Friday, October 29, 2010

Music Videos: Deerhunter Cover Scott Walker; Feist Teams With Little Wings

I don't make it a habit to post all that many performance clips around these parts, if only because the best of them tend to make the rounds pretty thoroughly-- and I'm sure these will be no different. However, when I came across these two clips today I felt the need to pass them along for very specific reasons. First, you'll find a live b&w clip of Atlanta indie-rock titans Deerhunter, who recently took on Scott Walker's immortal "30 Century Man". The band's newest record, Halycon Digest, which I didn't get the chance to officially review-- that privilege went to Sam C. Mac, whose sentiments I agree with wholeheartedly-- but would like to take this opportunity to fully endorse as one of the year's best, is out on 4AD right now. Also, I never really thought about it, but the record does have a bit in common with Walker's late-60s pop records. Perhaps this is a slight nod in that direction.

Below that it is quaint little nature clip featuring indie-pop goddess Leslie Feist and freak-folk survivor Kyle Field of Little Wings performing the latter's fantastic mid-aughts acoustic ditty "Look at What the Light Did Now", which myself and Jon Staph talked about at length in a recent edition of the End of Radio. On the show, I mention that I had no idea what Field had been up to recently, but rollin' with Feist certainly isn't a bad way to reacquaint yourself with indie audiences. In fact, Feist's forthcoming documentary is directly named after this song, so it's nice to see her paying the man a little love with this performance, which I'm sure will be included somewhere on the DVD/CD package of the film that is in the works (the doc is currently making the rounds through a series of special engagement screenings). Check 'em both out after the cut, via P4k News.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Essentials (Film): The 2000s

