There is no way I was the first person to think to use that header for a Fiona Apple article, but nonetheless it rings true. Since the release of her new album The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do I have been trying not to devote all of my time listening to her and give my ears the chance to hear other new music, or at least something that doesn’t completely entrance and buffalo them. However, fortunately for my mind–who enjoys being fully engulfed and spellbound–my ears are addicted, so here I am contributing to the well deserved fleet of timely Fiona reviews. She once again takes what you think you know of an emotional spectrum and torrentially floods it with bright (and dark) new hues. The passion and soul she pours into the album mesmerizes the senses: she brings you deep within the lyrics and lets you share every gut wrenching note and pitch change. She’s letting you in; and with the passage of each moment she lets you feel more of what she is feeling, and lets you seem more relevant while somehow simultaneously solidifying her sublimity. She is just like you, but literally on another fucking level. The bonus track of the album, Largo, probably isn’t my most played–yet–but lyrically is just what I’m talking about.
Lately, I’ve been fucking sick of the over-reverbed and washed-out sound of our apathetic, emulation-obsessed musical culture, so here are a few passionate tunes:
Neneh Cherry & The Thing-Dream Baby Dream
Alabama Shakes-I Found You
Go find some of their live performances. Brittany Howard’s voice is amazing!
If relevant music doesn’t get you in the mood, maybe these jams from yesteryear will do the trick
The Sunrays-I Live For The Sun (1965)
Peter, Paul & Mary-I Dig Rock & Roll Music (1967)
Mungo Jerry-In The Summertime (1970)
Paul Simon-Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard (1972)
Faces-Ooh La La (1973)
Talking Heads-Wild Wild Life (1986)
Over here in sunny San Luis Obispo, the weather has me thinking about dusk in a meadow, tan lines, and angelic love. Here are a few tracks to get you in the mood.
1. Bleached-Think of you
2. Milk Music-Beyond Living
3. Lotus Plaza-Monoliths
Yesterday, Black Moth Super Rainbow came out with a new song, “Spraypaint” which isn’t as hard hitting as some of their previous tracks, but the progression is palpable. On earlier songs the vocals sounded like another instrument, but on “Spraypaint” they take shotgun. That is to say, this song is a little less drugged-out so I don’t immediately want to put on the visualizer when it starts playing.
In the wake of Lindsay Zoladz’s article on pitchfork today, we here at Chocolate Eunuch would also like to pay our respects to Fiona Apple. Shit, that makes it sound like she is dead, which she certainly is not. In fact, Fiona has been one of the most life-affirming musical artist of my generation (and probably the generation of everyone else reading this). In trying to identify the little sect of this generation I occupy, I am convinced that we are all faceless, perambulating corpses. I mean this literally: Lindsay points out the “airbrush’d” trend in our pop culture, projecting a world wherein people try to erase their identity into oblivion…Please read the article linked above–if for nothing more than the music videos–and parish into yourself.
Well, I’m already bored with talking about relevant music so I’m gonna write about my favorite band. Now, the term my favorite band can be a precarious one so let me explain. My requirements are as follows: The band must be active in your lifetime, they must stay consistent throughout their discography, and under no circumstances may it be Drake. With that said, I can safely declare my favorite band Modest Mouse. With the middle school level logic out of the way, I can think of no other artist that has spanned my lifetime quite like Isaac Brock. I know you might think this pick is slightly unimaginative, but my history with the band goes back to the 6th grade. I was first introduced when I was on vacation in Maui, more specifically on a drive to Hana with my brother and sister. Navigating the narrow, ever-curving roads in a flimsy white van I was overwhelmed by the lush landscape. Looking back, it reminded me of that scene in Apocalypse Now where they run into a tiger and the chef has his mental breakdown. My experience was a little less tiger-y but equally as eye-opening. Anyway, somewhere between the flat tire and the spam musubi my brother and sister put on “Trailer Trash” and still today it remains as my favorite song (another slippery slope). Upon my return, I immediately went to the record shop and bought myself a copy of The Lonesome Crowded West. This purchase marked my entry into the indiesphere and thrusted me into the world of Modest Mouse. Nearly a year later they released Good News for People Who Love Bad News which I played non-stop during the spring/summer of 2004. Modest Mouse is unparalleled in their depth of musical greatness. I constantly discover and rediscover old gems every time I put on an album like This Is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Talk About. “3rd Planet” and “Dramamine” were some of the first older songs I found, but it wasn’t until maybe a year ago that I uncovered “Night on the Sun” which is an outstanding track. (Dare I say my favorite.)
