Calling All Apples In Stereo Fans!

There should be a good name for us, something to do with worms... if you haven't heard, there is finally a decent fan tribute album to the Apples In Stereo being worked on, called A Tribute In Stereo, and by decent I mean more than a few songs, although the quality of what I've heard is really good... I hope it doesn't dissuade other Worm-heads (eh) from plugging in their crappy Casios and using online synths and sound effects or just singing acapella with their sister in the shower, in fact I for one am really hoping to see more lo-fi stuff, so if you're interested in the slightest, please don't hesitate to head over to the Apples Townhall and read the Tribute thread to see rules and what songs have been taken, and get your submission in by this Friday! (and if you are a fan and haven't been to the Townhall, you should easily find lots of other good stuff to listen to there.)

By now you may have heard the Apples In Stereo have released their sixth studio album, "New Magnetic Wonder". To be honest, I'm not sure exactly how it works or who releases what where, but it is being simultaneously released under the labels of (the reborn) Elephant 6, Yep Roc, and Elijah Wood's new label Simian. It is mindful of the original communal spirit of the Elephant 6 collective, is the first release in some time to feature the old Elephant 6 logo, and features a host of E6 heavyweights including Jeff Mangum, W. Cullen Hart, and Bill Doss (who has now started playing live with the Apples). Robert Schneider ("the man") has also included on this album some of his newer experiments with musical scales. You can read about it and other good album info at Yep Roc (96 tracks for "Same Old Drag" ?!?), as well as buy "New Magnetic Wonder" there as a download, CD, or on vinyl.

I can't hear "Same Old Drag", one of my favorites on the album, and not think of this crazy homemade video that's been on youtube for a few weeks. And if this isn't the real (MTV) video for this song, it needs to be...


Cruisin with Trans Am (& Dungen)

Sometimes when I listen to Trans Am I get the feeling I'm in the imaginary backseat of one of Crockett and Tubbs' Ferraris, peeling down the streets of Miami, sometimes when manic energy, sometimes an erie brooding, often a line of coke on the way to some fabulous party or rougher predicament, only imaginary coke that doesn't suck balls the way the real stuff does, and it's dark and I tilt my head back and let the highway lights roll off my face... on the last album we let our instrumental groove get sidetracked when the guys from Trans Am got so mad at their president that they had to get vocal, but now it's back to the faux-80's cheesedick (in a good way) party, on their eighth album, released today, called "Sex Change"

Different fine feelings are felt from faraway Sweden, which is experiencing a surge in its artists' popularity, especially Jens Lekman, Peter Bjorn & John, and Dungen (pronounced doon-yun). Dungen will be releasing their fifth album (and the follow up to their unexpected indie-smash "Ta Det Lungt") on May 1. It's called "Tio Bitar" ("10 pieces"), and from what I've heard it's for the most part much more spacey than Ta Det Lungt, although this track shows they will still be bringing their monster rock hooks:

I wish I spoke Swedish, from what I've read their lyrics are actually intelligent words about common music themes, not fighting mystical beasts. Some of the new spacier Dungen mp3s and some good info can be found at Obscure Sound.

You can not only buy the new Trans Am direct from Thrill Jockey but listen to the rest of "Sex Change" there, too! Trans Am are just beginning a huge Europe/US tour, don't miss 'em... Haven't seen preorders for the Dungen yet, but Insound has a ton of Dungen stuff.


This Is The Shiiiiiiit

Edit: The artist known as DJ Klock took his own life on April 10, 2007, leaving behind a wife and child (and a lot of musical promise)

His name is DJ Klock. Hype Machine reveals only two other blogs with his mp3s. And he may be getting ready to take over the world. Of course, I thought Cornelius was going to take over the world, but this Japanese experimental turntablism is so new and exciting that it will be even harder to ignore. It's not going to take away the macho posturing and vibrato-warble of American Top 40, but surely if enough producers hear it, they will have no choice but be influenced by the weight of its genius. Klock has recently released his third album (also feat. his band Trilo), but first in the States, called "San"... it's cohesive, but the tracks are varied. It's got the experimentalism of Otomo Yoshihide mixed with physical beats that don't so much assault your booty as lull your head into gyration, with lots of live instrumentation (flutes, toy piano, Japanese instruments, etc.) and samples (like the sounds of a child) to give his electronic music a much more organic sound than most. There's a lot of panning (left and right) which makes headphone listening that much more enjoyable.

