Monday, May 07, 2007

The Modern Lovers

Somehow, unbelievably, I missed listening to the Modern Lovers for twenty years up until a couple of weeks ago. All the reading mentions these guys as a pivotal link between what the Velvets were doing and what Punk then became, but for some reason i just blew it off.

In my head they marked the same area as James Chance and the Contortions. Don't ask me why it really makes no sense. Its just that sometimes in my personal cosmology of music there must be a little grease on the lens that allows me to misinterpret one band from another.

Well as I have said before delayed gratification can sometimes make the fruit that much sweeter.
Jonathan Richman (the lead singer) apparently thought of himself as carrying on the spirit of the Velvet Underground whom he adored. To me he seems like a slightly straighter version of Iggy or more precisely a perfect precursor to the three cord English version of punk and its decedent American Hardcore. While the Modern Lovers certainly flirted more with melody than either one of those venerable institutions the energy and force is certainly there.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


I joined E-Music recently and was pleasantly surprised at their offerings. Being limited to indie music exclusively caused me to go outside of my usual channels and look up new music totally outside of my experience. This in turn led me to Odawas.

Their sound is a lovely combination of many bands I have treasured dearly over the years. OK Computer era Radiohead, Neil Young, Ennio Morricone (can't deny his whistling influence) and the Beach Boys all mixed together in a heady stew. The track I have up is very epic in its sound and just floors me every time.

It is a bit solemn at times, but hey sometimes that is just what is needed.

For your pleasure Odawas (myspace link)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bee Gees

I have been sitting on this one for a while. I mean who willingly admits to liking the Bee Gees? Generally they are regarded as one of those hidden pleasures that you listen to alone in a darkened room with the shades drawn to preserve your critical respectability.
Put on the white suit load up the cd player with Saturday Night Fever and do a turn on your light up dancefloor pretending to be a younger more attractive John Travolta.

In any case that was the Bee Gees that I was familiar with. As my father put it "That was when they started using helium right?"

I bought this album on a recommendation and was completely surprised with its sound. This was recorded in the late 60s and has an unmistakable Beatles influence in a lot of the songs. The arrangements are awesome and it is just an all around good album. The track I am posting is one of the more obvious, but there are tons more great tunes inside.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Of Montreal

Thanks to Maeda in the comments I am going to try out a new technology here today (oops, didn't work with my host) with a recent purchase from "Of Montreal." This is the middle track off the album above. According to reviews of the album it ties the entire piece together. I only know that I like it and so I must foist it upon you my merry readers. Let me know what you think of the music and of the technology for sharing tracks.

Tree of life

Tree of life, originally uploaded by hector.

Took my daughter to see Mark Ryden's new show in West Hollywood last weekend and she soaked it all up. She particularly loved the installation he did, but only having my phone made taking good shots out of the question. Still, this one turned out pretty ok.

tomorrow by mars 1

tomorrow by mars 1, originally uploaded by hector.

I have been spending a lot of time recently looking at art and on very rare occasions purchasing some stuff. I just picked this up from Mars-1's solo show at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in NY thanks to the miracle of the internets.

Friday, March 30, 2007


This has probably been done to death, but just in case this coffin needs another nail, the new Air album isn't half bad.

Once you start doing a little research into french music and the influences of these guys it becomes apparent how much they love their influences. Now wearing your heart on your sleeve is not necessarily a bad thing. And in the case of Air they tread some delightful territory with their homages. Yet, spend some time with Serge Gainsborough's work particularly the History de Melody Nelson and you will listen to Premiers Symphonies with new ears.

One of the most enjoyable albums of my recent memory has been their Late Night Tales. A dream of a mix tape in the old sense. Remember when you made mix tapes for a friend, or girl you liked? Favorite tracks that somehow flowed together in a weird wonderful way. Stoner rock next to new wave. The Cure on the same side of tape as Black Sabbath? Good stuff.

In any case this all goes back to a track I wanted to play from the new album Pocket Symphony.

Air - Night Sight

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Matthew Dear

I was trawling about the internets, checking old spots and updating myself on the state of the world, as is my habit on weekday mornings. After a long absence philip sherburne has started posting again on a semi regular basis. Having been off the techno tip for a while now it was interesting to catch up and best of all hear about a new album coming out by Matthew Dear.

I really liked Leave Luck to Heaven when it came out. With Junior Boys first album it seemed to presage a return to romantic new wave sounds that in fact have come back into fashion. Imagine my surprise when I read sherburne's depiction of the new album, and better yet Yancy's more fully realized piece. Yancy also gracefully provides a link to a streaming version of the new single Deserter.

Great song, not track, but song. It really reminds me of some of the really late period Joy Division where they were already beginning to mutate into New Order musically but still had Ian Curtis singing for them. The music is sparkling and beautiful with that great mournful deep voice over the top. Scott Walker occasionally hits the same areas and it is a beautiful place.

enjoy and look forward to the upcoming album.

Matthew Dear - Deserter

Monday, March 12, 2007

Justine D.

