January 20, 2010
“Oh my Lord, so FUNKY.” This is what you are about to think to yourself/say outloud (for those who find themselves in a semi-social situation midday through a Wednesday, or are of the sort likely to be overcome with excitement toward funk that you begin to speak outloud) when listening to Soundpool’s “But It’s So.” A thick, dreamy shoegazing guitar jumble, driven by an even thicker disco beat, “But It’s So” is immediately one of the best tracks recorded by the NYC quintet, who have been relatively quiet since 2008′s Dichotomies and Dreamland.
The track is good enough to ignore the chorus of, “But it’s so…,” without really understanding what “it” is, or what this “it” is “so.” And if you really feel like you need an answer, just fill in “hot” at the end of the line, and you’ll be just fine.
“But It’s So” is set to appear on Soundpool’s upcoming LP Mirrors in Your Eyes, released sometime early on this year on Killer Pimp. With this, and Music Go Music’s Expressions both due out soon, 2010 is already shaping up to be a pretty great year for disco-revival. Which, depending on how receptive you are to disco, means 2010 is shaping up to be a good/awful year for new/tired music.
Soundpool – “But Its So”
by Max Sebela
January 19, 2010
IN THE TUBE
Yes, it stars a full cast of puppets. Yes, the majority of the eleven -minute duration is spent on these puppets speaking to each other, and almost nothing to do with a Dan Deacon song. Yes, the puppets almost exclusively speak with content that breaks down almost all possible metaphysical views. No, there is no sense trying to draw out literal meaning from the nonsense of what you are about to watch:
But, as with most Dan Deacon material, even if you viscerally hate the thing, you end up with the inevitable conclusion that it is brilliant. Because buried under all the pop fluff (here, the fluff is puppets and a tiger-costumed Deacon, who is simultaneously the devil), there is just more fluff. Deacon’s music is like a set of Russian stacking dolls. You approach it under the assumption that, if you just spend enough time unpacking, you’ll get to something deeper and more significant; there must be something behind how seemingly randomly intricate the mess of organs and sequencers is.
But there isn’t. It’s as fluff-filled as any pop song or children’s show, even if it seems like it shouldn’t be. Being a genius is great; being genius enough to make everyone think you’re a genius is way better.
by Max Sebela
January 18, 2010
Take the day to spread peace by donating to the relief efforts in Haiti. We are fans of Partners In Health and Doctors Without Borders, but Huffington Post has an extensive list of organizations you can support.
January 17, 2010
THIS WEEK IN SHOWS
Our top picks. Sorry it’s a little Saturday-heavy this week.
THURS, JAN. 21
Darlings, Lonnie Walker, Motel Motel, Gunfight
9:00 PM, TBA, 21+
When I think garage pop in 2010, I immediately think drunk and rowdy, but Darlings are sweet; their songs remind me of early sixties California beachy stuff, except they sing about eviction and TV. Darlings also stand out from other summertimey garage out of Brooklyn because they eschew that veil of fuzz that everyone’s been wearing. Don’t crap out yet if you think they sound too saccharine for you – Darlings let themselves get hoarse-voiced and even a little angry with songs like “If This Is Love,” and the contrast is fun.
SAT, JAN. 23
viBe Songmakers, Christy & Emily, DJ Marcelle & Kid Millions, Pterodactyl
ISSUE Project Room
8:30 PM, $15, ALL AGES
ISSUE Project Room has an awesome program where Brooklyn teenagers learn the skills they need to become successful musicians. Only four to six girls are accepted each year, and Christy & Emily are mentoring this program’s group of girls. They take music lessons, business classes, and video editing courses, besides of course writing and recording their own music, which they’ll be performing. And man, they’re performing alongside quite the lineup!
More on This Week In Shows
January 16, 2010
THIS WEEK IN HIP HOP
There are better people to talk about Teddy Pendergrass than me (for example, Michael A. Gonzales). I’d be lying if I pretended to be anything more than a casual Teddy P fan. Still, I am deeply saddened that yet another musical legend has passed away. In the past few years, we’ve lost James Brown, Isaac Hayes, Michael Jackson, and now Teddy Pendergrass. The world is cold and so we wrap ourselves in the warmth of music to last through another night.
Here is a short rundown of Teddy P’s direct influence in hip-hop music, i.e. a slew of notable rap songs that sampled from his catalog. I may not have been a die-hard Pendergrass fan but the producers of these records certainly were, and so his influence lives on.
1. The D.O.C. “Portrait of a Masterpiece” (1989) sampled “You Can’t Hide from Yourself” (1977)
JezebelMusic.com @ Silent Barn
January 07, 2010 | Fluffy Lumbers, Museyroom, Shark?, Bonus Eventus
The Silent Barn is essentially “your friend’s basement” the venue. Smoking is allowed indoors, but ironically not outside. As I lit up outside the front door, my usual pre-show routine, the doorman ushered me inside.
