Quick Review (LP): Simulacrenfield by Parlour

Parlour
Simulacrenfield
Temporary Residence; 2010

My Rating: C+

Best Tracks: “Destruction Paper”, “Wedder”

It’s happening to Parlour. I’ll call it “the slide into mediocrity.” The band’s first full-length, The Octopus Off Broadway, was a diverse, sci-fi, new-agey collection of instrumental indie epics that came off as utterly original. Simulacrenfield, the band’s third, sounds homogenous and under-inspired. It’s not that the tracks aren’t any good, it’s just that they are always on the verge of fading out of mind. Comparisons have been made to Neu! for this record, and that’s appropriate. However, even Neu! was able to inject a little drama into their best stuff. Simulacrenfield comes off like a bit of a workout, routine and precise, a bit like the last couple of Tortoise records. I’ll always have high hopes for the band that produced “The Living Beginning” and the Hives Fives EP, but Simulacrenfield unfortunately leaves me underwhelmed.

Tiny Mix Tapes review
Delusions of Adequacy review
Band’s Myspace site

Quick Review (LP): Cerebellum by Cerebellum

Cerebellum
Cerebellum LP
Noise Pollution; 2010

My Rating: A-

Best Tracks: “Fire”, “Marble”, “Calm”, “Crawl Out of the Water”

The first five songs were originally released in 1989. This band produced future members of Crain, Rodan, Matmos, Parlour, and other post-punk pioneers. What we have here is, on one hand, above average fare for a group of high-schoolers looking to imitate their musical heroes. On the other hand though, there is evidence of real creative vision here, and the melodies are especially strong on “Fire”, “Winter”, and “Calm.” “Marble” is a lovely little Smiths-esque piece; Drew Daniel’s adolescent-in-longing vocals evoke an incredible nostalgia for me now. The best thing here though is the brand new recording of “Crawl Out Of The Water” (one among five such tracks). It sounds outstanding, and feels more like a long lost Crain track (which it pretty much is) than anything else. Most of the music world probably won’t care about this, but they should.

Louisville Hardcore History band story
Slamdek band story
Buy the album

Top 10 Tracks of 2010 (Midway)

from thesecretstereo.com

This is a bit hastily thrown together, but here it is, 8/23, and I haven’t done it yet, so here goes. No comments, no order, only criteria is that it was released between 1/1/2010 & 6/31/2010. Links provided for samples:

Follow the Train – “Movin”
New Pornographers – “Crash Years”
Memoryhouse – “Sleep Patterns”
Stars – “Fixed”
Cerebellum – “Crawl Out of the Water”
Wye Oak – “I Hope You Die”
Beach House – “Walk in the Park”
Broken Social Scene – “World Sick”
Venice is Sinking – “Tugboat”
Strand of Oaks – “Bonfire”

So there.

Yours?

Best Breezes: 5/31/10 – 6/6/10

Been away for a little while. Should be pretty consistent this week…

NPR: Best Opening Tracks?

(via NPR Music) If you follow this blog, you know by now that I am a music obsessive. So I love lists, especially when they discuss things like “best opening tracks.”  NPR’s editorial list can be found here. Interesting stuff. I’d have to include:

REM (“Radio Free Europe”, “Harborcoat”, “Finest Worksong”)
Radiohead (“Airbag”, “Everything In Its Right Place”, “15 Step”)
Wilco (“Misunderstood”, “I am trying to break your heart”)
Crain (“Car Crash Decisions”)
Slint (“Breadcrumb Trail”)
Rodan (“Bible Silver Corner”)
Belle & Sebastian (“Stars of Track and Field”)
Innocence Mission (“Keeping Awake”)
My Morning Jacket (“Mahgeetah”)
Mark Knopfler (“What It Is”, “Why Aye Man”)
Elvis Costello (“Accidents Will Happen”, “Clubland”)

in my own long list.

New Sun Kil Moon

(via onethirtybpm) I have a friend who was really into Mark Kozelek’s Red House Painters in high school, back when it was hard to get your hands on their stuff. I never got into them myself, but after hearing these new tracks from Kozelek’s Sun Kil Moon project (awesome name by the way), I might just dive headfirst into the world of “the other” MK.

GY!BE + “Weird Al” = WHAT???

(via Pitchfork) File this one under strange, even by the standards of both artists. Dear Lord, let there be a collaborative effort in the future.

New Superchunk On The Way

(via onethirtybpm) New Superchunk on the way. Superchunk is hit or miss with me, but when they hit, they knock it out of the park. (See “Driveway to Driveway”, “The First Part”, “Hello Hawk”, “Burn Last Sunday”)

Evergreen: Wholeness of the Soul (part 2)

wholenessEvergreen
Wholeness of the Soul; 2009
Noise Pollution Records

continued from part one

The Louisville all-ages scene of the early 1990’s was a mish-mash of influences. You had bands like Kinghorse melding Black Sabbath metal with Misfits punk, bands like Endpoint proclaiming the conscientious hardcore ethos of the DC sound, and bands like Rodan building upon the classical dynamics of local heroes Slint. There was also a handful of other bands that could easily sell out a venue in Louisville anytime, anywhere, such as Crain, Erchint, or Bush League. All of these bands were great in their own right, and some, like Crain, have received a strong reissue treatment elsewhere. However, this collection of Evergreen’s long out of print Self Destruct recordings finally brings to digital format one of Louisville’s greatest and most original punk acts.

