Droning layers of strings find their visual counterparts in the moving paintings of director Peter Luckner, who has collaborated with Melodium's Laurent Girard on this slowly unfolding piece. "The Melodium 'Midpoint' video was the result of my discussions with Matt from Abandon Building Records. He and I share a lot of the same predispositions toward sound and visuals..." Luckner comments. "I wanted to work with the atmosphere in 'Midpoint' but it may have turned a little darker than the atmosphere in the actual song lets on."
According to modern day magickians like Alan Moore, "Art is magick, because art transforms consciousness". By that definition, some of the world's greatest mystics don't ever actually identify themselves as such. In my world, Robert Pollard is probably the most potent of these closet sorcerers, unassumingly churning out tune after tune ad infinitum from his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. It's an unending supernova. No single rock musician has pushed the boundaries of the human imagination in quite the same way as the guy, who will most likely go down as the single greatest songwriter in human history (or by definition of taste, the most prolific at the very least; he's already kind of got that cornered).
The story of how I got into Pollard's (now reunited) Guided By Voices is a strange one, and as with everything regarding my youth, drenched in debauched sonic witchery. When GBV's absolute classic Bee Thousand finally brought national attention to the then almost entirely unknown band in the mid '90s (mainly due to the efforts of Matador Records), I bought a copy. Truthfully, I didn't like it that much after a few listens. I even most bizarrely remember driving around with my dad at one point and him mentioning that he heard a segment about them and their supposed "indie rock" on NPR and was curious. I put it on. Neither one of us got it. And that's sort of the thing you have to point out to GBV detractors. Even though I have nearly 40 Pollard-related releases at this point, I still don't like any of them until run through number four at least. None of it makes sense at all when it first hits me. I have absolutely no idea how he does this, but it's the sort of thing that's going to confuse the shit out of critics, myself included, especially in the information age.
 
Pere Ubu Lady From Shanghai Fire Records You'd expect to be thrown off a bit when delving into a new Pere Ubu record; discordant, unsettling rock n' roll has been the band's stock in trade for over 30 years. But on their latest, Lady from Shanghai, they take it one step further. Pere Ubu describe this record as an attempt at dance music, and the most obvious change is their new emphasis on beats and squealing electronics. While not a total success, between the steady rhythms and some excellent bass work, Lady is the foot-tappingest record in the Ubu canon.
ALBUM REVIEW CONTINUES BELOW

 

MADNESS! is a recurring series of audio WTFs and head-twitching, spine-tingling experimental or chaotic fun (k-k+st-s-t+l-l)icks. Today, Aperiodic bring chaotic free jazz noise, and we pay slight homage to past sounds via Finland's haunting Paavoharju and post-hardcore classics The Jesus Lizard.
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Aperiodic

Aperiodic's Future Feedback begins with "New West", a slow growth of jingling bells and static that bumps found sounds up against R2D2-type electronic beeping. Banging, off-tempo jazz drums and distorted guitar all grow in intensity throughout the duration of the 4-minute track, and one could suspect that the remainder of Future Fedback will be comprised of hardly palatable instrumental wankery. In a sense, one would suspect right, but this type of music always took a special musical ear to appreciate. Elements of musique concrète, free jazz, and noise are at the forefront of Future Feedback, which champions improvisation's most chaotic possibilities with a natural erratic twitch. Aperiodic have described themselves as "The Jesus Lizard disfigured beyond recognition", and it is the spirit of the post-hardcore band that shines through, not actual music parallels. The disfiguration comes in Aperiodic's cramming of heavier noise elements into a free jazz framework in absolute madness. Only on one track, "Amalia's Regret", does the band slow down to explore their more minimal side via creepy breathing and classic piano. You can rest assured, though; structure hardly plays a more significant role even then. The entire album is now available via Phratry Records, and you can stream its digital noise stylings via the Bandcamp embed below. Prepare yourself for all of the guitar distortion, manipulated samples, and pummeling drums you can imagine. And while you're at it, see the full post for a stream of The Jesus Lizard's full-length from 1991, Goat.

 

Panama

The newest band to be signed to Future Classic is a solo project from Sydney, Australia's Jarrah McCleary, also known as Panama! As proven earlier this year by Midnight Magic's EP release (and its related amazing Holy Ghost remix), anything those New York funk-disco masters get their hands on gets a throwback treatment of the best and most sticky variety. The O.G. version is a bit less sensual, a bit more tropical, equally danceable. Remix single is available for purchase HERE, including these two tracks as well as a remix by Gavin Russom of LCD Soundsystem and The Crystal Ark. Panama - "Magic" (Midnight Magic Remix) Panama - "Magic" (Original)

 

The influence Robert Pollard's genius still casts on the Central Ohio music scene is kind of unbelievable. In the seventeen years after Bee Thousand rocketed and the then school teacher rose to international semi-stardom and cult icon status, lo-fi bedroom pop has yet to go out of style in places...

Cleveland artist Matthew Penkala paints images as seen through a visually-impaired haze. The impressive portion here lies in the presence of both incredible simplicity and detail; capturing diffused light is a bit more difficult than it might seem, particularly on canvasses that range from 24" squares to 60" squares!

It is always encouraging to find that there are still up-and-coming bands that are earnestly striving to make a dent. In fact, it is hard to imagine there ever being a lack of strivers out there. However, in order to succeed in making an impact, you must be able to...

What comes to mind when one thinks of the Midwest? Grey skies, farmland, freezing winters, and hot, humid summers are all possibilities. Aloha's fifth full-length record, Home Acres, does an impeccable job of encompassing all of that one might imagine life in the Midwest to contain, including the former attributes,...

Imagine you are a sweet, lovely young lady, and you are having a dinner party. You invite your good friends Björk, Feist, and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. When dinnertime comes, instead of serving them food, you just eat the three of them. Then you...

The 1300/Third Gallery in Cleveland will have a pretty cool illustration and photography show coming up, in conjunction with The Steve Brown Gallery. The show will feature resident artists Benjamin Haehn (with his colored pencil and oil piece, Shark Shark, pictured to the right) and Trelawney O'Brien, as well as...