Thursday, March 28, 2013

FFFoxy Podcast #16

Fire! Orchestra “Exit! Part One” Exit! CD (Rune Grammofon)
Paul Corley “She Is In The Ground” Disquiet CD (Bedroom Community) [12.25]
Pumice “Glordinary” Realistic Pillow 7” (Kraak) [20.40]
Joseph McNulty “I Miss My Girl” Walk Crawlin’ LP (A Beard of Snails) [23.50]
FWY! “Sepulveda” Any Exit CS* (Moon Glyph) [29.36]
Courtly Illusion Limited “Side A” S/T CS (Space Slave Editions) [32.46]
Matt Krefting “High Hopes pt. 1” (excerpt) High Hopes LP (Open Mouth) [42.42]
Yuri Lugovskoy “Track 8” S/T 2CD (Home Assembly) [51.40]
House Reverends “SDP” House Rev LP (Monofonous Press) [55.53]
Adderall Canyonly “Bootney Farnsworth” Excelsius Minor CS* (Rubber City Noise) [1.00.31]
Andrew Weathers Ensemble “Pale Face To The Sun” What Happens When We Stop MP3 (Full Spectrum)
Mary Lattimore “Poor Daniel” The Withdrawing Room LP* (Desire Path Recordings) [1.11.41]
Fossils “Track 1” Bells and Gulls CD-R (Kendra Steiner Editions) [1.14.07]
Myrrh “Side A-Track 2” S/T LP (Soft Abuse) [1.23.19]
Macho Blush “Under Weight” Under Weight CS (self-released) [1.28.37]
Borngräber & Strüver “Mobile” Clouds CD (m=minimal) [1.31.37]
Father Murphy “So Now You Have To Choose . . .” Live at Brigadisco’s Cave 01/03/2011 LP (Brigadisco)
Dylan Golden Aycock “Tethered Heart” Rise & Shine LP (Scissor Tail Editions) [1.43.38]
Loud & Sad “Lomax Acid” Unknown Species LP (Greenup Industries) [1.49.01]
Grisha Shakhnes “A Man Aflame” Leave / Trace LP (Glistening Examples) [1.52.20]
Sean McCann “Remain” Prelusion CD-R (Recital) [2.03.55]

FFFreakout #356 (Aired on 3/28/2013)

Low "So Blue" from The Invisible Way
Graeme Jefferies "Prisoner of a Single Passion" from Messages For the Cake Kitchen
Hexlove-Faulouah "Lots of Wings Carry Seeds" from Free Jazz From Slavery
Omnivore "Pink Electric" from S/T
Lyres "You'll Never Do It Baby" from Lyres Lyres
Hasil Adkins "Ha Ha Cat Walk Baby" from Out to Hunch
The Vandermark 5 "The Bridge" from Free Jazz Classics Vols. 3 & 4
David Bowie "Next Day" from Next Day
Iggy and The Stooges "Gimme Danger" from Raw Power
Devo "Here To Go" (Go Mix version) from Pioneers Who Got Scalped
The Bird and the Bee "Private Eyes" from Interpreting the Masters Volume 1
Django Django "Firewater" from S/T
Tom Tom Club "Genius of Love" from S/T

Thursday, March 21, 2013

FFFreakout #355 (Aired on 3/21/13)

Songs: Ohia "Just Be Simple" from Magnolia Electronic Co.
Lee "Scratch" Perry "Mr. Upsetter" from Master Piece
Mark Stewart "Letter (Full of Tears)" from Exorcism of Envy
House Reverends "Hype" from House Rev
Emeralds "Adrenochrome" from Just To Feel Anything
Los Destellos "Boogaloo del perro" from Cumbia Beat Vol. 2
Kraus "Dog On the Loose" from Realistic Pillow
Incredible Bongo Band "Apache" from Masters of the Old School
Nancy Sinatra "How Does That Grab You Darlin" from Feeling Minnesota O.S.T.
Wayne Hancock "Ride" from Ride
Sugarhill Gang "Hot Hot Summer Day" from The Best of Sugarhill Gang
Catherine Wheel "Black Metallic" from Ferment

