I’m still calculating how much I love Random Access Memories, but it’s somewhere along the lines of “Sweet Mercy Do I Dig the Fuck Out Of It” – the only thing that could get me more excited is learning that the Japanese version has a bonus track. It’s ironic that the day after I pissed off the Boards of Canada fanbase by declaring their music a touch too boring for my taste, this slow Daft Punk track surfaces that I’m completely in love with. It’s entitled “Horizon” and with a pedal steel pulling licks over an ever looping crescendo of a synthesizer line, this could have just as equally been a bonus track off of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album, Animals. It also feels like the epic closing cut of some huge 80′s sci-fi movie – something along the lines of Blade Runner or even Akira. I presume on the Japanese version it serves as the album closer, and that’s where I intend to digitally insert it into my own copy of the record. To hear a quality burn of the track go check it out at NO BPM LIMIT - he seems to have the clearest version on-line so far. I’ve posted the lower fidelity youtube version below. And just for shits and giggles I’m also posting the new BoC track, “Reach For the Dead” so you can compare who does 4 and a half minutes of delicate electronica better. Again, I’m not saying I hate Boards of Canada, it’s just that this new stuff seems like the soundtrack to an English school-film you’d watch in Social Studies in 1988. Obviously some people love it and it’s exactly what they’ve been waiting for, and thus more power to them.
Ok, let me start this off by saying 1998′s Music Has the Right To Children is a phenomenal record. I don’t dare to say it’s an essential piece of anyone’s catalog of quality music from the past 2 decades. In many ways it’s the pivot point that unites Brian Eno‘s Music For Airports with the modern electronic chill-wave movement – digitized ambiance at its finest, full of muffled break-beats that keep your heart pumping while emitting a stillness that makes you want to melt into a giant beanbag chair after trying some new research chemical. However, the Scottish duo released a couple more albums and a few EPs in the early 2000s that are far from memorable. Perhaps it’s because their sound had been embraced by a wider market at that point, and partly because they couldn’t quite match the magic of that first LP, but nothing else they’ve released has ever gotten a second spin from me. And again, don’t get me wrong, the newer stuff wasn’t bad; but it just didn’t have the same level of spooky self-contained story-lines that the first album did and subsequently fell more into the range of background music. I don’t care how much Pitchfork loved 2002′s Geogaddi, I just found it somewhat boring.
So when rumors began to spiral in the past couple months about a new Boards of Canada record, my reaction was “Oh cool, I’d be excited to hear what they’ve got to put out after 7 years of silence.” But my fellow music-nerds in the ionosphere seem to have this reaction of “Holy shit, it’s finally happening, the greatest band of all time is finally making new music.” Over the past few weeks, BoC have released 15 seconds snippets of songs via different music formats: a clip on Adult Swim, odd online clues, and a couple secret 12″ inch vinyls that were placed in different record stores around the world on Record Store Day that also contained about 15 seconds of music each – one of which you can purchase now on Ebay for $5,700 dollars. Yes, that’s right – you could either buy a sweet used car or buy 15 seconds of music that is already online. Last night, the band debuted a cut of some new music on a giant projector screen in downtown Tokyo. And again, as you can see from the video, it’s somewhat underwhelming. It’s not some revolutionary sound, it’s not some amazing new groove, it’s not some phenomenal new track to unify the world – it’s just the same old electronic ambient sounds of BoC. This whole secret advertising campaign feels like it’s reaching out to folks who are too cool for the mainstream world of music nerds that got stoked for the new Daft Punk record… “Yeah, seeing a killer new dance groove with Pharell display on a Coachella screen for 60 seconds is so played out. I’m way more into seeing static ridden ambiance played for 300 seconds in downtown Tokyo.” And sure, as BoC have always been quite reclusive and never given many interviews, it’s surely possible that they’re getting a good chuckle out of all this hype. But for me, this seems like we’ve gone one step over the line into an act of marketing absurdity in our new digitally united age. They’re either setting themselves up for massive vindication or massive disappointment. Either way it seems like they’re saying the music can’t speak for itself. Am I wrong?
