Archives for posts with tag: Jenks Miller

Dear faithful devoted blog readers,

The passage of time between blog posts is just a matter of reality at this point. I do not intend to make blogging a more central part of my life. Lately the purpose of keeping a blog has become more apparent to me – to fill in the gaps with what I do not have a chance to say on Decoder or what might not be appropriate in other avenues.

Two

2014 has been a great year for finding new music releases. I have blogged before about Owls’ self-title record (Jade Tree, 2001), and so the reformation announcement was pretty exciting to me. Good news is that the new record really hits my buttons. It’s a strange thing, though – I would call it more “middle of the road” indie rock and certainly not as immediately striking (and probably also will not be as influential, ultimately) as its predecessor. But the hooks are bigger and mathy arrangements are less impenetrable. I have this secret hope that “I’m Surprised” becomes popular enough that I could slip it on in a Friday evening setting and not completely freak out the general public. I’ve spent a lot of time with TWO so far, and I am so pleased that it’s met my (very high) expectations, in its own little way.

Piedmont Apocrypha

Another really special record that I’ve been appreciating this year has been Horseback’s Piedmont Apocrypha, which was released on Three Lobed Recordings in March. Horseback is led by Jenks Miller, an astoundingly talented and versatile guitarist who finds himself recording and collaborating across styles, from noise to folk to black metal and back. Apocrypha sounds a little bit more mellow than some of its older siblings under the Horseback name, but that doesn’t mean it’s less compelling. Particularly gorgeous is the 10-minute-plus ambient second track. Apocrypha is a mix of dynamics, beauty, and exploration that I can only highly recommend to fans of vision quests in the woods, or other Miller projects. I attempted to write a review of the record in greater detail, but I realized I don’t actually understand the tradition of psychedelic music from which it has descended, and quite honestly, the review written alongside the Three Lobed release is just perfect.

Cian NugentI’m still going to shows. Above is a particularly artsy (and accidental) photo I took of Cian Nugent, who played with his band, The Cosmos (No Quarter Records), here in Berlin a few weeks back. It was an aurally rich, complex, and consonant folk-rock blowout orchestra. The droning organ and violin bowing, coupled with the driving rhythm section, created the dense bed of warm sound, over which the Irish guitarist could work in dreamy licks and dustbowl landscape painting. There is really not enough praise for Mr. Nugent and his troupe of open-hearted explorers.

Who knows when I’ll post again on the blog, but maybe someone at some point will find something new in this post. Umbrellas into the future,

Adam

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Tim Hecker's 2013 release, Virgins

Another year and it’s time for another snapshot of my music favorites. Lists seem such an evil to me at times – they feed into the hype cycles and can direct and redirect attention in a way that may be harmful to smaller artists. Awards are distributed in some bizarre frenzy of groupthink (look at the film industry), and who is to say that we shouldn’t frame our reference window seasonally, or monthly, or decennialy? But in the same breath, I think documenting personal preferences can be valuable to mark growth, guide future investigations, and reflect on what has been meaningful in my world.

There are never “final” lists or finalized versions of anything in life. We can spend hours in the studio perfecting music or years thinking that a marriage will finally work once it gets over a certain hump. Like photographs, life is a series of snapshots or moments. Making a list is like taking a polaroid picture of a specific year of music and what it meant to me as it was ending.

After that far too off-topic ramble, it’s time for the list where everything’s made up and the rankings don’t matter.

1 The Appleseed Cast Illumination Ritual Graveface Records
2 Wooden Wand Blood Oaths of the New Blues Fire Records
3 My Bloody Valentine M B V self
4 Tim Hecker Virgins Kranky
5 Lumerians The High Frontier Partisan Records
6 Disappears Era Kranky
7 Kurt Vile Wakin On A Pretty Daze Matador Records
8 Wooden Wand and the World War IV Wooden Wand and the World War IV Three Lobed Recordings
9 The National Trouble Will Find Me 4AD
10 Lucrecia Dalt Syzygy Human Ear Music
11 Jenks Miller Spirit Signal Northern-Spy Records
12 Esmerine Dalmak Constellation
13 Julianna Barwick Nepenthe Dead Oceans
14 Aidan Baker Already Drowning Gizeh Records
15 Mountains Centralia Thrill Jockey
16 Thee Oh Sees Floating Coffin Castle Face Records
17 Chelsea Light Moving Chelsea Light Moving Matador Records
18 Youth Lagoon Wondrous Bughouse Fat Possum Records
19 Gnod Chaudelande Rocket Recordings
20
Gabriel Saloman Soldier’s Requiem Miasmah Recordings

What a wonderful year of music it was. See you in the new year,

Adam