Today’s Work

January 16, 2003 at 10:52 pm Leave a comment

Went to beach. Got a sub job at an elementary school. Watched signs of girls all the way down the highway. Listened to all the new scanner albums except one.

Martin Rev
Martin Rev


American Supreme

Martin’s first track on his self-titled album kicks ass. “Mari,” is a cute little number of IDM ala eighties beat machines etc. It shows you how much he could do with such technology. “Baby Oh Baby,” lacks a little of Mari’s punch and has a darker piano refrain and Martin’s delivery in the lyrics lacks Vegas’ over the top manner. Still it’s a good track, just not something that really makes the album stand out as a whole. The remainder of Martin Rev’s opus here is what you’d expect from a man who programmed eighties synths in a progressive punk band. Worth a look at just for the immense technical skill that Rev employs with each song.
Suicide’s latest reveals all the influences you always thought were there in the first place. Funk, hip-hop, and the standard electro-beats cruise in a good tandem. “Televised Executions,” is a fluffy R&B track before Vega cuts it all down to a grim reality with his haggard songs. “Power Au Go Go,” finds the group doing what they do best. Bad ass bassline, some simple drums, and Vega telling another morbid story with his usual flair. Most of the other tracks are a little dancey with a rugged punk aesthetic belying their house beats. Suicide is in good form here, this what they should sound like after all this time. Kudos to both albums for sticking with what they do best while nodding at their heirs that have sprung up in the meantime.
– Andrew Jones

The Legendary Pink Dots
All The King’s Men

The Pink Dots are one of those band you’d think would have dropped off the map years ago. Instead they keep going, kicking their proto-industrial house IDM pysch-pop. Their combination of forwarding thinking keyboards and kraftwerk ghosts put them in the nostagliacly hip category again. Edward’s keyboards were also a little Warp-ee in their sounds, and the gutteral moans of guitar keep this project modern while the Kraftwerk vocals and housey back pinnings make The Dots sound like one of those retro-eighties bands rising up these days. Think Adult, WIT, Fischer-Spooner, etc. “The Day Before It Happened,” has a Brian Eno with Cluster feel to it with a little electro in the mix. “Cross of Fire,” warbles between an IDM sensible bass boom dip and a raging new-wave track. “Sabres at Dawn,” sounds like a Sid Barret track, which I’m sure The Dots intended it to. Wait long enough and the future will catch up with the past. The Dots might be way out of their original period, but their looks back at the eighties and seventies sound contemporary in these times where creative crossings of nostalgia count for inventiveness. Why bother with a remake? Get the original here.
– Andrew Jones

Sex Sells

How many albums do you own that start with a drum beat and some alternative guitars? Pixies-ish rock with gritty female vocals more No Doubt that Royal Trux, but still this isn’t a bad band. They rock in that Belly or Screaming Trees type of way. “What You Goin’ Do,” has a kinda in your face Veruca Salt feel to it. “Everybody’s Got It,” has a new-wave bass heavy lead, a little more striaght guitar sound, and yeah it escalates into a rock out with a catchy riff. “He Looks Good,” has a kinda kill rock stars feel, ya know twisted female vocals, and it escalates into a rock out. “Nighttime Lovin,” is the darker track with a Sonic Youth fragmented guitar, and suprisingly it doesn’t escalates into a rock out. They really get into those riffs though. “Yes,” is the song that around 1993 the video would have had the female lead singer knocking people down and running around screaming, and yes it starts out a rock out and escalates into an even better one. “Stay,” is the sexy down tempo one with a cute guitar drone keeping the kitten vocals into their I’m also a sensitive girl context. Yes guys, you do have a shot with her and she’s asking you to, “Stay.” I like it. To be honest, like most of my generation, I still hearken back to those days of the glory Alternative rock sound. Stiffed is a fine band with a very commercial sound that makes you think of scruffed jeans and plaid shirts. It’s a little to early for the nostalgia factor to kick in and make this the primo hipster music of it’s day, but when the last licks of “Stay,” fade out I’m left with a warm fuzzy feeling for the good old days of teen agnsty guitars and confessional lyrics.
– Andrew Jones

