Friday, March 23, 2007

deer elephant fish

Deerhoof are a band I "got" long after the cool kids but I love what I've heard by them. Hey maybe you "prefer their earlier stuff" but we're hear to talk about the music I like and I frickin' *heart* the 'Hoof. It shouldn't really make sense - spastic improvisatory drums, guitar pyrotechnics and strange little-girl lost vocals. I could theorise for ages but at the end of the day this is just POP.

Deerhoof - Wrong Time Capsule

I remember reading a quote about John Cale's bass-playing on "White Light White Heat", which praised the fact that it sounded like clods of earth and muck, and I think there's something similar here. Love the stumbling endlessly inventive rolling drums and the wildly creative guitar playing - John Dieterich is all over the fretboard on this one. Plus the fact that in a couple of minutes this song takes in so many different ideas, including one of my favourite guitar solos of recent times, a real face-melter.

Deerhoof have just released Friend Opportunity which is amazing too, featuring my favourite song of the year so far...

Deerhoof - The Perfect Me

Again in a couple of minutes there are more ideas than you can count. Plus the wood block is my new favourite instrument! It sounds totally joyous and uplifting to me and the whole album is well worth checking out if you like your pop with an experimental edge.

Except you probably downloaded it last year. Ah well...

Visit - Deerhoof
Visit - Deerhoof MySpace
Buy - The Runners Four
Buy - Friend Opportunity

Ella Guru - Noisy Insects

Here's a real mystery. I first heard of Ella Guru on the Rough Trade Country compilation I mentioned last time. I got the imaginatively titled First Album, and then the trail goes cold.

It's a pretty cool album in a Lambchop stylee (featuring Jimmy Carl Black, the "Indian Of The Group", on occasional backing vocals). Nice arrangements on some lovely and mellow Americana. From Liverpool (*ahem*).

The real star of the show is backing vocalist Kate Walsh doing her best Emmylou Harris impression.

Ella Guru - where are you now?

Visit - Ella Guru
Buy - The First Album

The summer we first started doing Johnny Domino music, I was working in a supermarket and Oxbow was working at the American Adventure, a fairly random theme park that was near where we lived - it closed last year but to be honest it was always a poor man's Alton Towers. Hell, it was a poor man's Drayton Manor Park & Zoo. The Magic Kingdom it was not.

We started getting obsessed with Country music at the same time when Ox brought some tapes home from work. One had Hank Williams one it, one had Hawkshaw Hawkins, and one featured Flatt & Scruggs. You'd think that after a hard day working at a fake Wild West theme park, the last thing we'd want to listen to was Bluegrass but there you go.

After leaving Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys Lester Flatt (guitar and vocals) and Earl Scruggs formed the Foggy Mountain Boys, to become one of the most successful bluegrass bands of all time. They were also responsible for the theme tune to the Beverley Hillbillies - "oil that is... Texas Tea...".

Flatt & Scruggs - Pike County Breakdown

Man, you can practically see the smoke coming off Earl Scruggs' banjo! I have no idea how you would move your fingers so fast. I love the way this song just keeps going, sounds like they could keep going for days.

Flatt & Scruggs - I'll Be Going To Heaven Sometime

I also love their more maudlin spiritual numbers. I'm not a religious man by any stretch of the imagination but I do find myself veering towards the god-fearing in my musical tastes. What's that about? Maybe I'm just jealous of people who have faith and like to experience it vicariously through their music. Who knows.

Visit - Flatt & Scruggs
Buy - A Proper Introduction to Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs: the Mercury Years

No comments: