Archive for October, 2009

New Villager – Rich Doors 7″

New Villager, the cross-country collaboration of Ben Bromley and Ross Simonini, is a fun little enigma to sort through. Last weekend, my Friday began with the pleasant discovery of “Rich Doors” and “Ghengis On,” the two songs that compose New Villager’s Rich Doors 7″ on Two Syllable Records. Both are surreal, joyous, and dark in the same way I imagine Michael Jackson songs blasting out of a diabolical, ghost infested cavern would be.

The band has also constructed an interesting background, revealed in bits and pieces through interviews, reviews, articles, and a few more or less official biographies. One absolutely brilliant piece, supposedly excerpted from an article called “NewVillager Shakes Its Finger At Pop’s Lucid Dream,” reads:

“Buried deep in the American memory hole is this thing called NewVillager that threatens to—if not watched, and studied, and cornered—collapse all that is around it in on itself. NewVillager is, as you no doubt know, a part of a tradition that begins with Villager. Continued to Villager 2. And VillagerVillager. And VillagersAgain. And now to NewVillager. The Villager tradition ingests itself periodically, in its way following the model created by the Puerto Rican pop group Menudo. In fact, the only major difference between the process by which Menudo evolves and the way a Villager iteration forms is the Villager commitment to what they refer to as Radical Parthenogenesis. An explanation of the phenomenon known as Radical Parthenogenesis is not forthcoming, though calls have been made to the home office.”
—Wilder Hunt, The Daily Press, Escanaba Michigan, April 15, 1985

More importantly though, the New Villager 7″ is still available for only $4.99 from Two Syllable Records and digitally via itunes.




October 31, 2009 at 3:19 pm Leave a comment


Slavoj Žižek

Thanks to the groovy-chique folks at Little Paper Planes for pointing out AAARG.ORG, an impressive repository of philosophy, cultural criticism, and very nearly any kind of essay, paper, or otherwise you can imagine, name, or sharply feel the absence of in your life. AAAARG in AAAARG’s own words:

AAAARG is a conversation platform – at different times it performs as a school, or a reading group, or a journal.

AAAARG was created with the intention of developing critical discourse outside of an institutional framework. But rather than thinking of it like a new building, imagine scaffolding that attaches onto existing buildings and creates new architectures between them.”

From Inaki Abalos to Slavoj Žižek, AAARG’s got em all. They even take requests. Great way to kill an afternoon or a lifetime, however your inclination directs.



October 29, 2009 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

Timber Timbre – S/T

Timber Timbre - S/T LP

For the next week, Arts & Crafts is offering a free download of Timber Timbre’s third LP, officially released this summer in June.

It either reflects very, very badly on me or very, very well on the quality of musicianship from Timber Timbre’s Taylor Kirk that when I first heard this album I thought I was listening to an elderly black gentleman on an archival recording – Kirk is neither, nor is the recording, as it happens. If I’d been listening more closely the quality of sound would have given him away, but I wasn’t so it didn’t. Either way, with rough, echoey vocals and squealing organs, Timber Timbre immerses you in an anachronistic ’50s Halloween in Louisiana, beautifully capturing an atmosphere so far removed.

Thanks to Karri Roberts for introducing me to the band. I can’t think of a better situation than driving at 10pm to see a meteor shower… outside of, maybe, a haunted hayride or one of those Halloween mansion tour things they do. I’ve never really done either, so I can’t say for certain.



October 27, 2009 at 10:42 pm Leave a comment

Visions of Trees – “Sixteen Bells”

Visions of Trees - Live, 10.23.09

Mental Monkey Records has recently begun a weekly singles series called Secret Mixtape, presenting a song each week from a different band, available for download via theseries website. This week Secret Mixtape presents “Sixteen Bells,” a gorgeous new track from Visions of Trees. I’ve heard the song in a couple of different iterations so I assume this is the final and according to Secret Mixtape, it will only be available as a free download until November 1st when it goes up for sale on itunes. It’s a promising series and for me at least a good introduction, so you may hear more about it here or wherever else you get your music news. Also expect more Visions of Trees news as they start getting things together for a groovy lil single thing here at some point.



October 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment


Jamie Long - Beko 2

BEKO DSL is, as “DSL” will probably not suggest by itself, a digital-only singles label (“Digital Single Label”) based somewhere in the murky bowels of France – I think I’d like it to be Marseille or Avignon, but I feel like it must be Bordeaux – where they seem to incline towards electronica. They promise “a new single every monday” and so far they’ve made good. This evening they actually put up two as an early fulfillment of tomorrow’s release. To date they’ve pulled together singles from (in order of release date) Death and Vanilla, Jamie Long, Woven Tales, and Splash Wave, Nude Beach, and Uesa Guilbe, with at least two other singles projected from Million Young and Tan Dollar. I got a particular kick out of Jamie Long’s single (pictured above – each single varies by color and layout); two songs and ten minutes of slowly realized electropop grandeur.



October 26, 2009 at 12:26 am Leave a comment

Visions of Trees Cassette

Visions of Trees Cassette

London’s foremost “tropical dream pop” duo Visions of Trees has just put together, with their own four hands, a groovy limited edición cassette. I don’t know off of either of my hands what of their tunes made the cut for this release, but as every song they’ve graciously put to my ears has been tremendous I can’t imagine it matters. Honestly, the exceptionally descriptive “tropical dream pop” genre designation isn’t nearly as good as Visions of Trees themselves are, and that’s a damn fine genre designation if I’ve ever heard one. Their sound is an overwhelmingly, disembodyingly pleasant reconfiguration of tribal-electronica, awash in echoing techno-ambience with vocals that range between cavernous and soothing. Good for a rest, catharsis, an epiphany, celebratory dance or any number of things that won’t let you split your attention easily.

The band also has a new website up and it looks like they’ll be playing around with it, so stop by now, later, and repeat.

Hooray, hoorah, harooh!


October 23, 2009 at 11:12 pm Leave a comment

Wolf in a Spacesuit Interview

Wolf in a Spacesuit - Band Shot

The Music Pirate – I assume this is a blog run by a cadre of prodigiously active illegal music downloaders – just posted a fun interview with Chicago’s Wolf in a Spacesuit. These guys might just be the last great band worth interviewing, at least on the strength of their conversation with The Music Pirate, which is, oddly enough, their first interview. For those that don’t know them, Wolf in a Spacesuit made a big ol’ honkin stir when they appeared, inexplicably (oh know!) on MGMT’s top friends list on myspace. The stir continued because, as we’d find out, they’re one of the ten best bands west of the Mississippi. Musically, Wolf in a Spacesuit makes downbeat electropop delicately tinged with handclaps (each of which has a place, dangit!), always energetic regardless of mood, and undeniably beautiful. Head on down to their myspace page where their exceptional EP Pomegranite Stationary is downloadable for free.



October 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm 2 comments

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