Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Dead Can Dance

Listening to DCD's debut album and Spiritchaser, from 1996, you can hardly believe it's the same core duo. The first recordings were very early-80s post-punk. Then they moved into exploring Renaissance music, then opened up to Middle Eastern influences, and finally dove into sounds of Africa. I suppose "goth world music" could describe them to the uninitiated, but it's much more than that.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Beautiful Noise

Documentary from 2014 focusing on The Jesus And Mary Chain, Ride, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine... featuring extensive interviews with said bands, plus Robert Smith, Billy Corgan, Wayne Coyne, Toni Halliday and more. It seems a bit of a stretch to throw all these bands into some kind of movement or genre or scene, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Kafka - The Movie

A forgotten gem of a film, this one - directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring Jeremy Irons - has never made it on to Blu-Ray. Half-shot in black and white, it's visually sumptuous and droll, dryly witty. Like Cronenberg's Naked Lunch, it melds the author's work with his biography, doing a great job of capturing both along the way.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Big Pig

A cool Australian act with multi-percussionists, they had a minor hit with I Can't Breakaway from their debut album, Bonk. Their second was never released worldwide and they quickly faded into obscurity.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Masters Of Reality

Chris Goss will probably always be best-known for his work as producer - Kyuss, QotSA, The Cult - but his own band could kick up some dust, too. Their self-titled debut was an excellent late-80s California rock record. The second one, Sunrise on the Sufferbus, was an entirely different affair, using Ginger Baker on the drums.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Zola Jesus

One of the most alluring voices to emerge in these Twenty-Teens, Nika Roza Danilova, aka Zola Jesus uses her haunting voice to mine the depths of heartache. Sometimes it's even danceable.

Friday, December 9, 2016


Loop emerged in the late-80s with a sound combining post-punk, shoegaze, psychedelia, and a bit of post-JAMC noise rock. To me, their sound really gelled later, culminating in their final LP, A Gilded Eternity, which is a very unique entity. They pared down the previous guitar workouts into repeated off-kilter riffs and a heavy rhythm section. The buried vocals still sound rather shoegaze-ish, but the music seeks to pound you into a trance rather than float you there on a bed of haze and clouds. Great stuff.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Alarm + Mike Peters

Mike Peters really is one of the good guys in an industry that fosters narcissism. Even when the lyrics are a bit ham-fisted, you're willing to go along with it because of the earnest passion.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Crowded House

All of Crowded House's albums are great, but this one especially, produced by Youth, with Neil Finn delivering on the songwriting in spades, has a particular energy to it. "Together Alone" is a densely-layered sonic pop masterpiece.