Listed: Yume Bitsu, Deerhoof, and the 90 Day Men
Deerhoof (Greg Saunier)
The shapeliest pop songs in existence aren't v-c-v 3-minuters. Deerhoof's gems are lopsided, refractive, and decorated with nonsense noise and grit and bubblegum--and still, they shine. After years of hovering below the radar, last year's Reveille and the new Apple O' have blown Deerhoof clean out of the water. They've been found out, (and in addition to reaching the top of Dusted's radio charts) will soon show themselves across the country on a tour the dates of which are available here.
A BUCK O' BROTHERHOOF
Ah, records. I like 'em. But they're a little on the expensive side, aren't they? I'm not sure I really recommend buying records at all, actually. But, hey, if you've got your heart set on it and for some unknown reason trust me to pick them out for you, perhaps I could suggest one:
How about Beethoven's Ninth Symphony? That one's pretty good, isn't it? European classical music, when it's not getting boycotted by Freedom Fry-munching Americans, is known to most people as background music. Now I have nothing against middle-aged office workers, but what if Beethoven is not just meant to smooth away the rough edges of your day?
Cool sounds are just as cool-sounding to me as to the next guy, and the Ninth has no cool sounds, it just sounds like violins and whatnot. But he wrote it when he was deaf! This piece isn't about "sound," but something more - it "speaks," it "thinks," it "emotes" - so much so that it can bring a tear to the eye.
Of course Kubrick says in A Clockwork Orange that it doesn't make any difference - you can dig on The Old Ludwig Van and still be a degenerate psychopath. He's right - I'm sure the Hitlers and the Rumsfelds of the world would nod approvingly to Beethoven The Icon.
But why blame the Ninth Symphony, which is offering itself to you for 99 cents at the bottom of every record store's clearance bin? And how about it gang, an Ode to Joy, "All men are brothers." With a Turkish march with Middle Eastern instruments (cymbals) to drive the point home.
90 Day Men (Rob Lowe)
By combining elements of grimy psychedelia with an angular jagged sound often (and only sometimes fairly) attributed to well-educated instrumentalists from Chicago, former Missourians the 90 Day Men have created a sound that is entirely their own. Their most recent album, To Everybody (Southern), found them refining both of these elements while also showing off their newly added keyboard player. The 90 Day Men are on tour more often than not and are playing in Chicago and Detroit on the 1st and 2nd of May. They will also tour Europe in June.
As written hastily on a big piece of cardboard.
1. Leroy Jenkins - For Players Only (JCOA)
Yume Bitsu (Adam Forkner)
Adam Forkner has been a very productive musician over the past five years, playing a primary role in Yume Bitsu and Surface of Eceon, while also contributing to tracks by Landing, Wolf Colonel and the Microphones. Forkner founded Yume Bitsu (‘dream beat’ in Japanese) with Franz Prichard in 1995. The group recorded its debut album Giant Surface Music Falling To Earth Like Jewels From the Sky in 1998, and it found release later that year on the Ba Da Bing! label. The album proved much more than just the band’s debut recording; it also was the first step in what became The Vessyl (www.thevessyl.org), a collective of like-minded artists drawing from the same blissed-out aesthetic. While Yume Bitsu’s self-titled album in 1999 and the following year’s Auspicious Winds were often pigeonholed as space-rock, last year’s Golden Vessyl of Sound made it impossible to adequately describe the group’s sound with a single label. Yume Bitsu have recently recorded a split 12” with Elf Power's Andrew Reiger on Planaria Records that's limited to 500 copies, and Forkner’s newly acquired moniker, [[[[vvrssnn]]]] (pronounced ‘version’) will release its solo debut on K in June.
Here is my list for you to not publish or to publish when the time comes (like when my new album [[[[VVRSSNN]]]] comes out in June, along with the new Surface of Eceyon and the new Landing...all in June, dudes, all in June.)
1. Joni Mitchell - For making Blue and for writing "Woodstock" and for getting Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young together as a four piece, even if that's a lie and I'm just making it up right now. But seriously: Blue. Check it. Its good.
2. Yes - for Fragile and Close to the Edge as well as the first record. For Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water LP. For Jon Anderson's voice. for that scene in Buffalo 66 when they play that part from that one song off of Fragile and it totally rocks your socks off. rocks your SOCKS off. Socks. Off. Because you rocked. And so did Yes.
3. King Crimson for The Court of the Crimson King. When I was a kid this was my bedtime story. Seriously. We had this way seventies triagular corduroy cushion thing that I would perch myself upon and just trip on that record cover.
4. Glass Candy and the Shattered Theater - For being so fucking cool. Seriously. I'm serious. Dead serious. The coolest. My friend Avalon used to be the drummer. He's cool too. He's got all these crazy ideas about the metaphysical world. I haven't heard the new full length but the first two seven inches and that live one-sided 12 inch are the pure shit. Seriously. I mean it.
5. Calvin Johnson - For his record collection. Dude's got some serious records. Dude got me into the reggae so deep I can't get out. Dude got me into weird Folkways shit. Like this record of this Native American guy grooving on a rock hitting a shovel. Seriously funky shit.
6. The Neptunes - For bringing it. I've got this awesome bootleg of instrumentals. Each song for one minute it's got like 60 tracks on it. I've been thinking of doing a live show of me on echo trumpet over the "Grindin'" beat. That shit is just too funky.
7. Lavender ice cream and roasted figs. - I've never had this but the girl who did said she cried after she ate it. Now thats some good food. I gotta get me some of that. It's on the top of my list. Oh wait. I guess its only number 7. But i'ts creeping up the charts.
8. Forcefield - For making an unlistenable record and cool costumes and making snooty people think they are brilliant. Because they are. Seriously.
9. Dave Longstreth - For being the most brilliant motherfucker you've never heard. But you will. Guy's just brilliant. Sometimes it's hard to hang out with a guy who's so fucking talented. He made this record of songs singing over this orchestra that he wrote the score for and conducted. Seriously cool shit. Its like Leonard Bernstein being deconstructed by some other dude. And that dude is named Dave Longstreth. And he writes some good lines. Like: "Slumps itself fetal, back to the earth," or in the same song: "like an icon different than a logo." I mean. Seriously. Get in. He sings on my new record. Guy's got a weird voice. And his brother's the best painter I know. The Longstreth brothers. Great guys.
10. Me. - Seriously. I mean it. I've got all these cool memories of things. Shows, people, situations, colors, sunsets, smells of different foods and girls, birthday parties, rain soaked roads, records and movies and books and magazines and Interweb pages and weird dreams and plane flights and stuff. And for some reason I've got the hook up where people will put out my records. Isn't that cool? Yay me! I was even in Guitar Player magazine. Weird. I mean: I work construction jobs. I've got like 50 bucks right now, but I've been in Guitar Player. When i bought my five copies the guy at the guitar store was like "Are you in it?" and i said "Yeah." Then he said, "Yeah, I was in there like 17 years ago"...fuck it. Whatever, dude... There was this time that I used to work at an Interweb company. That's where I met the drummer for Surface of Eceyon. He was my boss. Now he's a philosphy professor. He's the best drummer I've ever played with. He used to jam with dudes from Tuxedo Moon back in like '89. Anyway, I really think I'm ready for a girlfriend now so if any ladies who are cute and smart as a whip and like good music are interested, please send a resume and headshot via electronic letters to this e-address: adam email@example.com.
By Dusted Magazine