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It could be all bong hits and dick pics

But White Fang is really about confidence.

White Fang

In preparation for their upcoming non-stop tour ‘round the “United States of Whatsup,” PDX’s White Fang recently released new videos for Positive Feedback cut “Chill Yourself” and Gnarcotics Unanimous standout “Shit Happens.” The tour, in support of Positive Feedback’s vinyl release on Marriage Records in June, begins late May and is slated to hit 38 cities in as many days. Along the way, the quartet will pair up with Chicago couch cadets Nude Sunrise and Lexington sludge psychers Jovontaes.

White Fang is no stranger to the camcorder and, for that matter, self-incrimination. In their latest video installments, the four-some get adventurous, presenting a hearty display of dick and grass. “Shit Happens” is probably one of their best songs to date, and instead of creating a video that could potentially hook a broader audience, the quartet decided to take a more ‘anti-social’ widescreen take on the art of the 18-in. ripper. We’ve seen White Fang smoke weed before, but not to this extent. Every member’s pull is shot in its entirety. Risky? No. White Fang? Yes.

"Shit Happens" off Gnarcotics Unanimous

For the third video off Positive Feedback, the crew accents their signature style of cheap and easy life shots with enough dick to make your non-artsy, hetero male friends uneasy. The Daniel Johnston-esque hip-hop of “Chill Yourself” deserves more than face zooms, cemetery swagger, and open-mouthed fast food eating, so it’s quite natural that the boys find themselves waving their penises around the setting of an outdoor hot tub. Simply, if you cannot muster up the confidence to get naked with your buds in a hot tub for a music video then you need to reassess your close friendships. This is the beauty of White Fang: Separate yourself from the pack by embracing what you have, not by busting your wallet for what you think you may need.

"Chill Yourself" off Positive Feedback

While the second Gnar Tapes compilation album, Gnarcotics Unanimous, is sold out, Positive Feedback is currently available on cassette.

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Scroll through the list below to see if White Fang is going to hang dong in your area this spring/summer.

Sun. 5/27/12 Portland, OR
Mon. 5/28/12 Eugene, OR
Tues. 5/29/12 Sacramento/Davis, CA
Wed. 5/30/12 San Francisco/ Oakland, CA
Thurs. 5/31/12 Oakland, CA / San Francisco, CA
Fri. 6/1/12 Reno, NV
Sat. 6/2/12 Salt Lake City, UT
Sun. 6/3/12 Grand Junction, CO
Mon. 6/4/12 Denver, CO
Tues. 6/5/12 Lawrence, KS *
Wed. 6/6/12 Iowa City, IA *
Thurs. 6/7/12 Minneapolis, MN *
Fri. 6/8/12 Madison, WI / Beloit, WI *
Sat. 6/9/12 Chicago, IL *
Sun. 6/10/12 Detroit, MI *
Mon. 6/11/12 Dover, OH *
Tues. 6/12/12 Columbus, OH *
Wed. 6/13/12 Pittsburgh, PA *
Thurs. 6/14/12 Philadelphia, PA
Fri. 6/15/12 New York, New York
Sat. 6/16/12 New York / New Jersey
Sun. 6/17/12 Providence, RI / Boston, MA
Mon. 6/18/12 Providence, RI / Boston, MA
Tues. 6/19/12 New York/ New Jersey
Wed. 6/20/12 Baltimore, MD
Thurs. 6/21/12 Richmond, VA
Fri. 6/22/12 Lexington, KY +
Sat. 6/23/12 Nashville, TN +
Sun. 6/24/12 Atlanta, GA +
Mon. 6/25/12 New Orleans, LA
Tues. 6/26/12 Austin, TX
Wed. 6/27/12 Oklahoma City, OK
Thurs. 6/28/12 Albuquerque, NM
Fri. 6/29/12 Phoenix, AZ
Sat. 6/30/12 Los Angeles, CA
Sun. 7/1/12 Los Angeles, CA
Mon. 7/2/12 San Francisco, CA / Oakland, CA
Tues. 7/3/12 Portland, OR
 
with Nude Sunrise (of Chicago, IL) = *
with Jovontaes (of Lexington, KY) = +

(via Impose)

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Pure X|||Nate Grace

Selection: “Back Where I Began”

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Review|||Monster Rally & RUMTUM MR&RT

Selection: “Tribes”

On last year’s Coral II: The Remixes, a digital bonus to Monster Rally’s debut, we first heard RUMTUM, aka John Hastings, blanket fellow Columbus, OH producer Ted Feighan’s  “Splash Talk” with a variegated vail of gossamer trance.  For their first collaborative effort, MR&RT, Feighan and Hastings flex their personal strengths into a funky effervescent timbre neither of the two are capable of manufacturing on their own.

