Yeah, Boiiii!: Completely overdue for this belated honor—Heart, Rush, and Public Enemy among others are inducted to Rock Hall of Fame.
And, the Award Goes To...: Just a reminder, Seattle beats out Portland as the #1 hipster capitol of these United States. Let's have a big round of applause for our American Spirit spirit.
Down in It: No longer laying dormant, Trent Reznor busies himself with the release of Nine Inch Nails greatest hits collection and, something that may interest you Spotify users, an up-and-coming music streaming service called Daisy.
Get Your Ears Wet: Santa plans on destroying your stocking hung with care by hastily shoving Hot Water Music's Live In Chicago 3 LP/2 CD/1 DVD release into it. Santa will also drop a deuce in the toilet and not flush.
MDMA in the U.S.A.: The hiphop community is reportedly getting their kicks off a derivative of ecstasy called Molly, which is enjoying a popular uprising. Wasn't the Chronic good enough?
Did you see this in the morning news? The last two sentences are particularly good. Olympia knows how to party.
Last week, I turned people on (so to speak) to “The Pot Smoker’s Song,” a track off of Neil Diamond’s third album. Velvet Gloves and Spit. It would be relevant given the recent passing of I-502 if it weren't such an aberration. Actually, to call this cut an aberration would be an aberration to aberrations. Judge for yourself.
I know, right? Let’s follow the logic:
1) Neil wants to make an anti-drug song. It was 1968, so he was clearly in lock step with the times.
2) But! He also thinks “Verses? Fuck verses, man. Let’s just use recordings of interviews with former heroin addicts because this song is about marijuana, and that makes total sense.” You’d have to be high to think that, but okay.
3) Then, to Elmer’s Glue the whole thing together — because you can’t get high off of sniffing that stuff, y’see — he exhales a chorus that sounds like something out of HR Pufnstuf, the old psychedelic puppet show that was admittedly fueled by (and named after the Hand Rolled) wacky weed.
4) Satisfied with ridding the world of joints and bongs, Neil goes on to a very successful music career filled with gold records, sold-out tours, HBO concert specials and this classic pose. Oh, and he gets busted in 1976 for possession of marijuana, which proves that you can believe your own press but you still can’t believe your own songs.
No joke, it’s the worst song he ever recorded, and I’m talking about a guy who wrote a song about E.T.* And as he told David Wild of Rolling Stone magazine, “It also confirmed a lot of people’s feelings that I wasn’t hip.” Not hip? Would an unhip performer have the guts to go out on the ledge and do something like this?
Here's a little brain fruit for your weekend... Write the best haiku, about this photo of "Cheech" & Chong, and win a whole bunch of FABULOUS prizes, after a popular vote on Lineout!
My personal favorite so far:
Enter yours (after you drink some Friday happy hour booze) right here.
Ponder the bunny
Sniffing greens on Halloween
Chong’s the Motherlode.
In her first feature, the fearless Shirley Clarke (Cool World, the Oscar-winning Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel with the World) shuns the heretofore glamorous, Hollywood image of the drug addict. These guys, who frequent the same Manhattan tenement, are a motley-looking bunch, even though den father—and Steve Buscemi lookalike—Leach (Warren Finnerty) prides himself on his housekeeping skills.
Though Leach sports a stylish neckerchief, it's just his attempt to hide a boil. If he can't stop talking, his compatriots spend most of their time nodding off. Soon, fictional filmmaker Dunn (William Redfield) steps in front of the camera to get them to "act naturally," but they see no point unless he pays them more. Since he already gave them cash to shoot up, ethics don't seem too high on his agenda.
R.I.P.: Apogee saxophonist, David S. Ware, passed away at the age of 62.
Brain Candy: This quick documentary sheds light on how drugs have benefited musicians throughout history and how psilocybins may one day help someone you love. Peace.
Slam the Man!: Lady Gaga slams Die Antwoord via Twitter over the controversial ending to their new video, "Fatty Boom Boom".
Need for Speed: Britney Spears's former manager, Sam Lufti, claims the pop star had a hellacious methamphetamine problem circa her head shaving incident.
Good Bad Apples: Those of you who download music illegally statistically turnout to be the ones who dish out the most cash for legally obtained tunes as well.
