Monday, January 5, 2009

The Year. 10-7.

10. Xiu Xiu - Women As Lovers
Kill Rock StarsWhen Women As Lovers was released, it was billed as the most accessible Xiu Xiu album yet. There are several reasons to support this assertion: one might be that every song is melodically-based, a departure from the frictive noise pieces that have appeared and sometimes defined the band's albums to date. You could also point to overtly accessible songs: the cover of Under Pressure, with vocal duties split between the worldly Michael Gira, the enchantingly innocent-sounding Caralee McElroy and the manic homosexual street preacher style of Jamie Stewart himself. No Friend Oh! with its pop chorus and non-difficult melodies is another example. However. However, however, however.

Who could be taken in by this idle talk? Women As Lovers might seem consumable, but it's not, and it's probably not meant to be. It is, as with everything from Jamie Stewart, concerned with the unbearable heaviness of existence. Torture in Guantanamo. His dead father's sex life. Intolerance. Percoset. Self-consciousness. Loneliness. In a voice that could be used to terrorise children into bed for fear of being cut into pieces and taken away in a black bag. This is heavily depressing stuff to listen to, and no doubt it's heavily depressing stuff to make.

But that's why Xiu Xiu exist. Seekers of happiness stroll no further. Women As Lovers is everything bad, set in high contrast on a stage with nightmarish gargoyles carved where the gold leaf and pegasi should bed. When it leaves itself room to seethe, like on Master Of The Bump (Kurt Stambaugh I Can Feel The Soil Falling Over My Head), it evokes empathy. When it builds itself up in balls of tension, it calls forth a more inexplicable sense of sadness. But the emotion never ceases, like a bumpy rollercoaster that only goes down. Music as nightmare.


9. El Guincho - Alegranza
Young TurksIt's a rare treat to be able to use words like "spectacular" or "extravaganza" about an album that is even remotely listenable. Imagine the joy, then, of finding Barcelona resident El Guincho's Alegranza. Straddling the hitherto underrated no-man's-land between latter-day Animal Collective and tropicalia compilations, Alegranza is essentially a beach party in a can, the soundtrack to an imaginary ur-summer. The result of applying lo-fi looping techniques to the cheesiest of musical sources is an unrelenting, swirling, euphoric experience. It is not mere reckelss abandon, however, with the same notes of childish wonder (and a couple of melodies) from Panda Bear's Person Pitch making appearances. The highlight, Kalise, is repetitive almost to the point of infuriation for three and a half minutes, until it recedes without warning into a chorus that approaches anaesthesis in its fulfilled joyousness. Just like the inevitable but slightly embarrassing situation of involuntarily singing random words that sound vaguely like the original Spanish, any words I use to try to explain how much fun El Guincho is on a sunny day are meaningless. Alegranza means joy. In translation I mean. But you get what I'm saying.

((This is from Analogue. Last one from there, I promise.))


8. Jeremy Jay - A Place Where We Could Go
KTake the Everly Brothers. Strain off their smile for the benefit of Good Christian Television Viewers, and remove the harmonies. Put more reverb on everything. Then imagine what would happen if a very strange, soft-spoken Patrick Wolf-esque Californian in a v-neck and tie took the first verse of any classic song and just repeated the lines with more and more emphasis every time. There's something very ordinary about Jeremy Jay's music, referential as it is to 50s teen drama ballads, David Bowie, Buddy Holly, Jonathan Richman and French chanteuses. But there's also something spectacularly surreal about it. Maybe that's what an absence of audible influences from after 1972 will do.

Jeremy Jay is as tall and thin as a Topman model, and to be honest, he looks exactly like one. Jeremy Jay grew up in California but for some reason his family was Francophone within the household. Jeremy Jay is on K Records. Jeremy Jay seems like a cookie-cutter hyper-literate bohemian type, but a brief MySpace exchange revealed that he's not much of a speller. There's a lot that doesn't make sense about Jeremy Jay, and that's what makes him so impossibly intriguing. I mean, what is this guy picturing when he closes his eyes and listens to his own music? Much more pertinently, what should the listener be picturing?

