Friday, 24 December 2010

A Christmas Cover Up - Do you know it's Christmas time?

Of course this weeks cover up was always going to be Christmas related and considering my rant earlier in the week this cover of Do They Know It's Christmas Time by Fucked Up and friends (including Bob Mould, GZA, Tegan and Sara, David Cross, Yo La Tengo) seems very much appropriate.

Sonic Masala is going to be a bit quiet over the festive season but we'll be back with yet more lists before New Years Eve and maybe more besides, but for now Sonic Masala wishes everyone a quality Christmas and a Happy new year, just think of us when your stuck with all that left over turkey.

Fucked Up - Do They Know It's Christmas Time

Sonic Masala's Top Ten LPs of 2010

So this is what it all comes down to, the most important list of them all, Sonic Masala's Top Ten LPs of 2010. So in reverse order...

10. Oneohtrix Point Never - Returnal

This album took time to grow on me, in fact I think Brooklyn based Daniel Lopatin's beautiful drone masterpiece is still growing on Brendan, but in time I'm sure he'll be won over. From the chaotic noise opening of Nil Admirari to the dense shimmer of Describing Bodies and even its blissed out drone wanderings of Stress Waves - this is a sublimely gorgeous abstract work.

Oneohtrix Point Never - Stress Waves

9. The Young - Voyagers of Legend

Out on Mexican Summer, this Austin rock four-piece seems to have been overlooked by many this year - but not Sonic Masala. The most considered raucous pop-punk album of 2010, jagged and rough but touched with a solemn emotive mood, this is like fighting with tears in your eyes.

The Young - Bird In The Bush

8. Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here?

Simply this years most beautiful album. The Cleveland trio really have captured something timeless in Does It Look Like I'm Here? With its delicate variations of mood and intensity each track seems to build its own momentum. Something I'm sure this album's reputation will do also, building momentum to be regarded as a modern classic.

Emeralds - Double Helix

7. Drum Eyes - Gira Gira

If there is one album this year that relentlessly pushes the totally insane card, then Drum Eyes' Gira Gira has to be it. Brooding, maximalist sonic expressions of the most warped minds. One minute sci-fi futurisms, the next driving trash insanity. A scarily fun riot of epic soundscapes.

Drum Eyes - 13 Magician

6. My Disco - Little Joy

My Disco is yet another band from Australia I wouldn't have found without Brendan's guidance. Criminally overlooked this year, Little Joy is the Melbourne trio's third LP. Pounding but calm, it is a work of rhythmic subtlety and relentless drive.

My Disco - Sunray

5. Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky

Right from the start Brendan has been telling me that My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky is one of the albums of the year, and just like the 13 year long road its taken Swans to reach this point, it took me a little while to see the true genius of this album. More approachable than the Swans' earlier brutal work but no less uncompromising. Swans with humanity and beauty? Maybe. Epic? Yes.

Swans - You Fucking People Make Me Sick

4. Liars - Sisterworld

Even with its early release Sisterworld was always going to be up there for Sonic Masala. The fifth Liars album is relentlessly tense, full of surreal imagery and anxiety. Strangely it didn't make the impact on the year we thought it would, but for us its the Liars at their most contagious.

Liars - Scissor

3. Zach Hill - Face Tat

Zach Hill is a sticksmith genius, that can't be denied. But Face Tat, his second full solo LP, underlines his credentials as a truly innovative musician. Astrological Straits was truly a bizarre and mesmerizing album, but Face Tat really takes Zach's solo work to a new level with the ferocious style with which he assaults his drums underpinning it all. Intense, deceptive, challenging, Face Tat sounds disorienting and alien at first, thanks partly to Hill's bizarre sound sources - but the more you delve into this 40 minute frenzy the more you are rewarded.

Zach Hill - Memo to the Man

2. Rangda - False Flag

Super groups are a strange thing. Whilst the depth of talent that makes up the Rangda trio is eye wateringly impressive - guitarists Sir Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls) and Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) and drummer Chris Corsano - it can be hard for the end result to be greater than the sum of the parts. However, Rangda's False Flag so is. An uncompromising beast of a record, it is simultaneously brutal and dynamic, subtle and beautiful. Rangda landed and took our breath away.

Rangda - Serrated Edges

1. Women - Public Strain

So here it is, the Sonic Masala best LP of 2010. Surprised? Maybe, but its not a compromise. In fact we really didn't want our end of year first to be just what we agreed upon, this choice has got conviction behind it. Some may have dismissed this album at first listen. In fact I almost did, such was my love of Woman's self titled debut. But give Public Strain repeated listens and its infectious off key claws and howls work their way into your soul. We're not calling Public Strain a grower - oh no, it much more deadly than that.

At first Public Strain's sunny rhythms might come to the fore, but as the drone driven aesthetics build from behind the scenes it becomes a different beast, sweet but sour, bleak but beautiful, crisp but soaked in reverb. Those chirpy tempos hiding its dark noise underbelly waiting to leak into your consciousness. With Women's first outing pop sweetness was kept separate from dark drone noise, but here Women have spawned something of frightening beauty. Public Strain is Sonic Masala's record of the year and its been quality gaining ground since August - now we can't let it go.

Woman - Drag Open

So there you have it, we left the list late so we knew we had everything. There's nothing more annoying than an end of list that drops in early November, we're the polar opposite. So what do you think? Have we missed anything? Is there a gem you'd push to the top? Let us know.

Paul Masala's Top Ten LPs of 2010

God this is hard. This being the first year of Sonic Masala this is the first time we've had to compile the end of year lists, yeah sure we've done them before, just for the chat down the pub, but committing them to the blog is so much more final, so much more nailed down. So like Brendan mention we sat down with beers in hand last weekend and nailed down our Sonic Masala top ten, we could of done a top 20 or even 40 long players, but we didn't have a week to sit in the pub debating them, much to our annoyance, it took three hour just to get ten! So like Brendan here are my top ten that didn't make that final SM list, plus a few other honourable mentions...

1. Ensemble Econmique - Psychical

I'm sure all end of year lists seem to have a LPs that sneak in at in the last few months and Ensemble Econmique fills that role in mine. A dark slab of future fucked utopia. When I first posted about Psychical I compared it a dark, more twisted, Vangelis inspired ,soundtrack for Blade Runner 2. Its moved on a bit from that lazy comparison to reach new dense haunted depths. Doom drone I've lapped up in the final few months of a fucked up year.

2. Ma Ami - Steal Your Face

Mi Ami's previous long playing outing Water Sports was massive favourite of mine last year so I came to Steal Your Face with big expections, and the Californian trio delivered in a riot of fast passed snaring fury, funk and tribal rhythms. Delicate and savage at the same an album that can shock and humble in equal measure, and I finally got to see Mi Ami live this year too, winner.

3. Cloudland Canyon - Fin Eaves

Falling for for this playful wash of noise was inevitable. I've been a keen follower of Cloudland Canyon ever since Silver Tongue Sisyphus, but with this years LP the band showed a lightness of touch to their drone and noise asthetic, shimmering depth and weight that seems to float just like a cloud. I'm sure it's been massively over looked for the touch bliss it really is.

4. People Of The North - Deep Tissue

People Of The North is the side project of Oneida members KidMillions, Fat Bobby and Showtime. I've always had thing for Oneida and their relentless throbbing rhythms, sure Deep Tissue isn't as expansive and conceptually bold as Oneida's releases (what is?) but the similarities are there. Deep Tissue covers familiar ground, its a step into indulgent unfinished business, an personal experiment shown to the world in all its raw, untouched beauty, same themes but left naked and stark.

5. Sun Araw - On Patrol

I really couldn't make my mind up between Sun Araw's On Patrol and Magic Lantens Platoon but On Patrol had to take it. Where else can you hear this level of stoned-out face melting tribal noise slur. A unique record that consumes you rather than just grow on you. 

6. Thee Oh Sees - Warm Slime

You got to love the Thee Oh Sees, well ok you don't but spend 30 seconds in the company of John Dwyer and friends cranking it out live and you will. Some LPs sick because the impact the band makes live. I might be guilty of that with Warm Slime but I think its the closest Thee Oh Sees have come to capturing their live energy on wax, and for that its a near perfect slice of garage punk swagger and bravado.

7. Caribou - Swim

If one album has popped up a lot on end of year lists then it's Caribou's Swim, a record I believe was on the cards ever since the track Brahminy Kite from The Milk of Human Kindness, a track that seemed, to me at least, to shape Andorra and naturally evolve to the pop perfection that is Swim. And that's what Daniel Snaith has created in Swim, a perfect pop album that will surly catapult Caribou into the mainstream. For me its the tracks like Leave House and Found Out that show the true quality of this album that and the fact that Carbiou still present a formidable and mesmerising live unit. I just hope it says that way.

8. Pocahaunted - Make It Real 

This might of been the west coast psych-dub outfits last LP outing, it might of even been a touch less edgy than previous efforts but it was one of Pocahaunted's best, more straight punk-funk & psych garage inspired than before, the duo went out with a swagger to their ghostly tribalisms, a parting voodoo party.

9. Grass Widow - Past Time

Of all the girl fronted, doo-wop influence, vocal harmony soaked, all girl groups that graced us with LP this year Grass Widow's debut was the best. Better wonky harmonising, better cheeky time changes all left refreshingly garage fuzz free.

10. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

When I first heard the rumours of Titus Andronicus' plans for their new LP, an album written from the perspective of union solider in the American civil war I was worried, it sounded like it could be a terrible idea, but no this album has more venom and spite than most rock bands managed in a life time, the world is fucked and they're not happy.

Other honourable mentions...

Tame Impala - Inner Speaker
Magic Lantern - Platoon
Tyvek - Nothing Fits
Sex Worker - Waving Goodbye
Autolux - Transit Transit

...I could go on forever but I have to draw the line somewhere. Next up the final all conquering Sonic Masala top ten albums of 2010...

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Brendan Masala's Top Ten Albums of 2010!

This was ridiculously hard to do for a year where there were a lot of really good albums but not many great ones. Still, when I had done a lot of cross examinations and listened til my ears bled, I was left with some twenty albums that were still floating my boat. As Paul and I found common ground there, as a collective Paul and I have come up with a definitive top ten for tomorrow (with the only exception being our final entry - wont say much until tomorrow), so I'm showcasing a couple that may have slipped through the cracks. And from the above pic I guess you know where we are starting...

1. Mark McGuire, Living With Yourself

I only heard this a month ago, but have not been able to put it to bed. This is guitar collage by a consummate professional (1/3 of the inimitable Emeralds), but with an inherent personal narrative that is more emotive than almost anything you'll come across. Mindblowing.

2. Ceremony
- Rohnert Park

This album upset a lot of the hardcore purists that had been swept up by the bloodlust that was Ceremony's initial propulsive drive. Yet its the melodic change of gear and emphasis on early twenties ennui that underpins this album - Ceremony may be in 'The Doldrums', exhibiting lo-fi stargazing with the best of em, but unlike the likes of Beach Fossils et al (many of which are great), these guys will still tear you a new arsehole.

3. Puffy Areolas - In The Army 1981

Puerile, nihilistic trash, screaming and buzzsawing their way through an obnoxious forty minutes that you can never get back, Puffy Areolas are unabashedly bashing their head repeatedly against a wall, whilst holding you in a headlock. And it may take a while, but rest assured you'll have a bloodied grin smeared across your face. A lot of bands (some even from the same Siltbreeze stable) tried for reckless wanton abandon, but none did it like Puffy Areolas.

4. Male Bonding - Nothing Hurts

This album is still up there for me even though it was on relentless rotation early in the year, and was an almost there contender for Sonic Masala's definitive top ten. In some ways I could alternate this album with Harlem's Hippies - both exuded that bright, snotty, scuzzy garage punk with pop sensibilities emblazoned across their chests. But I came to the Dalston trio's brand of sound first, therefore it wins the kudos here. Still incredibly addictive - pretty much my 2010 dance album, albeit drunken and inevitably staining the carpet with red wine and cigarette burns.

5. Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra
- Kollaps Tradixionales

We all need a guilty pleasure... I know a lot of people hate Efrin Menuck's voice, and the G!YBE reunion certainly has overshadowed things, but Kollaps Tradixionales is here, not just because it is an impressive, audacious, sprawling, memsmeric listen, but because of their amazing live show in February at Electric Ballroom, and for the epic opening track 'There Is A Light'. And I like Ramirez's voice, so fuck you.

6. Heirs
- Fowl

I wanted to put Helms Alee's Night Terror here, but seeing as it is a 2009 release, that cant be done. Instead I bring you Heirs, a hard post-metal outfit from Melbourne that managed on Fowl to squeeze every iota of emotion out of the blackest riffs this side of death metal without resorting to guttural growls, yelps and the gnashing of teeth - which is why I love this genre. Furthermore, it has balls. Big, big balls. They played the tiniest of venues in Camden this year and I saw a man spontaneously combust. FACT. (NB - facts may not be factual).

7. Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Rush To Relax

Another Aussie outfit, but one you might be more familiar with - ECSR's 3rd LP has been largely overlooked almost everywhere, which is a travesty. I know that the release of the first two albums (Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Primary Colours) only came here last year, but its a shame that this garage juggernaut missed the target. They are terse yet fun, brooding yet energetic, manic yet throwaway - and their simple chugging sonics coupled with lead Brendan Suppression's iconic Aussie bark/drawl makes for a unique and amazing sound. They have toured with Pissed Jeans of recent times - expect for more bite next time around.

8. Merchandise - (Strange Songs) In The Dark

Another band I only came to last month - the exact same day as Mark McGuire - this Florida act have put out an amazing EP and a bunch of demos and such (Gone Are The Silk Gardens Of Youth), but the album is something so much more. The loudest, most feedback riddled, brooding pop songs ever. One of the most breathtaking albums of 2010 in my opinion - underneath all that white noise and dissonance is abject beauty.

9. Sex Church
- 6 Songs By...

These guys were all the rage in the middle months of 2010, then the hype seemed to die away. Shame really, cos Sex Church (not to be confused with another amazing band, Megachurch, who just miss the cut here) are producing some of the most exciting garage rock right now. When bands such as Tyvek and Sic Alps are all jostling each other for obvious reasons, Sex Church came along and quietly drank everyone under the table and slept with all their girlfriends. And they are from British Columbia. Shit.

10. Tjutjana - Tjutjana

The biggest surprise of the year I reckon, as this is actually a release sent to me by the band themselves. Hailing from Denver Colorado, Tjutjana are relentless in their pursuit of the Dark Side of psych rock. And whilst there were some great psych records out this year, Tjutjana brought forth a fresh, albeit disturbing, take, and blew away the competition.

I feel I've left out some other stellar releases too, so here's a few others that have gotten serious airplay this year.

Honourable mentions

The Austerity Program - Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn (my fave EP of year)
Forest Swords
- Dagger Paths
The Black Angels
- Phosphene Dream
- Sports
Besnard Lakes
- ...Are The Roaring Night

PVT - Church With No Magic

And I better stop there before I get carried away!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Sonic Masala's Fave Gigs of 2010!

OK, so we have seen a hell of a lot of gigs this year, so much so that it has been hard to keep track! So over a couple of Doom Bars on Sunday we tried to nut it all out, and still managed to miss a couple (ah...Mono?!?!?). Anyway, with our collective hazy memories somewhat in check, here are our favourite shows that blew us away. Again, there are more than ten here - no need in splitting hairs really. And whilst still not in a rigid order, the top few were the highlights amongst the highlights...

Sonic Masala's Favourite Shows of 2010

Double Dagger - ALL OF THEM! (Lock Tavern/Rest Is Noise/Cargo

Godspeed You Black Emperor (The Troxy)

White Hills/Pontiak (The Luminaire)

Thee Silver Mt Zion Orchestra (Electric Ballroom)

Mono (Scala)

Liars (Heaven)

Deerhunter (Heaven)

Part Chimp/Sloath/Gum Takes Tooth (The Luminaire)

Fuck Buttons/Factory Floor (Heaven)

My Disco/Factory Floor/Snowman (The Lexington)

The Knife - "Tomorrow, In A Year" opera (The Barbican)

Mi Ami/Islet (Barden's Boudoir)

Pontiak (Old Blue Last)

Action Beat/Stig Noise/Shield Your Eyes (The Macbeth)

Thee Oh Sees/Sex Beet (The Luminaire/Plan B)

Women (Cargo/The Social)

TuNe-YaRdS/Trash Kit (Cargo)

Eddy Current Suppression Ring (The Zoo, Brisbane, Australia - yep, my guilty pleasure!)

Sonic Masala's Fave support bands of 2010

Sonic Masala has one rule when it comes gig going... NEVER MISS THE SUPPORT BANDS! You never know what fledgling genius you might stumble upon.

This year we've been privileged to witness some great gigs, something Brendan has rounded up, but a blog like this wouldn't exist without the bands that prop up the big name at the top of the bill. We've discovered many gems doing the hard graft in a supporting role this year, sometimes by accident, sometimes by design and sometimes we've gone just to see the support band in the first place (of course we hung around after). In many cases the support band in question has shone just as brightly, and sometimes outshone their soundcheck-indulged, rider-demanding, bill-topping peers. In truth though many gigs are so well thought out (thanks Upset The Rhythm) that they don't really have a pecking order. In these cases you go to see one band and leave with two or three new faves, everyone is a winner.

So below in no particular order is a list of bands that have rocked up in a supporting slot this year and blown us away. In places it shows just how far some of them have come, in others its a glimpse of the treats that 2011 many hold in store.

Sonic Masala's Fave support bands of 2010

Not Cool supporting Screaming Females (The Luminaire)

Nisennenmondai supporting The Ex (The Dome)

Eat Skull supporting Ganglians (XOYO)

Double Dagger supporting Real Estate (Cargo)

Gum Takes Tooth supporting Part Chimp (The Luminaire)

Grass Widow supporting Naked On The Vague (The Lexington)

Factory Floor supporting Fuck Buttons (Koko)

Islet supporting Frankie & The Heartstrings (Lock Tavern)

Kong supporting Future of the Left (Club 229)

Snowmen/Factory Floor supporting My Disco (The Lexington)

Trash Kit supporting Vivian Girls (Clowns Church Hall)

Wolf People supporting The Besnard Lakes (Cargo)

Not Not a Bored Fortress for Infinite Body, No Age, Rangers, Gnod, Robedoor and NNF gang

No set of posts about Not Not Fun would be complete with out mentioning their Bored Fortress 7" club, thus picking out a couple of the many gems that make up this year's selection.

The Bored Fortress 7" Club, now in its fourth year, is a series of split 7" featuring some of NNF fave bands, such as Wet Hair, Sex Worker, Ducktails, Rangers, Infinite Body, Psychic Reality, No Age, Gnod and Robedoor, all married together with NNF fave visual artists, this year including Cody De Franco, Julien Langendorff, Carlos Gonzalez plus many more. The packaging is a big part of it, along with the limited releases and lucky dip nature of the club. The club runs from August to December, a precious 7" dropping every other month. This is really a 7" club at its best taking all out visually and sonically.

As you've probably noticed the club has finished but you can still pick up these gems on a individual basis from NNF and other places. One choice pick for me from this year's club was the Gnod and Robedoor split - both normally expansive bands from either side of the pond are forced by 7"s of wax to form tightly bound knots form the psych depths. Gnod's 'A Very Special Request' slowly plummets to the darkest regions whilst Robedoor's 'Solid State' descending into a hard psych meltdown.

No Age and the Infinite Body's 7" is another highlight. Two bands you might not naturally sit together but some how Bored Fortress has created a match made in heaven, No Age reeling back to their instrumental noise origins with 'Wintry Kk' and Infinite Body picking up from this year's LP, Carve Out the Face of My God, offering soft snow noise sweeping all before it with 'Between You Can Crawl Like This Is The End'. And don't get me started on the Sex Worker / Psychic Reality split, not to mention the Rangers/Ducktails spar off...

I could go on forever about these six slices of 7" awesomeness, a testament to the genius work of Not Not Fun in one top tip bundle. Of course my posts have only scratched the surface of all that NNF has to offer, hopefully they've convinced you delve deeper into their delights. Have a taste and support their sterling work here.

Infinite Body - Between You Can Crawl Like This Is The End

Gnod - A Very Special Request

Waskerley Way Has Energy To Burn

Mikey B, the man behind Waskerley Way, has been a busy boy, with last week's release of Energy Legs being his 3rd EP launch this year alone (we covered last release Holly here). This is not a matter of diminishing returns either - this 5 track album has room to grow on you after repeated listens. 'Gateau' has the underwater dreaminess that Spongebob Squarepants could connect with if it were he instead of his creators that were smoking copious amounts of weed, whilst the slightly subcontinental whirr of 'Supercat' is infectious. What is great about Waskerley Way is his ability to combine lo fi glitches with wider and weirder realms to create something that, if not overtly original, is nonetheless impressive. Euro disco via laptop? Im there. Whats more, Energy Legs is just another chapter in the growing nature of this talented lad's progression - expect 2011 to provide even greater things from Mister B.

You can buy Energy Legs for change here.

Sonic Masala's Fave EPs of 2010!

So the duty of Sonic Masala's second 'best of' list falls to me, and its late. No change there. As the title points out I've got the daunting task of picking out our fave EPs for 2010 and there are a hell of a lot to pick from. Now as we all know EP stands for extended play - no shit Sherlock - and as such a format extended play seems to have stretched its criteria somewhat. There really seems so to be no set rules these days about what is an EP and what's not, from the number of songs to the size or even type of format, is all up for grabs. So our list below has taken some liberties, after all isn't a mini album or a limited 10" an extended play?

So with this in mind, and so much awesomeness to choose from, the list below was really rather tough to put together, I'm sure I'll have committed some heinous crimes and omitted some real gems, if so please comment and correct. So without further ado, and in no particular order, here's the EPs and other extended plays that have got SM all worked up into an extended frenzy this year...

Sonic Masala's Fave EPs of 2010...

LA Vampires and Zola Jesus - LA Vampires meets Zola Jesus

Double Dagger - Masks

Not Cool - Rugged Raw

Gum Takes Tooth - 5" floppy disk demo

Factory Floor - Untitled

Forest Swords - Dagger Paths

Pop. 1280 - The Grid

Zola Jesus - Stridulum

Running - Running

Islet - Celebrate This Place

When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth - Peaced

Zorch - Zut Alore!

The Austerity Program - Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn

He's Not (Not) a Sex Worker

I know some bands try to come up with names that don't go down well with Google, but Sex Worker really does push it.

Sex Worker is Daniel Martin-McCormick of Mi Ami fame slinging out his own personal twisted trancefloor project, pushing new directions in distorted, echo and noise drenched, dark disco. Sex Worker dropped a new LP, Waving Goodbye, out on NNF, a few months back and its a sharp move on from the echo flooded screaming landscapes that made up last years LP The Labour of Love. Waving Goodbye flexes a different, slicker, electro aesthetic, twisted together with experimental soundscapes of playful noise and distortion, each of the five tracks taking a different journey into unexplored territory. This is the kind of LP that takes the familiar - it even featuring a cover of The Rhythm Of The Night - and twists it in ways that even the most experimental music devotee will find surprising. You may be thinking that noise and disco are unlikely bedfellows but the offspring could only come from Sex Worker.

Unfortunately Not Not Fun has sold out of the 12" of Waving Goodbye, but I'm sure there must be copies out there somewhere, its worth tracking down. Taste below.

Sex Worker - Tough Love

Not Not Deeep

Go back two weeks and work rudely interrupted my week of posts relating to everyone's favourite west coast noise label, Not Not Fun. Well its unfinished business, the posts I managed to get out only scratched the surface, so here's an effort to wrap the Not Not Fun posts up.

The Deep are a beat/electro/noise duo based out of Toronto. Their first release, the Life Light cassette, dropped back in early December on NNF. Life Light is six tracks of soaring sugar perfect vocals lushly draped by minimal, twisted electro bass loops. Theres been plenty of examples of this perfect female vocal married to a dark tonal underbelly around Not Not Fun 's releases and influences recently - I'm thinking LA Vampires and Zola Jesus here - but The Deeep's work takes this flavour to new beautiful plains. The vocals of Isla Craig are frankly angelically stunning, and juxtaposed against Wolfgang Nessel’s sparse bass rhythms they stand out even more, creating something darker, deeper and more intriguing, like a single bloom floating in a stark wasteland. If Life Light is just their first outing, 2011 holds bags of promise for The Deeep.

The Deeep - Mudd

The Deeep's Life Light cassette is available from Not Not Fun here and the duo will release a 12" of Muddy Tracks as an extended version of the 'Mudd' track on NNF's new sister label 100% Silk, here. Taster vid below...

THE DEEEP - MUDDY TRACKS TEASER from 100% Silk on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Dont Rush To Relax When You've Pissed Your Jeans

This isnt exactly new - I heard it first about a month ago, and the 7" has been floating around since - but I only just got it in my sole possession on Friday, so I think it high time we talk. Pissed Jeans, those dirty purveyors of hardcore sleaze like no other, put out this amazing two song release that has me salivating for a full length like no tomorrow. But not content to just bait us with the electric 'Sam Kinison Woman', the B-side is 'The L Word', a 5 minute leering crawl of self-loathing where over collosal grimy riffs Matt Korvette howls the line "Love is the word I use to describe the way I feel inside" - its epic, relentless, and grin-inducing. The jaw-dropping moment though comes at the three minute, fifty second mark - where the lyric is slurred and drawled by none other than Brendan Suppression from ace Aussie garage punks Eddy Current Suppression Ring! The two acts have become tight since touring the US together - fuck, what an amazing gig that would have been!!! - and ECSR make a guest appearance here. This usurps The Bronx's Matt Caughthran appearing with Kong on 'Count To Nine' earlier this year, hands down. This is a worthy 7" to own, so head over and buy it!!!

Top Ten Things of Sex Beet

This list almost didnt come out. London upstarts Sex Beet, currently touring around Europe, were in Sweden when their driver was arrested for undisclosed reasons, thus had them cooling their heels restlessly in Copenhagen. Sounds like a damned fine way to spend Christmas to me - but then again, Im not there. Anyway, they managed to rush off this list to highlight their meteoric 2010 via slightly frozen carrier pigeon - here it is...

SEX BEET's TOP TEN BITS OF 2010 (written by Luke)

1) 4 LOCO

We were lucky enough to record in NYC before they made 4 Loco illegal. It's basically a really disgusting energy drink, that's also highly alcoholic. Some kids died from it or something, then CNN called it "liquid cocaine," so I think it's been banned now which is a shame.


In Birmingham there's a really great record label/promoter called ColdRice. We played at their halloween party in their warehouse space this year, and it was fucking awesome. Everyone was wasted, the dress code was based on the Warriors movie, and it ended at around 8AM, with about 174 people dressed as 70's gang members sharing one bed.


2010 has been the year of the burrito. We've travelled around quite a bit this year, supposedly to play music, but we've been more focused on hunting down the best mexican food. So far the winner is the chicken burrito from the Taco Truck Endless Summer in Brooklyn. Ask for the hot sauce though while Matie's making it.


Me and Tom love nothing more than "taking care of business," and that's never been easier since we upgraded to this hot little number. Fuck your iPhone.


We played Garage Fest in Kansas, back in September. The whole weekend was a beautiful mess, but one of the definite highlights was trying to resist Hunx's sexual advances in the hotel swimming pool.


We've done bits of touring throughout the year with bands like The Strange Boys and Best Coast, which is pretty awesome, but nothing can beat being on the road with our BFF, Jerry Tropicano. He drives us when we're in Europe, and he's just started his own musical project. According to the NME, he's gonna be HUGE in April 2011, keep your eyes peeled.


We played a small festival thing in Stockholm this summer. On our first day we were walking around the city, trying to work out why the fuck there were so many leather-clad men doing poppers in the street. It turned out it was Gay Pride day. We all dig chicks, but still had a great day, and got some cool photos of the "Scandinavian Leather Men" bus. Another bonus was getting to hear SO many remixes of "YMCA."


