Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Faust - Something Dirty [2011]

I don't know that I need to make any introduction here ... with Faust you kind of know what you're going to get, even when you don't. They've been in the experimental game for some four decades now, and all the recent stuff I've heard from them has been top-shelf. When I listen to Faust, I mostly go for the textures rather than songs -- though they have no lack of great songwriting -- because they are master producers, repurposing all manner of sounds for musical utility. Anyway this disc is a good'n, sounds great as usual.

Something Dirty sounds pretty great as a continuous piece (and fairly well-pissed-off much of the way, too), but the 13 songs are undeniably different from each other. And that's all I'll say; nobody should have to convince you to listen to Faust.

Buy Something Dirty at Bureau B's Faust page
It's so much better when you're gone

Meat Mist - SMUT LP [2012]

Saw these dirty punks play in Urbana tonight. Meat Mist hail from Kansas City, Missouri (which is evidently the place to be for raw noisy punk these days) and irrupt a raucous equalizing distort that dares you to listen to without earplugs. (My own young tinnitus is on its way and these guys helped it along.) I dunno what to tell ya -- it's gonna be pretty easy to decide whether you like this or not but I'm into it. I was sorta reminded of Homostupids, or perhaps a sloppier Big Black/Rapeman.

Meat Mist recently released the LP SMUT on the XO Press imprint, which deals in scummy Kansas City noise punk and black metal and the like, so check that out. A four-song digital preview of the 14-song LP is free + PWYW, and their previous releases are along the same line. Give 'em a listen, they won't disappoint. To nab a physical copy, get to a show on their 3.5-week US tour sharing stages/floors with a host of great bands (dates below).

AUGUST 1 Lansing MI @ 4th Culture Studios w/ Texas Instruments, Borrowed Time, DSS
AUGUST 2 Cleveland OH !!!NEED HELP!!!
AUGUST 3 Syracuse NY @ Badlands w/ Death Camp, Flip Shit, Natural Selection
AUGUST 4 Allston MA @ w/ Districts, Matahari, Strike to Survive
AUGUST 5 NYC @ Charleston w/ My America
AUGUST 6 Philadelphia PA @ Underground Arts w/ Wiccans, Heavy Medical, Cop Problem, Britches (STL)
AUGUST 7 Atlantic City NJ @ Boneyard
AUGUST 8 Columbus OH @ Legion of Doom
AUGUST 9 Cincinnati OH @ Kirby House w/WHITE WALLS (12" release)
AUGUST 10 Indianapolis IN @ Skull Mannor
AUGUST 11 St. Louis MO @ No Coast Sk8 Shop w/ Shaved Women, Trauma Harness
AUGUST 12 Birmingham AL @ TBA w/ Japanese Women
AUGUST 13 New Orleans LA @ EUCLID Records
AUGUST 14 Houston TX @ SuperHappyFunLand w/ A N G S T
AUGUST 15 San Antonio TX @ Houseshow
AUGUST 16 Austin TX @ 29th Street Ballroom w/ Naw Dude, Bath Salts, Ghetto Girls
AUGUST 17 Denton TX @ Houseshow w/ Innards
AUGUST 18 Oklahoma City @ Bad Grannies w/ CHUD, GRG
AUGUST 19 Columbia MO @ Hair Hole w/ Gay Uncle, Coward 

Meat Mist bandcamp

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hanetration - Tenth Oar EP [2012]

This is a submission I've been meaning to post for a while now, so behold: Hanetration hail from the UK and secretes some excellent IDM jams -- and this EP is full of them. 'Rex' opens with electronic ripples, letting little quanta of musical information escape until an off-kilter rhythm breaks a hole in the wall and staggers into your ear, phasing in and out as if a dish is struggling to keep the signal. The vibe is not unlike This Heat's 'Fall of Saigon,' which is a welcome influence to my ears.

I could go on about each song like this but the overall sense I get from Hanetration is of some meticulously crafted ambient-but-active-listening music, defying expectation without getting you totally lost. The four compositions all move in and out of each other unnoticeably, morphing from jagged riddms to undulating drone tones with natural ease. Hanetration makes good use of (what sound like) non-electronic instruments the way much of the best electronic music does -- such that the sound is not perceived as 'synthetic.'

