o13–Time Wave Zero (Favorite new band, best record of 2013 so far)

o13–Time Wave Zero

Featuring Mark C from Live Skull, Stuart Argabright from Ike Yard, and Kent Heine from The Holy Ghost, o13 (formerly Outpost 13) has made the record of the year, actually of the past few years, with their new release Time Wave Zero.  It’s a sophisticated mix of new wave, no wave, krautrock, dub, electronic, and ambient music that sounds wholly original and inspired, invoking the present, past, and future (bridging the gaps from 1978 to 1985 to 2013 and beyond) in a totally unique way.

I’m tempted to say that only veteran experimental/underground musicians who never hit the big time and have been keeping the torch alive, making art and music in the background for the last few decades, could make a record that sounds as effortless and evocative as Time Wave Zero.   If pressed for comparisons I’d say this would fit in nicely with some Can, Philip Glass, Live Skull, Orb’s Orbus Terrarum, Suicide, Joy Division, Brian Eno, all in their prime!!!  It’s super-accomplished and stylized, the type of album that all fits together perfectly, evoking a number of moods and emotions that you just can’t get anywhere else.  It’s about time–an album this good and consistent hasn’t come out in many years, especially out of the indie/postpunk arena–maybe the last records this interesting were Battles’ Gloss Drop and Mirrored?

Spotify: o13 – Remote Purity Control

Desire Records: 013 (CD) (vinyl)

Newsflash: Desire Records is also re-releasing some Live Skull records on CD and vinyl, and they’re on Spotify too!  It’s about time, Live Skull is basically as good or usually better than Sonic Youth in their own inspired and unique way (only Sister and Daydream Nation are on par with the best Live Skull records) but many of their best records have never been released on CD until now (or soon, currently in preorder)!!!  A dedicated post on this monumental (I’m serious) news  soon!


Live Skull–Rare and Unreleased tracks

Live Skull–Broken Strings (unreleased live at Folk City NYC 1983)

I’ll be adding some Live Skull rare and unreleased tracks here…here’s the first, an unreleased track from 1983 at Folk City, live, I’ve entitled it “Broken Strings” based on some stage patter from Mark C (someone apparently broke three of the strings on his guitar while he was away from the stage!!! If you’re unfamiliar, Live Skull is only one of the best bands of the 80s, sort of the unknown twin to Sonic Youth and just as good, Bringing Home the Bait and Cloud One were just as good if not better at times (though less poppy so less “universally accessible”) than Sister and Daydream Nation. A little more harsh, etc.

Live Skull–Broken Strings (unreleased live at Folk City NYC 1983).mp3

Harry Merry

I love Harry Merry…

CSS-Cansei de Ser Sexy–Alala and Music is My…

Ah, they’re sort of like the Brazilian Talking Heads?  Pretty cool…even before their huge iPhone ad song-tie-in!

Ghostland Observatory, Austin City Limits, PBS, Charlie Hunter Trio

Ghostland Observatory – Sad Sad City

Just saw Ghostland Observatory on Austin City Limits…nice stuff! Rave on!

The singer has great moves, in this performance he rocks a great thrift store psychadelic shirt/robe, awesome pigtails, and great delivery, sort of like a punk rock electroclash Nick Cave or Elvis.  With great androgynous dance moves something like a mix between Axl Rose snake wiggle and what I imagine Nick Cave might have danced like while performing with the Birthday Party–perhaps mixed with a sprig of Britney Spears .  The main music producer wears an awesome cape, heralding the likes of Rick Wakeman or Brian Eno and the prog rock excesses of the 70s.

Musically, it’s a nice mixture of Daft Punk club electronics with Sonic Youth/Hot Snakes indie sensibilities occasional guitar playing.  An often engrossing racket from just two guys with a drum machine, keyboard rack, microphone, pigtails, and the occasional guitar.  That they’re from Austin seems to make perfect sense–I’ve always heard that Austin is a super creative town.  Slacker was born there, Andrew Bujalski of Funny Ha Ha and Mutual Appreciation lives there now perhaps drawn by the creative climit, Austin City Limits has engaging, interest music performances, South by Southwest draws interesting bands, etc.  It’s the of the overlooked Nice Strong Arm, which predated the likes of Polvo and Modest Mouse by about seven years with it’s Reality Bath record, which 95% of Polvo, Modest Mouse, and some Magic Hour sounds like.

By the way, PBS, public broadcasting, rules…this is what MTV kind of was supposed to be for? It’s funny when I can see better music videos on PBS. Now they’re playing some awesome jazz band from the Rochester International Jazz Festival…

Ah, it’s the Charlie Hunter Trio!

Charlie Hunter Trio – Green Chimneys

Captain Beefheart-Hot Head

Now this is awesome–I hope there are more Captain Beefheart videos with this picture and sound quality!

Warm Widow–Return of the 80s/90s Noise Rock

Now THIS is cool–the band Warm Widow from the UK. Sounds like vintage Drive Like Jehu, Live Skull, Sonic Youth, Gordons, Fall, Husker Du, Mission of Burma,  maybe some touches of Swervedriver occasionally, etc–indie/postpunk/noise rock. Very nice, chaotic sounds coming out of that guitar. Totally rockin’. Like 80s/90s noise rock never disappeared. I hope they can ever play in the US. Here’s their MySpace: Warm Widow.  Possibly the best music of this type I’ve heard since Drive Like Jehu, which is saying a lot.