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Found Sound, Blog Sounds, Personal Favorites

Dan Deacon

by teabog on June 6th, 2007

Dan Deacon
“Snake Mistakes” (From the album Spiderman of the Rings)

This is a very good album. It’s all trippy and shit. It’s electronic, but it’s hardly dancy even though it’s certainly not ambient or glitch or idm or anything like that. It’s more like some playful, experimental pop music that uses a computer for most of its instrumentation. Think of it as the Beach Boys on crack, only without the Beach Boys.

As far as I can tell from the lyrics, the song is first a guy saying he keeps making “snake mistakes” and then wishing some bees will leave him alone. Then there’s a computer voice chant about how the computer voice’s dad is the coolest dad there is.

Dan’s website.

Gal Costa

by teabog on May 24th, 2007

Gal Costa
“Samba Rosgado” (From the album Gal Tropical)

Ever since I saw Os Mutantes’ last year, I’ve made it a habit to pick up every “Island Beats” or Brazillian LP that I come across. And, man, I come across a lot. Most of the records that I buy are at Goodwill, and most come in big piles since after an old person dies his or her kids send all their music to Goodwill for psychopaths like me to paw through. Aside from Christian music and classical, tropical and Brazilian albums are far and away the LPs that are most commonly found in Goodwill stores in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metro area. I can’t explain it—it just is.

Anyhow, the majority of these albums sound exactly the same, but there have been a handful that have stuck out. Gal Costa is consistently brilliant. This track is off her 80’s release, “Gal Tropical,” and it sounds kinda like the theme from “Moonlighting” if “Moonlighting” was made in Brazil.

Buy the album at Amazon

Fu Manchu “Shake it Loose”

by teabog on May 8th, 2007

Fu Manchu
“Shake it Loose” (From the album We Must Obey )

Woah. Been a while. Swore I had updated since the middle of April but I guess you just tend to forget stuff when you’re living in an alcoholic haze, don’t you?

This here some metal. Or it’s some stoner rock. I’ve heard it called both. Stoner Rock, it turns out, isn’t just Pink Floyd or whatever kids listen to while they’re high, it’s actually a whole subgenre of metal/hard rock that’s spawned from Black Sabbath. I honestly don’t think it’d be that great to listen to while high.

Anyhow, Fu Manchu’s one of those band’s that been around for decades but no one seems to know about them but their small group of devoted fans. This is off their new album, and I found it surprisingly accessible. Metalheads might find it a bit tame, indie kids might find it a bit harsh, but I think it’s juuuuuust right.

Buy the album at Amazon

Gruff Rhys

by teabog on April 16th, 2007

Gruff Rhys
“Gwn Mi Wn” (From the album Yr Atal Genhedlaeth )

I should probably be pimping something off of Gruff’s new album, Candylion, but I’m afraid that album suffers from the same problem as did the last SFA album: forced accessibility. This isn’t to say that neither album isn’t good (both are very good, actually), it’s just that they lack the pothead edge that you find in Rhy’s earlier, drunker works.

This song is in Welsh, and since I can’t understand a syllable of it so it just might be Gruff saying “you are a fag for listening this” over and over again. I don’t care. It’s simple—just a drum beat and a vocal harmony—but it gets me all pumped up. Great for the start of a run.

Buy the album at Amazon

St. Vincent

by teabog on April 14th, 2007

St. Vincent
“Now. Now.” (From the album Marry Me)

This young lady kinda sounds like Annie Lenox, only much less annoying. Her name is Annie Clark, and she plays a lot of instruments. She’s played guitar with the Polyphonic Spree and with Sufjan Stevens.

The song is pretty, pastoral. Hell of a springtime song, with big, sweet-sounding orchestral and children’s choir flourishes against Clark’s strong but simple vocal line eventually give way to some wonderfully out of place guitar distortion. If the songs streaming on her myspace are any indication, I’m really looking forward to her album. The base of her songwriting is this sort of wannabe Fiona Apple bluesy girl-with-a-piano stuff but then every song’s got something about it that’s completely fucked up and unexpected. Also, Brian Teasley from Man or Astro-man is gonna be on it.

St. Vincent’s Myspace

Steroid Maximus

by teabog on April 11th, 2007

Steroid Maximus
“Chain Reaction” (From the album Ectopia)

Do you like the Venture Brothers? Of course you do, everyone does. But answer this one for me, Jackson: Do you like the music from the Venture Brothers? That orchestral, industrial stuff that sounds like a combination between the music from Raymond Watts, modern classical, and the music from old promotional films? Do you like that? Because that’s what this is.

Same dude. J.G. Thirlwell. He does Foetus, as well, and I’m not a huge fan of Foetus because of the vocals but everything done under the Steriod Maximus moniker is instrumental which makes it a lot better.