Doing some online research I found this good article about DJ Klock from Spin Science (and the mp3 below, and a pic of Klock with his Dachsund : ] ) and some good info on the label that is releasing "San" in the US, Ropeadope Records (w/ a DJ Klock page + another Klock mp3 + see their myspace for some DJ Logic)... their news page explains they don't do many CDs anymore, mostly digital releases ("San" is available in both), two albums on the first Tuesday of every month, letting the artists own their own masters. Now that's indie spirit!

There's not much about Klock on the internet right now, but that should be changing soon, he is huge in alternative Japan and has done collaborating with DJ Krush and his list of partners and releases is just beginning, keep on the lookout! I found two videos of DJ Klock on Youtube, the first one is the video for the first track on "San", called "Theme" (the other mp3 at Ropeadope), and is done by the art collaborative Barnstormers, who also did the artwork for the release version of "San" pictured above.

and this one from a Klock side project called Cacoy, video by Danish artists Ufex:

Like I said, not a whole lot else online right now. Klock's website doesn't seem to be up at the moment, and for goodness sake don't expect to find more information at www.djklock.com:

... I don't know if this guy has any idea he shares the same name with one of the most groundbreaking musicians working today, although it would be cool if the Japanese Klock brought glow sticks and prizes for everybody! Eh, screw it, this music is prize enough.

You can buy DJ Klock's "San" (and another album on vinyl) at Ropeadope Records
, either on CD or as a digital download.


Baby, It's Cold Outside

...so come dip yourself in some warm pudding! Here's three sunny tracks to lift your spirits. This first may be the most obscure thing I'll ever post. It's a brand new band I found on Myspace, from San Fransisco, called We Is Shore Dedicated. Their page currently has less than fifty views and this song has around a dozen listens... I really like it how instead of the same usual staged or goofy photos they artfully use imagery from the classic film "Battleship Potemkin". This song is quite nice, starts off warm and soft, kind of reminds me of some of Paul Weller's newer solo stuff, and then Neil Young when the drums kick in... just don't tune away before the beautiful chorus!

And if that doesn't warm your spirits, here's one of my favorite songs that I discovered last year. It's on the first comp from Skybucket Records (a Birmingham, AL-based indie label, also w/ the Dexateens) and it's from Taylor and the Puffs, as in Taylor Hollingsworth And The Spidereaters. You can listen to the other songs on the Taylor and the Puffs CD and buy it for dirt-cheap from cdbaby.

I picked up the Skybucket comp for free at SXSW last year, and it comes with a reminder: you don't need that expensive SXSW pass to have a good time! Last year during one daytime jaunt I saw mostly totally free shows including: The Joggers (loove), of Montreal (from outside), Hot Chip, Patton Oswalt, the Polysics, an Animal Collective soundcheck (from the fence), and Rogue Wave. Not complete sets, but all the better to keep you moving around to see more action! And to bring this full circle, Rogue Wave released this summery track recently on the album "At The Crossroads: A Benefit For Homeless Youth", released by San Fransisco-based Three Ring Records, the label which most likely will end up signing We Is Shore Dedicated:

Hard to imagine buying this at any retailer, since you can buy this CD strait from the label for twelve bucks - and EVERY PENNY GOES DIRECTLY TO HELP HOMELESS YOUTH !!!

Now that's definitely something to keep you (and someone in need) warm on these cold nights!


This Holiday Is Safe As F"@k

I think it's a holiday today or sum shits, I wouldn't know, innit, right, cuz me wife is fookin safe. Sorry, been listening to Goldie Lookin' Chain again. But it's true, innit, me and me wife even likes celebrating Christmas more on the 26th cause she don't buy that lie neither, right, and da deals are cheaper and it's da troof, man, she'd rather have genuine, constant, and spontaneous love than to not question why these dates is the main ones that seems to matter in the minds of the unquestioning. So what better way to kick off this phoney holiday than with some Welsh hip-hop? To understand it, you've got's ta understand Wales... western part of the UK, a lot of countryside, often derided by British urban dwellers, so to have the UK's best hip-hop come from there is something else. The Welsh are certainly a proud people, and, as anybody, love it when one of their own makes good in the world, like the Super Furry Animals. I heard Gruff Rhys from SFA doing a radio interview with XFM (uk) in about 2004, and when asked what other Welsh band he saw making it big, he said Goldie Lookin Chain, and while American audiences for the most part haven't caught on, you'd be hard pressed to find a British kid who didn't know the words to "Your Mother's Got A Penis". So why am I talking about them? Because they have released a special Valentine's Day-only track (video) from their website: www.youknowsit.co.uk ... just in case you were wondering what The Maggot and Mike Balls had to say about love. It's a nice little ditty, LL Cool J sampled, surprisingly free of sarcasm or a punch in the belly or a fat spleef at the end. Although it's hard to say that it beats this classic, of which I couldn't find my original, just the radio edit version we had gotten in at the old radio station, so any college DJs out there will be able to play this one tonight to their special someones:

"I loves you more than I loves my bong..."

Don't miss their fan-art gallery, which the above pic came from. In other indie V-day news, They Might Be Giants have a great love song that they wrote as a wedding gift for the friends of friends, wonderful wise-sage lyrics, you can hear it on the TMBG myspace page, and they have a track called "Valentine" on their newest podcast, which is always a fun listen anyways. If you live in St. Louis, don't miss the free TMBG show Feb. 17th!!! ALSO: Quarterlifeparty has two mixes for a holiday some people choose to acknowledge, one pro and one anti, check it out.

And here's a couple from Ween, for no particular reason today, from the God Ween Satan album... "You Fucked Up" starts the album off, but I think they got it in the wrong order, I like it better this way with the guy still kind of goofy during "Don't Laugh>>>" and then freaking out at the end and then launching into "You Fucked Up". Hard to believe these are almost twenty years old:

Aww, fuck it, let's just be sweet today (for no reason):

...and Honey, if you're reading this, I was thinking for no particular reason whatsoever that we could do some roasted lamb and potatoes and parsnips tonight, and a pumpkin pie with a gluten-free ginger snap crust, and watch Lost, and don't forget: tomorrow's all the candy sales! And may I again, for no particular reason whatsoever on this day my wonderfully cynical, beautiful, sweet, amazing wife, have Brak speak for me:


The Game of of Montreal Part 6

Whew, finally, the last part. Sorry again about the wait, I had to juggle a couple of things, I think you'll be pleased in the end. Remember, if you know anyone who you think will enjoy this, the mp3 links should all still work as long as they last at fileden. And if I have to say it again, do not miss of Montreal on this tour (or any), it's not like any other concert you've ever witnessed. When they swing back through Texas and towards the East Coast, they'll be joined by Grand Buffet, who put on a rollicking hip-hop show opening for of Montreal on the last jaunt through Austin, and Tokyo-based Elekibass, who, if my internet research is correct, also opened for of Montreal on the East Coast in 2001. What I've heard from them sounds really great, apparently they hooked up through the label that releases of Montreal in Japan.

Go to this page. There's a list of bands Elekibass loves and right below that a list of instruments they use. The clue is the last instrument.



The Game of of Montreal Part 5

Haha, the Portland soundboard came out and y'all are stuck playing this stupid fucking game, hahahaha. Still, no OMM2 in the Portland show like there is in this part, and only one part to go, the encore on Tuesday. For this next part, newbies should get to know a bit more about the Elephant 6 collective that of Montreal is a part of. It's basically just a family of bands whose members help each other out and shift from band to band from time to time. The family includes (has included) of Montreal, the Apples In Stereo, Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, Dressy Bessy, Elf Power, and the Essex Green, and is generally considered to be centered in both Athens, GA (home of REM) and Denver. If you aren't familiar with all of these bands, get to hoppin'! Optical Atlas is a wonderful blog that covers the E6 scene, and should definitely be bookmarked by everybody. You can put it next to Funeral Pudding. There are mp3s, interviews, and all the latest E6-related news. Go there, and in the sidebar there is a list of interviews. Read the interview with BP Helium (guitarist, vocalist, ladies man, all-around nice guy, original member and now member again of of montreal). BP talks about performing a song in which he channels a Vietnam Vet. He says that Matt tells the story best of one particular performance at a benefit show where apparently BP got a bit too into his part.

