“I Feel As If Might Be Vanishing”
I’m glad this video is part of a trilogy. When I was walking my dog ‘round midnight Monday, I was giving An Empty Bliss Beyond this World (TMT Review) a re: listen, but forgot I had my player on shuffle. It totally worked with this album, like it do with Crazy For You. So it’s nice knowing the video trilogy will abed to my viewing/listening pleasure. Also, it’s The Caretaker, and his shit’s blowing up in twenty eleven because of this release, right? Well, it blew me up, and I can’t go down.
The trilogy was directed by Video Marsh, who also did clips for other C-named bands like Caribou and Crystal Castles. It’s all total smear stuff and you might see yourself in the video, or a humming bird, or a tree. I don’t know. There’s a grainy white noise effect to the image that presents the same kind of illusory hallucination, only, like, visually. Buuuuuuut, my girlfriend is painting her toenails, it stiiiiiinks, and I’m thinking about going “all work and no play” up in this bitch: cue me An Empty Bliss Beyond this World.
Coming down from his release on experimental standard-bearing label Night People (owner Shawn “Wet Hair” Reed), Kentucky native Coleman Guyon has offered up this fine selection of tracks available on tape from Portland institution Eggy Records (owner Raf “The Polyps” Speilman) entitled Dream Operator. This song, named after the psychic who is sometimes credited with starting the New Age movement, sort of reminds me of Gary Wilson with its mystical disco arrangement and weird muttered lyrics about “the night” or who knows what. And the slapback echo effects throughout the album (which almost never fail to make something sound cool) combined with push-button beats help to give it a Suicide-meets-Speculator-on-MIDI vibe. Night-driving music. Meanwhile, this bitchin’ offset-printed artwork in fluorescent green and red, which matches the entire Eggy batch, brings it to the next level. Did you say you wanted to watch Coleman eat fried chicken? Okay then.
Way back in the beginning of this year, Tim Hecker splattered the world’s brains on the walls of the universe with Ravedeath, 1972 (TMT Review). On October 10, Kranky will release Dropped Pianos, containing nine untitled “sketches” that were conceived at the same time of the Ravedeath, 1972 compositions, but were left out of the final album (TMT News). That’s like saying it’s as good as the guys who make it onto the USA Olympic Basketball Dream Team but who then sit on the bench the whole tournament. It’s like the sherpa who accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary to the top of Everest. If Ravedeath is the Michael Jordan of modern electronic music, this one is like the Tim Duncan… uh, Tim Hecker. What?…
Anyway, Kranky is letting us listen to “Sketch 5” to obsess over until October 10. Hecker trickles along aimlessly on piano until stumbling into a hypnotizing Glass-esque loop, while deep strings rumble beneath, creating a heartbreakingly beautiful cinematic texture. Ah, well it’s just great, now let’s all buy it on October 10!
Last year, Colin Caulfield released Boy under the moniker Young Man. In my eyes, it was one of the more underrated albums of 2010. It was all about being a boy and becoming a young man — heartfelt, honest, and irresistibly relatable. He sounds like me in the shower pretending to sound like Noah Lennox (Panda Bear). I was such a big fan of this little EP that I made sure to see him (and his band) play in NYC for CMJ last year. They blew my mind. The hushed feel that Caulfield maintains throughout the recording had completely vanished, and the soft, mostly acoustic songs were transformed into an energetic balls-out electric jam session. I wondered if this was the track that Young Man was headed, a road to manhood via the rock ‘n’ roll route.
Well, I was kinda right. Young Man’s new album Ideas Of Distance may not be the jam band record I had imagined, but he’s definitely using more electric guitar and gets to the verge of psychedelia here and there. A good example is one of the highlight tracks “Nothing.” The track starts off with a very Beach House-esque melody on a distant distorted guitar, followed by Caulfield’s youthful voice reciting simple yet striking lyrics. But this time he isn’t singing about playtime as a five-year-old; he’s singing about real young man problems like being in love, sex, and discovering one’s true self … and shit.
Ideas Of Distance is out now and available on Frenchkiss Records.
Video Door: VHS Compliation [preview]
So, I don’t know where I’m going with this, but it’s been on my mind recently and I’m going to put it out there. Because who’s gonna stop me? And I figured Video Door is a good starting point cause it’s (maybe) the perfect example, and Chocolate Grinder is the best (not really) place to state this: what is reality today? Is it the cassettes, CD-Rs, VHS/PALs, vinyls, or digital media? What about the nostalgic-music made now compared to what our parents were listening to at they’s same age? How about Drake’s musical voice versus the way he speaks? Or Animal Collective playing their music opposed to programmed samples? And I could go on and on about synthesized sounds, but I’d get pinched? Passed music, what is reality? “For real,” even putting your most vile thoughts on the internet is the modern day equivalent of the proverbial falling
But aye, y’all go to the most local thrift store and pick up a VHS player. Already have one? Buy another. Cause this green VHS compilation will melt everything and ya minds. Now, I don’t know how many of you were digging the Miko Revereza or Hobo Cubes flicks, but Video Door is a nice little peak into VHS musical subculture. Maybe visuals ruin the mystery of individual musical thought. Um, maybe it’s not that at all, or maybe this video holds the answers to all my questions. Whatever. Check out the artist list at Culture Dealer Home Video on a webpage near you.
• Culture Dealer: http://culturedealer.com
Bathetic Records blogged this video for their band Cough Cool: the sounds are from the track “Months,” visions are by Melissa Cha. Cha (cha-cha-cha!) finds a nice visual analogue for this kind of music — her sources are generally mundane (canals, fields, skies), and, wisely, she applies only the slightest effect, adding reflections where reflections should not exist and playing with the palette. At first, with the river shot, there seems to be nothing odd, but when we head to the fields, there’s some crisp distortion at work, not unlike the specific control Cough Cool keeps over its fuzz and reverb. This sort of video, with the marriage between familiar and strange, keeps Bathetic true to its name.