by: Sam Farzin, KUCI Music Director
Hello KUCI here are some music adds for your ears and hearts down to your tosies. There are a lot this week but some are delayed from last week and plus EVERYBODY loves music right!? YEAH MUSIC AND WORLD PEACE!
Devendra Banhart – Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon [XL Recordings")
This is a Devendra Banhart CD. This is what this CD sounds like. Basically there are hairy acoustic guitars, muted and suave horns, vocal harmonizing, various forms of percussion that are not drums, folky songs, orchestral songs, gnarly songs, and basically a lot of aural beards. The back of this cd says that "the whole 'freak folk' tag is gone' but I think that is a lie because track 6 ("Seaside") is pretty much whatever it is that freak folk ever meant. Track 7 ("Shabop Shalom") is very 50s and a sweet tune. It has a minute long spoken-word intro, but it I like it. There is something for everyone here! Woo!
Akron/Family – Love Is Simple [Young God Record]
This is the best add this week I think. Akron/Family is also sort of lumped in with the freak folk scene I am losing so much credit every time I say that. 'Love Is Simple' has it all: optimistic acousta-ballads (Track 1, 3, 7, 9, 11) tribal jams (Track 2 RULES, also track 5 is eerie but rad), psychadelic drones (Track 6), the best guitar tunes ever (Track 4, 10). This record speaks for itself please play it because it is the product of fun and loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee fed through four very very very talented young men. If you are unsure of what to play due to my general adoration, play track 2 ("Ed is a Portal"). Also turn the studio A lights off and close your eyes when you play it and it will be out of this world! Alien! Pew pew!
Múm – Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy [Fat Cat Records]
Okay so I have never listened to Múm before right now while I am typing this but everyone likes them right? So here I am, listening to Múm (I want to take this moment to say that every time I type Múm it is via copy and paste because of that fancy 'ú') and it is actually quite enjoyable. There are really nice horns over electronic noises and super-cool percussion. Choral vocals. Track 2 ("I little bit, sometimes" [??]) has a slightly frowning accordion, and now there are chugging drums and a vibraslap? Yes! This is good music, guys, and since you probably knew Múm anyway we will move on.
The Good Life – Help Wanted Nights [Saddle Creek]
Acoustic balladry with a heart, dagnabit. This is mostly pretty downtempo stuff, restrained and such. Sparse instrumentation that evokes the moods of the lyrics. The Good Life's sound sort of sounds like their lives are not so good, though. In a good way? I am enjoying track 9 right this very second ("So Let Go"). Track ("Heartbroken") and 6 ("Keely Aimee") have a bit more energy to them. "Heartbroken" actually sounds just like that Eagle-Eye Cherry song from like 1997 or whatever. SAVE TONIIIIIIIIIIGHT thanks Emily.
Fire Engines – Hungry Beat [Acute Records]
I had never heard of this act before but listening to this CD is making me jiggle my leg a lot and smile. There's a big pink sticker on the front where Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand and Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream wax adoringly about the importance of Fire Engines in influencing their musics. According to the packaged literature, they (Fire Engines) are Scottish and were a band for 18 months in 1980, and this record collects all of their releases. This is post-punk also art-punk?, I think. The first two tracks are really really lovable, the angularity of Gang of Four and the fun of Franz Ferdinand, basically. The third track gets more abrasive but stays in character. It's always sort of cool when old music is new again. Track 5 ("Big Gold Dream") is a winner for sure but the whole CD is killer. This is a boring blurb!
Shocking Pinks – Shocking Pinks [DFA/Astralwerks]
This is the work of a solo Nick Harte (ex-Brunettes). As with anything on DFA…this is good. That wiley James Murphy knows how to pick 'em. Ripe. This is no dance-monster though, rather it is lo-fi bedroom pop gone electro. Baby LCD Soundsystem, melting with teen angst and sucking the teat of My Bloody Belle & The Painfully Alone. The vocals ride along with the music, right in the middle, not loud but audible, not quiet but punching and fighting through the cymbals and casiotone synths. This is a very likable record. I hope I get an A+ on this report.