The clue is the name of the organization which benefitted from that particular show.



Sometimes They Call Me A Freak

Even the breaks in the Game of of Montreal are filled with of Montreal now. Let me know if you're sick of it, email me. I'll cackle with laughter as I delete the email down the big ol' internet trash hole and continue shaking my hips like they're big and black and walk around my pad singing, "I didn't get this far in life by being a pussaaaayy..."

... the latter also with a nice Talking Heads tease, both from the Portland, OR show, Feb 6, 2007, which can be found now on Dime and at Zomb, it was recorded by yltfan, who has spread much joy and many beautiful recordings out of the Portland area to many fans, cheers, buddy...

and thanks to Aaron Brown again for this great pic of the uber-talented Matt
playing one of of Montreal's many Rickenbacker basses in Lubbock, TX on 1/22


The Game of of Montreal Part 4

Instead of making a clue or something out of it, I'll just recommend again that you read this page before (re)hearing Moonage Daydream, some good info, like the song sampled for Bowie's original. This part will be, like the others, very simple, and even more fun, even if you've already been to this site coming up and seen the sights they're always fun to see again. For those who don't know, virtually all of of Montreal's art is done by Kevin Barnes's brother David Barnes. It is cartoonish and whimsical and wonderful, and as you'll see at the site if you haven't before, he does custom portraits for people based on a photograph and their interests, very, very cool, a reasonable price for the time and talent it takes, and you can check out some of the examples he has. Go to his site The Bee With Wheels. After you click on the image and go to the main page, you'll see a two-headed elephant at the bottom. Click on that for an illustrated story of David's life.

The clue is the (last) name of the person whose "strange dreams" inspire David's art.



The Game of of Montreal Part 3

Alright, I can see from the numbers we have a nice, small class here today, probably all smart people, so let's move it up a small notch. Kevin Barnes has been doing some collaborating on the side with Andrew from MGMT in a project that was once called Ocelot Fang. On of Montreal's Wikipedia page, the documentation used to prove the (all-important life-changing) "notability" of Ocelot Fang, usually required to be from established media and the like, funnily enough comes from the E6 Townhall. BP from of Montreal ("Give it to me, Brian") is a member there, and chimes in often. The link where Ocelot Fang is discussed on the Of Montreal Townhall can be found on the of Montreal Wikipedia page, just go there and find where Ocelot Fang is mentioned, the link will be the number 1 in brackets. Read the discussion. On 9-21-06 BP writes about a change in Ocelot Fang's name.

The third clue is the new name of the Kevin / Andrew collaboration (of course with no spaces, lower case):


And by the way, a reminder this part is the last of the bass guitar problems, by the last track it's perfect: Of Montreal "We Were Born The Mutants Again With Leafling" (SA '07)

"I Thought I Told You To Stay Off My Fucking Yard"


The Game of of Montreal Part 2

This part and the next are the only two (out of 6 parts total) with some minor bass guitar problems. This was most likely due to a bad connection somewhere in or near the soundboard, not human error, and did not effect the sound in the room, and again, if you've already heard "Moonage Daydream" you know the recording eventually sounds perfect. The quality of this is due completely to of Montreal's talented sound guy, who has more to juggle now with the band than ever, including controlling some prerecorded parts on CD. Also, I'm not sure exactly what happens during "The Party's Crashing Us Now", but I was right next to the sound man and he was throwing faders like crazy to fix it, and it's a funny listen. And he also took the time to make dedicated adjustments so this recording would be as good as it is. Be sure to say hi to him if you see him at the show, maybe buy him a beer in thanks.

On of Montreal's Myspace page, there are eight friends listed. One of these is of Montreal's sound man. The clue is this person's first name (in his "about me" he says he is a "sound man").



