IN SHORT: "It's not your average Black Moth Super Rainbow Album."

 

In discussing early album reviews for Cobra Juicy, Black Moth Super Rainbow's de facto leader Tobacco called the album "the 1st bmsr I really got right." It's an interesting comment, especially for a band who pride themselves on the reckless nature of their sound and their presence on stage. And then there's the fact that Cobra Juicy simply wouldn't exist in its current state if it wasn't for crowd-funding the project on Kickstarter. Especially considering the latter, there are certainly extraneous expectations surrounding the long awaited release. See full album review

 

September 30th, 2012 @ Roseland Theatre, Portland, OR +++ SEE ALSO: FULL SHOW REVIEW + DUSTIN WONG + THRILL JOCKEY RECORDS On recording, I absolutely adore Beach House, but every time I see them in a live setting, I find myself disappointed by the lack of emotional output and dynamism from husky-voiced lead singer Victoria Legrand. Her performances always feel disingenuous to me, and seem to perpetuate a vapid and shallow sense of drama that may look beautiful -- in fact, an intense light display setup heightened that sense this evening at Roseland Theatre -- but holds no lasting value beneath its surface. So though I had initially been more excited to give Beach House a chance to redeem themselves, it was show opener and Ponytail member Dustin Wong who actually delivered. He was eye-catching the old-fashioned way: by sheer feat of artistry alone.

 

Scottish illustrators Kyle Noble and Jamie Irvine travel the world individually but remain tethered together through the constant exchange of twisted, fantastical comics. Emerging from their psychedelic landscapes -- some of which hardly resemble landscapes at all -- come floating heads with third eyes, praying mantises with Madonna streaming out of the top of their heads, fungal universes, and possible tractor beams. Noble and Irvine's collaborations are inspired by Exquisite Corpse, a Surrealist invention that serves as a mode of artistic interplay between individuals. Drawings are exchanged back and forth to evolve an image spontaneously and to create an organic, ever-unstable narrative. In the case of Noble and Irvine, this results in works that they describe as "unutterably absurd, sexually graphic and loaded with scientific as well as 'new age' theories" -- a natural output considering their respective influences. Noble cites interest in themes such as "the origins of man, Megalithic monuments, ancient civilizations, shamanism, psychedelia, cultural truth, skepticism, and spiritualism", and Irvine finds equal interest in "the exploration of the subconscious and the relationship with mind, sold, and body." Madness unfolds from there, to be seen in the batch images below. Some of Noble and Irvine's solo works to follow. (9 IMAGES TOTAL)

 

MADNESS! is a recurring series of audio WTFs and head-twitching, spine-tingling experimental or chaotic fun (k-k+st-s-t+l)icks.

Fontanelle

Ever-trustworthy metal tastemakers Southern Lord Records are releasing the latest from Portland rock experimentalists Fontanelle! Their last three releases were escapades in ambient jazz-rock weirdness released on Kranky Records in the early aughts. Vitamin F, to be released on October 23rd, is a record for music nerds who love to be lost in the sounds of horns, guitars, and drums interfacing with one another in unpredictable ways. The massive lineup includes musicians such as Rex Ritter, Andy Brown, Mat Morgan, Borg Norm, Brian Foote and Paul Dickow, as well as the following guests: Gentry Densley (Eagle Twin), Steve Moore (Earth, sunn 0))), Hans Teuber, Eric Walton (Skerik), Jef Brown (Jackie O Motherfucker) and Dave Carter. This is a record for music nerds, no doubt. Spin Magazine calls the record "it may be the most metal record to feature no actual metal on it whatsoever", and that may actually be the most accurate possible description. You can stream "When the Fire Hits the Forest" from Vitamin F via Spin.
Says the press relase:
For this brand new recording, FONTANELLE has been trying to transport themselves back in time to 1973 into Patrick Gleeson’s Different Fur Trading Company Studio. Through the studio expertise of Randall Dunn (sunn 0))), Black Mountain, Wolves in the Throne Room), it sounds like they made it! Rex Ritter’s tour of duty with sunn 0))) during FONTANELLE’s hiatus seems to have irreparably changed his DNA, as well as the entire band’s. Adding an amazing array of horn players, many of whom were heard on the most recent sunn 0))) LP Monoliths & Dimensions, FONTANELLE have fortified their jazz vocabulary and have conjured a burly fusion approach that has been dubbed “White Magus” – a sound sure to appeal to fans of Miles Davis (circa 1969-74), Toritse and Mahavishnu Orchestra.

 

In a three-part performance full of bizarre gestures and circular wording, a Japanese theatre troupe examines office politics in an off-the-cuff way. Performed completely in Japanese, everything in Cheltfisch is translated via a series of projected subtitles, allowing the subtle social dynamics of Japan to really shine through.
Part One: Hot Pepper
Three office temps sit around the table. Cue music -- and it is revealed that these three office temps are in charge of organizing a coworker Erika's farewell party. These three workers are organizing Erika's farewell party. As they discuss organizing Erika's farewell party in a roundabout fashion, they are offering very little information as they are speaking in circles. They are hardly saying anything at all despite spewing out many words, and while they speak, they are moving around the stage with exceptionally awkward gestures and positions. Their movements are completely erratic and unpredictable, quite unlike the words they are saying, which are constantly repeating the same themes in every short segment. Every few minutes is punctuated by awkward movements and repetitive text which says nothing but is humorous in its ability to say almost nothing despite their extended duration. Though the office workers spend an exorbitant amount of time talking about the same things ad nauseum, they entertain the audience with their body movements, which are much more erratic. Everything about their movements is stiff and intense, governed by no rhyme or reason, and all of the words they say harp on the same topic. Myriads of words are exchanged but little is said, just like in this paragraph. Everything about part one of Cheltfisch is about form and format and less about content. Movements follow a pattern of stilted spontaneity and words beat horses to pulpy, bruised death. Discussions about farewell parties, free monthly magazines called Hot Pepper, and motsu hot pot ("Motsunabe (もつ鍋?) is a type of nabemono in Japanese cuisine, which is made from beef or pork offal.", according to Wikipedia, which the performance itself in fact cites), offer little information, but somehow, part one never seems to stop being interesting. SEE FULL PERFORMANCE REVIEW

