Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Augenmusik podcast number 2!

It was deemed that time again, and now there is another Augenmusik podcast for your downloading and listening pleasure. This would be number 2, and hopefully there won't be such a big lag until the next one, as I get the hang of doing this. Of course, I can promise such regularity, because real life has a way of imposing itself and preventing me from spending my days doing this sort of thing. Aside from that, my better judgment would likely intervene was well.

What was played in this podcast? I won't be making it that easy for you. You'll just have to listen to find out, my friends.

I will, however, give you something to look at still, as this text would be make for a rather bare post. Allow me to say that I sometimes find myself trolling around youtube for shits and giggles. I have to admit, the urge mostly strikes me when I'm in the mood for stuff like DYS live footage, but sometimes I do look for other stuff, and I find gems like Malaria performing "Thrash Me". But it was the video below-- an original video of As Mercenarias performing "Panico," that count amongst my best finds. So, I wil share below.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Some recent CDs.

Yes, it's taken me a bit longer than I had hoped to sit down and write some words on some of these recent CDs, but that's life. Thankfully, there were all very deserving, so I'm pleased to be able to share them with you. And there are still some vinyl reviews on the way as well.....

the Funeral Crashers- La Fin Absolue du Monde
There's a good amount of records that have the disclaimer "play loud" somewhere on the packaging. It's usually some rock-related genre, which makes the disclaimer a little superfluous, even a bit cliche, because who would think the play a rock record quietly? There is no such disclaimer on our good friends', the Funeral Crashers, debut album "La Fin Absolue du Monde," but here it might actually be appropriate. They've given us one hell of a noisy record which hits the ear drums in the just the right way, and loud is probably the best way to appreciate it in all it's elegant cacophony. From the very first song, "Menlo Park," with it's Bauhaus-esque intro, guitarist Edward Raison's screeching guitar virtually battles with Frankie Teardrop's overdriven and rumbling bass. "Safe" or "Video Killer" are other great examples, particularly where Oliver Lyons' oft stocatto drumming virtually erupts in a din of cymbals. I can hear some noises on there that even seem like they're coming from somewhere else still. They fall into the "dark rock" camp for sure, whatever that camp may be (though certainly the Funeral Crashers have a tent next to the Opposite Sex), and the reverb and delay drenched feedback help create an atmospherics that fans of deathrock or older goth bands would certainly not feel alienated by. The tone does vary though throughout the album; songs like "Blackout Days" and "Disconnected" showcase the band's ability to hold your attention quite well while bringing down the pace dramatically, and "Uninvited Guest" is has some very legitimate hooks while vocalist Phil holds court with his Mark E Smith meets Richard Butler delivery. On "La Fin...", they do the Jesus and Mary Chain awful proud, but at bottom I see this as a punk record. No my friend, it doesn't sound like Black Flag. But if you open your scope a little wider than that; one that includes early Swans, early Killing Joke, Sonic Youth, or the Fall in its purview, with the Stooges and the Velvets presiding, as they very well should, then you'll understand what I mean by the following statement: the Funeral Crashers wrote themselves one hell of a punk record.

Dansetten- Mask RoulettaIt took me a while to track this one down, but I was happy when I did. Dansetten is the brainchild of Rasmus Sorenson, formerly of the Danish band Young Wasteners, who, with "We Got Ways" managed to put out one of the best hardcore punk records of the decade, in my humble opinion. As if that wasn't enough, he went off and wrote a really incredible post-punk record on top of that. Upon first impression, there's a lot of late Birthday Party and early Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds ("From Her to Eternity" era) here, with it's off-kilter rhythms, its piercing guitar, vocal explosions, and stumbling quasi-tribal rhythms that collapse into more romantic-sounding lounge parts often book-ended by piano and horns. However, there's much more than that going on here, and Captain Beefheart and the Doors (albeit in very warped form) are other points of reference. This comes from that loose circle of Danish punks that would include such great bands as Gorilla Angreb, Amdi Petersens Armee, Young Wasteners, and No Hope From the Kids. Sometime in 2002, just prior to my moving to New York, the aforementioned A.P.A. played at our house; a converted storefront in New Brunswick, NJ. It was a wild show, complete with fireworks blowing up right and left in the small space, and enough vodka and beer flowing to keep the whole ensemble drunk for quite a while. The guitarist at the time was just filling in for the tour; he was a nice chap and we hit it off well, probably due to the "Teenage Jesus and the Jerks" logo he painted on the back of his jeans jacket. I'm wondering if he wasn't the kind soul who gave us this record.... It would certainly make sense.

Monozid- Waiting for the Circus CD-ep
They keep busy in Leipzig... in addition to setting up shows, DJing regularly, and running the great German fanzine Transmission, these 4 guys have this up and coming band Monozid. Here is their second, self-released EP, although I understand there is a full length CD in the works. Their modus operandi is moody songs with taut rhythms and jangly guitars, and in that sense they might be the teutonic counterpart to another band that's been catching ears on these shores, the Opposite Sex (wow, second time they've come up in the course of these reviews). The recording has a bit of a distant and dry quality to it, but they're tight enough that they manage to pull off a convincing performance nonetheless. I'll be looking forward to the full length-- if they go all out on the recording, I'm sure they'll have a serious contender on their hands.

the Pussy Pirates- Eat My Brain, Call it Art CD
A few words about the packaging to start this off are in order. A 20 page booklet accompanied this CD, each page adorned with lyrics and some crazy design or cartoon of some sort that makes for a quite good first impression. It was through ex-Phantom Limbs crooner, current Loto Ball Show leader, and Reversible Eye gallery coordinator Loto Ball that turned me on to these ladies, as they've become regular performers at the aforementioned space. This six piece alternates between nervous punk songs, and rather skronky, horn driven post-punk tunes. The Slits are an obvious point of reference, but the band obviously takes some series cues from the Contortions, and there's a good deal of Essential Logic- style abrasion as well. In most cases, they pull of the transition from one to the other rather well. Production-wise I'd have liked a little more punch in the horn section, particularly because whoever does the majority of the singing has quite the set of pipes, and it makes the recording seem a little disproportionate and dry at times. Also, 16 songs is is quite a while to maintain my attention... but the songs are all creatively written, and tunes like "Stickboy Lullabye," "the Teeth," and "Luminescence" get enthusiastic thumbs up. It would be quite nice to get out to the windy city to see these folks play a show with Loto Ball Show at Reversible Eye!

Labels: , , , ,