Late Night Listening: As Old Roads, Goldmund

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.

I have dutifully listened to all three of Keith Kenniff‘s bands – Goldmund and Helios, which are solo projects, and Mint Julip, which he shares with his wife, Hollie – and determined that I’m most fond of Goldmund. Below, as a taste, is As Old Roads, from Sometimes, which is a piano-focused gem.

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Late Night Listening: Along a Vanishing Plane, Christopher Tignor

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.

Christopher Tignor is a composer, violinist and software engineer. He’s written works for several groups, including A Far Cry and Brooklyn Rider, and done strings arrangements for artists like John Congleton, This Will Destroy You, and Meshell Ndegeocello.

Along a Vanishing Plane is his most recent solo record, and it is a delight. It would, I suppose, fall into the category of “soothing and weird.”

It is, unsurprisingly, mostly violins, intercut with thudding drums and the occasional burst of experimental noise. It’s peaceful, but not dull. If Metal Machine Music is a cathedral made of noise, Along a Vanishing Plane is the flowers planted in the churchyard: singularly lovely and delicate, but watch out for hidden thorns.

Along a Vanishing Plane by Christopher Tignor

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Folk Music Friday: Myrkgrav, Takk Og Farvel; Tida Er Blitt Ei Annen

I can’t give you a better teaser/introduction/summary of Myrkgrav (Lars Jensen) than he gave himself, on his website, which is “Old-fashioned peasant metal from the farmlands of Ringerike.”

Ok, I’ll explain: it’s old fashioned Norwegian fiddle music crossed with the finest in ogre-roar metal, and it is glorious. I mean, I love fiddle music and I love ogre-roar, so long as the doom is properly leavened, and in this case the folk elements shine like bright ribbons on a dark tapestry.

It is sweeping, majestic, overwhelming and boneshaking, the way ogre-roar metal is supposed to be, at its finest when its power feels inexorable, like pull of the tide going out. It is also chair-shimmy music.

The overall tempo is sludgy-but-upbeat; both the fiddle and the drums are played at a breakneck pace, while the guitars expand to fill in the empty spaces, and the result is magnificent.

Other things go to know before you plunge in:

1) This is Myrkgrav’s first full-length record in 10 years. If you’d like to listen to his back catalog, you can find it at his bandcamp, where this record will also eventually live.

2) The title of the record … Continue reading

Mumblr, The Never Ending Get Down

Mumblr are from Philadelphia, and whatever else I could say about them, here’s the most important thing: they’re never boring.

Their latest record The Never Ending Get Down has a few less jagged edges than their first (Full of Snakes, 2014) and feels more . . . contemplative, I guess. Like it’s the kind of thing you could put on while staring at the ceiling waiting for the spins to wear off, or setting up for your Very Adult and Also Punk Rock Dinner Party.

Here’s what I like about it: it’s still familiar Mumblr-style punk noise, but it’s layered and nuanced punk noise, periodically punctuated (illustrated?) by contrasting rock riffs.

It’s streaming on their bandcamp and also Soundcloud, and you can listen to it below. Meanwhile, the band themselves are on an extended tour, and if you’re in the upper MidWest, check their dates and see if you can go and experience them live. It will be a face-melting good time, I promise.

The Never Ending Get Down by Mumblr

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Has a Shadow, The Flesh

Has A Shadow are from Guadalajara, Mexico, and they have just been signed to Fuzz Club records. As the name of their new label suggests, there’s an element of fuzz to their sound, but also some droning guitars, and insistent drums. If you like the roar of the big machine, you will like them. You will definitely want to investigate their back catalog.

On the subject of the back catalog, their genre notes are “lo-fi psychedelica” which, okay, fine, maybe, I guess, but y’all – they’re goths. This is straight up Sisters-of-Mercy-in-the-1990s-style gothic rock and it’s excellent. Sky is Hell Black is particularly good.

Meanwhile, hot off the presses, there’s The Flesh:

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Video: Chris Porter and the Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes, Kentuck Festival

Not quite their last show, but close: this recording is from when Chris Porter and the Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes played the Kentuck Festival in Northport, AL, just days before Chris Porter and Mitchell Vandenburg were taken from us much too soon in a traffic accident.

Rest in peace, gentlemen. We shall miss you very much.

Chris Porter at Kentuck Festival

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Video: Halloween Light Show, This is Halloween

Going with a classic this year: This is Halloween from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, now with video screens and blinky strobe lights. (Seriously, epileptics beware.)

Happy Halloween, y’all. Be safe out there everyone.

This is Halloween – Halloween Light Show House 2016 Riverside

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Life in the Dark, The Felice Brothers

Here are some thoughts on some of the songs Life in the Dark, the latest record from the Felice Brothers. I’d say they got their Americana mojo back, but I don’t think they ever really lost it – more took a stroll down a different path for a while, and have now rejoined the original trail.

Aerosol Ball: A Cajun-inflected delight that is dark commentary on consumerism in a bubbly, danceable disguise. I will never look at the St. Paulie Girl the same way again.

The Felice Brothers | Life In The Dark, "Aerosol Ball"

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Jack at the Asylum: I heard the first couple of bars and thought Oh, they did ‘Jack of Diamonds’ again?, which – yes, but also no. It’s Jack of Diamonds, done American Gods-style. The embodied voice of the frontier, slipping through time, hopscotching states; an American everyman, a rambler, a gambler, a long way from home, counting his cards and making his luck, long after his luck has run out, writing us all a note from the “looney bin” that is both warning and entreaty.

The Felice Brothers – "Jack At The … Continue reading

Video: Ludlow Expectations, Butch Walker

Photo of Butch Walker by Noah Abrams

Esquire called Butch Walker‘s Ludlow Expectations a “love letter to New York” which I doubted at first – a love letter? for the title and one line? – but . . . having listened to it somewhat obsessively and also read about its creation, I get it now.

Walker wrote this song walking around the Lower East Side in the middle of the night. That is one New York.

Here is what this song is to me, which is my New York: coming up from the subway in Times Square after a heavy fall rain, giggling with someone I loved. It’s the burst of joyful adrenaline, of we made it! we made it! on the way to a late movie, the bright lights burning overhead in welcome and vindication. It’s diner food at 3 AM after a long night out. It’s the finest dance party in the city, which is held on the Coney Island boardwalk on New Years Day. It’s backflipping yourself into the slipstream and calling it as you come down, knowing the City will always take you back.

This is the lyric video, which contains an image of the Great Orange Noise, so you may want … Continue reading

Covers of Note: The Curly Wolf, Thirteen

Hey, kids. I know it’s been kind of quiet around here. Promise I’m not dead. Nor is the blog. Only sleeping, babies, only sleeping.

Today I have a video for you, from The Curly Wolf; it’s their rendition of Danzig’s Thirteen.

Not going to lie, before I read the whole email I thought they had covered Big Star’s Thirteen instead, which, well, that would be a whole different adventure – one which I’d be willing to go on, for the record – but I’m also always in favor of flipping metal songs inside out and goosing the tempo. In this particular instance the result is probably best classified as “dark folk punk” or perhaps “but what if Willie Nelson and Lemmy had both taken a wrong turn at Bakersfield and started a band??”

Anyway. It’s good. You should listen to it.

The Curly Wolf – Thirteen (Danzig Cover)

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