Tag: Avant Rock

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 …

2014, Music

Soused (2014) by Scott Walker and Sunn O)))

This should be a match made in heaven. (Or hell. Or the ether. Or nothingness…You get the idea.) I feel like Walker’s recent song-writing and his aesthetic should have matched utterly perfectly with Sunn O))), a band that I more appreciate than like. One of the things missing from Sunn O))), in my mind, is …

1989, Music

OU818 (1989) by Mr. Bungle

This demo, their last before their major deal, starts out as a not very funny parody of a hip hop mix tape. Most of the actual musical material made it to the debut, and a lot of it is somewhat close to the sound of said debut, minus the production: the sound is clearly not …

1988, Music

Goddammit I Love America (1988) by Mr. Bungle

For me, this is the first Bungle demo that really sounds like Bungle, rather than a bunch of guys who would turn into Bungle later. A lot of that has to do with the presence of songs that make the debut, but they sound a lot better – more coherent, more obviously themselves instead of …

2001, Music

Grand Opening and Closing (2001) by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

SGM’s debut is an idiosyncratic mix of metal, ‘modern creative’, theatricality and some other disparate genres (prog for example). Part of the idiotically named ‘Rock Against Rock’ sub-genre – the standard-bearer? – SGM sound like a less chaotic, less Zappa-crazy Bungle at times, but don’t be mistaken by the oft made comparison. This is an …

2004, Music

N’ecoutez pas (2004) by Fly Pan Am

I feel like they really are on to something on the first track, like some kind of unholy mixture of post-hardcore and Stereolab. But the second track – and all future noise fillers on the album – is just pseudo-avant-garde nonsense – honestly people have been making “music” like that since at least mid-’70s (and …

1979, Music

This Heat (1979)

This is like some unholy combination of ’60s avant rock, early industrial music and the earliest post-punk. And that description really isn’t fair. Really, there’s little out there like this, especially so stylistically diverse. Usually experimental music is experimental in one or two ways; this manages to run a whole gamut. Like little else. 9/10

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 …