Guided By Voices
“Bad Love Is Easy To Do”
When I was around 10 or 11 years old, I began getting into music. And considering I lived in Dayton, Ohio, the MECCA for NOTHING AT ALL, my anthem was most CERTAINLY “Teenage FBI” by home-town anti-heroes, Guided By Voices. They played it on ALL stations too. I heard it on the (primarily) hip hop and rap station once during their FREE-FOR-ALL hour.
Furthermore, a good pal of mine, Marshall, who got me reading TMT in the first place, is still a HUGE fan of theirs. And lazily/rightfully so, cause it’s ALL he listens to now, considering all the rest of music doesn’t…. sound like GBV? LOL - I also went on this weird double date with this girl once and her mom, who brought Robert Pollard as her date, while he was still married, and he wouldn’t shut UP about that movie, Magnolia. But, even THAT fellah can’t stop the rock.
Anyhow, it’s DEEPLY dope to me GBV snagged their latest video for “Bad Love Is Easy To Do” on Funny Or Die. In no assignment of character, Marshall and I could be either Brian Huskey or Rob Corddry in this video, lashing out at each other, but you know what’s ultimately missing, besides our wastoid friend Nick (a.k.a. Captain George, a.k.a. Shit Ass, a.k.a. Porridge) in the audience, is fucking BEER! Luckily, Funny Or Die popped “Bad Love Is Easy To Do” vid before this Friday, ‘cause Marshall is coming in from the city and we’re going to drink ALL the beer while listening to a tote-bag stuffed with GBV vinyl throughout the ages. Last time it was 7-inches. All. Night. Long. GBV!!!
Grip their newest LP via [THEM] and the CD via Fire Records!!
Sam Gas Can
I Sat Around Today
At what point does a song stop functioning like a song and become something else? Conversely, what happens when abstract sound collages coalesce into distinct harmonies and melodies? Finally, how many stylistic signifiers must be observable in order to categorize a piece of music as one thing or another?
These are the questions that fill my mind when I listen to the music of Sam Gas Can (real name Sam Gaskin #puns). For years, this dude has been making a bizarro brand of experimental pop that is inextricably connected to noise and musiqe concrete. There are plenty of other dudes who have been equally fascinated in the dichotomy between song craft and avant-garde sound but part of what makes Gaskin’s music so impressive and endlessly listenable is his ability to make these discrete styles feel like one cohesive world. On his latest album, I Sat Around Today, Gaskin moves effortlessly between bursts of aggressive lo-fi experimentation and fractured goofy pop songs. However, instead of these shifts feeling eclectic and erratic, it seems like we never really stop hearing the pop songs or the collages in the context of the album as a whole even though each track has its own distinct character when isolated individually. Somehow, it seems impossible to separate the warbly synth experimentation of “Fireworks” from the driving noise rock of “I Don’t Want to Feel the Skeletons Inside Me” or the unabashed power pop of his cover of Ted Lucas’ “It’s So Nice To Get Stoned.” Gaskin’s music is continually challenging what constitutes a song and what constitutes noise and I Sat Around Today is an excellent example of how these questions play out in his work.
I Sat Around Today is available now via Crash Symbols. You can stream the album in its entirety below.
As temperatures begin to go up, up, up, Beer on the Rug wants to slide you a nice cool slice of experimental electronics from Massachusetts duo Looks Realistic (a.k.a. Joe Bastardo and Ryan Mulhall). Covering multi-dimensioned grounds from bubbling synth excitations to long form ambient wave pools, VA/A might be the best soundtrack for your neo-futurist or cyberpunk themed BBQ. On second thought, ditch the outdoors and turn this up in your industrial strength air-conditioned supercomputer lab/meditation chamber. On third thought, this will most likely be what you hear upon waking from a cryogenic slumber somewhere in the uncertain future, stepping out into a harsh reality in which your precious (and rare) human body is bought and sold by so many shadowy multinational corporations. Oops! Summertime sure does fly. Everything above just proves why VA/A by Looks Realistic runs the gamut, and is now available for streaming and purchase at Beer on the Rug’s Bandcamp.
In a prefect world, there’s nobody to telling anybody that the reality they personally perceive is fantasy. Like that Snickers commercial where the football-player dude wakes up and he thinks he’s Batman. Or the entire movie Antichrist. Thus, if the new video for “Som Hassel” is the reality of 555, or someone’s perception of that 555 looks like visually, I’m thankful they shared it so I could join. It’s like them Magic Eye books met Marble Madness, then THEY met all the PC liquid excretion of the world, combined with the furious and subtle drumming, flickering syths, and peacefully soaring melody of “Som Hassel.” 555 goes into the Earth and comes out through an entirely different universe for both listeners and viewers to “fuck on.”
Anyhow, we gripped on 555’s “Som Hassel” last month, but are even more compelled NOW of the combination between visuals and luxury listening. Shit, the whole Nine Gates CS by 555 is luxury. It pushes the boundary of what is luxury and high-tier luxury. You can grip that sense of classiness via Moon Glyph and jam that yung Nine Gates by 555 on the beach this weekend! It’s getting hot, y’all.
A Glimpse of Paradise: Various Artists
The Rough With The Smooth
Groovin in my tighty whiteys with a pack of menthol fags.
Fake tan streaks on my thighs like a sepia Cy fucking Twombly.
Blastin Toto’s Rosanna and scratchin my balls, I sprinkle talcon powder on
my mirrored desk to impress the sleeping woman next to me.
She rouses from her slumber with an acrid belch.
“shut this shit off,” she whispers.
I turn it up and sing “ALL I WANNA DO WHEN I WAKE UP IN THE MORNING IS SEE YOUR EYES.”
She pulls a tape walkman from her bag, puts on her headphones and turns away from me.
A Glimpse of Paradise put on delicious parties in Newcastle Upon Tyne, often featuring some of the 14 acts collated for this cassette, their first release. It’s an eclectic affair, kicking off with a killer trio; Molly Nilsson’s jolly filicide shanty “All Children Are Going to Die”, Ravioli Me Away’s glorious misandric revenge anthem “Cat Call” and the twinkling lo-fi pop of San Francisco’s Group Rhoda. Design A Wave bring a Yacht Rock smoothness that compliments Lucy Jones’ pastel artwork, while it’s left to White Night and The Wharves to bring a bit more rough and tumble into the mix. The collection finds its coherence in grappling with the fringes of 80s pop, winking and blinking in the light of its C86 forebears, but there’s also a welcome sense of humour that is most evidenced in Cousins’ Journey-channelling tribute to being “stuck in a bacon roll” and The Rebel’s Casio Sade cover.
Don’t wake up!
[Editor’s Note: YO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]
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