We're on tour right now in Europe. Our first show was last Saturday, at a place called Le Buzz. It was our first headline show for a couple of months, so it was really cool to see people going FUCKING INSANE while we played, rather than turning to their boring girlfriend of 7 years, being all like "what is this dreadful racket, lets go get sushi before Best Coast go on."


"Reverse Dutch-Steamboat." - ????????

"Alien vs. Predator" - You get to be Michael Jackson fucking E.T.

"The Rick James" - SLAP, The milk's gone BAD.


The best show we've been to this year was in Williamsburg, a few weeks ago. Two of our favourite bands played, The Beets and The Babies. The whiskey was super cheap and it was packed full of the hottest girls, which is a great combination. I'm not a huge Vivian Girls fan, but The Babies are fucking AWESOME. They're on tour early 2011, everybody should go see them.

Some hot tips there to be sure! And this is another exciting post as Sex Beet are the recipients of one of our best hit posts - see here - well done guys! Well, as long as you get back on the road and home in one piece...

Sex Beet - Sugar Water

Hank Haint Beat Thee

Way back a couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend another Upset the Rhythm gig, Thee Oh Sees, supported by SM faves Sex Beet and new to my ears Hank Haint, down Brixton way at Plan B.

Now I could wax lyrical about how good Thee Oh Sees were, live they really are in a different league, John Dwyer had every eye locked on him during the four piece's raucous set. Dwyer snarling and gnawing his mic the whole way through with the kind of venom and joy that inspired crowd surfing and mosh pits on a cold Monday night. I could tell you how Sex Beet started proceedings with the brash confidence of a much more experienced band, laying down a perfectly timed set that demanded attention and held it. But no, I want to tell you about the one man garage blues explosion whose set was blighted by a faulty amp. A man despite his kit letting the side down pushed on regardless and in doing so rounded out another perfect line up for Upset The Rhythm - Hank Haint.

Now when any band has technical problems you've got to feel for them, but when you're on guitar, harmonica, bass drum, hi-hat and vocals, all on your own, in front of a crowd hungry for Thee Oh Sees, well you've got really feel for the guy. It was even more of a let down as if Hank Haint had been able to let rip one track of his noise-soaked blues before disaster struck, it would have been a proper taste that, given a couple more tracks, the crowd's attention would have surely been rooted, mine was after just one. Hank Haint did try and solider on, blasting out a couple more jams. And full marks for keeping going 'cos his walls of brash blues punk really did hit the spot. More garage and DIY than any other band on that night (he's got a mic made out of a tin can!) Hank Haint is a classic case of a man who wants to make music and nothing will stop him, not even a crap kit or lack of a backing band. You've got to admire that and the damn fine results too. I can't wait to see a full set.

Hank Haint - Problomatic

Bar Fucking Hum Bug - A late Friday/Tuesday/Xmas Cover Up/rant

While Brendan has been going great guns on the list spectacular that is SM at the end of the year, you may have noticed (or not) that my posts have been somewhat lacking for the last couple of weeks. Well instead of tapping my keyboard late into the night writing posts, I've been chained to my desk at work till the small hours. I guess you could say that this has meant I'm not really in blog-style Christmas spirit yet, I might even have a grump on. But mental amounts work I can handle; too busy to post I can live with (just); but the one thing I hate this time of year is the music - I hate Christmas songs.

Now don't get me wrong I dig the rest of Christmas, and some Xmas themed songs do hit the spot. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl's Fairytale of New York has got to be the best festive song out there and maybe I could give time to The Waitresses' Christmas Wrapping. I can't knock Do they Know its Christmas? either. But the twee Christmas shaped dirge out really does do my head in. You know the sort, the I'm dreaming of a White Christmas, big band crooner type, the Disneyesque twee shit that seems to pour out of every tiny shop speaker system from early November onwards. Maybe I'm just bitter, maybe 'cos our otherwise quality work stereo reverts to playing 'Christmas turd' the moment December drops, I can't escape it.

This is not saying that alternative bands don't go in for the novelty xmas track, I don't mind them as such, but they're always done with a healthy dose of tongue in cheek attitude, like you'll never take them seriously. That has to be a good thing - take note Cold Play, wtf?

So with my Scrouge hat well and truly on I give you a late Christmas cover up, one that fits my Xmas song out ook, its the great Sonic Youth covering Martin Mull's Santa Doesn't Cop Out On Dope. The way Christmas songs should be...

Sonic Youth - Santa Doesn't Cop Out On Dope (Martin Mull cover)

p.s Merry Christmas from Sonic Masala by the way.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Sonic Masala's Fave 7"'s of 2010!

So here it is, the first of our own Sonic Masala best of lists. We do love our lists here, as you can see. And whilst the run of collaborators have kept us amused with their derring do and cavalier ways of looking at the world, when it came to my turn to turn the dial back on the year that was and select the best 7"'s of 2010 I found it extremely difficult. My first run through came at 44 releases! And knowing I have about 10 posts to write tonight for the week ahead before winging it to the Lincolnshire hinterland, I was more than a little nervous. So the end result may miss a couple of gems, but overall I think its indicative of the output that we snavvled up, drank in and fell in love with. So, with no further ado (and no particular order) I give you -

Sonic Masala's Fave 7" of 2010

Pissed Jeans - Sam Kinison Woman

Gum Takes Tooth - Yellow Mustard

Cold Pumas - Beat Mystery

Wooden Shjips - Drunk Girls

Mogwai/Fuck Buttons - Fear Satan/Colours Move

Cults - Go Outside

Crystal Stilts - Shake The Shackles

Luftwaffe - Quiet Summer

Civil Civic - 1

Woven Bones - Ive Gotta Get

Eternal Summers - Pogo

Robedoor - Pacific Drift

Boom Bang - Bummer Camp

Foot Village - Lovers With Iraqis

Blur - Fools Day

Iowa - Lose Yourself

Let us know what you think! Tomorrow - our favourite EPs of 2010!

A Mai Tai For the Conquering Hordes

The folks over at Twin Lakes Records slung me a demo copy of this LP, MYTY KONKEROR's I Miss The Future - and its already high up on my must haves for 2011. It is out now, but the limited first pressing (in Clear vinyl!) is all but sold out, and a white vinyl version is coming out in January, thus making this a 2010 release - and it is stellar, even Impose Magazine thinks so. The album undulates from rolling psych rock (''sus Envy') to shoegaze ('Whitewash') effortlessly, embodying both styles with aplomb. In fact, when I first heard 'Cell Division' I had to check - and double check - that I hadnt put the wrong album on. Its stylish, melodic, but above all LOUD. With what is on show here, I feel that there is room to grow and expand also, which is an amazing thing to be able to say about a band clearly marking its territory. (Love the cover art too...)

These Bells Look Silver In The Christmas Moonlight

Another day, another eclectic Christmas carol, this time from psych warriors Moon Duo (a 7" made available through Holy Mountain). 'Silver Bells' is still recognizable here, the band following the blueprint faithfully, yet the track is awash with the trademark MD murkiness. Also included is great track 'Winter'. Grab the 7" here.

