Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Pixeltan and Mia Doi Todd.
Listed: Pixeltan + Mia Doi Todd
Pixeltan are a band consisting of Devin Flynn, Mika Yoneta (both also of Plate Tectonics, along with Adam drummer from Olneyville Sound System) and drummer Hisham Bharoocha (ex-Black Dice). The Pixeltan project was actually begun with DFA in 2001 and the DFA produced track Itchy Cable was completed for inclusion on the Troubleman compilation Mix Tape. But things got sidetracked, for both Pixeltan and DFA. They released a self-produced EP on Troubleman, Devin and Mika formed the free-form hip hop band Plate Tectonics and Hisham got busy with dual careers in Black Dice and as a artist and designer. In April of 2004, after Hisham left Black Dice and DFA reconnected with Devin and Mika, the never-finished tracks were revisited and work commenced once again, as the rediscovered tunes now sounded more relevant than ever. The results include the A Side "Get up / Say What," a DFA remix of 2 Pixeltan tracks that contain some of the subbiest, dubbed out death-disco ever to emerge from the DFA studios.
1. Five Starcle Men - Gombla Semba Lumbieca (Bobby J Records, 1997)
These guys are idiots. Why did they make this? Why? Why? Why? High in the fuckwad pantheon stands this collection of brain drainers. Just say "Oscar Jenkins" 50,000 times at variable speeds. This record (tape actually) proves the whole universe fits on the tip of a needle and is injected regularly. R.I.P. Glen Hobbs, long live Pizza Hut families.
2. Neos - "Hassibah Gets the Martian Brain Squeeze 7" - (Rat Cage U.S. reissue, 1982 - Dudes are Canadian)
Brain aneurism rock vocals set at maximum harmful. This singer's voice gets so aggro that he vibrates at high frequencies allowing him to pass through glass.
3. Ultramagnetic MC's - 1st 4 Next Plateau singles before Critical Beatdown, circa 86-'87
Fuck Public Enemy. Rick Rubin heard "Mentally Mad" on the "Ease back" 12" and svengalied himself a P.E. (check the dates). Everything is there, air raid siren noise beats, pseudo political agenda, except it's vintage Kool Keith saying shit like "I'm crazy! destructive and erratic, I love static I got an automatic, if a sucker don't believe? touch my pocket.... pat it, to feel the steel barrel...." This brother's not gonna work it out. Also the concept behind the song "Funky Potion" has still yet to have been pillaged by all you germs ducks and roaches out there in the "rapgame"...the deal is there's no rhyming words whatsoever. They say things in cadence with the beat but....nothing rhymes. Stupid huh? I used to worry that these works of brilliance would go unsung but then Dr. Octagon fixed that. Now some Japanese label owns the entire Next Plateau catalog and is making reissues for Japan...woo hoo!!?
4. Manitas De Plata - Recital (Connoisseur Society 1968)
The little hands of silver. This guy is Spain's national treasure, so when he comes to your house you let him stay. He wanders the Andalusian hills strapped with his six string channeling the Gypsy Flamenco which flows through his little hands, not flabby standards you recognize and ignore, but pure sounds he will never play again. Yeah improvised that's the word. Usually he is accompanied by his cousin Jose who's like his Flava Flave who sings and says stuff like "listen to that shit wow that was awesome" "hands of silver" "perfect" "may you live forever." Sometimes the information he channels gets backed up and then it all comes out at once so fast it sounds like he is playing with four little hands. These records are everywhere for cheap (or check the library), and it's like hearing Kerry King on acoustic in his wet dreams.(in your dreams...).
5. Sensational - Loaded With Power (Wordsound 1996)
Um, this guy should be Brooklyn's national treasure. He wanders the Brooklyn streets selling CD-Rs of his latest album, which he makes by entering any studio and utilizing what is available....you could call him a rapper, to me he's another example of an original artist transcending the format he supposedly works within. Like everything on this list, something about his stuff is like truth serum. It makes all else seem false.
6. Chrome - (Whatever, I'm easy. except for Visitation)
I bet these guys were responsible for stealing those pages of writing from Philip K. Dick during his methamphetamine party days...And after all those free drugs? How dare they not only blow up the spot for all the other kids, but send PKD into the paranoid state he embraced forever after. Pink beams of light and C.I. Aliens and shit like that...
7. Grand Funk - T.N.U.C. (Capitol, 1970)
What does this stand for? This Nation Under Cash? They were selling out arenas forever and nobody even liked them. This live song is a display of zero self control. The bass is too loud and constantly drilling you to the wall. then it breaks and you are subjected to a drum solo that is so self-indulgent it seems to say "I don't care if everybody leaves, I already know I'm the best...I'm the best...I'm the best.........." Great stupid power. Old played out trivia: Buttholer Paul Leary named his dog Mark Farner. Where did i read that?
