Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TVD | Musique Non Pop

New column from Brandon of We Fought The Big One!

Punk, Post-Punk, Rock and Roll, Jazz, Avant Garde, Rap and any other genre that sprung up in the 20th century never made a total break from any existing tradition. They only, in their own ways, redefined traditions and/or played with them. Sometimes this was done lovingly; sometimes not so lovingly. But ultimately, by tradition, one of these untraditional new sounds would be pressed up on vinyl as all other sounds before.

These were then circulated to the unsuspecting and unreceptive. Perhaps these unpopular children would languish in total obscurity only receiving a serious audience late at night in an older brother or sister’s room or as heard by a curious ear through the speakers of a radio tuned to a small college radio station. In this way good, but unpopular music hung around as electronic pulses generated off some scratches on a thin, circular piece of vinyl.

The yet-loved song would travel a complicated path through collections and parties and radio stations and families until one day its intended mark was found and a world was turned on its head. But only by physical presence has the innovative spirit of music persisted; perhaps made for the few at the time, but over time proving that the second act is much more important than the first.

Right now, being hip to vinyl is a way to ensure consistency in the way the generations talk to each other. Weird thought, that. But it’s important because there is no earthly way that someone is going to pick up an mp3 at an mp3 fair in 20 years time and CDs have already shown themselves to be simply shiny coasters. The internet has changed the way we all listen to and buy music with literally a whole world of music available at any time. Things move so quickly that some legitimately great pieces of work might be passed over before they have even had a chance to impress.

But without that solid tangibility--that fat chunk of vinyl--brings the chance that a great tradition-defying, transcendent work will escape recognition completely. Today’s artists understand that implicitly and as such, vinyl is again the medium of choice.

So here I am bending the old-time traditions of dissemination and trying to catch the great (and maybe not so great) pieces of forward-thinking vinyl on their way by on limited pressing runs and give them greater exposure via this monthly online column with new-fangled digital sound samples (now you don’t even have to hang out with your jerky older brother!)

Musique Non Pop is its name. I sincerely hope that other people will become excited by what we hear and in turn, also buy the record and then maybe play it for a friend or even their kids someday. Shit, podcast it if you must. Or at very least, if the tunes ultimately fail to excite, sell the record to a nearby shop so that someone might be lucky enough to discover a dollar bin keeper. Everyone knows E-bay is for thieves. The beat goes on.

And with that I say: “Welcome to my electronic living room.”

Nothing People - Twinkie Defense (Mp3)
From their first 7" single, "Problems" on s-s records, 2006. From Orland, California.

Dead Luke - Jumpin Jack Flash (Mp3)
Record Two 7", Sacred Bones Records. Sometimes a cover is a measure of band (man) even if originals are mandatory in these ego-forward times. To take a rock classic and distort it through some heavy synth seasoning, taking liberties with it before dumping it in an industrial wasteland while somehow never really abusing it is right gentlemanly and pretty brilliant. Dead Luke is the alias of one Luke William Gasper who runs an excellent cassette-only label (a whole other blog) called Jerkwave Tapes. He promises a new album soon, "Cosmic Meltdown" on Troubleman Unlimited Records.

Cheveu - Like A Deer in the Headlights (Mp3)

Live on Viva Radio, Brooklyn, 2009. From tiny-town, Metz, France. Cheveu, along with such luminaries such as The Anals and A.H. Kraken, make Metz a good bet to unseat Brooklyn as the undisputed capital of world hipster cool. Here is a much more sonically agressive radio version of a song on 7" only from 2009 on Born Bad Records, Paris. Cheveu are one of the best bands out there. Period.

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