Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me opened on July 3 at the IFC Center in New York and is now playing throughout the country in select independent theaters. The film is a documentary about one of the greatest bands that never made it big, the unfortunately named, Big Star. The documentary opens with one of the defining moments of Big Star’s career, a concert they played in front of music critics from all over the country, who had gathered in Memphis for the supposed reason of organizing a union of music critics. However, the organizers of this event secretly intended to bring attention to a little known Memphis group, namely Big Star. It worked, at least to some extent. One of the critics interviewed for the film recalls with bemused surprise that she even saw critics dancing at the concert.

Big Star are, in a sense, the ideal pop group for music critics– smart, contagious pop music that you can dance to without feeling embarrassed. Alex Chilton, Big Star’s best known band member once said, “Most of the Big Star stuff was searching for how to get through two verses without saying anything really stupid.” That might be selling the group a bit short. Chilton was notorious for his curmudgeonly attitude toward the band that he would be most associated with throughout his prolific, if scattered, and at times sloppy career. Three years before he died in 2010, Chilton summed up his opinion on the group that he was constantly asked about in interviews: “I’m not as crazy about them as a lot of Big Star cultists seem to be. I think they’re good, but then again, I think Slade records are good, too.” Another critic admitted that Big Star was a group that critics didn’t want to share with the world. Instead, they preferred to keep them for themselves: the little band that everybody liked.

Part of the reason for the group’s lack of success was simply bad luck. Signed to Ardent, a local Memphis label tied to the more well known Stax, the band’s records received distribution by Columbia, but the corporate executives in New York cared little for this pop band from Memphis. They weren’t heavy enough for the ’70s rock scene, and they were from Memphis, a town much better known for its soul music than its rock scene. Though they received rave reviews in places like Rolling Stone, many towns didn’t even carry the band’s records in their stores or give them radio play. In the pre-Internet age, this meant that there simply was no way for the average music fan to hear their music. The band, and in particular, the band’s founder, Chris Bell, desperately wanted the adoration received by their heroes, like The Beatles. That adoration came, but not while the band was still around. In gushing interviews, musicians from bands such as Hot Chip, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Cheap Trick (whose cover of Big Star’s “In The Street” is the theme song for That 70’s Show), R.E.M., and, of course, The Replacements (whose song “Alex Chilton” introduced many of their fans to Big Star) speak of their fondness for the band, and the influence of Big Star on their own music.

Unfortunately, the delayed adoration was little solace for Bell, who left the band after the group’s first record, the hopelessly optimistically titled #1 Record. Bell is the truly tragic figure of the film. Chilton, though far better known, comes off as self-obsessed and spottily brilliant–the kind of guy it might be fun to share a drink with, but not necessarily work with every day (Big Star producer Jim Dickinson recalls at the beginning of the film seeing Chilton tripping on acid as a pre-teen and thinking that he was in for an interesting life– that’s certainly true, but he seemed to lack the emotional depth of Bell). Bell was tormented by several things– first of all by the fact that #1 Record was a flop, selling fewer than 10,000 copies. The reviews, though positive, concentrated mostly on Chilton’s role in the band. Chilton had previously served as lead vocalist for The Box Tops, a more traditional blue-eyed soul group from the late 60s, who had a hit with “The Letter,” a song that features a teenaged Chilton with an almost impossibly deep sounding baritone. Perhaps most significantly, Bell was (probably) gay. This is a fact that is hinted at several times during the film, though never declared outright. His gayness was certainly never referenced in the group’s music, or Bell’s later solo output. Bell’s brother recalls that Chris turned to Jesus, as well as drugs in order to distract himself from issues with his “sexuality.” Coming from a wealthy family in the south during the era before homosexuality became more or less accepted in this country, Bell must have felt deeply guilty (some have even suggested that he was in love with Chilton, though that remains the realm of rumor and hearsay).

