Posts Tagged ‘Yo La Tengo’

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Heavy Rotation 29: Both Hands on My Organ

December 27, 2009

Nothing says the holidays are upon us like a lazy penis joke. And nothing says mid-holiday wear-and-tear like a four-sentence intro. Once again, it’s a themed Heavy Rotation. Enjoy in good health.

Previous versions here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Electrelane – I Love You My Farfisa
All girls (well, not all girls during various permutations). All the time (not true, either, as they are on indefinitely hiatus since late 2007). To sum up: mostly girls until 2007, which gives them about a decade of rocking the intersection of Stereolab and the VU, which means fuck-all considering everyone channels Stereolab and VU.

But here’s what’s the what: the almighty power of the Farfisa organ, being pimped by four ladies straight outta Brighton. It rolls and surges and screams, building a self-fulfilling head of steam (and a bit of self-promotion too, judging by the song title). The pace picks up and the girls holler at you to “turn your transistor on.”

This track must have ripped faces off in concert, considering Electrelane’s live reputation.

Clinic – Harvest (Within You)
Clinic. Shall I compare thee to… who? They don’t really sound like anyone else out there. They’ve got a little of that late 60’s garage/psychedelia going on, like the soundtrack to a “freakout” scene in a cheapie Corman flick. You know, the kind of track that fits but doesn’t sound expensive.

And yet, they’re incredibly good. Ade Blackburn’s for mumbling syllables doesn’t help the comparisons. He could be like a less-nasal Dylan as he gets about as elliptical but there’s no sense of underlying conscience or poetry. He just seems to be trying to convey emotions and scenery with tones alone. His band backs him up, clothed in scrubs and surgical masks, laying down some imaginative percussion and, of course, some killer organ highlights to turn Clinic into the indefinably great.

 

Breakbot – Happy Rabbit
Another day, another laptop producer. Following the “all hands on deck” approach to genres, Paris native Breakbot splices castoff pieces from breaks, surf, electro and sunshiney-pop into a warm and inviting little chunk of ear candy. The organ colors the bubbling electronics and slides across the rubbery funk basslines.

Charlatans UK – The Only One I Know
Of all the tracks in this Rotation, The Only One I Know is probably the one everybody knows. The Norm of early-90s alternative rock, The Only One I Know features the Charlatans “me too” entry into the “baggy” sweepstakes.

And what an entry. All airy, echoey vocals, propulsive bass, shuffling backbeat and the heavy organ dosage. The Charlatans drop their Hammond all over the place, adding a layer of 60’s swagger to the sexed-up rhythm section.

Mind the drop. It’s a killer. Down to just the bass. Then the drums. And finally…. the Hammond roars back to life dragging the track all over the dancefloor with the guitars in hot pursuit.

Yo La Tengo – Sudden Organ
The name says it all. All organ. All the time. Yo La Tengo fashions a shoegazer masterpiece out of little more than a Hammond organ and some spare drum work. If this doesn’t sell you on the power of a well-used organ, nothing will. And that includes porn.

All files filled to the brim with holiday spirit and inappropriate innuendo:
Heavy Rotation 29
(link opens in new window)

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]
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Heavy Rotation Vol. 24 – Awful Travelling Metaphor Edition

November 22, 2009

Prepare to take a journey through sound. We have many (well, five) destinations picked out for you today. This musical tour will take you to places unexpected. There is no unifying theme and your proxy-DJ grabbed these at random, or so it would appear.

So grab your bags and your Adderall and climb aboard. Your bags go in the overhead compartments or wedged under the jackass in front of you. Go ahead and toss that Adderall all over the tarmac. Where we’re going you won’t need an attention span.

Previous versions available here:
Heavy Rotation Archives

Mighty Dub Katz – Keep On Truckin’ (Streetlife DJs Remix)
Yet another face of the prolific Fatboy Slim. This single was originally released in 1995, but was plucked from the back catalog and given a huge rerub by the Streetlife DJs. Retaining the silky smooth DJ chatter (“Your funky DJ… in touch with your needs…“) and all of the original funk, Streelife adds some chopped up samples, punched up bass and some noisy retro videogame sounds. Included in both the original and remixed forms below.

This…is…soul. Keep on truckin’.

Remix:

Original version:

Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Bubble Burst
Interesting stuff, this. Erol Alkan, a well-known DJ and remixer, joins forces with Richard Norris (former label owner and NME writer) to make some vintage-sounding psychedelia. Unexpected to say the least, but also very, very good.

This track runs some 60’s garage-rock guitars over a rolling Balearic beat, which is topped off with vocals that wouldn’t sound out of place two sections over in the “R&B” section, right next to Ray Charles and James Brown. All the stuff that shouldn’t work together sounds so good you’re left wondering why nobody threw all this shit in the blender before.

Imperial Teen – Pig Latin
The best pop band to never sell a million albums. Imperial Teen was founded by Roddy Bottum, who formerly keyboarded with Faith No More. No one makes a better 3 minute song. Catchy as fuck, layered with attitude and never afraid to let their psychosexual tensions take the reins, Imperial Teen are what we in the musical matchmaking business call a “keeper.”

