Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week: Atlanta indie-pop act Gold-Bears and California sound artist Carl Madison Burgin.
Listed: Gold-Bears + Sahy Uhns
Atlanta indie-pop band Gold-Bears follow in the tradition of The Wedding Present and the jangly C86 bands of the mid-1980s (not unlike many of their Slumberland labelmates). The G-Bís mix of catchy melodies and fuzzed-out guitars makes for a sublime blend of noisy indie-pop, best encapsulated on "Record Store," the lead single from Are You Falling in Love?, one of 2011ís best straight-ahead rock records. Like any band that trades in tried and true sounds, the vocalist marks the difference, and in this case, thatís Jeremy Underwood. His inflection hovers between sunny and desperate without settling on either. Underwood took part in this weekís Listed.
1. Fudge - Bomb Pops 7" (Brilliant)
This is one of the first pop records I ever heard. Fortunately, I have a very cool brother. He started ordering indie-pop records from labels and distros when I was about 13 or 14. I fell in love with this record. The songs are super catchy, fuzzy and infectious. It was like nothing Iíd ever hear before. I owe a lot to this band for inspiring me to write fuzzy pop tunes.
2. Microphones - Feedback/Weird Storm 7" (The Bedtime Record)
I picked up this record based on the cover. Iím glad I did. ďWeird StormĒ is a wonderful pop song swimming in reverb and righteously heavy distortion. Philís drumming really sets off any Microphones/ Mount Eerie song. So good!
3. Huggy Bear - Taking the Rough With The Smooch 10Ē (Kill Rock Stars)
An old friend dubbed this compilation on a cassette for me when I was in high school. I immediately fell in love with it. It still completely and totally rules me. Itís angry, itís sweet, itís poppy, itís punk as fuck, and itís a bit off in places. Itís the perfect record to make dinner to.
4. Polvo - Celebrate the New Dark Ages 3x7Ē (Merge)
Celebrate the New Dark Ages made me appreciate the guitar. Not in a Ted Nugent sort of way, but in a Kevin Shields kind of way, where the guitars donít sound like guitars. This was really intriguing, yet still very accessible. When I first got this record, I was afraid that Iíd wear out the 7Ēs and the awesome Independent Project Press packaging from listening to it so much, so I bought the cassette version of it, too. I wore that thing out instead.
5. Summer Cats - Songs for Tuesday (Slumberland)
I listened to this album non-stop while recording Are You Falling In Love?. It is truly the best pop record thatís been recorded in the past decade or so. Try to find the parts we sonically ripped off from this record!
6. Boyracer - B is for Boyracer 7" (Sarah)
I totally stole this record from one of my best friends. When I heard the ending of ďIíve Got it and Itís Not Worth Having,Ē I immediately went out and bought four fuzz pedals. Stewart continues to be a huge influence on my music and a good buddy.
7. Rocketship - A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness (Slumberland)
Best. Album. Ever.
8. Madison Electric - Heavy Petal 7" (Quiddity)
I canít put my finger on why I love this record so much. I loved Timís songs in Veronica Lake, but for some reason I keep coming back to this 7Ē time and time again over my Veronica Lake records. Perfectly crafted, hushed pop songs with cool farfisa lines.
9. Superchunk - Foolish (Merge)
I became obsessed with Superchunk after hearing this record. Itís the bandís darkest record, for sure. You have to hold your ear up to the speakers in order to hear the vocals, but it still remains one of the most beautiful indie rock records ever recorded.
10. The Aislers Set - The Last Match (Slumberland)
Perfect album from start to finish. Flawless. This record alone made me buy a 12-string electric guitar. More so than any Byrds record. I tried to get Linton to dance with me to ďRed DoorĒ at a dance party in NYC, but I was denied.
