Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Released This Week: Diverse Projects Featuring Former Texans Windsor for the Derby




Tuesday April 3rd marks the date of two new releases featuring two different members of former Texas band Windsor for the Derby. In the late nineties, I tended to lump Windsor in with other Texas groups such as Bedhead, Transona 5, and American Analog Set. For me, the minimalism and repetition common with these bands captured a slacker-like ethic more attuned to apathy than, say, the class clownishness and sarcasm of slacker prototypes Pavement— who were too interested in having fun to be considered slack in a truly apathetic sense. At the same time, there were aesthetic elements of Windsor et al. that were implicit: vocals were typically diminished, lyrics were deemphasized, and musicianship was understated without ever being self-consciously elementary. Those elements addressed the apathy of the scene, and what I've found to be a distinctly Texan adherance to a code of stoicism that suppresses emotional expression: they provided an opportunity to emote vicariously through their songs, or offered introspection as a substitute. Good examples are Bedhead’s “Inhume” from the Dark Ages EP, and Windsor’s “Stasis” from their album Minnie Greutzfeldt.

Adam Wiltzie has worked extensively with Windsor for the Derby, and his band, Stars of the Lid, releases their first album in six years with Stars of the Lid and Their Refinement of the Decline. The band was formed in Austin in 1990, though Wiltzie now lives in Belgium and founding partner Brian McBride is based in L.A. Stars are named after the visuals you experience when you close your eyes, and if you imagine what a band so-named might sound like, you’re probably not far off from what Stars of the Lid actually do, um, sound like. I find that a little indulgence in the symphonic/ambient/drone niche goes a long way, and considering that “…Their Refinement…” is a double LP, I’m inclined to wait this one out.

Garnering lofty comparisons to New Order and Kraftwerk, Future Conditional boast a more commercially ambitious offering with their debut, “We Don’t Just Disappear.” With myriad contributors, Future Conditional is primarily the project of Cedric Pin and Glen Johnson of the ambivalence inducing Piano Magic. Principal Windsor for the Derby member Dan Matz graces the album with his characteristic lazy, almost half-a-note flat voice on the very good opening track, "Bright Lights & Wandering". In his appearance here, as elsewhere, his voice operates as if it was recorded in slow-motion and then played back at normal speed. "Crying's What You Need", sung by Angele David-Guillou of Klima, nearly has me waiting for the guitar hook in New Order’s “Regret.” Another one, "Volunteer", is very catchy and sung by Bobby Wratten of Trembling Blue Stars fame.

Meanwhile, Windsor for the Derby, now based in Philadelphia, have supposedly reconvened and are planning a new album, "How We Lost". Secretly Canadian has recently re-released some of the band’s Trance Syndicate records from their days in Austin, and this past fall their song “Melody of a Fallen Tree” was included on the rather decent Marie Antoinette soundtrack.

29 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All who vote that Wildcat is Wanz Dover say 'aye'

1:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes I read weshotjr I feel like a musically illiterate twat. Now would be one of those times.

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Edward James Olmos said...

yknow whats krazee about Secretly Candadian?

nothing!

SNAP

5:48 AM  
Blogger R. Javelinn said...

Sure sounds like Wanz's cup o' tea, doesn't it? I suppose it's possible someone else with that specific knowledge could still be alive and well and living in Dallas, right?...I mean, right?

Of course, it couldn't be Wanz, though. He has too much to do and far too many unappreciated musical projects in the works to find time for blogging.

By the way, I'm glad to see Eddie Olmos has chimed in. He's a very underrated actor and evidently very quck with a salty retort.

10:10 AM  
Blogger blixaboy said...

not me. I am way too busy. Good Article. Anyone else going to see Sonic Boom tomorrow in Austin? One of my best friends just saw him in Philly. Apparently he is playing nothing but Spectrum material with the exception of the Kraftwerk song
"Hall of Mirrors". The Strange Attractors from Austin are opening. Most of these guys are originally from up here. Jeremy actually used to be in the Riverboat Gamblers years ago. They are kind of like the garage rock side of Spacemen 3. Blissful with Rockin balls.

check them out:
http://www.myspace.com/ifloatalone


Stephen R is subbing for me this week at Lost Gen. Next week I amchanging the format a bit. Details to come.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Zine-O-Phonic said...

Still recovering financially from SXSW, so sonic boom is out.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you'd only have to be about 30 to have that specific knowledge, right? What is this Blade Runner or something?!

