Bill Orcutt

“O Platitudes!”

Just think positive.

New (& all) music by Bill Orcutt demands celebration.

You get what you expect.

Oh, yes, “the blues as abstract,” calloused fingers pulling at the strings, a man becoming a guitar, an ecstatic battle with oneself.

Happiness is a choice.

I listen to Bill Orcutt and I moan in surprise and in pleasure in real time in instinctive harmony with the playback of his vocalizations.

Such is life.

Watch out for more info on Bill Orcutt’s upcoming release Solo Acoustic Volume Ten via V[in] D[u] S[electe] Q[ualité].

Something will turn up.

• Bill Orcutt:

Guest Mix: 30XX

Like city lights, receding…

You’re weightlessly gliding over glossy clouded sapphire glass floors, the virtual plaza’s pixelated imitation-halogen LED walls humming neon nothings as you pass. An action movie montage of dolphins, mullets, jet skis, and bikinis streams continuously to and from a miniscule fractal nucleus you find yourself gravitating toward in a horde of pop-up window shoppers.

Suddenly, a 92-dicked daikaiju demon appears, fucking everything to exploded smithereens.

You awaken in a filmy ball pit of huge eyes popped from shallow sockets, your manhood taken, but your vision left mercilessly in tact. With it, you catch one last glimpse of the fiery giant, his embers flickering out, “like city lights, receding,” and in that instance you realize that never was the plaza as beautiful as it is now, burning to the ground.

The orchestrator of its destruction speaks:

This mix pretty much represents my fascination with cyberpunk/anime, goregrind, ’80s synth/wave worship, and J-pop, all mashed up in an atrociously odd abomination. Some of these artists have directly influenced the grind aspects of 30XX like Bile, Gigantic Brain, and HYPEREMESIS (who was the drummer on the recent 30XX BC Canada tour). Others fit the theme of goregrind transitioning to synth-pop/dreamwave/cyberpunk electronica which I often flirt with in 30XX. Couldn’t help but add some Kyary all up in this too.

Stream below, and subscribe to our podcast here.

[00:00] Abducted By Sharks - “3AM”
[04:20] Bile - “Bled Dry”
[05:26] マクロスMACROSS 82-99 - “木野 まこと”
[07:23] GAF - “Forced Birth Slaughter”
[09:05] Albatrosicks - “ストロベリーラブジェネレイタ (REDALice Remix/GOREMAN X Hyper GLITCH MIX)”
[11:57] FM Attack - “Invisible”
[17:53] Gigantic Brain - “Crop Circles”
[21:18] Pyemisis - “CHEMICALS”
[22:13] Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - “Cherry Bonbon”

30XX just came down from a hyper-productive month in which he not only finished said tour, but minced three new releases: Dead Future, BC Tour Tape, and Pulsating Future. Earlier this week, he presented a preview of more gore to come, with the “XX14 Sampler.” お楽しみください!

• 30XX:

Ryley Walker

“Clear The Sky”

Ryley Walker dropped The West Wind EP at the tail end of 2013 to tide over the heads across the world pining for his shred. I bid those heads to rise and look over yonder, for lo! It is Walker: gig bag over shoulder, rollie in mouth, once again darkening the horizon. If “The West Wind” hinted that the Chicago-based guitarist/songwriter has put in his 10000 hours with the catalogs of Richard Thompson and Bert Jansch, his forthcoming LP All Kinds of You expands into a diverse survey of 20th century folk styles, culling vibes and performance tactics from the progressive strains of the UK as much as the ramshackle roots music and American Primitive traditions of the US. If you’d like to call this “revivalist” music: alright. Do your thing. The vitality of Walker’s songwriting and the level of fingers-on-fretboard prowess necessary to channel his chosen forebears speak for themselves, elevating his project from an homage into a nuanced vision of past-meets-present composition.

“Clear the Sky,” premiering below, leads off with a passage of loose, raga-inspired solo guitar characteristic of the Fahey/Rose lineage (double RIP). His ensemble drops in, establishing a loping rhythm gilded with snare runs and lush string phrases, and Walker sings of nature, the mountains, probably time in general, maybe an unnamed flame: “So lay your body on down.” His delivery and the space between his lines generate a mood between work-worn fatigue and optimism, like a shift in the lumber yard drawing to a close with the sunset. His playing continues to astound without crossing into showboat territory. Each of his strident hammer-on runs and chiming arpeggio phrases serves the song’s harmonic structure, resulting in a chord progression that feels more like a tight lead line accounting for every sixteenth note. The tension between this precision and the rubato passages that pleasantly disrupt it stretches “Clear the Sky” beyond the [man + guitar] [singer/songwriter] [folk] paradigms into a modern hybrid of ideas, with Walker’s sense of song structure and arrangement as the lynchpin.

All Kinds of You arrives on April 15 via the Tompkins Square. Check out their site for his upcoming tour dates with both Wrekmeister Harmonies and Cloud Nothings, and keep your eyes out for ordering info.

• Ryley Walker:
• Tompkins Square:

New Bums

“Black Bough”

I’m generally pretty fascinated by almost everything Ben Chasny does. The dude has proved that he can tastefully shred in a number of different contexts, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the restrained pop ballads that have gradually become more and more prevalent on his Six Organs of Admittance work. However, Chasny’s not about to let Six Organs become a straight up pop band, but the gradual incorporation of more song based material has given the world New Bums, his excellent pop minded duo with Donovan Quinn of the Skygreen Leopards.

After releasing an equally interesting 7-inch earlier this year, the duo have released a beautiful full length of plaintive songs that elegantly distills both songwriters’ pop sensibilities into a singular whole. There’s a sense of fragility and space to the songs of Voices In A Rented Room and both of those things are readily apparent in the mournful pop minimalism of “Black Bough.” The track shows how Chasny and Quinn’s voices bleed into a single entity and resultantly sounds like a haunting modernized Big Star outtake.

Voices In A Rented Room is out now via Drag City. You can listen to “Black Bough” below:

• New Bums
• Drag City


“1001 Decisions”

“1001 Decisions” might not even comprise one day in a given lifetime. Yet, with the visuals/photos here in Woo’s newest video, listeners and viewers can witness nearly “1001 Decisions” between the Ives duo’s lives together. Having gathered a remarkable story throughout a bunch of “still-life” pictures, Woo really brings their track a visual birth of life that is merely just a window into the performers’ journey on Earth.

Shoot, my pal Landon really pinned me to Woo a few weeks ago when he forwarded me the delightful track “It’s Cozy Inside” on a Tuesday, and that really made my weekday brighten. Pretty much all Woo’s tracks sound like a time of being when things were warm. As if they’re physically emitting a wave of energy. Adapting an aura of memory and pleasantness to your school/office desk, yet taking you away to pure comfort paradise. “1001 Decisions” is from Woo’s first record in a quarter of a century called When The Past Arrives. Analog release versions available March 17 on Drag City and Yoga Records. So feel the fuzzy below and grip that physical Woo on the 17 this month:

• Woo:
• Drag City Records:
• Yoga Records:


CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.