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dimanche 24 février 2013

Album de la Semaine : Psychic Ills - One Track Mind

Psychic Ills

One Track Mind

Interview de Psychic Ills, par John Norris d'Interview Magazine

JOHN NORRIS: So guys I know this is the first proper album in two and a half years, but there has been other output since then—last year there were a couple of EP's...

ELIZABETH HART:  There were two EP's, one remix record and one tape release, so yeah, there's been other stuff.

NORRIS: It's interesting, because I think if people know the band's been together about eight years, and they hear "three albums in eight years," it might not sound like a lot. But there have been other releases and compilations over the years, so it's not like you haven't been prolific.

TRES WARREN:  The first album (Dins) came out in '06.

HART: Well, there was a seven-inch first, then a 12" and then the first record.

WARREN: And there was a CD, a compilation of stuff that came out before the record.

NORRIS: When did you start in earnest working on songs forHazed Dream? A long time ago?

WARREN: It was kinda quick.

NORRIS:  I know this was something of a different process this time.

HART: Yeah, I really was. This was, Tres was writing a bunch of songs and he would demo and stuff, and I would get with him and write bass parts to accompany it. And in the past, the approach has been more the whole band getting together and jamming, and kind of pulling things out of that and really forming the songs, and this was different.

NORRIS: Things were more formed when you went in?

HART: Completely, and prepared and fleshed out.

NORRIS: Mirror Eye, the last record, was so improvisational. Was there a point this time where you made a decision and said, "Let's try a different approach"?

WARREN: I think maybe we took that other thing as far as we could take it, and wanted to try writing music in a way that was more unfamiliar to us, actually writing a song, and not some kind of improvised approach. And I think we did that for Mirror Eye and for some of those smaller releases, and I think it was kind of like a time to go back to a more condensed, "song" kind of idea. 

NORRIS: Maybe it's the result of the different approach to this record, but there aren't any nine- or 11-minute songs this time.  Was there a decision to keep things tighter and more compact this time?

WARREN: Yeah, I think there wasn't any kind of hard rule. If we'd had a nine-minute song that we liked, it would've made it on there. But everything just ended up being kind of short and more condensed.

NORRIS: Have you been playing many live shows yet with the new songs?

HART: No—that's another thing different this time, is that we'd written and recorded so many of these before they'd ever been played live and they haven't been yet. And in the past there were jams or things we were working on, and a lot of times they'd get fleshed out live, worked out in a live scenario. And this was like the opposite. So we haven't gotten sick of the songs yet!

NORRIS: Hazed Dream is about as good a description of the sound of a record as I have heard in an album title this year. And yet "hazy" is an adjective you come across time and time again in write-ups of indie records nowadays, and not just of psychedelic or stoner rock bands, but even among synth guys and bedroom-pop kids. The love of effects has just made it so that every other record I listen to is "hazy."

WARREN: Yeah, and I like a lot of that stuff, the bedroom pop that you're talking about. I like weird, psychedelic singer-songwriter kind of stuff.

NORRIS: The Austin band Pure X reminds me a bit of you guys, especially the way their singer Nate and you, Tres, both seem to like your vocals real buried in there, creating this blunted, woozy thing.

WARREN: I don't know, I was intentionally trying to have them kind of loud on this record. Maybe on the next record people will be annoyed by it because they'll be so loud! I just think the songs were more important this time. These songs came out in a "sitting there with the guitar" kind of way as opposed to, you know, endless jamming. So a lot of the words kind of came with progressions, the melodies came with the progressions and so on and so forth.

NORRIS: There's more guitar and definitely more organ this time. It's definitely one of the more prominent instruments on the record.

WARREN: Yeah, just another instrument that could add melody and a new texture to the songs. And sometimes it was the second thing that would happen after the guitar, it would just be like, "I guess we should put a keyboard part on" and then, "I guess we should put another keyboard part on."

NORRIS: Not so much synth, though. I know Jimy has split since the last album. How did that come about?

HART: After the last tour, which was two years ago, there were a lot of problems. He was kind of a travel liability, I guess.

NORRIS: Touring was the issue, more?

WARREN: Uh, going to jail was probably the deal breaker, at the end of it. 

HART: Yeah, there were some issues.