Since 2010, Monster Rally has garnered a decent amount of attention for sampling thrift-store bargain records—leaning heavy on the exotica variety—into ephemeral spells of crackle and hook.  RUMTUM’s 2010 digital offering Lunar Lanterns spanned the down-tempo and up-beat sides of the lounge giving us a dubby glimpse into the sounds permeating his John Malkovich room.  Feighan’s not known for peaking the two-minute mark, but with a co-pilot like Hastings augmenting his samples into an expanse of lush dub-trance it seems only fitting that listeners are treated to more than just a taste.  

While MR&RT was recently released on both digital and cassette formats—the latter coming with the additional tracks “Andes” and “Forest”—for the past couple of months the calculated release of cuts “Raindrops” and “Tribes” have given Tumblr and Wordpress bloggers enough to circulate more hype than either of the two have received for their previous solo efforts.  The only unfortunate aspect to the trickle leak of these two particular tracks is that they’re arguably the best representation of the duo’s sound.  Not only that, but the tracks are placed successively and early on in the 7-song EP.  

The opener, “Jungle,” introduces the fluid and hypnotic repetition of half-beat samples that act as the vertebrae of each track comprising MR&RT.  By track two, listeners are rushed into the climactic up-tempo funk of “Raindrops.”  The entrancing stretch of the sampled lyrics coupled with thick  bass and a jazzy outro cannot help but to grab your head and shoulders and force them into a cyclical bob leaving your hippocampus desperate to process more Monster Rally  & RUMTUM into the long term memory bank.  The head-fuck tranquility of “Tribes” slows down the pace, lulling the imagination onto the floor of a white-sand ocean bed fit with the wash of crystal-clear waves crashing overhead.  The mind can do little but watch the air bubbles float up from the mouth and into the curl of the waves overhead.  

While these two tracks compliment each other in their succession, it leaves little room for the remaining tracks to make as much of an impression as they could with a reworked track list.  The following three tracks “Sultan,” “Birds,” and “Tundra” play heavy on Feighan’s interest in the production stylings of Pete Rock and J. Dilla.  The layering and transitions are slick and complex, but lack the repeat power of the preceding tracks which adds a minor lull to the progression of the EP.  We all can’t be winners.

The finale “Free Store” shows true promise in its warm, palpitating ambience, but gets knocked up by a heavy-handed layer of acoustic guitar and tambourine.  While arpeggiated samples of acoustic have worked in the past for RUMTUM, the addition seems superfluous for this number which, at its core, would be just fine as a closer.  

Feighan’s and Hastings’ work on MR&RT is a prime example of why it’s so important to explore new territories and angles as a young artist.  So, it will be exciting to see what the two conjure up individually following an insightful experience such as this.

(via Impose)

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Interview|||Trippple Nippples

Their witchdoctor didn’t know they were a band.  But he knew where their future was. 

Photos by Eric Luc

Selection: “Masaka”

It’s shoulder-to-shoulder in the small common area of Shea Stadium. Three Japanese girls clad with little to nothing but taped Xs over their breasts and feathered panties approach the stage. Three men back them dressed in white togas. They’re the rhythm section. The lot of them are sporting Australian Aboriginal dot paint. Elliot Hasiuk, the drummer, cues the pre-recorded hyper electro-pop on a device I imagine is an iPod. Yuka, Qrea, and Nabe Nippple begin to shout what seems to be English into their microphones over the groove and clatter of Hasiuk, Joseph Lamont (bass), and Jimmy Masheder (guitar). Whether people are moshing or jumping is indistinguishable, as are the lyrics. What’s happening is simply energy. People are moving, transferring sweat. The casual spectator does not thrive in this crowd. There is no room for modesty here.

This is Trippple Nippples, an outfit from Tokyo, and, with ease, they’re capitalizing on an opportunity to fuck your brain just because they know how. The emphasis is not necessarily on the music but on the spectacle. Forget Fashion Week when you have Trippple Nippples in town. Their style is not one you should be able to pinpoint, nor is their sound. It’s simply a product of the 21st century. And, if they can find a local prop like Roberta’s pizza to emphasize that, they’re going to certainly use it and spit it back in your face. If you weren’t soaking wet following their performance, simply, you weren’t there. And if you were bored, well, “Sucks to your ass-mar!”

