August 30, 2004

I’d been looking forward to this film for a lot of reasons; the original text, the actors and to see how they would handle a character like Che.

I don’t know much about films further than what I like and what I don’t, but this was probably one of the best I have ever seen. I hate to use the word inspirational, but i can’t think of a better word to use. A road movie with a purpose.

Scott McKeating | 12:17 pm | Comments (1)

No offense to David Barbe, who did a fine job behind the boards for The Dirty South, but the Drive-By Truckers just happens to be the kind of band that best conveys its loud, messy vision live in concert rather than on record.

Both lyrically and musically, DBT has always been more about process than product. Resolutions and easy answers are more rare in DBT’s world than synthesizers and snazzy suits, so it stands to reason the band would relish the opportunity to wrestle its demons again rather than just let them lie where they fell on the album.

The Dirty South is a tremendously frustrating record, by turns brilliant and inconsistent, home to transcendent moments and tragic misfires alike. Its biggest weakness is that it ends, because you keep expecting the band to go back and fill in all the holes, to make good on a few half-hearted efforts, to fix mistakes and get the whole 70 minute beast purring like a kitten. Like the band’s past albums, it’s such a fully realized whole that the loose threads and failed gambits stick out like the fins on Carl Perkins’ Cadillac.

Of course, that’s the problem with art you can hold in your hand or play in your car—it only contains a limited number of possibilities, and it’s inevitably going to get chopped off and forced to stand or fall based on those entirely finite merits.

That said, some of the “performances” forever preserved for posterity on The Dirty South aren’t quite up to snuff, at least when they’re held up against the band’s own ridiculously high standards (even at its most flaccid DBT still smokes 90% of nu-rock pretenders). Fortunately, the Truckers used Friday night’s CD release party at the 40 Watt to crystallize some of the record’s least certain convictions. Perhaps it was telling that the only song off the album left unplayed was its best, Jason Isbell’s devastating “Danko/Manuel.”

The idea of The Dirty South being less a finished document than a work in progress was explored early, as the Truckers launched into the first five songs off the newly-released disc to start the show, a revelatory welcome that saw the band turn “Tornadoes” from spooked to savage, “Puttin’ People on the Moon” from despairing to defiant, and the rock ‘n’ roll mythology of “Carl Perkins Cadillac” from flippant and self-satisfied to worshipfully hard-working, earning the right to invoke the likes of Johnny Cash and Elvis rather than just assuming the privilege.

The remainder of the set featured scattered appearances of favored older numbers like “Sink Hole,” “Uncle Frank,” ‘Zip City,” and Warren Zevon’s “Play it All Night Long,” but the greatest insights continued to be gleaned from The Dirty South. Only “The Sands of Iwo Jima” remained stagnant, the band unable to overcome Patterson Hood’s uncharacteristically leaden, morally prescriptive lyrics.

Thankfully, the piss ‘n’ vinegar Patterson we’ve all grown to love returned in time to turn in ferocious takes on “Boys From Alabama” and “Buford Stick,” Hood’s twin attempts to humanize the much-maligned Redneck Mafia of the Crimson State circa 1975.

While those electrified versions certainly benefited from a little extra live juice, no song got its pulse quick-started more satisfyingly than Mike Cooley’s lit-worthy stock-car set piece “Daddy’s Cup,” which sorely lacked on record the blistering outro DBT delivered during its feverish performance.

In fact, almost all the songs sounded better with a little more instrumental muscle, thanks in no small part to the superlative fretwork of the newly svelte Isbell, who laid down searing slide guitar all night, as well as just-plain-new bassist Shonna Tucker (Isbell’s wife), who somehow matched Hood’s superhuman enthusiasm note for note.

The Drive-By Truckers came to the 40 Watt to celebrate an impressive new CD that nonetheless sounded just a shade less than all the way there. Credit DBT’s tireless resilience and restless pursuit of a deeper, richer truth, because this was the kind of show that threw into brilliant, unblinking relief everything the band had tried to accomplish on the album.

If you could carry around the experience of this concert in your pocket next to the CD, that inanimate 14 dollar object would be a masterpiece that finally mirrored how The Dirty South truly exists in the real world.

Josh Love | 10:24 am | Comments (2)

August 27, 2004

Undo and Vicknoise - Happy Monday
Junior Boys - High Come Down
Rex the Dog - Prototype
MIA - Galang
David Banner ft. Static – Crank It Up
Wonder & Kano - What Have You Done
Wiley - Wot U Call It
R. Kelly - Happy People
Girls Aloud - The Show
Lil’ Flip - Game Over

What’s yours?

