Video: Kan Wakan, Are We Saying Goodbye

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This is the video for Are We Saying Goodbye by Kan Wakan, from their new record, Moving On, and it is – unexpectedly powerful, I think, is the word I’m looking for. A visual meditation on all the ways you can love somebody, both who they are and who they pretend to be and what other people make them into (but you know it isn’t real, and hate it, but still love them) and the point where that person and all of their faces is on their way out of your life. For more music, check out their Soundcloud page.

Late Night Listening: Lunatic Soul, Walking On A Flashlight Beam

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Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there. Lunatic Soul is the solo project of Mariusz Duda of Riverside, and Walking On A Flashlight Beam is the most recent release. It’s ambient music, but it’s ambient music with muscle. If it was a film soundtrack – and it should be! someone use it! – it would be for a movie with a lot of fast cars flying through forbidding landscapes and fever dream sequences. Here’s a selection of tracks as an enticement:

Mixtape Time Capsules: Driving Mix, c. 1992

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A mix-tape, whatever its intended purpose, is also always a time capsule. A record of a person, a place, a set of feelings, a time that felt like forever, and then wasn’t. Last week I opened a box and a little piece of the ’90s fell out: the first driving mix-tape I ever made. There’s no date on it, but I’m pretty sure it’s from the spring of 1992, since that is approximately when I would have gotten my license. Fun trivia fact: I learned to drive on the Beltway. In a Chevette. Anyway it is a hilarious cultural trainwreck and I kind of love it, not least because a mix that starts with Dwight Yoakam, dips heavily into, among other things, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Elvis Costello in the middle, and ends with Ashokan Farewell probably does still sum me up as a person reasonably well. Also, I have a terrible pop music problem and every time I listen to Five Seconds of Summer’s She Looks So Perfect I start laughing when they get to I got a mix tape straight out of ’94 because, dudes, I was there, I remember, and most … Continue reading

Late Night Listening: The Point, Pretty Marsh

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Late Night Listening: a home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there. Pretty Marsh is the debut record from The Point, the newest project from Michael O’Neill (JD Samson & MEN, Ladybug Transistor) and Sammy Tunis (formerly of The Lisps). It’s a meditative record, and a complicated one. It’s dreamy, but it also sounds like soundtrack for an existential crisis: Pretty Marsh by The Point And then there’s this cover of Thirteen, which caught me by surprise the first time I heard it, and about wrecked me: Pretty Marsh by The Point

Video: Deptford Goth, Two Hearts

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Two Hearts is the second single from Songs, the second record by Deptford Goth (Daniel Woolhouse), due out in November. It’s a mellow tune, ostensibly about love being enough to survive and keep the world at bay, but the video is . . . oddly mournful? There’s a lot of blue light and moving water, is all I can say. Maybe it’s a metaphor for the way the world can grind lovers down, like water over standing rocks can carve a canyon. In any case, it’s pretty.

A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink, Pauline Andrès

Photo credit:  Ceven Knowles

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. All Them Ghosts, Pauline Andrès’ debut album, due out next week, is both a delight and a challenge; all of her stories are good, but some are easier to listen to than others. Here are three of my favorites – She, I Remember Her and Sweet Fortune Tellin’ Ma – chosen because of they way … Continue reading

Dirtwire, The Carrier

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I clicked “play” on The Carrier by Dirtwire (David Satori (Beats Antique) and Evan Fraser (Stellamara)), with a good deal of curiosity, and, based on the cover art, expecting something heavy and dissonant and dark, maybe an experimental noise space opera set in a dystopian future. As it turns out I was wrong. Well, mostly wrong: heavy and dark in places, yes, dissonant experimental noise, no. (That said: I do like dissonant experimental noise space operas and they are also welcome in my inbox.) Anyway. Back to the music at hand, which is a refreshing fusion of Appalachian and world rhythms – experimental noise in its own way, perhaps – which I have already listened to on repeat three times. This is the good stuff, y’all, go on and get it. Some examples to whet your appetite: Only One, a slow-burn stomper, which you can have for the cost of your email address: The Carrier EP by dirtwire Yunan, an instrumental number that mixes and matches twanging strings and hand-claps to delicious effect: The Carrier EP by dirtwire And finally Bottles, which, okay, maybe could be part of a dystopian space opera, what with all the cold echoes: The Carrier … Continue reading

Cash for Gold, Swan Dive

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Cash for Gold are: Jordan Knight (vocals/guitars), George D’Annunzio (drums/back up vocals) and Stella Sue (bass/piano/back up vocals), and they are from San Francisco, CA. Swan Dive is their first record, and it’s a wild ride. A wild, glorious, ride. This Out All the Time, the first song, which starts out with one of favorite things – big aggressive guitars – and then becomes a sprawling tale of love and self destruction. This is Sunshine, which starts slow (well, slow-er) and rolls into my absolute favorite thing: a fast sea chantey hammer-stomp: Swan Dive by Cash For Gold The rest of the record switches between dreamy saltwater-shoegaze (Keen, Mexico and Swan Dive) and jagged surf-infused punk (Cobra Fight, The Witches) and is in all ways awesome. If you’d like to hear it live and in person: they’re having a record release show on Oct. 16, at Slim’s, in San Francisco. If I could be there, I would. Here’s hoping their future plans include coming east.

A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink: Cory Branan

Photo by Marco Krenn

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. Cory Branan recently released his fourth album, No-Hit Wonder; the title track is below. The song, like the record, feels – lived-in, I guess – familiar and a little rough around the edges. It’s also sharply observed; the lyrics have bite in unexpected ways. Other highlights include All The Rivers in Colorado (my personal favorite); … Continue reading