Archive | June, 2008

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30 Jun

I’m still digging for fire but I have no idea where I should search. And it doesn’t help that I’m distracted by the Middleman. Have you seen that show? It’s hilarious. It takes all the good of spy comedies like Get Smart, Inspector Gadget, Men in Black and Special Unit 2 all in one. I recommend it highly if you like a smart yet goofy comedy. Damn it’s distracting. Okay, I chose a record company at random. I chose Last Gang Records. Hmmm, it’s got Death From Above 1979 as an alumni. That’s a good sign. And it has Metric and the New Pornographers. That’s all sorts of good. So now just to look for a band….

Distracted! It’s got a cameo from the chairman from Iron Chef America. Holy crap!

Lucky me, the first band that I try out rocks. They are a band called Mother Mother. They are a Canadian quintet that seems to have 3 vocals, two female vocalist and one male and they sing at the same time alot. There are some crazy harmonies overlaying their power-pop-punk sound.

LOL! The Wu-Han Thumb of Death! I just watched the Chairman vs. 100 luchadores. Must return to 10kdays. Must stop laughing.

Lucky for me (again) they are a little well-known. Mother Mother has had a mention in Spin magazine and that mention included an mp3. Woo hoo. See, Mother Mother’s song “Touch Up” is unbelievable good. It’s got the experimental stuff that I dig but at the roots, it’s damn catchy. Good stuff. A successful dig.

Song 599- “Touch Up” by Mother Mother

And look ma, it’s a live track.

598-

29 Jun

Day three of Digging for Fire and I’m so far split on the results. Stolen Babies was a great find and I’ll be listening to a lot more of. I was already listening to some stuff that Aimee Echo is in before I found theStart but I’m unsure in they will be in my brainwash rotation. So let’s see how dig #3 goes. I decided to use a band I love as a starting point again. I chose Die So Fluid and their website directed me to two different websites- Parole Music and Cargo Records. Among a further look at Cargo Records, I found that Cargo Records isn’t really a record company. It’s a distributor of indie music. So that also means that there are tons of bands to be found there. And since Parole Music only has 4 bands, I think I have a better chance of success with Cargo.

But then comes the question of where to start. There are over 500 bands on the Cargo Records site. Well, I’ve had some success with female singers lately in the digs, so I tossed the word “female” isn’t their search engine. And of course, I found interesting results. For instance, I found the band Level C, an all girl metal band that claims to be heaviest in the world and may be right. I found an album called “Pigments drift down to the brook” which includes song titles like “Magpie will peck a whole in a plaster cast” and “Nostalgia was broken to pieces”. Then I found the genre searcher…

…so I decide to go for experimental. I’m a risk taker. And that risk paid off as I found something I like. Lately I have been listening to a lot of Kayo Dot and To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie, which means I’ve been listening to a lot of music with a music of ambient noise and rock at the same time. And I found a band that fits in that vein. They aren’t as brutally rocking as Kayo-Dot can be at times, but they have some amazing instrumentalization that would easily earn them a space beside both of the aforementioned bands. The band is Halves and their music quite the beautiful web. I may not have kept of the streak of female vocalists but this is definitely a keeper.

Song 598- “Medals” by Halves

And the live version is definitely worth checking out, just so you can see how it all comes together.

597-

28 Jun

I had so much fun with my new Digging For Fire theme yesterday, I’ve been anxious all day to post and hunt for another new band to enjoy. So, first, I need to figure out where to look. Yesterday’s plan worked well so I’m going to stick with it. I took a band that I really like and then went to their record company and searched other bands. Yesterday, I used Made Out of Babies and found Stolen Babies. Funny thing is that I just realized the name similarity. Yesterday I was too busy being enthralled with the music. It may be harder to do with my other favorite bands. Rasputina is on Filthy Bonnet Records. The only bands on the label are Rasputina and Melora Creager (lead singer of Rasputina). The other band in my trinity of favorites is AFI. AFI is on Interscope. Unlike MOoB, AFI is on a major label, so there may be a very wide array of artists signed on. I may not find a band in a similar vein.

One quick look at the Interscope website shows me that I was write as AFI is listed amongst groups like +44, Black Eyed Peas and New Kids on the Block. I think I’ll need to go elsewhere if I wanna find some little known bands. Major labels are much better at advertising and exposure. Not all the bands deserve the notice but that’s the way the crazy music business works.

Well, AFI used to be on Nitro Records, a company owned by Dexter Holland of the Offspring. I like Dexter (I named a hamster after him) so why not take a look at his label. And look, I scored on the first try. I found a band called theStart. It’s a group that have been on the fringe of my radar but I haven’t actually heard. They have been on my radar because of their lead singer- Aimee Echo. Aimee Echo has actually earned a previous mention in 10kdays. Back at post #76, I posted about an old Korn demo of theme covering the Go-Go’s “This Town”. The other band on that demo was Aimee Echo’s old band, Human Waste Project. Since then she’s moved on to being the lead singer of theStart.

