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Forum posts for Song Pick of the Week

chugga chugga
Posted by bryan on Dec 13, 2005
It's halfway through a long night shift, and I thought I'd chime in with recommendation and a show review.

Andrew Bird - The Mysterious Production of Eggs

Andrew Bird has a pretty voice and plays pop music filled with cool strings and hooks. I found this guy via the song fake palindromes, which the dude from Said the Gramophone voted one of his favourite songs of 05. I think there are better songs on this album, but definitely check out the song here (via said the gramophone):

Hooray for MP3 blogs.

Sunday I stopped in Hamilton on the way home and caught Winter Equinox, Holy Fuck, and Caribou at the Casbah. All of these bands are mostly instrumental and put good use to electronic tools.

The show opened with Winter Equinox, an instrumental band comprised of two sisters, a bass player and a drummer. All of them are play multiple instruments.

The songs are all well layered and well composed, featuring bells, warm synth tones, slow, droning woodwinds, repeating octave and fifth jumping bass measures, fucktastically awesome drumming and the occasional guitar or tape loop thrown in for good measure. The music ebbs and flows, featuring large build-ups and beautiful calm spells.

If i was any good at talking about genres, I might say this is post-rock, with a sprinkling of Eno, a slice of Canada and a dab of Bootsy (minus the LSD). But I am not good at talking about genres, so forget you read that.

Holy Fuck was good. Crazy space noises over top of more fucktastically awesome drumming and tight bass playing. I was talking at the back of the club for a lot of this set, but I can say that from what I did catch I want to hear the CD. Music to break stuff to. Space stuff. Hear that, international house of space station? I'm coming for you.

Choose your own review adventure time, folks! The next 4 paragraphs I am going to describe caribou's setup. Skip to paragraph 5 if you want to hear what I thought of the music.

I wasn't sure what the set-up for Caribou would be, and part of the reason I came to this show was to figure that out. Unfortunately the club had filled out, so I couldn't see it for myself. Luckily one of my fellow nerdlingers had seen caribou multiple times, and was able to describe it to me.

To the right was Dan Snaith, the man who goes by the name Caribou. He sits behind a mountain of gear on stage. Drums, wind instruments, synthesizers, a bass, a microphone, an acoustic guitar (james, I am looking in your direction now) and a bunch of looping and sampling devices.

At center stage is an electric guitarist who I believe was also pulling double duty throughout the evening, probably sharing some of the aformentioned instruments.

Finally at the left we have another drummer. Yes, 2 drummers. HIPPY DRUM CIRCLE, BREAK OUT THE BODY PAINTS! All this and I couldn't see a fucking thing, except for the top 3rd of the projector, which was providing us with what seemed to be a pre-planned visual spectacle.

They played a long set featuring material from 2003's up in flames and 2005's milk of human kindness. Caribou's music is heavily layered and full of beautiful droning grooves punctuated by an even more awesomely fucktastic drum ASSAULT. Layer after layer of sound are heaped on by snaith, who then punctuates a 4 minute segment by banging the shit out of the drums.

Snaith peppers the compositions with processed live vocals that are kind of buried in the mix. Snaith's voice is at home outside the traditional dominant role as another texture, weaving its way in and out of the drone.

The setup I went to painstaking lengths to describe above is put to full use. Super long, melodically interesting passages are heaped on top of one another, creating an orgasmatronic cacophony of fuck yeah. I know that last sentence I just used doesn't mean anything, and I am ok with that. Caribou's music is so good that it reduces me to a blubbering idiot.

The morals of the story are:

If the idea of a song being 8 minutes long without a single guitar solo doesn't frighten you, go see/download all 3 of these bands, starting with caribou. If you are frightened by the prospect of an 8 minute long song, download barnowl by caribou and go from there.

If you are keeping score, there was no hippy drum circle, and I just killed 3 hours of a night shift. Ba-zing!

Posted by James H> on Dec 20, 2005
I downloaded Barnowl and I must say I'm impressed. Seems like it would be an interesting live experience as well. What I've been able to find from Holy Fuck is intriguing too.