Following the show, I open a door adjacent to the stage at Shea in an effort to locate a quiet space to conduct an interview with the sextet after the final performance of their first American tour. Two dudes with bleeding eyes look at me awkwardly through the thick smoke of a fresh bong hit.

“Is it cool if we do an interview in here?” I ask. They look reluctant to even answer.

“Who’s it for?”

“Impose.”

“Oh, ok.”

Trippple Nippples

You would think after almost a month on the East Coast, Trippple Nippples would be a little tired – and after five performances in the area, a little over the whole New York thing. But no. Even after playing higher profile gigs with Devo at proper venues with capacities capping the 1K mark, they’re pretty jazzed about an interview in a makeshift loft that may very well kill them if it collapses – seven people in an indoor, plywood treehouse the size of a child’s closet is a pretty scary interview setting. They scamper up the stairs that look as sturdy as the rest of the constructions at Shea and dive into a single-size mattress as if it were a pool. Despite the lack of space, they look comfortable nestled together. It’s pretty fucking precious. Tokyo’s not known for living space, but I guess there are a decent amount of ramshackle loft spaces in Tokyo, or Trip Nips are all just full-grown kids.

Without having a full-length album, Tripple Nippples have managed to make quite a name for themselves since their beginnings back in 2006 with a handful of singles, videos and a live reputation Pharrell Williams is willing to bet on.

“We’re bullshit artists. We want to create a fantasy world,” said Masheder prior to their performance. With faint paint still dotting their faces and sweat fresh from the surprise, late-night performance by Anamanaguchi, the Trip Nips gang chatted with me about playing to members of the AARP, ancestor worship, a Mexican witchdoctor, and recording in the midst of the 3/11 earthquake disaster.

How was your first tour of america going from supporting devo at bigger venues to finishing off at a diy space?

Yuka: The first tour in America was fantastic Mr. Fox. The Devo show was kind of interesting because a lot of the audiences were over 60 years old, basically. The grandpas were really enjoying it, and some grandmas were really pissed because you don’t wan’t to see your husband going crazy with young Japanese chicks. One mother was shielding her daughters ears when we were swearing at the audience. It was a really great experience over all. The Devo guys were really nice. They’re really brilliant guys and we had a really good time with them. We miss them a lot.

How did you get up with devo for your first american tour?

Jimmy: We found out that America really loves us, and, of course, we really love America. And Mark [Mothersbaugh] from Devo was interested in what we were doing so he asked us if we would support them for their east coast dates.

Do you prefer a more intimate reception like the one you received here at shea stadium?

Yuka: I think that audience should not matter so much. Our job is to entertain people and we just want people to have a good time at our show. It’s our job and what we want. Just that.

Yuka, when did you meet nabe and qrea?

Yuka: We are basically all cousins. The three of us grew up together in the countryside of Japan, and our dream was to become Destiny’s Child. But it didn’t turn out that way…

Where does the inspiration for your costumes and performances lie?

Joseph: Oceania.

Jimmy: We’re just trying to pay respect to our ancestors.

Joseph: And the Pacific. Literally we are—we’re not kidding. That’s where it comes from. There’s a little bit of Africa and a little bit of China, but it’s mainly Oceania through a Japanese filtration system.

Jimmy/Joseph: Ancestor worship…(giggle)

Yuka: I think we didn’t worship our ancestors enough before, but we realized our ancestors made us be here. So we thought we should respect our ancestors – Jo’s ancestors used to chop up enemies heads and make human Xmas trees—he is Scottish. We may not do that, but once upon a time we were all warriors! It’s in the blood, cant you feel it every now and then?

I have to ask you about incorporating roberta’s pizza into your performance. What was the thought behind it?

Yuka: We wanted to include THE American thing in our performance, cause we are in America. We tried hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and popcorns, whatever we can get around the corner of the venue. Time, place, occasion it is!

I read somewhere that your coming together had something to do with a witchdoctor?

Qrea: One day we were at the beach in Mexico and saw a witchdoctor. We followed him and found his house, which was filled with voodoo dolls. There was a guy sitting in the house with a broken leg getting voodoo magic done to it. He looked like he was in harsh pain. The very next day, we saw him running at the beach. I’m serious. We went back to the witchdoctor’s house and started talking to him. He said we are fated to be together, and said something about music. And here we are now. We don’t exactly know who he was, but we will go back there again soon. We have to.

