Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: The Seconds and Home.
Listed: The Seconds + Home
The Seconds are bassist Jeannie Kwon, guitarist Zachary Lehrhoff and drummer Brian Chase. Yeah (yeah yeah), that Brian Chase. The Brooklyn trio formed in the fall of 2000 and released their debut Y on 5RC in 2001. That full-length was only 23 minutes, so it's understandable that it took the band over four years to record the 33 minutes that is Kratitude, which hit shelves on March 21. Like most great things, the Seconds are strictly extracirricular. Chase is especially busy these days with the new YYY record, Lehrhoff is one-half of Ex Models, and Kwon's got homework to worry about. Maybe that's reflected in Kratitude, which has a very minimalist bend to it, in both the punk sense and the genre of the same name. Chase took part in this week's Listed feature.
1. Duke Ellington - At Fargo, 1940 Live (Book of the Month Records 30-5622)
Ellington crafts impressions through contradictions. He's never just what he seems; when the surface is simple (primitive) and folkussed the background is sophisticated (bourgeois) and unpredictable; when the mood is seductive ("Indigo") there's a quirk in there laughing at you for falling for it. Duke's a city boy and that mix of persuasion and humor is so on display in this live recording (in Fargo, ND) that features my favorite Duke period, the 'Blanton-Webster' band. Duke has ALWAYS been about personalities: Ben Webster sounds like a saw tooth wave on the ballad, "Star Dust;" Jimmy Blanton's walking lines hit right through your chest; Sonny Greer drives it with smug and sass. the fidelity is good enough and it's a thrill to hear these tunes re-interpreted not in the studio.
2. Electric Eels - Agitated (unidentified limited edition re-issue on vinyl)
It's easy to say what this IS cuz it makes its IS's more obvious than its IS NOTs; that's not the case with most music. Why would anyone like this? Cuz it's painfully amateur nonsense nonsense shit distortion lack-of-clarity disgusting obnoxious; it keeps it within the lines enough to give context to its atrocities. These are Ohio Pabst literers - awkwardly and anityou: focus on Pabst not pOLITICS, on Gutter not gIRLS. I've got no words to describe my Jaguar Ride.
3. Albert Ayler - Love Cry (Impulse A-9165)
More of favorite from Cleveland. This Love Cry works in beauty spelling out and combining representation and abstraction to make beauty. clear dialectical pairs here i'll call: REPRESENTATION/SIMPLICITY and ABSTRACTION/COMPLEXITY. R/S: the brothers Ayler together (but mostly Albert)- singing soaring playing that soulful shit wide vibrato out of oh-my so simple repetitive child like diatonic modalish melodies. A/C: underneath all that - Alan Silva and the majestic Milford Graves swimming and swirling layered wooshes of shifting pavement make shape and gesture. both R/S/A/C are here working together and are both of the same and together leave me with hearing the blues.
4. LaMonte Young and Marian Zazeela - The Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath (Just Dreams 001)
Sound is physical (aesthetics is myth); sound comes in (for now let's say sine)waves; waves come in lengths; the relationship between lengths can be expressed as a ratio; example: 3/2 (sound wave A completes three cylces for every two cycles of sound wave B) or 21/16 (sound wave A completes 21 cycles for every 16 cycles of sound wave B); when wave relationships are in whole numbers like this (in western music this is an impossibility) magic happens: first a cloud of ancillary overtones becomes noticeable and then the doors to the unconscious are opened. The longer one sits in the cloud the deeper one goes; the chakras become aligned and One approaches the highest spheres of the Sefiroth. Oh yeah and you can hear motorcycles whizzing by in the background.
5. Gagaku Court Music (Denon CL-69) and The Imperial Court Music of Japan (Lyrichord 7126)
Sparse and space.... slow sho clouds droning heaven in backround (the sho is the coolest looking instrument i've ever seen), unison long tone micro-bent melodies on the oboe-like hichiriki, staccato fast decay koto and biwa strings combine with uniform slow skeletal hits of percussion. Subjectivity of performer is sacrificed to the ensemble and to the centuries old tradition that established it. The triumph of society over the individual. Like most traditional Japanese arts there are no frills or extraneous. Minimal and objective it's music for a slowly unfolding elegant dance.
6. Music of Indonesia (Ethnic Folkways Library FE 4537)
Overview of the diverse range of folk music from the Indonesian archipelago. Edited and with liner notes by innovative American experimental composer/educator Henry Cowell (the notes are straightforward and succinct unlike most of his music). Aside from the stunning examples of Javanese and Balinese gamelan, stand out tracks are a drum and vocal based song from Celebes that is reminiscent of new LIARS, the balinese "Ketchak" which consists of a large rhythmic male chorus screeming interlocking ketchak syllable patterns with a male aggro energy that makes the Locust look like pussies, and "Hasa Haten," a ceremonial song from Sumatra, that features a bagpipeish melody with an intonation unlike any I've heard. I make it seem exotic - pushing distance between me and the place by the way I talk about it.
