the beyond

Posted by othiym23 Thu, 30 Oct 2008 23:23:39 GMT

As I seem to do every so often, I wandered off into the weeds for a few months there. But it’s fall, and the election is almost past (PRAISE BE), and I can start to think about things other than politics, economic misfortune, and the unfortunate impossibility / undesirability of revolution in a post-industrial, media-driven and self-aware society. And Sarah Palin. Fucking Sarah Palin.

I’ve continued to trawl the MP3-blog depths, and am no closer than I was six months ago to figuring out how to describe what I’ve found. I’ve heard a lot of music that’s new to me this year, and I’ve found an intimidating amount of it interesting, entertaining, or weird enough to hold my attention. I’ve been emitting little drips of information on my Twitter feed, but I’m not sure there’s enough context there to make it interesting to anyone other than myself. In the end, I’ll just have to start writing here every day again, and see if that knocks loose anything interesting.

Of course, I’ve been continuing to buy music. I’m enough of a completist that I’ll probably provide a complete dump of everything I listened to over the summer at some point, but for now, here’s what’s most interesting to me, my October shopping trips to Amoeba:

  • Antony & The Johnsons: Another World
  • Arckanum: Antikosmos
  • The Breeders: Cannonball
  • The Breeders: Divine Hammer
  • The Breeders: Pod
  • The Breeders: Title TK
  • Darkthrone: Soulside Journey
  • Ladytron: Velocifero
  • A Minor Forest: Flemish Altruism (Constituent Parts 1993-1996)
  • The New Year: s/t
  • Sparks: Indiscreet
  • Sparks: No. 1 in Heaven
  • Sparks: Propaganda
  • Sparks: A Woofer in Tweeter’s Clothing
  • V/A: Dubstep Allstars, Volume 6 (mixed by Appleblim)
  • V/A: Uproot (mixed by DJ /rupture)
  • Vivian Girls: s/t

and Aquarius:

  • Akimbo: Jersey Shores
  • Antaeus: Blood Libels
  • Bass Communion: Molotov and Haze
  • Loren Chasse & Michael Northam: The Otolith
  • Coelacanth & Keith Evans: Wrack Light in Copper Ruin
  • Darkspace: Dark Space III
  • The (Fallen) Black Deer: Requiem
  • Daniel Menche: Creatures of Cadence
  • Slagmaur: Svin
  • Urfaust: Drei Rituale Jenseits des Kosmos
  • New Egypt: White Magic

Aside from the limp and lifeless new album by The New Year, these are all interesting records, worth further discussion, and if I can, I’ll say more about them. Right now, I’m listening to the Darkspace record as the band seems to have intended (i.e. listening to Dark Spaces I through III straight through, at which point they becomes something more than a churning blackened crust-metal soundscape and start living up to the grandiose, symphonic concept indicated by the album and track titles). And last night, I listened to the A Minor Forest record, and was delighted to know the songs deeply and immediately, despite never having heard this record before. A Minor Forest were a shambling mess at times (especially for a math rock band), but they put on a great show, and their studio records sound more live than not.

Also, since I last wrote here, I saw Polvo and My Bloody Valentine play live. Polvo were OK and deserve credit for trying to wrap their weirdness around “Mexican Radio” (one of my favorite songs), but My Bloody Valentine did things with sound I didn’t know were possible, and the experience was more satisfying to my inner 19-year-old than I really had any right to hope going in.

I’ve been busy, and I continue to be distracted, but it’s a really good time to be a music fan.

And oh yeah, if you don’t have these records, your musical experience of 2008 is sadly incomplete and you are probably a hollow shell of a person:

  • asbestoscape: s/t
  • Clark: Turning Dragon
  • Fucked Up: The Chemistry of Common Life

2008/07/25 1

Posted by othiym23 Fri, 25 Jul 2008 18:37:26 GMT

There’s something admirably frank yet suicidal about the beginning of Rosetta’s Wake/Lift: an echoing, truncated burst of distortion is immediately followed by a two and a half minute progression of slab-like open minor triads, weighty and roaring despite their massive compression. It’s surging and glorious. From just about any other band in the business of pushing crowd-pleasing heaviness, it would be the climactic release point of the record, but Rosetta are up to something else. The rest of “Red in Tooth and Claw” settles down to some low-key Line 6 Delay Modeler noodling and Rosetta’s usual emo-derived swells and ebbs of distortion and screaming. After that blistering start, this is awkward.

Rosetta are a band that have shown a very deft hand for arena-sized post-metal rock gestures (their debut The Galilean Satellites was one of my favorite records of 2006 & 2007, largely because it is so unrepentantly over the top), so I figure this anticlimax is purposeful, but it still comes across as premature ejaculation. I like jammy, sunlit indie heaviness as much as anyone, but the rest of the record is sort of drab, and it makes me wish they’d saved that outburst for the end, because I think it overshadows the rest of the record to a degree that obscures its strengths. I would love to know what they thought they were doing.