Friday, May 9th, 2008
You In Color
Photo by Briana Purser
It’s very true that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, except that sometimes you can. Consider the artwork that accompanies Directions To See A Ghost, the new album due next Tuesday from Austin, Texas’ Black Angels. Rare is it that a record’s visuals so accurately describe that which is contained within.
First there’s the colours. Reds and greens that aren’t quite fluorescent but are definitely intense. Combine that with the design, radial lines arranged in concentric circles that could be exploding outwards or sucking inwards, or perhaps both at the same time. It’s more than enough to jump off a shelf or make you dizzy like the opening credits to Doctor Who and then when you pick it up, there’s the kicker. It’s EMBOSSED. Congratulations, your mind has just been blown and you haven’t even left the store.
Moving from sight and touch to sound, Ghost proves that the band is worthy of their name, taken from the Velvet Underground song, as well as offering an argument that they could have just as easily named themselves after your choice of Spacemen 3 recordings. Ghost grafts squalls of abrasive guitar, swirling organ and ominous vocals onto a monolithic and droning bass and drum groove that’s as heavy as it is unrelenting – I’m talking serial killer in a horror film unrelenting – all of it sounding like it was recorded in a wind tunnel decked out as a Hallowe’en funhouse.
This style of music is never intended to sound contemporary, but those who prefer to view their retro sounds through rose-coloured glasses are advised to look elsewhere. The Black Angels do their musical scavenging in the shadows on the seedy side of town, driven by paranoia and shrouded in a narcotic haze. Easy listening or pop music, this is not. It’s designed to be played loud, but my personal recommendation is that you do so via a stereo or some sort of speakers – over headphones, injected directly into your brain, it’s kind of freaky trip.
And oh, contesting. Courtesy of Light In The Attic, I’ve got five copies of Directions To See A Ghost along with the limited-edition four-song EP that accompanied pre-orders to give away. To enter, leave me a comment below with your choice for album art that best matches the music it accompanies. Include a link to a decent-size image if at all possible and your correct email address – spamproofed as you see fit – in the appropriate field when posting. The contest is open to everyone, everywhere and will close at midnight, May 17.
Drowned In Sound talks to Clinic and The Daily Collegian to Shearwater, both of whom will be in town at Lee’s Palace this Sunday, May 11. Shearwater will be back for a show at the Horseshoe on June 23 and release Rook on June 3.
New additions to V Fest, going down September 6 and 7 on the Toronto Islands. The lineup now features The Fratellis on day one, Ladyhawk and Cadence Weapon on day two. There was supposed to be an announcement of some consequence this week about the lineup, and all respect the the above but I can’t believe that it was them.
Coldplay have two dates scheduled for the Air Canada Centre on October 29 and 30.
PopMatters reports that a new online magazine will be rising from the ashes of Harp, which ceased publication this past March. The site – to be located at Blurt-online.com – will be run by the founder of Harp along with their managing and senior editors. While this won’t replace the Harp-shaped hole in my real-world reading habits, I’m glad that there’ll still be fresh content in the spirit of the print publication coming our way.
And along the same lines, Reveille engages veteran music journalists from the print world in a discussion about the rise of digital publications versus the traditional medium.
Entertainment Weekly has cast shots from the G.I. Joe film, out next Summer, and all I can say is Destro – you seem to have forgotten something. YOUR BIG METAL HEAD. No, I don’t care how the special effects people do it, that’s not my problem. But Scarlett, Baroness and Snake Eyes, you can stay. Oh, and not pictured but do you know who’s playing Cobra Commander? This guy. No idea how they’re going to sell THAT.