by: Sam Farzin, KUCI Music Director
This week presents us with a delicious batch of musics for you to spinnnnnn. I considered regaling you with some stories about my weekend but I am pretty boring. All I have to say is that Dan Deacon is my hero forever. Kyle wants to let everyone know that he is a playa. I sort of thought that was already pretty well known.
The Fiery Furnaces – Widow City [Thrill Jockey]
Los Friedberger dos return with their sixth album of ubiquitos weirdopop in seven years. Like, this band is so weird. They seemingly are incapable of producing a song that is 'normal' by any stretch of the imagination. Every song is effortlessly and jarringly dynamic throwing in beats ablaze under even more dynamic synths and bass. Eleanor Friedberger still speaksings and she is still pretty foxy. Track 1 is actually sort of boring but it has been drastically uphill from there. I think track 4 ("Ex-Guru") is the obvious single and it's catchy as a net. Track 3 and 5 are also rad, 5 especially ("Clear Signal From Cairo"); starts off super almost aurally offensive, punching you in the ear-gonads with bass and drums and then in about 20 seconds does a full 180 in to a beautiful flue-synth led ballad and then gets sort of suspicious/frightened again. I could keep going. This album is pretty great and I think I will be listening to it quiiiiiiiite a lot.
Jens Lekman – Night Falls Over Kortedala [Secretly Canadian]
This guy has such a good voice. Seriously. He's also a dreamboat. Seriously! So the first two songs on this album are about kissing, and then on the third song he gripes that the 'ocean made him feel stupid.' Aw, it's okay. Jens. The music is awfully well-arranged and elegant. It's basically impossible to not like this. I can't imagine there is a bad track on this. Track 3 ("The Opposite of Hallelujah") will basically make any listener do a jolly dance in their cars, homes, bikes (they are wearing a pair of these), etc. Loosen your tie and play this. Dim the lights, too.
Old Time Relijun – Catharsis in Crisis [K Records]
"This is terrible background music" is something that the promo sticker on this one says. That is a very good assessment of this band and their music. A lot of Old Time Relijun songs work as follows: the drums pound out sort of cracked dance beats that involve clicky noises and are really really…percussive; the bass throbs up and down and follows tautly; the guitar and sax, both even more cracked, come in at angles and it all joins to produce a repetitive, droning, somewhat uncomfortable but more often than not undeniably grooooooovy and together sound. The kicker here is Arrington De Dionyso's seriously damaged voice. This guy like, teaches throat singing classes in the mountains of Olympia or something. He literally screeches and barks out his songs and the words come out like razor-sharp daggers. Listening through the album, it's all pretty solid – check out track 8 ("The Circular Ruins") for something deranged but perhaps a bit more palatable. Play this pleaseeeeeeeeeee.
The Pipettes – We Are The Pipettes [Cherrytree Records]
This album has been out foreverrrrrrr but not in the US because the music industry is weird slash retarded. Anyhow, judging by the good reception their EP that was added earlier this year received, you guys and gals will spin this one to death, if death was sugary sweet and had polka dots. This is fun album and like, there is almost nothing I can tell you about it that you wouldn't be able to garner from looking at the album's cover. Track 2 ("Pull Shapes") is a huge winner, but so's the whole thing basically. This will probably be playing in Starbucks around the country pretty soon but maybe not it is sort of too peppy for that. I just had a Frosty from the new Wendy's on campus in the new Student Center.
Malcolm Middleton – A Brighter Beat [Full Time Hobby]
This is one of the two dudes from Arab Strap, who are known for brooding, sad, potty-mouthed songs about being brooding and sad. So when I saw that the first track on this album was called "We're All Going to Die" I sort of expected something brooding and sad. Alas! Not so! The song is upbeat as sh*t, like the best Sex Pistols song gone synth-pop, plus Middleton's suave Scottish sort-of dead-pan speaksong. Everyone should play this song, it's really great. And, lucky for us, the album stays pretty solid and varied in instrumentation, tempo, tone, etc. A fine, fine release. Plus the cover is so cute and cuddly. This probably has a lot of OPI, though, so check it if you ain't pulling into the Harbor of Saif. REALLY worthwhile!