My girlfriend doesn’t like this music because she says it puts her on edge, like a stress headache. That’s why I like it. If you listen to this song while you’re driving you’ll do stupid things like ramming into people and flipping off cops. It’s just that kind of song.

Thirlwell’s official website


by teabog on April 3rd, 2007

“Bouncy Ball” (From the album Kerfuffle)

This would probably have been my guitar rock album of 2006 if I had heard if before the year ended. That’s because it’s pretty much just guitar rock—80s twinged, hints of pop—and it’s really good.

Back to that “80s twinged” business; the temptation is to liken Ladyfuzz to throwback acts like Bloc Party, but that comparison really doesn’t work. They a female singer, for one. And they have talent, for another. And most importantly, they seem to actually value their music over their image, and they do a much better job of sounding like something that’s genuinely from 80s rather than something that’s been overproduced to the point where it has a glossy sheen and smells like magazine paper. Ladyfuzz still go for the pop production, but it doesn’t rob them of their edge. They are still, at their heart, rock musicians.

Kerfuffle’s supposedly gotten a fair amount of air and radioplay in the UK, but I can’t find a review of it on any major UK site. I don’t remember having ever seen them on a major blog, but they must have been otherwise I wouldn’t have ever heard of them. Anyhow, if this album is ever released in the US and if it ever gets any press, it’ll be huge.

The Official website of Ladyfuzz

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys

by teabog on April 1st, 2007

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys”
“Spanish Dagger” (From the album Turntable Matinee)

If you go on youtube and search the word “commercial” along with any year from the 80s to the present day you’ll find one or two users who have posted 10-20-minute long strings of ads from that time period. Try it out; old commercials are really entertaining, especially if you’ve got people over who you want to leave and you can get the internet on your TV through your Wii.

I was going through commercials from the early nineties the other day, after having worked my way up through the 80s, and I was amazed at the strange design phases the commercials went through, and especially how uniformly ever major advertiser would change the feel of their ad campaigns from year to year. In 1994, that feel was entirely 50s throwback, urban but still Caucasian, with clean cityscapes and non-threatening jazz music.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boy are in the same vein as the commercials of 1994: non-threatening, Causcasianized 50s throwback (nevermind that Sandy appears to be Hispanic, I’m talking about the feel of the music). The color scheme and mode of dress are the same as they were in 1954, but everything’s been cleaned up and watered down for contemporary consumption.

The strange thing is that this watered-down sound comes across so earnest. It doesn’t feel strangled or antiseptic. You could almost believe this is how guitar rock actually sounded back then, if you didn’t know better.

The Official website of Big Sandy

John Cale

by teabog on March 29th, 2007

John Cale
“Antarctica Starts Here” (From the album Paris 1919)

Paris 1919 was recently re-released and I will be goddamned if every review that was less than a perfet 10 didn’t piss me off. Sure, all the 9.5s and 4 and ½ star reviews were great—and there were usually sure to how Cale’s early stuff beats the everloving shit out of Reed’s wonderful solo stuff—but they weren’t PERFECT dammit, and this album is PERFECT.

Buy this. Buy it now. I own two copies just in case one breaks.

As for this song, it’s one of the more underappreciated one the album. It closes things out on a rather soft, somnolent note, only it feels a lot more genuine than any other “lullaby” rock track I’ve ever come across.

Once I was driving along rural Illinois, high as a kite. I was 17 years old and had taken several different Very Dangerous drugs. I drove into a ditch, and rather than try and get myself out of it I just rolled up the windows, turned up the stereo as loud as it would go, and played this song over and over again for an hour or so. Then I gunned the motor, made it onto the road, and drove safely home.

Buy Paris 1919 off of the Amazon

Bent Bolt and the Nuts “Mechanical Man

by teabog on March 25th, 2007

Bent Bold and the Nuts
“Mechanical Man”

I picked this one off the WFMU blog awhile back, but I heard of it long before then. It was reference a whole bunch in 1999, when wacky rock critics were busy making their lists of the top XXX Worst songs of the millennium (which, oddly enough, were all recorded after 1950…). Anyhow, nearly all of those songs were easily downloadable on Napster and included some camp classics like “Pac Man Fever” and “Disco Duck,” both of which made their way into several of mix CDs.

Some of those songs—those that had never been released on a Dr. Demento Compliation–seemed lost to history, released only once on 45 RPM by novelty acts that wound up selling their recording equipment for heroine.

For the life of me, I can’t remember any of those songs. I should have written them down. But I know them when I see them. Inexplicably, Negativland’s (now easily found) “Car Bomb” was one of them. And another one was this little ditty by Bent Bolt and the Nuts.

I love this song, and not for any campy or perverse reasons. I think it’s good. It’s messed up—it completely and totally fucked, actually, but I’ll be damned if it hasn’t aged well.