Todd Burns | 2:07 pm | Comments (19)

August 26, 2004

Moodymann - Black Mahogani
Eluvium - An Accidental Memory in the Case of Death
Birchville Cat Motel - Beautiful Speck Triumph
Slipknot - Vol. 3
Avril Lavigne - Under My Skin
Junior Boys - Last Exit
Ghostface - Pretty Toney
Darren Hayes - The Tension and the Spark
Lucien-n-Luciano - Blind Behaviour
Dizzee Rascal - Showtime

What’s yours?

Todd Burns | 7:54 am | Comments (37)

August 24, 2004

The much-talked about interview with Lil Jon in the last issue was amazing, and once again the interview with crunk superstar David Banner in the new 2nd issue is so trill.

Here are some excerpts of note, but you should get out there and buy the thing yourself. (Kanye is on the cover, and the interview with him is pretty nice as well.)

Excerpts from the interview w/ David Banner:

“Blues is the foundation of where I’m from, but when I started sampling heavy I really got into jazz the average person my age wasn’t into. Really abstract stuff like Sun Ra and Jack DeJohnette. I was always trying to get some violas, chimes, and oboes, stuff people wouldn’t normally hear. I was just grabbing some spacey type of sounds and adding that into what I was doing.”

The similarities between Lil Jon and David Banner’s interviews are striking - they’re both searching for new sounds, unfamiliar sounds in hip-hop, pushing sonic boundaries. David Banner’s scope seems much broader than Lil’ Jon’s, however, to the extent that it seems a Lil Jon:Neptunes::David Banner:Timbaland comparison would not be inappropriate.

Describing the southern sound, Banner goes into an important step he took to make sure his music would be heard outside of the south:

“When I was a New York homeless producer I learned why a lot of cats wasn’t digging our sound initially. Most cats don’t travel in cars and most of our sounds are in 808s. Headphones can’t register those low tones so when they listen to our music it sounds incomplete. Most East Coast music has rock-like drums, solid kicks, and loud heavy snares and that’s irritating to our ears because we roll in Chevy Caprices and Cadillacs with 18-inch woofers in the back. Understanding that, I sort of layered solid kicks and 808s togetherso no matter who listens to it you’ll be able to enjoy it…”

The vital point made in this interview is what makes Crunk such an exciting genre of essentially limitless possibility - its socio-geographic permeability. But maybe the most interesting thing is Banner’s insistence that he wants to “go pop”, which I can imagine the hip-hop crowd isn’t too down with, at least at first glance; but his reasoning touches on the heart of what makes his music so exciting. He wants the freedom that comes with being a pop artist rather than a genre-limited producer (which is why the Timbaland mold fits so well, I think). “You’re able to experiment more when you do other types of music,” he says.

Anyway, I highly encourage everyone to pick up this magazine, or better yet a subscription; the interviews are top notch even when the rest of the magazine is a bit more iffy.

David Drake | 6:47 am | Comments Off

August 21, 2004

I was going to do an On Second Thought on this one, but due to the tricky dual nature of the record over different continents it all got a bit unfocused. Still, I’d like to think the piece is mostly solid and so with encouragement from Todd I’m posting it here. Take from it what you will.


Do you know what you get when you remove all the filler from Aphex Twin’s lauded Richard D James Album? Under twenty minutes. Six tracks.

I should make clear right at the start that I’m talking about the North American issue of the album with the near-worthless Girl/Boy EP appended: the only UK version I’ve actually been able to confirm the tracklisting for ends at ten tracks, and I have no beef with that one; six good tracks out of ten, with the other four being at worst adequate, is perfectly fine. Six good tracks out of fifteen, with some of those other nine being absolute shit, however, is not. Those fifteen tracks span forty-three minutes, and the fact that I can’t actually argue for the worth of less than half of that time is distressing. I guess it’s nice that someone (James? The record label?) gave us extra material, but it’s pretty uniformly worthless.

What makes it relatively hard to say bad things about the Richard D. James Album is that the parts that work are among Aphex’s best. I still, if asked to introduce someone to James’ work, will play them “4”, which might be the most beautiful thing he’s ever done, or failing that “Girl/Boy Song”, its chief competition. In those songs, and a few others scattered about the record, James brings together the manic and sweepingly melodic aspects of his sounds and forges absolute gems, songs that deserve to be considered among not just the finest electronic music but the finest music period of the late 20th Century.

