the original soundtrack

Room One:

Michael Mayer

Room Two:

Bogdan Raczynski
DJ Rephlex Records

+ special guests tba

Saturday, 13 March, 2004
Volume, Brooklyn, NY
$12 adv / $15 door

01.30.04 @ 02:20 AM EST [link]

vampire vultures
Oh yeah! If you're interested, there's a book review by me in the new (February) issue of the Wire of the posthumously-published John Fahey anthology "Vampire Vultures." I'll post the text up here at some point.

Note to those of you writing in to correct me: I realize, yes, that the title of his 2000 anthology is "How Bluegrass Music destroyed my life" -- apologies for the typo.

01.29.04 @ 02:53 PM EST [link]

cooking with liars
Each time I sit down with the new Liars album (which is hurting my head worse than a hundred dogs) I end up switching the CD back to the new 'n lovely Stereolab album. So instead of sitting down with the new Liars, I've been listening to the album while cooking, doing laundry, paying bills. The first -- painful -- track played while I sliced raw onions, my eyes tearing up; then the second while I crushed cloves of garlic with the side of a large knife; the weird muffled, underwater sounds of the third track floated over me while I diced tomatoes. And on and on like that, until I mistakenly chopped a piece of fruit on a plate with such force (I couldn't find my cutting board) that the plate (vintage German porcelain!) shattered into pieces, while the sixth track crashed and swore at me from my speakers. Then I decided it was high time for a beer, and the rest of the album sounded just fine after that. So I still don't know what to think.

Dinner turned out well, in any case.

01.28.04 @ 02:19 AM EST [link]

drone on feel the vibe
Totally digging Jon Dale's madly inspired musings right now -- love this: Surface of the Earth are the drone summit of the past ten years, some of the most densely steamy, unrelentingly heavy drone music made. It makes Sun O))) look like a bunch of pop kids, makes Wolf Eyes look like preening dandies. Surface of the Earth are equaled only by Earth, but even Carlson and co sounded as though they were strumming their instruments. This is the voice of the intimate consort between guitar and amp, uncarved by human hands...

01.27.04 @ 06:16 PM EST [link]

music sent through the ether
I've been working to assemble a care package for an old, dear friend of about 20 CDs of music -- mix CDs, full-lengths, everything. He's been living in relative isolation out in the woods of Vermont, out of range of mp3s and record stores, and hasn't heard much new music for a few years. It's been a trip to try and figure out what he'd like, what he might not have heard, and what might blow his mind.

Speaking of mindblowing, I received a bootleg in the mail of Sonic Youth playing at Terrastock in Boston in 2002, sent all the way from the UK (thanks Toby!) It was a show I had the pleasure to witness, which attained such amazingly blissed-out levels my brain nearly exploded. (During 'Rain on Tin' the entire band seemed to fuse into this white-hot mass of energy -- I had never seen the band so focused, so supremely in control, so commanding of the audience. And I'm generally not a fan of their live shows.)

01.27.04 @ 05:29 PM EST [link]

schlafen gehen
Every week I choose a different album to fall asleep to. My mind is usually so busy that I can't shut it down long enough to fall asleep unless there's music playing that's busy enough to provide a temporary distraction, but not so activating that I spend the entire night thinking about it. This week's choice for sleeping-music is Phill Niblock's 'Touch Works for Hurdy Gurdy and Voice', which has an incredible calming effect on my fevered, overactive brain. Good night!

01.27.04 @ 02:18 AM EST [link]

Finally saw a 12" of 'Yeah' this weekend -- every copy is engraved with the words 'Not as good as Loosing [sic] My Edge'

01.26.04 @ 03:48 AM EST [link]

guitar solos
Every time I get pissed off at something I practice guitar. This amounts to practicing guitar for an hour or more each day (I get pissed off a lot.) I'm trying to develop some goddamned CHOPS, man. Fuck that no-wave/electroclash amateur-night bullshit; I'm talking some serious '70s prog action here. Kidding, kidding, that'd be terrible, but still: why is the guitar solo still so maligned? I'm gonna write songs that consist entirely of multiple extended guitar solos. Dave Q. -- where you at, dude? There are bands to be started! (Have you ever heard Dave's insanely awesome cover of Journey's 'Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin''? His gtr solo will make you weep!)

01.26.04 @ 12:27 AM EST [link]

Woebot outdoes himself yet again. (Matt we loves ya!)

01.25.04 @ 03:49 AM EST [link]

midnight movie
Just got home, and it's 5 in the a.m. -- when I got in the door, totally freezing and unable to feel my fingers, I was greeted by a warm apartment, the stereo playing itself some Stereolab, and the faint, pleasing smell of orange peels and the hyacinths blooming on my windowsill. It feels like spring. It's so goddamn nice in here, in fact, that I'm starting to think that maybe I'll NEVER GO BACK OUTSIDE AGAIN. To say that me and January don't mix is an understatement.

In other news, seeing a 1 a.m. showing of a movie that's 3 and a half hours long is never a good idea. (I should've brought a few beers with me. I gotta think ahead next time!)

