Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Education - "A Man Alone"

Wiley Wiggins has made a music video, ladies and gents. And it's not for one of Richard Linklater's DVD Extras! It's for a My Education song. Both camps are from Texas, so it makes sense. Wiley always struck me as an actor with high artistic integrity, so it's no surprise to see these people as buddies or artistic associates. In any case, a music video for this highly underrated band is something to cheer for.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Alps - Le Voyage

Read my entire review on The Silent Ballet. Oh yes, there's more.

Le Voyage
begins like a Hallmark greeting card and ends with a slow burning raga of enchantment. The pedestrian innocence of the mostly acoustic opening number "Drop In" is inviting. It acts like a sugar coating that coaxes the weary into eating the matrix-revealing blue pill, because this album gets a little weird and trippy. The choice tracks feature in the second half, but in order to get there, The Alps puts together a collage of twelve-string guitar, piano, groovy bass, effects freak outs, self-referntial samples, and field recordings that, when listened to in the prescribed order, come off as a little sloppy. The sample-crazy, synth effect interludes are extremely busy and too long. They were apparently influenced by GRM's musique concrète archive and the Radiophonic Workshop, but without a film from the 1970's to anchor them, they feel unnecessary in the context of all the other gorgeously played pastoral pieces and spartan, guru grooves.

The Alps - Le Voyage by _type

Monday, May 17, 2010

Manorexia - The Mesopelagic Waters

Read the entire review on The Silent Ballet. This was a really tough one to grasp and write. Personally, i am glad it's over. Manorexia does not jive with my spring time.

Scuttling and bubbling off to the side in J. G. Thirlwell's tidepools of "other" musical outlets lies Manorexia. Begat on Thanksgiving of 2000, this was, until recently, a completely solo, electronic project. In 2001 Manorexia released Volvox Turbo, with The Radiolarian Ooze appearing the following year. These albums feature some highly experimental compositions filled with haunted environmental shifts and a kitchen sink's worth of sampled instruments. Mostly of the creepy or disturbing persuasion, these works are equivalent to several feature films' worth of dynamism and intrigue. With the lavish electronic-heavy versions as guides, Thirlwell was interested in arranging the pieces for classical musicians, but not until 2006 (for a few shows in Russia) did this ever happen. He's just so busy! Manorexia of today is not one band or group. Thirlwell has different manorexial ensembles in both New York and London, both of which have given a few special performances around the world. The Mesopelagic Waters is the first studio demonstration of what this all sounds like.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Remembering Dio

I never listened to Dio or the albums he did with Sabbath, or really anything related to him; except for the tributes made to him by Tenacious D. In an allegorical sense, I respect the man and the legend and the music. My affinity for The "D" is 100% so whatever myth or legend they want to perpetrate is just fine with me. Dio was part of Tenacious D's existence, and I'm sure the two guys and all those associated in their circles are mourning the loss of one of the classiest gents in metal.

Ronnie James Dio. Thanks for the greatness I have yet to fully explore. I have laughed a ton at your expense. He was 67, and died of stomach cancer. Apparently peacefully. Julia and I have already sung the Tencious D song named after you, today.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Show: Red Sparowes and Caspian

At last Caspian! They came to Vancouver for the first time. They sure do look like a rock band. Somewhere between arty and blue collar, they exist and devote everything to their music. Their show was good, yet it was amazing that they did not play "The Raven". It's probably because they have played the piss out of it and wanted to salvage some magic from one of their best songs for future tours. They do tour a lot.
One of the guys in Caspian looks so much like Jim Smith, right down to the Chuck Taylors. With all those pedals, it was like having good ole Jimbo back in the Pacific Northwest. We miss you, Jimmy All The Time! Caspian's set was kind of average, to be honest - until the last three songs. "Brombie" just had something extra to it, and I was moved to head bang. The final two songs were some of fans' least favorites, but they were so good live I was quite pleasantly surprised. "Vienna" and "Sycamore", the final diptych of Tertia, closed the show, and it was one of the only moments that I was into the show, not overthinking things, not thinking "where is the raven, god dammit?" It slayed, and having everyone smash the drums together is an exhilarating way to end a show.

Julia was at this show with me. Beforehand we had a dinner date (our first in months!), drank some choice red wine, got all happy and jogged through some rain over to the Biltmore. We stood up at the stage for Caspian, but happiness was wearing thin as far as "standing" went, so most of Red Sparowes was taken in at the back on The Biltmore's nice velour couches. I have to hand it to Red Sparowe's design team. Their visuals were so professional and engaging this time around, and really, when a band moves this seldomly, the visuals are a huge plus. Nonetheless, we were so tired. Yet another show went down where I took my wife, and we either fell asleep, got morning sickness or jumped ship because one of us was pregnant and unsure of how a fetus would react.

I kind of decided after this show that I wasn't really into going to post rock shows anymore. Despite how much I love the music, the shows are just not compelling enough (I will probably still go to them anyway! On guestlists). I was extremely bummed out that Fang Island did not make it through the border to this show. Honestly, that was the band I was pumped to see. Now they're off with Coheed or STP or something, playing arenas. All you asshole Americans with criminal records constantly disappoint me! At least all of Red Sparowes made it through the border this time (unlike last time). Their new guitar player is a lady, but no more interesting than their former player(s). I like to think they added changed guitar players so they could come to Canada... and Europe and anywhere else. Ah well. We will always have the pedal steel. It truly makes watching this band worth it.

Cue the video (not from my show) (in fact none of these photos are either, but they are from the same tour)

Red Sparowes - A Hail of Bombs from Jon Mancinetti on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fang Island - Daisy

This is a video for one of my favorite bands at the moment. FANG ISLAND. They are "fun" in a nutshell. Fun, however, is such a lame word. They describe their music as "everyone high-fiving each other." Their energy is infectious. I wish the music video was the whole album, because it is a joy to listen to. Everest loves to ROCK to this one. Check YouTube for the video of Fang Island playing in a kindergarten class. TODDLER MOSH PIT. Watch for the mystery spot in the video when the kids are playing the instruments.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

65daysofstatic are awesome

In honor of 65daysofstatic's growing sensation, here's a video for, what I'd consider, their signature song. "Retreat! Retreat!" Pretty much one of the most awesome live bands on the planet. I really hope that since this new record is so heavily produced and features Robert Smith that it helps them explode big time (I mean, they toured with the Cure; come on, droves!) so they can tour on their own over here on the forbidden continent. Here's to wishing...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Olan Mill - Heavy Leg Cycle

One of my favorite unknown groups, Olan Mill, has created a stop motion-esque gesture of a video. It's only two minutes, but the lush strings and urgent ambience is on full display. My review of this record is apparently helping it blow up and sell like hot cakes, well before it has been released.

Olan Mill - A Heavy Leg Cycle from Serein on Vimeo.