I highly recommend this EP to anyone who liked my Dive Signals posts (more of that on the way as well), or the late UK electronic guru Muslimgauze. And like that stuff, this EP is a Quality Headphone Experience™. So plug in, light up some incense, alter yr consciousness if you care to, and let the madness pour in.

Hanetration bandcamp

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Damned Music-industry Cartel Assholes

the war on piracy

I got another DMCA takedown the other day (probably time to switch to a new file host, eh?), this time for Tyvek's Time Change 7". This one seemed particularly arbitrary -- Tom Waits I can understand, Suicide and Can records released in the '80s, okay, I can kind of see it -- but Tyvek?? The fearless Detroit DIY garage-punk troubadours who played Bitchpork just last weekend? The totally nice dudes (/+ladies in various lineups) who in the summer of 2010 did an all-ages early show in my friend's basement for those who couldn't get into Schubas on account of alcohol laws? What I'm trying to get at is that they're hardly the kind of band who would send a DMCA (not that I wouldn't remove links if they asked, but I imagine they'd just go ahead and ask). So let's explore this takedown notice for a brief second:

So the claim was filed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Uh huh. As you can see, the canned lawyer assures us that they have "a good faith belief that the links/files identified" are "examples of links/files available through your site that are not authorized by Fox, any of its agents or the law, and therefore infringe on Fox's rights," then lists a host of Allegedly Infringing Links (there were about a hundred more links in the actual email than what you see above). Of course none of these links can be viewed, to see what the content of them actually was, so there is no way of verifying if any of it was in fact owned by Fox. But I guess that doesn't stop them for shutting them down, because hey, Fox didn't authorize them, right?

In the particular case of Time Change, what do we know? Well, we know the record was released in 2011 while Tyvek was touring Europe, and came out on the Paris/Bordeaux label Les Disques Steak. This label appears to be about as DIY as any other imprint the likes of Tyvek have worked with, so it's hard to imagine some business relationship between them and one of the Big Six  (owned by Rupert Murdoch, to boot).

There is the possibility that the origin of the claim is Fox Music, which handles publishing business, but I find it hard to believe. Is it even typical for DIY bands to formally publish their songs? What I think is most likely the case is that Fox made some erroneous (or fraudulent) claim.

I'm not writing about this because it's unique. None of it is news to anyone that does a blog for music. At best these takedowns are collateral damage of the Culture Industry's war on 'piracy'; at worst they amount to censorship. The whole thing just makes me really nervous about the future.

Anyway, to make up for the takedown, here's some Tyvek videos for you to enjoy:

'Mary Ellen Claims' in Brooklyn

'Underwater 1' in Scandinavia

'Flowers' in Austin

'Frustration Rock Version' in Detroit

'Air Conditioner' in Benesov, Czech Republic

'Nothing Fits' in Cleveland Heights

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sferi - Sounds of the Spheres [2012]

This is a rather intriguing submission from a psychonaut in the land of Macedonia. Sounds of the Spheres is a concept double-album about the planets in our solar system, with each sky-wanderer getting about ten minutes to beam its cosmic frequencies into the radar dishes on the sides of your head. For the most part, the songs sound like they could have originated in space, if such transmissions could get ahold of a decent producer. Sounds of the Spheres mainly deals in drones and loops, but nothing about this is lazy and there is no shortage of melody. I won't get into the songs of each individual planet because Sferi did it already, in depth, but I will say that my favorites are the warm, lush 'Venus' and the metallic, palpitating 'Saturn.' As the planets become more distant so does their sound; listening to the whole thing all the way through really feels like an 80-minute trip to the edge of the solar system. The latter half makes me think of a 2001-style star gate voyage.

Sferi has released Sounds of the Spheres as a 2-CD set limited to 50 copies, complete with a booklet detailing how each piece was conceived. You can of course also stream/download (free +PWYW) at Sferi's bandcamp linked below.

Sferi bandcamp

Davey Dynamite - Some Thoughts [2011]

Saw this fellow in a Champaign basement a few nights ago, and since he gave me this CD for free I'm passing it on to you. Davey Dynamite hails from Dekalb, Illinois and plays some of the best folk punk around these days. He barks out a Johnny Hobo rasp with the sincerity of Phil Ochs, but without the former's druggy nihilism or the latter's newspaper headline lyrics. The politics Davey sings about are more personal, which is probably why he resonates with so many people. I don't know what more to say about this guy, other than that he's a grade-A Nice Dude, can ably carry a tune and conjures up some clever lyrics that will probably get stuck in your head and make you feel all warm inside. It's all very heartfelt, but before you start getting down on me about this hokey-folky bullshit, remember the wise words of  G.I.S.M.: "punks is hippies."

You can download this album and the rest of Mr. Dynamite's stuff for free (+ pay what you want, you know the drill) at the bandcamp link below.

Davey Dynamite bandcamp

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Kowabunga! Kid - Kowabunga! Kid CS [2012]

Kowabunga! Kid are a crowd pleaser here in the C-U. When these guys start playing, mouths turn to smiles and feet tap maniacally. That's about the best way I can describe Kowabunga! Kid's sound; it's punk-tempo power pop with sunny words that recalls the likes of Beat Happening or twee bands. The fi is low but the sound is clear, with jangly guitars and chordful bass melodies. And they make their songs dense with things to make you like them. My favorite K!K song is probably 'Crybaby,' with its classic doo-wop keyboard line and gorgeous female vocals. If you do not feel better immediately after hearing this than before, you may just be beyond saving.

K!K put this tape out just a few weeks ago I believe. I got mine already but you can get a copy at one of a couple out-of-town shows they're doing.

Kowabunga! Kid bandcamp

GRG - Hound [2012]

Another group of punks who wrecked Urbana tonight. Crunchy, protein-fortified, effects-laden hardcore. I really dug the dynamic range these guys possess: one second they'll be chugging through some delirious blast-beating hardcore territory, the next they'll be spacing out on a abstract spacecore feedback drone. Like NERV, these folks have recordings up for free on bandcamp, so snatch it up while the gettin's good. I can't find any information online about the tour GRG and NERV are on, but if you see that they're playing in your town, get your ass to that show. You won't be disappointed.

GRG bandcamp

NERV - Sound Only 02 [2011]

Just saw these Iowan punks in Urbana. The set was a cacophonous frenzy of stomping hardcore riddms and School Jerks-esque hoarse vocal snot. At times the guitars recalled ultracore-period Hüsker Dü, which is always a plus in my book. Overall this is some mighty tight, well-crafted punk music; I suppose there's probably not much else to do in a place like Iowa City. This nine-song, seven-minute release is available for free, so snatch it up why don't ya.

NERV bandcamp

Dipers - Shit House 7" [2012]

Dipers are the perfect antidote for the over-serious, bland, and humorless hardcore bands people complain about. Harking back to OG New York punks like the Dolls and the Dictators, Dipers have the 'smart guys playing dumb' schtick down pat. The lyrics are funny, the vocal delivery is perfect, and the instruments are a raucous jam of hardcore punk (as opposed to punks playing hardcore). On some of the songs the guitar tone is in the same mid-range, rotary-saw-cutting-metal-spitting-sparks-everywhere realm as Hüsker Dü.

You can read an entertaining interview with Dipers frontman Reed Dunlea at superchief.tv. The first picture is the cover of their excellent demo cassette which can be acquired here.

Shit House is out on Eat the Life, which is run by one of the dudes from Poor Choice and Buff Shit, among others. Be sure to check out all the other cool stuff there.

Shit Hawk Punks - Dipers website

Fuck technology except the internet

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sonic Death - Gothic Session EP [2012]

For those of you who dug the recent Wavepool Abortion post, here's some more '60s-indebted fucked-up rock and roll from a Russian two-piece. Compared to that band, though, Sonic Death have a darker, more folkish sound. Perhaps you could say Sonic Death are the Stooges (I'm thinking 'Gimme Danger') to Wavepool Abortion's Beatles -- or perhaps neither of those bands resemble these. In any case, the vocal harmonies and acoustic chord changes make some great tunes with that world-weary resignation that Russian bands are so good at communicating. The Gothic Session EP came out five months ago, and has been pretty frequent in my rotation since I heard it around that time.