01.24.04 @ 03:41 AM EST [link]

your life, feat. jay-z
In theory, that Grey Album that's been making the rounds seems like the lamest, most gimmicky idea ever, but in practice, it's so compelling! Despite my love for the White Album (first cassette tape I ever bought, age nine: fact!) I always hated 'Rocky Raccoon', but mixed with 'Justify My Thug' it's so vastly improved it's shocking.

01.23.04 @ 01:42 AM EST [link]

terrible mass eviction in providence
Tragic, tragic news for the burgeoning Providence noise-rock-art scene: A squadron of state officials has shut down several amazing loft spaces that were the hotbed of underground art/experimental/noize culture, kicking out dozens of artists and musicians from their homes and into the cold with only a day's notice. (Lightning Bolt's Brian Chippendale is among those who must evacuate -- not an easy task, I'm guessing, since "the inside of his space looks VERY much like the inside of a Lightning Bolt record," according to one of the kids who knows him.)

Post from the lotsofnoise bulletin board:

As I'm sure the majority of you have heard, approximately 60 people living in two buildings in the Olneyville section of Providence are being evicted due to fire code / zoning violations (Spaces include the Pink Rabbit, the Bakery, the Sickle, Box of Knives, Munch house, Civic Center, etc). Word was received today (Tuesday 20 January) that at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning people will be forced to evacuate the premises and a demolition crew will be brought in to start destroying the spaces. Right now, residents of these buildings are feverishly trying to pack and move their belongings and their entire lives before this happens, with less than 24 hours notice.

01.22.04 @ 01:08 AM EST [link]

Simon riffing on Finney's 'rhythmic danger' idea-base with some groovy insights -- this part made me laugh: "The beats on Powerpuff Girls are actually quite full-on and jungalistic, 150 bpm and mashed up, but w/o the B-line presha the effect is just innocuously frenetic and exuberant."

Makes me want to check out childrens' cartoon themes, and also reminds me that I haven't willingly watched television in about five months (the TV was on at my friend Joel's place in Ft Greene when I visited, and I just stood there in shock, silently staring at the horrifying barrage of reality-show images on the screen -- until Joel finally said, 'Um, Geeta, have you ever watched TV before?')

Got suckered into contributing to yet another group blog -- Dance Dance 1904, based in Cambridge Mass. and broadcasting to the world. My first post is about some 2003 singles, with more to come.

01.21.04 @ 08:59 PM EST [link]

ain't there one damn song that can make me...
I explore my conflicted feelings (and disappointment with) Bowie's 2003 album 'Reality', in this short review for the Seattle Weekly here. Before I get any guff for this, remember that this is coming from a kid who owns somewhere around 20 Bowie albums, will defend Bowie's '90s output to the death (especially 'Outside', which I really like), collects different pressings of 'Low' and 'Lodger', owns the German-sung version of the 'Heroes' single on vinyl and on CD...("Dann sind wir Helden/nur diesen Tag!")
01.21.04 @ 02:19 PM EST [link]

wizards and warriors
Trying to think of what to say about this new and kind of dreadful Liars album, which I have to write about -- it's, um, definitely strange, almost hilariously so. And good God, man, check out the cover art for their soon-to-be-released single: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?! I cracked up laughing for a solid minute -- it's way funnier than what Pussy Galore did with 'Yu Gung', for sure, but you have to think this: are we laughing with them?

01.21.04 @ 02:33 AM EST [link]

more new stuff
My latest piece for the Village Voice came out this week -- check it out!

Subtlety und Drang: Einstürzende Neubauten, on their new album Perpetuum Mobile. I'm a huge early Neubauten fan, but I also don't mind their later, more laid-back stuff like Silence is Sexy. Their new one is in much the same vein (though I think it's loads better than 'Silence...' was.)
01.19.04 @ 06:07 PM EST [link]

i found a reason
Went to a loft party yesterday in Chelsea that made me feel, well, optimistic about New York again. I felt such a friendly, Boston-like vibe there; maybe it was all the cans of Miller High Life I was swilling, but I hadn't felt that relaxed at a party in a while. Consumed by a fit of giddy stupidity, I decided to walk home -- about 50 blocks, all told. The sidewalks were covered with huge patches of solid ice -- sometimes two or three inches thick and disturbingly opaque, sometimes thin and insidiously invisible. I made a game out of studiously navigating my way through it in my nearly-treadless Adidas sambas, somehow managing not to fall down the whole way back, gaining traction with the satisfying crunch of salt under my feet. It reminded me of the time I walked through Berlin at the dead of night, following the dark, glittering path of the S-Bahn tracks for miles and miles, and how happy and free I felt then. I often forget how liberating and expansive and continuous big cities can be, because they've increasingly seemed so constraining and confining and claustrophobic. One of those uber-long winter walks that I won't feel the need to do again for a long time, probably, but so powerfully head-clearing that I'm glad I did.

Listening to a pile of new CDs and trying to figure out what reviews to pitch next, but all music -- no matter how awful -- sounds so beautiful to me now, to the degree that my critical faculties are somewhat impaired.