Noise Pollution’s anthology rightly puts the band’s official releases ahead of previously unreleased demo and live recordings, but to best understand how the band progressed in just a few years, it’s interesting to begin at track 14 and listen through to the end. Tracks 14 thru 17 are 4-track demo recordings from 1991. Recorded when the band was called Cinderblock (but composed of the same members), these tracks show a band heavily influenced by contemporary local heroes like the afore-mentioned Kinghorse and Bush League. The spidery guitar breakdown in the middle of “Psyche Scream Closet” bears a strong resemblance to the proggish instrumentalism of bands like Rodan and Crain. Nevertheless, the hardcore here is sludgy, brutal, and nasty. Between the demos and the live recordings, we get some indication of where Evergreen began, making tracks 1 thru 13 all the more astounding.

completed tomorrow…

The Louisville all-ages scene of the early 1990’s was inspired by a mish-mash of influences. You had bands like Kinghorse melding Black Sabbath metal with Misfits punk, bands like Endpoint proclaiming the conscientious hardcore ethos of the DC sound, and bands like Rodan building upon the classical dynamics of local heroes Slint. There was also a handful of other bands that could easily sell out a venue in Louisville anytime, anywhere, such as Crain, Erchint, or Bush League. All of these bands were great in their own right, and some, like Crain, have received a strong reissue treatment elsewhere. However, the reissue of Evergreen’s long out of print Self Destruct recordings finally brings to digital format one of Louisville’s greatest and most original punk acts.
Noise Pollution’s anthology rightly puts the band’s official releases ahead of previously unreleased demo and live recordings, but to best understand how the band progressed in just a few years, it’s interesting to begin at track 14 and listen through to the end before beginning from track 1. Tracks 14 thru 17 are 4-track demo recordings from 1991. Recorded when the band was called Cinderblock (but composed of the same members), these tracks show a band heavily influenced by contemporary local heroes like the afore-mentioned Kinghorse and Bush League. The spidery guitar breakdown in the middle of “Psyche Scream Closet” bears a strong resemblance to the proggish instrumentalism of bands like Rodan and Crain. Nevertheless, the hardcore here is sludgy, brutal, and nasty. Between the demos and the live recordings, we get some indication of where Evergreen began, making tracks 1 thru 13 all the more astounding.
completed tomorr

Evergreen: Wholeness of the Soul (part 1)

Evergreen
Wholeness of the Soul
Noise Pollution; 2009
1992: I’m a seventh grader in Louisville, Kentucky, enamoured with the “alternative” bands that have de-throned glam rock heroes like Poison and Motley Crue on MTV. Watching Pearl Jam’s videos for “Even Flow” and “Alive” introduces me to the non-stadium “show” experience. Simultaneously, the skater kids at my school begin sporting t-shirts for bands like Sunspring, Kinghorse, Crain, Sancred, and Evergreen, bands that don’t exist on MTV. I’m intrigued.
1994: I buy my first 7″ records via the Slamdek distribution catalogue. They are records released by the Self Destruct record label. One of them is Evergreen’s self-titled 5-song 7″.
1996: I finally get my hands on a dubbed copy of Evergreen’s Go Kart Ride cassette. It’s official. I love this band. Too bad that version ended three years ago.
2006: I listen to my CD-R of “old” Evergreen’s 13 tracks for somewhere around the 200th or 300th time.
2009: Noise Pollution releases the “old” Evergreen anthology Wholeness of the Soul. It’s about time.
to be continued tomorrow…

wholenessEvergreen
Wholeness of the Soul; 2009
Noise Pollution

1992: I’m a seventh grader in Louisville, Kentucky, enamoured with the “alternative” bands that have de-throned glam rock heroes like Poison and Motley Crue on MTV. Watching Pearl Jam’s videos for “Even Flow” and “Alive” introduces me to the non-stadium “show” experience. Simultaneously, the skater kids at my school begin sporting t-shirts for bands like Sunspring, Kinghorse, Crain, Sancred, and Evergreen, bands that don’t exist on MTV. I’m intrigued.

1994: I buy my first 7″ records via the Slamdek distribution catalogue. They are records released by the Self Destruct record label. One of them is Evergreen’s self-titled 5-song 7″.

1996: I finally get my hands on a dubbed copy of Evergreen’s GO CART RIDE cassette. It’s official. I love this band. Too bad that version ended three years ago.

2006: I listen to my CD-R of “old” Evergreen’s 13 tracks for somewhere around the 200th or 300th time.

2009: Noise Pollution releases the “old” Evergreen anthology WHOLENESS OF THE SOUL. It’s about time.

continued here