NICOLE LEXI DAVIS- "no title given"
Now, one of the best ways to get featured on this blog is to ask nicely, and not make some really uninspired joke about how your music is Crappy enough. We've heard that one, seriously. We really have. So it is fortunate that SoCal singer-songwriter Nicole Lexi Davis is polite. Or, at least her PR people are. On Davis's website, her bio suggests that she is a "throwback" to good ol' 70s female balladeering. I like the intellectual honesty of describing yourself as a throwback. Much like the way Peter Gabriel unashamedly describes his own sampling as "stealing". As far as music goes, Davis does indeed show much of the wide-open lush sounds that I personally have come to associate with "Blue"/"Hissing"-era Joni, and also with being 5, reading "Just So Stories" on a cold morning with some hot Cream o' Rice. A strong showing- only lacking in tracks like "Popsicle" that sound- honestly- like someone trying to nail down their tempo with a drum machine for the first time. But so it goes. Keep up the good work Nicole!
Hi, Britches! I didn't realize CopShootCop had gotten back together! As much I was initially pleased to hear a resurrection of that sound, somehow it just didn't gel for me. I don't think it's so much that I'm old, as I will still cheerfully crank up "Ask Questions Later", but to hear this from a new release just doesn't seem to fit into the weltanschaung, if you'll pardon my french. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Britches' music, and I'm sure there is an indie circus troupe out there just waiting for their soundtrack, but for the moment I just don't see it rotating on my personal playlist any time soon. Note: their upcoming album project is entitled "The Reptal Centiguiner", and I'm not sure how much more awesome that could be, so keep an eye on Britches.
Well, the Field Hymns label has been sending me some stuff about their artist Boron for a while now, and there has been such a self-indulgent air of cleverness about the whole thing that I have really been struggling to give half a rusty tinker's fuck. Portland doesn't need any bad musical mystery figures- we have a good one. The world doesn't need a musique concrete versions of Jandek- the real thing is poking around somewhere ruining someone's day. The funny thing is, when I went to the Field Hymns site (I had to, there were no music samples, and I definitely don't give a shit about his guest players or the release date of his on-again-off-again titled-not-titled new album) I suddenly found myself interested in their releases, because that, children, is the power of description.
Normally I cringe when artists or artists' reps go from beige to purple in their descriptive mode, but who can resist the description of Oxykitten's new album: the sound of John Carpenter making hip-hop instrumentals for long, sweaty nights - a sound from the era when a man had a better chance of getting knifed in Times Square than finding Gelato....drum machines and old synths barrel down alleys thick with grime and groove, where police and disco lights beat in tandem and the dirty beats sluggishly refuse to die..
I know, right? Holy shit. Who wouldn't want to listen to that? Well, after going to Oxykitten's site, I found that their music (as played on an emulated old school tape peripheral) didn't have much going for it: vintage computer game samples, meandering uninspired synths, and a lot of garagey noise. And speaking of cassettes- Field Hymns mostly puts out their new releases on cassettes. Why? Fucking why? And another thing- if your website is going to have a mock TRS-80 as the primary interface, then the motherfucking BREAK button had better do something. Like stop the music
You see, zeerust is only effective as a prominent part of the image until a hipster shits on it. We've seen lounge come and go, letting people listen to it now unironically. Which is for the best. I'd really like to see the late-70s/early-80s big glasses and too-short-shirt thing go away now. You motherfuckers had best step back from my Venture Bros. And stop tempting me with your websites that promise creative, spacey goodness, and supply only half-hearted pastiche! That's all I want. My birthday is coming up. Surprise me.
THE I.D- "Age Anti Age"
Oh, thank goodness. After that last one, if it had to be intense, I wouldn't have made it. The I.D didn't have much to say about their music, and that was just fine. "Age Anti Age" reminds me of a certain band back when they were good and when their singer could keep the damn sunglasses off his face. Here is a retro sound that is completely without pretense, and I can get behind that. There's also a pleasant thickness to the sound, a rolling off of the top end that fits quite well. Good job, kids!
Ra Far- "FFN"
Um. So, I should have seen the writing on the wall with this one. Or, rather, the writing in the email. Look- maybe it sounds harsh, but we don't really have many specific requirements on the submissions we get. It shouldn't have to be spelled out that if you're going to communicate to someone in a professional capacity, you should actually, I don't know... communicate. Crappy Indie Music may not be Rolling Stone, but we're also not your stoned texting buddy. So if you want to know anything about Ra Far, here is what he/it has to say:
bio- Ra Far is a revolutionary artist he makes all his own artwork and music. Ra Far grew up in Woodstock, GA with a lot of music influences from acoustic rock to hip hop, through the years he has found a new type sound that has been said to be like a combination of Christofer Drew and Tyler, the Creator. A weird combination, but its refreshing. His mixtape (FFN) is coming out on 11/11/11 for free at OtherOr.org
Once again, you might feel that I'm being too harsh, so perhaps I'll let the music- the watered down, flat, boring rap- speak for itself. Seriously, I thought I had problems with flow.
Strange Mangers- "Strange Mangers"
Well, I always like to end things with a digestif. What better way to clear out the taste of objectionable rap with some brilliant postpunk? UK-based Strange Mangers may not reinvent the wheel, following very closely on the heels of their own cited influences like Tortoise, Don Caballero, etc., but going with that, they shine. It's always nice to see bands just going with it, and doing well.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go rock. Good night everyone!