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All who vote that Geoff Johnston is somehow a part of this blog say aye

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

vote of fools

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all who vote that fools run this blog say aye

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what does this say about us that read it?

1:01 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

all who vote that 1252 is the same dumbass that always talks shit and must be obsessed with me, say aye.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i never thought i'd see the words 'trembling blue stars' written on this blog

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you like Stars of the Lid check out The Dead Texan. It's a A/V collaboration with Adam Wiltze and the video artist Christina Vantzos. It's a little more musically driven than SOTL and more composed. Pretty cool actually.
Seeing SOTL live, I gotta say yr eyelids are more interesting to watch.

2:09 PM  
Blogger R. Javelinn said...

This isn't Blade Runner. It's Logan's Run, which was shot in the Metroplex. Anyone who knows that much about those particular groups and was around to attend their shows should come to Carousel and renew at once.

Wildcat: there is a Sandman hot at your heels, buddy. You too, Mwanza. Your palm crystal is glowing bright red.

Now I am going to go wash my X-Men sheets and play with my "Gundams".

2:47 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

who is this guy, trip fontaine?

2:56 PM  
Blogger R. Javelinn said...

Trip Fontaine? No. Heartthrob? Definitely.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Zak said...

I liked those old Windsor for the Derby records, "Metropolitan Then Poland" ep was awesome. I also have a split 12" of theirs with Drain from Trance that was part of some remix series they did. I also like early Furry Things, "Hedphones" ep. For a short time their those Austin bands were doing something cool with the post-rock/electronica thing, all on Trance. I stopped keeping up though after my brief interest. That was a cool label, I love the slimline jewel cases they used for eps.

So, I guess it is possible that other people in the whole of the DFWd megalopolis could actually listen to stuff like this.

Anyway, going to check out that other stuff becuause I didn't know about it except for SOTL, which I'm not totally sold on. Double Albums are so over, unless they are Double Live! Now those aren't done enough anymore. ;)

4:32 PM  
Anonymous od nalro said...

I was about to say the same thing about logan's run. where the hell did you get blade runner from?

4:35 PM  
Blogger R. Javelinn said...

Actually, SR, I have to confess that I'm much more of a Wooderson. Hypocritical, I know, but my red crystal has long since gone dim as well.

It was just shocking to see anything written about Stars of the Lid and Bedhead, which I remember last at Deep Ellum Live in '96.

I dodge the Sandmen by attending The Party and wearing a camoflauged bandana around my face to conceal my fading youth.

I get older, but the girls stay the same age.

5:14 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

its all good.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Wildcat said...

I really don't think I'm all that old. I think I actually saw Windsor with Bedhead at Deep Ellum live sometime around 1996. That was probably about the same time Tim Delaughter was up to his "I Got a Girl" mischief. Why couldn't he have moved to Europe or quit the scene to go get a biology degree or something?

This was the Texas Rangers lineup the year I was born:

C Jim Sundberg
1B Pat Putnam
2B Bump Wills
3B Buddy Bell
SS Pepe Frias
OF Al Oliver
OF Mickey Rivers
OF Jim Norris
DH Richie Zisk

5:59 PM  
Blogger R. Javelinn said...

Ah, Buddy Bell, that towheaded rake!

6:24 PM  
Blogger Defensive Listening said...

I saw Windsor For The Derby play with Bedhead at Deep Ellum Live in either late April/Early May of 1998. I know this to be a fact because I remember what else was going on in my life at the time. Maybe they played there together more than once? That show was packed.

6:43 PM  
Blogger R. Javelinn said...

That probably was the same show and that whole time period is a blur. I just know that SOTL opened for Bedhead, and it was packed for sure.

I'm thinking that there was a band between them, so it may have been Windsor. I was probably pretty high that night and I'm certain I've smoked some of those memories into obivion.

But I was just livin', man. L-I-V-I-N.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Wildcat said...

I think Pepe Frias and Bump Wills were bartending that night.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone remember bedhead's last show at deep ellum live when the power went out during 'haywire'?

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the deep ellum live show where the power went out was with sotl in 1996 (dark ages release), the one with windsor was 1998 (last bedhead show in dallas).

remember when windsor for the derby opened for swans on their final tour?

2:30 PM  
Anonymous mc said...

Yeah that Bedhead show (96/SOTL) *was* packed. And WFTD used to be great, but turned ... well .. not so great. Just in case Jason is reading this.

Can't wait to hear the new SOTL!

3:43 PM  

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