I hear a new world calling me. It's beeping transmissions from some faraway place in the future and the past where a mysterious craft hovers near calypso rock and choruses of friendly voices some human, some not echo or call to each other. It's a free-floating territory charted by someone obsessed with creating and sharing sounds that would otherwise go unheard. Only those with a similar obsession seem to respond to its clarion call.
I hear a new world, so strange and so real. Read more »
Somehow it seems morbidly appropriate that a band like the Jesus and Mary Chain would reappear in a year that has witnessed the sad demise of country tunesmith and pop maverick Lee Hazlewood and the grisly murder trial of überproducer and pop maverick Phil Spector. Siblings straight from a David Cronenberg film, William and Jim Reid had an obsession with classic pop music matched only bya lugubrious death drive. Read more »
Thurston Mooreites still absorbing the noiseless acoustics of Trees Outside the Academy, his sophomore full-length released last month on his Ecstatic Peace imprint, may be unaware of another basement romp from the Sonic Youth guitarist, which the Los Angeles label Deathbomb Arc put out as a vinyl-only split in August. Read more »
I have a meat map of the world in my head, so when I hear "Denmark," I think of ham. If I think a little harder, I'll come to kringle, that delicious pastry that's ubiquitous in Racine, Wis., which is the closest I've come to Denmark.
My baby-momma's of Danish descent, so I also think of the time her cousins came to visit and were amazed by the size of American freeways and our unnatural attachment to firearms. Read more »
I knew I was getting into some trouble when I first discovered that Eat Skull a noisome bunch of skuzz rockers from Portland, Ore. has two members who used to bring the motherfuckin' ruckus alongside Adam Stonehouse in the Hospitals. But I knew I was in for a treat as well. Read more »
It's been nearly two decades since Galaxie 500 broke through with their languid, fuzzed-out dream pop, and rhythm section Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang still live and record in the Ivy Leagued shadow of their Cambridge, Mass., alma mater, Harvard University. Perpetual college rock? It's true their recordings as a duo have retained Galaxie 500's moody overtones, but the self-consciously wide-screen canvas is gone: instead of soaring chorus and spiral-jetty guitar wails, Damon and Naomi emphasize smart pop arrangements and subdued vocal harmonies. Read more »
The Night of the Hunter is at the top of a list of favorite films compiled by Colleen, a.k.a. Parisian musician Cécile Schott, and Iker Spazio's lovely cover art for the new Colleen album, Les Ondes Silencieuses (Leaf), more than hints at that film's magic and menace. In Spazio's paper cutinfluenced dark and starry nighttime vision, Colleen is viewed from the back as she plays the viola da gamba at the edge of a forest by a body of water. Read more »
"I could tell you about the river," Bill Callahan bellows on "From the Rivers to the Ocean," the opening salvo of his most recent record, Woke on a Whaleheart (Drag City). There's a pregnant pause, he drops his voice between ascending piano chords "Or ..." and then a sweet melody buoys the rest of the line, "... Read more »