01.19.04 @ 04:35 PM EST [link]

'From the riot-torn streets of Manchester, the scenic sewers of Chicago!'

01.19.04 @ 02:27 PM EST [link]

my night out
I completely forgot how brilliant The Homosexuals were! My god! Every time I listen to them I start grinning like an idiot ('Global pupils radiating interference...Picasso!!')

01.18.04 @ 06:28 PM EST [link]

I've been dropping by the Voice offices every few days to help with the massive undertaking of checking and double-checking everyone's Pazz and Jop ballots. It's a repetitive ritual that actually really soothes my rattled nerves -- suddenly all the world's problems boil down into the existential crisis of whether someone put 'Boy in da Corner' as a #2 or a #3 draft pick, or to the question of why someone's points add up to 347 instead of 100 (as critics continue to demonstrate, music is NOT math.) Then there was the meditative process of working out all the possible permutations of Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz' 'Get Low' (Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz f. Ying Yang Twins, f. Elephant Man, f. you and your mother, remix, merengue mix, Superpitcher schaffel mix, etc etc), and wondering how each person who listed it managed to list it COMPLETELY DIFFERENTLY. Then I spent a full twenty minutes or so marveling at how many music critics CAN'T SPELL. Yeah, you. I'm looking at you.

01.17.04 @ 12:53 AM EST [link]

Ever had a burning question for Clint Conley of Mission of Burma? Send me an email before 9 a.m. EST and I'll see what I can do.

01.17.04 @ 12:22 AM EST [link]

sudden stars
Is that new Stereolab 'Margerine Eclipse LP' fucking beautiful or what? I can't stop playing it (which is good, because I'm reviewing it!) It's so upbeat, so hopeful, so radiant. And it's all the more impressive -- inspiring, even -- that they've managed to make an album this forward-looking after the Mary Hansen tragedy. It makes me forget that it's miserable old January, makes me think it's spring already. Love it.

01.13.04 @ 06:09 PM EST [link]

bend sinister
Here's what I submitted, after a few beers, as a Pazz n Jop comment re: Outkast. I'm posting it here because I highly doubt it will get used for publication:

"So my good buddy Dave Q writes me in the middle of the night with the revelation that 'Hey Ya!' sounds like 'Shoulder Pads' by The Fall, off of their 1986 album 'Bend Sinister'. I can see the connection, though it's harder to see how this all fits into his Grand Unified Theory of Van Halen, which he alludes to briefly at the end of the email ("more stuff about insects, either that or the intelligence-spreading monoliths from outer space.") Anyway, back to the song: both Andre 3000 and Big Boi could clobber Mark E. Smith in a fight, easy. But beware the sneaky left hook!"

(hey Dave!)

Someone I should've linked up to a whole lot earlier -- micro-dance-minimal-tech-schaffel-haus-whatever-god Andy Kellman. Go read him; he's great!

01.12.04 @ 03:22 AM EST [link]

at last i am free
I'm pleased to announce that the worst is over. When I finally handed in that Columbia Ph.D. app yesterday, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Any worry has been replaced by a feeling of post-lobotomy serenity -- it's all roses from here on out. So tell me about all the good shows and happenings here in NYC. I'm ready to rock this town. While, y'know, drinking herbal tea and listening to wussy ambient music and stuff.

I just noticed that Gareth posted his best of 2003, and it's awesome! Love his totally-casual-yet-totally-incisive writing style, and the way he approaches music as a laid-back, intelligent listener/enjoyer, and not as a 'critic' -- it makes for a refreshing, illuminating read.

01.06.04 @ 07:02 PM EST [link]

pop ambient 2004
I passed out from exhaustion for a few hours this morning (after a long night spent working on grad school applications) listening to the Kompakt 'Pop Ambient 2004' compilation, an album I'd initially damned for being too underwhelming and 'nice'. The first time I heard it, it sounded all weak and watery to me -- like a cup of under-brewed chamomile tea, pale and lukewarm. But after a dark few days spent in espresso-fueled overdrive, pounded by a soundtrack of loud, headwrecking beats and the raw 4 a.m. despair of writing Ph.D. thesis proposals in the increasingly cruel, cruel light of morning, chamomile tea started to sound really appealing. So I put the little blue flower-bedecked CD in for a spin, even as my tired-but-still-overactive mind was protesting against it, and, as my rapidly firing neurons relaxed into a slow, steady burn...I found I liked it, was kind of hypnotized by it, as my brain slid out of calculator-mode and into soft-and-gooey mode, more sensitive and enraptured by small textural changes, ripples and waves and bits of color. It's not the best ambient album ever made by any stretch, but it's certainly pleasant, and interesting in places. And for the amount of precious calm it offered me on this cold, agitated January morning, it will hold a place in my heart, at least until next month rolls around.

01.05.04 @ 07:41 PM EST [link]

Can I just say how stupidly happy my electric guitar purchase this week has made me? I feel like a 16-year-old again, all thanks to the Mexican-made Fender strat I bought off some kid. I want to start a band! See what I mean about feeling 16 again?

01.03.04 @ 02:07 AM EST [link]

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