Sad news for fans of legendary and influential Kiwi rock bands The Chills and The Clean: as reported yesterday by New Zealand music blog Off the Tracks, the founding member of both bands Peter Gutteridge died over the weekend. No cause of death has been reported so far. According to Flying Nun, he was in his early fifties. In addition to being instrumental in creating of the unique sound of The Clean and The Chills, the guitarist/singer/songwriter was also a force behind the NZ bands Snapper, The Great Unwashed, and The Puddle. All were a part of the Flying Nun Records label family. The prolific Gutteridge, who coincidentally just in the past month made his first visit to the US for a concert in Brooklyn, only recorded one solo album, Pure, which was initially released in 1989 by Xpressway as a cassette tape but was re-released late last year by 540 Records on vinyl and CD. It was this album that he drew extensively from during his recent US concert. Both The Chills and The Clean were among the top ten artists included in the recently published Billy Gil Amoeblog 10 Classic New Zealand Albums post. Below is a track off Gutteridge's sole solo album Pure.
If we count not only the unusually severe harms that anybody could endure, but also the quite routine ones of ordinary human life, then we find that matters are still worse for cheery procreators. It shows that they play Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun -- aimed, of course, not at their own heads, but at those of their future offspring. – David Benatar, Better Never to Have Been, p. 92
Benatar’s anti-natalism is not likely to capture the popular imagination any time, soon; probably never, I’d wager. What kind of person accepts that it would be for the best should humanity stop reproducing? But a few metaphysical defeatists do indeed take some solace in it, at least by discovering a comrade in bleakness who attempts rational arguments for our shared existential plight – justifications that aren’t reducible to some mere psychological fracture.
The psychologistic dismissals of pessimism are widespread, most recently and disappointingly exemplified by writer Nic Pizzolatto in his TV series, True Detective. Disappointing, because Pizzolatto clearly shares my love for the most ontologically downtrodden horror author working today, Thomas Ligotti. Nevertheless, after 7 hours of episodes that dismantle straight guy Marty Hart’s ideas of family, hard work and law as delusional distractions which keep him from confronting the abyssal punchlines consistently delivered by pessimistic funny man Rust Cohle, and despite having the latter nearly quote Ligotti verbatim at times , Pizzolatto betrays all of this with a denouement that makes the show into little more than religious propaganda hidden in a blighted form. Rust has a metaphysical conversion in the finale after a near death visitation by his dead daughter and father: he begins to see little rays of hope peeking out of the darkness of the nighttime sky. Turns out it was the trauma of losing a child and of not having reconciled with his father – genetically, a future deadend and an unresolved past – that lead to those previously expressed dark thoughts, and not, say, facing the objective ramifications of the eternal perspective, or sub specie aeternitatis, which can only reveal an end to humanity, its concerns and all its artifacts. Rust and the audience need no longer worry about such ramifications with the hope of continuing as an immortal soul. Ligotti refers to such pessimistic flimflam as a “façade of ruins, a trompe l'oeil of bleakness.” (Ligotti, p. 147)
In honor of the legacy of San Francisco rap legend Cougnut and just in time for tonight's (Sept 13, 2014) heartfelt 13th anniversary memorial concert at Brick & Mortar Music Hall - with Baldhead Rick, Shag Nasty, TC, Equipto, Michael Marshall, Cellski, Black C, and more - today I uncovered a radio interview I conducted with the late, great SF rapper 19 years ago. It aired back on November 18, 1995 on several pirate stations I was on when the beloved hip-hop artist, who died on September 4, 2001 in a car crash while returning from a fishing trip, was readying for the then-upcoming release of I.M.P.'s Ill Mannered Playas, which would be released in early 1996 on In-A-Minute Records.
In the interview, Cougnut talks about such things as the production and guests on the 13 track album focusing on tracks such as "Shinin' Star" (one of a few he personally produced on that LP) and the ever-engaging album track "Public Execution," which he relayed was the "story of when I was locked down and my celly who is never getting out....He's on life with no parole....on death row in San Quentin" and the life story that person shared with Cougnut while they were incarcerated together. He also talks about UNLV who contribute to several of the album's tracks including "The Bay Way," the song that Cougnut stressed that he really wanted people to listen to out of all the ones featuring UNLV on that 1996 I.M.P. album. Coincidentally, UNLV's Baldhead Rick is the person presenting tonight's highly recommended show at Brick & Mortar at 1710 Mission Street in San Francisco. Saturday, September 13th. 9pm show. 18+ $10 More info.
A rather inspired pairing of Gerard Donald's post-Drexciya project and the young, talented Objekt. The Dopplereffekt side is dreamy, filmic electro with some gorgeous string swells. It's excellent, as you would expect. Objekt's contribution is similarly widescreen, surprisingly incorporating a bit of glitch and ambient into the electro bounce.
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For an artist who was essentially just releasing her first LP, Jhene Aiko certainly came across as a star when she performed at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 10.
Aiko, of course, is not unknown; she has guested on numerous hip-hop tracks, perhaps most notably singing the heartfelt opening to Drake’s “From Time,” off of one of the biggest albums of the past couple of years. Still, despite her apparent rolodex of big-name artists, Aiko herself has remained curiously in the shadows.
Until now, that is. Her first full-length LP, Souled Out, is an elegant collection of breathy L.A. soul with just the right hip-hop touch. It’s an album that puts her front-and-center, unlike her .sailing soul(s). mixtape and Sail Out EP, which drew on such high-profile guest stars as Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West. This time, save for a last-minute guest spot from Common, Aiko’s pretty much sailing alone. That seemed just fine with the line of fans who stretched around the block at Amoeba for the chance to see her: