Friday, April 29, 2011

The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney, a novel, by Christopher Higgs

(2010, Sator Press)

Am I allowed to review a book that I haven’t finished reading yet?

It may be, as the author has elsewhere suggested--his examples being Mark Danielewski’s Only Revolutions or Ben Marcus’s Notable American Women--“too good to finish.” (Though, it should be noted, Marcus’s Notable American Women was good enough that I finished it, while his debut, The Age of Wire and String, was, for me, too good to finish. Either way, I understand the sentiment.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jookabox - The Eyes of the Fly (2011, Asthmatic Kitty)

RIYL = Danielson, Akron/Family, Animal Collective

Jookabox have graduated (they did awhile ago, actually) from their Grampall days, and have, in the transition, switched out their instruments in preference of playing music reflected off the summer sun. Those thick, rope-beams of light their strings, and with objects of tin, plenty reflected moments of buttery drumming. The repurposing of sunshine for sound is what makes Jookabox the plenty-wonderful maestros of hyper-avant pop music; and dancing. The thought of using the sun this way (and to use the SUN, that in and of itself) is a testament to the imagination of these blokes. It plays out in their tunes. Imagination balled up then exploded.  A full stream of joy-turned songs in a constant barrage.

Though, unfortunately, there is an Icarus element to this tale. The Eye of the Fly is, apparently, the moment of Jookabox being, with their playing of the sun, burned flush to the core. As their Bandcamp proclaims: “Jookabox is dead[,] long live Jookabox.”

Making the album a well spun tombstone, meant for revisiting often.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rich Pelligrino

Pelligrino's work is all over the place right now. And for good reason:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Capillary Action - Capsized (2011, Natural Selection)

RIYL = Skeletons, The Weird Weeds, Extra Life

Capsized is jaunty and whipping, markedly tonguing the space between pop music and, well, everything else. It's an album filled with corners, turning you a sharp ninety degrees in one direction before sloping back a quick one-fifty and spitting you out in another direction. That being the case, preliminary listens can be a bit disorienting. It’s an adventure listen, there’s no doubt about that.

This is what Capillary Action has a mind for: Spinning you so precisely as to unravel your brain tissue.

At which point, once unravelled, band leader Jonathan Pfeffer handles the coils, hitting various pleasure points with clinical accuracy. It’s a ridiculous surgery, sure, perhaps a risky one, but a procedure well worth undertaking.  (As is any album that is surgical.)

So press past disorientation.  This is an album that rewards every repeat listen bountifully.

Upside-down as often as it is right-side-up, Capsized is another agitated notch of maniacal, rib-loosening pop music from the constantly inventive Capillary Action.

Capillary Action - Brackish Love (Radio Edit) by Jonathan Pfeffer

Rod Luff

Spoke Art is opening a new gallery space in San Francisco and debuting Rod Luff's amazing "Moleskine Project" there on May 5th.  Looks to be quite the show.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Adam Neate

Prefuse 73 - The Only She Chapters (2011, Warp)

Realize that I love Prefuse 73. His kinetic, muscular, elastic, plundering, cacophonous, resplendent, visceral, hyper-tectonic, maximalist sound is awe-inspiring. There is rare a spot among his discography (despite some entries spending more time in my headphones than others) that don’t twirl me up into a meglomaniacal state of uber-gushery on his behalf. Flying Lotus has been making some records of note, of late, but Lotus has yet to reach the hierarchal status, in my mind, of hyper-electronica’s god-incarnate: Prefuse 73.

I feel even more comfortable in this position now, in light of The Only She Chapters.

In which our hero, Prefuse 73, sets his sensory-blitzing aesthetic into slow motion, allowing the moving parts -- bundles of gears and samples, crossbreeding flurries of interwoven, multi-material textiles, bushels of thickly painted voices, all set aflight with a murderous rage of dragons -- be seen and distinguished at a more manageable frame per second.

Thing is, it’s still a confoundingly impenetrable mess of enlightenment. No one does it quite like Prefuse 73.

