Sunday Mix Tape Number 177
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I woke up with a horrible hangover this morning. I decided to go out with friends last night to prove to them that I’m not a total recluse, and I wound up raging pretty hard. We started out night by playing some drinking game with a deck of playing cards that I think I remember hearing about in high school once. I was not very good at it, but it enabled me to drink a few beers in a very short amount of time. We headed out to the bars at about 10:30 and the next 4 hours were kind of a blur. I just know I didn’t pay for any beers or shots but there always seemed to be one or the other in my hand. After the bars closed I started to walk down the street with Shaun and Erin towards Pat’s house, but we got stopped at a little “vintage” shop where we were offered free sangria. We stayed and chatted for a bit, and I asked the owner/landloard for a tour of her property. At some point Erin and Shuan left me there to endure this crazy broad’s endless stories. She wouldn’t let me leave until about 3am. I raced up the street to my apartment and tried to crash in my bed while I was still drunk enough to pass out without thinking too much about it. I awoke as the sun filtered through my blinds and could not get back to sleep until my alarm clock sounded at 9am. Then I had to work all day. I still don’t feel 100% but I’m going to try my best to put together a really cool mix tape for you today.
Ian said I should start to describe all the tracks I post on these mix tapes. Apparently his just listening to one song I like is not enough to convince him he needs to seek out entire albums or catalogs. He wants descriptions to sell him on the music. I hate doing that, but I guess he has a point. I can’t promise that I’ll do it every week, but I’ll do it today.
RULES for uninitiated noobs: With roughly 100MB of webspace, I give birth to a weekly Mix Tape to be deposited on your iPods or Zunes or Kingklangs or whatever the industry is currently pushing on you. Sometimes there will be themes that link all the songs together, other times I’ll just throw songs at a wall (not literally) and see what sticks. It’s nice to be near my hard drive for once, so I can actually take the time to find you some weird shit I haven’t used before. I think of the dozen or so tracks I’m going to share tonight, only one or two were recorded by artists I have featured in previous mix tapes (Iannis Xenakis and PG Six). The goal of this endeavor, as always, is to pique your interest in these artists so you’ll support the artists and buy their albums.
Sunday Mix Tape – Number 177
Get A Load Of This
01. PG Six – #1 For Wire-Strung Harp With Echo – You’ve heard lots of PG Six here before, but you probably haven’t heard Songs From The Sherman Box Series And Other Works before. These cuts explore the man’s more experimental tendencies. I saw him perform solo with a harp back in 2004 or 2005 and it was stunning. These pieces are even better than that.
02. Ed Askew – Fancy That – An outsider freak even by ESP-Disk standards. Askew played the tiple, and he makes it sound as intense as any acoustic stringed instrument I’ve heard in ages. Think of the banjo-strummed-with-a-brick force of The Monks, but with beautiful harmonics. Askew’s voice is raw and it’s hard to tell if he’s ranting or singing, but it works so well. This track appears on the jaw-droppingly awesome Ask The Unicorn.
03. Purling Hiss – Almost Washed My Hair – Andy introduced me to this band the other night at Lucky Devils. We were talking about White Hills and the new space-rock inspired psych bands we’ve been geeking out about lately. I told him about Titan and U.S. Christmas, he countered with Purling Hiss. This is snarling, in-your-face white noise heavy rock. I kind of love it.
04. Laser – Non Vede La Gente – I love me some Italian prog rock. Laser ranks up there with the best of the bunch, a few months ago this album, Vita Sui Pianeta sold for $3,760 Euros. So, I guess that means it’s pretty rare. Some say the rarest of the much sought after genre. How does the music hold up? It’s pretty good. I wouldn’t say it’s the best because, well…see below.
05. Franco Battiato – Una Cellula – Franco Battiato is the king of Italian prog. If this track doesn’t sell you on the man’s oeuvre, you are a lost cause and you should give up on listening to music. You’re doing it wrong. This shit just flat-out kicks ass. I’d like to dedicate this one to Kasi, who I doubt is reading this. I’d like to see your alien abduction mime routine juxtaposed to this.
06. Supreme Dicks – The Sun’s Bells – Fuck the Pixies. Fuck them so hard in their conservative, boring indie pop asses. The real kings of ’80s Boston indie rock were Supreme Dicks. They formed in ’82 and put out two amazing records on Homestead, The Unexamined Life (from which this track was culled) and The Emotional Plague. Let Frank Black have his loyal minions of college-aged dopes. I’ll stick with these guys.
07. Camera 3 – Russians In Space – Sometimes I go through these weird industrial-ish punk phases where I just want to listen to Metabolist all the time. Trust me, there are millions of worse bands I could choose to devote a week or month to. Camera 3 is the band of Andy Johnson (brother of The The’s Matt Johnson), and I kind of thought Andy was the musical genius of the family after hearing this 7″ for the first time. Oh, and it was recorded in the Metabolist studio, so there’s the crucial Metabolist connection for ya!
08. The Son Of PM – Lum Jow Praya – I hadn’t listened to this record in a while, but then I remembered before Landon left for Cambodia I made him a wicked mix of Indian, Cambodian and Thai underground music. This was on there. It rules.
09. Banten – Dig Dick – Ever since I figured out who Nurse With Wound were many moons ago, I’ve been slowly making my way through the infamous NWW List. If you don’t know what that is, here’s the Wikipedia page for you. Anyway, Banten is on the list and I can’t find a single fucking fact about them other than their self-titled album was released in Denmark in 1972. Guess who’s also on that list? That’s right, Franco Battiato, Trans Museq, Magical Power Mako (who I was going to include on this mix tape but then decided against it in favor of a “Collector’s Scum” post coming soon), and Iannis Xenakis!
10. Iannis Xenakis – Polla Ta Dhina For Children’s Chorus And Orchestra – I will always thank my Electronic Music professor Dr. Ovens for introducing my 18-year old ape ears to the likes of Xenakis, Varèse, Messaien, Saint-Saëns, and all the wonderful 20th century composers I now like to reference in conversation with people who think I’m a lot smarter than I really am. Xenakis was a Greek and a genius. He liked to apply shit like game theory to composition. He will be remembered by scholars as being one of the most important avant-garde composers. To me, he’ll be the guy who helped me get over listening to mundane rock music like Radiohead once and for all.
11. George Crumb – Night Of The Four Moons II – If Xenakis is God, that makes George Crumb, like…Darryl Strawberry. He can do no wrong in my eyes. Xenakis recorded burning charcoal and manipulated the tape to making something completely ethereal. Crumb would compose pieces for people who would talk into a flute instead of blow into it. I don’t get why people think 20th century composers are all serious art fags. Really, they just had awesome senses of humor and good imaginations.
12. Trans Museq – Velocity – Back when I started listening to free improv like Alterations and Peter Brotzmann, I found out about this small group from Alabama. None of you should be surprised to read that Trans Museq appear on the NWW List. This is not music for the faint of heart. This is some Dada shit. This is instrumental expression of the subconscious. Chaos. Catharsis. It’s about as far from a “band” as people recording sounds together can be. I chose this track from the album because it was the most minimalist and least harsh. I put this as the last track on this week’s mix because I don’t expect most people to make it through Xenakis and Crumb, but if you have reached this point and aren’t scared by new things, you might very well learn to love this stuff. I do!
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