Monday, August 3, 2009

make love in the world

Casy & Brian - Catbees (MySpace, CD available tomorrow) Post-hip-hop rap (it has come to this) up against an aggressively naive keyboard and drum ADD misunderstanding of new wave rudiments. I found this record so holistically annoying it was a little compelling. Their press release boasts of such aims: "Charming nihilism. Intentional unimportance. Sarcastic oversimplification." Some mission you got there, fellas. But I will say this was not something that struck me as merely music I do not like (which I do deem this to be) but that it is pushing against some boundary I have, which is good, if for no other reason that it reminds me to occasionally shore up my borders, and/or loosen up a bit.

Blevin Blectum - Gular Flutter (listen) Semi-abstract electronica like this tugs at a completely different scab of mine. I am an unabashed lover of the Columbia/Bell labs electronic music of the early sixties, where composers in white coats sought and found new horizons in sound through computers. I take issue with electronica artists in that they have the world at their disposal thanks to those artists and yet they tend to create some of the most samey, easily digestible, utilitarian music possible. Then there are cats like Blevin Blectum who create puzzling miasmas of sound bearing traces of both the lab and the club being neither, and I still can't quite sign on. I can't really get my arms around this music, maybe because it doesn't want my advances.

La Düsseldorf - Viva - I was starting to worry that I was a completely unsatisfiable person, that I was getting so hedged up by What I Want that I was going to be unable to enjoy What There Is. Is becoming a Republican the next step? Fortunately I submitted to a 30 year old album of rock on the see-saw between psychedelia and pop, crafted by Klaus Dinger who proved to be too human for Kraftwerk (he was their original drummer) and could not keep Neu! running against the then-present. I really only had the song "Geld" on my phone, so I had to let it bear the responsibility of keeping my restless spirit from tipping over. I was compelled to buy the album, like with money, or geld, as is repeated throughout the song.

But really this is the thing that got me about it. In the latter half of the song, the band makes a charming (possibly ironic, anti-hippie) chant of "Make love, not war" in a semi-Johnny Rotten sneer against an iceberg of Joy Division keyboards. My daughter this week made a little contraption out of Magnetix that had a rolled up fortune in it that, when unfurled, read "make love" on it. I looked at her curiously and she offered in quick explanation, " know, in the world?!?" so, OK, instead of using up all my time figuring out if its germane for me to like something, I'm going to pour a little more energy into that instead.

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