On a personal (and slightly maniacal) aside, Isaac is a pioneer for those who have a lisp. I myself suffer acutely from the speech impediment, and under no circumstances is it easy to shove that problem to the back of ones mind. I consider Brock somewhat of a hero. During those awkward years in middle school his music really gave me confidence. When all those big meanie bullies were trying to get me to say “Sally sped to the supermarket to buy some sassafras” Isaac was singing “And I guess that I missed you/And I’m sorry if I dissed you.” Both equally hard to pronounce, but he was saying it by choice. Mentally, I got over my lisp partially due to how much Brock embraced it. Though, today it’s still in the back of my mind which is why I identify so much with Claire Boucher of Grimes. I’ll leave Claire for another post.
Hopefully, this post will force you to dig a little deeper into the Modest Mouse anthology. Here is “Trailer Trash” –>
And here is “Night on the Sun”
With Record Store Day exactly three weeks away, this will be my first hype post about the wonderful things to come on April 21st. Ribbon Music and Domino Records are teaming up to release a marvelous multi-media package. This exclusive collection, entitled Smugglers Way, will include a twenty-four page “zine” including contributions from musicians such as Owen Pallett, Alex Bleeker of Real Estate, Andrea Estrella from Twin Sister, and many others. The “zine” will consist a short story, multiple poems, and illustrations, along with five flexi-discs containing unreleased songs from Dirty Projectors, Real Estate, Cass McCombs, John Maus, and Villagers (the discs will be multi-colored so you can hear the rainbow).
I would like to focus on the most intelligent (or certainly most enlightened) person in the music industry, John Maus (check out his interview with Altered Zones and his Pitchfork +1). Yesterday, his track for Smugglers Way was released on the internet. “No Title (Molly)” is a powerful, honest love song. The driving bass line is immediately identifiable and is accompanied by Maus’s ghostly howls giving it a persistently haunting atmosphere. The effect that he uses on his voice conveys such unearthly qualities. When Maus sings, “I want you in my arms tonight” it’s as if he is speaking to his significant other from another realm, and that distance is resplendently heartbreaking. I know I might be reading into these songs a little too much, but given Maus’s background in philosophy I think the thoughts are warranted. Though, maybe you disagree and would rather call me pretentious and assuming, that may be warranted as well.
Either way you should listen to and download “No Title (Molly)” RIGHT HERE:
To download, press the little down arrow on the far right of the soundcloud.
Being in between wine tastings in yuppy land up north I have found myself continuing a frame of thought constructed by my JPG post. The spoken word and rough electric baseline is entirely reminiscent of none other than Nasty Rox Inc. Now, good luck finding any physical or digital copies besides those on youtube because their record label ZTT (who focused more on Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Andrew Poppy) has somewhat dropped them from the history books. I first heard them back when I was a kid watching old ski movies like Licensee To Thrill wishing I was as cool as Glen Plake (which I still do). Anyway we wont get into my ski BS, but I would like to highlight Nasty Rox and especially the track 10th Wonder from their album Cash.
These early tracks are reminiscent of Sugar Hill Gang and became popular in the late 80’s and early 90’s especially. Unfortunately, as you would guess, they commanded only the attention of ski bums and never expanded farther than a small east coast niche, so their success–if any–was very short lived. Nonetheless, they remain a stipulation to the nostalgia of the glory days of budding extreme sports. Now…my buzz is kicking in, it’s dinner time, and I need to make reservations, because God knows I don’t go anywhere without reservations.