• 1940s •1950s • 1960s • 1970s •
1980s1990s • 2000s •

Beau Travail / Claire Denis (2000)
George Washington / David Gordon Green (2000)
In Vanda's Room / Pedro Costa (2000)
Time Regained / Raoúl Ruiz (2000)
The Wind Will Carry Us / Abbas Kiarostami (2000)
Yi Yi: A One and a Two / Edward Yang (2000)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence / Steven Spielberg (2001)
The Circle / Jafar Panahi (2001)
Donnie Darko / Richard Kelly (2001)
Eureka / Shinji Aoyama (2001)
Fat Girl / Catherine Briellet (2001)
Ghost World / Terry Zwigoff (2001)
The Gleaners and I / Agnès Varda (2001)
In the Mood for Love / Wong Kar-wai (2001)
La ciénaga / Lucrecia Martel (2001)
La libertad / Lisandro Alonso (2001)
Mulholland Dr. / David Lynch (2001)
The Royal Tenenbaums / Wes Anderson (2001)
Songs from the Second Floor / Roy Andersson (2001)
Werkmeister Harmonies / Béla Tarr (2001)
25th Hour / Spike Lee (2002)
Adaptation. / Spike Jonze (2002)
Blissfully Yours / Apichatpong Weerasethakul (2002)
The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat) / Zacharias Kunuk (2002)
I'm Going Home / Manoel de Oliveira (2002)
In Praise of Love / Jean-Luc Godard (2002)
Morvern Callar / Lynne Ramsay (2002)
Russian Ark / Aleksandr Sokurov (2002)
Spirited Away / Hayao Miyazaki (2002)
Talk to Her / Pedro Almodovar (2002)
Turning Gate / Hong Sangsoo (2002)
What Time Is It There? / Tsai Ming-liang (2002)
Capturing the Friedmans / Andrew Jarecki (2003)
Come and Go / João César Monteiro (2003)
demonlover / Olivier Assayas (2003)
Elephant / Gus Van Sant (2003)
Gerry / Gus Van Sant (2003)
Kill Bill Vol. 1 / Quentin Tarantino (2003)
Lost in Translation / Sophia Coppola (2003)
The Man Without a Past / Aki Kaurismäki (2003)
Millennium Mambo / Hou Hsiao-hsien (2003)
Mystic River / Clint Eastwood (2003)
Platform / Jia Zhangke (2003)
The Son / Jean Pierre & Luc Dardenne (2003)
Unknown Pleasures / Jia Zhangke (2003)
13 Lakes / James Benning (2004)
Before Sunset / Richard Linklater (2004)
Crimson Gold / Jafar Panahi (2004)
Distant / Nuri Bilge Ceylan (2004)
Dogville / Lars von Trier (2004)
Evolution of a Filipino Family / Lav Diaz (2004)
Goodbye, Dragon Inn / Tsai Ming-liang (2004)
Kill Bill, Vol. 2 / Quentin Tarantino (2004)
Los Angeles Plays Itself / Thom Andersen (2004)
Moolaadé / Ousmane Sembene (2004)
Notre musique / Jean-Luc Godard (2004)
Tarnation / Jonathan Caouette (2004)
2046 / Wong Kar-wai (2005)
Caché / Michael Haneke (2005)
Café Lumiere / Hou Hsiao-hsien (2005)
Grizzly Man / Werner Herzog (2005)
A History of Violence / David Cronenberg (2005)
The Holy Girl / Lucrecia Martel (2005)
The Intruder / Claire Denis (2005)
Kings and Queen / Arnaud Desplechin (2005)
Last Days / Gus Van Sant (2005)
Memories of Murder / Bong Joon-ho (2005)
The New World / Terrence Malick (2005)
Nobody Knows / Hirokazu Koreeda (2005)
Saraband / Ingmar Bergman (2005)
The Squid and the Whale / Noah Baumbach (2005)
Tropical Malady / Apichatpong Weerasethakul (2005)
The World / Jia Zhangke (2005)
Children of Men / Alfonso Cuarón (2006)
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu / Cristi Puiu (2006)
The Departed / Martin Scorsese (2006)
L’Enfant / Jean Pierre & Luc Dardenne (2006)
Inland Empire / David Lynch (2006)
Letters from Iwo Jima / Clint Eastwood (2006)
Pan’s Labyrinth / Guillermo Del Toro (2006)
Three Times / Hou Hsiao-hsien (2006)
The Assassination of Jesse James… / Andrew Dominik (2007)
Black Book / Paul Verhoeven (2007)
Colossal Youth / Pedro Costa (2007)
I Don't Want to Sleep Alone / Tsai Ming-liang (2007)
I’m Not There / Todd Haynes (2007)
Los muertos / Lisandro Alonso (2007)
No Country for Old Men / Joel & Ethan Coen (2007)
Private Fears in Public Places / Alain Resnais (2007)
RR / James Benning (2007)
Syndromes and a Century / Apichatpong Weerasethakul (2007)
There Will Be Blood / Paul Thomas Anderson (2007)
West of the Tracks / Wang Bing (2007)
Zodiac / David Fincher (2007)
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days / Cristian Mungui (2008)
Alexandra / Alexandr Sokurov (2008)
The Duchess of Langeais / Jacques Rivette (2008)
Flight of the Red Balloon / Hou Hsiao-hsien (2008)
In the City of Sylvia / Jose Luis Guerin (2008)
My Winnipeg / Guy Maddin (2008)
Still Life / Jia Zhangke (2008)
Synecdoche, New York / Charlie Kaufman (2008)
Wendy & Lucy / Kelly Reichardt (2008)
24 City / Jia Zhangke (2009)
35 Shots of Rum / Claire Denis (2009)
The Headless Woman / Lucrecia Martel (2009)
Inglourious Basterds / Quentin Tarantino (2009)
Liverpool / Lisandro Alonso (2009)
Police, Adjective / Corneliu Porumboiu (2009)
A Serious Man / Joel & Ethan Coen (2009)
Silent Light / Carlos Reygadas (2009)
Still Walking / Hirokazu Koreeda (2009)
Summer Hours / Olivier Assayas (2009)
The Sun / Aleksandr Sokurov (2009)
The White Ribbon / Michael Haneke (2009)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Music Review: A Sunny Day in Glasgow - Autumn, Again

To call A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s epic sophomore album, Ashes Grammar, overlooked would be an understatement. This was my favorite album of 2009 and InRO didn’t even bother to review it. Of course, I’m sure if enough of us had heard it in time it would have been an easy shoo-in for somewhere around the top half of our year-end staff list, but it just goes to show how even in the information 2.0 era a major statement by potentially major band can fail to even move the needle, despite the outspoken championing from various corners of the blogosphere. So while their music can sound positively behemoth under the right conditions, A Sunny Day in Glasgow continue to work in small but effective gestures. Case in point: the band’s latest release, Autumn, Again, which follows just thirteen months after Ashes Grammar and plays as both victory lap and as solid reiteration of the band’s talent. What’s unclear is whether or not this is meant to be consumed as the proper follow-up to Ashes Grammar—everything from the recording specifics (laid down during the same sessions that birthed Ashes) to its distribution method (as a free download or reasonably priced vinyl) to its modest runtime (just over 30 minutes) would seem to suggest not. What I can tell you, however, is that Autumn, Again is thirty more minutes of wondrous dream-pop, regardless of contextual placement.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sam Kinison Woman

