lizb on 12/26/2012 at 08:00AM
I've been a silent lurker on the FMA this year, but did want to pipe up to share my top picks of 2012 with you all. Like an addict, I hit the new release stack on the site with frightening regularity, the spoils of which I share on my weekly radio show on WFMU and its corresponding podcast.
I skimmed the tastiest bits from the top of my FMA pile, resulting in what is still kind of a huge pile. Therefore, yet again, this year I've got two year-end mixes to share: a short attention span mix (below), and a more complete mix (53 tracks) after the jump. Enjoy!
lizb on 12/17/2011 at 11:00AM
Last year I had a tough time narrowing down my year-end picks, and now as 2011 comes to a close, I find myself in a similar predicament. I dig through the FMA every week and discover so many gems to share on my podcast and radio show that it is nearly impossible for me to narrow down my list and deliver a "top 10."
My solution to this problem: screw it!
I made two mixes of my top picks of 2011, a short list for the ADD generation (below) and a longer, more complete list for extended play (after the jump). Hope you dig 'em both, and can't wait for more incredible FMA discoveries in 2012!
lizb on 01/15/2011 at 12:00PM
Viva L'american Death Ray Music sprung out of Memphis in the late '90s: originally Nicholas Ray and Jeff Bouck of 68 Comeback, along with Harlan T. Bobo, who played in the Limes with Nicholas. Although the lineup has fluctuated over the years due to members' geographical separations, other musical distractions, etc, VLADRM's sound is still capable of restoring your faith in rock and roll.
From glam to garage, dub to dark experimentalism, VLADRM will appeal to fans of the Fall and Roxy Music in all the best ways. The band swung by to play an awesome live set on my radio show in late November, in celebration of the release of their new record "Miles of Smiles, Towns of Frowns" on Mexican Summer.
In its current incarnation, the band's lineup includes Nicholas (ex-Golden Triangle, One Year Band, Other Crimes, the Limes) on guitar and vox, Jeff (Polyphonic Spree, Cause For Applause) on drums, and new member Kunal (Maury & Moosh Moosh) on what the band calls "gui-bass."
Take a listen to a few of my favorite songs from their set below.
lizb on 12/16/2010 at 03:15PM
Overwhelmed by the glut of fantastic tunes I heard this year on the FMA, choosing my top picks from my huge list of favorites turned into quite a frenzy.
Like a crazed shopaholic, I fanatically threw more and more great songs into my shopping cart, and what was supposed to be a Top 10 list quickly grew into a Top 22 list. No buyer's remorse here! Hope you enjoy the mix, and happy 2011!
lizb on 11/11/2010 at 07:00AM
With all the High School Musical, Glee, talent reality shows, and packaged poplets saturating the mainstream media, it almost becomes unfathomable to imagine a teenager creating sophisticated experimental yet melodic compositions these days. Thankfully, Henry Hynes exists.
Not only does this 16-year-old kid play drums in the great NJ band Home Blitz, but he writes great songs, and also volunteers for the FMA from time to time.
Henry recently released a great CD called "The Portal" (Cryptic Carousel), full of home recordings from 2006-2010, and it's been getting a lot of play on WFMU lately. You can check out a sampling of songs from the album here on the FMA. The tunes veer from lo-fi pop to dreamy experimental ramblings and concrete departures, all catchy in a strange otherworldly way.
If you dig Henry's music, I hear he's looking to release some on vinyl...
TAGGED AS:new jersey
lizb on 11/04/2010 at 12:30PM
Jitters, beauty, and blissed out guitar loop magic all converged on my radio program this week, when Baltimore musician Dustin Wong stopped by for a live set.
Scenes from Dustin's illustrious past include playing guitar in two of my favorite bands of recent years: high-energy spazzers Ponytail and intricate dualing guitar melodists Ecstatic Sunshine. That's one hell of a resume! Amazingly, Dustin's new solo material is equally fantastic as his work in other projects, and it even takes his talent in a new and exciting direction.
