Sunday, October 18, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Alternative Press magazine said that, “North Carolina’s Geezer Lake pick up the baton from June Of 44, Grifters, Unwound and Sunny Day Real Estate and Parade is a hodgepodge of influences that makes for 11 songs with more cohesion and thematic focus that has been heard in some time. Filled with equal parts beauty and ferocity, King Frost Parade is simply startling.”
This was their 3rd and final album. The band broke up in the late 90s. Scotty Irving, who still lives in Greensboro, now plays as Clang Quartet, a truly crazy/amazing solo electronic/noise/experimental project that is comprised of the father, the son, the holy ghost, and Scotty. He puts on quite a show. Like the Raymond Brake, Geezer Lake was before my time in Greensboro, so I missed out seeing them play live. I'm posting this older stuff up here because I think it's important for all the younger Greensboro rockers to get a little bit of a history lesson - and these albums are damn good. Sure, at times you can tell they came from the 90s, but sounding like where your from ain't always a bad thang.
Get it here
So here's something different: Greensboro indie/post-punk from the 90s. The Raymond Brake are definitely one of the better bands to come out of Greensboro. Unfortunately, they existed before my Greensboro time, so I never got to really experience their music. Lead man, Andy Cabic now lives in California and is the man guy for new folk band Vetiver, which also features members of another 90s indie/post-punk outfit Rebar. Vetiver often collaborates with Devendra Banhart, so I guess they're doing alright. It would have been interesting though, to see what would have become of them had they kept on with the experimental rock music like what is on this disc from 96.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
INVISIBLE's post-post-post-punk-rock debut. Recorded in 2008 when they were consistently playing as a four piece with experimental electronicist Dan Kaufman (the Neon Sea, Miso Skitzo).
Saturday, January 10, 2009
America Reads is a dark spacey sound collage noise experiment conceived by one R. Lloyd Mason. Released DIY style on tape, the album consists of two tracks: (Side A) and (Side B). Each side is about 20 minutes long and takes the listener on a journey through the dark matter of space in a lo-fi noiseship held together by jangling glass bottles and cans. While floating in the void, you pick up a signal from an alien race, but either they are speaking too quickly, or you are hearing too slowly—you can’t quite make it out -- it doesn’t matter anyway, because your radio device, which is controlled by a toy piano, only works half of the time anyway. In the end, the crumbling church bells lead you home again, only to discover that while you were gone, time turned in on itself, leaving only a negative of where you once lived.
Download the trip here
visit America Reads at myspace here
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Shedding much of the lo-fi aesthetic of past releases, Secret Message Machine’s 4th album sparkles and shines with crisp production, airy vocals, and thoughtful arrangements. Michael Barrett has been releasing music as Secret Message Machine for over five years, while at the same time playing in countless Subjective Collective projects, including Blank Blank. In the first few moments of hearing Barret’s deep vocals, you might be tempted to think: “This sounds like that guy from Smog”, or you could go the way of the Go Triad, saying that the vocals “echo Stephin Merritt (Magnetic Fields) with its organic melancholy tone and reverb”. But I don’t know about all of that. Barrett’s personality (and thus songwriting) is far from the smart-ass, sad clown schitck of Merritt, or the downtrodden slit-your-wrists stylings of Bill Callahan. “Giants, Madmen, and Ghosts” is a beautiful layered experience, expressing much more complicated thoughts and emtions than just everyone’s old pal melacholia.
Accompanied by Erik Chaplinsky (Summer Camp Casanova) and Chuck Chambers (Kaliedoscope Death), Barrett’s songs contain the best elements of singer/songwriter indie rock, with no cliches or tired sounds. Each track, although fronted by seemingly forlorn vocals, springs to life with intricately placed layers of bass, acoustic strumming, magical effects and rock guitar coming and going at just the right moments. The songwriting comes off in an extremely natural way, making the transistions from one song to the next easy, smooth, even ghostly—like, hey is this a different song, or a different part of the one before it? This album definitely has flow. Actually it flows so well, I’m always surprised when it’s over. With 11 songs, it clocks in just over 30 mins, proving that there’s never anything wrong with leaving the listener wanting more.
the opener “Insomnia” - busy drums, drone, slide guitar, backwards casio, --”We’re all Guitly! We’re all Crazy!” so good.
“Literary Criticism” - mostly acoustic -with some otherworldy effects laden violin playing.
“Ghosts” - haunting vocals, flowing rhythm, casio melody, ghostly.
“Greensboro” - peepy little piano ditty about a donut run. Apparently for Michael, Greensboro and sugar highs go hand in hand. Maybe I need to get with the program and visit Dunkin Donuts.
There’s not a bad song here. A must listen for fans of lo-fi, dyi, indie singer/songwriter stuff, in the vein of Sebadoh, Netural Milk Hotel, Summer Camp Casanova and Kaliedoscope Death
Download it here.
Visit Secret Message Machine on myspace, here.
I have to start this off by saying that you if you have lived in Greensboro for the past couple of years, love rock music, and haven’t seen Jonathan Moore peform in one of his two bands,Tiger Bear Wolf or Health (r.i.p.), then you have no idea the scope of amazing music this town has to offer.
I first saw Jon with Tiger Bear Wolf in 2003 - the unlikelypairing of explosive punk ferocity with 70s prog-rock style monster riffs was enough for me to almost run down Lee St. to the nearest tattoo shop and get a TBW heart on my upper arm. Tiger Bear Wolf is still blowing minds in local venues, - not as often as some would like, but see them if you can-- they are not to be missed. Jon, who provides Tiger Bear Wolf with most of the singing, and half of the guitar work - later formed Health, --- a sort of introspective alt-country realization of the Velvet Underground. Group harmonies, epic guitar solos, powerful yet minimal percussion, and on top of it all, Jon’s soulful vocals.
But enough about the past and onto the present.
Romancer finds Jon at his most experimental - which isn’t to say this is a weird album—In fact, in his experimenting, he offers up his most abstract and also his most accessible at the same time. The self-titled album opens and closes with the Fripp/Eno-esque “Wheels Within Wheels”, produced with the almost forgotten technique of recording on reel-to-reel tape then physically cutting it and splicing it together again to produce a geniune tape loop. Creating layers of guitars and keys that echo and delay in the depths of a pulsing ambient drone. The last thing you’d expect to find inbetween these spacey bookends is the feel good hit of summer (“The World Is Exploding”) - but it’s there—it’s catchy—and it makes me loathe the winter.
Now, I’m no bible scholar, but “Moses” seems to be a narrative of Moses, complete with a 3/4 tribal beat and splashed with bursts of horns. Jon comes off as a deranged preacher, hitting his climax of crazy yelling about blood and snakes. Combining intimate stripped down songs with full blown rockers works really well on this mini-album by multi-instrumentalist riffrocking songsinging Greensboroian.
Download Romancer’s self-titled album here.
Hey, it’s really good.
visit Jon at www.myspace.com/romancergso