Sunday, November 02, 2008

Orange Alert's Music Minute

After deciding to name your band a grade letter I would think D+ would be one of the last on the list, but that's not the case for the supergroup Phil Elverum, Karl Blau, and Bret Lunsford (Beat Happenings). This collective, that was once thought defunct, released a small collection of older songs back June, and now have released a full-length album called What is Doubt For? (September 9 from Lunsford's Knw-Yr-Own). Recorded nearly exclusively into a single microphone in the living room of Elverum (The Microphone and Mount Eerie), the result is an intimate series of songs that bring out the best in each musician.

D+: What Is Doubt For?:01 Attention 02 Never Sense a Thing 03 What Is Doubt For? 04 Certainty 05 How Easily Love Can Be Found 06 Wishful Thinking 07 I Regret Not 08 Ancient Drawers 09 Manipulate Me

Any time I receive an e-mail from Audio Dregs and E*Rock I pay close attention. E*Rock has the special ear that only a few have. He is able to seek out the most incredible sounds and always has inventive album covers. One of his latest album by a brilliant electronic composer Malcolm Felder (aka Lineland). Logos for Love is Malcolm's first album in five year's and is beautifully intense and colorful collection of instrumental tracks. Malcolm also runs Mutable Sound, and publishing company, Mutable Press, with Gabe Boyer.

Austin's Future Clouds and Radar not only have a very strange name, but a great psychedelic sound. They burst on the scene last year with an other-worldly self-titled double-disc debut. Returning on Election Day with an equally ambitious release, FCR have come along way in the last year. Peoria finds Robert Harrison and the band focusing their kaleidoscopic vision into a single cinematic narrative about the illusory nature of mortality. Throughout, Harrison stays true to his genre-hopping eclecticism, leading the journey through a maze of fuzz-box vocals and ethereal keys.

Listen to: The Epcot View (mp3)

Chicago's Brendan Losch has managed lined-up two incredible shows this month.
11.15.08 at Beat Kitchen (Chicago, IL) w/ Brooke Waggoner + Nathan Xander 6:30pm AA $10
11.19.08 at Schubas (Chicago, IL) w/ Greg Laswell + Jenny Owen Youngs 8pm 21+ $12
This is of course in addition to releasing a new song every week. He had fallen a little behind, but managed to release six songs in the month of October. He has now release 39 of the 52 songs he would need to write to reach his goal. Amazing!

A label that I have talked about several times this year is the colorful folks at People In The Sky. Their latest release is the debut ep from Swiss producer Ghostape. Many Stars is a great introduction to the world of Ghostape, and a slightly less analog offering then that of label mate Wax Stag. There is underlying organic nature to these tracks that could warm any November after. The story of how this release came together is interesting, here is PITS said about it. "It's been kind of complicated dealing with Swiss producer Gabs, AKA Ghostape, over the last year or so. He speaks about three languages, we speak at least, uh, one, it’s just that none of them were shared tongues. So we'd send him an e-mail asking where the masters were or something and he'd be like, "Thanks, yes, it's great. Let's do it. Whooooop - Gabs ;-)". And so another few months would drift by and not much would happen. But eventually things started to fall into place. 'After After' got finished, with it's motorik rhythm and electronic bass pulse throbbing away under Gab's picking guitars, mad yelps and shamanic whispers."

Listen to: Allez Allez (Screen Tests Mix) (mp3)

I was extremely happy to find out that things are finally starting to happen for Los Angeles' Aaron Beaumont. It was way back in August 2007 that he was touring with Orange Alert friends Canon Blue and Meshach Jackson. Aaron plays a soulful brand of piano pop, and possesses a rich and passionate voice. He recently signed to Milan Records and on October 21st they released his debut album Nothing's Forever, Not Even Goodbye.

Listen to: Julia (mp3)

Released last month, Melville, was loosely inspired by Herman Melville, and wanted to focus on all kind of stories about shipwrecks, like illness, religion dirty love and more. Founded by King Automatic in Torino Italy, Movie Star Junkies bring desperate vocals, moaning organ and trashy distorted guitar. However, they wouldn't be on Voodoo Rhythm Records if they didn't.

Listen to: Little Boy (mp3)

The Peel Back: Vanilla Ice To The Extreme (Aug. 1990, SBK)

There was a time in my life when I wanted so badly to be Vanilla Ice. I knew I couldn't be Bart Simpson and I couldn't dance like MC Hammer, but for some reason I thought I could be Vanilla Ice. That dream lasted about as long as Vanilla's career, but I will always have soft spot for this album. I may not actually play it ever again, but I do have found memories of recording myself on a small tape recorder while rapping to "Stop That Train".

The reason all of these random memories came rushing back this week is that X-Ray Records is will be released a brand Vanilla Ice album on November 11th. On this album, cleverly titled Vanilla Ice is Back!, Vanilla covers some of the classic songs of hip-hop like, Fight The Power, Baby's Got Back, Jump Around, and many more. Come on you always wanted to hear a 41 year-old white man named Robert Van Winkle rap "Fight The Power". Isn't there a line in that song that says "I'm black and proud"? Anyway, apparently Mr. Ice did not make enough on the reality TV gigs so he had to put out this unbelievable cheesy album.

You know you wanted a little taste of Vanilla, here is a sampler... (mp3)

Track List: Ice Ice Baby/You Dropped A Bomb On Me/Fight The Power/Jump Around/Baby Got Back/You Gots To Chill/I Got It Made/Buffalo Soldier/Treat ’Em Right/Insane In The Brain BONUS TRACKS Ice Ice Baby (Rock Hero Mix)/Ice Ice Baby (Club Crasher Mix)/Ice Ice Baby (New Romantic Mix)


Pete said...

Ice has the distinction of contributing to the demise of a local bar here in Joliet. He played a show here about six years ago in the bar's outdoor beer garden. (A beer garden gig in Joliet. Yes, his career had really fallen that far.) He proceeded to perform an insanely loud, profanity-infested show which pissed off the neighbors so much that the place lost its live entertainment license and ultimately its bar liquor license. The place tried to make it as a banquet facility but finally closed a few years ago and was recently torn down. Nice work, Ice. Maybe you have a future in urban renewal.

Rob said...

The Vanilla Ice album isn't cheesy.

Rob didn't do the album for the money. Any time he does an album, he does it for fun. He has a wife and kids, he doesn't need the money.

MIND BLOWIN', HARD TO SWALLOW, BI-POLAR and PLATINUM UNDERGROUND are all awesome. BI-POLAR has appearances by INSANE POETRY, WU-TANG CLAN and PUBLIC ENEMY. His next album is supposed to be a double album with ICP (INSANE CLOWN POSSE).

And, for the record, Rob Van Winkle is very well off. He saved his money, unlike MC Hammer.