Experimental

Cap'n Jazz

Label: Jade Tree
Genre: Experimental, Pop, Punk

Cap'n Jazz were such a short-lived band that their entire musical catalog fits on a double album. But what a double album it is - a sloppy, cryptic, energetic, engaging masterpiece - and it's being reissued by their erstwhile label, Jade Tree, as a double vinyl LP on June 15, 2010. To celebrate, the boys are getting the band back together for a set of reunion shows in select cities, including two sold-out shows in their hometown of Chicago. Cap'n Jazz's influence extends well beyond those 34 songs. Their musical family tree includes other Monsters of Emo - Make Believe, The Promise Ring, American Football, Owls, Ghosts and Vodka, Joan of Arc and Owen. This is the kinda musical act you make a road trip to see. And, unless they add a Detroit show, I will have one in my future. Or maybe I'll cash in some SkyMiles so Sean and I can geeeeek out at the LA show, the way we did when we saw The Promise Ring in Austin back in the day.

from Analphabetapolothology (1998):
Oh Messy Life [MP3, 4.8MB, 320kbps]
Little League [MP3, 3.7MB, 128kbps]

www.jadetree.com

Posted by sam on 04.24.10 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Earth Program

Label: Tastee
Genre: Experimental, Pop, Rock

So one of the band members of Earth Program, I won't identify her specifically, has been pestering me for this post for some time. I think she didn't really realize that I had quietly retired from 3hive as a way to maintain sanity. Seriously, how can anyone actually listen to even a fraction of the music that's out there and keeps on coming every day? It was her quasi-anonymous e-mail that did it; "Dear Editor, " it began. Come on... As a disclosure, I knew this band member before there was an Earth Program, back when she was the complicated girl in the back of my high school Creative Writing class. She was as awesome then as her band is now, and I'm glad I unretired just to share some tunes I think a lot of you are going to like. I mean, just listen to "Eat Your MakeUp," ok? Earth Program is pop enough to be bearable and strange enough to keep things interesting. Sounds like a fine time to be 20ish in Chicago. Oh, and hi Jen.

Eat Your MakeUp [MP3, 4.2MB, VBR]
Le Gloom [MP3, 4.4MB, VBR]
Mawkish [MP3, 3.6MB, VBR]

www.myspace.com/tasteerecords
www.archive.org/details/EarthProgram-Invade
earthprogram.webs.com

Posted by joe on 03.16.10 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Atlas Sound

Label: Kranky
Genre: Experimental, Pop

What does it take to to wake me from a 3hive coma? One simple tweet: "@diplo: i wish atlas sound would ask me to make them a mixtape." Which got me thinking, How friggin sweet would that be? Which got me thinking, Wait, none of us have posted Atlas Sound on 3hive?? Which got me thinking, Where's my login??? So here goes... Atlas Sound is what the crazy prolific Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox calls himself when doing the home recording thing. It's hard to put a finger on his steez cause it morphs based on his mood and whatever's moving him at the time. To get a sense of his wide range of influences, just check the playlist to his latest "micromix". The common thread is a drowsy, droney, and often messy sheen to surprisingly tuneful and hypnotic song structures. "Doctor" covers an obscure single from '50s/'60s doo-wop act The Five Discs. "Walkabout" is a pop chant that'll shimmy its way into your head and stay a while. And, given the season, I threw in Bradford's oddly sentimental "holiday" tune from 2007. Now, I'm heading back to Twitter for more inspiration...

from Virtual 7-inch No. 8 (2009):
Doctor (Five Discs Cover) [MP3, 3.4MB, 192kbps]
from Logos (2009):
Walkabout (with Noah Lennox) [MP3, 9.4MB, 320kbps]
from Holiday EP #1 (2007):
Requiem for All the Lonely Teenagers With Passed Out Moms [MP3, 5.4MB, 128kbps]

www.kranky.net
deerhuntertheband.blogspot.com
myspace.com/atlassound

Posted by sam on 12.14.09 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Valleys

Label: Semprini
Genre: Experimental, Folk, Slowcore

With muffled vocals in minor keys, purposeful feedback, and dominating drums Valleys eerie folk sound resembles a bizarre nightmare.

The duo’s album, Sometimes Water Kills People, can almost be considered as one extensive song, rather than nine separate tracks, thanks to its consistently moderate tempo and transitions that melt the endings into the beginnings of subsequent songs. Lyrics and vocals take a back seat to their mystifying guitar preludes, or thundering drum patterns. The six minutes of “CR68C” is composed solely of stifled screeching guitar riffs with simultaneous plucking, and brief interludes of drumming.

