Well, yes. I’ve been MIA.
A few weeks ago, something hijacked my personal life. There were a few different culprits: first there was a techno-obsession (the PC type, not the music genre) then there were several heavy drinking episodes, rounded off with a few hints of procrastination and finally a little game called Elder Scrolls: Oblivion IV, which happens to be about as inductive to productivity as a spat with heroin.
And to compound all of these distractions, I ran out of interesting new music.
Sorry. It happens.
But I still feel I’ve wronged both of my regular readers, so here is my apology and a peace-offering: A complete break-down of all of the note-worth releases in June.
I will admit, due to monetary, logistical and chronological limitations I haven’t given all of the following releases extended listens. In some cases, I did nothing more than sample the albums in question- and even that was more than most of them deserved, a lot more. You see MOST of the music that comes out in a month really, truly does suck sack. So if I disparage the holy name of one of your favorite little groups or albums- and you feel it was unfair, just remember that this is the internet my friend and formulating and promoting unwarranted,uneducated and utterly biased claims are what we do here.
So here is The Elite Opinion “Le JUNE!!” breakdown: a short running commentary on the albums released in the month of June, 2006.
Oh, one last item before I start, I would like to comment on the Tom Ze reviews that continue to drown “Estudando o Pagode” with sickly glowing praise:
This phenomenon is either the absolute and definitive proof that there is no god and that we are utterly and completely alone in an increasingly insane universe-
There is a god, and he loves to fuck with the music industry.
Both options are unsettling- the latter seems more believable to me.
Anyway if you haven’t guess by now; take the kids out of the room.
06/06/06 Alexi Murdoch - Time Without Consequence
One of the first releases of June, this product shares tonality with Nick Drake, only the sharing stops a little short because midst this LP's production someone must have turned the ‘good’ way down in the mix and cranked the “Christ this is boring” waay-the-hell up.
06/06/06 Be Your Own Pet - S/T
House of, jealous Lovers
House of, Jealous Lovers
Album of, contrived songs
This is the story of how derivative albums killed the dance punk movement.
06/06/06 Boards Of Canada -Trans Canada Highway EP
Ok, now this is technically a re-release but it’s fortified with a new version of its opening track. And what’s more this EP generally blows most of the ensuing CDs of June clean out of the goddamn water. If you’ve got a thing for some sweeping lush electronic bliss, this new edition of Trans Canada Highway EP is very worth your time.
06/06/06 Bouncing Souls - The Gold Record
About as punk as I never was at the age of 17
06/06/06 Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country
Scotland exports two things that make me angry enough to start fights with inanimate objects: this band and Johnnie Walker Red
06/06/06 Genghis Tron - Dead Mountain Mouth
We’ve plugged this album already on EO and while it’s not the hardcore masterpiece I had hoped for, it is monstrous and devastating. It’s been a slow year for hard music and this is still one of the brightest spots on the map.
06/06/06 Grates - Gravity Won't Get You High
Oh!Oh! I know how this goes: Play the chord progression once, now again, now with the drums. Oh a loud thin obnoxious lead singer, weird.
06/06/06 Josef K - Entymology
What, no Myspace Joe? Haha okay thanks for playin’, idiot.
06/06/06 Kieran Hebden/Steve Reid - Vol. 2
I had to sign up for Domino’s mailing list just to hear a song from this album. Know what I got? Bitches Brew minus Miles fucking Davis. I’m real close to being done with Domino just because their website is such a massive pain in my ass.
06/06/06 Micah P. Hinson - The Baby And The Satellite EP
Jade Tree is a label swollen with bands that are all really close to being really good. This release proves that if nothing else, Jade’s consistent. (This basically blows.)
06/06/06 Mojave 3 - Puzzles Like You
Apparently this is what happened to Slowdive. It’s always nice to see good post-rock bands turn into bad pop rock bands.
06/06/06 Oakley Hall - Gypsum Strings
This band is a 2 out of 4. However the label releasing their album, Brah Records has an attitude scoring an incandescent 5 out of 4. You kids are fun.
06/06/06 Paper Chase - Now You Are One Of Us
Sounds like Mike Patton meets Say Anything with a touch of The Streets. If I kept it ANY less real I’d tear this band to shreds. Course I DO keep it real. And this album might be better than me.
06/06/06 Portastatic - Who Loves The Sun OST
Haha holy Christ this sucks. I can’t even be clever about it.
