radio loways march 2014

the music that took my attention in march of 2014 – listen, won’t you?

1. glitch - vitalija glovackyte
2. daddy needs a throne – camberwell now
3. big big blood - la luz
4. the puppet motel – laurie anderson
5. work - lv
6. telephone - bembeya jazz national
7. life i live – ini
8. i – perfect pussy
9. the moving finger – dorothy ashby
10. space invaders are smoking grass – i-f
11. outro - caetano veloso
12. the conversion of j.p. – sun ra
13. ces gens la – jacques brel
14. complicity (lyrical mix) - arto lindsay (spit)
15. the ooli moves – black earth ensemble
16. ikkkyokume – nisennenmondai
17. alice - sunn o)))
18. rainbow - boris with merzbow
19. summer day reflection song – donovan
20. wild winter – adele bertei and anubian lights

unhelpful notes

vitalija glovackyte composed this piece, glitch. it’s awesome. it’s heavy. she is a lithuanian composer based in manchester and you can hear more of her music here.

camberwell now is the group that charles hayward put together after this heat finished. i always thought this heat and charles hayward were experimentalist post punk types with prog tendencies. then i found out that he was the drummer in quiet sun. a full on prog band featuring phil manzanera before roxy music. he also was in gong for a bit, apparently. so i guess i had it backwards a bit and hayward was more of an experimentalist prog type with post punk tendencies.

i don’t have much knowledge of laurie anderson. but after hearing this song, i want to learn more. this one is so good.

when i first heard work by lv i had that reaction of just having to stop everything and listen to it a few times. it’s a perfect track. if you’ve been listening to radio loways for a bit, you’ll prolly realize that i am a huge fan of the chord progression in a lot of drum and bass tracks. and this is a perfect example of that. also the minimal arrangement. kind of a deconstructed version of the genre. kind of. and that floating sliding synth melody. nice.

telephone. the drums and guitar are everything!

i by perfect pussy. this is one of my favorite songs of all time right now. i could listen to this one for ever. this is what should be on top 40 radio. this is what should be on “modern rock” radio. that is some hook ass shit for real.

true story. for a long time i thought space invaders are smoking grass was by anti-pop consortium. despite the fact that it doesn’t sound like anti-pop at all. i thought it was some sort of weird one-off electro side project sort of thing. this was all because the mp3 files i had of this were all attributed to anti-pop consortium. then i took a minute to actually look it up and discovered it was by i-f. so apologies to i-f for never giving him proper attribution in my mind when i thought of this song.

i was introduced to caetano veloso by my college spanish professor who was something of a music nerd. he gave me a tape of livros and it gently blew my mind. then i got into his older stuff as i could find it. my favorite will always be araçá azul, but most of his output is solid – except for his soft jazz lite shit. that’s awful. but this is track is off a newer album that features his son on it. can you imagine if you opened up your mouth and caetano’s voice came out of it? how amazing! there are a few people like that for me.

jacques brel is like 60 percent cheeseball, but 100 percent amazing. there are more than a few clunkers in his catalog – have you heard his man of la mancha? it is fucking awful! red ships of spain awful. awful awful. his catalog is so vast though that he has a ton of awesome songs too. but this one is hands down my favorite. the bass and piano two note/chord descending action. minimal subdued perfection. and then the brel swell. and then receding.

i picked up this album hyper civilizado at either crow’s nest or tower records when i was doing undergrad at columbia college. one of the tracks off of it was on a jungle sky compilation and i thought it was good and once i got the full remix album and it went into heavy rotation immediately. i thought this version of complicity was creepy and beautiful. it’s definitely the best of the remixes and they are pretty much all good. i then went out and got arto lindsay’s original album mundo civilizado and was kind of disappointed. it was good, but not what i was hoping for. it kind of grew on me for a bit. but ultimately i feel like some of arto’s later/current stuff is too adult contemporary and npr boring. which is weird. cuz he is an interesting musician and will still put out jarring noise album skree.

my partner and i went to see nicole mitchell’s black earth ensemble perform this piece at the mca a few years ago and ever since then have been waiting for the release of the piece. and we have been waiting for ever. i assumed it would be a studio recording like the first album in this series – the xenogenesis suite. but it turns out that the album is a recording of that performance at the mca! which rules, cuz this show was amazingly good! the xenogenesis suite takes it’s inspiration from the xenogenesis books by octavia butler. which i read because of the suite. so well done nicole mitchell for turning me on to octavia butler!

nisennenmondai is straight up amazing. unbelievable musicians. i prefer this earlier kosmische inspired raw stuff to the newer stuff but only slightly. the newer material is the three of them making their own version of electronic acid-ish trance music with bass drums and guitar (and some pedals). and they kill it, stupendous!

i was supremely late to the sunn o))) party, but i’m glad i got there. once i realized their version of doom was essentially drone massive, i was hooked. i believe this one is dedicated to alice coltrane. that also helps me get into them.