Which makes pisstakes like “Inkeys”, “Beetles” and the two “mixes” of “Girl/Boy Song” that are tacked on to the end of the LP even more infuriating. I don’t require that musicians keep a straight face all the time (that would be inutterably boring), but when you’ve already shown the absolute best of yourself on an album to end it with watered-down copies and pastiches of your own work is insulting. There is no reason for you to continue listening to Richard D. James Album after “Girl/Boy Song” ends, not the “whimsical” but pointless “Logon Rock Witch”, and definitely not the completely useless and overlong “Milkman” (I do remember finding it funny that he sang the word “tits” when I was sixteen, but the humour has faded with time, as it often does with novelty songs).

That rot extends further upwards the LP as well, although not as strongly. Take songs like “Cornish Acid”, or “Peek 824545301”; neither of them are as bad as the crap that clogs the end of the disc, but if you were to pare the material here down to only the truly great stuff, neither would deserve to stick around. What they do is accomplished better elsewhere in the disc (on “Yellow Calx” and “Corn Mouth”, respectively). The two songs where Aphex slows down and backs off on the excellently manic drum programming he employs for the rest of the disc (“Fingerbib” and “Goon Gumpas”) mark the last two tracks that would be worth retaining if the Richard D. James Album was divested of “extras” and pared down to the EP it so richly deserves to be.

I know “To Cure A Weakling Child” has its fans, and again if the North American version of the record was ten tracks long I could easily tolerate it. There’s definitely the kernel of something interesting there, and for the first, say, two minutes it holds my attention. But, as with “Milkman”, it’s too long at just over four minutes. It’s a perfectly passable album track, and if the worst songs here were as good as it is, I wouldn’t be doing one of these on the album. But the sheer amount of crap here makes me want to throw the middling out with the awful. I used to hear from everybody, magazines, friends, websites, etc, that this was the album to get if you were interested in Aphex Twin. He was “difficult”, sure, but this particular LP was the one to start with.

Well, no, it’s not, at least not if you’re in North America. The album to get if you’re interested in Aphex Twin and have never heard him is …I Care Because You Do. It’s devoid of the kind of juvenilia that clutters up this effort, and while the highs might not be quite as high as “4”, “Next Heap With” and “Icct Hedral” give it a decent run for the money. Or start with one of the two Selected Ambient Works albums – there’s a lot more there to take on, yes, but at least you can be assured that they’re solid. Someone who starts with the Richard D. James Album will come away with the conception that James can’t help but fuck up his own records with worthless filler. And yes, insert joke about Drukqs here, but you can’t really say the same for most of his work. Hell, the Come To Daddy EP is a more solid piece of work than the US Richard D. James Album. This disc has some of James’ finest work, sure to be the highlight of a best-of if a proper one is ever assembled. But unless you already know and love Aphex Twin, and are willing to put up with a truly ludicrous amount of dross you should steer well clear of it.

Ian Mathers | 1:47 am | Comments (5)

August 20, 2004

If Ambient I was Eno stretching Satie to his breaking point, then his next entry into the series was him meeting him head-on. To do so, though, he brought in a collaborator: Harold Budd.

Budd, like Eno, had grown up with an art school sensibility, enrolling in Los Angeles Community College at the age of 21 to study music theory. His interests were varied, but soon focused upon the trance-like qualities of Mark Rothko’s color field paintings and works of composers like Morton Feldman and John Cage.

After hearing a tape of the initial sketches of Budd’s initial experiments and what would eventually make up his first album, Pavilion of Dreams, Eno felt inspired. In fact, he liked it so much that it was one of the only pieces of Western music that he took on a four-month trip to Thailand in 1979.

Coming off like Philip Glass to Robert Wyatt’s LaMonte Young, Budd here is allowed free rein to construct far ranging melodic lines. Utilizing both electric and acoustic pianos for the recording, Budd works some Feldman-esque punctums to tracks like “First Light”, “Not Yet Remembered” and “Among Fields of Crystal”.

Eno, for the most part, takes a backseat in the proceedings, credited on the liner notes for “other instruments and treatments”. That being said, his contributions are key to making this a much stronger piece than Budd’s earlier solo album. Eno cans the extraneous notes, probably following from this idea that he talks about in a Melody Maker interview from 1980, “Arabic singing is so developed….[because] presumably they don’t have a history of harmony, so the whole musical energy goes into developing the single line, making that more and more interesting.”

The critical reaction was muted, at best. Perhaps, as Lester Bangs wrote of Music for Airports, his audience’s patience was beginning to warn thin, especially since “there [were] now more ambient albums out under his name than “regular” ones”.

Strange, since along with The Pearl it’s probably Budd’s best work and easily the most underrated record of the four in the Ambient series.

