Dinosaur – Kiss Me Again
Arthur Russell pushing the limits of disco genre: cello for the funky rhythm bassline, David Byrne on guitar and not a synthesizer in the room.
Early precursor to house. This is from 1978, amazing.
Brigitte Fontaine – J’ai 26 Ans
I’ve been doing a small, informal study of Paris for a possible upcoming trip this summer. One of the books I’m reading Paris: The Secret History, mentioned the singer Brigette Fontaine as being the sound of avant-garde Paris in the 60s, so naturally I looked her up on YouTube. This amazing song, among others, is what I found.
One of my favorite jazz groups, The Art Ensemble of Chicago collaborated with Fontaine on this song.
Jenny Wilson – Let My Shoes Lead Me Forward
I’ve been hearing the Nu Shooz song “I Can’t Wait” all over the place. Strange because it was only really popular among aficionados of freestyle. But lately, it seems to be having a small resurgence on the retro-pop stations. (Nu Shooz is from Portland, I think that’s strange for some reason.) I’ve always preferred their tune “Point of No Return” especially because the video is so fantastic. So of course when I saw the video for Jenny Wilson’s “Let My Shoes Lead Me Forward,” I immediately thought of “Point of No Return” and a blog post was born.
I’ve never promised quality.
Nu Shooz – Point of No Return
Dumbo Gets Mad – Radical Leap
It’s 2013, time for a radical leap even if it’s backwards.
‘Dumbo Gets Mad’ is a psych-rock duo project from Italy. The project started out when the duo moved to Los Angeles in 2010. The band’s debut, Elephants at the Door, has received several positive reviews and reached over 100K digital downloads.
Ah, Los Angeles. I guess that means I should look out for their live shows.
Audio Bullys – Gimme That Punk
ULTRADEMON – Step Into Liquid (It’s A Trap)
Favorite seapunk/trap-ish song of 2012
Tomas Barfod – November Skies (feat. Nina Kinert)
My favorite melancholy song with my-birthday-month-in-the-title of 2012
Planningtorock – Patriarchy (Over & Out)
Favorite dance song about patriarchy of 2012
NHK’Koyxeи – 01-587
Favorite melding of hip hop/techno/IDM beats that makes me compulsively move by a Japanese DJ in 2012.
AraabMuzik – I Remember
Favorite 2012 song about remembering by a Dominican-Guatemalan DJ Producer with a misleading stage name.
Phèdre – In Decay
Favorite gratuitous use of honey in a video combined with lyrical and visual references to polyamory in a 2012 song.
Grimes – Genesis
Favorite song to bust out during a dining room dance party so that I can dance like a 7th grade goth who almost won best dancer for the class yearbook but lost to the more popular girl who liked to freak.
Major Lazer – ‘Get Free’ feat. Amber (of Dirty Projectors)
Favorite Summer of 2012 jam that I stopped listening to after I heard a bit of it used as an intro for a show on KPFK. Get free.
Gonjasufi – The Blame
And finally, MY FAVORITE SONG OF 2012! It’s such an amazing, sincere song, I wrote Gonjasufi to ask him about it. He sent me a very personal answer which I don’t feel comfortable sharing. He did say the song was about “being judged by those who fear truth.” The video is pretty awesome too.
The Knife – Nedsvärtning
“The Knife announce new album Shaking The Habitual, to be released in April 2013.
The Knife will be playing some live shows in Europe in 2013.”
Alu – Solidarnosc
A friend of mine posted this song on Facebook a couple of years ago. How could I hear a song like this on such a common medium? This song deserves to be led in on one of those elevated boards noble people lounge on, carried by commoners, as they journey to their throne while they are eating little grapes dangling from a servants hand. Look, I am completely against aristocracy but this song is fucken royal.
Nadja, the vocalist has a way with the rhythm and cadence of her lyrics that really works well with the synth driven industrial beat. But it’s her non-lyric vocalizing guttural breaths that really get me. It’s a technique that is difficult to do well, but it is rightly done here. I listen and listen, repeat and repeat.
Alu is a German band from the 80s and that’s all I know about them but some Google searches lead to the info below. It was the best I could find.
From this website:
No need to be ashamed if you have never heard of Alu, a German trio, that came from the band Sand. Their ‘Golem’ LP was one of the classic krautrock records of the seventies and later on released by World Serpent on CD. After Sand broke up, Johannes Vester and Ludwig Papenberg formed Alu, sometimes together with Nadja on vocals. They released two LPs, one 7″ and two cassettes, in the period 1981-1985. I remember owning one of the LPs and the 7″ (don’t know why not anymore, but that’s a different story), which had a strong rhythm-box, synth, guitar and vocals, all in a pretty raw fashion – world’s apart from the Sand sound. ‘Autismenschen’ is not a re-issue of any of the old stuff, but rather the first LP that was never released, from 1981, except for two tracks, ‘Bitte Warten Sie’ and ‘Liebe Machen’ (which is a cover of ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’ from Willie Dixon), which are now included on this CD too of course. In recent years there have been many young musicians wo rking in ‘electro’ music, the synth-rhythmbox stuff from the eighties, but you may call me a retro freak, I prefer the old stuff, like Alu, or The Screamers or Suicide, with whom Alu has in common that they both combined the speed and energy of the punk rock, combined with analogue synthesizer stuff. Some of the more lengthy pieces, such as ‘Halt Dich Fest’ sound, with lenghty guitar doodlings show their krautrock background, but Alu is at their best in their shorter pieces: a screamy voice, full of doomsday paranoia, a continuous rhythm-box, simple melodies on the organ and guitar in a distorted mood. The real stuff that can’t be beaten by a groove-box and microphone. The best re-discovery of 2005!–Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly
Marianne Faithfull – Before the Poison
The Stranglers – Golden Brown
Velvet Underground – Waiting for the Man (didn’t for the obvious one)
I’ve been reading a lot lately about the drug chaos in Mexico. I learned that the heroin trade in Sinaloa, Mexico was started by Chinese immigrants who moved to the region in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The difficult-to-traverse mountains provided a perfect place to start a drug trade that continues to this day.
Murder City by Charles Bowden
El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency by Ioan Grillo
2666 by Roberto Bolaño