If it’s intricate music patterns or inspirational lyrics you’re after, you’re headed in the wrong direction. I admit it was difficult to digest Valleys' synthesized additives and unorthodox style. But by track two, “Santiago,” I was hooked to their repetitive lyrics and mellow mood. Tie for first goes to “Le Sujet Est Delicat” and “Tan Lines”; the addicting oriental instrumentals coming in halfway through the former and the simple yet poetic lyrics of the latter skyrocketed their play count.

-By Brie Roche-Lilliott

Tan Lines [MP3, 3.6MB, 160kbps]

www.semprinirecords.com
www.myspace.com/valleysvalleysvalleys

Posted by guest on 11.21.09 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Various: Moodgadget—The Nocturnal Suite

Label: Ghostly International
Genre: Electronic, Experimental

Working with a smaller affiliate, Moodgadget Records, Ghostly recently introduced to the world 38 tracks from 33 new electronic artists on two discs. (Qualifier: Some artists are newer than others, and one, Daniel Johnson, not so new at all, but new perhaps to many a Ghostly consumer). More than introducing new talent, The Nocturnal Suite reminds music aficionados once again that the electronic genre, especially in the hands of Sam Valenti IV and company, is neither narrow nor nostalgic. The compilation also demonstrates that these gatekeepers and soapboxers of the genre don't discriminate on the basis of the quantity of electronic instruments utilized. Moodgadget like Ghostly eschews genre for aesthetics.

The sound difference between the four artists presented as a sample of the compilation illustrate its musical pastiche. Worst Friends represent the dancier side of things with their disco house track; Shigeto is more experimental and glitchy, while New Villager crosses over into the arena indie rock sound. Mux Mool's got two tracks featured, a broken-up hip-hop joint, and this lush trance-like piece. Arm yourself with this arsenal and you'll be equipped to declare war on any pedestrian party.

Worst Friends - I Wish I Don't Drop Dead [MP3, 11.8MB, kbps]
Shigeto - Is This All for Real [MP3, 7.2MB, kbps]
New Villager - Rich Doors [MP3, 12.2MB, 320kbps]
Mux Mool - Ballad of Gloria Featherbottom [MP3, 8.4MB, 320kbps]

www.ghostly.com
www.moodgadget.com

Posted by sean on 11.12.09 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Lord Newborn & The Magic Skulls

Label: Ubiquity
Genre: Experimental, Other, Pop

Well if this ain't the musical equivalent of the Three Amigos. Three musical desperados gathered on the West Coast to create aural havoc and obviously had the time of their lives. The parties involved include: Money Mark, Tommy Guerrero, and Shawn Lee, three "sound scientists" who've all made their own marks flying below the mainstream radar, carving out a groove amidst all that is going to be cool tomorrow. Both Mark and Guerrero released music early on through Mo' Wax and Shawn Lee recorded for Talking Loud and Wall of Sound early in his career. "Dirty Loco" is one of the two songs that serve as the dark heart of the record. The comparison is a bit ludicrous, but it sounds like a track off The Cure's "Pornography" record if Robert Smith had grown up in Southern California, raised on funk and soul. The rest of the album is full of laid back, easy-listening funk tracks, improvised, trippy, and generally cheerful. Dare I say it, Lord Newborn is a rare-groove jam band that I'd be happy spending a summer or three trucking around the country following their wake.

Disco Loco [MP3, 4.5MB, 160kbps]

www.ubiquityrecords.com
www.myspace.com/lordnewborn

Posted by sean on 09.14.09 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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PDX Pop Now! 2009

Label: None
Genre: Experimental, Other, Pop

Today we're happy to serve up a North West smorgasbord. However, unless you can get to the Portland area within the next 48 hours or so, this post won't do you much good. There are the MP3s. Have at 'em. That's the reason why you're here ain't it? This year marks the fifth time the good people of Portland have put their collective musicheads together for a weekend of free live music. The fantastic thing about the aforementioned people of Portland is that they're doing this all out of the goodness of their hearts. Bands, businesses, and residents all volunteer their time to put on this grassroots festival which has spawned action packed compilations that help raise money and awareness for the festival. I wouldn't mind it a bit if I were actually there this weekend enjoying the music, the weather, the wonderful city, and of course a healthy Powell's browse would top things off nicely. If only... Included are songs from a few bands playing this weekend. And if your attendance is more than my pipe dream, here's the link to the schedule.

The Shaky Hands - We Are Young [MP3, 3.1MB, 178kbps]
Menomena - Wet & Rusting [MP3, 4.9MB, 192kbps]
Explode Into Colors - Paper (Hot Sax version) [MP3, 3.5MB, 192kbps]
Jared Mees & The Grown Children - The Tallest Building in Hell [MP3, 7MB, 192kbps]
Ethan Rose and Laura Gibson - Sun [MP3, 4.4MB, 192kbps]
Nice Nice - Cold Sweat Part XVI
[MP3, 2.4MB, 128kbps]

www.pdxpopnow.com

Posted by sean on 07.23.09 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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