The Nighty Nite Sleeps Tight In Mental Hospital

And now for something completely bent. The Nighty Nite, my dears, lead us on an audio excursion into acute and total madness. This is the sound of the inside of a lunatic’s brain in a lunatic asylum back when they still called them lunatic asylums and madhouses. It is likely that if you are unbalanced, this will push you off the deep end. It is sick, wrong, troubling material. Highly recommended.

The Nighty Nite
“In My Hospital Gown” (download mp3)
from “Dimples”
(Graveface Records)
“In My Hospital Gown” (play)
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Look Out My Window And Spy The Residents

The kings of weird are back. Not that they ever went away. Here we find our eyeball-headed friends performing music they developed over 40 dates on tour – the reverse of the traditional route of releasing an album and then touring to promote it. It’s listed as “Alternative, Rock” in the retail world, which made me cackle. 30 years or more into their run, The Residents still earn, more than anyone, the coveted genre classification of “Other.”

The Residents
“My Window” (download mp3)
from “Lonely Teenager”
(Cryptic Corporation)
More On This Album
“My Window” (play)

Mark Davis Eliminates The Toxins

Hmm. What an odd and lovely piece. A self-help and life-coaching book distilled into a warm little indie rock song. Catchy and intriguing. I’m listening a few times, getting a plot line, but also just enjoying the other-ness of this. Very personal, singer-songwriter-y stuff, this is not “Pop” in any known way. But then, these days, what is? Original and brave work from Edmonton’s Mark Davis.

Mark Davis
“Eliminate the Toxins” (download mp3)
from “Eliminate the Toxins”
(Saved by Radio)
“Eliminate The Toxins” (play)

Meanwhile, in a tUnE-yArD far far away

In an imagined universe, one which I’d like to visit, THIS is POP music. In an imagined world, where pop music is still a living, changing, innovative, fun and interesting thing, this is a hit. Today I will live in that parallel wonderland, and I will visit tUnE-yArDs, and bask in the sunlight of Merrill Garbus’ unique and generous gifts. You’re invited!

“Sunlight” (download mp3)
from “Bird-Brains”
(Marriage Records)
“Sunlight” (play)
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Putting Paper Chase In Neat; Manageable; Piles

MP3 über-sleuth Dan turned me onto this track a year ago and I didn’t get it. I get it now. Some music is like that. Honestly I didn’t like spinach when I was little, and now I love it. So it is with some music. Not everything makes sense right away. And not all music fits into neat manageable piles. This is dark, complex and delicious. Like spinach.

The Paper Chase
“Neat; Manageable; Piles” (download mp3)
from “Young Bodies Heal Quickly, You Know”
(Beatville Records)
“Neat; Manageable; Piles” (play)
Paper Chase at iTunes Store

Valerian Swing Goes Berserk On “Pleng”

I’m not sure when surf punk and prog rock were smashed together in a mad scientists’ lab, but here is the result. Valerian Swing, it seems, has as much love for Rush and King Crimson as they do for Agent Orange and The Ventures. I wont venture a guess what “Pleng” means, but this frenetic instrumental will have you running for your surfboard, or bong, or both. G-N-A-R-L-Y!

Valerian Swing
“Pleng” (download mp3)
from “A Sailor Lost Around the Earth”
(Magic Bullet)
“Pleng” (play)
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Meeting The Residents Again

Practicing their unique brand of sonic warfare for over three decades, The Residents are the kings of weird. Their costumes alone make me a fan, and their top-secret identities make them the ultimate anti-pop heroes. Just found their infamous Meet The Residents album online. Here is the single.

The Residents
“Breath and Length” (download mp3)
from “Meet The Residents”
(Cryptic Corporation)
“Breath and Length” (play)
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Tripping With Gevende In “Vigeland”

Brilliantly arranged choppy goodness with overtones of epic doom. You’ll think this is an instrumental, til the vocal finally makes a grand entrance and in one mighty stanza, wraps the whole piece together. From İstanbul, Turkey, I’m pleased to introduce Gevende – proud purveyors of a progressive international fusion of their own. Original, ambitious, fiery musical fun.

“Vigeland” (download mp3)
from “Sen Balık Değilsin ki”
(Baykus Music)
“Vigeland” (play)
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Hats in Cats breakfast with The Fruhstucks

You know Superfan has an affiniteh for kittehs. And on a slow rainy Sunday in Oakland I find I have an affinity for chill electronic boogies as well. As hypnotic as raindrops or a paw batting lazily at invisible somethings, this number by The Fruhstucks is fine feline fun. Frühstück means “breakfast” in German, btw. Have a nibble.

The Fruhstucks
“Hats & Cats” (mp3)
from “Hats & Cats”
(Race Car Productions)
“Hats & Cats” (play)
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Led To Sea’s “Is This the Last Time” A Must-Hear

Here’s a showstopper from Seattle, WA’s Led To Sea. Led To Sea is the solo vehicle of violist/violinist L. Alex Guy, expertly backed here by percussionist Paul Kikuchi and cellist Lori Goldston. “Is This the Last Time” is a fearless reflection on the anatomy of a breakup, told in a seamless pairing of lyrics and musical metaphor. To dream up a thing like this is one thing. To rehearse and perfect and deliver it with effortless clarity, is quite another. It’s a small miracle that with all the classical chops on display here, such a work of composition and arrangement ends up sounding innocent, and pop. Genius.

Led To Sea
“Is This the Last Time” (download mp3)
from “Into the Darkening Sky”
(Scary Trophy)
“Is This the Last Time” (play)
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