Listed: Natural Dreamers + The New Year
The left and the right guitars of Deerhoof, the drum set in the center of Dilute and 31 Knots. These three gentle fellows tinker at the workbench on quiet weekend afternoons, dreaming up miniature music odysseys in seclusion. In John's living room, licks are traded at low volumes; bit by bit, the Natural Dreamers songbook is packed full to the bursting point! Rhythmic hairpin turns and undercut arena riffs were their calling card on their first CD (s/t), but who knows what the next Natural Dreamers album will bring? Natural Dreamers is John (Gorge Trio, Deerhoof), Jay (Dilute, 31 Knots), and Chris (The Curtains, Deerhoof).
Natural Dreamers Top Ten Headscratchers and Brainscramblers:
2. Maher Shalal Hash Baz - Trying out 70+ song ideas as 5 to 10 second snippets at Spaceland in Los Angeles. When the members of Maher arrived from Tokyo the day before the show they learned all the songs and that night they played every one of them and nobody knew when to applaud. Bravo!
3. No Doctors - Hunting Season - These guys taped over some old Country & Western master tapes but not completely. What they put on top of them with the help of producers Twig and Chiara was bold and baffling. The parts you can make out are incredible but they really left a lot to the imagination, too.
4. "Louie + Louie" - Santa Cruz/Berkeley street musician Louie has been a strong influence on the guitar styles of John and Chris. This frantic 80 min. collection of Louie material has not seen the light of day yet but the blistering scales and freewheeling tonality has caused some serious head-scratching in the Natural Dreamers' camp. Louie's electric-guitar-plugged-directly-into-the boom-box sound cannot be duplicated and we have tried. Go and see him at the Farmer's Market!
5. Gil Melle - "Night Gallery Theme" - Purported to be the first all-electronic TV score (see "Gil Melle --- Occupation: Genius," International Art Network Magazine, April 1998) this very short piece of music may also be one the most confusing TV themes ever. A biography of the man is also confusing - the guy's an authority on antique microscopes, aerobatic bi-planes and classic British roadsters, a pioneer electronic instrument builder, and a great bop saxophonist! Check out his paintings and mp3s at www.gilmelle.com.
6. Kimo Dressendorfer - Theatre Necropolis - 15 min. 1 man opera on cassette. Kimo narrates and plays organ and soprano saxophone in this story of a decrepit burlesque house while his mother's dog sings along. Everything congealed into weird globs and something went wrong with the tape recorder. Just when you're wondering what happened, Kimo reappears and the dogs are barking.
7. Stone Harbour - Rock N Roll Puzzle - Track 2 on this CD reissue kicks off with a startling cascade of out of tune chimes and then starts some serious chugging. It's hard to follow what they mean when they tell you "don't let this puzzlin' puzzle puzzle you/I puzzled this puzzle you can puzzle it too," but it sounds great! An incredible duo from Chris's mom's hometown, Youngstown, Ohio, dating from the early 1970's.
8. the Walker Brothers - "Fat Mama Kick" - After a few brief licks from a farty synthesized saxophone over a fretless bass line, it's nothing but Scott and John's vocals in a completely different key, an anonymous shuffle beat, and brutal, slicing tone clusters on amplified open piano strings. They take it several levels higher later on, but from the beginning of this song we shake our heads in disbelief.
9. the Nu Sounds - "I Fall Asleep Counting My Blessings" (on Sun Ra vocal group compilation Spaceship Lullaby) - It's a lovely sentiment we only partly understand. It is nicer to count your blessings instead of sheep when you have insomnia but what happens in the verse where Sun Ra is wandering around in a nursery, counting babies? Can that help you sleep? John does a little bit of sleep walking from time to time on Deerhoof tours and Chris would appreciate it if he could try some new techniques like Ra did. Waking up suddenly to one of John's little nighttime episodes can be slightly unsettling, like this otherwise delightful tune.
10. Breezy Days Band - Our friend Yasi Perera shares the music with his bandmates by guitar tablature via email. Their music is tender and to the point - we feel he is definitely onto something big but who knows what? Yasi can and will do anything, a true renaissance man like Gil Melle.
The New Year
The Kadane brothers (Matt and Bubba) first made their name in the mid-90s with seminal slow-poke rock band Bedhead, whose gentle, gradual songs were the soundtrack to countless naps across the world. Finishing off with 1998's brilliant Transaction De Novo (as well as a companion 12"), Bedhead itself faded into slumber. In 2001 the Kadanes awoke to form a new band called The New Year, which featured sometime Bedhead Peter Schmidt as well as indie rock everyman Chris Brokaw on drums. Their debut, The Newness Ends (Touch and Go), was a caffeinated Bedhead of sorts with increased tempos and equally sonic production by Steve Albini. 2004 has already been a busy year for the Kadanes. They recently released their second album as The New Year, The End Is Near (Touch and Go), as well as the soundtrack to the movie Hell House (Plexifilms), which they did under their given names. The New Year will be on tour through much of the summer.
1. The guitar gunshot after the line "I gotta have a shot" in ZZ Top's "Gimme All Your Lovin'."
2. The slight distortion audible in the choruses of the Modern Lovers' "I'm Straight."
3. Benjamin Orr's "yeah, yeah, so bleed me" in "Just What I Needed."
4. The bass sound on This Heat's "A New Kind of Water."
5. The absence of a sax solo in John Coltrane's "Lonnie's Lament."
6. Roger Daltry screaming "I got the shakes" on The Who's Live at Leeds.
7. The way the rhythmic swing in Shellac's "Didn't we deserve a look at you the way you really are?" can be heard as either 1/2 or 2/3 depending on where in the course of the drumbeat you start to listen for it.
8. Dave Davies' ecstatic background screams during the breakdown of "Victoria."
9. The phrase "booger sugar" as a synonym for cocaine.
By Dusted Magazine