Despite being a band of which few people have any knowledge, Tinariwen has been featured on Pitchfork and plenty of information about them is available with the aid of a simple Google search. Perhaps their origin in Muammar al-Gaddafi’s guerilla camps has stifled their popularity or maybe the language barrier is still too large an obstacle for the majority of listeners to jump over – whatever the case, Tinariwen play a remarkable blend of what sounds like blues, rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, R’n’B, and folk to these American ears. The band’s website is comprehensive, featuring a history of the Tuareg people, a biography, a link to their Myspace site (with free music, of course), and a link to their Youtube channel, where you can find a documentary about the band and a couple of live performances.
Extra Life is a band I am sure you’ll be hearing more about, soon. I’ll be writing a review of their new album, Secular Works, but in the meantime you should investigate this band on your own. Charlie Looker (of Dirty Projectors, Zs) heads this quartet up and leads them through a series of maddeningly difficult time signatures, odd melodic juxtapositions, and a vocal style inspired by monastic chant. Dusted Magazine described it as the kind of math rock that has soul and while that description is helpful, it doesn’t quite capture how surreal Extra Life sounds on record. I’ve yet to see the band live, but by all the reports, they’re something to see. Keep an eye out for them… (and I just noticed that Stereogum thinks highly of Extra Life, too. Check out their feature, here…)
V/Vm’s excellent tribute to Twin Peaks, There Was a Fish… in… the Percolator, sold out pretty quickly, but don’t despair because the fine folks over at V/Vm Test Records make a lot of music available for free on their website. It’s well within the realm of possibility that you’ll find these out of print recordings online in the future. And don’t forget that The Caretaker has a new record coming out.
Some listeners were a little surprised to hear Neil Young on WZBC and others were surprised to hear that what was played was, in fact, Neil Young. While his discography does not admit of many records like the Dead Man soundtrack, he is known for jumping about sylistically. Evidentally, a box set is on the way, which will contain 8 CDs and 2 DVDs with a 150-page booklet covering Young’s career from 1963-1972. Chances are a lot of rather strange music will be a part of this compilation, considering Young was and is still notorious for writing and recording entire albums only to ditch them for quickly assembled records that Young felt were more listenable. This collection has been rumored since I was 12, I think, so don’t hold your breath. In any case, if you want more weird Neil, check out the soundtrack to Where the Buffalo Roam or pick up one his oddball 80s recordings, especially Trans if you can find it.
And quickly, in closing, please visit Brainwashed and check out the sponsorship options for this year’s Brainwaves festival. You may not be able to sponsor the festival yourself, but you might know of a party interested in helping out or you may just want to volunteer your time and help as a stage-hand (you get free tickets to all three days for doing so).
I’m looking into requests from all the emails I’ve received and will feature them in a couple of weeks, once I can get all my ducks in a row. Until later, thanks for stopping by and enjoy the music!
01. The Shins “Caring is Creepy” from Oh, Inverted World (2001) on Sub Pop
02. Okkervil River “For Real” from Black Sheep Boy (2005) on Jagjaguwar
03. Low “On the Edge Of” from The Great Destroyer (2005) on Sub Pop
04. Palace Brothers “Riding” from There Is No-One What Will Take Care of You (1993) on Drag City
05. Fleet Foxes “Ragged Wood” from Fleet Foxes (2008) on Sub Pop
06. Sigur Rós “Med Sud I Eyrum” from Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust (2008) on XL
07. Extra Life “Blackmail Blues” from Secular Works (2008) on I and Ear Records
08. Folklore “Across the Susquehanna” from Carpenter’s Falls (2008) Self Released
09. Melvins “Zodiac” from Bullhead (1991) on Boner
10. Adam Arcuragi “Go with Them” from Soldiers for Feet (2008) on High Two
11. Talk Talk “Runeii” from Laughing Stock (1991) on Polydor
12. I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness “According to Plan” from According to Plan (2006) on Secretly Canadian
13. Tinariwen “Cler Achel” from Aman Iman : Water Is Life (2007) on World Village
14. Bala Miller & the Great Music Pirameeds of Afrika “Ikon Allah” from Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story of 1970’s Funky Lagos (2001) on Afrostrut
15. Ofo the Black Company “Eniaro” from Nigeria Rock Special (2008) on Soundway
16. Neil Young W/ Johnny Depp & Gary Farmer “Dead Man 8 & 9” from Dead Man Soundtrack (1996) on Vapor Records
17. V/VM “ITxPIG2xC=[BOB]” from There Was a Fish… in… the Percolator (2008) on V/VM Test
18. SUJO “Dora” from Sujo (2008) on Inam Records
19. Hammock “We Will Say Goodbye to Everyone” from Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow (2008) on Darla
20. Phosphorescent “The Waves at Night” from Pride (2007) on Dead Oceans