by: Sam Farzin, KUCI Music Director
Los Campesinos! - We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed [Arts & Crafts]
Lovable UK popsters release their second full-length in the same year as their debut. These folks are a million miles a minute more talented and full of ideas than you and they are not bashful and, yeah, they WILL include a DVD about the making of their second album and yeah, also the package will come with a zine and then they will tour laps around you. Oh, to be young again.
Anavan - Cover Story [Slanty Shanty]
The kind of dance-spazz-punk band that most bands making dance-spazz-punk wish they could be. Like a pep rally where the cheerleaders have pink nail polish and cheer exclusively to Minor Threat.
Belle & Sebastian - The BBC Sessions [Matador]
This is self-explanatory. Fact: DJ Vivian Lee (in the mix) knows a girl who went in search of Mr. B&S himself Stuart Murdoch while in Scotland. And found him.
Grey Anne - Facts N Figurines [Greyday]
Portland breeds only the best in music making persons. Here is Tom Waitsy tunage with a pop-dollop and a sweet voiced lady singing sincerity everywhere.
Welcome Wagon - Welcome To The Welcome Wagon [Asthmatic Kitty]
I don't know what's going on here. Sufjan Stevens produced, arranged, and recorded this record, but apparently the stars of it are a preacher and his wife. It sounds like some sort of elaborate ruse. Well, you know what this sounds like now.
Between The Pine - Friends, Foes, Kith And Kin [Supply & Demand)
Indie rock with all the spaces filled with silence and where the atmosphere is thicker than the fog in Irvine lately.
Merch - Crash Boom Bash [Sassafras]
Dude starts band with cello. Cellist quits band as they are about to tour/record. Dude is determined and learns allthe cello parts despite nonfamiliarity with the instrument and makes cello-rock record. It's a rad album that totally hinges on the energy of the bow of the cello sawing across the strings.
Totally Michael - Totally Michael [IHEARTCOMIX]
Totally Michael is like if Matt & Kim were one endlessly smiling transgendered person and that person were given a Strat knockoff and ordered to transcribe the entire catalogue of Blink-182 as quickly as possible, from memory.
V/A - Live From Radio K [Radio K]
Minnesota radio station puts out the jams recorded instudio with such heavyweights such as Dosh, Final Fantasy, The Fiery Furnaces, ETC. Hey UCI, give us money so we can do this because we are better than Minnesota.
Golden Animals - Free Your Mind And Win A Pony [HappyParts]
A boy and a girl move from Brooklyn to the Palm Desert and housesit through the summer months. They (probably) trip out and jam White Stripes style. It is actually totally listenable and manages to avoid sounding anything quite like that band.
The following two records were graciously sent to us from POLAND, from the incredible RECYCLING RECORDS, a 100% plunderphonics label based there. As such, these releases are made up of samples of existing material, twisted and rendered totally unrecognizable.
Antn Hrkwk - Mutually Assured [Recycling]
This is AMAZING. I love this. I am so happy to have heard this. This is amazing. This entire record was produced from samples and put together in Final Cut Pro, without any sort of effects. It is in effect minimalist...techno/IDM. It is incredibly put together, unbelievably listenable, and totally full of that which is ruling. This is probably not for everyone as it involves a lot of terribly short sounds being repeated a lot but if you like something like The Field or minimalist techno in general and want to see what amounts to a master's class on the genre, listen to this.
Ubik - Loop Finding [Recycling]
This is ambient/climactic loop and sample based music that is sort of the the utter opposite of the Antn Hrkwk disc in that it is often slow-scorching. Like all the best ambient music with all the most boring bits cut out and made wholly cerebral and ecstatic.
Polk Miller & His Old South Quartette [Tompkins Square]
Probably the only record that you will hear this year that is being promoted with a pulled quote from...Mark Twain. This is pure Americana folk recorded onto wax cylinder in 1893. Miller was a well-to-do Southern Gent who toured post Civil War with his "Old South Quartette," an all African-American singing group, the pair of them singing traditional songs, as well as songs about the south, farming, etc. This is a pretty incredible recording and it would make me smile to see folks playing this most folk of folk musics.