Beer and Pavement

The Neglected Music Blog

Posted in Records by SM on March 17, 2011

On Monday…well…I posted nothing. But on Wednesday, I posted something about beer. Today, I’ll tell you about some music. Again, there’s no time for footnotes. You’ll have to make due with my lack of detail or explanation.

1993 called and they want their buzz band back. That’s all I can think when I listen to Yuck. These kids can play a 90’s indie rock tune like few others. Distortion, self-doubt, feedback, mumbling, quiet-loud-quiet dynamics…It’s all there and it’s quite good. Their label, Fat Possum, typically specializes in retro bands and I suppose 15-20 years ago counts as retro. They sound like Dinosaur Jr, Versus, and Velocity Girl, so, it works.

The following video roped me into the band. Sure, it’s the most erotic dog grooming video you’ll ever see, but the song, “Rubber,” is mesmerizing and induces head bobbing upon the first listen. Beware, it’s NSFW, but it’s worth watching for the editing and cinematography that somehow matches the track perfectly while mashing together images of a dog getting scrubbed down with video of said groomer bathing. Trust me. It works.

Mogwai is another throwback doing a throwback thing in their latest, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. The band came up in the mid-90’s, bridging the gap between 80’s hardcore and the shoegazers of the early nineties. With this record, the Scots make that bridge rather obvious, destroying your eardrums and breaking your heart along the way. This is a headphone album of the highest order as layer upon layer crushes you again and again. Friends had been telling me for months to be on the lookout for this record and they weren’t kidding.

Interestingly, the Mogwai video for “Rano Pano” is more narrative than character study unlike the one above, but the aesthetic of the track is strikingly similar. I hadn’t noticed it before, but listening to these tracks back-to-back reveal the overlap. You can hear for yourself. This one is SFW.

And for something completely different…The typically difficult Danielson comes through with maybe his most approachable album yet. It’s almost classic rock-esque it’s so conventional. However, don’t read that assessment as though Best of Gloucester County is boring. It’s anything but and it might not only be Dan’s most approachable album, it could also be his best. Of course, I say this with only one listen, but I think it will stick.

The only video for the Danielson album wasn’t embedable. You’ll have to visit P4kTV to get that kind of action.

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6 Responses

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  1. Pizza Cottontail said, on March 18, 2011 at 2:00 am

    I’m digging the Danielson.

    Didn’t Fat Possum used to be a blues label? They’ve gotten some decent acts recently. I think they just signed Spiritualized.

    • builderofcoalitions said, on March 18, 2011 at 9:57 am

      I think they were, but at some point, they signed The Black Keys. That sort of opened them up to indie bands. They have Tennis, The Walkmen, Yuck, Band of Horses, The Black Keys…a virtual who’s who in indie circles. They must have a good model that’s inviting to artists, much like Merge.

      • Carrie the Destroyer said, on March 20, 2011 at 7:35 pm

        Fat Possum did start out as a a few post-collegiate white guys wanting to preserve (/profit) off the legacy of dying (specifically Country Hill) delta blues musicians and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

        If you ever want to know more, you should watch “You See Me Laughin'” which is, quite possibly, one of the best documentaries out there (my favorite music doc, which is saying a lot).

      • builderofcoalitions said, on March 20, 2011 at 7:51 pm

        That’s some good info, Carrie. Thanks for the doc rec.

  2. Steve said, on March 18, 2011 at 4:45 am

    I really like the new Mogwai. I think their last couple of records have lacked something, but this is approaching the proverbial “return to form”. It is good to have an instrumental band not aim for the whole “cinematic” sound, for a change. They also have the best song titles in all music.

    Did you get the bonus disc? That is really good too.

    • builderofcoalitions said, on March 18, 2011 at 9:55 am

      I don’t know about the bonus. I bought the vinyl. Typically, that comes with all the “bonus” material as two records contains more music than a CD. Plus, there’s something wrong with the zip file Sub Pop sent with the album. I can’t get it to open, but I suspect if there are extra tracks that they’re located in that file.

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