Wednesday, April 17, 2024

LOMA

And now for some soothing, dreamy, melancholy folk from Dripping Springs, Texas and LOMA.  The project of Emily Cross (Cross Record), Dan Duszynski, and Jonathan Meiburg (Shearwater), the trio craft wonderfully ambient-tinged folk rock that hits all those sweet spots right in the center of the heart.  Check out new tune "How It Starts" below and pre-order the upcoming "How Will I Live without a Body?" LP here from Sub Pop.


Daily Jam - Sing

In honor of the Blur at Coachella discourse currently going on over on social media, here's a column about a Blur song i wrote seven years ago.

I love, love, love a good soundtrack, though that means something completely different now than it did when I was a teenager. My typical soundtrack of choice now is a good film score, old or new, touching on a number of different genres from classical to synth to ambient to surf rock to psychedelia and so on. Classics from Morricone or Carpenter file right in with the more obscure bonkers stuff from old Italian composers, 80’s synth nerds, and younger upstarts alike. But this vinyl film score fetishism is still a relatively recent development on my part, an effect of the increasingly amazing output of record labels like Mondo, Death Waltz, Waxwork, and the like. As a dumb teenager, I was far more into soundtrack collections of pop songs featured in the films. Things like the goth-tinged alt-rock explosion of The Crow, the too-cool-for-school underground lo-fi jams from Kids, the polished and glittered glam and drama of Romeo and Juliet, or the schizophrenic sonic kaleidoscope of Natural Born Killers were all go-to albums for me, some working as vehicles for artists or labels, and others as pieces of collage art in their own rights. But the apex of this soundtrack love is the amazing and essential music from Trainspotting, a film and album that checked in at just the right time, capitalizing on the cultural zeitgeist that was Britpop and turning a young kid in the arid desert of west Texas into an avid fan.

Featuring an array of music from 90’s Britpop bands, electronic artists, and classics from Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and more, I could easily listen to the record all day everyday. Honestly, I probably should just do that later tonight, but for now, let’s focus on a kind of obscure, but absolutely transcendent track from Britpop stalwarts Blur. Originally recorded for the band’s debut album Leisure, “Sing” somewhat surprisingly ended up missing the cut, though it has surfaced on later re-pressings and expanded anniversary editions of the record. Beautiful and dreamlike, the song nods along, a delirious mix of piano, rhythmic drums, reverb, and Damon Albarn’s floating vocals. It’s kind of shoegazey, kind of dream-poppy, and totally hypnotic. Cynically, of course a song like “Sing” is going to soundtrack a film about heroin abusers, but it’s just too lush and gorgeous to fall into that attitude. And it’s easily one of the top ten things the band ever produced. I just want to close my eyes and let my body float away.

Sing to me.


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Cold Cave

LA darkwave duo Cold Cave just dropped new tune "Shadow Dance."  Shake your black hearts to it below and download it here from Heartworm Press.


Daily Jam - Rocks

Years ago when my wife and I were married, we met with the guy whom we had hired to be our wedding deejay to discuss the timing of some songs and dances, the songs to be used during the different ceremonial dances, the songs to avoid like the plague and to not play under any circumstances (“We Are Family”), and some songs that we absolutely wanted played. My list included “Apache” by The Incredible Bongo Band, “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)” by Stevie Wonder, and the indispensable “Rocks” by long-running UK band Primal Scream.

Although the record from whence “Rocks” is derived, the blued-infused, Stones-indebted 1994 album Give Out but Don’t Give Up, with its cropped William Eggleston photo album cover, is a mixed bag of homages and influences, that first single is a party starter for the ages. The beat and guitar riff are full of classic rock swagger, sex oozing from the microphone until the horn section flares up like something out of a Sly Stone daydream, commanding the hips to shake and the feet to move.

Who wouldn’t want this song played at their wedding reception?

Primal Scream are still kicking around, even releasing a couple of instant classic records since “Rocks” (read: 1997’s Vanishing Point and 2000’s EXTRMNTR), but I always come back to my personal introduction to the band. And these days my sons are dancing to it too.


Monday, April 15, 2024

Bnny

I really need to get to work, but i'll leave you with a new song from Chicago alt-rock artist Bnny.  Listen to the melancholy "Good Stuff" below and get the new "One Million Love Songs" album here from Fire Talk.


Cola

Canadian post punk band Cola arose from the ashes of now defunct band Ought in 2022, and now have their sophomore effort "The Gloss" heading our way this summer.  Check out the cool and meandering "Bitter Melon" below and pre-order the LP here from Fire Talk.


Arianne Churchman

UK label Folklore Tapes is in the midst of a very cool project right now, releasing a 24 volume cassette series of 48 artists performing their own brands of mutant folk, drone, and more to create a tapestry of sound based on the myths and folklore of the 48 counties of England.  It's called the "Ceremonial County Series," and it's an epic, sprawling, and fascinating endeavor.  Check out folk artist Arianne Churchman's contribution "The Horse-Woman of Piper's Vale" from Volume II, a droney ode to the lore of Suffolk, below, and get it, along with Volumes I and III here.


Daily Jam - Novocaine for the Soul

There is a big part of me that is beyond thankful that I came of age during the internet’s infancy. I was pretty shy when I was growing up (and still am to a degree) and was basically a nerd (comic books and good grades and whatnot). And in not having an online community of fellow and likeminded nerds to confide in and retreat to, I was forced to venture out into the real world and meet actual people…to make actual friends. Sure, we were still dorks and outcasts doing dork and outcast things, seeking out alcohol (usually unsuccessfully), smoking cigarettes in the park, watching cult films, pining away about sex and the lack thereof, or just telling jokes and hanging out, but we did it together with other human beings.

As a music obsessive, one of the things I would have my little group do on a Friday or Saturday night, was venture out to hunt for CD’s. Living in a smaller city in the 90’s (Midland, Texas had around 90,000 people residing there at the time), we weren’t really overflowing with options. By then, local record stores had all but been swallowed up by the larger chains who were then also on the outs, victims of the big box stores. Thus, visits to our local Best Buy became a weekly occurrence once my driver’s license had been procured.

The Best Buys of the 90’s were significantly different from the Best Buys currently occupying space in shopping centers around the country. At the time, the CD section of the store was very large, the sales thereof providing a relatively inexpensive source of revenue for the chain. Of course MP3’s and streaming killed all that, but as a teen in the 90’s with a modest disposable income to burn, and with the store able to offer the discs at a lower price than anybody else, I amassed quite a collection of 1990’s alt-rock (just the good stuff, I swear).

Does any of this have anything to do with “Novocaine for the Soul,” the 1996 hit from Eels’ debut album Beautiful Freak? No, not really. But I did buy the album at a Best Buy for like 7 dollars or something when I was in high school. So there’s that. Listen to the song and watch the Mark Romanek directed video below… …Before I sputter out.


Sunday, April 14, 2024

Water Damage

On this Sunday, let us open our minds and our earholes, our hearts and our souls to the krautrock and space rock vibes of Austin's own Water Damage.  The collective burn and smear through the cosmos with their latest effort, "In E," four sprawling tracks of droning, hypnotizing, transcendent sound.  Check out "Reel E" below and get the LP here from 12XU.


The Blisks

Australian band The Blisks make a weird, dubby kind of post punk and groove.  The whole sound feels like walking through syrup, cobwebs in your brain, head in the clouds.  Check out "Do You Bless It?" below and pre-order the upcoming "Elixa" album here from Efficient Space.