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Chateau Notes: In Conversation with Agent Ribbons -- Their Shophomore Release, Chatueau Crone, Drops Today!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 12, 2010 01:33pm | Post a Comment
agent ribbons

Agent Ribbons
is, plainly put, one of the most bewitching band of ladies I've ever encountered in a live setting. Their raw feminine energy and rosy demeanor create an infectious dynamic tension when they perform their songs, almost as if they dare the shadowy figures sulking (most likely) at the bar to rise on invisible strings and sway like moths enchanted by the shine of the widow's web. Yes, lawd, these salty sirens have the ability to spellbind when their signature sibylline sound mingles with such fetching aesthetic fury --- it's a lusty mix heady enough to have you hooked in an instant. agent ribbons chateau crone album cover interview girl band

A little while back I had a chance to chat with the missus Ribbons after they played a brief but burning hot set at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. Here guitarist/vocalist Natalie Gordon, drums/accordion/vocalist Lauren Hess and violinist/cellist/vocalist Naomi Cherie dish about their newest release, Chateau Crone, on Antenna Farm records, which hits the shelves at Amoeba today, their move from California to Texas, upcoming projects and other sundry subjects!

First of all, fabulous show! I think I can speak for everyone when I say I only wished it had been longer (it was a short set, but people were fist-pumping!). Are there plans in place for a proper Chateau Crone tour?

Sun Araw's Latest Head Trip, Off Duty, Out This Week!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 7, 2010 09:00am | Post a Comment
The new Sun Araw, Off Duty, is out this week on Woodsist and, man, is it as heavy as he's ever been...
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...and the good news is that if you spaced on picking up Boat Trip on vinyl, the good folks at Woodsist have included it on the CD release of Off Duty. For those of you who've long been riding on the so-called "chill wave" (I prefer to call it "berm highs," but what's a girl to do) this release is as essential as Sun Araw's previous nuggets of music made by people taking drugs to make music to take drugs to, or music to not take drugs to because the music is so "druggy" you don't have to. Seriously, I don't see ever coming back from the next-next level trips that come of digging into Sun Araw with a juggernaut of a buzz on, just sayin. Anyhoo, if you like space, beaches, Spacemen 3, Lee "Scratch" Perry's 'Black Arc' period and never fake the funk, then consider this your next stop on the midnight train to oblivion....

"Last Chants"

Bungle Fever: Mr. Bungle's California Available on Vinyl...Finally!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 4, 2010 09:43pm | Post a Comment
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California dreamin'? Heck yes I am now that I got my paws on Mr. Bungle's newly issued third (and possibly final) LP, California, at long last! Originally released in 1999, Plain Recordings has done Mike Patton & company's stunning, genre-grinding "pop oriented" album nothin' but justice by offering this overflowing kitchen sink of experimental-rock on heavy wax for those of us who simply cannot get enough of the maelstrom of diverse influences --- ranging from swing, rockabilly, country & western, bossa nova, Hawaiian and Middle Eastern music, jazz, Zappa-esque doo wop, arty-funk, post-rock, space-age pop, spaghetti-Western music, warped circus melodies, new age, heavy metal and exotica --- that somehow manage to sound cohesive and linear against savage spates of juxtaposed music-making wizardry. Among many brilliant moments stitched into the body of this masterwork is the inclusion of stylistically head-banging kecak vocals (Indonesian "monkey chanting") on the album's final track, "Goodbye Sober Day." In this respect I reckon that Mr. Bungle's California could be reviewed as just another ripple in the weird "world beat" well, but I believe this record serves as proof that pre-Y2K global fusion, musically speaking, needn't entirely be remembered as naive Cirque du Soleil-caliber dregs of whimsical frivolity to be trampled by the likes of Michael Flatley. No, this album plays like rose-tinted muse blender on puree, partying with the lifetime achievements of Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach like it's 1999!

The J-Pop Don't Stop: Amoeba Music Took to the Streets for the 2nd Annual J-Pop Summit!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, September 20, 2010 09:31am | Post a Comment
This weekend I had a blast workin' it with my fellow J-Pop enthusiasts at the Amoeba Music booth during the 2nd annual J-Pop Summit street fair in San Francisco's Japantown! In terms of people watching alone this was an affair that almost eclipses the Pride parade or Halloween masquerade in that it's virtually a marriage of the two festive events announcing the birth of their fresh to death Japanese love child.
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With a table overflowing with both popular and rare J-pop CDs, LPs and DVDs, we stayed busy all day mixing with the ever shuffling crowd that stopped by to pick through the goods we stood by. Chic ladies dressed and tressed in their Loli finery (pictured above) pined for idol artists like Nana Kitade, Mana's Malice Mizerand an astounding avalanche of Gackt offerings, while others plucked hard to find anime soundtracks and bargain priced boxed sets (including a boxed Pink Lady vinyl collection, the complete Zatoichi films boxed set, as well as the Ultraman television series on DVD) from the broad selection.
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 From all of us here at Amoeba Music: thanks to all the fans, otaku or otherwise, who stopped by our booth to chat and shop our wares, thanks to all those costumed folks who consistently made the day by merely mosying through our field of vision, and, lastly, thanks to all the other vendors (especially the purveyors of fine shaved ice delights!) for making our appearance at this years' J-Pop Summit a memorable experience! どうもありがとうございました!また来年よろしくお願いいたします!
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Synthsual Seduction: Getting Intimate with Blonde Redhead's Penny Sparkle

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, September 14, 2010 11:00am | Post a Comment
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A while ago, right here in this blogosphere, I shared a memorable, if somewhat goofy, moment I experienced in conversation with Blonde Redhead where it was determined that their signature sound is, seasonally speaking, " cold, like winter," punctuated by drummer Simone Pace's joking that they've been trying to score a "summer hit" all these years. True, there's nothing very ruddy or relaxing about the raw, malodorous roots they laid down in their hard-rocking early days, prompting fans to coin the multilingual heart-breakers as "art rock" darlings while some persnickety critics underrated them as Sonic Youth wannabes. Alas, that "certain damaged" sound that Guy Picciotto (of Fugazi and Rites of Spring fame) coaxed into the production Blonde Redhead's middle children albums (In An Expression of the Inexpressible, Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons and Misery is a Butterfly) is as gone as the no wave, DNA inspired D.I.Y. joie de vivre captured on the band's Steve Shelly (of, duh, Sonic Youth fame) produced self-titled debut as well as that of their self-produced, non-slump of a blonde redhead penny sparkle cover art record review album 4ad goth alan mouldersophomore effort La Mia Vita Violenta and it's bewitching follow-up Fake Can Be Just As Good (sigh). However, I believe congratulations are in order as it seems that Blonde Redhead have, with Penny Sparkle --- their eighth full-length album in fifteen years, their third record for the 4AD label --- created the most lusciously polished, goth jewel of a make-out record since the Cure's Disintegration dropped in 1989.

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