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BigBadZep

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About BigBadZep

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    I was in this prematurely air-conditioned supermarket and there were all these aisles, and there were these bathing caps that you could buy that had these kind of Fourth-of-July plumes on them that were red and yellow and blue, and I wasn't tempted to buy one, but I was reminded of the fact that I had been avoiding the beach.
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  1. Not to start an argument, I'm just still not clear on the logic for calling In Rainbows a 2008 release. Yes, we all know it was widely released on physical copies in stores on January 1, but the point is it was officially released digitally in October 2007. Yes it was digital, but it was official, the band are the ones who put it there, not some random person who leaked it. Besides, if I remember correctly, I believe when it was first released there was the option of ordering some In Rainbows box set thingy for $80 and one would receive the physical copies by mail. I mean hey, if you aren't into mp3s and downloading music you have that right to wait and pick up the cd version in 2008, I don't think that determines the release date however. Back on topic -- pretty good list. I enjoyed most of your selections quite a bit myself.
  2. 1)My Bloody Valentine - Loveless 2)Miles Davis - Bitches Brew 3)Slint - Spiderland 4)Thelonious Monk - Brilliant Corners 5)The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat 6)Ornette Coleman - Free Jazz 7)Glenn Branca - The Ascension 8)Can - Tago Mago 9)Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation 10)Black Dice - Beaches and Canyons
  3. 05)Suishou No Fune – Prayer For Chibi There is a stark spiritual power surrounding Prayer For Chibi, comprised of languid pieces for dueling guitars stretching out into gauzy torrents that mesh with the lofty vocals of Kurenai and Kageo. The theme of the album deals with the death of their cat Chibi, and the droning psych-blues mimics those sensations of death and sorrow. Each string struck rings out with clarity, free to float in slow motion. This subtle path is a perfect choice for handling these solemn songs of remembrance. 04)Flying Lotus – Los Angeles Talented producer Flying Lotus delivers a nuanced, largely instrumental trip hop effort that simultaneously blends hip hop aesthetics with laptop composition and a warm organic feeling with digital precision. Cryptic pulses underline what sound like cheap 8-bit synthesizer themes, ingeniously icy beats create the hooks needed to thrust the listener into his world. The album avoids sounding downright apocalyptic through scrupulous crackles and pops, background distortion, hums that gives one the cozy sensation of listening to an old beloved vinyl. 03)Fennesz – Black Sea Rich electro-acoustic horizons once again dominate the plane inhabited on the newest release by ambient mastermind Christian Fennesz. Fennesz does prodigious things with the guitar, altering it's very fabric and texture through laptops and digital filters with such skill as to turn the instrument into his own personal symphonic palette, sculpting effervescent ambiance that is epic in it's proportions. Black Sea is perhaps a slightly more desolate and mature album, it's beauty lies in wonderfully hooky harmonies and blistering ethereal foam. 02)Aufgehoben – Khora Khora is a gargantuan, relentless sound mass that hits the listener like a ton of bricks, the sonic equivalent of a volcanic explosion caused by clashing tectonic plates. Imagine hearing a live band performing an experimental noise maelstrom, but with the long-term editing and precision definition of instruments that cannot be obtained with any pa system in a venue. Skillful guitar noise battles cavernous drums for prominence in your speakers while mutant electronics swirl about. Repeated listens aren't likely to make wrapping your head around Khora any easier, but will allow you to appreciate the meticulous detail that is probably Aufgehoben's most impressive quality. 01)Portishead – Third Making a comeback album following a long layoff or breakup is a difficult proposition for any band, no matter how good. The temptation is always there to pick up where things left off, to perhaps regain some of that old magic. Usually efforts like this come off as tired and derivative, so it is fortunate that Portishead decided to take the route less traveled and generate such a bold artistic statement. Instead of expanding upon the trip hop of Dummy and Portishead with jazzy 60s atmospherics and smooth string/horn arrangements, Beth's pristine voice now fronts a jagged backdrop of pulsating electronic grooves and industrial beats that produces a haunting document of sound. Like many great albums, Third defies easy classification, branching out across genres and transcending boundaries. Honorable Mentions: Thee Oh Sees – The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In Marnie Stern – This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That Ponytail – Ice Cream Spiritual Sonic Youth – SYR 8 The Hospitals - Hairdryer Peace Boris - Smile The Raveonettes – Lust Lust Lust El Ten Eleven – These Promises Are Being Videotaped Prurient – And Still, Wanting The Breeders – Mountain Battles Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog – Party Intellectuals Eat Skull – Sick To Death Autechre – Quaristice Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing Grouper – Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill
  4. 10)Thank You – Terrible Two Terrible Two perfectly captures that feeling of having an incredible jam with friends that no one will ever remember what they were playing or how they got there, even if the results are anything but aimless. Using drums and an organ as the keystones, Thank You remind me a bit of OOIOO on their last couple albums. Extended drum rave-ups, sublime guitar spazz, occasional moans/ohhs/grunts, sustained organ notes that harmonize and phase together. The record never really "goes" anywhere in particular, but it also manages to go everywhere at the same time. 09)Gang Gang Dance – Saint Dymphna Transitioning from the semi-abstract, drum heavy electro-art rock of God's Money, Gang Gang Dance put forth a genre bending installment of warped electronics with Saint Dymphna. From ambient tracks like "Dust", to the grooviness of the aptly titled "House Jam", to a guest rapper on "Princes", the album is tied together by a retro 80s new wave feel. While that glossy 80s synth sound has certainly made a huge comeback in indie rock over the past 5 or so years, and is bordering on being very cliché nowadays, Saint Dymphna is executed so well and maintains enough of the group's experimental, ritualistic charm to make it a winner. 08)Tv On the Radio – Dear Science, With their excellent 2006 album Return to Cookie Mountain, New York artists Tv On the Radio were able to reconstruct their post-punk and No Wave revival roots with walls of guitars, slick sound collages and soulful vocals. Their newest peels away some of those layers of sound while adding even more soul and tunefulness into the compositions. Other changes include a greater dose of off-kilter funk and timely dance rock. The result being that Dear Science, may be more streamlined than it's predecessor, but is just as rewarding a listen. 07)The Goslings – Occasion Husband and wife team Leslie and Max Soren make up The Goslings, a band heavily immersed in a delightful mess of sludge and grisly doom abstractions. Their music is truly dreadful, Max plowing along with repetitive, mangled, down tuned guitar riffs and impenetrable fuzzed out drones while Leslie emits processed howls and occasionally wails away on a makeshift drum set. You're unlikely to hear a more hostile record in '08, one that makes most metal sound downright tame. 06)Times New Viking – Rip It Off Although the lo-fi recordings of indie pop forefathers including Guided By Voices and Pavement came off as endearing products of situation, for Times New Viking the sensation of hearing a third-generation dub of a demo recorded on a boom box is a desired effect, not a necessity driven by circumstances. Every calculated measure is taken to fashion a brash, in-your-face grime. The amps are turned up to ear bleeding volumes, short momentous pop songs that usually only last a minute or so are derived from static and hiss, not just draped in it. Certainly the crowning achievement in noise pop for the year.
