Thursday, January 31, 2013

Guest Best Of: Rishi Chakrabarty (Black Hills/Ugly Purple Sweater)

Y'all know that my Best Of 2012 is a ways away, but to keep you in the end of year mentality, I thought I'd ask a few musician friends for their picks for the best records of last year. I'm also nosy/curious, and just wanted to see what they'd choose. A person's record selections say a lot about who they are as a person, I believe...

Our next guest, Mister Rishi Chakrabarty, is one of those multi-talented, multi-tasking kinda guys. He does his axe-man thing not only in the super awesome Black Hills, but also in the super awesome Ugly Purple Sweater. That those bands have way different sounds is a testament to his skill. He's also got pretty good taste as far as music goes (which is definitely better than his taste in English football teams). His picks for 2012 are so good that they need no explanation. Hence, no explanation. Just trust, y'all.


Latristic -- The Greyest Shade

Black Hills - Black Gold

Beauty Pill -- Immersive Ideal

More Humans -- Demon Station

Teen Mom -- Mean Tom

Chain and the Gang -- In Cool Blood

Slow Machete -- Evening Dust Choir

Warchild -- We Go to War

Benoit & Sergio -- New Ships





Sunday, January 27, 2013

Singles Club: Static Eyes

I've been sitting here for over an hour now, listening to a song so damned good that I cannot for the life of me stop listening to it. Seriously. I just can't stop myself. And I'm not really sure I wanna stop.

Since you were wondering, the song in question is "Trouble," by yet another killer band to get themselves mixed up with those badasses over at Windian Records, Static Eyes. "Trouble" sounds like, quite frankly, trouble. It's the kind of song your mama warned you about. Like a drunker, tougher Swell Maps getting sloppy and causing a thousand ruckuses. Messy to perfection, the song careens along like a buzzsaw, leaving broken bottles, broken hearts, and broken ear drums in its wake. 

Static Eyes, I love you.

But don't take my word for it. Hit play and see how long it takes you to tear yourself away.
 

Get Yer Pedals Out #13: Starring Oli Walker (Mississippi Witch)

I couldn't quite tell you why, but for the longest time I've been somewhat moderately obsessed with pedals. Since I'm no guitarist I don't really have a valid reason for this, other than the fact that they both make pretty noises and are rather nice to look at. Much, really, like the folks who use them. I've decided to turn my inexplicable pedal fancy into Fuzzy Logic fodder, and I do hope you'll enjoy my foray into the ins and outs of pedal worship.

I do so love the menfolk that can make a whole heck of a lot of noise. Mister Oli Walker, of transplanted swamp ruckus voodoo rock and rolling Mississippi Witch, makes a heck of a lot of noise. He also shares my crush on pedals. If you've yet to join the dark side that is Mississippi Witch fandom, fear not. There will be plenty of talk of them in the future. For now, please read on to see what gets Mister Walker his pedal kicks, and why you should know what The Jesus Knuckle is.

Fuzzy Logic: Which pedal is your very favorite and why?
Oli Walker: My favourite pedal is really a combination of two pedals, well three, but the main thing to remember when dealing with ones' favourite pedal is to stamp on his head so hard that he recants his post-Witch sins, now, once the pedal has been cleansed of Zapata's blood we can operate him as a child would a clown whistle.

My favourite pedal/combination is a early Roger Mayer Octavia with a Zvex Super Duper (which is two triode drivers in one) sitting behind it, I turn all the knobs on full, and if I happen to be standing in the right spot I will see that dude with the twig in his nose from Death Rides a Horse standing slightly to my left mumbling something along the lines of "that's the sweet spot". I would also like to stipulate that both of these pedals must MUST be powered by batteries, and ones that are middle-aged in order to generate maximum glow/glow worm syndrome. 

But yes, Roger Mayer Octavia and a Zvex Super Duper amalgam.

FL: Favorite chord?
OW: This a very simple answer for me to answer for me…..eeeer…and others, there can only be one chord, and he bees the E, the open E, my reasoning on this goes back to the first time a monkey realised that he could wrap his fingers into a hammer shaped fist type configuration in order to correct another monkey's point of stance, the E, also known as "The Fist" or "The Jesus Knuckle" will procure ones right to be king chimp in relation to the goods i.e. the Bananas, or in modern day terminology - The 1964 and a half Mustang convertible (Black with white seats).

