Sliders 'n Socks

Back from the dead. Welcome home, my friend.

You are not logged in.

#26 2019-10-20 10:05:30

Psychic_Heist
Member
Registered: 2019-09-19
Posts: 55

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

Recently through my headphones:

Sturgil Simpson “Sound and Fury” – You know, you have to admire him.  After making the classy, gorgeously produced, Grammy winning alt-country album “A Sailors Guide to Earth” that screamed out ‘Hey you fucks, this is how you do dad rock’ to bands like Wilco and The National, Sturgil could have stayed in that lane and easily have pleased.  Instead he reinvents his persona like Bowie.  He takes a turn toward muscle cars and 70’s exploitation movies.  He goes ANIME.

https://youtu.be/HvT0rzUo4zc

Unfortunately, I wish the music and the production of this album could match the ambition of this turn of scenery.  Though at times, damn entertaining, at the end of the day, the songs themselves just don’t feel like they are ‘there’ and the production of this thing blends the variety of musical styles (the only thing that ever feels country about it is Sturgil’s vocals) in more ways that feel one dimensional than not.
I’m still rooting for you Sturgil.


Alex Cameron “Miami Memory” – I’ve been playing me some Grand Theft Auto lately, and I realized that the personas that Alex Cameron has created in his past albums would fit perfectly into a character created by Rockstar in those games.  In case you don’t know, the characters that Alex takes on and sings about are pretty much the lowest of the low, distasteful washed up self-entitled male chauvinist ‘rockstars’ who reeking drunkenly of Bud Light and wet cigarettes would hit on your Mom in the check aisle of Whole Foods. He draws on the music stylings of 80s Rod Stewart, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen – but does it in a way that says “You know what? Those guys might have acted all pretty and romantic, but I bet they were douche bags.”  I find this funny.  If you don’t, just skip.

His latest album sheds most of these persona’s though for something that is more personal.  It’s still darkly funny, and when his lyrics are on point, they will hit you like *snicker* a tsunami.

https://youtu.be/w0BtytpbJCU

But I have few enough problems with this album though to where I just can’t personal endorse it as a whole.  To my ear, I think it is very entertaining in its first few songs --  but by the time we get to “Gaslight,” the 4th track in, the tempo never really changes for the rest of the output, and the shtick gets old.  A shame, because in the middle of those songs, you have ‘Divorce,’ which has the most heroic use of the word ‘futon couch’ that I have ever and will likely ever hear in a song.

Big Thief “Two Hands” – Becoming critical darlings this year with “U.F.O.F,” released just five months earlier, I think Big Thief does deserve recognition for one of the very few bands breathing life into the cold dead body of indie rock/folk, a genre I feel that has been largely sanitized and neutered this whole decade.  That being said, I am not quite all in with this band just yet, on this particular album there feels like just enough songs that don’t quite land a ‘third’ act in their structure so to speak, leaving me with a ‘oh, was that it?’ feeling lingering throughout. 

I really do love this album’s intimate feeling, as it peels back the production, and gives you something that feels like a performance for a small crowd in a close space one cold fall evening.  And the song “Not” is bound to be in the top selections of song of the year lists for the indie scene.  You won’t find any arguments from me.  It is quite good.

https://youtu.be/UIcVwH47uxQ

This album has enough ‘stick’ to it and room to grow on you, that I could see it cracking my top ten of the year.


Wilco “Ode to Joy” – Wilco albums of the past have had the reputation of not necessarily grabbing me upon the first, second, third listen – but when they do open up, they usually end up being a few of my personal favorite albums.  But something about Wilco these last, I don’t know, ten years or so, have felt particularly resigned and lazily fucking around.  “Ode to Joy” was supposed to change that.

“Ode to Joy” does not.

Maybe there is a really good Wilco album here that will open after a few listens, but with a lot more exciting releases surrounding it, I just don’t really want to put the time in right now to find out.