He assumed you were a musical group?

Yuka: He didn’t know we were a band, but he knew where the future was. It’s a voodoo thing.

So how did you start creating music as trippple nippples?

Jimmy: We had two cassette boom boxes and we would just multi-track record onto one and record onto the other, and make instruments from wood and stones.

More organic instruments?

Jimmy: We’re trying to get rid of our electricity again, back to where it began.

I’m interested in the influences on your musical style because i don’t want to bastardize your sound. What’s the source of your sound?

Joseph: Go to the Oceania exhibit at the Met and have a walk around.

Tell me about how you got up with pharrell williams?

Jimmy: Our witchdoctors who are really looking after us always lead us to whatever is meant to happen. That’s how we caught up with Pharrell and also Devo.

Kind of like destiny?

Jimmy: Yeah. From the future they tell us. They know what’s going to happen, and they just make it as they see fit. Pharrell is a really big fan of Japanese culture and he wanted to support it after the quake and make this film. And they wanted to see the cool stuff happening in Tokyo, and of course he came to see us because we’re like the funnest thing. Yeah, it just happened.

I heard you’re planning on recording with him.

Yuka: We’ve been talking to him back and fourth. I guess it’s going to happen sometime this year, but we never know. That should be in our witchdoctor’s list though.

Should we expect an lp in 2012 or 2013?

Yuka: Yes! In 2012.

Joseph: 2012 it’s going to happen, finally.

Yuka: Wait, we live in the future, so it’s actually 4012, not 2012.

will there be any association with the winter solstice of 2012?

Joseph: I hope so.

Did 3/11 affect the way you approach and perform music? In what ways?

Yuka: Yeah. I think since 3/11 happened our music got a lot faster and harder. I guess it’s because you always think tomorrow will be promised, but not really because shit happens and you never really know what’s going to happen. You really have to live life to make the most of it. You deserve it; it’s the only life you get. I think we didn’t really think that way at that time, but I guess we got the vibe of the whole thing and naturally our music got a lot faster which is kind of killing me (giggles)!

What is the process of recording a song like “lsd” or “masaka”?

Jimmy: Actually, LSD was recorded while [3/11] was happening.

Say what?

Yuka: We are really a hardworking band, so we went to the rehearsal studio a couple of days after the quake – that was when the radiation news was everywhere . We were like “let’s fucking do this!” as always, but nobody was at the studio practicing – even nobody was in the city! It was weird, all the water was gone from the store so I remember I was so thirsty while rehearsing.

Jimmy: ”LSD” was done literally that week - at the end of that week. I think it was a positive influence, actually. I think it made everybody in the scene realize what was going on and it got rid of all the fluff.

I have to ask: What do psychedelics have to do with your spirituality and your music? You do have a song called “LSD.”

Joseph: Nothing, that’s a separate thing. The only spiritual hippie we got is Nabe Nippple. She ran away to India and just returned to the group last year. We are so happy she is back.

(Everybody laughs)

Last thing: Yuka, during the last song you were chanting “USA, USA, USA!” then you held up your middle finger and said something. I was wondering what that was?

Yuka: I think I was saying something like “Don’t be a fucking wuss.” You have this moment in your hand, right now, in your face. It’s fine to go crazy ‘cause this moment is gonna go in both good ways and bad ways. You have to make most of the moments you have. So I wanted the audience to come on the stage – share the time we have together. That’s the basic idea of our live show anyway. I don’t remember holding up my middle finger. Hmmm, I wonder why?

(via Impose)

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Interview|||Pow Wows

The Pow Wows never meant to be a real band.

Selection: “Following the Tracks”  

"The whole retro thing is cool, but you have to understand – rock ‘n’ roll, country, and punk have all been borrowed. It’s all gone through the gamut and there are just new incarnations of it. If you want to start an avant-garde band then go fucking do that… But, if you like rock ‘n’ roll then just put your own spin on it and you’ll be free."

—Tim Presley

It is in Toronto, Ontario that the convergence of the grit of the Detroit scene, the manic panic of the San Fran psych scene, the twang of the Southern scene, and the eeriness of the French scene have come together over “dudes getting drunk and stoned recording shit thinking it’s a joke.” While Pow Wows have a sound embedded in the tried and true style of rock ‘n’ roll, it’s how they’ve seamlessly melded the panache of contemporaries and early adopters into a style that has both fans and critics looking north of the border for what’s next in the evolution of DIY rock.

