Archive for April, 2010

connect_icut Shows – A Reminder

Fake Sleep 6 featuring Angel Lust, coin gutter, connect_icut & Empty Love
VIVO Media Arts Centre (1965 Main Street, Vancouver)

May 14th:
Quiet City featuring connect_icut, Dr. Dad’s Sound Lab, Holzkopf & Kellarissa
Blim (115 East Pender, Vancouver)

Quiet City - May 14th 2010

Quiet City - May 14th 2010

April 30, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Your Future Our Clutter (Update)

The Fall - Your Future Our Clutter 2LP

A smug bastard holding his latest vinyl acquisition, yesterday

This here blog was quite possibly the first website to post a (rather half-assed, let’s face it) review of the new Fall album.  It seems only right that Bubblegum Cage III should be quick off the mark with some comments on the bonus tracks that come with the vinyl version, which just (finally) got released.

They’re great! “986 Generator”, which might just be the best thing on the whole album, consists of little more than a signature MES rant, a menacing kick-drum stomp, a few banjo licks and a very familiar slide guitar part (a segment of this track also crops up at the end of “Y.F.O.C./Slippy Floor”).  “Get a Summer Song Goin'” is pretty damn good too – a mid-tempo, fuzzed-out avant garage number with a magnificently anomalous techno bridge.

No MP3s for you this time – that would rather defeat the purpose of vinyl-only bonus tracks, wouldn’t it?  But the LP’s well worth buying – because it’s bloody great and it comes on excellent-sounding heavyweight vinyl.

April 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

No Personal Business on Company Pond

Thanks the Starz! Season one of Party Down is finally available on DVD!

April 26, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Fake Sleep 6

Fake Sleep 6

Fake Sleep 6

This is that other connect_icut gig mentioned in the previous post. Sadly, it will almost certainly turn out to be the final Fake Sleep show because Brad Empty Love (who organizes these things) is moving to Montreal. Nevertheless, it’ll certainly be an exciting one – especially for those of us who missed coin gutter‘s performance at the Fake Jazz Fest, through no fault of our own.

Here are the full details:

Fake Sleep 6
Angel Lust (members of Aerosol Constellations and Ahna)
coin gutter
Empty Love
VIVO Media Arts Centre (1965 Main Street, Vancouver)
April 30th (doors 8.30pm)

Now that this show is definitely happening, preparations will have to be made, which may create a slight blog lack around these parts over the next couple of weeks. Still, there should be enough stuff in the archives for visitors to get their teeth into – particularly those of you who haven’t yet delved into that crazy post about obscure compilation albums by The Fall.

coin gutter – “Dandelionman”

connect_icut – “Phil Slows the Dave Down”

Empty Love – “Sinking, Floating, Listlessly”

And don’t forget about…

Quiet City
Dr. Dad’s Sound Lab
Blim (115 East Pender, Vancouver)
May 14th (doors 8pm)

April 21, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Static Kitten & Scant Intone – “Brood” (CSAF) MP3

Static Kitten & Scant Intone - "Brood"

Static Kitten & Scant Intone - "Brood"

The latest release in CSAF’s 10-20 2010 series of free MP3 downloads is now online. It’s called “Brood” and it’s a collaboration between Static Kitten and Vancouver-based digital electronica artist Scant Intone – aka Constantine Katsiris.

Download it from here!

Constantine is also the fellow behind the Quiet City shows at Vancouver’s Blim gallery and – wouldn’t you just know it – there’s a Quiet City event coming up soon, which will feature a rare appearance from connect_icut.

Here are the details we have available right now:

Quiet City
Dr. Dad’s Sound Lab
Blim (115 East Pender, Vancouver)
May 14th (doors 8pm)
Benefit for CFRO Co-op Radio
Presented by Soundscape & Panospria

Please note that the artists are listed in alphabetical order and that this does not represent the actual running order of the show. Oh and watch this space for the announcement of another, sooner connect_icut show.

connect_icut – “Dream (Pop) Boy”

Kellarissa – “Tiny Things”

April 19, 2010 at 2:00 pm 2 comments

Good News!

A not-entirely-gratuitous Joanna Newsom picture

A not-entirely-gratuitous picture of Joanna Newsom (honest)

Just a few weeks back, this here blog encouraged y’all to lobby for a vinyl release of Klimek’s excellent 2009 album Movies is Magic. Well brothers and sisters, your prayers have been answered: Anticipate records recently announced the release of an extended vinyl version of the album, which even adds vocals to some of the tracks! And guess what? You can already buy it from Forced Exposure.

