The Subtle Subversion Of This Will Destroy You

TWDY will not actually destroy you, but they do make some strange, other-worldy noise banter. It may creep under your skin and you may find yourself doing odd things to yourself with a fork and chocolate syrup, but don’t blame them, and please don’t go passing any new legislation or start censoring anybody. “Communal Blood,” my dears. Like Godspeed You Black Emperor meets Brian Eno in an alien dub shack. Insidiously infectious.

This Will Destroy You
“Communal Blood” (mp3)
from “Tunnel Blanket”
“Communal Blood” (play)
(Monotreme Records)
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Critters Buggin Baste Imperial Turkey Blister

Critters Buggin. Their name evokes their sound, so precisely. This seething ecosystem of audio organisms is off their 1999 “Amoeba” CD on Loosegroove. A beautiful mixture of ambient, electro and crazed modern jazz. Long may they bug.

Critters Buggin – “Imperial Turkey Blister”
(right click, “save as” to download the mp3, or left click to play)

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Bear In Heaven’s “Ultimate Satisfaction” remixed in fields of bliss

Bear In Heaven – “Ultimate Satisfaction (The Field Remix)” mp3

In my continuing pursuit of music for pleasure, how could I not post “Ultimate Satisfaction” by Bear In Heaven? Bears are, after all, big fluffy warm heavenly creatures to begin with. A bear in heaven? More cuddly than a giant bunnyrabbit on pot cookies. Hypnotic, dreamy electronic ambience that evokes that blissful drugged feeling from somewhere between sex and sleep. Trippy.

Bear In Heaven
“Ultimate Satisfaction (The Field Remix)” (mp3)
from “Beast Rest Forth Mouth: Remixed”

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Drifting Blissfuly into a Coto Normal State

Coto Normal – “Drift” mp3

This is what James Bond would be listening to if he were a vampire. “Drift” by California’s Coto Normal is sexy sultry lounge pop like Henry Mancini meets Portishead on happy pills. This is music for pleasure. And that’s a good thing.

Coto Normal
“Drift” (mp3)
from “L’ultimo”
(Silent Dream Records)
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David Modica’s Silence Speaks Volumes

David Modica – “Silence Speaks” mp3

Ok, I do this on Sunday sometimes. Just need some really laid back chill factor ten kinda stuff to unwindify. David Modica is one of those guitarists who sits around with a loooooong delay and reverb AND chorus effects on his 6-string and just trips out fr daze. However, unlike my friends who do this sort of thing between gigs playing jazz or metal or whatnot, Mr. Modica takes it a step further musically, makes records of the stuff, and releases it to the public. Why not? Fits right into the New Age bins, and would be at home in any yoga or massage studio. Very pretty and soothing music, and right now, I’m all about it. Piano, guitars, and lovely effects, somewhere between improvisation and composition, slowly developing and full of soft surprises.

David Modica
“Silence Speaks” (mp3)
from “The Water is Wide”
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Kelli Scarr’s “Pure Gold” is, well, pure gold

Kelli Scarr – “Pure Gold” mp3

You ready for some beautiful singing? This recording by singer-songwriter and sometime Moby touring band member Kelli Scarr is a shimmering masterwork, worthy of its title. It starts out deceptively simple, with a dry, John Lennon-esque piano bed setting the stage for a blissful gospel-pop chord progression, and a vocal that melts rocks. Kelli’s bio is a fun read, and today again I have to sing the praises of the Interwebs for allowing me to discover such a fine talent with my morning coffee. This track is special. Hope you enjoy.

Kelli Scarr
“Pure Gold” (mp3)
from “Piece”
(Silence Breaks)
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Carly Comando’s Poignant Lullaby

Carly Comando – “Cordelias Lullaby” mp3

‘Nuther chill instrumental for this Sunday’s selection. It’s just how I’m rolling this weekend. Carly Comando (her real name) records solo piano improvisations for the Deep Elm label. Comando is best known for her ballad, “Everyday,” the soundtrack to Noah takes a photo of himself every day for 6 years, which has been viewed in excess of a bazillion times. The piece has more recently served as the score to Amnesty International’s “Death to the Death Penalty” ad campaign. These beautiful works are structured more like compositions than your typical “improv” – they have movements, passages, they develop, build tension and resolve, like any written piece. She just makes them up as she plays them. Peaceful music, my offering for today.

Carly Comando
“Cordelia’s Lullaby” (mp3)
from “Cordelia”
(Deep Elm)
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Effi Briest spreads like Rhizomes in teh Interweb

Effi Briest – “Rhizomes” mp3

The beautiful and ethereal strains of Brooklyn’s Effi Briest waft through my house on this lazy Sunday morning, stretching and aspiring and taking root. “Rhizomes” is a patient work, sprawling over five and a half minutes like one of those movie sequences where the weather changing is sped up, shadows of clouds race up skyscrapers and mountains, and an old grandfather clocks spins the hours by in seconds. Taking their name from Theodor Fontane’s realist novel of social angst in 19th century Germany, this all female band is bound to have an intellectual take, but I’m glad to report that they also rock. The drum, bass, guitar and vocal performances are precise, thoughtful and passionate. Who writes songs about plant roots spreading and converging underground, sensually and gracefully? Effi Briest, my dears.

Effi Briest
“Rhizomes” (mp3)
from “Rhizomes”
(Sacred Bones Records)

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Broken Social Scene’s healing “World Sickness”

Beloved Broken Social Scene. Post modern angst would not be the same without you. Here we find our heroes deep in the throes of what the Germans call Weltschmerz – world-ache, or world sickness. Musically somewhere between Godspeed You Black Emperor’s patient apocalyptic swelling, and something like goth rock on a sunny beach, this is a group whose sound is not easily pinned down. And that’s good. Let it fly, be free. “Forgiveness Rock Record” is their latest brave salvo of empathy and understanding thrown headlong into the prevailing maelstrom of cynicism and pessimism. I’m grateful for that.

Broken Social Scene
“World Sick” (download mp3)
from “Forgiveness Rock Record”
(Arts & Crafts)
World Sick (play)

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Virtuoso Guitar Romantic, Antoine Dufour

Antoine Dufour – “Lost In Your Eyes” mp3

Here is a luminous instrumental serenade from Canadian harp-guitarist Antoine Dufour. His instrumental mastery is matched by a child-like playfulness and wonder, that is such a refreshing contrast to today’s prevailing cynicism. It’s easy to hear when someone is really having fun playing, and that joy is instantly contagious. An all acoustic, no effects, str8 up the middle stringed instrument recording that is as vibrant as a Spring day.

Antoine Dufour
“Lost in Your Eyes” (mp3)
from “Convergences”
(Candy Rat Records)

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