This is a place to share and discuss rare and odd music/video, if there is any problem with a post or something uploaded, simply email mentallydivergentAVC@gmail.com and we will take it down.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Guided By Voices - Back To Saturn X (aborted)

Another of the famous aborted GBV albums, this one is called "Back To Saturn X". Fans will recognize that name as a song title on Propeller, where-in an audio collage/medley of some of these tracks appear.

Back To Saturn X stands apart from Corpse-Like Sleep Of Stupidity for me because Back To Saturn X is so INSANELY poppy in comparison. The sequence and the songs are riddled with poppy songs and hooks. I feel like this would have been nearly as popular as Bee Thousand, if released after the point where people heard and began to understand the lo-fi, tape based audio aesthetic of the band.

Opening with Fantasy Creeps (from King Shit and The Golden Boys), it's the lowest of fi's blended with that sing-a-long style. It leads into another terrible quality gem Perch Warble. Perch Warble has appeared on most of the Suitcase releases, mainly because there are a few versions of Perch Warble. Next is one of my favorite older GBV songs, Dusty Bushworms. I have covered this song more than a few times.

Now the album delves more into the Corpse-Like territory with Scalding Creek, Melted Pat, Spring Tigers and Tractor Rape Chain (Clean It Up). This is a fine sequence weaving in and out of songs that would eventually spread out across MANY releases.

We get back into the King Shit vibe with Crutch Came Slinking and Sopor Joe, some Chicken Blows from Alien Lanes, and then we come to the riveting finale. Scissors And The Clay Ox (In) from Suitcase 1 into Damn Good Mr. Jam and then the title track Back To Saturn X. This final set of songs really ties the whole thing together and keeps the pop going strong even towards the end!

This one is killer, and can replay a 100 times in my ears without getting old.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tom Jobim - Apresenta

As a troubled and grumpy teen I very obviously gravitated to David Lynch's films in the 90's.

I was especially attracted to Lost Highway, notably because Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails sequenced and engineered the soundtrack. I was a big time NIN nerd when I was a boy, all the way up to the betrayal that WAS The Fragile. While I assert that even though Trent betrayed his fans, it paled in comparison to the betrayal by Billy Corgan, he still betrayed his fans nonetheless (how does a song called "Starfuckers Incorporated" actually exist?).

Anyway, I was already drawn to this movie and soundtrack on spec alone, and while Rammstein does annoy me on several levels, I persevered. I will never forget the very first moment I heard Antonio Carlos Jobim, via his tune "Insensatez" on this soundtrack. While sonically the opposite of what I was becoming accustomed to, it had basically everything I needed in a song. It was a "style" I was inexplicably attracted to in an immense way. Over the years I became enamored with Mr. Jobim's tunes. I have yet to hear one I don't like on any level.

So then I went searching for Mr. Jobim's records. The vast majority of his published catalog is comprised of other people, "famous" people, performing his compositions. Sinatra, Fitzgerald, Getz and the like litter most available releases from this name. There are more than a few albums under his name alone and to be frank if I had listened to every one I would have a better idea of what comprises them. I have "Tide" and "Wave" and "Getz/Gilberto play Jobim" and they are fine albums but nothing comes close to "Tom Jobim Apresenta". This was an extremely limited press outside the US, once these recordings made it to the US they were re-sequenced as "Love, Strings and Jobim" which I think is an inferior sequence.

Tom Jobim Apresenta is perfect in its original state, with not a single song sticking out as an outlier. "Berimbau" is a perfect opener, starting as sparse and mild and growing into an urgent and beautiful meditation on the progression of music. "Razao De Viver" is gorgeous and chill, like the type of music you hear on "Always Sunny". As dated as this music is, to me it is timeless and pure.

"Voce" is another sweet and warm little tune that bursts with string swells and curiosity. "Seu Encanto" keeps us drifting down this sweet river of music and brings us to the alive and poppy "Samba Torto". This and "Berimbau" are my two favorite tracks on this record. Superbly recorded and filled with lush and gorgeous instrumentation, these two tracks are a perfect example of Mr. Jobim's style and composition.

This is where the LP starts to get heavy and tug at your heartstrings. "Imagem" into "Chuva" is a breathtaking little sequence that can leave your eyes welling up by the end. "Eu Preciso De Voce" brings us back up into happier and more boastful musical territory, merrily chugging along a musical "ride". This song stands out in particular because of its change-ups. The different parts and elements change each time they are played which not only lends itself to enjoyable listening but also keeps your attention as the parts coalesce.

"A Morte De Um Deus De Sal" is another chugging musical ride. A relaxing and steady progression that is less showy and more cerebral than most previous songs. While flaunting some pretty impressive piano solo's toward the ends, it never breaks a sweat and keeps everything feeling chill. "Morrer De Amor" is like the sound of the dawn of a day, a simple and effective wash of sound to begin any morning. Conversely "Tristeza De Nos Dois" is like a perfect sunset song, a smoky and sweet tune to bring close to a day of accomplishment.

As opposition to "Berimbau" is album closer "Preciso Aprender A Ser So", a moody and introspective tune brimming with emotive melody. The journey is complete here. A resting place after a warm and satisfying trip through the mind and instruments of Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Of all of his recordings I will NEVER understand why this isn't available in its original form.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Dirty Projectors - Pickenham Dedonshire

To the more avid fans of Dave Longstreth and his band Dirty Projectors, Morning Better Last! is more than just another awesome from the lo-fi New Haven days, more than a segue between The Glad Fact and Slaves Graves and Ballads. Morning Better Last! (put out by States Rights Records) was a compilation album, a "best of" gathered from 3 tapes that were made and distributed to friends in the 2001-2002 period. The names of the 3 tapes are:

"Nile Yessum" / "Picknum Deduns" / "Pickenham Dedonshire"
"Brother Had A Birthday" / "Live At Sam's" / "The Glad Fact Testimonial"
"Three Brown Finches" / "Obscure Wisdom EP" / "Seven Songs That Owe A Lot To Zep III".

A few years back I tracked down 1/9th of this collection, "Pickenham Dedonshire" which is in itself a pretty odd little collection. I imagine if the names of these tapes are correct, we are to treat the tapes like triple EP collections, in triplicate.

So Pickenham Dedonsire is a little sparse but has plenty of treats. The first part of the EP focuses on "How Does My Mind Work" which is a lovely little song from Morning Better Last. Track 2 the "end of the world remix" is clearly the stand out with swirling and lush arrangements.

"Mexican Standoff II" is another stand out track brimming with mood and environment. That is one of the elements of Dave's early work that is so infinitely enjoyable, the moods and environments created through varying fidelities.

"The Love Prayer Book" and a remix of "The Softer Shell" groove us toward the end of this little piece of cassette. I would love one day to have a collection of all 9 EP's across 3 tapes.

Infact, this post has made the thirst for searching rear its ugly head once again!


Monday, March 31, 2014

The Lost Man Soundtrack by Quincy Jones

I use a private torrent tracker site called cinemageddon.net. It is a treasure trove of weird, rare and hard to describe data. Video and audio from all manner of odd and obscure sources.

In 2011 I was going through a phase where I was researching villain themes from movies and over time I came to find that the ones I gravitated toward the most came from Blaxploitation films of the late 60's and early 70's. There was an edge and a keenness to the bulk of what I was listening to in this category. I had downloaded a package of Blaxploitation soundtracks and was moving through them thoroughly. I came across The Lost Man soundtrack by Quincy Jones. This LP has got it ALL. Dark and tumultuous travel grooves and soft sweet ballads run alongside one another in a disorienting fashion.

First is the opening theme which pairs strings with hand percussion and a group of kids singing, well more like an early version of rapping more than singing. The music suggests subterfuge in the action, and there is plenty. It is musically unnerving and paranoid. It takes an abrupt turn (the only kind available on a soundtrack and in a movie so unsettling) into Sweet Soul Sister, which is about as sultry as you can glimmer from the title. Extremely versatile male vocals on this song, in a wonderful scale flux and brimming with attitude.

What made it stand out at this point conceptually, seeing the film and hearing the soundtrack is that this movie's main character is both hero and villain, as are the police who chase him. The line between right and wrong is insanely blurred as are your morals as you watch. The music reflects this in its main theme variations, a sort of spy movie with soul, a police movie that is always looking over its shoulder.

This feeling sticks out hard on Slum Creeper. It is dark and mangled, nearly chaotic. Rap Run It On Down flips the mood 180 degrees again with a gospel pop song, riddled with swelling harmonies. Dual male/female call/response vocals make this song one of unity and solidarity. Next up is the heartbreaking He Says He Loves Me, with its insanely talented female lead swirling vocal melodies all across a scale breadth I can't begin to fathom. If this song as full volume doesn't make you well up even a little bit (despite its antiquated words and themes) then you just don't have any soul!

