Mike Shiflet

“Blessed and Opressed”

Mike Shiflet is this generation’s Bob Dylan, if poetry were a seashell and music was HD videos of grass. Here we have water and rocks and domestic life and industrialization and even Barbara Streisand (3:50). This is the work of someone who has held to his ear the conch of the digital age and heard the static buzz of the internet’s ocean of noise. Watching “Blessed and Oppressed” is something like witnessing the life of an oyster flash before its eyes, as you listen to the music of it sizzle, frying in the pan. Blessed is the diner, oppressed is the dinner. Anyhow, this track is from Shiflet’s new album Sufferers, out this week. Check out the video, and if it’s to your liking, head over to Type Records to hear more.

• Mike Shiflet: http://michaelshiflet.com
• Type: http://typerecords.com

Colin Stetson

Those Who Didn’t Run EP

As our relentless and rigorously up to date news team reported, Colin Stetson has released a new EP. Now that we are able to listen to the two new songs, thanks to the valiant efforts of Constellation, we can indeed confirm that he plays saxophone on it. It’s the same story as before: one man, one huge hunk of brass, one take for every song. It nevertheless remains an undeniable mystery how he manages to make one instrument simultaneously produce throaty drones, weighty percussion, and the occasional soaring vocal melody. Simultaneously! And before you ask, there ain’t no tricks, and he isn’t fiddling around with any of that electronic nonsense (for the disbelievers, we have video evidence). So enjoy 20 minutes listening to a guy for which breathing is a secondary concern.

• Colin Stetson: http://colinstetson.com
• Constellation: http://cstrecords.com

Kurt Vile

“Life’s a Beach”

A veteran of The War on Drugs, Kurt Vile has now graduated to the war on manhood. As my monster colleague recently pointed out, age anxiety seems to be one of Vile’s central motifs on his upcoming EP, So Outta Reach. “I want to be a boy, don’t want to be a man,” he sings in this track’s first line; from there, it’s all about repression of the grown-up stuff. Musically, it’s more of the same Vile goodness that we’ve come to expect. “Life’s a beach,” the titular chorus, is a cliché lyric, but that’s the point — of course, we all wish that we could have an endless summer, but most all of us know we can’t, and ergo, alas: life’s a bitch. Vile’s not really offering a refutation to the bitchness, but a veiled, reluctant acceptance. The pretty drawl of it! The delicious haze! But, then again, I bet Mr. Vile doesn’t actually mean this stuff, because if he really wanted to hang with the kids, he’d surely be making some hairy, brolicious dubstep….

The So Outta Reach EP is out November 8 on Matador Records.

• Kurt Vile: http://kurtvile.com
• Matador Records: http://www.matadorrecords.com

[Photo: Shawn Brackbill]

Bong

All Saints March I [preview]

My editor Keith and I were talking the other day about doom. I’m totes out on my doom game, and he suggested I track a track down and write that shit up. And I love finding new jams. Who don’t? But when I find hot new doom jammers I dig (these dudes ain’t that new), I shit my pants. I’m still sitting in shit because the raga-doom murk Bong puts out earns it. This sample track is live, too. Talk about taking it to the next level. It’s like how sunn 0))) takes it to the next level live, but when you see Stephen O’Malley take a sip of Bud in a window of fog, it’s minus two points. Plus ten points to Bong for their newest live slow-banger All Saints March I on Brave Mysteries.

• Bong: http://www.myspace.com/landbong
• Brave Mysteries: http://bravemysteries.com/shop.html

Chubby Wolf

“Birthday Suit”

Chubby Wolf was the title adopted by Danet Baquet-Long, who sadly passed away in 2009, aged 26. As one half of the husband-wife duo Celer, she produced an incredible library of music for art exhibitions and labels, along with a mountain of self-released records and tapes. Dani’s husband Will, along with Digitalis records, have collected Danet’s final recordings into Turkey Decoy. Much in the vein of Celer, it’s a collection of graceful ambient drone works that meander between metallic resonance and major key harmony that can’t help but concoct a bit of nostalgia.

Songs like “Birthday Suit” are constantly shifting in subtle ways, with notes randomly piercing through the fog of noise. Apparently, it’s all made from guitars and vocals, but the process has no real connection with the results, and it’s all the better for it. It’s a fitting and welcome tribute to a wonderfully prolific and creative spirit.

• Chubby Wolf: http://chubbywolf.bandcamp.com
• Digitalis: http://www.foxydigitalis.com/rec_index.html

  

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.