Gem Jones
“Starsquisha”

Iowa City’s Gem Jones has been reconfiguring and repurposing pop music throughout a number of different CGIFriday and home-recorded cassette tape releases in the past few years. But it makes complete sense that he’s now landed a Night People release, considering he’s been tearing down the same pop walls as Shawn Reed (of Wet Hair), Night People founder and fellow Iowa City resident. Mr. Jones, welcome to the family.

“Starsquisha” begins like a 1990s daytime sitcom, before falling into a kind of Joe Strummer-filtered take on Gem Jones’ specific style of New No Wave, explored previously on his Symphony in P release on Portland’s CGIFriday label. It’s catchy, trashy, and comes as close to falling apart halfway through as a song built from a drum machine loop can manage to do. Listen to it below, and buy the full tape, Exhaust, from Night People.

• Gem Jones: http://gemjonesia.bandcamp.com
• Night People: http://www.night-people.org
• CGIFriday: http://cgifriday.blogspot.com

Better Psychics (Chris Weisman & Zach Phillips)

“Loose”

Chris Weisman gettin’ all kinds of creepy with this Better Psychics stuff. Wait, wait, wait… back up. First indication this is great: new material from Chris Weisman. Second indication: Zach Phillips of Blanche Blanche Blanche is in the band. In fact, it’s just the two of them, the Brattleboro super-duo here coming up with an album of 20 tracks for ZP’s freshly minted OSR label, home to a couple of BBB releases and one of Weisman’s crazier albums to date with Beatleboro earlier this year. So, like I was saying, fairly creepy for Weisman and surprisingly simple, harmonically speaking. A single chord with some light poetry and unsettling atmospheres sprinkling themselves about, all of it sure to roll your pupils as far back as physically possible. Elsewhere on the album is some of the wilder stuff coming from either of these gents (or anyone else, for that matter), and some of the prettiest too. Ballads, neo-jazz, atonalism, noise, guitars, synths, helium’d voices, Phillips going “brrrrr-r-rrr-rrr” at one point… some rapping from Weisman(???). Completely across and all the way off the damn board, but also somehow a perfect hybrid of what each brings to the table.

Watch for the tape to drop in about a month’s time, and word on the street is album #2 from the two is already in the works. If you just can’t wait for all this? Visit OSR’s new site and see if you can’t find a download thereabouts. And bloggers out there, dig this: OSR has a special price on tapes just for you. $4.02 — that’s be $4 for the tape, and .02 ¢ents in a review — gets a copy into your deck. And shit, I’ll write your review for you: this is weird and awesome.

• OSR Tapes: http://osr-tapes.com

DJ TRIBAL SHITSHOW

The Lovers

THE LOVERS … A FANFARE OF TROUBLE . A LONG, LOUD, COLD NIGHT, DRUNK IN THE DARK. PEOPLE PRANCING, BUT THE COLD WAS TOO MUCH FOR I. WANDERING UNTIL THE SUN WOULD RETURN TO THE SKY. HM. BUT YOU KNOW, IKO WAS THERE WAITING. AND HE HAD BEEN THERE THE WHOLE TIME. BUTCHY, CAMERON AND THE GANG OF FREAKS ERE ROLLING ON STRONG. YES, STRONG. AND AS THE SHOWERS OF FREEDOM POURED, IT WAS UTTERED: “IT’S OVER.”.
DEDICATED TO THESE SOLDIERS OF WHICH I SPEAK.
“GO OVER THERE AND TALK TO CHICKS, MAN”

I really have no idea what this means, but it’s pretty mmmmmmmmmdamn deep. Deep Tapes, that is. Enigmatic, multi-moniker’d, genre-jumpin’ Alex Gray is at his computer again making music here under the name DJ TRIBAL SHITSHOW. This time around, it feels down a more familiar street in the instrumental hip-hop hood. Cuttin’, pastin’, choppin’, sloppin’, pop-lock-and-droppin’ — The Lovers shits it all out.

• DJ TRIBAL SHITSHOW: http://chanceimages.bandcamp.com
• Deep Tapes: http://deeptapes.tumblr.com

Chocolate Grinder Mix 63

Take The Adventure

I wanted to make a mix that was adventurous and thematic to me both in creative thought and sound. Most of these artists have made releases that I died listening to this year. Every day that I experience of real life makes me want to further ingrain myself into this computer. Not to say that two, three hours out of my day are worth realism. But, for all I’m concerned, the rest of it can fast-track itself out of existence. This mix is my transcendence into that life. My final peace will occur when all my particles break and absorb into technology. I wish I had the responsibility of just a single piece of the matter comprised in my entire body rather than organizing it all into a nice-guy failure. I’m the only escapist I know in real life and that concerns/enlightens me on a variety of levels.

Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.

[00:00] sunn 0))) - “Holy Water”
[00:08] Transmuteo - “Ocean Intro”
[01:02] Bataille Solaire - “[Part One]”
[02:27] Diamond Terrifier - “Three Kings”
[05:20] Blonde God - “[Track 1]”
[06:04] Gesellschaft zur Emanzipation des Samples - “Irrelevant Sound Effect”
[07:12] Superskin - “Jungle Juice”
[11:20] Frank Rosaly - “[A]”
[12:13] Prurient - “Vicodin Slave”
[12:45] Earn - “Romantic Comedy”
[13:37] Charlemagne Palestine & Janek Schaefer - “Raga de L’apres midi pour Aude”
[18:00] Starving Weirdos - “A Change In The Lexicon”
[23:11] Inga Copeland and Dean Blunt - “Attitude Adjustment”
[24:55] YYU - “What Do You Want To Be”
[25:12] /please/ - “Why Should I”

Squarehead

“More Quickly”

Squarehead is an Irish rock band, that, despite only having been formed in 2008, plays crunchy garage-pop that sounds straight out of 1992. The fuzz-o-meter is off the charts, the riffs are simple and catchy, and the entire package is very, very loud. “More Quickly,” a cut off the band’s upcoming split with So Cow on Inflated Records, shows off the group’s playful side, with a tug-of-war ensuing between dreamy Britpop and Nirvana-style anthemics. Nothing too fancy, and that’s what makes it so great. Plus, Morrissey went to see them, which, considering how grumpy he seems to be most of the time, says quite a lot.

• Squarehead: http://www.myspace.com/squareheadmusic
• Richter Collective: http://www.richtercollective.com
• Inflated Records: http://inflatedrecords.tumblr.com

Wires Under Tension

“Like Waves We Will Keep Coming On”

The seven-and-a-half minute track “Like Waves We Will Keep Coming On,” by Wires Under Tension (a Bronx-based duo founded by composer Christopher Tignor), has the post-rock grandeur that its diction suggests. The piece starts with the sound of a turntable needle and a slow, feverish monologue. Then strings begin to lay down the primer coat, but Tignor applies only a thin layer so that the impurities show through for textural effect. After nearly two minutes, synth sequences and drums are unexpectedly speckled into the mix. A sense of acumen that’s agnostic to convention rises from the disparate pairing of programmed and organic sounds. The track is from the upcoming sophomore release Replicant, an album inspired by Conlon Nancarrow’s player piano experiments and Philip K. Dick’s fiction. Like Nancarrow, the duo explores the relationship of the mechanical with performance. And like Dick, they work within genre and lather on the metaphysical themes. Listen here:

Wires Under Tension’s Replicant, whose artwork for both the CD and LP was created by Peter Liversidge, is to be released by Western Vinyl on November 13.

• Wires Under Tension: http://www.wiresundertension.com
• Western Vinyl: http://westernvinyl.com

  

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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.