Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sing For Your Meat

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Gleemer
La Sera - Watch Me Jumpstart
Western Civ - My Valuable Hunting Knife

Released yesterday for Record Store Day, Sing For Your Meat: A Tribute to Guided By Voices is a compilation of GBV songs covered by a multitude of hipsters who have been moved by the influence of GBV. Released by No More Fake Labels it represents the the many facets of GBV's work, from lo-fi, scrappy songs to well produced gems. Lou Barlow recorded his song 12 times on a Walkman and then stacked them on top of each other. Mass Solo Revolt’s track used vintage analog synths and everything was played and recorded by Martin Brummeler at home. Western Civ recorded some of their vocals through an old bullhorn. Both of their tracks were recorded in their practice room by a guy they had never met before. Several tracks were bedroom recordings. There is also a companion digital EP - full tracklist below...

01. Kelley Deal & Buffalo Killers – Scalding Creek
02. Thurston Moore – Stabbing A Star
03. Elf Power – Man Called Aerodynamics
04. Superdrag – A Salty Salute
05. Western Civ – My Valuable Hunting Knife
06. Crooked Fingers – Tractor Rape Chain
07. Lou Barlow – Game Of Pricks
08. Sorry About Dresden – Echos Myron
09. James Husband – Buzzards And Dreadful Crows
10. Flaming Lips – Smothered In Hugs
11. La Sera – Watch Me Jumpstart
12. I Was Totally Destroying It – I Am Produced
13. David Kilgour – How Loft I Am?
14. Cymbals Eat Guitars – Gleemer
15. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Everywhere With Helicopter
16. The Pneurotics – I Am A Tree
17. Blitzen Trapper – Hot Freaks

Free Digital Companion
01. Mass Solo Revolt – Gold Star For Robot Boy
02. Gregg Yeti – Quality Of Armor
03. Western Civ – Goldheart Mountain Top Queen Directory
04. North Elementary – They’re Not Witches-Ex Supermodel
05. Marie Stella – Little Lines
06. Free Electric State – Weedking

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stuck In The '80s

A funny thing has been happening in my music world this year. Many of the bands I was listening to 30 years ago have been resurrecting their careers and recording new albums. While this is not uncommon in music history, what has been surprising is the general quality of these new records. That is to say, they do not suck. Here are a few examples...

In January seminal post-punkers Gang Of Four put out Content, their first record of new material since 1995. Jon King and Andy Gill, now both 55 years old, are ripping it up with a new rhythm section. Their politics are intact - both when it comes to the ills of society and love - and the guitar riffs are as huge, angular and fierce as ever. The new rhythm section match the intensity of Andy's guitar with muscular deft. Thankfully, there is no aging gracefully here...


Wire also released a new record in January called Red Barked Tree. These guys have been on again/off again for the last 20 years, breaking up and reforming and recording. In the early 00's they returned with a vengeance, ditching their post punk sound for something approaching metal. The last few records have seen the band return to the style of music that they originally broke with, a mix of post-punk riffing, punk rock energy and some quieter, gentler moments. The overall quality of the music is amazing - check out Two Minutes - and the album will be on my end of year best-of list for sure!

I have always been a Duran Duran fan. Sure, there have been some lean years when I didn't buy the records, but I always kept up with them. Their latest album All You Need Is Now came out in March. Produced by Mark Ronson, it is, in my opinion, the logical follow up to 1982's Rio. Ronson clearly encouraged the band to recapture the zeitgeist of their early years, and he has done a bang up job. The songs are good, a mix of catchy dance floor movers and artful ballads. Kelis and Ana Matronic from Scissor Sisters make nice cameos. Simon's voice is great. Nick Rhodes' keyboards are as artfully tasteful as ever, adding just the right amount of gloss and pretention. Roger Taylor's drumming can still keep pace with John Taylor, who has to be one of the better bass players in music today. His signature popping and sliding are what drives the songs, and he sounds fantastic. A remarkable return to form that makes me very happy. I'm seeing them next week in a medium sized club setting - can you say geeked?


Friday, April 01, 2011

Funky Friday With Wagon Christ

Wagon Christ - Toomorrow (Megamix Album Preview)
The return of Luke Vibert's Wagon Christ is always a welcome thing in my world. The man is prolific, recording under many aliases. His beats always get my head bobbing, and his samples range from zany to delicious. His new record Toomorrow is out now and is a must have for fans of left field hip hop beats and quirky downtempo. Enjoy this 15 minute mini mix of album tracks. First 100 to click the arrow on the player can nab it as a download...