Monday, January 28, 2013

THE KNIFE and Junip, News from Mute

A couple things from the fine folks at Mute.  I think you're going to like this.

First off... Jose Gonzalez.  Everybody likes Jose Gonzalez.  Some have described him as a "buttercup of joy."  Others (myself, if you must know) have declared that "he could crap in my hat and still get a good review".  This is strong praise from cynical, jaded me.  His most recent project is a little group called Junip, and their debut album Fields was a sublime masterpiece.  I've always felt that Gonzalez's work with Zero 7 was some of their (and his) finest work.  Junip seems to be, if not a direct extension of that, then certainly a spiritual successor.  Big deal, right?  Well, Junip has announced a new album coming soon, and have released their first single, "Line of Fire".  Listen to it here.

What else can I tempt you with?

How about a new The Knife album.

Yeah, you heard me.  It's been a long time coming, but the Gothenburg duo have finally announced their new release, Shaking The Habitual.  Sure, they've been busy in the meantime, but I think the world was ready.  To celebrate this, they've released their first single "Full of Fire" along with a short film (what we in the biz used to call a 'music video') by filmmaker Marit Ostberg.  Ostberg had this to say:

The film ‘Full Of Fire’ started to grow as an embryo in the song´s lines ‘Who looks after my story’. Who takes care of our stories when the big history, written by straight rich white men, erase the complexity of human´s lives, desires and conditions? The film ‘Full Of Fire’ consists of a network of fates, fears, cravings, longings, losses, and promises. Fates that at first sight seem isolated from each other, but if we pay attention, we can see that everything essentially moves into each other. Our lives are intertwined and our eyes on each other, our sounds and smells, mean something. Our actions create reality, we create each other. We are never faceless, not even in the most grey anonymous streets of the city. We will never stop being responsible, being extensions, of one another. We will never stop longing for each other, and for something else.”

Well, yeah!  The ol' net of dharma is pretty hardcore.  Shaking The Habitual comes out April 9th, but you can preorder now from itunes or the Rabid Records store.  That's a ways off, but I'll remind you.  Anyway, enough of my rambling.  Check out the new video, which if I say so has a very Swedish style, and would I be remiss in my criticism if I didn't notice a hint of homage to Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising?  See for yourself:

Full Of Fire from The Knife on Vimeo.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  I'm an idiot.  For some reason I kept referring to Jose Gonzalez as Jose Rodriguez.  This is what I get for having too many tabs open.  Thanks WG!

Monday, January 21, 2013

AIDS Awareness Benefit February 1st w/ Fatha Green and Alexis Whitney

This just came in under the transom, and it's a small world here in Portland, because like a week ago I was bugging Fatha Green personally to do some musical collaboration.  Anyway, here at CIMTB we support benefits for good causes, and this is a great one!

From the press release:

A^6 (African American AIDS Awareness Action Alliance), Is putting together a community awareness benefit Friday, February 1, 2013 form 6-9pm @ Maranatha Church in NE Portland off 12th and Skidmore.

This is a free, open to the public, community event. 


Friday, February 1, 2013
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Maranatha Church Fellowship Hall
4222 NE 12th Ave
Portland Oregon
Free HIV Testing
Free Food
Games and Activities for the whole family
Entertainment including:
Fatha Green...
Alexis Whitney

Event supported by the African American AIDS Awareness Action Alliance (A6) and the Portland Chapter of the LINKS, Inc

And check out Fatha Green for a taste of the music that will be at this event:


Friday, January 18, 2013

Crappy Indie Contest: Remix David Bowie's New Album Cover

Let's get this straight- I fucking love David Bowie. I have always loved David Bowie.  Not always actively, at first, but yes.  I remember being like 7 years old and watching a laser light show set to Space Oddity with my ultra cool dad (who turned me on to some of the best music I've ever listened to). I didn't start actively listening to Bowie until high school, and only really got into him when Outside came out.  That dark cyberpunk masterpiece was the soundtrack to me striking out with amazing college girls, and those events would later be novelized.  Outside is pretty edgy and not on a lot of Bowie fan's lists, but it is seriously underrated.  Later I'd get into Ziggy-era bowie, then shitty 80s Bowie, and Berlin-era Bowie... you get the picture.  Hell, it was just earlier this year that I actually really listened to The Man Who Sold The World, and was completely blown away.  It may be my favorite album now, and I was kind of pissed that nobody had told me Bowie was Black Sabbath for a brief period of time.  It's a tribute to the strength of the corpus that a person can continually be amazed and surprised by new offerings from an established artist's back catalogue, even in this day and age of "download whole discography in 10 minutes."

