Sunday, August 19, 2007


So, I've been working on a metal mix for Jessamyn from MetaFilter for a while, long enough that she probably just thinks I flaked. But it's totally been an excuse to explore stoner metal for me again (well, and for a while, I was gonna make her a giant cheese metal mix and present it seriously, which I may still do— I found some terrible airbrushed picture of a turtle fucking a girl on a beach that seems like it would be the ultimate alternate universe van decal).

And in there, one of those Ur-sources of stoner metal: Atomic Rooster's "Death Walks Behind You." It's right at that junction where blues+drugs=metal, and has this awesome, plodding groove behind it. Maybe the album's available over at Cousin's Vinyl.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Drone factor 8!

This Friday, caught a couple of bands over at the Echo Park Curio (where they're just as dilettante about being an art gallery as they are about web design). I was really there for my pal James Ilgenfritz, who had been drafted by some dude named Preston to play bass (while Preston rocked the mellotron). They were tuned nearly exactly to each other, but were off by less than a half-step, which created some amazing dissonance. Both James and Preston were sharp enough to a) really exploit that, and b) move well together. Their first piece was like listening to the tide come in, that slow and almost imperceptible change in rhythm and sonic texture that comes from the water getting deeper and deeper. Then, just as they were cresting, they stopped. I really enjoyed how they managed to essentially resolve the narrative of the piece just by implying an extension of their climax.

Unfortunately, to get to them (as the middle band), it meant sitting through someone called, I think, KxPxC. Or something that whenever anyone said it made me think of the Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. There, it was some noodler on guitar, some dandy on keyboards, harmonica and accordion, all played with a basic contempt for the instruments— any attempt to use them musically was subsumed by the desire to just wheeze one note and then change one finger for, like, a totally different experience, man— and all bounded by a fat guy with a ring modulator and a bunch of effects pedals. On the whole, they hit some interesting textures, I assume accidently, and came across as Wolf Eyes on Prozac.

We bolted during the final band, as they had promised to be some sweet Japanoise, all the members looking like Asiatic Mansons, but though they were the only band with a drum, they were just totally enthralled with swirling brushes on it.

My back was killing me the whole time, and it was like a hipster TGIFridays with all the goddamned ironic flair that people were sporting. The guy next to us kept calling out Freebird, apparently having decided that Lynyrd Skynryd jokes have gone through their natural cycle of death and ascendence again, but he was making out with one chick while giving another a salacious backrub (and had on a designer screenprinted button-down shirt), so who knows— maybe that's ironically cool again.

In the car, I forced Amy to listen to Renegade Soundwave (Greatest Hits) and Bad Religion (Recipe for Hate) just to see if I still liked those album as much as I did in high school. I think I like 'em 30% less.