There’s a new Oval record coming out!!! Actually, more than one: an EP, followed by a double CD set. Yep, Markus “King of Glitch” Popp is back and – if Thrill Jockey’s blurb for the Oh EP is anything to go by – he’s as wilfully eccentric as ever. Long may he wibble!

The Five EPs by Disco Inferno is finally getting an official release!!!
DI fans will know that this collection (formerly a widely-circulated bootleg) compiling the legendary UK post-rock group’s best work has been in the pipeline for a long while. This time, though, it looks like it’s actually going to happen.

Joanna Newsom is coming to Vancouver!!! See, told you that picture wasn’t entirely gratuitous. The show’s at the Vogue Theatre on August 5th. Oh and it turns out that Have One on Me gets better with every listen and might just contain the best song she’s ever written…

Joanna Newsom – “Does Not Suffice”
I will pack up my pretty dresses.
I will box up my high-heeled shoes.
A sparkling ring, for every finger,
I’ll put away, and hide from view.

Coats of boucle, jacquard and cashmere;
cartouche and tweed, all silver shot–
and everything that could remind you
of how easy I was not.

I’ll tuck away my gilded buttons;
I’ll bind my silks in shapeless bales;
I’ll wrap it all on up, in reams of tissue,
and then I’ll kiss you, sweet, farewell.

You saw me rise to our occasion,
and so deny the evidence.
You caused me to burn, and twist, and grimace against you,
like something caught on a barbed-wire fence.

Now, you can see me fall back here, redoubled,
full bewildered and amazed.
I have gotten into some terrible trouble,
beneath your blank and rinsing gaze.

It does not suffice for you to say I am a sweet girl,
or to say you hate to see me sad because of you.
It does not suffice to merely lie beside each other,
as those who love each other do.

I picture you, rising up in the morning:
stretching out on your boundless bed,
beating a clear path to the shower,
scouring yourself red.

The tap of hangers swaying in the closet–
unburdened hooks and empty drawers–
and everywhere I tried to love you
is yours again, and only yours.

April 17, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Classic-Era Fall Compilations

There’s not necessarily that much critical consensus about what precisely are The Fall’s best albums. Hardcore Fall fanatics will endlessly debate which are the most worthy LPs from every era of the band’s over-30 year existence, with some even willing to claim that unmitigated disasters like Are You Are Missing Winner and Reformation Post-TLC rank among the best!

Nevertheless, there does seem to be some broad agreement among people who are music nerds, generally and not just Fall fans, specifically. What consensus there is identifies 1980 to ’83 as the band’s true glory years, with Hex Enduction Hour as the period’s zenith. This belief may have a good deal to do with music geeks’ ongoing reverence for all things post-punk but it would be hard to argue that the music Mark E. Smith and co produced during this period was anything less than stellar.

It may come as a surprise to many of you, then, that recent scientific studies have conclusively proved that The Fall’s most artistically successful period came directly after the post-punk years: between 1984 and ’86, to be precise. The studies have also strongly suggested the fact that many “generalist” music nerds dismiss anything The Fall did after ’83 is largely due to: (a) ingrained misogyny, leading to distrust of Brix Smith, Mark E.’s blonde Californian (now ex-) wife, who was a driving creative force in the band during the ’84-’86 period; and (b) immovable elitism, leading to distrust of anything that is “properly” recorded and which, therefore, has some potential for adoption by a relatively mainstream audience (for the same reason, many nerds foolishly dismiss Live at the Witch Trials, viewing Dragnet as the band’s true debut).

Again, it’s worth pointing out that the damn-near-perfection of those classic (mostly) John Leckie-produced records created during the early part of Smith’s relationship with Beggar’s Banquet should not detract from the vivid brilliance of The Fall’s ’80-’83 incarnation. On the whole, the wisest move would be to define The Fall’s true classic era as lasting from ’80 to ’86 – even though this era encompasses two distinct periods of the band’s work.

How to begin exploring this seven-year run of unparalleled avant rock genius? Surely not through a jumble of oddly-compiled retrospective LPs, released on a seemingly random selection of labels! Well, it might not be the best way but it’s certainly not the worst. See, it’s well known that, during the ’90s, a terrifying slew of raggedy Fall compilations started to appear, compiling odds and sods from the band’s albums of that time. It’s somewhat less well-known that a similar thing happened during the early-to-mid ’80s, only with rather more satisfying results (partly because the band was working with more scrupulous labels but mainly because the music was better). Here are some of the best….

Rare Fall compilations on vinyl, eh?

Rare Fall compilations on vinyl, eh?

