Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Quasi and Alias & Tarsier.
Listed: Quasi + Alias & Tarsier
Originally considered a side project supergroup of sorts, Quasi's early affiliations with luminaries Sleater-Kinney and Elliott Smith helped draw initial gazes in their direction. But many years down the line, Quasi are very much their own band, charging forth with some of the most driving, catchy indie rock this side of Kindercore. Their latest record, When the Going Gets Dark, was recently released by Touch and Go Records. Sam Coombes (keyboard) contributed this week's mind-blowing list (drummer Janet Weiss sat this one out).
1. Boris - Akuma no Uta
I waited for a couple months for the most recent record Pink to come out domestically after hearing it & not having any luck tracking down the import. Finally I see it in the shop & take it home & listen, & yeah it's awesome. But after a couple listens, I want to go back to their previous record...I think I prefer it. Anyway pretty much anything by Boris gets me off.
2. The Psychic Paramount - Gamelan into the Mink Supernatural
Someone gave me a CDR copy of this record & I freaked out listening, went right down to the store & bought it because I wanted everyone who had anything to do with this to have a little bit of my money - the band, the label, & the store for carrying it. The first tune on the first album is backwards - tape reversed, & all blown out. Thats a kind of statement, & I can dig it. Then the rest of the record is all blown out heavy psych freakouts too, all chopped up, nothing even slightly delicate. They have another record supposed to be even better, but I haven't found it.
3. Baden Powell & Vinicius Moraes - Os Afro Sambas
This record was made in '66 & is pretty much a perfect record, so raw & real & psychedelic without even being "psychedelic music." Just beautiful. Then like 20 years later Baden Powell remade the album in its entirety, with cleaner more pro sounding production & way less spontaneity. So now the original version is practically impossible to get (Japanese import CD only, or rare original Brazilian LP), while the new version, which is lame compared to the original, is everywhere. Typical.
4. Lula Cortes e Ze Ramalho - Paebiru
Someone finds these records from wherever that virtually no one has ever heard & puts them out on various labels that specialize in this sort of thing, & a lot of them are pretty good, but then sometimes they are fucking amazing, like this one. I'm sketchy on my Brazilian history, but I know a right wing military dictatorship was in power at around the time this record was made ('75?), & they had already imprisoned & /or exiled musicians (Veloso, Gil) for making music with the intent of opening minds. Pure psychedelic creation in the face of brutal repression is a beautiful thing & that don't even matter, it's fucking amazing regardless.
5. Charlie & Esdor
This is the same sort of thing. This band recorded one album which was never even released & the master tapes were wiped. They had a couple of singles & and a 7" ep & a couple tracks on obscure Swedish comps c.'71 & thats it. Now someone rounds them up, puts them on a CD & its just killer. So it makes me happy that this kind of thing can transcend space & time & against every conceivable obstacle find its way from out of nowhere into my ear to turn me on.
6. Pappo's Blues - 71/75
I accumulated a stack of late 60's early 70's Argentinian rock & roll over last couple years, just digging deeper & deeper & going kind of nuts with it & theres a lot of great records from that time (again, before another right wing military dictatorship put the kibosh on the scene), but I listen to this one the most, even though or maybe even because its less artsy & psychedelic than a lot of the other stuff. If only I could find the full albums (this is a best of comp) I would be happy.
7. Six Organs of Admittance - Dark Noontide
I heard about Six Organs of Admittance & I knew the records were supposed to be cool & all that, but I'm a grouchy geezer & I didnt want to hear it. Then I heard this record & now I listen to it all the time, like a freak. I love it. & the other ones are good too, but I'll stick with this one.
8. Vibracathedral Orchestra - Versatile Arab Chord Chart
Psych psych psych - that's all I'm talking about. In reality I'm listening to all kinds of stuff, but who needs to hear about Sabbath or the Stones? Everyone knows about Coltrane or whatever. Anyway the thing about this Vibracathedral record is that its all relatively static drone pieces, which segue into each other pretty subtley, like walking slowly thru little realms of joy & bliss, lingering for a while in each one. I can hear all the players droning harmoniously together in real time with real instruments & without resorting to the easy path of electronics, & it makes me feel good on several levels.
9. Boredoms - Seadrum/House of Sun
Everyone already knows about the Boredoms too, but maybe you havent heard them in a while like I hadn't & then I heard this & was literally laughing from happiness as I listened. Changing, growing, transcending themselves, just as any of us should aspire to do. Thats where its fucking at.
10. Weiss, Cameron, Hill
Janet Weiss, Matt Cameron, & Zach Hill set up their kits in the studio, someone hits record & they just go off for like a couple hours, broken into like four or five pieces - all drums, all improvised, all fucking awesome. But then it just sits on a shelf & no one is getting it together to put it out. But I listen to it all the time & if it ever sees the light of day, everyone should grab it. This is lame to put in this list I know but I actually listen to this more than most of the stuff I'm talking about here, & I wanted to mention the fact of its existence.
Alias & Tarsier
Alias & Tarsier began with one fluke email. The duo, one on the East Coast and one on the West, slowly pieced together their debut album while remaining faceless for 21 months. The anticon producer and the Brooklyn singer continued the frosted feel of Alias' debut album, Muted but Rona Rapadas' adds a warmth that was missing from that experiment. Both artists offered five picks for this week's Listed.
Tarsier - Brookland 5er
128 Montague Street corner of Henry St, Brooklyn Heights. Best veggie kosher chinese food with cheap lunch specials (I likes L11, L17, and L2) and the best veggie spring roll in the world (not an overstatement), perfectly salty and crunchy, never greasy. Lunch specials at Greens saved my broke ass on so many levels. It's also right next to the Brooklyn promenade with incredible Woody Allenesque views of Manhattan. i used to sit on those benches, crunch down on spring rolls and listen to early stage song drafts of Brookland/Oaklyn.