PREFUSE 73 | The Only She Chapters | The Only Direction In Concrete

Skeletons - PEOPLE (2011, Shinkoyo)

RIYL = The Dirty Projectors, Nat Baldwin, Extra Life

I don’t have a proper place to set down Skeletons. Money was better than you remember, and if you have not made memories with it, better than you think. So, this, the follow up to that, is something that I’ve been excited about for awhile and something for which I am happy to announce,now, after having given it time, my full satisfaction. Skeletons still seem to go wherever they want, despite where they might be expected to go, and yet, do not filter into those obtuse areas that are hard for Americans to stand in -- this is listenable (in an experimental? type way), and recognizable: singing, words, instruments, notes. In this space, however, PEOPLE bends past those identifiable albums who seem to inhabit the same categorical place for setting something down (to be grouped). I like Skeletons a lot for that. Perhaps respect them, more than like them. But I do like them, what am I saying? This stuff is brilliant, madcap, point-shifting R&B with a space-noise downward swirl, pop, and, really, independent rock n’ roll, (the way they all make it), but still pouring off the roof to a different gravity, with a soulful anchor. And in that way, there is confusion, when thinking comes into play. A bizarre play, but perfect one in the face of it. I say: Good job Skeletons, good job.

This is a terrible review of a great album.  New review:  PEOPLE is an awesome album by a band called Skeletons.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Deaf Center - Owl Splinters (2011, Type)

RIYL = Max Richter, Greg Haines, A Broken Consort

You get the sense that, when listening to Owl Splinters, the end really is nigh.  The ominousness of it all -- Deaf Center burrowing forever into a minor key.  What I can only imagine as being orchestrated in an ice-cold meat locker, the pieces presented on Owl Splinters inhabit the thick-aired space of time just before the death-scythe slides into your chest.  It's that piqued tension brooding in advance of imminent destruction.  Softly plinking pianos, like keys of ice, and madly swelling chamber strings -- and a heavy subwoofing anchor -- that's the course of this album.  Deaf Center have again, as appears to be their talent, created a beautiful, beautiful, black, sleet-rained horror.

Deaf Center - Owl Splinters by _type

Luke O'Sullivan

Really awesome work by Luke O'Sullivan

Monday, April 18, 2011

Heike Weber

I want to go to there.

Page Tsou's backs of heads

Oliver Vernon

What A Wonderful World

What a wonderful world The Painting from Dan Berglund on Vimeo.

Samedi The Deafness by Jesse Ball

Nick graduated in English. I like to give him crap about how the books he reads are pretentious, and yet I never read them myself. Finally, he convinced me to try one out.

Daytripper by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon

Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba are fantastic.  I have loved their comic illustrations from the day I first eyed them and have previously posted on them on our old art blog.  However I have never read anything by them so I was very excited to give Daytripper a go to see if their writing style was as enjoyable as their art.

Bill Callahan - Apocalypse (2011, Drag City)

Maybe if I didn't hate the song "America" so bad I would like this album more, but the truth of the matter is "America" get's stuck in my head and is the only thing I can think about when considering the album.  It's sad.  The rest of the songs are alright and sound like an extension of Sometimes I Wish I Were An Eagle, which I absolutely love, but Sometimes I Wish People Would Change Their Sound Up.  It's hard to get excited about something if you feel like you've already heard it before even if it's really good.

Bill Callahan - Baby's Breath


Super awesome/amazing screenprints from Landland of Minneapolis.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ponytail - Do Whatever You Want All the Time (2011, We Are Free)

RIYL = Boredoms, Gang Gang Dance, Battles

Some reasons I like Ponytail are that, like the horsebutt hairstyle they’ve identified themselves by, they are wondrous childlike with energy beams out their collective foreheads (you can steer the unicorn beam by means of ponytail-as-handle). That and the lickity-splitness of their guitars, Molly Siegel‘s girly yell-yell, the gentle, bright-eyed sparkle of it all -- it’s the Baltimore that we all believe in. Do Whatever You Want All the Time takes the dirt-eating, elementary madness of their earlier efforts and sets it in the restraints of junior high school: pimpled to the heavens, still with mass-energies (vending machines for lunch), hormonal, but feigning something like maturity. The brightness of punk in the hands of these Ponytail-ers is glitter and teeth and rocks and summer at nighttime with the windows down, Fun Dip and a denim vest (with a Black Flag patch). The cover overwhelms, but the music only goes so far as to charm madly. Majorly crushing on this album.