Chromatics “Closer to Grey” – Quick mention of the new Chromatics album. First time I listened to this was after “Ode to Joy” and thankfully it woke my ass up.  The sound here feels more direct, loud, and direct in it’s dancing vibes than “Kill For Love” – but I haven’t heard that album in a few years, so that could be misplaced.  Anyway, like this album, don’t know if I will stick with it.

AND NOW FOR THE MAIN EVENT!

clipping. “There Existed an Addiction to Blood” – When the music press released the news of a new clipping album that was going to release in mid-October of this year and attached was the song ‘Nothing Is Safe,’ I flipped my shit.  It wasn’t just the fact of a new clipping album coming, which would still bring the hype, it was the fact that it was going to be drawing from themes of horror this time around, and when I heard those John Carpenter-like plinking piano keys when ‘Nothing Is Safe’ started, I felt “OH MY GOD THIS WAS MADE FOR ME!”  And then when the beat drops later in that song, I just exploded.

After putting myself together, I listened to that song and subsequent singles following to the release over and over.  Now we have the full album (I don’t think I have ever looked so forward to getting up at 4 am in the morning for work knowing that I’d have this new album waiting for me) and it’s been on a steady repeat.  I’ve even tried to listen to it as I type away here, but then all I want to do is listen to it and forget this reflection.  It grabs my ears that much.

Let’s get my criticisms out of the way – recently Rhete was discussing how the video game ‘Bayonetta 2’ goes really hard all the time throughout its duration until it’s final moments, where the energy dips down just enough that it feels a wee bit anti-climactic.  I feel you can take that same sentiment and apply it to this album.  After the song “Blood of the Fang,” which just MURDERS by the way, the placement of the final three songs just feels off for me.  By itself, I enjoy the song “Story 7,” but it doesn’t exactly work here this late in the track listing.  And for the life of me, I really can’t get into “Attunement,” the song that follows.  It doesn’t do enough to distinguish itself from everything else I’ve just heard.  To top it off, closer “Piano Burning” is like you said Polly, something of a ‘I see what you did there and I will pay respect to your art and listen to it once’ but unless I am in the mood for some sort of piano burning ambiance, which doesn’t come up often in my life, it’s a total pass.  To quote a line from Daveed Diggs from earlier track “La Mala Ordina” -- ‘The third act really drags, the structure falls apart’ – so maybe all of this is the point.

Everything else about this album is still very, very strong and this was released at the perfect time of year with Halloween approaching.  With how the interludes break up the album, it gives me the impression of a set of stories, not so much directly connected, but all taking place in the same area, like this the Robert Altman of horrocore, with many characters who weave in and out of what is the true central ‘character,’ the place, a blood thirsty society ready to devour us all. 

Two contrasting songs I want to give an exceptional shout out for.  First, “Club Down,” a hair-raising, teeth gritting, and downright VISCIOUS moment of the record.  This song is the bloodiest of massacres as the backing noise sounds like thousands of screaming voices in the most horrific of situations.  Then there is “Run for Your Life,” currently my favorite song on the album, which is a much more quieter moment that showcases clipping at their best – their ability to be experimental, but measured, and being damn good story tellers.

https://youtu.be/aibv56K7y8A

I’m glad we have this album.

Offline

#27 2019-10-21 09:07:26

John
Lightning Edgeboy
From: Chicago
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 102
Website

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

(I really appreciate the super-detailed thoughts PH, I enjoy seeing socks friends dig deep into their album experiences. I don't read a lot of music crit so it helps fill me in on how folks appreciate music.)


"If history is to change, let it change! If the world is to be destroyed, so be it! If my fate is to die... I must simply laugh!!"
-Magus

Offline

#28 2019-10-21 15:23:22

Psychic_Heist
Member
Registered: 2019-09-19
Posts: 55

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

(Thank you!  That means a lot, since I consider you and the Socks community as a whole as this model of how to discuss your thoughts on whatever it is you are into at the moment, and giving unique voice to those opinions.   I’m just trying to follow suit.  I know this may sound silly, as I’m aware in how I write that it may come off as mini album reviews and that’s a form of music criticism, but it makes me a little self-conscious to think of what I write as music crit, because I have no sort of formal education when it comes to writing constructive criticism, music, or audio engineering.  I’m just going with the feels, and what information I’ve picked up through the years over reading music publications and listening to those who talk about music (like Polly and Taylor!))

