I’ve Listened, or Happened Upon, These Recently…

…after walking barefoot outside and then locking myself indoors for the duration of the sunshine as to bring you this unneeded installment of my discerning taste.

Artist: Sunn O)))
Album: Domkirke
Format: LP

Mercy me. One of the best ideas actually came to fruition and was captured on wax: doom-sayers Sunn O))) performing live in a church in Bergen, Norway (home of supreme blasphemists Gorgoroth). Haunting VOCALS (yep) hover and ride atop a wave a sheer doom in front of a small group of lucky onlookers. This is what it’s like to walk on hot coals, sleep on a bed of nails, get hit by a bus, and float whilst taking a boiling hot shower; though some say, “boring,” or, “overrated,” I rest comfortably in the “serene and perfect” party.

Artist: Of Montreal
Album: Skeletal Lamping
Format: Mp3

I remember bringing Of Montreal’s The Gay Parade into the living room at my old house after band practice for the guys to listen to. Before deals with steakhouses and lyric content revolving around asexuality, Of Montreal were the paradigm of pro-tools psychedelic. “Just listen to everything going on,” I remember saying years ago. “And somehow it all fits together.” While it has since been more simplified, it has also become it’s own worst enemy; the grandiose nature of this beast has, and will forevermore, damn them as a simple kitsch. Where there was once an under-appreciated eternity has evolved into, “Jesus, what happened to this dude?”

Sure there are arguments for both sides; commercials are easy money for artists, but to change the lyrics so as to include the words “Outback Steakhouse?” Eat a dick, Kevin.

Artist: Danielson
Album: Tell Another Joke at the Ol’ Choppin’ Block/Fetch the Compass Kids
Format: LP

More on the Danielson front! These wonderful records, where Mr. (song)Smith really came into his own, have also been reissued on vinyl. Innocence, somehow, coupled with a mature worldview give this fruit the juice to flex its Freak Folk muscles against anything out there. I’m talking to you, Banhart. This fellow’s a freak in the best of ways in that he really believes in everything he sings about: redemption, love, and a willingness to welcome and knuckle-punch anything that comes in his way. The supportive cast cannot be overlooked as they put Smith’s dreams to music in the finest way possible: patiently, layeredly, and with open arms.

Oh, and remember when I mentioned watching them in the daycare of a cult I lived in? Aw, hell…I’ve never mentioned it. Yep, lived in a cult. Uh-huh…saw Danielson perform in the day care of said cult.

I feel like I should talk to you about this face-to-face.

Yeah, it was weird.

Hail the return of the man-in-the-tree:

Artist: Secret Machines
Album: Secret Machines
Format: Mp3

With Ten Silver Drops, these guys lost my faith in their ability to make a wonderful soundscape jam into the netherworlds. Now, for the love of everything, they’ve seemed to re-center their original goals and abilities, albeit without their original guitarist, Benjamin Curtis, and slapped the world across the face with Secret Machines.

This is a warm walk with the sun to your back.

This is the excitement of getting high and jamming with your friends.

This is when, after finishing recording, the band members shake hands and congratulate each other on getting over their sophomore slump.

Dramatic and poignant, Secret Machines leads the listener on a natural urban jouney complete with the smells of the forest, the difficulty of moving forward, and a statement that screams, “This is all I have, take it or leave it.” I’ve bitten and, as I type this, am being reeled in.

For olde time’s sake:

Artist: Nadja
Album: Radiance of Shadows/Truth Becomes Death
Format: LP

Soundscape metal artists are a dime-a-dozen these days. Luckily there’s Nadja to counter-balance the shit with not only beautiful music but album art to back it up with. There must be something in the Canadian mindset that pre-programs these fuckers to make the best music (examples: Destroyer, Cursed, Fucked Up, Arcade Fire (even though they’re popular, Johnny, one can’t deny the brilliance and likability), Black Mountain/Pink Mountaintops, blah, blah, blah) because the media raining down from America’s hat is just jaw-dropping.

Instrumental metal is all about the buildup, whether simple and poetic or simply lambasting, it is the “chorus” for everything else to center around. Nadja settled on the latter, peaking with such sounds that are almost nauseating in their beauty that I’ve stopped the record a few times to collect myself. The apex is fair game between both albums in that it shares the same extremity; there is no loser here except the one that is bored and jaded with the likes of this genre lulling up the airwaves.

Named after Andre Breton’s fantastic surrealist novel by the same name, Nadja consists of Aidan Baker (this and that) and Leah Buckareff (those and these) and a mindset to destroy everything you know about what good music should be. Scathing, check. Wonderous, on the tip. Encompassing, that’s just the beginning. Already I’m worried about their demise as I sit and hit myself for not taking a friends advice earlier and check them out.

Lord, help all of us Americans to see the beauty in simplicity.

Artist: Eagles of Death Metal
Album: Heart On
Format: Mp3

I like the Queens of the Stone Age through and through. What’s not to like? Testosterone-driven riffs with a cock-sure, let’s-fucking-fight attitude driving heavy pop songs is the perfect formula.

Doing other things (the Desert Sessions exempt) seems silly, as the misleadingly-titled Eagles of Death Metal showcase.

Simple 50’s-derived beats and riffs fronted by a douche explaining to one why he likes to party wears thin quickly. Now thinking about it, everything about this band is plastic…the ideas, the promise, the band itself is self-damning and a joke.

Though you could figure that out by their song, “Wannabe in LA;” No one wants to be in that shithole unless they’re fakes wanting to make it…oh, wait…Wannabe…yep, that encapsulates it perfectly. Wannabes.

And for the QOTA fans, Josh dishing it:

Artist: Bobb Trimble
Album: Iron Curtain Innocence/Harvest of Dreams
Format: LP

Long overdue is my take on these Secretly Canadian re-issues of 80’s seminal creep, Bobb Trimble. Yes, both are late-to-the-party psychedelic classics, but what is more interesting is Mr. double B’s story.

These were both recorded and paid for by himself as he could not find funding for such collections. Surprise. After a brief hiatus, he resurfaced as the Crippled Dog Band which, besides himself, consisted of a few 15 year old boys. Even though there was no Catholic Priest-like foul play, the parents became suspicious and pulled the plug on the band. According to Bobb, he just liked the “sound of 15 year old boys playing instruments.”

These records collect the loneliest that sound can actually get. While expanding simple “Where are you, lover?” songs to include layers and layers of falsetto vocals, keyboards, and botched phone conversations, Iron… and Harvest…pollute the stereo with an unsaid creepiness and focus only seen in fellow creep Bill Fay in both self-imposed confinement and overshadowed brillinace. These albums, my friends, take confidence in execution.

One wants to hug him but holds back because god knws what would Trimble would do in that brief encounter with an actual human body. Especially if he is still holding that fucking gun.

And here are the 15 year old boys:

2 Responses to “I’ve Listened, or Happened Upon, These Recently…”
  1. jasmine says:

    Is Sunn0))) the band that makes people crap their pants? Because I’ll tell you, I just watched/listened to that video and I don’t feel so great. I blame you, sir Mister.

  2. It is possible. If anyone is capable of the sought after “brown note” it would be Sun O))).

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