Archive for November, 2008

The Saturday Evening Post-up (11/22/08)

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, so have a hearty helping of new reviews:

Religious Knives – “The Door”

Alternates between organ-accentuated, tom-heavy prog and abrasive, looped psychedelia. Pretty far out shit, definitely on the experimental side – produced by Thurston Moore, if that’s any indication. Lots of female vocals that sound just a bit off key. All pretty downbeat. If this all sounds good to you, play it.

Play: 1 (bass heavy, brooding prog), 4 (monotonous vocals, organs, plodding drums), 5 (abrasive… everything. dark), 6 (quickest number here tempo-wise, female + male vocals overlaid, looped abrasiveness)

RIYD: Goblins, The Doors, no wave

Thursday/Envy – “Split EP”

Interesting move for both bands – Thursday (of emo-core fame) has more experimental, ethereal passages with their tight, clean guitar work, and long-running Japanese hardcore group Envy gives us a brighter, more accessibly-structured sound. PLAY!!

Play: 3 (fast), 5 (accessible screaming), 7 (ballad-like, awesome)

Fox Japan – “Hell”

The instrumentals aren’t bad, basic garage rock stuff – but the vocals are painful. Amateurish, sad, and angry. I don’t know what else to say – I can’t think of anything that sounds like this because I have no idea how this got recorded.

The Tough Alliance – “A New Chance”

Made up of childhood friends Henning Furst and Eric Bergland from Gothenburg, Sweden. Their live shows have been given much media attention in Sweden due to their “unique” onstage performances that include bat-swinging. They got thrown off the stage once for doing so. Critics claim that TTA glorify violence in general and hooliganism in particular, something the duo denies.

Play: 7, 1, 3

RIYD: upbeat Panda Bear, Air France, High Places

with a side of charts:

Rank Artist Recording Label User
1 OF MONTREAL Skeletal Lamping Polyvinyl
2 BAND MARINO The Sea And The Beast Street Parade
3 FINAL FANTASY Spectrum 14th Century [EP] Blocks
4 TOBACCO Fucked Up Friends Anticon
5 PARTS AND LABOR Receivers Jagjaguwar
6 LOVE IS ALL A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night What’s Your Rupture?
7 VIVIAN GIRLS Vivian Girls In The Red
8 SAM CHAMPION Heavenly Bender North Street
9 WOMEN Women Jagjaguwar
10 KINGS OF LEON Only By The Night RCA
11 RAINE MAIDA The Hunter’s Lullaby King Noise
12 GANG GANG DANCE Saint Dymphna The Social Registry
13 AIDS WOLF Cities Of Glass Skin Graft
14 RA RA RIOT The Rhumb Line Barsuk
15 FRENCH MIAMI French Miami Self-Released
17 XX TEENS Welcome To Goon Island Mute
18 SUBMARINES Honeysuckle Weeks Nettwerk
19 GRAMPALL JOOKABOX Ropechain Asthmatic Kitty
20 HER SPACE HOLIDAY XOXO Panda, And The New Kid Revival Mush
21 STREETS Everything Is Borrowed Vice
22 JENNY LEWIS Acid Tongue Warner Bros.
23 ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS Another World [EP] Secretly Canadian
24 EAGLES OF DEATH METAL Heart On Downtown
25 SLEEPING IN THE AVIARY Expensive Vomit In A Cheap Hotel Science Of Sound
26 NOAH AND THE WHALE Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down Cherry Tree-Interscope
27 BAD HAND In This Line Wish You Happiness Daly City
28 JAY REATARD Matador Singles ’08 Matador
29 SLEEPING STATES There The Open Spaces
30 MINIATURE TIGERS Tell It To The Volcano Modern Art

And last but not least, a slice of Neutral Milk Hotel interview pie:

Sample: So who are some of the other bands that are included in [Elephant Six] besides Olivia Tremor Control?

Jeff: There aren’t really any specific bands. It’s weird because now that it’s something people recognize and ask for a definition, I don’t really have one.

Sample: Well, it’s not as fun when people know what it is. So everyone’s going to be able to find you in a farmhouse and hound you.

Julian: Scott wanted to set up a tent in Vic Chestnutt’s house.

Scott: Yeah, I never got around to it.

Jeff: I don’t want to leave the house. I just want to stay in. Well, maybe I’ll walk around the yard. I want to have a dog. A little dog.

Julian: …and a cat.

Sample: You don’t think you would get bored?

Julian: Who cares? Well, we’ll record stuff.

Jeff: The plan is to be near New York City.

