Archive for the ‘Old Baby’ Category

Noiseweek: KEN mode, Old Baby, Earth and EMA

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


Fuck The Police: A Musical Sentiment From NWA To Ferguson | The Quietus

““This is non-violent protest music”. So said Ice Cube recently in an interview announcing a forthcoming biopic of his former group N.W.A. His claim is rather timely. “Fuck the Police”, the musical refrain popularised 1988 by “the world’s most dangerous group”, is having something of a moment. Occasioned by collective anger at American law enforcement’s proclivity for murdering Black men at the rate of once every 28 hours, the song — or rather, songs — deserve inquiry.
Dismissal of Ice Cube’s claim is likely. N.W.A. are better known for lyrics depicting misogyny, homophobia and violence without which many of their songs would be, if not altogether silent, at least palpably shorter. There’s also a tendency to reduce ‘Fuck The Police’ to cliché progressivist demands for free speech, as both Ice Cube and the schlocky narrative of the N.W.A. film imply (imagine Ice Cube as the Jim Morrison/Val Kilmer character).
But as jaunty parody backed by James Brown’s ubiquitous ‘Funky Drummer’ break, N.W.A.’s ‘Fuck The Police’ registered a changing lived reality for a substantial portion of America at the hands of a brutal form of policing and the prison industry it feeds. In doing so, it laid out a set of affects that would echo across the better part of nearly three decades of hip-hop.”

Ian Curtis: 35 Years To The Day Of His Death, Why The Enigmatic Joy Division Frontman Remains British Indie’s Greatest Unknown Pleasure | NME

“He was certainly adept at living a double life, and not just from Deborah, who he was unfaithful to for long periods of time with Belgian journalist Annik Honore. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see Ian’s inner turmoil exert itself through his lyrics and manic performances, but away from the stage, his welling melancholy was well-hidden from the bandmates he didn’t want to alarm or disappoint. Even as he was planning to kill himself, he convincingly feigned enthusiasm for Joy Division’s upcoming American tour, so much so that drummer Stephen Morris has admitted that, “Looking back, I wish I’d helped him more. I think that all the time… But we were having such a good time, and you’re very selfish when you’re young. Epilepsy wasn’t understood then. People would just say, ‘He’s a bit of a loony — he has fits.’”

Young Hearts, Run Free: On Camp & Australia’s Eurovision Entry | The Quietus

“If Susan Sontag asserts that camp is “its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration”, then this year’s Eurovision entry might do some good. It’s almost an oxymoron, but Australia just needs to chill. We get it, we’re the romantic, rugged country with a masculine veneer, but please, just for three minutes, can we not be weirded out by the inherently excessive, camp spectacle that is Eurovision?”


KEN mode — Management Control

KEN mode are at a fascinating turning point in their career. Everything about the Steve Albini-produced Success sounds like the band at their most fresh, raw and vital. The marked shift in aesthetic — from metallic hardcore to Shellac-influenced, straight-up noise rock — has probably raised a few eyebrows, and on Facebook, the Winnipeg trio sound almost desperate that their ambitious reinvention pays off. If the four tracks released so far are any indication, Success should pay off — whereas “Blessed” and “These Tight Jeans” flirted with self-indulgence, “Management Control” and album closer “Dead Actors” represent the band at their most deliberate, channeling the Albini influence through a measured brand of fury that few can replicate. Success is out through Seasons of Mist and June 16 and is available for pre-order on Bandcamp.

Old Baby — New Music

With little fanfare and not even a proper title, Old Baby have released one of my favourite records of the year. The Louisville, Kentucky, outfit — which boasts members of Slint, Young Widows, alongside many of that city’s unsung heroes — have traded in the doomy flirtations of their 2013 debut, Love Hangover for a diverse, psych-tinged desert blues odyssey. There are some odd turns — the quintet sink into an effortless funk groove on “Necessary” before returning to uncomfortable meditations on “Visions” and “Comedown.” And there’s a beautifully off-kilter vibe that permeates throughout the entire record, from the tripped-out, Egyptian-influenced geometry of the cover art to the sinister melodies in the backgrounds of each song and the deadpan invocations of vocalists Jonathan Glen Wood and Evan Patterson. This is music for road trips to parts unknown.


Earth Live from the Islington Assembly Hall in London

Watch a professionally-shot set from the drone trio’s latest British outing.

Under the Influence: Krautrock

Part three of Noisey’s music documentary series looks into the context and history of krautrock, featuring interviews with members of Can, Neu! and modern-standard bearers in every genre of contemporary music.

EMA on Coastal Frequencies

Live and interview footage with Erika M. Anderson from her latest record.