Love in the Fascist Brothel
(Revelation Records, 2005)
For some reason, right now No-Wave is gaining popularity with the underground rock crowd. I suppose to a certain extent, it had remained a mainstay to some, in lurid corners trading jokes about Zorn and Stockhausen. But, now more then ever, bands are touting James Chance as a major musical contributor of the last quarter of the twentieth century. And who am I to disagree? Here on The Plot’s second full length, they invoke Chance and play some new stylee rock music. Introduced by horns, one would imagine them ushering in a new era, some new innovation in rock that will forever upset the balance of what is now. We don’t get that. But, there are a good number of tongue and cheek titles, nazi imagery and thick bass notes. Two tracks stand out as far superior to the rest of this album, and most rock music lately in general: “Drake the Fake” and “Angry, Young and Rich”. Oddly, enough, these two tracks are the most lengthily offerings as well. Musically, they don’t stray from the songs before or after, but on “Drake the Fake” The Plot actually achieves something very close to what The Contortions did. The second track is much more slowly paced, uses a little blues progression and sports a good chorus; something this album spews forth abundantly. The lyrics leave something to be desired. But, each song basically consists of ten lines, repeated and one chosen to become the chorus and screamed even more frequently. An above average release that boasts good production that seamlessly weaves the noise from one song into freakish interludes and then into the noise of the next track. A bit of a warning though: ten tracks in twenty some odd minutes. Really though, your ear holes might not be capable of hearing more.
Nirvana – Nevermind (Geffen, 1991)
This disc should really just be assumed. I mean, how many songs are on here that you’d be able to sing every lyric to? All of ‘em, or somewhere close should be the answer. If it’s not, where in G-d’s name have you been? Dude’s even in a video game at this point.
His name’s on albums from Melt Banana, Sonic Youth, Wilco and a host of other forward thinking rock groups as a result of functioning in various capacities (musician, engineer, producer, composer), but Jim O’Rourke remains a relative unknown to all but the most musically obsessed. Coming out of the weirdo Chicago rock scene of the ‘80s, the guitarist first gained relative prominence in experimental circles while attending DePaul University in the city. It was during this time as well that O’Rourke would begin his recording career, getting a good deal of material down on tape amidst his studies at the prestigious, urban school.
Firstly, the term supposes that there’s some bold difference between whatever rock is perceived to be and what ‘black rock’ is intended to represent. Beyond the fact of that idea being rather nonsensical, it should be (again) noted that, without black folks playing blues and the like, there wouldn’t be any rock genre to speak of, making the term redundant to a certain extent.
There’s an endless sense of paranoia and disaffection in any and all musics recorded by some recluse, an instrument and a boom box. John Darnielle might not be a shut in, but some of his recordings make it seem that way. Oddly bucolic for a guy who grew up in one of the most populace states in the country, his work solo and alongside a rhythm section in the Mountain Goats finds Darnielle examining personalities – of people and animals – how folks interact and giving listeners a story to hang it all on.
A few live tracks from a guy whose been getting some positive mentions here and there of late...It's foreign sounding, but home grown...dig.
The interest in non western musics that began, in part due to the reduced restrictions on spreading music around that came along with the internets, found an unlikely pairing a few years back. On a trip to Cambodia, Los Angeles dweller Ethan Holtzman, an organ player, found a taste for Cambodian pop music, which sounds like its been suspended in time and doused with a heavy dose of Nuggets. Intuitively, Holtzman recruited his brother and set about working to assemble a line up comprised of players from around the LA area. The musicians were finally assembled, but none could conceive of fronting a band that worked in a different language seeing as it wouldn’t, most likely, come off as too authentic.