March 2004 Archives

Lone Pigeon - Schoozzzmmii

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Lone Pigeon - Schoozzzmmii (Whizz Kidzz/Revolver USA) [audio]

Reviewers can't seem to write about Gordon Anderson (aka The Lone Pigeon) without mentioning a couple things. For starters, he was an original member of the Beta Band. Secondly, he seems to directly channel the mojo of Syd Barrett. While both are true, it should be noted that the material on Schoozzzmmii is most assuredly not tied to the past. Instead, it's a mélange of uninhibited action and timeless optimism... all recorded on a 4-track.

Sultans - Shipwrecked

Sultans - Shipwrecked (Swami)

I've been waiting for this record for a while now, and if I needed more proof that this Rocket From the Crypt "side project" could stand on it's own, Shipwrecked provides it. Speedo and Andy bring the goods just like on Ghost Ship, but they add a little more depth and melody. This record is the perfect soundtrack to walking home drunk from your favorite watering hole. But for fucksake... if you're gonna make it portable, put it on cassette. Don't sully the Sultans with your silly iPod.

The Decemberists - The Tain

The Decemberists - The Tain (Acuarela Discos) [upcoming shows]

The concept is simple, so why didn't they do it before now? Hijack an ancient Celtic poem, score it with equal parts folk and prog, and release it on a tiny Spanish indie. A single 18 minute track split into five somewhat distinct movements, "The Tain" is completely engaging from beginning to end - even on the first listen. And, though the Decemberists are still a bit wet behind the ears, they may have just instituted the standard by which all their other offerings will be judged.

Weezer - Deluxe Edition

Weezer - Deluxe Edition (Geffen)

Rejoice, nerds! The so-called Blue Album has been re-released with a bonus disc of rarities. If you didn't like this one ten years ago, then you probably won't like it now, but the b-sides, rare tracks and demos are fun for fans. Incidentally, the gal I'm currently trying to woo absolutely adores Weezer and I made her a CD-R of all their b-sides just two months ago, so now I'm feeling like a real fool!

Meow Meow - Snow Gas Bones

Meow Meow - Snow Gas Bones (Devil in the Woods) [audio] [upcoming shows]

If it weren't for the guitar squealing and the static hiss that permeates the CD, Meow Meow's debut would undoubtedly earn comparisons to Granddaddy and Fountains of Wayne. But with the extra credit effort supplied by guitarist/noisemaker Kirk Hellie, Meow Meow invades the Dinosaur Jr./Jesus and Mary Chain fuzz rock world and does it with unrelenting passion and energy. The warped Beach Boys style harmonies ("Sick Fixation", "All I Ever Got") do nothing but add to the gorgeous and experimental sound.
Boy Robot - Glamorizing Corporate Lifestyle (City Centre Offices)

The discoteques in hell have embraced our old dance music. Last time I spoke with DJ Beelzebub, "The Hustle" was on infinite loop. Fortunately for those of us still on Earth, disco has modernized to a point where traditional ideas of melody and beat have been eschewed. Boy Robot (aka Hans Möller and Michael Zorn) guts the nu-disco ivory tower crafted by Daft Punk and rebuilds it into a gritty, dirty, dubbed out masterpiece of minimalist hedonism. Dance like hell now, because it won't be any fun once you get there.
Centro-Matic - Flashes and Cables (Misra) [upcoming shows]

Four amazing tracks that they just couldn't fit onto Love You Just The Same, two remixes of "Flashes and Cables" and four music videos (now how much would you pay?!?) make this an early contender for bargain purchase of the year. The perfect release for those of us who are constantly scrounging around for hidden Centro-Matic material.

Fantomas - Delirium Cordia

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Fantômas - Delìrium Còrdia (Ipecac) [upcoming shows]

Delìrium Còrdia is a single seventy-four minute long song that sometimes kinda sounds like a heavy metal take-off of that Benedictine Monks record from a few years back, and I mean that description to be a favorable one. Other than the fact that this CD is tracked to be one continuous song, I can't honestly say that the music contained on its underside is that much of a departure from the two previous Fantômas discs.

Mum - Summer Make Good

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Múm - Summer Make Good (Pias America) [upcoming shows]

This marks the band's first release since sister Gyda's departure, reducing múm to a trio. Whether or not this chain of events sparked a more organic turn in múm's sound remains unknown. What is known, however, is that the near absence of stuttering beats and synthetic embellishments clears the way for their most direct and poignant record yet. I imagine this collection represents the sounds of an Iceland childhood; one I missed out on by being born elsewhere.
Moby - (He Beat Us Bad)

Yuck it up Moby. You burned us. You burned us bad. But you know what? I'm gonna let it slide. Just this once. You seem like a nice guy. I like your politics. Savor the flavor though, because we aren't gonna let it happen again.

Papa M - Hole of Burning Alms

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Papa M - Hole of Burning Alms (Drag City) [upcoming shows]

Rarely does an odds & sods compilation make a cohesive album when all is said and done, but we've never been privy to one comprised of Dave Pajo's work until now. Most appealing here is the long out of print contribution to the Travels in Constants CDEP series; a 13+ minute patchwork of shorter song ideas woven into one schizophrenic epic. And, even though the remaining original material is top notch, missing his covers of the Misfits' "Last Caress" and the Byrds' "Turn! Turn! Turn!" would be criminal.

Destroyer - Your Blues

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Destroyer - Your Blues (Merge) [mp3s] [upcoming shows]

It took me three listens to notice the absence of drums on this album. Two more before I realized that, besides an acoustic guitar, there aren't even really any instruments on the disc. But somehow, between Bejar's subtle vocals, overstated songwriting and the greatest (only?) use of MIDI samples indie pop has ever seen, everything in life seems to balance out.
Liars - They Were Wrong, So We Drowned (Mute) [audio] [upcoming shows]

First things first, ok? This album rocks about as hard as a lonely gym sock in a clothes dryer full of silk lingerie. However, I've got to give those Liars credit for destroying their career on their own terms. Why make the same record over and over again and let the music buying public's indifference culminate in ultimate dismissal of your work five years down the road when you can release a turd like this and get it over with right now? So bravo, Liars. Bravo!

Emma Bunton - Free Me

Emma Bunton - Free Me (Polydor/Universal) [audio]

Were it not for the occasional marrings of modernized production techniques, Emma Bunton's second solo album would belong squarely in the confines of 1964. From the cover inward, she's exploring the textures of lush Burt Bacharach-style pop and breezy bossa nova (covering Astrud Gilberto's "Crickets Sing for Anamaria," no less) - and doing it all with the utmost reverence and integrity. The Spice Whos? Right.

cEvin Key - The Dragon Experience

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cEvin Key - The Dragon Experience (Metropolis) [audio]

While Skinny Puppy's career was just getting under way in 1985, cEvin Key was already creating music on the side. The Dragon Experience collects various tracks recorded in 1984/85 (previously unreleased in any form), polishes them up, and makes them sound highly contemporary. If, God forbid, some arrogant Hollywood director were to remake Blade Runner for the new millennium, The Dragon Experience might serve as the perfect film score. A great gift for that special cyborg in your life.

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