Sunday, June 19, 2011

No Future. Hate Tyrants. Be Someone.

The Sex Pistols, Nevermind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols(1977)

     As history played out, it showed that the majority of Americans misunderstood much of the no-survivors-not-even-us stance of the punk-rock New Wave, anarchy in the U.K. mentality. When the main enemy is an oppressive mood of collective hopelessness, no one learns faster from experience than the would-be, murderers of society... Enter Sex Pistols. In a commercial sense, the Sex Pistols didn't really destroy anything but themselves. But they took rock & roll seriously and personally, as a matter of pride and necessity, and they played with an energy and conviction that is transcendent in its hatred. It ain't pretty folks, it ain't all that accessible neither, it often sounds like two locomotives colliding under forty feet of mud, but it has a David and Goliath power that will give you goosebumps and lead you fantasizing about burning everything you own and starting the insurrection yourself, for no reason other than your own desire to throw beer bottles at riot police.
     Instead of exploiting the commercial potential of revolution, like what became of the Stones "Street Fighting Man" or The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," the Sex Pistols chose to explore their actual influence on culture. In some sense they absorbed from reggae and Rastafarianism, the idea of a culture making such fantastically outrageous demands upon those who operate society. Demands that no government could ever satisfy; demands that will create a culture that will be exclusive, separatist, apocalyptic, righteous, and stoic, and that will ignore or smash any contradiction inherent in such complexity of stances. 'Anarchy in the U.K.' became, among many things, the white kids 'War on Babylon.'
     They were haters, not lovers and this open defiance of anything structured, stood in stark contrast, to the fact that any revolution in America, is usually based on a platform of a workers-united revolt or acid-casualties, holding hands around the Pentagon and trying to make it levitate. This new militant radicalism, demanding a complete reconfiguration of society, via an immediate dismantling of the government terrified and galvanized American youth. But before we make the Sex Pistols and their minions and associates into tea-and-crumpet Sandinista's, we must remember that this band had more on their minds than being a rock & roll centerpiece for enlightened political discussion. First and foremost, they are musicians, not philosophers, this means they are more interested in making the best and loudest possible noise, than they are in any logical, or illogical, inverted political doctrine.
      It's all speed, not nuance and explodes like a 500 gallon drum of diesel fuel. Johnny Rotten may be a lunatic, but he's got a right to be. Overpowered by his own brand of accusatory dynamite, he stands in front of the mirror, "in love with myself, my beautiful self",  the lyrics that result in the title "No Feelings." You ask for "Holidays in the Sun," he screams, "I wanna go to new Belsen." Johnny Rotten seems to saunter right on through the ego and straight into the realm of his own id and then proceeds to beat the mother-loving fuck out of it. On the subject of relationships or basic human interaction all you get out of Rotten is "See my face, not a trace, no reality," or openly thrashing his own cultural demographic "we're so pretty, oh so pretty/we're vacant/and we don't care," all in the same song where he declares that the Queen "ain't no human being" and England's "a fascist regime." All that said, NO ONE should be frightened away from this album. "Anarchy in the U.K." and especially "God Save the Queen" are perfect rock songs, classics in the vein of "My Generation," "Voodoo Child," "Satisfaction" or "Sunshine of Your Love." 
     Those that judge the Pistols specifically in terms of destruction should stop and remember that any theory of chaos as pretentious as Johnny Rotten's, also contains freedom and beauty. Because anybody who has the capacity for such extreme passion is probably not as much of a nihilist as they come of as, but rather ironically, a moralist and a romantic. In order to direct such passionate hatred towards an unjust system and establishment, you need some honest moral grounds to measure that injustice against. The Sex Pistols want to see everything destroyed, in order to see what is left. Johnny Rotten thinks something will be. Lets fucking hope he's right. 

Here's a prime track that I'm sure most of you are unfamiliar with. 

