Thursday, February 23, 2012

Year Of Birds- Wade Reactive

Most of my friends seem frustrated at my complete lack of affection for any new/young bands. Sorry, but most of it doesn't speak to me at all. So imagine my surprise when I put this CD EP on. Quick bursts of lo-fi-post-punk-rawk. I hear influences of The Fall, Country Teasers, The Yummy Fur, and Urinals with plenty of Garage-y energy, AKA right up my weird narrow alley. This was originally released on a split cassette with Girl Sweat (from Leeds) December, 2011. How's that for contemporary music appreciation?!
For fans of The Rebel, you may recognize Year Of Birds (from Middlesbrough, England) from the most recent split LP, (limited to 250 and still available...see link below to get one before they run out and you have to pay overblown e-bay prices) both sides of which are excellent, but I gotta say I like this E.P. best of all, including the Rebel's side (which I've gotta say is a step up from "Five Year Plan"). These 5 rockers (in 7 minutes) draw way more repeated listens than any of the above, at absolutely no fault of any of the above.
So here it is, the first ever winner of the Uuhngreh Schpuggenuh best new band award. Year Of Birds is definitely a band to watch out for.

and here's a link to the Girl Sweat side of the tape.  Great lo-fi noisy garage skronk:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Secret Message Machine- Giants Madmen and Ghosts

One of the main things I like most about Secret Message Machine is its balance-it's modestly confident but nothing is overdone, it's lo-fi but surprisingly clear, poppy but not too poppy, sometimes melancholy but not maudlin, etc. etc. like I've written on every SMM review by now.
If any of you have downloaded "Capitalist Bastards Communist Fools" or "Orphanville" from this blog, this one falls right in-between those chronologically and sonically. "Abandoned Children" was made of out-takes from this album, too.
Can't you tell I'm trying to do you a favor?!
See some samples below.
Even though it's good the first time around, I also found that this album really starts to unfold after a few listens. Time invested in any SMM album is time well spent. Download them all and find out for yourself, dammit.

Homer and Jethro Strike Back!

Homer and Jethro were basically like a hillbilly version of Weird Al, well, decades before Weird Al. Maybe because it's older it's way cornier plus it's purposely very stupid, much to my delight. Being a southerner who hates the serious and loves corny, stupid, and old things, I can't help but love this stuff.
Don't expect to have your mind blown, but prepare to smack your palm to your forehead at this joyous idiocy. There is absolutely nothing cool about these guys, thankfully.
Just listen all the way through at least once to make sure you still have a sense of humor.

(click to enlarge)

Michel Legrand- Rendezvous In Paris

I may not like this one as much as "I Love Paris," or a lot of his movie scores (esp. Nouvelle Vague stuff) but it's still really enjoyable. The arrangements are still better than most easy listening/jazz band leaders. His arrangement style is pretty romantic and cinematic, which definitely helps an instrumental album of Parisian tunes.
I like the cut and paste nature of the delightfully cheesy, "Boum," plus it also features a version of the tune from Truffaut's, "Stolen Kisses," that was always getting stuck in my head ("I Wish You Love," see below). At least now I have an instrumental version of the song.
If you're familiar with any of Legrand's 60's output or possibly a fan of French New Wave music meets more stereotypical "French" music, this is definitely worth a listen. Easy going...

Original version by Charles Trenet:

The Fall- Live To Air in Melbourne '82

Recorded on same tour as "In A Hole." This one may not be quite equal the high level of manic energy of "In A Hole," and the recording is a bit drier but it's still really fucking good. A great live recording for some similar, some different reasons. I do like that this one includes more stuff that was to be on "Perverted By Language," one up there on my long list of Fall favorites.

1) I Feel Voxish (sounds like it's still being worked out)
2) Hard Life In Country
3) I'm Into CB
4) Lie Dream Of A Casino Soul
5) Solicitor In Studio
6) Tempo House
7) The Classical
8) Marquis Cha Cha
9) Room To Live
10) Hexen Hour/Strife Knot
11) Deer Park
12) Totally Wired
13) Joker Hysterical Face
14) Hip Priest

Poodlestick- Reasonable People (Deluxe Edition)

Poodlestick self description:
"Back in 2005, in a two story duplex on Wilson St, Poodlestick came together and recorded their one and only album, "Reasonable People." Although it is the only album released under the poodlestick name it is part of a continuum of experimental / noise recordings made by Erik Chaplinsky (Summer Camp Casanova) and Michael Barrett (Secret Message Machine). The first of those is blank_blank’s find the phantom limb. In some ways, this is the follow up to that release. blank blank went on to record as a five piece band and Erik and Michael continued the experimental recordings as poodlestick and then Mystery Pill with Chuck Chambers (Kaleidoscope Death).
With intense drum beats and synth monoliths, "Reasonable People" has its fair share of melody and rhythm. Sometimes chaotic, sometimes ambient. The recordings were mostly improvised, with some set songs. Later the recordings were further produced through some overdubs, mixing, and blending the songs together so that what you get is basically two pieces of music composed of smaller fragments of songs."

To me, Poodlestick was always a great combination of loose, lo-fi, noisy yet musical, immediate tunes for short attention spans. Maybe why the band was so short lived. Anyway, this is great background music, which to me is a true sign of quality instrumental music.
This Deluxe Edition also includes one recorded piece from their all too brief 2008 reunion and an entire set recorded and broadcast live on college radio (WUAG) in 2005, which is a personal favorite of mine. I may be biased on that one because I had done an uncomfortable solo set just before them, went out to Michael's truck to drink beers and listen to Poodlestick before going back in to join them for a Mystery Pill set. Good times and good tunes.
Very pleasing spontaneous sounds.

The Guitars Unlimited Plus 7- Crazy Rhythm

Another fine album from the Stereo Action series ("the sound your eyes can follow). I could never say that anyone sounds like Esquivel, but stereo mixing-wise, this is similar, groups of sounds drifting between speakers with solo instruments zooming all around. His album "Latin-Esque" was put on by Stereo Action and Crazy Rhythm also utilized two separate groups of musicians recorded in separate studios for maximum stereo separation. They also picked songs to suit this recording and mixing style.
So here we have another wacky collection of pretty corny instrumentals. If the opening track, "Expresso" doesn't win you over, then this may not be the record for you. I do like this record a little more every time I hear it, too. Try through headphones for a weird experience.
Personally, I can't get enough energetic corn music.

Fabienne Jacquinot with the Westminster Symphony Orchestra

D'Indy: Symphony on a French Mountain Air
Saint Saens: Piano Concerto No. 5 in F, Op. 103, "The Egyptian"

This is not an audiophile copy, pretty scratchy, but that doesn't bug me, at least.
I like "Symphony on a French Mountain Air," but I only ever listen to the Saint Saens side, and like most of his work I've heard, this piece is quite beautiful and wonderfully crafted. An early morning favorite, sounds great with the sounds of brewing coffee and frying eggs.