The Flaming Lips / Horse Thief
Flaming Thief Horse Lips
The Flaming Lips sure are good at seizing opportunities! The group, who just released a new album today called The Terror (“a depressing and dismal dud,” according to this dud), contacted a band last night called Horse Thief to record some music. Why? Well, both artists released an album today (Horse Thief’s is called Grow Deep, Grow Wild), both were released on the same label (Bella Union), and both of them hail from Oklahoma City. Naturally, the two groups decided to swap a song from each of their albums and record them as covers. The result: The Flaming Lips covering Horse Thief’s “I Am The Bear” and Horse Thief covering The Flaming Lips’ “Try to Explain.” Check it out:
Keith Fullerton Whitman
I didn’t expect to wake up yesterday to find a 12-hour journey into the aural history of one of my favorite musical minds humbly sitting in my SoundCloud feed among label promos and home recorded demos — but whoa, here I am, and I’ve heard (almost) all of it. Keith Fullerton Whitman has been working sporadically on his “Greatest Hits” mix for almost 10 years; the result, presented here in a single jagged waveform across your screen, is one hundred “remixes” of “the most salient points of the pop music of [the artist’s] youth” slowed, processed, and abstracted into the sweetest droned-out disfigurements. Take a moment here and erase all the preconceptions planted by the “omg ‘Justin Bieber 800% Slower’ sounds like Sigur Ros or smthng lol” YouTube pop slowdowns of yesteryear. “Greatest Hits” treats us to a much more sonically hi-fi, conceptually ambitious half-day of pop deconstruction — deliberate in its pacing, diverse in its source material, wide in its tonal palette. Also, yeah, given the 10-year timeline of this project, I think we can safely say that KFW got there first, probably before anyone.
Is it worth sinking 12 hours of your short little life into? If you’re asking yourself this, I remind you that we’re dealing with Keith Fullerton fucking Whitman here. The man has the gear and the technical knowledge to process any sound into virtually any form he can imagine; he has a well-articulated personal/artistic motivation for this and all of his projects; he has a sense of quality control as strict and discerning as anyone else in his field; his taste, perhaps best exemplified by the music he chooses to stock in his Mimaroglu Music Sales distro, is better than yours. He will not steer you wrong.
Best Available Technology
Excavated Tapes 1992-1999
Not to be confused with the application of ballistics and celestial Newtonian mechanics to practical problems concerning the motion of man-made objects in space (such as rockets and spacecraft), Astro:dynamics are a record label. Not to be confused with a term applied with regulations on limiting pollutant discharges with regard to the abatement strategy constituting a moving target on practices since developing societal values and advancing techniques may change what is currently regarded as “reasonably achievable,” “best practicable,” and “best available,” Best Available Technology is Kevin Palmer from Portland. Check out “Keys TDK SA-X100” from Excavated Tapes 1992-1999, Vol. 1, out May 6:
I’m crowding around a TV in the college common room while a kid with a mullet shouts “Look at that foot cam!” as the Chad Smith Drum Tuition Video reaches its enthralling apex. Suddenly — or should that be All of a Sudden — walks in “Gustav,” the weird black-clad exchange student from Germany who’s staying with my sister’s friend. He plugs in his VHS camcorder and plays some grainy footage from a Liars gig he was at last night. “This is real drumming,” he says, slowly, his words dripping with assured Teutonic condemnation.
As the bell rings for lessons and we all hastily finish our ketchup-smothered hash brown sandwiches, a mood of vague shame hangs over us. We all walk away from that moment wondering whether Red Hot Chili Peppers really are the best band in the world — some people erase their “Californication” lyrics from the front of battered exercise books, others dig in their heels and play slap bass in the pubs of West Yorkshire to this day. Whatever the reaction, something changed.
• Blood Sport: http://bloodsport.bandcamp.com
It’s been four weeks, and the ritual continues. You pretend it’s subsided, but the “Stagnant Venom” remains in you and blurs it all. In streaks of motion, you’ve made your way back to and have been living at: the altar. Feasting on bark and bugs has become your only salvation for nourishment, and hydration is always a mind-bending chance of roulette away from biting into cactus poison. Your eyes roll back into your skull, and veins root your interior vision. And you see a web. And you see a shadow. There’s a suitcase full of cassette tapes atop a stack of LPs all signature to Robedoor. Years’ worth of dank melodies in forms of crushed hymnals and sacred curses. Yeah, you got a 3-in-1 PHILCO plugged into an extension buried in dirt, half pulled out of the ground but regretfully abandoned.
Robedoor has been searing listener’s ears since Fuck It Tapes — no, I mean American Grizzly. Or was it Tin Cans And Twine? Shit, they’ve been on everything and with everyone. Actually, play a game with yourself, if you’re bored: think of a label Robedoor could get on, and then look it up. They probably have a release on there. And it’s way harder than you’d’ve expected it. This time around, they’re freshing French label Hands in the Dark (which just sold out of their Cankun release this year), which is definitely one of my favorite new up-and-coming labels. I intend to radar the SHOOT outta them in the years to come. Expect Robedoor’s new album Primal Sphere May 14 on Hands in the Dark. For now, check out this co-premiere (with NFOP) of “Stagnant Venom”: