Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Pronounced La Kah-Koo-Wet, and as the record name implies, it is French for 'peanut'.
Had the pleasure of playing a few shows with these guys a couple years ago, and they are not only awesome dudes, but their music is really unique. A true embodiment of the power trio, they make use of the standard guitar, bass and drums, but also fill up sonic space using keyboards, theremin and lots of reverb, delay, phasers, and fuzz on all of the above. Taking cues from bands such as Swervedriver and My Bloody Valentine, La Cacahouette lays down a thick, psychedelic layer of spacey shoegaze, slathered in loud and fuzzy indie rock, topped with beautiful male and female vocals, and highlighted immensely by the intense and creative drumming of Blake Ellman (who I've seen wearing Tragedy shirts, and believe it or not, the hardcore and metal influences shine quite brightly in his drumming for this band. Also, La Cacahouette's myspace used to rock an excellent photoshopped promo photo of them with King Diamond in the band!) If you ever see these guys in a town near you, go check them out. They are a great band, and some truly down dudes.
La Cacahouette - French For Peanut
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I'll never forget the glory days, hanging out with my buddy Eric, listening to punk, ska, and lots and lots of Atom and His Package. The project is a one man band conceived by Adam Goren (Atom), using a guitar and a plethora of synths, drum machines and sequencers (His Package). The result was an undeniably catchy comedic electro-pop-punk with occasional poignant lyrics and real emotion. He has covered the Mountain Goats and Brutal Truth, and sang on pressing subjects such as black metal, the metric system, hammers, Rob Halford's homosexuality and plenty more. If you are into fun music, this will be your new favorite record. I sing along to every song on this record and so will you, so GET IT!
DOWNLOAD SOME REDEFINED MUSIC
Active from 1990-1996, At The Gates was a melodic metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden. These dudes are one of the most influential bands in the progession of metal music. Many of today's metalcore bands blatantly emulated At The Gates style, including bands like Darkest Hour and Black Dahlia Murder. A very important band in the scheme of metal, so don't miss this. Check it out!
SLAUGHTER OF THE SOUL
13 & God is a collaboration between Anticon's Themselves (featuring Doseone and Jel) and German indie-tronica band The Notwist. The result is an overall very chill record, sprinkled with Doseone's famous fast-rap and lots of Notwist's blend of spacey vocals and shoegaze influence. This is definitely one of those records that is really hard to describe, as they cover a lot of ground as far as influences, so here is a sample, with the link to download below. Hope you dig it.
13 & God - 13 & God
Looking for the above picture, I came across an article that described cLOUDDEAD as a supergroup in reverse. I found that to, actually, be pretty accurate. Though no one in the group is a superstar, these respective dudes have gained notoriety in the underground music scene, collaborating with such names as Mike Patton and Aesop Rock, being remixed by Notwist and Boards of Canada, and even getting a performance on the legendary John Peel show. As 3 of the 9 founders of the Anticon collective, Clouddead (comprised of Doseone and Why? doing the rapping, and sharing production duties with Odd Nosdam on the beats) makes the most inexplicable avant garde, spacey, sometimes absurdist hip hop you'll ever hear.
After the split of Clouddead, all the members went on to have lots of projects:
Doseone went on to form art-rock-hip-hop band Subtle (who will eventually surface on this blog), as well as joining with The Notwist to form a unique electro-space-rap project called 13 & God (which will be posted next).
Why? joined with his brother Josiah and two really close friends from home and started a band which took on the name of Why?. One of their records is posted here with more to come soon.
Odd Nosdam continues to put out head-noddic hip-hop beats, lots of remixes, and even releasing a mixtape titled T.I.M.E (This Is My Element) for Element skateboards, as well as DJing many clubs and bars in the Oakland area.