Ponytail 'Easy Peasy'

Mat Daly

An always favourite.  Always love seeing his test prints.

Log of the S.S. The Mrs Unguentine by Stanley Crawford

(Dalkey Archive Press, 2008)

There’s a carved spot inside my head--absolutely small--for the transient idea of “favourites”. While the things positioned there change from day to day, some maintain the space more often than others. Stanley Crawford’s Log of the S.S. The Mrs Unguentine has, for a dust-gatheringly lengthy amount of time, sat carved in as my favourite book.

I purchased it based on the unverified account that Gordon Lish liked it (though, from what I understand, did not edit it).

Amber Albrecht

Internet stumbling, and into these. Hello Amber.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Ghostpatrol, to save the day!

Judith Supine

New Judith Supine show opening in Brooklyn tonight!

Grouper - A I A (2011)

So, Grouper’s latest, A I A, was sold out before it was even released. The vinyl at least. I guess that’s what you get when you match the dark horse of ephemeral ghost-haze with Mississippi Records, a Portland label with only an email address (still, a label we love here at FG). Did no one see this coming? Kids are like piranhas these days when it comes to Grouper on vinyl. Virtually all of her recorded LPs are out of print (this despite each having been repressed numerous times). Didn’t anyone stop for a second and think, hmmm, people seem to really enjoy these Grouper records, maybe we should press a few more. Do you not make more money when you sell more records? Guarantee that within a week, there’ll be copies of A I A up on eBay for a boat of diamonds.

 Of course, there is some substance to the madness; Liz’s voice has a way of pulling ships at sea into the rocks. Though, on A I A, containing a double dosage, you can no longer sit safely landlocked. Expect plenty of reports in the coming days of cars, trucks, bicyles, trains -- falling into the sea. A I A is like that: drowning.

Grouper - Dragging The Streets (first heart tone)

Grouper - She Loves Me That Way

Monday, April 11, 2011

Danielson - Best of Gloucester County (2011, Sounds Familyre)

How to still like Danielson after 5 years: listen to Best of Gloucester County. Seems simple enough–it’s more than obvious–but without a glowing critical endorsement, it just might be something you forget to do. There’s a lot of music out there. And it’s true, this isn’t Ships. But it is Danielson. And Danielson is, without a doubt, one of the genius music-making machines of this, our times. Don’t worry about Sufjan playing banjo across the album. It doesn’t mean anything. Simply put, Danielson starts off in Danielson territory, then veers into DanielsON territory, which is something more free-floating, less jaunty-percussive. This, “simply put,” doesn’t mean anything. The bands edges are softer, that’s all. Still, give it its proper due. This is album is for you. Love it. I do.

Danielson - Best of Gloucester County - Olympic Portions

Danielson - Best of Gloucester County - Hovering Above That Hill

More Seripop

Might as well post up "Radar Eyes," probably my favourite Seripop series of all time. I want a framed grid of all 6 of these prints on my wall so badly!

Seripop - Monster Guarded

What can I say about this?  Seripop are printmaking heroes!  Monster Guarded is their 26 color (!) screenprinted book, 4 years in the making.  Limited to 300 copies, this is sure to sell out before to long.  Completely amazing and totally inspiring.  Order a copy here: RIGHT HERE.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Alex Tedesco's "Monster"

This song is off of a forthcoming album Alex Tedesco is releasing in September of this year.  You might remember Tedesco from his album, Future Strains.  Actually, Alex sent me this song way back in September of last year.  We weren't really posting singles or anything like that back then, but if there was ever a song worthy of it, it's this one.  I sure hope the rest of the album is at this level because this song is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good.  I was just sorting through my inbox and found it again.  Seriously, I can't tell you how much I am anticipating this.  Really excited.  Have a listen, or ten:

Mercury by Hope Larson

Mercury is the tale of two girls, Josey and Tara Faser, relatives separated by 150 years. The girls both live out their lives in Nova Scotia as the graphic novel flips back and forth between their teenage girl lives. They each have crushes, parental issues, mean spirited associations and the same face.

Fumi Mini Nakamura

Walls by Hyuro


Born Scott Kennedy. And awesome.

A Consolation: Gang Gang Dance

So Excited:

Video after the jump.

Lightning Bolt, Kilby Court, April 7th, 2011

First Start: Not planned, but convenient I’m posting this right after one with Scott Teplin’s hyper-detailed drawings of mangled vehicle viscera. Not that Brian Chippendale’s own drawings don’t represent the band well, but Teplin’s drawings, featured below, are very nearly the carnage, in visual form, that Lightning Bolt produces.

Start Over: People watching is best at Lightning Bolt concerts. First, it’s action–because you’re also watching out for yourself, in a sea of arms and sweat, not to be pushed into Chippendale’s blur-flail drumming and be jarred to bits. Second–and perhaps this is why I think this–the first time Erin and I saw Lightning Bolt, there was this girl across the way, right behind Brian Gibson, who we later dubbed “orgasm girl,” because of her clenched-eyed facial expressions in reaction to the noise.

New Start; Start 3: The quintessential live band. It’s no grand statement to say so. Everyone knows it’s truth. I remember reading about their live setup in CMJ magazine as a teenager, ordering their records because of it, waiting for the day that I would actually be a witness to it…

Doing a New Start, Again: Title: Lightning Bolt; a second date. First date was a few years ago with Erin. Me + Lightning Bolt was the reason Erin married me. So a second date, despite my wedded status, was always in the cards. What I’ve learned on date number 2: Lightning Bolt…

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Scott Teplin

Hollis Brown Thorton

Stuff by this guy:

Chris Rehm's Gear Stolen!

We love Chris Rehm.  Evidence: 1, 2, 3.  If you've at any point freely downloaded any Rehm's amazing music (free because he generously offers it that way), consider now giving back.  One of my absolute favourite musicians working right now and the victim of theft.  I always hate seeing this happen, but it is particularly frustrating for it to happen to someone like Rehm, who is by no means made out of money.  More information and a link to donate HERE.

Monday, April 4, 2011

What Our Characters Do To Us --Or-- The Dangers of Writing

We’re working, slowly but Shirley, to widen up the bounds of Forest Gospel. And we read books so we decided we wanted to write about books and then I realized that using words to describe other words is a danger-pit and a different thing than making up words for sounds or posting up pictures (the latter being easier than pie (so send us your lovely arts: Additionally, my reading speed is officially slow, and literature is officially broad, so writing regularly about writing, particularly new writing, is something that isn’t likely to happen, however desirable. But still, we love words. We even strive to create them on our own sometimes. So we’ll write about books, not extensively, or even critically per se, but about how we love them, regardless of when they were published, or how popular they may already be, and how we think you would love them too (which you may already).

Tim Hecker, Peaking Lights, Lykke Li

Music you’d expect me to review (or non-review), but I won’t. Because you’ll already know that you should listen to them, by listening to them:

tim hecker 'hatred of music I' by kranky

Peaking Lights - 936

Yeah, this one too.

Lykke Li - Wounded Rhymes (Hype Machine Album Exclusive) by LykkeLi

Friday, April 1, 2011

Eric Bonhomme

Hellen Jo

Bird Names - Metabolism: A Salute to the Energy of the Sun (2011, Northern Spy)

RIYL: Pumice, Times New Viking, Deerhoof

Pop music, children’s toys, hair, bread crumbs, loose thread, door hinges without doors attached, small animals, medium-sized animals, animal mediums, wax, tin, broken combs, stray comb teeth, marble pouches, marbles, shingles in the front yard, matted grass, attic space, old speeches with folds in them, cursive handwriting, calculators, picture books about foliage, empty jewel cases, chair legs independent of chairs, stray mouth-teeth, plastic, baseball cards, small rocks, mice bones, wood, bubble gum, black dirt, rust, light fixtures, nets made of shoe laces, the inside of a baseball, cardboard, wet paint, garbage trucks, silt, smiling, talking, early spring, ants, insects, frowning, empty tree branches, empty bicycle frames, sun dresses, strawberries, sparks, light switches, burnt marshmallows, bird wings, sunken treasure, elliptical machines in junk yards, buttons for clothing, buttons for pressing, sticky notes, folded notes, love notes, socks, empty keyboards, picture frames, glass, rain, hands with fingers, Scotch tape, staples.

Bird Names - Kiss My Ring