The mystery of Jeremy Jay is a part of what endeared him to me. But he definitely doesn't lack the songs to back it up. Beautiful Rebel and Heavenly Creatures as a tandem would blow the shit out of most of the crackly remasters they sell in infomercials late at night on the lesser channels. Escape To Aspen, just like everything on the album, seems barely held together with thread, but it is still toe-tappingly catchy and strangely beautiful. But the title track is the highlight. "We'll meet super late. And we'll go for a walk. Dream kisses. Danger. Romance. No-one knows." Not sung, but spoken urgently. Is he poking fun at himself or is he serious? Does it matter?

7. So Cow - I'm Siding With My Captors
Covert BearIf success in music came proportional to merit instead of by fickle democratic means, So Cow would be sitting on a multi-platinum catalogue, appearing on "OMG! The 90s!" specials on Channel 4 and marrying Zooey Deschanel. Alas.

What are the best Irish albums ever? Loveless? U2? Something by that glut of late 80s bands that are held in such high esteem? I've got a suggestion. Nobody would ever print this in a broadsheet, but I'm Siding With My Captors is genuinely up there. It's short, seamless and literally spotless in terms of the absence of chaff. There is no such thing as a highlight, because there aren't any low points. Only the style of delivery changes.

Greetings is a plaintive, self-doubting, heartrending love song, perfectly measured over two minutes, and it would be perfect for radio in a parallel universe. On the more unwieldy end of the guitar pop is the 52 second One Hundred Helens, a semi-surreal and deceptively unhurried piece enumerating the Helens on So Cow's street.

Shackleton is another in the line of Brian Kelly songs about inadequacy and love, led by a wavering synth-organ sound over what sounds like a Casio preset drum track. "One day I'll write the song you deserve babe, I'll give it all I have/One day I'll write the song you require, until then, la-la-la".

Lines like that are the overt signs, but throughout the all-too-brief 29 minutes of the album, there is an all-pervasive sadness that sets it apart from These Truly Are End Times. These aren't character songs, and they're not all that cased in metaphor either. It documents a life, not just lyrically, but in the reverb-soaked chords, the impossibly knotted riffs over weird bar lengths, the progressions that feel just slightly wrong. I probably say this online at the same rate that poverty claims victims in the developing world, but So Cow is the real thing . Though I am confident that ongoing lack of recognition will thankfully still provide no obstacle to his making albums as good as this.

67 comments:

Gardenhead said...

Keep going Karl. Here's a cup of water and a nurtigrain bar. The finish line is in sight!

Anonymous said...

retrievea lover -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket italian -
rocket spanish -
roulette sniper -
rss ground -
secret affiliate weapon -
secrets book -
spam bully -
spyware cease -
spyware nuker -
spyware remover -
spy zooka -
starting a day care center -
tattoo fever -
team idemise -
the bad breath report -
the cb code -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the rich jerk -
the super mind evolution system -
turbulencetraining -
turbulence training -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
wedding speech 4u -
windo fix -
wrap candy -
zygor guides -
7day ebook -
360 fix kit -

Anonymous said...

advanced pc tweaker -
adware bot -
affiliate naire -
art of approaching -
beating adwords -
believe and manifest -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cheat your way thin -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
convert 2 ev -
cure for bruxism -
cure hemorrhoids -
digi cam cash -
digital media solution -
dl guard -
driver checker -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy backup wizard -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
error fix -
error killer -
evidence nuker -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -

Anonymous said...

fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final uninstaller -
fitnessmodelprogram -
fitness model program -
flatten your abs -
gamers testing ground -
gov auction -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
gov records -
herbal hair solution -
homebre ware -
home job group -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
inteli gator -
joanas world -
joyful tomato -
kidney stone remedy -
learn digital photography now -
learn elements now -
linden method -
lose man boobs -
malware removal bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
niche adsense themes -
ninety day powerseller -
pc optimizer pro -

