Monday, April 22, 2013

Gotta Have That Funk

In 1994 I saw the movie Immortal Beloved, a biography of Ludwig Van Beethoven. It was, for me, one of those movies that sticks with you for reasons other than being a good movie. It was good-ish, but I think it was pretty melodramatic and not based on a lot of facts -- but hell, I'm not even going to pretend to be a movie buff. There are lots of great blogs that review movies! But this is not one of them.

The main reason it stuck with me is because of the following interchange of dialogue:

Ludwig van Beethoven: Music is... a dreadful thing. What is it? I don't understand it. What does it mean?
Anton Felix Schindler: It - it exalts the soul.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Utter nonsense. If you hear a marching band, is your soul exalted? No, you march. If you hear a waltz, you dance. If you hear a mass, you take communion.

area.personality:  And when you hear the P-funk, you shake your ass all over Candler Park like a lunatic until you throw your back out. Yeah, it's like that, y'all.

I had never seen George Clinton and Parliament live before, but thanks to my bandmate and die-hard Parliament fan John, we sloshed through the cold and soggy terrain to get to the Sweetwater 420 Festival in time to see the show. Here we are enjoying it.

Yeah, I looked like the world's most tired Mom, and John looked like a narc, but that didn't stop us from getting down.  He doesn't understand why I kept calling him a narc, but this might clear it up:

It was an amazing show, of course, and there are like 135 people in the band, which should be a goal of every band, frankly. They did all their classics, each with a 30 minute jam tacked onto the end, every minute of which was so funkalicious that I had basically no control over my own body. They did a cover of Crazy by Gnarls Barkley (a super guily pleasure of mine back in the day and totally ripe for the covering, IMHO) slowed down and funky and sung by a chick with amazing pipes. That was a high point for sure.  Oh also George Clinton was wearing a suit and I think he got all clipped up everywhere!  Crazy!

OK, so I have some questions.  It was a free concert maybe three miles from the center of downtown ATL.  Why was it all white people?

And MUCH more importantly, why do white people not dance at concerts?

Yeah, no, I know why they don't dance at Jack Johnson or Coldplay - because that shit is painful to listen to and, if I understand what Pretend Beethoven is saying, was written for dudes to be dumped in while they are wearing khaki cargo shorts.

But Parliament?  How can you not dance?  Johnny Foos and I broke it down real hard for the whole concert.  By the end we had apparently convinced our immediate circle to at least nod harder, but that was about it.  Sigh.

As a member of Gen X, I am well aware of the pain and supremacy of self-consciousness, but the secret behind dancing at concerts is that no one cares.  Aside from whoever you bring with you, it's completely anonymous.  Half the time I'm dancing, I'm thinking, goddam I am such a good dancerSelf trainedSuper flyOh yeah.  The other half of the time I am pretty sure I look like this:

So don't be scared!  Just dance.  Ain't nobody know you got to go home and take some motrin afterwards.  It's dark, no one is looking at you, and if they are, you don't know them anyway.  And since no one dances, they are probably thinking you're a great dancer!  Maybe.  Anyway, here's some Parliament for you.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spindrift and Gram Rabbit

[Here is our post-show discussion and evaluation of the Spindrift and Gram Rabbit show we saw at 529 on Saturday, March 23.  This time we owe our buzz and our full bellies to the Flatiron, which makes great buffalo chicken fingers.  Fuck bones.]

area.personality:  I like the sound system at 529, very thick sounds from both bands.

iwishuwould:  agreed- the sound is nice n thick in there- i think it sounded better that they had that other side closed off- like it made it stew around in there real good.

area.personality:  So Gram Rabbit - I don't really *like* their style of music but I think they do it well.  I'm not sure what that's called...  dark rock?  It's not metal at all, but it sounds kind of evil.  It makes me think of New Orleans for some reason.

iwishuwould:  man, again- agreed. i dont really like that kind of music, whatever it may be.

area.personality:  I'm usually very critical of female vocalists because all women hate each other, but I thought she had a neat sound.  She sounded like the spawn of Grace Slick and Siouxsie Sioux.

iwishuwould:  she did have a good voice, but again, not my cup of tea.

area.personality:  I'd just like to remind everyone on earth to use the organ sparingly.  A little organ goes a long way.

iwishuwould:  i thought they laid off the organ enough- they kinda just had it as a prop, but my recollection is kinda foggy cause i was really getting into the lager there for a minute....

area.personality:  Their look was bizarre - the bassist and drummer looked like college rock hipsters, the lead singer had on a studded top from Neiman Marcus, three different pairs of oversized shades, and hair from Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour, and then the guitarist was dressed like a mariachi?  I love costumes, and individually they looked okay, but as a group they looked like a hot mess.