7. Village Music of Bulgaria/Bulgarian Folk Music (Elektra/Nonesuch 9 79195-2)
It's hard to find the right examples of TRADITIONAL BULGARIAN FEMALE VOCAL FOLK SONGS cuz there's lots of bourgeois concertized arrangements out there (I'm looking at you Les Mysteres des Voix Bulgares) but here's some of the real deal. These are a cappella peasant work songs sung to accompany chores in the field or in the kitchen. The sound is nasaly and reminds me of frozen dirt. The music is drone based: the women sing in rhythmic unison except one never moves from the drone pitch while the other weaves against it. close major seconds and open sounding intervals are common; there are no melismas and the ensemble is tight which lends it a feeling of coldness; inflections such as glottal stops, glides, and quavers make it sting more. They belt it out and it's bittersweet because of the sense of hardship but joyful (and warm) too because of the Strength heard in the Bond between the singers.
8. Peter Garland - The Days Run Away (Tzadik 7053)
(hyper)sentimental (hyper)sentimental (post)minimal (hyper)sentimental (post)minimal (mostly)diatonic (hyper)sentimental (post)minimal (mostly)diatonic repetitive (hyper)sentimental (post)minimal (mostly)diatonic repetitive process (hyper)sentimental (post)minimal (mostly)diatonic repetitive process piano (HYPER)SENTIMENTAL (POST)MINIMAL (MOSTLY)DIATONIC REPETITIVE PROCESS PIANO PIECES (hyper)sentimental (post)minimal (mostly)diatonic repetitive process piano (hyper)sentimental (post)minimal (mostly)diatonic repetitive process (hyper)sentimental (post)minimal (mostly)diatonic repetitive (hyper)sentimental (post)minimal (mostly)diatonic (hyper)sentimental (post)minimal (hyper)sentimental
9. Mars< - 78 (Widowspeak 10)
Over pronounced let me hear the tactile physicality of words (saliva, tongue smacking teeth, constrict your throat and try to yell) the man speaks lyrics but the normal rise and fall is exaggerated and it makes you sound strange. The woman intones at the top of your lungs. Both voices are electrocuted. Sound like monkeys sometimes. Drums play minimal ideas/figures/patterns looped in cells. Stringed instruments play heterogeneous layers of out-of-your-face doom. I feel decentered and recentered in a darker deeper place. Mommy close the door.
10. Kalpana Improvisations - Instrumental & Dance Music of India (Nonesuch 72022)
Yes, the virtuosic improvisations of Hindustani music presented here keeps me on the edge of my seat. Like jazz in many cases, virtuosic improvisation has a tendency to feed the ego of the performer. Not here. The ego is subservient to the mood of the raga and it all falls into place leaving one feeling sublime. The improvisations feel like a game - they bend and twist over the form and stretch it wide; their phrases are taken further out and with a tihai bring it back with the most pleasurable feeling of resolution. The kathak is a thrilling dance that features the dancer, wearing jingles on his feet, reciting a string of syllables which the tabla has to then play back while the dancer dances the rhythm. It's a story of suspense and climax. The sarod's repetitive refrain on rupaktal is the inspiration for THE SECONDS song, "Sleeping."
Not even a year into its existance, Oneida's Brah Records have already established itself as one of the top labels in the country. New signees Home will only further cement this newly declared position. Ranging from a slightly heavy, guitar-driven+keys pop (not unlike that sometimes made by Oneida themselves), to the more orchestral, gently epic, Home's debut record for Brah, Sexteen is one of the finer records to drop this year. Though not immediately apparent from the tone nor package, Sexteen purports to be "a concept record about fucking." The Brooklyn quartet have been around for awhile, but will really will make themselves known this May, when this record comes out. Their list falls right in line with their favorite concept.
Top Ten Albums to Fuck To, by Home
1. Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
The combination of long mantra songs and slippery loose arrangements make it the perfect album for lazy Sunday morning sex. No rush at all, just direct and spiritual.
2. Beethoven - Sonata No. 14 C#min
Movement one offers one the perfect opportunity to lower the lighting and move in close. Movement two is custom made for some playful slap and tickle.. and finally the deep heft and gravity (coupled with blinding speed) of the third movement lends a colossal importance to each pelvic thrust that is beyond compare.
3. Linda Merrick & Chris Thorpe - New York Counterpoint
This amazing album with a husband and wife team tackling a number of different composers with multiple layers of clarinet and tape-trickery completely stops time in its tracks. When the loving is especially good, time-stoppage is a valuable tool to have at your fingertips.
4. John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
I feel silly even justifying this one. If you've got it in your library, you already know that its pure human grease. It is the essential sound of connection.
5. Led Zepplin - III
Well, it can't always be about meaningful connections. Sometimes its about immovable objects and irresistable force. This album has the right BPMs.
6. V/A - The Tiki Lounge
Archetypal sea-kissed Polynesian music. Steve Miller said it best, "Everything's better when wet."
7. Rachmaninov - The Isle of the Dead
Think of it as la petit mort stretched out to 23 minutes. Contrary to the subtitle of this symphonic poem, the music is very much about being alive... and being acutely aware of it.
8. Pink Floyd - Meddle
Part of the sweetness of fucking comes from the gnawing awareness in the back of your mind that this moment of joy will have to pass eventually. Meddle gently defines this negative space without ruining the party. It is music that makes you appreciate.
9. Konono No. 1 - Congotronics
All the individual parts rock slightly and organically out of synch, but the pushing drive at the center never misses a beat. Perfect.
10. Psychedelic Furs - Midnight to Midnight
Allright, allright, hardly one of their best records. But I lost my virginity to this one and it worked just dandy.
By Dusted Magazine