February 2011

Italian drone/noise/ambient/sound collage composer, Fabio Orsi is back with another slab of wonderfully wicked sounds called Stand Before Me, Oh My Soul. Orsi’s latest album takes a distinctly different tack from his ambient, chilly 2010 release, Winterreise; Oh My Soul is almost a one-man post-rock/drone show. Orsi’s cribbed so many drum breaks and beats and looped them into so many twisted, ear-bending incarnations it boggles the mind and defies convenient pigeon-holing. At times, Orsi cuts a swath between the angular chops of early Wire records and the behemoth swells of Sunn 0))) (“Papa, Show me Your Blues LPs”) and then he’s carving through the chopping waves between Krautrock, ambient, and electronica on “Full Metal Flat.” (more…)


Brooklyn’s “post-rock” black-metal outfit, Liturgy, is set to destroy eardrums and confound headbangers with their precise, over-amped blasts with the release of their second full-length album, Aesthetica, on Thrill Jockey in May. (more…)

New York’s Screens are poised to make some noise this Spring. The quartet, featuring former members of The Apes, Medications, and The Mall, has their debut album, Dead House, slated for a May 17th release on What Delicate Recordings (co-founded by drummer, Andrew Becker). However, there’s no need to wait, anxiously, for this new outfit’s new jams. Like any band worth it’s bad haircuts and ironic t-shirts, they have a bandcamp site where you can score the lead “singles” from the record. Both tracks, “Pop Logic” and “Shudder,” very nimbly stride the line between angular post-punk and shaggy psych-pop. If these two cuts are strong indicators of the quality of the crew’s debut, Dead House should be the infectious, skittery, muddy hit of the summer in Williamsburg, Wicker Park, Echo Park and all hipster meccas in between.

Stream “Pop Logic” below and click on over to their bandcamp site to download and/or stream “Shudder.”

In my old roles at newspapers and radio stations, I had to avoid calls to action, it’s been really liberating to do almost nothing but that on this blog. But I’m stepping up in a big way on this one. This isn’t just me asking you to listen to a song or watch a video, damnit, this is me asking you to directly support and affect the production and distribution of art! Coolzey a/k/a Zachary Eli Lint is seeking backers to help him put his 2010 Hip-Hop Hearts project on CD and DVD. Coolzey concieved a forward-looking project–which prempted Kanye’s Twitter-tape and I’ll let him speak for himself below: (more…)

I knew something cool would eventually come out of this chillwave, beach-combing, lo-fi, pop tripe we’ve been inundated with over the last couple years. Bird Names, formerly of Chicago, now of Athens, GA, have taken a lot of the laid-back, sun-soaked easy-listening indie pop of late and run it through the stuttering avant-pop influences of guys like R. Stevie Moore. The result still has that cool, sea-air vibe, but the band has ditched the ironic detachment and now leans a little closer to the Elephant 6 folk stylings of their adopted home.
“The Beach at the Lake” comes care of the group’s latest album, Metabolism: A Salute the Energy of the Sun out on the newly minted Northern Spy Records. You can bump the lead single below and you can jump on over to the label’s website and pick up the record.

And a bonus. If you dig the vibes you’re getting here, you can get large portions of Bird Names’ back catalog, for free!, over at Free Music Archive. Click here to gain access to 27 of the band’s jams with nary a cent subtracted from your bank account.

And the duo are prepped to alight in the Midwest in early March, dates below: (more…)

The Skull Defekts

Peer Amid (Thrill Jockey)

(out of five)

Sweden’s The Skull Defekts are something of a chameleon. It’s not that the band has adopted different personae as inspiration or the zeitgeist dictated, it’s that the band has never embraced a singular identity long enough to even be pigeon-holed. Peer Amid, the outfit’s “third ‘rock’ album,” according to Thrill Jockey Records, further complicates any notion of the band’s identity as they’ve added a new member: former Lungfish vocalist and throat-singing shaman Daniel Higgs. (more…)

Madison, Wisconsin’s Peaking Lights have been flirting with full on reggae for a couple years now. When I first saw them open for High Places a few years back, I mistook their dubby shuffle for a bit of country and western flavor. They were burying all the cool sunny sounds under loads of hiss and electronic noodling. Last year, a the Mill in Iowa City, the brought some serious beats. Naturally, these were early live versions of the material for their newly released 936 which was recorded by Iowa City’s production master, Luke Tweedy at Flat Black Studios. In honor of this momentous occasion, you’ll find the video for the album’s lead single, “All the Sun That Shines,” below. This is a wonderfully sunny track to brighten your blizzard addled minds. Just get a load of that beat.

936 dropped yesterday and you can scoop it up on LP, CD, or cassette on Not Not Fun’s website.

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