“Dog That Bit You”
If there’s one thing that 2013 has ruled at so far, it’s been the release of albums that no one ever thought would see the light of day. First, there was the whole MBV thing, and now 10 years after the release of the amazingly fucked up No Silver/No Gold, everyone’s favorite lo-fi folk band Baptist Generals have finally returned!
The Generals’ last album was a slice of guttural Americana that sounded like a schizophrenic Neil Young alternately backed by the Shadow Ring and The Dead C. That record started off with a beautiful ballad that ended in frontman Chris Flemmons screaming obscenities and storming out of the studio because someone’s cellphone went off during the take. You’d think a record could only get more upbeat from there, but instead No Silver/No Gold just stayed intense and apocalyptic throughout.
However, it was clear that while this ramshackle atmosphere was completely authentic, it was also meticulously crafted. The inclusion of a “demo” version of “Going Back Song” at the album’s end indicated that the General’s worked really hard to make their music sound like it might fall apart at any moment. It also made one curious as to what might happen if the band went the opposite direction with their production and decided to frame Flemmons’ gloriously unhinged ranting within a set of studied arrangements.
Well, “Dog That Bit You,” the first single from the Generals’ forthcoming album Jackleg Devotional To The Heart is the band’s attempt at applying a more “produced” aesthetic to their sound, and this new sonic sheen suits the Generals well. “Dog That Bit You” proves that Flemmons’ songwriting is so sharp and cutting that his tunes sound just as amazing dressed up with jangling guitars, strings, and horns as they do covered in sonic muck.
Jackleg Devotional To The Heart is out May 21 via Sub Pop. You can stream or download “Dog That Bit You” below:
Live For The Funk
“LFTF Mix 23 (Astronautica Mix)”
The number 23 has had a varied, often remarkable career. In addition to providing the numeral for a thoroughly dubious Jim Carey thriller, gracing the jersey of the greatest baller to ever play the game, quantifying Winston Churchill’s well-manicured V for victory (two fingers up, three fingers down), and enumerating how many years Ian Curtis had traumatically accrued before he tragically had no more, the number 23 is (drum roll please) now affixed to a Live For the Funk mixtape. Such is the glorious fate of any list so bold as to step beyond its 22nd item!
But, in truth, listen up, because if LFTF’s type of music is of your taste, then you’ll likely find this particular mix superlative. Specifically, it includes a pair of prizes from L.A.’s beat scene: two tracks from Astronautica, a.k.a. Edrina Martinez, who fully deserves whatever privilege of attention she’s recently enjoyed. See also the mix’s lead off with Shigeto’s sample of Astrud Gilberto, her languid, Portuguese bossa-nova, of songbird clarity and incandescent open vowels; then, later, a head-bob inducing remix of one-hit wonder Amerie; and a whole mix-worth of seamless track-to-track transitions.
Only in your mind can you control what you see. It’s not what’s right in front of you, but all-around on the inside. Feel the frisk of mental stimulation. Harness yourself upon the mind’s Shrines. Reach the maximum destination in thought and keep yourself there, setting the plateau. Find what inner peace calms your thoughts. Bring about the library of past and present to dictate your future, and become what you’ve always wished. It’s all right inside you. Right now. Submit your thought to what has always made you. Believe in the ability to become. Access what is right, and free your body within. Implode upon yourself and enjoy the scenery. Paisleys are my favorite shape, no? Seasonally season your seasons. It’s always the right climate. So hack some Shines today, and ride the Infinity Frequencies into a purely personal paradise.
Infinity Frequencies is performing at AMDISC’s live streaming event, SOFT FREQUENCY Vol. 1, tonight.
The Flaming Lips / Horse Thief
Flaming Thief Horse Lips
The Flaming Lips sure are good at seizing opportunities! The group, who just released a new album today called The Terror (“a depressing and dismal dud,” according to this dud), contacted a band last night called Horse Thief to record some music. Why? Well, both artists released an album today (Horse Thief’s is called Grow Deep, Grow Wild), both were released on the same label (Bella Union), and both of them hail from Oklahoma City. Naturally, the two groups decided to swap a song from each of their albums and record them as covers. The result: The Flaming Lips covering Horse Thief’s “I Am The Bear” and Horse Thief covering The Flaming Lips’ “Try to Explain.” Check it out:
Keith Fullerton Whitman
I didn’t expect to wake up yesterday to find a 12-hour journey into the aural history of one of my favorite musical minds humbly sitting in my SoundCloud feed among label promos and home recorded demos — but whoa, here I am, and I’ve heard (almost) all of it. Keith Fullerton Whitman has been working sporadically on his “Greatest Hits” mix for almost 10 years; the result, presented here in a single jagged waveform across your screen, is one hundred “remixes” of “the most salient points of the pop music of [the artist’s] youth” slowed, processed, and abstracted into the sweetest droned-out disfigurements. Take a moment here and erase all the preconceptions planted by the “omg ‘Justin Bieber 800% Slower’ sounds like Sigur Ros or smthng lol” YouTube pop slowdowns of yesteryear. “Greatest Hits” treats us to a much more sonically hi-fi, conceptually ambitious half-day of pop deconstruction — deliberate in its pacing, diverse in its source material, wide in its tonal palette. Also, yeah, given the 10-year timeline of this project, I think we can safely say that KFW got there first, probably before anyone.
Is it worth sinking 12 hours of your short little life into? If you’re asking yourself this, I remind you that we’re dealing with Keith Fullerton fucking Whitman here. The man has the gear and the technical knowledge to process any sound into virtually any form he can imagine; he has a well-articulated personal/artistic motivation for this and all of his projects; he has a sense of quality control as strict and discerning as anyone else in his field; his taste, perhaps best exemplified by the music he chooses to stock in his Mimaroglu Music Sales distro, is better than yours. He will not steer you wrong.
Best Available Technology
Excavated Tapes 1992-1999
Not to be confused with the application of ballistics and celestial Newtonian mechanics to practical problems concerning the motion of man-made objects in space (such as rockets and spacecraft), Astro:dynamics are a record label. Not to be confused with a term applied with regulations on limiting pollutant discharges with regard to the abatement strategy constituting a moving target on practices since developing societal values and advancing techniques may change what is currently regarded as “reasonably achievable,” “best practicable,” and “best available,” Best Available Technology is Kevin Palmer from Portland. Check out “Keys TDK SA-X100” from Excavated Tapes 1992-1999, Vol. 1, out May 6: