* Hello there! You've stumbled onto the archived bloggage of TRMW aka The Real Matt Wright (wait... who?). This site contains posts from my stints blogging at Metempsychosis and Urban Honking, before I moved TRMW over to it's current home. Enjoy!
So yeah, maybe if I just get on with it and write this blog like I write the million emails I send a day maybe I’ll actually post something here, right?
Right now I’m listening to a mix off this rad UK music blog called Skull Juice. Lots of the banging French electro that’s ruling shit right now, some noisey guitar music, and this crazy disco-house “Iron Man” remix (WTF?).
They also get major kudos for giving me this amazing SebastiAn remix that I lost and desperately wanted to hear today:
Seriously, that sound should be played at football games because it can only get you PUMPED. OK, there’s diva vocals in there, so maybe the real men wouldn’t be cool with it, but damn, us senstive males can have our fun, right?
And speaking of sensitive males, if any of you are living in LA you really should go to this on Friday.
I know, pretty lame for my first post in forever to be a “hey, go see this” type deal, but seriously, Dru Donovan, my friend, is talented as hell. I didn’t realize just how hell-talented she was till I saw this website. Seeing her photos side by side like that, I realized this woman has a very clearly defined vision, and the technical expertise to realize it. Her photos are beautiful to look at, and moving. Each color and expression seems to communicate a kind of transcendent ambiguity, like in-between emotions trapped in glass. They are really, really good.
I’m bringing this up because Dru’s going to be displaying her photography at Holocene throught out July. The show opens tomorrow, and there will be a reception, free, between 7pm and 9pm, Friday, June 30th. AND YOU SHOULD COME.
I should do a real post up in here soon, but in the meantime you’d do well to grab some of the shit-hot techno/hyphy/post-punk/etc mixes over at the just launched leechaggregates.com. These come courtesy of ex-PDX electronic head Brian J. Foote, who also happens to be responsible for the meta-jacking remix of Copy‘s forthcoming “Assassinator” currently streaming here. We’ll be putting that one out on Holocene Music 12″ sometime soon.
Matt Ness at Moebius Rexx is one of the raddest MP3 bloggers rolling right now (and I’m not just saying that cause he propped the Holocene Music comp). Right now he’s got a great post on the Bay Area “hyphy” rap scene that I thoroughly suggest checking out. I remember my downest Oakland-native buddy, Sonia Abrams, talking about this stuff months ago – and woah, now it’s popping up in the frikkin’ New York Times. Hyphy or not (and apparently it is), I’ve been feeling this track since I grabbed it off Get Stoopid (R.I.P.) a while back. Love the bubbling bongo bass and that beat is siiiick. Only just now realizing it’s part of a movement -
The first time I saw Chevron I was sitting on top of a wall/partition thing, looking down on them from behind, shooting shit with the drummer while they set up their gear and I sucked on a tallboy. I left that show thinking they sounded a whole lot like Hella, but hey, sounding like Hella is hard to do, and they seemed to have their hearts in right place.
A couple years later (jesus time flies), and that earlier take has been complicated in nice ways. Band member Jevon’s recent podcast – a rad mix of Warp-ed electronics (Aphex Twin, Autechre), out-rock (Ghost to Falco, 90 Day Men, Animal Collective), and, yeah, a little math rock (Don Caballero) – is only the latest clue in my gradual realization that there’s more going on with this band than originally met my eye. The picture that’s emerging shows a band with diverse influences and epic technical proficiency, searching out new sounds with an eye towards the trenscendent. I’m not really sure what these guys will grow into at this point, and that’s really some of the highest praise I can give.
On that note, some MP3s. I asked Jevon if they had any unreleased stuff I might be able to post up here, and he graciously sent over the tracks below. These don’t sound anything like the other stuff I’ve heard from these guys. What do they sound like? How about post-electronic trance drone music? Lightning Bolt jamming with Four Tet? I don’t know – and not knowing is half the battle.