Offline

#29 2019-10-25 10:18:58

Psychic_Heist
Member
Registered: 2019-09-19
Posts: 55

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

A brief impression for now, but just had my first listen of the new Swans album “leaving meaning.”  I don’t know if there is any love for Swans around here, but oh boy, does this album take a very optimistic left turn I haven’t really experienced in a Swans record.  For a second there I had to check my Spotify player and make sure Sufjan Stevens wasn’t playing.

A song from the album (but not the one I’m talking about above):

https://youtu.be/3ZVZo30M8Lc

Offline

#30 2019-10-28 09:02:52

John
Lightning Edgeboy
From: Chicago
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 102
Website

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

I also looped “There Existed an Addiction to Blood” a bunch last week, it completely rules. It was sorta revelatory to me, I didn't know you could do that kind of vibe in music. I don't have any big observations, it was just really good and kinda inspiring.


"If history is to change, let it change! If the world is to be destroyed, so be it! If my fate is to die... I must simply laugh!!"
-Magus

Offline

#31 2019-10-31 09:08:19

Psychic_Heist
Member
Registered: 2019-09-19
Posts: 55

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

John wrote:

It was sorta revelatory to me, I didn't know you could do that kind of vibe in music.

THATS IT! I love when music has this effect on people, it may lead to a new way of experiencing the art.  When I was a wee lad it was Tom Waits for me, I was like “Whoa, what? Music can sound like this?”

Offline

#32 2019-11-08 17:08:14

John
Lightning Edgeboy
From: Chicago
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 102
Website

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

*me every six months* fuck I love Pink Floyd


"If history is to change, let it change! If the world is to be destroyed, so be it! If my fate is to die... I must simply laugh!!"
-Magus

Offline

#33 2019-11-09 06:21:54

Psychic_Heist
Member
Registered: 2019-09-19
Posts: 55

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

John wrote:

*me every six months* fuck I love Pink Floyd

Yeah, they're pretty good.

People will ask you in your life "Beatles or Elvis?"  But I think the better question is "Waters or Gilmour?"

Offline

#34 2019-11-09 06:45:13

Psychic_Heist
Member
Registered: 2019-09-19
Posts: 55

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

Any love for Lightning Bolt around here?

https://youtu.be/5V5dno7IW8o

Offline

#35 2019-11-09 12:42:25

Polly
Moon Pie Advocate
From: Pollyland
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 68
Website

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

Psychic_Heist wrote:

Any love for Lightning Bolt around here?

https://youtu.be/5V5dno7IW8o

I'm interested now...


You got a 25% at best at beat me.

Offline

#36 2019-11-09 12:49:43

Polly
Moon Pie Advocate
From: Pollyland
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 68
Website

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

Rhete recently introduced me to an art-rock/kinda post-grungey band Bent Knee with their latest album You Know What They Mean, and it's shot pretty high on my regular listening list as of late.  Super well put together instrumentals and vocals and energy I feel I wanted from the newest Sleater-Kinney, but didn't get considering the creative force that was behind that album. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q63OhjXmjw4


The new Jinjer album Macro is also doing a lot of good for me...except the fact that the way the snare is mixed on this album drives me nuts and I have to EQ it a bit because WHOEVER WANTED THAT SNARE SOUND ON THE FINAL ALBUM IS NUTS, PLEASE COOL THAT THING OFF A LITTLE.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-jk-RHqFzU


You got a 25% at best at beat me.

Offline

#37 2019-11-11 08:02:53

Psychic_Heist
Member
Registered: 2019-09-19
Posts: 55

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

Polly wrote:

Rhete recently introduced me to an art-rock/kinda post-grungey band Bent Knee with their latest album You Know What They Mean, and it's shot pretty high on my regular listening list as of late.

