Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Oh my I'm so glad he's coming back. Every line of this song makes it better. Those of you who don't like the Birdman Jr. just need to get over it becausehesagenius.

No Bugs on Me: Episode 3

We have kept on truckin'. Topics discussed include merduck dreams, the talmudic sandwich rabbi, bitterness, DJ lists, and most importantly, ourselves. Next week's guest, god willing, will be housemate Nora.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Makeshift Swahili

Writing about This Heat seems to always revolve around their place in rock history, which is a real shame because no band needs context less than this one. The doors of this song are blown down so early and so intensely that the an requisite adjustments away from melody, tradition, and one's pop assumptions are rendered pointless by pure force. Most post-rock and ambient artists rely on their ability to build and create complexity over long periods of time. All This Heat needs is two minutes and a single chord to translate shuddering body horror into sound and inject it directly into our lower backs. I will never hear to word "swahili" the same way again (1:13).

Restraint Again

It's so strange to think that only eight years ago Scarface was relevant, Jay-Z and Kanye could exercise restraint, and Beanie Sigel and Jay-Z were friends. But whatever, everyone involved was in top form and for a super-group style posse track, that's a lot to ask.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Move on Up

Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up

Found at skreemr.org

Many people will know this song in its sample form, used by Kanye West on the great "Touch the Sky". It's important to note, however, that Kanye's production does not catch on to much of what makes this song terrific in its own right (nor does it have to). What he has cut out is mainly the rhythm section: while "Touch" perfectly utilizes the celebratory blast of the horns, it ignores the uncontrollable urgency of the kit, African drums, and bass in addition to the nearly tragic chords of the keyboard and strings. What is sampled as euphoria is really a song in emotional tension, where the horns party but the rest of the band has something much more important to do then dance.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No Bugs on Me: Episode 2

Episode 2

New and improved, complete with editing, a theme song, and snort segues. Topics as various the flea market, sickle cells, and the eagle rock are addressed. Go here for a fancier mp3 player.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Slow Burn

I'm really enjoying revisiting the White Stripes after quite a few years away from them. I realize now that for all the talk about Jack White's blistering blues explosion, the band are really masters of the slow burn, where restraint gives way to more noticable nuance, and where, despite their lack of a bass player, the tracks rumble with dynamic tension. The releases in both songs, the periodic doubletime licks in "Do" and the buzzed chord change at the end of "Sister" (2:19) explode your head despite their simplicity, not because of it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Episode 2....

...Is on its way. Of the podcast I mean. Don't get too excited.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bitches Brew

Bitches Brew reissued! 19 dollars! Special Edition! Buy it, Buy it, Buy it! Now! Now! Now!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Banshee Beat

All artists fight against making shitty music, but none fight against making it in the same way. Animal Collective, for example, has never floundered for lack of inspiration. In my opinion, they haven't floundered very often, but when they have, its not because the music becomes trite or boring, but because the music does not offer them a place in which they can get comfortable. Despite its ever presence, chaos does not necessarily have a hand in indicating the quality of an AnCo song. At this point, I consider "Banshee Beat" to be their best song, not because its atypical of their sound, but because its the opposite. Its extremely typical of them in spite of itself. There is a point where the experimental must eventually become the conventional and this song is it for the band. They have restrained themselves to a point where they only need a single indicator of their sonic character to appear at a time, lending further purpose to all indicators. They are not unfamiliar with atonal and arhythmic ambiance, but here it finally seems to have a proper setting and goes on for as long as is necessary, not that the chord and beat that eventually arise are any less perfect. All this time, both band and listener sink deeper and deeper into the cushions, until, with one of the most subtle and heart dropping chord changes I think I have ever heard (2:25), the song jolts to a start. I could go on but I think you get it. This understanding of the song is not just important for the purposes of claiming the song's quality. It also shows that a quantity or alienness of sound is not necessary to create a chaotic, unique, and unconventional song. All that is needed is a level of comfort and an understanding of form. And a little spirit.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


So here it is. My pal Gabe and I have decided that we're good enough to start an as of yet untitled chatty podcast. You might want to turn it up a bit, its a little soft. Also, it skips about three times, that's just a mistake, not your computer breaking. Just click on the link above and then click on the big blue download button. Or click on the Quicktime player below.

Monday, September 6, 2010


Pitchfork's aforementioned 90's list has reignited a 10 year old passion I didn't know I had. Timbaland = greatest artist of the past two decades? Fuck Radiohead. JK.

Only Shallow

I don't know how I feel about this cover, but it sure offers an interesting analysis of a very enigmatic sound. You might want to turn your volume down:

Nadja - Only Shallow (My Bloody Valentine)

Found at skreemr.org

Here's the original:

My Bloody Valentine - Only Shallow

Found at skreemr.org

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Well school is starting again. I most likely won't be able to post daily like I do now. I will, however, continue to blog. Do not despair.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Jamie Fox

Here's a weird little song. It's by a blind, black pianist making game changing forays into the country world on an album called Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. But its really R&B at heart, going from soul to swing and back again. Oh yeah, and its a cover of "You are my Sunshine".

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I Got Five On It

Just rediscovered this via Pitchfork's ongoing best of the 90's list. Its a fun way to revisit/discover good tunes, even if you disagree with the numbers.