Back again are the guys from I get rvng with their latest mix cd from the beautiful Justine D.
Now ordinarily I don't like mix cds, I want the full tracks to add to my collection so that I can quickly forget about who compiled the music and simply add to my ever expanding collection. However, once in a while something shows up that so defines the zeitgeist that I have to give my grudging respect and just jam to it.

This is one of those cds. With the recent proliferation of "new wave" bands on my space such as Glass Candy, the Chromatics and Farah a collection such as this was inevitable and since it speaks to my youth so successfully, quite enjoyable. Just check the tracklisting.

01. Robert Fripp & Brian Eno - Swastika Girls
02. The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds (7" Mix)
03. My Bloody Valentine - Soon (Andrew Weatherall 12" mix)
04. Shocking Blue - Acka Raga
05. Nitzer Ebb - Warsaw Ghetto
06. Turntablerocker - Love Supreme (Reduce to the Dub)
07. Daniel Wang - Like Some Dream (I Can't Stop Dreaming)
08. Ministry - All Day Remix
09. Glass Candy - I Always Say Yes
10. The Cars - Moving In Stereo
11. Hot Chip - No Fit State
12. Arthur Russell- Make 1,2
13. Chic - I Want Your Love
14. Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom - Black Spring
15. David Bowie - 1984
16. Crass - Walls
17. Malaria! - Kaltes Klares Wasser
18. Human League - Marianne
19. Christian Death - Romeo's Distress
20. Death In June - Nation
21. Goblin - Suspiria
22. Syd Barrett - Love You
23. The Zombies - Don't Go Away

Goblin, Delia & Gavin, Bowie, Chic, Ministry and an Andrew Weatherall remix of My Bloody Valentine! What more does a growing boy need?

What I can't figure out is how the guys from Igetrevng break even on this stuff. Five bucks for a cd is not much and each one is wrapped in a handmade case.
I have not listened to Diamond Dogs and particularly love the Bowie track on this compilation. 1984 is awesome!

Follow the links above to the myspace pages of Farah and Glass Candy for some choice free tracks.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Once again thanks to the mechanizations of Andrew(Lovefingers), I have new respect for an old artist. He recently posted a remix he did (I believe) of one of Yoko Ono's tracks. Called "Triple Fantasy" it really knocked my socks off. Melodic, wistful and downright hooky I could not stop listening to it. It appears that he has now taken it down, but expect it to pop up somewhere soon. Something that good can not simply live scattered on hard drives forever, vinyl demands it.

After getting caught up in his remix I rethought my position on Yoko. Brought up by rabid Beatles fanatics does not give one a very fond mental image of her, but we must all one day confront our prejudices and this one was profoundly ridiculous. A pioneering artist in her own right before she met John, Yoko went on to perform music well on par with anything else available at the time. I just needed to open myself to its charms.

I hope these two tracks do for you what they did for me. Not the most obscure, but still great

Yoko Ono - Walking on thin Ice

Yoko Ono - Kiss Kiss Kiss

Monday, March 05, 2007

Out of date

This album made a comeback a few years ago in a big way. Everyone from The Rapture to The Futureheads cited it as a pivotal record in terms of their sound. I guess I missed out at the time. Being contrary and cheap can have its advantages though. By delaying gratification for a few years the fruit, in my mind, has just grown that much sweeter.

It took Sophia Coppala's film Marie Antoinette to really turn me on to a track from here. Although I didn't really like the movie all that much, her use of "Natural's Not in It" to characterize Marie's problems with spending was one of the most precise uses of music to document image ever.

Learn the words and apply them to your life. Its always good to view your day to day capitalist existence with a touch of irony and removal.

Gang of Four - Natural's Not In It

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cortney Tidwell

I came upon this artist via a yet unreleased remix by Ewan Pearson. He dancified her in a way reminiscent of the best parts of Bjork and Goldfrapp, really dazzling glamorous stuff. Not wanting to prerelease something, I tracked down one of the singles off her album and was really suprised at how different it is. In some ways it reminds me of the Dennis Wilson track I posted up here a while back. Languid and shoegazey, I really enjoy it.

Courtney Tidwell - Eyes are at the Billions

oh and here is her myspace page

and here is some info on said remix

Look for it when it comes out Courtney Tidwell - Don't let the stars bring you down (ewan pearson remix)

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Gotta be upfront with y'all and say that this is not something I was able to find on my own. Once in a while I get sent promos, some are ok some are a little bit less. Most of the time they don't even rate mentioning. Today however with an overcast sky and the last few days of Belle and Sebastian type music ringing in my head I thought it might be worth it to promote a little melancholy pop. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Winterpills - Brokenarm

In other news Other Music from New York is going to start offering digital downloads free of DRM for sale on their site. This should be a great place to get obscure stuff that isn't totally crippled by bits and bytes that screw with your rights as a consumer.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Alice Coltrane

In case you had not heard, John Coltrane's wife Alice passed away in the middle of last month. Although her music never attained the following that her husband's had her impact on music is immense. Here on Journey in Satchidananda she works with Pharaoh Sanders on some beautiful, expansive, meditative tunes.

Enjoy, R.I.P. Alice

Alice Coltrane - Journey in Satchidananda