Anonymous said...

pregnancy miracle -
pregnancy without pounds -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
quit smoking today -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
retrievea lover -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket italian -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -
seo elite -
spyware cease -
spyware remover -
spy zooka -
stock assault -
talking to toddlers -
the action machine -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the rich jerk -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret fat loss secret -
turbo cash generator -
turbulence training -

Anonymous said...

twitter online system -
uncle sams money -
underground hypnosis -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warp speed fat loss -
water 4 gas -
wedding speech 4u -
wp goldmine -
wrap candy -
xsite pro -
zygor guides -
37 days to clean credit -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate prophet -
affiliate video brander -
anti spyware -
art of approaching -
atomic blogging -
auction classified cash -
automated cash formula -
bbq book -
bloggers pay check -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
cheat your way thin -
chopper tattoo -
cleanup the profits -
cold sore freedom in 3 days -

Anonymous said...

commission blueprint -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for bruxism -
declutter fast -
driver checker -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
fap turbo -
fatburningfurnace -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex ambush -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -
homebrew installer -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
instant article wizard -
jamo rama -
joyful tomato -
lose man boobs -
lower body make over -
maternityacupressure -

Anonymous said...

maternity acupressure -
maverick money makers -
meet your sweet -
muscle gaining secrets -
muscle gain truth -
natural cancer treatments -
niche review templates -
nyhms warcraft guides -
pappa pc -
pc booster -
pc optimizer pro -
pc secret formula -
pda flix -
privacy control -
publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
push button ecover -
reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
save my marriage today -
secrets book -
silent sales machine -
silver lotto -
spyware cease -
super affiliate handbook -

Anonymous said...

the 11 forgotten laws -
thebadbreathreport -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
top secret fat loss secret -
turbulence training -
twitter rockstar -
uncle sams money -
underground hypnosis -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -
warcraft millionaire -
warcraft wealth -
warp speed fat loss -
webcomp analyst -
wedding speech 4u -
win back love -
your software website -
zox pro -
zygor guides -
500 love making tips -
acid alkaline diet -
acne no more -
advanced defrag -
adware alert -
adware bot -
affiliate elite -
anti spyware -
anti spyware bot -
article bully -

Anonymous said...

art of approaching -
auto pilot profits -
bbq book -
blogging in action -
body building revealed -
burnthefat -
burn the fat -
carb rotation diet -
chopper tattoo -
conversationalhypnosis -
conversational hypnosis -
cure for tinnitus -
debt free in three -
driver checker -
duplicate file cleaner -
earth4energy -
earth 4 energy -
easy member pro -
easy tv soft -
eatstopeat -
eat stop eat -
end your tinnitus -
fap winner -
fat burning furnace -
fatloss4idiots -
fat loss 4 idiots -
final sync -
final uninstaller -
firewall gold -
fitness model program -
fit yummy yummy -
flatten your abs -
forex auto money -
forex auto pilot -

Anonymous said...

forex confidante -
game tester guide -
governmentregistry -
government registry -
healthy urban kitchen -
higher faster sports -
homebrew installer -
homemadeenergy -
home made energy -
i am big brother -
instant profit machine -
i want a teaching job -
joyful tomato -
lose man boobs -
lower body make over -
macro virus -
magic of making up -
make money taking surveys -
malware bot -
maternityacupressure -
maternity acupressure -
meet your sweet -
moles warts removal -
money siphon system -
muscle gaining secrets -
my airfare secrets -
my miracle loans -
my out of control teen -
natural cancer treatments -
ovarian cyst cures -
pc optimizer pro -
piano for all -
prevent sweating -
privacy control -

Anonymous said...

