Kyle Olson:

New music to KUCI for 5/15/07

| 1 Comment

Hey folks,

Listen. I worked really hard today. Really hard. And even though I like most of you, I would probably paint a boat with your blood if I thought it was going to get me home to a tasty dinner a little bit sooner. You'll have to forgive me. All I really want right now is dinner, and to curl up on my floor, next to my stereo, and the Neal Stephenson book I'm currently reading.

Though I DID buy my plane tickets/make my hostel reservations to go see "77 Drum" in NYC in July. So. I gotta feel a little good about that, right?

Mogwai – Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (PIAS America)
This here is the Mogwai-penned soundtrack to a documentary about French soccer player/headbutt machine Zinedine Zedane. Did you guys see that headbutt during the final World Cup match? I'm surprised I remember it, as I was over at Ani and Scarlett's house with Lynly and several other KUCI folks. We were taking a shot of beer every minute of the entire game, and I think Lynly may have literally pissed herself in excitement over a near-goal. At any rate, I'm sure you kids are familiar with the musical works of Mogwai by this point. This album is their mellow side, no real face-melters here, but they do get a little noisy at points. Generally, though, it's an atmospheric, moody collection of tunes. It IS a soundtrack, after all. For extra giggles, here is a photoshop contest of Zidane's headbutt from the World cup. Some are, of course, much better than others.

Shapes and Sizes – Split Lips, Winning Hips (Asthmatic Kitty)
I think this MAY be the first release on Sufjan Stevens' Asthmatic Kitty label to have a song with OPI on it. This band was one of my CMJ highlights, simply because it was so unlike anything I had seen yet. They were clearly an indie/rock/pop band, but they seemed to almost be doing whatever they wanted up there. Play some normal indie rock. Then stop and just, you know, whistle for a bit. Then just beat the living shit out of your instruments. Then play this sick guitar hook under interesting vocal lines. My brain was reeling to comprehend it because, while it was clearly rooted in normal indierock, it just…didn't seem to make sense. It SHOULDN'T have hung together. It should have fallen apart. But they gamely pressed on and made some fantastic tunes and I was a fan. The recorded product seems less volatile and unstable, but it's still something new for you.

Dungen – Tio Bitar (Kemado)
Another plastic disk full of gently psychedelic Swedish rock for you. I think everyone loved their last album except for me, so I'm probably not the dude to tout this to you. But, basically, everyone collectively shit their pants over this band's last effort. So, if you hate my taste, perhaps that's a sign that this is definitely the album for you. Even if you agree with me, know that I am frequently "wrong" and you absolutely adore this band. Of course, we must always remember that taste is subjective and yadda yadda yadda. Basically, if Swedish psych-rock-pop sounds good to you, check this album out. Don't listen to what I say.

Mice Parade – Mice Parade (Fat Cat)
I have to admit that this is one of those bands that somehow slipped through my musical fingers for all of these years. I've been aware of them for a long time, I just never got around to checking them out. Basically, it's a sort of IDM/post-rock/indie kind of thing. Four Tet meets Mum meets Do Make Say Think. Does that sound pretty and rhythmically interesting to you? Good. I've done my job. What else sounds pretty to you? A solid gold baby covered holding a balloon made of love? That's weird. Why would you think of that?

Battles – Mirrored (Warp)
I don't know where to start describing this band. Minus Numbers John used the term "effects-laiden". It's dudes from Don Caballero, Tomahawk/Helmet, and some other bands doing rhythm-heavy math-rock-experimental-pop. It's really accessible for being as weird as it is. Crazy drumming and guitar playing and such. It's just…an exciting album. !!! meets Don Caballero meets Prefuse 73 meets Lightning Bolt? Seriously. This is some nonsense. Nonsense of the highest order. The seven-winged seraphim of nonsense.

People for Audio – The New Ancients (Storyboard)
Shortcut time: this is from Canada. Not Wolf Parade Canada. Godspeed/Besnard Lakes/DMST Canada. It's really beautiful and mellow. The label says "humble pack-porch sing-along jams to grandiose psych rock masterpieces". Sure. That'll do.

Mystery Jets – Zootime (Dim Mak)
It's Brit-Pop! I'm tired!

Black Moth Super Rainbow – Dandelion Gum (Graveface)
Their last collaborative album did really well when I added it, so I'm giving you their new full-length. It's like Olivia Tremor Control meets M83. A little noisy. A little keyboardy. A lotta poppy. While I would put this down as experimental pop, a lot of the similar bands are sort of off-kilter electronic stuff. I'm sorry this isn't more interesting. I assure you it's a worthwhile album. I gotta go get food. Promise.



Hello music-likers,

Did you guys have fun this weekend? Yes? Why’s that? Went to a party? Oh.
Awesome. When was that party? Friday? Oooooooh. I get it. Wink wink, nudge

It’s a weird week for musics. I am tired from work, and we’re gonna get
through this. I have two more meetings to go to before I get to eat
dinner. No time to dink around, friends.

1. Frog Eyes – Tears of the Valedictorian (Absolutely Kosher)
This is one of them Spencer Krug bands (Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown). He’s
not chief songwriter, but if you enjoy the theatrics of those other bands,
this may have a little ear-hug for you. Frog Eyes is sort of a halfway
point between Wolf Parade and Xiu Xiu. The indie song-styles of Wolf
Parade, but with some (SOME) of the histrionics and artiness of Xiu Xiu.
This release actually seems less over-the-top than past Frog Eyes
releases, which may have them finding new fan recruits. Recruits in the
Frog Army. An amphibian fighting force of undying loyalty to overly
theatrical indie-rock. (Fun fact: I was salutatorian of my Junior High. I
was close to being valedictorian, though. Do you think I’m smart now? I
need you to think well of me. I NEED IT. I NEED IT.)

2. Karl Blau – Dance Positive (Marriage)
OK. Facts. There was this band called “D+”. It had Karl Blau, Phil Elvrum
(the Microphones/Mount Eerie), and Bret Lunsford (Beat Happening) in it.
They are all from Anacortes, Washington. Karl Blau puts out a MONTHLY CD
in a mail-order club called “Kelp”. For the January edition, he took a
selection of lyrics written by Bret Lunsford and re-recorded them,
transforming them into a bizarre organic-electro hybrid (heavy on the
organic) that only a guy who rolls with Phil Elvrum could really come up
with, and released it on Marriage Records. It’s like an ocean-bottom dance
party up ins. Wanna get your boogie on with some fish? It is my
understanding, darling, that is is bettah down where it’s wettah. Take it
from me.

3. XBXRX – Wars (Polyvinyl)
I don’t know if this CD is going to get any play. It’s a hard left turn
from a lot of the stuff I add/you guys play. If you’re unfamiliar, XBXRX
is some sort of hybrid of, in my mind, Gravy Train!!! and the Locust. The
type of band that opens for the likes of Holy Molar and Peaches. One of
the members, Vice Cooler, is the force behind Hawnay Troof, whose
hypersexual electro-fuck anthems you may be familiar with. XBXRX has
frothing youth-energy and synthesizers and noise and so on, in that
fashion. This is a less new/no-wave affair than some of their previous
work, having more guitars and such, possibly due to the inclusion of
Weasel Walter (Flying Luttenbachers) into the band. I’m just naming bands
and people at this point. Sorry. Funfact: Wesley Willis wrote a song about
this band. God rest his soul.