In the midst of a deep depression, Bell’s brother took him to Europe, where he took the haunting cover photo of Bell’s lone solo record, I Am the Cosmos. Bell stands with snow covered mountains in the background, looking very cool in a jean jacket and sunglasses, but also lost in his own troubled thoughts. One of Bell’s friends from school tears up when discussing that album’s title track. It is a song that would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Bell was a very serious person, who felt things intensely. Chilton was his opposite. Though Chilton’s song “Holocaust” off Big Star’s last album Third/Sister Lovers may actually be one of the saddest songs ever written, it is a song about lack of feeling, rather than the overflowing feeling that Bell experienced. Bell’s sister admits that she, like Chilton, does not understand the cultish following that Big Star has received since the band broke up. She would rather have her brother alive than the music that he left behind. Bell became a member of the 27 Club (along with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain), dying in a one-man car crash. Perhaps most tragic of all, the local newspaper reported his death as that of the “son of a restauranteur,” rather than the founder of one of the most beloved bands of American rock history.

Big Star’s story is a good one, filled with characters like Dickinson, whose wife sweetly recalls the time that Bob Dylan visited his eccentrically designed trailer park home (complete with Otis Redding‘s “decomposing” grand piano, on which he wrote “Dock of the Bay”) and said, “Jim, you must get a lot of thinking done here,” to which Jim replied, “Bob, I think all the time.” However, the film does not have much ambition to do anything besides simply report the facts. There are no experimental flourishes, or mythologizing, as in the more memorable Rodriguez documentary Searching for Sugar Man. Luckily, the story and Big Star’s music are good enough to stand alone. The most interesting and emotional segments of the film are those dedicated to the lesser known bandleader, Bell. The movie falters somewhat when discussing the years after Bell died, going into unnecessary detail about Chilton’s post-Big Star output. Nevertheless, it’s a film well worth seeing, especially for those interested in Big Star or the history of alternative music.

-Jesse Brent

New Chart, Same James Blake, This Time with Annotations

1    JAMES BLAKE    Overgrown    Republic


2    ADRIAN YOUNGE    Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics    Wax Poetics The classic 70s Philly soul group (you might remember their iconic “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” single from the Jackie Brown soundtrack) return and sound as beautiful as ever on this collaboration with producer Adrian Younge. Younge, who previously scored the Black Dynamite soundtrack, is also an entertainment law professor, and he’s been killing it lately. He just followed up this Delfonics collab with an impressive Ennio Morricone-style concept album team-up with Ghostface Killah called Twelve Reasons to Die.
3    AUTRE NE VEUT    Anxiety    Software


4    THEE OH SEES    Floating Coffin    Castle Face  Thee Oh Sees follow up the man-dog cover art (which fun-hating Pitchfork put on their Worst Cover Art list) on last year’s Putrifiers II with strawberries, eyeballs and teeth.

5    DEERHUNTER    Monomania    4AD
6    STEEL WHEELS    No More Rain
7    NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS    Push The Sky Away    Bad Seed
8    FLAMING LIPS    The Terror    Warner Brothers
9    JJ GREY AND MOFRO    This River    Alligator


10    KURT VILE    Wakin On A Pretty Daze    Matador  Kurt sounds a lot happier than on the sleepy, melancholy Smoke Rings for My Halo. He’s such a dad (see this adorable video of his daughter dancing to his excellent single “Never Run Away”) but that doesn’t make this album toned down or boring. In fact, this is his most confident, epic full-blown rock & roll record. And “Wakin on a Pretty Day” is so good that after nine and a half minutes I wish it would keep going.
11    WAVVES    Afraid Of Heights    Warner Brothers


12    CRIME AND THE CITY SOLUTION    American Twilight    Mute Check out WESU DJ and Wesleying maestro Zach Schonfeld’s review of this one here.


13    BALLAKE SISSOKO    At Peace    Six Degrees Previously covered this one here.
14    SHOVELS AND ROPE    Johnny 99 B/w Bad As Me [7-Inch]    Third Man
15    CAVEMAN    Caveman    Fat Possum
16    STROKES    Comedown Machine    RCA
17    VAMPIRE WEEKEND    “Diane Young” [Single]    XL
18    RON SEXSMITH    Forever Endeavour    Cooking Vinyl


19    CANNIBAL OX    Gotham The legendary Def Jux group returns sans El-P (who’s at work on what’s going to be a very very cool collaboration with Killer Mike called Run the Jewels).