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Total Life "Bender/Drifter" (Debacle Records) by Bobby Power

Since abruptly and unofficially going on indefinite haitus in 2008 after PUMPS!, the members of Growing have kept a surprisingly low profile. The Brooklyn by way of Portland power-drone guitar/bass/pedals duo (trio for the most recent incarnation, with the inclusion of Sadie Laska on samples/vocals) had a run of releases for Kranky, The Social Registry, Troubleman Unlimited, Archive and Metal Blade, all cues of the range of sounds developed by the band. Early outings The Sky's Run into The Sea and The Soul of the Rainbow and the Harmony of Light perpetuated glacially-paced drone movements flecked with shards of noise, serrated epiphanies and cavernous spaces. Then Color Wheel and the His Return EP introduced signs of change, the former incorporating a few briefer, more dynamic noise-drone-edit experiments and the latter providing a vocal-centered tune amidst two epic tracks. Growing records just seemed to effortlessly and organically sprawl across vast territories many other drone acts never could. And their fanbase seems to continue to grow to this day.

Now that that band has gone quiet, you can really see who brought what to the table. Joe Denardo has just recently begun his Ornament project, which although hasn't produced (released?) anything on record for us all to hear, having only played a set or two in Brooklyn. But Ornament's sprawling squall of live-edited, guitar excursions seems to continue PUMPS!'s post-Black Dice, ADD-drones. Kevin Doria's Total Life is now three LPs deep as a solo project, starting with a self-titled, drone-happy LP in 2006. Ken Bradshaw, the 2008 follow-up on American Dreamer and Brown Sounds, dove deep into two sidelong tracks of hyper-minimal loops that pitted a disturbed version of techno with high-minded loop experimentation.

Doria now returns with Bender/Drifter, a double stab of equally weighted, single-minded playthroughs that falls somewhere between both previous Total Life LPs. "Bender" presents a glorious take on gleefully sustained feedback. Although referencing the blemished beauty of Yo La Tengo's epic "Sunsquashed" while removing all percussion and true melody or arch, Doria brings an unbridled blast of shimmering feedback. This amplifier worship falls in line with so many great (de)generative noise and feedback experiments, celebrating natural cadence and harmony in mid-tonal resonance. Doria harps on a single chord for seemingly hours on end, like Spacemen 3's "Ecstacy Symphony" if they'd turned on their oscillators and left the studio for a pint. 

The flipside's "Drifter" continues the ode to Sonic Boom by spreading out an similarly sprawling drone of oscillation. Amplifiers buzz and hum while tones naturally punctuate in a rhythm of gated pulses. Waves of tones ebb and flow into the scene providing more action than you deserve. This is by no means up to standards set by Growing at their peak, but the randomness and sheer volume of Bender/Drifter is enough to keep a little hope of the band's return.

Order and listen HERE

Sunday, March 17, 2013

FFFoxy Podcast #15: Michael Flora in-studio session

.mf "untitled" from forthcoming compilation of computer-based music
FNL "12/25 (delay version)" from unreleased album
Michael Flora live in-studio session
(Interview segment)
Field Recordings from India
Philip Glass "Floe" from Glassworks
James St. Murder Laden Mitten Wonder "Which User is the Best User on the Internet" from One Eye
Autechre "M62" from Move of Ten
Hiroshi Yoshimura "Dance PM" from Wave Notation 1Music for Nine Postcards
(Interview segment)
Mark Fell "Multistability 4" from Multistability
SND "Atavism 02" from Atavism
Sensate Focus "X1" from Sensate Focus 10
(Interview segment)
Mandelbrot & Skyy "System R" from OD-Axis
Eugene Carchesio "Circle Music 3" from Circle Music
Ryoji Ikeda "data.microhelix" from Dataplex
Ryuichi Sakamoto "Composition 0919" from Out of Noise

On this edition of the FFFoxy Podcast, we were joined in the studio by computer-based musician, field recordist, and composer, Michael Flora. Recently re-located from the West Coast to the Twin Cities, Flora has released music under his given name and various aliases including masarurasam, .mf, and FNL. Much of his output has come out on the Nada imprint, his microlabel that he started in 2010. In addition to performing an in-studio set, we had a chance to chat with Michael a bit about his music and label. He also picked out some music to play from his personal collection to flesh out the rest of the show. For more information on Flora's music and Nada, check out the following links:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