  5. 15)Original Silence – The Second Original Silence Original Silence are back again with their second album in as many years, this time featuring four thunderous pieces on the disc instead of two. The first couple improvised "songs" on The Second Original Silence chug along with perhaps a little more direction if just as much insanity as they did on the first album. The second two take a slightly different approach, placing O'Rourke's squealing electronic noises and Gustafsson's saxophone wails in the forefront, building the structure around those two elements and giving the guitars and drums more of a supporting role. Although it isn't the achievement that The First Original Silence was, in the end it's another work of free improvisation that delivers the goods. 14)Experimental Dental School – Jane Doe Loves Me Following in the footsteps of fellow bay area cohorts Deerhoof, Jane Doe Loves Me is an exercise in fractured discord, with a blatant disregard for conventional tempos or melodies. Experimental Dental School's unpredictable song-centered experimentalism makes heavy use of crunchy distortion, bubbly keyboards/organs, and outrageous shifts in direction. Art rock, proto-punk, noise pop, prog rock, whatever label you want to put on them, XDS aren't beholden to any musical ideology though there are traces of each in their foundation. 13)Yellow Swans – Deterioration Here is a work birthed from noise, incorporating reverberating melody and never lacking in expressive psychotropic qualities. Motifs build into hallucinatory currents, deteriorate, and finally die in a blaze of guitar strum and cacophonous showers. Unfortunately Yellow Swans have decided to disband, bringing an end to one of my favorite psych/noise-rock projects out there today. They have one more scheduled release for 2009, here's hoping it's as good as, if not better than Deterioration. 12)Excepter – Debt Dept On this album Excepter plays kind of like a cross between Black Dice and The Residents, like some sort of dark and arty club music. There are murky drum machine beats, loops of rhythmic electronics, samples, drones, and bizarre speak-shout vocals with nonsensical lyrics. All of this mixes together to create a wacky and trance inducing listening experience. 11)Deerhoof – Offend Maggie Deerhoof continue to pump out charmingly idiosyncratic indie rock albums with an astonishing consistency, and Offend Maggie is another exciting example of the pure ingenuity at work within the band's makeup. Offend Maggie has a back to basics feel to it after Friend Opportunity, utilizing stripped down arrangements and standard rock instrumentation of guitars, bass, and drums paired with more modest production. The constant is the songwriting, which remains top-notch as they weave some great intertwining guitar licks and of course those quintessential sugary sweet pop hooks that never grow old.
  6. I don't stop by these parts too often anymore, but what the hell, I'll say hello, wish y'all happy holidays, and post my favorites of the year. 20)Xiu Xiu – Women As Lovers This complete lack of surprise or new direction that Xiu Xiu displays with Women As Lovers would be a misstep for most bands, but they have their formula, it works, and this is another enjoyable release from a great band. They took their basic sound and edgy pop songwriting sensibility that they've developed over the past few albums, tweaked it with a greater emphasis on percussion as well as brightened things up with jarring brass horn instrumentation. And from start to finish this might be their most melodious to date. 19)Q-Tip – The Renaissance A Tribe Called Quest are undoubtedly one of the greatest entities in hip hop history, and here Q-Tip recaptures some of his old group's magic, causing fans to reminisce over ATCQ's vitality while managing to avoid sounding stuck in the past. The Renaissance proves to be unabashed in it's sunniness and optimism, the sound is so fresh with an old school, motown vibe. Plus Q-Tip doesn't sound like he's missed a beat over the past decade on the microphone, his flow remains one of the best in the game with a fluidity that's unmatched. To sum things up, this is a great come back from a true trailblazer. 18)Evangelista – Hello, Voyager Offering up this brooding batch of material on Hello, Voyager, Carla Bouzilich, the creative force behind Evangelista, seems to be a second coming of No Wave icon Lydia Lunch. She rambles, laments, shrieks her way through an album of slow bluesy marches with controlled outbursts of feedback or nasty post-rock leanings with dissonant orchestration. Despite the vile atmosphere, there are a few turns of rather poignant tenderness, "The Blue Room" is almost heartbreaking in it's own crude way. 17)Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles Crystal Castles assemble bizarre, animated electronic pop songs that could be said to resemble a malfunctioning Nintendo system. To craft this hybrid indie techno music the two members use a sound card from an early Atari consul and run their instruments through it to get an ADD video game keyboard clatter. The product is catchy bitpop, and the timbral resources utilized allow for a great deal of harmonic and melodic clarity, providing more depth here than in most dance inclined, techno influenced music. 16)Vivian Girls – Vivian Girls At 21 minutes, this is a solid, concise indie pop record that grows on you with admirable consistency on each subsequent listen. Like artists such as Beat Happening or Tiger Trap before them, they revel in jangly guitars, muddy production, and a lack of accomplished musicianship. The songs benefit as a result, and the band build some memorable three part harmonies with their voices, most noticeably in the album's high point "Where Do You Run To", a wonderful little gem. If Vivian Girls lasted too much longer it would risk growing somewhat tiresome; as it stands it's a wholly welcome first LP from the girls.
