“As Advertised Please Don’t Touch”
What’s this loping hum coming down on a switch-flipped tractor beam? Could it be a Refrigerator track operating under the pseudonym “As Advertised Please Don’t Touch?” Could it be fair warning of a new Refrigerator album called Temple City? Yes and yes, but I already told you that from my news-like bully pulpit, so now that I’m grinding chocolate for a minute, I’m going to stick with the outer space shit, thank you very much. Because, you see, I’m imagining brothers Dennis and Allen Callaci holed up in some faster-than-light and hotter than fire spacecraft for what, to them, felt like just a couple minutes but that to us earthlings felt like that 25-year Shrimper Records lifespan. Because, aside from ever-cleaner production, not much seems to have changed for the brothers and their food chilling band since circa 1991 on ancient tapes like Lonesome Surprise. The songs on their new album Temple City are all thoughtfully torn apart in much the same ways, at moments almost totally dissolving before – snap – everything falls into place and we find ourselves in the middle of a chorus that no one saw coming.
“As Advertised Please Don’t Touch,” the track I’m supposed to be premiering here, hardly even has a guitar part. How’s that for dissolute? It more or less just a buzzing feedback squawk, like something from the aft thrusters of that space ship I mentioned that got stuck in the eight-track. The melody’s mostly carried by the lilting motion of bass against Allen Callaci’s impassioned but clipped yawp. John Darnielle one time sang, “I wish I could sing like Allen Calacci/ then you would know how sad it was when the rain came down.” That’s because Callaci’s got this way of packing a lot behind what he’s spitting. Though he doesn’t often go too far above conversational volume, the cracks and aches give off the sense of a full-volume scream.
And that guitar part, the one I disserviced by referring to as hardly even there, it’s working like Callaci’s voice, i.e., doing two things at once. Of course, yes, it is mostly feedback, but it’s also got enough harmonic information in there to hint at a backbone for the song and to lean in with the rest of the band when the times come. It’s like all those days when you walked into your dad’s office and said, “Yo dad, it’s a mess in here, how are you ever going to find passport before you have to get on that faster than light spaceship in an hour?” but your dad knew exactly where his passport was, not to mention literally every other little thing in that crap-stuffed office of his. That’s what listening to Refrigerator is like. Everything feels like it’s going off in different directions and that there’s no way it’ll even begin to cohere. Then it does, and your dad’s getting on the spaceship, and Refrigerator’s wailing away like they’ll never stop, and everything feels good but a little weird.
Temple City is out now on Shrimper Records, distributed by Midheaven mail-order.
• Refrigerator: https://midheaven.com/artist/refrigerator
Big Sigh & Bad Dream Vacuum
My uncle Ralph use to always say, “Listen to this new song by Big Sigh & Bad Dream Vacuum. It’s called “Circus,” and it’s truly top notch!” And I’d always say, “Will do, uncle Ralph. Heck, I could use some new music in my life,” not believing him that such a song existed, but still playing along. Then, naturally, he’d retort, “The fish within hasn’t saved the moon for a millennia,” to which I’d nod furiously in agreement with, then ultimately would spill the beans that my car was holding a very important meeting that night, and that I’d have to skedaddle as soon as possible. He, of course, always understood.
Well, to my surprise, “Circus” by Big Sigh & Bad Dream Vacuum DOES exist, and old Ralph wasn’t fibbing: it rules! It has everything one looks for in a pop song: sounds, words, AND arrangement. Scope the track below, and be on the look out for the cassette of It Gets Easier, from which “Circus” is taken from, available on March 15th.
S/O to my Paris homies JUNKADELIC for hitting me with the new Booba, “Tony Sosa” video. Now, as I’m familiar that half our readership for TMT is outside the U.S., giving us a wider breadth of coverage in musical genres generally unexplored; you’re welcome. However, I’d say about five percent of this statistic can understand French, including Canada, France, the Caribbean, and New Orleans. So for those of you who understand the lyrics here, hit me up via G-mail or Twitter, and I’ll block quote your ass below.
Otherwise, as I can surmise, this video is potentially about going to bury a body. Drawing from the track’s title, either Booba is “Tony Sosa” or he’s about to dig a grave for this person out the woods. Oh, with swag of course, decked in Jordans and red-lit dark-neon angel-of-death wings (USB plug powered by the Rolls Royce). And it’s always been a curiosity of mine to learn another language enough to understand the art form of it while rhyming, but for the time-being, I’ll just turn’t this beat and glaze out in the car. ROLL OUT.
• Booba: https://instagram.com/boobaofficial
DANCE MIX WATCH! DANCE MIX WATCH! DANCE MIX WATCH!
This is DANCE MIX WATCH. I’m posting the best mixes coming in right now.
DMW #2 comes from New York DJ/graphic designer JOHNBENNET, who, like like-minded producer Sophie, seems to be using music as advertising. None of his internet personas are that separated from each other, thus music becomes fodder to promote other mediums. Mixing vogue with PC Music with video game grime with hard bass with harder club, G*YORSTR8 MIX shows all the intersections between queer culture and club culture, and how these vogue and club sounds are reunited after being separated for so long. But Bennet is never referencing to the past, as his very 2015 computer music shows (the first GFOTY/SOPHIE bootleg is a great example of the type of sound Bennet is pushing). This is simply the best example that yes, some str8 DJ can go hard, but when a g*y one goes hard, it’s a motherfucking party. [Tracklisting here].
• JOHNBENNET: https://soundcloud.com/johnbennet
Le TRASH CAN
Behind the pastel science-fiction cover lives a collection of short stories (e.g “SNI Texto,” “CEO,” “Sanction!,” and, reviewed here, “Prevention”), all page-turners. The stories are, letter-by-letter, hyperactive.
You’ve heard it before, the battle of left versus right. In the ear canal, one starship overtakes another. The crew jumps aboard the accosted vessel. The raid begins. Big cartoon clouds with puffed-up cheeks blow trade winds of insurrection. Infection billows from left to right, right to left, across an empty noise-rattled skull. Before you know it, the crew finds what they are looking for - in a basket - the evidence. The blackmail begins. Escalating tensions. Stereophonic Civil War. SFX include: fake screams, fake rock n’ roll, fumbling bombus buzz. Monologue: Evel Knievel hyperventilating, sucking up green energy for rehydration.
Second-by-second, diversions abound and plotlines break; subplots are rerouted then discontinued. Bumpers, kickers, and stoppers light up in a multiball frenzy.
Down pinball alley, bub.
• Le TRASH CAN: https://soundcloud.com/leleleleleleleleleleleleleleleleleleleletrashcan
• God Athletics: http://godathletics.bandcamp.com