New music to KUCI

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As per usual, here is the email I send out to my KUCI DJ-folks so they are "hip" to all the "goovy" new "music" in the KUCI library.

Hey folks,

I hope you all survived the weekend. I, personally, managed to claw my way
through the weekend with a brain that still feels slightly mushy from lack
of sleep and extremely loud music. When your weekend plans involve a
concert, you are probably in for fun. If the directions to the venue
include “find the alleyway between 3rd street and main”, and you’re in
downtown Los Angeles, you are either in for LOTS of fun, or a night you
will later be describing to authorities. Since I’ve worked up plenty of
positive karma in my “reading to blind puppies” non-profit, it was the
former. The venue, known as “The Smell”, is, for those who aren’t
familiar, more of an art-space, and features generally “arty” music, which
can range anywhere from really intricate and interesting music performed
well and with passion, to folks in facepaint where you turn to your friend
and inquire, “This is a joke, right?” Our night included 8 bands, so we
got the full gamut. Bands from Japan playing 20-minute long, hypnotic
songs. Bands from San Francisco shrieking into
telephones-turned-into-microphones. Bands from Oympia playing a unique
brand of deranged blues-rock (truly the highlight). I mean, if you’re
going to dance in an alley in downtown LA, you want deranged blues-rock,
don’t you?

After getting to bed at 4am (losing an hour for DST), I crawled out of bed
and headed to KUCI to see Do Make Say Think perform in the lobby. Packing
our humble little lobby with eight multi-instrumentalists, and all their
gear, and all the DJs who showed up to watch, made for a warm little
intimate gathering. It was such a thrill to sing along with them in a
wordless choir and clap along with a band I enjoy. That number of
musicians then lets the music take a slow, cinematic crescendo into such a
powerful and redemptive wall of sound that it is blowing right through
your body in a way that I really have to assume will be discovered to cure
cancer by medical professionals in the future. I always begrudge wearing
earplugs to concerts, but that’s the only volume that this effect can be
achieved through. Anyway. Enough of that, I gotta get this shit done.

1. Panda Bear – Person Pitch (Paw Tracks)
Easily one of the best CDs I’ve heard all year. If this doesn’t make
year-end best lists, I would be horribly shocked. Panda Bear is one of
those dudes from Animal Collective. He released a solo album a couple
years ago that was this sort of ethereal singing and guitar angel-song
collection of untitled works. Now he’s back with an album that’s way
more accessible, but still as beautiful and unique. If pop died, and
it’s soul became an angel and got itself a little harp (well, sampler
in this case), and totally awesome wings, and could live in a cloud and
play you the catchiest twelve-minute songs in history, it would be this
album. Nothing I’ve added this year has as high a recommendation as
this album. If this album were a girl, I would work up my courage to
talk to it all night, and then chicken out and feel badly about myself
for days afterwards.

2. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver (Capital)
If you are still unfamiliar with this band, I am going to spend the next
few days wondering how you managed to completely escape the miasma of hype
which has completely drenched the music criticism world since well before his
debut album dropped. James Murphy has apparently ingested every krautrock
and disco album ever, and now, like a mother bird, he has regurgitated
musical nutrition to keep you alive. And when I say “alive”, I mean
“dancing forever until you are so exhausted you can no longer use verbs,
but rather need to just point at things and make crude mimings of what you
need them for.” When you put this CD on, you feel 10 times sexier. That is
based on rigorous scientific studies I have done. About sexiness. The
results are published in the “Journal of American Sexiness Studies and
General Bad-ass-ness.”

3. Cyann & Ben – Sweet Beliefs (Ever)
You know M83? No? Have you ever seen an independent movie trailer? OK. You
know that song they play? That’s M83. Well, probably. Anyway, these dudes
roll with that band. But while M83 makes these pixilated digi-scapes of
beautiful electro-drone-rock, C&B want to throw down some actual
instruments, and more singing, and come from a bit of a folkier
background. It’s from France! They have food there!

4. Low – Drums and Guns (Sub Pop)
Dude, if you’ve never heard of this band, how do you have a show on
college radio?

5. Maps & Atlases – Trees, Swallows, Houses (Sargent House)
This is like some crazy mix of Don Caballero, Hella, At the Drive In, and
Cap’n Jazz (but noisier). INSANE guitar and drums doing SICKENINGLY
INTRICATE music with TOTALLY AWESOME time signatures. I figure, if I
e-yell at you, you’ll listen to me. This is really catchy and exciting.
Like, it’s all jittery and running 1000 miles and hour, and I want to just
start kicking things and shouting! Yay!

6. Drakkar Sauna – Jabraham Lincoln (Marriage)
Ever so often, Portland, Oregon’s Marriage records drops a huge package of
their stuff in my lap, and I smile a little because their stuff sounds
so..unique...most the time that it's always a pleasant little fresh-sounding pick-me-up. This band sounds like some sort of lo-fi Beirut/Avett Bros/Animal Collective kind of thing (much more the first two). If you’re sick of the rest of the shit I add, may I point you towards this album? Man. As this album plays, and I write this, these kids
are winning me over with their charms. Damn this job, and the never ending
bitch-slap it gives my wallet (because I’m not going to just download it
illegally, you philistines).

7. Elvis Perkins – Ash Wednesday (XL)
“Kyle. This album is getting a lot of hype, and it’s good. Add it.” “Dude,
it’s folky indie stuff and everyone is sick of it.” “Add it.” “Fine, but
it’s gonna chart one week, and no one will play it again. Mark my words.”
Prove me wrong, kids. Prove me wrong. (Yes, I say things like “mark my
words”. Because I am a B-movie villain.)

8. Germans – Cape Fear (Arena Rock)
Did you guys see the Cape Fear? DeNiro is pretty rad in that remake. (This
sounds like Pavement, Broken Social Scene, and Flaming Lips. Can you tell
I’m tired and want to go home?)

8. Kinetic Stereokids – Basement Kids (Overdraft)
So, it says they’ve opened for Explosions in the Sky, Trail of Dead,
Secret Machines, and Wolf Eyes. That last one HAS to be a typo though.
This is like, lo-fi Elliott Smith-ish stuff. Wolf Eyes is like getting
your ears’ balls kicked by a horse on fire. It gets a little lofi-raw and
distorty, but it’s not squealing walls of metal-made noise. That’s for
damned sure.

OK. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna eat a quick dinner and go see “The
Host”. I have a particular fetish for Korean people being eaten by
monsters, and I’m glad a film has finally decided to pander to my perverse, sexual tastes. I bid you good night.


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