Tuesday, May 31, 2016


We never need much of an excuse to listen to (or post) any cuts from Quilt's fine LP Plaza, and we would probably have posted this video of the song Padova anyway, but the truth of the matter is we actually do like this video and can only envy those for whom this vid in an introduction to the band.  For us, it was Arctic Shark, which isn't a bad way to start with Quilt either.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Heron Oblivion

Psych-rock supergroup Heron Oblivion's self-titled debut album made my Best Albums of 2016 (So Far) list immediately upon its release, where it resided for several weeks before getting bumped by our enthusiasm for the newest latest release, but don't be surprised if it doesn't make a return again after repeated listenings and midyear and year-end reevaluations.

Heron Oblivion are currently on tour, but in a familiar refrain, their travel plans bring them nowhere even close to the American South.  However, the good folks over at NYC Taper have recorded and posted Heron Oblivion's May 28 set at Brooklyn's Union Pool, which you can stream above or download at nyctaper.com.

Heron Oblivion are Meg Baird (Espers, The Baird Sisters) on drums and vocals, Ethan Miller (Comets on Fire, Howlin Rain, Feral Ohms) on bass and backing vocals, Noel Von Harmonson (Comets on Fire) on guitar, and Charlie Saufley (Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound) also on guitar.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Set Fire To Flames

For a Godspeed You! Black Emperor fan, finding out there's a second spin-off band in addition to Silver Mt. Zion is a little like a child finding out there's not one or two, but actually three Santa Clauses, or like realizing that you've bought three separate winning tickets to the Powerball lottery.

Set Fire to Flames is a Canadian post-rock collective started by Godspeed's David Bryant that also features Godspeed regulars Mike Moya and Sophie Trudeau, among others, although no Efrim Menuck, the principal behind the Silver Mt. Zion spin-off.  

SFTF apparently released two albums. Both albums were reportedly recorded "in states of little or no sleep, in varying levels of intoxication, and in physical confinement," resulting in some of the most eerie and brooding music to come from these musicians.  Many of their tracks are very minimalist in nature and are filled with ambient noise and various other non-musical sound effects juxtaposed or combined with instrumental music.

Sings Reign Rebuilder (2001) came out in between Godspeed's Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven (2000) and Yanqui U.X.O.(2002).  The material for the album was created over five days in a dilapidated old apartment in Montreal and is a mixture of improvisation, composition, and environment noises.

The two-disc Telegraphs in Negative/Mouths Trapped in Static (2004) was released while Godspeeed was on hiatus, but in between Silver Mt. Zion's 'This Is Our Punk-Rock,' Thee Rusted Satellites Gather + Sing (2003) and Horses in the Sky (2005).  This album, recorded in a barn in rural Ontario, contains, among other things, the sounds of creaking doors and other background noise in the songs.

A third album was reportedly recorded in collaboration with the band Jackie-O Motherfucker but never released.

Fans of the long and enigmatic titles of Godspeed and Silver Mt. Zion songs will not be disappointed by Set Fire to Flames, who have songs with names like Steal Compass/Drive North/Disappear, and Something About Eva Mattes in the Halo of Exploding Street Lamps..., and Fukt Perkusiv/Something About Bad Drugs, Schizophrenics and Grain Silos..., and Wild Dogs of the Thunderbolt/'They Cannot Lock Me Up... I Am Eternally Free...' (From Lips of Lying Dying Wonder Body #2).  For those of you keeping score at home, the latter is from Sings Reign Rebuilder, which does include Lips of Lying Dying Wonder Body parts #1 and #3.

It's going to take me a while to assimilate these new (to me) recordings and understand the music in context of the other LPs, but I can already tell I'm going to thoroughly enjoy the process.

Friday, May 27, 2016

New Swans Song

Swans at Terminal West, March 28, 2015 
Swans return to Terminal West on July 22, 2016.  

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Unknown Mortal Orchestra at Terminal West, Rocktober 2013
One band we regretfully missed at Shaky Knees this year was Portland's Unknown Mortal Orchestra, because the festival organizers put them on at the same time as Parquet Courts.  And it's not that Parquet Courts are necessarily better or worse than UMO, it's just that the unique opportunity to see them and Ought on the same day is probably, but just barely, better than seeing UMO.

In any event, Unknown Mortal Orchestra have just released a new song, First World Problem.  Ruban Nielson said, “I think First World Problem is about modern love in a crumbling empire. The feeling that you’re trying to build your life and get what you need while a decadent world falls apart around you.”


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Promise Keeper

Two veterans of the Atlanta music scene, Allen Taylor (Feast of Violet, Mirror Mode,  Lotus Plaza) and William Fussell (Mood Rings), perform together as Promise Keeper.  We saw them perform at L5 Fest in 2013, and they've just come back from a European tour and are playing the Berlin club in New York City tomorrow night.

Here's hoping for big things from these two artists.