Tuesday, March 28, 2017

“I Do Not Want What Heaven Gave Me”

I don’t want it either. And what is “it,” exactly? Is “it” some sort of divine blessing, or a message, or a power? How am I supposed to use “it”? Dino Spiluttini doesn’t want “it.” And yet, I think he yearns for something “other” from a supernatural source, something more real and tangible than what we experience in our fast-food religious culture, with its manufactured praise bands (triple yuck!). That’s how it is in America, anyway. I don’t know how it is in Vienna, where Spiluttini is from. Still, the seven songs that comprise I Do Not Want all point to the past and unearth complex emotions about love and loss, life and death. The permanence of history, of time, the passing into the future, or beyond life. They read like a hymnal: “Praise,” “Psalm,” “Chant,” “Requiem,” “Hymn,” “Prayer,” “Mass.” Indeed, Spiluttini was inspired to compose these pieces after his mother showed “him the place where their ashes would be interred after their deaths.” The music was culled “hours of organ recordings from that very church,” adorned with additional piano, and unleashed unto us. As he copes with mortality, he allows us to read into his work the importance – how important depends on the individual – of cultural history and how much it impacts personal history. But then, what do we do we do with that? How do we process an “it” or an “other,” clearly something being grappled with in this music? Even if we can’t come to terms with “it” ourselves, we can use art like this to turn our magnifying glasses outward, to see what’s happening out there in the world today, to react to policies and actions that do not allow all people the luxury of introspection or personal history. We are leaving old legacies behind us, beginning new ones. When we’re ready for reverence, though, we’ll call on Dino Spiluttini.

--Ryan Masteller

Monday, March 27, 2017

"On Hold, Hold On" C17

“Eggs on Mars” is a very DIY, feel-good rock band straight-outta Kansas City, Missouri. This album, “On Hold, Hold On”, is their 4th recorded offering via bandcamp. It sounds fun. It will inspire you to play music with your friends. When they engage in falsetto singing, it sounds even more fun.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan

Sunday, March 26, 2017

"I Could See the Smoke" C23
(Lost Tribe Sound)

“Music for Octavio Paz” meets “the Glass Bead Game” in this drop-dead-fucking-gorgeous exercise for attacking and caressing a plethora of trembling, sympathetic strings. Is he bowing a cello, or that very same 12-string guitar? &How’s come so many wildly differing timbres, expertly culled from steel, nylon, & paired octaves, fit so perfectly now, where they’ve always otherwise sounded competitive and distracting?

Organically recorded and produced (well, pretty much), this EP is a brilliant taster for what could very well be the torch-passing from Ben Chasny and James Blackshaw’s former Psychedelic/American-Primitive feats to this UK newblood, Andy Cartwright, aka Seabuckthorn.

The physical tape is (rightfully) already sold out, so keep an eye out for anything in the works.


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

Saturday, March 25, 2017

“Rebels & Romantics” (self-released)

I’m not an internet troll. I’m a nice person. I want to like your music. I really do. That’s why I do this.

But I’m not really sure I like Courtney Love’s new direction, you know? It feels like a step backward. I tell this to Tad Doyle all the time: you guys, you B-level 1990s Sub Pop stars, you know how it feels. There’s just not enough respect to go around for those who are toiling away. But still, you have to deliver. I deliver. Not so much music anymore. More wrestling and tea and synthesizers and lawsuits, but whatever. If Courtney wants to record as “Omega Sirius Moon,” more power to her. I just wish it didn’t sound like she was still in the practice space. Oh well.

Oh, this isn’t Courtney Love doing a new thing but sounding like she’s doing an older thing? Wow, my bad.


Friday, March 24, 2017

“From Below” C32
(Already Dead Tapes)

“Oh, because I already reviewed Dead Man’s Lifestyle, is that why?”

Nick looked at his fingernails, trying not to make eye contact. “You know the tapes go out randomly. I don’t know. Besides, that review didn’t appear on Cassette Gods, so it hardly counts. It wasn’t even a cassette! Hinterland was a CD. So, there’s that.”

Ryan, standing in front of Nick’s desk with his hands firmly planted to its top, suddenly stood up and began to pace the spacious office. “You know how I feel about this, man. You know how I feel about the double dip.”

Nick looked up incredulously. “What double dip? You reviewed a completely different album. You’ve reviewed multiple releases by multiple artists. You’ve never been this upset before. What is this, like your two hundredth review or something for me? Get off your soapbox! I’m tired of it!”

“Two hundred and eighty-sixth.”


Nick rubbed his eyes, Ryan stopped pacing, pausing with his hand on his chin, and mulled carefully the next words he would say.

“OK, Nick, I’ll do it. I’ll review From Below. But you have to promise me one thing – no more double dips.”

Nick: “This is not a double dip! Get it through your head! I mean, isn’t it in your wheelhouse? Don’t you like that spacey ambient stuff, with the guitars and the effects pedals? Synthesizers? You write about that stuff all the time! What about the ‘shimmery guitars’ and ‘celestial atmospheres’? Just dig through your mental dictionary or something – I’m sure something will come up. I’m not the reviewer.”

“Alright, I’ll mention the ‘shimmery guitars’ and the ‘celestial atmospheres.’ I’ll just dig right into my vocabulary of overused language and pull out a few choice nuggets. How does ‘Frippy’ work for you? Eno-y? The press mentions Evening Star. That’s a great starting point. I love Evening Star. And Hinterland was enjoyable. Should I pull something from that review? Maybe plagiarize myself, apply it here? How about ‘From Below is a song cycle of great physical space and emotional depth.’ That’s at least somewhat of a paraphrase.”

Nick rolled his eyes and started tapping a number into his phone. “Whatever, I don’t care. I have a meeting with this dude about a Bob Weir hologram for a Deep Thoughts shindig. I’m gonna be late if I stay here listening to you yammer and complain about a tape review.”

Ryan, a little taken aback at the news, opened his eyes a little wider. “Bob Weir’s not dead, Nick. Why a hologram?”

“Because wouldn’t it be cool?”

“Yeah, I guess it would.”

--Ryan Masteller