Who woulda guessed that knife hits would eventually lead to dance hits? Puffy Areolas’ musical trajectory hasn’t moved in a calculable curve so much as it darts erratically from sub-basement loner punk to euphoric tape-deck manipulation and on to primal R&B. After the all-points Ohio band led by herb-scented Damon Sturdivant moved on from collectable tape and vinyl releases to the Siltbreeze-issued “1981,” it would have been easy to write the whole endeavor off, guessing that song after song would simply comprise a repetitive two-note screed. Read the rest of this entry »
Acid Mothers Temple is Japanese guitarist Kawabata Makoto and whoever he decides comprises his ensemble. The band’s members have come and gone, with Kawabata being the focal point for the better part of the last fifteen years. During that time, the guitarist has explored and expanded upon music ranging from Pink Floyd’s odder moments to Bay Area minimalism and psych-improvisations unhindered by melody and structure. All of that could reduce Acid Mothers to a simple, hippie free-for-all. Read the rest of this entry »
If Woodsman was from Chicago, it’d be Mako Sica. But something happened to the Denver band since Mexican Summer released its 2009 “Collages.” Brittle bits of easygoing bohemian psych still surface, but it’s all contextualized differently. Maybe it has something to do with the ensemble splitting time between its hometown and Brooklyn. Or maybe it’s just that the band’s matured and waltzed into another portion of its career. The 2009 disc offered listeners a handful of low-key moments—all that whirring on the album’s closing “Mothershift.” Clever names aside, during the track’s almost twenty-minute run-time, Woodsman nonchalantly stroll through the track’s slower moments and sprint toward its conclusion. The song’s a rare instance of the band developing more than a single idea within a composition. Not much changed for the following year’s “Mystery Tape.” Another extended song (“Smells Like Purple”) closes out the disc, but the penultimate track begins to reveal the band’s newer nervy direction. Read the rest of this entry »
Don’t expect this electronic jam band to just come in and do its thing when it appears onstage. In addition to the elaborate lighting it ordinarily uses, Lotus (Mike Greenfield, drums; Jesse Miller, bass and sampler; Luke Miller, guitar, keys; Mike Rempel, guitar; Chuck Morris, percussion) often thinks expansively when choosing how and what to play. Read the rest of this entry »
In three years Disappears has gone from a random assemblage of dudes who once performed with other bands to a group dispensing its own particular mélange of psych and pop run through garage’s sonic lens. Issuing two singles and a pair of full-lengths, the quartet hasn’t been developing at a rapid pace, but it still turns in concise rock songs, sporadically opting for fifteen-minute explorations of just a few notes. Adding in Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley behind the drum kit hasn’t hurt the band. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s no way to extricate Mickey Hart from the Grateful Dead’s legacy. He was one of a pair of drummers—the other half was Bill Kreutzmann—making instrumental excess so easy for the ensemble. With Jerry Garcia’s penchant for Americana made evident through countless recordings on albums with folks like mandolin player David Grisman, Hart’s interests outside the Dead focused on roots music of another kind. Exploring a history of percussion reaching back much further than recorded sound, Hart set about not just incorporating those styles into his own work as portions of the 1972 “Rolling Thunder” express, but by performing compositions worked up in association with performers like Zakir Hussain. Read the rest of this entry »
Leaving copies of “Shrinking Moon for You” in San Francisco thrift stores seems like an odd way to garner attention for a newly minted band. Wooden Shjips’ first slab of vinyl ostensibly laid the groundwork for what was to follow during the next five years. But the act, conceived of independent from economic interests, served to tie the Shjips into a Bay Area psych history the band doesn’t lean on as heavily as the press has made out. Read the rest of this entry »
The term motorik gets tossed around with relative abandon in reference to the handful of ensembles that use German psychedelia dating from the mid-sixties through the latter portion of the seventies as a template. For some, the idea’s a succinct way to describe a precise, up-and-down style of drumming used in acts like Can and on the rock-related releases from Kraftwerk. Ralf and Florian aside, Chicago’s Cave can’t escape descriptions of its subtly nuanced percussion style. Issuing “Neverendless,” the title itself a wink and nod to the endless derivations possible on a single theme, isn’t set to distance the Missouri-cum-Chicago group from any expectations. These five songs, the shortest being just this side of four minutes, continue the band’s commitment to spinning out an idea for as long as possible amidst some group improv bolstered by Rex’s drum kit. Read the rest of this entry »
Some of the best and some of the worst music sounds like it was made by artists on a boatload of drugs. Cameron Stallones’ “Sun Araw,” a solo recording endeavor and live road-act, deals in both. Stallones started dishing out albums under the auspices of Sun Araw in 2008. Working on as many Not Not Fun Records-associated acts as humanly possible (Magic Lantern and its high-viscosity recording endeavors deserving of particular distinction), a torrent of releases followed, too many to keep track of unless one falls under the heading of collector-scum.
Read the rest of this entry »
Though this Aussie band has struggled to find mainstream success in the United States (their second release stateside was rejected by their then-label back in the day), they eventually found the respect they deserved here in the past decade, as they evolved from a new wave sound to more progressive-rock-leaning tendencies.
Recently inducted into Australia’s Aria Hall of Fame, the current lineup (Steve Kilbey, Marty Willson-Piper, Tim Powles and Peter Koppes) will be performing three albums in their entirety, starting off with “Untitled #23″ and then looking back into the nineties with two of their most successful albums in the US, “Priest=Aura” and “Starfish.”
The current tour also marks the re-release of the group’s early albums on the indie label Second Motion Records, which will come fully remastered with bonus tracks and additional sleeve notes and photos for the pleasure of their diehard fans. (Ernest Barteldes)
February 11 at Park West, 322 West Armitage, (773)929-5959, 8pm. $32.