Thursday, April 10, 2008

Trying to keep up...

I know, I know...things are really starting to get backed up around here and you're sick of seeing the same old posts from a week ago. I think I need to hire a gmail manager or something. I try to at least glance at every email that is sent my way and sift through the ever-present stack of CDs that materialize on the desk, but it doesn't always happen.

To nudge the ball forward, here are a few things that have caught my attention over the past couple of weeks that I simply haven't been able to mention until now. Included in this aggregator-clogging entry is a new local find called A Faulty Chromosome, a new dance-like discovery from Brooklyn called Hercules and Love Affair, a fresh Jay Reatard single, and some noisy goodness from Fuck Buttons, A Place To Bury Strangers, and Indian Jewelry, who have each been growing on me steadily. Let's call it the "get off your ass and figure out where your headphones are, because you might actually find something in this stack that you dig"...mixtape.

Here's the B-side to the first 7" in Jay Reatard’s series of single releases for Matador. They pressed an extremely limited quantity of this record, and are allowing just one copy per customer. So if you want one you should head to the Matador store and see if they still have any, because once they're gone, they're gone.

A Faulty Chromosome is a lo-fi mixture of some shoegaze-ish/new wave-ish stuff that I am really enjoying right about now. The album is called As An Ax-Anorexic's Six Sicks Exit, which I believe translates into "come again?". Here's the description du jour that is almost as eclectic as the music itself:
"A Faulty Chromosome is a slopbucket of shoegaze tremolo, hand-claps, 8-bit blips, water-damaged Mister Rogers records, mashed Casio chords and drum machine’d beats--all bundled up in a warmish childhood memory of hiding beneath the kitchen table in 1986 with their uncle’s overweight cocker spaniel. For neophobes and/or the musically nescient, A Faulty Chromosome (sort of) sounds like: The Feelies + New Order + Half Japanese + Pavement + My Bloody Valentine + Yo La Tengo + Sebadoh + Belle & Sebastian. Sort of. They are the quiet kid who hides in the library at lunch time drawing pictures in textbook margins. At worst, enjoyable noise. At best, a charming mess."

I heard differing reports at SXSW on the quality of A Place To Bury Strangers. One source said it was just okay, one said they were pretty good, and another said they made a big splash at the Wave bar. On the day after I missed them at Emo's I kept noticing people sporting their t-shirts, including the gents from Holy Fuck, so I figured there must be something to it. I finally got around to giving these guys a listen, starting with their Daytrotter recording and following it up with their self-titled debut album, and it seriously rocks. Supposedly they have been labeled the loudest band in New York. If you're into distorted, feedback-laden psychedelic shoegaze-rock, or think you might be, A Place To Bury Strangers has your medicine. Read a review at DOA.

Indian Jewelry is a noise rock band out of Houston who have been through a few different incarnations since getting together in 2002. They've got a new album called Free Gold coming out next month on the We Are Free label that is also home to Yeasayer and Ponytail, and they'll soon embark on a lengthy tour in support of the album including a stop in Austin on April 19th. eMusic says:
"Crafting a dense, almost unclassifiable but often very melodic sound, Houston, TX's Indian Jewelry features the core trio of guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Erika Thrasher, guitarist/vocalist Tex Kerschen, and drummer Rodney Rodriguez. The group was also known as Swarm of Angels, Turquoise Diamonds, Japanix, the Corpes of Waco, the Perpetual War Party Band, and NTX+Electric. The band's basic sound remained the same, however, uniting drum machines, drones, noise and other elements of experimental, psychedelic, industrial and garage rock into an intense but alluring free-form mix."

Fuck Buttons. What an awesome name. They are a two-piece experimental noise group formed in Bristol, England in early 2004 who combine their nihilistic-noise tendencies with melody and rhythm. The first time I listened to Fuck Buttons I thought to myself...this really sounds like someone mic'ed up a garbage disposal, wrapped it in tinfoil and then stuck it in the microwave. But, the more I go back and listen to the album, Street Horrrsing, the more I understand why it has been getting such high marks by people like The Times, The Observer, NME, Pitchfork, etc etc. Read a review at Almost Cool. They are another band I missed at SXSW and then heard good things about, but as luck would have it they are coming back to Austin soon while on tour with another artist I told you about, Caribou. That show is April 27th at Emo's outside, and I've got your event listing right here.

Hercules and Love Affair are into sweet 70's disco beats, jazzy horns and harmonies, rhythmic dancefloor concoctions, and some funky, toned-down electro. The project is led by a gent named Andrew Butler, who emerged from making music for college-based dance projects into a fully-fledged recording artist via the New York art scene. He hooked up with a few friends including Antony (from Antony & The Johnsons), got them in the DFA studio to collaborate and sing his songs, and the debut album from Hercules and Love Affair was the result. Read a review at Village Voice.