8. Kool G Rap & Dj Polo - Wanted: Dead or Alive (Cold Chillin’, 1990)
I bought a bootleg of this tape on broadway for 4 bucks when it came out. I admit it. There was about 10 minutes of hiss before the horns of "Streets of NY" kicked in and then I would begin feeling like an omnipotent underworld boss. Every day for that whole summer. Hisssssssssssss...horns! Me = ganksta. At the height of his lyrical powers with a controversial cloud over production duties...Was it merely overseen by Eric B and all executed by Large Professor at the height of his powers? Don't care because those names are all top notch and side one is basically perfect.
9. Saccharine Trust
he ultimate underdog SST band. A Human Certainty. The ultimate pathetic naked confession song. First I ever heard by them...remember actual meaningful lyrics? Jack Brewer... "Pagan Icons" (SST, 1981) is a flawless 45rpm EP. The follow up, "Surviving You Always" (sst 1984) is one song too long but what they are doing here maybe didn't occur to Black Flag 'till a few years later...The guitar sound of Joey Baiza is what you really hear when you think of SST. Ok, uncircumcise me now....ps...They've been playing together again since 2001. they released The Great One Is Dead LP on a German label and it sounds like it could've been recorded in between Surviving You Always and Worldbroken, which is a live free-form jam record with improvised vocals (scary). Anyway, it's screwy when bands can just pick up where they left off after a 10 year break..
10. Virgin Fugs - New Amphetamine Shreik (ESP 1965)
Hey, another jewel of a tape I got from the street. But this one was legitimate. I already had the Fugs' first two ESP mandatory listening materials right? So I'm walkin’ and there's this lady, Thelma Blitz-Nitz as it turns out, and she is selling Fugs tapes in handmade packaging (aka Xeroxed) and all sorts of other Fug-sundries...I wanted to continue my Fug discoveries chronologically (and carefully cuz they aren't all gold) so I ask which one came after the black one with "Dirty Old Man," "Group Grope" and "Virgin Forest" on it and she hands me Virgin Fugs with Ginsberg reciting howl on the other side. When I give her the dough she says "Tuli thanks you"
Mia Doi Todd
Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Mia Doi Todd first sharpened her music teeth as a student at Yale during the early 1990s. Her diverse influences are gently reflected in her restrained, and beautifully timid songs. While she has a handful of solo albums under he belt, Todd is probably best known for her omnipresence as a guest vocalist, having sung on records by The Folk Implosion, Frausdots, Dntel, Saul William, David J, and many others. Her new solo album, Manzanita, will be released in February, 2005 on Plug Research Records.
1. Ravi Shankar - India's Master Musician
I had the great fortune to see and hear Ravi Shankar play at UCLA's Royce Hall. I was worried that his chops might have suffered from time, but just the opposite, he was even more perfectly realized. The concert was a blessing as are his albums. His music is beauty manifest.
2. The Beatles - The White Album
It's hard to choose which Beatles album. This one has four sides and smells ripe like chaos. Between sixth and seventh grades, I went to summer camp for two weeks. I had made tapes of my parents' Beatles albums - Sgt. Pepper's, Revolver, Rubber Soul, and The White Album - and I listened to those tapes continuously, learned every word, every note. The songs cut off where side a ended and continued on side b. Luckily my walkman had auto reverse. I took the music very personally; it was the soundtrack to my life at that moment. This was my most formative musical experience to date.
3. Joni Mitchell - too hard to choose
And then there was Joni. Those were the next albums I discovered. She taught me many things with her songs. I learned to see the world through her perspective.
4. Leonard Cohen - Songs From A Room
I started to write songs because of his. "Bird on a Wire" was the first and only song I learned to cover until just recently.
5. The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico
It sounds like the best party ever, like you could jump in and play the drums or noodle on the guitar. I love it when a band is almost falling apart, the components reacting to each other and creating in the moment. and I Love Nico.
6. Neil Young - After the Gold Rush
I came late to Neil Young, don't know why. I had this album on repeat recently. He's my new idol. The songwriting here is so phenomenal, outstanding!!!! And the band!!! ...not falling apart.
7. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Legend
Everybody knows it by heart. Bob Marley deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.
8. Prince and The Revolution - Purple Rain
I went to see the movie when it came out. Purple was my favorite color, and "When Doves Cry" is perhaps my favorite song ever.
9. The Cure - Staring at the Sea
These are the singles; it's too hard to choose an album. My girlfriends and I went to see the Cure at Dodger Stadium. It was the Disintegration tour. We all had our hair teased to look like Robert Smith.
10. Sinead O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Here's another magnificent woman like Joni. This album is impeccable. So are The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Lauryn Hill) and Clandestino by Manu Chau, but I've already run out of numbers.
By Dusted Magazine