Sat. Nite Duets
I grew up outside of Milwaukee, WI, and I didn’t have too many fond memories of the city itself when I went off to college in Madison (the state’s other big town). Now that I’ve been out of the Cream City and out in the Pacific Northwest these past few years, I’ve stayed in touch with friends who have kept me up on the recent resurgence of vital music coming out of the city. Sat. Nite Duets are one such group, and their new album, Los DJs, is further evidence that they are one of Milwaukee’s best rock bands. Where previous releases highlighted a sound that paired the poppier side of Sonic Youth with the wry lyricism of Pavement, Los DJs goes in a more power-pop direction, and it’s absolutely killer. Sat. Nite Duets play a lot of shows in the Milwaukee area and around the Midwest, so if you live in that area, be sure to catch their high-energy live show. If you don’t however, you’ve still got a great collection of scrappy, infectious rock jams to play through the summer.
• Sat. Nite Duets: http://satniteduets.com
“Return to Ravenna”
Land Observations’ fascination with history and geography has led to the forthcoming concept album The Grand Tour, a solo-guitar, instrumental homage to a well-worn path of enlightenment through Europe, wherein the heights of fashion, nature, history, and architecture can be absorbed. The latest single from the album is “Return to Ravenna,” which closes out the album with fitting synergy. Ravenna, a Northern Italian town known primarily for its enchanting religious architecture, serves as the perfect subject for James Brooks’s almost architectural songwriting. The track kicks in with a simple, looping motif over which layer upon layer of motorik overdubs pile upon each other — some rhythmic, others melodic — until, like an ancient cathedral, the foundational bricks give way to soaring, often breathtaking spires.
But it’s not just those gentle squalls that ring out at the climax that leave you breathless; it’s also the internal features of the track, which act like melodic runs dipping in and out of the song’s otherwise steady flow, serving as the interior frescoes and stained glass that give ancient churches their real, lasting distinctiveness. At once micro and macro, a tune like “Return to Ravenna” feels not only like you are part of the building, but also like you are passing through it. Then, as the layers start to strip back down to the bare-boned foundations with which they began, you’ve come full circle and fade out, like the last glance over your shoulder before exiting the cathedral, a fitting final chapter on an album that serves as a paean to a road of enlightenment.
Land Observations’ The Grand Tour is out July 29 on Mute Records.
The Deep Freeze Mice
Live at the Electric Theatre in Leicester, UK (1982)
Night People Records JUST JUST JUST released The Deep Freeze Mice’s Best Of 1979-1988, which features all their solid/classic/frosty tracks from way back when. Sorta like what Pacificity Soundvisions did last year for Vox Pouli!, only not in album form. In light of that, I found two session videos of The Deep Freeze Mice that’ll make you feel as rotten as two-month-old rodent pie:
Part 2 is so real that you’ll feel spittle from the lyrics that pissed passed the mic:
And below are three tracks that are on the new LP:
Finally, you can grip The Deep Freeze Mice LP at Night People’s homepage listed below!
• Night People: http://www.raccoo-oo-oon.org/np/index.html
“Slow War Fast War”
Macho Blush doesn’t permit us to climb the paralyzed stairs; they are frozen in a frame that occasionally jumps and skips to black, sometimes replaced with microscopic solar fossils and follicles captured by shaky zooms. We must speculate, with dread, what lies at the top of the stairs. While we wonder, Macho Blush offer solutions to furnishing the foyer. Video images, serving as altars, substitute end tables. They lie on top of the paralyzed stairs, interjecting with offerings of vague connections: the middle-finger salute, two angles on a dozen roses, a profile with a calm blue buzzing backdrop, and a fuzzy, mystery image that appears to be a radioactive, oversized bar of gold in a mine car (or a candle).
The editing pace fits the tempo of the tune. Drum sticks dipped in tar and maple syrup tromp on a cymbal and a tom. A mutated voice educates us on the “Slow War Fast War,” backed with further voice clusters, manipulations, and mutations fit for the spiritual realm. The clutter of melody and feedback is the intruder. It takes advantage of the listeners, who are entranced by the repetition of lyrics and images and unwound by the low BPM muscle relaxants and sludge drum patterns, by snowballing in the mix, causing tension events and strain.
• Macho Blush: http://machoblush.tumblr.com
The Earth is a Man
The Earth is a Man (one of Mukqs’ various side projects) picks up where a lot of post-rock and alt-rock-into-indie acts plateaued. Not only is Pargon infinite in sound and group form, “Timesnake” and “Imagine Tripling” are what makes the definition of matrimony. Not only are the two tracks wed in the ideals of progressively expanding between all four members, but they match in sound of pure human sync. Fuck, I feel close to these dudes JUST LISTENING to the tracks on Bandcamp. As if they’ve walked out of some Midwest room locked since 2004, The Earth is a Man prophetically fronts on all sorts of genres and notes in the same sense we all wanted to as kids. Now that some of us are past that stage of thinking in our lives (sadly), Pargon by The Earth is a Man will always be around thanks to Hausu Mountain releasing their cassingle last Tuesday.
Listen below and reelly snag it here: