Archive for March, 2010

The Fall – Your Future Our Clutter (Domino) LP

The Fall 2010

The Fall 2010

With his appearance on the latest Gorillaz multimedia circus of an album, Mark E Smith finally became a caricature of himself, in the most literal sense possible. The British media continues to laud his brilliance and celebrate his increasingly erratic antics but old MES simply isn’t the razor-sharp visionary he used to be. And in recent years, the music he’s released under the banner of The Fall has become distinctly patchy.

Having said all that, 2008’s Imperial Wax Solvent was the most consistently inventive Fall album in ages – a tightly produced exploration of the same ground covered by that recognized late-period classic The Unutterable. The 2009 single “Slippy Floor” suggested that Smith had decided to take the Fall group (such as it is) in a more ramshackle direction.

However, any suspicion that Your Future Our Clutter might be a half-assed mess along the lines of Reformation Post T.L.C. or Are You Are Missing Winner is immediately dispelled by “O.F.Y.C. Showcase” , which actually recalls the noisy epic “No Bulbs” from the group’s mid-’80s heyday. This seems to set the template for Your Future… – longish, raucous minimalist rock jams, excellently produced. The “Slippy Floor” 7″ tracks even make a comeback, in a somewhat fleshed-out form.

On songs like the funky “Mexico Wax Solvent” , Smith actually sounds remarkably lucid. Better still, he’s backed by musicianship and production that is hard-hitting and imaginative in equal measure. Fall fans can breathe a sigh of relief – Your Future Our Clutter is a triumph. It will be released by Domino on April 26th.

March 7, 2010 at 12:23 am 16 comments

Joanna Newsom – Have One on Me (Drag City) 3LP

Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me

Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me

Joanna Newsom is one of those artists who polarizes opinion and sparks fierce debate. This mammoth triple-album set (housed in a sodding-great pizza box of a cover) therefore seems destined to become one of most discussed records of 2010. This here blog is not generally in the habit of entering into such discussions but just so happens to have a bit of a “thing” for Ms. Newsom and her delightfully harp-tastic song stylings.

These particular stylings are generally similar to those on her previous opus, Ys but with rather more restrained arrangements, where conventional rock instrumentation is allowed greater prominence than on previous releases. Indeed, despite its length, Have One on Me is surely Newsom’s most approachable album to date – particularly as her signature love-it-or-hate-it squawk has been softened to a conciliatory purr.

Joni Mitchell comparisons have been bandied about and Never for Ever-era Kate Bush would be another apt comparison. But you should all know by now that Joanna Newsom is in a world of her own. What is more, you should be well aware that her world is a wonderful place to be. In this climate of austerity, Have One on Me really does feel like a much-needed outpouring of generosity. Heck, if your heart isn’t melted by the likes of “’81” and  “Kingfisher”… erm… we’ll just have to agree to disagree, won’t we?

This could be the album that turns Joanna Newsom into a bona fide superstar. As such, it should be pretty damn easy for you to find a copy at your local record store. Otherwise, you could go straight to the source and buy it from Drag City.

Joanna Newsom bathroom

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March 4, 2010 at 9:00 am 5 comments

A Sunny Day in Glasgow – Nitetime Rainbows (Mis Ojos Discos) 12″

A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Nitetime Rainbows

A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Nitetime Rainbows

This clear vinyl EP from Philadelphia’s A Sunny Day in Glasgow is a pretty generous offering. The A-side features “Nitetime Rainbows” from the band’s excellent 2009 album Ashes Grammar plus three new songs. On the flip, we get three remixes of “Nitetime Rainbows”. All for a very reasonable price.

The remixes are fine but it’s the new songs that really make this 12″ worth having. These tunes do a reasonably good job of finding a middle ground between the electronica-tinged dream-pop idyll of Ashes Grammar and the thornier territory explored on the band’s debut album, Scribble Mural Comic Journal.  For instance, “So Bloody, So Tight”,  though generally in the Ashes Grammar style, contains elements that hint at the acidic feedback of early Jesus & Mary Chain or – more speculatively – the stately doom of late-period Swans.

A Sunny Day in Glasgow plays Vancouver media club on March 9th and you can buy Nitetime Rainbows from Mis Ojos Discos.

March 2, 2010 at 9:00 am 1 comment

Quiet City, Vancouver, March 12th



EDIT: connect_icut will no longer be appearing at this event. Empty Love will be playing instead (it’s his last chance to play in town before moving to Montreal). This seems like a good time to mention that Empty Love has made the latest contribution to CSAF’s ongoing 10-20 2010 series of MP3 releases and that you can download it for free from the CSAF website.

Here are some more details of that show. Apparently, it will be the penultimate live music event at Blim before the gallery moves to its new location.

Blim & Soundscape & Panospria presents:
Quiet City
Benefit for CFRO Co-op Radio

Broken Sleep & Merlyn
connect_icut Empty Love
Nervous Operator

Friday, March 12th 8pm-11pm
$7-10 sliding scale

197 East 17th Avenue

By the way, there’s also a new connect_icut track called “Chrome Burner Holy Day” posted on the CSAF website, as part of the 10-20 2010 series.

March 1, 2010 at 9:00 am 2 comments

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