Is this record worth a spin? Should I buy it? Will it add to or detract
from my credibility? Should I care?
I wish someone could break it down for me.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ariel Pink & R. Stevie Moore - Ku Klux Glam

A pretty frustrating exercise in recording techniques from two of pop's lo-fi record-making experts. Moore has released over 400 tapes of recorded material over the span of his 40 year career. Pink has been recording experimental pop music for ten years and has often utilized mouth sounds as drum tracks (a fact that emphasizes his lo-fi-ness). Moore has become more experimental as the years pass while Pink's music has become more accessible, yet still quirky.
Before it devolves into a whirlpool of banal banter, song idea snippets, and vocal wankerings, Ku Klux Glam has a handful of fully rewarding moments: the Hedwig's Angry Inch glam of "No Zipper", the haunting "Dutch Me", with Pink's trademark ghostly vocal chorus and casio synth notes, and a little slab of Americana, via the breezy pop of "Come My Way". The rest of Ku Klux Glam is mostly fodder for hard-core fans.

Buy this record if you're trying to eat the icing off a cinnamon bun.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

oOoOO- Our Love Is Hurting Us EP

Another taster from Newark, NJ/ San Franciscan Chris Dexter Greenspan that expands on his self-titled debut EP. On that release oOoOO (pronounced "oh") introduced a dark & woozy version of atmospheric electronic music with some Middle Eastern influences, accentuated by ghostly vocals that hovered around the songs, often trailing off into the ether. Keyboard notes, akin to what you'd hear as the heroine unwittingly relaxes while a deranged killer stalks her in a horror movie, provided the signature sound for what critics dubbed "witch-house" electronica. Greenspan has a finely tuned ear and a real gift for off-kilter hooks and tempered beats. In short, his music is very rewarding for the patient listener. The latest EP, Our Love Is Hurting Us, moves slightly more toward traditional R&B territory while maintaining a down-tempo, effects-laden vibe. The question now is when is this guy going to release a proper full-length?

Buy this record while you wait to see how the kitchen renovations will turn out.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Daughn Gibson- All Hell

Is Daughn Gibson the next Lana Del Rey? The answer is yes. Will he be performing on SNL within 6 months? The answer is yes. Will he fade into obscurity? We'll see...
The internet hype machine has reached into its bag of absurdity and pulled out another glow stick. Now we have a truck-driving cross between James Blake and any guy who tries to sing Johnny Cash songs in the shower? Granted, Gibson, real name Josh Martin, did play drums in a middling sludge-metal act in Northampton County, PA called Pearls & Brass so he does, at least, have a musical pedigree, but this release says more about the power of Pitchfork Media, and the media's compulsion to define new cross-genres of music, than it does the artist's actual work.

Buy this record if you wanna say, "I knew about them" before everyone else forgot about them.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Aaron Freeman- Marvelous Clouds

I have a lot of respect for Ween, their punk ethos i.e. determination not to sell out, their sincere take on assorted musical genres, their musicianship, and their song-writing skill. But this is not a Ween record. This is a solo record by Ween's singer/songwriter Gene Ween (dropping the pseudonym for his real name here). And it's not really a solo record because all the material consists of Rod McKuen covers. It's adult oriented fare, kind of like a Bread record without the yeast. Not that this isn't a pleasant record, it is, I just can't figure out why it was made (McKuen is not a Lee Hazlewood or Harry Nilsson waiting to be unearthed) or what audience it was made for ( I don't see this appealing to the typical Ween fan). I remember Gener once saying, "I want to sound like Christopher Cross in ten years, and be totally proud of it". I wish he had made a record of Christopher Cross covers instead.

Buy this record if you're hanging out in the waiting room of a dentist's office.