publicrecordspro -
public records pro -
pvp bible -
quick article pro -
quit smoking today -
reg defense -
reg genie -
registry easy -
registry genius -
registry smart -
registry winner -
registry winner download -
reg tool -
relationship headquarters -
reverse mobile -
richard mackenzie direct -
rocket japanese -
rotator cuff training -
satellite tv pc master -
secrets book -
spy no more -
spyware cease -
survey scout -
the bad breath report -
thedietsolutionprogram -
the diet solution program -
the guru assassin -
the power pause -
tmj help -
tonsil stones remedies -
turbulence training -
two minute profits -
vincedelmontefitness -
vince del monte fitness -

Anonymous said...

generic valium buy liquid valium - generic form of valium

Anonymous said...

buy zolpidem zolpidem 10 mg cost - zolpidem tartrate generic ambien

Anonymous said...

xanax without prescription buy xanax online us pharmacy - buy cheap xanax canada

Anonymous said...

xanax without prescription round white xanax 2mg - can you buy alprazolam

Anonymous said...

diazepam contraindications drug interactions diazepam temazepam - diazepam what is it

Anonymous said...

buy alprazolam online without prescription mentax (generic xanax) - cheap generic xanax online

Anonymous said...

diazepam drug buy diazepam 2mg usa - diazepam liquid

Anonymous said...

diazepam cheap diazepam side effects memory - diazepam 10 mg comprimidos

Anonymous said...

discount ativan ativan withdrawal loss appetite - can you overdose ativan

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam valium side effects dogs - diazepam drug test

Anonymous said...

alprazolam online xanax dosage 1mg - xanax 90

Anonymous said...

ativan anxiety ativan next day side effects - ativan and breastfeeding

Anonymous said...

buy xanax online overnight delivery xanax bars m white - home remedies xanax overdose

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam online buy indian diazepam - diazepam 2mg controlled drug

Anonymous said...

where can i buy xanax online legally xanax overdose damage - can 2mg of xanax kill you

Anonymous said...

order zolpidem stop ambien sleep eating - ambien xr dosage

Anonymous said...

ambien price ambience mall gurgaon bus service - where to buy ambien cr online

Anonymous said...

buy valium online without prescription buy valium online in the u.k - buy valium online uk legally

Anonymous said...

soma cheap carisoprodol 350 mg directions - buy soma online with mastercard

Anonymous said...

buy valium without rx diazepam 5mg tablets dosage - what is generic for valium

Anonymous said...

buy valium online cheap valium in the uk - cheap valium pakistan

Anonymous said...

buy generic valium online valium 5mg - valium online in the uk

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Those Geese Were Stupefied - Post a Comment buy cheap ventolin - buy generic ventolin http://www.ventolinforsaleonline.com/#buy-generic-ventolin

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Those Geese Were Stupefied - Post a Comment ativan online pharmacy - order ativan online no prescription http://www.ativanonlineoffer.com/#order-ativan-online-no-prescription

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Those Geese Were Stupefied - Post a Comment cheap generic prednisone - cheapest prednisone http://www.ourdailybreadmarket.net/#cheapest-prednisone

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Those Geese Were Stupefied - Post a Comment buy rimonabant online no prescription - acomplia diet pills http://www.a6soft.com/#acomplia-diet-pills

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Those Geese Were Stupefied - Post a Comment ativan online no prescription - buy ativan http://www.ativanonlineoffer.com/#buy-ativan

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Those Geese Were Stupefied - Post a Comment order ventolin online - buy ventolin no prescription http://www.ventolinforsaleonline.com/#buy-ventolin-no-prescription

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Those Geese Were Stupefied - Post a Comment ventolin no prescription - ventolin online http://www.ventolinforsaleonline.com/#ventolin-online

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Those Geese Were Stupefied - Post a Comment purchase ventolin online - ventolin online pharmacy http://www.ventolinforsaleonline.com/#ventolin-online-pharmacy

Anonymous said...