i only knew adele bertei as the keyboard player in the contortions. i had no idea she was a singer as well and had some hits in the 80s with some decidedly more poppy singles. dig her organ solo halfway through this one cuz she is a fabulous keyboard player. i love her note clusters. a lot.

dorothy ashby!

radio loways february 2014

1. a journey to reedham (7am) mix – squarepusher
2. ghosts - god destroyer
3. song of the one (i love) or love, my love – patty waters
4. secret agent man – devo
5. soy hija de puta – marrash
6. marbles – tindersticks
7. le crabe – françoise hardy
8. trocitos de madera – la yegros
9. hate, myth, muscle, etiquette – propagandhi
10. challenger – american music club
11. b-boys beware – two sisters
12. ketchak – john lurie
13. colores sin nombres – savath & savalas
14. i – perfect pussy
15. i can’t get no satisfaction trad gras och stenar
16. like water – pro era
17. many mansions – sonny sharrock

listen, won’t you?

unhelpful notes

squarepusher is one of my all time favorites. he’s one of the parts that got me into jazz a long time ago. this song is just perfect. just perfect.

i don’t know when i got into drones. and certainly i’m not into any and all drones. not all drones are created equal. and when you are making music out of essentially one note or chord or sound for a long duration the little things matter. texture is always thrown around when people talk about drones. but it’s pretty legit. instead of melody you have to focus on other things. i’m a sucker for warm fuzzy bliss tones and this one by god destroyer definitely fits the bill. beauty.

patty waters is someone i hadn’t heard about until i read the oral history of esp-disk. and then i was intrigued. not all of her songs are like this. but when she goes there, she goes there. and it’s awesome.

i can’t even begin to say how profoundly i was into devo in high school. so, so, so, so very into devo. it can not be overstated. i will share – some friends and i were in something called the “naked devo fanclub.” which essentially meant that we were into devo, in gym class together and had to take showers in the locker room. hence, naked. i also made a home made devo shirt with a sharpie. i was introduced to them from a tape of hardcore devo volume one that a friend gave me. it blew my mind. completely. i then sought out everything through shout after that. their early stuff is amazingly good. this is even earlier than early cuz it was when they were doing art-school sludge-fi sci-fi weirdocity.

marrash

i love all of tindersticks. i love his croon. their sound. it’s so good. i found out about them from a review in an old magazine called hypno. and the first album i got was their soundtrack to nenette et boni. all is good. but there’s something about this track that is so perfect. that repetitive guitar. the lo-fi-ness of the recording. slightly dirty and tinny. it’s equally heartbreaking and happy in sound. kind of like a “carefree white girl” summer haze photo of bare feet in grass or an old country house with curtains blowing in the wind or something. but it feels like impossible happiness with tragic soul crush on the wind. beauty.

françoise hardy is awesome. that is all. dig that crunch chord. that spare descending organ.

la yegros is from argentina. she makes new kinda weird cumbia. i’m a sucker for cumbia. this video is cool. i’d say three quarters of this album is awesome. and one quarter of this album is too npr for my taste.

i liked new school punk for a few minutes. propagandhi still do it for me. especially this album. simpler times back then y’know? suburban mix tape drives. yup.

who got me into american music club? ed brubaker. i wrote him a letter way back in the day when he was writing and drawing lowlife for fantagraphics. i mentioned that i was listening to nine inch nails and he said not to fall for their phony despair. they were the cure of my generation. he also said for real despair check out american music club. i did. it didn’t seem too despairy then. at least not musically. but boy howdy, lyrically. they grew on me. another crooner. i’m such a sucker.

when i first heard savath & savalas it was this record, apropa’t. i bought it sound unheard at the record store. mostly cuz it was in spanish. and brought it home. put it on. and sat on the floor and listened to the whole thing through. for real floored. doesn’t happen to often. but when it does, it’s righteous. the sound was perfect. the instrumentation was perfect. the vocals were perfect. perfect pop music. another example of what should be on top-40 radio.

once upon a time there was a band called shoppers. they ruled so hard that they broke up. this is the new band featuring the singer from shoppers and some like minded musicians. similar vibe. all awesome. this song gets me. she buries her vocals intentionally. is that a guitar? or is it keyboards. what the fuck? overwhelming barrage fuzz smear. hooky. i said that once upon a time i liked new school punk. i think this is in the same vein evolutionarily speaking. like this is a natural progression or something. prolly just cuz of the hooks. it’s the jam.

just so you know. this. this one right here. this is the best version of satisfaction. for a while i thought it was devo’s. but then i heard this. different ball game. we’re going on a trip. also, for as much as i fucking hate hippies. i certainly love hippy commune jams. why is that?

do i love sonny sharrock? yes. yes i do. was space ghost coast to coast my first exposure to sonny sharrock? yes, yes it was. although i didn’t know it at the time. beauty.

la yegros

guitar

pat place

over the past few days i’ve been thinking of which guitar players have influenced my own guitar playing and ear. either through a sound, or a style of playing, or a tone, or something. here they are presented roughly in order of when i first heard them. i’m putting this out there, just to purge it from my mind. look them up, listen to their music, read about them.

bo diddley (specifically the bo diddley rhythm)

vernon reid

east bay ray

thurston moore

kim deal

jerry harrison

pj harvey

d. boon

bob mothersbaugh / bob casale

sonny sharrock

derek bailey

christina billotte

terrie ex / andy moor

pat place

michael karoli

special shout out to prince for the chord he hits just before he yells …kiss!

looking at earth from mars


But remember this: The picture above was taken by a machine made by humans, and it’s sitting on the surface of another world. It took hundreds of people thousands of worker-years to imagine it, lobby for it, create it, loft it, and land it on Mars. You can’t see that in the picture because the camera was turned the other way. But if you can step out of the picture in your mind and simply turn around, you’d see that rover on the Martian dust, a testament to human curiosity, the drive to explore, and the need to leave the nest for parts unknown.

read the whole thing from my favorite blogging astronomer phil plait. also click that picture to see it huge. as it should be seen.

radio loways – january 2014

01. tabú - gustavo cerati
02. smash up the place - sharaya j
03. tríptico - coso
04. dust red – nots
05. let’s kill ourselves – the ponys
06. rid of me - pj harvey
07. wegula - grrrl party
08. massane cisse – quintette – guinéene
09. she is beyond good and evil – the pop group
10. are friends electric? – gary numan/tubeway army
11. dance ghost - helado negro
12. banji - sharaya j
13. instructions to numb – dark time sunshine
14. mutation - geinoh yamashirogumi (from the akira sound track)
15 makeshift swahili – this heat

listen here when you have a chance and if yr interested.

unhelpful notes:

i first heard solo gustavo cerati when i was in mexico. and i fell in love. his guitar sound and style is so pleasant. i’m always happy to hear him. however, i’m not a fan of that video. kinda corny, right?

on the other hand, how awesome is the video for smash up the place? yes!

nots serve frumpies realness on this one. and i’m a sucker for that sort of stylee. lo-fi garagey reverb shouty shout action.

one time, when we were all using myspace, my old band had a show lined up at subterranean in chicago and we had to cancel. we tried to find someone to fill in for us. i messaged the ponys and offered our spot, i got a response from someone. “no.” that was it. i think they might’ve been a bit more famous/cloutish than i knew at the time. i like this song a lot. make sure you turn it up. this is the only version i could find and it is painfully quiet. but it’s worth the extra effort.

rid of me is one of my all time favorite records and songs of all time. ever. i will never get tired of this. when to bring you my love came out, i was super bummed that it wasn’t more of rid of me and i held off on getting any more pj harvey for a few years. i was young and foolish in a black and white world. i got over that. she’s awesome. i wish she publicly identified as a feminist. that would be the cherry on top. but i’m not about to police anybody’s beliefs.

i’ll be honest, i don’t know what a wegula is. but this song is awesome. they are based in minneapolis and member lizzo has a track called hot dish. for real! multiple entendres i’m sure.

dance ghost blew my mind when i heard first heard it in january. blew. my. mind. i actually had to listen to it multiple times in a row. over and over again. that happens so infrequently these days. this feels futuristic to me. like the music of the future even though it’s now. this is what should be on the radio at this point in human development. i also like the video.

those chimey guitar chords in she is beyond good and evil are perfection. that is all.

i was very late to gary numan. very late. not until late 20′s did i hear him. crazy, right? pretty much every song off of this album is solid. and this is one of two or three super standouts from the record. side note – apparently david bowie felt like gary numan was biting him massively to get his sound in the late 70′s. specifically biting his ideas for low and heroes. but, this to me sounds nothing like low or heroes. nothing. and bowie was content to produce and help out people who actually were fairly biter-esque at the time. theory – bowie felt threatened by someone making electronic/guitar records that sounded unique? just a theory, cuz i know nothing.

i normally try to avoid including to tracks by the same artist in a month, but sharaya j is too good.

a friend of mine gave me a tape of the akira soundtrack when i was a freshman in high school. 22 fucking years ago. i can’t remember if i had seen akira before i got the tape or not. either way, i listened to this tape constantly. i would lay on my back on the floor in my bedroom and look at the ceiling letting my mind wander and feeling things. i mean that honestly. when yr a kid at that age everything is so emotional, everything. so just listening to some of these songs would kill me with the weight of their presence. this was one of them.

i only heard this heat for the first time a few years ago and i wish that i had heard them sooner cuz i was missing out for way too long. they are intense! on this one there’s definitely some dalek scariness happening. love.

the picture up on top is sharaya j. and the picture below is helado negro.

old timey dance numbers

over the holiday season, i saw a lot of old timey movies on tcm with lots and lots of old timey dance numbers. fred astaire action. and i found myself mildly amused by the plot and dialogue, but completely engrossed in the dance scenes. this is unprecedented in my life. but there’s something about the way people move that i love to watch. and i think whether it’s skateboarding or soccer or dance, i’m fascinated. anyways, i just happened upon the above clip today and it’s pretty righteous.