Monday, January 31, 2011

Sexy Music

Cass McCombs has a new single out, "County Line", which I can't get enough of right now. It's sexy music done right, performed in a fragile and hollow manner that allows the singer to really embrace the riskiness of the desires he sings of. It's a song that deals with the difficulties encountered in the relationship between people and places, particularly those places we tend to find ourselves most comfortably situated in. Anyways, here's the song.

Cass McCombs - County Line by DominoRecordCo

What I love most about the song is the simplicity of it. There is no attempt at any point to deceive the listener, to provide that hook that appears out of nowhere which serves to disrupt the song as a whole (a technique way too overused these days). The song is fragile enough purely in its simplicity that it need not make such maneuvers. Instead, it simply embraces the melancholic experiences you encounter when you go home to find out that this place which you love so dearly, isn't nearly as holy as you once thought. Or, to put it another way, the cold we experience here in Winnipeg isn't really all that romantic. It's just really freaking cold.

Cryptic perhaps, but this shift to melancholy (shift is perhaps not the best word, as this is nothing really new from Cass), is going to hopefully prove to be the main aim of my show tonight. I'm going to be playing melancholic songs focusing on the relationship between people and place. Any suggestions would be more than appreciated.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Snowed in

No show again this week as I am currently snowed in. After spending a week in waist deep snow in Edmonton, now Winnipeg seems to be getting hit (although, the amount in E-town is still substantially more). All this has led to a few week's of snowed in music listening. Here's what's been on heavy rotation

New(ish) Heavy Rotation

Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil

Deerhoof are maybe one of my favorite acts to see live. With this week's release of Deerhoof vs. Evil however, the band has put out what, in my opinion, is their best studio work to date (although I reserve the right to always go back to Apple O or Reveille). Douglas Wolk criticized the record on Pitchfork as meandering, claiming the record fails to properly allow its rock undercurrents to break through. This may in fact be the case. However, part of me wonders if if it's fair to criticize the band for not being 'rock' enough. Do we love Deerhoof because they create great rock music (which they certainly do)? Or do we love Deerhoof because they create great rock music in spite of the fact that they needn't? Records like Reveille and Deerhoof vs. Evil seem to push me more in the direction of the latter. Highlighting the band's humor, quirkiness and excellent experimentation, Deerhoof vs. Evil serves to accentuate the awesomeness of more straightforward songs such as "Panda Panda Panda" and "+81" situating them within a larger and more bizarre context. Bellow is the records shinning moment - which also proves to be its most predictable.

Yelawolf - Trunk Muzic 0-60

Southern Hip-Hop at its best. Released on the same day as the Kanye record, Trunk Muzic 0-60 proves yet again that all the accolades thrust upon MBTDF may have been premature. This record is equally weird and enjoyable as Kanye's so-called masterpiece, while avoiding the ridiculous length (it's almost half as long!). Here's my favorite "Daddy's Lambo".

John Vanderslice - White Wilderness

A more organic sounding record than his previous albums, White Wilderness highlights the songwriters skill at arrangement and prose.

Lower Dens - Twin Hand-Movements

This record actually came out a while ago, but I only came across it more recently. The record is built primary around Janna Hunter's bizarre poetry and reverb-drenched guitars which never seem to overdo it. At first the closest comparison to Twin Hand-Movements would be Beach House's Teen Dream. However, after repeated listens, THM proves to be a much riskier record than the safer (and more mediocre) Beach House record playing with its own fragility in fascinating ways.

Retro Heavy Rotation

Cold Waves and Minimal Electronics vol. 1

The influence of the Minimal Electronics and Cold Waves movements of the 1980s on contemporary North America Electro can't be overstated. However, rather than wasting more of your time, I'll just let these videos speak for themselves.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Amping Destroyer's Kaputt

Destroyer's Kaputt is due out in a couple of weeks. I make no bones about being a big Destroyer guy, and I don't want to say much about how wicked the record is quite yet (I want to make sure I get it right). However, the first few listens through the record have resulted in me going through some of my records to try to figure out how to better locate this whole "slow disco" aesthetic he's built throughout the record. Bellow are the results.

In my mind, Kaputt's closest cousin is Destroyer's 2004 record Your Blues. Like on that record, the question of the distinction between life and artifice is at all times at the forefront, blurring the lines between firm conceptions of real and fake.

Some more classic inspirations.

Crappy video quality. But you get the point.

And then from Destroyer himself.