06/06/06 Psapp - The Only Thing I Ever Wanted
Not horrible. But not good enough for me to work on enjoying. This is like a glitchy zero 7 that aggravates instead of soothes.
06/06/06 Robot Ate Me - Good World
Kind of like nobukazu takemura on an 808. This could be cooler, but it could be a lot worse too.
06/06/06 Sound Team - Movie Monstor
I’ve already reviewed this album on our site- and I highly suggest it. One of the few neverwave bands I support since The Stills fell off.
06/06/06 Stuart Staples - Leaving Songs
I’m sure someone out there is losing their mind over this pseudo soulful acoustic shit. And I’m equally sure that they have a family who wishes them dead.
06/06/06 Zero 7 - The Garden
While the UK duo continues to mastermind a steady stable of relaxed and pleasant songs, none of them have the charm, wit or soul of their first release. The highlight on this album is obviously the tracks with Mr. Jose Gonzalez, but beyond that there isn’t enough to propel this cd drastically beyond a decent mid-year product. Having said that, The Garden is superior to the group’s efforts since their original ’01 album.
06/13/06 2up/Yip-Yip - split 7"
I don’t review bands with names I’d be embarrassed to pronounce. I’m pretty damn sure this sucks though.
06/13/06 Dabyre - Two/Three
I’ve been lamenting the state of hip-hop for a while now. I think the genre is has far surpassed traditional rock as the most whored-out sound on the planet. However, then there is the nerd-rap movement gifting us with intensely progressive production and thoroughly cerebral mic wielding. This release marks one of the first fluid unions of hip-hop and true electronica. It ain’t The Roots and it sure ain’t ’50. It’s Board of Canada meets MF Doom, and that means it’s worth notice. Worth a lot of notice.
06/13/06 Dirty On Purpose - Hallelujah Sirens
Some bands just need more time to A.) Develop their personality and B.) Develop their skill. These guys could be really interesting if they were a little more creative and little more talented. This is pleasant Shoegaze fuzzy warm music that feels like driving along a beach road. Of course it’s also something you’d expect from your little brother’s high school band to record in their ‘studio’, deep in your parent’s garage.
06/13/06 Futureheads - News and Tributes
This band’s Myspace site was a goddamn train wreck. From what I could hear they sound like The Proclaimers. If that name doesn’t sound familiar I could give you the title of their big single- but that would ruin your night. No, please just trust me. Move on.
06/13/06 Good Riddance
I honestly don’t feel qualified to make a judgment about a 10 year old punk band that hasn’t gone the way of Greenday. If you hit the scene in ’95 and your not writing pop ballads in ’06 you’re alright with me.
06/13/06 Hot Chip - The Warning
This is the best thing Astral Works has release this year. Which makes it mildly more entertaining that cervical cancer.
06/13/06 Mae Shi - To Hit Armor Class Zero 10"
This is as abrasive and experimental as the confines of the ‘pop’ moniker will allow. Basically it’s a juggling act comprised of jangling, sweating, crooning, whining drunken giggling and screaming. I like.
06/13/06 Scanners - Violence Is Golden
It takes a lot for a female lead singer to stand out from the crowd. And when I say, “a lot” I mean more than this.
Oh, and I wouldn’t let the rest of the band play a set at the Special Olympics.
06/13/06 Sonic Youth - (in progess)
06/13/06 T-Tauri - Infinite Motion
Just another confirmation that Strictly Amatuer will sign anyone or anything. Wasn’t T-Tauri the Thundercat with boobs? I can barely hear the lead singer in the mix- and the band hardly carries his almost nonexistent droning.
06/20/06 Awesome Color - S/T
Ever wonder if Hendrix would have been any good if he stole every lick he played and was um, white? Well if the answer is yes, than listen to the Awesome Color… and then realize the answer is of course, no.
06/20/06 Black Helicopter - Invisible Jet
Black Helicopter is one of the most recent graduates from the new(old) rock-out with your cock-out school of noise. It’s too bad they didn’t do this before Queens of the Stone Age made the sound big and before bands like Riddle of Steel made is posh and clever. And better. P.s. Ecstatic Peace is a horrible goddamn label.
06/20/06 Brightblack Morning Light - S/T
This album is an organic sultry chill session that’s only detractor is that it’s almost too mellowing. Still this is some late night blunted-out straight-up down south blues-rock fusion that would make Robert Johnson grin. Here’s a jam that’s way classier than most of its listeners will be. Recommended.
06/20/06 Caribou - Start Breaking My Heart [Deluxe Reissue]
It’s on Domino records huh?
06/20/06 Fatboy Slim - Why Try Harder
This release is billed as ‘Fatboy Slim’s greatest hits.’ I’ll start reviewing when we both stop laughing.
06/20/06 Frank Black - Fastman/Raiderman
The Pixies were one of the most innovative and impressive bands of their time. They fused a laundry list of genres into quirky avant-garde joy marking the music landscape with an influence that has sustained it’s prowess to this day.
So what about Pixie frontman, Frank Black’s solo project?
Remember The Pixies song “Where is My Mind?”
Well the only thing I hear when I listen to this album is the simple refrain,“Where is My Talent?” Shortly followed by the closing track “What happened to my career?”
06/20/06 Keane - Under The Iron Sea
Every once in a while I run into a Keane fan. No, literally. Every once in a while I drive my car into the legs, mid-section or upper body of a Keane fan. Sure, my insurance doesn’t cover that kind of collision- but really, can you put a price on laughter?
06/20/06 Kyle Andrews - Amos In Ohio
OH GOODY!! More creepy, singer-songwriter, folk-indie garbage. What’s with this bubble-gum kiddy pop bull shit? It’s like Blues Clues: The Miserable Album, only without the dog or the clues. No wait, there is a clue here, it’s that Kyle Andrews should be put to death by a firing squad while Raffi plays him through the gates of hell.
06/20/06 Smoosh - Free To Stay
A band on Barsuk, by the name of Smoosh. This couldn’t possibly be good. There is a better chance of zombie Hitler returning from the grave and playing Ben Stiller’s long lost gay uncle Alfy in Meet the Parents 3, then this being any good.
Now you gotta ask yourself, ‘am I the bettin’ type? ‘
06/20/06 Submarines - Declare A New State This band is basically 2 people. One of them is a hot blonde. Which would be the only reason I listened to them considering that their Myspace page lists both Camera Obscura AND Noam Chomsky as friends. Ok, Honestly, even as I write this I can’t remember what these guys sound like- I’ve become wholly consumed by trying to determine who I hate more: Camera Obscura or Noam Chomsky.
06/20/06 Tam - S/T
Ecstatic Peace is the worst goddamn label on the face of the planet. They has taken the crown; they are officially the new reigning champion of relentlessly tasteless, depraved and banal performers. This means that Iran’s # 1 label, Jihad-me-at-hello has been dethroned. You hear that sand bangers? You got a real threat now, and this time it ain’t horny camels.
06/27/06 Balun - Something Comes Our Way
I don’t know if it’s because ANYTHING sounds good after listening to a few Ecstatic Peace bands, but I like Balun. It looks like they are from San Juan, The West Indies and Puerto Rico. God knows the U.S seems utterly incapable of putting out a single good release this month- so sure, why not! Well thank god for the international music scene (NOT YOU TOM ZE) because this entirely instrumental group sounds like a cross between Amina and Dntel. For those of you who don’t know either of those bands just imagine raindrops falling across an infinite digital canvas and every new square inch struck by droplets gives off a new and beautiful note, all of which culminates in a glitch-pop meets post-rock glory. Very nice.
06/27/06 Dr. Octagon - The Return of Dr. Octagon
Doc Oc gets a lot of hype for being a classic underground hip-hop force. And the production on his latest release doesn’t miss a single beat. In fact any of the beats, samples, loops or sounds on this album could provide the backing for a phenomenal rap track. Unfortunately the MC work is rarely on par with the accompanying sound. Still this is a solid release and it’s impact is only heightened considering the sad state of the genre at present.
Fueled by Ramen Records is still in business?
06/27/06 Takeovers - Turn To Red
You know what, seriously, bands who can’t bother to get a Myspace page don’t get review by asshole music elitists with a massive chip on their shoulder. Your loss.
06/27/06 Yip-Yip - In The Reptile House
I think we’ve covered how I feel about bands with names that are this pathetic. I don’t care if Jesus Christ was fronting this band with Darth Vader on bass, The Statue of Liberty on drums and action superstar Chuck Norris on guitar – I still wouldn’t listen- wait. Chuck Norris on guitar…