Nate Fitzbutler did a remix to Kanye West’s and Kendrick Lamar’s “No More Parties in LA” called “No More Parties in SD”. He said, "we made this track to try to bring some national buzz to our city that’s always been in the shadow of the LA music scene."

Niko Sitaras from the San Diego based dream rock band Paper Days says, "We just released our new EP 'Fun For Family & Friends'. Our release party is on Feb 19th being hosted at the Irenic (with The Bash Dogs & Splavender). 

Panic Is Perfect is an indie-pop group from San Fran and they are touring in support of their new album, Cellspace, which drops tomorrow on Strange Loop Records. They'll be playing at The Loft @ UCSD on Feb. 12!





Alien Ant Farm - Up In The Attic
Universal Music Group by Keith Boyd

In Africa, the chieftains of many tribal groups maintain wooden sculptures depicting the power of their male aggression. These carvings are grimacing beasts out of whose penises sprout leering faces. The faces in turn often issue forth many more faces. These heads spring out of every orifice and with bared teeth, threaten in every direction. These forms are highly prized and fiercely protected. They are given offerings of food, millet beer, milk and even blood to ensure that their power remains intact and strong. It strikes me that this externalized embodiment of male energy and sexuality has many parallels in our own culture. Consider the SUV. These massive, barge-like vehicles are treated with the same deference and passion shown by the African chieftains towards their sculptures. We rub them and shine them. We feed them massive offerings of gasoline and accessorize them with everything from custom license plates to spinning rims. These vehicles have gone from being a conveyance to transport one from point A to point B into another type of conveyance altogether. These vehicles transport and transmit our status, energy and power to the outside world. From within their fortress-like environs we gaze out upon an inferior and diminished world. The message is clear, "I have power! I have money! Look upon my mightiness and fear me!" I suppose that men have always fetishized vehicles. While it's an old joke that a large vehicle is a type of compensation for some lack in masculinity, I think that the opposite is actually the truth. Men love these outsized vehicles because they project and embody the power men have enjoyed and enforced throughout most of human history. The aggressive spirit of male energy is often Siamese-twinned with male sexuality. Rape is a male crime. Its prevalence in all societies, throughout all time is emblematic of the underlying frustration that males experience in trying to assert control and dominance over others. Of course we are speaking in generalities here. We're looking at a big picture scenario and trying to make sense of the symbols of male power and aggression so common in our world. By no means is every man a rapist. Not even owners of Hummers!

Another vehicle for this same energy is music. One only needs to check out the lyrics of certain rap and metal artists or view the imagery of most videos to have a vivid experience of the same paradigm being played out. A particular genre of music that seems to combine the various threads of male aggression, control, sexuality and power is "Nu-Metal". Nu-Metal was born, flourished and died between the mid 90's to the early 00's. During these years groups such as Limp Bizkit, Korn and Papa Roach seemed both ubiquitous and inescapable. Perhaps it's just a coincidence that this same era saw the ascendancy of the SUV. The big beats and distorted guitars were overlayed with minimal DJ scratching and singers who used the cadence and rhythm of rap to scream their lyrics. One of the B-list bands to emerge from this same scene was Alien Ant Farm. While at times showcasing a wry and wacky humor, they were also purveyors of the worst tendencies of the genre. After overcoming a few years of personal tragedy (a tour bus accident) they are back with the new album, "Up in the Attic" (Universal Music Group). In the press release drummer Mike Cosgrove speaks of their band's sound undergoing a de-evolution.

"We needed someone to give us the greenlight to quit trying to showcase our musical prowess and get back to what we liked as kids when we'd rock out in our bedrooms. Being typical artists we wanted to 'mature and grow.' We wanted to say, 'See, we can play jazz chords or Latin.'".

I suppose this back to basics statement is meant to be a positive development. But what is so noble about rejecting your hard won musical prowess? It strikes me as a cop-out, this musical pandering to the lowest common denominator. Perhaps the members of Alien Ant Farm feel that by dumbing down their music they can return to the glory days of Nu-Metal and make another run of it. The sad face of this retreat brings to mind the lyrics of a song by punk rock stalwarts Youth Brigade.

"Turn back, turn back! We must turn back to find the life we once lead, it can not be dead. We're men of a different time!"

Although I question the need in the year 2006 for another Alien Ant Farm release, I suppose I should give some consideration to the music. While there is nothing particularly bad about the tunes, there is also nothing particularly good either. The problem is that nothing seems to stand out. Despite a few acoustic forays and a bit of ska here and there, it's all one big sound-alike. The monotony is so pervasive that listening to a minute of any of the songs is as good as listening to all of them. Essentially there are no big surprises and not much in the way of originality. One bright note is that Alien Ant Farm has toned down some of the aforementioned aspects of male aggression. Perhaps for their next outing they'll also make some good music.

Purchase album now.



    Lotushouse MP3 Sampler
    Maquiladora - The Revenge of Becky Royal (New Piano)
    Tenniscoats + Maquiladora - Hours
    High Mountain Tempel - Processional (An Invocation to Thee Angelic Sister)
    Raagnagrok - HJD
    Beggars - Will We Call It Love
    Maquiladora - Termez 1936
    Maquiladora - Song 26
    Buzz or Howl - Sendhe Mortu Chin Rigore
    Earthling Tempel - Celestial Inhabitants of the Sun
    Buzz or Howl - The Sins Of The Flower Are Visited On The Shunned
    Maquiladora - Light of the Rain
    High Mountain Tempel - The Ascended Master (Hang Gliding in Heaven)
    High Mountain Tempel - Fluctuat Nec Mergitur
    High Mountain Tempel - Tempel Walk
    Buzz or Howl - 05 Oct 05
    Buzz or Howl - Sun as the Destroyer of Dreams
    Live version at the Make Room SF 2005
    Maquiladora - In This Life
    Maquiladora - Simply to See You
    Maquiladora with Kawabata Makoto - Nampasen
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Drunk and Lighting Fires (A Waltz)
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Ritual of Hearts
    Maquiladora Maquiladora - Ankle
    Maquiladora - Mayday
    Loraine Loraine - Pasqually Old Pasqually

    Beggars - S/T
    by Pierro Scaruffi

    Maquiladora's Eric Nielsen and Bruce McKenzie joined forces with Skygreen Leopards' Glenn Donaldson to form Beggars, whose double-disc Beggars (Lotushouse, 2013) is a tour de force of ecstatic Eastern-influenced freak-folk. Mostly these pieces lean towards the traditional song format, although inevitably deformed by the musicians' pedigrees.

    The ghostly hyper-dilated drones of Ghost Coyote are imbued with quasi-Morricone western-movie guitar twang and even harmonica. The sweet lullaby and the trotting pace of Eureka My Love as well as the romantic honky-tonking Justine (with a refrain a bit reminiscent of Dylan's Blowing in the Wind) hark back to the heydays of country-rock. 2-3-74 Floating evokes the martial laments of the young Neil Young although diluted amid discordant guitar jamming and lulled by waves of funereal vocal harmonies. Berserker's Boogie is a lively and poppy almost-bluegrass tune. They even intone the singalong Queen Anne's Lace with drums, banjo and all.

    Thankfully, the spaced-out yodeling of Lullaby de Bourbon (memories of Aoxomoxoa-era Grateful Dead), the free-form quasi-jazz guitar and vocal interplay of Will We Call It Love, the seven-minute dreaming psalm Big Pink Sun and its sublimely disintegrating coda, remind us of what Maquiladora are best at. The 23-minute Midget Decapitates Clownis an ambitious concerto for suspense and agony. Far from being just a droning piece, it piles up sonic event after sonic event, producing the trancey effect out of a multitude of traumatic sounds. The chirping and tweeting that accumulates half-way into the piece decays into a nervous organic filigree and dies away in the most cryptic manner; one of the high points of Maquiladora's career.

    Earthling Tempel - Pilgrimage To Thunderbolt Pagoda
    by Aquarius Records

    Not sure if this is part 4, or just the first in a new multi part epic, hardly matters, what does matter is, this is another glorious expansive collection of meditative psychedelic abstract dronefolk ambience. Every High Mountain Tempel disc we're reviewed thus far has gotten played to death here, and this one doesn't appear to be any different. Well, at least in that respect. In one distinct way it is very different, HMT are not going it alone this time. They've assembled a pretty impressive collection of sonic alchemists and musical conjurers to help with this ritual, Isis Aquarian from the Source Family, Charles Curtis from La Monte Young's Just Alap Raga Ensemble, and two crews from the UK we've never heard of, Earthling Society and Astarism, but even with all those cooks in the kitchen, HMT and friends have managed to weave another dark minimal masterpiece, all hushed barely there guitar shimmer, drifting whispered vocals, delicate crystalline melodies, dense swirls of piano, warm swells of tape hiss, mysterious voices and field recordings, whirring organ, bowed steel strings... so lovely.

