Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week: Future Pigeon and The Battles.
Listed: Future Pigeon + The Battles
Future Pigeon is a nine piece band hailing from Echo Park, California that incorporates elements of Jamaican dub, punk, world, psychedelic rock, and dance music to create their own hybrid form that is completely unique in this day and age. They have a live soundman that pushes their sonic assault into the triple digits of intensity. In 1997, Jason Mason (Wiskey Biscuit) and Eddie Ruscha (Medicine, Maids Of Gravity, Dada Munchamonkey) shared a common interest in Brian Eno and dub music. Wanting to create music like their heroes (i.e. Jamaican dub pioneers Lee Perry, King Tubby, Scientist and Prince Jammy) they set out to record their own backing tracks on an old Tascam reel to reel 8 track machine to mix through walls of space echoes and effects. Enlisting musician friends who stopped by to partake in ancient smoking rituals, they amassed hours upon hours of psychedelic music. Their new record, The Echodelic Sounds of Future Pigeon, is out soon on Record Collection.
Ten music things:
1. Konono No. 1 - Congotronics
Amp up some home made thumb pianos with old radio equipment and car parts and play real hard and loud on the Congolese streets, accompanied by banging metal and Bozombo trance vocals and you have yourself the real number one. This music is pissed off with joy. You have no choice but to comply. Cosmic funk of the highest order.
Everyone talks punk this, punk that. Disco punk, art punk. Forgo all that and get the first mess of Stranglers LPs. These are the guys that the Sex pistols were all scared of cause they were an unsavory bunch of dudes that would just straight up kick your ass. Any band with that kind of cred and with rip ass keyboard arpeggios like these (they make Rick Wakeman seem like a conservative) has got to be the best of the bunch. JJ Burnel also has to have one of the most nasty bass sounds in history. Knife fight bass tone. Truly sordid.
3. Ghostface Killah - The Pretty Tony Album
GFK. Tony Starks. Iron Man. The one member of the Wu Tang that keeps consistently putting out great albums. None of the others did it. Sure ODB is my favorite and Liquid Swords may be one of the best, but Ghost's rhymes are really on that next level. almost competes with Andre 3000 for sheer next dimensional greatness. Also, his choice of beats are spot on. Even though RZA doesn't make a lot of the beats on his albums, they still have that innovative quality and some of them get straight Sci-Fi. Like warping records and fucked up vocal stabs. His records always have that old school soul quality but shot into the future. One track on this album has him rapping over the Delfonics "La-La Means I Love You", but it's the entire song with vocals and everything underneath!! Raw genius.
4. Animal Collective - Live at El Rey
What can you say... an incredible show. Pure energy. A whole giant room of people with their minds collectively blown.
5. Baile Funk
Woah... This shit is so perfect. Some of the sampling is just so wrong it's right. The little kid rapping about capping muthafuckas followed by a cell phone ring tone hook is ridiculous. The Miami style beats are just relentless. And what about that metal guitar that busts in out of no where? You think Brazilian gangsters weren't firing guns in the air when they first heard that? MIA is cool but this is ice cold.
6. U-Roy - Live at Dub Club
Daddy U-Roy. The godfather of rap as we know it, and this can be proven. Back in the day this guy only needed one turntable. His voice could just continue musically as he would select the next vicious dub plate for King Tubby's original soundsystem. One of the greatest DJ flows in Jamaican music, he paved the way for all others to follow. His style owed more to Coltrane than the average toaster of the time. Pure musical niceness. After all his achievements, he still manages to be a humble man.
DJ Screw - Houston Blowin Up...
A subscription to Murderdog magazine kept me informed of all the underground Hip Hop going on around the country. I love the interviews in Murderdog cause they don't change the font when there is a question so you don't know what the hell is going on. Sometimes I just couldn't believe it when someone I'd been reading about forever really broke it big. I saw Little John and the East Side Boyz do it, but the thing I liked the best, and still do, is DJ Screw. I even went to Screwed Up Records in Houston a few years back... that was a trip. I used to listen to Screw music and hear 'em saying "It's 1996 and the whole world gonna be drippin' Screw..." . It took a long time, and DJ Screw is no longer with us, but it was worth the wait.
Merzbow - Soundcheck at Arthurfest
An amazing moment in time. Watching from the side of the stage as Merzbow sent his laptop signal to the unsuspecting sound guy who spoke to him through the monitors, "Uh... I'm just getting some static-y sound and a really low bass hum... is that what you're sending me??"... poor bastard.
Pretty much any of the releases on this label headed by Rick Bishop of the Sun City Girls is essential. It makes you want to collect them all, which can drive you insane. The DVDs are filled with fantastic stuff, like hand held videos walking through a mystical night street market and watching a guy on a carpet putting scratchy 45s on an old turntable while desert dust and smoke of all kinds float over the scene. The music CDs are all great too. Pop music from Iraq? Too fucking good. Let's just all get along and trip out on each other.
Charley Patton - Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues box set
This is an artist's entire world in a box. One of the most stunning packages ever made. Revanent has stopped at nothing to let you immerse yourself completely. The whole thing is designed like a 78 record sleeve book with original label stickers faithfully reproduced, all topped off with a book by the late great John Fahey. That's not even speaking of the 6 CDs of music, which is some of the most haunting early blues you're likely to hear.
Cut from the same cloth as potent pop acts The Feelies and The Embarrassment, and hailing from fertile Vancouver, BC, The Battles return after a long five-year absence. Tomorrow’s Eager Hands delivers on the promise of their debut, 2001’s Lycanthropy. Sure, there are discernible hooks, but Stephen Wood’s songs Pack more punch than the attempts of other modern song smiths. Fans of Ray Davies, Mayo Thompson and Robyn Hitchcock should look no further for a fix. Also of note are the band’s ties to Destroyer, Loscil and The New Pornographers.
Some Albums of Influence, in Chorological Order:
My influences are exactly as you may suspect and need no further critical delving. Despite being often sited as influences of mine, I’d only heard in passing of the Felines, the Soft Boys, and Mayo Thompson. I’m afraid my influence lie in the open, Lennon, Reed, Bowie, Bolan , and Davies. Let’s just take it as moot that you’ve heard of and made your own opinions as to the value of the above mentioned and the yet to come. I f you are not familiar with any album mentioned consider yourselvef advised HERE to rush out and …..
The circumstance surrounding the listening of an album is as influential as the record itself.
1. The Kinks and 2. Assorted Pile of Compilation Records from Britain
The Wood half of my family came to Canada from Britain, in 1965 on a Polish ship. My Dad remembers not being able to play his records in the boat because they did not meet Communist approval. He was 17 at the time and his brother and sister brought with them a stack of records that 15 years later would blow my mind! The Shadows, The Animals, Rolling Stones, Them, The Hollies and The Kinks. All circa 65’. My Dad was a big Kinks fan and would later buy the Muswell Hillbillies album and like the rest of North America miss out on everything between. A long with these full lengths there were also an assortment of compilation records, featuring the likes of the Honeycombs, the Troggs, the Nashville Teens and my favorite, the Hedgehoppers Anonymous.
3. Sgt. Pepper’s
I refer you to the Preface… I came to conscience, living on the Vancouver Island Highway, miles away from any other living 11 year old. I remember thinking nobody really gets this album, while pointing two crappy mikes at the speakers to make a “Stereo” cassette recording. An aside, I would play tapes back through one system and record it on another with personal accompaniment, often me “singing”. Keep repeating this process and you have “Multi-tracking”.
4. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
In my Jr. High, it was generally regarded that just to listen to this album was to invite a soul rending and leave you a victim for the boogieman for the ret of your life. Black Sabbath was like an urban legend. I found it in my Uncle’s pile of records. I would stare into the eyes of the green woman as rain fell… Bells toll…Lightning struck…the chords intoned… drums …Who is this that stands before STRRRRRRRRRCHHHHH!!!!!! I couldn’t get passed the first two minutes. I thought I’d stumbled on a family satanic conspiracy. Now I find the album quite jazzy. I love Black Sabbath.
5. the Velvet Underground - VU
Up until my first year of High School, I generally occupied my time listening to the Beatles. Then three things happened, I got a job, a used record store opened and I bought a new cassette of VU.I couldn’t believe there could be a band this good making music like this. I told the record storeowner, I couldn’t wait to buy their next album. He laughed and showed me a copy of White Light, White Heat. Side note: nice thing about this store was he would record two albums onto a tape for $5. I still have my copy of Tones on Tail and Velvet Underground with Nico.
Like I stated above I got a job that year at a family restaurant. The manager Kim played Lou Reed, David Bowie, Roxy Music and Brian Eno stuff in the store. He gave the salad bar a touch of class that the MSG just could not provide. He made me an incredible mixed tape with his 4-TRACK (whassat?), all the songs blending together. I think he later left town after a mysterious string of incidents.
7. Captain Beefheart - Safe as Milk vs. 8. Them - Them Again
First on, I’m not a huge Beefheart fan. For me, nothing else they did can compare. Safe as Milk is as close to a perfect album as I have ever heard. Every song. I’ve always thought of it as a sinister realities’ Them Again by Them. Which brings us to Them Again by Them. I’m also not a huge Van Morrison solo fan. Them again are fantastic. Listen to both these records in the same sitting to see what I mean, maybe.
9. Destroyer - Streethawk: A Seduction
C’mon, I’m as big a fan as you. I was into Dan Bejar‘s shit before anybody. Nuff said.
10. The Ruttles
The most influential band teaching the score on influence. Look beyond the obvious and you will find insane gems like Let’s Be Natural, Between Us, and Cheese and Onions. You can hear the love and the cash. Neil Innes is an amazing songwriter. Bonze Dog Doo Daa Band? Gold. Pretty soon you start to think how much that Beatles tune sounds like "Piggy in the Middle."
By Dusted Magazine