FL: Who's your guitarist icon?
OW: I would like to list a few, firstly, the french gypsy Django Reinhardt, a man who's crippled hand allowed my crippled hand to not only recover from from its injuries, but to become far more violent an instrument than its predecessor, the Django claw can only be seen as a blueprint for the damage and pulchritude that became a mainstay in rock and roll.

The Jimi's! One who gave the world Machine Gun, and one that gave us Black Mountain side, both genius players with no competition to their abilities. Hendrix taught the people of Monterrey about the killing floor, and Page taught the people of England that actually they were shit on the guitar and should get back to work so people like he and I could not.
Robbie Krieger and Keith Richard.

FL: With all the pedals out there, how do you decide which ones to procure?
OW: It's very simple, most are clones and vanish under the stress and strain of my amps, some sound ok if you sit in a bin with a magnet sellotaped to your head and your amp on 2, but none can compete with the originals, apart from Zvex.

I do occasionally go on a lawless pedal horde, buying some piece of plastic bollocks from god knows when, but I do have a system, if it's good enough to play at Witch volume, it gets painted black with gate paint and put in the wooden box, if it's good for the studio but not good enough for the wooden box, it gets put in a 1960's American Airlines bag and set to the side behind the Ampeg VT22's (and at some point will be sold to the Portuguese for a profit).

The pedal world is a strange place where people search for a tin box to make their playing sound better, although I love to stamp on the pedals head I'm still happiest when the amp is just pissing fireballs of tube heat at people as the run for the side door, no pedal needed.

FL: What's your dream pedal?
OW: My dream pedal is the Roger Mayer Octavia, I stamped on his head for over ten years, I stamped his knobs off, I dripped gate paint into his circuit board, then burnt it off with a candle, and so on and so forth with the wax and the scrapping with the knife and the devil liquor baths, still works, no problems, will never die.

Again, it MUST be the early one with the battery only laws, do not plug this pedal into the mains.

m4a: Albuquerque, New Mexico (Mississippi Witch from Black Gamble)

[photo by Oli Walker]

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Guest Best Of: Sam Sherwood (Mittenfields)

Y'all know that my Best Of 2012 is a ways away, but to keep you in the end of year mentality, I thought I'd ask a few musician friends for their picks for the best records of last year. I'm also nosy/curious, and just wanted to see what they'd choose. A person's record selections say a lot about who they are as a person, I believe...

Oscar Wilde once opined that nothing succeeds like excess. I couldn't agree more. Excess can be great, especially when it comes to guitars. Just ask Mittenfields, DC's own three-headed guitar monster. I cornered one of the three, Mister Sam Sherwood, for his take on all things 2012. Below, Sam's pick of the litter.

Honeyslide - Honeyslide EP
Really great lo-fi shoegaze from the UK. Just 5 songs, and the only physical version available is a cassette tape run of 100, now sold out. Points for playing hard to get, I guess?

Metz - Metz
Metz does one thing, which is sounding like a twice as loud Jesus Lizard playing covers of Nirvana B-sides. But they do it really, really well.

Mark Lanegan Band - Blues Funeral
Dark, whiskey-fueled, feedback-soaked ruminations from the man behind Screaming Trees. A hell of a lot more relevant than anything anyone else from the early 90s Seattle scene has done recently (coughSoundgardencough).

Jesse Ruins - Inner Ambient
Beautiful up-tempo ambient ear candy.

The Sun Aesthetic - Thicker Threads
Beautiful mid-tempo ambient ear candy.

The Men - Open Your Heart
Sometimes these guys don't know when to stop riding the same riff, but at best it can take on the same quality as that old SNL skit where Will Ferrell stabs a guy with a trident five times and it's really funny, then 15 more times and it stops being funny, and finally 15 more times and it's hyperventilatingly hilarious.

Spiritualized - Sweet Heart Sweet Light
There's a certain workmanlike quality to the whole enterprise, but hey, it's Spiritualized, so that's not necessarily a bad thing. Not sure the world really needs another "Cop Shoot Cop"-esque meltdown from these guys, and if they want to keep making orchestral pop in the vein of "Too Late" I will not object.