11. Nightblooms - Crystal Eyes b/w Never Dream At All 7Ē (Fierce)
So, the A-side of this record is great, but when you flip it over you get the most intense noise-pop song. ďNever Dream At AllĒ sounds like the guitarist is playing a practical joke on the singer. ďYeah sure, Iíll just play my guitar through a chainsaw and distort the crap out of it, but everyone will definitely be able to hear the vocals.Ē The funny thing is, it works: A haunting melody over complete noise chaos.
Sahy Uhns, a.k.a. Carl Madison Burgin, is an electronic music producer from LA who has been creating music in unconventional ways for a number of years. Combining custom-built computer interfaces with an arsenal of field recordings amassed while travelling, Burgin has managed to create an impressively picturesque sound. On his latest album, An Intolerant Disdain Of Underlings, he worked with a photographer friend to take pictures of dilapidated homes and communities throughout California, then created works to compliment the imagery. The music, as noted in the liner notes, was made with the goal of finding his scars, much like the abandoned items and images were scars upon the landscape. While perhaps owing more to the world of sound art, the results are also akin to IDM predecessors Autechre or Aphex Twin. An Intolerant Disdain Of Underlings is out now on Los Angeles label Proximal Records.
1. Clark - Body Riddle
Iíve listened to this album more than any piece of music ever. He has an amazing style in everything he does. Each individual track is excellent, but when put all together itís even better. Excellence (x) number of tracks (=) Total Musical Excellence. Seriously, everything this guy has ever done is amazing.
2. Dr. Dre - The Chronic
Besides the fact that it changed hip hop and has some of the best examples of g-funk in existence, I love the energy of the record. No matter how many times you listen to it, it still sounds fresh. Thereís a feeling of spontaneity that makes it seem like itís capturing a moment that wasnít too planned or meditated on - like it was pure artistic expression.
3. Autechre - Confield
This was the record that really got me into generative synthesis (ed. note: math in music). Autechre was able to create something thatís so alien. The first time I listened to the whole thing, I had to pause and just take it all in. With their amazing sound design, they created a crazy mechanical beast with a mind of its own, and that really inspires me.
4. Gillian Welch - Revival
Perfect songwriting. She has the ability lyrically to use so few words and be so poetic at the same time. Sheís able to portray complex ideas and emotions in a very simplified way without losing any of the weight of what sheís talking about. Thatís something I strive for in both my music and my art. Iím not usually partial to singing, but Gillian has a voice that kills me.
5. Aphex Twin - Chosen Lords
I love his synth programming and sound design on this record, and the melodic phrasing is really interesting.
6. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew
There was this one summer where I listened to nothing but this record. It was the only CD I had in my car and it was the soundtrack to everywhere I went. Growing up on jazz through my mom and playing jazz guitar had me so burned out on jazz and bebop, but after I heard Bitches Brew, it reignited my love of the genre and the more abstract styles of it like free jazz and post-bop.
7. Daft Punk - Discovery
Quintessential French disco house record. Itís everything I love about that kind of dance music, crunched into an album. It wasnít the first example of that style, but I thought it did it perfectly. Plus, I love to dance.
8. Z-Ro - Let The Truth Be Told
Although this isnít necessarily a classic record because itís still fairly recent, Z-Roís flow is perfect. This record ties in so many different elements of Southern hip hop that I love. Heís such a skilled lyricist and MC that heís able to cover so many styles, whether itís double-time fast stuff, laid back grooves, or even singing. Let The Truth Be Told combines soul with more modern hip hop production. So chill.
9. Flying Lotus - Los Angeles
I really admire this record because it has such a relaxing vibe. A lot of the tracks are pretty minimal in terms of their composition, but heís able to create such a chill place through the music while still balancing it with thoughtfulness, and thatís something I have a hard time developing myself. He brings all of the things I love about Dilla, but does it in a space-age way.
10. Dead Kennedys - Plastic Surgery Disaster Although the songwriting isnít as strong on this record as Give Me Convenience Or Give Me Death, itís raw, harsh, driven and sarcastic, which is everything I look for in punk.
By Dusted Magazine