17. June 2014
Things You Can Buy Today 17 June 2014
This week’s Things You Can Buy is a true smorgasbord of sounds. From the bounce Queen, the fine young abrasive princes of proto-punk, laidback not so take it easy brain music and a Canadian ‘duo’ skipping the Garanimals approach to throwback-honoring music making. Here is what we’re listening to this week and some thoughts from around the web.
Let us begin to dig in…(click on the album title for for infos)
The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer – ‘A Real Fine Mess’ (Tonic)
We have discovered lately that the format of a duo is possibly the perfect collaborative situation going. Breaking the mold of more is better and, after talking with many of these partnerships, finding that these artists stand to have a better chance of lasting a bit longer in this wonderful world of diverse Rock N’ Roll.
Canadian ‘duo’ The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer are like a well organized vintage shop for sounds. A place were you can pick and match without restriction until your unique style shines. They say it best via their website,”“This record explores not only the electric ‘groove blues’ of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, but their own blues, a blues with a taste of rockabilly, soul, gospel and country. The songs explore complicated dichotomies, like how one’s life can appear successful on one hand, yet be clouded by doubt and struggles on the other- a real fine mess.” Dig It!
Just a few tracks into their latest and we send huge cheers to Shawn ‘the Harpoonist’ Hall and Matthew ‘the Axe Murderer’ Rogers’ A Real Fine Mess’.
Cerebral Ballzy – ‘Jaded & Faded’ (Cult Records)
A lot of usage over the years of the word ‘punk’ to describe a band that borrows heavily form the 70’s/80’s underground bastardized garage rock sounds of London, NYC and beyond.
Cerebral Ballzy may have a slightly irritating name and sound like they could have just walked out of that disgusting CBGB bathroom if it were still available to freak people out but punk they may sound like but varying degrees of jagged-edged power pop they are. And they’re damn good at it.
CB’s second and new album Jaded & Faded is out and Jeremy Allen wrote this for NME, “From the moment ‘Jaded & Faded’ busts out of your speakers, it’s plain that forays into the avant garde will be scant. Opener ‘Another Day’ might signify a new era, but it’s the same old Ballzy, even if it runs much longer than most of the songs on their debut, clocking in at a mighty two minutes and 27 seconds. It commences with a lone, funereal guitar line, before everything kicks in violently, barely letting up until the sinewy last refrain of the album. There are still plenty of ‘Speed Wobbles’ (1:08) for the stringent punk purist, while ‘Lonely As America’ (prog-like at 3:12) and the Ramones-esque ‘Better In Leather’ are full of those aforementioned heightened melodies. It’s little wonder Casablancas has called Ballzy “the coolest band in the world at the moment”, because these mini-epics are the catchiest tunes of their career to date (and thankfully their juggernaut is too cumbersome to veer disastrously into vapid pop punk territory).
Point well made. The band’s Tom Kogut told Rolling Stone, “We didn’t want to write the same album with different song titles. We went into writing a lot of the songs with no set plans. We’re going for this punky abrasive sound done with such a casual melody.”
Job well done and The GTC will be digging deeper in to Jaded & Faded this week!
Big Freedia – ‘Just Be Free’
Here come the truth about this pick. We don’t know anything about ‘bounce’ music per sē.and most likely will not say anything new to the hip-hop sub-genre but hell man, this Big Freedia is catchy as all get out! That’s all we can really say until we understand more about the this and that’s of the genre.
Consequence of Sound’s Caitlin White offers up this, “Rump. Tootsay. Azz. Tail. Back. Big Freedia has no shortage of names for the derriere, and she shouts all of them with equal voraciousness and aplomb over the course of Just Be Free. This is bounce music, after all, and twerking is half the point. Sexually explicit and loaded with cultural and political significance, the rise of Big Freedia’s star reflects how our culture is ushering in a new wave of acceptance and awareness of all forms of sexual identity and persona.”
We’ll have to concur but ultimately stick with our ‘if it’s catchy’ take it for a spin as we are.
Death Has No Dominion – ‘Death Has No Dominion‘ (SQE)
This singer/songwriter duo is putting out some of the best laid back not so take it easy on the thought process sounds you’re going to find. In a move we’ve never done before we’re going to cut and paste their bio supplied by their record label. It is as much a treat as is their latest track Harvest.
The story of Death Has No Dominion exists within their music. It is not a story that begins with the phrase “once upon a time” and it does not unfold chronologically. It is implacable, built on atmosphere and emotional heft rather than centered on actual fact. If you listen closely, you can hear it, the tale of two musicians who found an inherent and inspirational connection in the juxtaposition of themselves. There are some facts that are important in the narrative, but they are secondary to the music. They lift up the songs, but do not define them.
Rasmus Bak and Bjarke Niemann are the two musicians. They have known each other for a certain amount of time. They are both from the same place, but the exact location of that place is not relevant to this story. In the fall, some time ago, the two musicians went to upstate New York to stay in a black house once owned by Willem Dafoe. It is called the Rubber House and among its many strange features is a gigantic dance room. Rasmus and Bjarke drank a lot of wine in the house and they made a lot of music.
On the first night they wrote a song called “Poughkeepsie Exit,” a delicate, acoustic number that reveals a moody, intimate vibe. It opened their eyes to what this partnership could yield. They wrote more songs. They were interested in how a pair of ukuleles could manifest a soaring, quietly significant sound so unlike the instrument’s usual aesthetic. There are very few preconceived notions about the ukulele. The musicians felt liberated from prescribed ways of playing and creating. There was nothing in their minds except the collaboration founded in each new moment. They were centered on the idea of a new dawn. It is an idea that found its way into everything they made after that. Things were not the same when Rasmus and Bjarke came back from that place.
During some future time, over the course of a certain number of months, the duo met regularly in the studio, writing a new song every time they came together. There were many songs, recorded in Los Angeles, Copenhagen and New York. Some of the songs became an album they named after themselves. The first track, “Harvest,” set the tone for what followed, and each song constructed a visceral atmosphere of sound infused with emotive resonance. “Coming Like A Hurricane,” a propulsive, ambient number, opened the possibilities of that sound space. Those two numbers, along with “Poughkeepsie Exit,” are the key elements of the story.
Death Has No Dominion is a new dawn itself, in some ways. It represents a new means of artistic creation, of going with the flow and accepting whatever emerges. It is about a pureness of energy and an emphasis on the significance simplicity can yield. It is something you can hear in every note that is played, and it is also something that is present in the silent spaces between the notes. That is the story of the band. You must listen to fully understand it.
See, we told ya so…Here is the video for Harvest:
What Are You Buying This Week?