FFFreakout #354 (Aired on 3/14/13)

House Reverends "SDP" from House Revs
Take Acre "There is No Eurasia" from Cut From a Cloud
Giant Claw "Tears" from Music for Film
Blanche Blanche Blanche "Green Light" from Papas Proof
Pilesar "Everywhere Is Beauty" from Stereo Space
Jandek "Part Six" from Atlanta Saturday
Father Murphy "In the Flood, With the Flood" from Anyway, Your Children Will Deny It
The Garbage & The Flowers "Untitled" from Eyes Rind As If Beggars (bonus cd)
Myrrh "Side A - Track #1" from S/T

On today's show we were re-visiting an epic track off of one of Jandek's latest releases when coincidentally we were made aware of this new trailer for a short documentary made by Ashkan Soltani and Craig Mattarese called Tuning the Pulse. They had unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the Mankato Jandek rehearsals and the end result is revealing and pretty incredible. The trailer is short, but we have had a chance to view some of this footage and it's terrific. The film premieres at the 2013 Chicago International Movie and Music Festival in April. Stay up-to-date with the latest developments at the Tuning the Pulse website.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

FFFreakout #353 (Aired on 3/7/13)

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds "Wide Lovely Eyes" from Push the Sky Away
New Order "I'll Stay With You" from Lost Sirens
Prince & The Revolution "Computer Blue" from Purple Rain
Glen Campbell "Sadly Beautiful" from Meet Glen Campbell
Johnny Marr "The Right Thing Right" from The Messenger
The Pixies "Winterlong" from Live in Minneapolis, MN 04.13.2004
Swans "Song For A Warrior" from The Seer
The Garbage & The Flowers "Love Comes Slowly" from Eyes Rind As If Beggars
Yo La Tengo "Paul Is Dead" from Electr-o-pura
Times New Viking "Times New Viking vs. Yo La Tengo" from Rip It Off
Swell Maps "Televisions" from Wastrels and Whippersnappers
Oneohtrix Point Never "Russian Mind" from Rifts
Blonde Redhead "Melody of Certain Three" from Melody of Certain damaged Lemons

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Q&A with Sound and Visual Artist Casey Deming by Cody Yantis

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Casey Deming, the Twin Cities-based visual and sound artist, back in November 2012. He designed the LP jackets for Tilth's Angular Music (Soft Abuse, 2012) and also organized a release show for us at Madame of the Arts in Minneapolis. Tilth (Joe Houpert, Nathan McLaughlin, and Cody Yantis) shared a bill that evening with Visions of Christ, Deming's tape collage project with John Jerry, and I was really impressed with their sound.

In addition to Visions of Christ, Deming records and performs with the noisy, improv trio Squid Fist and under his own name, collaborating recently with Justin Myers on a wonderful tape from Tone Filth (North of the Quarry, 2012). Deming also designs album artwork for labels such as The Old Blackberry Way, Insidesmusic, and Soft Abuse, as well as the posters for the twice-monthly experimental Tuesday Series in Minneapolis (which he co-curates with John Marks). Deming's sounds create unique and beguiling environments that recall the organic sci-fi of Andrei Tarkovsky's 1978 film, Stalker (in fact, North of the Quarry could be an alternate soundtrack to the film, with its echoey atmospheres that subtly build tension and culminate in synth squalls lasting but a brief moment). These sounds are mirrored in his visual art, which can have an almost steely, industrial feel thanks to the geometric shapes, strong lines, and frequent use of muted palettes. Yet, by working in the formats of silk-screening, drawing, and, like his tape work, collage, this art is far from cold but, rather, comes across as organic and inviting, if a bit mysterious (again, not unlike the Zone in Stalker). Throughout his visual and aural output, Deming's voice is singular, which, combined with his tirelessness in creating and championing music and visual art in the Twin Cities, explains why he is in such demand these days.