Julian: One of us will always be making a record and everyone else can play on it. And one of us will always be going on tour and so anybody who wants to go can go.

Sample: What’s the worst show on your tour that you’ve played?

Jeff: There was this one member of the band, and he got killed…

Julian: I would vote for Portland or Jabberjaw [general consent].

Jeff: The Jabberjaw was pretty terrible because our amps are typically pretty quiet and we didn’t have a PA…

Julian: No one could hear us.

Jeff: And then we played with the Supreme Dicks in Portland and this guy jumped on the stage.

Scott: This wacked-out, new-nazi looking guy.

Julian: It was really terrible… really gross.

Scott: Just to have something to talk about, and it had nothing to do with the Supreme Dicks, but somebody that was there at the show thought they could involve themselves for no apparent reason and tried to shit in a glass.

Sample: Did he actually pull down his pants?

Julian: He showed his genitalia…

Jeff: And he was throwing fireworks and stuff.

Scott: But the Supreme Dicks show still rocked. They’re great.

Jeff: We did six or seven shows with them… it was really a lot of fun.

Sample: Are you an honorary member now?

Scott: I’ve been an honorary member since 1994.

Sample: Do you have a card?

Scott: No, but if I go to a show, I can get up and play. That’s what honorary membership means. I played slide & whistle.

Julian: I played space echo and blew bubbles into the crowd.

::final installment in two weeks!::

Album Review: I’m From Barcelona, "Who Killed Harry Houdini?"

Friday, November 21st, 2008

A lot of people are surprised by this album, but actually, the almost emo-like minor notes struck here are the natural reverse of the irrational pop exuberance of the first album. Same everything-but-the-kitchen-sink attitude towards songwriting/instrumentation: big choruses, strings, horns, massive, poppy swells and dips. Overall, OK, not great. RIFYLOP: Arcade Fire

Play: 1+++(pathos, catchy), 2+, 3, 6, 8++

The Saturday Evening Post-up (11/15/08)

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

In honor of Hustle Week, there’ll be a new addition to the Saturday Evening Post-up this week: an interview with a band that KWUR holds near and dear to its heart. First up, though, new music reviews:

Desolation Wilderness – “White Light Strobing”

This album takes cues from both the folksy guitar of MMJ and the down-tempo ambient drone of MBV, combining them into a quiet, mostly sparse soundscape. This certainly might not be everyone’s cup of tea – derivative, boring, whatever – but if you’re looking for something warm, complex and mellow, give it a spin. (Also, dig up some records by Low and Galaxie 500 if you like this).

RIYD: My Morning Jacket, My Bloody Valentine, Low
Play: 1 (downbeat, twangy), 2 (hypnotic, folksy beat and dreamy vocals), 3 (more droney, excellent), 7 (shorter, instrumental), 8 (beautiful little electro flourishes)

Manchester Orchestra – “Let My Pride Be What’s Left Behind” EP

Andy Hull (vocals, guitar) originally wanted MO to be a solo project. He was listening to a lot Morrissey and The Smiths so the city of Manchester fascinated him. Then he also liked the idea of being a leader of an orchestra and have his friends guest. Hence, Manchester Orchestra. Sounds like alt rock with Ben Gibbard vocals.

RIYD: Silversun Pickups, The Weakerthans
Play: 1, 3 (live, acoustic)

Noah And The Whale – “Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down”

Laura Marling & Emny The Great used to be a part of this London band before they went solo. But they still perform with the band here and there – backing female vocals here are Marling’s. The band name is a combination of the movie title “The Squid and The Whale” and the director of the movie, Noah Baumbach. The band often sign emails and myspace posts with “Sic Transit Gloria,” a phrase frequently used in Wes Anderson’s “Rushmore.”

RIYD: Pete and the Pirates, Laura Marling
Play: 7, 3, 2

Love Is All – “A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night”

Spaztastic avant-pop from Sweden – nice contrast between snarling female vocal delivery and dancey pop guitar lines/drumming. Sometimes anthemic, sometimes saxophone-fueled dance freakout, always a lot of fun.

RIYD: Shout Out Louds, CSS, Arctic Monkeys
Play: 1 (upbeat, dig the horns. spazzy), 2 (more sax, more spaz), 3 (rippin’ guitar line), 5 (standout track, fucking rocks but watch the disclaim), 9 (another standout, catchy and anthemic), 10 (folk-ish, awesome female/male call-response)


Rank Artist Recording Label User Supplied Version
1 OF MONTREAL Skeletal Lamping Polyvinyl
2 CRYSTAL STILTS Alight Of Night Slumberland
3 VIVIAN GIRLS Vivian Girls In The Red
4 WOMEN Women Jagjaguwar
5 PARTS AND LABOR Receivers Jagjaguwar
6 ETTES Look At Life Again Soon Take Root
8 RA RA RIOT The Rhumb Line Barsuk
9 SUBMARINES Honeysuckle Weeks Nettwerk
10 BEN FOLDS Way To Normal Epic
11 LOVE IS ALL A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night What’s Your Rupture?
12 LENKA Lenka Epic
13 GANG GANG DANCE Saint Dymphna The Social Registry
15 SLEEPING IN THE AVIARY Expensive Vomit In A Cheap Hotel Science Of Sound
16 ARMY NAVY Army Navy The Fever Zone
17 NOAH AND THE WHALE Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down Cherry Tree-Interscope
18 BOO AND BOO TOO No Tempo Ironpaw
19 MENAHAN STREET BAND Make The Road By Walking Daptone-Dunham
20 JAY REATARD Matador Singles ’08 Matador
22 PINK SPIDERS Sweat It Out Mean Buzz
24 TOBACCO Fucked Up Friends Anticon
25 GRAMPALL JOOKABOX Ropechain Asthmatic Kitty
26 ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS Another World [EP] Secretly Canadian
27 BEARS Simple Machinery Self-Released
28 BROKEN WEST Now Or Heaven Merge
29 WIRE Object 47 Pink Flag
30 UPCHUCK Gone But Not Forgiven Dadastic

And, as promised, (part of) the Sample 1996 interview with Neutral Milk Hotel:

Sample: How did you get together for the tour?

Jeff Mangum: Julian called me in New York and said, “Well, if you want to do a tour for the record, I can do it.”

Julian Koster: [to Jeff] Why don’t you start with Scott and how you guys grew up together and stuff?

Jeff: Well, you started the whole mess.

Julian: I said start with you two… chronologically.

Scott Spillane: I wasn’t included in the band until the day before he left.

Julian: I thought she was more interested in where you came from… they used to be in a band called The Clay Bears together.

Jeff: I wasn’t really planning on touring at all. I mean I hadn’t really thought about it. It just seemed like getting a band together would be hard. I’m not really good at taking responsibility for everybody and calling up a bunch of people and saying “Hey, come on, come fuck up your life for me.” But Julian sort of gave me the incentive to have the guts to do that. I knew Scott for six years in Louisiana. So I was on my way from Denver to New York, because his grandmother lives out there, and we were going to practice in her basement. Scott was living in his van in Austin, TX. He was sleeping in front of Gumby’s Pizza Parlor, where he worked. And the night before I left it dawned on me that…

Scott: The night before he left he came in and it was 2:00 in the morning and he said “I just stopped by to say goodbye.” Then we got hit by this big rush and I asked him to come help me make pizzas and he said “I don’t know what to do.” So he was slinging pizza juice around and then right before he left he said “Hey man, I just realized something. This job really sucks. So why don’t you come with us,” and I said okay.

Jeff: Yeah that would be it. And all he had was…

Scott: All I had was my guitar and my amp.

Jeff: I didn’t even know that he could play horn or anything.

Sample: What exactly is the Elephant Six Recording Collective?

Jeff: It started out as a label and then now it’s sort of a symbol for our friendship. I don’t really have a definition for it. Everybody has their own little definition.

Julian: A family crest for a group of friends.

Sample: Does it involve other projects outside of music?

Julian: It does.

Jeff: We’re probably going to end up living in a farmhouse somewhere.

Sample: Like a commune?

Jeff: Sort of, yeah. We all kind of want to just disappear.

::check back in the following weeks for further installments of the interview::


Friday, November 14th, 2008

From 12 AM to 6 AM, yours truly will be working the board, with special guests EVERYONE. If you’re in the city, come by and give us cash and I will put you on the radio probably. If you’re not, listen in, for I will play hilarious oddities from our stacks and it will be a party in the pants. Also, call in a pledge at (314) 935-5952, then send a check made out to KWUR to:

KWUR 90.3 FM
Campus Box 1205
One Brookings Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63130

Groovy! On y va, citoyens!


Thursday, November 13th, 2008

If you are in the general vicinity of KWUR Base Alpha (Washington University in St. Louis), come by and buy baked treats and random CD packages and t-shirts and perchance a totebag. If not, you can still donate to us by calling in a pledge at (314) 935-5952 during a show and sending a check made out to KWUR and your gift request to:

KWUR 90.3 FM
Campus Box 1205
One Brookings Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63130

Thank you! I love you!