Tag: Avant Rock

1978, Music

The Modern Dance (1978) by Pere Ubu

Imagine New Wave at its absolute quirkiest (i.e. Devo) and then add a dose of avant rock from the late 1960s and you get some vague idea of what Pere Ubu sounds like on their debut. All the herky jerky New Wave stuff is here but so are piercing noises, samples of who knows what, …

2016, Music

Undestroyed (2016) by Free Salamander Exhibit

Even before listening to this record, the evocation of the former band is perhaps a little too overt. Not only does the artwork of the album recall Sleepytime Gorilla Museum but look at these band names: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum Free Salamander Exhibit People as creative as these guys are need to change up the format …

1982, Music

Ice Cream for Crow (1982) by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

If you have come at the Captain through his earliest works, this record might feel like not much or a man settling into his mid life. It’s far less radical than his most radical work of the early ’70s, wherein he basically pioneered the intersection of blues and free jazz and other things.

1997, Music

Fabulosos Calavera (1997) by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs

In 1997, I fell in love with Grosse Pointe Blank, the only romantic comedy that was violent enough for my 15 year old soul to feel okay about liking. I liked it so much I went out and bought the soundtrack. (Well, the first soundtrack as there’s a Volume 2 I never purchased.) It was …

1981, Music

Deceit (1981) by This Heat

This Heat’s debut album is a challenging, difficult record but it is one of the great experimental rock albums of the 70s, full of all sorts of crazy ideas, paired with a DIY attitude that frees it from some of the more academic trappings of previous experimental rock.

2007, Music

Traineater (2007) by Book of Knots

I think most people who come to this record because of the musicians involved will invariably have really high expectations, which is a problem. But a concept album about the decline of US industry made by some of the best experimental rock musicians with so many notable guests – Tom Waits!!! Trey Spruance!!! Mike Watt!!! …

1970, Music

Weasels Ripped my Flesh (1970) by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention

Zappa takes his musique concrete collage obsession and applies it to a live album. It’s nowhere near as radical as the Mothers’ records at their apex – as this is mostly a collage of songs, rather than song fragments, jokes and the like – but it’s still hard to recall another live album of this …

2015, Music

Rabbit Rabbit Radio, Vol. 3 – Year of the Wooden Horse (2015) by Rabbit Rabbit

The third edition of Rabbit Rabbit Radio is different in conception than the first two. This time out, Kihlstedt and Bossi asked twelve guitarists to submit riffs to them, and then they’d build the songs. The results are significantly different than the first two outings. If Volume 2 was “Rabbit Rabbit Goes Pop” then this …

2001, Music

Grand Opening and Closing (2001) by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Sleepytime Gorilla Musemu’s debut is an idiosyncratic mix of metal, ‘modern creative’ and some other disparate genres (prog for example) with a heavy dose of theatricality.

2012, Music

Bish Bosch (2012) by Scott Walker

Walker continues his unique path – nobody else makes music like this as far as I know – which seems to my ears to be some kind of combination of the singer-songwriter of the folk and rock traditions with someone who listens to way too much serialist and horror film music (and also no wave …

Music, RIP

RIP Ray Collins

Ray Collins died on Christmas eve. Because he was Ray Collins, I didn’t find out about it for four days. Collins was Zappa’s earliest lead vocalist in the Mothers of Invention – that is, when Zappa himself wasn’t singing – which was actually initially Collins’ band under another name. He also provided backing vocals to …

1968, Music

The United States of America (1968 Columbia)

This stuff is mind-blowing. Almost as out there as Zappa and the Mothers (at their very weirdest) or the Velvets (at their very artiest) and not quite as crazy – and far more artsy – as Beefheart was about to get. It’s too band the sound isn’t exactly great, as apparently these guys were very, …

Music

My Favourite Music Scene

Throughout the years, New York has been a hot bed of the avant garde, the new, and the different. And London has also been a real centre of forward thinking music. (Though with London – even more so than NY – many of the bands that were doing the forward thinking originated in other communities …

1967, 1999, Music

The Mirror Man Sessions (1971, 1999) by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band (1999 Buddha)

Aka It Comes to You in a Plain Brown Wrapper, which is one of the titles this music has been known by. Note: I have not heard the “original,” 1971 release of this album.

1997, Music

Zaireeka (1997) by the Flaming Lips

In the CD players (this time around): 2 of the four discs of Zaireeka by the Flaming Lips. In case you don’t know, the album is 4 separate discs of the same “songs” and you are supposed to create your own listening experience using 2, 3 or 4 discs played at certain times. Right now …

Music

Why it’s good when bands break up or have lots of side projects…

In the CD player: King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime by FNM (yes, I know…) I was just thinking, it’s amazing the number of other bands and artists and various other people I’ve been exposed to because of one band I really like. For example: Mr. Bungle I don’t really remember why I …