And I still haven’t written a pithy or emotional or silly intro to this thing, yet, so here’s an assortment of links:
A deleted review of Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity — a mess of “edgy” jokes and unearned fury like so much post-Lester Bangs music writing of the late ’90s/early 2000s — and p4k’s attempt to correct the record is just poor journalism. Own up to your past, no matter how embarrassing.
Weak Sauce’s Tangerine Nightmare, a hot sauce that’s sticky and sweet and tangy, so I pile it on a breakfast burrito before I’m reminded, “Oh, God, my mustache is on fire.”
I’ve only just started Organic Music Societies, Blank Forms’ 496-page journal on Don and Moki Cherry’s communal art experiment. I’ve been thinking about this quote from Don about appropriation: “It’s still incredible sometimes, what’s happening to black music folks with the music itself. I mean the way the white pop world uses the roots of black music that they listen to and then put on dresses and makeup and bring in a negative thing that has nothing to do with the music.”
Currently, Lorde only has two tweets, including an Arthur Rimbaud quote: “A choir, to calm helplessness and absence / A choir of glasses, of nocturnal tunes”
Please gift us more nocturnal tunes, Lorde; roséwave szn is here.
A new sixer (almost) every week. Follow my collection on Bandcamp.
Kajsa Lindgren, Momentary Harmony (Recital Program): Sometimes I hit play on an ambient album and immediately know the score: “30 minutes of string drone? I’m in.” That’s not a knock and, in fact, sometimes that’s exactly what I want. This is not that. Here, Kajsa Lindgren begins with strings, but is subtle in surprising shifts of mood and texture that slowly creep from the corners. Piano and voice drift across channels, disappear and lurk just below the surface of aqueous latticework to re-emerge at moments of quiet horror.
Panopticon, …And Again Into the Light (Bindrune): Panopticon’s black metal is made for contemplation of life’s triumphs and tragedies — few dig into the bleakness of the human condition like Austin Lunn, with an eye towards light, and come out with heart-wrenching epics of stained beauty. After a decade of singular work, this album, in particular, might be Panopticon’s masterpiece, where the strands of black metal, bluegrass and ambient Americana are one, building to an ending that left me in tears.
Neo Geodesia, 2562 Neon Flames (Chinabot): Lately, I’m all about this London-based record label that documents Asians making experimental and electronic music across the diaspora. Neo Geodesia is a project from Saphy Vong, Chinabot’s founder, and its sonic signature sorta sums up the label’s M.O.: ecstatic collage equally invested in heritage and the world to come. In its electronic detritus of Cambodian chants, warped karaoke samples and jumpy beats, grief underlies the dream-like 2562 Neon Flames — for Saphy’s mother, for a lost year during the pandemic.
Hailu Mergia & The Walias Band, Tezeta (Awesome Tapes From Africa): In D.C., Ethiopian food, dress and music’s everywhere, and I’ve been in a few D.C. cabs bumpin’ Ethiopian jazz over the years. Ever since Awesome Tapes From Africa dug up and reissued Shemonmuanaye in 2013, I’ve wondered if I was ever in Hailu Mergia’s cab before he quit that gig to make music again. Anywho, this archival drop adds a funky-soul dimension to his Ethio-jazz — more guitar licks and more amen breaks, but still plenty of Mergia’s snaking electric organ melodies.
Tuluum Shimmering, Marquee Moon (self-released): Jake Webster really knows how to get inside a cult song and discover a distant bloom. I’ve written about Tuluum Shimmering’s ongoing covers series elsewhere — check out his extended takes on the Grateful Dead, Don Cherry and Pink Floyd — but here Jake transforms Television’s jagged riff into a tender, 35-minute meditation.
Gumiho, Gumiho (self-released): If you read Zachary Lipez’s newsletter, you A) already know about this killer Seoul pop-punk band and B) also never figured Zach for turn-of-the-century bubblegum. Multitudes, we contain them! Gumiho bridges the gap between Lollapalooza and Warped Tour: gruff, grungy ’90s alterna-rockers that pogo hard into the amp-stacked sugar rush of early 2000s pop-punk. Big Muffs Energy meets Paramore. Ok, that’s enough reductive music writing! But seriously, what a bummer that Gumiho released a banger of an EP and promptly broke up.
28 tracks. Hey! You! Gumiho’s amp-stacked pop-punk opens. Spikey surf-punk is alive and thriving in France via Arno de Cea and the Clockwork Wizards. Turnstile make jock jams for hardcore kids and I’m cool with that. Does Jessy Lanza’s Marie Davidson remix remind anyone else of tAtU? Moor Mother’s industrial spaceways. Alice Coltrane’s v o i c e. Loraine James’ introverted beats. Two stellar Avalanches remixes by Sun Araw and the late MF DOOM. Nathan Salsburg sings a Psalm in Hebrew. Not enough folks know about the screamy pop-punk of Norway’s Blood Command; Mads Christensen is a side project that shakes in sass jeans. Denzel Curry really gets particularly unhinged for a nutty punk track. Cosmic choogle via Jeffrey Alexander. Various forms of headbanging: Zeal & Ardor, King Woman, Part Chimp, Pantopticon. Throwbacks to The Fall of Troy, Elliott, Viktor Vaughn, Asnakech Worku.