NFT looks back at things from before its time: the year 2006.
Don Caballero - World Class Listening Problem (2006)
It's no American Don, but Don Caballero's 2006 release, World Class Listening Problem is still a listening experience that apologizes to no one. Five years removed from American Don and only one member of the original lineup left (Mr. Don Cab himself, Damon Che), World Class Listening Problem was bound to be different.
One of the biggest differences about World Class Listening Problem was that it was released by Relapse records, a predominately metal record label. Despite the new label, Don Cab did not turn into mathcore, but they did however get heavier than ever before; not heavy to a point of it sounding too progressive or cheesy, but heavy to point where it is a bit more riff-y than just twinkly guitars over incredible drumming. There's nothing wrong with being 'twinkly', I love me some twinkle daddy music, but it's cool to hear what something would sound like with a little more beef to it. That's what's different about World Class Listening Problem: it is beefy.
Once you bulk up your music though, you do lose a little flexibility. I think that's what makes this release a little less of an essential. Without that lightness to it that early Don Cab albums have, WCLP seems to be stuck in the mud almost instead of just flowing naturally. Of course, this minor flaw that's more about taste than anything else could also be due in part by the lack of guitarist Ian Williams, who was off doing his thing in Battles by this time.
Still, World Class Listening Problem is something different, and that's what I like about it. You get to hear a deeper side of Don Caballero and you can still enjoy it. As my Personal Development teacher would say: it's a win/win situation.
Highlights: "Mmmmm Acting, I Love Me Some Good Acting", "I Agree.....No!.....I Disagree", Railroad Cancellation" (Featured on Sons of Anarchy apparently), and "Savage Composition".
Similar acts/sounds: Battles, Bellini, Stress & Storm, Pneu, Dysrhythmia, Piglet, Hella, Giraffes? Giraffes!, Tera Melos, and other straight-up instrumental "math rock" bands.
Ultra Gown is Zefs Chasing Cara's latest release. It's a little more on the electronic side of math rock but it's noodly nevertheless. I can't say I'm a big fan of Zefs' stuff with the vocals, so this is easily my favorite release by these guys.
If I haven't already said that Boston is on fire right now in the music department, I'M SAYING IT RIGHT NOW; BOSTON IS ON FIRE IN ALL CAPS. I love you Maine, but man am I jonesing to see some Boston music right now. Anyways, Idiot Genes play some of that good ol' garage punk rock that kids have and will always be craving. Gotta have it.
Thought the album artwork would be pretty appropriate for Presidents' Day.
Jerkagram, a band I threw up here during Monday's very first weeks, have a new album of experimental instrumental and almost modern-day non-German krautrock music. There's also some singing in it, too. Check it out:
My friend, Sean Martin, known by many as "John Coffee", is a freelance film guy. He's been making films of all sorts since I've known him and I've known him for pretty long. His most recent project (that I know of at least) is called Handful of Romance, a humorous sock puppet induced short that took second place at the 'Local Love Muscle Film Festival' this weekend at the Space Gallery in Portland. If you like sock puppets, bros being bros, making out, or just some good old fashion awkward humor, I think you'll get a real kick out of this video. Apparently if there's enough views it will be on the front page of Funny or Die, the website you can currently view the video at, which is pretty cool stuff!
Stone Titan is some pretty nasty doom metal. Almost every riff is drenched in greasy filth that intoxicates the air. From just listening to Stone Titan's summer of 2013 release, Scratch 'N Sniff, I can smell the all too familiar small of musty basements, sweaty punks, cheap-ass beer, and skunk weed, lots and lots of skunk weed. This album brings me back to some of the coolest times I've ever had without exactly being there and interacting with people. It's like one of those candles you smell at the mall that have all those different scents but what you really end up smelling is your friend's house from 2nd grade that you don't talk to anymore... except, you know, it's music. Dirty sludgy doom metal music.
Highlights: "I Wish I Was Fucking Dead", "Alaskan Thunderfuck", "Faul", Can 'O Worms", and "A Brief History of Overweight Men"
From the folks who brought us the Top 40 Compilation comes another look into reconstructing a persons work into simple acoustic lo-fi tracks. This is the Hank Williams Compilation, a collection of - yep, you guessed it - Hank Williams cover songs.
I recently wrote an essay about a certain cover album (which I will not name) that really got me looking at covers in the sense that what people do to a song will ultimately never be as authentic as the original and that the songs usually miss the point of what the original stands for all together. Granted some things should not be covered for the sake of art like church hymns or sea songs, I think taking someone's work like Hank Williams's and re-imagining it, added a little of yourself to it, and giving it away for free is not a bad thing at all. That is, unless you throw a bunch of club noises into it (I'm looking at you, Pill Friends).
Anyways, these covers are just for fun; that's really what covering music should be about anyway.
Artists/bands doing their best Hank Williams impressions (sorta) include: Pill Friends, Radiator Hospital, Free Cake For Every Creature, Teen Suicide, Told Slant, Florist, Lizard Kisses, Fog Lake, and Totally Ruined.
Here's something pretty unexpected: It's the late New Hampshire hardcore band, Host's last album which almost never saw the light of day. Death will claim these tired bones was recorded just before the band announced they were ceased to exist. Thankfully, the album was not lost forever, and is out now on the internet for everyone to hear!
Normally I wouldn't bug anyone to buy music that I'm plugging, but I really ask that if you enjoy this kind of stuff to buy this album. Not only do they deserve it because they were a band in a hard working genre, but the money also goes to a cause that is close to them. All proceeds from this release go to the band's friend/the vocalist Matt's Fiance, Ana's medical costs of her pancreatic liver failure treatment.
I know I will be putting some money towards this album when I get my tax refund money soon.
A little something-something from the indie pop dudes in the Baltimore area. This 3 song EP of sorts features two B-sides along with Dung Kid's single, "Grenville, Pt. 1" from their first release, Oh How it Hurts; a song that easily made my top 10 songs list last year.
If you haven't already heard about these guys, you are hearing them right now. Literally, listen to these guys right now!
Big Ups from New York are blowing up with their new album, Eighteen Hours of Static and for good reason (listen). Before they were killing it with a Fugazi meets Melvins post punk sound, they were baby punk rockers in a big city. Some people might just wanna skip to their new stuff and call it good, but I like their old stuff, too. I don't know, maybe you'll like it as well.
Where's My Friends are a Portland, Maine brewed instrumental three piece featuring members of the late math rock band, The Waldos, and the always impressive, Butcher Boy. While Where's My Friends are not as heavy as The Waldos stuff (not that The Waldos were off the walls), it's still moving, a bit free flowing, but moving nevertheless.