My week in music – Sept. 6 to Sept. 13, 2014

I listen to a lot of new music. This is what spoke to me this week.

SAVAGES:
Don’t Let the Fuckers get you Down/Dream Baby Dream

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Post-Punk. Less than a year after their debut album, this incredible all-girl London based band hits with two live singles built out of the scattered remains of the gothic post-rock Brit punk-wave scene. Dark and anthemic and consuming with a big sound that still manages to come off raw as fuck. The wide-screen performance below is captivating. This is great, great stuff.

JULY TALK:
Guns & Ammunition EP

July-TalkGarage Rockabilly. This fresh faced two year-old Canadian band is, well, adorable. Peter Dreimanis growls out his best Tom Waits impression while Leah Fay taps it all down with pure sweetness. The band is fun, and every time they start to get really serious they quickly veer back towards the fluff. Whether this is a good or bad thing is up to the listener, but the danceability and infectiousness of these songs is undeniable. Just try not to nod your head and stamp your foot to these jams, and at just five songs, it feels tight and welcomed.

 

DRCARLSONALBION:
Gold

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Drone-Roots: Dylan Carlson, father of the amazing band Earth, has produced a minimalist record of strange depth and resonating beauty. Consisting of twenty four short “songs” (originally the soundtrack for a documentary of the same name). Mostly it’s just a simple melancholic electric guitar droning out across a landscape that’s crafted from the barest bones of the blues and occasionally befriended by a hint of percussion. It’s a beautiful album that speaks to longing and desire and loss without ever saying a word.

The following video is not from Gold, but is a lovely attempt to capture the spirit of Carlson.

NAOMI SHELTON & THE GOSPEL QUEENS:
Cold World

USA Portrait - Naomi Shelton, photo credit: Jacob Blickenstaff Gospel Soul: Her voice pulls itself from the soulful depths of the earth and lifts towards the heavens. Imperfect and all the more affecting for it. This is real American music. The foundation of R&B. A classic, tangible sound from a mystical soul. The real, real deal. Both the holy and the heathen will be welcomed here. Come and listen. 

 LAWRENCE ENGLISH:
Wilderness of Mirrors

img_6277_zpsa2196991 Ambient Soundscape. Extremely prolific artist Lawrence English continues to be a driving, creative force in the sound art movement. You hit play on his new album. You close our eyes. You engage it. Suddenly you find yourself in a dense, haunted, frozen forest. All around you everything is alive and the trees drone. Their language is emotional, it has a sense of clarity, but it’s still outside of your understanding. The woods are endless. You are compelled forward. Rarely does your narrow path open into a clearing. Rarely is the sky visible. Sometimes a human voice is heard in the distance, but it too has lost its meaning. Somewhere, unseen and only barely heard, the old gods, neither kind nor cruel, land or launch. Less and less you are able to think. More and more you, alone in the woods, simply wander on.

P.S.: Incredibly, I wrote this description of my experiencing the album before I saw the video below, which features a woman in the woods, getting nowhere. Fascinating. 

D.J. DODGER STADIUM:
Friend of Mine

Safaeian_IMG_3355 Electronic Dance. Jerome LOL and Samo Sound Boy give us a beat straight out of the current heart of Los Angeles, where dubstep has collapsed as quickly as it rose in exchange for an emotional style of big house music. Driving and unfolding, using sonic and sample redundancies and a softer more mature commitment to the  traditional build and drop, Friend of Mine is a post-disco argument for a humanist techno invasion. Bump this full length album while driving through those canyon roads late at night, see the city reveal itself like stars in an inverted sky, a motherboard powered by millions of souls, and know in your heart that Los Angeles (don’t call it L.A., the city’s been reduced enough) is ten minutes in the future at all times.

THE DARCYS:
Hymn for a Missing Girl

2009-03-23_The Darcys This new single from the Canadian art rock band is a twenty-two minute epic journey inspired by Cormac McCarthy’s “Cities of the Plain“. As it opens it crawls from the creepy primordial ambience on to the shore. It begins to evolve. It elongates, stretches, grows legs, cautiously walks. Then, at the 9 min. mark, it gains some rudimentary sense of self-awareness and releases a great existential cry. Now it’s erect and running. Thrown into a rock and roll rage by its existence. Hurling itself through the world. Then it stops suddenly. Silence. It stares at the stars. After a moment it assumes a more contemplative gait. But no song, no matter how expanded, can last forever. Cold death is inevitable. The song spends its fading energy. It begins to collapse in on itself. The world grows darker around it. It loses its rage and grace and very sentience. Until finally, barely substantial now, it slides back into the gloomy, misty ambience of its origins. This is nothing short of a sonic saga. A dark novel of a song. Constantly advancing, changing, breathing, growing, thinking, suffering, dying. Beautiful.

 

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Journal, Music

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