June 2004 Archives

Obsessed - Incarnate

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The Obsessed - Incarnate (Southern Lord) [mp3s]

A reissue, this smorgasbord of demos, out-takes, covers, live recordings and 7" tracks of varying sound quality spans the entirety of Obsessed's career. Combining '70s psychedelic stomp and something you might witness in Sloth Country at your city zoo, this comp shows how songwriter Wino sticks to his guns and wins. Although inspirational to the doom genre - one that, as you can guess, was spawned by the Sab Four - your spirits may be unexpectedly lifted.

Kerrier District

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Kerrier District (Rephlex/Warp) [audio] [upcoming shows]

Luke Vibert has the propensity to ruin a lot of his own creations because he just can't leave them alone. The welcome thing about Kerrier District is the restraint he's shown, opting to let the material dictate its own course. Comparisons to Morgan Geist's tighter, more melody driven Metro Area project aren't entirely off base (even the name is a tongue-in-cheek nod), but Vibert's brand of nu-disco, left to its own devices, sometimes gets lost with no hope of finding a way back.

Les Savy Fav - Inches

Les Savy Fav - Inches (French Kiss)

A compliation of the crème de la Les Savy Fav crème. Covering 1996 (the Rhode Island years) to 2004, the disc spans nine singles in eighteen tracks. For $14 bucks you get all of the hits and most of the energy of their live shows without having to ward off a sweaty, mostly-naked, out of control Tim Harrington. Catchy enough to hook newcomers and comprehensive enough to wow die-hard fans.

Dykehouse - Midrange

Dykehouse - Midrange (Ghostly International) [mp3/another mp3]

The best records I've heard this year remind me, almost uniformly, of what I was turned onto in high school. Midrange is pure dreampop - the kind historically perfected by the Pale Saints, the House of Love, and (yes) My Bloody Valentine. It's as if this record were buried in 1989, only to be rediscovered and released fifteen years after it should've been. In Mike Dykehouse's world, there's no time like the present to pay homage to the past.

Harco Pront - Jibberish

Harco Pront - Jibberish (Music For Speakers) [audio]

Much of this lo-fi collection of 33 song miniatures can be grouped into one of two camps: drunken Tom Waits-style ramblings over loose percussion or tight, funky Prince-ish jams with repetitive phrases. While Mr. Pront excels in each formula, it's the less easily categorizable moments on Jibberish which truly work; the ambient leanings of "Inhale" or the outer space disco thump of "Beatless," in particular. Taken as a whole, Jibberish may be the incedental music that runs through the mind of a genius (or a crazy man).
Beastie Boys - To the 5 Boroughs (Capitol) [audio/video] [upcoming shows]

Q: Why did the Beastie Boys name their new record To the 5 Boroughs?
A: The more appropriate name of Some Old Bullshit was already taken.

Eyvind Kang - Virginal Coordinates (Ipecac)

Possibly containing the quietest ensemble of musicians on earth, which includes horns, strings, eastern percussion, and the cooing of Mike Patton and his sedate electronic pets, this is at once captivating and saddening. Anxiety laces itself around the lengthy and repetitive reveries and pocket-sized nuggets, and at times it's like Sigur Ros perching on a rain-soaked ledge. At others, it's like a creepy sauna party hosted by Miles Davis. For these reasons I say long live the Kang.

Amen - Death Before Musick

Amen - Death Before Musick (eatURmusic/Columbia) [video]

For a walking intensive care unit, Casey Chaos is pretty determined. Determined to keep punk alive, that is. This record is in fact a genuine lesson in the "We'll do our own thing, thanks" attitude that most Pistols-whoring punkers fail to adopt. Boisterous and always catchy (see: "Stereo Oblivion") - and most importantly, free of any patented skip 'er overs - this begs to be described with the dirtiest of all words: perfect. Well, almost. Headbanging and humming: they can work together. Who knew?

The Dresden Dolls

The Dresden Dolls (8 Foot Records) [audio/video] [upcoming shows]

A self-described "Brechtian punk cabaret" duo, the Dresden Dolls have such a stylized aesthetic that they'd be easy to dismiss as just another gimmick act. Doing so might be a mistake, however. Pianist/vocalist Amanda Palmer and percussionist Brian Viglione split this 57 minutes of music equally between slow burning torch songs and haunted carnival romps, crafting each with a delicate and slightly sinister touch. If Broadway musicals routinely sounded like this, the theater industry would be booming.


Automato (Coup de Grace) [audio] [upcoming shows]

Nobody's talking about Automato. The hipsters are ignoring the DFA connection because it's a rap record. The backpackers are ignorning the record because of the DFA connection. The mainstream hip-hop kids don't even know it exists. Damn them all! Since when were solid and really vivid backing tracks, understated and atypical rhyming, and a mountain of potential the downfall of any record? These six kids from New York deserve a moment of your time.
Two Lone Swordsmen - From the Double Gone Chapel (Warp) [audio/more audio] [upcoming shows]

Andrew Weatherall and Keith Tenniswood unite once again as Two Lone Swordsmen, but approach the project from an entirely different angle. Where earlier albums were artful displays of glitchy house, the duo go back in time to experiment with a mix of electronics and live instruments first associated with Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and even PiL. This is definitely dark material and, by comparison, makes modern contemporaries Out Hud or !!! sound like inessential fluff.

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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