Nils Frahm has started a fantastic new holiday called Piano Day. In the composer’s words: “in a couple years i want PIANO DAY to me more important than xmas and more stressful than thanksgiving.”
Well, not a chance in Hell concerning any holiday meing more important than Christmas, but I’ll go ahead and celebrate Piano Day (landing on the 88th day of the calendar year), and I’ll consider “Wall,” a dramatic one-take piano improvisation, a Piano Day Carol. Sure, “Wall” is a little more grave than the manic merriment of Christmas Carols such as “Jingle Bells” with its “horse was lean and lank” and “then we got upsot!” Sure, playing a piano is an isolationist activity (four hand playing aside), whereas singing a Christmas Carol is a gregarious and selfless act. But I’ll go ahead and celebrate, because tickling the ivories tickles me pink. Imagine a Piano Day celebration: everyone plinking away at their own baby grand, their backs turned to one another, innumerable variations on “Chopsticks” clashing and meshing in the air. Pianos line the avenues and dangle, in lieu of wreaths, on doors. Pianos, as ornaments, hang from mighty ponderosa pines. Matching piano tattoos. Pearly whites replaced with piano keys. Competitive piano architecture: the world’s tallest piano, the world’s longest piano, the world’s roundest piano. The world’s most silent piano. 88-layer piano cake bake sales. Also on the menu: Scriabin Scrapple - Tatum Tots - Oscar Levant Mayer Wieners - Stevie Wonder Bread - Rachmaninoff Stuffed Ravioli. For refreshments, Perrier with Pierre-Laurent Aimard on the label. Chopin, in a Santa-like gesture, is making his Liszt and checking it twice. Hear that clatter on the rooftop? He’s dropping pianos down the chimney. On Piano Day Eve, gather around the fireplace, the fire kept ablaze with old uprights that were just taking up space anyway. Family piano reunion. Piano farm. Piano. Piano. Piano.
Sign me up. I’m sold (really, on any holiday - celebrating holidays is a hobby of mine). Piano Day is love and ”Love is a Cylindrical Piano.” Give the gift of piano.
“The Metal East”
The video for Lightning Bolt’s “The Metal East” entered this world at 2:39AM EST during a block of programming on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, thereby crashing into thousands of impressionable young psyches as a nice little third-eye-opening aperitif before another rerun of Bob’s Burgers or Superjail. If this had happened back when I was 13, I could not have fled to Youtube to rewatch it. Like so many of the tripped out cartoons of pre-web-omniscience past, these He Man hallucinations would have blazed through my brain and then back out into the ether, perhaps never to be glimpsed again. Coupled with the legendary duo’s fuzz assault, the crew of day-glo space warriors speeding across asteroids and occasionally folding into themselves in a kind of body horror implosion might have seemed to me like something I dreamt up, or some fluke that the drooling public wasn’t meant to see.
But here we are in the light of day, with a Youtube link. Hell yeah. The two Brians bang their drums and shred their four strings, galloping through on-a-dime transitions and increasingly massive verses on the way to the conclusive beatdown — and I can immerse myself in Lale Westvind’s celestial battlefield for as long as I like. I’m in charge now, alright? You can’t tell me not to watch it again. And when the perspective shifts from the twisted armada cruising through the meteor trench under heavy fire into a quick trip down the black hole throat of that snake demon, and the face of the craft’s pilot starts cycling between various forms like some kind of kabuki insect recut of the climax of 2001: A Space Odyssey, you can’t tell me not to yell “WHOA WHAT??,” because I am going to yell it loudly.
Lightning Bolt’s triumphant Fantasy Empire is out now on Thrill Jockey.
Finding an original rapper like Kool Keith in the modern music would is impossible. Undoubtedly, you’ve MC’s vying for their own lime-light, a place to harness completely on their own, like their predecessors. Then you find that everyone is doing that same thing on social media. So you turn to the idea that copying is beyond the art of becoming original, yet what typically becomes of that is stale repeatable points and critique on similarities/impressions. With Franc Bacon, this is not the case, and Wet (Mixtape) is the perfect example.
There’s a lot of comparative influence in Wet (art by Mr. Two Three), but it’s all over, which makes it hard to pin down Franc Bacon’s specific role model. As well, he isn’t exactly original, but withholds a unique voice through how quickly he traverses heartfelt, humorous, alpha, and metaphorical tracks and beats. Franc Bacon manages to train his body with the music and adapt to the preciseness of breath and flow opposed to how HE represents HIM. Like how “You do you” is turning the modern world into a bunch of turn sniffing aficionados, Franc Bacon passes on self-stench, and relies on where the music takes listeners, opposed to him taking you directly there.
Franc Bacon suggests you should probably get Wet, and not just on a Thursday, but until your soaked:
And be sure to listen to his #BaconLife Podcast on SoundCloud.
For all the meth fans out there, RJ Mitte (a.k.a. Walter White Jr./Flynn of the Breaking Bad fame) is about to burst out the blue this Friday night with his debut performance of #BreakingBeats. With hard blends of house, club, and acid, Good Looks New York and Decadence is hosting RJ Mitte in Time Square’s BB King Blues Club as a Breaking Bad themed rave. So I’m expecting to see plenty of yellow coverall-hooded jumpsuits, gas masks for all the fog machine billowing lungs worth of party, and neon glasses framing the letters B-I-T-C-H across every other face in the joint.
Prior to RJ Mitte, DJ Mia, Vita, Narkatta, and Laetus will be squirting deep tracks, and getting the crowd fired up on blue crystal rock candy that Good Looks New York and Decadence will be passing out during the event. Fists will be at peace being pumped into the air to #BreakingBeats, snapping like synesthesia just hit them with a plus only New York City can provide. BB would be proud. HARD Benny Benassi house sample in this (Preview) too. Too many hard samples going hard. If your a fan of just general hype and NYC and not FOMO, you’ll probably want to get these tickets ASAP before they sell out.
Going unappreciated during your peak must be a massive ego blow, so allow us the chance to correct it with Kitty. The Austin, Texas based band formed more than two decades ago and though their radius stretched only so far as Denton, the group’s unreleased EPs and recorded one-offs are now collected by Medical Records as single LP of mind-melting artistry.
Straddling the line between rock show and rave up, “Herzog” is the best visual representation for an album that is the evolution of experimental rock and electronic music melding out of the alternative spotlight. A swirling drone mingles with a heady drum beat, soaring synths and metallic distractions. Much like the pinhole that psychedelia entered and exited for a brief moment in the mid-90’s, “Herzog” does its best to rip it open. But the weight of flannel and Hot Topic are too much to overcome.
Kitty’s eponymous reissue is littered with artistic love notes to the unappreciated. No wonder “Herzog” shares space with similarly named compositions that evoke greatness from the music and namesake. “Herzog” stands as the last heartbeat of a band gone before it could have its groundbreaking talent celebrated. A rave at a rock show, in all its VHS time capsule glory will have to speak to the movement we so carelessly missed because Fuel had a new album.
• Medical Records: http://medical-records.org