Some of you that might read McSweeney’s lovely Believer Magazine(which my dad turned me onto) might already have this from last year’s music issue. Zach Condon aka Beirut put together a great track for the magazine which also does the Wolphin DVD series which features greats like Zach Galifianakis and i think David Cross. Venice is alil more lush and slower going than his Beirut music since he strips the track down to only him singing, a hypnotic synth melody, and muted horns. I first heard this track off a mix my DJ partner’s Worst Friend’s did last year and i had to have it by itself, they did an amazing podcast today for Ghostly International which includes Tycho’s The Disconnect. We sometimes see Zach at Macri Park Bar where we DJ at every Wednesday in Brooklyn, i’m always tempted to put the track on.
When I was in Toronto I had the good fortune to hear an advance copy of Montreal-based indie outfit Wolf Parade’s forthcoming album, At Mount Zoomer (due out June 17th). Suffices to say, I was very impressed; this will surely be one of my favorite albums of 2008. The track below is a stand-out on the album, but still just the tip of the iceberg. And yes, the cover looks like a 3rd grade class project gone awry, but the colors bring it together and make it somewhat bearable and after all, this is the standard visually ironic fare I would expect from a release like this. As we learned the other day, sometimes a bad album cover can mean great things are hiding on the inside.
Chicago’s Kranky Records is home to the music that soundtracks my day like Loscil, Stars of the Lid, Tim Hecker, and The Dead Texan which i will share in future music posts. In recent years they have gained probably most their popularity from young guys like Deerhunter and Atlas Sound but the one musician songwriting wise that sticks out is Portand’s Benoît Pioulard. The artwork and photography is done by Will Calcutt who is a great photographer out of Los Angeles and probably couldn’t of pushed this artwork in my opinion closer to perfection for this album. Hopefully this hits the spot to carry you into the weekend.
I remember this 12″ cover art looking right at me when i walked into Etherea Record Shop in East Village, it was pretty much everything i wanted in a font and texture a few years back. This track reminds me of Erlend Oye right away, it feels like something he would sing over but his voice never drops in. If you get a chance check out this record label Eskimo Recordings, they have great art direction and some of the best slow motion disco out there.
So if the last music post left you wondering what ever happened to Digable Planets here’s at least a small part of the explanation. My favorite member of Digable was definitely Butterfly, so when I heard he had a solo project called Cherrywine I was pretty excited. The resulting album is sort of middle of the road for me, but this single is definitely strong and while the subject matter is a far cry from the revolution fomenting intellectualism of Blowout Combit’s still an enjoyable listen.
Back in 2003 when this album came out I was able to catch Cherrywine when they came through Sacramento. It was noticeably underattended, particularly considering the fact that the group was headed up by none other than Ishmael Butler. While it was sort of disappointing to see such a poor turnout, it ended up working in our favor as we got to meet Butterfly and talk with him after the show.
If you cared at all about hip hop during the early 90′s, chances are you’re a big fan of the two albums Digable Planets released during theie brief but brilliant career (Apparently they are touring again, but I’ve yet to hear of a new album). This was way back when, just as rap was turning into the complete mess we hear today and before "what what what what what what what what" was an acceptable refrain for a song. I know, I know, it’s not like everything back in the day was great, and it’s not like everything now is trash; it just seemed like it was easier to come by a well thought out, intelligent hip hop album back then.
When Digable Planets released Blowout Comb I was a Junior in High School and I had spent the previous summer installing a ridiculous sound system in my car. I think I played this album about 500 times in a row the first week I had it; I distinctly remember blasting this particular song (9th Wonder) on repeat on the way to taking my S.A.T.’s that year. Strange how you can forget whole chapters of your life but somehow you remember something seemingly as trivial as the song you listened to on the way to a test. I guess that’s the power of good music. It seems today I consume most of my music through headphones on planes or coming out of computer speakers, neither of which do this song justice, this one has to be played through the 12′s in your trunk to get the point…the bass is massive.
As for the cover art, this was the sort of thing I coveted when I was younger. I wasn’t exposed to anything even approaching good design where I grew up so album covers were one of my only windows into the world of somewhat decent graphic design. I remember being blown away by the design and packaging of this CD when it came out. Now looking back, I see it wasn’t exactly perfect, but still well executed considering. The version on the bottom is the cover for the single, which I think I had in cassette form before I got the album on CD.
Right around the time the Ghostly Swim tracklist was coming together i had to check out some more releases by some of the new faces and picked up this limited 7″ vinyl from School of Seven Bells called Silent Grips. You might remember them from the last Prefuse 73 record or saw them on a tour date with Blonde Redhead. They have this wonderful full sound that is worn down, its like if you molded together some of the best parts of Slowdive and replaced the guitars with warm synths and but brought the vocals up front and add some slower dusty Black Moth Super Rainbow percussion. I hope you enjoy.
Last Saturday i was lucky enough to get into the first ever live band show of Hercules And Love Affair at Studio B in Brooklyn before they venture off to Europe to explode. They brought an amazing live disco band setup with an 8 piece band that included a brass section and 2 singers but they were missing Antony who is the singer in this track “Blind” and previously collaborated with Bjork on Volta. I hope you enjoy this change up, i’ll get into a few different genres while posting on Scott’s blog.
Hercules And Love Affair is due out in the US June 14th 2008 on Mute/DFA