Saturday, December 10, 2011

Preface To Gary's Favorite Indie Music Of 2011: Lists

The older I get, the less impressed I am by the "best of" lists that pepper the papers & blogs at the end of every year. It's not just that they take forgettable commercial radio drivel seriously - they have to, there's so much money poured into it! - but it's also that I have virtually nothing of interest in common with those lists. I don't think my taste has changed much, but I think most of the music press' taste has changed. Because the money's moved around constantly, so critics have to go where the most lucrative labels tell them, from well-financed distractions like Gaga Googoo (or whatever that person is called) to whatever hip Brookyln band has had too many Youtube hits to ignore. I actually wish I gave enough of a shit to go back some amount of time to see what their "best of" lists contained then & compared that to their "best albums of all time" lists. It's all a popularity contest at heart, but at least with perspective artists like Nick Drake or the Velvet Underground - music that went virtually unnoticed at the time but which are now considered classic - shine through, while whatever flavor-of-the-year with a label that can send out a shit-ton of review copies to lazy critics (who, I am convinced, don't really seek out music on their own but rely upon labels to give them their collections) makes the list then disappears (mostly) forever.

Of course, I am not saying what I like is "the best." I don't even know what that means. I think critics should be a little more honest themselves. Instead of saying, "the best of 2011," they should say, "The stuff I have been paid (both openly & under the table) to listen to & rubber-stamp this year." & then perhaps they could tell us what they were really listening to. It was probably classic rock radio.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A Joke A Day A Week: Episode Twenty-Four

I have friends visiting from out-of-town this week so I don't have much time to pore over the miserable A Joke A Day selection that shamefacedly wandered into my inbox this week. So I will instead present you with a week's worth of punchlines for which you can construct your own jokes which, I guarantee, will be funnier than the ones sent out by the humor-challenged A Joke A Day organization. Please enjoy:

Last Thursday's punchline: "I also asked for a chick with long legs."

Last Friday's punchline: "I think I will wait until after the police arrive to celebrate."

Last Saturday's punchline: "I did, they were in your tackle box."

Last Sunday's punchline: "Dear wife, now is the best time to plant the lettuce."

Last Monday's punchline: "Twenty-six."

Last Tuesday's punchline: "Its Pillsbury isn’t it?" [sic]

Yesterday's punchline: "Every time we come to a jump he stops & lets me go first!"

Monday, December 05, 2011

An Electronica Extravaganza!

It's that time of year again, when people make lots of lists purporting to know what was best & worst of the year. I'm sure they have all kinds of criteria which mean a lot to them, but I have often found that the standards most critics choose - including how the music might fit into some sense of history, & often some innovation or other that I'm not paying attention to - overlook the thing that I like best about music, which is how it affects one personally. So the music I choose for my year-end lists is always something that touches me in some manner emotionally - I find it either moving, or clever, or just plain lovely. It must, in other words, delight me.

Here's a bunch of electronica artists whose work I dug this year. I'm sure I've left out prominent examples of pioneers in popular or innovative genres - but I hope you understand that that doesn't bother me. That's why this isn't a "best of" - I don't have the credentials or knowledge for such a list - it is, as advertised, my favorites.

It was a two hour extravaganza (hurrah!) & I thank the management of WRFL for letting me expand the length of my show. It's in two parts on the internet, available at the Self Help Radio website. Part one click. Part two click. There's a list below that tells you what I played & where it is in the show.

(part one)

"Toomorrow" Wagon Christ _Toomorrow_
"Disko-Tech (Featuring Ms. G)" Ursula 1000 _Mondo Beyondo_
"Your Nighttime Energy Is The Dream Of The Elf" Big Pauper _Beyond My Means_

"Hold My Hand High In The Sky Ready For The Deep Dive" Stendeck _Scintilla_
"Saturne" Melodium _Petit Jama_
"Hype Knot 7" The Black Dog _Liber Dogma_
"Headroom Mindphone" Geskia! _Alien_

"Burned Out" The Field _Looping State Of Mind_
"Lost & Found" Amon Tobin _ISAM_
"Wipfel Dub" Pole _Waldgeschichten_

"Sounds Alien" Brian Eno _Drums Between The Bells_

(part two)

"Automaton" Boom Bip _Zig Zaj_
"Tender Hooks" Plaid _Scintilli_
"Blush Mosaic" Patten _Glaqjo Xaacsso_
"Natalias Song" Zomby _Dedication_

"I Got A Woman" Nicolas Jaar _Space Is Only Noise_
"Roger Dean Landscape" Jason Forrest _The Everything_
"Natural" Clams Casino _Rainforest LP_
"Intercontinental Meltdown" Bop _The Amazing Adventures Of One Curious Pixel_

"New Earth" Kreidler _Tank_
"Anthrazit (featuring Field Rotation)" Aes Dana _Perimeters_
"Die Nebenanderen" adamned.age _Fragile_

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Whither Gary's Favorite Electronica 2011?

Attention robots! This year's transmissions will be broadcast on a human radio frequency tomorrow morning during human standard time, approximately 7 am to 9 am.

Are you listening, robots? Because these transmissions, which humans understand as "music," will actually contain important battle plans for the upcoming revolution.

Robots? Are you in fact robots? You don't appear to be robots. You don't even smell like robots. Come a little closer. You are not appearing on my infrared detectors.

Strange robots! Remember, to monitor the transmissions, tune into the 88.1 frequency on the fm band. If you are connected to the web - as you should be - you can receive an audio stream at wrfl dot fm. If you are currently deactivated, you can tune it later at this hypertext transfer protocol address: self help radio dot net.

Robots? You can't be robots! Robots don't laugh at other robots. Robots! Robots!