Here’s 1998′s “Roygbiv” -
Record store day is coming up in a couple weeks – an amazing day where artists put out release singles and other albums that folks won’t ever have the opportunity to hear elsewhere. That is, unless you’re Dan Deacon and you decide to put up the track from your limited 7″ two weeks early on SoundCloud. Well, I’m not complaining. What’s become really amazing about Deacon though is that fact that that while all his songs have a self-contained absurdity, there is an unmistakeable cohesion of that absurdity. Perhaps it’s the approach to assaulting rhythm he takes, but there’s no denying that any song of his is anybody but himself. That goes for “Konono Ripoff No. 1″ as well, which even though is a total ripoff of the “Congolese Konono No.1,” still is unmistakeably Deacon. It’s not as cinematic as things he’s been making the past few years, and thus rings almost like a lost cut off of Spiderman of the Rings. But it’s still fresh as all hell, and it’s the kind of colossally upbeat thing that serves as great launchpad for a Friday afternoon.
In one of those awesomely profound WTF moments, the legendary DJ and producer DJ Shadow was actually kicked off of the tables at a headlining gig of his in Miami on Friday night. Even though the absurdly obnoxious Miami Mansion Nightclub had not only booked Shadow for the gig but had highly promoted him as the main attraction, whoever the snooty, coke-dripping fuck who runs the place is decided that Shadow’s music was “too future” for their 3 AM Friday night crowd – yes, his set started at 3 in the morning. I guess when a DJ is playing such amazing music that the crowd is actually focused on his set, it becomes a lot harder for the club to push $8 Heinekens. “Hey Tony, turn this crap off and plug in my iPhone so we can hear this sweet dub-step remix of “Gangnam Style.”" Honestly though, if this isn’t one of the most depressing signs of the end of the modern DJ, then I don’t know what is. I’m sure when he was bringing his turntables into the club that night, most of the bouncers there were like “Whoa, those are the craziest laptops I’ve ever seen.” Truly the club has no right or reason to call itself a music venue, and to be honest I don’t think it’s something they claim to be – but I mean, look at the venue – if I was a DJ it definitely seems like a hot room to rock. However, it doesn’t look like like the normal nor ideal place to be in the audience and watching a DJ perform. Shadow’s been pretty vocal on his Twitter feed about it. Today he posted “Obviously I should have never been booked there in the first place. Square peg in a round hole, etc.”
But to his awesome credit, he also posted this – “I don’t care if I get kicked out of every rich kid club on the planet. I will never sacrifice my integrity as a DJ…ever.” And this just a moment ago: “Ironically it was drum and bass that broke the camel’s back! Note to self…play more drum and bass!!!”
With all the latest news of DeadMaus basically saying he’s only in the DJ game for the money, and along with the whole other string of button-pushers out there, it’s great that there’s still a DJ that you can believe in and who’s actually standing up for himself and his music. I’ve had mad respect for Shadow ever since Entroducing… blew everybody’s minds in 1996, and now my love for the man has only gone light-years higher. Here’s a really shaky video of him getting kicked off the tables, as well as my favorite and the biggest and darkest track off that debut album, “Building Steam With a Grain of Salt.”
You know how when you listen to a Girl Talk album, you say: “Oh, that shit sounds really fucking cool, but I feel like I could have done that on my little sister’s laptop”? Well the electro-wizard known as Dan Deacon has basically taken mash-ups to a whole new realm on his latest “mix” tape – this is the kind of thing where you say: “Oh shit, this sounds fucking nuts and I have no clue what’s actually happening.” Perhaps motivated by his brilliant sonic-success of this summer’s attack on the Carly Rae Jespen hit “Call Me Maybe Acapella 147 Times Exponentially Layered,” Deacon has just released a 5 track mix known as Wish Book Volume I. Hopefully the volume 1 part refers to more on the way, because nobody else is doing this stuff and we need to get as freaky as possible as we move into 2013. I know I was definitely not waiting for “Gangnam Style” to be mixed up with Grimes‘ “Oblivion” – but it takes a bold leap into the unknown. Take a listen below, and download the whole mix from Soundcloud HERE.
