Thursday, October 19, 2006

Heavy Rotation: The We Shot J.R. Playlist

Here are some records we've been listening to lately, along with some MP3s to sample. We encourage you to go buy these records, and if any labels, bands, or managers would like us to remove these tracks, please email and we will take them down immediately:

Josef K The Only Fun in Town: As Edinburgh's answer to Glasgow's Orange Juice, Josef K was a relatively underappreciated but nearly as vital example of the "Scotland" sound that emerged on the Postcard record label in the early 1980's. Their songs are thoroughly post punk and clearly steeped in the gloom of Joy Division, but they also incorporate the poppy funk influences of Orange Juice and a sharp, rhythmic discopunk that is as infectious as many of Gang of Four's best singles. The group will likely see a small resurgence in popularity among record collectors with this year's release of Entomology, a compilation of their complete works.

"Revelation" MP3

Comus First Utterance: Ever wonder what ties bands like Skygreen Leopards, Animal Collective and Akron/Family together? Comus, an experimental acid/prog folk band from the early 70's is such a clear influence on these groups that you might think they were on tour together. Taking equal nods from ancient Celtic folk and King Crimson, Comus produces something that might also remind you of Pagan ritual chants and Yes. Good stuff.

"Diana" MP3

Pearls Before Swine Balaklava: For all intents and purposes, Pearls Before Swine is pseudo-cult figure Tom Rapp and a revolving cast of backing musicians. Rapp, who once beat Bob Dylan in a high school talent show (not kidding), wrote strange, sad folk songs, gorgeous traditional ballads, and slightly paranoid psyche pop masterpieces. I had never heard of Pearls Before Swine until I stumbled upon them while researching for my review on Chris Garver, and I'm really glad I found them. Apparently, Pearls Before Swine's 1967 debut sold 250,000 copies in the U.S., so maybe I just missed the Tom Rapp boat. I've posted two tracks from Swine's 1968 masterpiece Balaklava, the first being a short recording made in the 1880's of a man named Landfrey, who happened to be the British Military Trumpet player that sounded the horns in one of the major battles of the Crimean war of 1854. Its really creepy. The next is an absolutely gorgeous strings ballad that you really have to hear to believe. Imagine a sadder, older version of "Eleanor Rigby" and you might be half way there.

"Trumpeter Lanfrey" MP3
"Guardian Angels" MP3

Lupe Fiasco "I Gotcha:" One of the best hip hop singles in a long time, hands down. You should really pick up the rest of the album. Think Pharcyde, De La and Tribe. MP3

Om Conference of the Birds: Here's a warning for you. If you don't like long stoner rock tracks (like 17 minutes long), then don't download this. However, if you want to hear what the rhythm section of legendary stoner rock band Sleep has been up to recently, then you really should. Its just bass and drums, but it sure doesn't sound like it. Its complex, epic, and exciting, and somehow manages to drill repetitious riffs into your head while changing things up so often that you really won't notice. Truly hypnotic if you let it be. Anyone that has ever liked anything by Black Sabbath will dig this. It will probably take a long time to download, but should be worth it.

"Flight of the Eagle" MP3

Les Georges Leningrad Sangue Puro: A great track from this Montreal band's latest no wave infected effort. This one is pretty catchy and almost danceable, but the album as a whole is much more bizarre than anything Les Georges has done to this point. I like it quite a bit. "Scissor Hands" MP3

Boris/Sunn 0)))
Altar: It might not be the best idea to take a track from this album out of context, but I thought you guys might be interested in hearing something from this much talked about ambient/ black metal collaboration between two of the most hyped experimental bands of the past couple of years. It sounds a lot more like Sunn 0))) than Boris, in case you were wondering, but the track below doesn't really sound like either.

"The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)" MP3

Chapterhouse Whirlpool: I often wonder why late 80's English shoegaze/madchester group Chapterhouse isn't a little bit more well known these days. They weren't as exciting as the Stone Roses, as danceable as the Happy Mondays or anywhere near the same ballpark as My Bloody Valentine (who is?), but a lot of their better stuff is as good as Ride or Slowdive, and the track below is one of their better ones. See for yourself.

"Pearl" MP3


Anonymous Gabriel said...

Thanks for posting the Om track. I loved Sleep's album Jerusalem which was one track, 50 minutes long. So 17 minutes ain't shit. Props on the Josef K too.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll give ya Ride, but Chapterhouse your kidding yourself about being better than Slowdive who put out three consiand redstent yet different record. Even the obscure Pygmalion eclipses anything Chapterhouse could pull off. Chapterhouse fell flat on their face after their debut and reduced themselves to the same britpop hell that Ride did. At Slowdive changed their name before they started to stink.

6:05 PM  
Anonymous mc said...

FUCK yes I love that Chapterhouse record ... not to mention all "ambient metal" and ALL acid-damaged prog-folk ... you reallly unearthed some gems today, stoned!

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

alter fucking destroys, not the best 0))) stuff, but still amazing.

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

chapterhouse had bloodmusic and the Global Communication remix of Bloodmusic which are both pretty standup records. I probably still fall on the Slowdive side, but Chapterhouse had some really high points.

Boris rules and so does sunn o))). Evildrone and any sunno))) is nice meditation music.

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice local coverage there, jr. boy you sure know how to cover local tracks (compilation aside) for once, gosh, i'm thinking you're letting the other half down. man.
now that we understand each other... BRING ON THE WHORES!!!

11:55 AM  
Anonymous THRASHCOWBOY said...

altar is anything but black metal.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you! I've been wondering the exact same thing for years about chapterhouse. I'm suspicious that they didn't get the cool label back then as well, cos an older friend of mine who was seriously into the same ol shoegaze back in the day didn't recognize the name, but did the tune. la la la.

11:24 PM  

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