Archive for September, 2006

Kayo Dot – A Pitcher of Summer

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

  kayo dot, choirs of the eye, a pitcher of summer, indie, classical, prog

Artist: Kayo Dot
Song: A Pitcher of Summer
From album: Choirs of the Eye
Genre: Proto-neo-classic orchestra-core.
[Buy CD|Mp3s][Website]

This was the first song on a mix CD I gave people for christmas last year. It strikes me as a sort of an apocalyptic epiphany, of waking up into a new reality.

The beginning thaws from complete silence into a glowing hum of gentle awakening. It’s comfortable like being born full grown into a world of warmth and soft white and yellow light and texture. Our world is repose and stillness. Gradually we awake, developing quickly, and soon become curious about the world outside of our opalescent shell. We rise and stretch, and peek around a corner to find an earthen alleyway. We wander out in safety and solitude, but turning another corner we find our niche opens onto a larger public thoroughfare. Stepping out cautiously, we begin to be pulled along by the current of traffic and civilization, beginning to understand the structures and patterns of industry and society. These exciting moments suddenly dampen and blur as we come upon the city’s central monolith. Awe-striking structures rise into boiling storm clouds approaching the city.

We pause, gazing, and time seems to stand still. Apprehension and uncertainty occur to us for the first time. Why are we standing here? Is something out of place? Something wrong? There’s something uneasy about this sudden unexpected silence of mind. And then with a sudden sickening, sinking feeling comes the realization that things are not as they seem; not at all as we know them to be.

Facades and forms start to melt and peel away, bubbling off of every sight and surface. Unfathomable strangeness is unrelentingly revealed wherever we turn our now frantic gaze. The world we knew rushes into and through the streets in streams of flowing ichor, away from us and down into gutters and channels unperceived. A painfully sparkling sharp and crystalline world emerges from our old understanding. It burns into the mind the utter fallacy of trying to understand it. In the end we must succumb to complete abandon, relinquishing the concept of self and existence. We revel in the perfection of chaos in the final instant, and are pulled into slumber once again.

This of course, sounds awkward and indulgently ridiculous… but it’s something like the impression that this song gives me, whether or not it makes any sense.

Kayo Dot, in any case, deserves your attention. Simply stated: they make brilliant and fascinating music, fluid, varied, and inspired. It most certainly deserves to be bought!

Chad VanGaalen – Red Hot Drops

Friday, September 8th, 2006


Artist: Chad VanGaalen Song: Red Hot Drops Album: Skelliconnection

I guess that contest is a bit of a tall order, so I’ll just put a link on the sidebar and keep on trucking. Here is a video from the man whose handiwork is the prize for the contest below. He animates his various videos personally, and even some for other bands.

The least I can say is that they are pretty clearly not inspired by a life of austere sobriety, and also that they are pretty clearly pretty.

In other news, I took down the ads for the time being because ads sorta suck, and at the current rate I am going it will take about 5 years of ads to pay off one year of hosting, so the choice seems clear.

Super busy as usual, but I’m thinking of posting a series of more “edgy” stuff, meaning noisier and rougher around the edges in general. We’ll see how that goes.

Oh, a Contest of Skill!

Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

  chad vangaalen, Skelliconnection, contest, interview questions, red ruin

All my creative energy is going into work at the moment, and having co-won a recent contest at StG I thought it might be beneficial to re-invest my winnings in a contest here.

I have been meaning for a while to come up with some interesting interview questions to submit to bands, finding the traditional gamut of queries to be rather dull and moth-eaten so to speak:

    “So, who are your musical influences?”
    “Well, um.. we pretty much create music purely from the ether… b-but we do like the Cure and Iron Maiden.”
    “Wow, so do I! O-ok, how did you guys meet?”
    “Well, we met in highschool… and just uh, decided to play music… from boredom.”
    “Great!… Highschool!… Wow…”
    “Well… thanks for coming out guys! Great talking to you!”

So the object of this contest is to come up with a list of interesting interview questions that I will try to submit to various bands/artists that I post about.

The questions can be eclectic, eccentric, or bizarre, but they should be thoughtful and creative, not just silly or random. The real goal of the questions themselves should be to provoke and elicit emotional and thoughtful replies from people instead of lists, like in the case of: “What are your favorite bands/movies/artists/etc.” or bland historical facts as in: “how old were you guys when you first met”.

I want as much as possible to cull the possibility of automatic, trite, or memorized responses, and instead try to give no escape to those interviewed except through genuine introspection and/or creative improvisation. Since these interviews will be conducted electronically for the most part, they will have time to think about their answers without the pressure of an immediate response.

So here are the basic requirements:

  • Come up with a list of thoughtful, intriguing, unusual questions.
  • Make the questions applicable to anyone, not just people in bands.
  • Try to make questions that elicit a genuine personal/creative response.
  • Post your submissions in the comments or email them to: interviewcontest at
  • And everything else is up to you. This contest will go on as long as it has to, but I will tentatively set the end date as October 1st, 2006. If I haven’t found enough by that time I will extend the contest. Send as many questions as you like, ask your friends and lovers for ideas, ask a hobo, the more the merrier (especially since I don’t have a ton of visitors), but don’t just crank out quantity over quality; remember, these should be difficult but interesting to answer.

    Whoever sends the most questions that make it into the final list wins the contest and shall receive Sub Pop Records promo-pack of: Chad VanGaalen‘s album Skelliconnection, a Sub Pop sampler with actually a lot of good songs, a few stickers, and a Chad VanGaalen button (all pictured above). If by some unforeseen happenstance this is not your idea of a party, fear not! The REAL reward will be discovering how various artists and musicians from all over the world will answer YOUR marvelous and fascinating questions!

    Everyone is a winner. Let’s go! ????~~~~~?