Monthly Archives: March 2009

Cryptacize – Mythomania (Asthmatic Kitty, 2009)


Nick: so basically they’re mad about myth’s?



I heard this this morning already didn’t I?

I played it while you were out.

well I still heard it.

maybe you caught the end of it, maybe you just remember it from some other time, I’ve been playing it a lot recently.

is this ‘newest romantics’?


yes well didn’t we have the new romantics a few years ago?

yeah, 80’s I guess.

do these remind you of someone from that scene in particular?

no, it’s just extremely schmaltzy ‘romantic’ stuff.

why?  do you see something different?

it’s fondant-y and treacle-y, I can see honey dripping from the CD.

I say newest romantics because the new romantics were tougher than this.

I know you hate the word but it’s nice.

I don’t hate the word nice, I just thought you used it far too much, now you say ‘I know you hate the word nice’ too much.

haha ok, I’ll try and find a way out of that, won’t be easy.

and I agree, the word nice is usually pretty meaningless.

it’s not aimed at teenyboppers, but it goes for the other extreme, it’s changing now, got some rhythm, but the first few were aimed at grannies in lilac twinsets.

it’s sweet. diabetics probably aren’t allowed to listen to it.

now, it has its own style, if that’s what you want to call it.

maybe it’s because I’m getting to the age I am but all these bands sound like school kids to me, I’d expect to see her singing on stage at a school play.

I think sometimes there’s no synergy between the voice and the music, the music is all very softly sweety but it tries to rock, but it can’t. you know what I mean?

very tinkly, extremely tinkly.

I heard a classical piece on the radio yesterday that made extensive use of the Theremin, which was interesting.

the atmosphere, is summertime evenings sitting by the Thames, eating strawberries and cream, nothing to do.

why the Thames?

because that’s the only experience I have with that sort of thing, it could be any river really, well, not the Volga.

I can can’t make out the lyrics.

what? they’re clear as a bell.

”zocah manusha”

‘I’ve got a new spell’

‘zam ca ah nuh span’

a spell? she doesn’t sound like a witch, she sounds like a sprite.

maybe you can hear it because you know it.

but I’m never going to get to know it.

I bought the first Cryptacize album in Amoeba Records in San Francisco this time last year (go me!). Even though it had only just been released there was a load of copies in the second hand section, I could only assume it stunk. Being a big fan of Deerhoof and The Curtains I took the plunge and ended up, well, not liking it too much, or not at all really.Oh well.

Now, I’ve been sitting with this one (their second) for a couple of weeks, and this morning, it hit hard, made sense, made me not want to listen to anything else. It’s filled with a sense of wonder largely absent from most modern music. Maybe it’s time I revisit the first record.


Dent May – The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele (Paw Tracks, 2009)


Nick: what? say that again.

”The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele”


by Dent May

and his magnificent ukulele too I hope.

of course.

I know it’s pretty good stuff but it’s just not my kind of thing.

it just can’t be taken seriously at all can it?

the music, the lyrics, it’s all so flippant.

it’s fun and nostalgic but not enough to be sufficient.

you have to say the guy is actually talented, what he does with that talent…I’m just not sure.

what year is it from?

this year.

really? ok, hmmm.

well………this is just so far removed from anything I would appreciate, I’d put it in the same category as a German village brass band.

oompah oompah oompah!

sorry but I’m going to go now, I think I know this one by now, I doubt my opinion will change. it’s just not my scene, so much so that if it was playing in a restaurant, I would have to leave after a while.

I’d crave silence.

It’s sunny funny music for people who (and people who would like to) make cocktails in their back garden in the sun. And he’s supporting Animal Collective (whose Paw Tracks label released the record) this Friday in Tripod.

John Martyn – Solid Air (Island, 1973)


Nick: solitaire? or solid air?

solid air.

how old was he when he died? it was only recently.

not sure, lemme check.

he lived in Ireland didn’t he?

yeah, Thomastown.

did you ever meet him?

nope, when we played down there in… Carrolls?… I have a slight memory of someone saying he was around earlier that day or something or in another part of the bar or maybe thats just a false memory or something. it would’ve been hard to miss him, he was a giant.

really? I always thought of him as a slight guy.

yeah in his early days kinda, not so much in his later life.

it’s great stuff.

that’s all I can say, great stuff.

you can listen to this a lot, well I could.

again, he uses lots of sound effects…

well he was….

but they’re relevant to the music, they’re not there to make a point about being experimental or anything, they’re part of the music.

it’s amazing, if you slightly turn off, you could think it was Van Morrisson singing. who I’ve begun to appreciate a little bit more.

he has some incredible musicians here, whoever they are.

(track 7 – May You Never)

that’s an Eric Clapton song isn’t it?

I think he may have covered it.

no I think it’s his song, it’s on Slow Hand, isn’t it?

dunno, Slow Hand is over in that pile of records I think.

no, it’s not here.

off to google so.


but I’m right.

are you?