It Aint Something You Can Synthesize

Jamie Woon - "Lady Luck"

I've already talked about Burial, who, at heart, really is just a massive R&B fan and goes so far as to show that by sampling Ray J and Christina fucking Aguilera. “Lady Luck” is about as close as you'll get to a Burial pop production; it's a less low-fi How to Dress Well, a less twisted Weeknd, but still something fresh and unique in the sense that it would still never be found on American airwaves that shy away from anything that has even a trace of an avant-garde trait. Burial's shit can be pretty terrifying, and while the song's minimal dubstep-like production is where his style really is found, that initial double-tracked burst of hyperventilation over what sounds like the distant march of an oncoming army of undead soldiers sets the tone. Like Burial's tunes themselves, the first few seconds give the track a personality that's soulfully seductive but with a profoundly darker underlining. But either way, Woon knows his voice is the only instrument that really matters here, his silky falsetto jetting to some alternate reality where Justin Timberlake frequently collaborates with James Blake.

Luck be a lady tonight. This song is fire.

Jamie Woon - "Lady Luck"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Atomic Bladio Groovin'

I honestly don't know a thing about these guys and I don't care. My friend Joose Washington sent this to me, and I can't stop listening and trying to figure out this dance. Lets boogie.

Alpha Beta Fix

Sound Tribe Sector 9, Peaceblaster(2008) "The New Soma"

STS9 has always been one of my favorite live acts. Although primarily Electronic, they meld Jazz, Rock, Hip-hop breakbeats, and tastes of classical. Each of their songs sets a theme, which they push and stretch the webbing and limits of, until they find a comfortable place where they settle momentarily then transpose the bastard into something else entirely.  Each songs specific set of experimental stipulations provides stark contrast in tone. Easily moving between spaces of positive, peace-love-dope vibrations, then, apparently no longer content with tranquility, they plunge with speed and force into the confusing, tempestuousness writhing in the cores, of their alienated community of an audience in this post-industrial age. There is an immediate sense of House influence here, but I assure you the percussion is far more exotic and complex than your typical warehouse bullshit. The layering is deep, and flows effortlessly through loops, and keyboards and synthesizers to funk-jam style guitars and bass lines. A song can often sound like two or three by the time it is said and done.  They are very atmospheric, almost visual, I can watch the album with my eyes closed.

The New Soma

-kori auditory

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Bird Brothers Are Tweakin'

The debut full-length by heavy rock duo Tweak Bird slays all. Their first EP Reservations I was quite fond of but nothing on that compares to this monster they released last fall. They have the heavy gritty dancey nature of Death From Above 1979, but instead of the synthy electro-ness of that band they take their twist towards spacey psychedelic rock.
Caleb Bird on baritone guitar lays down the bone crushing guitar riffage while his brother Ashton is pummeling you with drums. (If you see them live, guard yourself from the shrapnel of drum sticks spraying at you as Ashton will surely break a dozen with how powerful he hits them skins.) As you could lazily throw them in with 'stoner rock' these guys are sooooo much more. The powerful rhythm is matched by sweet guitar melodies, spaced out psychedelic freakouts, saxophone solos, flute, the list goes on, and their high-pitched vocal harmonies just soar throughout-mostly babbling about fantastical journeys and aliens and awesome. They are really in a league of their own and are quite difficult to compare. DFA meets Torche meets Sleepy Sun? How does that work you ask? It does. And it'll conquer the world if the public ever decides what good music is. Check out this video for track two, download the album and then buy it.

-Blakk Reynbo

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Less Deadly than the actual Disease

This is a band that was birthed in the eclectic melting pot of Los Angeles, California. As far as new "world" music goes, these guys are IT. I know that's saying a lot, since "world" is such a ranged, loose genre, but I'm not taking it lightly. When most of the gunk coming out of "world" these days is contemporary and traditional these guys are hip and unpredictable.
Lo-fi psychedelic funk with eastern influenced surfy guitars, sax solos, all fronted by the beautiful Chhom Nimol who is a Cambodian goddess singing mostly in her native Khmer tongue with a 60s pop vibe. The mix is perfect. A lot of their earlier stuff is a lot more lo-fi and surfy and although it's still a huge part in this new one, the production soars over anything else they've ever done in the past and I love it. If you dig classy Indian and Southeast-Asian pop and you also like to funk it up, this is for you. Their grooves are massive, and even if she's not singing in English you'll be singing along the top of your lungs. I love love love Dengue Fever and I want you to too. This is a glimpse of one of my favorite tunes from the one that came out earlier this year, although you need to hear more to get a grasp on their entire sound. So download it. It's there for you.