More to come in a future article for the main site, so stay tuned…

Todd Burns | 4:05 am | Comments (5)

August 18, 2004

I finally caught up to Bela Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies, after a while ago having at last seen Tarr’s earlier masterpiece, Satantango. Werckmeister Harmoniesabsolutely solidifies what I had strongly suspected after Satantango: That Tarr is one of contemporary cinema’s greatest filmmakers, deserving of mention alongside Kiarostami, Hou, Wong, Tsai, and von Trier.

Atmospherically, Tarr’s work is extraordinarily absorbing, hypnotic even. The starkly beautiful black and white cinematography and repeatedly employed melancholic musical theme really lend his films a uniquely, unpretentiously artful sort of gravitas absent from 99& of current movies. Like Kiarostami’s work, both Tarr films that I’ve seen seem to exist entirely outside the cinematic universe occupied by the latest Hollywood blockbusters.

Werckmeister Harmonies offers, in contrast with Satantango, a more condensed, but no less stunning, example of Tarr’s aesthetic. Both, however, straddle the line ambiguously between post-realist observations of what Jonathan Romney described as “inhospitable suburbs of Hell” and bleak, grimly comic political allegories. More than even Satantango, Werckmeister Harmonies works within a quasi-mythical dimension, meditating simultaneously on the horrors of the past (namely, ethnic cleansing and, specifically, the Holocaust) and the vaguely looming apocalypse. The present, in Tarr, is all brooding portension, just waiting to explode violently, as it does in Werckmeister’s harrowing climax.

Josh Timmermann | 11:50 pm | Comments (2)

The newest Modest Mouse CD hasn’t held up well at all - I was admittedly quite smitten with it at first blush, maybe it was just misty-eyed affection for its decided lack of trendy garage-rock or dance-punk signifiers, but also it just seemed to possess a messy humanity that’s missing from most overdetermined indie-rock.

Often Brock would say stupid juvenile faux-existential shit about God, but then he’d reveal an admirable self-deprecating streak that let you know he was just honestly working through all these philosophies and life strategies himself, and it’s always more fascinating to hear the process than the result on record.

Unfortunately, the whole thing plods like a bastard, I think sometimes they go for “shimmering” and just wind up sounding sluggish, like on “The World At Large,” which almost makes it there but not quite. Even “Float On” is starting to sound a little saggy next to better and brighter radio favorites from 2004. “Bury Me With It” and “Black Cadillacs” remain resilient, but thanks to the rest GNFPWLBN just took a plummet on my Top 50 (yeah I had to call it a “50″ to make sure we even included the album at all).

Josh Love | 4:53 am | Comments (8)

August 14, 2004

Something I mildly struggled with as a white guy was my love of hip-hop. I had to ask myself if it was indeed culture piracy or if it was just music to be enjoyed by anyone before I could truly embrace it. From then on, I could take in anything, from the thuggest street poets to the palest instrumentalist.

Most of the people around me either ignore and shun hip-hop or have a superficial appreciation for it (hey, take a picture of me making gang signs with a sideways cap so I can put it on my LJ!) Both groups tend to have their “exceptions” for one reason or another, usually to prove that they aren’t close-minded and/or that they have well-rounded tastes. So then the name-dropping commences. Take for instance, where at a gathering of some sort, someone had put on David Banner:

“Oh, man, what is that? That’s horrible!”

(Me) “You don’t like crunk?”

“No, but I do like some rap. Ever hear of Atmosphere?”

I think, He’s gonna say Jurassic 5 next, I just know it. Sure enough, after expressing my indifference towards Atmosphere, Jurassic 5 is next on the list.

You can usually substitute or supplement some of the names. Switch Atmosphere for Aesop Rock. Add to Jurassic 5, The Roots. But for some reason, the rock-leaning white kids of my community are conceding a little to the hip-hop world, albeit a shade lighter than most.

I pose these questions: (1) What about these acts draws them in? Am I missing something? and (2) How big of a dick am I for ragging on white guys for not liking “black” enough hip-hop?

Todd Burns | 2:07 am | Comments (27)

August 13, 2004

It’s 1988 and the concept: no wave mainstay Arto Lindsay Does Pop - and not just catchy tunes, mind you, but SHITTY PAUL ABDUL/GEORGE MICHAEL POP. With skronk! And bossa nova! In Portuguese! The results? Well, pretty remarkable, really.

