May 1, 2009

May Day!!! May Day!!!

Happy Beltane!!! That's all I got by way of topical or witty banter this month. Let's cut to the chase, shall we?

We start slow with some stream-of-consciousness motorik from Psychic Ills, whose great new album has a more improvised-in-the-studio feel, and Wooden Shjips from their debut album (I'll be back next month with a track from their brand new one!). Then an oddball track from Mercury Rev's new one, a free download on their website, which is entirely instrumental! Just as you're drifting off you'll be startled out of your reverie by a blistering track from the incredilbe new Trail of Dead album, their best in a long line of great albums and a true return to form (thanks to Kevin at Pandora Studios for the invitation to a private Trail of Dead taping - that was AWESOME!). We move on into a set of some proggy polyrhythmic pandemonium from our beloved Animal Collective (new one's brilliant!), Marnie Stern (last track from her for a while, I swear!), and Lucky Dragons (file under WTF?!?!?). Then we have some Chicago-school jazz-prog from Pit Er Pat (sounding alot like Pram, who I've been playing a lot of lately) and some full-on space-kraut from Japan's Rovo (always amazing).

Then, as I am wont to do, we drop shear off the cliff into oblivion, with Birchville Cat Motel, a one-man experimental "outfit" from New Zealand, lo-fi San Diego noisemonger Wavves, also a one man band, and a meandering krautrockin' track from late-great San Francisco absurdists Chum Frink (hi Derek!). Speaking of absurd, if I wasn't familiar with the individual members' pedigrees (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Le Fly Pan Am... basically a who's who of the Montreal post-rock scene) I wouldn't know what to make of the next band, Pas Chic Chic, but suffice it to say their "trippy Francophone pop" is meant to be both tongue-in-cheek AND spacerockin'.

And I daresay the remainder of the set is a collection of the most linear stuff I've ever compiled on the Spacerock Continuum (barring the more free-form January best-of editions): Crystal Stilts' surfin-'in-Motown psychedelia, Sian Alice Group's PJ Harvey-esque minimalist post-rock, the Cocteau Twins-esque retro-futurist leanings of School of Seven Bells (featuring an ex-Secret Machines guitarist and the two lovely sisters from On! Air! Library!), a vintage shoegazing classic from Slowdive, the aforementioned Secret Machines whose third album, from which this track is taken, is not as bad as their miserable second but not as good as their stellar debut, and one of the greatest tracks from the sorely-overlooked and long-defunct Chameleons (UK), circa 1985. Of course I have to leave you with a mind-melting show closer, so in this case prepare to be utterly transported by Germany's Daturah (fittingly named after the traditional name for the powerful hallucinogen jimson weed). Work for you? It did for me...

The following tracks should appear in the player below:

Mantis - Psychic Ills - Mirror Eye
We Ask You To Ride - Wooden Shjips - s/t
Because Because Because - Mercury Rev - Strange Attractors
Far Pavilions - ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - The Century Of Self
Lion In A Coma - Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
Grapefruit - Marnie Stern - In Advance Of The Broken Arm
Givers - Lucky Dragons - Dream Island Laughing Language
I Am The Jungle - Pit Er Pat - Emergency
Cisko - Rovo - Tonic 2001
Damn Infinity Hair Tie - Birchville Cat Motel - Four Freckle Constellation
Sun Opens My Eyes - Wavves - Wavvves
Palimony - Chum Frink - EP
Vous Comprenez Pourquoi - Pas Chic Chic - Au Contraire
The Dazzled - Crystal Stilts - Alight Of Night
Way Down To Heaven - Sian Alice Group - 59.59
Sempiternal Amaranth - School Of Seven Bells - Alpinisms
Morningrise - Slowdive - Catch The Breeze
Have I Run Out? - Secret Machines - s/t (third)
In Shreds - The Chameleons - What Does Anything Mean, Basically?
Ghost Track - Daturah - Reverie

And how's about a bonus video? One for Mogwai's biggest mindfuck ever? Well, okay then:

Mogwai - Mogwai Fear Satan from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.