iwishuwould:  i also thought they looked a hotmess collectively, but individually, it was fine.  Yeah their look was totally non-cohesive. in a way i liked it, but in another way it was like, how bands try to werk a look to make up for shitty music? i thought she looked lady-gaga-esque, but what do i know?  here goes their picture:

area.personality:  seeing this picture makes me understand the lead singer's look much better.  Whatever it is she does, she looks a lot better on stage and in pictures than in the crowd.
area.personality:  Oh Jesus I had forgotten about that freaky bunny mask thing that person in front of us was wearing until I posted this picture! 
iwishuwould:  per wikipedia "Their musical style has been described as an amalgamation of psych-rock and electropop. Their fanbase is sometimes referred to as a self-styled "cult" called The Royal Order of Rabbits.[1][2]"   EW. although i wasnt feeling it, they certainly did have a following, albeit tiny (as in, tiny=few and tiny=small sized- u remember those teeny lil black chicks that had on rabbit ears and were selling little drawings? so strange) they totally had good merch too- you got u some rabbit ears for the boys as i recall (but again, the lager...)  here's a shitty foto of the drawing i bought from the teeny black chick in bunny ears:

iwishuwould:  here goes spindrift

iwishuwould:  I don't know why I thought this would be worth going to- I think I just wanted to catch all the bands I could who were on the way to sxsw. and I really dig the desert. and psych rock. so ok it sounded intriguing.
area.personality:  Spindrift was really good!  Unfortunately, I think the kind of music they play (again, I'm lost for the sub-genre name) is a novelty.  As good as they were, I can't imagine playing their music at home more than once in a blue moon
iwishuwould:  i agree- their sound is totally a novelty- and nothing i would listen to, perhaps even ever again, but its not bad, just not my thing presently.
area.personality:  What do we call that music?  Old West Psych?  Anyway, I really enjoyed it.  They had some highly original sounds, plus covered (or near-covered) "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and "Rawhide", stuff like that.
iwishuwould:  Per the flyer:  "Spindrift is a cinematically-driven, psychedelic western/rock band"
sounds ok, right?
but if id bothered to read more than one sentence i would have found out that they are originally from NEWARK, DELAWARE, which kinda kills the whole western vibe. BUT i think they are going for this genre desert rock - i just learned about it in this documentary the other night- dude- you have GOT to watch this shit- there is this dude in there that is so fucking much like kebs- it just KILLS me, but i digress.
that flick is great, and the wellspring of my next post, stay tuned.
area.personality:  OH and lest we forget the double guitar!  Always, always makes me happy to see that.  The double guitarist was the only one who wasn't playing ball with the rest of the band's Old West meets rock band apathy look, but shit, with a double guitar I guess you don't need to.  Even in their promo picture above, the rest of the band looks like they came from a scary version of "Little House on the Prarie" and he looks like he's headed to a Metallica concert.


iwishuwould:  the double guitar was the ultimate highlight of the show, no doubt. who the fuck has that?

area.personality:  I was also very, very happy with their vocals throughout, that was the best part to me.  They sang very few words, mostly the vocalizations were an additional layer of instrumentation, with some percussive "HEY"s yelled out here and there and at the end.  Also liked how members of other bands joined up with them at the end.  i love togetherness, even (especially?) if it's a freaky mix.

iwishuwould:  i loved the minimal vocals, fuck words. i also really dug when they jammed together- i like togetherness, and freakiness, as well.  over all it was a nice show, they performed well together, and it was entertaining, but just not really into their sound. thanks for going with me dawg- lets keep it up!!!

area.personality:  Can't wait!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

atomic forest

So I got into this album recently- its been in my car for like a year or so and I never really gave it a proper listen. I tend to sleep on things real hard for whatever reason, then when I finally listen I'm all blown away and I feel like an idiot. Anyway I needed some palate cleansing after playing out whatever was on rotation before, and this has been amazing.

here is the link to the full album on youtube for your listening pleasure

So I think I originally got into this thanks to Dawg- thanks Dawg! She had told me about this Thai cover of Black Sabbath Iron Man that had been playing on the radio (she knows I'm totally into Sabbath and shit that's mysterious sounding, or like in another language) and so i was scoping the album out on amazon (its a compilation of thai psych rock shit, and its great- its on finders keepers- a record label devoted to reissues and issues of unreleased stuff-GREAT psych stuff from all over the world), and instead of actually buying that album at the moment I ended up buying this album which is a compilation of indonesian funk! on now-again records (which I think is like a spinoff of stones throw, of madlib and good-turn-of-the-millenium-hip-hop fame)

So just a side note about this album before I get back to the Atomic Forest: This shit rules. No- you don't understand- this shit RULES. I played this shit the FUCK out. So it came out on now-again records and this dude Egon I guess is like the sound selector- I used to listen to- and FUCKING LOVE-his mixes on the stones throw podcast back in the 00's- so its great that he has his whole own reissue shizz.

So back to the Atomic Forest