NORRIS: He was not the only "fourth member" of Psychic Ills over the years, though. Have you reached the point where you've decided it's just gonna be the three of you?

WARREN: Maybe, who can predict?

HART: But we're playing with some pretty awesome people right now for the live show. We've got our friend Dan playing guitar.

WARREN: And our friend Brandon, who plays sometimes in Indian Jewelry, is playing keyboards. So five people right now, live.

NORRIS: You've got a few CMJ shows coming up.

HART: On the 20th, we're playing the Life or Death PR showcase at Cake Shop, and then the next night, on the 21st, is the Sacred Bones showcase at St. Vitus and it's also our record release.

NORRIS: And you've got Halloween show coming up with Black Angels, who you've known for a while.

HART: Yeah we played with them for the first time in like 2006 in Austin.

NORRIS: Now, they're a band that kind of willingly embraces the term "psychedelic"—even to the point of hosting the "Psych Fest" in Austin. How do you guys feel about the term, which has been applied to you plenty over the years, but doesn't seem to really do justice to everything that you do musically?

WARREN: I don't mind it. I don't get too worked up about that type of thing anymore. A couple of years ago I might have gotten wound up about a label or some band comparison. But generally people mean it in some kind of complimentary way, or some way of associating the music, just to describe it to somebody. It's fine. 

Line Up :
Elizabeth Hart
Tres Warren
Chris Millstein
Scott Ryan Davis
Scott Davis

Label :
Sacred Bones Records

Tracklist :
01. One More Time 
02. See You There 
03. Might Take A While 
04. Depot
05. Tried To Find It 
06. FBI 
07. I Get By 
08. City Sun
09. Western Metaphor 
10. Drop Out 
11. Violet Horizon

dimanche 3 février 2013

Archive de la Semaine: Frank Zappa - The Man from Utopia (1983)

1983. The Man from Utopia est le 33iè album pour Zappa qui, rappelons-le, a démarré sa carrière en 1966. The Fall et Hawkwind, d'autres boulimiques se posent encore des questions sur leurs inspirations et leurs rendements respectifs. 33 plaques en 17 ans et presque autant sur les dix prochaines dernières années de sa vie ! Pour celui qui avait comme adage : « N'importe quoi, n'importe quand, n'importe où et sans raison » ; il est pas inutile de considérer cette oeuvre pharaonesque en qualités variées.

The Man from Utopia est souvent perçu comme un album mineur dans la carrière de FZ, dont on ne retient bien souvent que Freak Out !, We're only in int for the money, 200 motels, Waka/Jawaka, et Joe's Garage ; les années 80 (jusque 1993) sont souvent oubliées. Convenons bien que l'oeuvre pantagruélique a ses limites d'acceptations pour l'auditeur, même averti. Les défenseurs du temple ont de toute façons dépassés le stade de l'indigestion depuis longtemps.
Est-ce que l'entrée dans les années 80, une deuxième carrière, marquent la fin de la folie Zappa, mettent un terme à la créativité débridée ?

The Man from Utopia répond en partie à cette question. La créativité n'est certainement pas en danger, un flux constant d'influences diverses et de contrastes abreuvent abondamment le disque ; comme d'habitude finalement. Un autre fait marquant, c'est que depuis longtemps, on peut entrer dans cet album sans avoir une licence certifiée du Petit Zappa Illustré. Ce disque est foncièrement cool, relâché, et toujours brillamment mis en place dommage que la production glaciale gâche la fête. Musicalement, le niveau est haut, on oublie parfois la cohorte de musiciens qui ont participés aux œuvres de FZ. Sur le présent, Steve Vai occupe bien les guitares, Arthur Barrow propose des lignes de basse hallucinantes, les chants « secondaires » assurées par Roy Estrada et Ike Willis sont complémentaires et à cette époque la ressemblance physique entre ce dernier et son patron est de plus en plus marquée. L'album semble coulé d'un même moule, et probablement que le son très typé eighties dessert ce disque pour la postérité. Un autre point de vue, apporte trente ans après sa sortie une vraie marque de fabrique du son de l'époque. Un titre comme « The Radio is Broken » est de toutes façons intemporel.

