Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TVD's 401K

So, I don’t come to the record store thing just out of the blue. To be fair, I’ve worked in TWO record stores to date. Both were Record Worlds—the corporate variety—where it was mandated that all of the employees, except for the managers, sport blue polyester vests. Y’know – to differentiate you from the other riff raff browsing through the import bins or what have you.

Record World, both based in malls at the time, wasn’t the type of place that would buy used LPs however—it was purely new stuff and catalog items. Which didn’t bother me so much at the time...hell, half my collection was ‘new’ THEN. Now it’s vintage.

But even with the vests and the mall location, the Record World was the place to BE and oddly at the time I found my self at the dawn of the new ‘superior’ format, or so it seemed.

Back in ‘88 at the Georgetown Park Mall location of Record World (ground floor next to the Mrs. Fields) we were dispatched one morning to pack up all of the vinyl records from the bins to make room for (...gasp!) the CDs.

I laughed with my coworker Wishbone at the time, “These’ll never catch on...”

I was just sorta’ right.

The Sound - Sense Of Purpose (Mp3)
Comsat Angels - Independence Day (Mp3)
Art Brut - Summer Job (Mp3)
Icicle Works - When It All Comes Down (Mp3)
XTC - Senses Working Overtime (Mp3)

TVD | Musique Non Pop

Brandon from We Fought The Big One! returns with his second installment of all things left of field:

Low Red Center S/T 10” Mini-LP
Too often when it comes time to review a record, so much brain-time is spent putting a record in context when context is ugly and unproductive. For those who want to dance about architecture and shit about medium. Even worse for those who call themselves critics who only, in the end, wish to share their childhood influences with their reader. Sometimes a record would be better served by the reviewer by exclusively taking it out of context and placing it among things it’s not. This 10” mini LP from Austin Texas’s Low Red Center is one of those.

In a way it might be easy to pin on this dark-haired child the easy appellation of “minimal synth,” but for Low Red Center’s first vinyl offering, this would be a bad way to go.

For one, stridency takes a back seat to a hazy and uneasy romance. God help me but it reminds me more of Conrad Schnitzler or the first generation of electronic auteurs. But I suppose that wouldn’t be fair, really. Here we replace Cold War paranoia, intellectual rigidity, and adolescent dissatisfaction with a narcotic throb and a near obsessive attention to detail. There isn’t a single sound out of place. A single vocal that doesn’t loop in and out of the canvas that perhaps reminds you of Berlin, but in reality, shouldn’t.

This is not a band that has buried itself in the near-mythological history of the early electronic 20th. A song like 'Tropicalize' is far more buoyant. 'Crepe Suzette' is far too lovely. And the beautiful but daunting 'Watching the Planes' is too supremely fucked-human to be anything other than the work of a band that is grounded in the art of making music for people. It's not angry. It’s not ideology. A few listens in and it will impress you with it’s singularity. It’s my favorite record of the year.

Low Red Center - Watching the Planes (Mp3)