One of my favorite rock band's of the last half decade return with a new single on October 26th. Listen to Pissed Jeans' typically pummeling "Sam Kinison Woman" below, and pick up the single when it drops this Tuesday on Sub Pop. Hopefully this means a new full-length-- the follow-up to last year's shit-kicking, sporadically brilliant King of Jeans-- is in the works.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stream: End of Radio Soundcloud Mix #4

With my regular co-host Jon Staph on what we'll go ahead and call a self-imposed sabbatical, and my two potential back-ups both tied up this weekend, it's looking like it'll be another couple weeks until the next End of Radio podcast drops in your lap. Instead, I've got a new mix to keep you occupied if you're simply jonsin' for some recommendations. Nothing too obscure this time out, but after the mostly synthetic environs of our electronic-oriented third mix, I decided to plug back in and temporarily give the power back to the electric guitar, which is the only way I can loosely tie these songs together. Some of it is relatively recent, though all in all it covers a fair amount of ground in just 8 songs and 55 minutes, from free-improv freak-folk (Wooden Wand) to Japanese psych-rock (Ghost) to classic 90s guitar pop (The Wrens). I also threw in a couple of live rarities: one a white-hot cut from the early prog fusionists the Soft Machine, and one an improvisation from an intimidating early-aughts collaboration between Christian Fennesz, Oren Ambarchi, and a handful of other cutting edge noise and ambient artists (it also represents this playlist's only dabbling in pure abstraction). For your own benefit: turn this one up.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Autumn, Again

Not that they had any further obligation to endear themselves to me-- what with having released 2009s best album and all-- but the Philadelphia based dream-weavers in A Sunny Day in Glasgow are nevertheless offering up their new album, Autumn, Again, for free download to anyone with an internet connection (vinyl is also available for purchase). Recorded during the same sessions that birthed the aforementioned Ashes Grammar, this comparatively brief LP (just over 30 minutes) effectively ties a bow on one of the most impressive bursts of creativity in recent indie-pop. Look for my full length review of the record in the coming weeks over at InRO, but in the meantime there's simply no excuse not to be the listening to this gift.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Music Review: Marnie Stern - Marnie Stern

Over the course of three fleet, trigger-finger full-lengths, Marnie Stern, axe to the proverbial grindstone, has systematically painted herself into a corner. Truth be told, it’s not all that bad of a place to be: at just 34 years old, Stern has already handily secured her place as the most talented female guitarist of her generation. Hers is a fairly unique sound as well, perhaps more in line with the early millennial fascination with hyper-prog and math-rock overload, but instantly identifiable nonetheless. But despite her sound and its inherent experimentalist bent, her records aren’t what one might call galvanizing. Hell, this is some of the comparatively tamest art-rock that I can think of, and she’s beginning to sound more constricted than liberated by her tunnel vision, note-spraying style. Which is an odd thing to say as she now steps out with her new self-titled effort, a record—as one might ascertain—evidences thematic and songwriting growth towards a more personal perspective, but once again feels a little hamstrung by the constantly pirouetting “Marnie Stern sound”.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Multinauts

Pretty self-explanatory, but no less off-the-wall for it, lo-fi pop godhead Ariel Pink recently put in some screen time on the new internet sci-fi trash series "The Multinauts". Watch Pink play a duel role as sewer mutant while also bringing the Haunted Graffiti along for the ride to perform old favorite "Flashback". Only Ariel Pink and only in 2010.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Music Review: Women - Public Strain

In most every substantial review I’ve read thus far of Women’s Public Strain, the word “gray” has been utilized in at least some fashion to describe the overriding mood of the record. And it’s true, the color palette for this sophomore album from the Canadian indie-rock band falls somewhere between the lines of calcified chrome and putrid rust. So while gray is certainly apt, I’m actually feeling more of a dank, out-of-Cold-Storage metallurgic property coursing through this record’s DNA. In any case, it’s difficult to put your finger on, and Women are probably accurately perceived as elusive in regards to both process and intention. This has resulted in music with a healthy staying power, and as far as my own habits are concerned, I haven’t listened to a whole lot of albums more in the last two years than the band’s self-titled debut. As excellent a bow for modern indie-rock as one could’ve hoped, Women tempted curious ears with an outstanding lead single (“Black Rice”), yet surprisingly utilized the resulting buzz as a conduit for an album which touched on everything from ear-mulching noise to heart-swelling drones. Public Strain evidences a band with similar tendencies, but with a much firmer grasp on dynamics and an overriding commitment to an album-length sonic environment.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Stream: End of Radio Soundcloud Mix #3

