by: Kyle Olson, KUCI Music Director
Welcome to April. More importantly, welcome to the new KUCI quarter of scheduling. If you’re a new DJ, congrats. My name’s Kyle. I’m the music director. You don’t have to get on my good side because I have no power over you have a show or not. I WILL talk trash about what you play though. Because I am a huge jerk.
Also, there’s a new issue of hipsterbookclub. My self-promotion: it is shameless.
Patrick Wolf – The Magic Position (Low Altitude)
It’s about time. This album’s been out for about two months in Europe while fans of amazing electro-influenced violin-heavy pop have been slathering for it in the States. Fact: this album is amazing and will probably be number one on KUCI next week. Young master Wolf has abandoned his faux-Dickensian street musician vibe for one of, if the cover art and promotional photos are any indication, a bizarre homosexual circus (widely believed to be the best kind of circus). Little glitch-pop touches bubbling away beneath wonderful, well-orchestrated pop songwriting. On my mental “Top 10 of 2007”, this one is already kicking significant ass, and I’d venture to say anyone who’s heard it would be inclined to agree. Unless they were STUPID. Yes. I am resorting to namecalling.
CocoRosie – The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn (Touch and Go)
Is it possible that these sisters are getting weirder on every damned album? What the hell does that title even mean? Some kind of fucked up children’s book about undead equines and dead babies? I would not read that to a baby. You know what, though. Darn it if this isn’t possibly their best album yet. Some tracks have their old school freak-folk feel to them: all cooed and squeaky vocals with toy piano accompaniment. Others take on a type of electo-Bjork vibe, with steady beats and unusual rhythms. I think this may be their most listenable yet. I think it’s safe to say that albums like this will never be usurped by the mainstream. Let’s put it that way. Eccentrixxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
Dinosaur Jr. – Beyond (Fat Possum)
This one maybe skirts that grey area of KUCI music policy, so be sure to send me angry emails if you disagree with my choices. This is another one of those bands that there is no way you’ve never heard of if you’re a fan of college radio. After a lengthy hiatus, J Mascis, Lou Barlow and company get back together and play the type of catchy, guitar-centric rock songs that the entire indie scene was based on. Gotta know your roots, kids.
Thee More Shallows – Book of Bad Breaks (Anticon)
Next up in the ongoing series of Anticon trying to break away from their legacy of esoteric hiphop: Thee More Shallows. The OCD part of me (78% by volume) is sort of panicking about where this is going to end up being filed alphabetically. T? M? T makes more sense to me, due to “Thee”, and the fact that given this band name you wouldn’t think to look under M. I dunno man. Anyway. The music: laid back, fuzzy, “for fans of Modest Mouse, Why?, and David Bowie”. Keyboardy, hazy, catchy hooks, and pretty damned good. I’ll add M83 into that mix of bands due to the fuzzy droney keyboardiness of this album. I’m also going to add a lime, because I think that is an underused fruit, and I think lime should be in more things.
The Icicles – Arrivals & Departures (Microindie)
OK, new kids. Listen. I know you think I’m super awesome, and completely virile. The beard gives that effect. And you’re right. I am so virile, I can impregnate girls just by THINKING HARD about it. But, inside of this carved-from-stone exterior lies a gentle (ask anyone) fellow who fucking loves pop songs about hugs. This. Album. Is. Ill. When Rita, Emily, and I have our Supersecretpopandkiteflyingtreehouseclub meetings, we totally put this on our little califone record player and discuss the positive attributes of sweaters and scarves. That is how we roll. And we will CUT you if you front, because twee is punk. You have no idea.
Kings of Leon – Because of the Times (RCA)
I have no damned clue what this dude is talking about. I swear to God he has marbles in his mouth. This is what I DO know: these dudes love guitars, they probably each have a couple copies of Surfer Rosa, and are generally lumped in with folks like the Libertines and the like. It’s that sort of thing. I don’t know much about them because if it doesn’t have a white guy rapping, I don’t listen to it.
Mavis Staples – We’ll Never Turn Back (Anti-)
This here is your “I hate everything else you added this week so give me something different” release. It’s produced by Ry Cooder (which will probably let you know to check this out, if you know who that is). This is like, socially conscious gospel/blues/rock. Mavis, formerly of the Staple Singers, brings you some downhome comfort songs with the “everything’s going to be all right” vibe, as well as the “we have to fight for what we want” vibe which SEEM like they won’t get along, but manage to mesh so well into the “when we get together, we’ll accomplish everything we want and things WILL be all right” vibe that makes me be sort of stoked on life. I dig it.
Peel – Peel (Peek-a-Boo)
I’m sort of at a loss as to how to describe this one. Not because it’s some revolutionary sound, or some out-there Jandek thing, but just because stuff like this always sort of does it’s own little thing. It’s “pop-indie”, but in a way that kind of smears the edge of it, I guess. They’re on a label that’s released some of Spoon’s stuff, if that helps. This is pop-indie at it’s core, but with keyboard squeaks that kind of slop the focus all over. Kind of a mildly noisier, less inhibited Kinks. Dude. I should probably write something funny here. I’ve been all...informative today. What the hell?
Lesbians on Ecstasy – We Know You Know (Alien8)
If people like two things, it’s gay sex and drugs. That was proven in a Gallup poll. So, what happens when you put those two things together? You get socially and politically conscious LeTigre-lovin’ electrodance-rock that you can burn things to (be they effigies of Bush or dancefloors). I’m giving myself two points for the cleverness of that sentence. Go me!
Cloud Cult – The Meaning of 8 (Self-released)
This album is a total mashup of tons of styles. Mellow Album Leaf-esque orchestra-rock, glitchy electrical touches, Modest Mouse-y guitar chug-pop, and so on, in that fashion, until I’ve described what they sound like and never get to go home and eat dinner.
Ral Partha Vogelbacher – Shrill Falcons (Monotreme)
The only person who may recognize that band name as a reference to something is “Fake British Accent Theater” Mike. That dude gets all my geeky references. This one is SO geeky that I’m afraid to say that I even recognize it. Though, to my credit, I only thought “why does that sound familiar?” until I read their bio and felt my entire high school life coming rushing back at me. At any rate: music. It sounds like a grittier/rawer Andrew Bird. Actually, the more I roll that around, the more apt it feels. Like, if Andrew Bird spent the whole weekend drinking, and you saw him first thing Monday morning and you were all, “Jesus, Andrew. You look like crap.” And he’s like “Ugh…I know. You should see your mom’s room though, after what I did to her.” ZING!
And with that, I vanish like POOF.