Palace of Swords Reversed (Cog Sinister) 1987
When the post-punk revival craze really started to kick off in the noughties, a number of compilations appeared covering The Fall’s years with Rough Trade. This earlier LP covering the same period, issued on Smith’s own Cog Sinister label, is still hard to top, though. It collects a string of astonishing A sides, such as “Totally Wired” and “The Man Whose Head Expanded”, some tracks from the Slates 10″, the band’s Best B-side Evar (“Putta Block”) and a magnificent live version of “Neighbourhood of Infinity” from Perverted by Language.

Why did you feel the need to buy these?

Why did you feel the need to buy these?

Hip Priest & Kamerads (Situation Two) 1985
This album seems to be an attempt by Beggars Banquet (Situation Two was a Beggars offshoot) to compile some work The Fall did for the obscure Kamera label, during a chill in relations with Rough Trade. This means tracks from the legendary Hex Enduction Hour plus classic singles like “Look, Know” and “Fantastic Life”.

"Didnt you already have all the songs?"

Didn't you already have all the songs?

Nord-West Gas (Funf und Vierzig) 1986
Completely produced and engineered by John Leckie, this German collection of work from The Fall’s very-early Beggars period is absolutely essential. Sure, it may be a bit weird to put the Best Album-Closer Evar (“Disney’s Dream Debased”) at track three on side one and to end side two with the Best Album Opener Evar (“Lay of the Land”) but whatever order you put these songs in, they’re fucking awe inspiring. Listen, rock music simply doesn’t get any better than “No Bulbs”.

Stupid fucking loser!

Stupid fucking loser!

Domesday Payoff (Big Time) 1978
Bend Sinister – the last Fall LP which Leckie was involved with – is quite possibly the band’s most underrated album. For some, it seems to represent a slide into commercialism – and the breezy garage rock cover “Mr. Pharmacist” might appear to be clear evidence of this. For others, though, it represents a technical failure – brought on by Smith’s insistence that Leckie have the album mastered from a cassette tape. The irony here is that Smith’s lo-fi mastering technique leant a spooky, haunted ambiance to the whole album – even its poppiest tracks.

The point being that Bend Sinister is fucking great. Domesday Payoff, on the other hand, is a slightly curious item – seemingly a resequenced version Bend Sinister put out by a Universal Music subsidiary, for the American market. The resequencing involves some fairly obvious ideas, such as inserting catchy singles like “Hey! Luciani” and the top 40-breaking R. Dean Taylor cover “There’s a Ghost in My House”. It also includes some odd decisions, like including the extremely abstract B side “Haf Found Bormann”. But the really great thing about the Domesday Payoff track-listing is that it institutes “Gross Chapel — British Grenadiers” in its rightful place as an elegiac album closer.

Let the spirited discussion of this here blog’s idiocy commence!

April 15, 2010 at 9:00 am 9 comments

Sylvain Chauveau – “The Unbroken Line” Video

April 14, 2010 at 9:00 am 1 comment

Loscil Live at Red Cat for Record Store Day



Saturday April 17th is International Record Store Day 2010. Record Store Day is a magical time, when magical things happen. For example, Vancouver’s esteemed electronica genius Loscil will be playing a rare home-town live set at this here blog’s neighbourhood vinyl shack, Red Cat. The great man will be going on at 4pm, headlining a whole afternoon of live music. Unmissable for any truly music-loving Vancouverite.

Loscil – “Dub for Cascadia”

April 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

The Miracles Club

The Miracles Club

The Miracles Club

The Miracles Club is a new project helmed by Portland’s Honey Owens, who you may know as Valet or from her work with Nudge and Jackie-O Motherfucker. The concept behind this particular project seems to be a lo-fi take on the early house music of artists like Mr. Fingers.

This may be another example of the US avant rock underground desperately trying to explore every nook and cranny of ’80s music or it could represent a more intriguing trend towards noise-oriented artists becoming enamoured with the early history of electronic dance music – also suggested by Carlos Giffoni’s No Fun Acid project (as Philip Sherburne has previously noted) and Josh “Magneticring” Stevenson’s recent excavation of an acid house track he made on his Commodore Amiga, back in the day.

In any case, tracks like “Light of Love” and “A New Love” are pure win, with Owens’ deliciously cracked voice floating atop blissful synth-piano vamps and pattering four-to-the-floor beats. This is improbably brilliant stuff and you are strongly encouraged to seek out the Light of Love EP, which is available now through iTunes and which might possibly be appearing on 12″ in the near future.

April 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm 5 comments

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