4. Feist – The Reminder (Cherrytree)
It’s totally pretty lady-singin’ and romantic and emotional and such. (Hey
guys! It’s the new Feist album!). Not to be confused with Faust. That’s
something different.

5. Pterodactyl – Pterdactyl (Brah)
The “Brah” imprint of the Jagjaguwar umbrella is fronted by members of
Oneida, and specializes in ROCK. It’s a sort of fun, drunken,
tongue-in-cheek type of thing. I believe their slogan is “If it doesn’t
suck, it’s probably not on Brah.” I mean. Shit. The label is called “BRAH”
for God’s sake. Anyway. The band. They come out of Brooklyn and the label
compares them to Racebannon, Boris, and Hella. Meaning: it’s a nimble
little noise-making post-punk rock outfit. It’s not nearly as heavy as
those three band comparisons will let on, though. Knowing that Oneida
fronts the label, adding in influences by those bands, you can probably
mentally calculate what this band sounds like. It’s pretty durned legit. I
hope you cats like it. You won’t. But. I hope you do.

6. All Smiles – Ten Readings of a Warning (Dangerbird)
New project of the guitarist from Grandaddy. That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.

The Ticketmaster Boycott (A Rant)


So, I have had a Ticketmaster boycott in effect for about 4 years now, I think. Admittedly, there have been a couple of times where I have caved in, but I think I've succeeded, personally, in that time. I don't attend concerts where I need to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster, meaning I either don't go, or find another local show where I can avoid the company.

I was reminded today why I started doing this in the first place. Looking up ticket prices for the upcoming Sage Francis shows, I discovered they were $18. That's a bit more than the average I normally pay for concerts, but it's a more popular group at a larger venue, and that's to be expected. I have no problem with that. It should be a good show, he's playing with a live band, there are several acts, and that simply requires more money all around. Sadly, both local shows are at Ticketmaster venues. Just to see what the damage would be, I clicked through the Ticketmaster site. In addition to the $18 ticket, there would be a $2 venue fee, and a $7.95 "convenience" fee. I am now spending $28 on an $18 show. The Glass house show "only" had a $1+$5.50 charge. You'd think a socially conscious gent like Sage "Fuck Clear Channel" Francis would do his best to avoid working with a company which effectively has a monopoly on the live music industry and can basically charge whatever it'd like for no discernible purpose (venues don't need to use them. More on that in a bit). I mean, he helped found, the "People's corporation watch project". Perhaps it's a testament to Ticketmaster's pervasiveness that you simply can't tour in larger venues without working with them. Hell,'s article on Clear Channel contains the following paragraph:

The experience of going to a concert has gotten more expensive, too. In 1999, the average concert ticket cost $36.56; four years later, the price skyrocketed to $50.35, an increase of thirty-eight percent. And that's only part of the total. Clear Channel's extra fees have outpaced even ticket prices. When Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard testified in Congress against Ticketmaster in 1994, the battle centered on a $3.50 service charge. Today, Clear Channel regularly charges more than twice that. For the May 27th Cypress Hill show at Detroit's 1,400-seat Clutch Cargo club, tickets cost $30, but there's also a $7.20 "convenience charge" and a 75-cent facility fee.

Sage Francis has never even received mainstream radio play. I would hate to imagine what they charge for mainstream acts. Wait....let's see. OK. Justin Timberlake, at the Staples Center, has a $15.05 convenience fee on a ticket that is already over $90. Amazing. In 10 years, Ticketmaster has gone from charging $3.50 to $15.05. A 330% increase, if I'm not mistaken, for the EXACT SAME service they've always provided (I'd imagine Pearl Jam in 1994 to be roughly comparable to Justin Timberlake today, fame-wise, agreed?). I understand things get more expensive over time, but if you'd like to play devil's advocate and explain what possible increased expenses they've had in the last ten years to warrant that increase, I'd love to hear it.

I know it's possible to avoid using them. I've only broken the boycott two or three times in four years, and I see a greater amount of concerts than the average citizen. Granted, I go in for smaller bands which makes it easier, but it still should be possible. The Troubadour has a fax-in ticket service IN ADDITION to the Ticketmaster website which avoids the massive charges. Other venues use services like "Ticketweb", who have charges that are usually less than half of what Ticketmaster charges. They provide the identical service, but are somehow able to cut the charges IN HALF.

Though, in the end, I have to acknowledge that it's a silly battle that I will not win. I don't suspect I can get enough people to join the boycott to make any discernible difference. I'll ask you to help, though. If you have a choice, go to the show that doesn't use Ticketmaster. Vote with your dollar, help out companies which challenge the monopoly.

Barflies: Here's my KUCI new music word-vomit party. Enjoy.

Welcome, tiny warriors of justice and love.

I trust you all had lovely weekends. I did OK, seeing both Kimya Dawson
last night (anti-folk love) and Lightning Bolt on Friday (they're in ur
eardrumz destoyin ur brain.) Friday also gained points as being a mission
of diplomacy and goodwill towards our sister station at UCSD. I’m sure you
recognize “mission of diplomacy and goodwill” to mean “I totally drank
beers with them at the pub before we kicked ass at a rock and roll show.”
Kofi Annan would be proud. But, at any rate, they are now part of our
gang, and we are part of theirs. If they ever get into a fight at monster
truck rally, we are to get their back. They will, of course, return the
favor. Good kids, all.

Enough of my rambling old man horseploopy.


1. Calvin Johnson & The Sons of the Soil - Calvin Johnson & The Sons of
the Soil (K)
Shock of shocks: Kyle makes a K Records CD his #1 pick of the week. In
case you failed “Rock and Roll History one-oh-AWESOME”, Calvin Johnson is
the lead singer of Beat Happening and co-singer in the Halo Benders with
Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch. He also founded K Records (it was nice of
him to release his own album). This release is a collection of past solo
songs as recorded with a full band (including members of Little Wings,
Yume Bitsu, and Jason Anderson). If you can’t get passed his voice, you’re
listening to music wrong. There. I said it.

2. Joanna Newsom – Joanna Newsom & the Ys Street Band (Drag City)
Dude. “Ys Street Band” wins for most ridiculous/genius title of the year.
I don’t suspect I will need to sell this one very hard for you to play it.
Again, this is another solo artist releasing past music recorded with a
full band. This EP has one new track, one track from “Ys” with a full band
(Cosmia), and one from Milk-Eyed Mender (Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie). More
intensely epic harp-folk from everyone’s favorite woodland songstress.
(You probably already know, but it’s pronounced “ease”, not “wise”. Just
want to make it sound like you know what you’re talking about on the air.)

