David Daniell and Douglas McCombs

In 2009, David Daniell (San Agustin, Antiopic) and Douglas McCombs (Tortoise, Eleventh Dream Day, Brokeback) released their first collaborative album, Sycamore. The album moved gracefully between moments of dark, meandering streams of sound to explosive sections of dissonance and prickly rhythms, a testament to the cross-fading/mixing talents of Daniell and McCombs who culled the music from seven hours of improvisation. The shape of the album was as dependent on the studio as on the musicking itself.

Three years later and Daniell and McCombs are back with a new album, Versions. But calling this simply a Daniell and McCombs release doesn’t feel quite right: the six tracks that comprise the album are taken from the same seven-hour improv session that produced Sycamore, only this time, recording engineer/producer/ex-Tortoise member Ken Brown was asked to craft his own album out of the session. Versions — a title made in reference to the improv session, rather than the actual first album — becomes a clear reflection of Brown’s aesthetic, which here places considerable emphasis on dynamics.

But you wouldn’t be able to tell that from hearing “30265” divorced from the album context. The track, coming in at just over six and a half minutes, sounds like an in-between moment in the best way: fluid and serene, yet lacking dynamics and an overriding structure. The song becomes dependent less on its storytelling abilities and more on its aesthetic cohesion, its spatial qualities, its tonal colors. Timothy Leeds’ video for the track is a fantastic visual complement too, providing the same punctuated randomness that the music so gorgeously evokes, atop a slow-motion unraveling that turns out to be warmly infinite.

Look for David Daniell, Douglas McCombs, and Ken Brown’s Versions May 15 on Thrill Jockey.

• David Daniell: http://www.daviddaniell.com
• San Agustin: http://www.san-agustin.org
• Antiopic: http://www.antiopic.com
• Tortoise: http://www.trts.com
• Brokeback: http://www.thrilljockey.com/thrill/Brokeback
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com

The Flaming Lips and Prefuse 73

“Supermoon Made Me Want to Pee”


• The Flaming Lips: http://www.flaminglips.com
• Prefuse 73: http://prefuse73.com
• Warner Bros.: http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com

Dirty Projectors

“You Against The Larger World”

Stop the presses, and shut the fuck up! Dave Longstreth, main man behind Dirty Projectors, has something to say. Shhh:

hello world. i wrote a ton of songs when we were upstate last year. here’s one that didn’t go further than the demo but is pretty sweet anyway. happy record store day!

And there you have it, folks. Check out “You Against The Larger World” below, and look for the flexidisc version on the Smuggler’s Way zine, made available only tomorrow, Record Store Day, through those pesky independents.

Meanwhile, Dirty Projectors’ forthcoming new album, Swing Lo Magellan, is out July 10 on Domino. Those pesky independents will probably have that one, too.

• Dirty Projectors: http://www.dirtyprojectors.net
• Domino: http://www.dominorecordco.us

[Photo: Jason Frank Rothenberg]

Let's Paint TV

Live @ The Smell (April 6, 2012)

L.A.-based Let’s Paint TV began as a public access television series, but when the city shut down its studios, host John Kilduff took to YouTube to broadcast his oil-painting instruction and life inspiration show. Kilduff also has a live show that’s mobile, which is funny because he performs while on a device for stationary walking called a treadmill. In this recent clip of Let’s Paint TV performing at Downtown L.A.’s The Smell, the combination of nude figure painting, utilitarian smoothie making, and stationary exercise is not only educational, but near-transcendent. Also, you can see the back of my head at one point, which is a plus.

If you want more, and you know you do, check out Let’s Paint TV’s website and YouTube channel to watch live performances and studio shows. If that’s still not enough, you can hire John Kilduff himself (along with his treadmill and canvass) for one unforgettable art lesson.

• Let’s Paint TV: http://letspainttv.com
• Let’s Paint TV: http://www.youtube.com/user/letspainttv
• The Smell: http://www.thesmell.org


“Step into the Marina”

It’s not surprising that Talibam! (Matt Mottel on synth, Kevin Shea on drums) is releasing a rap album. Actually, what the fuck am I saying — yes, it is. Despite the genre and conceptual fluidity that Talibam! have exhibited from its early noise/rock/jazz/harmoniacal experiments (Ordination of the Globetrotting Conscripts made #86 on our favorite albums of the 2000s), to dizzying sound experiments with the likes of Peeesseye and Daniel Carter, to boogie-ing in the breeze blocks, to, most recently, the absurdist prog-narrative of Discover AtlantASS, there has still been little to prepare us for Puff Up The Volume — yes, Talibam!’s forthcoming rap album. A statement:

GONG ACCIDENT LEADS TO RAP ALBUM: If you went to rap school, you wasted your money. Talibam!’s #noschoolrap is the result of circumstance. They never studied old or new school rap. Rap found them. In 2009, a falling gong broke Kevin Shea’s bass drum foot in Torino, Italy. In a subsequent recording session, Shea adapted using his other foot on the bass drum. The ensuing beats, composed without samples or loops, inspired Mottel and Shea to flex their symbiotic verbal epiphanies within their self produced floral pop paradise.

The video below is for “Step into the Marina,” the world’s first #noschoolrap single off Puff Up The Volume. It’s about as bizarre and alienating as anything they’ve done yet. The single, backed with “Party Like A Star,” is being released tomorrow for Record Store Day, with Puff Up The Volume due in September, both via Critical Heights.

• Talibam!: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Talibam/102564367491
• Critical Heights: http://www.criticalheights.com

Motion Sickness of Time Travel

“One Perfect Moment” [excerpt]

Holy shit!! If only you could hear the full version of this track. Goodness, me. It’s like —er, it HAS been my entire Thursday morning. Not only do I despise Thursday mornings at work, but I equally disregard [Experts]. However, y’all GOTTA here this excerpt of “One Perfect Moment.” I mean, if you know how to use the internet, I’m sure you can come across the full version. But just know a 21-ish-minute track like this exists out there, and it turns Thursday morning into an afternoon. Tell ya what, let’s try an experiment, click that LIKE button at the top of this screen and we’ll see what happens. Won’t change the fact that Rachel Evans’ self titled Motion Sickness of Time Travel 2xLP comes out on Spectrum Spools May 15, th’oh. Still gotta wait for that. But you can get it digital and pre-order it now.

• Motion Sickness of Time Travel: http://motionsicknessoftimetravel.blogspot.com
• Spectrum Spools: http://editionsmego.com/releases/spectrum-spools


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.