Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Return of Guapo

Went to a record store over the weekend, and saw a new CD from "Guapo." Was it that same #2 of 2006 Guapo?

"The Pilman Radiant" [edit] from History of the Visitation (2013)

Why, yes it was!

No longer the full 'classic' line-up (with Miracle/Ulver/Æthenor's Daniel O'Sullivan) - but it sounds fairly similar still... Jazzy, proggy art-Rock In Opposition.

History of the Visitation trailer (2012)

I was wondering why it cost so much, and apparently it comes with a live DVD with shows from 2006 and 2007.

Here are my two home-brewed videos from the 2006 single:
"The Heliotrope"
"The Selenotrope"

Probably still need to get that Elixirs collection (2008) too.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Mystery that is Nick Bensen

We're on to Number Nine in this series of artist profiles through each track on last year's terrific For Lee Jackson in Space benefit comp (#4 Compilation, 2012)...

And this will be a short one, as Nick Bensen is an internet Man of Mystery.

First off, everything wants to suggest "Nick Benson" (which might have actually been more fruitful). Looks like his home label (Free City Media) has closed up its cyber-presence. Not even any full-size album-cover images. Finding any other examples of music online was an exercise in frustration, so here's the one that we definitely know of:

O yeah, this is with the aptly-named "Too Many Guitars" - unless that's just an apt description of what he's on about. Either way, pretty outrageous & overblown... but I can dig it!

Looks like that track was originally copyrighted 2005, which might be a clue.

I did find some record reviews and an interview. Not an interview of Nick Bensen (no way), but an interview by Nick Bensen - of our very own The Dunlavy aka Scott Grimm.

I might have to pick up his 2 CD's just to put something on YouTube or Soundcloud or something... this is terrible! You can preview a little bit of a few tracks there at CDbaby.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Jelatinous Xube PsychmyX ~
Astral Headspace, Vol. 10

Sorry for being so lazy recently. I've been working on a theme for the next blog comp - first it was best of 2012, then Indonesian post-rock, then role-playing soundtracks... but in the end, this new one could only be for the next Austin Psych Fest.

Following the original partial line-up announcement, they've now put out the full schedule - yeah! Newly added?

Moving Sidewalks (Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top) ~ Os Mutantes ~
Roky Erickson ~ The Raveonettes ~ OM ~ Silver Apples ~
Kaleidoscope (UK) ~ Tamaryn ~ Suuns ~ Besnard Lakes ~
Indian Jewelry ~ Bass Drum of Death ~ Night Beats ~
No Joy ~ Young Magic ~ Wall of Death ~ Holy Wave ~
Ride into the Sun ~ Hearts in Space


This ended up as an interesting collection. Previous comps have featured a lot of this year's artists - which you can explore via the brand-new index, or the links in the "Astral Headspace Comps" section to the right. So we have a lot of newcomers & deep cuts. Plus a Flammarion woodcut cover concept!

Jelatinous Xube PsychmyX ~ Vol. 10
[current download link]
... which will eventually appear only at the Comp Index.

1. "Rad Times" - Black Bananas
New project from Jennifer of Royal Trux! MP3 from Pitchfork.

2. "Tiny Spiders" - The Soft Moon
Psych Fest semi-regulars return for another round in Austin. MP3 straight outta Stereogum. The Soft Moon also appeared on blog-comp-series Vol. 5.

3. "See Forever (revisited)" - Indian Jewelry
Houston's own(ly) Psych Fest troopers, this MP3 off from band's Soundcloud... Indian Jewelry also also appeared on blog-comp-series Vol. 5, and also also also Vol. 6 and Vol. 8. The latest album Peel It (#16, 2012) available from the Psych Fest label: Reveberation Appreciation Society.

4. "Oscillations (1968)" [edit] - Silver Apples
Really old-school, the various Silver Apples snippets here come from the official website. Silver Apples appeared on blog-comp Vol. 5, live with Grails!

5. "It Will Never Be" - White Fence
Been hearing a lot about this dude - sounds prolific. MP3 was from Pitchfork.

6. "Puppet on a String" - Night Beats
Seattle Texas-garage rockers, MP3 from PressWolf Soundcloud. You can also get their record via Psych Fest label.

7. "Sea Lion Goth Blues" - The Growlers
Growlers!!! I forget, probably from PureHoney Soundcloud.