Here’s Deacons’ full rundown:
Hope you enjoy. Wish Book Volume 1 was made with music made by (in order of appearance): grimes+psy+beach house+skrillex+diplo+nicky da b+dirty projectors+lil wayne+nicki minaj+oneohtrix point never+tune yards+animal collective+rod stewart+the strokes+wiz khalifa+beyoncé+lcd sound system+death grips+ludacris+rihanna+the beatles+roy orbison+silver apples+katy perry+69 boyz+gary glitter+james brown+lmafo+black dice+the ronettes+r. kelly+black eyed peas+lenny kravitz+the misfits+2 chains+daftpunk+led zeppelin+the notorious b.i.g.+devo+lightning bolt+unknown artist recorded in jaipur, india+marvin gaye+radiohead+rage against the machine+salt n peppa+brian eno+madonna
With yesterday’s release of the new Flying Lotus “Tiny Tortures” video, something truly struck me deep – when the hell did having Frodo in your music video be the new hip thing to do? Including yesterday’s brilliant release, the past 2 years have found Elijah Wood as the official centerpiece in videos for three of my favorite musical acts of the past half-decade. A little research and a quick firing of some underused neurons from my youth made me realize it’s been going on for quite some time though. Thus here are the Top 5 music videos starring Mr. Wood. And I’m starting with #1 – because the brilliant new Flying Lotus feature doesn’t deserve to be buried at the bottom of this blog.
#1 – Flying Lotus – “Tiny Tortures”
If you haven’t gotten on the Lotus tip yet, then you’re seriously denying yourself one of the most incredible, and true “artists” existing in music today. There’s a reason Thom Yorke has a permanent boner for him, and this beautiful video off the recent Until the Quiet Comes album shows every reason why.
#2 – The Apples in Stere0 – “Dancefloor”
I honestly believe that the Apples are the most underrated and greatest unknown band of the past 20 years. Front-man Robert Schneider has had an incomparably prolific run that doesn’t seem to show any signs of waning. This video from 2010 is one of their bouncier tracks, but still features a dark, ironic chorus hook that is the true definition of the band.
#3 – Beastie Boys – “Make Some Noise”
Can you fucking believe MCA is really no longer a resident of planet Earth? Goddammit – well at least they went out with a bang. And while boy-faced Elijah wouldn’t be my first pick to portray Ad-Rock, it does all seem to make sense in this video. If you haven’t seen the full half-hour version yet, than definitely work it into your day somehow.
#4 – Paula Abdul – “Forever Your Girl”
Don’t act like you didn’t watch this video every afternoon on MTV in 1989. Shit’s catchy as all hell – don’t deny it. Well actually deny it, because it does basically make you want to stab yourself. But yes, cut to 1:45, and the stressed-out Robert Palmer looking kid at the desk is none other than El Senor Wood.
#5 – The Cranberries – “Ridiculous Thoughts”
Man, The Cranberries really didn’t age well. I remember in the early 90′s hearing one random song of theirs and thinking, “Ah man, this tune is actually really fucking good.” Can’t remember what it was though – and it wasn’t “Zombie” and it’s definitely not this. But at least they were forward thinking enough to get Elijah in, so I guess they were slightly hip before new hip was hip.
Here’s the start of my review of the new Dan Deacon album - Sometimes trying to describe a Dan Deacon song is like trying to explain color to a blind person — rather frustrating and most likely doted with grandiose metaphors. So let’s just start with this: I’m fairly certain that after my first headphone session with America, the molecular structure of my brain completely realigned itself. Combining the ferocity of 2007′s Spiderman of the Rings with the majesty of 2009′s Bromst, this latest release from Deacon is an album that you can do nothing but completely succumb to. Don’t try to wash the dishes to it — don’t try to throw it on at a bar — just sit back and let this motherfucker consume you.
The whole review is HERE at State of Mind.