This is one of their more downtempo tracks, dealing with the whole “relationship” thing.

I don’t mind looking at you
Your hair sticks straight up well
This spray can is my favorite
Vonnegut to William Hell
I don’t want to be happy
I want to mess around
But these drugs have made me sappy
I do love feeling down

Kraftwerk – Heavy Metal Kids
Does what it says on the tin, to the confusion of nearly everybody. Recorded live in 1971 for Radio Bremen, this audio anomaly features the icy keyboard automatons taking a noisy stab at making metal for the masses.

Using only their Teutonic attitudes and a shitload of electronics, the Werkers kraft (see what I did there?) a metal dirge worthy of Black Sabbath’s formative years. It takes about 1:30 before the groove kicks in, so stick around. The whole experience contains high levels of WTFness, so consider yourself warned. Oh, and also look out for the tempo shift around 4:30, which takes it all to another level. Headbanging for the pocket calculator set.

Yo La Tengo – Here to Fall
Yo La Tengo’s back and they brought their heartbreaking sagas, incredible songcrafting skills and some strings with them. First of all, this is no weeper. It’s actually a pretty straightforward rocker, utilizing a large amount of fuzzed-up, wah’ed-up guitar. It’s the string stabs that really bring the noise, accenting the guitar and playing off the piano’s contribution. It all sounds so amazing and yet so familiar, thanks to the strings which are just begging to be attributed to some novelty single from the late ’70s.

Don’t ask me why this all works so well. It’s just Yo La Fucking Tengo. It’s what they do.

All files zipped into one cacophonous folder:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 24
(link opens in new window)

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]
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Heavy Rotation Vol. 14

September 13, 2009

ylt

Yo La Tengo – From a Motel 6
From out of New Jersey, the original indie critics’ darlings (take that Vampire Weekend), who hold forth with their combination of folksy guitar picking, squalling feedback freakouts and a lot of stuff that falls somewhere in between. From their shoegazer masterpiece Painless. A lurching buzzsaw of bitterness and rejection and a general “haven’t we all been here before” feeling. The guitar sounds are magnificent, rising and falling like turbines.

 

pulp

Pulp – Mile End
Hidden all the way at the end of the Trainspottingsoundtrack lies this beautiful tune by Pulp. (It’s right before the Sean Connery-lovin’ throwaway track by Blur.) Jarvis Cocker conjures up all the frustration, desperation and random violence of living the slum life. Not so much about drugs and gunplay as it is about decaying buildings and the pointless brutality that accompanies living under the poverty line and under the radar.

One thing that Cocker absolutely has nailed (other than him deflating a self-important Michael Jackson with a well-timed mooning) is that there is no inherent nobility or wisdom in being poor. It just fucking sucks.

Nobody wants to be your friend
’cause you’re not from round here
as if that was something to be proud about
The pearly king of the Isle of Dogs
feels up children in the bogs
Down by the playing fields someone sets a car on fire
I guess you have to go right down
before you understand just how
how low
how low a human being can go

 

syntax_meccanoMind

Syntax – Pride
Some dark electronic loveliness by two former members of Fluke. This track has been used in a variety of television shoes because it just has that perfect soundtrack feel. Abused actually, by yet another Law and Order offshoot and The O.C., to name a few offenders. But who could blame them? If I had a key scene that was a little sad, a little wistful or just needed an elegant but propulsive tune to dial it all in, this would be the one.

Presumably Syntax formed because Fluke wasn’t “dark enough.” I beg to differ but I will hash this point out in a future Heavy Rotation.

 

toecutter

Toecutter – Best Party Ever
From the dark and moving to the ass-shaking and disruptive. Toecutter (recording as a very thinly disguised Troecutter for this one — oh, and named for a Mad Max character) takes Kool & the Gang’s “Tonight” and slaps it all over the dancefloor, using pitch shifts, Bmore bass, bells, whistles, bangs and some very effective chopped and blocked vocals. Periodically, some virtually unaltered Kool will escape (with some of the gang) before Toecutter shoves the whole mess into the trunk and does high-speed donuts in the parking lot (around the 2:50 mark).

Just keep holding on. You’ll trip across a few vocal samples and a smattering of Madonna before T(r)oecutter returns the banged-up tune to the dance floor, with the pounding 4/4 beat somewhat intact (around 3:40).

 

WHITEY_LIVE_A

Whitey – Stay on the Outside
Some outstanding electro rock from the mysterious Whitey. Starts rather low key with Whitey’s subdued singing, a little organ and some sparse handclaps. It proceeds along in a rather orderly but catchy fashion until around the 2:50 mark, when the floor drops out (and into a faux-fade) only to be replaced with a whoosh and a banging return to the original beat. An augmented original beat.

Various electronics join the commotion and the tempo shifts as does the tone of the song, going from a plaintive to pissed off (protagonist to antagonist). Stick around for the whole thing.

Previous Heavy Rotations can be found here: Heavy Rotation Archives

All mp3’s in an vacuum-packed zip file:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 14 (link opens in a new window)

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to it’s high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]

-CLT