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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Swans - live 2010-2015


Three separate concert videos show the intensity of Swans' live performances.

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.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Talk Talk - Live at Montreux


Sometimes seeing a band live can make you appreciate them infinitely more... sometimes the opposite.  When I saw this, it blew me away. Pre-internet days, we often had no idea what a band looked like or really were about. And it was the Eighties, so there was always the possibility that the live version would be 2 guys standing behind keyboards wearing bicycle shorts. Luckily, that is not the case here and this video captures a crackin' performance.

Monday, December 19, 2016

all you do to me is Talk Talk


Such a great band, even their hit singles didn't do justice to the great albums they graced the '80s with before getting quieter and quieter and disappearing with a whisper.

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


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.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Miles Davis - The 1970s


In the 1970s, things got whack (rather like the above album cover). Miles left planet Earth to explore interstellar space with his trumpet, deconstructing jazz and alienating a lot of fans along the way. Of course, now, Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson, and On The Corner are hailed as masterpieces, but at the time of their release, they really threw people for a loop.

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.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Miles Davis - The 1960s


The '60s featured more top-notch jazz by Miles. The decade was capped off by one of the all-time classics, In A Silent Way.