"We are not alone"

Étonnamment, ce disque est facile et constitue une nouvelle porte d'entrée dans la discographie de l'artiste. Parmi toutes les influences, il se nourri des approches précédentes du parcours, on retrouve bien les démangeaisons du personnage et ses lubies. Une attaque virulente contre les drogues dans « Cocaïne decisions », Zappa était un fervent pourfendeur des drogues même si paradoxalement, il avait glissé parmi ses nombreuses tirades : « Vous n'êtes pas une vraie nation si vous ne possédez ni bière ni compagnie aérienne -ça aide si vous avez une quelconque équipe de foot ou l'arme nucléaire, mais le minimum, c'est quand même la bière. ».

Zappa est malgré tout plus modéré dans ces propos, plus posés sur cet album. La pertinence est musicale, le niveau des compositions. « The Dangerous Kitchen » ou « We are not alone » sont des modèles intouchables. The Man from Utopia est un album aussi sucré qu'instinctif où la magie et l'humour se terrent dans les recoins des compositions.

Un mot sur la pochette impeccable délivrée par Tonnino Liberatore, le créateur de Rank Zerox. Elle met en scène un Zappa, guitare brisée, tapette à mouche agitée pour faire fuir les insectes. Elle paraphrase un épisode de la tournée précédente en Italie, où le groupe avait été reçu dans des conditions de merde, jouant devant un public hostile se frottant aux forces de l'ordre en mode commando-matraque à Palerme notamment.

Tracklist :

1. Cocaïne decisions
2. Sex
3. Tink walks amok
4. The Radio is broken
5. We are not alone
6. The dangerous kitchen
7. The Man from Utopia meets Mary-Lou
8. Stick together
9. The Jazz discharge party hats
10. Luigi and the wise guys
11. Moggio

Album de la Semaine : Comanechi - You Owe Me Nothing But Love


You Owe Me Nothing But Love

Interview de Comanechi, par Akiko Matsuura de Comanechi pour Finger Magazine

you try to stay up for more than 24 hours?
The Make Up - I Want Some
I tried it and it worked before.

you take a bubble bath?
Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers - I'm Not A Juvenile Delinquent

you relax on a beach?
Pavement - Crooked Rain Crooked Rain

you ride a bicycle?
Jitterin' Jinn - Annie
you go to a club?
Madame Wig - Wig Wig Island
’Cos this song is stupidly ridiculous and I love it.
you run from the cops?
Beastie Boys - Aglio E Olio
I’ve never been chased by the cops, but «Aglio E Olio» would be quite good for it.

you run naked through a cornfield?
Chicks On Speed - Will Save Us All

you prepare for an important date?
Mudhoney - Superfuzz Bigmuff
you are in a depressive mood?
The Blue Hearts - Young & Pretty

you destroy a hotel room?
Trencher - When Dracula Thinks (Look At Me)
you want to disturb your neighbours
Les Georges Leningrad - Deux Hot Dogs Mootarde Chou
I Love Les Georges Leningrad but I don’t think my neighbors appreciate their music.

you drive a car late at night? 
Slayer - Live Album

you fall asleep?
Cat Power - Moon Pix

you make love?
Big Black - Songs About Fucking

you paint your apartment?
Le Tigre - Le Tigre

you jump out of a plane with a parachute?
Dat Politics - Plugs Plus

you play a game of chess?
Pink & Brown - Shame Fantasy ll
I don’t play chess, so I don’t know what I'm going to listen to. So I just picked my favorite tune.

you have to answer an elusive questionnaire?
The Coachwhips - Bangers vs. Fuckers

you sell crack cocaine to teenagers?
Peaches - The Teaches of Peaches

you wash the windows of a skyscraper?
Daniel Johnston - Hi, How Are You?
you have to spend a night in a spooky hotel?
Owada - Nothing
Imagine listening to Martin Creed singing doesn’t make me scared.

you are stoned?
Sonic Youth - My Friend Goo

you wake up?
Bikini Kill - Pussy Whipped

you need to get work done?
Lightning Bolt - Ride The Skies

Line Up :
Akiko 'Keex' Matsuura - vocals, drums, guitar
Simon Petrovitch - guitar
Charlie Heaton - drums

Label :
Tigertrap Record

Tracklist :
 Love Is The Cure
 24hr Boyfriend
 Dream Of Dream
 Die For
 Into The Air
 Major Move
 Out Of Mind
 Death Threat