3. Charlotte Gainsbourg – 5:55 (Vice)
So, I think that when your dad is a musical legend like Serg Gainsbourg,
you sort of HAVE to record some albums too, right? Like Jacob Dylan before
her, sweet baby Jesus knows that this doesn’t approach the dad’s
greatness. Though, unlike Jacob Dylan, this CD doesn’t make me want to
slam my dick in a car door. Oh God. I just actually imagined that.
Normally I can say things like that without thinking about them, thereby
sparing me from any consequences but that was just awful. Jesus. Anyway.
The music isn’t especially FRENCH (though some songs are in French), but
rather a sort of low-key pop affair. The band Air collaborated on music,
Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker assisted with lyrics, and Nigel Godrich produced it
(he also produces all the Radiohead albums, for the record). Seems a bit
difficult to fail with that pedigree, don’t it?

4. Various Arists – Bridging the Distance (Arena Rock Recording Company)
Easy: A bunch of Portland, OR bands recording coversongs with the proceeds
going to P:EAR, a non-profit dedicated to assisting “transitional youth”
with education, art, and recreation programs. You get the Decemberists
covering Fleetwood Mac, Thermals covering Led Zep, Vice Voce covering the
Alan Parsons Project, Minders covering ELO. Holy shit. There’s a NIGHT
RANGER cover on here. Did you feel that? That’s the power of TED NUGENT.

5. The Oh Sees – Sucks Blood (Castle Face)
So, Sam of Wonderful Rainbow got all super pants-pissy over this album. I
knew that meant that it was either a band with 3,000 drummers that was
just balls-out crazy, or totally trashy garage-rock, possibly involving
the dude from Coachwhips. Turned out to be the second one. Super not my
thing but if you want lo-fi trashy garage music, I got a cure for what
ails you, baby.

6. McCarthy Trenching – McCarthy Trenching (Team Love)
Conor Oberst’s Team Love label puts out an alt-country album that is more
“alt” than “country”. Enough so that it ends up in the rock section of the
KUCI library, where I rule with a cotton candy fist. But, if a twangy
album that Mr. Bright Eyes gave his blessing to sounds like your thing,
I’d say check it out. Good songwriting, rural feel, etc. Give it a shot.
Cusrive’s Tim Kasher pops up on two tracks playing accordion. Go figure.

7. Mando Diao – Ode to Ochrasy (Mute)
This totally sounds like the Strokes to me.

8. The Veils – Nux Vomica (Rough Trade)
These dudes come from the land down under. I think they sound like the
Divine Comedy if it were darker/less poppy and grew up listening to Joy
Division or something. But don’t take my word for it... (READING RAINBOW,
DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDES!!!!!) Uh oh. We’ve reached the point in the blurbs
where I totally stop giving a shit.

9. Johnny and the Moon – Johnny and the Moon (Kill Devil Hills)
This band is from Canada. They sound like Sunset Rubdown/Swan Lake but FAR
less histrionic (see? I’m smart. I can use fancy words sometimes. It’s not
all dick jokes.) A little more Okkervil River, a little less Frog Eyes.
You know? That’s indie kid math! This one should probably be higher on the
list because it sounds pretty dang good. But, as we all know, I have a
strict “no editing” policy with this crap.

10. Small Sails – Similar Anniversaries (Other Electricities)
The promo company describes it as “stop-motion-stuttering aural
hopscotch”, and compares them to Album Leaf, the Books, Caribou, and
Animal Collective. Thanks, Nice Promotion. My job’s a lot easier when you
suckers do it for me.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go obtain cheap sandwiches, and then
convince the new training class that I’m “dope”.


New music to KUCI for 4/10/07

| No Comments

Hey, Barfliers: This is the latest edition in a limited set of emails from me (KUCI Music Director) to the DJs. Your reading it is a type of voyeurism that doesn't involve naked Japanese girls.


Uncle Kyle had a heck of a weekend, full of mojitos, Brazilian BBQs,
badass concerts, etc. Then, he is doing some serious work in the job that
actually pays him (I cannot pay my rent with love, I’m afraid). So, do be
kind if these blurbs don’t deliver the goods like normal. I’m tired and
cranky and full of pistachios so I feel sort of ill.

1. The Blow – Poor Aim: Love Songs (K)
Musical pet peeve numero UNO: you buy an album, and then, years later, it
is re-released with numerous bonus tracks. Your reward for being on top of
things, music-wise, is getting dicked over by the same bands you support.
Grand. When the Blow changed their (her) sound to the chart-topping
electro-jamz you guys totally dug into on “Paper Television”, she started
on a tiny EP on States Rights Records, teaming up with Y.A.C.H.T. Now that
EP is out of print, but K Records were thoughtful enough to repress it for
all of you who aren’t as cool as I am. Not only that, they doubled the
length of the EP with 7 new remixes. Your sloth has truly paid off. (This
is what a bitter jerk looks like.)

2. Blonde Redhead – 23 (4AD)
Hey everybody! Look! It’s the new Blonde Redhead album!!

3. Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities – Lucas (Ghostly)
So, I guess these kids used to be called “Skeletons and the Girl Faced
Boys”, but they’ve changed it for no discernible reason. This is some
unusual stuff. Sounds like a cross between Fog, the Unicorns, and Animal
Collective. Yes. I am pleased with that description. Now have some serfs
bring me some mutton, for I am THE KING OF MUSICAL DESCRIPTIONLAND!!!

4. Au Revoir Simone – The Bird of Music (Our Secret Record Company)
Comin’ from the mean streets of BK comes some serious fucking cop-killing
rap. And by “serious fucking cop-killing rap”, I mean all-girl synth-pop
in the vein of Camera Obscura with a touch of Hot Chip. (For the record,
the girls in Camera Obscura did 10 years in Folsom for killing a cop.
That’s a little known indie-pop funfact.)

5. Various Artists – Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters
Colon The Soundtrack
(Williams Street)
This is, shockingly enough, the soundtrack to the Aqua Teen Hunger Force
movie. There are things you’d expect on this soundtrack (aka MC Chris,
Schooly D, etc), and then, for God knows what reason, a bunch of metal
like Mastodon and Andrew W.K. (the latter you, of course, cannot play on
KUCI). Do you like Dadaistic cartoons? Heavy metal? Nerd rap?
Anthropomorphic fast food? Enjoy.

6. Bill Callahan – Woke on a Whaleheart (Drag City)
Remember that EP I added by this guy the other week? No? Why not? Oh,
because you don’t read these things? Fair enough. Well, here’s the rest of
the Smog-dude, Jim O’Rourke-y, Joanna Newsom-lovin’ album.

7. Pop Levi – The Return to Form Black Magick Party (Counter)
I guess this guy used to be in Ladytron, but this doesn’t sound much like
that at all. Though, he IS wearing black and has eyeliner on the cover,
so, there’s that. This is more of a junky Of Montreal meets Olivia Tremor
Control raw words gritty etc.etc. adjective garage adverb electronic
touches verb words etc.

8. Laura Veirs – Saltbreakers (Nonesuch)
What? Girl with glasses who sings folk-pop? And is smart enough to have
studied both Chinese and geology in college (and acted as translator on a
geological expedition)? And rolls with the Decemberists? And more weird
rhetorical questions that have no real answers? Yes.

