Sunday, August 2, 2015


MUUIXX starts off in a warmly beautiful electro-acoustic trot, only to take a series of associative leaps and departures, playfully intermarrying organicism with industrial menace. Never not willing to take a left turn, the album makes a point of settling into the unsettling back alleys of pop-electronics. It's a harrowing head-nodder that sparks the ear with grinning textures atop slabs of gilded waste.

t e l e p a t h テレパシー能力者 - 向かい合って

My favorite album of 2015 until I discovered it came out in October of last year. Regardless, I've been listening to this all year. It's sooo weird. I think of it as the Disintegration Loops of vaporwave, which tells you something about it's presence. Absolutely amazing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Campbell Kneale

It's no big secret that I've been off my game for some time. And I'm okay with that, up to a point. However, when I realize that not only has New Zealand noise god Campbell Kneale resurrected his Birchville Cat Motel moniker (thanks AGB!), but, combined with Our Love Will Destroy the World, has put out at least 5 or 6 albums this year alone, I'm embarrassed. And thrilled. If I'm remaking my 2015 mid-year music list and limiting myself to, like, ten albums, probably half of them are Campbell Kneale's. That's how good these are sounding in my headphones. I'm giddy to be sorting through these for the next little while. And you should be too:

etc. etc. etc.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Valentine Gallardo's Tomorrow I'll Be Gone

Valentine Gallardo's one of my favorites. Read/download her out-of-print (I think) debut collection, Tomorrow I'll Be Gone, here.

Like, Wow: "Loop Ring Chop Drink" by Nicolas Menard and Co.

2015 All-the-Way Halfway Almost There It's Already July Music List

My 2015 favorites so far.

Dan Deacon - Gliss Riffer
I've long admired Dan Deacon, but Gliss Riffer has transformed me from casual admirer to Deacon fanatic.

Domenique Dumont - Comme Ça
Wistful beach-dreaming tropicalia pop music for dancing and gentle smiles.

Eric Chenaux - Skullsplitter
Chenaux has been creating slow-burning outsider blues and balladry for some time now, all of it consistently beautiful and weird. Skullsplitter though is weirder and more beautiful than the rest.

/F - pq:c
What happens, I assume, when you run your circuit board through a grocery store tortilla. This is the future of electronic tortilla music, and the future is bright.

The Go! Team - The Scene Between
Don't sleep on The Go! Team. I know, they seem like old news. Maybe they are old news, I don't know. But this album, The Scene Between, has been an amazing grower, flush with melodic brilliance, definitely the album I've replayed the most in 2015.

John Wiese - Deviate From Balance
What can I say? New work from John Wiese is new work from John Wiese. Harsh musique concrete to sate us faulty-wired texture nerds.

Mount Eerie - Sauna
The best album Phil Elvrum's made since he began recording as Mount Eerie.

Quicksails - Spillage
Awkward aliens, laser beam button-mashing, sunburst chaos streams, radio-hacked starship worship beauty pageants: the new Quicksails album has it all.

Radicalfashion- Garcon
Neatly composed, classically beautiful piano pieces that, as the album progresses, take on minimalist electronics and a spryly playful air. More conservative than his debut, Garcon has been my palette cleanser, a nice counterpoint to the more chaotic music that's been dominating my headphones.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Matana Roberts, Sam Shalabi, Nicolas Calaio - Feldspar

Always happy to stumble upon Matana Roberts projects (or one's she's involved in). And this trio is really great. Released last year (2014), Feldspar is an awesome, slow-moving, almost bluesy avant jazz album matching alto sax, contrabass, and electric guitar. Super swell sounds for adventurous listeners.

(Of course, Matana Roberts' Coin Coin Chapter 3 is one of the best albums so far this year. And Coin Coin Chapter 2 was my second favorite album of 2013. Trivia.)

Quicksails - Spillage

100% recommendation. Their best yet. Really, really amazing laser beam noise wonder and awe. Ranks up their with the new Zs album, the new John Wiese album, the new Mount Eerie Album, the new Liturgy album, the new Matana Roberts album, i.e., the best music of 2015.

Pierrot Lunaire - Of Being in Skyless Space

And, since you should listen to everything in the Pierrot Lunaire catalog, here's another one from 2013. Dude's got the Midas Touch.

Pierrot Lunaire - This Love of Mine

This was my favorite album from 2013, if you wanted to know.

Ambient Air by Erin Curry

See the rest here!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Subte Lip Can - Reflective Drime

In January I almost posted a year-end list of my favorite music from 2014. I’d been re-listening to a lot of what came out during the past year and figuring out what I’d listened to most, what I’d liked most. And, as you’ll notice, I’d already put together a books list, so I was poised to get back into the game of year-end nonsense after missing last year (and yes, it’s nonsense, but I love it all the same). What stopped me this year was an inkling that Drip Audio might’ve put something out that I’d missed. Drip Audio, if you’re not already familiar, is an absolutely amazing label out of Canada that only puts out the best of the weirdest best, often limiting themselves to one or two releases a year, and, following whatever cycle they’ve been running on over the past few years, often putting the stuff out in the middle of December, when everyone else is looking backward trying to tally the year’s offerings. So, of course, I pull up there home site, and what do I find? There’s a new Subtle Lip Can album. And, just like that, I’m unable to post my list—not without listening to this album. And not just because it’s a Drip Audio release (which will invariably demand a spot on any worthwhile best-of list), but because Subtle Lip Can’s eponymous debut stands as one of the best records I’ve heard in the last ten years. So, my apologies, you can find the list below*, but more importantly, Subtle Lip Can has a new record!! And, hot damn, it’s a brain scrambler. As well one would hope. Still swimming against the current, the trio (Josh Zubot on violin, Bernard Falaise on guitar, Isaiah Ceccarelli on drums) contort their instruments into plinging, gut-bursting, animal-heaving monstrousities. One of the things I really loved about their debut was this quality of playing that generated these gloriously animalistic sounds, nothing like traditional instruments, but more like the loosing of the souls of beasts. And Reflective Drime picks up that thread, those animalisms, with an added tinniness, a here-and-there bed of industrialism, with wide scrapes and pinnish micro-punctures. The bottom line of which is to say, thank everything, there’s a new Subtle Lip Can--get it now and be destroyed. There’s nothing like quite like them.

