Sal Klita Blogger | Muzik impressions

Sal Klita Blogger

Saturday, August 26

Barlow's Wry, Introspective Folk & Gaffney's Psychedelic Noise Rock Experiments...Who Could It Be?

Originally Lou Barlow's bedroom side project while he was playing bass in Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh went from soft 4-track sad boy ruminations to full on rambunctious indie rock without losing Barlow's tender hearted, mopey moodiness. This record, III, is where they really clicked. To be totally honest, the first two are our absolute favorites (c'mon, somebody reissue The Freed Weed!!!) but until those are available again, we'll just have to cast our lot with III. Not entirely fair to compare them though. The first two Sebadoh records were just Lou, in his bedroom, singing and strumming, a ramshackle collection of sweet sad songs and freaked out tape experiments, where as by the time of III, Sebadoh was a real rock band, with not just two other band members, but two other songwriters, Eric Gaffney and Jason Lowenstein. Giving Sebadoh a distinctly schizophrenic sound, veering from introspective to noisy and annoying depending on whose song it was.

"Sickles And Hammers"

Years before Conor Oberst ascended to the weepy, slouchy indie throne, Sebadoh's Lou Barlow was already the king of the lo-fi tearjerker. He ruled the roost of unabashed romantics in his rumpled threadbare cardigan, spectacles and tousled mop of hair. However, as III proved beyond a doubt, Sebadoh wasn't confined to lovey-dovey bedroom balladry, nope they could tear shit up a-plenty providing both cathartic heartbaring sadsack sweetness and blistering noise rawk for indie kids near and far.
The copious liner notes are a bit confusing though. As far as we were concerned, Sebadoh WAS Lou Barlow, who was later joined by Eric and Jason. But the liner notes, especially Gaffney's, paint a quite different picture.

"Gimme Indie Rock"

Gaffney goes on and on about how it was basically his band and his songs. But a quick listen to the record (and a look at each member's subsequent sonic track record) reveals the truth, that Lou was still the quiet mastermind. Eric has some killer tracks for sure, and Jason's songs are wild and chaotic (this was before he would grow into a songwriter to rival Lou on later Sebadoh discs) but almost without exception the perfect pop gems here are penned by Lou. Just check out the opener "The Freed Pig", hard to imagine a more perfect indie rock song. Jangly and catchy, a little ramshackle, a teensy bit melancholy, but exuberant and hopeful. With a killer crunchy chorus.

III is peppered with sweet soft acoustic numbers that sound like they were plucked from old Sebadoh cassettes. Each one sad and lovely, perfect mix tape material way back in 1991 (Yeesh, has it really been fifteen years?!), the prototype for EVERY home recorded bedroom record since. Jason contributes some Minutemen sounding instrumental jams ("Sickles & Hammers"), some slow motion druggy stoner jams ("Smoke A Bowl"), a killer twangy acoustic hoedown ("Black Haired Girl") and most of the really esoteric tunes. Eric offers up some lilting minor key jangle ("Violet Execution"), some super fuzzed out jangly tribal psych rock ("Limb By Limb") and the super lengthy bizarre drugged out psych jam "As The World Dies The Eyes Of God Grow Bigger". Between all of these musical flights of fancy, Lou gives us perfect pop song after perfect pop song, whether it's in the form of a whispered mumbly song fragment, or a glorious rocked out jangly jam. Somehow these disparate elements mesh perfectly into a totally rollicking chaotic indie rock masterpiece. A reissue of III on its own would definitely merit record of the week status, but there's a whole extra disc of singles and outtakes that make this absolutely essential.

"Scars, Four Eyes"

First up on the extras disc is "Gimme Indie Rock" a tongue in cheek slam on their more popular indie contemporaries, which inadvertently became a hit and somehow sounded like, but better than, all the bands it was poking fun at (check out the very Dinosaur-like leads!) Speaks volumes that a tossed off fuck around track can be this good. Next up is quite possibly the best Sebadoh song ever "Ride The Darker Wave" a loping groove, with a totally catchy guitar part and an instantly unforgettable melody. Heavy and sludgy but perfectly poppy. The rest of the disc is jam packed with outtakes and alternate versions, a whole bunch of Gaffney tracks, as good as anything on the record proper, as well as a few other Lou gems. Also, tacked on at the very end is "Showtape '91" a 12 minute experimental tape piece, the band used to play at shows before they came on stage. It features the band reading various reviews (positive and negative), repeating the various mispronunciations of the band name, all amidst a cacophonous soundscape of tape manipulation and guitar grind. Very annoying but very very funny.