9. Kite Operations – Heart Attacks, Back to Back (KOA)
I think “shoegaze” is a pretty evocative genre name. It’s descriptive. The
label of this describes it as Sonic Youth, Slint, Built to Spill, and
Sunny Day Real Estate. Guitar plus some pop plus some decent trance-y
repetition. Does that work for you? Good. I’m done.

New music to KUCI for 4/3/07

| No Comments

The latest in my series of emails to KUCI DJs about what is new in the library. These will never end until I die or quit. Whichever comes first. Probably quit.

Hey all,

Welcome to April. More importantly, welcome to the new KUCI quarter of
scheduling. If you’re a new DJ, congrats. My name’s Kyle. I’m the music
director. You don’t have to get on my good side because I have no power
over whether you have a show or not. I WILL talk trash about what you play, though.
Because I am a huge jerk. Please remember to submit your playlists to
playlists (at) kuci (dot) org. It will be ever so much help to me in deciding what to
add every week. Not that I pay attention to anyone’s opinions but my own,
anyway. (I DO A BAD JOB!)


Also, there’s a new issue of the Hipsterbookclub up at My
self-promotion: it is shameless.

1. Patrick Wolf – The Magic Position (Low Altitude)
It’s about time. This album’s been out for about two months in Europe
while fans of amazing electro-influenced violin-heavy pop have been
slathering for it in the States. Fact: this album is amazing and will
probably be number one on KUCI next week. Young master Wolf has abandoned
his faux-Dickensian street musician vibe for one of, if the cover art and
promotional photos are any indication, a bizarre homosexual circus (widely
believed to be the best kind of circus). Little glitch-pop touches
bubbling away beneath wonderful, well-orchestrated pop songwriting. On my
mental “Top 10 of 2007”, this one is already kicking significant ass, and
I’d venture to say anyone who’s heard it would be inclined to agree.
Unless they were STUPID. Yes. I am resorting to namecalling.

2. CocoRosie – The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn (Touch and Go)
Is it possible that these sisters are getting weirder on every damned
album? What the hell does that title even mean? Some kind of fucked up
children’s book about undead equines and dead babies? I would not read
that to a baby. You know what, though. Darn it if this isn’t possibly
their best album yet. Some tracks have their old school freak-folk feel to
them: all cooed and squeaky vocals with toy piano accompaniment. Others
take on a type of electo-Bjork vibe, with steady beats and unusual
rhythms. I think this may be their most listenable yet. I think it’s safe
to say that albums like this will never be usurped by the mainstream.
Let’s put it that way. Eccentrixxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

3. Dinosaur Jr. – Beyond (Fat Possum)
This one maybe skirts that grey area of KUCI music policy, so be sure to
send me angry emails if you disagree with my choices. This is another one
of those bands that there is no way you’ve never heard of if you’re a fan
of college radio. After a lengthy hiatus, J Mascis, Lou Barlow and company
get back together and play the type of catchy, guitar-centric rock songs
that the entire indie scene was based on. Gotta know your roots, kids.

4. Thee More Shallows – Book of Bad Breaks (Anticon)
Next up in the ongoing series of Anticon trying to break away from their
legacy of esoteric hiphop: Thee More Shallows. The OCD part of me (78% by
volume) is sort of panicking about where this is going to end up being
filed alphabetically. T? M? T makes more sense to me, due to “Thee”, and
the fact that given this band name you wouldn’t think to look under M. I
dunno man. Anyway. The music: laid back, fuzzy, “for fans of Modest Mouse,
Why?, and David Bowie”. Keyboardy, hazy, catchy hooks, and pretty damned
good. I’ll add M83 into that mix of bands due to the fuzzy droney
keyboardiness of this album. I’m also going to add a lime, because I think
that is an underused fruit, and I think lime should be in more things.

5. The Icicles – Arrivals & Departures (Microindie)
OK, new kids. Listen. I know you think I’m super awesome, and completely
virile. The beard gives that effect. And you’re right. I am so virile, I
can impregnate girls just by THINKING HARD about it. But, inside of this
carved-from-stone exterior lies a gentle (ask anyone) fellow who fucking
loves pop songs about hugs. This. Album. Is. Ill. When Rita, Emily, and I
have our Supersecretpopandkiteflyingtreehouseclub meetings, we totally put
this on our little califone record player and discuss the positive
attributes of sweaters and scarves. That is how we roll. And we will CUT
you if you front, because twee is punk. You have no idea.

6. Kings of Leon – Because of the Times (RCA)
I have no damned clue what this dude is talking about. I swear to God he
has marbles in his mouth. This is what I DO know: these dudes love
guitars, they probably each have a couple copies of Surfer Rosa, and are
generally lumped in with folks like the Libertines and the like. It’s that
sort of thing. I don’t know much about them because if it doesn’t have a
white guy rapping, I don’t listen to it.

7. Mavis Staples – We’ll Never Turn Back (Anti-)
This here is your “I hate everything else you added this week so give me
something different” release. It’s produced by Ry Cooder (which will
probably let you know to check this out, if you know who that is). This is
like, socially conscious gospel/blues/rock. Mavis, formerly of the Staple
Singers, brings you some downhome comfort songs with the “everything’s
going to be all right” vibe, as well as the “we have to fight for what we
want” vibe which SEEM like they won’t get along, but manage to mesh so
well into the “when we get together, we’ll accomplish everything we want
and things WILL be all right” vibe that makes me be sort of stoked on
life. I dig it.

8. Peel – Peel (Peek-a-Boo)
I’m sort of at a loss as to how to describe this one. Not because it’s
some revolutionary sound, or some out-there Jandek thing, but just because
stuff like this always sort of does it’s own little thing. It’s
“pop-indie”, but in a way that kind of smears the edge of it, I guess.
They’re on a label that’s released some of Spoon’s stuff, if that helps.
This is pop-indie at it’s core, but with keyboard squeaks that kind of
slop the focus all over. Kind of a mildly noisier, less inhibited Kinks.
Dude. I should probably write something funny here. I’ve been
all...informative today. What the hell?

9. Lesbians on Ecstasy – We Know You Know (Alien8)
If people like two things, it’s gay sex and drugs. That was proven in a
Gallup poll. So, what happens when you put those two things together?
You get socially and politically conscious LeTigre-lovin’
electrodance-rock that you can burn things to (be they effigies of Bush
or dancefloors). I’m giving myself two points for the cleverness of
that sentence. Go me!

10. Cloud Cult – The Meaning of 8 (Self-released)
This album is a total mashup of tons of styles. Mellow Album Leaf-esque
orchestra-rock, glitchy electrical touches, Modest Mouse-y guitar
chug-pop, and so on, in that fashion, until I’ve described what they sound
like and never get to go home and eat dinner.

11. Ral Partha Vogelbacher – Shrill Falcons (Monotreme)
The only person who may recognize that band name as a reference to
something is “Fake British Accent Theater” Mike. That dude gets all my
geeky references. This one is SO geeky that I’m afraid to say that I even
recognize it. Though, to my credit, I only thought “why does that sound
familiar?” until I read their bio and felt my entire high school life
coming rushing back at me. At any rate: music. It sounds like a
grittier/rawer Andrew Bird. Actually, the more I roll that around, the
more apt it feels. Like, if Andrew Bird spent the whole weekend drinking,
and you saw him first thing Monday morning and you were all, “Jesus,
Andrew. You look like crap.” And he’s like “Ugh…I know. You should see
your mom’s room though, after what I did to her.” ZING!

