Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Music Acquisition

Lately I've been rocking out to every Billy Talent song I hear on the radio so I figured it was about time I bought one of their albums. There haven't really been any "mainstream" radio bands recently that I've been compelled listen to outside of a casual background environment, but shit, this is good. Catchy as fuck and great for driving and singing along badly to. Also grabbed the latest Holy Fuck CD, which happily is more of the same crazy low-fi casio jam rock that I do so enjoy. Normally if I know a band is coming through town I'll wait to buy their album at the show, I figure it helps them out more that way, adds a little cash for gas money and travel expenses (beer.) However they've played here twice since I saw first saw them them a year or so back, and I missed both shows. By the time they roll around again they'll probably have something new out

The real prize of my latest Record Theatre trip was the gorgeous Boris with Merzbow vinyl. It has a beautiful die-cut cover, huge, amazing photos of the band in the gatefold, and best of all, all three records were pressed on this absolutely ridiculous orange vinyl. It's also a solid album, though I haven't gotten all the way through it...been repeating the B side of the first record. It's interesting, because it's not a noise album. It's essentially a Boris album, with them performing their usual style of doom rock, and Merzbow is sitting in with the band, adding a layer of noise as texture. It works really, REALLY well, and I'd actually recommend this to people who aren't into noise but would like to hear some of what Merzbow's "sound" is. (Another phenomenal album like this is Alec Empire vs Merzbow, recorded live at CBGB's. Noisy as fuck and definitely harder than this album, but really accessible at the same time.) Boris will be here in about month and I'm definitely planning on being there.

On Sunday I saw Silver Apples at Mohawk, which was really an honor. I don't know much about them, but they were pioneers back in the early 70's, making ambient electronic music decades before its time. I keep saying "they" but for the show I saw it was just the frontman, Simeon, who stood on stage and manipulated a bunch of audio oscillators while singing. (On the original recordings there was a drummer, but it seems that he's been replaced by a drum machine.) They weren't really appreciated back in the day, so standing in a small venue with just 30 other people while he played probably felt very similar to what the shows were like over thirty years ago. For just a moment I felt like I'd traveled through time...

Sleeping Kings of Iona opened with their newest line up, and I swear I went to high school with the drummer...but maybe not...didn't get a chance to ask. Anyway, they were the best I've ever seen them. One of the founding members left, along with a few others, but the sound they've got now is much tighter. I've never been a really huge fan, but they won me over that night. Plus, how can you not love a band that describes themselves like this: "Sleeping Kings of Iona is an electronic band from Buffalo, NY. We like the sound of things clattering. We like what bumps and what beep beeps."