Updates from November, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Joe Brockmeier 9:05 am on November 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Buckethead, Digital, FLAC, , , The Staves   

    The Staves: Tired as Fuck (and a rant) 

    A few months ago, I stumbled on The Staves "Tired as Fuck," and it's been a go-to listen on YouTube, Spotify, etc. It's got a great build – adding layers until it turns into a chorus of voices and blistering guitar and throbbing percussion.

    Really, you should listen to it right now if you haven't already.

    And now, the rant… I really want to buy a copy of this, but it's only available digitally. I can buy it via iTunes, or listen on Spotify and Apple Music. (Or YouTube.) Or I can buy it via Nonesuch as an MP3. (Presumably, I hope, at 320.) No CD, no vinyl, not even FLAC.

    Maybe demand is no longer there, but I don't want my only copy of music to be digital.

    I recently went with a deal on Bandcamp to buy 200+ releases from Buckethead, and it was similar – no vinyl, no CD, just digital. At least in this case, Bandcamp offers FLAC so the music quality is as good as you get on CD, even if you don't get the actual physical media. (And Bandcamp has a reasonably good archival experience, I can go back for my purchases anytime – at least as long as they remain in business. Which I hope is a long time.)

    Similarly, one of my favorite scrappy Indie labels (Magnatune) stopped offering physical media a long time ago. They're such an awesome outfit, I'm happy to subscribe and have access to their catalog, but… I'd really love to have physical copies of Ehren Starks' catalog, and Ninety Pounds of Ugly's Richmond Motel Room 3. (Pity they've broken up.)

    For folks who only want digital, that's great – but I want a pristine, physical copy. Hell, I want something the artist or band can sign if I get the chance. Something that, assuming civilization survives, somebody might pick up in 100 years and listen to.

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 7:58 am on November 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Ehren Starks returns! "Cry Wolf" on Magnatune 

    Last year when I did my 100 favorite albums, I put Ehren Starks' The Depths of a Year at number 74. It had been 11 years since his last album, Lines Build Walls, and there were no signs of a third album in sight.

    And then Cry Wolf dropped out of the sky unexpectedly. It was actually released in June of this year, but I hadn't caught wind of it until recently. I've given it a few good listens, and I do believe it's every bit as good as Depths.

    It's really great, powerful instrumental music. It's not just background noise – it's worth, and rewards, sitting down and just listening. (A habit, I'm afraid, people have gotten out of.)

    Go give it a listen, you'll be very happy you did.

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 9:49 am on October 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Funk, ,   

    Instrumental Super Funk / Pop from The Traffic 

    Friday's jam is another Bandcamp discovery, a "single" with "Super Freak" as the A-side, and "Like I Love You" as the B-side. This is a lot of fun, and I'm bummed I missed out on the limited pressing of the 45.

    The band is The Traffic, an Aussie outfit from Melbourne. Looks like they're just putting out the occasional single rather than full albums, but they have some tasty stuff on Bandcamp. Give 'em a listen!

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 9:03 am on October 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: drums, experimental,   

    Today's Album Pick: Dynamics by Secret Drum Band 

    This is another Bandcamp win, Secret Drum Band's Dynamics. Based in Portland, Oregon the band describes the album thusly: "Dynamics sees composers Lisa Schonberg, Allan Wilson, and Heather Treadway delving headway into creating living, breathing soundscapes, rich in rhythmic textures. Driven by five drummers, each song also employs an array of affected vocals, guitar, and synthesizers from noise musicians, often mimicking sounds found in nature."

    I'm on my third or fourth listen to the album, and I'm still finding new things to enjoy. If a hard, driving beat and textured sounds appeal to you, you really should give it a listen or two.

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 9:43 am on October 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Halloween, ,   

    Halloween Music: Gorilla vs. Bear's 2017 Halloween Mix 

    You just know that Christmas music is around the corner. Waiting. Lurking. The insufferable and treacly tunes are just lying in wait, ready to spring on November 1st. But! Until then, we can fend them off with spooky sounds.

    Want a ready made playlist of moody, dark, and apocalyptic sounds? Of course you do! So check out Gorilla vs. Bear's 2017 2017 Halloween Mix. I put this on the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it – particularly "We Shouldn't Have to Wait," by Carla Dal Forno off her The Garden EP.

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 9:11 am on October 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Check it Out: Death to the Planet by The Comet is Coming 

    Don't recall how I stumbled on this one, exactly, but one of my Saturday morning music searches led me to a post on Bandcamp's blog about The Comet is Coming.

    If you like instrumental music in the vein of Material, or early trippy Pink Floyd, I'd recommend checking this one out.

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 6:44 pm on November 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 60s, , Arlo Guthrie, Folk, Talking Blues, Vietnam   

    "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" – Arlo Guthrie (Song of the Day) 

    r-3691533-1340551226-8819-jpegWith Thanksgiving day coming up, I had to put in a word for Arlo Guthrie's masterpiece, "Alice's Restaurant Massacree."

    For me, "Alice's Restaurant" is a Thanksgiving staple, but fun to listen to any time of year. Every year, the classic rock station (KSHE) in St. Louis would play this in its entirety – no small commitment, even for AOR stations at more than 18 minutes.

    The tune, repeated with minor variations for the entire song, is catchy enough. But it's the story and Guthrie's delivery that are so endearing. More than 35 years after I first listened to "Alice's Restaurant," the mere mention of 8×10 color glossy photographs (with circles and arrows on the back of each one) brings a smile to my face. If, by some unfortunate circumstance, you've never heard the tune before – set aside 20 minutes and give it a listen.

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 10:04 am on November 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Industrial, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult   

    "Days of Swine and Roses" – My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult (Song of the Day) 

    220px-kmfdmnaiveSorry for the break in programming over here, but work, life, and spending too much time obsessing over the election can put a crimp in your blogging.

    Speaking of the election, I've been seeking out more punk and industrial tunes in the last week or so. Angry and abrasive music does a lot to soothe my soul when times are dark. And these are dark times, my friends.

    I'm not a huge My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult fan, but "The Days of Swine and Roses" is one of my favorites. They knocked it out of the park on this single. The samples, the chorus, the creepy ass synths, and the sneering vocals all mesh together so nicely.

    Comments and suggestions for similar music very welcome!

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 2:48 pm on October 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    "You Are the Everything" – R.E.M. (Song of the Day) 

    Green album coverSuch a wonderful little song off the Green album. You might not have expected mandolin from R.E.M., but there it is. Peter Buck branching out to new instruments means new and interesting sounds for R.E.M.

    Like a lot of R.E.M. tunes, the lyrics are a bit more poignant when sung than on paper. "Drifting off to sleep with your teeth in your mouth" puzzled me as a teen. Where else would they be? Perhaps he's talking about dentures, but that seems weird. The overall effect is lovely, though.

    This is one of those quiet, unassuming songs that I tend to forget about until I listen to the album. Then it's like, "oh, right! This song is fantastic." Not that there are any bad songs on Green, mind you.

     
  • Joe Brockmeier 10:04 pm on October 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Song of the Day: "How Soon is Now?" (The Smiths) 

    45 cover for "How Soon is Now?"Not quite ready to let the posting streak die, so here's one from The Smiths that pairs nicely with "Not Too Soon" by Throwing Muses.

    Perhaps not my favorite Smiths song, but it's certainly in the top 10. Maybe even top 5. Johnny Marr's guitar bit may not be particularly complicated, but damn it's satisfying.

    Missed this song for the longest time because it's not on one of the studio albums.

     
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