And with that, I vanish like POOF.


New music to KUCI for 3/27/07

| No Comments

Hey everybody,

Welcome to the BLURB THUNDERDOME!!! Several CDs enter, a couple others
leave, and the rest also leave…BUT IN BODYBAGS!!! OH CRAP!!! Was that
super intense? Good. Your faces are sufficiently rocked.

Slim pickings this week on the music front. All the promo kids were busy
getting drunk on PBR at SXSW, so they didn’t exactly bring their A-Game.
Maybe it only seems sparse after the monster,
sure-to-be-on-top-of-the-year releases over the last couple weeks. But,
there are good CDs to be had. Enjoy, tigers.

1. Los Straitjackets – Rock En Español Vol. 1 (Yep Roc)
This is easily one of your top 5, luchadore mask-clad band of surf rock
latinos. This time, tus amigos bring you a collection of oldies hits,
recorded EN ESPAÑOL!!! You get such hits as Wild Thing, Hang on Sloopy,
Whittier Blvd., etc. Bridge that gap with our neighbors to the south. Show
them you care. ¿Como se dice, “TOTALLY BITCHIN’, DUDERS!!”?

2. The Book of Knots – Traineater (Arclight)
This band has a bit of a freak-rock pedigree. Features members of
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Pere Ubu, Tin Hat Trio, Skeleton Key, Tom
Waits, etc. Basically, it’s dark-ish junkyard rock with unique trashy
grooves, with occasional darkly beautiful violin and ambient spoken word
stuff (and features Mr. Waits on one track). It’s a enigmatic hodgepodge,
for certain. Not as scary as Sleeptime Gorilla Museum, but, then again,
few live experiences are that I know of. I think the only band I’d be more
intimidated to see would be Oxbow. But that’s because I don’t want to get
the piss kicked out of me by a huge, muscular black dude in his tighty
whities. Wow. How often am I going to get to say that? (Until my birthday,

3. The Fall – Reformation Post T.L.C. (Narnack)
This band has been around for 30 years now, and Mark E. Smith continues
his weird enunciation parade, and looks more like your history professor
every day. I’m sort of at a loss to explain this band. People always said
Pavement ripped them off, but I never really heard that. Both bands have
sort of nonsense lyrics, but that’s about it. This is edgier,
post-punk-ish songs with an old British dude pronouncing words oddly over
them. I dunno, man. They’re sort of one of a kind. I’m kind of at a loss

4. Unknown Instructors – The Master’s Voice (Smog Veil)
This is Mike Watt’s 172,325th band. That dude goes door to door asking, “Yo
dudes. I’m Mike Watt. Do you guys need a bass player? Or just want to hang
out with a dude with a trucker ‘stache?” Also, this band has Raymond
Pettibon on one track. If you don’t know who that is, what kind of fucking
punk are you, poseur? Anyway: the music. Like a toned-down Minutemen, I
guess. Chill indie-jazz-rock jams, sort of. I dunno. This thing is all
over the damned place. One track is really reverb-laden stoner-rock. One’s
all jazzy. One’s all noisey-styles. I’d accuse them of dicking around, but
Mike Watt could probably get some San Pedro longshoremen to show up at my house and throw me a blanket party.

5. The Twlight Sad – Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters (Fat Cat)
When I saw this band and title, I thought, “Ewwww. Overt references to
depression and the darker seasons. This is gonna be some
eeeeeeeeemooooooooo craaaaaaaaaaaaaaap. But I flipped it over and did not
see Jade Tree Records stamped on the back, but Fat Cat, the bringers of
Sigur Ros, Animal Collective, Mum, etc. Rather, it’s a Scottish band who
mix My Blood Valentine, The Smiths (a little emo, I guess), and Interpol
into a sort of shoegaze-stew. What a trick. Aside: why do dogs put their
heads out car windows? Do you think it makes them think they’re running
like, superfast? Do you think your terrier secretly desires to reach
triple digit land-speed numbers? Hahaha. Could you imagine pugs zipping
around at 75 miles an hour? Holy shit. I’d tie a cape to one and watch the
damned show.

6. Cibo Matto – Pom Pom (Warner Brothers)
This one is subtitled “The Essential Cibo Matto”. So, hopefully, you’ve
deduced that it is a best-of of sorts. Seventeen old favs and two
unreleased cuts make up this album of chill, asian-influenced dub-rock
featuring John Lennon’s son. PLUS, they were on that episode of Buffy the
Vampire Slayer where Buffy comes back and..nevermind. Haha.
NEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDDDDDDDDDDDDD. I just talked my way right out of several makeouts that were en route to me due to the complete awesomeness of the rest of this post.

7. Limbeck – Limbeck (Doghouse)
Last I saw this band, it was at Chain Reaction. I was there to see the
Kids of Widney High. Somewhere, I have a ticketstub that says Limbeck, and
it’s signed by Cain (of KOWH). I think I left halfway through Limbeck.
Because if it’s not “The Kids”, who gives a shit? But I remember it being
a sort of pop-punk kind of indie thing, and the audience seemed made up
entirely of members of their high school or something. But, now,
apparently they’ve gotten a little cred, a decent label, an indie-twang
sensibility, and some songwriting talent. Now it seems like a sort of
dios/Oh No! Oh My! sort of chill-pop-twang thing. Plus, they’re from
Orange County. Hell. Some of you probably went to school with these dudes.
I didn’t. I went to school with the dudes from Bat Von Puddle. That shit

8. Dat’r – Turn Up the Ghosts (Hush)
Not sure how you pronounce this name. I’m guessing “D.A.T.-urr”. What do I
know? At any rate, this isn’t the normal Hush Records whispery sleeptyime
pop. This is a sort of semi-electo jiggle party. Sort of fun-energy,
percussion heavy electro-pop-rave. I guess these dudes have some old
joysticks, rigged up by dudes from MIT, to control the music with (which I
understand doesn’t make the CD any more fun to listen to, but damned if I
don’t like a gimmick). I know at 25, that puts me in the upper half of the
age bracket at KUCI, but how many folks had an old Atari? With those
rubbery joysticks that you just sort of wanted to...chew on? I played
hours of Missile Command. I commanded missiles like it was my goddamned
6-year-old JOB. Ain’t no aliens gonna bomb my base. Bitches. This is some
pretty solid music. I should probably put this higher up to make sure
folks read about it, but I gave up editing things I write for Lent.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to fight some dinosaurs with my bare
hands. If you are inclined, you may swoon at my manliness.

Why is Lil Jon on my AIM?

New music to KUCI

| No Comments

As per usual, here is the email I send out to my KUCI DJ-folks so they are "hip" to all the "goovy" new "music" in the KUCI library.

