Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Interview with Ben Frost

I didn't conduct the interview, but after reading this very brief seven question chat with the Australian man living in Iceland, I probably wouldn't want to make the effort.  I don't think interviews really make sense with him. And yet, Frost's take is so highly entertaining, and true to how intense artists operate. Interviews SHOULDN'T work well with these folks. Because if they gave a shit about what people think, forcing answers where there are none, then we wonder who they're trying to please. Anyway, do take a look. It's super short, and great no-nonsense words from the fellow who wrote one of the best albums of 2009, By The Throat.

Chicken Beatbox

One of our hens finally laid her first egg, and so, at long last, we will have fresh eggs every day!  We are so happy about this, as it has been a lot of work without payoff, until now!  Glorious.  In celebration, here is a lady beatboxing, chicken-style:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mogwai Film

Mogwai Live Film "Burning" Teaser from Nathanaël Le Scouarnec on Vimeo.

The Scottish band Mogwai performs an incandescent show in front of a stunned crowd. As if time stood still, the audience is transported along by musical waves, both poetic and violent. 'Burning' dives into this wild sensual flow. Directors Vincent Moon and Nathanaël Le Scouarnec guide us into a dream where there is no tomorrow. This is a black and white experience of the senses carved by the raw emotion of this pioneering band that doesn't need any words to touch the heart of its listeners. Layered and innovative, the movie has its finger firmly on their pulse, a sonic adventure between hope and rebellion. A lifetime of feelings in just one night.

Presented in Copenhague, during CPH DOX, 13 november 2009.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Top Five Albums to Put My Baby Asleep To

This list has little to do with 2009. Only one album is from said year. I just find it fascinating what helps calm my 1 year old son Everest to sleep when it's time to hit the hay. Distorted white noise is the champion, but there are many variations on this sound that can involve rhythm and melody. Let's check out the winners:

Expo '70 - Black Ohms
There's something special about droning guitars, and in this case the maker of this music reminds me of the kind of stuff I like to jam on my own pedal setup. Black Ohms is far and away the go-to album to put E-Man to sleep. The music is foggy and dark, but not foreboding. It's more like hanging wisps of velvet caught in a dream breeze. All the delay and reverb clips the minimal guitar riffs into syncopated mantras, which beautifully mirror the human heart. Babies love that, and Easy-E is no exception!

Nadja - Touched
This is the album that got the Nadja project its big credibility, and comes from a time when Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff hadn't released over 50 albums yet. This was one of the first, and its alien distortions and plodding drums represent the quintessential Nadja sound. The noise is enormous, and amazingly beautiful despite its mega-dark tone. There's something warm about it all, and since the metal shoegaze style creates tons of white noise, this is perfect stuff. Relentless and effective.

Caspian - Tertia
Oh jeez. More Tertia worship. I can't help it. No matter what the pundits on my website say about this being a slog in the Caspian discography, I rebel and say this record is stunning and triumphant. Better than everything they've done. The first three tracks have LOTS of guitar distortion. There's a drummer in there, keeping time, but he gets so buried in the collossal storm of noise that these guys crank out. This was the first album I ever put Everest to sleep to, realizing that I could rock while I rocked in a chair. Since the narrative is spicy and rich, it's a special treat to put Tertia on. Especially on vinyl!

Stars of the Lid - The Tired Sounds of...
This band's name must be referencing the magical moment when wake becomes sleep, so who better to help a baby go down? It's not a loud fuzzy affair that fills the air with nowhere to go but the Land of Nod--but it is gorgeous and droney enough. The ambiance is created with symphonic instruments and a lot of long-decaying guitars. It's absolutely gorgeous, and I consider this album to be one of the best of the decade (if not THE BEST). It accompanied Everest's first few weeks of existence, on constant repeat, so it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Machinefabriek - Slaapzucht
This is a tricky one, because the music sometimes goes dead quiet. This was a compilation of two Machinefabriek records (Slaap and Zucht) along with a single "Still." It's the two Zuchts at the end that are the true dreamcatchers, with "Zucht 2" being the absolute mind-frier. Relentless buzz and static absolutely consume the air, making it impossible to remember that you wanted to breastfeed ten minutes ago. The only escape is easy-breezy dreamland. This record stands as a bit of a wild card, as the consistency of sound is not there. In the same way, his album Marijn does the trick as well. Just skip to the end to end the day.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Vinyl: Game On!

Julia got me a record player for my birthday.  Craigslist strikes again, and this time, the item found was brand new, never opened.  The man sold it cheap to piss off his ex, apparently.  One man's broken relationship is another's warm, analog listening bliss.  I can finally share needles!  Spin the black circles.  I have amassed a decent collection of vinyl leading up to this, and I've been listening every day.  Here is the vinyl I want to get next.  You gotta admit this is pretty cool:

The Mystical Shogun Kunitoki Strobe Light from Sami Sänpäkkilä on Vimeo.