Thursday, April 21, 2011

Now Playing: 21 April

Some stuff I'm listening to as of this writing.

Parts and Labor, CONSTANT FUTURE: These guys have refined their sound into something distinctive, primal, messy, precise, heavy, and joyful all at once. I would love to see them live and get lost in this sound, loud and gorgeous. One of America's most overlooked bands also makes great stop-motion videos, like this one, for "Echo Chamber". Bought from Amazon, MP3.

Various Artists, THESE SHOCKING SHAKING DAYS. 3 LPs worth of Indonesia's long-hidden psychedelic and funk movement. Which probably sounds like obscurantist bullshit to most of you, but honestly, for those who have worn out on 70's psychedelic music but used to love it, you'll find some great twists on old sounds to captivate you here, and it's a beautiful (if slightly unwieldy) package. Bought at the glorious Conch Records in Auckland.

Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm, A BLACK MAN'S SOUL. If, like me until recently, you only know Ike Turner for his domestic abuse, you'll be in for a real surprise with this record. I'm still new to the worlds of R&B, soul, and funk, so I'm unclear on the precise demarcation that should be reserved for this glorious collection of sliding, ass-shaking instrumentals. Recommended to anyone with a pulse. Reissue also bought at Conch.

Yuck, YUCK. I am still having trouble believing that this record didn't fall behind a couch in 1994 and only now get unveiled to the world. From the recording to the hooks, everything sounds dated in a way that perversely makes it much more refreshing than most records produced with modern sounds. RIYL: Sebadoh, Yo La Tengo, and Moviola. (If you've ever even HEARD of Moviola, this will probably tickle nerves you long thought dead.) Amazon, MP3.

J. Mascis, SEVERAL SHADES OF WHY. Mascis, of course, is the frontman of Dinosaur Jr, whose late-breaking resurgence (also making records that sounded like they fell behind a couch in the early 90's, oddly enough) is one of the happier stories of the last few years of music. So it's quite meaningful that, at least in my early impression, this acoustic record - which I had no particular optimism for going in, for some reason - is probably my favorite album by him in a dog's age. Lots of great guest stars on this, from Kurt Vile to Pall Jenkins, but it'd be nothing without some of J's most textured, thoughtful songs ever. Record Store Day pickup from Auckland's Real Groovy.

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