A Minimalist Hoedown Break

Japanese experimentalist Otomo Yoshihide's collaboration with fellow former Ground Zero member Sachiko M (she apparently is into sine waves) under their moniker Filament (see japanimprov.com for more info) has been rereleased nearly ten years later. Like it or hate it, it is a bit disarming and I must agree with the promoter's description, it does indeed challenge the definition of music. It will definitely make you acutely aware of the natural sounds around you. Try it with your eyes closed and turned up. Expect the dance remix soon. Filament "Filament 1-9"

I found these guys and their super-indie label on Myspace and I couldn't get the song out of my head, and believe it or not, that's usually a good thing. I wonder if young kids who don't have "Karate Kid" ingrained into their psyches will appreciate it. Or maybe after they hear this and walk around all day going "wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off..." they'll be inspired to go down to the local Netflix. I like the Japanese duality - super serious, real, obscure Japanese culture and a completely Yanked-out (almost VU-sounding) tribute to a fictional comedic Japanese sensei. Truth In Advertising "Mr. Miyagi's Hoedown at the Pig Farm"

You can find TIA here for eight bucks and download the Filament here from Emusic.


The Game of of Montreal Part 1 (You've come to the right place, this is where you can download an entire brand new of Montreal show - Mp3 only)

Sorry about the wait, there was a computer mishap, a lot of repeat work, then blogspot went down, but it's just a flesh wound! To make it up and give stragglers a chance, Part 2 will be posted sometime after 12:01AM CST (1AM EST, 6AM GMT) Feb. 5, then every odd number day, i.e. Part 3 in the early morning of the 7th, etc. Again, this first one will be so easy you don't even have to leave this page. edit: Again, all of the mp3 links for this game should still work as long as they're good at fileden.com. If any of the mp3 links quit working, please contact me and I will try to fix it for you.

1) Go down to the post for Jan. 30 (Soundcheck Time). Carefully read the yellow paragraph. Use the clue to fill in the blanks:

This show will be torrented and shared all over in March without having to play a silly game, but so it's still downloadable for a while and to give newcomers a chance, I'm going to leave the mp3 files up at fileden.com, so they should be working for a while. You still have to go through the hoops to get the files, but really, it's like ten seconds out of your life and you may learn something about the band. If you want a FLAC lossless copy, you just missed your chance, but again, it'll be out there soon.

(All the great pics are from the next night in Lubbock, TX 1/22/07, courtesy Aaron Brown. Pitchfork's review of the San Antonio show with several top pics can be found here. And here's a sample to catch the aggregators eye... haven't heard Of Montreal like this, have you? Buy your concert ticket now before it's too late!!!)

If you have a high-speed internet connection, download the FLAC files, no need for that lossy stuff anymore... Convert to WAV (or AIFF in Mac) and burn strait to CD to have a good copy, then make mp3s for your computer off of that. Use this tool to convert FLAC files (and other lossless non-mp3 formats) it's easy, just drag them into the window and then select "decode audio file(s)". Use this one for Mac.


... by the way, Chuck D was so cool. He's as real as they come. No bullshit, no frontin. Firm, regular handshake. Excellent postponed MLK Day lecture, started off with some plain truth: intelligence is not being rewarded in this country... corrected fools who say Martin Luther King Jr was soft, and about the way it was in the sixties for him growing up as a kid, the enviroment in which King made a stand, something that especially because of his non-violent approach took more courage than most realize... about music, he said everything Snoop does kind of always sounds the same, "just pour a little Snoop on it"... when asked about what's new that he's listening to, he said he was currently too busy trying to find good stuff from the past right now... talked to the mostly student crowd about "education, not dumbassification", and they listened. You kind of have to, I mean, shit, he's Chuck D. Good to see him still trying to plug some truth into the information overload of corporations trying to make you so busy worrying about what you look like and what other people think that you can't even make up your own mind and become too busy to notice their sinister brainwashing techniques which start to creep up on you in ways that.. sorry, got a little carried away there, he's an inspirational man. Keep fightin the power, Chuck.