*20 other favorites from 2014: Alvaays – Alvaays, Angeles 9 – Injuries, Anne Guthrie – Codiaeum variegatum, Battle Trance – Palace of Wind, The Body – I Shall Die Here, Caribou – Our Love, D’Angelo – Black Messiah, Dragging an Ox Through Water – Panic Sentry, Each Other – Being Elastic, The Fun Years – One Quarter Descent, Goodwill Smith – The Honeymoon Workbook, Gordon Ashworth – S.T.L.A., Ian William Craig – A Turn of Breath, Nap Eyes – Whine of the Mystic, Posse – Soft Opening, Rhodri Davies – An Air Swept Clean of All Distance, St. Vincent – St. Vincent, A Sunny Day in Glasgow – Sea When Absent, Vladislav Delay – Visa, White Suns – Totem, Wold – Postsocial

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Freak Heat Waves - Bonnie's State of Mind

This one is brand new music. Remember? Headphones?

Red Sea - In the Salon

Very good. Promise.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Favorite 2014 Books

It's pretty clear that Forest Gospel's been slowing down for some time. And, truth be told, it's not likely to reignite any time soon. That said, I don't think we'll ever just out-and-out quit the thing--who would even care if we did? And so, in a surprise move: a list! Sure, you're probably well past caring about any more year-end lists (at least I am). But then again, who am I even addressing? Myself, mostly. Self: These are my favorite books of the year, books that seem to be underrepresented in terms of year-end love, which is why I'm compelled to post this here. It's an unranked list, and I know that I missed reading a million books that would/could/should probably be here (money/time), but regardless, everyone should read these books.

Dan by Joanna Ruocco (Dorothy, a publishing project)

I know I said this was an unranked list, but Dan was for sure my favorite book of the year. It's the book that I wish I was always reading. Ruocco's amazing sentences in Dan remind me a lot of Flann O'Brien, both in terms of their humor and Ruocco's ability to write the hell out of any and everything. Made me LOL every couple pages for real (and dumbly smiling for all the rest). Just thinking about it...I think I'm going to go re-read it, right now.

Arsène Schrauwen by Olivier Schrauwen (Fantagraphics)

A brilliant, weird biography of Olivier Schrauwen's grandfather, Arsène. I love the odd colors, the stumbling narrative pace, the fantastic page design--everything.
Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball (Pantheon)

I wrote a pretty glowing review for this thing here, so maybe you can read up on it there? It's really an amazing book that quietly destroys you. I'm a pretty big Jesse Ball fan and I think it's probably his best.

Discomfort by Evelyn Hampton (Ellipses Press)

Oops, this actually just came out. I had an advanced copy--why did I think it came out last year? Oh, well: still so good. Friend alert! Yep, I know Evelyn. We're probably friends. So, I'm pretty happy that her debut collection is as super weird and awesome as it is. I don't know another imagination quite like Evelyn's--every premise, every observation, it's like, WTF, who is this girl? It's so great.
How to be Happy by Eleanor Davis (Fantagraphics)

Twitter evidence that I pretty much got the ball rolling on this collection back in 2011. Definitely worth the wait. Davis is probably in a three-way-tie  for the oft-considered category of Nick's Favorite Cartoonist, so having a collection that exhibits such a wide range of her work is super rad.
Here by Richard McGuire (Pantheon)

An absolutely gorgeous comics treatise on place, wherein Richard McGuire brilliantly offers up a vision of the corner of a room, its history and future, both before it existed and after it's gone. The books a formal masterpiece, the kind of work comics scholars will be referencing for years to come. And rightly so.

In the Marble of Your Animal Eyes by Nathan Hauke (Publication Studio)

Friend alert, part two! I'm sorry, I can't help it if my friends are super talented and wrote some of my favorite books of 2014. And In the Marble of Your Animal Eyes, a book-length sequence of poems, is simply the most beautiful. Incorporating a facsimile transcription of Hauke's pencil edits, every page has a wonderful tactile energy of a genius poet's imagination at work.
 In Pieces by Marion Fayolle (Nobrow)

Marion Fayolle's In Pieces is deserving of a much wider audience. Her book, In Pieces, gorgeously produced by the amazing folks at Nobrow Press, is one of the best examples of comics poetry I've found, whether or not she regards it as such. Filled with lovely vignettes, both darkly humorous and poignant, Fayolle's work achieves a quiet gravitas rarely found in comics.
Travel Notes by Stanley Crawford (Calamari)

Okay, so this was originally published in 1967, and, truth be told, I own an original copy. Still, any chance to  recommend the writing of Stanley Crawford is a chance I'll take. So thank you Calamari Press for republishing this lost classic, because if you haven't read the machinations of Crawford's mind, his sentences, what are you doing with your time?
Writers by Antoine Volodine (Dalkey Archive)

The most recent English translation of one of the most amazing literary imaginations of the last thirty years. What else do you need to know?