Ghost at the Finish Line
“How late?” you ask.
So late that I only just recently listened to his 2011 masterpiece Shotgun & Sleek Rifle; so late that the only reason I’d tuned into Niggas Is Men was to hear something new from Brooklyn MC Cavalier; so late that I only really knew the homie Quelle’s name from its ongoing association with Roc Marciano and Danny Brown; so late I might as well disguise myself as a ghost. [Editor’s Note: *PAUSE*].
Well sorr-y, guy, but I can’t help it if I currently feel like a real-life Ghost at the Finish Line, having finally completed my “Halloween Hangover” Chocolate Grinder mix at 2 AM this morning. You can catch the unholy spirit by listening to that tomorrow, but in the meantime in-between time, check out this “[unlucky] 13 track, uniquely real look at art and life, and the realities and illusions that blur the two.”
“Hour Minute” / “Valerie”
Whoa! There’s no other band out there atm that seems to successfully and compellingly mine the space/psych/OG indie pop/fuzz/art/[whatever else] rock vernaculars to such effect — and affect — as Brooklyn’s own Celestial Shore. Their craft consists of tightly concocted and disjointed harmonies with labyrinthine melodies so rambling and spasmodic it’s as if they’re belonging in the grand[ly nutty] tradition of Ornette Coleman’s free-jazz transliterated through time and culture by the likes of This Heat’s prog-/post-rock stylings. At least, that’s what the trio’s debut album 10x — released only a few weeks back on Hometapes via LP, CD, and digital — may have you believe. Watch the videos for Celestial Shore’s album singles “Hour Minute” and “Valerie” below:
“Do The Anglerfish”
If grouping bands, albums, and songs into musical genres is shaky ground to begin with, naming said genres after literary movements is even more tenuous. So, I hesitate to call Pop. 1280 a cyberpunk band, especially considering their name is derived from a Jim Thompson novel. But now that “Do the Angerlfish” video director Scott Kiernan has gone ahead and bridged the gap between two of my favorite Johns, complementing the song’s Carpenter-esque opening synth line with John Shirley-esque (Shirleyan?) bondage aesthetics, I feel much more comfortable saying that Pop. 1280 has, with their recent Sacred Bones Records release Imps of Perversion (TMT Review), successfully picked up the cyberpunk music mantle.
Watch them wear it to a city near you during the second leg of their Damn the Fans 2013 tour, aptly titled Part II: Damn the West.
Henry Krinkle & Katrina Stonehart
Henry + Katrina
Henry + Katrina is a collection of songs made by Henry Krinkle and Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk’s Drew Gibson as Katrina Stonehart. The music was recorded directly into a karaoke machine inside of a blanket fort constructed in the middle of an early 1900s ballroom. I imagine myself standing outside of the walls of the fort, under the grandiose ceiling of that ballroom, and what that must have sounded like filtered through the fibers of those blankets, and then enhanced by the natural reverb of a place like that. Ambient music always lends itself well to the location for which it is performed, and Henry + Katrina might be one of the most unique stories I’ve heard regarding the origin of a piece of locational electronics.
The next time a haughty mustached gentleman kicks off a conversation with you and a semicircle of buds in which an attempt is made to tease out a distinction between noise music and free-jazz — “Well, you see…” *pensive chin touch* “It’s simply a matter of instrumentation!” *additional gesticulations* — I give you permission to respond with some drastic pure vigilante shit. Suggestions: Consider getting in his face like “COME AGAIN PLZ ? ༼ ಠ益ಠ ༽” after every sentence. If the offender is rocking formal wear, try tugging on his tie for a minute. Or maybe get the whole semicircle’s attention and solemnly begin a counter-monologue of truth: “Regarding these musics established on the principles of chaos, primal improvisation, and structural uncertainty, the distinction between ‘noise’ and ‘free-jazz’ necessitates messy considerations of historical/musicological context, artist intent, and… yeah, probably instrumentation. But I ask you: the feelings of excitement, disgust, wonder, and awe that reach you in moments of solitary listening — do these benefit from any of yer labels, man? Let it all go and just feel it.” Then just sit back and wait for the slow clap.
[Editor’s note: *slow clap*].
After nine tape releases since 2009 and that one-sided LP on Pizza Night, Tiger Hatchery prepare to release their first proper full-length, Sun Worship. The free-music trio, featuring Mike Forbes on sax, Andrew Scott Young on bass, and Ben Billington (a.k.a. Quicksails) on drums, honed their chops on tours through the experimental/noise DIY circuit and local gigs in the Chicago underground. It’s no small victory for true heads and truthseekers everywhere then that the band’s debut LP arrives on November 19 via the legendary ESP-Disk’ (!!!), almost 50 years after the label’s inception. Yeah: Sun Worship shares catalog space with the likes of Spiritual Unity, Town Hall 1962, the discography of The Godz, The Heliocentric Worlds of of Sun Ra Volumes 1 & 2, infinite etc.
“Chieftain,” premiering below, starts off Sun Worship with a threefold symbiosis of shred. Billington’s drums careen between spastic tom rolls and cymbal abuse. Forbes’ sax guns through upper-register squalls. Young’s bass emerges as a central voice in the chaos, cutting through the mix in a caustic chug that blossoms into a full-on solo near the two-minute mark. The second half of “Chieftain” showcases the trio’s versatility as improvisers, pitting two of three instruments against each other in intensifying interlude passages, dipping into silence, and bashing through a cataclysm of a coda savage enough to drown out any conversation about genre or historical musicological context. “COME AGAIN PLZ?”