Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nardwuar the Human Serviette

Being home for the holidays, my music listening/uploading has been somewhat restricted, but I thought I'd share the genius of Nardwuar "the Human Serviette" with the unfamiliar.

Nardwuar is truly a one of a kind interviewer, who has the ability to really expose the true nature of the people he interviews (mostly by pushing their buttons). The guy is a wizard in all genres, which dressed in his attire and character throws a lot of people off-guard -- and the results are always entertaining.

So yeah, there's about 10 solid pages on youtube of people he interviews, and you'd be doing yourself a favor to check them out.

Some of my favorites:

The Mars Volta pt. 1/2


Simple Plan

Even if the artists don't interest you, pretty much every interview is golden.
A lot of the time conventional interviews paint artists a certain way (like TMV being pretentious), but Nardwuar's approach really exposes the true character (and patience) of the people he's interviewing...I ended up respecting some groups I normally wouldn't care to listen to (Dropkick Murpheys) and vice-versa (Blur/Damon Albarn).

Enjoy mengs.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holiduhs

Hey all, hope you have a good holiday season/happy new year. I plan on listening to tons of new music over the break, digging out old faves, and barring any videogame marathons or other distractions, uploading the goods for you jahl.

And I hope you all got that Red Ryder you asked for.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Free The Robots

I found Free The Robots (Chris Alfaro) through his association with GLK, which was a savage find because Alfaro's self-titled EP is great. Alfaro identifies his music as hip-hop/jazz/psychedelic, drawn from a wider palette of everything from bossa-nova to rock.

Not bad for a dude who started the project as "a joke"...a definite favorite discovered this year.

Free The Robots EP
mind the graves

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nobukazu Takemura - Child's View

I upped this album by request, thought I'd put it here too. Nobukazu Takemura is something of a musical prodigy, employing multiple instruments from an early age with a musical spectrum from jazz to glitch, surfacing with his debut album '
Child's View'. I would argue the debut is his best...not that arguing is necassary, as most his entire catalog is worth hearing.

His hip-hop roots are more evident on '
Child's View', making for some excellent mashes of beats, bloops, & orchestral arrangements that meld together perfectly. I try to refrain from over-exaggeration or calling an album "perfect", but it's hard to spot any cracks in Takemura's masterful debut.

Child's View [1994]
mind the graves

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Insight - The Blast Radius

To follow up on my Y Society post, I'll give another nod to MC/producer/DJ Insight, with one of his solo albums -- 'The Blast Radius'. After giving this album another listen, I'm seriously puzzled that Insight isn't a household name -- dude has effortless flow & lyrics for days, not to mention the oldschool vibe he reps in most of his work.

The song "Inventors" kills it...tons of great tracks though.
G-G-G-Today, G.

The Blast Radius
mind the graves

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Comus - First Utterance

Comus are a British Experimental/Prog group from the 70's, whose debut album, '
First Utterance' is among my favorite albums of all time. The album is full of harrowing imagery/lyrics (not to mention the cover-art, reason I heard it in the first place) that take on a life of their own with Comus' unparalleled vocal approaches.

The vocal melodies/modulations on this album seem so ahead of their time, and even when they break out into gnome-style chants, it's hard to resist the overall artistic vision the band displays. This album is timeless (to me, obviously), because you're guaranteed to discover something new every listen, yet it maintains its crisp production and aesthetic throughout.

Def give this a chance if you're unfamiliar.

First Utterance
mind the graves

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Billy Cobham - Spectrum

Billy Cobham's album with guitar-player Tommy Bolin -- one of my favorite works of Cobham's separate of Mahavishnu Orchestra. Really not much to say, just one of the greatest drummers to ever play.

mind the graves

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Shawn Lee & Clutchy Hopkins - Clutch of the Tiger

*grizzly looking elderly man

Shawn Lee & Clutchy Hopkins are underground favorites in hip-hop circles, if not for the anonymity of Clutchy Hopkins alone, whose identity has manifested into pictures of a grizzly looking elderly man*

Many believe he's the secret identity of another established producer, such as DJ Shadow or Madlib. Others think he's just another identity of Shawn Lee. Regardless of all that, the duo crafted a tight jazz/hip-hop/funk album called '
Clutch of the Tiger', a musical muscle-relexant that smoothly ebbs track to track.

Tiger masks and grizzly-dudes aside, the music is no gimmick. Don't sleep.

Clutch of the Tiger
mind the graves

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

East of the Wall - Farmer's Almanac

East of the Wall are a talented instrumental/rock/progressive group from New Jersey, formed primarily from the remains of Biclops and Postman-Syndrome. I've been digging their debut 'Farmer's Almanac' -- and you probably will too.

