspiring in their own way, if not as musically compelling as the other bands. They’re a great example of the possibility and pitfalls of the DIY ethos. The band was occasionally brilliant, full of creative energy, they all played all the instruments, but they were kind of hit or miss. They did do a pretty good Nirvana cover, but if you’re going to dedicate a song to Seattle, just play the theme from Frasier, please.

New Scissor Sisters album info

posted by on June 5 at 8:41 AM

The sophomore album from Scissor Sisters, featuring former Seattle denizen and Bimbo’s boy Jason “Jake Shears” Sellards, will be entitled Ta-dah, and released domestically on Sept. 26 (Sept. 18 in the UK). A new single, “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’,” will precede the LP release, on Sept. 4.

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Details thus far are scant, although legendary songwriter Paul Williams (“Evergreen,” “We’ve Only Just Begun”) recently revealed he’d been writing with the Sisters; Elton John (an early champion of the quintet) is also reportedly on board. Recent Sisters gigs have featured new songs including “Paul McCartney,” “She’s My Man,” and “Forever Right Now.” Look for the band to launch a new official web site (with, hopefully, more details) on June 30.

Powerslave vs. The Piranha Pond

posted by on June 5 at 12:17 AM

Made it to New York. Finishing the drive was Daedelus, Out Hud, South, and Earth, Wind, & Fire.

We played Knitting Factory - pouring rain. Had to load out through 200 sixteen year old emo boys. All bad asses. All pissed off. All wanting tattoos on their neck. Razors. Getting the kick drum out was a battle of bouncer vs. emo. A bouncer lead my way. He was like an ice plow. He was throwing the emo’s out of the way. I did see one legitimate neck tattoo. It was Wonder Woman with a devil’s tail, holding a splif.

The rain never stopped. Completely sopping wet. Somebody accidently put their cigarette out on my hand.

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Photos: Marlon Schaeffer

Knitting Factory has 3 levels. Each level with an early show and a late show. 18 bands. It’s like a cat in a piranha pond. We played with Evil Beaver. They sold thongs.

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Photo: Marlon Schaeffer

Back to the emo kids. One question for them - Do you like Iron Maiden, or have you ever gone through an Iron Maiden phase? Because I don’t think you can consider yourself bad ass until you own and know the 1984 release, Powerslave. Especially, “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, the 14 minute adaptation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem relating the supernatural events experienced by a solitary mariner who kills an albatross. 14 minutes. That is bad ass. Plus, Eddie, Maiden’s 17 ft tall mascot is unstoppable.

Where are the Eddie’s today? We need more Eddies. And more neck tatts. And more Evil Beaver.

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Trent - out.

Head Like a Kite


Sunday, June 4, 2006

Q Magazine Officially Sucks.

posted by on June 4 at 7:08 PM

In my very first post for Line Out a few weeks ago, I told everyone that the newest album by the Swedish band, The Knife (pictured below),

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entitled Silent Shout,

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was the best electronic album of any kind I’d heard so far this year. Everyone I have played it for as been astounded by how raw, visceral and dark the imagery on the album is, and how musically and lyrically Silent Shout is super tight.

So imagine my shock, no, my jaw-fucking-dropping-to-the-floor shock at the album being given 1 FUCKING STAR by Q magazine.

I’ll admit I used to love Q magazine years ago. I grew up in a small town and getting an issue of Q opened up a world of music that the local Sam Goody’s never dared to touch. I felt so smart and know-it-all-y after reading issues with huge articles about the history of Kate Bush and other British acts. This just seem like such a betrayal of how smart Q used to be (to me at least!)

Here is their review:

Jose Gonzalez endorsed them. Did he not want to do that.

Those captivated by the skeletal acoustic beauty of Jose Gonzalez’s top 10 hit Heartbeats (which also appeared in the Sony TV ad with the multicoloured balls) may be surprised to learn that the song was originally a synth-driven dance track performed by fellow Swedes The Knife. Anyone looking for similar pop gems here, however, will be bitterly disappointed by Silent Shout, a hideous mess of electro noodling and maddenly obtuse, tuneless vocals. Arch and über cool, The Knife probably think they’re making something approaching high art. In actual fact, they’re making something which is barely listenable. (Luke Lewis)

Whatever Q Magazine! You just keep writing those great reviews of lame-ass albums by Oasis and their offspring. I’m so disapointed in you!

Ignore this twat, Luke Lewis, and go buy yourself a copy of Silent Shout. You will thank me, I swear.

Foscil and Specs Tonight!

posted by on June 4 at 5:39 PM

I’m graduating! In celebration of my journalism certification, I’m heading over to Chop Suey tonight to check out Foscil and Specs One.

I’m hoping they play my personal anthem, “My Words,” so that I can get deranged on the dance floor. Don’t miss this show. If you’re into sampling of quirky antiquity and shrewd breaks, you better be there. These guys are sleepers, which amazes me because these saucy beats are satisfying. Get some while Seattle still sleeps.

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Techno Stardom Made Easy

posted by on June 4 at 5:21 PM

It’s pretty easy these days to score a copy of Ableton Live or Fruity Loops and make yourself a half-decent techno track. But what about all the other stuff that goes with being a super techno don, like finding good records and building your cred as a tastemaker? Can technology help with that, too?

Well, now it can. Give it a whirl and let me know if you score any gigs.

The Unearthing of Eluvium

posted by on June 4 at 5:02 PM

I went to see Eluvium last night at Neumos. Eluvium is local experimental musician Matthew Cooper.

I’ve been appreciating Eluvium’s incandescent drones for a couple months now, since someone gave me Talk Amongst The Trees. I happened to be in a low place, living in Olympia for an internship, feeling isolated, making the commute to Seattle just to stay connected at some level.

I listened to Eluvium during my last few commutes to and from Olympia. These commutes usually involved the road overtaking me, becoming a sort of half-lit half-person for the duration. But, when I put Eluvium on, the flatness filled out into ultra-topography and all the bottled tension diffused and what lay underneath swelled up to the surface. It’s impossible to be a stagnant listener as Eluvium grooms for transcendence. And that seems to be the purpose of this music, apart from pure musical enjoyment.

This is not music designed for intellectualizing or for mere functionalism. Eluvium is an unearther, a unifier and an amplifier of states of mind and emotion. It’s an amorphous bore-tide of swirling guitar drones and subtle synth. Temporal layers lead to cyclic humming, whirring, chiming, whorls of riff-reversal, and tremors of trebled guitar. There is a distinctly cathartic effect to Eluvium’s endless instrumental murmuring.

But this isn’t shoe-gazing melancholia or glamorized isolationism, two themes that grow tiresome within the drone genre. Instead, Eluvium’s afterglow is pure openness.

Postscript: I wrote this before doing a google search for an Eluvium link. After calling this music “unearthing,” come to find out that eluvium is actually a geological term for soil deposits “derived by in situ weathering,” which is a combination of natural weathering, gravity and aggregation, like buried veins of gold or diamond. I had no idea, but the metaphor came just as naturally.

Matthew Cooper knows what he’s doing.

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Fania 101

posted by on June 4 at 9:25 AM

There is an extensive article on the revival of Fania Records, “the Latin Motown,” in the Arts section of today’s New York Times. Even if you’re only a casual fan of the genre, it’s a good read; if you’re the sort of consumer who snatches up everything on Seattle’s own Light in the Attic imprint, it’s essential.

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My personal favorite from the Fania catalog is Acid, the 1968 full-length by conga legend Ray Barretto (who just passed away in February). Guitarist Mario Andreoni from !!! (chk chk chk) turned me on to it a few years ago, and it has rarely left my DJ crate since.