Hi, MoxoredapeTox purchase meridia - buy meridia no prescription http://www.amaryllisgarden.com/#buy-meridia-no-prescription

Anonymous said...

Hi, MoxoredapeTox buy effexor xr - effexor 75 mg http://www.effexorcostonline.com/#effexor-75-mg

Anonymous said...

Hi, MoxoredapeTox buy accutane online no prescription - isotretinoin no prescription http://www.wheretobuymedsonline.com/accutane/

Anonymous said...

Hello, finasteride sale - purchase finasteride online http://www.bigdocpoker.com/#purchase-finasteride-online

Anonymous said...

Hello, azithromycin online no prescription - buy azithromycin no prescription http://www.zithromaxonlineprice.com/#buy-azithromycin-no-prescription

Anonymous said...

Hello, buy furosemide online - buy lasix online no prescription http://www.jacksbackyarddallas.com/#buy-lasix-online-no-prescription

Anonymous said...

Hello, buy strattera online no prescription - strattera for sale http://www.lasmaracasonline.com/#strattera-for-sale

Anonymous said...

Hello, meridia diet pills online - buy reductil online http://www.amaryllisgarden.com/#buy-reductil-online

Anonymous said...

On Line Cheaper Medicines acomplia weight loss - order acomplia online http://www.buydiscountedisotretinoin.net/#order-acomplia-online

Anonymous said...

advitleva order premarin - order premarin online http://www.premarindiscount.com/

Anonymous said...

advitleva premarin online pharmacy - premarin pills http://www.premarindiscount.com/

Anonymous said...

dalsCleax order atomoxetine online - order atomoxetine http://www.stratterabestprice.com/#order-atomoxetine

Anonymous said...

dalsCleax valium price - cheap diazepam http://www.diazepamonlinesale.com/#cheap-diazepam

Anonymous said...

dalsCleax buy lasix online no prescription - buy furosemide http://www.lasixonlinesale.com/#buy-furosemide

Anonymous said...

dalsCleax accutane without prescription - accutane online http://www.isotretinoinlowcost.com/#accutane-online

Anonymous said...

Vytorin Schering Drug Interaction sibutramine without prescription - buy reductil http://www.meridiaonlineorder.net/#buy-reductil , [url=http://www.meridiaonlineorder.net/#buy-meridia-without-prescription ]buy meridia without prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

Drug Crime Statitcs cheap meridia online - meridia online no prescription http://www.meridiaonlineorder.net/#meridia-online-no-prescription , [url=http://www.meridiaonlineorder.net/#sibutramine-online-no-prescription ]sibutramine online no prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

tfv cheap plavix pills - where to buy plavix http://www.plavixbuynow.net/#purchase-plavix, buy plavix 75 mg

Anonymous said...

tni azithromycin chlamydia - azithromycin online http://www.zithromaxonlinerx.net/#cheap-zithromax, buy azithromycin online

Anonymous said...

rvb clomid online no prescription - buy clomid online no prescription http://www.clomidonlinesales.net/#buy-clomid-online-no-prescription , [url=http://www.clomidonlinesales.net/#clomid-no-prescription ]clomid no prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

rvb buy carisoprodol - soma without prescription http://www.painreliefpharmonline.net/soma.html, [url=http://www.painreliefpharmonline.net/soma.html]buy carisoprodol online no prescription [/url]

Anonymous said...

ooo!!! Generic Topiramate - purchase topamax online http://www.topamaxbestonline.net/#topamax-cost, Order Topamax

Anonymous said...

ny, buy imitrex - imitrex online no prescription http://itrafficgeneration.com/#imitrex-online-no-prescription , buy imitrex online no prescription

Anonymous said...

c, generic neurontin - buy gabapentin 300mg http://www.neurontinonlinesales.net/, neurontin for sale

Anonymous said...

3, Buy Venlafaxine - Venlafaxine Online - buy effexor online no prescription http://www.effexorbenefits.net/.