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Uncle GhettoAardvark's Occasional Music Review

Deerhunter - Cryptograms (January 29, 2007, Kranky)
Deerhunter is known as a "shoegaze" band. I hate that genre label, so I'm going to ignore it entirely. Deerhunter sounds almost, but not quite, entirely unlike post-rock. It's more like a solid cross between well-known post-rock like Explosions In The Sky and softer indie rock like The Shins circa Chutes Too Narrow, with maybe a splash of Peter, Bjorn and John. In fact, if I was trying to introduce someone to post-rock, I'd probably recommend something like this as a starter just to see if they like it or not. The vocals are probably my favorite thing on this album, and I suspect the bassist is really good but my speakers suck and I can't tell yet. "Spring Hall Convert" is probably my favorite track, but "Octet-Stream" is more representative of the entire album.
Interesting Trivia: Their live shows are markedly different than one would expect from their music, often including fake blood and the (male) lead singer in a sundress.

Sigur Rós - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (June 23, 2008, EMI/XL Recordings)
Generally, if you've heard Sigur Rós before, you're already aware of how they sound and whether you like them or not. If you're one of the (seemingly few) who doesn't like them, I highly, highly recommend you give this album a shot, as it's a definite break in tone from their previous work. To use a crappy metaphor for a moment: if most of their previous work is like that first snowfall of winter, this is like that first day in spring when you walk outdoors and the weather is perfect. Gone are the twinkling tunes, slow passages, and falsetto, replaced with steady marching drums and strong melodies that make you want to be outdoors, running around in the sunlight. They're not half-shy about it, either; this new dynamic kicks in right from the first track ("Gobbledigook") and stays strong through the rest of it. Besides that track, I recommend "Við spilum endalaust", as well as "Festival".
Interesting Trivia: Their bassist, Georg, can catch trout with nothing but his teeth.

SHITDISCO - Kingdom Of Fear (April 16, 2007, Fierce Panda)
I have to admit, I was lured to listen to this based on nothing but the band name. Fortunately, they turned out to be a better-than-average Britain-based electro/dance band, which is good because I hate it when bands waste really good names on crappy music. It's hard not to draw comparisons with other bands that aren't part of the same musical subset (i.e. Klaxons, Hadouken!) but if I had to pick one, it'd be Devo - if Devo focused less on being completely weird and more on making exceedingly danceable music. They're pretty obviously in this for the fun of it, as the Wikipedia page for them says they played house parties in their drummer's apartment for three straight years, and will still play for free at parties on request while on tour. I'm a big fan of "I Know Kung Fu", "Another", and "Disco Blood", but if I may be completely honest, every track off of Kingdom Of Fear is just as good as the rest of them.
Interesting Trivia: They also DJ on a regular basis, and have played all over the world, including Ibiza, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur.

Next time: Six bands, all named the same thing! I lied! It's actually three different bands all named different things!

March of the Monsters 

Ross cursed as he threw Susan's sweats down their laundry chute. It was too damn early to get up but Susan was on him to keep his New Year's Resolution. Blue athletic tape covered the bruises on his left ankle. Ross yawned as he made his way downstairs. Outside the lake was winter dark. In the kitchen Susan's note was sitting out on the countertop.

The past couple of months have made me question things. When you suggested applying for federal money to help our clinic I was for it initially. If you wouldn't have applied for that grant we wouldn't have been able to put on the addition or give the staff raises. Those classes you taught raised community awareness about the importance of vaccinations...

Susan spoke softly to Pepper as she opened the back of the van. "This is the airstrip Pepper. Ross's dad used to fly when he was younger. You're going to take a trip in an airplane pretty soon. I've flown with Ross and we've flown with other pilots. There's nothing to be afraid of..." a blunt object smashed into the back of Susan's skull. Red droplets fell on the dirty snow. In her cage Pepper chattered angrily.

You're good with Pepper but it's not safe anymore. One or both of us could be killed. We have enough data to continue your research and the money Pepper's owner is offering for her safe return will enable us to offer more classes. I'm just worried about what would happen if Pepper got loose in the neighborhood. We have no idea what a bite of hers could do...

Sleet hit the windshield as Ross backed out of the garage. He drove with one hand on the steering wheel cursing Susan's stupidity. At the airstrip Ross parked on the side of an abandoned shed. It would be an ideal place to stow a body. Icy grime caked a small shed window. Wind bit through his clothing as Ross tried the door.

You know what scientists would do to Pepper if they found out about her. I'm hoping that things work out when I meet her owner. After seeing what she did to your ankle I don't feel that we can keep her any longer. Just so you know we're meeting at the old airstrip on the north side of town. He has a private jet with special accomodations for Pepper...

Susan's first thought on waking was that she was cold. Her eyes opened momentarily before fluttering shut. Silently Ross cursed at the pallor of her face. Blood stained the tip of his glove as he touched a streak on the floor. Outside a shadowy figure pulled a curious looking weapon out. Stuck in her cage Pepper started kicking. Ross closed his eyes as he pulled the door to Pepper's cage open.

I don't know how we would explain Pepper to the repairmen when they come to fix our destroyed basement. That's another thing we have to consider. Pepper is loud. People are going to hear noises. They're going to see delivery trucks and they're going to be curious. All we need is for one nosy reporter to get inside although I suppose Pepper could take care of herself in that situation. Her claws are razor sharp...

There was no mention of a dismembered corpse in the local papers. An unidentified body was discovered floating near a submerged sandbar the following spring. Tattered clothing hung about the skeletal remains. Forensic scientists gathered what clues they could from the victim. They canvassed people who lived in homes near the lake but by that time Ross, Susan and the charred remains of Pepper were long gone


P.S. Thanks buddy.

REXBURG - The older the tune, the more memories it brings back. That's especially true for the accordion.

"Music gets into your mind and you don't forget it. They associate the music with things they did when they were younger," said third generation accordion player Reed Wyate.

It even made 88-year-old Jennette Gutke grab my hands and show me how to move my feet, "Oh boy do I like to dance... I've done the jitterbug most of my life."

While some can still tap out a beat, others joke about getting around.

"I said I used to ride a Harley, and now I walk with a cane called Charley," 10 years ago Sharon Rowberry forged her memories in Alaska. "I was a rockhound for 20 years, I've done a lot of climbing hills and looking for rocks."

A box full of memories remains in Rowerry's closet. In it are a lot of hand crafted jewelry, rocks, even some panned gold. And when I held it in my hand, I realized where the saying, 'It's worth its weight in gold,' comes from."

So while the old try to keep active and optimistic, "DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-HAHAHA," hummed Gutke.

The accordion and their memories are helping them connect to the past.

To see and hear Reed Wyate play an accordion, not to mention an 88 year old try to make me dance, click on the video link from: http://www.kidk.com/news/41463317.html

So I'm thinking I'd like to come back. Apparently I am an Encyclopedist now, whatever that is. And apparently there are only 32 encyclopedists currently. Does that make me E2 elite?

I guess I want my writings to have a wider audience. I don't know if E2 will provide that or not, but it feels like it would, and that's good enough for me.

Good grief, what are all those "Create it as a" options now?!

And hey, how come everybody's names are weird? CAN you come back after being away so long? Will it be forever confusing? Maybe I'll just WRITE.

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