Saturday, February 26, 2011

My week in media: Feb. 20-26

Bookstores and record stores usually carry ultra-genre-specific music magazines which cost $5+ and should be treated as books, that is, never thrown out. waxpoetics highlights black music (soul, jazz, R&B, rap, disco, electronic) from ~1960-present. The editor wants to understand the elements that gave rise to hip-hop. I've only read two issues, but I read them cover-to-cover, often with no prior knowledge about the musician or movement. Really good magazine if you're into those genres. Here's a track from Issue 45's cover subject. It's Juan Atkins's "Urban Tropics" from 1991's The Future Sound EP.  Minimal Detroit techno with lush synth washes and sneaky melodies.

Don't forget to cop the new Friend Zone EP, either one post back or at this URL, which is The Friend Zone's home on the net.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Friend Zone - Who Will Google Me When I'm Dead?

I started a new band with members of Random Candy. We're called The Friend Zone. I play guitar and sing, Rob plays the drums, and Kyle plays bass and handles recording. This is our first EP/demo. It's called Who Will Google Me When I'm Dead.

The band's tumblr:
Please check it periodically for updates. 

Expect lo-fi indie/punk rock. Kindred spirits of Jay Reatard, Guided By Voices, Alkaline Trio.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vinyl news #9 - The Starting Line

Enjoy the Ride Records released two 10-inches from The Starting Line on Monday. I slept until today, and if I would have slept longer, I wouldn't have gotten them at all. With Hopes of Starting Over EP was The Starting Line's introduction, and it's fine, indeed. "Three's a Charm," "Greg's Last Day," and early drafts of songs from Say It Like You Mean It anchor the 5-song affair. Then there's the Starship cover. Seems appropriate in the Napster/ Limewire days of punk cover searches.

The acoustic Make Yourself At Home EP is weaker. "Playing Favorites" is one of my favorite songs by them, but the rendition of "The Best of Me" feels like cashing in on new found success. I bought it because I'm an impulsive, half-assed collector with an Expedit to fill.  Also, I've got a broken hearrrrrt.

In case you're unfamiliar, The Starting Line played pop-rock/ punk in the vein of Fall Out Boy, New Found Glory, and The All American Rejects. They broke up in 2009. Now will someone press Based On a True Story? Please?

You and I, cold February night

My week in media: Feb. 6-12

Odd Future is a band created by/ for/ on the internet. These L.A.-based teenage rappers/ producers/ filmmakers just started emerging from the internet in concert, but for the most part, they still exist entirely on the net. Their tumblr, linked above, serves as database and archive for their recordings where everything is free, and in a day or two, you can get fully acquainted with the crew's output. Obviously, 2dopeboys and nahright haven't been welcoming---OF talks about it in every song---but the rest of the internet has paid attention. As such, I am obligated to blog about them as I am a cog in the blogosphere. Just a cog with a blog.

For a bunch of young men, their vision is surprisingly coherent. Abject videos and lyrics about blood, vomit, rape, and drugs. The music is nightmareish. Minimal beats with unnerving bass and the occasional flourish like in the chorus of "Blow." It all sounds slowed-down, and Tyler, The Creator's low voice is a 45 playing at 33. Climbing stairs, feet plunging through the pulpy wood, Freddy advancing, a nightmare.

Of course, most of it's for show, just fiction, not real. Right?

Here's Tyler's new single, "Yonkers." Hear that oppressive beat? The nails-on-chalkboard chorus theme? See that cockroach? Dude's vision is working for him. This song is hard. 

I have a Supreme hat! I too can swag it out. Not sure what the means. Swag. Free Earl. Maybe this post will be news to someone. A blogger's wet dream. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My week in media: Jan. 31 - Feb. 5

Allow me to take you back---to the days before the blizzard, to before the media overload on my days off from work, to the desert. This desert is dry and wide, and in this desert, characters' consciousnesses expand and go underground, to a lair in which the deformed people live. El Topo (the mole) wants to free these people, but will the town understand? 

El Topo, often called the first of the Midnight Movies, has this loose plot, but the thrust of the movie is the symbolism. Everything is symbolic. A nude boy (and later, a foxy tour guide) rides on the back of El Topo's horse, accompanying him on duels with desert gun masters. Did Alejandro Jodorowsky (director, lead actor, writer, etc. of El Topo, also responsible for the insane Holy Mountain, also responsible for being a bad mf'r from Chile, like this guy) merely throw together suggestive images and scenes for the audience to unpack, as it might seem, or is everything in El Topo, all of the Christian symbolism, intended? I'll give the mastermind the benefit of the doubt; the content is deliberate and intentional. On the other hand, there are a lot of random pools of blood, the kind that looks like fruit punch, inexplicable nudes, and weighty gun battles. Take some acid, smoke weed, find out for yourself. Or watch it in pieces on the treadmill as I did.

J.D. Salinger is back in the news again with a biography called J.D. Salinger: A Life. Turned me on to the idea of finishing his small bibliography. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction had this reputation in my head for being the weakest of his work, but even if that's true, it's still a killer collection. The first story takes place in a limo and later in Seymour and Buddy Glass's apartment. Salinger uses dialogue to overcome the lack of action and restricted setting, and the Maiden of Honor is a character for the ages---imposing and arrogant. Seymour: An Introduction is also narrated by Buddy. Buddy takes his time, often stepping away from the page to sleep or do something else, to (imagine that!) introduce the reader to Seymour. Think stream-of-consciousness, the Beats, investigation of the purposes of writing, and the role of the reader. He ends by describing Seymour's physical appearance. It's tough but worth it.

Not much happening on the music front. I took up the task of listening to iTunes songs last played 2005-2009, and so I've been revisiting stuff. Here's the new Cold Cave track.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011