    If the liner notes are to be believed, two of the tracks feature Earthling Society on their own, and those tracks do sound different, much less free and sprawling, a bit more structured, like seventies UK acid folk, swirling and melodic and quite lovely. The final two tracks find the two groups in full on collaborative mode, and the gears shift to something much more space rocky and Hawkwindy, all blissed out and heart-of-the-sun, until the final track which is a strummy, delicate, moody chill out closer, a sort of dour doom folk drift, that makes a perfect ending.

    Super nice packaging, silkscreened oversized 4 panel sleeve, white on black, with the cd-r affixed to the inside. And of course, SUPER LIMITED!

    High Mountain Tempel - The Glass Bead Game by Aquarius Records

    Part three in the ongoing series of limited cd-r explorations from mysterious drone combo High Mountain Tempel, and like the two before it, the band continue to delve into some murky sonic underworld, again presenting loooong songs, each separated by brief sonic interludes, this disc seems feature more actual vocals, the opening track features a processed voice, that sounds a bit like throat singing, or a Speak And Spell, intoning some arcane message, interwoven with long drawn out tones, and a thick ropy buzz, super dark and intense and atmospheric. Elsewhere sampled voices surface, there are bits of chanting here and there, all peppered throughout the disc. But even with the extra voices, the focus here is still on dark, lugubrious, extended dronescapes.

    The sound of High Mountain Tempel is probably closest to Expo '70, as their various permutations of dronemusic seem to have a definite krautrock vibe, that gives the sound a sort of spaced out quality, and a subtle propulsion, but unlike Expo '70, HMT seem to have a distinct Eastern influence, much of the music is meditative and subtly dramatic, a bit soundtracky, and some of it sounds like it could be Japanese. Especially the way field recordings are incorporated into the sounds. Giving everything a definite texture, some of it sounding like it was perhaps recorded live in some hilltop temple. Which we would imagine is the idea.

    Not sure what else to say actually. This is indeed fantastic, brooding and malefic, but also shimmery and dreamy, sonically it has much in common with the first two installments, so definitely check out those reviews to read more about their 'sound'.

    Needless to say, fans of the drone and folks into the current crop of cd-r soundscapers will for sure dig this, but like the other HMT discs, this is more than simple drone music, this is ritualistic alchemical soundwork, one can almost imagine stumbling across a group of cloaked figures huddled around a fire in a forest clearing, tossing various powders into the flames, causing the fire to change color and cast beastlike shadows on the branches above, and this is the sound filtering through the forest like a black moonlit fog...
    SUPER LIMITED of course, packaged beautifully in a foldover silkscreened sleeve, gold metallic on red on the outside, black on red on the inside.

    High Mountain Tempel - A Screaming Comes Across The Sky - The Faultline Scriptures
    by Aquarius Records

    Record number two from this mysterious drone-kraut styled duo. Their last disc was a huge hit around here, so we were pretty thrilled to get our hands on this one, a logical sonic extension of the first, delving deeper into some murky tripped out twilit soundworld.
    The disc opens with shimmering clouds of gongs and cymbals, whirring and sizzling, suspended over a deep distant rumble, a delicate intro to a record at once hypnotic and lovely, dark and dense.

    The record is arranged into three epic tracks, interspersed with short sonic interludes, ranging from field recordings of crickets, looped chants (Elizabeth Clare Prophet if we're not mistaken), spirituals and mysterious liturgical songs, whirring drones, and backwards percussion, but it's the long tracks where the duo get to spread out, let their dense soundscapes sprawl.

    The three long tracks sounds like movements of a greater whole, clocking in at 15 minutes, 11 minutes and nearly 17 minutes respectively, each rife with creepy delayed vocals, churning guitars and smeared chords, roiling muddy whirls, which often dissipate leaving streaks of fragmented melody and haunting slowed down voices. Buried amidst the drones and whirs, are lullaby-like melodies, skittery percussion, streaks of grinding distortion, hidden voices, more field recordings, thick swaths of cavernous rumbles, little bits of electronic glitch and lots and lots of low end buzz.

    Packaged in a fancy navy blue fold over sleeve, screenprinted in white ink, with a photocopied insert with liner notes and song credits.

    LIMITED TO 150 COPIES! Each one hand numbered.


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