The Crowd Goes Wild!!: Attention all the single ladies: Beyonce will be hosting the Superbowl halftime show on February 3rd!!
Okay, this Star Trek clip is a year old, but thanks to Matmos’ Drew Daniel, I’m just discovering it now. Sorry for the lateness. This 24-hour recording of the starship Enterprise’s engine is a majestic gust of ice-cold ambient music. It kind of reminds me of Thomas Köner’s isolationist tundrascapes. Let it rumble all day and feel as centered—and as anomic—as you’ve ever been. That’s how Gene Roddenberry would've wanted it.
Computers x Drugs is Keyboard Kid's latest 8-bit orchestration featuring Nintendo-hop crashing into industrialized techno. I listened to it this morning and the first thing I noticed (besides my own NES and SEGA Genesis flashback) was the distinct difference in how Keyboard Kid sounds on this album compared to his last few. If you follow the artists imprint you can hear how just this year he's gone from shimmery smooth electro-screwed Based Treasure, to the doped up Digital Blunts, way off into euro-club chip-funk with his skweee effort The Transition on British label Donky Pitch (my personal fave from him in the last year), to Based Soul which blesses the listener with hiphop samples at the church of swag.
In based world, where beats are currency, positivity is oxygen, and music a way of life, variations on the theme have been a good philosophy for Keyboard Kid to have. Being one of the principal architects of the genre has placed the Keyboard Kid in a limelight and landed him work with the likes of Lil B (thanks due in part to Keyboard Kid, Obama Based God is sitting at the top of my hiphop-albums-I-can't-stop-listening-to pile), Himanshu Suri, and Kool AD (Das Racist), and has people all over the world paying positive attention to your town.
Throw in several mixtapes for cloud zines like Fader, Mixmag, and Last Night's Mixtape and arrive here; at Computers x Drugs, where the ominous, almost threatening soundtracks to the dreams of out-of-work industrial rockers meet the rebirth of 8-bit beats, a concept so outlandish it could only possibly work in the based world. Uniquely approachable as always, Keyboard Kid's efforts usually come cheap, and this time you can re-up on Computers x Drugs for five bucks (or more, if you like) over on his Bandcamp.
Keyboard Kid will be at City Arts Festival (doing his live thing with Darwin, which is not to be missed) with Ghostland Observatory, SPORTS, and Gold Fields on Friday Oct 19th at the Showbox SoDo.
Canadian composer Dan Snaith is the maestro behind the icy/ass-shaking synthesis that is Caribou, a live instrumentation, downer disco, psychedelic band/project who have always worn his deeply ingrained electronica DJ ways on their sleeve.
In 2011 Dan began working under the moniker Daphni, an entirely electronic effort that captures more clearly the world beat influences that lay just beneath the surfaces of Caribou's live percussion and keys.
His new album JIAOLONG is available to stream in its entirety for the first time over at Resident Advisor .
Heavy, sustained cello samples clamor with robot winces, claps, and every percussion instrument available on a drum package, from bongos to timbales. The distorted beats become so baptized in their own holy spirit, they break out in sparse vocal sample chants like “Ye-ye-ye.” At times, it’s like a Caribou album played through cheap, tinny computer speakers—that somehow improves their sound—and at others it’s the trance inducing ritual of a tribe of trogloxenes, confined to the darkness of the club, guided by the light of the laser machine, and sustained by the rave cave's slinky, bottomless beats.
The other day I was SO STOKED to finally find a real copy, not a reissue, of the English band, the Telescopes, first album, Taste. Until then I'd only ever had a "taped" copy. Ugh. When it was issued, late 1989, I looked for it, but I NEVER saw it on offer. Odd, since Taste was issued on the American label What Goes On, buuuuuut maybe the label sent most of the copies to the UK?! Maybe? I was in college in '89 and buying records like crazy, LOOKING for sweet jams like the Telescopes, but some small press runs/imports were hard to find.
Anyway, finding a copy of Taste got me to thinking about the '80s*... hmmmmm, Taste was recorded in June of 1989, and issued later that year, so it could, perhaps, be THE BEST LAST ALBUM OF THE '80s!!! Seriously...and 1989 was a good year for greatness; Pussy Galore's Dial 'M' For Motherfucker (April), the Melvins' Ozma (?????), and Nirvana's Bleach (June), were all issued that year. But, by date, Taste may cap the decade. Dig this track, "Violence."
