Wednesday, February 18, 2009

jan/feb faves.

first of all, wtf on the news that Touch & Go is folding most of its operations.

i'm extraordinarily curious (in a not-excited-at-all kinda way) to see how much this is going to change the indie rock biz landscape in the next year (not to mention how many people/bands/labels are going to be majorly fucked). bummer jams, indeed. it seems that some less-extreme business decisions can be made in this situation, but wtf do i know. regardless, RIP T&G, the most important indie label/distribution of the past 25 years.

...on to the fun stuff...
Favorite Releases of 2009 at the Two Month Point Edition:

two releases at pretty opposite ends of the spectrum are already heading the little "2009 Fuck Yes!" list in my head.

#1. Antony & the Johnsons- The Crying Light
talk about bummer jams, this album is chock full of 'em. Antony & co.'s third full length is completely void of anything that could possibly be classified as 'rockin,' but is absolutely full of gorgeous, confessional, orchestral and (of course) torchy gems. this record is a huge step forward in terms of compositional aspects (exceptionally arranged strings, horns, acoustics, electrics, vocal patterns), and Antony has come into his voice 100%. lyrically and thematically, there is not one song that's nothing short of heartbreaking. 100% beautiful.

#2. Marked Men- Ghosts
i have to say that this is the worst album cover i have ever seen in my life. wtf, guys?! this is like some late 90s high school graphic design shit, really, it's just terrible. but as long as you can disregard the unfortunate cover, you will find exactly what you might expect from them on their 4th album: catchy, stripped, poppy garage punk. 15 songs in 30 minutes. infectious hooks abound. done in a way that only the Marked Men can do it. sometimes, sticking to the familiar is a good thing.

in the land of reissue material, hooooly shiiiiit:

--4 Men With Beards does it again with the release of Jorge Ben's "Forca Bruta" on 180-gram vinyl. Jorge Ben is the completely overlooked master of brazilian grooves, kneading samba with soul, mixing complex percussive arrangements with traditional orchestrations like it ain't no thang. although Jorge was aligned fairly tightly with the Tropicalia movement (Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, etc.) his music was nowhere near as "radical," but every bit as lovely.

--Secretly Canadian killed me with CD and vinyl reissues of the Zero Boys "History Of" and "Vicious Circle" albums. pretty major reissues for what was pretty much the only punk/hardcore band out of Indiana in the early 80s (and pretty much one of the best punk/hardcore bands to come out of the midwest in general). "Vicious Circle" is an obvious classic but "History Of" is way more exciting... collecting a bunch of stuff that has never been released on LP and/or CD (ie: "Livin in the 80s" 7", comp tracks, etc.). i love the Zero Boys because as brutal as they were sonically, they trumped typical hardcore aesthetics with major doses of melodic and rhythmic experimentation. ridiculously awesome stuff.

also, we finally got in some german import copies of the Lover "Gather in the Graveyard LP at the store. i have been touting the shit out of this band since first rocking that damn "Booger in your Asshole" jam last year, and if you have picked up all their easily-attainable singles and loved them as much as i, i highly recommend laying down the cash for this. perfect poppy punk rock weirdness, mixed and mastered by Jay Reatard, etc.

oh god and the new Mi Ami record! it's fantastic! dudes from the Black Eyes rockin' minimal dub weirdness...just get it. ok no, maybe listen to some of it first because i can see people not being down with the vocals, which are definitely....fucking irritating. but it fits the artistic vision 100% and this full-length is fully representative (and then some) of the few 12"s they have put out in the past year or so ("Ark of the Covenant", "African Rhythms", "Echoonecho"). so yeah, it's called "Watersports" and oddly, is on Quarterstick/T&G.

and that's all for now...


  1. You're right about Jorge Ben.

  2. shit's real.
    (hi, fellow oh wowee contributor!).


hit me here.