2. Bike Only Lane on Manhattan Bridge - Best Free Joyride
Nothing is more anti-cruise than a still-standing, iPod-confined pedestrian in the middle of the bike path. A few years ago the city built a bicycle-only lane on the north side of the Manhattan Bridge. One of the most empowering feelings in the world is riding my bike on a hundred year old, 6800-ft suspension bridge over the East River heading into Manhattan. You can't not think "By the power of Grayskull, I have the power!!!"
3. Elora's - 272 Prospect Park West corner of 17th Street, Windsor Terrace
My favorite Spanish-Mexican restaurant in BK. It helped that I used to live a half-block away from this place. If you live anywhere near Prospect Park, you are legally required to stop at Elora's, have a margerita, and down bowl after bowl of chips and salsa. Pitchers of Elora's margeritas will help you overcome those loud, uncomfortable, sweaty summer nights in the BK. Especially if you don't have an AC. If you're meat-n-cheese, hit up the chilaquiles. if you're veg, get the vegetable brocheta (grilled vegetables over rice).
4. Cinders - 103 Havemeyer St. #2 Williamsburg, Brooklyn
This is one of my favorite lil art shop/galleries in bk - run by my friends Sto and Kelie Bowman. Kelie's house burned down a few years back and her and sto built this artist-run space which hosts monthly art shows and live music. They carry lotsa handmade, one of a kind goodies including clothing, books and zines, postcards, drawings, sculptures, posters, and silk-screened paper towels. Their idea for Cinders began from a feeling of isolation from the art world and most galleries here in New York. They wanted a place to show their art that felt more homey and warm, not cold and institutionalized. The world needs more places like cinders - bring in the warmth and hug your fellow homie artisans.
5. Best shows I've seen in Brooklyn:
1. Explosions In The Sky at Brooklyn Lyceum (a former public bathhouse)
2. Calvin Johnson solo acoustic performance at a 100-person chapel at Green-Wood Cemetery (one of the most beautiful cemetery parks in Brooklyn and home to lots of dead famous people including "Boss" Tweed, NYC political boss, Jean Michel Basquiat, Leonard Bernstein, mobster Crazy Joe, Margaret Sanger, Tiffany of Tiffany's and Elias Howe inventor of the sewing machine, amongst 600,000 others)
3. Mum at Brooklyn Lyceum - they performed a live score to Sergei Eisenstein's silent film, Battleship Potemkin. Evan Mast aka E*vax opened for them as the act "Cherry" and played songs that would years later be released as XL act, Ratatat.
4. Sharon Jones at Southpaw - this woman kicked my ass. There are still muscles in my body that hurt from this show. her voice and energy onstage are unreal. The Dap Kings, her backing band, play the most sweaty, nasty funk you ever heard live. they're on brooklyn's daptone records and if they ever come to your town, go see them. and stretch before you go. it will be the best-feeling, ass-kicking, booty shakin time EVER. someone told me that Sharon Jones used to be a corrections officer at Ryker's Island. now she does 200 shows a year. God bless BK's queen of soul!
Alias - Oaklyn 5er
I was born and raised in Maine. Maine is, without exageration, 96.5% white people. The biggest city is Portland, Maine and it has about 65,000 residents. We're talking lots of white people spread out across a large amount of land. I moved to Oakland in 1999 without ever even visiting here. The thing I loved most about it upon arrival is the different cultures, religions, etc. So much to see and learn about. It's great.
2. Great Wall Chinese Restaurant
This is my favorite spot for lunch. You get a dope hot & sour soup, a dope spring roll, a dope rice plate with your choice of the best "veggie-meat" selections in Oaklyn, all the tea and water you want, all for $5.95! They bring you your meal about 5 minutes after you order it, but it doesn't taste like it's been sitting around all day. They bring you your check about 1 minute after they've set your food down. Baillie, the anticon label manager, says almost everytime we eat there, "the efficiency of this place is unmatched!" I showed Rona, Burgess, and Matty the ways of Great Wall the week they arrived here. Let's just say they filed thier meals under "delicious".
3. 364 Lester Ave
Close to Lake Merritt, This was the launching pad for anticon in alot of ways. Here is a list of the people who lived in this small 2 and a half bedroom apartment from August of 1999 to November of 1999:
the homie Rus
my wife Jenn
Moldy ceilings, musty carpets, trash, racoons, clogged bathtubs, unhitched toilet seats....it was hellish at times, but I look back on that period of my life and I am in love with it. Who knew that living in such stressful conditions could be so much fun?
Ok, I know I'm cheating here. Technically, Amoeba is in Berkeley. But whatever, yo. It's on the same street that I live on. It just happens to run into the next city. Take the 40 or 40L up to Amoeba, and spend the money I saved in gas by taking the bus to buy CD's and records. The CD's are usually used, unless it's something that is new and instantly blown me away or if it's a Radiohead record. The records are usually something with a cool looking cover, made between the years of 1968 and 1974. These are the records I usually end up "borrowing" from. I heart Amoeba, 4-eva.
5. Seeing my childhood heros
It was the craziest thing to me when I first moved out here to go into the grocery store and see one of the dudes from Souls of Mischief picking out thier eggs for the week. Or be waiting at the bus stop and see Spice One drive by with his music bumping. Or step outside my apartment on Telegraph to almost be hit by Del the Funkee Homosapien, riding a razor scooter, headphones on, rapping at the top of his lungs. Or seeing Saffir at the gas station. I've only seen E-40 doing a free show on the Laney campus. I have yet to see him doing something like walking his dog or buying coffee filters. One day, though. One day.
By Dusted Magazine