9.09.2010

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Yé-Yé!!!



I've recently gotten into '60s Yé-Yé pop through Godard's film Masculin Feminin that features the beautiful Yé-Yé singer Chantal Goya as one of the main characters, and uses her music for the soundtrack. In fact, the soundtrack is comprised of only her music, and was released as an album when the movie came out. I'm not sure how much of the music is original to the soundtrack, but at least two of the tracks are from an other release (Si Tu Gagnes Au Flipper EP). The movie is really great, honest and funny, and shows a wonderfully ironic view of 60's Parisian youth culture. But, that's besides the point, since the movie got me interested in the music.

What really surprised me is that in all the music I've found, almost all the artists I've found are female (although there are exceptions: Serge Gainsbourg [wrote songs for yéyé singers], Michel Polnareff). It was really interesting to find that an entire mainstream music trend was almost totally fronted by women, and even more interestingly, provided a decidedly female (if capitalist) perspective in their songs: "Laisse Tomber les Filles" by Fabienne Delsol calls out a guy for playing girls, and lets him know he'll get his due, one day. "Tu M'as Trop Menti" by Chantal Goya deals with a similar subject: giving up faith in a lying boyfriend. I've even found multiple songs where the tables are turned: the female singer tells of being unable to chose between two guys, ending in heartbreak, or dating them both!

Another trait that seems consistent with Yé-Yé is that it's almost all from Europe. Most of the stuff I've found is French, since that seems to be where it originated, but there is a bunch from Spain and eventually, the rest of Europe caught on to the trend. I've also found a collection of Yé-Yé from Asia, titled "Asian Beatgirls", and it seems to have gotten fairly big in Japan at one point. What's interesting is that it never broke over to the United States, since musically, a lot of it is very similar to what was popular stateside during the same time. I guess Americans didn't want to hear anyone singing in another language?

Here's a playlist of some of my favorite Yé-Yé songs, and also some of my favorite Chantal Goya material:
download here

8.03.2010

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HAZEL




Hazel was one of several groups from the Pacific Northwest that blew up, but were stuck in the background (for the most part) for years because of the over saturated indie-rock scene.

HAZEL was from Portland, OR featuring
Jody Bleyle (of team dresch fame) - drums, vocals
Peter Krebs - guitar, vocals
Brady Smith - bass
and Fred Nemo - dancer ( I know totally weird, but they are from Portland)



Around 1992, just as grunge was reaching fever pitch up in Seattle, these guys were playing indie-pop infused punk. They frequently played with bands such as Pond and Heatmiser (early Elliot smith), just to give you an idea of what scene they were coming from. With both bleyle and Krebs singing together and sometimes off-time they made amazing mopey noisey pop melodies that evens out alot of whats going on musically and I think set them apart from most of what was going on at the time. They go back and forth from real crunchy guitar to softer more melodic guitar, they are very unique in the way they layer it all some riffs mixed with the melodies give me goosebumps!



They Released 2 records on Sub Pop
"Toreador of Love" and "Are You Going To Eat That"

an assortment of singles

"Calliope" on Puddlestomp comp
"Shiva" on I-5 Killers Vol 2 comp (Schizophonic)
"J Hell" b/w "Day-Glo" & "Joe Louis Punchout" (Cavity Search)
"Tragedy" on A Tribute to Greg Sage and the Wipers comp (T/K)
"Shag Rug" on Tarantistic Seedplot comp (Road Cone)
"Jilted" b/w "Truly" (Sub Pop)
"Heida" b/w "Pop Uncle" (Candy Ass)
"Wint-o-Green" b/w "King Twist" (Cavity Search)
"Storm In My House" on Minutemen tribute comp (Little Brother)
"Blank Florida" b/w "Motorsport Daredevils" (Candy Ass)

and in 1997 a 5-song EP on CandyAss/Caroline called "Airiana" this was their last release.


HAZEL: HIGHLY RECOMENDED BY ME!










Fred Nemo has a website with alot of weird random stuff from hazel. Including random pics and tour journals.
http://www.monkeychicken.com/


-Rich

7.22.2010

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NEW LIECHTENSTEIN

Liechtenstein from Sweden have a new single coming out on fraction discs
Listen: PASSION FOR WATER

This is one of my favorite present time pop bands. They sound like some of my favorite 80's European pop groups slammed into one great band

make sure to check back to their website, because the single is not yet ready to be ordered, but I highly suggest you do!
http://www.fractiondiscs.se/liechtenstein/

these should keep you busy!












-Rich

7.21.2010

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Pygmy Lush



Photo by Ashley Sauers

Pygmy Lush, of Sterling, Virginia, is the band who has had the most impact on my life in the past few years. Seeing them in Santa Cruz on their tour in support of their first album, Bitter River, was one of the best sets I've ever experienced; it's rare for a musical performance to silence an entire crowd for the set's entirety. Made up of members from bands I thoroughly enjoyed in high school (Pg.99, City of Caterpillar, Malady), they've transcended their "screamo" band roots and developed into a band that poignantly highlights the difficulties of unwillingly entering adulthood. The themes of loneliness, dependancy, and imperfect interpersonal relations are addressed with an honest maturity that has been a great comfort to myself - knowing these feelings are shared by others, and then beautifully expressed in song is immensely reassuring. It's rare to find a band in which you can find so much of yourself embedded, and it's encouraging to retreat into this subjective reality when times are tough.

The music of Pygmy Lush is split in a strict dichotomy: "loud" and "soft", as I've seen it referred to. "Loud" consists of angry, harsh and noisy punk comparable to the Jesus Lizard fucking Born Against. The "soft" stuff falls into the realm of folk, using a greater variety of instrumentation than the typical rock band. A lot of it acoustic, but some of it electric; dreamy and reverb drenched. "Melancholy" is the best word to describe it, but some of the songs get to be pretty upbeat. Their first album, Bitter River, and their split with turboslut has a mix of both of these styles (some songs have both a "soft" and "loud" version!). Their second album, Mount Hope, is entirely "soft" material. Watch/Listen/Buy their music, go see them live, love them!

"soft" material "It's a good day to hide" Live at the Monolith (HD):



"loud" material "White Oblivion" live in DC (skip to 1:30 to hear the song):




Myspace Site
Pygmy Lush - Bitter River for $2.99 on Robotic Empire! (you can find their other records there too)

7.20.2010

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smoking herb is funny (click to make big!)





By Antonio Williams

found on the e-net

By Ben






I'll do a more "serious" photo post someday. Loser potheads are way more fun for now!
-Ben