So yeah, I went to SXSW this year, my third year, and it was kind of a mixed experience. I enjoyed hanging out with friends I hadn’t seen in a while and met some rad new ones, but the whole thing left me feeling a little bit dirty. There is a part of the music industry that I love — the part about creative, passionate people working to further musical expression — but there’s also a part I don’t. That part has something to do with shady industry people and VIP parties in places like this, both of which soured my experience a little this year. Still, the good people outnumbered the bad, and so did the good music. Here’s what I saw:
Panther is Charlie from The Planet The doing broken electro trauma music. I’ve seen him a bunch of times in Portland, and was stoked to see how the whole thing would go over in non-Cascadian territory. I only caught the last song, which fortunately ended up being the one where he mimes being shocked by his backing synths. Standing there watching a small, pre-breakfast crowd of Panther-virgins watching a grown man writhing and whimpering on the floor, only to pop back up and start scat-rapping gibberish whilst dancing like a candy raver on crack (which may or may not be redundant) — that was the right way to start SXSW ’06.
Spider and the Webs
At this point I was eating free BBQ for breakfast (meat AND beans!) whilst chilling on a rooftop bar in the sunshine with friends. You could see the stage from the table too (FYI this is maybe the best way to see music ever) and on that stage performed Spider and the Webs. I was pretty into it – some sounded to straightforward for my ears, but others got into a nice groove, with shouty vocals and spazzy guitar. Someone told me later that Tobi Vail from Bikini Kill is in this band.
Mellow folky stuff. Sounded nice but I was distracted. I guess this guy is also the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s new touring guitarist, which is kind of surprising given the vast stylistic chasm between that music and his.
Tapes ‘n’ Tapes
These guys and Birdmonster where the big hype/buzz bands going into the festival. (And yeah, at this point pretty much whichever band Pitchfork gives Best New Music to closest to the festival will be one of those bands – see also: Love is All). Kind of old-school indie rock in the Modest Mouse vein, lots of cool guitar parts and gruff man vocals. I’ve been kind of “eh” on the recorded stuff, but live they had a lot of energy and the songs were way tight. Should be interesting to see what they do from here.
All I really remember about these guys is that they were crazy tight for such a young band, and the music kind of reminded me of At The Drive In (one of them was wearing an ATDI t-shirt no less). So that makes two for two SXSW buzz bands doing the return to straight-up indie rock thing. Interesting, given that the past couple years were all about Franz Ferdinand, MIA, LCD Soundsystem, Dizzee Rascal. If Ghostface hadn’t been such a huge presence I’d say we were in the midst of a slight electro/dancerock backlash. ???
Kind of Beta Band meets The Books. Some cool ideas here, but some of the melodies felt really simple when they were supposed to feel epic.
New band from a couple ex-Liars people. Sounds something like (surprise!) old Liars meets A-Frames, which sounds a lot more exciting than it reads. The rhythm section was fucking awesome, to the point that I found myself trying to pin down just why that cowbell sounded simultaneously completely unlike any other cowbell part ever and really really funky.
Another ex-members project, this time with guys from the Unicorns. Sounds like the poppest parts of that band (which were also my favorite parts) mixed with all kind of crazy world music influences, string sections, and cameos from Busdriver and Cadence Weapon. I ended up liking this a lot – just some way awesome riffs and choruses and lots of interesting freaky stuff to pad it out. And that’s pretty much my musical crack.
My dudes! I manage this band, and spent a ton of energy setting up this show and trying to hook up some more gigs to round out their Austin experience. The other gigs didn’t come through (lesson: SXSW is really geared towards helping labels promote artists, so it’s tough if you’re not on a label), but this one did. When I say this one, I mean the opening slot at the coveted FADER magazine day party, which always has lines down the block and big name bands. Unfortunately the doors opened right as Blitzen went on, so the crowd was mostly industry people looking to check them out. This is good thing of course, but a little nerve-wracking for the band themselves. And then Eric’s freaking guitar broke! He’s had the thing for years and it decides to take a crap the one time he’s travelled 50+ hours to play one show. Geez. Anyway, they managed way better than I ever could, and people left smiling.
Surprise favorite! I went to see Spankrock, and these guys were on when I got there. Totally futuristic beats and crazy energetic MCs. Did I mention they were rapping in French? They were, but STOKED defies language.
The picture kind of says it, really. Party vibes!
