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Friday, June 19, 2009

GAY BEAST "second wave"

So, you've been waiting for the no-wave/math/prog/noise-rock album of the year? Well, here you go! Heck, this might be the winner in that category for the decade. Double heck, one of the only other serious contenders for that title would probably be Gay Beast's last album, "Disrobics."

This is a glorious collision of angular guitar parts, analog synth sweeps and bleeps, sax blurts, and drumming in that complex endless-fill style. And some real singing. (I like me some screeching or hollering too, but it's nice to hear a different approach here.) Oh yeah, and TUNES.

I told a friend who attended a recent Gay Beast show with me that what I loved about them was how they could make challenging and amazingly complex music and also fill it with catchy hooks. After the show, this person, who is far more inclined than I am to listen to "pop" music, said that "maybe it's catchy for music that YOU listen to." Well, point taken. It can be a matter of perspective. Maybe Gay Beast is what Deerhoof sounds like to your average indie rock fan. (if I had pull-quotes, that would be it)

Still, I maintain that the hooks are there. Even to me, they seemed a little hard to "get" on first listen, but now after my 20th listen or so I find myself singing as I walk down the street, "Don't sweep me a-a-aah - don't sweep me under the rug - I am only human!" I have even woken up with Gay Beast songs running through my head.

And there may be the best selling point for "second wave" - it will bring great rewards upon many, many repeated listens. By the time you have the songs figured out, you will find that you've fallen in love with them. This ranks high as the album most worth your hard-earned dollars. All the more amazing that band singer/keyboardist/saxophonist Danimal gave this to me in trade, after he tried to pay for MY disc which I handed him. Could there be a more stand-up dude? (At the aforementioned show. Photos posted soon. I cannot guarantee this trading trick will work more than once.)

FREE MP3 SAMPLE: "eeexxxpppaaannndddiiinnnggg"

Bonus trivia: see if you can catch the DEVO tune semi-hidden on the album.

LP and CD on Skin Graft Records

Here's a video of them killing it at the Cake-Shop back in Oh-6.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

downloadable noise-rock albums, get 'em while they're hot!

And not just from some unknown punks neither, but some danged "luminaries."

XBXRX have made their new album, "Un Usper," available for "FREE" download direct from their website:

This album is a nice mish-mash of punk rock moves, noise-rock attitude, free-jamming, synth sounds, and is that a xylophone? Nice.

Those quotes around free are, however, intentional. While you are permitted to download it for free, XBXRX ask that you make a donation in return. I know that sometimes it feels like digital music should be completely free, but I reasoned with myself as follows: I would blow 4 bucks just to make a round-trip subway ride to the record store, and that's more than most bands on a label get from each CD sale, so heck, it seems reasonable to throw those few dollars to XBXRX and support really, truly DIY music. But hey, don't let me discourage you from donating more... or less...

Next up, AIDS Wolf "Pas Rapport":

It's a tour-only tape of improv jams, or maybe they're not totally improvised. The boombox quality recording is not too much different from the blown-out sound on their album proper and the tracks are all punctual full-band jams. So if you liked the albums, you will definitely want to grab this while the download link still works.

Get it here!

AIDS Wolf ask for nothing in return, but you might consider following their blog ( so you can find out about things like this, and of course go see them when they come around on tour!