Archive for August, 2006

Kaki King – Yellowcake

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

  kaki king, guitarist, until we felt red, yellowcake, mp3, indie, virtuoso

Artist: Kaki King
Song: Yellowcake
From album: …Until We Felt Red
Genre: Gossamer Acoustic Core
[Buy Until We Felt Red|Itunes Mp3s][Website]

The voice here is from the ghost of a baby bird, and the music is her afterlife-song about a dimly-recalled tragedy of life. To be fair though, she doesn’t remember it as tragic. In fact, with the haziness of the ethereal curtain it seems almost a blissful memory. The earth was giant golden waves of grain, and the sky a brilliant burst of indigo. There was warmth and comfort and a gentle slide into oblivion. Soon everything melts together in a glowing orange hum.

Now she goes around to other ghosts to tell them that there is another world out there, of indescribable beauty, maybe someday they will be able to see it.

Kaki King is apparently rather famous, if appearing on Letterman or Conan is a measure of anything, but I’m slow ok. One thing you should notice when you listen to this song and then watch those videos is that they are completely different. In the videos she is a virtuoso knife-fighter, amazing to watch and completely untouchable. In the song, she’s reaching out with worn and wizened hands to explain to you what she’s learned in her whirlwind fighting career.

I very much enjoy her previous albums for impressive guitaristry and sense of melodic beauty, but the new album: “…Until We Felt Red” is what you might call a horse of a different color. For one thing, there are other instruments in this cd, and a sense of experimental composition that even verges on postrockishness at points. It feels like she is satisfied with the heights she has attained, and can now feel free to relax and make things that interest her currently. For another thing, there is occasional singing which is the last clue that she is moving from technical to personal.

Overall I recommend all of her albums if you like any of this. Check out more videos on youtube, listen to the songs on herspace (especially the song “until we felt red”), and then buy everything! It’s all quality in my opinion.

The Great Rollingflower – Yogi Tea

Monday, August 21st, 2006

  the great rollingflower, yogi tea, japanese indie, jam, rock

Artist: The Great Rollingflower
Song: Yogi Tea
From album: Pop Cuts In Sensations
Genre: Rolling Jam Wave
[Buy CD|Mp3s][Website]

Since I’ve never been surfing I can imagine The Great Rollingflower is like riding a smooth blue, crystal-clear wave that never ends. Well eventually it ends, but not with a mouthful of saltwater; and it probably won’t give you much of a tan either.

This song undulates like a wave though, like a series of waves really, peaks and troughs. It seems to work particularly well if you aren’t concentrating on it, seeping like salt air into your surroundings.

You will also find quite a few mp3s from live jam sessions on their website.

Takagi Masakatsu

Saturday, August 19th, 2006


Artist: Takagi Masakatsu
Song: Girls
[Buy CDs/DVDs|itunes][Artist’s Site]

Found via “Film. Music. Philosophy.”, Takagi Masakatsu has instantly become one of my top favorite multimedia artists. He paints with video, over it, through it, around and into it. Watching his incredible moving paintings is like seeing into a world of true forms. In his world, everything is literally burning with life and color and emotional essence; the sky, the wind, everything. It’s all more real than one could imagine.

The miraculous movement and flow of his works is wrapped up in what he calls the missing color of sound; the expressive ambient musical compositions he writes for each piece. The song in this post is “girls” from his album “Coieda”.

Despite the Macsturbatory propaganda, the Apple Pro video piece on him is of a very good quality, and shows some excellent samples of his work. In this PopJam interview he talks a bit about his art, and there are several other nice clips, though at a much lower resolution. His own site has many many large stills from the works as well.

Simply put, this stuff is effing gorgeous. Links: [1][2][3][4][5]

Maps & Atlases – Every Place is a House

Friday, August 18th, 2006

maps and atlases, maps & atlases, tree, swallows, houses, every place is a house, math rock, indie

Artist: Maps & Atlases
Song: Every Place is a House
From album: Tree, Swallows, Houses
Genre: Prodigy Taprock
[Buy CD $7.99|Mp3s][Website]

Maps & Atlases is what I might consider a very promising band, which I say probably because I like every one of their songs. There’s virtuoso guitar workmanship, creative melodic phrasing, unique vocal style, impeccable mathish and indieward sensibilities, a penchant for occasional employment of artful restraint, and all that other jargony blah blah.

