Dusted Features

Listed: American Analog Set + Madagascar

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Features

Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: American Analog Set and Madagascar.

Listed: American Analog Set + Madagascar

American Analog Set

You can explain the evolution of Texas' American Analog Set with just a few developments: the vocals got louder, the songs got shorter, and the farsifa got faster (well, a little faster). Their first two albums, The Fun of Watching Fireworks and From Our Living Room to Yours, were noted for their blissful instrumental drones; 1999's The Golden Band was the transitional half drone-half pop album; and their last two efforts, 2001's Know by Heart and 2003's Promise of Love were short, dreamy pop albums with abundant melodies and Andrew Kenny's tentative, gentle singing. 2005 marks the band's tenth anniversary, and to celebrate they've globalized -- or at least signed to a Canadian label. Set Free comes out on Arts & Crafts on September 20, with a national tour to follow.

1. The Baseball Furies chase from the seminal gang film The Warriors
The soundtrack to this film is pretty shit, but there are 3 songs on it that were composed especially for the film that are pure gold. any song written to accompany a baseball bat fight between face painted dudes and coney island's toughest can't be bad. can it?

2. Tim Rushlow - "She Misses Him"
Forget black metal, this is the most morbid song in existence. We heard this song in the van on tour and couldn't believe our ears. This is, no kidding, a song about grandpa having a stroke, and grandma taking care of him, and the grandkids playing around his bed, while he is in a freaking coma. Fuck!! Whoever wrote this song was definitely in a massive k-hole.

3. R. Kelly - "Trapped in the Closet"
I hope the upcoming chapters feature pissing on minors.

Random 'neck musings such as:

4. Lee Greenwood - "God Bless the USA"
This one is the granddaddy of them all. Not really hate-riotic like the following idiots but it's definitely the first scoop of dirt from a gold electroplated shovel at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new country of Wal-Martania.

5. Darryl Worley - "Have you Forgotten?"
A question, Mr. Worley: Have you forgotten about taste and decency?

6. Toby Keith - that "Angry American song"
This guy is basically Johnny Rebel with a better publicist.

7. "Letters From Home" by some random 'neck jerk
Isn't war profiteering illegal?(for an example of this from the left, see Le Tigre's major label debut)

And last but not least...

8. Clint Black - "Iraq and I Roll"
Which includes the line "smart bombs find stupid people too." I don't know what to say about this, actually. I would really love it if I found out that clint black had come from bizarro world like on super friends. That would sort of explain why this song exists...but not really.

9. Hysteria: the Def Leppard Story
This is that made for VH-1 movie with Anthony Michael Hall playing Mutt Lange. This is either sheer brillance or the worst piece of shit ever made. I can't tell anymore.

10. Music. We hate it. Seriously.


Baltimores Madagascar recently released their debut album, Forced March, on the up-and-coming Western Vinyl label. Combining modern folk tendencies and innovative multi-instrumentations, the quartet manage to find a sound that is both unique and familiar. More info about this difficult-to-google band - including mp3s and tour dates - can be found at their website, www.wearemadagascar.com. Their list features a number of Dusted favorites.

There are four people in Madagascar, all with fairly diverse musical influences, so we were a little bit daunted by the idea of coming up with a list of albums that represent the way our band sounds. Instead, we took the easy way out, and wrote about a handful of new or newish releases by bands that we've recently played shows with, or booked shows for, or are otherwise acquainted with. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. More Dogs - Self Titled (self-released)
A collision of earshot, also seems to be a declaration of sorts. Their self-released first takes 2x4’s to task, with footstomps and handclaps to boot. Also farfisa, vibraphone, lots of woodblocks, whistles and some goddamn good drums. Plus a fair share of caprice, Bartok-style orchestration, and a live show to knock your knickers off. If you don’t live in Baltimore, or for any other reason can’t get a hold of this album, their second, Never Let Them Catch You Crying, is now available in savvy stores everywhere thanks to the lads at Monitor Records.

2. Bow N Arrow - I Saved My Life (self-released)
What to say, first you find yourself letting your head move slowly to Mickey Freeland’s captivating beats, then the doorbell rings and he’s there with your pizza. Self-recorded, self-produced, plus he rapped, made all the beats, and appeared on the cover twice. Another self-release, it’s hard to come by outside of Baltimore, but be on the lookout for something else soon by this energetic master of ceremonies. Seriously, its really good.

3. Long Live Death - To Do More Than God... To Die (Secret Eye)
More local gents, plus a local gal. Brooding guitar lines, droning accordion, and magnificent cello – not to mention the drum circle percussion, musical saw, melodica, and chanted vocals – make this one a worthwhile listen. It's kinda dark and kinda weird and kinda folky, and that's the way we like it. We've not heard LLD's second album, Bound to the Wheel, but it will be unleased upon the world this summer, so keep your peepers open for it.

4. Burd Early - Falling Feather (Acuarela Discos)
Our Western Vinyl labelmate, this reflective, always hopeful songwriter has let drop upon us something very very airy indeed. This EP is full of truly beautiful songs - “Baby Be”, a song for lovers at the party - “Night on the Flower”, a heavy piece written on an oud and layered with guitar. Also a new incarnation of an old song, “Street from the Sea”, that really threatens to remove that rocky barrier and bring the sea crushing down on you. All this plus the perfect percussive accents of Dirty Three’s Jim White and that full blown, must be gigantic or something kick drum of his. It’s pretty and pretty new so you may have to order it - this one is on Madrid’s Acuarela Discos.

5. Thanksgiving - Welcome Nowhere (Elvrum)
You will be humming these songs before you know the words. Mostly the consumed guitar and voice of Portland, Oregon’s Adrian Orange, Thanksgiving also features a number of guest musicians - singers, frantic piano, effected drums - all held together with a strangely familiar production quality - a la Microphones. Like being inside every instrument at the same time and holding Adrian’s hand to find the way out. Elvrum #000 - on classy white vinyl with a hand screened cover.

6. Dirty Projectors - The Glad Fact (Western Vinyl)
From “Here I Go Again” to ”Is it Coming Back?”, Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth sings, like, really sings... croons even, in a fashion so old that its fashionable. Like, the guy can really sing, not just whisper in a cute way or mutter in key. It is the new R&B, and it is all through all four of Dirty Projectors albums including an early release under Dave’s name proper. His new Getty Address album is available in CD plus DVD with crazy animated videos for every song where Longstreth sings to birds, has his heart carved out by Aztecs, and fights some ninjas with his guitar. Courtesy of Western Vinyl.

7. Death Vessel - Stay Close (Northeast Indie)
Glorious and elating. Joel Thibadeaux’s voice is so joyous, almost childlike at times, you will be prompted to dance, I'm sure. To like, every song. The pedal steel is your heart, Joel’s words your past and carefree present. Overall Death Vesel’s really cute as all heck. Especially the call and response with childhood friend Micah Blue Smaldone, “Mandan Dink.” Originally from Maine, but relocated to New York, Death Vessel appears courtesy of the sometimes elusive Northeast Indie Recordings, also host to Cerberus Shoal and Micah Blue Smaldone. If you find it, get it or you will be less happy later.

8. Grails - Redlight (Neurot)
We have always liked Grails. We are sure we always will. Redlight, their second full length from San Francisco’s Neurot Recordings, is so very pretty. Really. A perfect follow up to their debut, The Burden of Hope. The song structures are beautiful, better really. So much heart and restraint and also just so much wonderful sound but still achieving a sort of minimalism. The guitars of Alex Hall and Zac Riles are woven together perfectly while Emil Amos runs tiny marathons, with drumsticks made of raindrops. Reference also: Holy Sons, Peace Harbor.

9. Alec K. Redfearn and the Eyesores - The Quiet Room (Cuneiform)
Nothing beats Alec K. and the Eyesores live, but this album is a treat nonetheless – accordion-driven rave-ups, augmented by double bass, saxophone, drum kit, wah-wah guitar, electronics, and the indomitable Freedom Horn. Also some vocals, but overall this one is more instrumental-oriented then previous Eyesores releases. Their strongest batch of songs to date, we think.

10. Eluvium - Talk Amongst the Trees (Temporary Residence)
Last but not least – for this one is a treat. Guitar + effects (particularly the trusty looping pedal) = another beautiful album for Matthew Cooper, aka Eluvium. Eight glacially-paced, gorgeous instrumentals, with an organic feel that belies their electrici-fied origins. It's real purty.

By Dusted Magazine

Read More

View all articles by Dusted Magazine

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.