Monday, November 28, 2011

Holy Shit - Live at Midi Festival 2006

Criminally underviewed

Momus - Thunderclown (2011)

For those who were a little put off by the novel eccentricity of his 'O' records, the post-modern master of mockery returns in 2011 with his most accessible record in over a decade. Autotuned Mo-musings whispered over music that can only be described as a mixture of Raymond Scott's Soothing Sounds For Baby and songs your parents heard on the radio while huddled around a fireplace on Christmas eve of 1955. The naive, yet blissful sentimentality evoked from the minimal post-war era music (tape hiss, distortions and all) is offset by the clever, hyper-conscious complexities of the album's lyrical themes, creating a work that is immediately distinct and entirely original. The result is something you'd find yourself listening to alone on Christmas deliriously drunk and disillusioned, taking solace in long-vanished nostalgia. It's available for purchase on iTunes, and I highly recommend buying it, because it has become a last-minute contender for my album of the year choice. Momus also has the entire album streaming on a youtube playlist (each song with its own homemade music video) on his website.

Rating: 9/10


Prefab Sprout - Electric Guitars

"Gouda pop"

Sean Durkin - Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

Have you ever talked to someone at a bar all night, putting up with dumb conversation and stale atmosphere in hopes you will at least score some sloppy sex, and they get in your taxi, and there's a lot of sexual tension built up, and you make it to your apartment, and they take off their clothes and then right as they're walking towards you naked, about to kiss you, they say 'Oh, you know....I forgot I have to get up early tomorrow. I should go."

Yeah, this is a lot like that.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Asha Puthli - Say Yes

Thanks, Ellie!

MIX - She Lives by the Castle

Some fancy, dreamy all-girl fun by Anh Do (Owley Patrol), "inspired by Felt, Anna Karina and girls who wear tights." I might even say it's the best damn mix I've heard in years. Don't miss it.

Note: I made some minor changes, namely compiling the songs in a more suitable order (it was originally arranged alphabetically), removing a few tracks I've posted before, and adding a Galaxie 500 track for transitional purposes).

01) Wanderléa - Te Amo
02) Lucie Eyenga - Yaka Mama
03) Taken by Trees - No Letting Go
04) Purity Ring - Ungirthed
05) Helene Smith - Willing And Able
06) Madredeus - Oxala
07) Lijadu Sisters - Come on Home
08) Poly Styrene - Dreaming
09) Emma Tricca - Paris Rain
10) Susanna + The Magical Orchestra - Condition Of The Heart
11) Mazzy Star - Common Burn
12) Galaxie 500 - Listen, the Snow is Falling
13) Kendra Smith - Iridescence 31
14) Joan Armatrading - Only One
15) Cat's Eyes - I'm Not Stupid
16) This Mortal Coil - Mr. Somewhere
17) Laetitia Sadier - Summertime
18) Sibylle Baier - The End


Stendhal - The Red and the Black (1830)

“Indeed, man has two different beings inside him. What devil thought of that malicious touch?”
― Stendhal, The Red and the Black

Bel Canto - The Glassmaker

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Neneh Cherry - Raw Like Sushi (1988)

I'm not going to put up a link for this one, because I don't feel like getting scolded by the pesky fellows at the RIAA, but it's not too hard of an album to find. I got into Neneh a little late, but thanks to my bud Corey, it was better late than never. Neneh has an undeniable dual appeal, especially for a black female artist. She was and is considered highly relevant both in the punk/indie and mainstream scenes. Originally from Sweden, she was born from an African father and Swedish mother. Both her father and stepfather were musicians, and her mother was an artist, paving an encouraging path for her to openly express her creative visions. I could write a hefty amount of text about her upbringing and how it produced such a passionate unique individual, but it would be much more informative to just go here.

In the eighties she was part of several underground punk groups such as New Age Steppers and Rip Rig + Panic, was a steady contributor to early trip-hop groups, and fashioned herself a very notable solo career. Because her success was a product of her own ideals, and not manufactured by a major label, Neneh was something of a humanitarian. She functioned as a role model and was a much needed voice of positivity for low-income inner city youth (especially girls) in the early nineties. It was very much a form of pop feminism, but without all of the spite and arrogance of the original movement that turned so many conservative minds away from it. Because of her pop culture accessibility and success, she most likely inspired a lot of troubled kids around that time who would have otherwise fallen into the pitfalls set for them by their perceived class, race, and gender 'limitations.' Nearly all of the songs on Raw Like Sushi carry a vital and progressive message and were aimed at bettering one's self, being strong and aware, and not settling for the hands you were dealt.

It's unfortunate to think that this kind of thing was once the message the radio was sending out to kids in comparison to the morally questionable, "get money fuck bitches", intellectually devoid dreck playing nowadays. A damn shame, but as Vonnegut said, "so it goes..."

