Monday, March 28, 2011

The Psychic Paramount - II


Their first studio record, Gamelan into the Mink Supernatural, was released when math rock and a psych revival were in full effect – how perfectly placed they could have been, if only they'd been given a bit more of the spotlight. Or any of it, really. That Brooklyn’s Psychic Paramount would require another six years to release a proper follow-up is somewhat of a mystery.

The Psychic Paramount could be lumped into so many bandwagons, yet they're not a pure imitation of anything. They are too organized to be Lightning Bolt. They lack the humor of Acid Mothers Temple. They are perhaps halfway between Oxes and Earthless, though they lack the machismo of one and stand too tightly at attention to bear the stoner rock aspirations of the other. But surely, what they have got is what the band Cream was once founded on, the concept that each musician is necessary and serves such a purpose that no member can be considered filler. Only, luckily, they’re not Cream.

II brings less of a fuzzy thrash than Gamelan, but is equally as indulgent while somehow being as pared down as it needs to be. The production somehow seems cleaner this time around, but in this case, the clarity of sound works to their advantage and makes every instrument all the more important (which couldn’t be said of a genre, for instance, like garage rock). “Intro/SP” sees Drew St. Ivany’s guitar driving forward like a ticking motor while Jeff Conaway’s drums hold it down with a steady weight. And as a piece of any perfectly good instrumental album should do, it bleeds seamlessly into its nearly-nine-minute follow-up, “DDB,” which is at once sludgy and barreling and changes its pacing no fewer than four times while maintaining its rhythm and leading into a conclusion that stretches out for over a minute.

From there, the record goes through phases, from almost beautiful, hypnotic, steady rhythm to jazz-style drum and bass, to that familiar ticking motor of a guitar that – god, forgive these fingers – once began with The Edge, though the Psychic Paramount should garner no other U2 reference in the slightest, as they’ve got so much more backbone and would deserve a far more interesting comparison point, if only there were one to give. II forced us to sit patiently for six years after the release of Gamelan, but god, it was worth the wait.



Beary nice. And he's still got time to return his paws.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

For the next 8.5 hours (until 2:00 am PST), LivingSocial will match all donations of $5 to the Japan Earthquake & Pacific Tsunami Fund via the American Red Cross.

Donate HERE.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

BIG GEEKOUT WOO

Hallo friends. To the point, then: Jack Rabid, my favorite-y favorite-ist magazine editor (of The Big Takeover) has a podcast on BreakThru Radio, and he posted one yesterday. It's got goodies from Wire, Edwyn Collins, Berlin Brats, Off!, and mo'. No, he doesn't pay me. And yes, you can listen to him by clicking here. His voice is corny and enthusiastic, like his editorials and interviews for The Big Takeover. In fact, the very thing that got me hooked on the magazine was his '90s nostalgia and unabashed enthusiasm for the music, and the way he integrates himself into everyone else's scene during interviews by exclaiming, "Yeah! Me too! Me too!" every time a musician describes any sort of prior experience in touring or recording.

Rabid on Edwyn Collins, post-stroke: "At the age of 51, he is not done."

Way to fend off the death pools, Jack.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sam Owens...


And then, there are the softer bits, because indie kids like soft bits. This fellow named Sam Owens released his fourth (and apparently first publicly released) record a few months back, How to Build a Clock, and it's sort of a solid singer-songwriter joint from someone who's too whimsical and fancies him too much of a musician's musician to be labeled a mere singer-songwriter. Waltzes and fanciful instrumentation and a voice that sounds frankly like a bored Tony Lowe (Fast Piece of Furniture). Richard Swift fans should be all over this shit.

Purchase How to Build a Clock

And download his Daytrotter session from May 2008, which is significantly more stripped down and was allegedly made possible by way of Craigslist rideshare.


Why the above demonstration of proper peeling? Owens is also an illustrator and designer for hire! Check out his work at samowens.org.

Garagey things.


Hooray, new Ty Segall! And now we get to wait until June, when his new record of the same title comes out on Drag City.

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I'm behind on these great Scion A/V garage releases; last week, a split from Sex Beet and Human Eye came out - check out this here spectacular cover art, actually:

The Human Eye track, "Martian Queen," is oh-so-spacey and sounds very Beehive and the Barracudas. And Sex Beet's "Alone" should please Rezillos/Revillos fans.

Human Eye - Martian Queen
Sex Beet - Alone

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Last month's Scion A/V split was between the Strange Boys and Natural Child, and it sounds like a whole lotta America smashed into seven minutes.

Strange Boys - American Radio
Natural Child - The Jungle