• Akron/Family at the Parish

    25 Feb 2010, 18:00

    Wed 24 Feb – Akron/Family, Warpaint

    I'd never heard Warpaint before, didn't know about all those Hollywood connections, etc. Which is good, I probably would've gotten all judgmental, and that's not fair since Warpaint were excellent.

    Take a healthy dose of 90s style shoegaze (Lush, MBV, Laika come to mind), add some better beats (out of the Cabs/Gang of Four post-punk school of white funk), and dip the whole thing in huge amounts of reverb. It was hypnotic, noisy, and very very good. Their set was surprisingly long, and even more surprisingly I didn't get too bored.

    Akron/Family are a band I've seen every time I could since the beginning. By his account, they seem to have changed Michael Gira's life for the better (and helped inspire him to start Swans back up), but it's pretty hard to imagine these days that they came out of the Young God world. Hipsters, weirdos, noise-niks, hippies... all kinds of people seem to flock to their quasi-religious, borderline cheesy positivity, and it works. They played a long time, but between their excellent harmonies and their long, trancelike rhythmic workouts, you hardly notice time going by. "Ed Is A Portal" must have lasted 20 minutes. Frankly, I found Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free to be a little weak and I was worried they wouldn't survive the lineup change after seeing them at SXSW last year. But the truth seems to be that only the shortened sxsw set hurt them: they need a little time to open up and do their thing. Overall, this was the best A/F show I've seen since the Love Is Simple tour.

    Akron/Family inspires me to say a lot of cheesy things about reaffirming my love of music, my belief in going to shows, and even my faith in humanity when I look around the room and see nothing but smiles and dancing, while still letting me enjoy experimental, far-out music that isn't some hippie jam band. If you've never seen them, don't ever miss a chance.

    Bottom line: Warpaint were great, A/F were even better, as always.
  • Prophetic?

    29 Abr 2009, 2:16

    It's probably been said before, but the line "Most accidents occur at home" from Sex With Sun Ra off the Black Antlers LP... fucking weird, man.

    Balance supposedly had visions. Did he see his death? And of course if that's the case, the old adage applies here: did he envision his death, or did he cause it by its envisioning?
  • I always hate to say a band has peaked.

    22 Abr 2009, 21:45

    Xiu Xiu's Fabulous Muscles is just not going to be topped.

    Yeah, the last album was really solid, and the one before. Some tracks like "Boy Soprano" are gold. They are a jaw-droppingly harrowing live act.

    But the shock, despair, creepy-crawly uncomfortable-ness of the title track, especially after the one-two punch of "Crank Heart" and "I Luv The Valley" ... it's hard to take. Then tack "Clowne Towne" and "Nieces Pieces" on the end... Jesus, this album is as hard to take as any of Joy Division's best.

    I wonder if it's because the album sits between the more dancey, steady-beat early stuff and the really sparse stop-and-start newer stuff. Best of both worlds or something.

    I really have nothing to say except empty praise of the album, and a straight up doubt that it's just never gonna be repeated. Frankly, that's ok because whatever place Jaime Stewart had to be in to make that record, I'd feel bad even imagining that he should go back there.
  • OM and Mudhoney... kinda weird.

    9 Sep 2008, 16:39

    Sat 6 Sep – OM, Mudhoney, The Crackpipes

    Crackpipes were nothing major. Pretty standard rock and roll affair trying to sound more 60s but coming off more Grand Funk. The singer was good when he screamed but not so much the singing.

    Soon as the lights went down for Om, weed smoke started filling the air. I guess there's one thing Om and Mudhoney would definitely have in common. Om's new drummer is a small, hyper dude (from Thrones I believe?) who doesn't seem to mesh all that well if you ask me, but I think he makes the live sound more exciting. Very dynamic style contrasts with Al Cisneros, who stood hunched like a gargoyle and wore a knit hat and black sweater. In Austin, outdoors. Wow. Their set was good, but Cisneros was pissed that he had no vocal sound in the monitors, and Emo's didn't appear to be able to find the source of the problem, so it was a bit distracting with him being pissed and guys running up and down the stage. Emo's tried to cut Om off... during At Giza! There was a (very slow...) near-riot and they went on to finish the whole mess, which was actually slower than the recorded version.

    I'm probably not a good person to review Mudhoney's set, I'm definitely a layman, but for an older, established band to get up there and rock like that, they get my vote. I only knew a few older songs, and those sounded good but so did the other stuff. Mark Arm is a great frontman with a killer yelp and good stage presence. I'd imagine back in the day he must have been downright unhinged.

    Overall, good show, I like seeing shows that aren't all the same style the whole way through, keeps me occupied with something other than the booze.
  • really?

    5 Sep 2008, 21:02

    emusic.com's top 100 albums as picked by the users is topped by Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. really? It's ok, I suppose, but it's certainly not that great. I don't even find them to be the best of the Elephant 6 bands. Not the catchiest (Apples in Stereo), or the most musically adventurous (Olivia Tremor Control), that's for sure.

    And it's definitely hyperbolic to call it "one of the best albums ever made"... You'd think it was the second coming of bee thousand or something.
  • Been working too hard, apparently...

    31 Ene 2008, 6:34

    I have been sitting at the computer spacing out at work while iTunes runs through a bunch of crap in alphabetical order. By the time I notice that I've moved from Guided By Voices to Guitar Wolf (you'd think I'd notice pretty quick but guess not) I don't feel like turning it off. So now I'm loaded with groups of three or four albums in a row that fall alphabetically.

    And who cares? Seriously? It's 1:30, I'm pretty tired, and why am I writing anything?
  • Thanks iScrobbler

    21 Ene 2008, 0:50

    iScrobbler might not be the greatest app anymore, and I don't hate on the official last.fm client like a lot of people, but it does do one thing that I like. It submits iPhone tracks.

    Yea, it requires a little hackiness (you have to have another iPod or a small DMG file that pretends to mount an iPod), but now all my iPhone tracks are submitted. And after going from a Creative Labs player whose tracks couldn't even be submitted at all, I'm pretty pleased with having my portable music on Last.fm
  • No more Yottamusic

    8 Ene 2008, 7:41

    Rhapsody closed all the APIs necessary for Yottamusic to work, so until something else radically swell happens, there will be no scrobbling of Rhapsody tracks. That's a bummer if you ask me.
  • If anyone else...

    28 Sep 2007, 17:32

    If anyone else just followed Fushitsusha with Neil Diamond, let's form a group. Something about ADD.FushitsushaNeil Diamond
  • Rhapsody users, rejoice for Yottamusic

    17 May 2007, 19:10

    why? because it scrobbles your tracks when you listen to them. It's a damn shame to not be able to use Rhapsody to increase your Last.fm library -- after all, it lets you listen to anything mainstream or indie (not so much underground) you want to, and that can really build up your diversity. Yottamusic has a simple, more direct and web-like interface than Rhapsody anyway. I think I'm going to skip using the app except for player transfers.