Saturday, April 09, 2005

Tamil Garage

Artist: M.I.A.

Album: Arular

Posted by Hello
I learned about it...:
This chick Ursula, who works with my friend Sally told me about it during trivia night at Pete's 19th Hole when I told her I liked music that's "dancey" and "has beats". She also said that she heard it playing at the mall the other day (at Hot Topic no less), which caused her to reconsider its awesomeness, but, you know, fuck it. Right? If it's crazy, it's crazy - no matter where it's played or who likes it. And this shit is kinda nuts.

Comments: This is a weird record! The woman behind it all is named Maya Arulpragasm, and she's Sri Lankan by way of London. It sorta reminds me of the grime garage thing they've got going in the UK these days (Dizzee Rascal, Wiley, etc.), but it adds an Asian element that I think really works out well. I hope you dig it.

Sound clip: Pull Up the People

Friday, April 08, 2005

Songs: Ohia - Magnolia Electric Co.

Artist: Songs:Ohia

Album: Magnolia Electric Co.

I learned about it...: from Tony Mogelson

Comments: In 2003 I probably listened to this album more than any other.
Molina nailed it with this one! Imagine you went to some dead jerk's estate sale and found some lost Crazy Horse recordings in a shoebox and you're getting warm.

And as long as you're imagining stuff, could you imagine that I'm really handsome and rich and that I live in house made of gold plated gold? Thanks.

Sound clip: Farewell Transmission

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Memorable Record Stores:
Reader's Corner, Raleigh NC

Note: This is the first in what will be a regular series of record store memories. Look for other Ding Gua Gua members to also share with you their own memories of record stores all over the world.

The Reader's Corner
3201 Hillsborough St
Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 828-702

I was very pleased to do a web search and learn that Raleigh's The Reader's Corner is still in business (as Reader's Corner Incorporated). It's one of those hole-in-the-wall, used bookstores that every city has several of. The shelves and floor haven't been thoroughly cleaned for decades because it would be too much of a project to move all of the books out. It wouldn't be unexpected to see somebody's dog or cat roaming around. Above all, there are books packing every square corner of the mismatched shelves, floor, and front counter. Expect to hear Flapper era or folk music playing over the stereo, but don't be surprised to also hear Oldies 100.7 or WRDU Classic Rock either (are these stations even playing those formats anymore?).

One memorable feature of the Reader's Corner, which I hope is still true, is that they would leave the dregs of their "warehouse" (a half-toppled shed out back) neatly shelved in front of their building 24/7 for anybody to stop by, browse, and purchase by slipping a little change under the door. I think they donated any cash earned to the local public radio station. There was always at least one bin of records out there as well, containing such gems as a Henry Winkler album, the D.C. Cab Original Soundtrack, or Pac Man Fever. Since so many of my friends lived right across the street in the Wilmot Apartments, it was always a pleasant field trip to take when looking for a break in the party.

As a high school kid who was beginning to take to record shopping, this was one of my first touring stops because it was conveniently located, kept great hours, offered extremely affordable merchanidise, and kept a steady flow of interesting records sold by longtime Raleigh music fans who were looking to thin out their library for one reason or another. Things got really interesting at one point in the early 90s when they made a huge score of records from some auction. For a while they were regularly carting out tons of cool stuff from that shack, and once even let me poke around back there.

There are two Reader's Corner finds that stick out in my mind:
1) Best of Ralph Records sampler, which introduced me to Renaldo and the Loaf and The Art Bears. My girlfriend at the time probably never forgave them for this.
2) Kraftwerk's Autobahn, which I mainly bought because I had heard "The Model" from Man Machine and thought it was stupid and because I thought Autobahn's cover was funny. I quickly learned that this record was no laughing matter.

Please pay them a visit the next time you're in Raleigh.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

They Are Little Barrie

Artist: Little Barrie

Album: We Are Little Barrie

I learned about it...: Mojo magazine

Comments: Little Barrie are from the UK and have a few singles, a few EPs, and finally a full-length album out in 2004 (2005 in the US). They have a roots-funk sound, and they do it well.

Sound clip: Buy My Style

More songs...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Random Records: Mommyheads

Craig randomly grabs a record from his shelf and shares his deepest thoughts and feelings.

The Mommyheads: Acorn (1989)

This is a strange grab for my inaugural Random Records posting, but hey - I've vowed to be random. Sadly, I've probably played it 2-3 times ever (plus one more just this evening). It's one of those albums that gets lost in your collection because it's thinner than it's neighbors. And that's a shame, because this is a good record. So, I'll admit I had to do some internet research on this one, then rack my brain for how it ended up in my collection.

The Mommyheads were a trio from NYC who put out 5 albums from 1989-1997. Acorn is their debut, and on this album at least, I hear very strong similarities to early/mid-period XTC. I would also put forth that Adam Cohen, singer, songwriter, guitarist, sounds like Ben Folds. Overall I think they sound like the quintessential 1980s college radio band, which probably explains why they never really went too far in the 1990s when grunge rock and it's underground brethren were all the rage. Although, their final record was released on Geffen, before that foray into stardom spelled their doom. They still have a very small cult following on the web.

Where I bought it: I'd have to guess this was a Nice Price-Durham purchase. I often would pick up something fairly random there that I hadn't heard of before. My foggy memory also tells me that it's possible I heard about them from David (he'd have to comment whether that's likely).

Would I buy it again?: Absolutely, and I'd treat it much better and give it the respect it deserved. I'm ashamed at the number of times I played an album like Belly's King when this one sat there getting mildewed.

Sound Samples: Cactus Farm | more

sofa surfin'

Artist: Sofa Surfers
Album: Cargo
I learned about it...: from John Sherman, who heard it from Alop (of Dälek)
Comments: dubby, dancey, electronic, but organic. reminds me of nighttime. i don't usually like alot of beat oriented music, but this stuff is amazing.
Sound clip: Latal In Tampere

Artist: Various Artists
Album: Swinging Mademoiselles compilation
I learned about it...: from my friend mike, i think what i've got was recorded from vinyl and this might be really hard to find.
Comments: french fuzz? the compilation (i think there are 2 volumes) is mostly 60's French rock/pop. great stuff. i don't understand a word they are singing, but it's sooo sexy sounding.
Sound clip: Dam' dou ah! - Zoé


3 i've been enjoying lately:

Artist: Juana Molina

Album: Segundo
I learned about it...: on the web.
Comments: mellow and lovely sounds. website
Sound clip: ¿Quién?

Artist: The Planet The

Album: Physical Angel
I learned about it...: from seeing them live. They live in Portland, OR (same as me) and they're really nice folks.
Comments: reminds me of devo and yes in danceable syrup
Sound clip: physical angel

Artist: Toshack Highway vs Sianspheric

Album: Magnetic Morning/Aspirin Age
I learned about it...: from my friend chris who gave me a mix of "shoegazer" stuff.
Comments: this is Adam Franklin's (ex-Swervedriver) solo thing. this album is a split release with Sianspheric who are from Canada. dreamy stuff. website
Sound clip: The Streets That Spin Off

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Shout Out Louds pa Svenska

Artist: The Shout Out Louds

Album: Howl Howl Gaff Gaff

I learned about it...: Some otherwise crappy music mag at Barnes & Noble

Comments: A band with an imperative sentence pluralized and with a definite article preceding. That's because they're from Sweden. We hipsters just can't get enough of that Swedish music. This album actually came out over there in 2003, and will be released in the U.S. in May 2005. It's a 3.5 star effort, in my book, but it's definitely worth sharing.

Sound clip: Very Loud