When the deep chill of winter settles in completely, I find myself drawn to spare, beautiful music that requires dedicated time for listening. Callahan’s delicate acoustic songs are perfect for time spent in your own version of frozen tundra. Callahan is the alter ego of Michigan native Malcolm Cumming, who manages to bring [...]

Andrew McHenry

When I listen to Andrew McHenry’s latest — and, to my knowledge, first — EP, I can’t help but notice the similarities to Elliott Smith. It’s not just a hint of Smith I hear in these songs, it’s a very strong resemblance. McHenry plays delicately layered guitar melodies and adds crisp, sing-a-long vocals [...]

Prissy Clerks

It’s time for music fans to sit up and take notice: there’s something special going on in Minneapolis. A solid stream of excellent music is coming out of the twin cities these days, and the latest to add to the list is Prissy Clerks. The band’s debut album, Bruise or Be Bruised, is [...]

Old Earth

I don’t know if you noticed but it’s getting cold out there. As autumn starts to sink its teeth into the world for another year, Old Earth is here to complete the picture for you. “Less Words,” a fantastic song from Old Earth’s latest release, a low place at The Old Place, sounds like [...]

Passenger Peru demonstrates their adventurous side on self-titled debut album

Largely the vision of former Antlers bassist Justin Stivers, Passenger Peru rides Stivers bass into more experimental areas than Antlers usual fare. Stivers teamed up with Justin Gonzalez to bring Passenger Peru’s self-titled album into existence.

From the start of the album, you get the impression that Stivers attempted to bring the experimental [...]

[The Past Presents] Slint – “Spiderland”

Past Presents revisits revered albums from the past 20-25 years to ask the question, “Is this album still a classic, or has it lost its edge over the years?”. Was it a great record for that particular time and place, or is it something we’ll be passing on to our kids? It also looks at the “lost classics” – countless albums that should have earned more attention but for one reason or another fell through the cracks.

At this point it’s safe to say that most people who consider themselves obsessive music fans have seen the move High Fidelity. One of the classic moments of the film sees Jack Black’s character assisting a customer with records that are essential to his collection such as the Jesus and Mary Chain and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde. Black slyly tells the customer, “Don’t tell anyone you don’t own Blonde on Blonde. It’s going to be okay.”

If there ever was a modern equivalent to Blonde on Blonde, it’s Slint’s Spiderland. Let’s be clear, Spiderland is not similar to Dylan’s classic in its sound, but it is similar in that it has become a record that you need to own, or at the very least be aware of.

When Slint quietly released Spiderland in 1991, I was too busy freaking out over Nirvana and Sonic Youth to notice, but by 1993 I was one board 100%. Unlike many albums, the noise surrounding this record has grown every year since. It is considered one of the first, if not the first record, to bear the post-rock and or math-rock tags and it is still known as one of the best of the genre. For my money, it’s also one of the best examples of an album’s ability to generate a mood. From start to finish Spiderland gives you the feeling that something sinister is about to happen. The tension is apparent throughout the album and is intensified by the seasickness the music induces. It sounds like a ship bobbing on rough seas; the music in constant motion, rocking back and forth and never letting you forget that something evil is to be unleashed.

Continue reading [The Past Presents] Slint – “Spiderland”

The genre of Plankton Wat’s Spirits? Who cares.

When not sharing the stage with Nick Bindeman in Eternal Tapestry, Dewey Mahood creates his own sonic adventures as Plankton Wat. The arrival of fresh sounds from Plankton Wat is always cause for anticipation. Typically a Plankton Wat album is delivered on cassette, or sometimes CD-R, so having an LP release is even more special.

Plankton Wat rides [...]

Jon Porras’ Black Mesa oozes warmth and intimacy

Taking a step back from his duties in Barn Owl seems like a golden opportunity for Jon Porras to break out and make a record that sounds nothing like Barn Owl. I’m envisioning a quiet folk record or a more rock-inspired, Sonic Youth-esque instrumental album. Instead Porras returns a solo effort that draws [...]

[MP3] The Sinclair Sinclair: “Feel”

The Sinclair Sinclair have reclaimed a small piece of the early ’90s 4AD sound for themselves. While not as sugary sweet as Cocteau Twins, they’re mining the same ethereal landscape much of the 4AD roster owned at that time. “Feel” is a nice sample of what The Sinclair Sinclair do. This [...]

[MP3] Cold Bear: “Peloponnese”

There are few things nicer than stumbling on really fantastic new music on Bandcamp. A few weeks ago I ran across Brooklyn’s Cold Bear and I’ve been hooked on their amazing 8+ minute song “Peloponnese.” This track begins almost as a pulse that slowly comes to life, breathing on its own and literally [...]