Sometimes the production feels flat (better listen in headphones), but I imagine the material packs a punch live. Regardless, talented group of musicians worth hearing/keeping tabs on.

Farmer's Almanac
mind the graves

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

3 New Posts + Turkey Break

Due to the inevitable fact that I'll slack updating again shortly -- what with playing videogames and eating leftover turkey-sandwiches -- that I thought I'd go above & beyond the call of duty and post thrice-timez.

Enjoy, and if you have any requests for genres/artists or just comments in general, feel free to be free.

Peace to the stronghold, I'll catch you in a minute
(+ however many days of turkey-sandwiches. And videogames.).

Alcatraz - Vampire State Building

Alcatraz were a 70's Krautrock band from Hamburg, whose style played more to jazz-rock tendencies. Their debut album, 'Vampire State Building' was a mostly-instrumental (vocals on 2 tracks) exploration full of fuzzed-out guitar, big-foundation grooves, piano, and even flute (which often gives them a folkish-edge).

Just a solid album I had to dig up from my collection.

Vampire State Building
mind the graves

California Smile

Rhode Island's California Smile recently finished their year-in-the-making, debut album, 'A Secret Message From Your Teeth'. The album was supposedly mixed by the same fellow who did 'Mirrored' for Battles, and whether or not that's true, the production is balanced and sharp.

Throwing names like Battles around is sure to gain attention, and while California Smile's debut won't re-invent the wheel, the album is a good indicator of their potential to come -- using dense (but sometimes repetitive) song structures sewed together by multiple instruments, and coyly dancing around uncharted waters with the album's welcomed experimental moments.

Definitely a band to keep watch on, and if you find yourself by a Newbury Comics store, reimburse the band with their dedicated year-long craft.

A Secret Message From Your Teeth
mind the graves


Nujabes is a producer/DJ from Japan, but he also runs his own Shibuya record stores and founded/maintains multiple labels. Nujabes adds live instrumentation over his jazz-influenced samples -- such as Miles Davis, to craft his sound.

Nujabes rarely plays live shows, or gives interviews, yet sold over 20,000 copies independantly of his 2003 '
Metaphorical Music' album in Japan, continuing his word-of-mouth legacy -- earning more popular appeal collaborating with the likes of Cyne, CL Smooth, and the hit anime Samurai Champloo.

Really accessible and tightly crafted, definite recommendation for the unfamiliar.

Metaphorical Music [2003]

Modal Soul [2005]

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Samuel Jackson Five

The Samuel Jackson Five hail from Oslo, Norway -- an instrumental/alternative group who recently released 'Goodbye Melody Mountain', the band's third album. Having a name like The Samuel Jackson Five should be more than enough to pique your interest, but in case you need an outside opinion...Hey, this band is really good, guys.

I'd start from the beginning, so that the meat ('
Easily Misunderstood') is where it belongs on the 'sammich.

Same, Same But Different
removed by request

Easily Misunderstood
removed by request

Goodbye Melody Mountain
removed by request
mind the graves

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lord By Fire - Sword

I was digging through my music, looking for something to upload for yallz, when I came across the metal/sludge/stoner-rock virtuoso's of Lord By Fire. '
Sword' is the only full-length out from the guys, a middle-ground Eyehategod and Neurosis, and the album def packs a punch.

Not sure how these guys are so overlooked, I suppose in the wake of "post-metal" they just didn't get their taffy. Which is a shame, cause they're pretty good --
just like taffy.
So tell all your friends about them
and send me taffy. And tell your friends to send me taffy, too.

mind the graves

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Green Milk From The Planet Orange - City Calls Revolution


Green Milk From the Planet Orange are an experimental/prog-rock 3-piece from Tokyo, Japan. They came out of inactivity recently acquiring a new bass-player, which is good news, because their 2005 album 'City Calls Revolution' is preeeetty good. The vocals might take some warming up to, might not. Depends on who you are today.

Really solid album, and with the band's recent tour dates, expect a new release in the not-so-distant future.

City Calls Revolution
mind the graves

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Shuttle 358 - Chessa

My lack of consistent updates lately can partly be attributed to studying -- studying while listening to zone-out material like Shuttle 358's ambient treat, 'Chessa'.

Perfect music for the trip back, the journey there, and the overwhelming void between.

mind the graves

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Psychic Paramount - Gamelan Into the Mink Supernatural

New York noise-rock trio The Psychic Paramount took my ears and brain by storm with their 2005 album, 'Gamelan Into the Mink Supernatural'. The first time I heard middle-mark track "Echoh Air" I knew the band would become a favorite -- gritty and powerful bass foundations, walls of effects clinging to frantic guitar, and a drummer who swiftly keeps the waves crashing. The closing title-track, "Gamelan Into the Mink Supernatural", wraps up the album perfectly -- a ten minute epic that sounds like music to a deleted scene of Sunshine.