Of course, I would pick a band that’s no longer on the label. The Start have since moved on to Metropolis Records. Metropolis has an interesting line-up that includes electronic pioneer Gary Numan, the Birthday Massacre (see post 253), Electric Six (see post 560), KMFDM (see post 520 & 218), and the Mission UK. All sorts of good stuff. Electric Six stands out like a sore thumb a bit. All the others have a very dark and electronics heavy sound. That’s where theStart fits in. They sound like a gothy Garbage. I think that would be quite a fair assessment.

Song 597- “Wartime! (It’s Time 2 Go Now)” by theStart
here’s a fan vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9op7jzXIdRE

and here they are live and badly recorded:

596-

27 Jun

You know something. 10kdays just isn’t hip enough. In this big old blogosphere, how is a guy supposed to get noticed by just talking about a bunch of songs he likes. Of course, I’m kidding. But the blogosphere does serve one really good purpose, it has helped me find a lot of cool bands that I might not have heard of. I frequent a blog aggregator called the Hype Machine and often find a ton of new bands to try out. Well, I think it’s time that I give a little back. So for this next theme, I’m going to post about 5 bands that a lot of people haven’t heard of (or at least I haven’t). Often I’ve done this type of thing in 10kdays and I’ve called it a “Dig”. So we’ll give this theme, the Pixies inspired title- Digging For Fire.

Record companies are often a great way to find new bands to listen to. Find a band that you really like and then see if there are any bands of a similar vein on their label. Makes sense, right? Well, today I have begun listening to Made Out Of Babies’ album “The Ruiner” and there is a lot of music there for me to love (halfway through “The Mayor” is becoming the standout track). When MOoB was on Neurotic Records, they were surrounded by bands in a similar post-metal vein. But now MOoB is on The End Records. Will I find a band to enjoy there?

Well, the End Records already includes MOoB, Voivod, Lordi and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, which should be an indication of what I’ll find here. But it’s not. Proved me wrong. I found a shoegaze/drone metal band called Nadja. That was something to hear and interesting enough to warrant a mention. Same with the amazing musical hodgepodge of Estradasphere, who blend so many styles to today in one package it’s stunning. Is it classical? Is it metal? Is it country? Is it jazz? It’s all there. I am loving this record label.

So which band will light my fire today? Stolen Babies. Stolen Babies is a four piece band headed up by a female accordian playing lead singer, along with an upright bassist, a pianist, and a drummer (who also happens to be Dillinger Escape Plan). Where are the guitars? A four piece band without a lead guitar? Unheard of! (Stolen Babies does use guitar during their live shows but it’s interesting to see a band that isn’t basing their sounds around guitar like many other bands out there). They have a great sound which I think is best described by their label as “extravagant gothic/metal/carnival/rock” and they understand the idea of making the musical experience into a whole package. Their live shoes are very theatric and utilize a lot of art from amazing indie comic artist Crab Scrambly.

Can you beat a name like Crab Scrambly? No, you can’t.

Song 596- “Push Button” by Stolen Babies

(go to the End Records website and get the mp3)

and here is a badly recorded live version since there seems to only be badly recorded ones:

595-

26 Jun

And it’s the 5th and final day of the album art theme. So allow me to get out my soapbox. Album art is an essential art of the album experience. I may not be the biggest fan of the album but guess what, I believe that singles art is important. I’m a part of Songfight and I’ve made tons of art for songs. I feel that it’s part of the experience. I can remember being a kid and having the Cult “Sonic Temple” album cover on my notebook. When I go on wikipedia and look at an album, my eyes focus on the pictures. It’s a part of the whole. We are in a world where there are less music videos and less album art, what happened to delighting more of the senses than just the ears. Soapbox over. Enjoy some Cult.

Song 595= “Fire Woman” by the Cult

and here’s a live version

594-

25 Jun

The album art theme continues with a simple fact- sex sells and that works with albums like it does with anything else. An example, I remember an album that came out about 1991. It didn’t have the band anywhere on the album cover. What it did have was a knife thrower’s assistant against her wheel. She had Tiffani Amber Theissen looks and was wearing a white body suit that so tight, she looked like she could’ve been part dolphin. When you get an image like that, it’s easy to forget what the band is like. In this case, the band was a pretty boy hair band with a lead singer whose voice sounded as if he had swallowed something jagged and it got stuck in his throat. But I bet there were a few guys who wore that album cover on their jackets back in the day without a thought to who the band was.

Song 594- “Up All Night” by Slaughter

And here they are live:

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24 Jun

I like album art and I often show my love of it by turning the album art into my desktop at work. For a very long time this was my desktop:

A Pinkerton is a white male with a sexual obsession with Asian women (It’s a reference to Madam Butterfly). So what better to use than Japanese art. It’s a piece of woodblock print art by artist Hiroshige called Kambara yoru no yuki (Night snow at Kambara). It’s one of the most beautiful album covers I’ve ever seen and like I said, it sets the stage for an experience with Asian influence. Though if you’ve heard Pinkerton (my favorite Weezer album) you’ll see it has to do with far more than just Asian women.

Song 593- “The Good Life” by Weezer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QworF88_tW0 (a Dayton/Feris video, woohoo!)

And here’s a live acoustic version (and the intro is done by an Asian woman, lol)