Sunday, April 11, 2010

What Are They Listening To These Days??? (March/April 2010 Episode)

I was on track to have Tour Song #2 all ready to roll out in this blog post but to quote Maus Haus: "we used technology and technology let us down...."

(Invalid ID Number?!? Really?!?! COME ON!)

So it'll be another couple days before I have the second batch of SXSW tour roundup (including the new tour song)... so onward to the GUTS of this post....


Normally, dear blog reading lovelies, this would be a hard thing to quantify. Being that there are 6 BATTLEHOOCH members running around this city of ours (SF SF SF SF) on any given day... each with a unique array of aural stimulus attacking and working its ways on their psyche.... all vibing on some detail or some riff...

its hard to keep tabs, is what I'm saying.

BUT, we just got back from tour... and let me tell you something about tour, germs and ladies.... we listen to A LOT A LOT A LOT of music together when we're on tour... (I mean, when you have an 11 hour drive to do... there's not much else to do... at least nothing that wouldn't get you in trouble at border check... FEEL ME?)

So, while hardly the tip of the iceberg in terms of the full scope of music we've been listening's some stuff we (the band) had some overlap on:


Lots of Kraftwerk these days ya'll.

So much to say about this band and most of it has probably already been said. What I WILL say, is that this music has been profoundly inspiring to me in recently months.

I love KRAFTWERK's melodic sense and the warm, pastoral pieces they do, which to me are a perfect balance of the organic and the electronic.
I also get a kick out of how their their chord progressions work. They'll stay on a single chord for long enough that they can create a certain mood or feeling so that when the chord changes, the change is felt on a profound level. Each chord evokes it's own "mood" and the cumulative effect of all these moods being put together is quite profound, if I do say so myself.

A sublime mixture of drone music and impressionistic harmony. (MUSIC NERD ALERT!!!!!)

Here's another video we stumbled upon recently. Dig the flute part. Savage.


2) Gary Numan

More early electronic(ish) music. SO GOOD.

Cold. Synthetic. Futuristic.

Bass and Keyboard unison lines. Tritone Synth Blurps. Detached Vocals.

Songs about machines with inferiority complexes. Being unplugged.

(England in the 80s.)

(This dude wrote that song CARS... as in "here in my car, I feel safest of all"...)

3) Sly and the Family Stone

("Enough of that late 70s-early 80s european electro mess!" - so says the hater. Shame on you, hater.)


This song is so bloody funky.

My buddy Max Foreman hooked me up with the Sly and the Family Stone albums "Fresh" and "There's A Riot Goin' On". Max Foreman is kinda like my go to guy for discovering hard beats and funky grooves... deep cuts and new joints. Foreman is the man. (he sang "Creep" by TLC at karaoke one time and it blew my mind)

I've been a Sly fan for years but up till now I'd never spent time with these albums.


(If anyone has seen me on the L Train in the past few days and I've been bobbing my head SUPER hard, it's because I was listening to "In Time". Max told me that when Miles Davis heard this song he flipped out and made everyone in his band listen to it 40 times in a row (IN A ROW!!!!!) until they GOT IT. I love this story. Even if it ain't true.)

Do you know what poly-rhythm is? It's when there are multiple rhythms (and if you don't know RHYTHM, check the WIKI.) laid on top of each other thus creating a complex tapestry of rhythm (as opposed to there being just a basic simple rhythm everyone does). Germs and ladies, "In Time" is POLY RHYTHMIC MUSIC. I wanna write music that sounds like this song, but i can't even wrap my head around it... I love that fact.

So dense. So dank. So confoundingly amazing. (yes I just made up the word confoundingly. As herbie hancock said: "we just don't have the proper vocabulary to discuss funky music." lets start making that vocabulary...)

(THINKING while DANCING, baby.)

4) Joanna Newsom - HAVE ONE ON ME

(People who complain about how long this album is are FOOLS.)

Joanna Newsom has been a favorite of the band's since well before the days of Battlehooch and her profound new triple album was another body of songs that we listened to a lot on tour... talked about a lot... sat collectively in awe of a lot...

Could ramble on for days about this album... (In California, Soft As Chalk, King Fisher, Easy, ETC ETC ETC ETC)

I'll simply quote PREBEN: "...with this album you can count on discovering Amazing songs for the rest of the year..."

AND say bravo Ms. Newsom, you are truly a Master.

(BONUS - amazing cover of "On A Good Day" from said album, done by Robin from Fleet Foxes)

5) "Our Lips Are Sealed" - The Go Gos

We're currently working on a song that Tombo wrote. Grant had a jolly idea that the bassline should be modeled after The Go Gos. He suggested the bass line in "Vacation" as a specific reference point. It turned out he meant "We Got The Beat". After comparing the two songs, we ultimately decided that "Our Lips Are Sealed" was better than all of them... and then we just copied Santogold for Tombo's song instead.

The chorus in this song has such a tight chord progression. Chopin would probably be into this song. :) (HOW DOES HE KNOW?)

6) Neil Young

The Real Deal.

One human making SO MUCH MUSIC.

Also... CSNY. Pretty tight.

8) George Gershwin

Folks just call him, THE GERSH.

What a treasure, yo. What a baller, yo.

He wrote "American In Paris"! "Rhapsody In Blue"! "Porgy and Bess!" Tons of musicals, Preludes! He INVENTED the "Rhythm Changes"!!! In the early 1900s, he was basically a straight up mash-up artist... mixing traditional classical with jazz, blues, show tunes and 20th century harmony.

(s'wonderful, yo.)

9) The Frogs

Of course, there's always the Frogs. Probably our band's favorite band. Because really... The Frogs are the best band EVER.


(Right - so says the hater. Good For You Hater)

Love you folks, see ya soon!


El Fuego said...

"Looked at my watch, it's a quarter to 1... unnnghghhh! I just cummed!" - The Frogs

Did anyone ever figure out why they made some dirty old grandpa sing that song?

Unknown said...

dude. Sick ass post. But where's CAN? Domo is bummed. You don't wan't to bum out Domo.