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Catnip Tea

In our last post we detailed how guitarist Miljen Aljinovic saved my sanity. But just who is this masked man, roaming the wilds of Eastern Europe with a guitar on his back in his self imposed sabbatical?

For one thing he writes an amazingly thoughtful and well written blog (not something i could ever say) The Catnip Nomad. (It used to be The Modern Nomad but it turns out there’s already a bunch of those).

But what we’re going to focus on today is his psychedelic grok rockband, Catnip Tea.

The band, currently based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico and soon to relocate to Portland Oregon (yay Portland! I lived there once and loved it) is an experimental psychedelic rock outfit concerned with innovative music and structure over formula and convention, and conveying complex spiritual and existential ideas through sound.

I present the first “single” off what will be their new album Ouroborealis. The song is Muldahara and i reprint the descrioption from their Bandcamp site:

“The new CatNip Tea album, “Ouroborealis” is an attempt to depict and perhaps better understand and maybe then even explain the evolution of a human consciousness from its component parts before conception through its development and on to its culmination.

It is divided into three “trinities”, and the second of these three deals with Muldahara (the survival chakra) becoming Swadisthana (the sex chakra) becoming Manipura (the greed chakra). Swadisthana and Manipura develop in people in many different ways depending on the conditions and beliefs within which they were raised. Anything from religion to personal experience to economic opportunity dictates how we first encounter and experience and deal with these stages. And while depending on where and when in the world one is born, his experience with Muldahara may very quickly begin to differ from another’s, our basic experience of the will, craving, and fundamental need to survive is universal.”

If you like it please go to their Bandcamp site and buy it. it’s name your own price. Their general Bandcamp page is here.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Memphis

It’s no secret i do a bunch of work with Matthew Broyles of The Matthew Show. However, that is not why i’m dedicating a post to his new album Memphis.

I’m dedicating a post to it because i honestly, truly love it. I have found myself putting it into my computer music player night after night when i sit here to do my nightly computer shenanigans. The songs are fun and clever. They’re perfect for an end of day album to nod my head along to and Matthew has always had a penchant for clever and poignant lyrics.

If i have the story right, Matthew and his band went to Memphis for a Folk Alliance concert and somehow got the chance to step into the famed Ardent Studios to do some live recording. After doing the song they were brought in to record in commemoration of a dead friend, they found themselves with a heap of leftover studio time. So the engineer hit the record button and they played a set.

This album is that set. It’s a perfect snapshot of the band at the moment. And the band is TIGHT. They bring Matthew’s songs to life dynamically and wonderfully. This album just does it for me. It makes me feel like i’m sitting on a front porch somewhere in Texas  with a beer after dark, my feet up, nodding my head to some great americana nerd pop.

Listen. Enjoy. If you like, please buy. This is how we musicians feed ourselves. Literally. Eat.

So grab a brew, set your feet up and enjoy.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Mountains of Madness and The Tiger Lillies

In 2005 the Tiger Lillies, a killer band who’s been doing the dark side of steampuynk since before steampunk even existed  and Alexander Hacke of the avante garde noise band Einstürzende Neubauten came together to perform a series of original songs based on H.P.Lovecraft stories.

The results are excellent, as one would expect. The Tiger Lillies are a stupendous act and this is the first time they have collaborated or much less had any type of non acoustic instrument on the stage. The Tiger Lillies are a 3 piece, using accordion, upright bass and drums, with the accordionist singing the best falsetto in the business. Their material is dark. They’re like a twisted penny dreadful come to life.

I present here the entire concert. Perfect sound. Perfect video.Take a listen. Hell, if you aren’t familiar with The Tiger Lillies either start at the beginning or just skip to ANY point in the show and sit back for a spell. Set your shoes up.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Frenchy And The Punk

One of the mainstays of the steampunk and cabaret music scene, Frenchy And The Punk (she’s Frenchy, he’s the Punk) are touring behemoths. From music clubs to steampunk cons to faerie and witch festivals they take their in your face eurofolk carnivalpunk across the states to wherevere America and alternate world overlap.

In all this they have recorded a new album which i turn your attention you. Once again we demonstrate how “steampunk music” can an utterly different interpretation for a different artist.

Should you like this music you can check out and buy the full album (or any tracks thereof) here at Bandcamp.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Bohren & der Club of Gore

Today we feature an excellent band making modern noir music, Bohren & der Clud of Gore.

It’s ambient jazz technically, but it sounds like what youo would think heavily chilled, dark modern noior music would sound like. Sparse, slow, moody as hell, with something ominous waiting patiently in the shadows.

Listen:

It’s beautiful, right?

Bohren & der Cluc of Gore are a German band. The line up is:

THORSTEN BENNING Drums

CHRISTOPH CLÖSER Saxophones, Fender Rhodes, Piano, Vibraphone

MORTEN GASS  Organ, Vocoder, 8-String Bass, Synthesizer, Mellotron

ROBIN RODENBERG Bass

“Driven by  the idea of a more unique style of music, they  formed BOHREN (german word for drilling) in 1992 to play, as they called it, „ doom ridden jazz music“.”

Let’s listen to another track. I just adore this.

The band’s website is here.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing

The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing

Putting the punk back in Steampunk.

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing are a London quartet and they are not mamby pambying around. They are not goth. Guitarist and vocalist Andrew O’Neil may be a crossdressing metalhead, but he is not a goth and he will punch you in the face if you cannot respect the difference.

