Saturday, January 23, 2010

so how you like that for indie-not-indie?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Notes on the Noughties #8 @ Guardian looks at the endless Eighties revival, from Daft Punk to Ariel Pink via GagaSpooner

on reflection this probably was the greatest single of the decade wasn't it? Number One in Billboard for a record-breaking thirteen weeks, topped the charts in another seventeen countries -- you can't argue with stats like that.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Do remember to tune your wireless to Resonance 104.4 FM this coming Monday evening at midnight GMT and prick up your ears for the first instalment of WEIRD TALES FOR THE WINTER: an eight-day series of hauntological yarns hosted by Jonny Mugwump's Exotic Pylon show.

Here's the complete transmission schedule of sonic fictions:

Monday 25th January: Moon Wiring Club - "Minuke" by Nigel Kneale

Tuesday 26th January: West Norwood Cassette Library and Matthew de Abaitua – "The Dinner Party Wars" by Mathew de Abaitua

Wednesday 27th January: Dolly Dolly – "Death, Taxes and the Fireplace (being a story concerning love above all):

Thursday 28th January: Belbury Poly and Lawrence Norfolk – "His Name was Legion" by Sir Andrew Caldecott

Friday 29th January: Radio Joy (LIVE) – "The Haunted Beach" by Johny Brown

Saturday 30th January: Mordant Music – "The Bells Will Sound Forever" by Thomas Ligotti

Sunday 31st January: Vanessa Daou – "Love Among the Shadowed Things"

Monday 1st February: John Foxx - "When You Walk Through Me"

Further information and supplementary material here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

news item about a cool festival of electronic and experimental music that is happening next month in New York

the UNSOUND FESTIVAL, February 4th >>> 14th 2010

performers include:

Carl Craig and nsi
(both performing live electronic soundtracks to vintage Warhol films)

(supagroop of Jan Jelinek, Andrew Pekler and Hanno Leichtmann doing eight-hour live improv score to Warhol’s “Empire”)

Moritz Von Oswald Trio

Vladislav Delay & Lillevan’s audio / video

other artists appearing include Falty DL, Tim Hecker, Legowelt, Alan Licht, Pole, Lee Renaldo, Anthony “Shake” Shakir, Morton Subotnick...

special events include

Eastern Promises
(Polish/Romanian/Ukrainian/Belarian electronic and experimental musicians Jacek Sienkiewicz, Petre Inspirescu, Marcin Czubala, Jacaszek, Zavoloka, TRG, Kwartludium, Pavel Ambiont, Zenial)

"classical interpretations of the music of the SST label" (!!)

two nights of noise, drone and experimental work

two nights at the Bunker, Brooklyn featuring contemporary Techno/House

Bass Mutations showcase dedicated to dubstep and beyond

There will also be workshops in electronic music, film screenings, and a series of panel discussions, including one on music journalism which I'll be co-leading with Andy Battaglia--that's on Sunday February 7th at 2 PM, the location is Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building, 5 East 3rd Street (between Bowery and 2nd Ave).

Schedule and further information on the events and also the back story of Unsound, the Krakow music festival that's been going since 2003, can be found here

Thursday, January 14, 2010

and to think I thought it was impossible to improve this video

just wait til 0.23

(link courtesy Bat)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Stylus Decade was a jolly good read, but, um, those results. Meaning the Top 20 albums. The same old names. And, again, that syndrome I noticed in Pitchfork's and a fair few other Noughties surveys: thirteen out of the top twenty from 2000/2001/2002.

One particular anomaly that caught my eye was the non-appearance of Original Pirate Material in the Top 100. It's so much better than A Grand Don't Come For Free which did feature (albeit in the chart's ignominious midriff.) Then it suddenly struck me that I'd not actually put it in the ballot I'd submitted either. Ought to have been Top 5 but it just cleaned slipped my mind. I wonder if it was the same with everybody else? (Skinner's last few albums have had this incredible self-erasing man effect, haven't they? Such a self-whittling to near nothing of a Major Artist of the Decade has rarely been witnessed. Did the fifth instalment of The Streets quintology come out already or did we only get to #4? Either way I cannot remember a thing about the two albums that followed Grand, not even their titles. And Grand itself I only like/recall-at-all six things on it.)

Anyway, here's my ballot of 50 fave long-players of the decade as submitted to Stylus, but amended so that Original Pirate Material is restored albeit in a Special Category all its own. Followed by my ballot of 50 fave singles (which I took to mean literally singles, as opposed to favourite tracks, which would have been a hair-from-follicles-wrenching endeavour but might well have had "The Ballad of Bobby Pyn" at #1). Both of these were thrown together quite quickly and doubtless have many, many other ommissions besides O.P.M., and done on another day might would probably been sequenced differently. If the fancy takes me I might return to wonder about what 51>>>100 would have been, at least on the long-player front.


<<<< SPECIAL "IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN" AWARD: The Streets --Original Pirate Material >>>>
1/ Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - The Doldrums
2/ Dizzee Rascal - Boy In Da Corner
3/ Vampire Weekend - s/t
4/ The Focus Group - Hey Let Loose Your Love
5/ Daft Punk - Discovery
6/ Various Artists - Run the Road
7/ Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti -- Worn Copy
8/ Belbury Poly - The Willows
9/ The Good The Bad and the Queen - s/t
10/ Scritti Politti - White Bread Black Beer
11/ Radiohead - Kid A
12/ Mordant Music - Dead Air
13/ The Advisory Circle - Other Channels
14/ Black Moth Super Rainbow -- Dandelion Gum
15/ Burial- s/t
16/ Micachu and the Shapes -- Jewellery
17/ Jay-Z - The Blueprint
18/ Moon Wiring Club - An Audience of Art Deco Eyes
19/ Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
20/ Blectum from Blechdom - Haus De Snaus
21/ Panda Bear - Person Pitch
22/ Kanye West - The College Dropout
23/ Isolee - Rest
24/ The Avalanches - Since I Left You
25/ Joanna Newsom - Ys
26/ Hot Chip - Coming On Strong
27/ The Dirty Projectors -- Bitte Orca
28/ Terror Danjah - Gremlinz
29/ J Dilla - The Shining
30/ Lady Sovereign - Public Warning
31/ Zomby - s/t
32/ Portishead - Third
33/ Villalobos - Alcachofa
34/ J Dilla - Donuts
35/ Blectum from Blechdom - The Messy Jesse Fiesta
36/ Dolphins Into the Future - Mountains Saturnus
37/ Animal Collective - Here Comes the Indian
38/ Pulp - We Love Life
39/ Cannibal Ox - Cold Vein
40/ Sally Shapiro - Disco Romance
41/ Clipse - Lord Willin'
42/ Lily Allen - Alright Still
43/ Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak
44/ High Places - s/t
45/ Infinite Livez - Bush Meat
46/ Pitman - It Takes a Nation of Tossers
47/ Juana Molina - Son
48/ Gang Gang Dance - Saint Dymphna
49/ Avey Tare, Panda Bear & Geologist - Danse Manatee
50/ Boards of Canada - Geogaddi


1/ Dizzee Rascal, "I Luv U" b/w "Vexed"
2/ Daft Punk, "Digital Love"
3/ Vampire Weekend, "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa"
4/ Big E.D., "Frontline (Terror Danjah Remix)"
5/ Outkast, "Hey Ya"
6/ Missy Elliott, "Get UR Freak On"
7/ Lethal B featuring Fumin, D Double E, Nappa, Jamakabi, Neeko, Flow Dan, Ozzi B, Forcer, Demon & HotShot, "Pow (Forward)"
8/ Usher feat Lil Jon and Ludacris, “Yeah”
9/ Ludacris, "What's Your Fantasy"
10/ Vampire Weekend, "The Kids Don't Stand A Chance"
11/ Kanye West, "Thru the Wire"
12/ Vybz Kartel, "Sweet To The Belly"
13/ Jammer featuring Wiley, D Double E, Kano & Durty Doogz, "Destruction Remix"
14/ Wiley featuring Dizzee Rascal, "Ice Rink"
15/ Truesteppers featuring Victoria Beckham & Dane Bowers, "Out of Your Mind"
16/ TS7 featuring Tonia, “Smile”
17/ J Dilla, "Won't Do"
18/ Styles, “Good Times"
19/ Micachu and the Shapes, "Golden Phone"
20/ Kano, "Boys Love Girls"
21/ MC God's Gift versus Teebone, “Tribute to 32 MCs”
22/ Outkast, "The Way You Move"
23/ Jammer featuring D Double E, "Birds In the Sky"
24/ The Blackout Crew, "Put a Donk On It"
25/ Oxide & Neutrino , "Bound 4 Da Reload"
26/ Terror Danjah featuring Kano and Katie, “So Sure”
27/ Kelis, "Milkshake"
28/ Wonder featuring Kano, "What Have You Done"
29/ The Streets, “Let’s Push Things Forward/All Got Our Runnins”
30/ Lady Sovereign, “Cha Ching (Cheque 1, 2 Remix)”
31/ Terror Danjah featuring Hyper, Bruza, D Double E and Riko, "Cock Back"
32/ Genius Kru, “Course Bruv“
33/ DJ Marky & XRS featuring Stamina MC, "LK (Carolina Carol Bela)”
34/ Terror Danjah, Industry Standard EP
35/ Junior Boys, "Last Exit"
36/ Kano featuring D Double E and Demon, “Reload It”
37/ Burial, “Southern Comfort”
38/ Kanye West, "Love Lockdown"
39/ Villalobos, "Dexter"
40/ Clipse, “When The Last Time”
41/ The Dirty Projectors, "Stillness is the Move"
42/ Flirta D, "Warpspeed"
43/ The Libertines, “Can’t Stand Me Now”
44/ Musical Mob, "Pulse X (VIP Mix)”
45/ Teebone feat MC Sparks and MC Kie, "Fly Bi"
46/ J.O.Y, “Sunplus (DFA Remix)”
47/ Common, "The Light"
48/ Nelly Furtado, "Say It Right"
49/ Pitman, “Phone Pitman/Pitman Sez”
50/ Ludacris, "Southern Hospitality"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Jacob Erikson for Blissblog Times

Published: January 12, 2010

Mark McGwire's admission yesterday that he used performance-enhancing drugs during the early recording career of Emeralds sent shock waves rippling through the music world. But according to industry insiders, this kind of substance abuse is an open secret on the so-called "hypnagogic pop" scene.

"It's par for the course," said James Farrero, in a phone interview from his home in San Diego. "A lot of people are getting a little, shall we say, help. And everybody knows it. The competition on this scene is so fierce and if you think the other guy is doing it, you can't let him have that advantage."

"Each decade you have a guy that comes along that sets new standards and you say O.K., now I’m going to have to take it to the next level," said Daniel Lapotin, in an interview conducted at his rehearsal space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. "You just can't get the kind of results that everyone is looking for without some kind of boost."

Lapotin explains that the wide range of synthetic and so-called "natural" substances that some musicians resort to have a variety of uses, from inspiration to stamina (recording schedules can be punishing on the hypnagogic scene, with artists releasing as many as twenty cassette tapes a year). Then there are the so-called QCDs, which stands for "quality control diminishment" and refers to drugs that precisely target the area of the prefrontal cortex that governs aesthetic discrimination.

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"I personally feel he could have went
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Caren Crass contributed reporting.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Notes on the Noughties #7 at Guardian looks at the sounds of the UK underground: grime, dubstep, funky

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Horchata" sensational
"White Sky" very very good
"Holiday" very good
"California English" sensational
"Taxi Cab" good
"Run" very good
"Cousins" very very good
"Giving Up the Gun" sensational
"Diplomat’s Son" supersensational
"I Think Ur A Contra" sensational

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

RIP Willie Mitchell
by freaky coincidence, substantiating my indie-not-indie argument, here's Vampire Weekend's track-by-track breakdown of what went into their new album Contra. only had the one listen as yet but my initial impression is that Koenig/Batmanglij/Tomson/Baio have managed to make such riskily diverse inputs cohere remarkably well within a singular and distinctive band-voice
Stylus magazine reactivates to survey the past decade

Monday, January 04, 2010

Notes on the Noughties #6 @ Guardian looks at indie's unexpected regeneration over the course of the decade, from post-Britplop afterbirth to something that can no longer be reflexively dismissed

Sunday, January 03, 2010