Banana Head
“Grim in the Fridge”

It’s the first time you’re driving alone at night. The air is right with the wind, breezing slightly through the car, and the person coughing in the front seat is either high or dying or both, but dragging ‘em out of the country road ditch was a much better idea than running ‘em over ‘cause maybe there’s money for gas in the wallet, since you’re running low, and five fast food joints you applied to last week rejected your eight years of service experience for someone younger. Yet now you’re $20 richer, and there’s a tape slipping out of the suffering/captive/hi-dying passenger inside coat pocket, so you pop it out and into your player, and rediscover the meaning of rock & roll.

And as intense as any moment can be, for the first time, your new pal pulls their arms up, revealing two sleeves of tattoos and points to the word Zully; points to his chest; points to an illustration of a Banana Head; points to the radio and says, “fucccck ittttt do thhhe ‘Grim in the Fridge’ aiiiiiin’t no Goon House in Euuuuuurope, buttttt I jusss gotta gggggg’oh.”

Goaty Tapes re-released Banana Head’s 2012 7-inch Goon House on cassette, providing way more portability to slur it all in.

• Banana Head: http://bananahead.bandcamp.com
• Goaty Tapes: http://goatytapes.com

Mind Over Mirrors

“Storing the Winter”

After three full-length LPs, through the label-likes of Digitalis, Hands in the Dark, and Aguirre, the music of Mind Over Mirrors (Jaime Fennelly, formerly of Peeesseye) has staked out its own holy corner of the contemporary drone scene — a mandala-in-progress sharing the landscape with the immaculate shrines of gurus and wizards. His sessions breathe with the live input of foot pedals churning, fingers trilling over keys, a head bobbing in time, with what sounds like four or six arms flitting across a command center of oscillators, keyboards, and modular synth elements while intersecting rhythms and tape-delay trails solidify into new layers of the mosaic. At the heart of his rig, Fennelly’s trusty harmonium grounds his explorations in a pure-toned warmth, more indebted to the Indian classical tradition than to the New Age. It seems strange that we can just hit play on the SoundCloud stream of “Storing The Winter” down below, instead of having to unearth and laboriously decode a sheaf of ancient parchments dictating the instructions for the piece’s performance and try to throw together a version ourselves centuries after the fact — but whoa great, we can. It’s right here.

The track opens When The Rest Are Up At Four, Fennelly’s stunning forthcoming full-length on Immune Recordings, due September 17 on LP and CD.

• Mind Over Mirrors: http://mindovermirrors.tumblr.com
• Immune Recordings: http://immunerecordings.net

Abstract Mutation

“Expert Loner”

Witchcraft shall never die, whoever the “Expert Loner” may be. They will cast enchantments, curses, and blessings on our doomed Earth future, riding the cloak-tails of technology, conglomerations, and Abstract Mutation everywhere, thirsting on cocktail’d potions of belief, ancient incantations, and the mentally open. In pulses, future witchcraft will transcend voodoo, Wiccans, and Christians, jinns and golems. It will find a future to latch onto; disco, dance, EDM, and house all seem populated by the many, so let the beat-craft commence.

In fluxes of complex rhythms and melodies, “Expert Loner” will entice each listener to move, eventually throwing them into a fit. Others perceive these flailing seizures as DANCE, but to the caster, they’ve already become enslaved in mind. Without a care put forth toward remorse, the deepest of witchcraft is performed and progressed way past modern times. Doubt in its pursuit further isolated magic from humanity’s consciousness, devising the most stealth and secretive form of pleasure for a select few who still believe. That belief is real through 1080p’s latest Abstract Mutation C25 tape Fake Keygen, featuring the spellbound “Expert Loner.” Out now!

&bull: Abstract Mutation: https://soundcloud.com/abstract-mutation
• 1080p: http://1080pcollection.net

Bill Callahan

“Expanding Dub”

Once upon a time, I made the presumptuous statement that “nobody can resist reggae” when writing about a Co La recording. In response, TMT’s favorite hype-man, C Monster, called me out in a private message saying that he hates reggae — even Bob Marley [C Monster note: this is true]! But thennnnn, a couple months later, he grinds this shiz [C Monster note: regrettably true] and prolly jizzed all over that Congos collab, too [C Monster note: keyboard is still sticky]!

So, even though no one is looking for any reasons to be smitten with the riddims, the Eeyore of indie rock, Bill Callahan, has cranked up the reverb and is strumming his guitar on the off-beats to get you ready for his new record coming out next month. Dream River is scheduled to be released on September 17, but you can currently obtain a 12-inch single on Drag City featuring two dubbed-up versions of songs on the new full-length. “Expanding Dub” is a reworking of the future LP’s track “Javelin Unlanding,” containing rich tribal instrumentation and a solid dub infusion. Callahan’s voice doesn’t exactly fit the typical mold for a track like this, but his velvety timbre and a hearty echo effect make for a smooth-ass addition to the rootsy jam.

P.S. I <3 u C Monster, you inspire me.

• Bill Callahan: http://www.dragcity.com/artists/bill-callahan
• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

Gem Trails

“Cashed Out For Real”

Imagine the world a couple hundred thousand years in the future. Long after Mt. Rainier spews its grungy lava all over the Pacific Northwest; centuries after continents have blown each other to smithereens over ideological differences; once the ice caps melt and drown the rest of humanity; when the only surviving Earthling creatures are bed bugs and cockroaches and sea urchins; this is when aliens discover our planet. These extra-terrestrial beings are curious and want to know what’s up. So they begin to dig. They find skyscrapers, iPods, smart cars, skateboards, and layers and layers of junk/treasures.

The gems of Earth with be very different in the distant future, which is exactly what Brooklyn musician Gem Trails is looking to help develop, utilizing rumbling futuristic bass tones that shift beneath the surface of first single “Cashed Out For Real” from the upcoming EP Dripps. Busy percussion scurries along the throbbing foundation of the piece to create a rich and suspenseful track that serves as a perfect soundtrack to mental images of alien archaeologists. So, pre-order now for $4 through the Bandcamp link below; Dripps hits reality September 9 on Fire Talk, so scope it before it’s too late!

• Gem Trails: http://gemtrails.bandcamp.com
• Trevor P.: http://trevor-p.tumblr.com/music
• Fire Talk: http://firetalk.tumblr.com

The OO-Ray

“Scenes from a Wedding (Live at Pendarvis Farms)”

Sometimes a person is offered the opportunity to glimpse at a moment that is very personal to somebody else. Two examples of this: an artist’s workspace (be it a studio, bedroom, practice room, dungeon, balcony, garden, or through live performances) and a wedding. Disparate contexts, but both contain a similar sense of emotional place, serenity, and beauty. Though, one is a scene of limitless optimism, while the other is often plagued by intense turmoil and self-doubt.

The artistic process is nothing like a wedding. Being an artist is ugly and depressing, because for those most committed to their art, there is no worse critic than thyself. First and foremost, an artist is married to his or her opus (either a single piece that represents a lifelong artistic statement, or an entire oeuvre) before he or she is married to anybody else. Long after the bedroom lights go out, the subconscious light of creativity still glows and interferes with human contact. Other people won’t understand that it’s the type of love that’s almost inanimate because music cannot return any definitive feedback. Being a musician is like being married to someone who will never make up their mind and never actually talk. Ever. Thousands of wordless, lonely conversations. All the artist can do is continually perfect it, and eventually it will shine for them, and in turn reflect positively or negatively. Other people may love them for it, but their music will never love them.

In this except, from a live performance at a friend’s wedding, The OO-Ray merits the listener the very opportunity to experience two moments of incredible intimacy, using what appears to be looping piano and “shoegaze cello.” Like any good performance, there are conflicting emotions that overlap each other in a climactic and intense journey. The clean, almost cliché loveliness of the cello is turned forlorn and melancholy by the repetitive, looping nature of the performance, and the continuous layering of complicated emotional fragments on top only add to the overall beauty of the mix. The best music, in any genre, makes one feel very much, but not know immediately what it is they are feeling. The best music does not make you feel love, but makes you feel the artist’s love, and then allows you to interpret it.

• The OO-Ray: http://15people.net

  

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CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.