Obviously the group was in the know; they nod to Jesus & Mary Chain, less J&MC 's Beach Boys affection, Spacemen 3, the Stooges, and early Sonic Youth dirges...but they were their own band, as this record testifies. Taste is a cracked wall of FUCK YOU noise that SOUNDS like what getting bludgeoned by NAPALM covered monkeys must feels like, the heaviness is unrelenting. Even today it has weight. Fuck, the album's sneer alone could challenge contemporary wanna-bes.
The rest of the Telescopes catalog, however is not as tough. Uh, it is often described as (ahem) "baggy." As they continued, they got hopeful for radio play and success, fathom. It's good, but very English. I'd guess then they were the shoegaze type, playing dreamy songs like High On Fire," rather than soundtracks to your nightmares like "I Fall, She Screams."
Anyone got another challenge?! Any other late '89 issued album that can stand up to Taste?! Check release date, tho, it's gotta be from last six months of 1989!!!!
*Looking back now and considering exactly HOW MUCH music happened during the '80s is a bit mind-boggling. While the then contemporary pop culture was full of shameless fucking lameness, the underground was full of FORWARD. In some regards the '80s might top the '60s for VOLUME of innovation, but then there were MORE poeple doing MORE things.
What happened? Why?
VanMatre: Apache Chief imploded. Living conditions in our cave had deteriorated to the point that an actual TPD officer said, "People live like this? Nirvana and the Sex Pistols didn’t even live like this." That’s a direct quote from the Cop when I showed him the place after some bad shit went down. Anyways, months went by and we all figured out that we missed playing music. So out of the earth atop the barrow of the great and terrible CHEIF burrowed MOLE ASSES. More angular, more heavy, and more stonery than before.
Mole Asses demo:
This week, prodigious LA psych-rock outfit, Feeding People released a five song EP that is better than most albums. The EP is called Island Universe, and is their first since signing with Innovative Leisure Records. Their previous effort "Peace, Victory, and The Devil" was released on Burger Records on LP and cassette, and was an album so good that I lied to my girlfriend about how much time I was spending with it.
Feeding People have been playing every festival and psych rock gathering from LA to Austin the last year, and somehow also found the time to fit in a recording session at Johnny Bell's (yeah, Crystal Antler's Johnny Bell) new home studio. While the fulcrum of Feeding People's music has always been the concussive resonance of lead singer Jessi Jone's achingly beautiful voice, the likes of which hasn't been heard since 60,000,000 Buffalo's Judy Roderick (but which every music writer from Seattle to Austin will say sounds like Grace Slick or Janis Joplin, you get the point), what's special about this new EP is the evidence of especially siginificant growth from the band altogether. Two of the tracks on the EP are instrumental, yet do not suffer whatsoever without the vocals, and I'd say even add the the solidarity of the effort.
Like a good record geek, the B-side is already my favorite, it's called "Silent Violent" and plays like a medley of the last 60 years of music condensed into four minutes and six seconds. It showcases the abilities of the band, from Jessi's delicate, indoor volume, folk songstress voice all the way up to her batshit crazy, "you'll never make it out of this mushroom overdose" banshee wail. The band beats behind her with a force that makes your primal urges stand on end and will likely have that dead animal inside your heart jumping out of its stupid human skin. Then, just when you think you know them, the whole song breaks down into a honky-tonk outro that proclaims, if nothing else, that these kids have been studying hard.
I'd love to drop a clip on you, but Feeding People have gone the way of the ancients they so well represent and made their EP available via vinyl directly from Innovative Leisure or for purchase on that "iTunes" the kids are using. You'll have to dig in the digital record crates yourself to get a listen, or wait until early 2013 to get the whole album. If you don't have time for all that, atleast give their track Big Mother below to get your priorities straight:
Overheard at Skrillex: "Why is everyone saying they're 'getting weird' right now?"
Her priorities might confuse you at the time—because why the hell is the structural integrity of an old teapot more important than the skulls of her own children? But in later years, when someone clumsily breaks something you hold dear, the size and contours of your sadness, which are roughly the size and contours of the emotions you poured into that object, might teach you something about nostalgia and why your mother felt that way about a teapot.
