Friday, January 12, 2007

Music Mediums

Mark Makes His Mark
Mark deClive-Lowe blew through San Francisco like a tropical New Zealand trade wind, and blew minds with his live-programmed MPC-Rhodes’n’effects set that was absolutely off the meter. Imagine live electronic Batucada, soulful Jay-Dilla business and the best of West London broken beat mixing it up–that’s what de Clive-Lowe delivered.

The icing on this musical cupcake included expertly played covers of Ramp’s “Daylight” (the musical cousin to Roy Ayers “Everybody Loves The Sunshine”, as one audience member mistakenly shouted out), and also Chocolate Milk’s “Action Speaks Louder,” during which a side-stage call to rapper Capital A was made.

The Capital Rapital joined, dCL’s vocal accompanist Tawiah (rocking an awesome b-girl outfit) for a few tunes. Basically you should know that live, Mark de Clive-Lowe is as good as it gets, both in terms of his musicianship, soloing, improvisation as well as building a “watchable” and intriguing stage event (see songs programmed and created before your eyes). Like this:

Remix RealWorld
Go here (, create a profile and then download song parts from some of this pioneering global music label’s archives. Artist song parts include Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali & Temple Of Sound, Little Axe (a.k.a Skip McDonald from On-U Sounds), Mexico’s Los Del Abajo and Afro Celt Sound System. Unfortunately (or fortunately), their Remix Peter Gabriel’s “Shock The Monkey” contest is over, but if you’re a dabbling producer, or even and expert knob twiddler, this website has built an excellent portal and community.

Good News Guitars:
The good news is, a lot of guitar bands that you like, and I like, are making great records–again. Here’s a list of a few that if you liked their last album, or, even if you haven’t heard them before, you’ll like the new record. Most of these are out in Feb or March.

Explosions In The Sky–All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone (Temporary Residence)
--Heard softly as NPR background music and live and loud on stages across the US, Austin's EITS are back with an album as epic as "The Earth Is Not..." Drops 2-27.

Winterpills––The Light Divides (Signature)
--This band calls to mind the craft of The Shins and Mojave 3. All good in my book. Out mid-end of Jan.

Six Parts Seven––Casually Smashed (Suicide Squeze)
--Another mesmerizing, instrumental journey from a group that makes time signature changes as easily as changing lanes on a deserted highway. Majestic stuff.Jan 27th release.

Daylight's For The Birds–Trouble Everywhere (TGT)
--The obvious comparison is Slowdive, but this New York group go beyond the "gaze" and stare directly into your eyes with their penetrating, ethereal music.

The Eternals–Heavy International (Aesthetics)
--Jagged globalfunk for jagged worldly times. Damon Locks and crew deliver a blast of daring agitrock. Out Feb.

And lastly...
In: Bicycles.
Out: Anything followed by “2.0”.