Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Miscellany - Too Many Bands/Too Little Time

Sorry bit of a rubbish post this - but I keep making short notes of bands to mention and then not getting around to it - so here goes for a few short sharp comments and names for future exploration:

We Were Promised Jetpacks

A Scottish foursome are really worth the effort if for nothing other than their excellent name. With touches of Frightened Rabbit and a bit of a disturbing (visually) video.


Pink Mountaintops

A bit of psychedelic, gospel type stuff from British Colombia - happy, trippy, hairy

Hands and Knees

Loving the slightly untidy, jangly nature of this lot from Massachusetts, especially the You Got Pop You Got Style

Cymbals Eat Guitars

Poppy, experimentalisty chaps from Staten Island NY - inevitably sound a little bit Pavement-y (but then doesn't everyone?)

Mt St Helens Vietnam Band
I know I have a thing about bands from the NW USA and so here's some more from Seattle


Just to prove that I am not entirely US obsessed here's some British chaps! The Spirit of the Beehive EP is well worth getting... this Youtube clip isn't really all that typical but kind of fun all the same - the Channel M Session is worth a look

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Dark Side of the Moon Quad Mix

Mmm this is a bit techie/geekie but bouncing over my RSS feeds I came across a posting from NPR, that fine institution, flagged 'Attention Pink Floyd Fans'.

You can read the post as well as I can but the link off to Croz.FM had an interesting link to a download of the quadroponic mix for Dark Side of the Moon. Rather sceptically I went ahead and as Croz says the issue is not whether or not you can listen in quad (!) but the difference in the mix of the album.

I have to say that it is really noticably different (better?) - as the man says - more open, better instrument separation, effects mkore to the fore etc. BTW the site also has a great range of downloadable live shows (OK maybe not cutting edge 'now' bands but real quality)

Photo by =edmunn

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Mono - Hymn to the Immortal Wind

I am somewhat taken aback that I don't seemed to have put a post before about Mono. Thanks must go out to the Peeblemeister for introducing me to them (or is it the other way around?) not long after he entered the madness that is JISCworld.

This Japanese four-some produce some of the most staggeringly beautiful music around - frequently long'ish tracks of sweeping, crashing waves of sound with the most haunting of underpinning tunes. Their earlier post-, or math-rock label seems to have been replaced by rock/experimental/classical on their Myspace and their latest work - Hymn to the Immortal Wind - merits this change of nomenclature.

Their music has always had this soaring, epic quality and previously been characterised by the quiet/loud thing - exhilarating as that was, and often very loud. This work however seems somehow more complete, more consistent and although it still has its quiet/loud moments is more abot tonal changes in the sound - more dark/light, the orchestration and variety of subtlely used instruments add the nuances and depth.

A truly fabulous set of music, I admit to being a tad worried by the story ( eerily reminiscent of Murakami type storytelling) that accompanies the CD (no vocals of course!); were they really buying into the whole concept album thing? Well to a degree they have and rather like the superb Hazards of Love album by the Decemberists, they have pulled it off with style and grace.

Mono, and this set in particular, produce the sort of music that makes the soul soar - cinematic without the sacherin, epic without too much pretention, glorious life-affirming stuff. True it's not necessarily the sort of stuff you play day in and day out, but when the time is right and you have the space and concentration to devote to it, this music cannot be bettered.

Mono Myspace
Mono Web site