My favorite show of the weekend. I’ve been meaning to check these guys out for a long time, and they did not disappoint. For the last song they bought up this superfun in the audience, who proceeded to shout “MY DREAM COME TRUE! MY DREAM COME TRUE!” thoughout the jammy breakdown. Jaded veneers cracked, people laughed and smiled, and I remembered I was AT A SHOW. A really good one, too.
The guy with the afro in TV On The Radio. I like the band, but this was kind of boring, singer-songwritery for me. Maybe it was all the free Red Stripes and jabbering in the FADER tent (see below).
I was sitting on a car seat drinking beer and talking through this. The above shot was my view from the chair. DISTRACTED. Which is a shame because I like what I’ve heard from this guy.
Love is All
Again distracted, but not enough to realize, hey, I like this band. They’ve got the Slits vibe (I like the Slits) and the melodies are catchy as hell (I like the catchy melodies). Bought the CD when I got back – the first two tracks are awesome, the verdict’s out on the rest.
I have no memory of this, but I was facing the stage the whole time, and the person I was standing with for part of the time later said it was amazing. I suck!
Woah. Homeslice Brian Foote just tipped me off to this band called Deerhunter that I know nothing about. I’m listening to the first song on their myspace page right now and it’s making me excited and a little tingly. Scuzzy sloppy rock with cosmic underpinnings, similar to the amazing Swell Maps in that way. Speaking of whom, if you only buy one half of an album in your life make it the first half of Trip to Marineville. Holy sweet crap that is sublime music. And speaking of the holy and sublime, if you only see one band in your life make it the Animal Collective. I saw them last weekend and experienced one the most intense emotional reactions I’ve ever received from music. It deserves it’s own post.
OK, so it’s not super obvious at this point given my recent super weak updating frequency, but trust me, I have big plans for TRMW in 06. One of these plans involves regular posting of unreleased stuff by bands I like. And when I say bands I like, you know I mean Nice Nice, because you know Nice Nice is pretty much the musical magna carta thrown down ‘pon the earth like molten hot fire. I’ve recenty taken to describing these guys (one Jason Buehler and one Mark Shirazi, both old buddies currently residing in Portland) as the best no-wave fusion jam band on the planet, which is sloppy at best but kind of gets at it. To be clearer: Nice Nice is Jason playing guitar and shouting through a megaphone whilst simultaneously twiddling a vast selection of effects boxes and synth pedals, whilst Mark beats the skins (old-school and electronic) with primal abandon / lazer precision. The result is a driving, pulsing future-music that comes off like “Remain in the Light” era Talking Heads jamming with “On the Corner” Miles Davis and, uh, Can.
Except on this track. Getting back to where I started, I originally received this track in it’s rougher form, and was planning on posting it as the first in my series of unreleased TRMW jams for 06. But the days led to more days and here I am posting the final version of the track, the album already having been released. Which means nothing except a small reduction in blog cred (aka NOTHING) and an even tighter version of the song. Taken from the Fall installment of Nice Nice’s excellent series of seasonal EPs (four in total, released on Temporary Residence throughout 05), “Down, Down, Down Part 1″ is the kind of warm, chiming acoustic lullaby I wouldn’t expect from this band in a million years, and enjoy all the more for it. My friend says it sounds like “Christmas in India” and that seems about right. The slide guitar has that sitar-y vibe going, and there’s a glowing, winter wonderland feeling throughout. The rest of the EP is similar in acoustic warmth and loveliness, and stands in stark relief against (a) the other three’s foreboding pysch drones, and (b) pretty much all recorded Nice Nice music ever. It’s a talented band that can drop something this amazing in a style completely different from (what I thought was) their own without making it seem like a genre exercise, all while communicating something emotional and deep. So yeah, reason number 500 why Nice Nice rules the universe.
I should probably also mention that these four EPs will soon be bundled together in some sort of box set, so keep an eye out for that. Nice Nice is also currently recording their next album. Jason tells me they just finished this track called “Freak Flag” that is “really catchy” and “just might be the title track.” They’re also about to begin a biweekly residency at the Towne Lounge, where I’m told they’ll be debuting some new material on March 23rd. Needless to say, you should go.