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mpvernon on 11/04/2009 at 09:00AM

Menhirs of Er Grah - Different World

2qvsj84.jpgBritish musician Thomas Carter doesn't stay in one genre for very long. His project March Rosetta has two albums out on the Clinical Archive netlabel which are quite different from each other. One is a pleasant and mildly avant-garde instrumental effort of electronic music while the other is a more mainstream pop outing.

Again, Mr. Carter shift gears with his new musical project Menhirs of Er Grah. Named after a Megalithic structure in France the music is as sparse and lonely as the stone. Different World can best be described as folk music. It is simply Carter's voice and guitar with another second guitar dubbed in later. The sound is, to put it simply, quite beautiful. Carter's voice has a not unpleasant wavering quality that communicates vulnerability. The guitar work provides a steady base for the lyrics which are complex yet intimate. I especially like the title track and "Red Roses". This is slow and meandering music, easy to relax to but full of meaning.

If you enjoy the music, consider supporting the artist by buying his new EP, Mourning Dove. You can also download a new recording titled "Live at Vombat Radio from Clinical Archives.

(originally posted at Free Albums Galore 4/30/2009)

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doncbruital on 11/03/2009 at 01:55PM

Symbolic Histories, and Whether Ghosts Like Metal

Aright foaks, know this week you might be a little ghosted-out, but figure nonetheless I'll get right to it: my house, yeah, is very creepy. I know I've reported before on this woods-enclosed 18th-century repository-for-lingering-colonial-ghouls, but back then my concerns had only a theoretical basis, founded on the stories I'd heard from the landlord and former tenants: those of the boy who once, just outside, met with the business end of a passing stagecoach; of the section of the house that'd previously been a funeral parlor; of a late night visit from a semi-transparent skeletal figure in the bedroom that's now my own; the whole ghostly bit, in other words. But stories are stories, and they needn't be treated as fact, right, so--the question, seems to me, kind of leaning out for the asking--how exactly ought they to be treated? Thoughtfully, I think, for if they ain't facts, these story-type-truths, they're even more telling.

I'm talking Symbolic History, wherein even if the factual events are not strictly accurate a sort of mythical version of the truth emerges that's truer than the actual one. And look, seeing's we fashion our lives out of semi-factual narratives based more on feeling and emotion than any stringent veraciousness, this is an idea that appeals to me. As in the William T. Vollmann novels of human and environmental wildness to which the term has been frequently applied, our quasimythical conceptions of our personal histories and those of generations before can tell us everything and more, and--right kids?--they're fun. Thus we have our rock and roll histories which, like a Genesis ch. 5-style generational litany, see things proceed in symboilc geneologies; lo! and Blue Cheer begat Black Sabbath, that kind of thing. And at the proud latter-day end of this enumeration of reincarnations, as well as on constant play in my haunted house, stands WILDILDLIFE.

Wildildlife - "Metal" (09:55)
Wildildlife - "Metal" (09:55)
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herr_professor on 11/03/2009 at 10:05AM

Ghostly Hangover

Burnkit at leisure.

If last week's Heosphoros release left you thirsting for more audio evil, or perhaps you missed this brutal chip metal mix from the weekend, or maybe you just have a jones for the spooky left in your veins, I think you will get a kick out of this weeks upload from Burnkit2600. This live focused audio assault unit features three dudes in goggles rocking out electronic music by hand on an array of synthesizers, game systems, drum machines, and more. Their style, a mix of proggy, breaky, synth punkery has them delighting audiences as diverse as the Bent Festival, Pulsewave, and the occasional Pinball Expos, all with definitive nerd rock groove. Check out B00, from last year's This is the Sound!, and see you all in seven.

Burnkit2600 - "b00" (05:02)
Burnkit2600 - "b00" (05:02)
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lavenders on 11/02/2009 at 08:43AM

Catwalk's dreary CA sounds live @ dublab!

Upon hearing Catwalk’s music it would be easy to think they were from Oxford, England instead of Oxnard, California. Their indie-pop jams are more likely to get the rain misting than the sun shining and that’s why we love them. Us California residents dream of dark, billowing clouds and melancholy showers to break the bright monotony of our West Coast weather. We were so happy to have Catwalk come play some of their rain songs live. So no matter where you live please enjoy this special session. For more Catwalk please visit:

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mwalker on 11/02/2009 at 07:09AM

I woke up and drank a bottle of Cheap Kojak

I've upped another long-ish performance, this one coming at you from the Brothers Peeesseye, a duo subset of the trio Peeesseye (also know as PSI), featuring Jaime Fennelly on harmonium and electronics and Chris Forsythe on guitar. They played ISSUE last weekend (10/23) as part of their now-concluded tour.

Peeesseye, normally augmented through the drumming of Fritz Welch, have been kicking around since 2002 and have a pretty sizeable catalogue of cds, cdrs, cassettes, and 7”s, mostly all of which you can grab at Evolving Ear. Jaime and Chris sometimes show up as Phantom Limb, collaborating with such dope musicians as Nate Wooley and C. Spencer Yeh.

This half-hour jam slips back and forth, at a glacial pace, between slow simmer and scalding boil. Builds and unravelings so gradual and mesmerizing that the organic transitions remain nearly invisible – at one moment, clean and minimal guitar figures float in tonal consonance over a warm drone of harmonium; at another moment, nasty blues fragments dig heels against jagged eruptions of molten noise, the harmonium still a suspended backdrop. These moments don’t register, however, as harsh juxtapositions but as natural points on a fluid, timeless continuum that you’re not even aware is being traversed. Worth getting lost in, for sure.

