“The Wire, the Rag and the Payoff”

For Brokeback and the Black Rock, the first new Brokeback release in about 10 years, Douglas McCombs (of Tortoise fame) hired an entirely new squad to coalesce a more traditional rock configuration, where his penchant for dusty, Morricone-esque melodies could thrive. The style’s a far cry from the band’s earlier jazzy chamber-compositions of a decade ago, but some might argue that this is indeed the natural setting for McCombs’ pliable, whammy-bar tones. And “The Wire, the Rag and the Payoff” makes a strong case, especially as filtered through John McEntire’s sparkling production via the legendary Soma studio. The video for the track, however goofy, finds the band in true-to-form performance mode on a stage in front of wide open and expansive vista sceneries, furthering the Western thematic content the full record is already rife with. Thrill Jockey tells us the video was inspired by a Glen Campbell performance on the Smothers Brothers’ show (this one?). I guess I can see it, but that doesn’t really explain those mittens. Someone is going to have to explain the mittens to me. Guys… what’s the deal with the mittens?

Brokeback and the Black Rock is out now on Thrill Jockey.

• Thrill Jockey:

Various Artists

Your Victorian Breasts

Set to be released in physical form on February 5, Your Victorian Breasts is the newest stellar compilation from Swiss/French label Three:Four Records, and you can now stream the whole thing on their SoundCloud. Featuring four sides and 20 tracks, this collection of previously unreleased and newly recorded music is overflowing with a variety of contemporary experimental music. Each tune is incredible, and each has a great back-story to it, but here are some of my faves:

An instrumental cover of Daniel Johnston’s destitute tune “Despair Came Knocking” played even sadder by Circuit des Yeux; a warm and wide-open demo called “Dust Bowl” from duo Date Palms; Josephine Foster teams up with husband Victor Herrero and a few others to form Mendrugo and record a leisurely and loving track “Estrella Fugaz;” a newly-formed outfit Syracuse Ear, consisting of noise-makers Chris Corsano, David Maranha, Manuel Mota, and Margarida Garcia, who create a suspenseful and rich piece called “Earth of Vitreous;” a classic Macedonian ballad reconstructed by Eric Chenaux… I could go on and on. You’re just gonna have to keep listening to it, and pre-order that record right now.

• Three:Four Records:

Idiot Glee


MTV Hive is so intense. With the possible exception of this extreme blog, I have never been bombarded with so many widescreen images and emboldened apple typefaces in my life. Nevertheless, it is there I must reluctantly direct you if you would care to gain deeper insight into the latest Idiot Glee release, which has something to do with relationships. His new EP, Life Without Jazz, is released late in February across three exceptionally well-named record labels.

• Idiot Glee:
• Hop Hop:
• Atelier Ciseaux:
• BureauBureau:

Bhob Rainey

When you talk, you hear from the other side

Bhob Rainey (nmperign, The BSC) finds some decaying spools of wire from the early 1950s in a thrift store. He discovers the sounds of a family playing with a new recording device over Christmas, making fake jingles, recording snippets of conversation, and attempting comedy sketches. He carefully toys with the material, playing different elements through different speakers to enhance the sense of space, looping background noises to add some timbral spice and chopping through the snippets of chatter. He finds a collaborator in Nancy Bernardo, who patiently compiles a series of glass collages in response to this bizarre segment of middle-class American history. He casually brings Jason Lescalleet over to build some dense and arresting musique concrète from the idiosyncratic noises that flitter through the recordings. He summarizes the development of the work in an eloquent and informative essay. What a scoundrel.

When you talk, you hear from the other side (excerpt 1):

When you talk, you hear from the other side (excerpt 2):

• Bhob Rainey:

No Glow

“My Life”

One of my most-most favorite things to do now is play 45s at 33 speed. Like, anything I get on 45, I always try at 33, and usually it just makes a whole new kind of music. Landon thinks I’m crazy for doing this, but I dig it. Specifically, I LOVE listening to 100% Silk 45s at 33. And I’ve a feeling NY producer Sean Adams (No Glow) has done the same. Although Aussie label Rocket Machine put Sean’s new No Glow release No Hope (appropriately) on tape, and not a 45, there is no need. It’s as though Sean tries to replicate dance 45s in 33: the music is random and sporadic, yet enthralling in a deep-nodding sort of agreement, “recorded in real time using a Nakamichi CR-1 and a Nakamichi LX3 onto Cobalt Type II cassette.” What’s better is that this edition of 40 tapes will eventually reel itself in places unfamiliar to the No Glow musical intention and eventually add on a gritty feel to what sounds like pure HD bumble beats. Dig it now; it came out earlier this month. There’s also a nasty sale involving the release over at Rocket Machine. FEEL IT!

• No Glow:
• Rocket Machine:

Public Spreads The News & Show Your Teeth

Missing Nature

And out of a broken campaign class swirls a stream of vodka, Kahlua and chocolate liqueur of something expensive. Blood and broken glass. Class, yet not refined. In the way sitting naked on your couch at 1:14 AM to “get WORK done, kiid” ::: sorta class. Okay, so your mouth is wider today. Yet, is it Missing Nature? One thing I can appreciate is elusiveness. Like, at this point, do I want this split on cassette/the-physical? Or, can, like — can I let it go? I’m thinking about the beach, y’all. And Public Spreads The News & Show Your Teeth qualifies for that vast gaze. Just you and, like, maybe a comic, but NO subways, yah hurrd. This Missing Nature on tape, yeah? Y’ohhh, this is on Woozy, yeahhhh? Gadd dagg, I cannot keep up. This progression. Like, imagine the world spinning too fast, and it’s 12/21/2012 all over again. Wait, it’s “more than” again @apstyle #editorialhumor *people still use hashtags MORE THAN asterisks, why?* Ohhh, yes, this shattered cocktail is just ripe for the plucking. And I’ve NO idea what that means. Ima just be honest at you, lil Brahh. I had a dream, like, last night, that I was, like, at a summer camp dancing and lights in the swampland bugging out, like, swatting I mean, so I wake up all not-itchy thank goo-oodness and my gurl text me later reading like “we were hacked up in my dream from someone in the closet last night and the dog didn’t do shit, so check the closet tonight” or something like that, and now I’m naked William Carlos Williams-style, bloting or bloating [EDIT: not sure where this is leading] the door cause I’m all NAH-UGHN like that, like — like… get down to this wood-paneled basement digital muck-funk. “Disco Bits” get fuxxx’d upp @ around 1:35. Get it. HI~!!!!1

• Public Spreads The News:
• Show Your Teeth:
• Woozy Tribe:


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.