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!






an implied violence. or: melody is a fascist
High Mountain Tempel - Pacific Sky Burial (Axaxaxas mlö) (lotushouse records) by Bruce McKenzie 6.4.7
there ain't no music in this music. i mean that in the best possible sense. it's not for everyone but it is for me. and while i don't think it's hard to listen to such stuff it is hard to answer the question why you might want to or why you should. but we need to ask ourselves more often these days, with the internet giving us practically everything thing we want in a crap mp3-quality kind of way, why are we listening to music in the first place. do you want to reinforce or eliminate a mood? to create a mood? do you want to use it to hide behind? to disappear? do you want to use it to lend meaning to an otherwise un-engaging walk? or to keep yourself from thinking about what, probably, you should be thinking about? are you even listening, really? listening is one of the great joys of life and some of the greatest listening can be done without an ipod nano clipped to your lapel. it gives the time and space to think. as does pacific sky burial. the burble and chirp of high mountain tempel's first release (on san diego label lotushouse records) establishes it's own language early on and that's hard to do friends, to use a rack of effects and an instrument or two and not play music for fifteen minutes at a stretch. this is precisely when and how this disc is so successful. when it approaches white noise. figuratively, not literally. cos it isn't a squall that's going on but it is abstract. there are some points - moments in 'harkonen veda' (track 4 i think), and most of the arpeggiated synth on 'the great transmigration of souls' (track 7)- the playing veers into almost a melody or a riff and it jars. these moments are thankfully few and far between. cos after several listens to this record it's not chord changes what brings me back. it's the opportunity that this listening gives me to go inward, to reflect.


i read in an essay about the late, great mark rothko an unpublished letter of his talking about a common misperception regarding his canvases, how people understood them as peaceful meditations without registering that as a painter he was marshalling all his efforts to restrain a great violence. it seems that these serene paintings' most potent aim was not to communicate peace but to tame the conflict and chaos within the man. the peaceful impression given by his other-worldly work in the non-denominational chapel in houston, for instance (you gotta go if you find yourself in that neck of the woods), is a by-product. of layers of visual feedback that coalesce into a floating yet tense color field. barnett newman's 'broken obelisk' out front actually gets at this in a very important, beautiful way and anyway, you know, the guy did ultimately slash his veins. at the elbows for fuck's sake. i feel that same shiver of violence is here on this record, and moving under the skin of the improvised compositions, like jagged marbles rippling the surface. there's nothing benign about this high mountain tempel stuff - the first track proper, 'tempel walk', is the most pastoral, the ring modulator making the guitar sound like micro-tonal gongs played by an all-sparrow gamelan band. understand, i mean all this as a good thing. the track encapsulates the way in which this record works at its best. a non-repeating, forward moving piece of music that is truly like taking a walk. but the walk leads where? the sparrows have left their instruments by the end of the record and seem to use their own voices on 'feast of the preta' but this is no bird-song like messaien woulda' done. this is white noise with birdy-ness keeping music at bay. musically. it's not necessarily celebratory (unless you want it to be; you can make it that) and it's not excessive in any way. it does feel dangerous to me somehow.


i wonder what would happen if you pointed this record at your neighbors' house and turned it up just enough so they didn't know what it was that was making them act the way that they were acting. this is a record to use like nerve gas. you get to a state listening to stuff like this. melody - and the mood control it inevitably imposes - ceases to be an issue. you're left only with the potenial for feeling, a kind of undirected state of attention. melody and lyric are meant (usually) to make you feel some way. and they generally won't allow/encourage/enable you to feel anything else. they save you the effort of searching for meaning in/with the music by providing it for you. melody especially. it makes you passive. now, lighten up, ok, cos i'm ain't saying that weird avant shit is somehow better or necessarily more serious than mary j. blige or the eagles and i can love me some sweet pop music or anything else with words for that matter, but i also really believe what i'm saying here. i mean, melody is a fascist by nature, carving lines of representation, definition, into the incohate clustering of sounds that disturb some people the way that abstract painting and it's elimination of a tradition of figure and ground (an identifiable depiction of objects in a three-dimensional space) really bugged a lot of people. this isn't bad or good it's just (to my mind) a fact. and i feel that such non-melodic sound clusters really are the mirror of the world. wind and wave. the scrabble of insects. the digging of earthworms. the fighting or fucking of neighbors. the mechanic at the bottom of the hill. the hum of the transformers on telephone poles that are giving us all cancer (i've been told). all together. why try to reduce that? why try to toss a net around that, or worse, try to paint over that (figuratively. and, yes, figuratively.)?

with pacific sky burial we are meant to feel anything and can and just might. here we look at ourselves; this music might be a tool for self-examination if we let it. we don't listen because it makes us feel good (even though it can), we listen because we love the act. of listening. it'll help you feel or see within yourself all kindsa shit hiding behind the shit you let yourself see or feel. that's one of the things that pure listening does, in my book. listening to water, listening to traffic, listening to the a.c., listening to the cicadas, listening to the crowd, listening to all the things you use your ipod to shut out. lighten up on soundtracking your lives with mp3s and spend some time listening to the one that's included in the original packaging, if you know what i mean. try tuning in brother, sister. and when you get home, listen to this record from time to time.

# and i think there's a difference in how one can use melody/lyric. certain pop songs can make a variety of people feel a variety of different things. 'we've only just begun' by the carpenters. for me, i almost always see that as an expression of romantic irony: we've only just begun but it'll soon be over and there will be tears. it's also a beautiful song of hope, promise. and i get that too. it's a polyvalent combination of potentially optimistic lyric and elegaic song-scape/arrangement. 'love will tear us apart' - same deal just reverse the polarity. on the other hand you have that vaguely philip glass-ish mega-hit with the repeating piano figure by coldplay. i can't imagine anyone in a stadium full of people feeling anything different from the person next to them, anyone not walking lockstep wearing the same emotional ­­­­straitjacket. and honestly, many of those folks are probably better adjusted than i am, so whatever. i don't say this in a judgmental way. just making an observation. (and i wonder why i find it easier to forgive U2 for doing essentially the same thing. 'it's a beautiful day'. indeed it is)


    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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