I think I am.

you think you are.

well think about it, Slow Hand is from the early 80’s, no?

70’s I think.

here it is, 77.

so four years after this was released.

oh, ok yes it says it here, actually hardly anything on Slow Hand is written by Clapton.

albums over.

beautiful stuff.

A good few years ago I went to see Mr. Martyn in Vicar St. It wasn’t very good, his band, I can only assume, had been put in cold storage sometime in the mid-80’s and were brought out every now and then to inflict on audiences some of the worst spazz jazz synth work you could imagine. Things got way better when the band fucked off for a rest, leaving just Martyn and his guitar and that voice. This only lasted 2 or 3 songs though and we were back to the shitfest.

Oh well. Rest in peace John, you were only deadly.

Ivor Cutler – Dandruff (Virgin, 1974)


Nick: ok well…….

this is aimed at the lunatic fringe, isn’t it?

occasionally funny.

that could only have come from one country, where eccentricity is seen as a virtue in itself.

this is sort of…the goons but y’know? faintly set to music but not as clever or funny or erudite or…

basically you could listen to it once and be mildly amused, but never again.

because of the accent, they try to make something of value out of it.


the posh voice, it’s there to make the cheap puns seem funnier.

that sort of thing can work but you have to be Peter Sellers, or… have to be of a much greater calibre than this is.

it’s schoolboy stuff.

When people get asked what music they like to fall asleep to, the answer is normally something ambient, say….Stars of the Lid or whoever. And yeah that’s fair enough, you won’t get any argument from me. But why is it never Ivor Cutler? What could be better than a warm, wise and laconic Scottish voice gently forcing whimsical absurdities into yr slowly slowing brain?

Here We Go Magic – S/T (Western Vinyl, 2009)


(track 1 – Only Pieces ends)

Nick: that ended a bit strangely didn’t it?

did it?

yeah it just seemed to cut out….weird.

(track 2 – Fangela)

and this is the same band?

wow, sounds different doesn’t it?

I think it’s very inconsistent, I mean some of it is very good but the the rest is filled with the usual experimental repetitive dross, that’s……nothing.

(track 7 – Nat’s Alien)

by all means sit at home and make this noise on your computer, see if you get anywhere but don’t put it on a recording.

if you compared this track to the first one, if you played them to some one, they’d never guess that they came from the same album.

what’s wrong with that though?

well I think the audience who would like the first one wouldn’t like this one and vice versa, this is music for very ‘serious’ music nerds who want to pretend that they’re highly intelligent, they would probably disregard the first track as lightweight pop.

(track 8 – Everything’s Big)

this one now sounds like 1930’s honky tonk showtunes, these guys need to take a good look at themselves.

So, everything I read about this record says that it’s the work of Luke Temple, as if I’m supposed to know who that is. But no matter, kinda like Nick said this is dusty cyclical droning pop songs, ‘noise’ (that really doesn’t come off) and an unbelievably strange album closer that seems like it was drafted in from another world, never mind another record.

It’s pretty great.

Large Mound – My Whole Life Is Have To (Scientific Laboratories, 2007)


Nick: as in M-O-U-N-D?




I ask myself what are they bringing to the music scene?

I heard this all before, sometime.

I presume they’re playing their instruments correctly and not messing up.

there must be at least 3792 other bands who sound just like this.

what is it saying?

bands like this always strike me as…..bands that start off in secondary school, and they’re not sure of their style, they’re messing about and soon enough they start emulating another band. the bands survives through college and into their twenties, soon they can draw a crowd and they start making a bit of money and releasing albums. and it’s been a few years and the band, everyone, has just forgotten that when they started they sounded just like this older band. but their sound hasn’t changed one bit.

that’s how we get these thousands of bands who all sound the same.

can you not see that? are these guys not completely samey to you??

maybe a tiny bit but i guess what’s important is they have great songs.

but so what? I’ve heard 300 great songs this week, not every one makes me say WOW! not everyone’s a radiohead or an arcade fire or even the eh..the spook of the thirteenth lock.

yr gonna have to shut up for a minute, can’t type this fast.

well I think I’m done.

(as I’m going through the text fixing and tidying, I stick on the Real Estate 7”)

now see! this band is using the same elements as the band before, but managing to make something that is relatively original. and they’re probably using less electricity to! hahaha

I really like Large Mound, someone once said something along the lines of ‘Thin Lizzy meets Sebadoh’ (maybe it was the band themselves), but they’re way better than that. And oh yeah, they’re playing with The Dudley Corporation (as The Large Corporation) tomorrow at ‘One For The Road’. Get there early!


The Jimmy Cake – Dublin Gone, Everybody Dead (Pilatus, 2002)


Nick: this has a kind of sort of occasionally eastern flavor… i think.

and I like it! apart from the overly repetitive bits, you know me and repetition, I know there are sometimes when there’s a reason for repetition, but here it just seems like they ran out of ideas so they repeat the same ones over and over till the song ends.

what do you call classical music these days, modern classical music.

serious music?

classical music.

yes but that’s a certain style.

it is but it’s also an umbrella term, no?

