They've been putting something good and quite possibly highly hallucinogenic in the water up in Iowa City the past few years because that little town has been spawning good sounds left and right. A lot of it revolves around the Raccoo-oo-oon camp, so it's all high caliber.
Keywords to hone in on in this Arbor blurb about this 2007 release; primitive electronics, basement, noise, psychedelic, saxophone scrawl, epic percussion, etc. They're saying all the right words, but this ain't no all bark and no bite biz.
Youth of the Beast is pure primitive electronics, suffocating saxophone scrawl and epic percussion. Acting as the solo output for Raccoo-oo-oon’s Andy Spore, this record is YOTB’s first vinyl offering following up a few tapes on Night People and Fuck It Tapes. Blistering vocal screeches and mixer feedback blasts meld with stray tones as brass wails and drums are pounded. Spore is a master of channeling the spirits right into the basement where he crafts his jams, creating a captivating mass of noise and psychedelic signals crossing for a painfully beautiful 10 minutes. Breathless sax solos and massive tribal percussion interspersed throughout. The sum of all these parts is something intense, unknown; an ever evolving sonic creature as bleak as it is restless. In an edition of 315 records with EPIC xeroxed double sided/double foldover (you’ll understand it when you see it) sleeves and printed labels by Spore.
A quick Google search didn't indicate this one was out there so get your grubby hands on it.
Post Alarmist droogs getting it back on. Featuring Inca Ore, Ghost to Falco, Tunnels and Argumentix. Alarmist existed from 2004-2005, and you may ask yourself what makes them so goddamn important that they get a tribute album? Who the hell knows the answer to that, but I do know this is one kick-ass comp. A quick look at the RYM ratings (all two of them) for Alarmist's Evil Works Get Rich or Try Dying Evil Works album gets a whopping 1.20 rating. WTF do RYMer's know! Anyway, this is good stuff so here's the weirdness.
Dave Chappelle had a skit on his show that explained the differences between what white folks and black folks liked in music. It was freaking hilarious, and basically showed how much rhythm and style black folks have when it comes to music, and how us white folks dig the noisy guitar-driven stuff. So, as I was standing there sipping on a Crown and Coke and blissfully taking the pummeling from MBV's guitar barrage, it dawned on me that they are in fact the epitome of white folks music, and that is not at all a bad thing.
MBV are loud, somewhat aggressive in a non-threatening way, and noisy as hell with the vocals and rhythm section taking backseat to the effects pedal-chained guitars, a fact that is even more evident in their live show than it is on their albums, which are noisy and raw enough in and of themselves. As I stood there taking it all in, I noticed something very interesting, people were hardly moving. At first I thought maybe the crowd wasn't into it, but that wasn't it at all. Everybody was mesmerized, as MBV's sound is hypnotic, repetitive, and in an emotional way, moving.
Thus, attending an MBV show is to experience a ritual. The sounds as evinced by the pulsating and subtly rhythmic guitars mix with the sights as shown by the customary background film footage and the slight rocking, trance-like movements of the band; both coming together in the end, producing a deafening wall of noise which is completed by syncopated flashes of light which cover the darkness of the motionless crowd. The experience is not only visual and aural, it is physical, as your entire body is actually shaken and the hair on your head and arms is blown back by an actual breeze that is produced by the huge wall of guitar feedback, much like the blows of a concert kick-drum, but somehow more surreal and limitless.
I was planning on posting some photos here, but forgot my camera at the hotel, so all I got where some crappy cell phone pics that aren't even worth publishing here. However, here's some good photos I found of flickr you can check out if your interested.
As far as tribute albums go, this one sets the standard. Whore takes on a life of its own, while never forgetting its heritage. I've had this album in my collection for going on fifteen years, and it never ceases to amaze; just like the originals.
Brand new from the recently established COOP Ale Works, and the "biggest beer brewed in Oklahoma." Weighing in at 10% ABV this one packs a nice punch, but the intricacies and attention to craftsmanship are what make this beer what it is. I tried this at Mcnellie's pub in OKC a few weeks ago, and it was served in a pint glass. At that time I appreciated the beer, and there was no doubt it was a good beer, but it wasn't until last night when I requested it in a snifter did it's aromas and flavors truly reveal themselves. There's proof positive that glassware does in fact make a difference, so don't settle if you don't have to. Now that doesn't mean go out and make a beer-snob ass out of yourself over glassware either. Ok, enough of the spiel, on to the beer.
Color is a bright, slightly hazy orange and there's a nice off-white covering of dense froth. A few long lines of lacing exist and stick around for the duration. Vanilla, light fruits (pears, oranges, grapes) and spicy aromas waft to the nose. Tastes of big sweet malts which surround more spices, toffee and sweet bread. There's a quick hint of graininess toward the end. The alcohol heat is noticeable, but not overwhelming, and it in no way detracts from the other elements and the overall experience. Mouth-feel is medium plus, and it goes down smooth and a bit more creamy than expected, hovering close to tripel territory in that sense.
I'm not going to deny that I have some local bias on this one, but trust me, it is an excellent example of the style. Chase Healy and the fellows at COOP really have their hand on the pulse of where beer is going, and they know how to translate that knowledge into great beer. Apparently, and in addition to the Native Amber ale which is already available, they have a porter, a wheat, and a "cervesa" (sounds interesting) on the way, but I'll have to be honest, I'm really looking forward to another bigger brew from these guys, as this one turns out to be a great initial move that should put them on the craft beer map.
20 pages of pure noise-psych-punk excellence here. Just like the old days when you had to send SASE's (self addressed stamped envelope for you youngsters) to get your favorite zines, this one is only mail-order, and that's completely bad-ass. Includes interviews with Wet Hair, Emeralds, John Olson of Wolf Eyes, Sun Araw, and superheros Henry Rollins and Thurston Moore. I've thumbed through this issue and there's some awesome concert pics, along with the customary Rollins "I'm going to kick your fucking ass" photo. The Cameron Stallones (Sun Araw) interview, which is the only one I've had a chance to read was enlightening as he explains the creative process and the influences behind his otherworldly sounds, which made me anxious to get to the rest of the zine. It's $3, and that's just 19 cents more than a medium vanilla malt at Braums. WTF are you waiting on?
Group Bombino, Guitars from Agadez Vol. 2, the follow up to Group Inerane, Guitars from Agadez Vol. 1, begs the question, could it get any better? The answer, as with any question dealing with music, is highly subjective. Both albums consist of some of the most intense, soulful, unique, and satisfying tunes to come out in the last few years, and that is something that really can't be argued.
While Group Bombino may initially lack the distortion and immediacy of Group Inerane, they still retain the most important elements unique to both releases, and that's the transcendental and transportive aspects that exist throughout all the songs. The sublimating properties take us to higher places, while the foreign sound and feel takes us to more exotic locales. The softer approach taken by Group Bombino makes this trip a bit more laid back, less extreme and dangerous, but in many ways deeper and more intricate, allowing for a more intimate experience.
Even when you turn the record over to Side B, and Group Bombino introduce electric guitars, the unhurried attitude is not lost, and the deep rhythms and grooves are still present. Side B seems to be recorded in a live setting, or a maybe a more "livelier" setting (the entire album is a field recording as was Vol. 1) as it sounds like it was possibly presented to the recording crew with an audience that the first side did not have. You can vividly imagine yourself sitting among the Taureg in their remote desert village, listening to the steady and subtle drum rhythms, constant funky guitar movements, and realizing how important music is to these people, and how much talent (creative and technical) that these musicians have.
I'll have to admit that at first Group Bombino seemed a bit of a let down to me, and I don't quite know why. Maybe it was the lack of initial electricity so evident with Group Inerane, as maybe I was looking for something to rock out to. But after a few listens the complexity of harmony and composition truly showed itself, and now I can't keep this record off the turntable. With all that I've said, I don't want it to seem that the laid back atmosphere of Group Bombino is in any way antipodean to Group Inerane's excitement, as the both serve as near perfect compliments to each other.
Honestly, I often vacillate on whether or not to post some of these recordings, as I haven't come to the conclusion that I have the right to say they should be shared in this manner. That being said, many times they are of such limited quantity, I have to wonder if the artists mean for them to be shared via the net, as that is the only way for them to be disseminated to a larger audience. So here goes. If any artist featured here want any of these files deleted, just say the word.