Anyway. Last weekend, my brother and I were horsing around in the living room—even though we're way too old for that crap—and I shoved my wrist through a thin, sharp glass object that also broke one of my arteries. An ambulance and stitches were involved. It was embarrassing on a variety of levels.
But as a result, I'm listening to the Pharmacy on a pharmacy's worth of prescription drugs and thinking about playful familial violence and nostalgia. The Pharmacy's fuzzy, slightly psychedelic (but always melodic) garage-pop sounds fantastic on these drugs—like the kind of group you'd imagine playing a high-school prom in the mid-1950s, if that high school let everyone smoke pot between classes and had a Percocet vending machine in the lunchroom.
The Pharmacy play Bumbershoot on Monday, September 3rd, on the Promenade at 4:30 pm. See the rest of our Bumbershoot coverage here!
I read on Stereogum that Def Leppard's Hysteria turned 25 today. I checked. It did. It was released August 3rd, 1987. It was Def Leppards fourth album. I remembered that. I decided to have a listen. I'm now terrorizing my neighborhood with hard rock "hits" like Pour Some Sugar On Me, and Armageddon It, on full blast. Hairspray and jean cut-offs are in order. The cops will be here soon, I'm sure of it.
Listen, officers, this album and just about every other hair rocking orgiastic, misogynistic, Mutt Lange-produced, sausage party to be released in 1987 had a huge effect on me, and these old ass neighbors can go to hell if they don't like the synthesizer assisted drumming of recently mangled Rick Allen. I mean, Def Leppard had to change their whole sound from hard rocking Pyromania, to synth sounding Hysteria, and they enlisted the help of engineers to build his drum kit. Do you know how cool that is to help your drummer through that?
The lead story in this week's music section is goddamn hilarious. Dave Hernandez, founding bassist and guitarist in the Shins and current member of Little Cuts and the Intelligence, tells honest, funny, embarrassing stories about awkward encounters he's had with Rick Rubin, Ian MacKaye, and David Lovering.
The directions to Rubin's place in the Hollywood Hills led our bulky Ford Econoline, filled with sandwich wrappers and dirty socks, up a dangerously steep and curvy one-lane gravel road. Tightly manicured hedges brushed against the oversize van. The further we climbed, the harder it was to imagine what would happen if someone was coming the other way. We finally came to an elaborate wrought-iron gate that looked like it belonged in The Great Gatsby. A voice came through the intercom, and the gate swung open.
After positioning the van between a Bentley and a perfectly restored vintage Triumph, we exited. There was a distinct Disneyland feel to the surroundings—the eerie feeling that everything from cracks in the walls to the air itself had been meticulously engineered. I wanted to run away screaming.
We entered the house just in time to pass Trent Reznor walking away briskly in a black hoodie. Rubin's assistant (who resembled a horny Anton LaVey) guided us through the taxidermy horror show that was the main hall (dead exotic animals completely surrounding us) to the sitting room where we sat in uncomfortable chairs waiting for Rubin. I made sure Phil and I were sitting right next to each other. He was my spirit animal. My giggling, unable-to-stop-fucking-with-me spirit animal.
Rubin entered, and we rose to greet him like he was the pope. He was draped in a white yogi toga robe wrap sort of thing. Huge head, huge beard, huge face... and absolutely the quietest talker ever. He sat like a Buddha and conversed with James Mercer on a number of topics, at one point asking James to scat (James politely turned him down). He told us he needed us to hear his current project and had his assistant turn the stereo on full blast, playing what Phil explained to me was the band Semisonic. We sat in silence watching Rubin rock back and forth, fingering his prayer beads and grinning at us while the ENTIRE ALBUM played from front to back at a deafening level. At some point, I realized I'd made Phil hold my hand. It was all too much.
Barboza's gold curtains + fluorescent pink, blue, green, and black lighting = nutso LSD trip* that made my eyes spin out of my head. But despite the weirdo colors everywhere, Nouela sounded great at the Block Party this evening. Formerly known as People Eating People, singer Nouela Johnston lead her new band through a catalog of songs that are more mischievous, more dramatic than her piano-pop past, but with just as many unforgettable hooks as ever.
*Dudes, I'm straight edge. I've never a drug in my life, let alone LSD. I have no idea what I'm talking about.
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