"Ride The Darker Wave"

As befits a classic record like III, the packaging and reissue extras are amazing. Besides the wealth of extra and unreleased tracks, there are extensive liner notes from all three band members, tons of photos, and the whole thing is housed in a snazzy slipcase with the band name and album title embossed in metallic gold ink. We feel like we're 21 again!!! Amazing Reissue.

Text By Aquarius Records

Sebadoh Page

Friday, August 11

Just A Reminder To: Annie Hayden Album From 2005 "The Enemy of Love" Out By Merge Records...

Some of you may recognize Annie's warm, crystalline voice from her tenure in another band. During the mid 90's, Annie was guitarist and vocalist for the sublimely beautiful and criminally overlooked Jersey City band Spent. They recorded two of the finest albums Merge has ever been privileged to release (Songs of Drinking And Rebellion [1995] and A Seat Beneath The Chairs [1997]). Now Annie is back with some songs of her own, and we couldn't be happier.

The Rub was recorded and mixed with John King (also formerly of Spent) serving as engineer on his Roland VS-880EX. Annie and John borrowed a lot of additional equipment from a friendly benefactor, who happened to be friendly with another benefactor who owned some really nice microphones and a pre-amp. Ed Radich (another former member of Spent) pitched in on the drums. Kevin Olson and Zeno Wood, two of Annie's friends from Steinway (where she works full-time as a piano technician), contributed piano and trumpet respectively on "Wood And Glue". And even though it was accidentally omitted from the liner notes, John King contributed vocals on "Lovely To See." All other instruments and vocals were performed by Miss Hayden herself.

When asked for some highlights or background on the making of The Rub, Annie claimed: "I cried once during the guitar takes. John was very gracious about it . . . he always offered tea and turned out to be the paradigm of professionalism, not to mention a mighty fine engineer." Annie also claims to have a case of the sour grapes about a lot of things, which may or may not be evident from some of the lyrics on The Rub. For instance, on "Wood And Glue" she wonders "Will I admit that I'd be grateful for a custom concrete table", which she says was inspired by too many morning commutes drooling over the House and Home section of the Prada ad-riddled New York Times. While Annie's lyrics may sometime lean towards the disenchanted, her melodies soar and twirl like a spring breeze, revealing the dichotomy of hope and promise in even the the direst of situations.

For some of you, The Rub may be an introduction to an amazing new solo artist; for others it's simply the welcome and triumphant return of an old friend. Either way, it is an album of subtle beauty, and the accomplishment of a significant talent. We hope you'll help us spread the word. bio text from her own site

her space

merge records

Tuesday, August 8

Listen To This: Johnny Marr Joins Modest Mouse...What Da Hell Is Going On Out There...?

While reports of a glittering white unicorn trotting down Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg are still unverified, Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock has confirmed a similarly mythical rumor: Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr is now a permanent part of the Pacific-Northwest band. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Brock said Marr "made a cautious commitment to write and record with us, and then the tighter we got, he was like 'okay, let's tour too.'"

Modest Mouse, with newby Marr, will tour in support of their forthcoming album, We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank, which Marr helped write and record. Brock told Rolling Stone that after the decision to have Marr tour with the Modest Mouse, "he was pretty much a member of the band—not pretty much. He's a full blown member of the band. It's really fuckin' nice." Fuckin' nice, indeed. Report By CMJ

Johnny Marr

modest mouse page

Friday, August 4

Thanks To Pitchfork, For The Bad News Of Course...Arthur Lee Is Dead.

This Are The Only Arthur Lee Voice & Vision Old School Prints,
That i Could Find...

Love - Your Mind and We Belong Together

Love - A Message To Pretty

U Can Try & Say That Tortoise Are Making This 'Fossile Record' Of Kraut Rock, But U Can't Really Ignore Their Influence On Part Of Indie Rock Era...

After 12 years of expanding the definition of rock music, Tortoise will release a highly anticipated box set. Lazarus Taxon is the paleontological term for a species that disappears, then reappears in the fossil record; its namesake is this collection including rare singles from foreign releases and tour EPs, compilation tracks, previously unreleased material and the out-of-print 1995 album Rhythms, Resolutions & Clusters. The set contains three CDs and one DVD, which features most of Tortoise’s music videos and extensive and rare live performance footage.

Shortly following Tortoise’s 1994 self-titled debut, the band asked some friends to remix several tracks, resulting in RR&C, a 30-minute continuous disc. The packaging was made and assembled by hand and the limited pressing sold out in the first year of release. At the time, remixes were the tool of the DJ and found most commonly in the dance-music world. RR&C and the 12” series that followed– some of which you will find in the set - set off a wave of remixes and remix albums in the rock community. A remix intended for this collection by Mike Watt makes its debut in A Lazarus Taxon.

The photography that appears in the album artwork is the work of Arnold Odermatt, a retired Swiss police officer-turned artist. Assigned to document auto accidents and police training, Odermatt’s photos were far more than documents. He often photographed the accident scenes again after all the officers had left and the clutter had been cleared. His photos were uncovered by the Springer and Winkler Gallery, which had Odermatt reprint them in limited editions. The photographs were an instant sensation and garnered Odermatt wide acclaim. Several books have since been published of his work. He has had solo shows at The Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and The Art Institute of Chicago. The Springer and Winkler Gallery and Odermatt graciously allowed Tortoise to use photos that they had selected for this package.

Info By The Label ... Home Page

Thursday, August 3

My Space Discovery Corner: Once Upon A Time There Was This...Cool Freak!!! Alexebert As: The Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros...

my fave freak of the week

For More Info...Click On Pic

thanks to

Wednesday, August 2

Quantic New Album Sound Like One Of His Best Work Till Now, Includes Collaborations Of His Own Broken Beat Style & Mr. Ohmega Watts On The Mike...

At the age of 26, most people are still working to establish themselves. Whether beginning the long climb up the corporate ladder, searching for a soul mate, or settling down and starting a family, these people are just starting to carve a niche for themselves in society. Conventional 26-year-olds are not prolific, internationally recognized experts in their chosen professions. Will Holland, a 26-year-old Brighton, England-based producer with six solo albums, two albums with his own jazz-funk orchestra, and numerous collaborations, is anything but conventional, and his outstanding music testifies to this fact.

1. Absence Heard Presence Felt
2. An Announcement To Answer
3. Blow Your Horn
4. Bomb In A Trumpet Factory

“Quantic” is a word which, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, refers to “a homogenous polynomial having two or more variables”. It is also the name Holland uses when recording music either as a producer or as the leader of his funk ensemble, the Quantic Soul Orchestra. Listening to the DJ’s work confirms the appropriateness of the moniker. As the latest Quantic album, An Announcement to Answer, proves, one of the most striking features of Holland’s production style is his ability to harmoniously blend diverse musical variables into a homogenous, pleasing sonic mixture.

On first listen, Quantic’s music does not seem to warrant comparisons with complex mathematics. After all, what is most immediately noticeable about the music is its accessibility. Holland’s tracks pulse with danceable rhythms propelled by funky grooves and tight beats. The music’s overt energy, however, belies its intricate craftsmanship. Throughout Announcement, this craftsmanship takes center stage and elevates the album above countless other electronic records influenced by world folk music.

Announcement opens with the track, “Absence Heard, Presence Felt”. Holland depicts this title musically by creating a tender, repetitive string melody that plays over a disappearing and reappearing drum beat. The track introduces one of the main unifying themes of the album, the musical practice of call and response. The album’s title alludes to this theme, and songs like “Politick Society”, in which the solo vocalist alternates with a group of singers, provide examples of call and response in action.

6. Meet Me At The Pomegranate Tree
7. Sabor
8. Ticket To Know Where
9. Tell It Like You Mean It

One of the album’s guests, Portland-based MC Ohmega, identifies Quantic as “one of the few to bridge gaps/ Between Afrobeat [and] hip-hop”. Although his statement is true, it fails to fully capture the expansiveness of Holland’s sonic palette. Songs like “Ticket to Know Where” demonstrate Holland’s affinity for Afrobeat and hip-hop, but other tracks show that the producer’s musical vision encompasses much more than these two styles. According to Holland, “Every track documents what was happening in my life at that time.” When Holland was writing Announcement he was traveling the globe, working and record hunting in Puerto Rico, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana and Ethiopia. Consequently, Announcement is an album jammed full of musical snapshots from these different locations, from the tribal percussion at the opening of “Blow Your Horn” to the Caribbean rhythms of ”Sabor“, a track which also features renowned Puerto Rican percussionist Tempo from the Candela All Stars.