“We don’t allow smoking outside,” he explained. “Don’t want to draw the cops.” And, with the tip of my cigarette glowing like a torch beacon, he led me down into the depths of the basement.
The view was a disappointment. While the blue interior and plastic flowers that wound their way up the poles were pleasing, it still did not hide the fact that there were support poles EVERYWHERE and no actual stage. A crowd clustered around the front of the room was the only sign there was a performance going on. You know, that and the actual music. Which, owing to the less-than-ideal performance space, leant a sound that was loud and flat. Still, that didn’t mean the talent didn’t show.
Train trouble and the idea that nothing would start on time kept me from seeing the first act, Fluffy Lumbers, but I heard he took the “stage” solo and with energy. As I nibbled on my vegan pop tart, courtesy of Pop Tarts Suck Toasted (http://poptartssucktoasted.blogspot.com/), I took in Museyroom. I’ll be honest, they’re not really my thing. Ambient and masturbatory, they seemed unsure of themselves. With a little practice they could have a good thing going, but at this point, a basement is where they belong. I’m not saying they don’t have potential, but they didn’t get me my $5 worth.
Shark?, on the other hand, was a treat. Channeling a definite Misfits influence, with a touch of Jim Morrison in the vocals and a blues-rock instrumental, they were incredibly entertaining. Even from my spot, where I could see approximately 1⁄4 of the lead singer, I could tell they put on a decent show. I picked up a copy of their album, which came in a record single sleeve for some band from what appears to be the early ‘80s, and I’m pretty psyched to listen to it.
The last band to go on was Bonus Eventus, a band from the Dinosaurs in Vietnam collective, members of which, Jenn and Liz Pelly (of pellytwins.blogspot.com) helped organize the show. (And also took the helm to DJ between sets. Talk about multi-tasking!)
Channeling the party vibe that is their very being, Bonus Eventus took the stage with three people wanting to sing and one microphone. All leaning in, in an almost mo-town sort of way, they screamed the lyrics to their songs and hoped to hell the mic caught it. It was actually rather endearing, as they were dealing with more than their share of technical difficulties.
At first there had been concern that they would run out of time to perform, with Shark? taking the stage later than anticipated. However, after running through their repertoire (“We have nothing left to play!”), they were momentarily at a loss for what to do. But, thanks to the close-knit nature of the audience, a solution was at hand! Friends and co-members of band the Abberlines joined the stage with guitarist Matt Ludwig for an impromptu reunion. Their mellow sounds ended the night as the underage chugged their $2 Budweiser and prepared for the long train ride home.
by allison levin
Teddy Pendergrass, 59, Soul Singer of “Turn off the Lights,” Passes Away [Brooklyn Vegan]
Jay Reatard’s Death Being Investigated as Homicide…This is Not a Funny Day For News, Apparently [Pitchfork]
Brooklyn Venue Monkeytown Will Close in 11 Nights, With Woods Family Creeps (The Dudes From Woods’ Jam-Band Side Alter Ego Band) Playing the Final Night…Will Most Likely Be Replaced By a “Cool” Coffee Shop, or a “Cool” Thai Restaurant…or a “Cool” T.G.I. Friday’s [Brooklyn Vegan]
Watch Puppet Filled Video For Dan Deacon’s “Woof Woof,” Which is Either Horrifying, Brilliant, or Just Plain Stupid (But Made Me Second Guess Eating Any Form of Breakfast Cereal. That Cereal Could Be Poison, or Cause My House to Randomly Implode) [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
Orchestre Stukas | L’Afrique Danse Presents Orchestre Stukas
Yesterday was a sad day in the music world, and devastating for the world at large. I was once the wallowing type, but I’m instating a rule for myself this winter: NO DOWNER MUSIC. So I’m glad that I just found Orchestre Stukas, (also sometimes known as The Stukas Boys?), a 1970s soukous/rumba-esque band from the former Zaire. The Stukas Boys were fronted by Lita Bembo, the Congolese version of James Brown, who you can see in action here. Fast-paced, with a psych guitar and fun, deft rhythm, this four-song record is a good way to keep your mood afloat for around forty minutes. Then just watch some more of their videos, I guess. Well, I guess the rest of the week is going to be Orchestre Stukas and Jay Reatard on repeat for me. Try to feel better, world.
by Erin Sheehy
Willie Nelson | Willie Nelson Sings Kristofferson
Willie Nelson always seems to be putting out a new album, whether he’s taken the time to get good material together (2006’s Songbird, 2009′s American Classic) or not (the other twelve albums he’s made in the past decade). This album, one of three that Willie put out in 1979, is a gold nugget with a modest concept that seems to have gotten lost in the expanse of Willie’s discography. It doesn’t get much simpler than this: find a good country-rock backing band and cover a bunch of top-notch songs written by Kris Kristofferson, including “Me and Bobby McGee” (a prior hit for Janis Joplin), “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (a hit for Johnny Cash), and “Help Me Make It Through The Night” (an unjustly forgotten hit for Sammi Smith). The resulting album is a low-key pleasure.
by Justin Remer