Saturday, September 23, 2023

Summer 2023 playlist

Now that we're in Fall 2023, it's time to share the tracks I saved in Summer 2023. Playlist here.

Note the appearance of "Blue Light Yokohama," as perfectly featured in Hirokazu Koreeda's quietly gobsmacking Still Walking, a great Dippers video, and the best track off Friend of Tape Mountain Brian M/Friends Below Zero's album, three decades in the making.

Silver Convention/covoover part two/link death

One of the nice things about finally giving in and letting my records go unalphabetized is that now I listen to whatever percolates to the top. This covoover work week, the accidental (?) hit was Silver Convention's Golden Girls. Not as good as their first couple albums, sure (c.f. the Ramones also burning out on their ultraminimal formula around album 4), but the ultra-sleazy downtuned Mutron III (?) bass on "Hotshot" is just awesome, and "Wolfchild" has this great chorus (repeat 2x):
Living in the astral jungle!
The transfer on the YouTube music version of this song has a snippet of "Summernights" at about 00:30, like the audio transfer engineer fell asleep at the console.

The somewhat stilted choreography on their live TV appearances is compelling - it's like they're aiming to be SUPER SEXXY but end up looking a little dorky? Maybe if I were a disco fiend in Munich in the mid-70s I'd feel differently about their weird little hulas. Sadly Youchoob appears to be missing the version of "Save Me" where they perform in handcuffs, which really pushes the super sexxy/super dorky hula dichotomy to the limit. Here's one from TVE[spaña], whose disco video engineers in the mid-70s knew no restraint, as we saw previously in Las Grecas' "Anabalina."

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Covoover times/War and Peace/Slack Times

News flash I got the covoover again but it's not so bad. I'm multiply jabbdeded and natuurlijk immoon after round #1 and so basically it was some mild snifflies and now I'm holed up in the office hoping the kid doesn't get sick. I took the pack-slow-vid since I don't want to mess around this time. Unfortunately I got the side effect where my mouth tastes like I've been chewing pewter. It's not ideal, but at least we live in an era when xylitol mints and Indian food can be delivered to my door very quickly.

So I'm holed up in my office doing work stuff and then reading War and Peace (one of the English profs at my alma mater is teaching an online lecture class for alums etc.) and it's pretty great. Both the book and the holed-upness. I cleaned up the place enough to get my great-grandparents' armchair in here in between the exercise bike and the Apple //c. Not exactly grammable but cozy.

I've mentioned Slack Times here before. Somehow I missed their video for "I'm Trying." A man power lifts a terrier, someone else karate kicks a toilet paper tower in slo-mo, wind-up ducks show up at the best possible moment. It is effortlessly silly, somewhere in that weird intersection between dad jokes and found-object surrealism, so of course I am drawn to it.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Indie pop subterfuge/Jeanines

I'm at the actual office working while the "slurry seal" wizards make my street a little less perilous. (The kid and I shared weird jokes about marine mammals.)  I'm listening to whatever random headphones are here, playing something on YouChoob Music, and then it helpfully decides that I want to listen to Jeanines' first album, which hey, not a bad call, but wait, is there another guitar part that I never noticed on "Either Way"? Same with "Hits the Bone"? "Falling Off of My Feet Again"? Or are these headphones just that good that I'm noticing a 12-string guitar that wasn't there before?

Anyway, not minding the director's cut - if indeed that is what it is - but it does call into question every memory I have from the Sleep Deprivation Years when my kid was super young!

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

September shows/country bass/album upcoming

I'm sitting in with Cosmonox Jason's country project the Prairie Benders on the bass at a couple shows - one tonight (Wed 9/6/23 at the Alberta Street Pub) and one next Monday (9/11/23 at the Hostel Café). It's been fun playing thump-thump I-V stuff for the first time in a long time - I think my most recent experience was my all-Lutheran yodeling cowboy band with my dad back in high school?  Anyway, fun stuff. Instructive to see how to do more with less, curb my usual excess. Not something I would want to pursue in the long term, but it is good to see that I can pull it off.

I'm also playing a quick thing with the legendary Jennifer Robin this Friday (9/8/23 at Mother Foucault's). I think it will just be one piece or so.

Also, this Saturday 9/9 I plan on finally dropping the newish Spirit Duplicator album Gelatin Duplicator. A real gnarly one, this one. Nonstop ring modulator. Maybe it will be your thing? 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Dippers _Clastic Rock_/Cargo Bike Summer 2023/big words

The newish Dippers album Clastic Rock has been on frequent rotation on both my cargo bike speaker and my office turntable this summer. Good stuff - the time signatures are irregular, the melodies catchy, the words large* and compellingly assembled. The first four songs are as solid as anything I've heard recently. Could a couple songs be trimmed? Yes, but I can deal. Summer hit of 2023? Yes.

The album cover art echoes the art for the first Wipers record. (I'll need to post pictures a little later.) Coincidence? The song titles are these weird little poems on their own, so I kind of wish they were not broken up in all directions, but we'll always have online streaming to present all fourteen titles in one unbroken unit.

Cargo Bike Summer 2023 is just about done - last day of summer care camp is tomorrow - and I'll miss it. I found a way to school that is beautiful and calm (with the exception of an unavoidable quarter-mile of stroad noise and speed) and relatively flat, and I took it every day. When I was deadheading to or from school without the boy on the back, I listened to albums - the Dippers record for the past few weeks - and their rhythms have overlaid themselves onto the path I rode. "Drop to Inoperant" (good title) will always be linked to this particular intersection, though the long-shadowed October light in the Street View doesn't quite match the full-bodied summer sunlight in my memory.

* OK, I have to say it: There are a couple words that are pronounced... well, I don't want to say incorrectly, but I couldn't find any dictionaries where "amygdalae" is pronounced the way it is on the record.  Maybe it's an Australian thing? Not that I can talk. As someone who is still haunted by his own mispronunciations on long-forgotten CDRs, I know how that feels. I've read a lot of books and learned big words and then sounded like a dope when I went to put said words into action. Ask me about the time I read Childcraft's Guide for Parents and then mispronounced "vagina" with the ladies in my grandma's small-town bridge club, where nothing was ever forgotten. That's why, as the old pin says, we never guess, we look it up.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Cargo Bike Morning (predicted high 105) and "Hijack the Barber"

Speaker algo selects King Tubby, "Hijack the Barber," speaker hijacks bass response, we're left with hi-hat sibilance and echoed flutes and stabs of horns on sunbaked Sandview, unsidewalked, a squirrel bounds in perfect time, its tail well groomed and sinusoidal, turn blind corner, roll through stop sign, Diane is out and watering sunflowers, left on my street, flip the PINpad, garage door creaks and roars to open.