And it's not just me.  I won't speak about Bowie's appeal to the rest of the world, because in many ways that's like saying "in many portions of the world people get wet when it's raining". However, I will speak about my daughter Amelia.  Facebook friends and longtime readers of CIMTB may remember her as the coolest fucking person to have ever walked the face of the earth.  She just turned 4.  She loves David Bowie.  Yes, it started with his performance in Labyrinth, but she has gone on to appreciate his music for its own sake.  Bowie was also her gateway to Iggy Pop- his collaboration with Death In Vegas being one of her favorite videos. And now she's loving some Alice Cooper... I guess it's all about showmanship for her.  But then again, what are we talking about?  Highly jaded music critics and their wonderful small children can both appreciate the same artist... the wonderful David Bowie.

Of course, sometimes it seems like David Bowie can do anything, but as we all just found out one thing he can't do is stay retired.  His new single was just released, including a terrifying video about which the less said the better.  Not just a single, though- be still my beating heart- a new album, The Next Day, due out for release March 13th.

But there's a problem.

An album has to have a cover, right? And Bowie's have been some of the most iconic.  Sure, he's had some stinkers- what the fuck is up with Lodger?- but overall there's evidence of a strong visual aesthetic.  So for this first album in a decade, what does an elder Bowie do?

...the fuck?

So let me get this straight.  He took the awesome cover of Heroes, and had some motherfucker MS Paint a white box and the title of the album over it?  Wha?  Art designer Jonathan Barnbrook, please fucking explain yourself:

"The “Heroes” cover obscured by the white square is about the spirit of great pop or rock music which is ‘of the moment’, forgetting or obliterating the past."

Okay, sure. We didn't ask you to time travel to 1973 and snort whatever that white powder was on James Osterberg's leg, we just wanted you to actually make an album cover, not some sort of half-assed philosophical statement. You can read the whole interview by clicking the link in the quote, not that I would recommend it.

Look, I'm as much on minimalism and iconoclasm as the next guy.  Maybe more.  Actually, a lot more.  But this just reeks of a joke.  I don't even want to think about the possibility that it's serious.

Anyway, down to the meat of things.  I think that you- dear faithful reader- could create a better album cover for The Next Day than Mr. Fancy Pants Art Designer up there, and that's exactly what I want you to do.  Here, I'll start.

There, see, isn't that better?  Well, not better exactly, but it's certainly not any worse, and that's the point.  Here's your assignment- take the cover image from Heroes, use your crudest tools, and make a better cover. Now, I wouldn't expect you guys to do this for free- send 'em in, I'll feature the best ones on a future post, and the winner of my choosing will receive a CD and shirt from new friend of the blog, SKULK THE HULKING.  Get to work!  Send entries to !


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Manhattan Murder Mystery tonight and tomorrow!

So it's part of being a blog editor- and a grownup- that you have to realize that your personal tastes are not for everyone.  Take LA band Manhattan Murder Mystery- I really hate their music.  It's not that they're that bad, I just don't like their music.  But....their keyboardist, who reached out to CIMTB, was very earnest and polite, and as you know that goes a long way. Also, I just felt like a lot of people out there would like their music.

So... 3M (hello trademark infringement!) is playing 9 PM tonight at Slabtown, with Shitty Weekend, Juicy Karcuss, and Mythological Horses.  They're also playing tomorrow night at the Kenton Club, lineup to be announced.

Sorry for the short notice, but I was knocked out of commission by that norovirus that all the kids are getting.  Look, I know you guys want to be cool like your friends and indie music blog editors, but- DON'T CATCH IT.

Anyway, go see Manhattan Murder Mystery and enjoy your weekend!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Clyde Curley "RAGGEDY MAN" reading 1/10

Clyde Curley is not only my former English teacher- he's now a first-time novelist. This is pretty exciting stuff, and not just because I have a connection with him.  Raggedy Man is set in Portland, and without any of that foofoo Grimm shenanigans.  You  know I love it when novels are set in Portland- two of mine sure are!

Clyde is also a veteran Portland musician.  If you've had any exposure to the ceili/contradance/Irish folk music scene in Portland over the past few decades, then you've probably seen Clyde's beatifically bearded mug reelin' out with his bad self on mandolin, guitar, violin, or otherwise.

I hope to be doing an interview with him on Friday for the podcast- I'll be asking about the book, his music, and all of that.  Thursday, though, you should swing by O'Connor's Vault (next to Annie Bloom's Books) in Multnomah Village.  There will be readings from the book, music, and I hear tell they serve some good food and drink.

Raggedy Man reading with Clyde Curley

7 p.m., Thursday, January 10, 2013
O’Connor’s Vault
7850 SW Capitol Highway, Portland, Oregon 97219
Located in Portland’s Multnomah Village, next to Annie Bloom’s Books

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


To all our friends- readers, artists, contributors- Crappy Indie Music would like to wish you a happy new year!  Things are already looking up- and there is such an awesome article in the pipe from a new source that you literally would not believe me if I told you.  So enjoy your hangovers and get back to the great music!