Electronic music often has the tendency to sound cold and harsh, but on Announcement, Holland has avoided this pitfall and actually created an electronic record that is warm and inviting. Holland’s style is due in no small part to his dual role as producer and instrumentalist. In addition to mixing and editing all the music on the album, he recorded several of the instrumental parts himself, performing on guitar, bass, percussion, piano, and accordion. Holland is intimately involved with his music; consequently, Announcement has a truly intimate feel. This intimacy stands out in a genre often dominated by computerized sounds, and it, perhaps even more than Holland’s meticulous craftsmanship and incredible musical breadth, makes Announcement a truly exceptional record. Review By Popmatters

Videos By Quantic >>> 1 2
QSO >>> 1

Tuesday, August 1

Hey Tom! Not (Thom) Yorke...No, It's Tom Carter. Play Some More Of This Silence To Me...

plop: we all know that two stones tossed simultaneously into still water yield a vertiginous rippling of concentric circles, and thus intersections known as hyperbola—curves enunciated by a central welling eye of ellipsis. Unfortunately, I don’t live near a lake, and don’t have a pool, so I can only experiment with a claw-foot tub full of lukewarm water.

And it works well enough: there are conic sections and intercepts and lots of stuff going on that brings the ol’ Cartesian Coordinate System to mind; but the main reap of my Mr. Wizard-like curiosity is/was to obtain a workable metaphor for Carter’s Glyph—an extraordinary solo recording for lap steel, steel- and nylon-string’d guitars. Lucky for me, Carter’s music waxes watery; it’s damn well onomatopoeic: sometimes sounds swell up and shower in a stormy release (cf. Glyph’s 2nd track, a salty workhorse of lap steel calisthenics), other times they plip and plop over and into air as stones skipping over water and through a neighbor’s bay window (cf. Glyph’s 3rd track, a hobnail hop o’er the Niagra Falls in’a beer barrel). Accordingly, these sounds aren’t pebbles decreasing the density of an unknown liquid held captive in a carafe; they’re sounds as signs pointing to the beginning of the Begin, when aqua vitae was the lubricant bar none for all Thalesian delineation: it was the Pater Philosophia himself who consciously brought the unconscious principle all encompassing to the forefront, dragging stubborn minds through the dialectic to lead them to the wading pool. Water as the prime stuff, huh? Water as the Cause of All—as the metaphorical DNA of every single phenomenal object, the makings of matter.

No thing was free of its formless form—not even Sound. Methinks this is a decidedly good thing, that is to make that which is aural corporeal—to get it out of the ear and into the eye. And no place more apropos does that action ensue than with a gaze at the recording package proper. The listener always knows what sort of gauzy materialism the sound subscribes to, but the artist conditions that reception with accompanying artwork. In this case, I operated without it for a week, looking over Internet sites for a glimpse to no avail, and finally receiving it from Carter himself. As with all overheated water symbolism, this review rushed from a central source, a main well, and it had nothing to do with any sort of ur-textual exegesis or quasi-biblical rambling: it was all Copper Green’s fault.

"Glyph 1"

Vincent Gallo’s (self-proclaimed) ‘musical history’ begins with the purchase of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. But, Gallo explains, without a turntable, all he could do was look at the cover. And it’s a beautiful cover: one of the best faux group-pictures ever. My experience with Carter’s Glyph is Gallo’s in reverse: during a mid-afternoon boozing, comrade-in-arms Copper Green—when he wasn’t icing down more Genesee—was dropping CDs in the tray, noisily moving speakers out onto the deck. When the music went from The Clash-to the-Dead Boys-to Tom Carter, my ears perked up: What is this? Who is this? Where’s the cover? Copper shrugged with a ‘dunno’, and slammed another Genny. Before I left Green’s deck, I convinced him to dub me a copy; and he did so, on a horribly cheap low-fidelity cassette whose hiss nearly conceals the music trapped in its tape. For someone who sees cover-art as part and parcel to the listening experience, I felt the music to be incomplete, and—because of its incompleteness—even more intriguing.

