Friday, April 8, 2011

music diary project, day two & three

Wednesday, April 6th
Pretty dry day. I think work was busy, and post-gym run (I'm one of the few who forgoes headphones in favor of listening to my inner rhythms) we got cleaned up and went on a date for sandwiches & beer. The weather was too nice not to!

(1:25p) Beastie Boys - "Make Some Noise"
Via Pitchfork alert, listened to a track from the upcoming Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. Unlike most (or all) of their previous borough-related effort, this one did seem to click. One part reverb-y, grungy drum track, and one part pitch-shiftin' distorted organ; it really is the perfect bed to let these aged rappers plant their (admittedly not-fresh) maxims in. One thing their vocals have gained over the years is flavor, and in-particular you should savor the transition of MCA's vocal stylings into a gravelly, Waits-ian timbre.

(3:40p) Wire - "Red Barked Trees"
Actually watched a Jimmy Fallon performance from this week. While their strengths are still evident, the fairly flavorless showmanship didn't do much to sell me on the song, in which one chord churned along while epithets for the future unfurled themselves. Then again, I've never had much attachment even to Pink Flag, which I listen to on rare occasions. I think I've never been able to cut through the dry, crackly production value...maybe one day this mental block will fade and I'll finally become enlightened. Similar mental blocks have delayed appreciation of the first Stone Roses record and other similarly too-Eighties sounding efforts.

Ah, abstract-ness. Mondrian much, guys? Will be interesting to see if the record is similarly stripped.

Thursday, April 7th
(11:00a) John Lennon/Yoko Ono - Double Fantasy Side A
Just got this record, though I'd never listened to it before. Started filling out my federal tax return, so I put it on. Though the production was more 80s than I expected (and try doing taxes while listening to the Ono moaning segue), I was enjoying it till Carlos, cat #2, decided to be cool and jump on the record player, before sitting down to a good lickfest. (Ono-related?) Side B will have to wait till another time.

(11:30a) Yuck - "Get Away"
Brought up by the estimable Tyler Clark, as they have a new record out on Fat Possum (which is increasingly no longer a blues label). Describing them in a G-chat session, the sum of our efforts was basically, "this is a 90s band." It's a Built to Spill/Dinosaur Jr./Sonic Youth/Pavement fuzzy guitar attack, heavyhanded at times but still sonically effective. I think this is the first single, and it's almost impossible for me not to like this, especially with that great, stomach-upsetting opening guitar "skreeeeeeeee!". I may forget about ever listening to the full-record unless I see it around, though maybe my lack-of-awareness of new records will finally cease in 2011.

(1:30p) Everything, Now! - Do It on the Moon Early Rough Mixes
Yeah, this is my band. This is our 6th record, and has been mostly recorded in my damp, freezing, cinder block basement. Had to listen to the first complete mixes of the record, begin to discover the little idiosyncrasies that you can see so much easier in a record you've been involved with, like re-reading your own words, alternatively grinning and wincing till you realize, "Hey, this is pretty good." I think this is and will be a good record; will anyone listen? Remains to be seen.

(2:30p) Sunroof! - Silver Bear Mist! 2xCD
A random purchase in a recent mailorder, this is a double-album by plenty prolific Matt Bower, out on one of my favorite labels in existence, VHF. I'd moved on to state taxes, and I think the universe was punishing me for listening to my own music. This is a squall of a double-record, most in a sonic range that is usually best expressed as tinnitus. Or maybe the patchouli rainforest incense was drowning out the low-end. Either way, much like burning extra-strong incense with your windows closed, this album was purification by fire, even at low volume. Sometimes you need an ear-cleaner like this, to wash out that ear-to-brain connection of all the junk we carelessly toss into it. Though I won't be digging into this often, it is recommended.

(4:30p) Oneida - Preteen Weaponry
My latest contact with Oneida has been the sprawling, 3-disc Rated O, which is more sonic narrative than record. Where it was a scatterplot of ideas, Preteen Weaponry is in their own words, "super fucking heavy, so be serious." It is definitely a haze of a record, all slow-burn and reminiscent of kraut & psych forebears, without directly ripping anything. While drummer Kid Millions is often the star of the show, this record is more about creating and maintaining an atmosphere, layers of smoldering guitar, distorted bass & keys, all shape-shifting and never quite resolving. This band continues to surprise and impress; they're never bored, and neither is the listener. One of my favorite Oneida records, up there with the classic Each One Teach One. Oh, and see them live.

Oneida playing "Preteen Weaponry" at Terrastock 2007. One of the best sets at the best show I've ever seen. Did I mention they played at Noon? Who needs lunch in lieu of this.

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