I've been happily wandering around in the world of Casey Deming since returning from my trip to Minnesota. Thus, I was excited to have the chance to swap a number of emails with him, cobbling together the interview below.


Are you from Minneapolis? If not, where are you from and how'd you wind-up in the Twin Cities?

Born in Owatonna, a smallish town in southern MN, I moved to an even smaller town after my folks split, New Prague, where I spent my formable years. I attended the U of MN from 2002-05 and have stayed in the Twin Cities ever since.

What came first for you, visual art or sound?

I liked to draw growing up: nothing serious, lots of doodling, no real direction. I took an art class and remember enjoying it. For some reason I chose choir over band, so not much music-making as a kid. I definitely listened to lots of things, but what kid doesn't? I studied English & Cultural Studies in college - heavy amount of reading, writing & theory - but, again, no art or sound work yet. The Tuesday Series acted as a big catalyst in both of these worlds; I started volunteering to make flyers for shows, while also collaborating with the musicians in the free improv / weird music scene (this was 2004 or 05). The large ensemble, ever-changing, free improv group, Brown Rainbow, were very supportive, that's where I met a lot of my current musical cohorts. Soon after that, I lived with graphic artists / printmakers Dan Black & Daniel Luedtke, both of whom have had a huge influence on me, technically and stylistically, and my visual work really got going from there.

How do these two aspects of your art inform each other?

The bulk of what I do is collage-based, the simple layering up of textures. Most of my tape samples are real sounds, no effects or flair: people waking, a campfire, a tuning fork, animal sounds. Even my visual work derives from "real" things, mostly fragments from fashion and nature magazines. But in both forms the contrast and interplay of the source material confuses the whole of the picture, familiar things are made unfamiliar. Negative space and silence are vital to both my sound & imagery.

What would you call the palette you utilize in your screen prints? There's a consistent sensibility in regards to the color throughout. 

Most of my prints are a CMYK process, so I'm taking a collage on paper and rending it in print form. I lean towards more muted colors, though I think the palette gets a little flattened or more in sync when you are using four base colors to compose the image. Outside of CMYK, I also like doing simple two-layer prints with one key color (i.e. black) and another split-fountain layer, so I'm able to include up to four colors but with only two passes through the press.

What do you do for your “day job”? Does it in any way inform your art and/or share similar motivations?

I work two days a week with a talented visual artist, Dietrich Sieling, who has autism. We enjoy some workout routines at the YWCA together. He's equally fun and inspirational. It's great seeing him constantly turn out these wonderful drawings with playful subject matter and bright colors: African mammals, buses, dense textures and writing. I also work for a green cleaning business called Two Bettys, which is mainly comprised of artists. The whole independent contractor aspect of it is good practice for my own freelance work, while the organizational and space-changing part of the job carries over nicely into my art & music. I have a few regular design gigs, too: package and print work for record labels (Old Blackberry Way, Insidesmusic, Soft Abuse) and poster work for bands here and there.

How did you come to work with tape?

First and foremost, tape is cheap and accessible and requires little to no learning curve. I lived across from a Salvation Army for a year and went there every day! Outside of the normal nostalgic cassette finds, I consistently found portable tape decks, the best of which was a Library of Congress player. I bent circuits on some of the older ones and they ended up sounding like squawking drum machines, much of this was vital to the early sounds of Squid Fist. I just like the texture of tape, especially with high frequencies (tuning forks). There's a certain charm to its malleability and sloppiness. For Visions of Christ, John and I acquired a big stack of TDK pre-made looped tapes, metered at one, three, and six minutes. They provide a subtle sense of rhythm even if the source material is atonal or abstract, and their sound quality have deteriorated nicely with overuse.

Will you shed a bit of light on Visions of Christ's processes (in terms of composition, performance, etc.?

It sometimes is a painstaking nightmare and other times a smooth-sailing experience. We both keep our ears open for things to record, meet up and hash something out. I think it works best when we have more control; making it work in performance is difficult (we use a cheat-sheet sometimes). I'd say only about 50% of our performances were really good. Part of that is because we have tried to do improvised sets, wherein we have a giant stack of samples but no clear sense of where we want to apply them. We've had luck with recording and performing more planned out shows. We opened for Growing at the 7th St Entry, that was a good one. In the recording process we are able to do trial runs to see if the material works together, it's very important to keep it restrained to the point that things don't get muddled up. Contrast is key.