Nearly a week later, Carter e-mails the cover to me: it looks like one of those floppies from the ‘80s, but dotted with an undulating black-on-beige pointillism that’s festooned with a rotund porcelain lifesaver center—or oculus, if you wanna get technical. Coupled with the evocative title, Glyph, this is an odd choice. I expected a sculpture culled from a Doric frieze, or any sort of enigmatic symbol or carving. I suppose this is what I got, though. The OED cites Coleridge’s utilization of ‘glyph’ in 1825, which, I presume is an articulation on/about language. Coleridge writes: “. . .they were originally symbolical glyphs or sculptures, afterwards translated into words.” Appropriately, the music on Glyph is chatty, discursive stuff, sounding almost like the aural equivalent of translation or transliteration: taking form into phoneme—taking the form into phoneme—crafting the consonant as Marvel's Jack Kirby would've done Conan. But mystery’s not gone yet.

Listening to the cassette now, I’m struck by how deliciously imprecise this stuff is: exactly inexact. We might want to recall the words of Abe Mendelssohn here, which unwittingly woke Wittgensteinian ghosts: “Formerly I was known as the son of my father; now I’m simply known as the father of my son”. So much for the Protagorean Measure . . . Of course, precision proper is an art—a craft that comes into being by way of practice. Exactness is allowed only in the case of standard; there’s got to be a mean, a measure, something geologically sound/solid from which one may begin to build (e.g., a whole lifetime of field recordings, front porch heehaws helped/held by banjo/g’tar ‘n’ washtub bass).

For the nib-and-ink lot, they often forgo precision, (sub)consciously plucking prior effort from the shelves and usurping the Past’s standard, injecting it into works-in-progress in order to anesthetize, their somnambulant prose moving peripatetically from past to future, thereby dragging the detritus of history back and forward till it’s as blurrily ambiguous as the POV of a Gaddis novel. Carter does an ecstatically wonderful job of this, using his acoustic like a rake, where steel-strings are prongs pulling up referential ground aplenty. Were we to throw on a stack of Takoma LPs, we’d only have hindsight; and Carter’s music is nearly a priori, self-evidential value and experience as nonmalleable as math, as necessarily known as all bachelors are unmarried men. Sure, this sounds strange, to make music scaled free of its sense, but, this way, a tune can culminate independent of its course.

"Glyph 2"

So: hearing Glyph’s 1st track—a gloriously monisitc piece whose deft transmogrification is as trance-inducing as hearing the linking of the Mythological Whole in Ovid’s Metamrphoses read aloud by a gin soaked John Houseman—this is music without perspective; sound isn’t placed into categories artificial; it’s heard—and seen—we’re talking about primal stuff here, of the ilkless first substance qualia. Yet, the first track sounds sometimes like Japanese Biwagaku or Sokyoku: a biwa’s fisted four strings flushing over with the zither’s thirteen separate soundings. And then your point of reference shifts: it sounds like the enharmonic music used to score Euripidean Drama, compose a paean to athlete or warrior or eulogize the dead on myriad funerary stelae. This is slippery stuff; and only after falling repeatedly do you actually realize that this music is self-feeding (ah, the ouroboros ilk), introverted, composed out of itself. This music’s energy is sourced from the energy of music making alone; there’s no aspiration to artful precision as there is in a philosopher’s language or thought.

The contradiction is obvious, though: like the philosopher, whose platform is the predecessor’s ruin, Carter makes music out of refutation, or abandoned exegesis; his is a brand studded with the patios of prescription—the emergence of a (much needed) new (musical) language. It sounds familiar, sure; I thought it was three separate folk, all at once: with the blindfold on, I groped with guessing. ---Is it Keiji Haino, (early) Mayo Thompson, ---a Fahey bootleg? ---No on all three. Why does it sound like one, or all three of these? I ‘dunno’, but one can always go abstract and chalk it up to Hegelian re-presentation: these sounds are well-knowns, they’re public domains, they’re re-iconizations of well-knowns, or lesser-knowns, or even-less-well knowns, etc. Of course, for Carter to represent these well- or lesser-knowns, he’s got to know something about their essences, and, it sounds like he most certainly does. For all the different voices whispering through this recording, Carter’s stands straight at the forefront: this is startlingly original music, regardless of what watery origin it rushes from. And, for all this hubbub about knowing or not-knowing, I know one thing: on the verge of a Best-of list at year’s end, Carter’s Glyph earns top honors. Highly recommended. text by stylus magazine.