I've given this a few spins since your post, and have been enjoying it a lot (vocals steal the show).  I have to ask, has Rhete been holding out on us when it comes to music?

Also, not familiar with Jinjer, is "Macro" a good place to jump in?

Offline

#38 2019-11-11 10:36:11

Polly
Moon Pie Advocate
From: Pollyland
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 68
Website

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

Psychic_Heist wrote:
Polly wrote:

Rhete recently introduced me to an art-rock/kinda post-grungey band Bent Knee with their latest album You Know What They Mean, and it's shot pretty high on my regular listening list as of late.

I've given this a few spins since your post, and have been enjoying it a lot (vocals steal the show).  I have to ask, has Rhete been holding out on us when it comes to music?

Yeah, I'd say Rhete's pretty good at finding some off the beaten path stuff sometimes.  He and I have certainly turned one another onto a lot of different stuff over the years.  He should post more. 

Also, not familiar with Jinjer, is "Macro" a good place to jump in?

Yeah, it's as good a place as any to jump in, their style is pretty consistent.


You got a 25% at best at beat me.

Offline

#39 Yesterday 10:55:16

Psychic_Heist
Member
Registered: 2019-09-19
Posts: 55

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

Recently through my headphones …

LET’S GET SPIRITUAL!

Kanye West “JESUS IS KING” – Let’s just get this out of the way shall we?

Short form impression of this album: It’s not for me.

Long form impression of this album:  I feel like the most remarkable thing about “JESUS IS KING” is that it’s a 27 minute album that feels like 27 hours.  That, and I think I can co-sign on the song “Follow God,” a distinctly Kanye beat that follows many formula of his past by work using a soul sample that syncs well when his flow is determined.   “JESUS IS KING” is the supposed new ‘gospel’ turn for Mr. West’s persona, no more of that other rap stuff, he’s giving it all to Jesus from here on out.  But it’s a little known fact that Kanye talks A LOT of shit, so forgive me if I’m little apprehensive and that he sticks to it.

I’ve followed Kanye since “The College Dropout,” and on that album there was the hit “Jesus Walks,” a song about  American racism, income inequality, the inner conflict with the material world, and of course, his faith.  If somehow, you’ve not heard it but have curiosity about this album, I’d say no – listen to that song. “Jesus Walks” is miles better and far more compelling than anything on “JESUS IS KING.”  Or you could listen to “Heard ‘Em Say.” Or you could listen to “Ultralight Beam.”  Or you could listen to “Reborn.” Or you could listen to “I Am A God,” which hey, has Jesus AND croissants.   

I suppose this album, “JESUS IS KING,” is produced well enough in places, it is Kanye after all, but I am shocked just how cringey and a slog it is to get through. Those feelings really kick in on the song “Closed On Sunday,” track 4, and then persists for the rest of the duration, getting worse and worse-er into tedium.  It’s a short album, but JEEEESUS, it took me some grit getting through the few times I listened to it.  By the time I get to the second to last song, “Use This Gospel,” there’s a synth note that is beeping throughout the background that sounds an awful lot like a reminder to put on your seatbelt when you’re in a car, and I thought ‘This is kind of perfect, my seatbelts off because I am ready to JUMP OUT OF THIS CAR! AHHHHHH LET ME THE FUCK OUT!!!  POSSIBLE DEATH OR SEVERE INJURY FROM ROAD RASH WOULD BE BETTER THAN THIS SHIT!’

You know, with the better songs from previous albums I mentioned above, there is a part of me that feels like Kanye should have knocked this out of the park.  Instead, it’s an album that is the straw that broke this camels back.  I’m sorry Mr. West, I just don’t care like I used to.

Swans “leaving meaning.” – I found it interesting listening to this album along with “JESUS IS KING.”  Opposite to that albums 27 minute flounder, “leaving meaning.” is a 90 minute breeze.  For a recent Swans record, that’s saying something.  The anticipation for this project revolved around head creative Michael Gira proclaiming that it was a new phase for the band.  And after a few listens, I believe this new phase is still in transition.  It’s certainly not as grand, or for the throat, like the previous three albums, nor does it need to be, but it’s not exactly a distinct departure for the band.  It’s production and song structure still feel like their cut from whatever leftover cloth that “The Seer,” “To Be Kind,” and “The Glowing Man” were created from.

