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!