So I am just starting to scratch the surface on Krautrock, the German experimental rock movement that has given us drone, ambient, much electronic music and dance rock, dance punk. Neu! are one of the more well-known bands of this genre, along with Can and Faust. I can’t add a whole lot, as I only have the first Neu! (self-titled) album. What I want to point out is the invention of a huge chunk of Joy Division’s sound, somewhere between 1:28.889 and 1:41.214, Peter Hook, Joy Division/New Order bassist gets birthed, whole. Listen to the bass go from whatever whatever to the original scary emo/punk/goth/expressionist/whatever Joy Division can be categorized as. Also, the snap on the snare is definitely proto-JD as well. Not exploding yet, but you know Joy Division’s legendary producer Martin Hannett wore out a couple of copies of this record. Very influential.
Just a quick one, we’ll have more on these guys later. A short lived band, some of which went on to be Trembling Blue Stars. Last Poop Shoot done by the Uncanny featured a Field Mice song and in comments Z-Bag from empire of the senseless recommended a little mix tape of Field Mice tunes. Interestingly, shingles professed a desire for more jangle. Well here it is. This band is all over the map in terms of influences. They are contemporary with the rise of the Stone Roses and the La’s and certainly can be placed with that generation of bands influenced by the Smiths but also experimenting with some even deeper retro stylings, but at the same time some electronics as well. This is more of a place holder Song of the Day, to pay tribute to Z-bag for his kind edumatory comment, and to give Shingles 15 seconds of ringing, jangley goodness. We snagged this one with our free trial at eMusic.
Coach Station Reunion-FIELD MICE (just click the play icon)
I never understood the backlash against the Strokes. Yes, they are popular and routinely hailed by useless emus as being the saviours of rock and roll. Whatever. Their music rocks and is extremely tight. It’s basically hook after hook and before you know what hits you, you’re grooving to the music.
Their newest CD, First Impressions of the Earth is solid through and through. There are perhaps some overly ambitious tracks, and it plays a little less like a greatest hits CD than Is This It, but it features some tremendous tunes.
Juicebox is probably the most distinctive single from the new CD. It plays half like an ode to Henry Mancini’s Peter Gunn theme and half like an ode to Rush. I think the Rush part is better. In fact, the chorus of the song, which is sweeping and Radioheadly dramatic, almost borders on prog. But fear not, the song is not proggy. It rocks with an effective repeating couplet structure.
The video is interesting. I think they thought that David Cross alone would make the introduction ridiculously funny, but it’s too cliched. Stroke performing Juicy Juice. How droll. Maybe that’s the point, though. Everything in the video is cliched, especially the hot girl-on-girl action and the, um, doggie action. Still, it’s a rock video at heart. If it weren’t for the Strokes backlash, I think more people would have listened to the new CD, and would better appreciate its high quality.
Would it be rude if we said that John A. jumps on his toilet just out of the shower and lip syncs this into his hairbrush? We must admit we would do the same. If we had a hairbrush. I know it might be too 80s and fey for some, but the “eatin’ a sandwich beat” and the “da diddly qua qua” get us every emu-loving time. AIF recommends the insanity of “Prince Charming”, but its not so easy a confection as “S and D”.
“I’m the dandy highwayman/so sick of easy fashion”
I have always loved this song that even when it came out sounded futuristic and retro at the same time. Now it is of course retro, but if you listen, there is quite a bit going on, but it only struck me yesterday what this song made me think of- Prince. If he were white and not purple, also, a crazed English sorceress. It has that glam/slam feel a little bit, overlayed with some sludgy electronics but also some proto-ambient touches in the middle. If Ms. Dax were more flexible and less Siouxsie-oriented, she could almost be the proto-Alison Goldfrapp (image is everything plus electro electro electro). If you listen to the words you can easily convince yourself it is about your favorite cobag. It wouldn’t be Bush, but Reagan would fit nicely. I have this on Dark Adapted Eye, which might be a compilation. UPDATE– I just did some research for you my hearties. DAE is the Sire-US release of her first album, expanded with bonus tracks etc.
In the near future, all the Spacemen 3 fans will come to this humble web log and decry this song as vastly infereior to several other Spacement 3 or Spiritualized (Mr. J. Spaceman’s better known now band, well basically him and whomever he employs. I still like this one. It’s not really a song, just a drony collection of some synthesizers and stuff. There is something about it. Something very dated, but still good. Just a little nugget of history. From their final album I beleive, Recurring.