Hey folks,

I hope you all survived the weekend. I, personally, managed to claw my way
through the weekend with a brain that still feels slightly mushy from lack
of sleep and extremely loud music. When your weekend plans involve a
concert, you are probably in for fun. If the directions to the venue
include “find the alleyway between 3rd street and main”, and you’re in
downtown Los Angeles, you are either in for LOTS of fun, or a night you
will later be describing to authorities. Since I’ve worked up plenty of
positive karma in my “reading to blind puppies” non-profit, it was the
former. The venue, known as “The Smell”, is, for those who aren’t
familiar, more of an art-space, and features generally “arty” music, which
can range anywhere from really intricate and interesting music performed
well and with passion, to folks in facepaint where you turn to your friend
and inquire, “This is a joke, right?” Our night included 8 bands, so we
got the full gamut. Bands from Japan playing 20-minute long, hypnotic
songs. Bands from San Francisco shrieking into
telephones-turned-into-microphones. Bands from Oympia playing a unique
brand of deranged blues-rock (truly the highlight). I mean, if you’re
going to dance in an alley in downtown LA, you want deranged blues-rock,
don’t you?

After getting to bed at 4am (losing an hour for DST), I crawled out of bed
and headed to KUCI to see Do Make Say Think perform in the lobby. Packing
our humble little lobby with eight multi-instrumentalists, and all their
gear, and all the DJs who showed up to watch, made for a warm little
intimate gathering. It was such a thrill to sing along with them in a
wordless choir and clap along with a band I enjoy. That number of
musicians then lets the music take a slow, cinematic crescendo into such a
powerful and redemptive wall of sound that it is blowing right through
your body in a way that I really have to assume will be discovered to cure
cancer by medical professionals in the future. I always begrudge wearing
earplugs to concerts, but that’s the only volume that this effect can be
achieved through. Anyway. Enough of that, I gotta get this shit done.

1. Panda Bear – Person Pitch (Paw Tracks)
Easily one of the best CDs I’ve heard all year. If this doesn’t make
year-end best lists, I would be horribly shocked. Panda Bear is one of
those dudes from Animal Collective. He released a solo album a couple
years ago that was this sort of ethereal singing and guitar angel-song
collection of untitled works. Now he’s back with an album that’s way
more accessible, but still as beautiful and unique. If pop died, and
it’s soul became an angel and got itself a little harp (well, sampler
in this case), and totally awesome wings, and could live in a cloud and
play you the catchiest twelve-minute songs in history, it would be this
album. Nothing I’ve added this year has as high a recommendation as
this album. If this album were a girl, I would work up my courage to
talk to it all night, and then chicken out and feel badly about myself
for days afterwards.

2. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver (Capital)
If you are still unfamiliar with this band, I am going to spend the next
few days wondering how you managed to completely escape the miasma of hype
which has completely drenched the music criticism world since well before his
debut album dropped. James Murphy has apparently ingested every krautrock
and disco album ever, and now, like a mother bird, he has regurgitated
musical nutrition to keep you alive. And when I say “alive”, I mean
“dancing forever until you are so exhausted you can no longer use verbs,
but rather need to just point at things and make crude mimings of what you
need them for.” When you put this CD on, you feel 10 times sexier. That is
based on rigorous scientific studies I have done. About sexiness. The
results are published in the “Journal of American Sexiness Studies and
General Bad-ass-ness.”

3. Cyann & Ben – Sweet Beliefs (Ever)
You know M83? No? Have you ever seen an independent movie trailer? OK. You
know that song they play? That’s M83. Well, probably. Anyway, these dudes
roll with that band. But while M83 makes these pixilated digi-scapes of
beautiful electro-drone-rock, C&B want to throw down some actual
instruments, and more singing, and come from a bit of a folkier
background. It’s from France! They have food there!

4. Low – Drums and Guns (Sub Pop)
Dude, if you’ve never heard of this band, how do you have a show on
college radio?

5. Maps & Atlases – Trees, Swallows, Houses (Sargent House)
This is like some crazy mix of Don Caballero, Hella, At the Drive In, and
Cap’n Jazz (but noisier). INSANE guitar and drums doing SICKENINGLY
INTRICATE music with TOTALLY AWESOME time signatures. I figure, if I
e-yell at you, you’ll listen to me. This is really catchy and exciting.
Like, it’s all jittery and running 1000 miles and hour, and I want to just
start kicking things and shouting! Yay!

6. Drakkar Sauna – Jabraham Lincoln (Marriage)
Ever so often, Portland, Oregon’s Marriage records drops a huge package of
their stuff in my lap, and I smile a little because their stuff sounds
so..unique...most the time that it's always a pleasant little fresh-sounding pick-me-up. This band sounds like some sort of lo-fi Beirut/Avett Bros/Animal Collective kind of thing (much more the first two). If you’re sick of the rest of the shit I add, may I point you towards this album? Man. As this album plays, and I write this, these kids
are winning me over with their charms. Damn this job, and the never ending
bitch-slap it gives my wallet (because I’m not going to just download it
illegally, you philistines).

7. Elvis Perkins – Ash Wednesday (XL)
“Kyle. This album is getting a lot of hype, and it’s good. Add it.” “Dude,
it’s folky indie stuff and everyone is sick of it.” “Add it.” “Fine, but
it’s gonna chart one week, and no one will play it again. Mark my words.”
Prove me wrong, kids. Prove me wrong. (Yes, I say things like “mark my
words”. Because I am a B-movie villain.)

8. Germans – Cape Fear (Arena Rock)
Did you guys see the Cape Fear? DeNiro is pretty rad in that remake. (This
sounds like Pavement, Broken Social Scene, and Flaming Lips. Can you tell
I’m tired and want to go home?)

8. Kinetic Stereokids – Basement Kids (Overdraft)
So, it says they’ve opened for Explosions in the Sky, Trail of Dead,
Secret Machines, and Wolf Eyes. That last one HAS to be a typo though.
This is like, lo-fi Elliott Smith-ish stuff. Wolf Eyes is like getting
your ears’ balls kicked by a horse on fire. It gets a little lofi-raw and
distorty, but it’s not squealing walls of metal-made noise. That’s for
damned sure.

OK. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna eat a quick dinner and go see “The
Host”. I have a particular fetish for Korean people being eaten by
monsters, and I’m glad a film has finally decided to pander to my perverse, sexual tastes. I bid you good night.


New to the KUCI library

| No Comments

Hey folks,

Here's this week's edition of "Kyle rambles like a retard for a while about new music at KUCI." If it's not the best thing you've ever read, I congratulate you on having read more than one thing.

Here we go:

Did everyone have a nice weekend? I used the weekend off to engage in a couple of things. Followed up on the launch of my website (HIPSTERBOOKCLUB.COM), which has had 500 visitors or so in the first couple of days, I believe, which I am pretty damned geeked on. I also attended a concert of one of my favorite bands (Matmos) at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The band ranges from really out-there experimental electronic stuff, to fun musique concrete pieces that are pretty danceable (ever dance to a song comprised of liposuction samples?). Since Friday’s show was a one-off collaboration with Marshall Allen, saxophonist of the Sun Ra Arkestra, the show was one of those really out-there ones. While I can appreciate the musicianship involved, I have come to the conclusion that I really do not truly understand avant-garde sax playing. Somewhere, Ornette Coleman and John Zorn would be rolling in their graves, were either of them dead. The audience was mostly guys, as not many ladies go in for such experimental music, it would seem. The gals that WERE there were so beautiful and hip that they seemed forever unattainable. Ever see a girl so gorgeous it makes you sad and mad? Yes, sir. That is a deeply confusing experience. Truly a chance to sup at the cornucopia of life’s emotive bounty.