Personally, I remember buying this record in the throes of Arto-dom ca. 1991 or so, buying every pricey DNA, Lounge Lizards and Golden Palominos release I could get my hands on just so long as it featured Lindsay’s yelping and skronking. But the idea of the Ambitious Lovers was his most, well, ambitious yet. Still, within a few bars, I was already pressed to consider whether I could ever endorse the record, the “Straight up now tell me are you gonna love me for-ev-ah/Oh-Oh-Oh!” factor being so very, very high. So I did what all good critics do with music they don’t understand: I put it away for the better part of the next decade.

But upon pulling it out again, well, I’m struck somewhat differently by what was the group’s second release. Certainly, it’s still not an easy marriage; there remain moments that remind me why I pretty much didn’t turn on the radio for about two years. Yet 15 years on from Forever Your Girl is altogether different than 24 months. Now, I can see that the record’s greatest success lies not despite the “Straight Up” factor in songs like “Love Overlap” but rather because of it. At the moment, I’m hard-pressed to find any other artist outside the genre who unironically embraced the world of late 80s R&B — to the “serious” student of music, the era remains every bit as alien and exotic as, say, the Drummers of Burundi or the oud were to most of the listeners who came upon Jon Hassell at the dawn of the 80s.

And at this point in history, let’s face it: this genre-splice remains a hell of a lot more interesting (not to mention challenging). Here, Arto croons, yells and raps like Byrne could never quite manage, while instrumentalist Peter Scherer makes like the German LA Reid, programming drum beats only Laker Girls could love, brash bass sequences and arabesque string synths to great, unabashedly POP melodies. And just as you start to think you can’t stand it anymore, on comes on Brazilian tracks like “Caso” or “It Only Has To Happen Once”, where you forget where you are and how you got there and just get…lost.

A few of these tracks would reportedly show up in the (rather sorry) film version of Tama Janowitz’s Slaves of New York. Thereafter, Lindsay and Scherer would do one more AL record together (1991’s Lust), but by then things were different — Paula was on her way to coming out as an anorexic before proving Fitzgerald wrong once again on American Idol. Lindsay, well, he does that Brazilian thing a lot more these days while still beating on his fire engine red Danelectro 12-string for fun now and again (who knows what became of Scherer). But somewhere out there, there remains this unique tension, unresolved and waiting for rediscovery. Hmmmm…

Matthew Weiner | 2:23 pm | Comments (3)

August 11, 2004

Todd is an absent-minded fellow and forgot to include my singles on this week rundown. Here’s my take:

Anastacia - Sick & Tired

From Goth-pop to bhangra bandwagoning in the space of two singles? If Kanye fucking West switched styles that quickly you’d be all over his jock. Lesbians really like Anastacia, and when have you known the sisters to be wrong? 10/10

Libertines - Can’t Stand Me Now

You know how the first kid you went to school with that OD’d was always one you didn’t actually give a shit about in the first place? 0/10

Shapeshifters - Lola’s Theme

Dance hit of the summer was: Benny Benassi and the nudey DIY women
Dance hit of the summer should have been: That song from the cranberry juice adverts

Dance hit of the summer was: This, which got old so quick you’d think the song suffered from progeria.
Dance hit of the summer should have been: Lou Reed techno-dance party. 2/10

Rachel Stevens - Some Girls

Would we care more if “The Show” hadn’t already stomped all over this? Possibly, but this just sounds like the usual Richard X-omania “pop genius” cast-off, far too many “clever” ideas half-formed, from a seam mined far too much. 6/10

J-Kwon - Tipsy

Considering we started doing the UK Singles Jukebox less often in order to stop covering the same tracks as our American cousins do in their inferior Singles Jukebox, you’d think that covering J-Kwon in the first week back would be a fucking retarded idea. Not so. J-Kwon was born and bred in the lovely market town of Oundle, the son of an antiques dealer. He later went on to study Classical Architechture at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, where he wrote “Tipsy”, after an evening of punting and Pimms. Absolutely spiffing, old chap. 1/10

Morrissey - First Of The Gang To Die

The only “good” track on old big chin’s self-indulgent cash cow of a last album, an attempt to draw together his two spiritual homes, the Lowry landscapes of his past and the gay Latino scene of his present. People just don’t make 70s radio rock anymore. 7/10

Dom Passantino | 4:45 am | Comments (3)

August 9, 2004

I’m sorta gratified that the response to the new Sonic Youth has been so positive. Convinced that those noise-musos had lost both their humor and the plot with NYC Ghost & Flowers, I was surprised when Murray Street reminded us (and them) that textures and tunes aren’t irreconcilable - and should never be. I’m not sure how the hell Jim O’Rourke affected the band dynamic; maybe he’s got a better-than-average shit detector.

