Friday, January 17, 2014

Bandcamp Is The New Cassette Culture...

...tho compared to the '80s/'90s tape underground:
- the sound quality of indie music sites like Bandcamp is usually a lot better than those hissy tapes
- even if you don't buy you can listen for free
- you don't have to go to the bother of sending away for items via the mail: they're right here! Go get 'em! 
So consider this post the equivalent of when magazines like 'Option' used to have tape reviews.

- Convivial Cannibal "Buy The People Afford The People": An album as good as the band name; Absolutely fascinating unclassifiable L.A.-area weirdness that conjures up an air of dark esoterica by mixing live instruments with what sound like old ethnic music samples, children's music boxes played backwards, and unidentified sounds; the audio equivalent of a Joseph Cornell shadow box. Sometimes it resembles traditional music when it's just singing and guitar, but they're both buried under effects to the point of illegibility. "Avant garble" they call it. Numerous other-worldy videos and the new "Iniquitous Ubiquitous" album (check the hypnotically droning "There Are Greys Outside Your Window") are likewise recommended. Price: name your price.

- Dr. D.R. Barclay "One Note Mixtape": I don't believe this. Some mad genius has taken every one-note guitar solo he could find from the rock era and mixed them together into two 7-minute mixes. Some I recognized (Neil Young, The Ramones) and plenty I didn't. Hilarious and utterly mental.  Price: $3.

- "Roncheras" v/a: Traditional Mexican styles like the polka-esque ranchera and the melodramatic mariachi get cooked into a delicious burrito of electro, rock, experimental, even 8-bit post-modernism for a furious fiesta.  Highlites include Dr. Almeja's rockin' 'Ek Chuac,' and Dada Ket's cartoonishly crazy 'LA Costenida.'  Muy fun. Price: free.

-The Hathaway Family Plot "Worry": a horrible year of illness and family deaths inspired this brief but powerful electro/noise suite. Individual tracks like "I Should Be" work well on their own, but the album is best experienced as a start-to-finish whole. 

- Jaw Harp Potential "My Boyfriend, Your Cat": Need a little light relief after "Worry"? Try this: three wholesome girls from Iowa who sing five simple, catchy songs on accordion, ukulele, toy piano, glockenspiel, and harp (not a 'blues harp,' an actual harp) that are cute without being overly cutesy. Better then most Beat Happening albums. Really quite wonderful. Price: free.

Oh man, I've got at least 6 more albums I was gonna review...err...think I'll wait until another "issue" of our little 'zine here, this post is getting too long. (Press 'eject.')


Tom_Wheeler said...


I wish there had been something like Bandcamp, when The Invertebrates started out in 1980. We pooled our meager funds and self produced albums that indie distributors took seldom paid us for or sent back records. Not having to depend on on manufacturers & distributors helps complete the DIY circle of music production for bands. For us "older artists" it also allows us to archive and make available our discographies, and nclude recordings we couldn't afford to release when they were created.

Thanks for the blog... I return often and enjoy it immensely.

Tom Wheeler
The Invertebrates

Mr Fab said...

Mr. Wheeler! Had no idea that The Invertebrates had so many releases. That's great news to see them all available. Will the "Eat 'Em While They're Young" EP be available? it's been off-line for a while now since I posted it here.

Tom_Wheeler said...


I will be putting "Eat'em While They're Young" up soon, along with a more recent collection of instrumentals under the title, "Bug Dub". We have a large collection of recordings we have made over the years, for which have had little distribution. Bandcamp makes it easy have our archives available. I like that it can be listened to for free, and then if someone wants "transportation rights" they can download them.

Again, I find your blog to be a lot of fun and have directed a number of friends to it over the last couple years.

Take care,
Tom Wheeler

Unknown said...

I really enjoy trawling bandcamp whilst waiting MfM updates...

My favourite find has to be Johnny Ripper - he may only be 20 or so, but he's been pursuing his own wonderful and wonderfully strange musical vision for quite some time - gives most of it a way free too.

If you're interested, I'd recommend starting here

Anonymous said...

Rad. Thanks for the post friend.