Rating: 8.5/10

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Apartments - The Evening Visits...and Stays For Years (1985)

A tender and nectarous affair from forgotten Brisbane indie group, The Apartments. Fronted and organized by Peter Walsh, their debut album also featured help Ben Watt (Everything but the Girl) and Clare Kenny (Orange Juice) and was released by Rough Trade. Generally you can extrapolate whether a band will be good or not based on their associations and the company they keep, and The Apartments are no different. The Evening Visits... is very much the diary of a dreamer; its a heartbreaking and humble work, and one best absorbed in private. "Mr. Somewhere" is a classic bittersweet ballad and lyrically, an 'anti-platitude' if there ever was one. As Walsh softly sings the line, "and the hardest words are spoken softly," you can't help but feel a certain emotional weightiness.

Rating: 9/10


Marden Hill - Lost Weekend (1998)

Lost Weekend is a Cherry Red released compilation consisting of earlier material from a really versatile and proficient El Records group who, much to my dismay, I can't seem to find any information on whatsoever. From Cherry Red: "marden hill, were-along with would be goods, bad dream fancy dress and the king of luxembourg-one of the mainstays of el records; an artifactual pop art group created to simulate the sensual sixties styles of ennio morricone, sergio leone, piero piccioni and nico fidenco. no instrumental group has ever strived with such creative ambition and such numbers as 'curtain' 'oh constance' 'masque' and 'the execution of emperor maximillian' are widely regarded today as unquestioned masterpieces. in the wake of marden hill followed the james taylor quartet, combustible edison, air and ultimately austin powers for whose films they really really should have written the soundtrack." Another criminally under appreciated band responsible for putting the 'el' in elegant....don't miss.

Rating: 8.5/10


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shulamith Firestone - Airless Spaces

Second time through this collection of shorts and it's still unquestionably, some of the realest shit I've ever read.

Emotional Paralysis

Coming out of the hospital, she could not shop. It was more than just the surfeit of goods, which had always confused her. Even a shopping list did not help, she dropped her cart in the middle and fled. Her shelves were lined with missing objects she needed and had almost bought. Even when she succeeded in actually going through with a purchase, she came home dissatisfied with her choice. To pick out a simple birthday card for her more and more distant relatives was agony. She was reminded of those stories of war-torn soldiers who arrived back from years in the army unable to make even the smallest decision. The hospital did that to you: meals were all laid out, but even tnhere4 she had a hard time choosing any small choices on the menu, and was glad they had dispensed with that pretense and just gave the same thing to everyone every day: a variation on bread and cheese, sometimes a grilled cheese sandwich, sometimes macaroni and cheese; and for dinner it was invariably a leg of chicken. she got used to this routine and felt cheated out of her meal if it was anything else. Similarly, just to order deodorant from the gift shop of the hospital was a big deal, and even choosing gum in lieu of the now-banned cigarettes gave her a problem. She had few visitors and they did not as a rule bring her anything she really needed, just clutter for her two or three drawers where she had been wont to squirrel away extra linen. She still didn’t have a decent pen or paper.

Her indecision was awful, for no sooner did an impulse arise to do something than it would be crossed by a contrary impulse; she was conflicted. (She watched herself undergo this in slow-motion as it were, but was powerless to avoid it.) Or she was confronted by so many choices of things to do, that must be done, that she could choose none of them. She not only couldn’t shift gears, her gears were locked. she was paralyzed into inaction and came to rely on other people to marshal her or just to do the task entirely instead of her. Her inability to initiate a simple motion read as extreme laziness. Inertia is my middle name, she was fond of saying to her worker.

This paralysis was stubborn and lingered for years, not months, after a hospital stay. She needed to be babied, but there was no one around to do it now, and her things just didn’t get done. Slips of paper mounted, but filing terrified her and she didn’t have a filing cabinet anyhow. She was as though blind, feeling under different clumps of stuff for half-remembered items. This mounding applied to clothing as well. Besides, she had lost her feel for the weather and always wore the wrong thing.

She could not read. She could not write. She had been reading Dante's Inferno when she first went into the hospital, she remembered, and at quite a good clip too, but when she came out, she couldn’t even get down a fashion rag; the words bounced off her forehead like it was steel; she simply couldn’t care about the contents of any written material., be it heavy or lightweight. Why? Why read it? Why absorb? This inability applied also to movies and video cassettes and computers and telephones; the latest amazing jumps in technology left her cold, and she could hardly turn on a radio, let alone program a VCR.

This left a huge gap in her time once filled by reading, writing, cinema. Nor could she hang out. She was getting too old, and didn’t have the money anyway. Her old habits of seclusion and screening out distraction remained, but there was nothing to be secluded for. Once in a while she prodded herself to write, but the old excitement of creation did not return, or if it did, it fizzled by morning after her nightly medication. It was a dry fuck, every work word painful and laborious. But like sex itself, even masturbation, it was the initiative that was most lacking.

Her general state of indecision was matched only by impatience. For example, waiting for doctors or nurses or clerks in the outpatient wing of the hospital was agony. She shifted from one leg to another like someone who was holding it in, and kept jabbing her face and her forms at personnel until they began to dismiss her as daffy. She could hardly sit still in a doctor’s waiting room, a beauty parlor or church service, or stand in a postal queue, and travel was, forget it. She couldn’t read, she was too nervous, she couldn’t even watch TV. Instead she reverted to hospital behavior: long hours of blanking out, just watching the hands of the clock go round until the next mealtime or bedtime or wakeup time. Sometimes she panicked at the thought that she had 30 more years to kill this way, with only more and more institutionalization ahead of her and suicide no longer an option.

