Yesterday, a little bit after noon, news started to spread that Neutral Milk Hotel had reformed and announced a tour. Neutral Milk Hotel is a band based out of the Athens, Georgia music scene that have released two albums: On Avery Island in 1996 and an album which is viewed as the best of all time by a few of us including myself at CDB, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea in 1998. This album has a huge place in the alternative music scene as it both influenced the sound of some of the most successful alternative bands today and defined the genre from that point on for some of its listeners. Unfortunately Jeff Mangum, the vocalist for Neutral Milk Hotel, wasn’t quite ready for this to happen. He had to leave and break up the band, a situation that gets well described in this article by Slate Magazine from 2008.
WHAT ARE THESE WCDB DJs UP TO? (DJ names and WCDB time slots are in italics):
5/4, Saturday: WCDB’s DJ AK will be joining Machine in the Garden and JimmyNort for a fun night at Pauly’s Hotel. FACEBOOK EVENT. (DJ AK, Thurs nights/Fri mornings 2AM-4AM)
The Albany Sonic Arts Collective is holding their second annual benefit show for the Upstate Artist Guild. The show is going to run all day Saturday (today), starting at 4 and going until late. It features a long list of performers:
Crank Sturgeon is headlining the show. When he played a few months ago at the UAG it was a brilliant mix of noise, ipod karaoke, cosmetology, caricature drawing, and all around madness. It was really something to see, and I highly recommend catching him. You can see a clip of that last show below.
Quick Band Bio: Wilco was formed upon the breakup of Uncle Tupelo, a band with more of a country influence that had shared vocals from Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar. These two had a falling out that led to the group’s demise and Farrar leaving to start a group named Son Volt while Tweedy retained most of Uncle Tupelo and changed the band name to Wilco, an acronym to humorously send the band message of “Will Comply”. Wilco retained some of those Uncle Tupelo sounds, especially in their first two albums of Being There and A.M., but today the band fits better into an alternative rock/country rock category.
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was supposed to be Wilco’s 2001 release, but it ended up representing the album that got them kicked off their label and the departure of key band member Jay Bennet. It’s place as an essential album here does represent the collection of some of Wilco’s best work within what is their best album, but also the story about how record companies can be drastically misguided about what the public wants to hear.
It’s April and we are a bit more then a quarter of the way through the year. Here are some records that I’ve liked and some more that I am looking forward to.
2 Mounts — Sycamore (further)
Prostitutes — Crushed Interior
Purling Hiss – Water on Mars 4/2013
ATTN: Dinosaur Jr. Fans, Malkmus, Anybody that loves great dirty delicious guitar tones, solos and flourishes.
I pretty much headbanged, danced, and/or swayed through this whole album. I plan on blasting this in my car with the windows down this summer. Guitar driven album, riffage galore, love all the note bends!!!
Song Picks: “The Harrowing Wind”, “Mercury Retrograde”, “She Calms Me Down”, “Lolita”
Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin – Reverse Shark Attack
And HE’S BACK!!! Ty Segall is churning out albums like crazy the past few years. This album is a collaboration with Mikal Cronin, who is in his current band. THIS IS DIRTY GARAGE ROCK, high throttle, blow your speakers out loud. They literally sound like they recorded this in their garage surrounded by Jay Reatard posters. I like how it sometimes sounds like they are running their instruments through a chainsaw. Tracks 1-6 are fun, loud, and 2 minutes or less while the last track is a 10 minute soundscape and definitely my favorite song on the album. If you like Ty Segall’s music, you will like this. Reverb, distortion, vibrations, underwater kingdom, wild!!
Song Picks: “Reverse Shark Attack”, “Ramona”, “High School”, “Drop Dead Baby”
Chelsea Light Moving – s/t 4/2013
If you are a Sonic Youth fan, don’t worry, you can feel Thurston Moore’s influence on these songs. Sometimes the guitars are creepy sounding, vocals are awkward like they should be from Moore, and these songs are sometimes darker/heavier than Sonic Youth. If you don’t know Sonic Youth, it sounds like weird rock: guitars tuned strange, rambling songs, being on a strange journey that you’re not sure if you should be on. I say that with love!
Song Picks: “Empires of Time”, “Heavenmetal”, “Sleeping Where I Fall”
Two sisters bringing you a concoction of reverb guitars and vocals, California, simple and straightforward song structure, titles and lyrical content, catchy and feeling good. I bet they are fun live. It sounds like they had a good time making this album. NO STRESS HERE, they take it easy.
Song Picks: “Looking for a Fight”, “Next Stop”
Quick Band Bio: Boards of Canada is the moniker for two Scottish brothers, Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin, and it serves as a project for them to experiment with electronic music. Their discography is a confusing mix of official and unofficial albums, cassettes, and EPs, with the earliest known release being a cassette recording of Catalog 3 in 1987. Music Has The Right To Children was released 11 years later in 1998, and features samples from numerous sources of inspiration to the band, including The National Film Board of Canada which inspired the band’s name.
Music Has the Right to Children is very different from the other albums mentioned in this topic so far because of the genre difference alone. To classify it as electronic is a bit scary because my target audience for this article will read that and dismiss the album as outside of their tastes, but alternative rock kids will find fascinating experimental sounds with psychedelic and ambient qualities displaying themselves. It’s smooth electronic music that would work perfectly well as background music and even better if you decided to analyze it for every reference the duo creates.
Continue reading Essential Albums: Boards Of Canada- Music Has the Right to Children
One of the best parts of being involved with the radio station is that you get exposure to bands that you wouldn’t have heard about before. The best example of this is Oberhofer, a band from Brooklyn who released their debut album Time Capsules II last March and quickly became a favorite at our station and on the CMJ charts. Back when it arrived at CDB I remember choosing to review it based upon the marketing label on the front that described it as indie pop and listed the major festivals they were booked to perform at, and within a calendar year they would be performing in Albany for both Pearl Palooza and as the second headliner for our station’s 35th birthday anniversary.
Time Capsules II was instantly accessible and consistent, and I wrote about it on this blog naming it my favorite album that came out last March and my 5th favorite album of last year. Still there were some complaints that I’d routinely make about the band’s style despite loving the album, which is well summed up by my quote in the second link of how “Oberhofer has to find a way to keep the pop sensibility without whistling, playing the xylophone, and singing “oooo”‘s in every song; they have to progress to more meaningful songs”. And that’s where the Notalgia EP comes in to play.
The Brothers Quay make some of the best, most spellbinding animations. They create darkly atmospheric animations rife with magic and decay that grow out of their intricate hand made sets and puppets.
I first became aware of them through their videos for one of the classic 4AD bands, His Name is Alive. The brothers did two videos for the songs “Are We Still Married” (below) and “Can’t Go Wrong Without You”. The videos and the songs form a perfect compliment each accentuating the other’s dark beauty.
You can win tickets the the screening of these short films by listening to Nicole tonight 6pm-8pm.
Yazen, here. This is the first posting in a monthly column where I discuss an upcoming full-length LP, an EP, and a Split for the current month. This month, I’m looking into Daylight’s debut LP “Jar,” For Today’s new EP “Prevailer,” and the upcoming Title Fight/Touché Amoré split 7 inch.