September 2004 Archives
Today i was driving into town with intentions of house hunting. Hadn't managed to get the iPod playing yet, so just had triple j on (something I usually avoid as I got over 90% of their music a long time back)
Heard a song, and knew instantly the artist was the inimitable Darren Hanlon, so rather than turning the radio off as I was about to, I turned it up.
I had noticed during a recent surfing session to the candlerecords home page that Darren had just put out his second album, and after hearing this song I knew three key things.
1. Darren hadn't lost an ounce of his skill
2. Someone from the post rock/punk world had produced the new album - Craig Schumacher (Calexico)
3. The album was being purchased at the first available opportunity
So here I am at 2AM enjoying the new album and identifying the track that triple j played as the aptly titled "The Unmade Bed" which is has some great layered noise/rock guitar littering the background of an excellent upbeat track. Giving a nice evolution to production but wisely not overshadowing the gloriously simple but effective framework that Darren seems to effortlessly produce.
After purchasing the album this arvo I mentioned to my friend Dave that this guy is the only chance the Australian pop industry has for a saviour any time soon. Happily for me, the mainstream pop scene here is simply so incestuous and ignorant to ever discover this incredibly talented songsmith.
I was chatting to a friend today about metal music and noticed I had a trend for being able to listen past poor production and enjoy albums which most cannot.
The album we were discussing was My Dying Bride's - The Angel and the Dark River, which many who I have played it too have complained about the lack of decent guitar sound. However other albums exhibit the same pattern (poor production/my favourite) like Metallica's ...And Justice For All
I think this ties back to my early musical education, and the fact I never paid much attention to production until I lived with a producer/engineer (Chris) who I can thank for his educational analysis of the production values on mainstream pap whilst watching video hits on a saturday morning.
Being able to listen past a reedy, thin guitar or flat drums has proved an asset though, as much undergound music has an anti-production asthetic - Bathory starting this trend that overtook much of the first few waves of Black Metal for example.
Thankfully, post the Britney Spears/Video Hits education, I can turn on and off my perception of production to a large degree allowing me to enjoy the best of both worlds.
One of the people I am staying with at the moment has the enviable job of programming rage, in particular scheduling the guest band "programmers".
Like all australians of under about 40 who have more than a passing interest in music, at some points Rage has played a pivotal role in my life.
For me, the key moment was 1991, I would have been 15 and was in the habit of recording rage and playing it back the next day to catch the 30 minutes or so of content that interested me.
One weekend, I did this and was captivated by a pair of video clips, one after the other, both way darker and heavier than I had ever experienced prior.
At this point I already knew I liked heavy metal, but didn't really know a thing about the more extreme scene.
So for me, when I heard the doom heavy tones of Cathedral's Ebony Tears [from Forest of Equilibrium] I was hooked. And I was similarly blown away by Morbid Angel's Blessed Are The Sick, [from album of same name] which was ground breaking death metal, replete with satanic themes and killer atonal guitar lines rounded off by the lovely flute outro (Leading of the Rats), strangely these two elements (atonality and flutes) formed a common theme between the two songs that probably ensured their placement together.
These two songs forever changed my music outlook, I would not be listening to stuff like blut aus nord or ephel duath now if it were not for them.
They were also both great videos, and if I ever got a chance to program rage, these would be the first two videos chosen and cornerstones of my overall selection.
am totally enjoying re-watching buffy season seven on dvd
It came out whilst I was away and I think works a lot better on dvd as the story arc is a lot more intrinsic to the whole season than any prior buffy
Back home safe and sound, well aside from that I don't really have a home as yet
today marks the last true day of my holiday, I leave san francisco in less than 12 hours and emerge at some ungodly hour in sydney.
Wandered a fair length of valencia street in the mission district yesterday, looked at a plethora of book shops, to find one that should have had what I wanted - it was in their computer database. But they had caught a thief in the store just the day before, and they suspected he had been stealing books for about a year, so when the book didn't appear to be on the shelves, they had to chalk yet another one up to this damn thief with impeccable taste.
Earlier in the day had ventured to Mission bay and combed through the brand new Borders bookshop there for more hard to find bread baking books.
Plus I got told off by Apple for stealing power that was supposed to go to one of their in store demo ipods, hey i'd been walking around all day and my pod was nearly flat. Why not make the battery last longer in the first place Apple?