Music Discussion Thread #03

Thanks to a suggestion from Dikachu, I’ll be including a prompt at the beginning of the thread, but I need your suggestions.  Please post ideas in the comments.

For this week, let’s go with a standard hipster question:
What band have you lost interest in once they got popular?

 

Let’s discuss any and all music here. You’ve got a new artist who’s rocking your boat that you want to talk about? Post a video! Found out about that unearthed Coltrane album that has the jazz freak in you losing your mind? Lay it out for us! Do you have a theory about what your favorite band might do for their next album? Let’s hear it! Anything and everything music-related goes here, but do please remember to also pay attention to the more niche threads; if your post would either fit better or equally well in one of them, please post it there as well. I absolutely do not want to steal traffic from those threads.

Sigil’s Music Journal (2018-07-19/2018-07-26)

26EarthandSky.jpg26. Michael Pisaro/Reinier van Houdt – the earth and the sky (2016). I don’t really know anything about Pisaro, nor his approach. It is clearly minimal and spacious; the piano pieces here have a fair amount of silence. In addition, Pisaro seems to utilize unusual recording techniques to augment the piano sound, placing microphones at specific points in the room, as well as, in some instances, the temple of the player (van Houdt, in this case). At nearly four hours with eleven compositions, this is a rather beguiling listen, but such is modern classical music, and, more to the point the Erstwhile label in general. 8/10

27TheTower.jpg27. Xetas – The Tower (2017). Really great no holds barred punk rock from Texas. I’d also like to note that the Kana Harris, the bassist in the group has a tattoo of the cover of Kate Bush’s Never For Ever on her arm, and Kate features prominently in their new band photo But, really the music is fabulous, and I’m always happy when I have another excuse to play it. 9/10

28DoctorCame.jpg28. Smog – The Doctor Came at Dawn (1996). I love Bill Callahan, but I really haven’t listened to a lot of his records. Once Drag City added their catalog to streaming services, I decided to add all of his music to my library and make it a priority to listen. Well, that didn’t happen, so this is kind of the first time listening to this one all the way through. And, unfortunately I think I was distracted, because I don’t remember much of it. Nevertheless, because it’s Smog, and because what I heard, I liked, I’m going to go ahead and give it a solid 7/10

29HoldTime.jpg29. M. Ward – Hold Time (2009). M. Ward makes extremely solid music. And this is a very solid record, but it’s not particularly interesting. I feel like, if someone asked if I would recommend this records I’d say, “Yeah, sure.” It’s solid, and pleasant and kind of fun. And I never listen to it. 6/10

 

30Tired.jpg30. Stars of the Lid – The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid (2001). I have to be in the right mood to enjoy this record. But if I am, I really enjoy it. And I must’ve been in the right mood. It is a lovely drone record. And it’s the type of drone record that illustrates that there are different levels of drone records. This is a very, very good one. Side note: Requiem for Dying Mothers ends with some seemingly indistinct sound effects. Something moving on a table, a dog whimpering, a train. Nevertheless, I immediately recognized it when I finally watched Tarkovsky’s Stalker. Those sound effects are present in the final scene of the movie, and it was one of those weird moments where you’re like.. I’ve heard this before… in music? 9/10

31OnlyHeaven.jpg31. The Young Gods – Only Heaven (1995). This is a pretty good industrial rock record, with some atmospheric passages thrown in. The guitars and drums get pretty heavy every now and again. The best part of the record is the 16 minute track “Moon Revolutions”. That’s really no surprise as I tend to gravitate to longer tracks. This is one of those tracks that uses its extended time to drop out into a sort of atmospheric reverie to make the reprise at the end more impactful, kind of like “Echoes” in that way, but more hard hitting. 6/10

32Cydonia.jpg32. The Orb – Cydonia (2001). The Orb’s material post Orbus Terrarum has been pretty terrible, or at least, not anywhere near the quality of the first three albums. This disc of major label leftovers isn’t terrible, and my listening pleasure is enhanced here by this shuffle project, which helps to pick forgotten things off the floor and dust them. But it’s still pretty middling. Also, it’s way too long. 5/10

33Batholith.jpg33. Bardo Pond – Batholith. Threefold (2008). I have (or had? I don’t remember) the limited version of this with a bonus CD featuring the 13 minute “Threefold”. Despite being fairly short, this is a jammy noisey record. Bardo Pond always seems half drunk when they’re creating feedback, and this is no exception. 6/10

 

34MarkedforDeath.jpg34. Emma Ruth Rundle – Marked for Death (2016). I think this was one of the many albums I bought when Bandcamp was doing one of their ‘donating profits to’ things from last year. I like this, though I’ve kind of realized that it fits nicely into that 90s angry female singer songwriter genre. Which isn’t a bad thing. It does rock harder than Alanis Morissette, though, that’s for sure. 6/10

35ItsNeverTooLate.jpg35. Darren Keen – It’s Never to Late to Say You’re Welcome (2017) A rather typical fractured electronic record on the reliable Orange Milk label. I think I was sent this cassette by mistake, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless, if not particularly noteworthy. A lot of warped techno, mismatched beats, and angular structures. 6/10

 

36Powerpuff.jpg36. The Powerpuff Girls: Heroes & Villains (2000) This is a surprisingly good Powerpuff Girls tie-in album. It’s presented as an episode, which each song furthering the narrative. A concept album with various artists. And the artists are all kind of big name indie stars, like Devo, Frank Black, and The Apples in Stereo. Bis was already involved having provided the end theme to the cartoon, and the contribute a new song here. I haven’t listened to this in years, but it’s pretty good. 7/10

37Blixter.jpg37. Fe-Mail – Blixter Toad (2006). This now inactive project features one of my favorite musicians, Maja S.K. Ratkje, and her SPUNK bandmate, Hild Sofie Tafjord. This is a particularly powerful release but, since it’s a noise album, it’s kind of hard to articulate exactly what’s going on here that makes it special. In part it’s the playfulness of the record (noise tends to get very caught up in a grimdark aesthetic), but I also just think it’s a very well composed album. This band never really got a lot of attention, which is a shame; there’s never enough female representation in noise, and these are two of its finest practitioners. The very last track, “Ballad” is particularly lovely. 9/10

38Zola.jpg38. Zola Jesus – Stridulum EP (2010). This is probably my favorite Zola Jesus release, despite it being an EP, and being relatively early in her career. This was promoted with the song “Night” which is still chilling, but the whole album maintains a consistent tone that, for whatever reason, I don’t find on her albums. Also “Manifest Destiny” is a fantastic capper. 8/10

39BigPop.jpg 39. Jerry Paper – Big Pop for Chameleon World (2014). A weird cocktail of cheap synths and… actually its just cheap synths playing lounge music in a slightly ironic fashion. It sounds affected and horrible, I know, but it’s really quite good. The songs are bouncy and fun (the music anyway, not the lyrics which are mostly searching and frustrated). I’d recommend it for people that don’t mind a fair dose of irony with their pop. 8/10

40YouAreFree.jpg40. Cat Power – You Are Free (2003). Cat Power was one of my favorite artists in college, but for some reason I kind of stopped caring after The Greatest. This is an excellent subdued album. The instrumentation is stripped back, with out electronic accompaniment, unlike Moon Pix. “Names” is probably the highlight for me as it rather nakedly deals with extremely dark material. 7/10

Record of the Week:  I’m going to go with Xetas for this one. It does what it does really well, and what it does is rock.