Saturday, September 1, 2018

"The Unveiling" by Noveller

After a month of publishing something daily, I'm going to slow down the pace. 

This should be more of a "when it strikes me" blog than adhering to a schedule.

With that said, here I am repeating a track already.  Sometimes I'll probably want to go over a track numerous times.

This is my favorite new piece of music of 2018, "The Unveiling" by Noveller. 

I found it originally in the Stasis Report playlist on Spotify, although by now it's in the Stasis Archive playlist.  It's in my playlist 2018 Picks by DJ Rushton.

During the summer of 2018, I've been sick with shingles.  I got the rash around July 13th, but I'd had symptoms and fatigue before that.  It was a relatively mild case, considering, but the ongoing fatigue after taking the anti-viral and having the rash heal has been a problem.  I can't go for walks at work like I did.  Lifting weights doesn't interest me.  I can barely do any yard work.  On a day I think I'm feeling better, and I push it a bit, I pay for it.

But I can still listen to music, go to my day job, make some paintings, and get along OK.

There's something special about this track.  I can't describe what makes it that way, at least not in this entry.  Maybe I'll have another post about it in the future.

You've got to have good headphones on for this track, and I don't mean earbuds but really decent cans over your ears.  It's better when it's more intimate listening than, say, in the car.

Friday, August 31, 2018

"'Tis A Pity She Was A Whore" by David Bowie

Outstanding.  Bowie goes into the studio with a bunch of awesome jazz guys and has a blast.  I'm not usually into dual wailing saxophones, but I am here.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

"Would That Not Be Nice" by Divine Fits

I didn't know they were a "supergroup" of sorts, so I was wondering why this fantastic piece of noisy pop/rock was released in 2012 and there's been nothing since.  I'm not familiar with Spoon, but I probably should be.  The whole thing's great, but that final 45 seconds really kills it.  Wow!

Monday, August 27, 2018

"Blue Tip" by The Cars

I only recently discovered this.

As one comment said:  

There should be a radio format that exclusively plays new music by older artist. The classic rock stations aren't going play the new Madonna, prince, or Duran Duran song. They have Like a Virgin, Kiss, and Hungry Like a Wolf they can play. The pop stations would rather play new music by new artists like Adele, Sia, or Florence and the Machine. So more established artists are screwed.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

"Earn Enough For Us" by XTC

One of my favorite Andy Partridge XTC songs.  Unlike the Alvvays song reviewed on August 25th, this just works from start to finish and doesn't sound like the era in which it was recorded (1986).

But since XTC never really played live again after 1982, their catalog should be ripe for picking cover songs from.

I have always envisioned "Earn Enough For Us" as a huge country hit by one of those hat-wearing, stadium-filling cowboys, but it's never happened.  They wouldn't even need to change that much - just add a little twang to the vocal and triple up the guitars.  Instant hit!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

"Not My Baby" by Alvvays

This is a great song, but has terrible production and needs a bit of a rearrangement in the latter half.

When I still had Sirius/XM satellite radio in my car, I'd listen to the Canadian "indie pop" channel and found a lot of great bands on there, but the channel seemed to be often coated in this dull sheen, like the EQ was all muted.  I hear the same sort of thing with "Not My Baby" (Alvvays is a Canadian band).

I'd chop out the motorcycle.  I'd re-record the drums so they sound real instead of fake.  Then whatever the hell is altering Molly Rankin's vocal so that it sounds kind of dull would be dumped.  It's like they're trying to recreate an early 60s country-style vocal and coupling it with what sounds like a drum machine.  Meanwhile, you've got those guitar lines BURIED in the mix.  Bring them out!  And why is the bass guitar sounding so thumpy?

At 1:54, when the song changes a bit, they should have hired a small orchestra rather than relying on the synths.  And on the way out, the song just sort of coasts.  It could have used a bit more revision and maybe an additional verse.

This is a song that wants to be grand.  She's making a big statement here!  But, sonically, it's stuck in a Canadian basement.

I realize the producers involved have worked with a lot of bands and have won Grammys and all that, and surely the band wanted it to sound like this.  But some young artist looking for a song to make as their own should cover this with my suggestions in mind.

Friday, August 24, 2018

"Tokyo Bay" by Nick Lowe

When I was a kid in the late 70s, I found a copy of "Pure Pop For Now People" at the Salvation Army in Des Moines and got it because of the cover, but discovered that I liked the music on it.  I've followed with his career (solo, Rockpile, production, etc) here and there since.

So it was a real joy to have this show up in my Spotify Release Radar weekly playlist.  I like it when older musicians (Lowe is 69 years old in 2018), kick out something new and catchy and awesome this late in their career.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

"99" by Föllakzoid

Krautrock from Chile?  Why yes!

This came out in 2013 when I was exploring music on a variety of platforms, but I think I found Föllakzoid via Bandcamp and have bought most of their catalog.

"99" doesn't have as many streams on Spotify as I thought it might (about 138,000 as of August 2018), but it's such an awesome groovy, space-rock thing with analog synths everywhere.  I don't think I'll ever get tired of hearing this every so often.  And if the final 3 minutes doesn't give you goosebumps then you're not listening.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

"In McDonalds" by Burial

I heard Untrue when it came out in 2007 and that was almost all I played for a while.  I had the music service Rhapsody at the time and I'd download DRM'd tracks to my little Sony Digital Walkman.  That's how we did things back then.

As you know, I love sound collages.  This is so haunting, and that Aailyah sample just makes it.  It's timeless.  The whole thing is built on samples, isn't it?  I remember reading interviews and the guy just used Sound Forge to cut things up and process them.  That's what I use!  When rap and hip-hop got away from samples due to all the court rulings, it was a bummer.  In my opinion, it ruined the art of it.  Somehow this slipped through.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

"Crazy People" by Phil Kuhlenbeck

This is one of my productions.  I've always enjoyed making sound collages, even before I bought an album of cut-up recordings by William S. Burroughs around 1986.  Back in the day, I'd do them on tape.

For "Crazy People", I took Phil's voicemails, drowned them in reverb, pitch-shifted it down, and then mixed various backing tracks and a beat into it.  The whole thing is cut-up and reassembled.  I probably should have titled the track "Crazy People Drive People Crazy".

Monday, August 20, 2018

"xoyo" by The Passage

I played this on my radio show in the early 80s.  How did I get away with that?  They're mostly forgotten because they broke up in 1983, their albums were long out-of-print, and they never reformed. xoyo has only had 16,000 streams on Spotify as of August 2018.  It really ought to be in every post-punk and early 80s compilation and playlist.

"How on earth XoYo missed the charts must remain forever a mystery" (Q, 07/2003)

Sunday, August 19, 2018

"Loading Zones" by Kurt Vile

I've been listening to Kurt Vile since after Smoke Rings For My Halo came out.  I've dug into his early DIY albums and they really have their moments that lead to where he is now.  But he really sounds great with a more slick professional production, starting around 2013's Wakin on a Pretty Daze.

This is an excellent return.  Nice to see him putting out a shorter track.  It's full of everything a Tom Petty fan would probably love if they knew about him, but it's totally Kurt Vile's signature sound throughout. 

"A Brass Band In African Chimes - Extended Version" by Simple Minds

The great thing about extended album re-issues in the streaming era is that everything can come out.  Like this - right at the tail end of their relatively experimental phase before turning into a Big Rock Band that I stopped caring about.  They should have done that album of instrumentals that was always promised.  They were capable of pulling it off at the time.