Happy, Heady, Heavy Times Ahead

Heavy Times, Chicago's dirty fuzz pop dynamos, have just brought out this 7" via HoZaC Records, and No Plans/Ice Age is the perfect bite-size introduction. In fact, its a little too tasty - after myriad listens, I even feel cheated that there isnt more here. The two tracks perfectly encapsulate the inherent breeziness and nonchalance that underlies Heavy Times' grimy garage pop, and why HoZaC picked them up to help release them. Having been together and recording out of their bedrooms since 2005, Heavy Times have honed the rusty sonics by highlighting an aspect that is oiften overlooked by their contemporaries - songwriting. There is more than just buzzsaw fuzz wails here, and its this that makes No Plans/Ice Age a strong sample of some heady heavy times to come.

Grab the Heavy Times 7" here.

Escape From Napa Asylum

I have two experiences that I can highlight about Sic Alps. One was earlier in the year when around at Paul's place, playing records while we drank at 2 in the afternoon, one eye on the incredibly uninteresting FA Cup final and the other on new design issues with the blog. We'd been listening to Glenn Branca and Women's first album, then I decided to throw on U.S. E.Z., an album Id listened to in fits and bursts but not for a while - and I just about drenched Paul's turntable with spat beer. What have I been doing with my life? Why had I neglected these San Franciscans all my life (well, the last couple years) from destroying whats left of my hearing and my mind? I felt ashamed.
Then they supported Pavement. I was massively pumped. Then I got pissed at the Rest Is Noise, and ended up seen half of their final song - which was ace - and once again I was left ruing what might have been a life-affirming - nay, changing - experience. When Pavement came on, I didnt care anymore. I let myself down, and no amount of heyday slackerdom was going to rise me to the heady highs that I should have been on.

So Im not missing this opportunity. Although it doesnt come out til January, I have in my clammy lil hands Napa Asylum, Sic Alps' new LP on Drag City. At 22 tracks, this is a sprawling and yet succinct record of woozy psych noise, suitably recorded as if in the bottom of a very deep rusted out coffee tin, with the occasional fresh production shining through on tracks like 'Meter Man'. Its warped, its scratchy and fidgety, its as schizophrenic as ever, like a guitar pop band of the 60s stuck in a three decade long trip, with various generational tics seeping in over time. Or like Deerhunter if they just turned it up and didnt get all elegiac on us (actually, not a bad thing, but I still occasionally miss the early days). These guys dont know how to play in any other way - and why should we want them to? The first album to look forward in 2011, I assure you.

Napa Asylum is out January 25th. They are pushing for a European tour around April/May, so keep you eyes peeled, and your trigger fingers over your wallet pockets - its gonna be a wild ride.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Sunday Hits From The Box #1

We get quite a few hits here in the ol Sonic Masala inbox, and what with the constant stream of music that passes us by at a regular basis, some things fall through the cracks. So I thought that we'd start up a new post every Sunday that gives lip service to some of these bands, thus giving them a chance to get their name out there a little more.

First up - Thank You Mr Keating comes from Connecticut, and is prepping his release of The Baxter Special. He has set up a site devoted to it - check it out here. The narrative claims to be one of trickery, technology, greed and betrayal, with one character being called Buffalo Bill Hickens - its very James Bondian and silly fun. I couldnt work out how serious this all was... The music is very good though - slipping from 90s indie rock to the newer, Japandroids-esque version on the genre, especially 'A Change Of The Plan'.

Thank You Mr Keating - A Change Of The Plan

Kohwi is the solo project of the drummer from a band called Mellows (check out Mellows here - they are pretty rad) - and Hidden Trees is his new release through funky label Wonder Beard Tapes. Its an electroacoustic clusterbomb of eccentric ambience, and makes for an interesting listen. He bears more than a little in common with that other warped alchemist Mickey Mickey Rourke -the schizophrenia that can see a beautiful track like 'rem' sandwiched between Animal Collective shadower 'Hobbies' and the looped mania of 'Play With Me' - although its all a little clearer on the production values. Great cover art too. Only 80 copies of this though, with shipping out mid January, so get crack-a-lackin...

Kohwi - Hobbies (Ft Mutual Benefit)

Now this is a tasty release. Spoken word artist Matt Finney has combined with Ukrainian dark arts composer Heinali to create Conjoined, an amazing pastiche of drone, post rock and shoegaze with a hauntinmg overture that reminds me of Godspeed You Black Emperor's 'The Dead Flag Blues', or even Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada. Its much darker than this of course, with clear tips of the hat to Nadja and Trent Reznor, and its dedicated to Kris Anglyus of The Angelic Process. These guys have never met in person either! Its quite amazing actually, ending in the shower of squall that is 'The Sun Will Rise Yet We Wont Be Here'. Get it here.

Heinali and Matt Finney - Conjoined

Finally, we have Feu Machin, a Parisian psychedelic noise act that are releasing debut EP Huehueteotl (Orbe Records), which is said to be inspired by all that is elemental, from wild reign of telluric and cosmic forces. There is something organic in the way these tracks meander along, create a fibrous spiderweb of interlaid sounds that can suddenly shatter in a gust of icy force of noise. They are making some noise outside of France too, having recently toured the US and supported Deacon (Animal Collective). You can pick up the EP from Collectif Tralala.

Happy Sunday!

Halves Go On & On, Forever & Ever...

Halves released their first LP It Goes, It Goes (Forever & Ever) a couple months backon HATEISTHEENEMY Records, and the Dublin based trio (sometimes quintet) have created a beautiful montage of a record that seems synonymous with the winter wonderland weather we are currently experiencing. Recorded mostly in Montreal in Godspeed You Black Emperor's studio, Halves have carved out wintry yet warm soundscapes, the melodies driving these haunting vignettes fuelled by a heady mixture of whispering drums, barely there basslines and warbling guitar, all heightened by electronica and more classical instrumentation and backing by the Kilkenny choir. The occasional front line vocals echo throughout, like a distant call from a disembodied voice in the forest. Comparisons to Icelandic menagerie Mum are warranted (especially on tracks like 'I Raise Bears'), but largely unnecessary - Halves are their own otherworldly beast.

Halves - Blood Branches
Halves - Mountain Bell

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Grinderman is Evil

Here's the new video by Grinderman, again helmed by director John Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road). Its not as out and out psycho as 'Heathen Child', but its still unsettling - what the fuck is a vampire squid anyway?

Grinderman 2 is out now.

In The Cesspool, It Gets So Lonely Baby...

Im not sure what to make of Heartbreak, the new EP by Brooklyn reprobates Cesspool. It opens with a decidedly twisted take on Elvis' brilliant 'Heartbreak Hotel' (simply called 'Heartbreak' here), and its sleazy rock grooves and unnerving silences amidst the lurching rhythms and yelps mark this as the signature track here. Then we hit the rest of the album - and it is a decidedly ramshackle affair, unlike most of anything Ive heard before. 'Hey Hey Hey' has a quirky female vocal of an effective wurlitzer-like guitar line, warbled pixie lyrics, and is pretty much fucked up, whilst 'HHH' is the barnyard square dance that Timothy Leary would have orchestrated. 'Ski Trip' then becomes a Flaming Lips meets Belle and Sebastian and Ben Folds meandering woozepop hit, and 'Sea Cruise' has a bunch of 50s hillbillies in a 00s garage. Finally we hit the end of Heartbreak with 'Soup-De-Do' - perfectly bookending the madness with an original but nonetheless sister version of 'Heartbreak', all cascading cymbals, squalling guitar licks and tortured vocal cords. This is one strange record, from one strange band. Their music is, by their own definition, 'creepy, dickish, loud, complicated, catchy rock songs.' Fair dues. I likee.

