by: Kyle Olson, KUCI Music Director
Listen. I worked really hard today. Really hard. And even though I like most of you, I would probably paint a boat with your blood if I thought it was going to get me home to a tasty dinner a little bit sooner. You'll have to forgive me. All I really want right now is dinner, and to curl up on my floor, next to my stereo, and the Neal Stephenson book I'm currently reading.
Though I DID buy my plane tickets/make my hostel reservations to go see "77 Drum" in NYC in July. So. I gotta feel a little good about that, right?
Mogwai – Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (PIAS America)
This here is the Mogwai-penned soundtrack to a documentary about French soccer player/headbutt machine Zinedine Zedane. Did you guys see that headbutt during the final World Cup match? I'm surprised I remember it, as I was over at Ani and Scarlett's house with Lynly and several other KUCI folks. We were taking a shot of beer every minute of the entire game, and I think Lynly may have literally pissed herself in excitement over a near-goal. At any rate, I'm sure you kids are familiar with the musical works of Mogwai by this point. This album is their mellow side, no real face-melters here, but they do get a little noisy at points. Generally, though, it's an atmospheric, moody collection of tunes. It IS a soundtrack, after all. For extra giggles, here is a photoshop contest of Zidane's headbutt from the World cup. Some are, of course, much better than others.
Shapes and Sizes – Split Lips, Winning Hips (Asthmatic Kitty)
I think this MAY be the first release on Sufjan Stevens' Asthmatic Kitty label to have a song with OPI on it. This band was one of my CMJ highlights, simply because it was so unlike anything I had seen yet. They were clearly an indie/rock/pop band, but they seemed to almost be doing whatever they wanted up there. Play some normal indie rock. Then stop and just, you know, whistle for a bit. Then just beat the living shit out of your instruments. Then play this sick guitar hook under interesting vocal lines. My brain was reeling to comprehend it because, while it was clearly rooted in normal indierock, it just…didn't seem to make sense. It SHOULDN'T have hung together. It should have fallen apart. But they gamely pressed on and made some fantastic tunes and I was a fan. The recorded product seems less volatile and unstable, but it's still something new for you.
Dungen – Tio Bitar (Kemado)
Another plastic disk full of gently psychedelic Swedish rock for you. I think everyone loved their last album except for me, so I'm probably not the dude to tout this to you. But, basically, everyone collectively shit their pants over this band's last effort. So, if you hate my taste, perhaps that's a sign that this is definitely the album for you. Even if you agree with me, know that I am frequently "wrong" and you absolutely adore this band. Of course, we must always remember that taste is subjective and yadda yadda yadda. Basically, if Swedish psych-rock-pop sounds good to you, check this album out. Don't listen to what I say.
Mice Parade – Mice Parade (Fat Cat)
I have to admit that this is one of those bands that somehow slipped through my musical fingers for all of these years. I've been aware of them for a long time, I just never got around to checking them out. Basically, it's a sort of IDM/post-rock/indie kind of thing. Four Tet meets Mum meets Do Make Say Think. Does that sound pretty and rhythmically interesting to you? Good. I've done my job. What else sounds pretty to you? A solid gold baby covered holding a balloon made of love? That's weird. Why would you think of that?
Battles – Mirrored (Warp)
I don't know where to start describing this band. Minus Numbers John used the term "effects-laiden". It's dudes from Don Caballero, Tomahawk/Helmet, and some other bands doing rhythm-heavy math-rock-experimental-pop. It's really accessible for being as weird as it is. Crazy drumming and guitar playing and such. It's just…an exciting album. !!! meets Don Caballero meets Prefuse 73 meets Lightning Bolt? Seriously. This is some nonsense. Nonsense of the highest order. The seven-winged seraphim of nonsense.
People for Audio – The New Ancients (Storyboard)
Shortcut time: this is from Canada. Not Wolf Parade Canada. Godspeed/Besnard Lakes/DMST Canada. It's really beautiful and mellow. The label says "humble pack-porch sing-along jams to grandiose psych rock masterpieces". Sure. That'll do.
Mystery Jets – Zootime (Dim Mak)
It's Brit-Pop! I'm tired!
Black Moth Super Rainbow – Dandelion Gum (Graveface)
Their last collaborative album did really well when I added it, so I'm giving you their new full-length. It's like Olivia Tremor Control meets M83. A little noisy. A little keyboardy. A lotta poppy. While I would put this down as experimental pop, a lot of the similar bands are sort of off-kilter electronic stuff. I'm sorry this isn't more interesting. I assure you it's a worthwhile album. I gotta go get food. Promise.