Squid Fist seems to be a project focused on live performance. Do you approach performance differently than recording? Do performance and recording inform each other—are they closely connected—in your sound projects?

Performance & documentation. Bryce Beverlin II and I had been doing some collaborating, weird electronics and small percussion stuff. The Organ Haus had it's first show and we ended up playing with our friend Tim Glenn. It was magical. We felt the energy and the crowd really responded to us. We became a trio after that. In the band's onset we got together quite a bit to play, we did some recordings on the beach of the Mississippi River, hung out at each other's studios, etc. Through time (we've been playing for 7 years now), we got together less and less but still played shows regularly. Bryce has been good at documenting the performances, but we have only had a few purposeful "recording sessions." If you are going to get together to make a recording, why not invite your friends and make a show of it? Hopefully we'll get another package ready to release for this year; I think it's time to do a 12". I've been joking that we should do an anthology release with excerpts from all of our recorded material.

Tell me about the Tuesday Series in Minneapolis that you co-host with John Marks. Talk a little bit about your personal involvement with the series and why it's important to you. Maybe you could discuss a bit of how the series got started and how you got involved?

Now over a decade old, it has gone through a handful of organizers & venues. Not being around during its onset, I can't make claims to all the details, but I do know that it has been held at Gus Lucky's, Acadia Cafe, Art of This, two shows at the Open Eye Theater, a few transplant shows at Franklin Art Works, and is currently hosted at Madame of the Arts. Started by Davu Seru, then carried on by Andrew Lafkas, Nathan Philips, Bryce Beverlin II, and now myself and John, it has always maintained a certain core group of local improvisers that have contributed greatly to it's current vitality. I happened to live by Acadia Cafe when I was 2 years into my U of MN program. By proximity and through some friends, I started regularly attending the Series, which at that time was organized by Nathan, who plays trumpet. We hung out, played chess, and made some fun recordings. From there, I met the family, so to speak, all the Brown Rainbow folks: Jaron Childs, Davu, Charles Gillette -- that was my entry point into the scene and I have not subsided yet. I made flyers to reach out to a bigger audience, then went on to host most of the evenings (the dirty work), this was when Bryce had taken the reigns, and he was super busy with his Physics graduate program at the U of MN. I offered to take over completely, we joined forces with Art of This, who were huge advocates of what we were doing, and started doing shows there, 15 blocks south of Acadia. John Marks got involved there, as he and David Petersen were running the AoT gallery. He also happened to be a huge fan of this music and ended up coming to every show, handled recording and general AV stuff that was over my head, and now also handles more of the economic/fundraising side of things. The physical gallery space eventually closed and AoT became more of a free-floating, creative entity. We moved into Madame of the Arts, a queer community arts center in south Minneapolis and have been there for just over 3 years. In that time we have received a MN State Arts grant and had two successful Kickstarter campaigns, all of the proceeds going to the musicians and Madame. I think the mission statement of the Series has morphed from curator to curator, but most importantly I value its ability to build a community around a sort of "outside art." John and I like that it's stayed informal yet respectful at Madame, I feel no need to explain what it means to the community at large, you'll just have to come and find out for yourself!

What's in store for the Tuesday Series in 2013?

Not many touring folks solidified at the moment, though Jacob Felix Heule will be playing on April 2nd. He played (maybe still does?) in Bay area band Ettrick, a skronky sax & percussion duo. Squid Fist played some shows with them, and we are always happy to host Jacob's other improvised projects (he'll have a couple of guests for this show). As always, I'm most excited for the locals, we have a lot of talent in this town. Word is that Peter Brötzmann & Joe McPhee will be touring this summer, hopefully we can play a role in making sure they pass through Minneapolis.

Any upcoming projects, solo or otherwise, that you'd like to highlight? 

