Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
From the beginning, Jad Fair's nasal-tinged vocals, childish lyrics, and "The only chord I know is the one that connects the guitar to the amp" aesthetic have relegated him to being a perennial outsider. This is, of course, a large part of his charm. To fully appreciate the significance of Fair as an artist you need only know that his 1982 EP The Zombies of Mora-Tau bears the distinction of being so abrasive that even Lester Bangs found it unlistenable. Since forming Half Japanese with his brother David in 1974, Fair's music has been championed by the likes of Kurt Cobain and Jeff Mangum, and in addition to his extensive Half Japanese output he's released a seamlessly endless stream of one-off collaborations and solo albums. With his new EP Birdhouse (limited to a 300 hand-numbered vinyl run), Fair collaborates with French artist Hifiklub and Germany's kptmichigan, and the end result is a typically idiosyncratic burst of sonic ebullience.
Like most of Fair's music, Birdhouse is best listened to in its entirety. The songs meld together to form a surreal atmosphere - it was originally recorded to be played during one of Fair's art exhibitions - and at just 15 minutes long it ends before becoming exhausting. Unlike his more minimalist output (best showcased on 1993's Short Songs), Birdhouse has a jazzy, experimental slant, and is suffused with airy instrumentation that could stand alone without Fair's vocals.
Read the rest HERE.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
I love the effortless ones—the songs that just lay themselves out there and do their thing, so securely and easily that there’s almost nothing to talk about. “Crystalline” is one of those.
Okay, but I’ll talk a little.
A lot of the power here comes, I think, from the delayed melody. In both the verse and the chorus, the melodic line begins after two beats go by. In the verse, this allows the scene to be set by a weighty, unhurried guitar chord, even as the rhythmic backbone of the song remains fleet and itchy. So there’s this built-in juxtaposition here between the purposeful rhythm and the thoughtful melody. In the chorus, the melodic delay is augmented by an instrumental countermelody (first heard at 0:54) that gives the song a subtle grandeur. And yet Vallance at the same time seems to be playing with some vocal distortion here, which lends an edge to the sound. In this case the juxtaposition becomes its own potent amalgam: edgy grandeur.
Vallance was born in London and lives and works now in Brooklyn. “Crystalline” is the lead track from his second album, Volcano, which arrives next month on Proof Records.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
Just last month, SSG Music released a premiere of the song “Raining in the Philippines” from folk-rock outlet Madeline as an exclusive first listen from their upcoming B Sides release. Now, the four-piece band, which is led by Madeline Adams, has officially released the album in its entirety. The songs found in this collection are a mix of rare and unreleased songs, which span over almost a decade’s time. Madeline became a band after singer/songwriter Madeline Adams began her career by moving to Bloomington, IN where she worked with punk label Plan-It-X Records and eventually began touring. During that time, people constantly forgot Madeline Adams’ last name, so it was dropped in favor of the simpler Madelines.
Over the course of 2000-2008 and many tour miles logged, Madeline has accumulated a handful of diverse songs that make up B Sides. Most of the songs have Madeline singing amongst a lone acoustic guitar, like the albums’ first song and demo from their White Flag recording, “What Little Girls Do.”
Read the rest of the review HERE.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
So Jad Fair — a founding member of the off-kilter punk group Half Japanese — has been around the block a time or two. You know, collaborating with the likes of Teenage Fanclub, Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, Daniel Johnston, Mo Tucker, and John Zorn. No big deal. French artist Hifiklub and Germany’s kptmichigan have done their fair share of cool collaborations as well, including projects with Lee Ranaldo, Andrew W.K., and R. Stevie Moore. Recently, Jad Fair, Hifiklub, and kptmichigan all got together and recorded some music for Fair’s art exhibition at Le Dojo in Nice, France, and guess what — now they’re releasing a joint LP called Bird House.
Read the rest and listen to "Let's Win" HERE.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
02.07.12 - Cottage Grove, OR @ The Axe and Fiddle
02.08.12 - Philipsville, CA @ The Riverwood Inn
02.12.12 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Redwood Bar
02.13.12 - Burbank, CA @ Joe's American Bar
02.14.12 - Burbank, CA @ Joe's American Bar
02.15.12 - Fullerton, CA @ Big's Grill
02.16.12 - San Diego, CA @ The Shakedown
02.17.12 - Santa Monica, CA @ Harvelle's
02.18.12 - Oakland, CA @ The Vitus
02.20.12 - Santa Cruz, CA @ The Crepe Place
02.21.12 - Santa Cruz, CA @ The Crepe Place
02.22.12 - Zigzag, OR @ The Skyway Bar & Grill
02.23.12 - Eugene, OR @ Sam Bond's
02.24.12 - Portland, OR @ The Spare Room
02.25.12 - Bellingham, WA @ The Green Frog
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Half Japanese founder (and collaborator to everyone from Sonic Youth and Yo La Tengo to Teenage Fanclub and Daniel Johnston) Jad Fair's upcoming album, Bird House, is out on January 24th on Joyful Noise Recordings. For it, he teamed up with prolific French artist Hifiklub and Germany's kptmichigan. Unlike the traditionally simple, playful style of Half Japanese the new LP, features hypnotic, fluid musicianship alongside Jad Fair's psychologically imbalanced vocal style. Originally recorded for Jad Fair's art exhibition at Le Dojo - Nice in France, this record exemplifies Fair's signature childhood naivety alongside Hifiklub and kptmichigan's ethereal, jazz-leaning experimental indie rock.
Read the rest HERE.