Friday, 30 January 2009

Guitarrorists (1991)

Guitarrorists has always been my favorite compilation.  I've had it since 1991 and still listen to it from time to time all of these years later.  It featured all of my favorite musicians at the time including Sonic Boom, J Mascis, Kat Bjelland, Thurston Moore, Tom Hazelmeyer, Steve Albini, Helios Creed, Paul Leary, Neil Haggerty, Lee Renaldo, Wayne Coyne and every other guitar player in the world that I admire.  Not even sure why I said "At the time.." they are still most of my favorite musicians.  Every song is a true solo recording with just them alone performing their song.  If I had to pick a favorite for me it would probably be Lee Renaldo's track with Albini's song coming in at a close second but really the album as a whole is pretty solid.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Hovercraft - Experiment Below (1998)

Hovercraft and Magnog (see below) both formed out of the break-up of a band called Space Helmet which I've never heard and never had any recorded material that I'm aware of.  The guitar player of Hovercraft and the drummer of Magnog are brothers apparently.  Hovercraft are much in the same vein as Magnog but not quite as lush. They are generally more chaotic than Magnog and became more well known (for better or worse) because of their association with Eddie Vedder.  Eddie was married to bassist Beth Liebling (AKA Sadie 7) and played drums on their first single under the pseudonym Jerome230.  So the band would tour with Pearl Jam and were exposed to a huge crowd that normally wouldn't even consider the band.  I personally think the Vedder connection really taints the work of this great experimental improv band.  I say this only because they really have no real similarities to Pearl Jam musically and got grouped into a scene they never belonged to in the first place.  So if you're a fan of space-rock of the Pacific Northwest (Jessamine, Kinski, Subarachnoid Space etc.) this album is what I would consider a classic.

Magnog - Magnog (1996)

Since I've been posting a lot of space rock/psychedelic/drone/krautrock/improv or whatever you want to call it lately I figured I'd post a couple more and get it out of my system then try to move on to something else for a while.  Seattle's Magnog only put out this one proper studio album (although there was a compilation of home recordings later released in a collection called More Weather) that was released on Kranky Records.  It's mostly instrumental with the exception of one song and was produced by Jessamine's Andy Brown.  It's just a really great album to zone out to.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Bright - Full Negative (or) Breaks (2000)

Bright are a band from Boston that have put out a handful of records over the last decade and still remain relatively obscure.  If you've heard one of their releases you've basically heard them all because they seem to stick to the same formula.  They simply strum away at those one or two chords with fuzzy overdubs and minimal (and only occasional) vocals.  Bright have a really catchy simplicity to them that I really like even though it's sometimes hard to distinguish one song from the next.  They kind of remind me of the early Deerhunter records but with old school influences like The Velvet Underground or Joy Division.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Juneau - Juneau (1998)

I honestly don't know much about this band. It's something I picked up years ago and kind of forgot about. A song from this album recently came up on my Ipod shuffle and liked what I heard and decided to give this album another listen to. It's droney space-rock in the vein of Bardo Pond or Paik and it's not bad for a band that nobody's ever heard of.  Nobody I know anyways. The only info I could find on Juneau was that Marc Orleans of Sunburned Hand Of The Man was in the band.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Wreckers Of Civilisation (2000)

Maybe this isn't the best place to write a book review but since it's music related it may be appropriate.  Actually it isn't even really a review especially considering I'm only about half way into the book.  But so far I'm just really intrigued by the story of these truly fucked up people.  Many of you are already familiar with Throbbing Gristle but that's only half the story.  The birth of TG evolved out of a performace art group called COUM Transmissions founded by Genesis P. Orridge (Psychic TV) and Cosey Fanni Tutti.  I'd never even heard of COUM until I was paging through this book at my local book store.  Their idea of "art" consisted of self-mutilation, ingesting bodily fluids, and group sex.  COUM would eventually enlist Peter Christopherson (Coil) and Chris Carter and would become TG.  Do I consider them particularly talented as artists or musicians?  Not really.  I know that much of COUM/TG's work was meant for shock value and whether it's really much deeper than that could be questionable, but it makes for a hell of an interesting read.  I'm not even that big of a TG fan to be honest, but what they were creating had never been done before and it's a interesting look into the the birth of Industrial music.  So maybe I'll come back to this and add more once I actually finish the book, but I thought I'd mention it to anyone who's interested in this sort of thing.  

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Bark Haze - The Bark Haze (2007)

The Bark Haze is a side project of Thurston Moore's along with Andrew MacGregor (AKA Gown).  I guess it's fairly typical of Moore's more noise based side projects.  Just long improvised guitar freakouts.  I guess you either like this kind of thing or you don't.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Alan Sparhawk - Solo Guitar (2006) & The Black-Eyed Snakes - Rise Up! (2003)

Alan Sparhawk - Solo Guitar
I really love when a musician can take a side project or solo record and make it completely different than their "full-time" band.  Otherwise what's really the point, right?  Low's Alan Sparhawk has a couple of other projects that really show his range.  Solo Guitar is much more abstract and experimental than the 2 chord minimal softcore of Low.  Sparhawks droning soundscapes give a dreamy affect achieved with the use of loops and reverb but it can also get quite intense at times.

Blacked-Eyed Snakes - Rise Up!
With BES's you can tell that Sparhawk just wanted to play something fun as opposed to the sometimes cold and depressing vibe of Low.  It's bluesy garage rock is a polar opposite of what you would expect from him.  I'm still amazed that that distorted howl is coming from the same guy whose whispers can sometimes barely be heard on the typical Low record.  For fans of The Glasspack.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Lydia Lunch with H.O.F. - When I'm Loaded EP (2008)

So Lydia Lunch (Teenage Jesus & The Jerks) and Tom Hazelmeyer's H.O.F. teamed up together to put out the most pissed-off songs that Lydia's put out in over 20 years.