Dustin Wong's lovely new album of looped guitar orchestrations is called "Infinite Love: A Square Defining A Circle" (Thrill Jockey); it's a variety pack of sorts guaranteed to earn brownie points with any date, featuring two LPs/CDs entitled "Brother" and "Sister" (which start out the same, but then diverge), plus a DVD.
His performance on my radio show (excerpt below) mirrors the style on "Infinite Love." Layers are added to a simple theme and gradually, pauses are filled with playful harmonies, building a complex and beautiful piece that effortlessly transitions into the next idea. When Dustin performs live, you can almost see a miniature symphony of phantom guitars playing along above his shoulders.
Be sure to catch Dustin live in a city near you -- he's on tour with Avocado Happy Hour and Holy Ghost Party (both of Baltimore), playing everywhere from Vermont to California, and then coming back to the East coast again at the end of November. Tour dates/venues here. Also be sure to check out Dustin's bilingual (English/Japanese) blog. Baltimore music fetishists and those interested in the city's latest "soft music" scene, should swing by Bmore Musically Informed for tons of songs/photos/videos.
The archive of Dustin's full live set on WFMU is available as streaming audio here, along with a short interview.
lizb on 09/23/2010 at 12:00PM
I've posted a few of my favorite AWOTT songs below, but to really do the band justice, you must check out their youtube videos. When the band performs live, they dress up like overgrown mutant arthropods.
Fire up your browser's Russian-to-English translator and get in on AWOTT's other web activity: podcast | blog. Band member Nikita runs a blog/distro, and possibly other great and mysterious operations from his home base in Moscow.
lizb on 09/16/2010 at 06:16PM
While checking out recent FMA additions, I came across the names of many of my favorite European collage artists, all listed in a row. Suspicious. Ergo Phizmiz, Okapi, Tep, Japan's Satanicpornocultshop, plus a few others.
It turns out that these splice-and-dice experts were all involved in the same remix compilation, "New Remixes of Vernon Lenoir." The comp was a companion to Vernon Lenoir's 2009 Proot Records release, "New Adventures." Check out the great remix comp below, explore more material from each of the remixers here on the FMA, and then dive into the gems on Vernon Lenoir's page for a bloopy tour of plunderphonic heaven.
lizb on 08/26/2010 at 09:00AM
About two years ago or so, great new bands began sending their latest albums to WFMU on cassette tapes. By no means am I a format purist, but... cassette tapes?! I couldn't help but recoil in aversion.
I chalked up the resurgence of cassette tapes to some sort of imagined nostalgia by a generation who are too young to have been scarred by their favorite album being melted in a dashboard or chewed up and spat out by a machine in revolt. I still apply that bitter sentiment to many tape releases, but in reality I must admit that making a mix CD or MP3 playlist will just never compare with the experience of making a mixtape, plus, a lot of music does sound great with that warm hiss in the background (check out the Polyps).
I gave a listen to some new songs added to the FMA by the band Lame Drivers (featuring Jason), and was delighted to discover that they turned a cassette tape mishap into awesome, sped-up, cartoon/chipmunk-like lo-fi dance jams. They call it a "Martian timeslip experiment." This is the kind of cassette tape release I can get behind!
lizb on 08/19/2010 at 10:30AM
Came across a really fun Ukrainian band here on the FMA recently... Gosprom, who put hip-hop beats and a guitar together with frenetic and gleeful pop, quirky and layered cut-up samples, and occasional nods to jazz. The band's femme vocalist on top of all this genre-mash reminds me a little bit of Pizzicato Five and a Cantonese pop band called PixelToy.
I've posted a few of my favorite tracks below: "Japan Punk" and "Oop Shoop," both of which tend toward the more spastic end of Gosprom's ouvre. You can listen to more of their songs from their album "Lazy" right here. Thanks to the fantastic Headphonica netlabel from bringing this music to the FMA!
Check out this video for "Oop Shoop;" Gosprom performed the song live at club Jazzter with a clairinetist earlier this year.