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jason on 06/28/2010 at 09:00AM

Almighty Defenders live at Primavera Sound -- Hallelujah!?

photo credit: Berto Garcia, Creative Commons by-sa via Flickr

The Almigty Defenders are a twisted-gospel/garage-punk supergroup featuring members of Black Lips, King Khan & BBQ. When I say "gospel," I mean these guys are inspired by 70s soul, 60s garage and 50s R&B, but the spiritual message is slightly warped. During their rowdy live set at Primavera Sound, they don't just encourage the crowd to "Take Jesus Christ," but to "take him by the balls...and squeeze". They had some strong words for the pope as well in this beguiling set of spirituals, and survived more than a gag (a Defender vomited onstage, which upset the security guards) to keep the party going late Saturday night at the Vice stage.

Vice released The Almighty Defenders' self-titled debut LP late last year, which is surprising turn-around considering the group had only formed in February 2009. Even more surprising is the group's origin story -- according to Wikipedia:

During the Black Lips' January 2009 tour of India, following an incident at a rowdy show during which Cole Alexander kissed fellow bandmember Ian St. Pe and exposed his private parts on-stage, the Lips fled the country while rumors of their arrests circulated the internet. The tour was canceled and the group members fled to the Berlin, Germany residence of King Khan, where Sultan so happened to be recording tracks with Khan for the King Khan and BBQ Show's upcoming "Invisible Girl". Over the course of eight days, in a typically booze-sloppy Black Lips fashion, they laid down 11 tracks with Khan and Sultan. On June 17, the full group made its live debut, performing a set in choir robes at the North by Northeast festival.

The Defenders' choir robes were in full effect at Primavera Sound, where highlights included the group's epic "The Great Defender", "The Ghost With The Most", and "Cone of Light" (full setlist after the jump). The album version of "Cone of Light" is available for download from Vice Records' FMA collection, where you can also find music from related projects Black Lips and King Khan and The Shrines and great great bands like Pierced Arrows, Growing, The RaveonettesAcrassicauda and Lullabye Arkestra.

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macedonia on 06/26/2010 at 10:18AM

Offset Your Reality...

Daughter doodles from day care. March 30, 2009.

I have long since given up on any ambitions to become a WFMU DJ.  Time and logic continue to be enemies in that regard.  However, I can console myself through this resource by letting others know about music that excites me with every blog post and mix that I create.  For that, I want to take this moment to thank the people at WFMU who have worked so hard to make this archive a reality and for allowing the rest of us out there a space to talk about and champion the sounds that make life on earth bearable.

This mix is dedicated to all those who have a need to offset their reality.  Thank you for listening.

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BTurner on 06/25/2010 at 01:00PM

Afrirampo webcasting last show ever 6/26 over UStream

Afrirampo Pica and Oni, the Japanese duo Afrirampo, have decided to call it a day after eight years, and are performing what's promised to be a three to four hour blowout farewell over UStream TV Saturday, June 26th at 7PM Osaka, Japan-time. I had the pleasure of hosting Afrirampo live on two programs here at WFMU (both sessions for download below via the Free Music Archive) during their span, and each time it has blown the collective minds of myself and many listeners. Not just a guitar/drum duo, these sisters harness an entire universe of sound from every recess of their brains and bods and splatter it against the walls at their leisure, alternating from dense, prog-like barrages that constitute what could be a de-testosteroned Lightning Bolt (whom they toured with in 2005 here), to reverb-drenched spaced out excursions though a jungle that evokes the Creatures or Bjork (if Bjork had been raised by actual wild animals), but wilder and more free than any of those above bands while still incorporating structure to their songs. The band calls themselves "naked soul rock", and it doesn't get any more naked the Baka Ga Kita, 2004 recordings of the ladies cohabitating for a month in Cameroon with an actual tribe of Baka Pygmies. Just one side of a diverse, fascinating discography where the band never quite established any particular genre leaning, instead focusing on the joy of sound. We'll miss ya, Afrirampo!

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afrirampo, video, japan
dvd on 06/25/2010 at 11:00AM

Breton Folk Music on Transpacific Sound Paradise

Louise Ebrel is an acclaimed singer of Breton's emblematic traditional call and response vocal style, kan ha diskan, as well as the daughter of Eugénie Goadec of Brittany's renowned Sœurs Goadec.  She dropped by WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise last month for a brief performance with singing partner Ifig Flatres, a leading voice among Brittany's new generation of traditional vocalists and part of the new-roots ensemble Oktopus Kafé

In these duets the kaner (lead vocal) begins the verse.  After a brief overlap, the diskaner (secondary vocal) takes it up and the process is repeated.  Throughout the tune, the vocalists employ nonsense syllables to fill the space between lines.  Louise and Ifig sing in Breton, an insular Celtic language brought over to present-day Brittany from the British Isles during the Early Middle Ages.  The language is now considered endangered and is mostly spoken in Western Brittany.     