Though, having seen the band three times now, and owning about ten albums/LPs/singles/etc., I’ve learned to expect anything from them onstage. I’ve seen them turn bare-bottom spanking onstage into a song. I’ve also seen them perform their “Tract for Valerie Solanas” onstage, which is something of an experience. Valerie Solanas was the ultra-feminist who attempted to assassinate Andy Warhol. She wrote a thing called the S.C.U.M. Manifesto which advocates the complete destruction of the male gender for the good of the world. Matmos constructed a song featuring samples of that manifesto being read, along with the obligatory sounds of scissors and other possible castrators being manipulated into a beat. During that performance I sat, the sounds of machetes in my ear, as a woman yelled things like “To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples!” at the audience. It was a real self-esteem boost.

Now that we're all bogged down with useless trivia, let's begin.

1. I’m from Barcelona – Let Me Introduce My Friends (Mute)
This 29-piece Swedish band’s debut album has landed on American shores with, of course, two bonus tracks to completely dick over the people who paid import prices. But, for those who waited patiently, and managed to ignore the scores of folks on the internet who were raving about this, now you too can listen to amazingly catchy Swedish pop with a huge chorus of voices singing about treehouses and love and so on. Seriously: if the song “Treehouse” doesn’t make you smile ear to ear, you can die in a fire for all I care.

2. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – Living with the Living (Touch and Go)
Mr. Leo jumped off the Lookout! Records ship and got himself a bigger budget to record this one. I have a feeling I won’t really need to sell this album to you guys. It’s pretty damned anticipated. Another fifteen tracks of high-energy, political post-punk-pop. I have an ex-girlfriend who was really into this guy. Like, REALLY into. Like, I worried when I took her to see him because she spoke openly about things she would do to him in front of me. Dear Ted Leo: you should probably not have sex with my crazy ex-girlfriend. I warn you because I enjoy your music and don’t want you killed. (The bad kind of crazy, for the record.)

3. Klaxons – Myths of the Near Future (Geffen)
This band’s debut EP did pretty well at KUCI, so I thought I’d let folks decide if they like the full-length as much. UK-based hyper-energetic dance-rock is the new black, I understand. If you put this on at a party, and started dancing all cool, people would probably buy you drinks. Either that, or you could put this on and just start breaking things with a chair. Either way, that’s gonna be a rad party. Only one thing could make it MORE rad: s’mores. Am I right? You know I am.

4. SJ Esau – Wrong Faced Cat Feeding Collapse (Anticon)
So, Anticon records, a label known for it’s very forward-thinking (some would say pretentious, jerks would say awful and weird, I personally dig it lots), hiphop scored a pretty sizeable hit with 2005’s amazing experi-pop album “Elephant Eyelash” by Why? Since that did so well, they seem to have broadened their horizons to non-odd-hop. In keeping with the same forward thinking, genre-smearing agenda, they release the new album by SJ Esau (pronounced like the biblical character). This UK-based fellow strings together a bunch of bedroom-music with influences like (later-era) Mogwai, Fog, (early-era) Arab Strap, and Sonic Youth. While all those touchstones are audible, it really does its own thing, and is pretty solid. I have no idea what the title of the album means, though. Though, it still makes more sense than half the lyrics on Anticon. It’s like that time I did all that heroin and rewrote “Naked Lunch” as a mystery novel. Just kidding. I never did that. But you thought I was a total rock star for a second there, huh? No? Oh. OK.

5. Rosie Thomas – These Friends of Mine (Sing-a-long)
Who wants to hear the new album by Sufjan Stevens’ giiiiiiiirlfriiiiiiiiiiiend? I had the pleasure of seeing this gal open for Iron & Wine three years ago or so. Her actual speaking voice was this really endearing awkward chirp, as she blustered through her time speaking with the audience. It was cute. But the second she started singing, with this beautiful, round, shining and complete voice, she seemed to become another person entirely. Heavenly folk hymns with guest spots from Mr. Stevens, as well as her other friends (you know, no names like Dave Bazan, Jeremy Enigk, Damien Jurado, etc.) Put a funny closing joke here. I’m tired. No. Not like that. I said FUNNY, not creepy, furry-sex annecdotes.

6. Wolf & Cub – Vessels (4AD)
This band brings the total of “wolf” bands to roughly ten bagillion (a bagel followed by 30 zeroes). You got Wolf Parade, Wolf Eyes, Fuckwolf, AIDS Wolf, etc. Now you got one that specializes in “darkly psychedelic and danceable noise”. That “noise” is a bit too extreme, as this is hardly unlistenable. A distorted guitar isn’t noise, 4AD Records. I distorted guitar is totally awesome. Jerks.

7. Gruff Rhys – Candylion (Team Love)
Solo album from the guy from Super Furry Animals featuring poppy lyrics, electronic touches, xylophones and gameboy beats. Gruff can’t be that dude’s real name, can it? I guess it can be. With love, anything is possible.

8. Papercuts – Can’t Go Back (Gnomonsong)
Newest release from Andy Cabic (Vetiver) and Devendra Banhart’s (Devendra Banhart) label. Are you familiar with those bands? This band is a little more psych-rock than them (a LITTLE more). Basically, this is that stuff I always add.

9. Cassette – Beautiful California (Honor Roll, Inc.)
This album has 35 tracks on it. That is a higher number than the total tracks on Godspeed You Black Emperor!’s entire career-long catalog. Hell, you could probably throw a few side-projects in and it still wouldn’t be 35 tracks. Then again, one of their songs has the duration of about 16 of these. This right here is a bunch of short attention span electro-dance-rock “songs”. Can you really call it a song if it’s only :56 long? Seriously, what is that short and still considered good? Aside from sleeping with me, that is. SELF-DEPRECATORY ZING!!!

10. Maria Taylor – Lynn Teeter Flower (Saddle Creek)
Maria Taylor is one of those gals from Azure Ray. “Minus Numbers” John asked that I add this one or he’d steal it. So, here you go. Subtly electronic, Mirah-ish melancholy jamz. Like the Blow on downers. Less bedroom dance party, more rhythmic swaying while you think vaguely sad things. Like, “Oh man. I am totally out of peanut butter. This makes me a little sad.” Or “Dude. Where did my copy of ‘Welcome to the Dollhouse’ go? I hope no one stole it. I’d be pretty bummed.” Now make a lady with a pretty voice sing that over slightly bouncy, downtempo songs.

OK. Time to go home, and eat peanut butter while I watch Welcome to the Dollhouse.