According to native Canuck, King Khan, on their self-produced debut Nightmare Soda Pow Wows “gloriously carry the flower-punk torch and continue in our debaucherous death cult tradition.” High praise, and for good reason – although the flower-punk sash is more of an adornment than a religion. It’s a sound that provokes gallivanting beyond hedonistic salubrity. The kind of mischief that results in the form of lush ambivalence, the daily shakes, consistent trips to the free clinic, a boost in the black-market drug trade, yellow teeth, bad breath, diarrhea, paranoia, and one hell of a record collection. This is an ethos I’m not confident is embodied by Pow Wows’ members, but one that could certainly be ascertained through their variety of shit-hot garage.

On Halloween Pow Wows – composed of vocalist/bassist F. Scott Beaudelaire, guitarists Jay Shite and Juarez Laredo, and drummer Kelly MacGrewver – came to the Lone Wolf bar situated under the cackle of the J train on Broadway in Brooklyn – not the Broadway known for lights, stars, and theatre but the one known for bodegas, dime-bags, and bootleg porn – to play what would be their American debut. Pageantry was absent despite the holiday. Go figure Bushwick.

"Honestly, I think that this band wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Get Hip getting behind us," said MacGrewver following the show.

The majority of the half-capacity crowd adorned with mostly black leather jackets, selvedge jeans, and hair styles reminiscent of Elvis’ iconic coif were in attendance to see Pittsburgh garage stalwarts the Cynics. Get Hip founder and Cynics guitarist, Gregg Kostelich, discovered his label’s latest darlings during a show at Toronto’s Mitzi’s Sister (now the Sister) over a year ago.

"It was our second show as a band," said Beaudelaire. "We had this tape. We gave the Cynics a copy of the tape, and then, that was it. We went on, and maybe three or four months later they contacted us saying they wanted to make it an LP. We were like, ‘really?’"

At first, Kostelich and Barbara Garcia-Bernardo, co-head of Get Hip, only wanted to issue a 7” single, but, after spending more time with the cassette, the two decided to master what was already recorded into Nightmare Soda. Their only changes as far as content were adding the numbers “Know Her Name” and “Plastic Factory,” as well as removing the blistering cassette closer “Riding Down The Tracks” which is a Captain Beefheart cover. “We committed copyright infringement,” said Beaudelaire.

The recording that would become Soda was built around a series of sessions in a couple different practice spaces dictated by work schedules and the abilities of a Zoom MRS1608 digital interface. The original lineup – Beaudelaire, MacGrewver, Shite, and another Jay whose last named went unspoken by the band – was only fully present for the recordings of “EIO (During the Flood)” and “Pandemic 44.” At the time, Pow Wows was just a collaborative project, not a focus, which served advantageous for these sessions.

Michael Kastelic (Cynics), Jay Shite, Juarez Loredo, and F. Scott Beaudelaire

“The rest of the record consists of lineup mixes of Siam Cat and Godzillas. It wasn’t meant to be a record, none of this was meant to be an album. It was just that we were in the space, fucking around,” explained Beaudelaire. “Here’s a song. We recorded a song. We’d do that. Then there would be days when I wouldn’t be there, and there were days where he [Shite] wouldn’t be there and it would get recorded.”

How many bands receive a 180-gram vinyl pressing for work they didn’t intend to even properly release? Not a lot. For recording the distorted layers of vocals, guitars, bass and drums Beaudelaire said it was all about “mic placement.” Either way, the inexpensive method contributed towards their timeless sound. A sound that seeks an audience not by recording capacity but by product. “We just kind of write our own songs and then record it in a lo-fi quality. Digitally. The recorder we have might as well be a tape machine. But, that’s the beauty of the technology. The only thing different is the ease. The actual sound quality is achieved by the mics being used. If we went to a proper studio, they would laugh at the methods that we use.”

Ultimately, the decision to release an LP with Get Hip prompted the boys to make, what they considered, necessary changes to their lineup in order to become a proper recording and touring act. Pow Wows’ original lead guitarist, the other ‘Jay,’ was asked to step aside. A couple of weeks before the show, Juarez Laredo was asked to step into the role of lead guitarist for the tour.