Get Heartbreak here.

Rancho Relaxo Breeds A New Kind Of Orchid(e)

I saw The Warlocks at the Luminaire a few weeks ago. It was brilliant - everything Id been hoping for since hearing Rise and Fall almost a decade ago (see my love for this album here.)

So I feel a compelling need to give props to Rancho Relaxo, who have recently released A New Kind Of Orchide. These Norwegians know how to etch out a similar vein of psych rock, albeit in smaller, concise chunks, a la Warlocks' later releases. Its a solid album, if a little samey, and whilst The Warlocks do it better, this is still a decent effort.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Listen To T54, "Because I Told You To..."

Over the past month or two Ive been mentioning a slew of NZ acts that I think are pretty special - Surf City, Secret Knives, The Mint Chicks, Die! Die! Die!, Paperghost, Glass Vaults, FATANGRYMAN, Popstrangers... But what people outside of New Zealand may not realise is that the majority (OK, all) of these acts come from the North Island. Now, Ive spent my fair share of time around Christchurch and the South Island, and there didnt seem to be much of a burgeoning music scene bubbling under the surface - unless you're into dub, then you are pretty much set. (I must admit though that I havent been there since 2006, so that is a lot of time between drinks of Speights...)

T54 are determined to prove me wrong, and if they are anything like the Russian tank they are named after, I best get out of their way. They have an EP on its way on Christchurch label Gold Sounds called Drone Attacks, and if 'Julie K' is anything to go by, they have a record collection solely made up of My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth, along with a healthy fixation on Japandroids' Post Nothing and Male Bonding's Nothing Hurts. Which is fucking great. Where were you guys 5 years ago when I had to gnaw off my own arm in Christchurch just to have some aural anarchy? Sure, its beautiful and all, but still...Im a convert. I had dreams of moving to the Canterbury region back then, and if there is a scene like this being mustered, I may just go back to that dream...

Head over to their bandcamp and not only can you pick up 'Julie K', but a list of demos (which features some Dick Dale-isms along with their no wave love) they did under the name Superdicksystem, a play on a 90s album by NZ band The Feelers. I agree with the sentiments...

Dreadlock Holiday? Way Yes!

Despite the titles' similarity, there is no connection to School Tour, the Dublin act I posted about last week and their Yes Way EP - read and listen here. Instead we have the Columbus Ohio based band Way Yes, covering 10CC's 'Dreadlock Holiday', which seeing as it is the 1st day of the 3rd Ashes cricket test in Perth is kinda fitting (although Im sure it wasnt the band's intention. And yes, Paul does have all the bragging rights so far, but Im fairly thickskinned). However this is not a traditional rendition, the lyrics being tweaked to coicide with the yuletide season. So, this is your Friday Cover Up, another Christmas present, or a warped way to pretend you are in the sun watching the cricket - sound like we cant lose, can we?

Way Yes has just released Herringbone, an EP that mirrors the likes of Fela Kuti, Dirty Projectors and Animal Collective, and is an all round clanging kaleidoscopic bliss bomb of candy. Check it out at Crash Avenue HQ here.

Jacuzzi Boys/Nobunny

I havent really harped on about how much I dig Nobunny's First Blood. It is goddamned catchy, fun, stupid, and idiot savant style brilliant. I definitely havent spoken much about Jacuzzi Boys' No Season from last year. Both are unadulterated joys of garage punk fun, and really need more of you to buy these pieces of vinyl and wear out your needle on them.

Don't believe me?

Good, cos these two acts have made an unholy alliance in this 7" split brought to us by Scion A/V Records' brilliant Garage collection (which also features the likes of Black Lips, Pierced Arrows (ex-Dead Moon), the Spits and The Dirtbombs). 'Someone Else's Brain' has the Fluffy One in acoustic mode, yet still with his skewed adolescent musings intact, whilst Jacuzzi Boys continue their guttural dominance with 'Coral Girls', a sweaty number that swaggers its way from the Florida swamps to your joyous ear. Great stuff, just to remind you how great they are.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Tjutjuna Come Out Of The Woods

Denver's Tjutjana (the name comes from a humanoid creature apparently residing in Siberia that may be the Missing Link) have released their eponymous debut on Fire Talk (run by a guy from Woodsman, another rad psych band we spoke about here), and it is rollicking. What? Psych + rollicking? Yep. These guys arent afraid to take their trips with an extra helping of bad, which might come organically - they live in the mountains of Colorado, so fresh air and all that? - or there might be more chemically aligned alchemy at work. All's I know is that each of these songs - from the slowly coalescing into volcanic ash opener 'Mosquito Hawk', to 9 minute mindbending balls out rocker 'Rise/Set', to sonic march stomper 'Bottle Kids' - doesnt carve a niche in the ever burgeoning psych market as it bludgeons its way to the front of the queue, spewing forth multicoloured rays of abrasive hallucinogens in its wake. This is a great, great record - get your itchy trigger fingers on it (and the other rad releases Fire Talk have to offer) here.

If The Flesh Ain't Broke...

I dont know much about Fleshbroker, other than that they are a Chicago progressive math rock act that love their intense guitar noodlings, and have just released debut LP Crime Drama. I wish I could tell you more. All I can say is that the album has some amazingly blistering moments. Sometimes the intricacies of the guitar interplay comes across as too much - trickiness for the sake of being tricky, rather than serving the purpose of the song - but overall this is a good listen. Its being distributed for free if you head over to the guys' site and ask politely. My favourite cuts are below.

Best Things About Kong

Manchester's Kong holds a special place in Sonic Masala's depraved heart. My first ever review (which was for Low Rise magazine) was at last year's A Fistful Of Fandango gigs. The main drawcard was to see Future Of The Left - who were fucking amazing, I must add - but the first act was Kong, and Paul and I were equally as impressed by their dissonant mess of Shellac-meets-Jesus Lizard sonic vomitings and drunken tirades - plus the red outfits and plastic masks were suitably kick arse. Since then Ive seen them 5 - yep, 5 - times, and regardless of how lucid or fucked up they are, they remain brilliant - one of the best live acts in the UK hands down. What follows is their views on what rocks their world. Not just for 2010, but for all eternity, not ever likely to be broken. May (insert higher being here) have mercy on your blackened souls...

Kong - Top ten of everything ever.

BURRITOS - This is just the perfect meal - meat , veg, rice , beans ,cheese and hot sauce all wrapped up and ready to gobble. No need for plates and forks and shit. They are like the predecessor to the protein pill.

JACK DANIELS & MILK - I like to smash a bottle every day on tour whether I need it or not but you gotta line your stomach with a pint of milk first or you will shit blood for a month.
I used to drink it with coke but the middle of my nose fell out.

BLOW JOBS - Bj's are cool cause they ain't considered cheating if you got a girlfriend and if you're drunk and close your eyes you can get your sweet little merch guy to do it for an extra fiver on his PD's.