While I'm attempting to wrangle up another suitable guest host for the next official End of Radio podcast-- if you recall, Brian filled in last week, and he may very well be returning on a more regular basis-- there should be plenty of music to keep your ears satisfied at our Soundcloud page. Thus far, I haven't really applied any sort of rhyme or reason to the tune selection outside of my own personally implied recommendation, but as I put together this third mix, the tracks began to eerily align around an axis of minimal, ambient and progressive techno. It wasn't really a conscious decision, but once the pattern arose I decided to go ahead and attempt to chart a kind of crossroads between these genre variants and some outlying territories such a improvised noise and looped-based psychedelia. What you'll hear below, then, is a 9-track, one hour mix of tranquil, minimalist beauty, swelling drones, and hypnotic theme and variation. Tune in, drop out.

Note: Every third End of Radio Soundcloud update will result in a past mix being deleted as we continue to add new tracks to accommodate each new mix. So in other words, if you are interested in listening we'd recommend doing so within a couple weeks of each post, because once they're gone, they're gone for good.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Video: Thurston Moore - "You've Lost Your Lover"

The ageless wonder that is Thurston Moore apparently has a new book/7-inch record combo slated for release on December 1st, entitled In Silver Rain With a Paper Key (via P4k News), but even more exciting is the announcement of a new solo album (his third if I'm not mistaken) prepped for early next year. In lieu of a track from the actual album, Moore played one of the tunes from the Silver Rain 7-inch earlier this year at SXSW, and like the tunes which made up his last record (2007s Trees Outside the Academy), it's acoustic based-- this time 12-string acoustic in fact. We'll see if the approach carries over to the album proper. In the meantime, peaceful. You can check him debuting the tune in the video below (jump to the 3:15 mark).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spectre Folk

I've been nominally aware of Spectre Folk for a little while now, mostly through my ongoing fascination with Pete Nolan's full-time gig as drummer in the shape-shifting avant-rock crew Magik Markers, but until recently never took the time to listen to much of the man's unquenchable solo output. His enticing new live band configuration is what finally piqued my interest-- comprised of Nolan, Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley, and New York Times food critic (!) Peter Meehan, Spectre Folk is set to play some CMJ showcases this month in and around Brooklyn. The SY connection isn't too surprising, seeing as how Lee Ranaldo produced and played on the Markers' 2007 album, BOSS, but the inclusion of Meehan is just one of those awesome connections that seemingly only happen in the New York underground. Anyway, Altered Zones recently pointed the way to this video for Spectre Folk's dreamy "Burning Bridge", from their 2009 album, Compass. And a couple of clicks around the interweb also turned up this Village Voice interview with Nolan about the project and the formation of his band's new lineup.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Music Review: Swans - My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky

“Reactivated and invigorated, NOT a reunion” is how Young God contextualizes the first album in 14 years from legendary post-no wave provocateurs Swans. Fair enough. For his part, however, band leader Michael Gira went one step further in a recent interview with Grayson Currin in the Washington Post, likening the resurrected Swans experience to “mainlining heroine”. Needless to say, for every party involved, My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky was a serious and well-considered endeavor on which to embark. Not that Gira’s dedication ever waned in the interim—and not that the Angels of Light ever exactly embodied their heavenly moniker—but I’m thinking that after a good decade of artistic reconciliation the Swans name has simply allowed him to access a very specific if intangible realm, a deep, dark pit of despair that he may not otherwise feel the need to consistently inhabit anymore. And perhaps it's this state of consciousness that allows one to un-ironically title one of the more initially inviting tracks on your new record “You Fucking People Make Me Sick”. No one but the man himself can say whether this is a healthy or potentially dangerous psychological move, but what it has yielded is one of Gira’s most immediate and punishing albums in years.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Podcast: End of Radio #28 - Beloved, Lost to Begin With

"Returning to the show for the first time in nearly a year, original co-host Brian Webster joins regular host Jordan Cronk for a loose set of tunes which encapsulate everything from modern computer based production to classic analogue folk and funk."