"Once Get Hip got involved, that was when it came to a point that it was like, ‘ok, maybe this can be an actual band,’ because it was literally not a real band. Once we tried to take it as a real band, there was a point where we had to get rid of a member because it was this fractured thing and that’s when Juarez Laredo entered the picture. Not that we’re like ‘serious,’" said MacGrewver. "I was more concerned with being able to deal with an asshole as a bandmate. We wouldn’t have wanted to do these shows with The Cynics in these five or six cities. We wouldn’t want to do these shows with the previous band," he added.

During their set, the Toronto gang wheeled out renditions of Soda numbers “EIO”, “Seeing Black”, and “Worry… Don’t” which captured the essence of what made the album so exciting:

Beaudelaire’s guttural vocals, Shite ‘s heavy-handed strums, the solid pace of MacGrewver’s skins, and the delayed twang and fuzz of the lead played by Juarez. As raucous as their sound is, live and in studio, ugh, practice space, they would prefer not to be placed in any bracket of rock ‘n’ roll.

MacGrewver expressed a cynical disposition to the modern state of rock ‘n’ roll that didn’t sit well with the rest of the band.

"It’s happened and it’s dead…"

"What the fuck are you talking about? It’s not dead!" shouted the rest of the band at MacGrewver.

"I’m not into that kind of music," said MacGrewver. "I don’t listen to garage rock on my own. I listen to fuckin’ acid house and drum machine kind of music, and that’s how I try to play drums." I guess it’s safe to assume he’s not the one playing tambourine on Soda's closer “Plastic Factory.”

Thus far, Pow Wows have enacted their sense of rock ‘n’ roll elementals, and an aptitude for the delay pedal, into a rousing DIY venture which, in attitude and execution, bleeds passion over intention. “There’s an aspect of old school rock ‘n’ roll, though I don’t feel like we’re necessarily that sound. But, somewhat in the aesthetic but more so in the delivery. It’s an honest thing we’re doing. We’re not doing something punky. We want to bang out the songs on our instruments and see what happens. Every night [of practice] is jamming our tunes and seeing how they go,” said Shite.

       

Recently the boys debuted the video to the A-side of  their latest single “Killing Me.” The 7” release will be available upon their return to the states for the Get Hip SXSW showcase featuring Paul Collins and Peter Case, The Ugly Beats, The Higher Stte, Authorities, The Ripe, and Nervebreakers at the Easy Tiger Patio this Saturday.

If you’re one of the fortunate souls down in Austin this week, catch them somewhere if not the showcase, and tell ‘em “Impose” sent you. 

(via Impose)

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Review|||The Caretaker Patience (After Sebald)

Selection: “When The Dog Days Were Drawing To An End”

At a dinner party in the East Village prior to Christmas, I asked the host about what he thought of The Caretaker.  He said simply, “You could make a movie around his sound.”  

Filmmaker Grant Gee had the same thought for his latest documentary focusing on German writer AG Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn.  I have yet to see Gee’s Patience (After Sebald)—it premiered in the UK in late January.  I assume I’m in the majority at this point, so, for now, we can take Leyland Kirby’s soundtrack to the film as the next offering in his growing oeuvre as The Caretaker.

Since 1999, Kirby has gone by a handful of names, and even by his own with a couple of eponymous releases in ‘09 and ‘11.  But none have penetrated the critical spectrum as much as The Caretaker.  The moniker is derived from Jack Torrance’s role at the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, and, originally, the focus of the project was more of an embellished sampling of The Shining’s vintage orchestral offerings by Henry Hall, Jack Hylton, and Ray Noble.  

Selected Memories of the Haunted Ballroom is where Kirby first sank Hoover-era ballroom selections under an exaggerated wash of archival vinyl static.  Until last year’s An Empty Bliss Beyond This World, Kirby’s signature foreground of hiss, crack, and pop rarely found a solid and consistent balance with the sampled materials.  According to The Caretaker’s BandcampBliss was intended to “reflect the ability of Alzheimers patients to recall the songs of their past.”  Regardless, you didn’t have to have a Psych degree to appreciate the beauty and power of the nameless ballroom samples on multiple levels.

There are similarities in Kirby’s latest.  The archival static.  The loops.  The repetition.  But this is from a whole nother angle.  This is Kirby adding his Caretaker touch to the works of Franz Schubert’s Winterreise.  Considering these tracks were concocted prior to Bliss, the balance of the sample and static makes a lot more sense.  This is Kirby’s new era of  “shining.”

