Saw a Real Fight in Manhattan this morning, although nothing came of it, no knockdown, just the spectacle of one Lost Soul wildly high-kicking another Lost Soul who, after throwing a few punches,( one landing) gave up in face of effective self defense and some gigantic dude who broke it up. Best was the looks from concerned commuters & tourists, and especially the anti-terrorism checkpoint cops, complete with bomb sniffing dog, who did absolutely nothing about it.
So let’s start some fights.
Still can’t get the Ratatat — but I’ve made progress – “Gettysburg” has me enjoying with pleasure. Trusted experts cite Brian Eno influence, but I didn’t hear it until this track’s reconfiguring of noise and texture from Eno’s Another Green World. I always went to Eno for tone and production first, songwriting second, although at justified times in reverse order; Ratatat strikes me as having neither of these as notable highlights, or not frequently enough. Over the course of their career, I don’t see them ever dropping anything as diverse as Another Green World and then following it with something like Apollo. Aphex Twin is the real updater, marrying Eno’s ambient or non-ambient electronic sounds with complex, bloopy bleepy rhythms. Ratatat reminds me of the first RJD2 record, but with less soul. Or DJ Shadow without the hooks.
Don’t know why anyone’s worked up about Kite Flying Society. Not crazy enough to sound like Danielson Familie, they end up sounding like a Coke commercial. Which means they sound like Polyphonic Spree, which means they sound like bats mating with hyenas. Maybe not even that good.
The Pipettes? If their name stems from a vulgar euph for sex, as in how my pre-chastised students will say I piped her, I might have more respect for their soon-to-be forgotten update of Thee Headcoatees, who I never cared for anyway. Prince covers do not make a band.
The Bicycles are inoffensive enough, breaking no new ground by aping the garage rock stomp of Dirtbombs, et al, with barely memorable melodies. Some of it sounds like inexpert Sloan. Please give me reasons to find them significant.
The new Chad Van Gaalen track – is that demo? That sucks.
Stuff by The Organ intrigues J Frank, slightly. Like a mopey Blondie. I liked Blondie when they got mopey. “Union City Blues” always sounds stunning, coming from a band like Blondie, best known for danceable, hyper-cool club rock, aside from their early-career, fifties garage rock fetish. But I still hold off on the Organ; Electrelane comparisons spring to mind, but fall short, since something about the Organ seems so amateurish, and I easily fall for the amateur stuff (heheheheh — context is everything, no? Especially after age 30 …say ewwwww here) and shouldn’t, cause it breaks my heart so often; but there’s room to grow, and some grow-bands are fun to watch grow. I think the Organ will grow and we’ll all like how they do so.
From Grab That Gun:
The Organ – Steven Smith
From the 2005 Sinking Hearts EP
The Organ –I Am Not Surprised
Against better judgement of folkies, am also digging Marissa Nadler. She’s using her stupendous voice for all the right weirdness, the latest being a sufficiently hair-raising track posted by Gorilla Vs. Bear narrating the tale of real-life conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton.
They were no Chang and Eng Bunker.
The Editors hype is ramping up again, as they hit NYC, and I can’t get out of my head how exact their vocalist achieves an impression of Dead Can Dance singer Brendan Perry.
What’s an old fart to do? Wallow in the old quality material no one seems to be getting these days? Of course.
A few years back, the Dirtbombs heard the genius in the following song, written and performed by the man whom Bob Dylan once named as the best American songwriter (who told me this? Mr. Tapeworm?):
All the Marissa Nadler enjoyment had me slipping out my battered copy of Kate Bush’s The Dreaming. Not her best, but excellent all the same, and not often discussed. There’s no discussion, just this monster, in case you don’t own:
And just because it makes me so giddy I can’t wait until tomorrow, here’s something from a current fave, the Aussue compilation Tales from the Australian Underground – Singles 1976-1989, which I’ll now be forcing you to purchase. It contains the usual suspects, like the Scientists, pre-Hoodoos the Eastern Dark, the Celibate Rifles, and the very decent Australian, non-Doe band known as ‘X.’ But I’m posting the just as quality unknowns, at least to most people. If you know ’em already, swell for you, music geek. Cause that’s what you are if you read this far.
This here features a baby version of the Dirty Three, namely a Warren Ellis-less version, which might strike many as neutered, but imagine D3’s guitarist Mick Turner and uber-drummer Jim White, he of Cat Power’s “Cross Bones Style” et al, playing something hard and loud and metal, and you have the late and forgotten Venom P. Stinger. We weren’t worthy.
Stunning Joy Division impression from the eighties by Mark of Cain; check out that wonderful bass riff. They existed into the nineties, with little reaosn to persist, running trhough Albini and using a Helmet drummer.
God: 17 year olds who made just one album, rare as shit, I have it, and the single, yeah, listen once and know basic indie rock never got much better. They went on to other things we don’t need to hear.
This one reminds me of much of what came after from Aussie rock, especially the chorus, which redeems all the dismissable REM-isms of the verse arrangements.
Let the beatdown begin.