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svenswift on 11/01/2009 at 04:41PM

Abby Lee Tee: Austria Glitch Excellence

Abby Lee Tee a.k.a. DJ Abillity spinning Hyper Dub 12"... Excellent fit.

Austria, Vienna in particular, got Dorian Concept and The Clonious when it comes to forward-thinking beat music. Both these guys have a unique style rooted in Jazz, Soul and Funk but filtered and distorted by their love for electronic (dance-) music. While the scene strongly focuses on the US Bay Area and the UK, originating from Austria makes you an outsider still. But being overlooked is not necessarily a problem. Abby Lee Tee a.k.a. DJ Abillity calls Linz home, and what we hear from down there is 100% next level shit.

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pushbinlou on 11/01/2009 at 10:45AM

Ears Wide Open: Lebensjunge

picture by community photography now & then

Usually when I do the "ears wide open" post it's about an artist or group who is brand new to the scene.  The artists that comprise "Lebens" are another story.  Andrei B., Igor M. and Mamikon V. have been creating music and art in and around Moscow since 1999.  This is the first time that I'm hearing about them which is not surprising since they only play once a year in Russia and their recorded output up until this point has been very limited and rare.

The group changes their name frequently using different variations of Lebens (akin to Jim Thirwhill and his Foetus moniker).  They have recently uploaded their Lebensjunge release on FMA and have also put out a release as Lebenswelt.  A tad confusing but totally worth it if you are into any kind of good quality experimental electronic sounds.  It's hard to compare them to anybody since each release (and each track for that matter) has a different feel and sound to it. Their sound is sometimes harsh, sometimes pretty but always interesting. These fellows are definitely worth a listen.

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macedonia on 10/31/2009 at 12:27PM

music for you, for us, for all...

Album cover for The Years, with artwork by Alexis Demetriades.

Every time I've come across some release by Vosotros, it's only made me more curious as to who they are and what they do.  As a record label, they take their philosophy from the Spanish pronoun it's named after.  In short, Vosotros specializes in making "music for you-all," and a good amount of it is Creative Commons-licensed, which speaks directly to their mission as well as that of the Free Music Archive. 

The Years represents a full-length collaboration between Vosotros and producer Sam Barsh.  It's a wonderful mix of varying styles, hip-hop and soul prominently featured among them.  I first came to know this release via the song "Heartbreaker," a bittersweet selection that features John Robinson a.k.a. Lil' Sci (one of the best MCs to grab the mic in the past five years) on the verses and Tiffany Paige on the hook.  Here within the Archive, you'll find a pair of songs from this album that serve as great teaser material.

The upbeat jazzy number "in THE crowd" has a similar bounce to The Ramsey Lewis Trio's "The In Crowd."  With Gabe Noel on bass, Gene Coye on drums, and Barsh on keyboards, it's safe to say that their efforts were inspired by the Ramsey Lewis cut.  As loose and limber as they sound on that one, we'll focus our attention on the sweet soul of "Let's Stay In Love." 

Tapping into the energy that Al Green had in the booth when he cut "Let's Stay Together," The Years find a more than capable vocalist in Sy Bar-Sheshet.  The backing trio of Noel, Coye, and Barsh are joined by Amir Yaghmai on violin while Noel holds it down on the cello.  The strings add a ribbon of color and romance to an already robust tune.  "Let's Stay In Love" sounds like a kiss between soul mates as the leaves fall and is just as vibrant as the season of Autumn itself.

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jason on 10/30/2009 at 03:46PM

Creative Commons Halloween Mix

The night before Halloween is known as Mischief Night because it is a time for young people to act out and do things that may get them in trouble with neighbors, with the law, and with satan. One of those pranks is downloading music illegally, usually in search of a fitting soundtrack for All Hallows' eve, one that will frighten the trick or treaters. Well this year, we can all focus on bigger and better things, thanks to a set of demonic artists who believe that it is in their interest to give away some of their sonic concoctions for free, because it will help them to cast their spell on a wider audience.

This mix was brewed by Irene Rible: "Join the coven with Nora Keyes and Spires That in the Sunset Rise, descend into hell with Jed Hershon, mourn with Trailer Bride, toilet paper some houses with Mors Ontologica. Here is your FMA Halloween soundtrack"

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JoeMc on 10/30/2009 at 12:24PM

Budweiser: America's Pal

Budweiser ad from 1976 (courtesy Anheuser Busch Inc.)

As anyone who lives in the New York area knows, beer gardens have had a startling uptick in popularity in the past few years. Back at the turn of the century, New York had literally hundreds of them, but just a few years ago, there was only one original beer garden left, the Bohemian Hall in Astoria, Queens. Beer gardens disappeared for many reasons, some legislative (Prohibition), some moralistic (temperance societies), and some psychological (a distaste for German cultural institutions during and after World War I), but the population that they served never did waver in their affection for what made the beer gardens popular in the first place: beer!

Beer has always been second to water as the most popular drink in America. Americans at the turn of the century drank thousands of barrels of beer annually; contemporary Americans drink even more. Since the late 1800s, the beer that most Americans have chosen above all others is one that is still the most popular beer in America today: Budweiser.

Is Budweiser a friend of yours? Listen to the song and read on.

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