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing come from a past which probably never happened via a present they didn’t want. The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing have a new album with such a long damn title no blogger on the planet is going to write write the damn thing out and will praise the invention of cut and paste. The title is ‘This May Be The Reason Why The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing Cannot Be Killed By Conventional Weapons’

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing also made a Christmas song:

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing have albums and stuff here and you can also listen to them on MySpace here.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Ghost: Japanese Psych Rock

Ghost were a wonderful Japanese psychedelic band that released a small string of albums from 1990 to 2007. The music is often spacey, dynamic, and rather timeless in my opinion, not sounding like it can be pigeonholed into any one true era, although definitely predicting the awesome post-rock movement of the 2000s.

They japanese elements with western rock, in particular old psychdelic bands. Formed by guitarist Masaki Batoh the group lived a nomadic existence for its first few years, drifting around Tokyo living and playing in ruins of ancient temples or disused subway stations.

I HIGHLY recommend listening to the two opening tracks from their 2004 album Hypnotic Underground, which follows the opening album format of their previous and also awesome album Lama Rabi Rabi: long, ambient opening and groovilicious second song. Japan has a large, vital, thriving psychedelic rock scene and Ghost is one of the reasons why.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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A Trip To The Moon, With Music By Air

In 1902, the very first science fiction film was made, A Trip To The Moon.

It was made in France, written and directed by Georges Melies with help from his brother Gaston. Being science fiction it is also therefore the first film to ever employ the concept of “special effects.” That’s right, this film not only invented the sci-fi film, but also invented special effects.

George Melies

It’s short, running about 15 minutes all told and was a huge hit in its day. It inspired countless film makers afterwards. The director however,went bankrupt despite the film’s huge success. One reason for this is that he lost the American market. How?

Remember our last post about the victrola and how the phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison? Well, Thomas Edison had his film technicians secretly make copies of Melies’ film and then distributed it all across America where it was a huge hit. Did Edison pay Melies, who actually made the film? No. Not a penny.

What a dick. We’ll into the Edison/Tesla drama some other day, but… man, Edison was truly a genius if ever there was one, but damn that guy was a dick. Anyway, like any great artist, Melies never stopped and he continued to make visionary and influential fantastical films. He is credited not only with beginning the art of science fiction film making, but of the horror movie also, with his 1896 three minute film The Haunted Castle. He even opened an office in New York to see that his films could be distributed without being pirated. All this a hundred years ago. And you think that anything ever changes.

Naturally, with A Trip To The Moon, movie making was in its infancy. The idea of editing hadn’t even been thought of yet. All film makers had to draw on was stage techniques. But Melies was one of the first to look far beyond theater and treat film narrative as a whole new universe. He was the first filmmaker to use multiple exposures, time lapse photography, dissolves and hand painted colour.

A Trip To The Moon used hand painted colour, however all copies were lost until in 1993, when in a barn in Barcelona a copy was found after 70 years. Despite being in a state of almost total decomposition, a 10 year, frame by frame restoration project managed to save it. On May 11, 2011, 109 years after its original release, a newly restored version was aired at the 2011 Cannes Film festival with a soundtrack written especially for it by the band Air.

You like Air, right? I mean, who doesn’t like Air? Is it even possible to not like Air? Okay, maybe you like heavy metal and Air’s not your favorite thing, but you still kinda LIKE them, right?

Anyway, without further ado, i present to you A Trip To The Moon, with music by Air. I really recommend it. It’s 15 minutes and honestly is surprisingly watchable and immensely fun.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Mothership Orchestra: Modern Balkan Cabaret

While i suffer through an eastern european winter of epic proportions that has folks in villages around mine dropping like flies and almost all of us trapped up here in the mountains under a mound of snow and in record sub zero temperatures…. though my water pipes burst this morning, i can barely chop trees fast enough to keep this cottage heated and electricity disappears for hours, even a day at a time…. i am pleased to be able to introduce a kick ass cabaret band from Serbia who will brighten the day of even the coldest survivalist.

(And for the record, i am not a survivalist, man against nature loving rugged outdoorsman. I am just an idiot.)

Without further ado, a band who hails from a small Serbian town (Pozega) but whom i will hope had the sense to get their asses to Belgrade which is where i would be if i could get off this mountain, something not even remotely possible for days now.

In any case, all shenanigans aside, this band is top notch and unlike most everything else i post on here, an act i could actually bloody well go and see one of these days. Assuming i ever get out of here.

If you like these songs, and if not, At’s a mattah you, uh? then check out their website at www.themothershiporchestra.rs.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Dark Cabaret: Harlequin Jones

Fiona Apple meets The Dresden Dolls. That is what this first track from the Dark Cabaret band Harlequin Jones sounds like. Which is a good thing. Check it out:

Pretty sweet, right?

Harlequin Jones are the duo of singer/pianist Amanda von Loon and Drummer Jesse Arcadio (who also adds some occasional bass and guitar)

Okay, so now that you’ve got a Fiona Apple/DD thing in your head, let’s take that idea and bring it into the realm of psychotic breakdown.

I mean seriously, that and some other songs of theirs are kind of insane. And once again, that’s a good thing. They have a dark edge to them that is achieved at the musical level, not simply by singing dark lyrics over lurking music. The music itself  twists off the cabaret ledge, sometimes hanging on by its fingernails before managing to crawl back up again. Which i like. They’ve got something going on. They play in Los Angeles, and have a new album out, The Bad Beginning.

To check their album out on CDBaby go here.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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