KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Einst?rzende Neubauten – “9-15-2000, Brussels” [Caroline]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library

A live, 2 disk recording from Einst’zende Neubaten. The music ranges from seductive (in a German sort of way) to aggressive and noisy. The instrumentation is heavy, driving bass, captivating vocals that recall a more German Peter Gabriel, and some excellent use of auxiliary percussion, noisemakers, and electronics. The bass and the intense vocals (even when I don’t understand them) are in every track really hold the whole thing together. Lyrics vacillate between German and English. All clean as far as I know (since I don’t speak German). It expertly toes the line between being catchy/hooky and edgy/noisy). Not a bad track on here.
Favorites:
CD1 – 2 (seductive), 3, 5 (includes a funny ‘introducing the band? bit), 9 (electronica/dance sound)
CD2 – 2 (a long, slow build of intensity), 4, 6 (fantastic intense percussion, ends with ~1:40 of applause), 8, 9 (seductive)
Notes:
CD1 – 8 (1:00 spoken intro, funny)
CD2 – 1 (1:20 spoken intro in German), 3 (entire track is applause),
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John Berberian and the Rock East Ensemble – “Middle Eastern Rock” [Acid Symposium]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library, CD, International

Middle-eastern acid rock led by oud player John Berberian (an oud is kind of a fat mandolin). The music incorporates Middle Eastern and Armenian instrumentation and rhythms with western jazz, soul, and funk. Track 3 has some Armenian vocals; other tracks are entirely instrumental. Very groovy, laid back stuff. Break out the hookah, pick any track, and enjoy!
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Big City Orchestra – “Just Where is That Sound Coming From?” [Big City Orchestra]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library

Subtitled Exclusive Tracks for Radio Friends, and with the name of the group misspelled on the cover(!), Big City Orchestra has been so kind as to provide us with 14 tracks of experimental ambience. Imagine some old piece of Sci-fi where the heroes were adventuring through the body of some kind of giant organic robot-being; here are the sounds, including the heart (1), the blood stream (2), the cerebellum (3), the language center of the brain (6), the bladder (9), and the bowels (12). Subdued enough to be used as beds, but interesting enough to stand on their own. If you were looking for some good haunted house music, you need look no further.
The cover only shows 9 track titles, but I think they are just suggested titles for any of the tracks, rather than being linked to specific ones. I’ve made some decisions for Zookeeper purposes, but feel free to mix it up.
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The Faint – “Wet From Birth” [Saddle Creek]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library, CD

It turns out that catchy, hooky, 80’s-style electronic dance-pop didn’t die, it just moved to Omaha! Wet From Birth joins the 2 excellent The Faint CDs already in the library and provides 10 more tracks of music to listen to while wearing black lipstick, black fingernail polish, black boots, and black shirts with black designs. What Depeche Mode could have been if they weren’t so insufferable. My favorites are tracks 1, 2, 6, and 9, but you really can’t go wrong with any track. Play this!
There is ostensibly a video on here in MP4 format, but I couldn’t get it to play.
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Tracy and the Hindenburg Ground Crew – “Great Day” [Action Box Records]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library, CD

This is presumably the same band as Ace T and the Hindenburg Ground Crew (for whom we have a 7″ 33), but while that disc is pretty much a novelty, this album is a bit more substantial.
Quirky pop that’s not really hi-fi or lo-fi, but somewhere in between (medium-fi?). Some elements of The Residents, but probably a little more of They Might Be Giants. Songs are by turns thoughtful (2, 8, 10, 13), funny (3, 6, 9, 12), or just kind of strange (1, 4, 7, 8). If there is a space for pop on your show, you should find something to like here.
Language: 12
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Adams, John – “Road Movies” [Nonesuch Records]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library, CD

Neo-classical post-minimalism from composer, San Francisco Conservatory of Music mainstay, and 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner John Adams. This CD contains new recordings of several Adams works. Road Movies uses piano and violin, while the others have only piano (2 pianos on Halleluiah Junction).
The music is consonant, beautiful, and warm. It is simple without crossing the line into banality that would classify it as ‘new age.’ My favorites tracks are the slightly more strident ones (1, 3, 6, 8).
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People Like Us & Kenny G – “Nothing Special” [Soleil Moon]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library

High weirdness from WFMU DJ Kenny G and People Like Us (Vikki Bennett). Arrhythmic sound collages pieced together from a number of sources. Tracks involve cutting together one or more 40’s-60’s ballads with audio samples from movie/tv/other. It transcends the ironic or satirical into the realm of weirdness for the sake of weirdness. Sometimes tracks track together. My favorites are tracks 1 (Language!), 6, and 12, but really you can choose any track if you feel a need to inject some bizarreness into your show.
Language: 1, 11 (both contain the spoken word ‘vagina? repeatedly and clearly).
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Roots of Orchis – “Cracked Ceilings” [Slowdance]

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library, CD

A 2 disk set from Roots of Orchis. Disk 1 is their originals. Disk 2 is remixes of old Roots of Orchis tunes.
Disk 1 is beautiful, mellow, instrumental psych-trance created using bass, percussion, keyboards, and occasionally some very minimal guitar.
The Disk 2 remixes are still mellow, but most have a more glitchy feel. Exceptions are track 4, which has an indie-pop feel, track 7, which is more guitar driven, and track 8 (language), which is hip-hoppy.
LANGUAGE: Disk 2, Track 8. Also, this track has a 20 second ‘false start?.

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[coll] WFMU Radio Archival Oddities Vol. II

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library, CD

A 2 CD set put out by the folks at WFMU. Disk 1 is made up of non-WFMU radio moments that The Professor found ‘compelling, funny, or just plain odd?. Disk 2 is a collection of moments from WFMU broadcasts. The booklet provides an excellent overview of the clips. My favorites are:
1: 7 – The Black Pope; a Texas/Louisiana radio personality who sounds like a less grounded George Clinton (1979). Insane.
1: 14 – It’s Friday! An unknown DJ on an unknown station with a semi-orgiastic paean to Fridays. Awsome.
1: 15 and 16 – Neil Rogers and Bob Lassiter, respectively, taking apart ignorant callers.
1: 20 and 21 – John Lennon schilling for Tower Records and alarm clocks, respectively.
1: 23 – 8/18/1998 Tampa station WFLA manages to get in touch with a man who had shot a cop and was currently holding a hostage in a gas station. Chilling.
1: 24 – 9/11/2001 The first tower falls.
2: 4 (LANGUAGE!) ? WFMU DJ Vanilla Bean calls a phone sex service.
2:22 Call to Henny Youngman during a fundraiser. Hilarious
Language: Disk 1 – 19 Disk 2: 4, 10, 15, 26
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The Advantage – “The Advantage”

stingray   1/14/2005   A Library, CD

The Advantage is a Canadian 4 piece band that plays covers of music from Nintendo (ORIGINAL NES) games. Is it a gimmick? Sure! But it’s still fun! The band is made up of 2 guitars, bass, and drums. Interesting to hear this synthesizer music played without a keyboard. Tracks are very short (none over 3 minutes, many under 1 minute). Tracks from the same game usually track together.

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