Saturday, January 30, 2010

Birthed from cupcakes

Omfg... I don't believe there is a more divine bliss than spending a Saturday afternoon hung over with Francois De Roubaix soundtracks and crackers. The overly blessed Roubaix spent nearly fourteen years gracing the public with his lovely jazz infused musical experimentation. I do not mean to diminish the supremely deep qualities of his compositions by saying they are "birthed from cupcakes," but I simply want to describe the giddy emotion that spills from each layer of his musical creations.

I think he must have experienced a quite deep happiness in his life since his songs tend to have an underlying layer of zen-like joy. Sadly he died in a tragic diving accident at the age of 36. I am still rather amazed at the catalog he left behind for such a "short" period of life. His passion and self taught style are incredibly lucid in the complexity, yet subtlety of his arrangements with a total projection of life and warmth.

"Le Samourai" is the theme song for the epic film of the same name by Jean-Pierre Melville. "Les Amis" is the theme song for an out of print french film that is apparently about pederasty. Awesome... both songs have really charmed me.

Francois De Roubaix - Le Samourai

Francois De Roubaix - Les Amis

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Commune Prog

What do you get when you cross hippie commune dwellers and avante-gard prog? Amon Düül II of course. Perhaps some of the most inventive and inspired krautrockers, Amon Düül II spun an eclectic quilt of psychedelic sounds throughout their decadeish long career (1969-1981).

The jam above best embodies the experimental and raucous energy notable in their performances. I personally like the drugged-out people piled on top of each other next to Rainer Werner Fassbinder lucidly smoking cigarettes. "Mozambique" and "Jalousie" are featured on their 1973 release "Vive La Trance." Though I love both I must say "Jalousie" is ridiculously catchy in an eccentric way. It might be Renate Knaup's delivery, but the song feels like a perpetual climb up a crystal mountain. Highly recommended if you are interested in expanding your german rock consciousness.

Amon Düül II - Mozambique
Amon Düül II - Jalousie

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cherry 2010

Hard to believe I've been listening to Ed DMX in all his many forms for 13 years now. He's trucked on, outliving a herd of retro music revivals and micro genre explosions. Always retaining his sound and pushing it further with each release.

Rephlex just released Wave Funk this month, pulling together new material as well as 12" releases from the past year or so. And in typical fashion, it amazes. Eclectic, weird and dancey, machine music with soul and emotion.

DMX Krew- Cherry Ripe

Grab all seventeen tracks here...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

We're Gonna Make a Lil' Music

We are getting a lil' bit of sunshine up here in the Pacific Northwest for once in twenty nine days. I felt like Van Dyke Parks' "Discover America" is the perfect homage to bright heartbeats and American folkism to soundtrack my sunny day. This little ditty I've chosen to share has a blissful xylophone, punchy kick drum and transcendent background vocals. What more can one ask for in an eclectic seventies pop song? People justa singin' occapella...

"Occapella" came out in 1972 on Van Dyke Parks' "Discover America." The album is a steelband tribute to America's history. It's quite eccentric, but delightfully enjoyable.

Van Dyke Parks - Occapella

Friday, January 22, 2010

If She Moves You

Samantha Sang sings like some sort of forest creature. One quick and catlike, hard to catch or even see. Something that might sneak up should you fall asleep near its cool and cozy lair and whisper unremembered nothings in your ear. I can imagine waking up feeling fresh and somehow... smoother.

She's a strange voice helped to prominence by even stranger ones, The Bee Gees. On her second and most successful album Emotion she teamed with them multiple times with mixed results, Emotion being the highest end of the spectrum...

The weirdest thing is that my favorite song on the record, the one that keeps me comin back, doesn't feature them at all. No songwriting credits, no vocals, no nothin. But I swear they're in there. The melody, the backup vocals in the chorus... I swear it's them.

Tell me I'm not crazy here.

Samantha Sang- But If She Moves You

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Puppy Love

Call me smitten, but this has to be the best Rolling Stones cover ever. The heavy 4 on the floor rock-disco beat sounds as if it could've been an outtake straight from Some Girls. If you want to hear more from this band, there's an awesome review of the LP with link right here.

Hounds - Under My Thumb

The Sun and The Rainfall

Of which San Francisco has one right now. And I couldn't be any happier about it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Looking Confused

Well, before I begin... I would just like to say I am deeeee-lighted to be a contributor for ARAWA. Not to circle jerk too much, but I have been quite a fan for some time now and I can't wait to christen my new membership with a creeped out video of Nancy and Lee. When I first watched this video I was completely put off by Nancy and Lee's seemingly coked out performances. Of course, once I read the performance was in Vegas I began to "see the light." There is an air of pale, ghostly struggle in their somewhat serious performance of a touchingly campy song. Nancy looks stoned and lost as she visually peruses the darkness under her spotlight. Lee Hazlewood just looks like he is struggling to sit in the chair as he clenches the microphone.

Regardless, the solemn atmosphere of the track doesn't lose any of its attraction with this doped out rendition. In fact, it makes the lyrics of the song all the more surreal. The track is a haunting tribute to being in love with an individual you know will die from coal mining. Beyond the romantic, it also includes the perspective of being the children of a coal miner. The songs melodramatic description of the characters' decision to live their lives, despite the morbid outcome, is surprisingly touching. The contrast between the almost subdued, dialogue style verses and the orchestrated push of the chorus give make the song an intensely surreal roller coaster. Coming from one city-slicker and one highly unconventional country artist the song adds a rather trippy aura to a traditionally more earthy musical style.

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Arkansas Coal

ἀρχαῖος πτέρυξ

Urvogel otherwise known as Archaeopteryx is the earliest and most primitive bird known to man. Coincidentally, it's also the title for one of my favorite jams off I Signori Della Galassia's 1979 cosmic rock masterpiece Iceman. Big ups to 36-15-Moog for sharing the 320kbps full length and for turning me onto this amazing space disco album!!

I Signori Della Galassia -Archaeopteryx


When three lines are drawn in such a way, at perfect and corresponding angles, it makes a shape The strongest shape in nature, one nearly impossible to topple, the triangle. I'd like to introduce ARAWA's third line drawn in the digital sand, Bearbaby. Already a long time blaugh veteran having spent two and a half years over at Disco Workout, I've always looked forward to her selections and words. She's a lady with impeccable taste and a penchant for the strange and awesome which is something that will fit in perfectly around here with us weirdos.

Welcome Bearbaby!

And a track to celebrate new partnerships and friends from the late and great, Jacno...

Jacno- Triangle

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Through The Valley

Like a quick snip to restraints unseen and previously unknown, listening to Sinoia Caves' The Enchanted Persuaded untethers me. An album sometimes alternately gorgeous and unsettling by one Jeremy Schmidt, member of the incredible band Black Mountain. It pulls you through door after door, portal after portal, drum machines and vocoders smashing up against dusty acoustic guitars, long passages of pulsing Goblin-esque synthscapes and droning keys. And there in the center of it all beats a warm heart, Through the Valley.

Sinoia Caves- Through the Valley

Buy it buy it buy it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Where did our future go? Here we are, casually living in years romanticized and imagined for centuries and yet, where are our flying cars and skateboards? Our domed cities and floating islands? Our robot friends and cybernetic arms? We're still here, still tethered to this one planet, plain and dimension, our race only seconds from where we started on Carl Sagan's cosmic calendar, still working away, still loving, still crying, still dreaming, still changing. I guess it says something about the power of our imaginations that we still aren't as far as we imagined we would be right? Well, in this new year, I propose a toast to all of us, a wish that we all keep moving and working towards the future we want. It'll come.

Ganymed- Future World