Grande Ole Party – Humanimal [DH Records]
This album has sort of a dumb name and a really ugly/terrifying drawing on its cover. Do not be afraid, padawan. This is pretty basic rocknroll, bass, guitar, drums, but done really well (see: Track 1 ["Look Out Young Son"]). The drummer is a girl and she sings, and it's sort of a gimmick live (feminists revolt!), but she actually has a killer voice a la Karen O and Beth Ditto (of the Gossipppppp). These guys are a big local act in San Diego, as I understand it, and now on tour with Rilo Kiley. Are they poised to break nationally? YOU DECIDE!
Capgun Coup – Brought To You By Nebraskafish [Team Love]
This sounds like the Unicorns gone Saddle Creek. They are on Conor Oberst's record label, after all. Soemtimes lo-fi, sometimes folky, spontaneous and haphazard. Pavement too but everyone sounds like Pavement. I think I like this a lot. The album title is pretty stupid though, but it's no "Ga Ga Ga Ga we suck at naming our breakthrough record."
9 The Cave Singers – Invitation Songs [Matador]
This is not-quite-folk made by three folks who have never been known for making Appalachian folk songs (a member each from Pretty Girls Make Graves, Hint Hint, and a third band I think Cobra High?), but somehow it is extremely listenable and likeable. The guitars ride the low end, the drums brush along (there is a washboard as well), and the vocals are…ostensibly grating, but they work very well. Hear hear!
Johnathan Rice – Further North [Reprise]
This guy toured with Ben Gibbard recently. He is also a singer-songwriter. These are heartfelt rock songs with a sometimes alt-country swing. Gooooooooooooo music!
Black Francis – Bluefinger [Cooking Vinyl]
I bought a Frank Black record once and I thought it was pretty boring. In response to my criticism, Frank turned green and his shorts turned purple and he became BLACK FRANCIS!!!! He then started playing Pixies songs but he forgot how so they came out different and then he decided to record them and release an album before he turned back into Frank Black and the boring band. Basically this is a mid-ground between his solo work and the Pixies. The liner notes on this record are ridiculous.
His Name Is Alive – Xmmer [Silver Mountain]
This is another band I have not ever listened to before right now. It's really pretty music, poppy and atmospheric and glitchy. The first three tracks are pretty freaking distinct, they sound like a different band on each one. In fact they sort of sound like a different band on every song. Their name is sort of epic sounding. The first four tracks are all really good. Blurbleblebullurbblurbblurb.
Vells – Integretron [imputor?]
I thought about not adding this and then I thought about adding it and so I am. This is a fun record. Architecture in Helsinki and Black Moth Super Rainbow spring to mind; poppy, synthy, bouncy, airy and sorta nasaly vocals, etc. Jeremiah Green of Modest Mouse drums and sings in this band. Track 2 ("Crystalline Meeting") is great.
Skallander – Skallander [Type]
This is really, really pretty. Acoustic guitar and varied electronics and subtle vocals. The sticker says what's up to fans of Elliott Smith and Kings of Convenience. Sticker, you rock.
Paper Thin Walls – Wake Up [self-released]
The drummer for this band graduated UCI in 2006. They are a solid indie rock band with some new-wave/dancey leaning. Nothing new here, but good for what it is. Plus, UCI bands need all the support they can get.
V/A – Guilty By Association [Engine Room Recordings]
Wouldn't it be funny if folky indie st*rs covered big singles??? Engine Room Recordings sure thinks so! This MySpace page says who the original artists are since some of these do not really ring a bell for me. Track 13 (Casey Shea covering System of a Down's Chop Suey) is a winner. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Phew. I hope you enjoy these musics and have a most excellent week. Any questions/comments/concerns can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The former is actually preferable. Now go eat an ice cream sandwich and watch Beauty and the Geek at 8pm.