What it boils down to is that they are consistently interesting; their songs are individual to an extent that hints at a large available reservoir of creativity. I’m definitely looking forward to more from these guys.

Also, you should listen to “The Ongoing Horrible” on their myspace page if you want to get an idea of the variety that they are capable of, even now in their first release.

zOoOoOm – Rumble Bush

Thursday, August 17th, 2006

zOoOoOm, japan, japanese indie, eight my heart, rumble bush

Artist: zOoOoOm
Song: Rumble Bush
From album: Eight My Heart
Genre: Twitterfrolica
[Buy CD|Mp3s][Website]

It seems that this song could have been recorded live over the course of a day, through the woods and streams of some sunny make-believe world. The sound crew would have followed the singer, this adorably frisky woodland nymphish creature, as she gallivanted and cavorted, cartwheeled and marched around her hilly countryside domain.

Sounds and words burst out spontaneously as little yelps and yells of discovery and curiosity, with occasional meandering musings on general jubilation. The overall result is a mood of frivolously innocent intensity and inescapable glow.

Hearts of Black Science – Empty City Lights

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

hearts of black science, empty city lights, tambourine grindcore, swedish indie, electronica, ambient, rock

Artist: Hearts of Black Science
Song: Empty City Lights
From album: Promo 2006
Genre: “Pure Electro Gonzo”
[Buy CD|Mp3s][Website]

This song reminds me of the feeling of waking up before sunrise. It’s a brisk autumn morning with a quick breakfast and an early start on a road trip in the imminent future. It’s a quiet inkling somewhere in your chest that there’s new excitement brewing.

You hit the road in the golden hour, and colors look more real than ever, as if the world was newly washed during the night. Falling leaves seem frozen with fire; everything drips with electricity and a feeling of anticipation tinged with melancholy. The wind whipping past you is cool and filled with abandon; and it floods the car with memories.

Hearts of Black Science is another good myspace find. The songs are lacquered with a restrained but deeply-present darkish sheen. It may be elusive at first glance, so you might have to look twice to see the true colors. Their influences range from Ladytron to Darkthrone, but what they come up with seems distinctly and un-self-consciously their own.

“Click to activate and use this control” or “Embedding Media gets an Extra Dose of Annoying”

Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

  microsoft, eolas, activex, flash, annoying horrible update problem, click to activate and use this control

So basically Microsoft lost a lawsuit against a company called Eolas a long time ago; and now, unless you change your code and upload a certain script to your root directory, your Interactive Flash won’t work and will just look like a static image. Of course, if you hold your mouse over it for 2 seconds you’ll get a little “Click to activate and use this control” message, which effectively murders the convenience of the single click concept. This pleases me to no end, since it means I must change the code in every one of my music posts, and in doing so, manage to lose the review for Tokyo Police Club!

Apparently I missed the early warnings, so this issue seems to have only taken effect for me recently, like today? I have been able to use single clicks when checking in other browsers until recently. I did update Opera yesterday, so that might have kicked it in, but suddenly the problem is showing up in Firefox and IE as well, and on other computers, so I don’t know…

This is very excellent because it seems to mean that every piece of Flash and/or embedded media on the internet must be changed! The community is being brought together on a global scale by magnificent annoyance!

If you are having problems with embedded media doing this in your own sites, the following links have a few different fixes to the problem, which will allow you to configure your own content to bypass this little problem:

[“Quick and dirty” fix for “Click to activate and use this control” problem]
[Macromedia Flash Specific (and much more complicated) solution]
[Adobe article with another solution]

I used the first one, since WordPress apparently has issues with the Macromedia way, and the first solution is way easier anyway…
If you have any problems, just comment and let me know, and I’ll try to help you out.

Happy Fixing! (I’m not the only one having this issue right?!)