(to me anyways.

The band has recently been performing material off their new album, with the release just around the corner.
With the ideas expressed on 'Gamelan', the sky is the limit...or wherever they choose to venture next in space.

Gamelan Into the Mink Supernatural
mind the graves

Monday, November 10, 2008

Crystal Antlers

Interesting group rooting in Cali...their 2008 self-titled EP is one of the year's highlights for me -- really dig the vocal approach. The EP was produced by Ikey Owens (know where you at?), and he did a great jaeorb identifying their sound. LIYL:

Crystal Antlers
mind the graves

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Y Society - Travel At Your Own Pace


Damu the Fudgemunk

Y Society is the collaboration of Damu the Fudgemunk (Panacea's DJ until '06) and MC/producer/DJ Insight. The group's debut album 'Travel At Your Own Pace' is one of the better hip-hop albums I've heard in years -- Damu merges oldschool hip-hop with fresh futuristic beats, and Insight's flow never faulters atop lyrically-sound soul.

Absolute must -- fantastic and overlooked album/duo, who have another album in the works (and supposedly an unreleased album from '07-08).

Damu breaks-down/plays the first single, "Never Off (On & On)"

Travel At Your Own Pace
mind the graves

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fela Kuti

Fela Kuti was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, known primarily for being the pioneer of Afrobeat music. Fela was born the son of a minister, and was sent to England to learn medicine like his brothers -- but ended up following his passion for music instead. Kuti became a human-rights activist and political maverick of sorts -- his introduction to the Black Panthers/black power movement in America inspired a name-change for his group (
Koola Lobitos to the familiar Africa 70 band).

Fela Kuti & the Africa 70's music progressed down a politically-driven path, gaining wide acclaim throughout Nigeria/Africa -- but harbored too much attention by the ruling-government -- whom frequently raided his Kalatuka Republic (a commune/recording-studio Fela set-up for his band/family, independant of Nigeria).
This tension first peaked when police arrived with a search warrant to arrest Kuti, intending to frame him by planting a joint on his person. Kuti became aware of the ploy and swallowed the joint -- so the police waited to check his feces, but local cell-mates assisted Kuti (shit-swap) and he was released -- all of which he recounted on his album, '
Expensive Shit'.

Fela critiqued and attacked the Nigerian government/military in his album '
Zombie', which sparked another raid on the Kalatuka Republic. Fela was beaten to near-death, saved by one ranking officer -- his mother thrown from a window and killed.
The military burned the Kalatuka Republic, including Fela's studio/master tapes and all of his instruments. Fela reacted by delivering the coffin of his mother to the main army barracks in Lagos -- with the official statement being that an "unknown soldier" had destroyed the commune
(recounted by Kuti's songs "Coffin for Head of State" and "Unknown Soldier").

After a slump with the Africa 70, Kuti formed his own political party (
Movement of the People) and tried to run for President for over a decade -- never being accepted as a nominee. He reformed/renamed his group to the Egypt 80, and continued to persevere with his music despite constant harassment from the government (was arrested again under currency-smuggling charges).

Fela's death was greeted by more than a million people at his funeral -- which took place at his Shrine in the remaining Kalatuka Republic.
In both his music and his life, Kuti was a fearless revolutionary who shook the foundations of establishment -- constantly overcoming odds and rising to personal and critical success.

"Teacher Don't Teach Me No Nonsense"

Without a doubt...one of the most influential/inspirational human-beings to grace the planet. I'd recommend watching this documentary if you're interested in more of his personal/musical endevours.

Confusion [1975]

Expensive Shit [1975]

Zombie [1976]

Afrobeat Jazz (various)
mind the graves

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ino Hidefumi - Living Message

How would I describe Ino Hidefumi's new album, 'Living Message'?...

It's kind of like drifting between various lobbies and lounges in your mind, while exploring your soul's wallpaper. Yeah, it's a lot like that, really.

Living Message
mind the graves

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

13ghosts - The Strangest Colored Lights

13ghosts are an indie/alternative group from Alabama, directed by guitar/vocalists Brad Armstrong and Buzz Russel. I've been a fan of the group since their debut EP, '
We Are The Sun' -- namely the opening track "I Have Brought Fire".

The band exhibits purity to their music that's often lost or forced in their neck of the woods, which on their latest 2008 release, '
The Strangest Colored Lights', is expanded upon with more diverse songs -- almost to the point that every track sounds like a re-invented band. The sincerity of the group is instantly felt, with every repeat listen (for myself, anyways) a nod of appreciation.

One of 2008's gems, no doubt.

The Strangest Colored Lights
mind the graves