While Schubert’s Winterreise is Baroque in its essence, Kirby manipulates his sampled dissections into an almost 12-song affectation of Gothic liturgy.  Ken Burns would drool at the chance of incorporating the hypnotic spells of Patience into a documentary piece concerning the writings of Clara Reeve and Edgar Allen Poe.  

“When the Dog Days Were Drawing to an End” is, ostensibly, the most beautiful.  The mesh of major and minor keys connecting the warped “woosh” vocals fixates the mind into a loop of an endless, solitary waltz.  If Kirby was ever concerned with the connection of repetition with memory, then this is where the concept holds the most weight.  Each loop is a deeper draw into the subconscious, a further dissent into the imagination.  The individual is pitted against their mind’s ability to keep up with the song’s feet which adds a variation to each identical refrain.

On the following track “A Last Glimpse of the Land Being Lost Forever,” there’s a glance into what even Ken Burns would consider a worthy addition to his most heralded work on ‘The Civil War.’  Sincerity in narration rarely finds such a complimentary partner as this.

The opener “Everything Is On the Decline” waxes the dark, emphasizing not just the archival static, but what seems to be artificial static emphasizing the separation of the original works and the touch of Kirby.  This characteristic is extended until “Dog Days,” left alone, then revamped with “I Have Almost Come Invisible, To Some Extent Like A Dead Man.”  A track that races and holds the static and resonation of the minor progression in a whirlpool of tenebrous key bass.  

At the album’s end “Now the Dawn Is Over and the Dawn Is About To Break,” Kirby stretches the vocals over the static and piano for the finale.  Conveying the original meaning of the vocals is about as important to Kirby as representing the original works as it were intended to be heard.  What is important is the ability of the vocals as an instrument rather than a source of intelligible language.     

With the concept of Patience, Kirby demonstrates an understanding of the source material and his own devices which gives his work the ability to exist outside the realm of just music.  An understanding that is now not only worthy of but part of the cinema, and a product beyond the boundaries of the images which it is intended to soundtrack.

(via Impose)

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89 Varet St.
(btw Humboldt & Graham)
Brooklyn NY 11206
8PM Doors

ABADABAD

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played 20 times

Milk Dick|||Spookytown, USA

"I prefer un-pasteurized milk," says the quaint man with his nose high into the air to no one but himself.  After setting the carton of local 2% down on his tray, he continues down the buffet line scoffing at the "paltry" fruit selection and the "suspect" appearance of the various meats and sauces simmering in the pans below the sneezeguard.  In hearing the man’s supercilious monologue, the buffet manager looks toward the clock for salvation.  The clock reads "11:11."  

"It’s too early to start making wishes," the manager mutters to himself.  "But, it ain’t too early to start making plans for five o’clock," he continues while fondling the substance enclosed by cellophane in his right pocket.

The Milk Dick eventually settles down at the furthest table from the buffet.  He hoists his face over his plates full of starch, starch, starch, and protein, opens his carton of milk and shoves a full biscuit into his mouth.  The 2% is gone before he even begins work on his country fried steak.  

Meanwhile, three feet away, through the glass of the wall-size window, the manager lifts a filtered cigarette to his mouth to light the fifth cigarette of the day.   

Milk Dick's first offering, Happy Valentines Day, is now streaming at BC.  Don’t miss Milk Dick at Big Snow Buffalo Lodge on March 3 with White Laces, ABADABAD, and Flights.  That’s Numberwang.

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White Laces/Arches split 7”

Richmond, VA’s White Laces and Philly’s Arches both have a preternatural ability to stimulate the subconscious, transmuting life’s geography into a hyper reel of sonic film. So, after hitting the road over the summer together, it’s only natural that the two recently coalesced onto a split 7”, solidifying their bond on wax. Gotta love ‘95 romances.

White Laces opens on the A-side with the cathartic “Dissolve Into Color” initiated by vocalist/guitarist Landis Wine’s signature vacillating tremolo bar gouge. Drummer Jimmy Held navigates the dissonance with his syncopated, almost stumbling at times, raps and crashes, charting an alcove for Wines’ slurred moans to resonate above the hip-twisting discord.

Arches’ flip side contribution, “Late Last Night,” evokes the effervescent sway of (RIP) Desolation Wilderness.  Recorded in a church and saturated with warm synth, the production is taken closer to the sun than Icarus could have ever imagined.  Julien Greenberg’s vocals peel over his rhythmic jangle on the git, while co-founder Tom Herman’s exaggerated, delay bends melt into the steady bass and ethereal-jazz percussion.  Twice the gang veers from the honey-drip tempo to explore brief bursts of excited crunch and crash just to make sure your head hasn’t wandered too far away from its feet.  Scope the video for “Late Last Night” composed of footage from their autumnal tour, below.