20    POND    “Giant Tortoise” [Single] Pond, who share three members with Tame Impala and a likeminded psychedelic sound, return with new material after their promising and excellently-titled debut from last year, Beard, Wives, Denim.
21    SUUNS    Images Du Futur    Secretly Canadian


22    RAEKWON    Lost Jewlry [EP]    Ice H2O  We wrote about this one here.
23    DEVENDRA BANHART    Mala    Nonesuch
24    JAMES HUNTER SIX    Minute By Minute    Concord


25    OTIS TAYLOR    My World Is Gone    Telarc A blues album that prominently features Native American guitarist Mato Nanji and reflects on the troubled history of indigenous people in this country. A welcome suprise.
26    PARENTHETICAL GIRLS    Privilege (Abridged)    Marriage-Slender Means Society
27    CHVRCHES    Recover [EP]    Glassnote


28    RED BARAAT    Shruggy Ji    Sinj A unique mixture of DC-based go-go music and the British/Punjab genre of Bhangra.
29    COLLEEN GREEN    Sock It To Me    Hardly Art
30    JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE    The 20/20 Experience    RCA

On the Spot with DJ Quandry


408159_10150571148845737_1673097472_n

DJ Quandry, aka Eriq Robinson, is a sophomore at Wesleyan University. We’ve decided to profile him somewhat arbitrarily, but also because he’s a rad dude. This is our first of what we hope will be a monthly feature, “On the Spot,” where we spring on unsuspecting WESU DJs and interview them.

 

I caught up with DJ Quandry at our a cappella rehearsal.
WESU: Surprise! You’ve just been put ON THE SPOT. So, what’s your show called?

DJ Quandry: Okay. My show’s called “Shelf Life.”

W: What’s the format?

Q: It’s an electronic music show. I find random albums off the shelf and play ‘em. [See his Spinitron playlist for this month here.]

W: Groovy. When is your show?

Q: Every second and fourth Wednesday, 11pm – 12:30am.

W: When did you join WESU?

Q: I joined freshman year – first semester I went through training, second semester I had my first show: “Flight 881 with Captain Q.” It was a world music show, where I went to a different country every week. You know: “Flight 881. Buckle up!”

Then I moved to “Shelf Life,” and that’s probably going to be the format I stick with for the rest of my time at WESU.

W: What music have you recently come across doing “Shelf Life?”

Q: Peace Orchestra, which is pretty trippy. One of my friends told me about Four Tet – and KH, who is also Four Tet – and a track called something like “Play that song that you always play… that I like…” – or something – it’s really cool.

W: Do you get calls on your show?

Q: This one time, I was playing Purity Ring, and this dude called in, and he just kept going on and on about how he loves the show, and how he loves WESU – he wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise – and he was so into Purity Ring, and he said, “That was so deep, and I was so into it, and I’m just at the gas station getting some s***, and that song was so deep, and I love you guys.” And I said “thanks,” and then he said, “Alright, I gotta go.” I was like, “Whoa.” Continue reading

The Return of the WESU Chart

1    JAMES BLAKE    Overgrown    Republic
2    AUTRE NE VEUT    Anxiety    Software
3    ADRIAN YOUNGE    Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics    Wax Poetics
4    KURT VILE    Wakin On A Pretty Daze    Matador
5    JJ GREY AND MOFRO    This River    Alligator
6    DEERHUNTER    Monomania    4AD

7    THEE OH SEES    Floating Coffin    Castle Face
8    FLAMING LIPS    The Terror
9    YOUTH LAGOON    Wondrous Bughouse    Fat Possum
10    RHYE    Woman    Republic

11    TYLER, THE CREATOR    Wolf    Odd Future
12    BESNARD LAKES    Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO    Jagjaguwar
13    GOLD PANDA    Trust    Ghostly International
14    DUCKTAILS    The Flower Lane    Domino
15    JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE    The 20/20 Experience
16    COLLEEN GREEN    Sock It To Me    Hardly Art

17    RED BARAAT    Shruggy Ji    Sinj
18    CHVRCHES    Recover [EP]    Glassnote
19    NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS    Push The Sky Away    Bad Seed
20    PARENTHETICAL GIRLS    Privilege (Abridged)    Marriage-Slender Means Society

21    OTIS TAYLOR    My World Is Gone    Telarc
22    JAMES HUNTER SIX    Minute By Minute    Concord
23    DEVENDRA BANHART    Mala    Nonesuch
24    RAEKWON    Lost Jewlry [EP]    Ice H2O
25    SUUNS    Images Du Futur    Secretly Canadian

26    RON SEXSMITH    Forever Endeavour    Cooking Vinyl
27    VAMPIRE WEEKEND    “Diane Young” [Single]    XL
28    STROKES    Comedown Machine    RCA
29    CAVEMAN    Caveman    Fat Possum
30    BALLAKE SISSOKO    At Peace    Six Degrees

On the Spot with DJ Quandry

408159_10150571148845737_1673097472_n

DJ Quandry, aka Eriq Robinson, is a sophomore at Wesleyan University. We’ve decided to profile him somewhat arbitrarily, but also because he’s a rad dude. This is our first of what we hope will be a monthly feature, “On the Spot,” where we spring on unsuspecting WESU DJs and interview them.