I catch a lot of shit for it, but I really dig Cave In. They aren't afraid to do what THEY wanna do, and sound the way THEY wanna sound. They are a very dynamic band, early Cave In invoking comparisons to a slightly toned down Botch, while the later material sees them hone in on a much more fence-striding outlook. With the members coming from a really broad background of influences, Cave In creates a progressive style seamlessly melding Converge, Torche, and the Foo Fighters. Their embrace of the catchy and poppy, mixed with their background in hardcore and doom (sharing members intermittently with Converge, Old Man Gloom, Zozobra and others) makes them a unique stand out in the music world. If you are easily put off by vocals, you probably won't enjoy the clean vocals of this band (though there are lots of screams and heavy vocals too). But the music is fuckin' amazing, and the vocals don't bug me. So if you've never heard them, check them out, and if you haven't heard the newest EP, Planets of Old, you should really check it out, as I think it really incorporates everything awesome about this band, giving you a fairly accurate cross section of the ground these dudes tread.
This is all the full lengths, and 2 of their EPs. They have quite a few more EP's out, but this stuff should get ya started. Hope you enjoy.
Until Your Heart Stops (1998)
Creative Eclipses EP (1999)
Perfect Pitch Black (2005)
Planets of Old EP (2009) <~~~~~ At very least get this!!!
White Silence (2011)
So here is another personal favorite I've been holding out on for a little while. Amesoeurs is a French atmospheric black metal band with heavy post-punk and shoegaze influence, formed with the purpose of creating music that reflects the dark side of the industrial era and modern civilization.. Male and female vocals, sometimes clean, sometimes screaming, sometimes just gibberish and vocal noises ran through lots of psychedelic effects. These guys put out 2 short EPs, then this one full-length and broke up when the 2 singers (who were dating at the time) started having relationship trouble. Damn shame broken hearts gotta come in and ruin some truly unique and well crafted music. Even if black metal ain't your thing, you may dig this record, so give it a shot.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Atmospheric, progressive black metal from Ukraine. Lots of folk influences, as well as occasional proggy parts with synth and crazy technical riffs. Here's the 2 records I have. Probably grab some more soon and post them for you guys.
Forgotten Legends (2003)
This band is called Owen Hart. Your argument is invalid.
Seriously, these dudes are fucking heavy as shit. Chaotic hardcore death thrash extravaganza.
Owen Hart - Earth Control (2010)
For their other stuff check out their bandcamp, though it seems it hasn't been updated in a while.
If you don't know about the D-E-L, then here's some real hip hop for that ass. Del raps about everything from video games and psychedelics, to crackheads in Oakland, to culture and fads. Super intelligent dude, with extremely clever flows. Also, not that he needs the name drop to be legit, but he's Ice Cube's cousin.
Both Sides of the Brain (2000)
Bearded singer, songwriter, actor Will Oldham. He's put out music under several monikers: Palace, Palace Brothers, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, and probably a few more. If you like indie, folk, or americana music, I'd be surprised if you didn't already know about him. If you don't know anything about Will Oldham then his "Bonnie 'Prince' Billy" records are a great place to start. Here are a few of my favorite picks from the Bonnie 'Prince' Billy catalog, including a collaboration record he did with jazz/post-rock mainstays Tortoise.
Ease Down The Road (2001)
Master and Everyone (2003)
Superwolf - Matt Sweeney and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (2005)
The Brave and the Bold - Tortoise and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (2006)
I'm hard to please when it comes to hardcore. In the shitty town I live in, there was a short lived Collective venue, which was one of only two worthwhile venues for independent music this place ever had, and I sat through many a sloppy, contrived hardcore band. So to gain my attention and respect, you gotta be doing something groundbreaking or unique. That being said, Weekend Nachos has snagged me by the nuts. They play a gnarly, rifftacular blend of classic, balls to the wall hardcore and power violence, with occasional shifts into the slow and sludgy. Lum told me about these dudes months ago, but when I finally listened to their newest release, the Black Earth 7" out on Relapse Records, I was immediately hooked. So for your listening pleasure, here's most, if not all, of Weekend Nachos jams in 2 easy files. Fuckin' dig it.
Torture EP (2006)
It's A Wonderful Life EP (2006)
Punish and Destroy (2007)
Bleed EP (2010)
Black Earth 7" (2011)
Here's some mo'.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
If you aren't familiar with Bill Hicks, then you know absolutely NOTHING about stand-up comedy. But that's okay, that's why this site exists. To drop some KNOWLEDGE on that ass!