DR MARTENS - This line of footwear is amazing, you can wear em to work at the office during the day then go out and kick the living shit outta someone in the evening, just remember to spit n rub the blood off in the morning , I got cherry reds cause Im dopey.

PADDED SOLE SOCKS - I got sent a box of these recently and they are the best things ever, they make your shitty plimsolls feel amazing and they absorb twice the amount of cum.

CHAT ROULETTE - Me and Lulu spent around 3 days straight on CR .... I think they should change the name of the site to took the 3 days to see just 1 human taco!

ANALOGUE AFRICA - This is my new favourite record label , I love everything they are putting out ...I think their catalogue stops around the mid seventies but thats pretty much where my taste stops.

SCOUCE WOMEN - There is something about those girls from Liverpool ! I love going there, it's like going back to the 80's , side pony tails, global Hypercolour and Reebok Pump . They may spit Macdonald's milkshake all over you when they omit that white noise voice but I like women as rough as toast and reeking of vanilla Impulse.

DAVID LIEBE HART - This crazy mother fucker makes me shit my pants , he is pretty much the funniest man alive and I don't think he knows it .

VHS - Fuck Bluray! I dont care about counting the pubes hanging out of some porners riggot and I can pick up 200 videos for the price of Rambo on DVD. As a kid there was a video van that went round the streets pulling up and renting movies to lazy unemployed fat people - my car is pretty much that van now .

Kong will start 2011 with a bang, touring Japan with 65daysofstatic. If you dont catch them when they get back, you're dumb and we dont know you.

Kong - Leather Penny

Kong - Blood Of A Dove

Kong - Sport

Kong - Count To Nine (ft Matt Caughthran - The Bronx)

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

J Mascis Cant Get Enough

J Mascis has been riding some major musical waves this year, what with the Dinosaur Jr resurgence and his work in Silver Apples. But that doesnt mean he's been diluting his output - as can be seen here on acoustic number 'Not Enough'. Its the first cut of the forthcoming album Seven Shades Of Why, out in March on Sub Pop, and features the likes of Kurt Vile, Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell and Sophie Trudeau (A Silver Mt Zion...). Cant wait.

How The Fantasies Stole, Then Saved, Christmas - Not Direct To DVD...

We posted about The Fantasies last month (check it out here), and when speaking to them then they mentioned they had a single coming out. Well, said single has landed - How The Fantasies Stole Christmas!! The radness of this two-song release is Russian doll like in its intricacies and infinitesimal joys - the Seuss references in both cover art and song titles, the cover arts fascinations with 50s era pulp sci-fi, and the tracks themselves, that seems to further augment the parallel universe these guys are obviously from. Both quintessentially instrumentals, both 'How The Fantasies Stole Christmas!!' and 'How The Fantasies Saved Christmas!!' are absurd pastiches - the first being slightly 60s carolling with loops and an r'n'b vibe, the second an electronic menagerie that buzzes along at a metronomic pace. Very different from Meet The Fantasies - and all the more interesting. I cant wait to hear what they serve up to us next (apparently it'll be like The Beatles covering the Pixies!)

Best Gigs of The Luminaire

The people behind the best venue in town, The Luminaire, pondered long and hard over what they thought were the best acts to pass through their hallowed halls this year, and have succinctly stated their top ten of 2010...

Best gigs at the Luminaire in 2010:

Im gutted that I didnt get to see Dick Dale, Warpaint or especially Rangda (how did I miss this one?>!?!?), but can attest to the brilliance of the Part Chimp show, where they were more than ably supported by Sloath and Gum Takes Tooth (after Todd sadly pulled out). Make sure you get to some of the last ever gigs at this brilliant arena before they shut their doors on a self-made legacy...

Malcolm Holcombe - Sparrows and Sparrows
Xiu Xiu - Bishop, CA
Dick Dale - Hava Nagila
Warpaint - Set Your Arms Down
Dum Dum Girls - Bhang Bhang, Im A Burnout
Part Chimp - 30 Billion People
Pokey La Farge - (couldnt find any tracks, sorry!)
Jonathan Richman - Road Runner
Hanggai - My Banjo And I
Rangda - Serrated Edge

Creating Sounds Any Herbivore Would Love

Estonia's Music For Your Plants have just digitally released their debut EP, and its an intriguning listen. Tracks like 'Agave Americana' and 'Relax With Classics' are saturated with Tortiose influences, and much of the dream pop wooziness yet there is a lo-fi ooze that emanates from these instrumental compositions that gives them an otherworldly feel. Imagine being marooned on an island somewhere on the Moon with John McEntire and Woody Woodpecker, and that is last track 'Enchanted Sister' pretty much summed up. Brilliantly weird.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

New Part Chimp? You Decide, Big Bird...

Just a quickie - check out Part Chimp's new 7" You Decide/Big Bird put out through Gringo Records below. If you like, then buuy!

You Should Know By Now About Falling Girls' Names

Belfast's Girls Names did a brill cover of Julee Cruise's 'Falling', the eponymous 'theme' of seminal Lynch TV program Twin Peaks, which you can read about here. Ive been watching a few episodes here and there thanks to the Horror Channel, and loving it. Anyway, I wanted to post about I Win/You Lose, a collaboration with Brilliant Colors (on Slumberland Records) - but as I havent received the 7" yet, Ill refer back to their May release, You Should Know By Now (Tough Love Records). The six song EP showcases the band's twangy head-swaying shimmering pop, infused with 60s doo wop sped up incrementally over time, slight Ennio Morricone instrumentation, droll vocals and the same devil-may-care DIY attitude that fuels other UK acts like Male Bonding. Its short, sharp, a little rough at the edges, and helps to highlight why they have caught the attention of the likes of Captured Tracks and Slumberland.
And so that I can highlight how great the cover is - its here again!!

2010's Secret Knives

Ash Smith AKA Secret Knives has had a strong year, with a lot of coverage surrounding his great debut release Affection. I asked if he wanted to contribute a list to our little collective. He has already contributed to great Kiwi blog Einstein Music Journal (a very interesting list too I might add), so he wanted to go in a different direction...

"I generally find doing a top 5 of the year doesn't accurately reflect listening habits because I spend more time listening to things that were not released in 2010."

Top 5 musical "discoveries" of 2010:

1. Discovering Slowdive's Pygmalion
2. Rediscovering Weezer's Pinkerton
3. Discovering Slint's Spiderland
4. Rediscovering Arcade Fire's 'Broken Window' (from Keep The Car Running 7")
5. Discovering Cocteau Twin's Heaven or Las Vegas

5 albums I never stopped listening to:

1. MF DOOM - Is Viktor Vaughn Vaudeville Villain
2. Burial - Untrue
3. The Chameleons - What Does Anything Mean? Basically...
4. The Cure - Wish
5. Grouper - Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill

Thanks Secret Knives! And cos Im loving these albums myself (its your fault I cant get 'Miranda' or 'Heavy Water/ Id Rather Be Sleeping' out of my head!) - here's a Secret Knives Christmas mixtape!!!

And, as a final special treat, here is a remix of Secret Knives' 'Black Hole' by equally exciting NZ act Glass Vaults! Merry Christmas from the Land of the Long White Cloud!