Dengue Fever - Cannibal Courtship

-B↓åçk Ræñb°∙○

Hypnotic Summer Rock

Alright. I love Cave. They's good. Even though I'm sick right now, I'm doing my best to stay in the spirit of summer. Listening to these guys makes it easy. They're very kraut rocky. Lots of hypnotic grooves and synths, but with the up front rhythms and the jangly hooks and melodies-you never get drowned out. With a lot of this type of repetitive krauty stuff, your head can get caught up in the clouds, but these guys have a kinda punky (when i say punky I mean Lightning Bolt type punky, not PUNK punky, I mean they're a space rock band...) soul which keeps it very bright and fresh and danceable. They're like Hawkwind meets Can or Circle or something, but in a glass of fresh squeezed Orange Juice. It also helps that they're incredible musicians and very in tune with each other. The cover explains anything else I didn't mention. This has become one of my favorite albums for this time of year. It is my meaning of fun. I hope you dig it.

-Blaque Rainbeau

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Satellite Has No Conscience

 Dianne Reeves, Good Night, Good Luck(Soundtrack)(2005)

     Good Night, And Good Luck  is a commentary on what is wrong with today's media and how it ended up as a grossly oppressive, corporate tool. Where has journalistic integrity gone!? It seems fitting then, that the soundtrack asks a similar question: in a world where pop divas by the likes of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Ke$ha dictate young girls pop sensibilities, one wonders, "Where the fuck have all the great classical songwriters and vocalists gone?"
     Oh, hello Dianne Reeves... This Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist is the engine behind the soundtrack. It is no surprise George Clooney chose her voice to tap into the era. Reeves voice invokes the innocence of the that time gone by and makes her listeners long for it. Reeves is able to reflect that joy, playfulness and pain in her interpretations of classics from Cole Porter's "I've Got My Eyes On You", Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up and Fly Right", Duke Ellington and Irving Mills' "Solitude", and Johnny Mercer's "One For My Baby". She transports the listener to that time in America when songwriting and music were so much more than the soulless bubble-gum factory twine of today's teeny boppers.
     Reeves invokes a true sense of time, place, and meaning. A time when a clean, well greased man, could take a filter-less Lucky Strike, toasted, for his throat protection, and light it in the workplace, from behind a large, mahogany desk. He takes a few, easy, smooth drags before asking his secretary to bring in a cool glass of single malt scotch, with a rich, deep aroma. A Motorola, wooden hulled radio, with 2 gun-metal black nobs, set to the left of a steel colored, woolen thread speaker cover, emit the sweet serenading waves of a particularly melancholic, Charlie Parker. The secretary, with her pulsing, glossy lips and auburn, shoulder-length locks, that are parted deeply on the side, and flow in soft waves that curl under in the back, saunters into the office. The soft melody writes her every move, the batting of her eye lashes and the shallow draw of her breath. The horn pulls her legs across the floor, and guides her toes to carefully selected places on the carpet. Suddenly she meets the mans eyes with complete horror... when they both realize they are in black-and-white... OK, well maybe not that end part but the album manifests the rest of it. The songs on this album manage to connect as an organic whole, and stand alone without the context of this film. Good Night, and Good Luck is that rare exception, the music not only lends itself to defining the film, but also stands alone as an exceptional jazz piece.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Ain't nothin' sweet but the Swishers

Yeah yeah yeah, it's been a fucking minute. No excuses, just some fire for you. All of you already know about my sweet tooth for popular-as-fuck rappers, especially Wayne. I've always been kind of touch and go about Drake's shit, but when he drops the '90s R&B act and tries to keep up with the big boys, shit. is. SWAG. This particular song, a DJ Khaled joint (who I usually can't stomach because of his shameless/obnoxious self-promotion), has all the makings of a summer night anthem. Catchiest hook I've heard in I don't even know how long, beastly verses from all three of these rich assholes, and a supreme beat that falls right in line with the current merger of cool-kid-hip-hop and dark electronica (which I happen to be an enormous fan of). Put this on the next time you pop a bottle of champagne, and watch the pretty girls swoon :)