Regarding Sonic Nurse: it’s definitely their best since A Thousand Leaves, and maybe their best songwise since Dirty if not Sister. Every track vibrates with a luminous hum. What with Lee Ranaldo honing his crap beat-poetry into an anti-war anthem you can believe in (”Paper Cup Exit”) and Kim Gordon showing real empathy for “Glitter” grrl Mariah (Kim’s right: Mariah’s next vision of love should be of a sexy emo boy), Sonic Nurse reminds us that what broke SY in the Daydream Nation days was the sea of possibilities their feedback and dirty boots and tuff gnarls promised. Anything was possible. And “I Love You Golden Blue” - wow. My pick for song of the year. The arc of a love affair traced in seven minutes, in which bliss, pain, and weariness all finally blur into the nicotine-stained crags of Kim’s voice and the now Velvets-worthy guitar interplay.

Now I know what effect O’Rourke’s had: he reminded SY they were human.

Alfred Soto | 6:24 pm | Comments (4)

So, why is everyone seemingly down on Kompakt this year? I think what people are claiming as the downfall of the label is totally because of the lackluster ambient stuff they’ve been putting out recently. I mean it must, right? Andrew Thomas, the much maligned Pass Into Silence and Klimek (sorry Ron!) have not been cutting it, especially in light of the halcyon days of Guentner and Dettinger. I think we’d be hard pressed to find more people hungering for Pop Ambient 2005 than people wondering why the hell there isn’t a Total 6 scheduled for release. Well? Guys? And this is the EXACT reason that people have been grumbling about the fact that it’s slow year for the label (if they have) because this ambient stuff is all they have to go on, aside from ‘Pitcher which seems to split audiences down the middle. Oh, yeah, and that double disc thing. But that hardly counts, right? Remixes? Pffft. (good disc(s), though!)

But I think that’s always been the knock on Kompakt. Maybe it’s just the pre-winter doldrums, waiting for the yearly compilations to come out? Who knows…but with the Mayer solo album on the horizon and another Koehnecke as well, there seems to be little to worry about in Cologne, if there was at all.

Todd Burns | 2:28 am | Comments (3)

August 6, 2004

Terrific lyrics, brilliant concept, but where are the tunes? The idea of listening to literature doesn’t interest me unless Morgan Freeman is reading it, but that’s essentially all I’m getting here, cuz the hooks are either nonexistent or weak as Skinner’s upper torso. It’s a major letdown from OPM, which certainly had novelty on its side but also sounded scrappier, more playful and unorthodox, the ragtag beats ‘n’ tings definitely a better fit for those shaggy-dog tales than A Grand’s whole-cloth narrative, which would seem to demand a bit more fittingly resplendent backdrop (any chance I get to use resplendent, I’m takin’ it). Basically, I decided I only have room in my life this year for one thematic monstrosity, and it’s Blueberry Boat, which is loads more fun.

Josh Love | 3:03 am | Comments (6)

August 5, 2004

I saw Steve “Silk” Hurley the other night, and it was amazing - the camraderie, the group dynamic, the dancing, the jacking, HOUSE IS A FEELING! I love Chicago. “Move Your Body” and the “Perculator” (which I hadn’t heard since like middle school!) and “French Kiss” (which he started at a deathly slow tempo, and the moans were overpowering, and built it up faster and faster and MOAAAAAAAANS like whoa.) This was outdoors at this fantastic “Chicago Summer Dance” series put on by Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs in Grant Park, and this was the first time they’d played any sort of house music (even though house was easily the biggest musical movement in the city in the 80s). The crowd was mixed, leaning towards black; about equal parts white and hispanic. When the MC for the evening asked if anyone remembered Ron Hardy at the music box the CROWD WENT FUCKING WILD. An incredibly friendly crowd too - if you put some energy into dancing, they loved you.

David Drake | 1:09 am | Comments (2)

August 4, 2004

Akron, Ohio blues/psychedelic outfit The Black Keys are gearing up to launch their new album Rubber Factory, due Sept. 7. The track list:

1. When The Lights Go Out
2. 10 A.M. Automatic
3. Just Couldn’t Tie Me Down
4. All Hands Against His Own
5. The Desperate Man
6. Girl Is On My Mind
7. The Lengths
8. Grown So Ugly
9. Stack Shot Billy
10. Act Nice And Gentle
11. Aeroplane Blues
12. Keep Me
13. Till I Get My Way

The hilarious video for their first single “10 A.M. Automatic” is available here, while an additional track from Rubber Factory, “The Lengths”, is available here.

