by: Kyle Olson, KUCI Music Director
Word up, folks.
So, before I start with this week’s edition of “CDs that I am adding to the KUCI library because I think it’s really good and/or I think the DJs will want to play it”, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I know that these things are going up around the internet tubes now, and I figure people should get a little glimpse into who I am, thereby putting a human face on these ramblings. My name is Kyle. I enjoy things that are funny, hugs, and books, and I have never punched my mom (and can’t foresee a situation where I would, except one where maybe she gets poisoned by some weird toxin, and only a punch in the face by your firstborn son will revive you). So, now that the rumors that I’m a grumpy, illiterate mom-puncher who hates hugs are put to rest, allow us to get into “the blurbs”.
!!! – Myth Takes (Warp)
You hear that? That’s the sound of a million asses shaking their asses off. That’s right. The asses of asses. Can you wrap your brain around that? It’s ok if not. It’s like when you ride a merry-go-round on your back and look up into the cloudless sky and get really dizzy and freaked out and think you’re going to fall INTO the sky forever. That was a little glimpse into the life of 3rd grade Kyle. At any rate, !!! (pronounced chik-chik-chik, or any series of repetitive onomatopoeia), are back with another round of funky dancefloor disco-punk numbers to inappropriately grind up on people to. Like a mixture of Can, LCD Soundsystem, and Parliament, !!! are going to make you sweat, girl. And guy. !!! aren’t sexist. They’re sex-Y. There is a big difference. One gets you punched. The other gets you crazy makeouts.
The Capstan Shafts – Her Verus the Sad Cold Eventually (Asaurus)
The first time one of this guy’s CDs showed up in my office, it was a CD-R, wrapped in Xeroxed paper that had the tracklisting. The little punk inside of me was stoked that someone was doing some straight up DIY guerilla radio marketing, so I popped it in. At that point, my inner tiny punk pissed off and my outer pop-geek did such a crazy dance that it scared a baby. This guy writes short attention span pop-bombs in the same vein as Guided By Voices and Half-Handed Cloud. Who the hell needs a three minute song when you have an album full of minute-and-a-half, catchy-as-SARS, FANTASTIC choruses? Now, Dean Wells (the man behind the Capstan Shafts) send me another Xeroxed, cd-r’d CD, and I’m thrilled to add it to the library.
Black Lips – Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo (Vice)
So, Vice signs these dudes, and wants to think of an appropriate way to kick off their rock-n-roll spotlight. Could there really be any other way to do this than to have a huge balls-out rock-n-roll show in Tiajuana with a bunch of hookers, blow, and a donkey painted like a zebra? This album is a live documentation of that concert. Black Lips hoarsely tear through twelve old school tunes of Guitar Wolf meets King Kahn/BBQ garage rock abandon on this slighty-south-of-the-border live album. You like rock and roll swagger? These dudes are so swaggery, that I just had to invent the word “swaggery”, which looks really weird.
The Eternals – Heavy International (Aesthetics)
So, what do you expect a band that has toured with Fugazi, Mars Volta, Hood, Stereolab, Tortoise, Konono No1, and Anti Pop Consortium to sound like? No, seriously, dudes. What the fuck am I supposed to compare this to? It’s groovy world-electro-rock? Sort of? Really dubby at points. Just smear all of those bands I mentioned earlier into some weird Pollack painting and you got these guys, I guess. Laid back, tropical experi-dub-hop-electro-sampler-rock.
The Blank Tapes – Landfair (Self-released)
These dudes are local, folks. Costa Mesa, in fact. They COULD be my neighbors, except my neighbors are drunken, reggae-loving frat boys on one side and bitchy girls with tans so deep they look homeless on the other. But, theoretically: They COULD be. The Blank Tapes lay down some pleasant, indie-radio-friendly pop jams. I’m not going to go on record as saying that these dudes are going to blow your mind by re-inventing the pop wheel. But I WILL say that they make fun Kinks-loving pop tunes you can chill to. I will also say the word “frumpy”, because that’s basically just a fun word to say.
The Subjects – With the Ease Grace Precision and Cleverness of Human Beings (Pretty Activity)
Way to not have proper comma use, The Subjects. Also, is the fact that the band is made up of two high school teachers, and two of their students creepy? I can’t imagine starting a band with any of my high school teachers. Except maybe my stroked-out Health class teacher who doubled as a football coach. Imagine if you will, a stroke victim who coaches high school football drawing erect penises on a chalkboard. Now imagine that as a band. Tell me I’m not a genius. At any rate, The Subjects probably aren’t stroke victims. What they ARE is a band of folks making easy-to-digest pseudo-prog. These aren’t Dream Theater noodle-fests or Don Caballero drum-offs. This is indie rock which doesn’t stick with straight convention and has, deep down, a penchant for arenas.
Small Leaks Sink Ships – Until the World is Happy; Wake up You Sleepyhead Sun (No Sleep)
What the hell? Did they have a sale on ridiculously long album names this week? ZING!!! The little sticker the promo company slapped on this album compared it to Minus the Bear and the Mars Volta. So, I throw it into my trusty little boombox to give it a shot, and I’m greeted with the chiming, arpeggio-ing guitar notes that sound like Minus the Bear. OK. So the promo company aren’t total liars. OK. Where does the Mars Volta come in. I mean, these songs sound like they have a point (oooooooooh. Burn.) Then the dude starts singing, and I’m like “There we go.” So, imagine indie-prog with the spazzy vox of Cedix Bixler-Zavala and you got this band. Easy as tasty cake.
The One AM Radio – This Too Will Pass (Dangerbird)
My first experience with this band came with seeing him open for Phil Elverum/Microphones/Mount Eerie at the very amazing Che Café down in San Diego. My SECOND experience with the One AM Radio (Hrishikesh Hirway to his mom) was when he popped up on the Daedelus album “Exquisite Corpse”. And my third was my ex-gf playing me his split with Ted Leo. So, this guy rolls with experi-forest-pop folks, tweeky jazz-electro-hop dudes, and dapper indie-rock gents. His solo stuff is WAY closer to the first one than the second (and has a dash of the third). Singer-songwriter stuff with a solid palette of sounds by a guy who could possibly be lumped in with stuff like Pinback, Owen, Appleseed Cast, etc. It’s not as eeeeeeeeemo as some of those (extra Es for extra dEpression). I seriously just spent ten minutes looking for a synonym for sadness that began with E, but none exist. My joke. It fails. John just said “elegiac” is a word for sadness. There we go.
Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’m gonna go home, get into my pajamas, and make sure my bathroom has a fresh Febreeze air freshner in it before people come over for the KUCI management meeting tonight.