Monday, September 28, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

What You Can Find When You're Not Looking...

As good as I can be burrowing in and finding obscure music in the worlds of Rock, electro, Metal and Avant Garde, the two areas of music I dig that I have trouble finding a foot in the door with is the more obscure, rootsy Soul and Gospel music of mid-twentieth century America. I always get a twinge of jealousy when I hear something in a movie or find it mentioned in a book, find it and then realize that other than that particular piece or artist, I'm stumped. A lot of this is just a facet of inkling and time, as I'm sure if I really burrowed into a group like the Del Fonics - who I was formerly introduced to in Quentin Tarantino's film Jackie Brown - falling into the associated chains of wikipedia pages associated with them and their producers, etcetera, I'd probably come up with some more artists to sate my thirst for dusty old Soul. That hasn't happened though; I'm overly self conscious in these areas and I tend to require gatekeepers. Irvine Welsh's novel Skag Boys turned me onto the tradition of Northern Soul - which previously had simply been the name of my favorite album by The Verve - and newer artists like Jamie Lidell, Charles Bradley and Alabama Shakes make access to the genre's evolution easier than digging, but it's just not the same thing, finding a new artist or finding an obscure, older artist. And really, I'm not even addressing Gospel here, as so much of that isn't easily accessible. In the 60s and 70s almost anyone can and did press records - you see evidence of this in thrift stores all the time - but today? Well, today we have youtube, which I am seriously beginning to believe is the collective consciousness of the human race made accessible. 'Cuz everything is on it. Case in point, Pastor T. L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir. Listen to this, it's awesome! But how did I find the music of a neighborhood Chicago Pastor and his Choir? How did I pull that from the din?

I found this via a gatekeeper: the cool, hazy sample that ends the Algiers record? It's from this. I love the way that sample ends the record; it has a cosmic, time-machine flavored influence that reminds me a lot of the looped sample that ends Zen Guerilla's cosmic masterpiece Positronic Raygun.

And then once I started researching off the Algiers sample I found that, of course, this is another case of the absolutely amazing Light in the Attic Records has put out some of this man's music.

Yes, that's Isaac freakin' Hayes w/ Barrett. ISAAC HAYES!!!

I need to remember that: Light in the Attic. Always check back in with them. Get on their mailing list (why didn't I do that right after the first Black Angels E.P.? Or after the Louvin Bros. Or the Donnie and Joe Emerson record?

(Pause while I actually go do that...)

Then it gets even weirder. Go to the short bio for Pastor Barrett on LITA's site, right here. Being from the South Side of Chicago I remember when these pyramid schemes were big news. Crazy how something like my favorite album of the year so far - that immaculate Algiers eponymous - can bring something from so long ago back around again.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Ghost - From the Pinnacle to the Pit

This dropped sometime within the last week and since then I've habitually forgotten to post it here. Exceptional as usual. The "new" Papa certainly takes his gig more seriously than the previous one did. No hedonistic Vegas outings for this guy - all dark work. And we're all the better for it.

Antemasque - Providence

New band with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler Zavala, perhaps best known for The Mars Volta and At the Drive-In. I've been into this record hardcore of late - easily one of the top releases of the year for me so far. Very different vibe from the guys' other bands (they're in more than the two mentioned above even). My first listen I knew nothing about Antemasque as it was a burn from Mr. Brown and I drove home from work mesmerized by something that I now can't understand how I didn't put two and two together. That said, I wouldn't trade that first listen for anything; it was freeing to hear the work of two artists I have grown to love without realizing it was them.

Entire record is fantastic and Flea plays bass on it. Weird, right? Again, you'd never know.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Boards of Canada - Nothing is Real

Ain't that the truth. I'm not entirely sure where I go when this song comes on, but its both far, far away and more intimately close than most other songs inspire. The womb-like recreation of tactile sound has long been Boards of Canada's specialty, however 2014's Tomorrow's Harvest and this track in particular bring their strange musical nirvana ever closer to fruition. I listen to this a lot on airplanes.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Drinking w/ Comics Issue #24

About time, eh? Yes, Drinking with Comics has been on hiatus but we are back! Issue #24 is up and we are filming/streaming issue #25 tomorrow night 7:00 PM Pacific Time!

Topics of discussion in #24 include but definitely are not limited to: James Robinson and Greg Hinkle's brilliant Airboy, Marvel's 70s pulp fantasy throwback Weirdworld (in which some of the characters from Crystar the Crystal Warrior make an appearance), Harley Quinn and Power Girl fending off Vartox's advances, the sinking feeling the Juggaloker gives Shawn, how awesome Oscar Isaac is when NOT in Fox's terribly laughable Apocalypse make-up and a whole host of other stuff. All while we wet our whistle with Magic Hat Brewing's tasty Night of the Living Dead variety pack!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Morphinist: The Pessimist Sessions

Just discovered this band. Really cool, atmospheric stuff with no regard for genre constraints or image. It's all about tone and they have it in spades, especially here. Check out at about a minute and a half when the 80s horror synth kicks in. Beautiful.

If you dig them like I do, support them. Morphinist have a bandcamp where you can name your price for the full Pessimist Sessions album download.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


A couple of months ago I re-loaded Bat for Lashes debut album "Fur and Gold" on my iPod and have been listening to it quite steadily since. It is a fantastic album, full of dark nuance, emotion and really artistic, eclectic arrangements. This afternoon while writing I took a break from my normal soundtrack (Sinoa Caves's Beyond the Black Rainbow ST) and threw Fur and Gold on. This got me thinking and when I reached a stopping point I fired up the Google and decided to see what Natasha Khan has been up to. I'm well aware there are two Bat for Lashes record after F&G, I just haven't gotten around to them yet. Now I find Ms. Khan is the vocalist in a new collaboration with producer Dan Carey and group Toy. The new band is Sexwitch, Helelyos is the first track off the E.P. that comes out on 9/25 and is available for preorder through their site here.

I dig this and am pretty interested in hearing the rest of the record.