by: Sam Farzin, KUCI Music Director
Jay Reatard - Watch Me Fall [Matador]
If there is one undeniable talent that Jay Reatard has, it is songwriting. You can absolutely not deny the hooks he squeezes out of what seems like the most basic building blocks of whatever it is that punk is. Not that this is punk. Or is it?
Os Mutantes - Haih...Or Amortecedor [Anti-]
The original gang of tropicalia miscreants return with their first recording in 30 years. Not quite the band they were in 1966, but a solid record that is clearly the work of Sergio Dias and his compatriots.
The Dodos - Time To Die [French Kiss]
Breakout band of 2008 return; elegantly and excellently finger picked guitar workouts, drumline percussion, and now a vibraphonist. A unique voice in the often mediocre world of "indie rock."
Jemina Pearl - Break It Up [Domino]
I totally loved be your own PET. Was a little skeptical before listening to this album: Jemina was clearly the heart of the band, but the songs themselves were so tight and fun that I wasn't sure what to expect. I am pretty much content with this though: it is, for better or worse, less "raw," but no less biting and exciting. I dig.
Circulatory System - Signal morning [Cloud]
guest written by DJ Shaptronic
"Will Cullen Hart from Olivia Tremor Control releases his second batch of OTC sounding songs under the name Circulatory System. This band is like OTC and a lot of the other E6ers with some of the twee cut out and replaced with extra psychedelia. Like if you ask for less mayonnaise and get extra mustard on your indie pop sandwich."
Desolation Wilderness - New Universe [K]
I'm just gonna quote the "FADER" magazine blurb: "Listening to DW is like taking a mini-beach vacation." Pretty much!
Liam Finn + Eliza Jane - Champagne In Seashells [Yep Roc]
People dug the last Liam Finn solo release. He's a mostly one man band in the tradition of Jon Brion, Andrew Bird, etc. On this EP, his live companion gets a songwriting-say, and it is good.
fun. - Aim And Ignite [Nettwerk]
I never listened to The Format. Here is Mr Frontman of that band with a dude from band Anathallo, and another dude, making remarkably quirky but taut orchestral indie-pop. I was pretty impressed with the first few tracks; they sort of take the idea of orchestral pop music and turn it on it's head but remain wholly accessible and downright catchy. Also they drop a Beastie Boys reference in the most elegant way possible in the first song.
The Red Channels - Ghetto Cooking [Ten Dollar]
I was hesitant about this at first but it won me over pretty fast. Really subdued vaguely generally ethnic something. Lots of atmosphere here, mysterious-type, girl vox. The RIYL says Blonde Redhead but I'm not sure that captures it, totally. I hear a much more accessible Spires In The Sunset Rise in this band. If you like this and want something with the weird-meter turned up all the way, check out that band. Ok.
Darlings - Yeah I Know [Famous Class]
I loooove this label. I love the zine-packaging. I love their dedication to creating more than just a CD. Anyway. This is sort of different than the other bands on this label (Boogie Boarder, etc.). It is more of a straight up rock band. It is a jangly, punk Kinks kind of deal, as opposed to mostly instrumental surf-y shred jams. Check! (PS the pages in the zine are the track titles, in order by track number).
1 MOSTLY NEW and 2 NOT NEW EXPERIMENTAL ADDS
Maher Shalal Hash Baz - C'est La Derniere Chanson [K]
This isn't experimental music in literal terms. The songs are just simple ditties. Some bassoons, an acoustic guitar, a horn or two, and a tambourine or drumkit. Really nice melodies, grooves, and nothing that is overbearing or abrasive: really really swell, cute but not cloying music. What makes this an experimental record is that across the two CDs that make up this release, there are 177 tracks of music. That is to say: most tracks are between 10 and 20 seconds long. They ditty it hard, one time, and the song is over. It is an insane listening experience. This is totally a case where the "continuous" button on the CD players would be a wise idea. Check this out, in any case.
Dan Friel - Ghost Town [Important]
This is one of my favorite releases ever (I am pretty sure). 8 tracks of just the most intense (but not angrily abrasive) and beautiful electronic music that I have ever heard. Made with 1 small keyboard and a handful of delay and distortion pedals. It is a genius exercise in songwriting, making the most out of the least; like some sort of future-folk music. I loooove this.
I Heart Lung - Between Them A Forest Grew, Trackless And Quiet [Sounds Are Active]
Alternately beautiful and discordant guitar and drum aural reconstructions from the Long Beach duo.