Friday, March 11, 2005

A visit to Other Music

Mind Fusion cover art
I'm a big fan of the Madlib, especially his nerdy (I initially typed 'nerfy,' and wonder if the automatic writing isn't more accurate) Quasimoto incarnation (adore The Unseen, and am psyched about the upcoming 'Further Adventures') and immediately snapped-up these two Mind Fusion mix-tape recordings: volume one is devoted to hip-hop (including a number of Madlib clients) and volume two is jazzy funk and breaks--"Madlib the listener," a nice turn from Jamin Warren of Pitchfork in his review. Many folk are agog at the Ocampo cover art, but it boils down to this: volume one is terrific, and volume two not so.
Dignity and Shame cover art
A friend of mine was aghast that I hadn't heard of Richard Bachmann's Crooked Fingers. I had actually seen an Archers of Loaf show from way back--and wasn't impressed--but CF's new Dignity and Shame is another thing altogether. To quote from an email exchange: "[Bachmann's] also let his inner Neil Diamond out a bit." (Dunno that I would have fingered Neil on first listen, but doggone if he isn't in there. More commonly cited, and much easier to discern, are Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.) Mark Hogan's hardboiled review for Pitchfork is pretty accurate, venturing that the record "teeters on the brink of the AAA abyss," but, to these decidedly non-folky ears, it'll do just fine.
Nolita cover art
Keren Ann makes pretty French records, perfect for a rainy day or for impressing a lady-friend. (Check out her disarming good looks on a Manhattan sidewalk, and Sasha Frere-Jones's review for the New Yorker here.) Nolita, her newest, is probably not too different from the others, but what's not to like? And those knee-socks (see right): mon dieu!
For those of you who regularly follow these writings, it will come as no surprise that I heartily recommend one of the latest releases from the sublime Sublime Fequencies: to wit, Radio Sumatra: The Indonesian FM Experience is one of their best releases to-date; included are 1970s-style station breaks, as well as "brief news reports, advertisements, prayers, and karaoke call-in shows." You'd swear that one selection is sung by the Sumatran Jon Spencer, at least until the bubbly chorus chimes in. Fantastic.
And--last but not least--I scored the first volume of Subliminal Sounds' Thai Beat a Go-Go, now with more surf guitar. I find only dream!


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