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!





 

 

 

 

 

Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped (Geffen) by Keith Boyd
06.16.06

Sonic Youth have nothing to prove. They operate in a hard-won sphere of existence that doesn't rely on much outside approval in order to both be and provide its' members with a vocation and calling. They’ve been bringing it since 1981 and that’s 25 years, Jack! They’ve been killing it, absolutely killing it for longer than The Beatles were even together. From the fallout of Glenn Branca’s freewheeling guitar noise, on through cyber-punk hypnosis, into the great 20th century experimental composers with frequent forays of funk and rock, Sonic Youth are our champions. We dwellers in, and on the fringes of, the underground have our troubadours in Sonic Youth. Chances are, if you’ve thought it, read it, painted it, strummed it or smoked it, Sonic Youth was there years before, coping a feel and making it their own.

Arthur Rimbaud wrote about finding transcendence and clarity by crawling through Hell. He advocated a systematic derangement of the senses in order to move beyond our everyday, reactive mind and find our true light, our true voice. This voyage of self-discovery is familiar to all of us. We may or may not go the chemical route. Some folks tune in to the mystic. They feel Christ's wounds and taste Heaven through his blood and body. Others hear the shimmering ping of the meditation gong. They fold themselves into prostrations letting the mantra and mind find unity. Any way we wander, the path isn't easy. All great endeavors require sacrifice and when some things are lost, they are lost for good. Artists take this brave journey every time they create from their true inner-core. Check Joseph Campbell's "Hero With A Thousand Faces." He lays it out for real. Another good example is Alex Grey's series of paintings, "Portrait of The Artist". Okay, let's stop the referencing and just talk about it.
We're all born with a multitude of people and possibilities inside of us. We carry the genes of all of those who came before us. Their struggles, joys and quests manifest in our lives just as their hair color and height do. We are truly not just individuals but more composites. The weight and power of our heritage can be a source of great strength and connection. But, life is hard. I mean that's really the message that comes through isn't it? Sure we have wonders. We're able to love! We're able to swim in the ocean and fly and laugh at a good joke and eat a slice of pizza and go to the moon and play with our kids and protest the war and strum a guitar and hear Mozart and all of that is great! It is also, all temporary. The "life is hard" truism makes sure of that. In the kernel of every beginning is the start of the end. That baby struggling to take a wobbling step down the hall of your first apartment will one day exhale his last breath. This fact can be wounding. The artist starts in wonder and light. They express their perspective and find delight in the form of things. Soon however, the same perceptual organs that tuned into this flow of life has to grapple with its' dark twin. The heightened sensitivity that allows one to stare at sunlight through a tree for hours and render it so beautifully on paper as to make you cry will now come to contemplate change, decay and death. It's a wounding. It sends some away from their art to seek solace through ignoring. Others hang on and in the hanging on are dismembered. They shatter into multiple people and find themselves in relationships, depressed, worshiping gurus, hooked on heroin, playing in a rock band, dyeing their hair and hanging from hooks, shooting up their schools, climbing mountains and generally trying to find some way to experience and express their lives or at least react to it. Along this path we meet guides. They show us the full moon and we mistake their pointing for our seeing. We reject some of them but follow along our oath with a bit of their guidance. At some point our dismembered self begins to reform. We leave behind certain things and pick up new things. We come back to where we started and see it for the first time. Sometimes we bring back with us a vision. The wonder we once felt at the form of things has been replaced with a respect for the continuum of things. In finding peace with change, our vision can begin to manifest. At first we viewed death and change as the call of the other. It felt alien and wrong. Now we know it for what it is; our true birth right. Had we not heard that call to growth we wouldn't be artists. None of this is imprinted with finality however. This same process is in fact an unfolding circumstance as we chart our steps through life. When we witness an artist who is aware of this and uses it to guide their work, it is a cause for celebration. Sonic Youth are those kind of artists.

Their new album, "Rather Ripped"(Geffen) gives us an all new Sonic Youth that while shedding new light on their musical journey, retains and refines some of their trademark moves. It's a worthwhile listen from the getgo. I've heard some chatter on the ether that the underground guerillas are chaffed by the fact that there are "songs" on this release. Folks, I'm here to tell you that there's no need to worry! Yes, there are songs here, damn good songs as a matter of fact! Sonic Youth have come out of the other side of Hell and yet again delivered us an amazing field guide. Some night when you're feeling the need to clean out the crevices of your brain and shiver your timbers a bit, drop the needle (or press the button as it may be) on SY's 1985 release, "Bad Moon Rising". The pure strip-mining of your adrenal glands will inform you that you are in the presence of greatness. Like Rimbaud downing another absinthe in Paris and fending off Verlaine's groping hand from his crotch, you'll know you're hearing the sound of a "derangement" of your senses. The voyage of 20 plus years of seeking means that Sonic Youth have earned the right to do some "songs" and we can expect that these songs will blow our minds. This album only exist because the artist have paid the price for it to do so. To simply say that the new Sonic Youth record is no good because it contains the compactness and conciseness of a song structure is to miss the point entirely. This album is so good because there are songs. They trump our expectations for what can be said with sound in the confines of an often played out format. There are the rumbling and twanging sounds of Lee Renaldo and Thurston Moore's guitar figures as they mirror the intoning of the lyrics. It's a beautiful steeple chase of sound that is only more endearing for the fact that it doesn't go on ad-nauseum and but with the "plan". Sonic Youth has taken the format and breathed new life into it. This may in fact be a contract obligation to Geffen by which they earn their freedom, but they're giving us all a bit of freedom in the process.

The album opens with the chiming and satisfying song, "Reena". Kim Gordon actually wails on this one. I hear shadows of Patti Smith and Nico mingling with Gordon's own unique phrasing. This song is a microcosm of the whole album. It's not as though Sonic Youth has abandoned their feral instincts, more they have learned to employ them in a tactical manner so as to maximize the impact. A standout track is the hypnotic and compulsive, "Incinerate". In it we hear Thurston Moore compressing thirty plus years of music into five minutes. From The Ventures to Iggy Pop to The Feelies, it all comes to a head in this song. Another aspect to the ever evolving search of Sonic Youth is revealed on "Turquoise Boy". The great unfolding we hear is tone. Guitar tone is a slippery beast to pin down. It's a subtle combination of guitar, pickup, amp, volume and playing style that combine to create a particular quality of sound. On this song we are rewarded with the fruits of Sonic Youth's inquiries into the nature of tone. In fact the whole album is a showcase for the various answers they've found to the question of what does a guitar sound like. At times harsh, at times mysterious, at times an exultation.

Recently I read a great book about DJ's and DJ culture called, "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life". If you've ever been visited by music that hits your soul and won't leave you alone, you know exactly where this title comes from. The feeling of completion we get from great music is vital and pushes us on our way. We resonate with the themes and sounds of good music. Sonic Youth have turned out a real winner here. We owe them our thanks for staying true to their muse for so many years. 'Rather Ripped" doesn't rest on its' creators laurel. It plunders and distills them into this thoroughly enjoyable listen.

 


    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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