The artists were here for a Breton style Fest-Noz - "Night Festival" - held at Connolly's, 121 W 45 St. on Saturday May 22, 2010. The festival was presented by New York's Breton cultural society BZH-New York.  Their performance at WFMU was part of an episode of Transpacific Sound Paradise (hosted by Rob Weisberg) featuring music from Brittany.  You can view the playlist and listen to show in its entirety here.

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JoeMc on 06/24/2010 at 02:00PM

Crapple Dumpkins for the Germophobe (Roy Atwell, mp3)

Charles Korvin about to take the plunge courtesy Evelyn Keyes

For almost a week now, I've been fighting off a bad cold. Last week I couldn't call it what it obviously was; but now that summer is officially here, I can say with conviction that I have an especially annoying case of that seasonal favorite known as the "summer cold."

Summer cold? Ha, there's nothing cold about it. Particularly since last weekend, with the thermometer darting into the 90s, the last thing I want to do is sip tea and crawl under the covers. Having a cold in the winter is natural; you put on your sweater, daub your runny nose, and keep the Fisherman's Friend under your pillowcase. Having a cold in the summer is just wrong. It's hard enough to be comfortable when you're feverish and stuffy, but add in grotesque humidity and heat and you feel as if suffocation would be a mercy.

One of the only consistent comforts of being sick in any season, and it's one of the best reasons for the invention of television, is that you can sit on a sofa watching DVDs all day and no one accuses you of being an indolent sloth. Being somewhat perverse, one of the films I chose to watch during this past week of joy was about an epidemic of small pox. This is sort of like watching airplane disaster movies on a plane, but hey, at least when everyone's dying from small pox, a summer cold doesn't feel so dire.

The name of this particular film was The Killer That Stalked New York. Grammarians among you will notice from the choice of relative pronoun that the filmmakers are not talking about a killer who, but a killer what. The "what" in this case is the small pox. A sweaty blonde diamond smuggler played by Evelyn Keyes carries it in from Cuba (a land of plague, apparently, even in 1950) and proceeds to infect man, woman, and child along the way to her rendezvous with her sleazy husband. The sleazy husband, a musician (ha!) played by the dimple-chinned Charles Korvin, has been making time with this Sheila's sister while she's been off smuggling for him. It's okay, though--the jane has the last laugh. Or at least, the last grimace. Although she's covered with sores and doomed to die, he goes first, off of the ledge of a building, about 20 stories up. Splat.

Anyway, The Killer That Stalked New York put me in mind of just how flimsy we all are, and how the smallest thing, often something we don't even know is there, can make us ill. That's right about when I found Roy Atwell on the FMA.

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roy atwell
lizb on 06/24/2010 at 08:59AM

Ganglians Live at Primavera Sound Festival 2010

I've previously expressed my love for Sacramento, and have attempted to explain why so many great bands have risen from CA's capital, so I will restrain myself from repetition. I will say that it was amazing to stand in the midst of a crowd of a few thousand people at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona last month to see a little Sacto fuzz pop band get some major love.

Ganglians are one of many bands who belong to the reverb-worship cult, but unlike many, they do not employ the effect to mask tonedeaf vocals. On the contrary, these fellahs actually harmonize.

Comparisons have already been made to the Beach Boys (for those vocal harmonies) and Animal Collective (layered euphoric pop with cheap keyboard effects). Ganglians manage to create honest, lo-fi psych-pop songs at an effortlessly loping and patient pace, a pace that can only be achieved by folks who are used to driving a lot over flat terrain on sunny days.

We'd like to apologize to drummer Alex's mom who missed WFMU's live broadcast of Ganglians' set due to some last minute schedule shuffling on our end (we found out that she missed it via WFMU's playlist comments and felt bad about it). Sorry Alex's mom! Listen to the whole set here.

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sacramento, primavera
jason on 06/23/2010 at 01:00PM

Primavera Sound wrap-up pt.3: A Sunny Day in Glasgow in Barcelona

A Sunny Day in Glasgow live at Primavera Sound photo Creative Commons by-nc-nd via serguel_2k / flickr

A Sunny Day in Glasgow's dream-pop stylings have gotten increasingly layered with ethereal subtlety since their debut in 2006, and this translated surprisingly well to the Primavera Sound festival environment. I'd recommend listening back to this live recording through extremely large speakers -- as big as you can find -- at maximum volume, outside.

Contrary to what their name might have you believe, A Sunny Day in Glasgow is actually from Philadelphia PA. Core member Ben Daniels and mult--instrumentalist Josh Meakam are also members of King Kong Ding Dong (who I've written about here). The current incarnation of ASDiG -- either 2.0 or 3.0 for those keeping score -- is rounded out by vocalists Annie Fredrickson and Jen Goma, bassist Ryan Newmyer, and drummer Adam Herndon. 

The Primavera set capped off a 6 week European tour, and focused on new material. A particularly catchy unreleased song (to be titled either "broken radio" or "come away with me" or "sigh, inhibitionist") bodes very well for the future of ASDiG. Most of the other songs can be found through the Mis Ojos Discos label, on either Ashes Grammer (2009) or the Nitetime Rainbows 12'' EP (2010). The latter demonstrates how well the ASDiG layered sound lends itself to remixes with three unique takes on the title track, including one by Ezekiel Honig. You can pick up ASDiG releases through their website, along with a few more free mp3 downloads of demos, singles and remixes (including a Radiohead remix). Word is they have a new full-length in the works, so keep an ear out!