R. S. Ross | 4:58 pm | Comments Off

If you check over on the main page, you’ll notice a swish new design. You might be wondering, just how did they come up with something so fresh, so accommodating to the demands of the regular features yet so easy on the eye?

Well, I helped out.

Colin Cooper | 2:16 pm | Comments (2)

August 3, 2004

The Beta band have split up after 8 years together. Rumour has it that they’re nastily in debt to their record company, probably because they keep making expensive records which nobody buys. I am gutted, but not necessarily surprised.

They will be missed.

Nick Southall | 6:57 am | Comments (1)

August 2, 2004

Would like to take a moment for a shout-out to the Stylus musik-makers out there right now: Francis Henville, who’s put out a CD under the name of Tachikoma-Kun. Ian did a fair job of reviewing it under relatively…weird circumstances.

Also, Mike Shiflet and Joe Panzner have just put out a full length CD-R release, which’ll probably get a review in an upcoming Rubber Room. I’m not sure about Francis’ disc, but I do know the Scenic Railroads (Joe and Mike’s band name) release is limited, so if you’re into the Erstwhile end of things you should get yrself over to the label site and order one up soon.

Is there anyone else out there releasing music that I’m missing?

Todd Burns | 4:26 am | Comments (3)

Current Listening / Watching / Reading

Stewart Voegtlin
WOLFMANGLER, Protected by the Ejaculations of Wolves [Split CD w/ M0SS]
NEGATIVE PLANE, Et in Saecula Saeculorum
MORTEM, De Natura Deamonum

Theon Weber
The Hold Steady - Seperation Sunday
Annuals - Be He Me
Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food

Ethan White
Bruce Nauman - Raw Materials
Ennio Morricone - The Red Tent OST
Stereolab - Serene Velocity

Bryan Berge
DJ Olive - Sleep
The Chap - Ham
V/A - Trap Door is an International Psychedelic Mystery Mix

Jonathan Bradley
Green Day - American Idiot
Fall Out Boy - From Under The Cork Tree
Brand New - Deja Entendu

Justin Cober-Lake
Stevie Wonder - Music of My Mind
Keith Moon - Two Sides of the Moon
Allen Toussaint - Life, Love and Faith

Ian Cohen
Maritime- We, The Vehicles
Mannie Fresh- The Mind Of Mannie Fresh
Lupe Fiasco- Food And Liquor

Elizabeth Colville
Magnetic Fields - Get Lost
Joan as Police Woman - Real Life
John Vanderslice - Pixel Revolt

Iain Forrester
The Dresden Dolls - Yes, Virginia...
Hot Chip - Coming On Strong
The Knife - Deep Cuts

Andrew Gaerig
Trick Daddy - Thugs Are Us
Broadcast - The Future Crayon
V/A - Rio Baile Funk: More Favela Booty Beats

Todd Hutlock
Uncle Tupelo - March 16-20, 1992
Rockpile - Seconds of Pleasure
Andrew Weatherall - Hypercity

Andrew Iliff
Thom Yorke - The Eraser
Mr Lif - Mo' Mega
Tricky - Live at Leeds Town and Country

Thomas Inskeep
Cameo - The 12" Collection and More
Sonic Youth - Really Ripped
Panic! at the Disco - A Fever You Can't Sweat Out

Josh Love
Cassie - Me & U
Paris Hilton - Paris
Alan Jackson - Greatest Hits Collection

Evan McGarvey
Juvenile - Tha G-Code
Ghostface - Fishscale
Wilderness - Vessel States

Ian Mathers
Muslimgauze - Lo Fi India Abuse
The Cure - The Head On The Door
The Wedding Present - Seamonsters

Sandro Matosevic
Ladytron - Witching Hour
The Moaners - Dark Snack
San Serac - Tyrant

Derek Miller
120 Days - 120 Days
VA - Superlongevity 2
Hot Chip - Various b-sides

Mallory O'Donnell
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds
Beyonce - B'Day
Kashmere Stage Band - Texas Thunder Soul

Fergal O'Reilly
The Auteurs - How I Learned To Love The Bootboys
Kitsune Maison Vol. 2
Sparks - Indiscreet

Cameron Octigan
Nathan Fake - Drowning in a Sea of Love
Alex Smoke - Paradolia
Ricardo Villalobos - Achso EP

Mike Orme
Guillemots - Through the Windowpane
Colleen - Colleen et Les Boîtes à Musique
Hot Chip - The Warning

Peter Parrish
Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now
The House of Love - Complete Peel Sessions
Catherine Wheel - Adam & Eve

Mike Powell
Scritti Politti - White Bread, Black Beer
Miles Davis - Get Up With It
Boredoms - Soul Discharge

Tal Rosenberg
M83 - Before The Dawn Heals Us
The Roots - Game Theory
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Give It Back!

