Sunday, June 25, 2006

Don't throw Eggs

Eggstock came and went yesterday. It was a blast. Black Carrot, James Green (Big Eyes), George, Super Bompers Band (ex Need New Body) Volcano the Bear, Now, Nalle, and Zukanican. Their was also an exclusive screening of The Devil and Daniel Johnston. The documentary was great but I was left with mixed feelings - he seems to have taken control of things over the last couple of years, but the guy still heavily dependent on people around him. For someone who knows absolutely NOTHING about the guy, it was definitely an eye opener. The bands though; the bands were great. Speaking to Nigel (Turner) briefly yesterday, he was even was even talking about making it a weekend event next time around. Why not? It's ambitious - maybe even a red herring - but judging by the turnout today, there is definitely the interest.

Another band that played yesterday, were Dragon or Emperor. DorE are the two-piece side-project of Aaron Moore (Volcano the Bear, Songs of Norway) on Drums/vocals, and Stewart Brackley (Black Carrot, Songs of Norway) on bass guitar/vocals. They've been compared to the bastard offspring of Pere Ubu and Lightning Bolt, but you have your Krautrock and some primal Rockabilly skronk in there too - I'm talking >Howlin Wolf here people. I've seen them countless times over the past year and they've yet to disapoint. In fact, they're getting better all the time. And despite their limitation as crude, lo-fi, drum and bass duo, they have an enourmous sound that marries their intense mixture of fun and chaos; Or at least, Aaron's take on that. I hear there is a album prepped and ready, but it's yet to see the life of day - yet.

Dragon or Emperor - Baby Gravy

And now for something completely different: South Brazilian artist Flávio Basso was born in Porto Alegre City and was in a number of bands before the inception of Júpiter Maçã (Jupiter, as a homage to the planet Jupiter; and Apple, after The Beatles record company). The music itself is heavily influenced by sixties Psychedelia, Krautrock, Tropicália and Bossa Nova and seventies Moog's. But more than that, the band seemlessly reference bands as far and wide at The Kinks, Syd Barret (Pink Floyd), Os Mutantes, The Soft Machine - and of course, The Beatles. The following song is taken from their second album: a self-titled release. Alas, this is one of only and handful of tracks i've heard from various compilations.

Júpiter Maçã - Síndrome De Pânico.mp3

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Tunnusteleva frekvenssi kirjo

Shogun Kunitoki are an instrumental quartet from Helsinki in Finland are the one of the latest additions to the Fonal records stable. A label set up and curated by
Sami Sänpäkkilä, member of the band Kiila and also the head behind the musical output of ES. As ES, Sänpäkkilä crafted one of the most original recordings to see a release in recent years, in 2004's Kaikkeuden Kauneus Ja Käsittämättömyys, garnering critical praise from many outlets as it went.

Shogun Kunitoki began life as in the late 1990's as art collective who based their compositions around video media created on Commodore 64 computers, which also the medium for their earliest recordings. By 2003 the band were invited to play at the Helsinki Avanto Festival, the preformance also garned the attention of Fonal and a relationship began in earnest. As time went on the band began to become frustrated by the limitations imposed on them by the 8bit computers and began to experiment with live instrumentation.

2006 sees the band debut release Tasankokaiku marks the culmination of the band search for a coherent sound. The album consists of seven instrumental tracks which borrow motifs from many eras of music; from the 50's electronic pioneers like Karlheinz Stockhausen to the minimalist/psychedelic experiments of his students CAN and in turn their own spiritual brethren NEU! to the revisionist output of bands like Broadcast and Stereolab.


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Self-Eating Happy Sad Sing-Along Experimental Pop

Formed in 2002 in Anacortes, Washington; The Robot Ate Me is an outlet for the sometimes experimental always off kilter pop meanderings of Ryland Bouchard and friends. Being from that part of the musical hinterland there is no way I can get through this entire entry without mentioning that other famous son of that little old place called Anacortes. Yes Philip Whitman Elverum, who once traded as Microphones and more recently as Mount Eerie. Stylistically Bouchard's musings bear some resemblences to the lo-fi dabblings of both the former and the later (although ostensibly the same person!) But also seems to have a slightly more psychedellic feel to proceedings, at times bordering on the weird shores of Of Montreal.