>> A Sunny Day in Glasgow live @ Primavera Sound 2010 (full set)

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mwalker on 06/23/2010 at 09:00AM

William Basinski's Vivian and Ondine

William Basinski at ISSUE Project Room's future home at 110 Livingston. Photo by Lori Baily.

On the evening of Friday June 11th, William Basinski graced the beautiful future home of ISSUE Project Room with two absolutely transcendent performances of his work Vivian and Ondine, marking only the second pre-renovation concert held in the space. We were overwhelmed by the incredible audience turnout and support, and are thrilled that Mr. Basinski has generously offered to share the recording from the entire first set. Please enjoy this enchanting glimpse into what was a truly resplendent experience.

Basinski’s stunningly gorgeous loops emerge as uncontainable, gauzy strains of primeval elegance -- arrestingly affecting in a manner entirely separate from classifiable feeling, beyond quantifiable emotion, and wholly independent of the graspable thought-world. Left to disperse, expand, and dissipate around the marble columns and up into the canopy of the vaulted ceilings, the sounds and reverberations filled the space as if inextricably embedded into the fabric of their natural environment.

The performance connected me deeply to past memories, evoking kindred forms of indescribable emotion. I was reminded of what I found as a child to be the most profound experience possible – watching the sunset in isolation on the beach.  Waiting in the decaying light to be the only body left on the long stretch of sand, I would revel in the cascading shivers that would crawl down my back as water evaporated from my skin and I wrapped myself more tightly in a towel. Facing the sublime extension of the sea, I remember becoming enveloped in a comforting and serene form of abstract loneliness, an empowering type of isolation devoid of any tinge of yearning or melancholy.

ISSUE’s visionary founder Suzanne Fiol found immense peace in Vivian and Ondine, the work serving as her constant soundscape during the last few months of her life. After experiencing the work on Friday, I cannot imagine a more natural, more powerful form of solace and preparation.

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Scott_Williams on 06/22/2010 at 01:30PM

Slits live at Primavera Sound Festival, May 29 2010

Slits live at Primavera Sound Festival, by flickr user Stinka, Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

WFMU recently returned from Barcelona's annual Primavera Sound Festival with a briefcase full of blues, beats, rocks, and yes, punky reggae.  While it was a joy to share so much of this very 'FMU-friendly festival over the airwaves, we were sadly forbidden by federal language restrictions from airing much of the amazing set by the class of '76 all-stars, The Slits.  Happily, words like "poom poom" still manage to travel unmolested in blogolandia, so it is here that we thrill to share their entire set with you, full blessing of the band in tow.

The Slits were formed in 1976 by mainstay Ari Up and future Raincoat Palmolive.  Guitarist Viv Albertine and bassist Tessa Pollitt joined shortly after; soon enough, they were on the road with The Clash and gaining the attention of John Peel, but it wasn't until 1979 that their first record was released.  Cut, produced by Dennis Bovell, introduced the long-lasting prominence of reggae to the Slits mix.  The trio of Ari, Tessa and Viv remained more or less intact until 1982, when the band called it a day.

In 2006, Ari and Tessa reformed the band.  The current lineup includes German drummer Anna Schulte, American singer Michelle Hill, and guitarist Hollie Cook (daughter of Sex Pistol Paul, as a matter of fact).  By 2009, they'd released a new album, the far more dub-heavy Trapped Animal, on Narnack Records, who are also curating a label portal here on the FMA.

The Slits' set at Primavera Sound was a freewheeling and crowdpleasing mix of old faves like "Typical Girls" and "Shoplifting" and new tracks like "Babylon" and "Lazy Slam", plus some nuggets from Ari Up's solo career.  Ari's charisma, onstage costume changes, audience come-ons and dreadlocks-as-dance-partner defined the vibe of their enchanting Saturday evening set.


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herr_professor on 06/22/2010 at 09:51AM

The World Cup of Chip - France

With France on the precipice of elimination from the very same world cup that but a few short years ago they sat atop, ruling with a near iron fist, I wanted to send a message to the players sitting this very moment in the stadiums tunnel. And the best way to send a message is via an example, an example set to music and provided by one of their french countrymen. Da! Heard It Record's own, Eat Rabbit.

His music has been mentioned here before, but the FMA has recently uploaded his senses shattering set from the 2009 Blip Festival. Full of grotesque sample mangling, screaming arpeggios and an disturbing lagomorphic front-man, the performance was a testament to an ideal this french football squadron has seemed to have forgotten, with a never say die attitude and a never give up assault on the audience. Good Luck, men of the 2010 French Football Team, you have one last chance to live up tot he example of heroic countrymen such as Eat Rabbit. You can do it (or not.. not like I care.. VIVA MEXICO), and Ill see you in seven.

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