Jason Lytle - Department of Disappearance
Sounds like Grandaddy recorded another album with The Besnard Lakes as the backing band, which is pretty much my definition of headphone heaven.

Japandroids - Celebration Rock
A good reminder that we should probably stop overthinking this whole rock and roll things and pump our fists in the air.

Beach House - Bloom
I have nothing to say about this record that hasn't already been said, except that if you had told me in 2006 that these guys wouldn't even be close to running out of things to do with their sound after four full-length records I would never have believed you.


Guest Best Of: Donny Potter (Fire & The Wheel)

Y'all know that my Best Of 2012 is a ways away, but to keep you in the end of year mentality, I thought I'd ask a few musician friends for their picks for the best records of last year. I'm also nosy/curious, and just wanted to see what they'd choose. A person's record selections say a lot about who they are as a person, I believe... 

Next, let us pick the brain of Fire & The Wheel's guitar/keyboard virtuoso, Mister Donny Potter. 

Here's a list of 5 albums released in 2012 that I actually listened to and loved (in no particular order).

1. Fionna Apple - The Idler Wheel...

Beautifully creative off-kilter melodies and sparse roomy arrangements perfectly serve these songs about being a flawed human being, a theme I'm sure most of you can relate to.

 

2. Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan
Their most conventional album by far is still a relatively strange yet deeply rewarding exercise in deconstructing pop music and remaking it in their own distinct style.


3. Grizzly Bear - Shields
Another band drifting closer towards accessibility with great results, Grizzly Bear's songwriting has finally caught up with their ability to make subtly beautiful hypnotic sounds on this, their best record yet.

4. Japandroids - Celebration Rock
A very appropriately named album that makes you nostalgic for those nights where you made too many trips to the keg and then did something stupid your friends still make fun of you for.

5. Bob Dylan - Tempest
True, his voice these days sounds like Louie Armstrong with laryngitis but the greatest songwriter of all time shows that he's still got 'it' on his best album in at least 10 years.

mp3: Younger Us (Japandroids from Celebration Rock)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Reminder! Awesome Show of Awesomeness TONIGHT!

I guess it's appropriate that there's a winter storm advisory posted for this evening. Much as a student looks forward to a possible snow event the night before a big test, I too am looking forward to tonight. But it has nothing whatsoever to do with the weather.

As a gentle reminder, friends, tonight there is something afoot at the Black Cat that you do NOT want to miss. This is what's what. It's the first Fuzzily-co-sponsored show of this here year. A triple bill of three yes three unimaginably awesome bands has been assembled for your listening pleasure. Yes, yours.

This very evening, at the one and only Black Cat, there shall be a three-headed rock monster that shall rock off thy proverbial socks. And quite possibly other items of clothing. If you're in the area (and, frankly, even if you're not), you should really think strongly about how you'll be spending this evening. I strongly suggest/encourage/am fond of the idea that you spend the night getting your kicks at the Black Cat with me. And with America Hearts. And with Midnight Spin. And with Gringo Star.

Kick off your (potentially long) weekend (if we happen to actually get any accumulation) good and proper by coming to cut a rug at the Black Cat, spend time with your favorite local blogstress, and see three killer bands. Guaranteed good times, y'all.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Newsflash!: Awesome Show of Awesomeness Thursday!

Ok, y'all. It's time for the first Fuzzily-co-sponsored show of this here year. In what I can only call a stroke of genius, a triple bill of three yes three awesome bands has been assembled for your listening pleasure.

This very Thursday, January the 17th, at the one and only Black Cat, there shall be a trio that shall rock off thy proverbial socks. And quite possibly other items of clothing. If you're in the area (and, frankly, even if you're not), you should really think strongly about how you'll be spending this evening. I strongly suggest/encourage/am fond of the idea that you spend the night getting your kicks at the Black Cat with me. And with America Hearts. And with Midnight Spin. And with Gringo Star.  

Doesn't that sound like a good time times three? Why yes, I do believe it does. Kick off your weekend good and proper by coming to cut a rug at the Black Cat, spend time with your favorite local blogstress, and see three killer bands.  Short term memory shot? Don't worry. I'll be reminding you soon.

  


mp3: Don't Let Me Sleep (Midnight Spin from Don't Let Me Sleep)



Monday, January 14, 2013

Guest Best Of: Kevin Hilliard (Lady Cop)

Y'all know that my Best Of 2012 is a ways away, but to keep you in the end of year mentality, I thought I'd ask a few musician friends for their picks for the best records of last year. I'm also nosy/curious, and just wanted to see what they'd choose. A person's record selections say a lot about who they are as a person, I believe...

First up: Mister Kevin Hilliard from local instrumental assaulters Lady Cop.

Top Ten in no particular order:
 
Blut Aus Nord - Cosmosophy: Triumphant black metal with haunting yet funky programmed drum breaks. Part 3 of a 3 part series that was collectively my favortie black metal release of this century.
 
Squarepusher - Ufabulum: Return to fully electronic compositions. More melodic than usual. I like its' moves.
 
Pig Destroyer - Book Burner: Retains the best elements of Phantom Limb and cuts the fat.
 
Future of the Left - The Plot Against Common Sense: I liked Travels With Myself and Another More, but this record rewards repeat listens. Oh and I heart Andy Falkous.
 
Krallice - Years Past Matter: By far my favorite Krallice record. More memorable riffs, less tedious in development than previous records.
 
Julia Holter - Ekstasis: Beautiful yet quite weird. Favorite pop-adjacent record of the year, hands down.
 
Chromatics - Kill For Love: My second favorite pop-adjacent record of the year. I could have done without the Neil Young cover, but everything else tickles me right.
 
Gaza - No Absolutes In Human Suffering: No frills, just desperate, miserable extreme hardcore (it isn't grind or metal core exactly). A huge return to form after the monotony of He Is Never Coming Back. 
 
JBM - Stray Ashes:  Insanely underrated singer/songwriter. Voice so haunting, I'd think he was a ghost if I hadn't seen him alive and well earlier this year at DC9.  
 
Helm - Impossible Symmetry: This record should have gotten the press the Locrian record did. Similar pedigree, but this record is much more responsible and artistic with its noise. Listen at night in the car with a very frightened passenger.
 
Honorable Mentions: The Secret - Agnus Dei, Young and In the Way - I Am Not What I Am/Amen (Reissue), Black Breath - Sentenced to Life, EL-P - Cancer 4 Cure, Heroin in Tahiti - Death Surf, Imperial China - How We Connect, Killer Mike - R.A.P. Music
 
mp3: Failed Olympic Bid (Future of the Left from The Plot Against Common Sense)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stone Coldest Fox of 2012: Dion Lunadon

As we know, I'm a gal that's pretty fashionably late when it comes to year-end wrap-ups. To kick off my Best Ofs from 2012, I figured I'd go ahead and start with my very favorite category, Stone Coldest Fox.

Once again, I had to really pontificate over just who would win this coveted title. Let's revisit my criteria for just how I get down to selecting this gentleman: He's got to be knee-weakeningly sexy (check), give off kind of a dangerous, bad in such a very good way vibe (check), and play whatever instrument he happens to call home with such passionate abandon that you can't help but be irrevocably drawn in while he's playing (check). 

Bearing those things in mind, it should be obvious that I came to the conclusion that I did. Dion Lunadon, of my beloved, noisily beautiful A Place to Bury Strangers, had this thing in the bag. What can I say, y'all? The man looks good in a strobe light. Not only that, but he's got a way with that bass. He also looks a whole lot like an ex, but that's a story for another day. Trust me, Stone Coldest Fox of 2012 is a well-deserved title for Mr. Lunadon.

mp3: So Far Away (A Place to Bury Strangers from the Onwards to the Wall EP)


{photo by Glen Brown}   

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year, Y'All!

Hard to believe that it's 2013 already, isn't it? 

Much has happened over the past 12 months, and I for one am super excited to see what the next 12 have to say for themselves.

Obviously, one of my resolutions is not to leave you loves on your own for very long. A little time off was needed, but I'm feeling rested and ready to dive back in. 

As a little holiday treat to you, here's a few versions of the classic Robert Burns holiday classic "Auld Lang Syne." I've got fond, yet sad memories of this song, but it's always been a favorite. Enjoy these songs, and I'll be back soon. New Year's kisses to all!