Cop the White Laces/Arches split 7” over at Worthless Junk.  (Via Impose)


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played 10 times

Baby Erection|||Twenny-Six

There are so many unfulfilled prophecies at 26.  And Baby Erection is right, we’re not going to be twenny-six for long.  We’re all just getting older, slowly dying, hanging on to the dreams we had at 15, wondering where all the time has gone.

"I never really got started/never had the Wonder Years-years" bellows vocalist "Nick" over the intersecting sounds of punky-jazz percussion and tinny guitar hooked through a fuzz pedal into a 10W amp on the second track of the B-side of Baby Erection’s debut single.

"Twenny-Six" is a statement against the status-quo, benchmarks, milestones, production, instruments, relationships, maturity, and hate.  Passive contention is all around us in the form of fashion, philosophy, and trophies.  Fuck off; they’re (we’re) still trying to figure it all out.

Baby Erection’s self-produced 7” Lon Chaney Blues is available for stream and download on Bandcamp

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played 22 times

Teenage Mysticism|||Sweetheart

I feel like I’m not much of a writer these days.  I can hardly call myself a writer because it’s not my occupation.  I’m just a guy that hates his job, drinks, talks shit, dreams and has sex on occasion.  A regular person, I guess.  I’m fond of telling people that I have commitment issues, and that’s the reason for my sporadic and ephemeral relationships.  Although this may very well be true, I’m not in any way trying to remedy my commitment issues.  Loneliness is a bitch without a blanket.  Relentless and cold.  Ideas are romantic; application is awkward.  Porn is mostly trite, but, never the less, finds success at a higher rate than most media.  HBO just canceled Bored To Death.  Nielsen didn’t project enough cum rags lying around the living room following the credits, I guess.

Here’s Joey DeMarco’s latest single as Teenage Mysticism.  Velvet.  Emotive.  Saccharine strokes of innocence teetering on the end of a mattress tainted by yesterday’s sex.  Thank goodness for fresh linen.  TM’s forthcoming album Dead Channels drops Valentine’s Day courtesy of The Epiphysis Foundation.

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Peaking Lights|||Westbound

White peeps been fucking with some good dub this year.  Between Cameron Stallones’ (Sun Araw) new work with Duppy Gun and Peaking Lights' latest, 936, we’re in a new era of psychedelic electro dub that’s a far cry from the Sleng Teng Riddim.  ”Westbound” is a new track that Indra Dunis and Aaron Coyes, aka Peaking Lights, unveiled on Huw Stephens’ BBC 1 program last week.  If you missed 936, then you probably missed the vid for “Hey Sparrow.”  Check that below in addition to Duppy Gun’s video for their first single “Multiply” by Dayone.  

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White Laces|||Heavy Nights

White Laces comes to us from the SHDWPLY Festival in Norfolk, VA with new guy “Heavy Nights” from their forthcoming debut LP.  Is that a maraca in Jimmy Held’s hand? Yes, and that’s guitarist Alex French taking a break from the Telecaster for some time on the keys.    

In addition to their debut LP, White Laces has a couple of splits set for release early next year with Phil’s Arches and fellow Richmonders Snowy Owls.  Check the vid for “Hands In Mexico” below off the upcoming White Laces/Snowy Owls 10” on HSAL.

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played 9 times

Catamaran|||Walking Visions

Manahattan’s Catamaran depicts industrial ambient as though it’s spawned from isolated nights in a dorm room fueled by cold pizza, a strobe light and James Cameron’s early works on his debut for LA’s TwoMichaelJordans

Cop Catamaran’s s/t cassette from MJMJ.

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Cough Cool|||Older

Right in time for winter, Bathetic gives us a wonder of a debut LP from Phil’s Cough Cool.  There’s nothing like a dose of gauzy-drone pop to help you appreciate your bed-ridden, half-naked depression.  Just one thing: Do everyone a favor and wipe the gizz off your chest before inviting anyone into your lair to burn one to Lately.  

Below, Cough Cool’s Dan Svizeny puts on some clothes before inviting us into his bedroom to watch him totter in front of his Flyers blankie for the title-track video.  Lately drops tomorrow on Bathetic.

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