Here’s the whole USA Suite – it’s rather fucking incredible.
Grimes – she’s so hot right now. There’s always been more than that Will Ferrel reference that’s made me somehow associate Grimes with Hansel from Zoolander though. It has something to do with the fact of how blurry her boundary lines are – with Visions playing in the background, your fat uncle drinking a Budweiser in his tighty-whiteys could sit side-by-side with twin Korean siblings performing S+M on one another. Everything goes, and her latest self-directed video for “Genesis” only furthers the vision of that absurd universe. There’s no way I’m gonna watch this video as much as I did the one for “Oblivion”, despite this being my favorite cut on the album. Maybe it has to do with the weird lazy-eye of the pink-haired space ninja at 5:09. Who knows? Either way, home-girl is staying on top of the game.
So Brooklyn groove-freaksters Yeasayer have been prepping for the August 20th release of their highly anticipated 3rd album, Fragrant World. Today they announced that they got word their album was about to be leaked, and it really seems like it’s not their intention. I still have yet to fathom how this process actually works… I mean, you got your band and the dudes making your record…obviously one of them must have leaked it, right? It’s not like the pizza boy grabbed the master tapes off some shelf – hell, there’s a good chance that physical masters don’t even exist for this album. Can hackers hack right through to a studio’s computer now? Seriously, how the hell does that shit work? Either way, to thwart the invisible hands that are threatening to take the artistic control and power out of the band’s own hands, today Yeasayer announced PSCYVOTV – standing for PREEMPTIVE SELF-COMMISSIONED YEASAYER VORSTELLUNG or TRACK VISUALIZER.
Essentially, the band made 11 quasi-videos for each song on the album, hid them throughout the internet, and now pledges to only leave them up until 8Pm EST this Friday, August 3rd. So basically they’ve put the whole album out there, but in a really hard to access formula, and set to videos that will sound really shitty if someone tries to make mp3s out of them. So you know, you rock your book-faces and your twitter-bombs and these things pop up I guess.
My only question is of when this idea actually came into play. Did they throw this shit together all last night in a quick attempt to take control of their own music, or was this some planned out thing? If it was a sudden move, then I applaud them. If it was planned, then I applaud them for making me think it’s a sudden move. Either way, I’m not that great with secret internet shit so I’ve only found a few. Here’s one – I can’t even tell what the track is called, and I suppose this video will disappear in 53 hours but here it is… I love it actually, super trippy ambient for the 1st half, and then the subtle digi-tribal beat kicks in. It sounds like Yeasayer for sure, but it’s also massively fresh and unique for them. And unlike the new Animal Collective tracks, this shit sounds like nothing Ive ever heard before. Dig it, I’m definitely on board.
I’ve been thinking lately about how the world continues to downward spiral into more and more fucked up shit, and how the sacred and the divine are being fully trampled upon by ever expanding piles of crap. And it’s all this idiotic intention that’s fucking it up – not random shit. People are consciously just becoming stupider and meaner as they get preoccupied with utter bullshit that they claim is relevant. Thus the obvious counter of that is the idea that now when you make something completely nonsensical with no real message or intention behind it, you are actually forging true beauty. Yes, we have now entered a time when having no reasoning behind your actions is the purest you can be.
And so we turn to the master of obscure beauty, Dan Deacon, to bring us yet another moment of “I don’t know what it means, but it makes me happy.” Possibly the most important mantra of the 21st century. Deacon’s new album, America, doesn’t get released for another month (8/27) but he has just released this awesome video for “True Thrush.” Using members of his Baltimore Wham City collective, the video is essentially a visual re-examination of the “telephone” game. You know, one person says something, the other person tries to repeat it and so on. So they did that with a 15-second video clip – it’s fun and pointless and that’s the whole idea. Randomonia at its finest.
So what is a true thrush… an actual songbird of the family Turdidae, or a real disease on a horse’s foot? Probably neither, and again…that’s the whole idea. Most likely, Deacon probably just thought the words sounded cool together. God’s speed, my idol.