According to the fellows at Aphonia Recordings, this is what the band had to say about making this record:
After a little break we started work on a new session. Seven fresh songs were recorded on a Tascam cassette Portastudio, sitting in the already known bathroom. At this time we used a clean slightly reverbed guitar sound, the drum section was shaded with maracas. The sound is soft, psychedelic vibrating, like The Cannanes meet Vivian Girls on The Seeds cover party. The lyrics are all about dark love emotions and solitude. All of this has been called GOTHIC SESSION. The first track with the western spirit and refrain “I take off all of me/ You will not get pleasure” is entitled ‘Pleasure’ and is like a roll call with Stones ‘Satisfaction’. The second called ‘Now (Son Of A Bitch)’ and has at the end the converted quotation from Misfits “I am goddamn son of a bitch/ you better think about it baby”. Third song named ‘Marzipan’, and has a sample from an amateur slap porn video, whose plot is about pining for the attention from a girlfriend. The fourth acoustic-postpunk song ‘Streets’ laments the loneliness in the city. Fifth ‘To Me’ is classic garage-y amateur guitar rock. The sixth track ‘Huuuh-uuh-uuuh’ is an acoustic ballad for two voices. The last one ‘Floor’ is a confluence of The Jesus and the Mary Chain with Buddy Holly and back again. On the cover, we photographed against a background of the crucifix as Bible sellers in East European chic.

Gothic Session is available at Sonic Death's bandcamp for a mere $5 of your mortal money. They also have a self-titled release for $0, and while they're both good, Gothic Session is the better set.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Les Rallizes Dénudés - Electric Pure Land [1974]

Here's a quick Les Rallizes Dénudés post. If you know Rallizes, you know what you're getting here. If you don't know them, then this set is a great place to start, because it's not as long as most of their other releases.

Electric Pure Land starts out with the swirling, damaged repetition of  'The Last One' (normally it's not the First One) and continues from there. 'Enter the Mirror' shimmers with the brilliance of radio pop transmissions originating in another galaxy; 'Flames of Ice' stomps around and kicks psychedelic sparks into your face. What are you gonna do, step out the way? No, you ignoramus, you'll stay right there and enjoy your electrification. 'Voice of the Bird' is a beauteous electric folk ballad to help you lament your ensuing tinnitus. Finally, closer 'Angel' grooves with what sounds like a slowed-down Bauhaus bass riff below Mizutani's echoey crooning, interspersed with wild blasts of feedback.

Well, I didn't set out to do a song-by-song exposition, but there it is. Listen, this is a great recording, and if this scribbling doesn't convince you to download it, perhaps my other Rallizes post would.

Wavepool Abortion - ЖЕРТВА АБОРТА [2011]

Don't remember how I came across these guys, but the songs have been more or less stuck in my head since I first heard them. According to their bandcamp page, Wavepool Abortion (charming name, right?) are from Moscow, and they churn out blissful pop tunes that swirl 'round and 'round the toilet bowl until being ultimately flushed into punk oblivion. As the toilet metaphor might suggest, the fi is pretty shit on this tape, but not in a 'oh they're just playing an aesthetic for the sake of itself' sort of way. I don't know why I feel the need to defend the lo-fi-ness of everything I post matching that description -- this shit is streaming below so my scribblings on the matter are entirely unnecessary.

Originally released by DZ Tapes on cassette in a batch of 100, I don't know how many (if any) are left, but you can order one from the link below. Or just download for the wonderful price of 'whatever you want.'

More insanity available at DZ Tapes

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Adverts [1977-1978]

This is really some Punk 101, but occasionally you gotta dig such essential bands out from the bottom of the pile. I've been on an Adverts kick for a few weeks, so here are their first three singles + first album. For my money they constitute the best of the first wave of UK punk, and all the songs here are timeless. 'Bombsite Boy,' 'Bored Teenagers,' 'We Who Wait,' ... these and pretty much all of the other songs on these records are certified punk classics. This is one of those bands whose lyrics I really enjoy, and T.V. Smith's vocal delivery is superb. The Adverts were audibly sickened by the punk/new-wave fad, which only intensified their own sense of alienation. I swear, nobody could go back to the likes of the Pistols after hearing the superior nihilistic sneer present here. The sense of impending collapse is palpable, and has held up real well through the decades. It's no time to be 21, indeed.

So grab these if you don't have 'em. You're only hurting yourself if you don't.