Try Try Try is my favorite tune from this record hands down. Like the female lead character of this film, as she dances to it, this song has got "soul for days". Smooth meaty basslines and classy brass elevate this female vocalist to astronomic levels as she leads the song along a wondrous and glossy pop ballad. There is simply no describing this song accurately enough to communicate the joy it gives me (again despite its antiquated words and themes).

Up Against The Wall is another dark paranoid instrumental, vibing on this films darkest and most white knuckle moments. As this LP winds down to its melancholic end we feel the ending of the film loud and clear. It helps to have seen the movie to know specifically what I mean but it isn't needed, as the music does a very thorough job of passing along the feeling of the film.

You can watch this film on youtube, for now, and it's clearly sourced from the same VHS rip I have in avi format. You can and should download this soundtrack below, it is near impossible to find in pirated or purchase. I did find an old copy on ebay for 15 dollars shipped. It was worth every penny.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Kids On The Internet!

Are you a Kid or Parent? Have you heard of this newfangled thing called The Internet coming to a household near you? Are you concerned or confused about the implications of the internet on a national community? Do you want to learn how to be safe? Is it the mid 1990's?
Boy have I got a treat for you. Kids On The Internet was a VHS tape produced and circulated around 1996 to give you all sorts of information about connecting to and using The Internet.
This is a fun/terrible little visual experience for you to enjoy on a nice weekend.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Robert Pollard - Silverfish Trivia LP (aborted)

I'll be frank and tell you I have been dreading this post.

2006 was a breathtaking year for Robert Pollard. Mid year he put out one of my favorite albums, Normal Happiness. Some of my favorite Pollard tunes of all time appear on it. To me, it's nearly as good as Not In My Airforce. "Get A Faceful" is one of my all time favorite songs by anyone. So when I heard Bob's next album would be coming out months later (pretty much par for the course) and was called Silverfish Trivia, I couldn't wait. I opened up Soulseek and added those search terms to my wishlist (which is a constantly searching feature for Soulseek, akin to google alerts).

A day or two after this announcement I got a search return. 12 songs, titled "track 01.mp3, track 02.mp3"...etc. in a folder called Silverfish Trivia. I downloaded it. It came down like lightning, and I quickly shared it with my other Soulseek Pollard nuts. Within hours the original user (who I added to my list) disappeared and the shares were spreading like wildfire.

I started listening to the songs and it was a perfectly sequenced follow up to Normal Happiness, a superb indie rock statement in much the same vein as Normal Happiness.

A few days later I see an article on Pfork saying that Bob is upset about the file leak and as a result is pulling the release for retooling as a shortened EP. I was shocked, and a little embarrassed. Could I really be the cause of one of my hero's anger? I am a loyalist with records, I may pirate but I always buy what I like, direct from the artist. I didn't even have song titles for these songs!!!

This shock and abort didn't really affect my ability to love this album. What did affect my enjoyment of this album was hearing the finalized EP. Three of the songs on the original album show up here, skewing the context and sequence. Orchestral string segments bookend this underwhelming EP which I would give maybe a 4/10 rating to, from an album that was a 9.5.

I felt a little at odds with this relationship, EP to LP, like fans were being punished for being curious. I can understand the mentality it would take to cause a situation like this but it doesn't change how lame and deflated this EP sounds. I feel like maybe Pollard intended to punish his fans but infact punished his own art. I would love to hear what he thinks of the EP vs. LP.

This LP is stellar, and over the next 6 months from the leak I was able to accrue the song titles as these songs were split up and released as extras on the Crickets compilation from The Fading Captain series and as B sides for the 7 inch singles club that was released around the 2 albums that came next: Coast To Coast Carpet Of Love / Standard Gargoyle Decisions.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

AN OWL IS AN OWL IS AN OWL - a short film to be filed under WTF?

I think this page has 2 kinds of posts. Posts where I have an abundance of personal information about a project, and posts where I have basically no information. This is a post where I have basically no information.

I was friends with a dude who liked to horde all kinds of weird data. From time to time I would bring my external HD over to his place and he would load me up with weird stuff. This little short was suddenly in my life. Much of the stuff he would give me I would try out late at night when I was bored. This was an extremely unsettling experience for me, like a bad dream on VHS.

I quickly began loving this little clip.

I have recently found it on youtube, and it is embedded below