I guess.

well, if you took away the rhythmic elements of this it could be considered modern classical. it’s not ‘rock’ or ‘indie’

do they play live?

yep, going to see them on Saturday, first time in 4 years or so.

they’re unique too, I can’t think of anything else that comes close to sounding like this, is there?

some things, nothing *exactly* like it, sure.

have they ever made music for a movie?

I’m not sure.

well someone should ask them. it would have to be a certain type of movie, something atmospheric.

it’s nice to hear a completely instrumental band, I like the accordion, I remember the accordion.

it only shows you though doesn’t it?


if you were to describe their music to someone, they wouldn’t expect an accordion would they?

but it plays a very big part in the sound.

the only other thing I would criticize them for is….they have two ways of playing, it’s either dadadadindadadadindadadadin or else it’s very slow and experimental, now I understand that that is their ‘sound’ and how people recognize them but I just find it strange.

is it over? oh I’m a little disappointed that the eastern bits didn’t develop further.

The Jimmy Cake were really awesome back then, I have no idea if they still are, I guess I’ll find out on Saturday at One For The Road!


One For The Road



It’s all there in the poster really, the best record store in Dublin is / was about to shut up shop for good, but maybe, just maybe we can all do our bit to help keep it open, keep it safe.

Buy a ticket! Buy some for yr friends! Buy one even if you can’t make it! Buy one even if you hate all the bands playing! Buy a ticket!


Faith No More – Angel Dust (Reprise, 1992)


(track 4 – RV, starts)

Nick: oooh, that was a bit of a surprise!

(track 5 – Smaller and Smaller, midsection, ‘Red Indian’ noises)

a visit to the reservation?

it sounds like a heavy metal band playing at their aunties 8oth birthday party, and they’re just barely able to keep quiet.

but it has some nice touches, it’s very listenable.

I’ve heard this one before, haven’t I? or is it all very derivative?

well, back when I was small I probably listened to this album 11 times a day or something, you must’ve heard it at some stage.

there’s a chance I could remember it from then, a small chance.

it’s certainly not music of today, it comes across as quite sort of…..a long time ago.


right, if I had guessed I would’ve said even older than that.

but it’s very good stuff, it’s melodic and musical.

what was it called at the time?

ugh, I guess ‘funk metal’ which is fairly horrible term.

well it sort of makes sense, it’s certainly not all metal.

(track 9 – Be Aggressive, enter the cheerleaders)

see, great stuff, the more I listen to it the more I like it.

(track 10 – A Small Victory)

I remember this one too, I remember lots of bits, looks like you’ve had an influence on my musical education.

possibly to my detriment!

it’d be great to see them live I reckon, it’s energetic and exciting and masculine, I know that’s a hang-up of mine but I hate all this wimpy music these days, big girls blouses putting in no effort.

these are GUYS!

it’s a massive production as well isn’t it? so many different parts.

they don’t make ’em like that anymore.

they can stay.

the big difference between these guys and those people I hated the other day…?

Dirty Projectors?

yes, these guys keep adding new things, inventions, but it all stays in the same genre, dirty projectors just throw any old crap at the wall.

(track 12 – Jizzlobber)

I love the church organ here!

ahh this is great

I’d find it very difficult to believe there’s somebody out there who doesn’t like this.

FNM are back! I missed them at Dalymount Park way back when, Hopefully this summer I’ll finally get a chance to see the first band I ever loved.

The Olivia Tremor Control – Black Foliage: Animation Music (Cloud Recordings, 1999)


Nick: Ordinary somewhat Beatle-like songs, overlayed with a mess of effects and experimental noises, the only thing they contribute is confusion.

songs disappearing up their own complex confusion.

now, if they want to do that, that’s fine, there’s certainly music there.

I always wonder when I listen to stuff like this, how much of it is a genuine expression and how much of it is a fear of sounding ordinary.

do they just want people to think they’re original.

there seems to be some nice songs here, and I’m not sure if there’s any need for the extraneous mess.

I think I can hear that it is a pure add-on, if you push it all to the back the songs are very consistent, melodies, harmonies, the feeling, all consistent.

but the noise, is just a grab bag of whatever crazy sounds they could come up with at that moment, just random weirdness.

(track 19 – The Bark & below It, an 11 minute sound collage)

I think we have another case of talent going to waste here, all these noises….there’s no context.

it’s like scribbling some meaningless scribbles over a Rembrandt.

(track 27 – Hilltop Procession Momentum Gaining)

is this still it?

Put on yr favorite Beatles album, turn on the telly, start skipping through the channel’s, turn on the blender, take the cutlery drawer and toss it against the wall, stick yr least favorite Turkish psychedelic jazz record on the turntable at half speed, harmonize.
Go on…