  7. Right on. Yeah, I also went to the MBV show at Santa Monica Civic on the 1st of October. My review: Sold Out show. The place was pretty packed...it was hosted in this big almost warehousey building used for conventions. I have no idea how many people were there but it must have been several thousand. I stood about 20 feet in front of the soundboard. As far as the sound goes, their reputation for putting on a very loud show definitely preceded them, and they didn't disappoint. Though it wasn't as pummeling as seeing Sunn O))) in a club, that is, not until the closer "You Made Me Realise" which included an insane 20 minute, frenzied, wall of noise and feedback interlude that about knocked me on my ass. I could literally feel the sonic boom hit me in the face like a gust of wind. Definitely a test of endurance and a good portion of the audience walked out during it. Now for complaints. Like most venues the size of this one, the PA system at this place really sucked. Without earplugs all you could hear was hiss, no definition at all really and I've heard bands that were just as loud with plenty of definition. The vocals were also barely audible most of the time and at other times not at all which was really disappointing. Also, way too many stage lights. If I wanted to be blinded while listening to MBV I'd turn on a CD and shoot fireworks into my eyes. I was afraid I might develop epilepsy from viewing the show. Otherwise though, it was a good show though. Not really worth $60 in my opinion, but good nonetheless.
  8. I listened to it for the first time last night and yeah, I liked it. You're right, the arrangements are very intimate. Outside of a couple of moments it's not quite as dissonant as I had anticipated in my mind, but still haunting. Especially tracks 5 and 6. Now I'm interested in watching the movie to see how effectively the score works in the context of the film. Because if done right the effect can be so poignant and chilling. As with the Ligeti pieces in all those Kubrick films for example.
  9. Anyone given it a listen? I've haven't heard it yet myself, but I've talked to people who absolutely rave about it. From what I can gather apparently it recalls stuff by composers like Ligeti and Penderecki. So I'm really looking forward to listening to it.
  10. Anyways, name some of your favorites.
  11. Huh. I'm not familiar with any of this guy's films, but I'll check it out. Thanks. However I was really looking for music recommendations if anyone has them.
  12. I heard his 2nd symphony on the radio yesterday and thought it was pretty good. Anyone have any other recommendations of his?
  13. I've actually been listening to Insignificance a lot lately. I recommend it for mainstream guitar-pop fans. I can't think of a good description, but the Beatles, roots-rock, and Gastr Del Sol all come to mind when listening to it.
  14. Yeah. Not only did he influence SY on record by pushing their sound towards a more free form aesthetic with the intricate subtle layers of guitars and seamless transitions, but I thought he added a lot to their live show as well. The guy is incredibly prolific and is involved in a wide array of musical styles.
  15. What do you all think of Jim O'Rourke and the bands he's been involved with (i.e. - an actual member of, not like Wilco)? I'm listening to one of his collaborations with Fennesz and Rehberg now (Magic Sound of Fenno'berg), which I think is amazing. It's a mix of electronic and acoustic music in more of a sound collage setting. Gastr Del Sol was his band with David Grubbs (formerly of Bastro and Squirrel Bait). I've only really listened to their final album, Camofleur, but it's classic. It's pop with references to a good variety of folk. His last two major solo studio albums, Eureka and Insignificance, consist largely of him becoming a big guitar pop whore. They're actually pretty solid, but I don't like them as much as the others I mentioned above. Any fans here, of the stuff I mentioned above or otherwise?