Monday

Yo La Tengo @ Beck's Music Box 20/02/2010


The Perth Arts Festival is an annual event and this year it featured artists such as Antony & the Johnstons, Arvo Part, Calexico, Health, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, British Sea Power, Pivot and a few more. The venue is a cosy stage with a perimeter of sofas and benches and bars to relax and indulge while watching the band. Such venues come with the advantage of getting close to the band, which created an interpersonal and intimate atmosphere between them and the crowd. In fact, I was two feet from the band, as evident in the photos. The band's setlist consisted of a diverse selection of songs from their catalogue featuring noisy garage numbers, a short and solemn acoustic set and long psychedelic shoegazed guitarfuckery that the band is known for, aswell as our indie favourites ('Autumn Sweater', 'Sugarcube'). They closed with a Beach Boys cover after a two and a half hour set and it was overly a fantastic experience.

VCR #2


As recently posted on Bradford's blog, here is a fantastic and nostalgia-inducing video featuring spooky synthesizers and arrays of mind warping lasers.

Sunday

Salvaged Gold #2

Here's what I bought at the local markets, secondhand.




Altogether, I had bargained these three classics down to $20 AUS dollars (which equates to $17 U.S. dollars/11 british pounds).
All for those who have yet to hear;

Saturday

Natural Snow Buildings - The Dance of the Moon and the Sun (2006)

Natural Snow Buildings - The Dance of the Moon and the Sun (2006)

This is a colossal masterpiece; 25 tracks spanning over 158 minutes in total of drone and free folk. The Dance of the Moon and the Sun is a poignant, emotional and cold experience and although huge, never does it feel pointlessly long or tedious throughout – it’s really that beautiful and inspiring. As for the rest, I'll leave the music to tell you.

Genre; Avant-Folk, Drone, Ambient

Try;
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Wednesday

Paul McCartney - Ram (1971)

Paul McCartney - Ram (1971)
I’m surprised I like Ram, such an enjoyably juvenile record, as much as I do. In fact, like many, it could be my favourite solo Beatles record, and All Things Must Pass was a challenging contender to overtake. It is audacious and entertaining and just catchy pop. It also documents McCartney’s artistic progression after the end of the Beatles – the compositions are no longer convoluted or experimental, just soulful balladry which shows that despite the post-Beatle attention from the tortuous media, McCartney was still capable to produce great songs and melodies. His lyrics do not speak of disappointment or grieve from the band’s break up or philosophy but of happiness, friendship and enjoying life. That’s really what Ram is all about, enjoying life. That’s what Ram inspires us all to do.
Genre; Folk Pop, Pop/Rock

Bohren & der Club of Gore - Black Earth (2002)

Bohren & der Club of Gore - Black Earth (2002)

The concept of Bohren und der Club of Gore’s Black Earth blew my mind - continuous, hollowing, icy ambience backing up gentle, low-tempo jazz drums and smooth, passive saxophone. It has the darkness of doom metal yet the relaxing features of chilled jazz. The album begins with alternating chords of ambience in ‘Midnight Black Earth’, before a void bass drum introduces the light percussion and the ethereal, synthesized keyboards. The record continues to further explore elegant saxophones, xylophones and light keyboard chords that assist in producing the eerie ambiguity until we reach the final song (‘The Art of Coffins’), or as I’d describe it; the epilogue, which is a solemn, affecting track, like most of the album. It is one of the few to include a snare which feels like a light blow to the heart every time. It contains minimal brass and is mostly cymbals, gut-wrenching atmospheric hums and the power of transcending silence that slowly concludes what is, from what I’ve heard, the best jazz record of the 2000s.
Genre; Jazz, Dark Ambient

Boris - Feedbacker (2003)

Boris - Boris At Last -Feedbacker- (2003)


It had taken me too long to get around to listening to Boris or even Drone Doom Metal in general. Feedbacker is one immense piece of music. Feedbacker ranges from fanatical percussion to austere yet beautiful drone in one progressive sweep. The first untitled track is copious of injections of distorted guitar chords. The next opens with eerie ambience and a slow drumbeat as sinister distortions continue to creep in and out. Eventually psychedelic guitar overtones festoon the fifteen minute track. Track 3 opens with an explosion of crumbling drums and cymbal clatter and noise before a steady beat emerges and more distorted guitars whammy and play over eachother majestically. Track 4 is the most drone-orientated track, almost 10 minutes of pure, unabridged noise. This may sound unappealing or even boring but every second leaves you terrified with excitement, frozen at the edge of your seat. The final untitled track is introduced to us through screeching guitars and a humble chord and percussion arrangement and as the wailing guitars slowly eludes, more luscious guitar plays until the album concludes with a final dash of cymbal before noise slowly ends the album. Feedbacker takes drone one step further as great albums do by incorporating psychedelia, post-rock beats and drums. Boris amazed me with such a versatile and exhilirating album. What more is there to say?

Genre; Drone Doom Metal, Psychedelic Rock,
Try

Tuesday

John Fahey - Fare Forward Voyagers (Soldier's Choice) (1973)

Well, now that my time off school has come to an end, it will as of now be quite difficult to continue posting anything more than a few paragraphs. But I'm determined to not let go and follow in the footsteps of my friend and regularly post some of the best music that I've recently heard, whether old or new, and if I fail to come across anything worthwhile, I'll substitute with some of my favourites of all time. The album chosen must be worth an 8.5 rating or more. No albums will be posted that were released in the last twelve months. The best of the month lists will still be posted seperately.

After abusing punk rock the last few weeks, I plan to move onto a project inspired by another friend of mine's fantastic list of 90's jazz and improvisation. Such a list abundant in releases made me realise that jazz and modern classical nowadays are mostly ignored genres, with the only exceptions being the odes to the likes of Davis, Mingus, Ellington and Coltrane for jazz as well as Part, Messiaen and Lygeti for classical. Great jazz and classical music is still being produced and although seemingly dead since 1970 (in the case of jazz), there are plently of post-1970 material available on the interwebs. So the month of March will be the month I solely explore 80s, 90s and 00s jazz as found on the lists here, and classical, experimental and avant-garde as found on such blogs as rafterlights, killedincars and others as I come across them. By the end of the month, depending on how much I've heard, I'll choose to either continue the diet or post the best of what I've heard on the blog or on a list on my rym account.

But for now, here's a great album I recently came across.

John Fahey - Fare Forward Voyagers (Soldier's Choice) (1973)

This is my first John Fahey experience. The excessive application of guitar improvisation fascinated me at first listen, walls of noodling strings and arrangements bouncing off eachother and playing whimsically alongside eachother; what fantastic guitar work. Rolling Stone magazine rated him the 35th greatest guitarist ever, and although we all dislike Rolling Stone’s commercially-inclined opinion, that’s still an achievable commendation of importance that one should be proud of. Many feel that although immensely delicate and complicated guitars consume this record, Fahey’s true potential has not been displayed – he is really that skilled. Nothing is imposed here, this is all natural noise. So what I’d advise to be the best approach to this record is to relax and absorb the masterful guitarwork for what it really is.

Genre; American Primitivism, Avant Folk
Try

Thursday

Country

In an attempt to challenge me, I was requested to do a genre post on country music. To answer that call, here's some of my favourite alternative-country and country records.

5. She & Him - Volume One (2008)
Oh Zooey.

4. Emmylou Harris - Wrecking Ball (1995)
3. Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker (2000)
2. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Letting Go (2006)
1. Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt (1969)
Happy now Matt?
If you have suggestions for future genre posts, leave a comment below.