Sunday 16 May 2010

Six Degrees of Deerhunter #5 – recent influences

OK, Im clutching at straws here, although I'm saving a doozie for tomorrow. So last year Pitchfork ran a series of best albums/acts/singles lists as chosen by various members of various bands that were themselves relatively influential over the preceding twelve months. The irascible Bradford Cox was of course one of those list makers. Now I love lists at the best of times – whilst they can be obvious, there is always the chance that a hitherto hidden gem will come to light in your consciousness and shine brightly in your life. Ive already stated how Australia’s Triple J radio presenter Richard Kingsmill turned me on to Fugazi, and he also steered me in the direction of Tortoise – nuff said.

So this 6 Degrees… post will focus every so briefly on Bradford’s 2009 picks – what he mildly refers to as his 2009 influences – and see what you think…

Privacy – Songs
Under the guise of Privacy, artiste Laurel Knapp singing with her acoustic guitar offers bare, simple, and original folk music, sung in the writer’s own breathy, pitch perfect, deep voice. Dreamy, ethereal.
Privacy - Pining

Kurt Vile – Childish Prodigy
This guy has been bandied around a bit in recent months, and his name appeared on a few best of end of year lists last year. And it is almost impossible not to see why – intense, genre-snapping, mind-twisting, psych-laced piece of rock put out by a guy that seems like a mix of Tom Petty and Marc Bolan, backed by Crazy Horse. In other words, fucking brilliant. Cant wait to see what he has in store. Big fan…big fan.
Kurt Vile - Invisibility Nonexistent

Ducktails – Landscapes
This one hasn’t grabbed me so much, but certainly has its merits. It is also one of the only two albums that I own on Cox’s collection. Ducktails is the side project of Real Estate’s Matt Mondanile. I liked Real Estate, although was a little underwhelmed by their Lexington gig in January – but that’s not to say there is nothing to like here. It is all understated pop psych bedroom wizardry, with occasional tracks like the featured track below, rising out of the lackadaisical murk to grab you by the goolies. Give it a spin, for sure.
Ducktails - Mirrorimage

Animal Collective – Be Fall Kind EP
Not much to be said here that hasn’t already been said. Merriweather Post Pavilion was one of the best albums of the past few years (hell, I think their last three albums have held some of the best songs written in the whole decade), and this EP rivals it. Compact yet as obtuse and yet somehow illicitly accessible, its never been more fun to have your mind fucked.
Animal Collective - Graze
Animal Collective - Would Want I Want? Sky!

Broadcast and the Focus Group – Investigate Witch Cults Of The Radio Age
Yeah, this is…summthin else. A collaboritve collective between Birmingham cult arts rockers (that’s right, arts – trust me, listen to the influences here, it’s a conglomeration of everything creatively known to man, for better or for worse) and Julian House AKA The Focus Group, this mini-album reminds me of movies like The Wicker Man and Witchmaster General Walker and H R Puffnstuff. They played at Matt Groening ATP – let me know what they were like if you saw em – Im damned intrigued.
Broadcast & the Focus Group - The Be Colony

White Rainbow – New Clouds
Ambient is the right word for this, Adam Forkner’s appeal to Cox is evident – see Ducktails for further evidence of this current influence in sound. However White Rainbow’s sexiness lies in its krautrock leanings (krautrock? Sexy? Yeah huh!). I have to say I really embraced this album.
White Rainbow - Demon Sweat

Big Star – Keep An Eye On The Sky
Alex Chilton never grabbed me straight away either. And while not an ardent fan, I do like some of Big Star’s larger than life sunny anthems. This album is a releases of kinds of bits and bobs, studio and otherwise, and is a worthy addition to any lovers’ playlist. And yes, Pundt’s love for the band is clear from his own musical meanderings.
Big Star - Holocaust

St Vincent – Actor
Not bad, this lil un. I can understand Cox’s insistence that lead Annie Clark makes hime want to try harder and play better. St Vincent have really captured something here. Im not insinuating that these two albums are the same – it could be that these albums are side by side on my iPod playlist atm – but when coupled with Fanfarlo’s Reservoir, Actor is pretty darn magical.
St Vincent - Laughing With A Mouth of Blood

And finally (for me the biggest indicator that Cox rocks)…

Neil Young - The Archives Vol. 1: 1963-1972
My god. This is such a definitive package – hence its own picture – of the Man who wields Ol Black. Cox’s love for Young permeates some tracks over his career, some of his interviews too. But it is this entry alone that connects me to tomorrow’s concluding segment of 6 Degrees of Deerhunter.
Neil Young - Dance Dance Dance

So, you have a playlist from Cox’s 2009 playlist – hear anything you like? Consider it a gift from Deerhunter (via me, or more rightly Pitchfork, but who’s countin?) to you.

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