I caught up with DJ Quandry at our a cappella rehearsal.

 

WESU: Surprise! You’ve just been put ON THE SPOT. So, what’s your show called?

DJ Quandry: Okay. My show’s called “Shelf Life.”

W: What’s the format?

Q: It’s an electronic music show. I find random albums off the shelf and play ‘em.

W: Groovy. When is your show?

Q: Every second and fourth Wednesday, 11pm – 12:30am.

W: When did you join WESU?

Q: I joined freshman year – first semester I went through training, second semester I had my first show: “Flight 881 with Captain Q.” It was a world music show, where I went to a different country every week. You know: “Flight 881. Buckle up!”

Then I moved to “Shelf Life,” and that’s probably going to be the format I stick with for the rest of my time at WESU.

W: What music have you recently come across doing “Shelf Life?”

Q: Peace Orchestra, which is pretty trippy. One of my friends told me about Four Tet – and KH, who is also Four Tet – and a track called something like “Play that song that you always play… that I like…” – or something – it’s really cool.

W: Do you get calls on your show?

Q: This one time. I was playing Purity Ring, and this dude called in, and he just kept going on and on about how he loves the show, and how he loves WESU – he wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise – and he was so into Purity Ring, and he said, “That was so deep, and I was so into it, and I’m just at the gas station getting some s***, and that song was so deep, and I love you guys.” And I said “thanks,” and then he said, “Alright, I gotta go.” I was like, “Whoa.”

W: Were you involved with radio before WESU?

Q: No, but… I’ve always listened to a bunch of podcasts: This American Life, Radiolab, The Joe Rogan Experience, The Duncan Trussell Family Hour, most of the Death Squad podcasts. And that vamped up story one…like Prairie Home Companion. The Truth! That’s what I’m thinking of. They’ll be at that conference you’re going to.

W: Megapolis?

Q: Yeah.

W: I’m not going to that. They gave us like one ticket.

Q: Cool.

W: Have you ever had to hit the dump button?

Q: No, because I have control over what I say. And I don’t see why people use it – or why people don’t use it.

W: Good answer. So what’s your favorite part about being a DJ?

Q: The way my show’s set up, I’m constantly listening to new music that I haven’t heard before. So it would be this new method of music discovery – especially because it’s bringing things that aren’t to anyone’s attention.

W: We get some weird music sent to us, don’t we?

Q: Yeah. This one time I put on a record – ‘cause I was feeling cool. So I was like, “yo, let me put on this thing from the experimental section,” ‘cause I thought it was going to be a weirder version of electronic. But it’s not; it’s totally its own beast. So this record featured a bunch of girls, one of whom was saying repeatedly, “No. Not again. No…” and it went on for fourteen minutes, and saying some really messed up stuff – it was possibly the same girl doing different voices – and seven minutes in I stopped it, because I was getting freaked out, and I didn’t want to freak my listeners out.

I’ve played some really bad songs, but that’s part of the process. And I enjoy it.

W: And you get to discover some good stuff, too. Right? Like Purity Ring; I assume you discovered them?

Q: Yes, I dubbed them “Purity Ring” … in a weird English ceremony. No, usually on Shelf Life I do feature one artist. So if things suddenly start going down the tube… like, last show I said, “I don’t know what to do anymore…BJÖRK.”

W: Have you ever hosted anyone on your show?

Q: Only interns. I love interns – fun to talk to, shoot the breeze with. I’m usually in there solo dolo, but otherwise it’s fun to have a second body. But I don’t normally want to relinquish any of my control.

W: So you wouldn’t want to co-host a show?

Q: Oh, dear God, no. It has to be all mine.

W: What would be your ideal time slot?