 

If there’s one critical and emotional theme which resonates throughout the whole of Animal Collective’s work it would have to be the idea of ‘time.’ 2008’s masterful, breathtaking album Merriweather Post Pavillion was a record that captured the attention of media and fans alike just as communication on the internet, and eventually amongst ourselves, was changing. Though it certainly wasn’t intentional, the outpour of discourse on the record was unmatched, thanks to the growing presence of Twitter in daily lives. It was not until months after its release that people finally stopped talking incessantly about Merriweather Post Pavillion. All this is a small footnote in the greater scope of the album, but it's an important one nonetheless. The timing was too perfect; just as many people began to embrace a new, compact critical voice, the album of the decade fell into our laps. The massive outpouring of praise and anticipation for that record simply cannot be matched by today's more spastic attention span, and maybe that’s Centipede HZ’s immediate downfall; it simply isn’t Merriweather Post Pavilion and doesn't possess the same cultural or social significance. But what Centipede HZ does accomplish is just as important as Animal Collective's previous landmark effort, and it has solidified the group’s relationship with themselves.

 

SUMMARY: "Divisive as ever, Animal Collective return with a record that, while at times challenging and impregnable, is deeply rewarding. If nothing else, Centipede HZ feels like an exorcism of past demons, a beacon of light pushing their music forward." SEE FULL ALBUM REVIEW

 

Lightning Bolt

This post is dedicated exclusively to Rhode Island duo of insanity, Lightning Bolt. Here's some news that just about everyone who likes chaos in music cares about: Lightning Bolt just announced tour dates and a new EP of old things. If you've never seen them perform, you should snatch up tickets for this next tour before they sell out, as they are bound to do. And if these video samples below aren't enough to convince you, or if the music just isn't your bag of chips, know that it doesn't even fucking matter. Watching Lightning Bolt is a transcendental experience of some other variety. Read this live show review to understand the benefits of throwing yourself in the midst of such refined and controlled chaos. Coinciding with the tour (full dates below) will be a release of "lost" materials from 2008, entitled Oblivion Hunter. Full tour dates below, along with videos of their live performances, and the EP's first single, the predictably insane "King Candy".

After their controversially poppy second album, Odd Blood, Yeasayer returns in 2012 with Fragrant World, which has potential to be equally controversial. Beginning at its highest point with a nostalgic coupling of "Fingers Never Bleed" and the album's second single, "Longevity", Fragrant World flaunts its best early on. These two tracks, along with the subsequent' Blue Paper" and album single "Henrietta", may please early adopters of the band's music. The ethereality and restraint that were present on the band's first release, All Hour Cymbals -- but intentionally shed on their rambunctious second, Odd Blood -- are present here. These tracks feel nostalgic and stand apart from most of the remainder of the record, in that they maintain a thread of stylistic consistency among them. They even seem to share a bit of lyrical cohesion, centered around a preoccupation with time -- be that of the past, present, or future.
SEE FULL REVIEW FOR YEASAYER'S FRAGRANT WORLD
SUMMARY: "Fragrant World may be just as controversial as Yeasayer's last, as it is a shape-shifting record that redefines its quality with every listen."

 

Sunday night shows can be hard to drag yourself to if you work a pretty standard Monday to Friday shift. But no band is better than Fang Island at creating an atmosphere of fun that you can be asleep and dropped off at the show, and Fang Island will energize you into waking. At a semi-sweltering Crocodile on an uncharacteristically warm Seattle Sunday, Fang Island sweated their way into the part of the brain that triggers unbridled joy.

 

Fang Island + Zechs Marquise Live Show Review August 5th, 2012 @ Crocodile Cafe, Seattle

 

Multicultural Sounds travels the world for contemporary reinventions of cultural staples. Spain's Grammy-winning Ojos De Brujo tackle every genre under the sun in their remix album, and Montreal/Los Angeles by-way-of Iran's Niyaz talk humanitarian ideas on their latest, Sumud.

 

Ojos De Brujo

Barcelona's Ojos De Brujo (aka Eyes Of A Warlock/Sorceror in English), certainly know how to release a multicultural slaw of dub, electronica, tropical, ragga, everything, and more of everything. Antagonistic male rapping cuts into female vocals singing Spanish with a Middle Eastern warble and flair; dubstep takes over with stereotypical wobbles at times, only to fall into ragga beats; tropical rhythms and flamenco influences creep in until all things are indistinguishable and challenging. This is global dance music at some of its best, and it's a pleasing surprise Ojos De Brujo are a Grammy-winning act. At right, stream the equally Latin and Indian-influenced "Todo Tiende", remixed by Los Chicos Altos, and watch the animated music video of the original. See full post for a megamix of their entire remix album (which is well worth it to dive into!)
Ojos De Brujo - "Todo Tiende" (Original)