I have a joint art show with Landland (Dan Black & Jes Seamans) that opens on March 9th at Honeycomb Salon, which is right next to Art of This' old location. Visions of Christ will be involved in the Soap Factory's biennial show this summer, part of which is organized by John Marks. We'll be collaborating with Nathan McLaughlin for a 12" that will be released in conjunction with the biennial, and John Jerry and I will also do a day-long residency of sorts as part of the program, that should be interesting! As always, I will continue working on stuff for local labels and hopefully get a few more art shows organized through the Spring & Summer.


Sunday, March 03, 2013

FFFoxy Podcast #14

Warm Climate “Calculate the Greatness” Glass Singer LP (Monofonus Press)
Planets Around The Sun “Bump Tongues” Cosmic Job CS (Eiderdown) [9.32]
Gianni Giublena Rosacroce “. . . Yuruga” La Mia Africa CS (NO=FI Recordings) [17.30]
Birds of Passage “Sunday Best” Taxidermy of Unicorns 2xCS (Watery Starve) [20.33]
Josh Mason “Dying In A Canoe” The Symbiont LP (Sunshine Ltd.) [27.23]
Zach Phillips “Cry” I Can’t Predict My Past Actions CS (OSR-Tapes) [41.03]
Better Psychics #2 “Howard Tom Jeffords Gochise” What Is Rule CS (OSR-Tapes) [44.08]
The A Band “Washing Powder” 20 Greatest Hits 1990-2000 2xCD (Must Die Records) [46.05]
The Garbage & The Flowers “Nothing Going Down At All” Eyes Rind As If Beggars 2LP (Fire / Bo’Weavil) [49.38]
Brute Heart “There Are Spirits” The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari CS* (Moon Glyph) [57.12]
Von Himmel “Rock N Roll Animal” b/w Traum Esel LP (Donkey Disk) [1.02.04]
Ashley Paul “Soak the Ocean” Line the Clouds LP* (Rel) [1.18.13]
C. Yantis “Brown Boot” American Surfaces CS (Digitalis Ltd.) [1.22.34]
Giant Claw “Last Empress of Dread” Music for Film CS* (Constellation Tatsu) [1.27.00]
Bear Bones, Lay Low “Llévenme con Ustedes” split w/ Gnod CS* (Full of Nothing) [1.30.48]
Elephant Micah “Schroeder in Borneo” Globe Rush Progressions LP* (BlueSanct) [1.35.13]
The Slaves “Seventeen” Ocean On Ocean 2LP (Helen Scarsdale Agency) [1.38.30]
Brian Green “Side A” (excerpt) Milltown CS (A Giant Fern) [1.46.05]
Tatsuya Nakatani “Side L” (excerpt) Nakatani Gong Orchestra LP (Taiga) [1.57.46]

I wanted to take some additional time is to listen to and fully consider many of the releases played on this week’s podcast before writing anything up here. Sure enough, I ended up catching some crud and have been spending most of the past few days laid out in a cold medicine-induced dream state sipping tea and trying to read Kafka on the Shore, which, I must say, is a rather perfect headspace to be in while taking on such a read. This general inactivity, however, did provide me with the opportunity to listen back to much of this music with a fresh, albeit slightly chemically altered, set of ears. So with the fever sweats held in check for the time being, I’ll try to pound out some semi-coherent ramblings about a few stand out releases from this week’s podcast show. I apologize in advance if I get off topic and start writing about sardines raining down from the sky or having conversations with my cat. 

Let’s start with Josh Mason’s The Symbiont, released on his own Sunshine Ltd. imprint in a beautifully presented clear vinyl edition. Mason’s approach to music-- much like his peers Nathan McLaughlin and Joe Houpert-- seems to be about stripping away all that is unnecessary and focusing purely in on texture and simple melodic development. On the surface that may not seem all that ground-breaking, but there is indeed a sense of the profound etched in all of Mason’s work that I’ve encountered, especially here on his debut LP release. There is this very pleasing and natural ebb-and-flow to Mason’s music; sounds meld together into, yes, a sort of state of symbiosis, where it is difficult to differentiate between the organic and the digitally enhanced. While I’m not familiar with the Horacio Quiroga stories from which these two side-long pieces were inspired by, I did come across a few lines in Kafka . . . that I found to be particularly apropos regarding Mason’s latest: “Time’s rules don’t apply here. Time expands, then contracts, all in tune with the stirrings of the heart.” 

The last we heard from Warm Climate-- one of the few “rock” bands of the past 5+ years to really knock me on my ass-- they were dropping a tape that was part of Stunned Records final batch. I know I have mentioned this before, but Warm Climate, as well as Stunned, hold a special place in the FFF podcast universe. Hell, the first track we ever played on podcast numero uno was from Warm Climate’s Edible Homes. Their trio of tape releases on Stunned, though, were just so damn unique, a strange and beguiling mix of glam rock, noise, free jazz, weirdo-folk, and you-name-it. Some astute label out there should do the world a favor and reissue these on vinyl or, better yet, as a complete box set. At any rate, the arrival of Glass Singer, Warm Climate’s first vinyl offering, was a much-welcomed event around these parts. Still graced with Phil French’s eye-popping artwork, Seth Kasselman and crew (here joined by mainstay, Caitlin C. Mitchell, and now M. Geddes Gengras) pick up where they left off with Pigeon Brides Weigh In. The six songs contained herein follow a fairly grand art rock trajectory (maybe slightly more traditional rock sounding by WC standards) and, like previous efforts, can shift on a dime from being moody and atmospheric to being euphoric and outwardly deranged. I’ve seen names like David Bowie, Neil Young, and Comus tossed around in reference to Warm Climate, which makes complete sense, but while listening to Glass Singer on repeat over the past week, I can’t help but draw at least some comparisons to the more recent output of Scott Walker. There are those cryptic song titles, the non-repetitive song structures, the overarching narrative feel, the jarring instrumental breaks, and then there’s the VOICE that, let’s be honest, people will either undoubtedly love or hate. It’s by no means easy listening, but, as Tiny Mix Tapes so eloquently described of Bish Bosch: “Walker is a world-builder, and you don’t so much listen to Bish Bosch as much as you wake up into its interpretation and wander around.” I share the same thoughts for Warm Climate and their latest, Glass Singer

Von Himmel also seems to be a band adept at building fascinating sound worlds. Their’s, however, is built on a firm foundation of every notable subterranean psychedelic sputtering from the last 40+ years: Red Krayola-style free form freakouts (yep, that’s where we jacked the name), Japanese psych, Kosmische, The Dead C, and, heck, their based out in psychedelia’s womb of San Francisco to boot. Von Himmel, fortunately, takes all of this and makes it something uniquely their own. Side A’s Rock N Roll Animal displays their loose and cacophonous free rock impulses, while the flip side’s Traum Esel has a more meditative, ambient drift. The who & the how behind Von Himmel remains a bit mysterious, which of course only adds to the intrigue. 

Alright, that’s about all I’ve got left in me for now. I’ll save a few tape reviews for the weeks ahead. Stay tuned for the next FFF podcast where (weather permitting) Minneapolis-based laptop musician, Michael Flora, will join us for an in-studio session and to play some music from his Nada imprint and from his personal collection.

Friday, March 01, 2013

FFFreakout #352 (Aired on 2/28/13)

The Soft Machine "Lullabye Letter" from Volumes One & Two
Subway "Lowlife" from Subway II
Featureless Ghost "Cover of Night" from Personality Matrix
The Residents "Elvis and His Boss" from Duck Stab
Harry Partch excerpt from And On the Seventh Day, Petals Fell in Petaluma
Sir Richard Bishop "Empty Quarter" from The Unrock Tapes
Surfer Blood "Floating Vibes" from Astro Coast
The Pixies "Monkey Gone To Heaven" from Doolittle
Dropkick Murphys "The Boys Are Back" from Signed & Sealed in Blood
Beck "Jack-Ass" from Odelay
The Heavy "Curse Me Good" from The Glorious Dead
Underworld "Push Upstairs" from Beaucoup Fish
The Divine Fits "What Gets You Alone" from A Thing Called Divine Fits

 *Note: This show was supposed to have aired the previous week.