Barry Schwartz
Tahiti 80 - Fosbury
Portastatic - I Hope Your Heart is Not Brittle
Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson in Crime

Brad Shoup
Michael Nesmith - From a Radio Engine to the Photon Wing
The Tear Garden - Sheila Liked the Rodeo EP
Sam Moore - Plenty Good Lovin': The Lost Solo Album

Alfred Soto
Kirsty MacColl - Electric Landlady
Junior Boys - So This is Goodbye
50 Cent - Get Rich...

Nick Southall
Final Fantsay - He Poos Clouds
TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
Embrace - "Thank God You Were Mean To Me"

Josh Timmermann
Prince - 3121
Prince - Graffiti Bridge
Prince - Lovesexy


Tal Rosenberg
Arrested Development Season 2
Wedding Crashers

Arthur Ryel-Lindsey
Little Miss Sunshine
Von Ryan's Express
A Knight's Tale

Brad Shoup
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Alfred Soto
Arrested Development: Season One
The Flowers of Shanghai

Nick Southall

Josh Timmermann
Inside Man
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
My Sex Life...or How I Got Into an Argument

Stewart Voegtlin
Dog Soldiers

Theon Weber
House, M.D. - season two
Buffy the Vampire Slayer - season two

Ethan White
The Tenant
Mr. Arkadin
Punishment Park

Justin Cober-Lake
One Day in September
Passage to India

Elizabeth Colville
My Summer of Love
Pride & Prejudice
Trust the Man

L. Michael Foote
Wild At Heart
Bad Timing
The Witches

Todd Hutlock
Arrested Development Season 3
Tod Browning's Freaks

Ian Mathers
Seeing Other People
Sapphire & Steel, series 1
Death Race 2000

Dave Micevic
Inside Man

Derek Miller
My Life Unravel

Jay Millikan
Superman Returns

Mallory O'Donnell
Snakes On A Plane

Fergal O'Reilly
Peep Show Series 1
The Wind That Shakes The Barley

Mike Orme
Bringing Up Baby
The Third Man
Frasier reruns, Lifetime

Mike Powell
Sherman's March


Elizabeth Colville
Swann's Way - Marcel Proust
The New Yorker, Sept 18, 2006
The Bounty - Derek Walcott

L. Michael Foote
Fanny, Edmund White
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon

Todd Hutlock
John Cale & Victor Bockris - What's Welsh For Zen?

Thomas Inskeep
Andrew Beaujon - Body Piercing Saved My Life
Tim Lawrence - Love Saves the Day
Dave White - Exile in Guyville

Josh Love
Henry Adams - The Education of Henry Adams

Ian Mathers
Spinoza - Ethics
Plato - Phaedo
Greg Rucka/Jesus Saiz - Checkmate

Sandro Matosevic
JT Leroy - The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things

Ron Mashate
Samuel Beckett - Murphy
William Gaddis - A Frolic Of His Own

Dave Micevic
Thomas Pynchon - V.

Derek Miller
Thomas Wolfe - You Can't Go Home Again

Jay Millikan
Richard Price - Clockers
Randy Shilts - And the Band Played On

Mallory O'Donnell
Simon Reynolds - Generation Ecstasy
Simon Frith - Music For Pleasure
Simon Reynolds - Rip It Up & Start Again

Fergal O'Reilly
David Peace - Nineteen Seventy-Four

Mike Orme
Salman Rushdie - The Ground Beneath her Feet

Peter Parrish
Raymond Chandler - The Big Sleep

Mike Powell
WG Sebald - The Rings of Saturn

Tal Rosenberg
Sarah Vowell - Take the Cannoli

Barry Schwartz
Philip Roth - American Pastoral

Brad Shoup
Earl Conrad - Typoo

Alfred Soto
Anthony Summers - The Arrogance of Power

Nick Southall
Stephen King - The Calling of the Three
Kurt Vonnegut - Breakfast of Champions

Josh Timmermann
Jonathan Franzen - The Twenty-Seventh City

Stewart Voegtlin
Cormac McCarthy, Suttree

Theon Weber
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead

Ethan White
Linda Williams - Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the Frenzy of the Visible

Justin Cober-Lake
Umberto Eco - Baudolino
C.S. Lewis - The Screwtape Letters

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October 31st, 2007
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