May 1, 2011

Apocalypse now?

Yeah, by now we've all seen 'em. The Billboards across the globe naming the date of our doom... too bad for us non-believers and spacerockers... I don't know about you but I have a beer circus to go to on May 22nd. Mighty inconvenient, I must say. Aw, fuck the silly religionistas! You don't get more retarded than that. Their heads may be in the clouds but OURS are in SPACE! Where to go from here, except into the apocalyptica! I've assembled a set loosely based on this theme... whether it's the lyrics, the title, or just a general feeling of apocalyptic dread (especially in the case of instrumentals), the songs in this set should tide you over until your judgment day. As for me, I openly, unapologetically, mock all Xtian 'tards, and I will see you in June! (although if all Xtian 'tards were to be swept off the earth on May 21st I would actually THANK GOD!)

One of my favorite-ever Echo & The Bunnymen tracks (another low-quality mastering job from the early days of CDs so TURN IT UP!) is a fitting place to start - not that it's specifically on-subject, but it certainly conjures the fall of mankind for me. One of the first record reviews that I read which turned me on to the Bunnymen was a single-paragraph brief that concluded "...and there's always a guitar going berserk somewhere in the background." SOLD! And 'Heaven Up Here' is still one of my desert island classics.

The latest Kriedler album is one of their best, and it explores heavier-than-their-usual percussion and ominous atmospherics. Vessels is a new discovery for me, and I dig how they expand on formula post rock by stretching it in unique directions.. math rock, jazz, noise, etc. Caspian, Mono and Explosions In The Sky are more in the trad post rock vein... well, hell! They're also some of the originators, and nobody makes dynamic hellfire-and-damnation instrumental rock drama like they do.

Then we bounce back from that epic and tense post rock segment with a little apocalyptic boogie from SF's Lumerians from their recent full-length debut. Then we pile drive straight to hell with the mantric motorik juggernaut that is The Psychic Paramount (you might even have to turn down a hair at this point...or not - these guys record in the red). And you don't get much darker than the last track on the otherwise 90s-mining debut by the UK's Yuck, as this track delves deep into bleak shoegaze murk.

What set of apocalyptica would be complete without Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon'? Except I try to avoid the obvious whenever possible, so I've instead chosen the Flaming Lips version instead - they recorded a song-by-song interpretation of said seminal space rock album with cohorts including their sister Band Stardeath & White Dwarfs, and guest stars like Henry Rollins (?!) and Peaches (?!?!?), and it's by far the best tribute I've heard.

The set lightens up a bit here with a few tracks of acid-damaged neo-hippie post-modern psych/folk/blooz whatchamacallit it from Dead Meadow, Akron/Family and Vietnam, kindred spirits and children of the forest all. Where did they get this disposition? Why from the original krautrock fairy kings of Amon Duul II of course! Who here inject a little self-aware snark into the darkness. Another band influenced by that era of kraut-psych and experimental rock, and probably the most-often included artist here on the Continuum, is Grails, with yet another stellar track from yet another flawless album.

The new self-titled 16th album from Bardo Pond may be their best yet, and this track certainly falls into our category here. I found an appropriately titled monster of a track from one of the various offshoots of the Acid Mother's Temple collective to supply this set's crescendo, and as our denouement, a decidedly out-of-character yet on-subject little ballad from Sonic Youth.

And if on the 21st of this month you should whiff some brimstone, hear the rumble of four horsemen and see the skies rend apart... well, just remember this line from an old Flaming Lips song: "...hell's got all the good bands... anyway."

For you traditionalists who don't mind streaming from this site, the following tracks should appear in the player below:

The Spacerock Continuum Theme - bRambles
Over The Wall - Echo & The Bunnymen- Heaven Up Here
New Earth - Kriedler - Tank
Altered Beast - Vessels - White Fields & Open Devices
Crawlspace - Caspian - The Four Walls
Gone - Mono - Travels In Constants
It's Natural To Be Afraid - Explosions In The Sky- All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone
Burning Mirrors - Lumerians - Translaminnia
Para5 - The Psychic Paramount - Gamelan Into the Mink Supernatural
Rubber - Yuck - s/t
Time/Breathe (Reprise)/The Great Gig In The Sky - The Flaming Lips - The Dark Side Of The Moon
'Til Kingdom Come - Dead Meadow - Old Growth
Another Sky - Akron/Family - S/T II: The Cosmic Birth And Journey Of Shinju TNT
Apoc-LA-lypse - Vietnam - The Concrete's Always Grayer On The Other Side Of The Street
Apocalyptic Bore - Amon Düül II - Vive La Trance
Doomsdayer's Holiday - Grails - Doomsdayer's Holiday
Don't Know About You - Bardo Pond - s/t
Dark Side of the Apocalypse - Acid Mothers Temple & the Cosmic Inferno - Ominous From the Cosmic Inferno
Do You Believe In Rapture? - Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped

But don't forget, you now have the option of spacerock to go:

1. Click on the Divshare (oh, looks like it's kadoo now? WTF?!?!?) logo instead of pushing the play button.

2. Click "download" when redirected to the Divshare site.

3. Once downloaded drag it to yer iTunes and sync it with yer pod - simple!