Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Bitter Bitter Weeks and Shark Quest.
Listed: Bitter Bitter Weeks + Shark Quest
Bitter Bitter Weeks
Bitter, Bitter Weeks is the work of Philadelphia native Brian McTear. McTear's first solo full-length recording, Bitter Bitter Weeks (My Pal God, 2002). Brian McTear might be better known for his work as the producer of bands like Mazarin, Matt Pond PA and Lefty's Deceiver as well as the engineer of records for the Burning Brides, Swearing at Motorists, Eltro and countless lesser-known outfits across the Delaware Valley. For his work at Miner Street Studios, McTear was named 2002 Producer of the Year at the Philadelphia City Paper Music Awards. The second Bitter, Bitter Weeks record, Revenge (My Pal God, 2004), was recently released.
1. The Knobs - Break-up and Die and Guilt
The Knobs were a band from Wilmington, DE whose lead singer, and band leader Phil Healy just passed away in a tragic car crash. The details of the crash are not flattering to say the least, but he was a great person, a tremendously funny and decent man with more friends than anyone I know, not to mention he was a great songwriter. His songs could be dark, but never did he take himself too seriously. The record we recorded together, which most likely will NOT be released, was ironically called The Knobs Break-up and Die. Their previous record, Guilt was released on Mood Food Records, though I am told it is out of print. It is another great work and well worth tracking down.
2. Soundtracks to Andrei Tarkovsky's Solyaris (1972), and Stanley Kubrik's 2001, A Space Odyssey (1968)
I have been working on a film-score with indy film director Lance Weiler. It is a psychological thriller called Head Trauma. Working on it on and off for the last year, I have become particularly attentive to how great pieces of music are composed for and/or used for film. My favorites have been Eduard Artemyev's and Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov's music in Solyaris, as well as the music of György Ligeti, Richard Strauss and Alex North 2001, A Space Odyssey (1968).
3. The Azusa Plane - Tycho-Magnetic Anomaly and the Full Consciousness of Hidden Harmony
Science fiction has been dominating my life lately. I pulled out this record while reading 3001, The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. The title of the album contains the obvious answer as to why.
4. The Azusa Plane - America is Dreaming of Universal String Theory - Oddly, a few books later I read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking and this music seemed to fit the bill just as well. The title of the album contains the obvious answer as to why.
5. Ui - Answers and Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
The Pavement record is one of my favorite of all time. But recently I have been listening to it for purely technical reasons. These two records are mixed by Bryce Goggin and I find his mixes fascinating. They are tense but lively mixes. I want to learn how to do that to my recordings.
6. Hail Social
This is a band I recorded in my studio. It is a project we completed in seven days. It is rare that I listen to a record repeatedly, especially after being immersed in its production, but this was just such a pleasure to make and it is just so so good.
7. The Music from the Gaiam series of Yoga videos
It is watery and translucent. It never repeats (at least as far as I can tell).
8. Wire Chairs Missing
Such excellently abstract pop music. I think it is really funny that any band that is influenced by early 80s new wave gets described as "Wire meets Gang of Four". Thank god, none of them are really like that. Just leave it to the originals. Chairs Missing is a great record for the studio. I love comparing mixes to it for effects levels. If someone really wants to be bold then they should compare levels with that record.
9. The Go Gos - Greatest Hits
I love the songs and I want to start singing like Belinda Carlisle.
10. The Cars - The Cars
I had this record when I was a kid. I think I liked the album cover. I love listening to the songs as an adult, knowing them so well but never having listened closely or put any thought into them, they way I do with music now.
Shark Quest is a band whose members hail from Chapel Hill and Durham, NC. The band draws on a myriad of styles, melding individual influences and talents, to create something that is definitively their own. Their music bridges the gap between any number of genres, melding dusty pop with elements of surf guitar, bluegrass, traditional folk, bossa nova, sufi-western and neoclassical baroque to create a sound that is uniquely Shark Quest. Gods and Devils (Merge, 2004) is their third album, and their first in 4 years.
Groves Willer’s list:
1. Devil's Rumble (SUNDAZED SC 11138)
New Sundazed double cd of all the coolest tracks from Davie Allen and the Arrows during their prime. This is really super ripping.
2. Jan Davis - Boss Guitar (SUNDAZED SC 11136)
A bunch of totally kooky California 60s instro 45's,with great guitar.
3. Sol Hoopi - The Master of Hawaiian Guitar Volumes 1 and 2 (Rounder 1024& 1025)
4.Sparrow Calypso Carnival - Top Tunes of 68 (Island Series RA-1010)
I’m so happy I found this LP at the infinitely rewarding Reader's Corner. Ron Berridge's band was on fire, and the mighty sparrow was in full flight!!
5. Eddie Bo and the Soul Finders - The Hook and Sling (DEL CD 0006)
A bunch of New Orleans label Scram 45's rounded up by tuff city records. Eddie Bo is great and drummer James Black is not of this earth. This is really beautiful.
Chuck Johnson's list:
1. Pan Sonic - Kesto (234:48:4)
4 CD's and it's all amazing.
2. Gorecki - Symphony no 3 Opus 36 - "Lento e Largo."
Every bit as haunting as Arvo Part's "Cantus In Memory Of Benjamin Britten" but not nearly as overused in film soundtracks.
3 – Bringerer
I've been recording them this summer and I can't get their songs out of my head.
4 - Ustad Imrat Khan - Rag Darbari/Rag Chandra Kanhra
Just one man, his surbahar (bass sitar) and two challenging ragas for over an hour. Ustad Khan diving into those low register bends simply MUST be experienced.
5 - The Darkness at the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, NC, June 3, 2004
By Dusted Magazine