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular [Columbia]
Electro-indie-kind-of-weirdo-pop-sometimes-acoustic-rock. This sort of has it all. It's a little like the sun. It's good. I am sort of shocked that this is on Columbia. Is this the sound of tomorrow's mainstream radio? That would be so cool sort of. Track 5 ("Kids") is a winner. It has the kind of synth melody that you can't help but whistle, even if you are in a situation where whistling is not an appropriate activity.
Iron and Wine – The Shepherd's Dog [Sub Pop]
I have never really listened to Iron and Wine. I liked the song "Woman King" a lot, and I guess the "Such Great Heights" cover was pretty neat. However, I know a number of you probably dig Sam Beam and his Beard lots and so here is his newest collection of tunes. This is pretty orchestrated stuff, I believe, relative to his earlier work. Solid throughout. The dog on the cover is pretty scary.
Siouxsie – MantaRay [Universal]
I am too young to really know the impact Siouxsie and the Banshees had and I also have not really listened to them but I know lots of folks dig her and that this album is sort of a big deal. So here is her solo debut. It's actually pretty rad and catchy right off the bat. Big guitar leads, really polished and shiny. I get the feeling this is sort of like Siouxsie's "Love. Angel. Music. Puppy. Cloud. Rainbow. Porpoise. Cuddle. Baby. " It's co-produced by one of Goldfrapp's producers, and it shows. Track 3 ("Here Comes That Day") would fit on a lot of your shows: it's elegant, has a classic horn-based riff, big-bandy, sort of, actually more like cabarety. OKAY!
Ed Askew – Little Eyes [De Stijl]
No one really knows a lot about Ed Askew apparently This is his second ever official release, but he has been making music for more than 30 years. This record (recorded in 1970 but unreleased) is basically Ed with a Tipple and a harmonica. A tipple is a weird instrument that I had not heard of prior to listening to/reading about this album. It's sort of like a ukulele apparently. His voice is very out there, and can probably be the make-or-break point for most people. The first song ("Little Eyes") on this record is pretty amazing and timeless. These outsider musicians like Ed Askew are a very very rare and fascinating breed. Fans of Daniel Johnston will find something to like here, I think.
HEALTH – HEALTH [Lovepump United]
I have had a chance to see this band something like three times. The first time, I stuck around for about twenty minutes before leaving. The second time I left. The third time I stuck around for something between eight and ten minutes, and then left. As much as people continue to hype this band's live show, I find it offputting. And like, I dig noisy and spazzy stuff, but something about HEALTH does not do it for me. I have found listening to the record to be somewhat more enjoyable though, and these guys are poised to breakout from their position as forerunners of the LA scene. Oh yeah so like, this music is really spazzy and sort of like pummeling, in the vein of the Locust maybe. But whereas that band decides that they don't want their music to be at all enjoyable, HEALTH adds more to the chaos in the form of chants and what has become clichéd as Animal Collective's sense of tribal anarchy. This is a pretty good record. It should maybe be in experimental. Oh well!
Yikes – Whoa Comas/Blood Bombs [Kill Shaman]
I love John Dwyer. The dude is a legend. If you have listened to the Coachwhips, this is sort of like that but louder. This CD borders on white noise because the guitars are so loud. But this is rock and roll, just really really loud. If you feel like okay I was about to say something about putting your ear in a blender and then I decided that was REALLY gross. I am tired but John Dwyer = good. This = loud. You = maybe play it. Me = leave radio station.
That's it for this week. Hopefully you guys dig. As always, any questions/comments/concerns can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Spin these discs! Dance! Drink (Eat?) frosties!
Silence Like the Wind Overtakes Me,