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Woah, New Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason On Deck?

Well this certainly snuck up quietly. Yesterday, Bedroom Community announced plans for a new release from Ben Frost and Daniel Bjarnson, due this November. Holy shit, right? Wait, it gets better.

The piece, commissioned by the Unsound festival in Krakow, spawned from initial sketches improvised by Frost and Bjarnson to the Tarkovsky film of the same name (note, if you haven’t seen it, remedy your unfortunate situation poste haste). From there, the duo fed those sketches were:

fed into software designed to correct music which tried to turn their dense and distorted sonic input into a digital sequence of raw musical data. Working from data riddled with error and misunderstanding, a human score was orchestrated; the whole process deftly mirroring the core of the film’s own narrative of memory and loss, alien doppelgängers and emotional feedback loops.

Heavy.

Ben Frost’s By The Throat was my favorite record of 2009, and Bjarnson’s Processions just missed cracking the top ten last year. Even knowing this collaboration exists has me all tingly inside.

The tracklist is as follows:

1. We Don’t Need Other Worlds, We Need Mirrors
2. Simulacra I
3. Simulacra II
4. Snow
5. Reyja
6. Cruel Miracles
7. Hydrogen Sulfide
8. Unbreakable Silence
9. You Mean More To Me Than Any Scientific Truth
10. Saccades
11. Venia

Sólaris is out Nov. 7, 2011 on Bedroom Community.

251 Days

That’s how long it has been since my last post. Normally, I’d be totally ashamed about that, but all manner of crazy shit has been going on since we last spoke. I quit my job, moved to Minneapolis, started a new job, and bought a house–I even had a second (arguably) vestigial organ removed from my body, emergency-style.

I realize that 85% of blogs on the internet end with a post that starts: “Sorry, I haven’t posted in a while…”, so I was tempted to pick up like nothing had changed. I was prepared to ask you to pretend the last 251 days never occurred, and to suggest we’d both feel better about things that way. But the reality is, I’m now two organs short of a full body, and you deserve better.

Therefore, to get us back in gear, I decided to cull together a compendium of six random things I probably would have posted about had I been better at my not-job.

Continue reading »

Best Records of 2010: An Obligatory Collection of Favorites, Part Two

Earlier this week, we kicked off our obligatory year-end coverage with the 10 best songs of 2010, as decided by, well… me. As promised, we continue today with the much-anticipated “Part Two” of that post. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Best Records of 2010… also decided upon by me (in case that wasn’t clear). Enjoy.

Best Records of 2010:

10. Games – That We Can Play

Can I put an EP on my “Best Records of 2010″ list? Of course I can, it’s my list and I make the rules. GamesThat We Can Play is 5 tracks of vintage ’80s synth-pop bliss (plus a remix). The observationally astute amongst you will recall “Strawberry Skies” was already #2 on my Top Songs list. It’s the clear jam of the bunch, but the remainder of the EP isn’t too far behind. While the duo, Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never and Tigercity’s Joel Ford, clearly play in the throwback end of the pool, their sound can’t be mistaken for anything but contemporary. It is as much 2010 as it is 1984. Also, rumor has it that Games will be recording a 2011 full length in Jann Hammer’s studio (yes, he of Miami Vice theme song fame), which, in a weird and awesome way, makes a lot of sense.

9. Buke & Gass – Riposte

Because I just wrote about Buke & Gass for a Lagmag piece, I’ll let my earlier self do the talking here for a bit: “Yes, that sound you hear coming through your speakers (or from that stage) is made by two people. Granted, these are peculiar sounds, but it’s the complexity that belies their true number. To an extent, the peculiarity can be attributed to their self-built instruments. Arone Dyer plays the “buke” (a modified six-string baritone ukulele), and Aron Sanchez the “gass” (a guitar-bass hybrid), which are both filtered through various invented pedals and amps. Combined with complex percussion (played simultaneously with their feet, of course), Dyer’s intricate vocal melodies, and other miscellaneous hand-claps and snaps, and you start to see where this impressive racket comes from.” Fair warning, that impressive racket digs into your brain and doesn’t let go, and you’ll eventually start hearing Riposte loops in your head. The only remedy? Putting the record back on.

Continue reading »

Best Songs of 2010: An Obligatory Collection of Favorites, Part One

If you haven’t already noticed, it’s that time of year again. The time when everyone with an opinion (and a website or a blog) decides to share with you their “Best of 2010″ lists. While I’d love to pretend that Lagmag is different, we aren’t, so our two-part year-end coverage begins NOW.

Today, we kick things off with my “Best Songs of 2010″ list. You can click on the titles below for links to check out each song. Alternately, I set up a playlist on iTunes so you can easily follow, listen and purchase any of the songs that tickle your proverbial fancy.

Best Songs of 2010:

10. Disappears – Gone Completely

“Gone Completely” is the first track off Lux from Chicago’s Disappears, and if you aren’t hooked within the first 30 seconds, this record isn’t for you. It’s a fuzzed-out, scuzzed-up, and reverb-laden gem that perfectly sets the tone for the remaining 27 minutes of the record. Brian Case’s sneering “Do you ever think about / What if we had never met” also happens to be my favorite line to sing along with this year.

9. Best Coast – Boyfriend

There weren’t too many records released this year that melded a Spector-era girl group vibe from the ’50s with the darker minor-key sound of mid-’90s alt-rock, and none did it as successfully as Best Coast’s Crazy for You. “Boyfriend”, the opening track, is that perfect intersection. It’s catchy as hell, but it’s also kind of sad and universally relatable–which is really what great pop songs are all about.

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Hey, Check Out This Awesome Cover Art: AIDS Wolf

From time to time, I’ll see a record cover that makes me want to say to people, “Hey, check out this awesome cover art.” Thus, I am kicking the tires on a new feature called “Hey, check out this awesome cover art.” Enjoy!

AIDS Wolf - March To The Sea

Title:
March To The Sea
Artist: AIDS Wolf
Cover by: Seripop
Available in: LP/CD on SkinGraft Records
Continue reading »

Pick Three: Buke & Gass

Pick Three is semi-regular feature in which we ask an artist to pick three songs from their new or upcoming record, and give us their thoughts, stories or insight for each. Think of it as a director’s commentary track that you have to read.

Buke & Gass by Grant Cornett

Believe it or not, Brooklyn-based Buke & Gass (pronounced Byook & Gace, since I know you’re wondering) is a duo. Yes, that sound you hear coming through your speakers (or from that stage) is made by two people. Granted, these are peculiar sounds, but it’s the complexity that belies their true number. The peculiarity can be somewhat attributed to their self-built instruments. Arone Dyer plays the “buke” (a modified six-string baritone ukulele), and Aron Sanchez the “gass” (a guitar-bass hybrid), which are both filtered through various invented pedals and amps. Combined with complex percussion (played simultaneously with their feet, of course), Dyer’s intricate vocal melodies, and other miscellaneous hand-claps and snaps, and you start to see where this impressive racket comes from. In an attempt to gain some further insight into their process, we asked Dyer & Sanchez to talk to us about three tracks from their recent release, Riposte.

Continue reading »

Bourdain Gets Graphic

Should have seen this coming. This is what happens when food people become taste-makers—you get awkwardly hip hybrids like lobster corn dogs at Lollapalooza. Now, Anthony Bourdain is writing a graphic novel for Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics.

Get Jiro! is an “ultra-violent slaughter-fest” that takes place in a world where food and the secrets of how to prepare it are the source of great power, according to a blog post on DC’s website. Jiro is a highly talented sushi chef whom this futurist world’s master chefs are all fighting over. Though it seems the mysterious Jiro has plans of his own.

Continue reading »

Gayngs: Live from the Practice Space

The supreme party posse otherwise known as Gayngs kick off their tour tonight at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall. To celebrate/get you excited for a potential stop in your town, the MPLS TV’s City of Music posted this rehearsal video of Faded High, live from April Base Studio in Eau Claire, Wisc.

As you can see, the crew is stripped down from the 200 or so people that performed live at The Last Prom On Earth back in May, but if this footage is any indication, the lean(ish)/mean crew has no trouble pulling their weight. It also appears that tour-mate Glasser will be joining Ryan Olson and company on stage (at least for Faded High).

Go see Olson dance around awesomely in the back left-hand corner of a stage in your town. Check the tourdates over at Gayngs myspace page.

Pick Three: Chris Besinger of STNNNG

Pick Three is a new feature here at Ladies & Gentlemen. We ask an artist to pick three songs from their new or upcoming record, and give us their thoughts, stories or insight for each. Think of it as a director’s commentary track that you have to read.

Photo by Greg Schaal
photo by Greg Schaal

Minneapolis’ STNNNG has been honing their brand of chaos for 8 years now. Aggressive dueling guitars, spastic drumming and thundering bass lay the groundwork for vocalist/wordsmith Chris Besinger’s fitful rantings. It’s combative and contentious, but it’s also cathartic. There is an immense amount going on within every song, but it never sounds overwrought. If you break it down and listen closely, every member of this band is doing something insane and mind-blowing throughout. It’s a dizzying array of talent. It’s been four years since they released Fake Fake, and lucky for everyone, the drought is about to end. Smoke of My Will will be released in October on Modern Radio in a vinyl only edition. The aforementioned Mr. Besinger was kind enough to kick off our Pick Three series and discuss three songs from the new record.

Continue reading »

Satan Worshipping Doom

Do you work with anyone in a band called Bongripper? Well, I do, and yesterday he walked in and handed me a copy of this:

While Satan Worshipping Doom is Bongripper’s sixth release, it’s the first they’ve released on vinyl, and art-wise, they took full advantage of the extra inches.  It is a brutal (in the best way possible) full-color mess of blood, fire, demons, goats, tentacles and all manner of other evil shit.
Continue reading »

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