download: explosions 9:30 set

NPR's All Songs Considered recorded the entire sets of all three bands at the aforementioned Explosions in the Sky, Eluvium, and Paper Chase show on March 17. You can read my review here and you can stream or download the whole show on the NPR site. The NPR mp3s contain the entirety of each set as one file with no setlist. I've cut the Explosions set up into songs and tagged each one. Each song was cut and re-assigned from the original file, so there was no transcoding back to wav or re-encoding as mp3. Basically, the original sound quality has been maintained for those of you that care. I saw on the Temporary Residence message board that some people were complaining about the sound at the show, but I thought it was great both that night and in the recording. So download, unzip, and enjoy!

1. First Breath After Coma
2. Welcome, Ghosts
3. The Only Moment We Were Alone
4. Greet Death
5. What Do You Go Home To?
6. Your Hand in Mine
7. Catastrophe and Cure
8. Memorial

[zip] Explosions in the Sky - 3/17 @ 9:30 Club (link on Sendspace download page)


The Greatest City In America?

So, there is this bench I can see from my bedroom window and painted on it in old crappy paint it says “BALTIMORE: the greatest city in america”. Im not so sure if I agree with that but Baltimore does have alot to offer in terms of independent music. Although many of the musical acts from baltimore are gaining popularity (most notably Ponytail and Dan Deacon), the majority of the Baltimore scene is still relatively unknown to anyone outside the charm city. Who are just a few of these lesser known? Lets take a look.

Ecstatic Sunshine
Never before has a band been so appropriately named. This guitar duo’s spastic rock is like a tour of the universe. See the meteors crashing into each other? Oh, look at that black hole! And the rings of Saturn! Did you see how quickly that white dwarf imploded? Open you ears to ecstatic sunshine and let them show you around.

[mp3] Ecstatic Sunshine- Little Dipper Big Dipper

Ok, so he’s actually from New Jersey, but he is a favorite in the Baltimore scene. One part rap top 40 radio, one part 8 bit nintendo soundtrack, 100% Dance-until-you-pass-out. Check it out.

[mp3] OCDJ- Pls stp th hstl

You just cant kill a classic. I mean, sure the drum and insanley-distorted-bass thing has been done before, but I mean, so has everything else. Coconuts knows how to bring the heat. From Alex Dundero’s ADD drumming to Jeff Dundas’s slick, kick you in the face bass lines, this duo makes Iggy Pop look like a pussy.

[link] Coconut's myspace

Thrust Lab
Thrust Lab is one of the better IDM groups I have heard in a long time. The beats are tight. The bass lines are fresh. The keys are sweet. Check out “Dance Sweet Dracula” for an example of the way they mix the ever popular 8 bit sound with IDM style.

[link] Thrust Lab's myspace

There are MANY more Baltimore acts that I hope to highlight in the following months. These should suffice to fulfill your ADD, sugar-addicted musical escapades for the time being.



I don't care who you are, you have to admit loop pedals are pretty cool. And when a band actually uses them to their full potential its even better. Now, what if this said band not only knew how to use the pedals they had but had TONS of them. It would probably be a mind bending, head bobbing experience. So Its no surprise that seeing the experimental, noise-rock outfit BATTLES was exactly that. I haven't seen so many gizmos in all my life. BATTLES does what they do well, and with class. Why not have the drums in the front and the guitarist in the back? Why not have the keyboard so close to the drums the drummer can hit it? Why not have the cymbal up as high as it can go? There is really no good reason why people haven't thought of these things sooner, but BATTLES is about as experimental as they come. And best of all, they do it well.

Check out the video for Atlas, and note the cymbal.

[video] Battles - Atlas (youtube)

explosions in the sky 3/17 @ 9:30 club

I ever so affectionately refer to these guys as 'plosions, and I think my subliminal reasoning is that even a name as epic as Explosions in the Sky will not begin to explain them. Their set was absolutely surreal. The show was sold out and the club was packed, but I'm sure these 4 Texans could care less. It seemed that each was completely engulfed in his own construct of an ideal reality, and was expressing that through his instrument. And somehow everything completely matches up, pulling the audience into an amalgamated utopia of their own. I admit their songs are so simple but go so much further beyond the bastardized quiet/loud, crescendo to wall of sound write-off some skeptics give them. I hope others would agree that "Your Hand in Mine" was the highlight of the set. The setlist was comprehensive, and I do not see how anyone could complain about the absence of any song.

Opener, Eluvium, was nearly as impressive. Despite the fact that half his catalog is strictly piano compositions, his live performance built up loop after loop, each managing to float in the balance of the others, comprising more of an ethereal shove than a wall of sound. And then there was The Paper Chase. I do not recommend them whatsoever. Sorry to those that may like them, but I thought their live show was nearly unbearable.

[mp3] Explosions in the Sky - Your Hand in Mine
[mp3] Eluvium - Prelude for Time Feelers


neal is officially on board

Like Sean said in the last post, I'm posting here now, so heads up.


raising expectations ... news

I hope we all agree, although 14 year old girls and their stalkers can tolerate it, myspace is terrible. I can't bring myself to use it very often, much less actually log on. But there is hope! Maybe. So purevolume was obviously a little better, but it never caught on. Now there is VIRB. It just went public, profiles are viewable by non-members, and the invites were done away with and now a limited number of people can join a day. So please, stop clinging to your ad-filled, disorganized, aesthetic nightmare of a myspace and join virb. The layout is so clean and simple; the word just needs spread.

The Where There is Fire We Will Carry Gasoline virb site has a demo recording of a new track - Pitch, Yaw, Roll.

In other news, Neal, of the aforementioned project Where There is Fire We Will Carry Gasoline may be joining me in posting to the blog. He jumped onto the blogging ship a little bit ago with Kid Smoke Kid, and we've talked about making Where There is Fire a 2 contributor blog. So keep an eye out for that.

Continuing on the subject on our band Where There is Fire ..., I don't really have a news and progress outlet other than this blog right now, since I'm too annoyed to do anything with the myspace. This will change because of the virb page which I plan to use in full. Continuing ... on the web front, a formal website for the project may be in the makings, including a store with upcoming releases. I am doing a collaborative piece with Cleveland poet, Joe Makkos which will release in mid April. I am also working on another project remixing Baltimore's Maps (formerly Joseph Albers Experiment) songs which should release in April or May. Where There is Fire We Will Carry Gasoline's first formal album might begin recording this summer and release ... eventually. More news to come. And I promise I'll just mention it in the future as opposed to using the blog for news itself.

Also to come in the blog: one or two more looks back to 2006 and the best of the best that didn't make my top ten, and the worst of the worst.

Upcoming Album Reviews: Arcade Fire - Neon Bible, Lovedrug - Everything Starts Where It Ends, and Lewis & Clarke - Blasts of Holy Birth.