Saturday, June 20, 2009

Disco Volante - Counting Backwards

Isn't that just the coolest picture you've ever seen?

In 1981, at the grand age of 15, stepsisters Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly formed what would become one of the most influential bands in the Boston Alternative Rock scene, the Throwing Muses. Joined by bassist Leslie Langston and drummer Dave Narcizo, the group released a singles and an EP, before the mind shattering self-titled debut full length, also known as "The Green" album. With Hersh serving as primary song-writer, crafting brilliantly demented blue-grass tinged punk rock , with Donelly's angelic harmonies and pop hooks as a counterpoint, the band's music was as bold, chaotic and revelatory as anything being done by their Boston contemporaries like the Pixies or Dinosaur Jr.

The group went on to release a series of amazing albums, but after 1991's excellent The Real Ramona, Donelly split to co-found The Breeders with Pixie Kim Deal, and later went on to achieve MTV Buzz Clip success with a new band, Belly's and their hit single Feed The Tree. Hersh kept on trucking, reforming the Muses as a power trio for 1992's Red Heaven, with Bernard Georges replacing Leslie Langston on bass.

In 1994 Hersh launched a solo career featuring a gentler, acoustic side on the haunting Hips And Makers album. These days she continues to rock out with her new surf punk band, 50 Ft Wave, occasionally resurrecting Throwing Muses in trio form, and Donnelly also enjoys a critically acclaimed solo-career, (Robyn Hitchcock's a big fan.)

But Counting Backwards is the group at the height of their powers, so check out these criminally under-rated alt-rock giants on this week's Podcast.

MP3: Disco Volante – Counting Backwards (Right-click-Save-As)

1. Throwing Muses - Counting Backwards (3:15) 2. Al Stewart - Turn to Earth (2:53) 3. Stereolab - One Finger Symphony (2:05) 4. Funkadelic - Cosmic Slop (5:20) 5. Tortoise - A Simple Way to Go Faster Than Light That Does Not Work (3:34) 6. Peter Gabriel - Digging In The Dirt (5:16) 7. David Bowie - Right (4:21) 8. Ed Dorn - There's Only One Natural Death and Even That's Bedcide (2:59)9. Komeda - Focus (3:38) 10. Animal Collective - My Girls (5:40) 11. Caetano Veloso - Nine Out of Ten (4:57) 12. Interpol - The New (6:07) 13. The Sundays - Joy (4:10)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Disco Volante - Magpie/Laughing With A Mouthful Of Blood

Oh my gawsh, Disco Volante is back!

But first very briefly, I'd just like to thank all of you kind, kind people out there who asked me to keep posting these mixes. Unfortunately, a weekly schedule is just not realistic. But I'll try to put something up at least bi-weekly or so. It really warms my cold, clammy little heart to know that someone's listening out there. Thanks again! And now on to...

Death by Chocolate was the name of the almost sickeningly charming retro 60's project by English winderkind Angie Tillett. It's sort of an Austin Powers swinging London kitsch thing done right. The 2001 self-titled debut and 2002's Zap The World are well worth seeking out in your local used-cd bins, or even springing for the 5 bucks or so they'll charge you at Amazon.

But who I really wanted to talk about was a different Ann, or Annie, Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, whose new album Actor is just fantastic. A former Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens utility player, Clark released her 2007 debut, Marry Me to much critical acclaim, and I count myself a fan. She travels similar territory as bizarro Doris Day-alike Nellie McKay, a sort of fractured fairytale, demented Disney character, melding the sweet and sentimental with the dark and disturbing.
The new record takes her act to another level - the dilemmas are darker, the stakes higher. The noise experimentation is weirder. The characters here are more desperate and dangerous and more lost.

Like the wandering artist on the track, Laughing With A Mouthful Of Blood that follows Death By Chocolate’s Magpie on this week’s playlist. The song would fit right in with any of David Byrne’s at his most neurotic and twitchy, and that’s a compliment.
(And check out her awesome Beatles Cover, wow!)

MP3: Disco Volante – Magpie/Laughing With A Mouthful Of Blood (Right-click-Save-As)

1. Death By Chocolate - Magpie (2:31)2. St. Vincent - Laughing With A Mouthful Of Blood (3:01)3. The Beatles - Dig A Pony (4:18)4. Dinosaur Jr - Feel The Pain (4:19)5. LCD Soundsystem - No Love Lost (Joy Division Cover) (3:38)6. Chain Gang - Son Of Sam (3:12)7. The Death Killers - Rockin' Rally (0:38)8. Beach House - Childhood (3:35)9. Alice Notley - The Ten Best Issues of Comic Books (0:55)10. Elliott Smith - Son of Sam (3:04)11. Kevin Drew w/Feist - Safety Bricks (Live) (3:55)12. Doom featuring Empress Stahr The Femcee - Still Dope (2:39)13. Digable Planets - Blowing Down (3:51)14. Brazilian Girls - Talk To The Bomb (5:42)15. Mike Ladd - Housewives At Play (3:09)16. The Fiery Furnaces - Here Comes The Summer (3:30)17. Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up (8:54)

Bonus Playlist

And because I’ve been away so long, here’s a bonus podcast for you, something I really just made for my own listening pleasure but you may enjoy too. It's a sort of Best Of the “Viktor Vaughn,” MF Doom material, sandwiched between two versions of Fog’s “Pneumonia” and some other stuff besides.

MP3: Disco Volante – Viktor Hung Up With Pneumonia (Right-click-Save-As)