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Listed: A Frames + Mahjongg

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Dusted Features

Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: A Frames and Mahjongg.

Listed: A Frames + Mahjongg

A Frames

Sacramento rock outfit A Frames make some of the more grating music on this side of Sub Pop (save for last year's Wolf Eyes/Comets on Fire spasm), but deep below the gnarl lies a powerful, and powerfully coherent rock group. A Frames' self-titled debut was released to enthusiastic audiences, but their generally low profile kept their appeal a well kept secret from the masses. Their new album, Black Forest, should prove a nasty reward for many, and a painfully confusion mess for others; this writer counted himself among the skeptics until hearing the new tunes blasted at full volume, allowing the raw and shredding nature of the entire package to congeal into something pretty awesome. If you find yourself leaning in the sour direction, just crank the volume a bit...and then a bit more. Black Forest is out now on Sub Pop.

In no particular order…

1. Old Time Relijun - Lost Light
Armany Mabry played us this in Chicago last year while on tour. We were hanging out in his girlfriend's kitchen and saw a cd player and asked if we could listen to music while we drank and made fun of his underwear, she said I’m really sorry but I really only have one cd, and was serious. Luckily it was this. we hit "repeat" for several hours in a row, and still do.

2. Kim Salmon
Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there. this shit spreads itself all around like peanut butter. It's too tough to pick a favorite scientists or Kim Salmon, but this one will do.

3. Smoking Hawkwind, drinking suitcases
Goes especially good with Richard Adventure. Also can be used as a deadly weapon on others when necessary.

4. Cows- Daddy Has a Tail!
One of the best albums ever to party to, or just to walk around humming to yourself. When this comes on the ipod in the van you crawl out of the hangover loft to join the fucking party and anything that comes after it just sends you back there.

5. Brainbombs
Anything. when noise bands have rape/murder lyrics most often it sounds contrived and trite. but Brainbombs have a fuckload of ROCK to hang on to. besides, the groaned Swedish accent makes the lyrics either hilarious or supremely evil. warning: turn this off when it makes you aroused...

6. X - Aspirations
Fuckin. rockin. There is a joke and a rule that any of the other bands we do has to play something off of this record. And you know when you go see a band and ask them what that one awesome song was and it’s a cover? This is ours.

7. Karate Party
Seriously underexposed Sacramento band who were 5 years ahead of their time. S-S records has promised a re-release of their only 7" plus other tunes. Under construc

8. whodamnedcrime tape
For when we go down to the practice space, drink 18 beers, and leave four hours later without playing.

9. Lake of Dracula
Best album ever. Alongside all these other ones, I mean. When we saw them live we’d never heard of them and were about to leave but saw them in their costumes setting up and figured this is either going to be the worst or the best thing ever. They played this Asian cheeseburger old man bar under a drug hotel to mostly people sitting at these 20ft. long tables and said things like “table 9 your calamari is ready’. I wasn’t there but the other two dudes were and I’ve heard this story so much it’s ok to tell it like I was. Hi Quincey.

10. NYEEUU—ROS!!!!!


Chicago party animals Mahjongg may be nearing the top of Chicago's 'local band' heap, but if you haven't heard of 'em yet it's probably because their music has made it quite difficult for locals to nail them down in a 'scene.' Mahjongg's shows are always ragers, which often leads attendees to shove (or drop) the actual musicianship from their memories - a shame since they're onto something pretty damn cool. Their music toes the slightly familiar line between rock and dance music (a la Mouse on Mars), but also manages to work in the grooves of coastal revivalists like !!! and Out Hud. Their points of reference may not dig quite as deep, but the overall product is exactly what it seem to aim for - a good time. Mahjongg's full-length debut, RaYDONcoNG 2005, is now available on Cold Crush Records.

DJ Harsh Nue Tru’s fav music software:

1. Ableton Live
This stable, user-friendly program is what we mainly use to record, midi sequence, and mix. It is the best for time stretching and trying out different arrangements; getting computer shit “in the pocket.”

2. Sound Forge
The standard .wav file editor for the PC. I have been using this for over 6 years to edit, manipulate, and master audio files.

3. Izotope Trash
This great plug-in emulates all sorts of different analog distortion and compression. The best part about it is how you can see the frequencies change while you are playing with it.

4. Fractal Tune Smithy
This shareware program generates beautiful midi sequences based on fractal “seeds,” within an amazing collection of boundary conditions (from ancient scales like Gamelon, 17-tone Arabic, Japanese Koto, and Pygmie, to classical and modern ones like well temperament Bach and Wendy Carlos’ Gamma scales).

5. Max/MSP
You algorithmically create music in this visually based programming language. It’s great potential lies in the fact that you can use it as a sort of chaotic improviser and do live processing. It can do anything any other program can do if you spend enough time with it.

Essential Knuckles' gear:

1. My big bass drum
It’s a 28” X 16” Slingerland “borrowed” from my old high school. With the right heads and careful tuning, it sports unrivaled volume and low-end punch.

2. Roland RT series drum triggers
They’re incredibly sensitive, so you’ve got a ton of dynamic range, but they can also take a beating on the road. They’re unobtrusive and easy to mount, and the price ain’t bad neither.

3. Roland TMC-6 MIDI Converter
A fundamental part of our live show, it’s the little magic box that lets our triggers talk to our sampler. Capable of sending output on multiple MIDI channels, great control over a wide range of parameters (threshold, velocity curves, etc.), super easy to use and, of course, durable.

4. Direct Sound EXTREME ISOLATION headphones
The best cans I’ve ever used. Think shooting range protective headphones that play music. They keep everything from outside out so all you hear is the headphones, which is a lifesaver when playing gigs with poor monitor situations. They’re also great in the studio, from the live room to the control room.

5. Bourbon

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