Sunday, 12 June 2011

Hits From The Box #22 - Getting On It For The Queen

Welcome my willing (or in some cases unwilling) disciples of Sonic Masala, to another Hits From The Blog. This weekend has seen me sequestered away in a very small room, tinkering away on my thesis and novel, both most likely in vain, and contracting a serious case of cabin fever (or maybe its more a venereal malady, but who knows? I dont wash). Its a long weekend here too, for the Queen's burpday. I intend to spend that day off scratching at imaginary itches and howling at passing cars. And wishing the Queen was Helen Mirren... Gah, I gotta do something productive. Maybe watching some more of The Wire. That is my true vice - I just can't quit you McNulty! Ahem. That's not working either. So, bands and such, yeah, that's a good segue...

The Nighty Nite is comprised of John Congleton and Jason Garner of The Paper Chase, plus members of Wires Under Tension (Chris Tignor), Shearwater (Kevin Schneider), and the Hospital Ships (Jordan Geiger). The band's debut EP Dimples is set for release on June 21st via Graveface. "Some people have told me it's the darkest thing I've ever done", says Congleton. "I don't know if I agree but so be it if so." With lines such as "God, you gave them lips but they still speak of nothing less than the odious things, and all that portly cargo they're still shlepping," with a truly terrifying musical rise and crescendo in noise, you can understand their point.

The Nighty Nite - Dimes In Their Dimples

Once based entirely in Chicago, and now in near-constant motion, Pillars and Tongues is a formidable force, large and looming. The Pass and Crossings is the third full-length offering from the trio, and their second for San Francisco vinyl label Empty Cellar out June 28th. Pillars and Tongues brings passion, cohesion, and lyricism to the avant-garde. Heavily melodic, rolling, desert drones permeate this album, rendering the listener captive to deeply hypnotic vibes punctuated by the heavy, danceable and almost tribal rhythms. They have accepted invitations to tour as support for Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Joan of Arc, opening for Dirty Three with Nick Cave, Bill Callahan, Daniel Higgs, Sir Richard Bishop, Red Red Meat, etc., and performing hundreds of concerts in various other scenarios from basements to cathedrals, from Albuquerque to Lisbon. Heavy bedfellows, indeed...

Pillars & Tongues - The Making Graceful

I received this tasty instrumental album debut, Backwoods, from Sean Siegfried. You can hear the entire album at his Bandcamp here - its very nice. The influences are obvious - Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Jose Gonzalez, Nick Drake - there is a very pure and homely sound in this album, whilst attempting to marry a number of influences that fall into the Folk, Blues and Ragtime genres. There is also an element of Black Eagle Child too, especially his latest album Lobelia - and that can only be a good thing.

Sean Siegfried - Sam's Brewery

Southern California garage-rock group The KABBs have been rubbing shoulders with the right kinds of people recently - Nobunny, JEFF The Brotherhood, Mini Mansions, and will be playing with Ty Segall on July 21 in San Diego. They have just released their second EP - you can get both of their releases on their Bandcamp.

The KABBs - Mixed Up

Now this EP pleasantly blew me away. Boston trio Thousands have just released this two-song EP on Bandcamp, their first real interaction with the world wide web. Which is about time too - how hard is it to find info on a band called Thousands on the internet? At first I thought they were the guys on Bella Union - but then I heard the tracks. This is not The Mountain Goats-lite at all - almost the opposite end of the spectrum. The instrumental rock act are more akin to Russian Circles, Shellac, and Don Caballero. And the guys are fucking ace too. So if youre in Boston and get a chance to see them live, go up and say hi. Maybe even mention lil ol us. Then chat and booze the night away - although you may not be able to hear each other for the brain matter falling out your ears, but aural misery loves company...

Thousands - Braille Teeth
Thousands - Six Records Of A Floating Life

This last act is probably a little better to a lot of you than he is here, but seeing as this was my first interaction with Teen Daze, I deemed it appropriate that they round us off on a beautifully, err, fashionable fashion. 'Surface' comes off the forthcoming A Silent Planet EP, and it pretty much encapsulates all the good things about chillwave. Yes, there are good things - just that not many people do it right...Maybe its that the plethora of the genre's coattail-riding wannabes need a jumping off point like our main man Jamison here... "In February of 2008, Jamison, aka Teen Daze, spent seven weeks studying philosophy in a somewhat remote village in the Swiss Alps. His life became engulfed in books, as he spent his days sipping black tea, filling his mind with the teachings of great thinkers who had passed long before he was born, and staring off into the abyss of the mountains before him. During this time, he also discovered the importance of fiction; his evenings were either spent drinking wine with his friends or reading stories. One of the most profound stories that he read was a novel called “Out Of The Silent Planet” by legendary theologian and storyteller, C.S. Lewis. The story centers around Dr. Ransom, and the mystical, celestial journey that he takes to a new land. The part that resonated the most with him was the telling of Ransom’s first encounters on this new planet, and his re-contextualizing to this new place, and this new environment. A new world was being created in Jamison’s imagination, as he visualized what it must have looked like for Ransom..." Hmm. Combine this with the writing and recording process taking place nearby Mt. Cheam, and you get the idea. Check out the track though, its a goodun...

Teen Daze - Surface

Happy Sunday!

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