New music to KUCI

| 1 Comment

Hey folks. My name's Kyle, and I'm the music director over at KUCI. When I was contacted to help write for this fine website, one of things they wanted from me was for me to publish the weekly music blurbs I write for all the new releases I add to the KUCI library. So here, for your reading pleasure, are the new releases for 2/27/07. Enjoy.

Word up, folks.

So, before I start with this week’s edition of “CDs that I am adding to
the KUCI library because I think they're really good and/or I think the DJs
will want to play 'em”, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce
myself. I know that these things are going up around the internet tubes
now, and I figure people should get a little glimpse into who I am,
thereby putting a human face on these ramblings. My name is Kyle. I enjoy
things that are funny, hugs, and books, and I have never punched my mom
(and can’t foresee a situation where I would, except one where maybe she
gets poisoned by some weird toxin, and only a punch in the face by your
firstborn son will save you). So, now that the rumors that I’m a grumpy,
illiterate mom-puncher who hates hugs are put to rest, allow us to get
into “the blurbs”.

1. !!! – Myth Takes (Warp)
You hear that? That’s the sound of a million asses shaking their asses
off. That’s right. The asses of asses. Can you wrap your brain around
that? It’s OK if not. It’s like when you ride a merry-go-round on your
back and look up into the cloudless sky and get really dizzy and freaked
out and think you’re going to fall INTO the sky forever. That was a little
glimpse into the life of 3rd grade Kyle. At any rate, !!! (pronounced
chik-chik-chik, or any series of repetitive onomatopoeia), are back with
another round of funky dancefloor disco-punk numbers to inappropriately
grind up on people to. Like a mixture of Can, LCD Soundsystem, and
Parliament, !!! are going to make you sweat, girl. And guy. !!! aren’t
sexist. They’re sex-Y. There is a big difference. One gets you punched.
The other gets you crazy makeouts.

2. The Capstan Shafts – Her Versus the Sad Cold Eventually (Asaurus)
The first time one of this guy’s CDs showed up in my office, it was a
CD-R, wrapped in Xeroxed paper that had the tracklisting. The little punk
inside of me was stoked that someone was doing some straight up DIY
guerrilla radio marketing, so I popped it in. At that point, my inner tiny
punk pissed off and my outer pop-geek did such a crazy dance that it
scared a baby. This guy writes short attention span pop-bombs in the same
vein as Guided By Voices and Half-Handed Cloud. Who the hell needs a three
minute song when you have an album full of minute-and-a-half,
catchy-as-SARS, FANTASTIC choruses? Now, Dean Wells (the man behind the
Capstan Shafts) sent me another Xeroxed, cd-r’d CD, and I’m thrilled to
add it to the library.

3. Black Lips – Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo (Vice)
So, Vice signs these dudes, and wants to think of an appropriate way to
kick off their rock-n-roll spotlight. Could there really be any other way
to do this than to have a huge, balls-out rock-n-roll show in Tiajuana with
a bunch of hookers, blow, and a donkey painted like a zebra? This album is
a live documentation of that concert. Black Lips hoarsely tear through
twelve old school tunes of Guitar Wolf meets King Kahn & BBQ garage rock
abandon on this slighty-south-of-the-border live album. You like rock and
roll swagger? These dudes are so swaggery, that I just had to invent the
word “swaggery”, which looks really weird.

4. The Eternals – Heavy International (Aesthetics)
So, what do you expect a band that has toured with Fugazi, Mars Volta,
Hood, Stereolab, Tortoise, Konono No1, and Anti Pop Consortium to sound
like? No, seriously, dudes. What the fuck am I supposed to compare this
to? It’s groovy world-electro-rock? Sort of? Really dubby at points. Just
smear all of those bands I mentioned earlier into some weird Pollack
painting and you got these guys, I guess. Laid back, tropical

5. The Blank Tapes – Landfair (Self-relesed)
These dudes are local, folks. Costa Mesa, in fact. They COULD be my
neighbors, except my neighbors are drunken, reggae-loving frat boys on one
side and bitchy girls with tans so deep they look homeless on the other.
But, theoretically. They COULD be. The Blank Tapes lay down some pleasant,
indie-radio-friendly pop jams. I’m not going to go on record as saying
that these dudes are going to blow your mind by re-inventing the pop
wheel. But I WILL say that they make fun Kinks-loving pop tunes you can
chill to. I will also say the word “frumpy”, because that’s basically just
a fun word to say.

6. The Subjects – With the Ease Grace Precision and Cleverness of Human
Beings (Pretty Activity)
Way to not have proper comma use, The Subjects. Also, is the fact that the
band is made up of two high school teachers, and two of their students
creepy? I can’t imagine starting a band with any of my high school
teachers. Except maybe my stroked-out Health class teacher who doubled as
a football coach. Imagine if you will, a stroke victim who coaches high
school football drawing erect penises on a chalkboard. Now imagine that as
a band. Tell me I’m not a genius. At any rate, the Subjects probably
aren’t stroke victims. What they ARE is a band of folks making
easy-to-digest pseudo-prog. These aren’t Dream Theater noodle-fests or Don
Caballero drum-offs. This is indie rock which doesn’t stick with straight
convention and has, deep down, a penchant for arenas.

7. Small Leaks Sink Ships – Until the World is Happy; Wake up You
Sleepyhead Sun (No Sleep)
What the hell? Did they have a sale on ridiculously long album names this
week? ZING!!! The little sticker the promo company slapped on this album
compared it to Minus the Bear and the Mars Volta. So, I throw it into my
trusty little boombox to give it a shot, and I’m greeted with the chiming,
arpeggio-ing guitar notes that sound like Minus the Bear. OK. So the promo
company aren’t total liars. OK. Where does the Mars Volta come in. I mean,
these songs sound like they have a point (oooooooooh. Burn.) Then the dude
starts singing, and I’m like “There we go.” So, imagine indie-prog with
the spazzy vox of Cedix Bixler-Zavala and you got this band. Easy as tasty

8. The One AM Radio – This Too Will Pass (Dangerbird)
My first experience with this band came with seeing him open for Phil
Elverum/Microphones/Mount Eerie at the very amazing Che Café down in San
Diego. My SECOND experience with the One AM Radio (Hrishikesh Hirway to
his mom) was when he popped up on the Daedelus album “Exquisite Corpse”.
And my third was my ex-gf playing me his split with Ted Leo. So, this guy
rolls with experi-forest-pop folks, tweeky jazz-electro-hop dudes, and
dapper indie-rock gents. His solo stuff is WAY closer to the first one
than the second (and has a dash of the third). Singer-songwriter stuff
with a solid palette of sounds by a guy who could possibly be lumped in
with stuff like Pinback, Owen, Appleseed Cast, etc. Except it’s not as
eeeeeeeeemo as some of those (extra Es for extra dEpression). I seriously
just spent ten minutes looking for a synonym for sadness that began with
E, but none exist. My joke. It fails. John of Monday's "Minus Numbers" radio show just said “elegiac” is a word for sadness. There we go.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’m gonna go home, get into my pajamas, and make
sure my bathroom has a fresh Febreeze air freshener in it before people
come over for the KUCI management meeting tonight.