I think it has some gorgeous moments – the song “Annaline” is entrancing, “It’s Coming It’s Real” makes me feel swept up in a dark grassy pasture, and “What is This?” (title sounds close, but not a Danny Elfman cover) is quite the optimistic and hopeful turn late in the album.  This song reminds me a bit of DeVotchKa, Sufjan Stevens, and floored me the first time I heard it as Swans rarely goes in that direction.  I really wish that the album concluded on that note, because follow up finale song “My Phantom Limb” feels unintentionally silly, where the effect of the vocals comes more off like a car salesman than some sort of spiritual revival.

Since this is Swans, you can also expect songs soaked up in long periods of dread and horror.  The song “Sunfucker” strongly reminds me of the ending of the book “Childhood’s End” by Arthur C. Clark, a birth of a new ethereal consciousness. And then there’s “The Nub,” where suddenly I feel like I’m hidden, observing witches cast a dark spell not meant for mortal eyes.  These songs are chilling (and pretty great).

I think it’s safe to say that “leaving meaning.” is also an album about spirituality.  But unlike “JESUS IS KING,” which is far more soaked in the material ego of religion, “leaving meaning.” is interested in where our consciousness goes when it elevates to a meditative place.  Themes of Buddhism (you even get a little Buddhist chanting in “The Hanging Man”) and Christian mysticism is scattered throughout the lyrics, and the repetition and deep focus of a religious mantra is in the framework of a lot of these songs.

So is this an album I can recommend?  While it is an album that I like, I can’t quite give it the thumbs up.  Most of the songs I’ve mentioned above are what I believe to be this albums best moments, but as a whole experience, this record doesn’t really stick for me.  More often than not, it has a ‘been there done that’ vibe, and it’s more direct ambient moments (like the title track) always ends up washing over me and never holding on.  Swans has utilized those tools better before.

And while these songs seem to come from the same well of ideas, and it all feels so faintly connected.  Again, it’s a 90 minute album that is quite breezy.  I could almost recommend it as an introduction to recent Swans, but really, shouldn’t we just recommend “The Seer” or “To Be Kind” so new listeners feel their actual blood boiling in terror?  Maybe I’m cruel, but those albums were on to something, while this album has lost whatever that was.

Sunn 0))) “Life Metal” & “Pyroclasts” – Soooooooo))), I feel very out of my depth when discussing Sunn 0))), and I think I will embarrass myself properly here in doing so. I have only ever dabbled in “The Grimm Robe Demos” and “Domkirke,” and know that I am missing out on some very essential recordings from this group (I plan to correct that). Released earlier this year, I selected “Life Metal” on the whim of “I wonder what these chaps are up to these days?” but I wasn’t ready for it at the time.  Now, with the recent release of “Pyroclasts,” which hit me hard to my soul, I was now more than ready to embrace the pairing of these two albums as one experience.

I think what Sunn 0))) has accomplished here is phenomenal.

I will not even attempt to explain the technical details that goes into this mammoth walls of constructed sounds.  I’d be talking out my ass way more than usual.  But at least I hope to convey an inkling of what Sunn 0))) has made me felt with these two albums.  So while “JESUS IS KING” and “leaving meaning.” deal with different facets of spirituality, “Life Metal” & “Pyroclasts” (and I know this will sound ridiculous) feels like the actual deal, a full on religious experience.  When I listen to these albums, volume turned up, I feel instantly elevated and transported somewhere else witnessing some higher power.  This place is grand, mythic, a creation, a destruction, or maybe it’s both – of life, the universe, everything.  Looking at the albums cover art, I’m like ‘that’s it!” and I really can’t think of a better way to describe this band and this experience.