8. "Corvalis" - DIIV
Dive, diV,D11v? MP3 from Pitchfork - also had one o' theirs on the previous comp.

9. "I Am Blind" - Elephant Stone
Someone told me this dude plays sitar for The Black Angels - and I heard he's from Canadia. Sounds good. MP3 de The Decibel Tolls. Okay, new album on R.A.S. label too.

10. "Streams of Sorrow" [edit]- Silver Apples with Sonic Boom
Or Spectrum, or that guy from Spacemen 3... (also playing Psych Fest!) From their collaboration EP A Lake of Teardrops (1998).

11. "Good Clues" - Gary War
Don't know much, except that he covers APP for a totem. Also from New Raytheonport (2008), whole album on the Internet Archive.

12. "Golden Truth" - Holy Wave
Another one with a new release on the Psych Fest label. I think they've been added to the expanding Maserati/Soft Moon tour, coming to Houston in... March, I think? Snagged the MP3 from ReverbNation. March 12th at Fitzgerald's!

13. "Burning Mirrors" - Lumerians
Lumerians are veterans of an earlier Psych Fest event, and also appeared on blog-comp-series Vol. 6. This MP3 track comes from Prefix Mag.

14. "Now (revisited)" - The Holydrug Couple
I thought I'd put the Holydruggers on a comp before, but looks like it was just a Chilean-themed Facebook collection post. MP3 from the band Soundcloud - could have also gone with one of the free versions of "Ancient Land" available from their Bandcamp.

15. "Special A" - Ttotals
Just did a Google. Looks like the keywords are "Nashville" and "duo." Would you like to know more? (That was a Starship Troopers film reference!) Got this tune from band's Soundcloud.

16. "Lovefingers" [edit] - Silver Apples
Another sample from the 1968 s/t album!

17. "100" - Vinyl Williams
HA! This guy's stage name made me think he was like a hip-hop DJ or something. Not even... apparently it's a play on his true given name. MP3 from the vinyl soundcloud (which should totally be a thing).

18. "Spoon" - Boris
Boris are from Japan, this MP3 is from Pitchfork. They appeared on comps Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. First two! Also my #6 Album of 2007.

19. "She Owns the Streets" - The Raveonettes
I was going to guess France, but no! Denmark... since 2001? Huh. MP3 from Filter Magazine. "Copenhagen" is a fun word to say, just roll it around in your mouth.

20. "All Tangled Up" - Woodsman
Hey, full circular. I discovered Woodsman while prepping for Austin Psych Fest 2011 (#4 Live, 2011), and then they ended up as my #2 Albums of 2011. And due to their free-music generosity, they wound up on blog-comp-series Vol. 5, Vol. 6, Vol. 7, Vol. 8, and Vol. 9. And now, thanks to Stereogum, Volume 10.

21. "Dia 36" (Os Mutantes cover) - The Trip
Since Os Mutantes (#15, 1969) pre-date free MP3 downloads, I found this Brazilian group/duo covering their fellow Brasileiros from their Soundcloud.

22. "Aldhechen Manin" - Tinariwen
Last year's Psych Fest (#1 Live, 2012) featured Bombino, a quite-jammin' Tuareg band. Well, Tinariwen were the originators! MP3 downloaded from band's Soundcloud.

23. "Cremation Ghat II" - OM
Let's see... Om were the rhythm section of the legendary Sleep, and stuck it out when that band split. Later the drummer bailed, and was replaced by Emil Amos (of Grails, Holy Sons). I believe they're still just a duo now. Another from Stereogum MP3.

24. "Anthem" [edit] - Silver Apples with Jimi
From their collaboration back in the late-'60s! I wonder if The Simeon enjoys watching Super Troopers (2001)...

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Circassian Coast

Not actually from actual Circassia - that's just kinda the band name: Circassian... from Athens (Greece this time).

Man... now I wanna learn more about Acid Barrets!

"Sally" ***NSFW*** CGI video - by Circassian, from the Procrastinational EP (2012)

Recent EP free / name-your-price at Bandcamp, along with a previous self-titled EP too.

There's streaming and a couple of downloads over on their Soundcloud page, and a couple of different tunes at MySpace.

