February 2004 Archives


Probot (Southern Lord) [video]

Fucking Probot. That's how this "band" should always be addressed. Maybe Motherfucking Probot. Or Goddamn Motherfucking Probot. One thing's for sure, this ain't a record for sissies. Lemmy will stomp your fucking ass.

NOTE: This record is kinda lacking in double bass-drummery.

LCD Soundsystem - Yeah

LCD Soundsystem - Yeah 12" (DFA) [audio]

Whether the lyrics of "Yeah" are actually meant to chide the rest of the dance/punk revival clan ("Everybody keeps on talking about it/and nobody's getting it done") or simply to fill space ("Yeah yeah yeah/yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah..."), there's no doubt this the most dynamic and fantastically hedonistic jam DFA's James Murphy has produced yet. Each minute of the song builds a heavier layer atop the one before it, finally erupting like a volcano of squelching synths and feverish percussion. Somebody is getting it done after all.
Delia L. Gonzalez & Gavin R. Russom - El Monte 12" (DFA) [audio]

Readers familiar with the heavy dance-oriented funky punk that's become DFA's calling card for the last three years are in store for a surprise. "El Monte" conjures up images of 70's supernatural thriller films and the chilling music that scored them (Wendy Carlos, Mike Oldfield, and others). On the flip, "Rise (DFA Remix)" has the added benefit of drums and ends up sounding more like classic 80's darkwave than anything else you've ever heard on DFA. Not a bad first musical outing for a couple of visual artists.

Stereolab - Margerine Eclipse

Stereolab - Margerine Eclipse (Elektra)

To say the unfortunate death of 'laaa … deee … laaa' queen Mary Hanson has changed Stereolab's dynamic on wax is incorrect. Here on the band's 10th album, chief vocalist Laetitia Sadier sounds sparse in only a few areas with the band's analog-inspired non-sequiturs leading you through this short-winded pop gem. Now if only Garageband had a 'Stereolabisize' filter, my beats would be that much more chunkier.

Moonbabies - The Orange Billboard

Moonbabies - The Orange Billboard (Hidden Agenda) [mp3s/video] [upcoming shows]

I love an honest deal as much as the next schmoe, so when I saw a promo disc of The Orange Billboard in my local shop's budget bin, I threw down a couple bucks without hearing a single note. I gleaned two things from the CD cover: Moonbabies are a duo and Moonbabies are from Sweden. What I know now, however, is that Moonbabies actually deliver the sprawling, gorgeous mindfuck I was led to believe I'd get from Broken Social Scene last year.
Malcom Middleton - 5:14 Fluoxytnie Seagull Alcohol John Nicotine (Chemikal Underground) [mp3] [upcoming shows]

Wallowing away in a full pint and with tear-filled eyes, Malcolm Middleton - one half of the Scottish-duo Arab Strap - sings woe-begotten dark tales of love (mostly lost) and loneliness. It's desperation-rock at it's finest – "I'm so lonely, I'm going to go out with a slut who will hold me," Middleton sings with a thick accent on "Speed on the M9". But while the album can be morbid and cynical, Middleton also injects some humor, albeit twisted, into songs like "Crappo the Clown" and "Devil and the Angel".

Man in Gray - No Day / No Night

Man in Gray - No Day / No Night [mp3] [upcoming shows]

The rest of their borough can wax nostalgic for scarcely-remembered decades, but Man in Gray remain proud citizens of Alternative Nation, circa 1993. With such dissonantly catchy (and refreshingly unpretentious) tunes, however, it's impossible to complain - from the flailing Thurston-isms of "Incommunicado" to the Kim Deal-worthy "Brakelights," these young Brooklynites harness a melodic urgency far more then the sum of their influences.

Buffalo Daughter - Pshychic

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Buffalo Daughter - Pshychic (V2) [audio/video] [upcoming shows]

Sweet Izanagi! Remember when Buffalo Daughter was the cute little band the Beastie Boys adopted on tour and brought home to America? That burdensome aesthetic was partially shed with the release of 2002's impressive I album, but, on Pshychic, the band is all business. Stereolab wishes they could still rock this hard. Neu! never even came close. Pshychic is krautrock with some serious juice. Currently, it's only available by import. Write your congressman! Let him know a domestic release may keep the streets riot-free!
The Mountain Goats - We Shall All Be Healed (4ad) [mp3] [upcoming shows]

John Darnielle craps out albums like nobody's business. We Shall All Be Healed is the 6,784th release from the Mountain Goats, and is, big surprise, another great one. Much like 2002's Tallahassee, this one leans toward the "more-produced" end of the spectrum, and what's more, nearly half of the songs here even feature (gasp!) drums. Die-hard of fans of the old "lower-than-lo-fi" Mountain Goats sound can always copy the album to tape, drop it a mud puddle, and pretend it's still 1993.

John Vanderslice - Cellar Door

John Vanderslice - Cellar Door (Barsuk) [mp3s] [upcoming shows]

Remember the first time you ate brie? It felt weird in your mouth and you weren't sure why your friends were so insistent you eat some, but you grudgingly chew and swallow. Eventually, you decide maybe something there is worth revisiting. Your third trip to the table, you're passionately convincing someone else how they absolutely had to try it because it was so awesome? That's Cellar Door.

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