Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Music From My 18th Summer / Just Chillin' With Lewis Largent (1993)

Happenings of 1993:

Czechoslovakia ceases to exist when it splits into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Bill Clinton is sworn is as the 42nd President of the United States.

Six people are killed at the World Trade Center in New York City when a bomb in a van explodes in a parking garage.

The Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas is raided by agents of the Bureaus of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The raid was intended to arrest Branch Davidian leader David Koresh on firearm charges. In the botched raid 5 Davidians and 4 BATF agents die. It leads to a 51 day standoff.

President Clinton announces his "Don't ask, don't tell" policy about gays in the military.

Lorena Bobbitt cuts off the penis of her husband John Bobbitt in Manassas, Virginia.

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin shakes hands with PLO leader Yasser Arafat in Washington, DC after signing a peace agreement.

I can't believe that was twenty years ago. A lot of pretty significant world events occurred. What did I care? It was the summer of my 18th year. I was finally hanging out with girls and I was completely obsessed with music. I spent Sunday nights hanging out watching MTV's '120 Minutes' as Lewis Largent rambled on, feeding my brain with all the useless information I am now known for caring too much about.

So without further ado, here is my soundtrack to that summer. First is a list of the songs (in no particular order), then a youtube playlist of all of them. Clean your house to this mix. I'm sure there will be a moment in which you'll stop, suddenly overwhelmed by a particular memory. Enjoy:

Bjork - Human Behavior
Tool - Prison Sex
Nirvana - Heart-shaped Box
The Posies - Dream All Day
Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen
Mazzy Star - Fade Into You
Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
Slowdive - When the Sun Hits
James - Laid
Morphine - Cure for Pain
Type O Negative - Summer Breeze
Cracker - Low
Digable Planets - Rebirth of Slick
Janet Jackson - That's the Way Love Goes
Wu Tang Clan - Method Man
Ice Cube - It Was a Good Day
Radiohead - Stop Whispering
Frank Black - Los Angeles
Catherine Wheel - Crank
Seefeel - Moodswing

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Franco Falsini - Naso Fredo (1975, reissued by Spectrum Spools, 2012)

Franco Falsini first gained notoriety with his progressive rock / experimental outfit 'Sensations Fix' in the early 70's. They signed to Polydor in '74 with whom they released several albums. Falsini's work was out of print for many years until John Elliot reissued the album 'Naso Fredo' (Cold Nose). Of all this material, Falsini shines the most on his solo debut, the soundtrack to a scarcely seen film that warned of the dangers in cocaine abuse.

This is blissful and lovely music with minimal conflict or tension. If anything, it seems to me the coke warning might have the adverse effect, because if this is what coke sounds like, most people unfamiliar with the drug might be inspired to investigate it!

An album in three movements, the basic setup is simple: Frippish experimental guitars, undulating bass, and various subtly used synths, such as ems and minimoog. He presents a meditative narrative, a journey through astral layers of the 70's 'out there' aesthetic. Fans of acts like Ash Ra Tempel, Brainticket or Cosmic Jokers will dig its trippy and peaceful, yet flawlessly executed delivery.

Falsini has effected many genres of music around the world for nearly 40 years. The first time I heard of him was when investigating DJ Shadow's samples on his 'Private Press' record back in '02. Now this album has been reissued by John Elliot and Peter Rehberg at Spectrum Spools. Chill out with this one. Put your head between two speakers and mellow.

Read full review of Cold Nose - Franco Falsini on ©

Monday, June 3, 2013

Barn Owl - V (Thrill Jockey, 2013)

For the last several years, Jon Porras and Evan Caminiti have been very busy fellows. With four Barn Owl records between them, as well as a few respective solo records, its a wonder they've kept up the pace as they have. The two guitarists create sprawling landscapes of desert drone, with the last collective effort feeling as though they were possessed by the spirits of Morricone and Earth but through the hands of Eno.

With their fifth collaborative album, V, they've moved in a new direction. The guitars are still there but the duo finds itself exploring keyboards and synth tones. The mood is more melancholy and pensive than before. Its still desert wasteland but this trip is at night and the aesthetic calls to mind more of Steve Roach or Lustmord than it does Italo western scores. V also feels more experimental and less controlled with a bit of improvisation. Regardless of the shift, they're still able to create the reflective intimacy we've come to recognize them for. I'm looking forward to where this new direction takes them.

Read full review of V - BARN OWL on ©