Perhaps due to the medication, her biggest trouble was she couldn’t care about anything, and love was forgotten. That left getting through the blank days as comfortably as possible, trying not to sink under the boredom and total loss of hope. She was lucid, yes, at want price. She sometimes recognized on the faces of others joy and ambition and other emotions she could recall having had once, long ago. But her life was ruined, and she had no salvage plan. The decades were passing quickly and she was going gray; she was no longer attractive to anyone, male or female. Indeed, she felt herself repulsive, in the most literal sense. Hearing of a death, she often wished she could trade places with that person – let someone who knew how to organize and enjoy life benefit from her bodily health better than she could!

Monday, November 7, 2011


"Collecting, in its most primitive form, implies a deep belief in the primacy and mystery of the object, as if the object was a wild thing. As if it had a meaning and a weight that was inherent, primary, that overrode attempts to classify it. As if the object didn't function best as a blank slate waiting to be written on by curatorial practice and art criticism."

-Chris Kraus

Sunday, November 6, 2011

MIX - Parties in the Past

I was considering calling this one "songs to do coke to," but decided that title was a bit too direct. I'm sure you get the gist.


01) Nina Hagen - Cosma Shiva
02) Quando Quango - Low Rider
03) Felix - Tiger Stripes (long)
04) They Must be Russians - Chains
05) Missing Scientists - Big City Bright Lights
06) The Astronauts - Big Ben
07) Come On - Housewives Play Tennis
08) Yello - Daily Disco
09) Joachim Witt - Goldener Reiter
10) Social Climbers - Western World
11) Bloodless Pharaohs - Industrial Nancy
12) The Digital Dinosaurs - Boots
13) Snatch - All I Want
14) Grace Jones - Demolition Man


Marcus Mixx - Yellow Foamy Soap

"cheap only in price, not in quality"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Evan Glodell - Bellflower (2011)

"Jesus fucking Christ." Thats what I said aloud during two separate scenes in this movie.

Cue superlatives...

Bellflower is hands down the most intense movie I have ever watched. It's as affecting as it is authentic. It's like taking 20 hits of acid and going into WalMart and seeing your ex who you're still in love with. It deals with how masculine we want to be but sadly how masculine men of our generation truly are. Evan Glodell, who wrote, directed, starred in, and even made the fucking camera for this film deserves every award a filmmaker can receive.

Sadly a lot of people won't appreciate it, and are either going to dislike the characters or think "Wow, I know guys just like this." And that's a shame because Bellflower is undoubtedly the the best film released yet this year.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I don't need NMEs

Just when you thought that NME couldn't possibly suck any more, they go and release one of the silliest music 'lists' I've ever come across: best basslines of all time. I actually listened to the Muse track they awarded the number one position to and it is downright abominable. My vote, without giving it much thought, would probably go to Orange Juice's "Rip it Up" but it's a rather hard thing to concretely rank as there are many, many great ones out there.

On an unrelated note, I happened to listen to an early version of Brian Wilson's Smile, and the one thing that really struck me was how "Child Is Father of the Man" could easily pass for an unreleased Ariel Pink b-side if you didn't know any better. Uncanny.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

MIX - Echolalia: Sounds of Pink and Brown

Genres: Narcotic, spacey, aimless post-punk


01) The Cage – Take Me, I’m Yours
02) Kan Kan – The Angel
03) Normil Hawaiians – Ignorance is Strength. I Feel So Worried
04) Robert Rental – Double Heart
05) The Royal Family & The Poor
06) Science Patrol – Bandit Ducks From Outer Space
07) Monitor – Phosporea
08) Colin Potter – Remain Flexible
09) In Embrace – To Friends (An Open Letter)
10) New Age Steppers – Mandarin
11) Peer Rabin – The Tears of the Lady
12) John Foxx – Mr. No
13) Snowy Red – Relax
14) Ami Marie – Verruckt Nach Gluck
15) Crawling Chaos – Danger in Paradise
16) Restricted Hours – Don’t Think About it


MIX - Untitled, November 2011

Genre: Indie pop


01) BMX Bandits - This Lonely Guy
02) BMX Bandits - I Wanna Fall in Love
03) Comet Gain - Clang of the Concrete Swans
04) Rocketship - Hey, Hey Girl
05) Fantastic Something - If She Doesn't Smile
06) Shelley - Reproduction is Pollution
07) The Clouds - Tranquil
08) Miaow - Belle Vue
09) The Honest Johns - Hollywood Affair
10) Brian - You Don't Want a Boyfriend
11) The Windmills - Cloud Five
12) Straitjacket Fits - Sparkle That Shines
13) The Wishing Stones - Beat Girl
14) Easy - Shake a Memory
15) Friends - You'll Never See That Summertime Again