ooh ooh oubliette

Keith Fullerton Whitman – Generator 7b

“…Three voltage streams from two LFOs to different modules….” What I get from this quote, taken from the press materials for KFW’s “Generator,” is that this music is made from electrically generated accidents and KFW’s subsequent reactions. Listening to this intensely pretty music, it’s hard not to wonder how many composers over the years have had both febrile and normal dreams about instruments playing themselves. Reminiscent in some way of Zachary Mason’s (author of the excellent “The Lost Books of the Odyssey”) recent remarks about wanting to write “the imagined literature of artificial intelligence, like a fictive translation of the stories machines tell themselves.” KFW’s work on “Generator” seems to be the musical equivalent–modular synths playing songs for their own private enjoyment.

[Buy Generator]

Mel Apibus

Victor Uwaifo – Guitar Boy

Perhaps the greatest achievement in the science of tremolo. This song by Victor Uwaifo is built around these unbelievably elegant guitar lines and soaked in a cascade of strange electronic bubbles which, at times, sound oddly like the cry of a surprised cat (q.v. the two minute mark). “Guitar Boy” features prominently in the Avalanches “Some People” mix, and it’s easy to tell why–this song is so pleasant and charming, so sweet to the ear, that it’s hard not to turn into a rabid advocate on its behalf. This is also one of those songs where you wish you’d been present at the recording, because it sounds like all involved are having fun.

[Buy Greatest Hits Vol. 1]


Dharma – The Ring of Androf

This might be music for use. I think Dharma wants this to be played at the consecration of a new bonfire venue, at which only the finest woods will be burnt (white oak, beech, black locust). Or during a first date that involves roller skating through a parking garage. Or as salutary accompaniment to some bed-ridden soul’s recovery from stubborn bronchitis. Or through the headphones left as a joke over the perdurable ears of an old bust. Or out of the speakers of a library’s PA system, as closing music: abandon your carrels, shelve those books.

[Buy Dharma’s LP, Truth and Technology, from Skrot Up]

MS Paint stylings of a madman

The Rocking Horse Winner – Miss You

Besides being named after a D.H. Lawrence short story, Rocking Horse Winner was also superficially notable for the fact that the lead singer, Jolie Lindholm, sang back-up for Dashboard Confessional. (that’s some juicy trivia from the turn of the century) ‘Miss You’–from Rocking Horse Winner’s last album, “Horizon”–is such a Hallmark-earnest guitar pop song and it’s imbued with the kind of kinetic energy that attaches itself to love letters, nervous phone calls, and fractured first date conversations. Jolie Lindholm’s voice is a shiny pink balloon set against a deep blue sky–the contrast with the music is stark and pleasant. There is a small surprise at 58 seconds, when one Jolie repeats another.

Not sure why they broke up, but I can say the last (and only) time I saw them play live was in the ballroom of a local Omni Hotel. That didn’t really bode well.

[Buy Horizon]

AMB: sweetest cycloptrix

Rumble Strips – Girls and Boys in Love

Fun for the weekend, late for the weekend. “Heatwave” is in this song’s DNA, okay, but that’s raw material (try to forget the appearance of Heatwave in Sister Act, because that will fucking ruin this song for you). This is a good time that comes to a thrombotic halt after two and a half minutes, but it’s okay to put it on repeat forever and pretend you’re one of the people in the Bailey’s icicle commercial.

[Buy Girls and Weather]

Ci-dessous, pt. 2

Bumblebee Unlimited – Lady Bug

Did you know that bees are able to deal with something close to the traveling salesman problem? They have not, however, reached a level of civilization where they are producing their own automobiles (like the Mercedes Bee mentioned in the song), just FYI in case you think this song is non-fiction. Did you also know there is a book of commonplaces from the late 17th-early 18th century called “The Beehive,” which was written by Francis Daniel Pastorius (the founder of Germantown, Pennsylvania, and no doubt the ancestor in some arcane way to legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius, also from PA)? [I received a grant from the NEH recently, so now some percentage of every post has to be educational in nature.]

[Buy Sting Like A Bee]

This is how we did things long ago

Raime – If Anywhere was here he would know where we are

Missing Cat

Dandy, our brown tabby, born to Lady Transistor, a short-haired black cat, has been missing since last Monday, when he was allowed to escape through the garage door. This never would have happened if certain events had not transpired–we are not negligent pet owners, you can ask the Yocums who live down the street. Dandy must have come downstairs, banished from his usual perch on the bedroom windowsill because of activities on the bed which were probably a little too salacious for his feline sensibilities, activities which involved my husband, Mr. Fitch, and the woman who works at the Soap ‘n Suds, the bar-cum-laundromat, who is not his lawfully wedded wife, did not bear four of his children without the aid of epidurals, and certainly has never had to administer suppositories to aforementioned husband when he has eaten too much cheese at the block party and hit on the teenage daughter of the down-the-street neighbors. No, oh no. Dandy fled our house because of his total moral uprightness, and reluctance to be a party to life-destroying betrayal. Our precious cat may be a little bit disoriented by some of the changes that have taken place in our tiny corner of the world–maybe his ‘mommy’ has gotten blond highlights and taken to spending someone’s ‘hard-earned’ money on fur coats and waffle makers. And maybe, just maybe, Dandy will find his ‘daddy’ sleeping in a tent in the backyard with all his clothes huddled around him, counting out his bus passes to the tune of bent-up Haircut 100 records. Please help us find our beloved and precious pet.

Thank you, and God bless,

Laura Fitch

[Buy If Anywhere was here he would know where we are EP]

The Raspy Seductress of Mount Virginia Slim

Slowreader – Politics, Music, and Drugs

This song lightly addresses the issue of entropy at parties. Slowreader, which was the two main songwriters from the Impossibles (Gabe Hascall and Rory Phillips), created an inviting atmosphere out of acoustic guitars, hand claps, tight harmonies, and soaring choral vocals. ‘Politics, Music, and Drugs’ captures that post-party letdown particularly well–or more accurately, the unraveling and splintering of participants (both with respect to location and emotions) following the climax of a gathering.

Gabe sings, ‘I don’t have many ways/to tame the boring but/if you’d like to stay/I’ll tell you all I know/about politics, music, and drugs/and then it’s time to go’, as a last-ditch effort to push his companion away from thinking about her warm, comfy bed and into thinking about where the party is heading next.

[Buy Slowreader]