Bill Hicks was easily the raddest dude in the galaxy. His brand of dark comedy influenced a lot of contemporary comedians, most obvious case being his once-close friend, Denis Leary, who has been accused by many (including Hicks himself) to have lifted much of his act from Hicks. Subject matter includes but isn't limited to: cigarettes, doing hallucinogens, Bush Sr., Rodney King, religion, dinosaurs, sex, music, aliens, and his insatiable and unwavering rage toward society, consumerism, and the shitty world we've created for ourselves. Despite his unfortunate death to pancreatic cancer in 1994, Hicks' comedy and his incredibly unique observations continue to be relevant even today, as evidenced by the insane amount of material that was released posthumously. I hope that if you don't know about this guy, you get started downloading immediately. Seriously, comedic genius. If you are a fan of Lewis Black, Denis Leary, David Cross, Joe Rogan, any of the great 'alternative' comedians, you are in for one hell of a ride with Bill Hicks.
Arizona Bay (1997)
Rant in E-Minor (1997)
Philosophy: The Best of Bill Hicks (2001)
Love, Laughter, and Truth (2002)
Flying Saucer Tour, Vol. 1 (2002)
Shock and Awe (2003)
Saturday, April 9, 2011
I already did a small blurb on Low a few posts back, but in case you missed it:
In 1993, when grunge and post-punk ruled the masses, the slowcore/shoegaze scene was gradually churning and collecting velocity. My Bloody Valentine and Ride had found their way into hipster's tape players, and in little ol' Duluth, Minnesota, Low was also starting to think similarly. Singer/guitarist Alan Sparhawk and his wife, drummer Mimi Parker, joined with one of Alan's previous band mates, John Nichols to create a very quiet, minimal music that still demanded attention, without being fast, loud and aggressive. And since Low's first release in 1994, they've been building layer after layer upon that idea. Low has evolved considerably from the very quiet and solemn debut, I Could Live In Hope, but with each album they seem to explore a slightly different side of themselves. Every record however shares the common thread of Sparhawk and Parker's amazing vocal harmonies. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes haunting, their vocal blend is always interesting. You'll find that Parker often sings the lower register of a harmony, with her husband singing the higher parts of the harmony in a beautiful almost-falsetto.
Don't wanna get too pretentious here, so I'll leave it at what I wrote there, but PLEASE don't pass over this. This is one of my personal favorite bands of all time. Here is one of my favorite Low songs, although their sounds varies widely, maybe it will pique your interest in getting these records.
I Could Live In Hope (1994)
Long Division (1995)
The Curtain Hits The Cast (1996)
Secret Name (1999)
Christmas EP (1999)
Things We Lost In The Fire (2001)
The Great Destroyer (2005)
Drums and Guns (2007)
You may also be interested in Alan Sparhawk's blues band ('blues' in it's truest form, we're talking Mississippi juke joint style) Black Eyed Snakes.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
If you don't know this band, then fuck you and download this shit. This music is the soundtrack to breaking edge and starting the downward slide into booze, drugs and amazing music. Aren't you glad we have the entire recorded output?
In chronological order:
Annihilation Time I lp
Bad Reputation ep
Annihilation Time II lp
Cosmic Unconsciousness ep
Annihilation Time III: Tales From the Ancient Age
The band started in 2001 playing hardcore heavily influenced by latter era Flag and Bl'ast. The first record even had Pettibon artwork! The Bad Reputation ep would introduce the band's new singer as well as the shift in sound to a more rifftacular area, going so far as to cover Thin Lizzy.
The Next full length would be an expansion on the sounds created on the previous ep. Gnarly art adorns the cover and gnarly riffs assault your ears with mostly new songs, a couple re-recorded and a Pink Fairies cover.
Cosmic Unconsciousness was released next and is jamtacular in all the same ways as the second LP. The final release was "Tales of the Ancient Age" and is a rager from start to fucking finish. Riffs, this record has them.