Monday, September 24, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
Young Turks/XL Recordings
This review is also be a big apology to the band. After I found out during a World Café interview that they were very young, their lyrics didn’t seem silly, just normal young adult angst. Listening to their debut again, I still wished for more music though. Even I liked the music better, it was still too minimal for my taste. With their new album, Coexist, my wish came true.
Lyrically, “Angel” is a bit of a red herring, It’s a rare and wonderful happy love song that isn’t sappy or solipsistic. However, the rest of the lyrics are dark as pitch, and also much more interesting. They’re still young enough so that when their first meaningful relationship dissolves for Oliver and Romy, they don’t know what to do, and try not to fall apart. That’s normal and healthy growing pains. They’re old enough now to be wiser, and more self-aware. They’re starting to take off now that they’re in their 20s. What they will sound like when they hit 30 will be breathtaking.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
chris e. pants
Delightfully Dancing Doggystyle
An interview with chris e. pants
chris e. pants is Chrissy Muderbot’s new side project, and it’s a good one. He grew up in Kansas City, got into music in the 90s as a rave kid, and started Sleezetone as a way to put out the music he likes. I recently interviewed him, and got the scoop on the music, and him. I thank him for answering my questions.
Andrea Weiss: I think it’s great someone is reviving classic disco. Why do you like classic disco?
Chris e. pants: I've always been a huge fan of old disco tracks...I guess it started when I was growing up in Kansas City. I was a rave kid in the mid-1990s, and there were all these new house and jungle records I wanted to buy, but they were like $10 a pop and I didn't have much money, so I ended up digging in the dollar bins, which at dance shops in the 1990s were invariably littered with tons of classic disco that everybody had forgotten about. So I ended up really falling in love with disco and R&B and all the stuff that led up to house music, and it just went from there.
AW: You incorporate modern elements like house and garage into the songs. How do they fit together with this 70s disco sound?
CEP: Really, house and garage are just modern forms of disco. Everything in the world of electronic dance music ultimately comes from two sources: disco and reggae. So any time you set out to make disco tunes from a modern perspective, I guess they're gonna end up resembling house music in some ways, because house is just modernized disco!
AW: Is Doggystyle a Snoop Dogg reference?
CEP: Doggystyle is not a Snoop Dogg reference. I guess I woulda had to call it Lion Style in that case...My dog, Bubbles, was the inspiration behind the name. She's on twitter: www.twitter.com/@lilbthebaseddog
AW: Are you a one person band, or did others help you create the music?
Who are the singers and rappers?
CEP: I am a one-person band, but I like to work with a lot of guest vocalists and stuff like that. Bubbles was my collaborator on this one.
AW: How did Sleazetone Records come into the picture?
CEP: I started Sleazetone Records in 2007 as an outlet for sleazy party music that I really feel strongly about. We've done records by Ssion, James Braun, Monkey Steak, Hanuman, Kanji Kinetic, Thunderous Olympian, and more, and this single just felt like a perfect fit.
AW: How did you get started in music?
CEP: I got started in music as a rave kid in the '90s, and from that starting point of listening to music and going to parties I started trying to learn to DJ and produce and it all just kind of built up from there.
AW: Anyone we might want to keep an ear out for?
CEP: Plenty of people! Slick Shoota, Lenkemz, Sarantis, Sinistarr, Calculon, Fracture & Neptune, Machinedrum, Steak House, The Black Madonna, Stripped & Chewed records, the list goes on and on...
Monday, September 3, 2012
You Are Free found Cat emerging from extreme isolation, pain, and trauma. The Greatest and Jukebox found her taking stock of her life, an interlude to get ready to embrace life, love, happiness and freedom. Sun shows how she has embraced everything, loves everything, and has put the past in perspective so she can start anew. With the same steely resolve that got her through everything she has faced. Her idealism intact, even when she was isolated, the same warmth and soul carried her along.
A few songs in particular stand out. “Cherokee,” which opens the album has an intro in her trademark guitar style, with a touch of electronica that rings out and sticks in your head. This song, like “Silent Machine,” deals with a person she has formed an instant attraction to, yet knows she cannot have. But unlike years past, where the feeling and emotion of her pain was all she knew, these two songs put this attraction in its place. She’s known all this before, but this time, she deals with it in a healthy frame of mind, and finds that she can handle it much better.
“Nothing But Time,” like “Peace and Love,” sends a message both political and personal. Embrace the future as best you can, and be idealistic, because it really is all you have. While times are hard now, it won’t always be this way. Things will get better. And if you can’t understand how to be idealistic in hard times, then you need to think some more, or just get out of her face.
You Are Free experimented with rock song structure. On Sun electronica is the way she’s doing it this time, just the way You Are Free played with rock song structure. And these songs, like “Ruin,” move in ways that flow. A driving force every bit as fierce as her lyrics. They also give her words breathing room, an interlocking form that ties everything together seamlessly. And these experiments never waste a note. Everything is exactly in place, marching in lockstep with the lyrics. It’s great, superbly played and produced, and Marshall did everything. She’s a one person band, recorder, producer, but mixed the album with the help of Philippe Zadr.
This is one of the best albums I’ve heard all year, and maybe the best. What I also know is that while I’ve always related to Cat Power, I relate to Sun the most. This isn’t meant to be a pun, but these lyrics and music have power with a capital P. It’s rare for me to hear an album with this, even as I can think of albums with just as many powerful emotions behind them. This album is a masterpiece from top to bottom, and may the sun shine on her and keep her warm, alive, free, happy and content for the rest of her life.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
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