FoodJams, Vol. 2: “Suburban Beverage”

Real Estate: s/t

Woodsist; 2009

Welcome to volume two of the cross-blog collaboration between Black Porridge and Mel Bakes Things. The timing couldn’t be more perfect for this installment: it’s early August and that humidity is just starting to pop in and out of the air. It just makes you want to… well, loaf.

We went with Real Estate‘s “Suburban Beverage” this time around, which isn’t necessarily a stand-out track from the band’s 2009 debut, but definitely one of the more esoteric with a total of one lyric. I’ve always found the band to be pretty polarizing, but sometimes even a garage junkie like me is in the mood for a jam band without the solos. Picture the alt-bros, floating down some lazy river in North Carolina, alternating between cheap beer and clear soda. The sweaty buzz between the barometer and the bottom of a bottle. This is an album about the weather.

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FoodJams, Vol. 1: “Good Girl/Carrots”

Panda Bear: "Person Pitch"

Paw Tracks; 2007

Let me explain: my girlfriend, Mel, has been on a bit of a hiatus from blogging. It’s been an especially tough last couple of months, but she’s ready to get back into the swing of baking things. (And I’m ready to get back into the swing of eating them.)

Having just dusted off my own blog, we figured this was a good chance to do a collaborative project, and that’s where “FoodJams” comes into play. I choose the music, Mel bakes the things. (Sorry Primus, no “Seas of Cheese” this time. Mel is not lactose-friendly.)

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OOIOO: Gamel

OOIOO: Gamel

Thrill Jockey; 2014

It took a long while, but after years of treating the music of my Indonesian background as little more than a curiosity, I’ve finally started to see how great it can be. I no longer say words like “dangdut” or “kroncong” with a grimace. (Now it’s more of a beaming smirk.)

As far as Japanese noise experiments go, I’m pretty unversed. Appreciative, but unversed. But when OOIOO‘s new album dropped with the title Gamel — as in “gamelan,” the traditional Javanese percussion orchestral ensembles — my eyes lit up. To me, gamelan music is like the bagpipes of southeast Asia. Ugly and annoying, but a sacred link to the past, and a fixture at ceremonies where people wear too many layers of clothing for a tropical third-world country. No one listens to gamelan music by choice unless they’re smug assholes looking to make a point.

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Radar Eyes – “Side of the Road”

Radar EyesWhen a band combines four-on-the-floor Suicide drum machines, acid synths, tastefully unhinged feedback and a buuuuuunch of reverb, it’s safe to assume it’s going somewhere good.

That’s the case with Radar Eyes, who have been scoring the scuzzy Chicago night in a way that reaches the same parallels as Vega/Rev did with the psychoses of NYC in the ’70s. But Chicago in 2013 isn’t New York in 1975, and the band isn’t foolish enough to pretend it is. Continue reading

Jack Name – “Pure Terror”

Jack NameThere is a time and a place for tin pan fuzz — that whiny, treble-icious guitar sound that pierces eardrums worse than a Billy Corgan vocal flourish.

And hardly anyone knows exactly when or where that is. The rumbling, gut-punching tone of low-end fuzz is common among psych rock acts wishing to prove their mettle against level-headedness (so, all of them) but when that effects pedal is still down going into the solo, it throws the balance of the tune out of whack. Continue reading

Jerry Paper: Fuzzy Logic

Jerry Paper: Fuzzy Logic

Digitalis Limited, 2013

You might remember the day that I vomited links all over your computer speakers. At least 23 readers reported short circuits caused by whatever gastric robo-fluid spewed forth from the miniature speaker cones. I’m almost positive that at least one person tried playing everything in the post all at once, which resulted in a laptop that kept scrubbing and kept turning the hot water but still… couldn’t… get… clean. Poor lappy.

One of the culprits was a new EP from Jerry Paper, International Man of Misery, which was the follow-up to 2012’s Vol. I, which I loved more than watching incompetent drivers trying to parallel park. Yes, it was that good. Continue reading

Waste Not, Want Not: LINK BARF

Pop PollONE MONTH’S ABSENCE MEANS ONE MONTH’S ABSENCE’S WORTH OF LINK BARF. OLD: BARFED. NEW: BARFED. LET’S GET BARFIN’.

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Terry Malts: Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere

Terry Malts: Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere

Slumberland; 2013

It could be that I’ve just been feeling exceptionally misanthropic lately, but I keep getting wind of happy, cheery music and it keeps making me suuuuuuper uncomfortable — as in the way you feel when you see someone unaware that they are humiliating themselves in public, especially when it’s due to hubris.

When that happens, I find it’s always better to go loud, fast, and when possible, irreverent. If that sounds a lot like punk to you, you’re pretty spot on, but we’re not going full-throttle today. This is the day we take a look at Terry Malts‘ newly-released second full-length Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere, which features more of the SF trio’s blend of chainsaws and lollipops. Ah yes, the two-part cure to misanthropy. Continue reading