Sunday, June 15, 2008

Orange Alert's Music Minute

If you were looking for dark and steamy electronics that slowly build and loop, creating a dark alley way staring into the soul of Copenhagen... then look no further. The debut album from Lulu Rouge is hauntingly danceable, but also suited for sitting in silence. Lulu Rouge is comprised of DJ T.O.M. (Trentemøller’s touring partner and right-hand for the last three years) and Buda, a well-respected DJ and producer on the Copenhagen scene. Debut single “Bless You” features vocals by seven-time Danish Music Awards nominee Mikael Simpson. The album (also called Bless You) was released on June 9th by Music For Dreams.

Listen to: Bless You (mp3)

Experimental dream folk from Iowa, Black Vatican are long time friends Owen Gardner (guitar/synth/organ) & Andy Roche (singing/drum programming). They just release a split lp with True Primes on Chicago's Locust Music. I love any band that just hangs around and experiments with sound and noise. Here is Andy talking about their recording process. "Owen and I usually hang out for 4-5 hours or a weekend and talk about our lives and listen to music. At some point we start recording. Usually we begin with some sort of germ of a song. Often it's a vocal melody or just a line of lyrics. Everything after that happens quickly in one take. Owen then makes some adjustments when he polishes the recording. When its done we usually laugh a lot and hang out for an hour or two just listening to the song and enjoying it together. The songs just sort of materialize in a short period of time and afterwards it always feels kind of amazing." Watch the video for "Night Is Come"

Listen to: Beautiful Reformer (mp3)

This is taken from Matt Bauer's press release, it is a fascinating story and an incredible release.

"In 1968 a young woman was found dead along a dirt road near Eagle Creek, north of Georgetown, Kentucky. For thirty years, she was known only as 'Tent Girl', the name given to her by the Kentucky Post & Times Star because she'd been found wrapped in canvas resembling a tent bag. This album is a series of overlapping narratives inspired by her story as re-imagined to incorporate imagery and locales from Matt Bauer's rural Kentucky upbringing. These songs explore what it means to be home and to be lost, what it means to pass from life to death.
The Island Moved in the Storm takes its name from a stretch of gravel and shale in a bend of Triplett Creek where Bauer grew up. After a hard rain, the island would "move" and change shape, adapting to the new flow of water. The album reflects this vision of impermanence and fleeting beauty not only in the songs that take the island as their setting, but also in songs that expand into the wider world: The woods have "scatters of deer tracks frozen in the mud" and wild horses are glimpsed for a moment before they scatter into the trees along a shoreline. Human hair is spread around a garden to keep out rabbits only to be woven into bird nests and carried away on the wind. Girls jump from a river bridge and "their hair floats up to heaven."

But the world of this collection of songs is one of powerful indifference as much as passing beauty. A blacksnake crawls headless through grass and dandelions, perhaps the same white dandelions that later find a breeze "blowing off their heads". A soldier lies wounded on a battlefield, imagining a mysterious figure with a string of bluegill, still gasping for air, hanging from her dress. As her mascara runs "like downed telephone wires" he asks her "are you the one / who has come to sew me up / and send me back out?" A boy likens the meeting of his parents to a spider trapping a fly, an image that insinuates an unbalanced relationship, but also, as is often the case in The Island Moved in the Storm, a sense of inevitability and natural order that is beyond judgement."

Listen to: Don't Let Me Out (mp3)

It is all to easy to label a band as a copy or new version of another more famous band, and upon the first listen of Minnesota's A Night in the Box you may compare them to a legendary southern bluesy rock band with a high pitch screeching lead singer. However, there more to this bands sound then just a Led Zepplin cover band like Wolfmother. The recently added a new dimension by bringing violinist Kailyn Spencer into the band. Their sophomore release, Write A Letter, was released on May 27th and they are currently on tour.

Jun 15 2008 8:00P The Elbo Room Chicago, Illinois
Jun 16 2008 8:00P The Blue Rock Tavern Cincinnati, Ohio
Jun 17 2008 8:00P Charm City Cakes Baltimore, Maryland
Jun 18 2008 8:00P The Delancey (New York) New York City, New York
Jun 19 2008 8:00P Mill Creek Tavern (Pennsylvania) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jun 21 2008 1:00P Harvard Square Cambridge, Massachusetts
Jun 22 2008 1:00P Harvard Square Cambridge, Massachusetts
Jun 24 2008 8:00P Bernie’s Distillery (Ohio) Columbus, Ohio
Jun 26 2008 10:00P Stir-ups with The Blue Heels Green Bay, Wisconsin
Jun 27 2008 8:00P The Turf Club Homecoming show with the Brass Kings And Two Many Banjos Minneapolis,Minnesota
Jul 2 2008 3:00P KFAI Jackson’s Juke Joint@ the 331 club Minneapolis

Listen to: The Rich Man's Table (mp3)

They say it was their love of 'left-of-the-dial' music that brought them together, but on their self-released sophomore effort, Literal Scene, Plagiarists seem to strike a rather traditional cord. However, how do you define traditional or left-of-the-dial for that matter? Their rhythms are crisp and jaunty bouncing around well-crafted lyrics. The plays like a cold winter's breeze slicing through a humid summer day. It is refreshing and completely unexpected.

Listen to: Church (mp3) band of the week: Porches
Ben Horowitz sings songs full of contrasts. They are filled with humor, but at the same time can strike a political commentary that is both biting and much needed. Broadcasting out of Chicago (moving from Arizona nearly a year ago), he plays house shows and bills filled with like minded musicians. He has albums for sale at his show, but you can download two collections on his cllct page.

I recently asked Ben why he got involved with the cllct community.

"I got involved in CLLCT because a friend of mine asked me to. The music is free because it doesn't cost us anything to make it. The current media market pushes the idea that art is a consumable like anything else; that the purchaser should feel privileged for being able to purchase it. To me, the privilege lies with the artist, who is privileged to have the time and resources to be doing something he/she loves."

Well said, you can also visit Porches on myspace. He will be playing @ Joe's Apartment on June 19th and @ South Union Arts on June 26th.

The Peel Back: Tadd Mullinix Winking Makes A Face (GI-01, Ghostly Int'l, Dec. 2000)

By 2000 I had already fallen in love with electronic music and left it behind years previous. I was actually digging for indie rock gems when I came across a label that I never heard of before. Ghostly International... if the name was intriguing enough the Pac-man like ghost figure on their logo was the clincher. I was curious and found a few mp3's from this debut release. It was called Winking Makes a Face by a solo artist named Tadd Mullinix. I was amazed by the complexity of his beats and the beauty he maintained. As a result I abandon indie rock for awhile and began live inside this record. I eventually began to branch out to what I feel was the second wave of electronic music (kid606, Lesser, Matmos, Kit Clayton, Boards of Canada, etc.).

On a track like Lulla, beautiful chimes attempt to soar, but are met with looping noise harsh but forgiving. The two sounds swirl and dance until the pace quickens and changes pattern. Other sounds come in and suddenly it all comes together an in a moment of perfection. This song is a dream state floating eternally in the past waiting to be rediscovered.

Minajor/Lulla (mp3)/Le Lit/Divided By Lanes/Enfant Dans La Chambre Respirant/Twice Triumph/Mother, Child and Modern Life/Commun Changement (mp3)/The Letter/Fin

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