Video: Heart-Ships, Undress Me To The Bone

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The last time we checked in with Heart-Ships was last October, and since then they’ve released a bunch of new music including a full-length record called Foil (YAY!) and split up (NOT YAY, MASSIVE :(). I listened to Foil late last night, and on the whole it is breathtaking. But there are a few songs that sank their claws into me. One of them was Undress Me To The Bone, which I present here in video form, because they did a “garden session” and sang it acoustic and it sounds like a diamond being wrenched out of them by force. This is the album version, which is worth listening to for the contrast: the lament sounds almost like an anthem. Also strong: Nadine, Heart of a Wrestler and We Were Quick to Bang The Drum.

Late Night Listening: Mt. Wolf, Red

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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. After an extended hiatus, Mt. Wolf, from London, England via Guernsey, Dorset, and Brighton, have decided to be a band again, and come back with Red, which is something of a haunted lullaby. It is but a taste of what will come in the new year.

Three Songs From: Vinnie Ferra

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One of the many joys of Soundcloud is that you can press play on one song and then, left unchecked, it will play affiliated tunes. Sometimes that’s more work by the same artists, other times it’s other artists on the same label, other times it seems kind of random. My Vinnie Ferra Voyage of Discovery was the first kind of situation: I listened to his current single, called God Forbid, and then it gave me his previous work. This is God Forbid, which . . . I am going to be blunt, I’m not super excited about. It showcases his range, and objectively speaking it’s pretty, but it didn’t grab me and make me want to listen to it again. On the other hand, Destroying Me, which popped up next: yeah this I’m into, because I’m always here for songs on the theme of “I love you and it is going to drive me around the twist” especially when I can sing along: The third song I listened to was Bad For Business, from Man vs. Machine (2010), and at that point, I was in. This is good stuff.

Late Night Listening: Unfathomed of Abyss, Arisen Upon Oblivion

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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. Because sometimes, twiddling knobs in the virtual garage, you get some static followed by atmospheric creaking followed by a roar straight from the dungeon. Or: “symphonic black metal” may initially sound like a contradiction in terms, but I promise it isn’t. Unfathomed of the Abyss (Kevin Price) spent 14 years (!) working on Arisen Upon Oblivion and the result is a complex collection of sounds, some delicate, others more like a sledgehammer. That said, while it’s heavy, it isn’t suffocating. For example, there’s To Unequal the Balance of the Cosmos, the first song on the record, which is fourteen minutes long, but not one single minute drags: Arisen Upon Oblivion by Unfathomed of Abyss And then there’s The Figment Unadulated, the second song, which grinds on the bottom but soars at the top, and is what I would use to score a scene with a scrappy crew exploring a mysteriously abandoned spaceship: Arisen Upon Oblivion by Unfathomed of Abyss And the rest … Continue reading

Covers of Note: Strangers, Stay

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So here is a story I have to tell you about Stay by Shakespeare’s Sister: The first time I heard it I was in the Arizona desert with my youth group, about three-fourths of the way through a week-long mission trip. We were out driving around looking at rocks, or something, I don’t remember, but it had been a long week. Tempers were fraying. Teeth were being firmly clenched. Required daily notes of affirmation to each other (yes, really) were becoming more difficult to compose. But we had the radio on, a) because it was 1992 and b) I think choosing one tape or CD to listen to might have been the last straw for all of us, and – this song came on: It was like someone had kicked down the door to a sex dungeon and it was full of fresh air. I didn’t quite understand what all was going on in there, but it surely was better than a car full of my seething peers. I bought their CD as soon as I got home (as well as a Patty Smyth CD; I was looking for Patti Smith and missed) and had that song on repeat for … Continue reading

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:

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

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