Sunn 0))) sure as hell isn’t for everyone, and if you’re already familiar with this band and that’s how you feel, I don’t think these albums would do much to change your mind.  But if you’re interested in where extreme music can go, and what potential that music could unlock in you, then take the time out of your day, go somewhere quiet, somewhere dark, make sure you have  good headphones, turn the volume up, and give “Pyroclasts” a listen.  If you’re intrigued after that, move on to “Life Metal.”  Maybe it will move you as much as it moved me.

Marilyn Manson “Antichrist Superstar” – I figure with all this religious talk we should pop in on what Marilyn was up to in ’96 – wait, wait, wait  I suppose I should save this for whenever the 3rd God Is In The Podcast is out …. which, is there a forecast for that yet?

The Cure “Faith” – It seemed appropriate to round out this group of albums loosely connected themes of a higher power, by revisiting a classic that deals with one’s loss of that belief.  Before The Cure would evolve into the much more grand outfit they’re more known as to the mainstream, there was a period of time where they were just a trio of young, miserable goths.  This early incarnation of the band would release a set of three albums that hold a special place in my heart, “Seventeen Seconds,” “Faith” and “Pornography.”

“Pornography” of course, is a very important work for the band, but there is a particular ache and delicate sadness to “Faith” that makes me respond to it a little more.  It was also the first Cure I ever owned, and came to me at the right time in my personal life, where you discover some things in life lose their wonder as you grow older and ‘closings’ you may have been searching for in relationships – either romantic, family, or friends – don’t necessarily happen like they do in say, a Charles Dickens novel.  Lyrical themes in “Faith” deal with Robert Smith losing his religion, but now that I’m older, I think this album is about how things don’t turn out like you may have believed they would as you begin your adulthood.  There are deep regrets we all experience, that never really goes away, dancing around our core that we should remain silent about in our daily lives.  This album is about going through that depression.

It lets us experience it’s sadness as something very contemplative, real, and ultimately beautiful.  The song “All Cats Are Grey” seems to search for some sort of healing, the gorgeous “Funeral Party” brings tears to my eyes through its dreamy atmospheric synths and wounded vocals, and the final title song is so despondent in its affliction that it makes me feel like I’m reaching toward the sky hoping for something to take hold of my hand, but quietly knowing there is nothing there.  I feel like these songs in particular could view “Faith” as a prologue to “Disintegration,” the preeminent Cure album, which expands on some of the musical ideas and lyrical themes of “Faith” to much grander heights.  But I feel there might be risk in that comparison, selling “Faith” a little short.  It’s very much its own thing living in its own space.  And in that space, there is something really comforting in “Faith.”  You’d think for a sad album, I’d have the blues for days after listening to it.  But no.  This is a musical headspace that lets me connect to, explore those feelings, knowing that’s ok people feel this way.  Because of that, I always leave “Faith” thankful.

https://youtu.be/o4s4kGvQfIk

Offline

#40 Yesterday 12:02:35

Polly
Moon Pie Advocate
From: Pollyland
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 68
Website

Re: BOOM SELECTA [currently listening megathread]

Psychic_Heist wrote:

Marilyn Manson “Antichrist Superstar” – I figure with all this religious talk we should pop in on what Marilyn was up to in ’96 – wait, wait, wait  I suppose I should save this for whenever the 3rd God Is In The Podcast is out …. which, is there a forecast for that yet?

The guest I have lined up for that episode has had a really busy last month or so and recently just got back from a hiking trip and is also getting over being a bit sick.  He's hoping to dig into the album soon though, so hopefully I'd say before the end of the month at least.  Apologies for the delay on that.  Me and Taylor had also planned on doing an episode on The Spooky Kids years in the interim, but I've just been incredibly busy with work myself, so podcasting that's not of the Sockscast variety has been a bit rough.

So I went Spotify diving and came up with MOANA's In The Allure which is a fun little gothic/occult rock album with some great musicianship, production, and hauntingly beautiful vocals!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jORQB_vu1E


You got a 25% at best at beat me.

Offline

Board footer