The Robot Ate Me has released to date a total of 5 full length albums and contributed to various other compilations and such. Beginning life on the independent label Swim Slowly, Bouchard released three albums, before being picked up by 5RC a subsiduary of Slim Moon's Washington based label Kill Rock Stars. The first release on 5RC was a repressing of 2003's "The Robot Ate Me On Vacation" a two disc album one featuring the album proper the second disc featuring collected B-sides. This was followed by 2005's "Carousel Waltz" which brings to mind at times the pop sensibilites of Brian Wilson circa "Pet Sounds".

The even better news is that of June 2006 Bouchard is set to release the follow-up to "Carousel Waltz" in the form of the 23 minute long 17 track wurlitzer that is to be christened "Good World." In which Bouchard presents the listener with an imaginative world filled with mythical characters like Dijen ( a monster spider the size of a man whose heart is buried in the ground causing it to the survive the most critical of attacks), the Stone Giants (who are invunerable except on the soles of their feet) and She-Owl (the wife of Bloody Knife.)

Buy The Robot Ate Me Merchendise Here

The Robot Ate Me - Dijen ("Good World", 2006 5RC recordings)

The Robot Ate Me - Bad Feelings ("Carousel Waltz", 2006 5RC recordings)

The Robot Ate Me - They Ate Themselves ("They Ate Themselves", 2002 Swim Slowly Recordings)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I Want To See You Drunk And Dancing Like a Russian

Lords are from Nottingham and are NOT to be confused with the US band that also go by the name of Lords. Glad we've got that out of the way. Lords are three-piece band with NO bass, two guitarists and a drummer called Elvis (Lord Elvin). Lord Phillipe wails with sorrow, while Lord Chris Gordon Sumlin lays down some down un' dirty (I've been reading Bound for Glory) guitar. The music they play is one of elasticated blues riffery, and Beefheart influenced tomfoolery; a bendy and twisted melodrama that celebrates bands that you pretend to hate but really love: Lords of the twing and the twang, like The Minutemen, ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin blah blah blah.

Their album: This Aint a Hate Thing, It's a Love Thing was released earlier this year on Nottingham's very own imprint (Gringo Records), and it has hardly left my CD player all year. The album linear notes advise you to play their record loud and well, if you don't, you're already missing a point because this is a PARTY record. And you can analyse their music as much as you want but Lords are a PARTY band. Listen out for the clatter of catawalling guitars at the end of of'Show Me Your Palms,' or the inclusion of female backing vocals as Lord Phillipe attempts to slow things down in the middle of 'The Ballad Of The Sightless And Outstretched Hand.'

Lords - Liquer

Buy this. See them. Celebrate. And do all this in any order you see fit.

Spin Spin The Dogs are also from Nottingham, but are on hiatus at the moment. They're namechecked as the most hated band in Derby, which I think is a good as recommendation as any; despite there being a load of great Derby bands at the moment. Described by some as the sound of Beefheart and common sense colliding, this band are exceedingly English - whatever that really means. As i've already said, they're a band known for evoking hate and love; often in equal measure. A lot of this derives from the confrontation and playful ('"Two peanuts are walking down the street, one gets asaulted') antics of their singer, Vincent Larkin. So much so that it often detracts from the contributions of the other members of the band. They were; are; and may well again a great band. .

Spin Spin The Dogs - French Republic

Spin Spin The Dogs left behind one limited edition (500 copies) album (Cats!) on Fancy Paradise, shortly before their last show in January of this year. Watch this video on YouTube

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Breakfast: The Most Important Meal Of The Day

Rob Bidder is Tea & Toast, well actually no, Tea & Toast is Rob Bidder plus a rotating cast of like minded folks and friends. Pitched some where between no-fi and lo-fi electronica they are a ramble down not the often travelled paths of bands like Andrew Broder's Fog or the tapeloop experiments of Sir Paul circa "Revolver" era Beatles.

Tea & Toast have released two limited EP's to date on the South East DIY record label Mentalist Association; "Winter's Journey" which is currently out of print but due a repressing soon and 2004's "Foxholes". Both come with a hand fashioned lithograph inside the packaging. A full length album titled "Moonbeaming" is promised for later in the year, again to be released in conjunction with the aforementioned label.

Tea & Toast play Barden's Boudoir in London on 1st July in support of Portland based indie folk musician Adrian Orange who preforms under the moniker Thanksgiving in association with Undereducated Music. Who may have released one of the best albums this year in the form of "Cave Day's & Moments" on Marriage Records. A follow up of sorts to last year's self titled three LP vinyl set also on Marriage Records.

Tea & Toast Myspace page