Andre Afram Asmar
Race To The Bottom
Mush Records

Mush is an anti-con like hip-hop label. Andre Afram Asmar does some quirky fusion-hop here with a worldly feel. “Robophiloso,” is a lot of discordant percussion that doesn’t really go anywhere, but sounds good none the less. “Camelclutch,” continues the Lawerence of Arabia vibe featuring reverbed orchestrations of middle eastern origin and some moaning singing. Camel climbs a little in the distortion category, but does a good job of making some experimental dub out of world music ala Muslimgauze. “Traptivity,” sounds like an average hip-hop instrumental only with desert chanting in there. I should probably stop right here and admit like most Americans I know dick about the Middle East. What I do know is this, Andre Afram Asmar has a disticnt sensibility in a world drowning in sound alike hip-hop productions. Seriously good shit, hip-hop that shuffles to a different beat with a dub claustrophobic sensibility driving the whole thing. “Stinktank,” drops an MC in there, but he’s so dubbed out that the production drives the song with the MC inverted to backing the whole thing. Again, it’s bad ass and original. “To Be a Lover,” is soulfull reggae. Wait a second, we have a good MC track, good world dub stuff, and a good reggae number on one record by one guy? When is this guy touring? “Race To The Bottom,” ends out the album with speedcore distorted drums and a little Kora (I think). Allah probably looks down on this, but for christ sakes here in the U.S. we can enjoy this cultural pillaging and the jems of connections these fusions make. Take a look, get a few idea for your next album, or even better get this guy on the payroll to mix your stuff.
– Andrew Jones

The Sights
Got What We Want
Fall of Rome

These guys look kinda like Handsom. Now that I’ve got that out of the way what’s here is Big Star pop. They do a good job of recreating Alex Chilton and Chris Bell’s opus #1 Record. Commercially viable pop that’s driving. The seventies rock anthems drop out to well produced strings while the guitar stays motor-rock bluesy. Every track has that instant party feel. Posturing for the girls, rocking for the guys, The Sights’ image conscious feel goes well with their party rock. If you need a cleaner sounding Iggy Pop during his David Bowie produced period, an update to Big Star, or a less crazy Rocky Erickson, well here ya go. So many bands have remade this peroid of rock I can’t really say this album shines out of the Strokes pack, but that’s what it is. Catchy, fun, and willing to go the extra mile for it’s MTV spot The Beatles influenced, “Everyone’s A Poet,” could do something for this band. Teenage hard rock with a family feel, child safe and approved, historically conscious enough to make good pop, The Sights are part of that new breed of commercial, but smart enough to sound good garage rock that’s the New Jersey craze these days. Good for them and all the best in their trials to rock stardom.
– Andrew Jones

Dj Me Dj You
Can You See The Music?
eenie meenie records

Dj Me Dj You’s album comes with the instructions to describe the album in five minutes before your head explodes. After one listen here’s my attempt to describe this chimera. Junk funk for cats who smoke pot in thrift stores and listen to Gide on their week days. College experiments in finding the groove in everything. Cutesy pop-hash for girls with bottle rims. What’s important here is getting everything moving like a sweet soul symphony, only with robots that drop in and deliver some lines. Intentionally bad, but intended so. Love those horns. Funky in unexpected ways, it’s all very sweet. A love letter made of potted plants, old seven inches, and construction paper, Dj Me Dj You decide to eat the glue and let love hold this together. An experience similar to having a friendly Kafka-esque dream that involves a picnic with many beauty pageant winners with good personality, but little depth. Then they surprise you by solving non-locality problems on a chalk board that stands next to a sea of play-dough. Your on a boat now, it’s sailing a play-dough sea that breaks into brackish excursion of Sea Monkeys that come up on the boat, letting their aquatic shells falls to dance around your feet. I’m almost out of time. Breathless love affairs with that big ephemera of nostalgia that holds sway over us post-everything types. Give it up and let the Sea Monkeys dance, the pageant winners will keep you strapped to happiness.
– Andrew Jones

Entry filed under: media.

what’s happening Amanda

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January 2003

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