Wait, where did I hear about these guys? Okay, found it - on Cosmic Tones For Mental Therapy's A Guide to Psychedelic Music of 2012. Where they said:
Spinalonga Records helped this EP come to fruition, but what really needs to happen, is for these Athenian rockers to get signed for real and get an album's worth of material to the ears of the masses. The 3 songs on "Procrastinational" (as well as the stuff from last year's Self-Titled) are each smashing in their own right, and show the immense potential for the band's future pursuits. They call their music torture and their influences "psuedocultured" - but spending any amount of time with them suggests that they are the real deal.

Interesting guide/list/post on the blog... check it out!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bag of Hammers - The Linus Pauling Quartet (#2, 2012)

No way! It's The Linus Pauling Quartet again. (#14 of 2010, #3 of 2007, #2 Repertoire of 2005, #2 of 2003, #9 of 1995, #3 Live Shows of 2012 and #7 Live of 2010, with still more to come...)

Linus Pauling Quartet - Bag Of Hammers by audibletreats

Stream it all! Unusual for Linus Pauling Quartet, getting stuff out on the internet promptly. First they put together a media package after 5 or 6 albums, and now this! I blame/credit the PR firm.

"Victory Gin" from Bag of Hammers (2012)

Rather than start at the beginning, let's start at the most recent 'single' - other than the video for the free download of the not-included title-track (#4 Free, 2012) to the late-season archival 3xCD module-set (#3 Repertoire, 2012). Wait, what was I talking about?

Ah, "Victory Gin!" Check it out live at Walter's. A good melding of 2 sides of Linus: the more upbeat garage punks & the stoner-riff monsters. The lyric explicitly namechecks Soylent Green (1973), and possibly references The Omega Man (1971) - so maybe there's an old-school Heston dystopian sci-fi vibe underneath "the black flood?" The next song, "Starchimp," also quotes 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, the book).

"Crom" from Bag of Hammers (2012)

So that's how the album opens, and the first official video (maybe ever?) from the Linus Pauling Quartet. Spoken-word intro comes from "The Song of Roland" as translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff, read by Mlee of Hearts of Animals. Additional video introductory quote from Conan author Robert E. Howard - because, as y'all know, that's where Crom (fictional deity) comes from. Wow, that's a lotta Wiki links! O yeah, also "Crom" (actual song) rocks out real good, playing to strengths like - somewhat reminiscent of their original swörd metal anthem "Waiting for the Axe to Fall."

The next song, "She Did Not Know," sings about some girl who smokes too much of the weed. All of it, in fact. I mostly like the bridge (?) with the strident metalloid riffing & sustained, climbing lead. Check out the live reference demo rarity.

"Saving Throw" from Bag of Hammers (2012)

Oh, no! I'm out of YouTubes... Guess I'll have to do it myself. "Saving Throw" is a concept familiar to all table-top role-playing game (RPG) enthusiasts. "Wake up! Wake up! Raise your swords - There's a gibbering mouther among us!" Awesome blend of sizzling Cro-Magnon riffnastics & terrificly ludicrous lyrics about the Mind Flayers and psionic blasts and suchlike.

Wait, I forgot about "Rust" before that. Ofttimes mellowish & this time Mlee sings, until the levee breaks - check out the MySpace reference demo.

Bag of Hammers
We're almost at the end now. First we've got "Homonculus," a prime example of what was once called: "the obligatory Linus garage rock song. Always the shortest and fastest song on whatever Linus album it resides on..." Only technically correct in a very limited sense (shortest), I just like that quote a lot. This time it's more of a restrained-yet-tense slow-burn drone-build about, uh... schizoid-dissociative disorder? Pod-people parasitic-symbiote mind-control? The cumulative psychic stress-faults driven by anomie within the modern post-capitalist world? The homonculus metaphor has been under-served by our psych-rock forebears.

And finally, the closing epic "Stonebringer." I think I first heard this one at the Khon's rooftop show in Oct 2010. Great song. But the important thing to remember here is that "Stonebringer" of course bookends (after 17 years) the Linus Pauling's debut album closer "MourneBong." These are, naturally, the two Bongs of Power in the greater LP4 Mythos.

Cool, right?!

Genre - Heavy Stoner Psych-Metal Rock-core
Official/blog - worshipguitars.org/LP4/
Myspace - myspace.com/linuspaulingquartet
Location - Houston, TX

Review - Space City Rock
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Purchase - CDbaby