Archive for March, 2008

Album Review: Billy Bragg, "Mr. Love And Justice"

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

First new album from British indie-folk rock balladeer (and noted commie) Billy Bragg. Not the most striking album maybe, but the instrumentation is nice, the songs are driving, wry and witty and Bragg’s smart, rich brogue is reminiscent of Morrissey here. Billy Bragg is barely to the right of Lenin, and his lyrics often reflect that, which can be annoying, but mostly it’s ok.

Play: 1, 2+ (Harmonica! Clapping!), 3 (nice lyrics), 4++ (Socialism, yay), 8++(gentlest socialist song ever, 10++(protest song)

Album Review: Man Man, "Rabbit Habits"

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

If you heard Man Man at KWUR week last year, you know what to expect: an energetic blend of R and B, vaudevillian shout blues and tribal indie madness that sounds like the musical equivalent of anarcho-syndicalism. Additionally, many of these tracks have been in their live repertoire for a while now. This album is somewhat less bombastic and more contemplative than “Six Demon Bag”, but that’s a good thing. The longer production time (and better production overall) has allowed Man Man to create a delirious, virtuosic phantasmagoria tempered with a deeply moving, tragic romanticism. In short, nothing less than a modern opus.

Seriously, play all.

1+++(da bomb), 2+++(kazoo!), 3+++(marimba!), 4+++(my jazz funeral), 6++(R+B piano, ballad), 7+++(great vocal breakdown), 8+++(percussion! chanting!), 9++, 10++, 11++, 12+++ and 13+++ (slow, beautiful)

Another Reason To Hate The Rolling Stones

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

An Estonian commercial from the soviet period. This looks like a Flying Lizards video from Berlin. But it isn’t.:

Rock and roll America sexy alright!

And for those who prefer a more folky, traditional approach to their soviet commercials, another gem from Estonia:

And here’s another one, guaranteed to give you nightmares:

Enjoy the rest of your break, guys, I’ll see you soon…as meat…

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The Ventures

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

KWUR congratulates the Ventures (a surf rock favorite) as 2008 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Ventures in Japan in 1966

Subversive Cinema: Tadanori Yokoo’s Animations

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Tadanori Yokoo is an internationally known graphic designer and poster artist. His work heavily draws upon pop-culture and he is sometimes unjustly labeled the “Japanese Andy Warhol.”

In the 1960’s he became interested in mysticism and psychedelia, deepened by travels in India. His work shows it.

Below is his 1965 animated film, Kachi Kachi Yama. It makes use of may pop icons of the 1960s from Bridget Bardot to the Beatles.

For those interested, all 3 Yokoo animated films available (the above film and KISS KISS KISS (1964) & Tokuten Eizou Anthology NO. 1 (1964)) can be viewed/downloaded in one package at Ubuweb.

Besides that, I can’t offer much more information. Very little background in English is available on Yokoo’s films. Either way, enjoy the films – they are completely visually stimulating.

[Note: Experimental composer (and Yoko Ono’s first husband) Toshi Ichiyanagi’s work, “Opera from the Works of Tadanori Yokoo” was directly inspired by Yokoo’s artwork, who in a sense “Turned On” the composer. This multimedia box, a blend of musique concrete and psychedelic rock, is also definitely worth checking out]