Q: The one I have right now is a real catch. If I could, I would have it from 11pm to 1am.

W: Why’s that?

Q: Well, when my show was an hour, it didn’t feel too quick, but when it’s an hour and a half, then around song 10 is when I really start getting into the rhythm of exploring everything. So it would give me more time to know where I’m going.

I don’t want to lose minutes. “Oh, I wish I hadn’t played this horrorporn from the experimental shelf.” That was a bummer.

W:  Thanks for this! Quick, nearly last question: What do you like best about WESU?

Q: The fact that it is freeform radio. I didn’t even know that was a thing, and now that I know that’s a thing, I notice when other stations are not the thing. Also, I love the fact that we play uncensored music after 10pm. Most other stations are kind of boring…they’re not taking any risks. And my thing is…not taking risks, exactly, but…

W: Kind of a risk, no?

Q: But it’s not like I risk losing tons of listeners.

W: Yeah, but you could lose our license if you keep playing horrorporn.

Q: I don’t think I’m going to dig into the experimental section anymore.

W: Any last words?

Q: Dude. WESU. All that’s left.

4/12 FRIDAY: Boldy James \\ Gifted Higgz // Kill-F

cd4.75x4.75.eps

Free for everyone!

Boldy James is a wildly inventive, cool-headed MC from Detroit. He’s due to release a new project with prolific producer The Alchemist later this year. Stereogum called his latest mixtape, Consignment: Favor for a Favor the Redi-Rock Mixtape “almost shockingly huge in its scope…compulsively listenable.” He is the kind of talent that should be spoken of in hushed tones by anyone who cares about hip-hop as an artform.

Gifted Higgz is an up-and-coming MC from here in Middletown, CT.

Kill-F is a mystery

WHERE: WestCo Courtyard (Rain location: WestCo Cafe), 18 Foss Hill Dr., Middletown, CT

WHEN: 9:00 PM SHARP

Facebook Event

THANK YOU to The Wesleyan Concert Committee, and the Music & Public Life series for making this series possible!

New Chart: WESU Pisses Its Jeans for Pissed Jeans

1    PISSED JEANS    Honeys    Sub Pop
2    YOUTH LAGOON    “Dropla” [Single]    Fat Possum
3    BRYAN FERRY ORCHESTRA    The Jazz Age
4    UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA    II    Jagjaguwar

 

 

5    DAWN MCCARTHY AND BONNIE “PRINCE” BILLY    What The Brothers Sang    Drag City
6    VERONICA FALLS    Waiting For Something To Happen    Slumberland
7    BIG BOI    Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors    Island Def Jam
8    FLYING LOTUS    Until The Quiet Comes    Warp
9    GHOSTFACE KILLAH AND ADRIAN YOUNGE    Twelve Reasons to Die

 

10    HOW TO DRESS WELL    Total Loss    Acephale
11    THEESATISFACTION    THEESatisfaction Loves Erykah Badu
12    JOHNNY MARR    The Messenger
13    STEPKIDS    Sweet Salvation    Stones Throw
14    NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS    Push The Sky Away    Bad Seed
15    FRANK OCEAN    Channel Orange    Def Jam

 

16    GIBBY HAYNES    Paul’s Not Home [7-Inch]    Third Man
17    ENDLESS BOOGIE    Long Island    No Quarter
18    DOLDRUMS    Lesser Evil    Arbutus
19    LOCAL NATIVES    Hummingbird    Frenchkiss

 

 

 

20    ANDREW BIRD    Hands Of Glory    Mom And Pop
21    KENDRICK LAMAR    Good Kid, M.A.A.d City    Top Dawg-Interscope
22    STARLITO    Funerals And Court Dates
23    FIDLAR    FIDLAR    Mom And Pop
24    RICHARD THOMPSON    Electric    New West
25    BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW    Cobra Juicy    Rad Cult

 

26    ATOMS FOR PEACE    Amok    XL
27    ISSUE    “I Am ISSUE” (The Best of Issue)
28    LOOP 2.4.3    American Dreamland    Music Starts From Silence
29    FOXYGEN    We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic    Jagjaguwar
30    CHRISTOPHER OWENS    Lysandre    Fat Possum

True Story: Aaron Neville Tops Our Chart

1    AARON NEVILLE    My True Story    Blue Note
2    FLYING LOTUS    Until The Quiet Comes    Warp
3    MY BLOODY VALENTINE    MBV    Self-Released
4    DANIEL ROMANO    Come Cry With Me    Normaltown
5    TIM MAIA    World Psychedelic Classics 4: Nobody Can Live Forever: The Existential Soul Of Tim Maia    Luaka Bop

6    THAO AND THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN    We The Common    Ribbon
7    MIDNIGHT MAGIC    Walking The Midnight Streets    Midnight Sun Sound
8    EX-COPS    True Hallucinations    Other Music
9    GRIZZLY BEAR    Shields    Warp
10    PETRA HADEN    Petra Goes To The Movies    Anti

12    PSYCHIC ILLS    One Track Mind    Sacred Bones
13    TAME IMPALA    Lonerism    Modular
14    PERE UBU    Lady From Shanghai    Fire

15    PISSED JEANS    Honeys    Sub Pop
16    STARLITO    Funerals And Court Dates   
17    YO LA TENGO    Fade    Matador
18    LOST ANIMAL    Ex-Tropical    Hardly Art
19    OF MONTREAL    Daughter Of Cloud    Polyvinyl

20    O PRESIDENTE    Clube De Futebol   
21    JACCO GARDNER    Cabinet Of Curiosities    Trouble In Mind
22    KILLERS    Battle Born   

23    FREDDIE GIBBS    BABYFACE KILLA   
24    TORO Y MOI    Anything In Return    Carpark
25    ALT-J    An Awesome Wave    Canvasback
26    ADAM ANT    The Essential Adam Ant   
27    DIRTY PROJECTORS    About To Die    Domino
28    BARBARAS    2006-2008    Goner

29    STEPKIDS    Sweet Salvation    Stones Throw
30    SIDEWALK DAVE    Hard On Romance    Telegraph

MD Picks: Far Out, Faraway

Big week for psych-pop and desert-rock. We hope you enjoy these releases as much as we do:
Jacco Gardner – Cabinet of Curiosities

For a 24-year-old Dutchman, Jacco Gardner sounds like he learned a lot from the 1960’s American scene. Cabinet of Curiosities is by turns lush and stark, and Gardner makes full use of his multi-instrumental talents. The lyrics are opaque and point up the meandering, ethereal nature of the album: on “Chameleon,” he explains, “I want to float away, but all these clouds just look the same.” He doesn’t tell us much about himself, but the music is compelling all the same. We like “Puppets Dangling” and “Clear the Air.”

Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic

Rado and France, two guys who get up on stage in their pajamas and yell “Digital!” and “Analog!” at each other, make psychedelic pop that is infectious and, for the most part, seriously catchy. Foxygen made waves with their Take the Kids Off Broadway EP, and Ambassadors is getting the recognition it deserves. France on the album, its reception, and Foxygen’s M.O.: “‘It just sounds like some ’60s bullshit and looks like Wes Anderson.’ But that’s the point. We’re trying to bring a little fun, a little color.” Bring it on, guys! We love “No Destruction,” “San Francisco,” and “Shuggie.”

Lost Animal – Ex Tropical

Jarrod Quarrell, aka Lost Animal, is an Australian who spent a lot of time growing up in Papua New Guinea. Perhaps that explains his album title, or perhaps it helps explain all the musical influences Quarrell stirs into the cauldron of Ex Tropical: calypso, dub, funk, disco — and then there’s lounge, trip-hop, and just about anything else you can name. Lost Animal’s singing is both “sleazy and sincere,” to quote one reviewer, and I would also add “hypnotic” to the mix. For a good challenge, try listening to “Buai Raskol” and not loving the marimba. A big thank you to Hardly Art for releasing this album worldwide! We love “Say No to Thugs,” “Buai Raskol,” and “Don’t Litter.”

Library of Sands – Side to Side EP 3

Library of Sands’ Side to Side EP 3 comes from a man named Naynay Shineywater. What do we know about him? Apparently, he has lived in a tent for 19 years, and he is an activist for preserving deserts, forests, and Native American cultural sites. We’re down with the anti-corporate message, as well as the fuzzy desert sounds that “N. Shineywater” offers. Side note: this is the latest in a string of tape cassettes we are receiving at the station. What’s with that? Not complaining, though. We like “Crown of CreatIIIon” (heads up: this song is 23 minutes long).