A solid four on the ol’ iTunes, but secretly it is a 5. Just a slab of exuberant indie pop. Instead of relying on his amazing voice, or riding the wistful guitars and reverb to either elegiac sleepiness (Uncanny’s take on these guys usually) or jammyville, which is where I think their fans want them to go. Instead these man-mountains of hair, like crosses between Hagrid from Harry Potter and Jerry Garcia, just play it. He lets his voice crack in that way you just want to feel like you are singing or yelling along. Perfect music for the car. This would be the post-slurpee obtaining, windows down, f*** the job, I’m outtie for the weekend, got Geenie Cola in shotgun, the boys in the back, trunk fully of plush carrots, heading for the border. From the eclectic and underrated Z.
Anytime-My Morning Jacket (Live at Austin City Limits)
I think it is funny when bands mosh to not moshy music. But you know what, they are having a good time, and the song is wonderful. Even more wonderful would be if this video below were Sifl and Ollie. That would be amazing.
I will admit that i know this song via its deliciously emotionally manipulative use in a TV show Tuesday night. I have not heard the Kinks original and this seemingly pleasant mope-a-dope English band has their moments, but none of their songs sound quite like this. This is one of those songs that works better for a scene in a movie or a show if you haven’t heard it previously than say some ubiquitous instaflavor track that out of touch directors turn to, such as Peter Gabriel almost anything, although some Security tracks and other old stuff will always be good. “See My Friends” fits in a certain meloncholic niche filled with slowly burning, constrained meditative indie rock “jams”. Not content to do the soft-loud-soft histrionics, instead it opts for atmosphere and a build into a tightly wound extended instrumetal outro. I can’t call it a jam, in fact the end sounds like a very organic Stereolab (non-cocktail) layered with the vaguest of noodling. I hear little bits of Television and maybe more than a little “The End” by The Doors (mostly in the cymbals and the space around the song). All that and it is a Kinks song. I have to say I am obsessed with this song. Recently I had been obsessed with “The Funeral” by Band of Horses. I never know where these obsessions come from, and I am always wondering when the song will cease to haunt me, or when I will stop wanting to listen to it a couple of times in a row. In this case, Band of Horses was put to bed by the new song. I think it could easily be adapted to the inevitable scene of the serial killer with the news clippings or the crackling of a phonograph.
They kind of dropped the ball with this one. As Swedes, they get a pass on the aunthenticity game (not that that game ain’t bullshit anyway). In from what I can tell is there only song that rises above the slightly off-angle lyrics and over-earnestness, they have a reasonable radio riff on this track but an even more reasonable kiss-off line “this song is not for you” but they don’t hit it out of the park. They could have gone anywhere with it, but they go for euroteen affected disaffection anthem. Oh well, I’ll give them a pass because they might not even know that they are trying to be less squeaky Missing Persons on the rest of their songs. I still like catching 20-30 seconds of this on the radio.
Song with a Mission-The Sounds
Here’s hilarious: she winds the Warped tour crowd up all hard ass with a chant that seems all Hives-like (like they might back it up with some nice retro riff or something), but instead some synth comes in and you know “Walking in LA” was like 20 times harder. This is more “Kids in America”. It’s ABBA punk. It’s not good.
The distorted monolithic sludge-grind that kind of sounds like bagpipes of the Al Jourgensen (Ministry) side-project 1000 Homo DJs take on the Sabbath stomper is really a classic cover. Completely faithful the the cartoonish deviltry of the original, yet firmly ensconced in the ouevre of the coverers. Jourgensen probably sings on the original release, after some sort of legal problem keeping Trent Reznor’s vocal on the thing. This is actually covered in Wikipedia, which delights me to know end. Thing I love about the Sabbath original is that it feels like Ozzy’s part of the band. The monomaniacal focus on whatever creepy apocalyptic shroom-induced riff-fest Ozzy’s singing about- they are all on the same page. I love both versions, but actually think the 1000 Homo DJs take is a nice update but unfrotunately is the song that basically invented the White Zombie sound.
Below we have a You Tube classic! Sabbath and Sky Captain, together! I don’t relaly know what this person was thinking, but it allows you to hear the tune.