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Messages - Hugh Jazz

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1
Other Band Discussion / Re: What Are You Listening To?
« on: May 17, 2016, 03:42:16 AM »
Sitting down and properly listening to Lift To Experience's only album for the first time.

It's kind of funny; I've never been invested in this band, who are space rock legends in my neck of the woods, but basically the only two shows they've played in the last seven years have inadvertently been incredibly significant nights for me.  I first saw them when they reunited to open for MBV in 2009 when they played Dallas (something I NEVER EVER EVER thought would happen), and now they've reunited again for the final show at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, a venue/bar/studio/art gallery in north Texas that basically functioned as the living room/breeding ground for the music scene in North Texas for the last two decades and has been my personal equivalent to the bar from Cheers for the last seven years.

All things considered, I figured I might as well sit down and actually listen to their album.

2
Off the Record / Re: This is the worst thing ever.
« on: September 13, 2015, 09:41:03 PM »
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/CRzEpk3ORZA" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/CRzEpk3ORZA</a>

This was better than the last three Sonic games.

3
Other Band Discussion / Re: forthcoming/anticipated/new releases thread
« on: September 13, 2015, 09:08:30 PM »
Still holding out for Chromatics to release Dear Tommy.  Johnny Jewel has been steadily posting singles and demos to Soundcloud since last winter, so hopefully it will be out "just in time for Valentine's Day (2016)"

I've been digging the new Neon Indian LP that recently leaked as well (I think it comes out in early October).  It strikes a nice balance between '80s RnB and the post-vaporwave future funk sampling done by Macross 82-99 and Saint Pepsi/Skylar Spence.

4
Really? Personally I still can't believe we actually did get a new album.

Can't emphasize this enough.

5
To Here Knows When / Re: Melody maker, loveless review: 1991
« on: January 03, 2015, 03:12:37 AM »
A lot of the UK reviews of Loveless at the time seemed to indicate that, on the basis of the Glider and Tremolo EPs, critics were expecting Loveless to be much more extreme than it actually was.

6
To Here Knows When / Re: Melody maker, loveless review: 1991
« on: December 30, 2014, 11:03:30 PM »
This is one of the few coherent period reviews of Loveless that I've seen.

Am I the only old person still on this forum? :s

No, but the board is pretty dead.

7
Feed Me with Your Kiss / Re: Beautiful Noise
« on: December 18, 2014, 03:35:17 PM »

P.S. Has anyone who donated got their physical copy yet? I haven't.

Mine came yesterday.

8
Feed Me with Your Kiss / Re: Beautiful Noise
« on: December 18, 2014, 07:08:09 AM »

Remember, it's not a film about mbv, or any band in particular. It's about that "scene", that era. It's just as pleasant reflection on what happened, a few more/new comments, clips, brought together in one place. For that I like it.

Exactly.  This film largely functions as a means of presenting and contextualizing this music for people who aren't already intimately familiar with it, with the presence of Smith, Corgan and Reznor acting as a recognizable source of credibility.  It's honestly the kind of documentary I would have loved when I was 16, as at the time there was virtually nothing giving this music any sort of context (I think the best I had was a retrospective in a 2002 issue of Magnet Magazine).

A few stray thoughts:
-I feel like more could have been said about the cultural context this music both sprang from and was eclipsed by.  Compared to both New Pop and independent music at the time, Psychocandy was pretty fucking revolutionary.  And while I understand why the rise of Britpop wasn't really addressed, to simply label it as retrogressive rubbish and leave it at that doesn't really explain why the public collectively moved on.

-You can really tell how far the technical chops of the crew had developed when comparing some of the interviews.  The lighting, sound and image quality are great on some, but Toni Halliday's interview footage looked like it was shot at a police station at 1:30am.

-The "resurgence" segment of the film is horribly dated.  Are Autolux and Serena-Maneesh even together anymore?

-----

That said, deeply enjoyable film.  I have a feeling I'll be loaning this one out to several of my friends who are into this stuff.

9
Other Band Discussion / Re: forthcoming/anticipated/new releases thread
« on: December 18, 2014, 03:56:35 AM »
Man, I forgot all about Soulseek.

10
Other Band Discussion / Re: Best Albums of 2014
« on: December 12, 2014, 05:02:58 AM »
That ended up being way longer than I intended it to be.

11
Other Band Discussion / Re: Best Albums of 2014
« on: December 12, 2014, 05:02:38 AM »
I don't really consume music via full albums anymore (partly a result of listening habits, partly a result of the nature of some of the music I listen to), so this list is going to be a bit fragmented.

The Good

Chromatics - "Closer To Grey", "Ceremony"
I was tempted to put the Running From The Sun EP here, as it was very quietly released as a proper record a few weeks ago.  However, considering that entire EP was originally released as a Soundcloud mix by Johnny Jewel in 2012, it didn't really feel appropriate to include it.  That said, Jewel's steady release of outtakes by Chromatics, Glass Candy, Symmetry, and his new solo material on soundcloud since October has been one of the highlights of my year, and these two Chromatics tracks are my favorites.  (Honorable mention to the RFtS version of "Kill For Love", which is as good if not better than the proper LP version.)

Doss - Doss EP
Her music videos look like loading screens for old Playstation games and her sound can best be described as "John Orbit producing the soundtrack for Wipeout".  Easily my favorite new artist of this year, and "Here Tonight" is without a doubt one of my top three favorite tracks of this year.

Fennesz - Becs
While I won't disagree with the evaluation that this record is "Endless Summer v2.0", god is it good.

FKA twigs - LP1
The stellar production on this album from Arca and Blood Orange is well documented, but twigs' lyrics and delivery has to be one of the most emotionally devastating performances of the year for me.  I'd be lying if I said I hadn't spent a lot of late nights with this record.

Future Islands - "Seasons (Waiting On You)" (live on Letterman)
The recorded version of this song is solid, but the difference between the recording and the live version of this record is the difference between listening to a rip of an nth generation cassette recording and seeing the band live.  The intensity of the delivery, particularly in what is quite possibly the biggest television performance from any band this year, is truly a thing to behold.  It will be interesting to see how they follow it up.

Grimes + Blood Diamonds - "Go" (music video)
Initially, I had a lot of issues with this song.  "We wrote it for Rihanna but she rejected it" is not the best way to contextualize your first release following a star-making album, and my initial scan of the song was that it wasn't a new Grimes track but a track that featured Claire Boucher.  But I kept listening to it, and in the following weeks I was finding myself maxing the volume on my car stereo during the first drop.  And then the long delayed video was released, and it was like Hype Williams came out of retirement and started reinventing his old videos with Busta Rhymes from the late '90s.  And then I was hooked.

Kokayna + Sakura Rainbow - "Vaporbae"
Yes, this is a very moe, vaporwave-damaged novelty single.  It is also one of the most entertaining pop singles I've heard all year.

La Roux - Trouble In Paradise
I was a huge fan of La Roux's first album...which came out five years ago, by the way.  The wait for this record was, in it's own way, not much different from the wait for that alleged MBV EP everyone is getting antsy about; we've heard there's been activity in the studio, but it's been an age and is this material ever going to be released?  As incredibly long as the wait has been, it was reassuring to know that it was time well spent.  The production of the record is far more sophisticated; so much so that her debut now sounds like she's singing along to a Sega Genesis by comparison.  While the record is lacking much of the immediacy that made tracks like "Bulletproof" and "I'm Not Your Toy" massive hits, this new, more subtle approach suits Elly Jackson well.  I just hope that the comparatively muted reaction to this record won't compromise the possibility of a follow-up (which will hopefully see the light of day before 2019).

Macross 82-99 - Sailorwave
While I appreciate the conceptual underpinnings of vaporwave, a lot of the music itself tends to be hit or miss.  When it works, it works brilliantly.  For every Daniel Lopatin or Macintosh Plus though, there are dozens of people churning out their own clumsy, lugubrious xeroxes of "Eccojam A3".  This is why I find this record so refreshing.  It isn't often one comes across an insanely catchy/danceable record that simultaneously reminds you '90s Weather Channel muzak.
(Full disclosure; this record technically came out on New Year's Eve 2013.  However, I am not anal enough to keep a record off the list because it was a few hours short of being released this year.)

Perturbator - Dangerous Days
A concept album about a guy waging a war against a computer codenamed Satan that is threatening to reduce all of humanity to software in the year 2088 that sounds like the OST of a bad '80s action movie?  Sold.  Additionally, the limited edition gatefold 2xLP printed on 180 gram glow in the dark vinyl wins the award for coolest physical release I've seen listed all year. 

Sophie - "Lemonade"
It apparently is possible for one song to sound like both a schoolyard jump rope chant and a sped up Japanese TV commercial jingle.  Curious to see what their collaboration with Diplo will produce.

The Ambivalent
Flying Lotus - You're Dead!
I've talked about this record elsewhere on here, but I find this record far more engaging than Until The Quiet Comes and one of the best front-to-back listening experiences of this year.  That said, I've realized since my initial impressions that this a record that in totality is greater than the sum of it's parts, and passages that are amazing in the context of the album make zero sense in the context of a shuffled iTunes playlist.  Granted, this issue is largely the result of how I listen to music that won't really apply to most people, but it's an issue nonetheless.

Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence
Lana Del Rey is one of those performers that I tend to have a love/hate relationship with in that for every track of hers that I like, there are just as many that make me roll my eyes into the back of my head (exhibit A: "Video Games" vs "National Anthem").  However, for as awful as the Paradise EP was, I was still intrigued by Ultraviolence on the basis of her choice in collaborators and the leaked demos that appeared on Tumblr.  The album as a whole strikes me as one that has incredible atmosphere when listened to as background music, but largely falls apart upon closer inspection.  For every brilliant moment like the intoxicating "West Coast" (the best single Chris Issak never had) or her staggering cover of Nina Simone's "The Other Woman", there are clumsy references to "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)" and Del Rey building choruses around repeating "I'm a sad girl".  Worse still, some of the best songs have been relegated to bonus track status.  "Flipside" in particular is a wonderfully understated ballad that combines the best elements of The XX and Slowdive and is one of the strongest songs on the record, yet inexplicably it was left to languish in obscurity as an exclusive to the edition of the album sold at Target.  As a result, while the record is still head and shoulders above Born To Die, it isn't nearly as good as it had the potential to be.

Aphex Twin - Syro
2014's answer to Tomorrow's Harvest.  A solid record, but not necessarily a memorable one either.

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz - Tyranny
"Attempted career suicide" was a phrase I heard a lot when discussing this album with people, but for me this was the most interesting thing Casablancas has done since The Strokes third album and the bravest move of his career.  That said, while I like what I've heard, I haven't spent enough time with this album to decide if it's a nice place to live or just a nice place to visit.

QT - "Hey QT"
Between the chipmunk'd vocals, the Jamster ringtone synths, the positioning of this song online as a promotional tool for a non-existent energy drink (Srsly, have you seen their twitter?), and that farcical Boiler Room performance that makes Milli Vanilli look like Broadway actors by comparison, I don't think I'm off base in saying that it's the most grating, obnoxious pop single I've heard all year.  Yeah, it's a novelty indebted to ridiculous '90s dance singles, but it isn't the only one, and it lacks the savvy execution of Doss' "Softpretty" or the winking humor of "Vaporbae".  This is the musical equivalent of dumping an entire packet of Fun Dip into your mouth and chasing it with Red Bull.  I've also listened to this song two dozen times in the last month and have idly sung the chorus to myself while bored at work.  I have never hated a song I love this much.

The Indifferent
Smashing Pumpkins - "Being Beige"
Is Billy going to return the favor and record with Methods of Mayhem?

12
Feed Me with Your Kiss / Re: shittiest MBV covers?
« on: November 25, 2014, 02:39:18 AM »
I don't know who those people are to have anything against them, and I appreciate that the guy acknowledges Kevin's songwriting, but I absolutely can't stand listening to guitarists talk. It's like being in a Guitar Center.

Pretty sure one of the outer circles of hell is a suburban Guitar Center with half a dozen balding men in their late '40s botching Clapton riffs on gear their can't possibly afford set to max volume.

13
I've all but quit buying new albums on vinyl because of how inflated the prices have gotten over the last two years.  At this point in the US the $18.99 CD of yesteryear has been replaced by the $24.99 180 gram 2xLP.

14
Other Band Discussion / Re: ride reunion
« on: November 19, 2014, 07:17:25 PM »

I don't know, I wouldn't mind seeing them live, but I don't really have hopes for another album to be at all close to their peak. Shoegaze is more active now, but I feel like it's in a rut where it's seen as more acceptable to sound exactly like the original wave; so another album by Ride or Slowdive just becomes another album that sounds like Ride or Slowdive. MBV at least had unfulfilled potential involved (along with disappearing while at their peak.)


Bolded for emphasis.

It's incredibly profitable to be a '90s indie band right now because festival promoters are willing to pay six figure fees to have that kind of draw.  And, as you said, Andy Bell needs a paycheck.

That paycheck is really the only reason so many of these bands are reuniting now.  It will be interesting to see how festival bookings change in the next three to five years when the well of indie bands that were on 120 Minutes that would be willing to reunite finally runs dry.  Considering most of the early '00s garage bands are still operating in some capacity or have already hit the comeback trail (what up DFA1979?), does this mean that promoters will start booking all of those bands NME declared would "save rock 'n' roll" back in 1999?

15
Other Band Discussion / Re: Last gig you went to/how was it?
« on: November 11, 2014, 11:12:11 PM »
Do they ever tour Not America? I would pay cash money to see them.

They do, but it seems to be REALLY infrequent.  Kind of surprising, as there's enough demand here for them to play North American backwaters like Alabama.

That said, you should absolutely see them if you get the chance.  The new touring lineup slays.

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