Monday, October 31, 2011

On TV Shows and Background Music...Part One in an Ongoing Series of Appreciations

Since I first became interested in music (ehh...9th grade or so), I've always loved hearing shit that I recognize on TV. I remember getting a giddy rush of pretentious high-school-music-nerd delight running down my spine when I heard Rapture Rapes the Muses playing in the background of some episode of MTV Cribs. "Well," I proclaimed to no one in particular, since I was awkward, highly unpopular and usually alone, "it looks like someone at MTV has some taste in music." And I promptly high-tailed it to an E6 message board, finding that I wasn't the only scrawny 15 year old who had heard the ten second keyboard riff.

Anyway, since then I've always gotten something of a pretentious thrill out of recognizing snippets of respectable music on the tubes. So I've figured that I would call it out and give credit where credit is due, in a regular series (aka just this one post) of articles highlighting the best of background music.

And the first show to be highlighted: Top Gear UK. Not only is this the best show ever (fuck you Nat, just admit it), but it also has this awesome habit of using really high-level, complex electronic music to buffer its standard car-porn shots.

For example, skip to 2:19 in this video (can't figure out how to do the whole automatically start at a certain time thing when embedding video, so bear with me here):

That's "Nightlife" by Amon Tobin! No shit, they had the taste to throw in one of his jazziest, most melodic and wonderfully creepily reverb-drenched tracks. Bloody fucking brilliant.

And they get even nicer, check this one out (audio starts later, but just watch the whole thing, I know you're not busy):

Come to Daddy (Pappy Mix)! Aphex Twin! Perfect music for watching some car go screaming down a track. Sheeeiiiit, I used to bump this monster back in the day when I was crawling through rush hour traffic to try to make first's just straight up driving music.

Those are the only two examples that I'm gonna bother to demonstrate, but just today I've heard them play a few of my other favorite Amon Tobin tracks (Saboteur especially), Windowlicker, and some Boards of Canada.

Get nice BBC, get nice.

And...we're back // Playlist #1

Hey.  So we're back.  For now.  I'm in India, Ed's back from China.  We're both bored and disappointed in ourselves for letting this get away from us.  We're using this as a platform for talking again.  We're gonna take a slightly different approach and we've made a pact to update 5 times a week (each), no matter what.  So that's like 50 posts a month.  The format is definitely not the same, but the sentiments are.  Fuck off.  Get stoned.  Take a nap.  Rinse.  Repeat.  Sooooo.  Without any further ado.  I'm gonna go do the last part and pass out.  Before I do that, I will leave you with some choice music nuggzzzzzzzszszzszszzszszszszszszszszsz.  No.  I am not high.  I'm not gonna provide mediafire links this time; you can do that on your own, it's too easy.  I might in the future, but not now.

Poison // Into the Abyss // 1987

Nope, not THAT Poison, but a super angry German thrash/black metal demo from the late '80s and early '90s.  Long songs (nothing below 7 minutes), excellent musicianship and song structure, and just really fun, riffy angst.  These guys sound pissed as fuck.  I'm usually not much of a thrash guy, but the vocals take this above and beyond the typical thrash sound that I can really groove to it.  By groove I mean sit in bed (I'm sick) and rock the fuck out.  Plus there's awesome moments where it completely drops out and builds up in this maniacal, devilish way.  It's awesome.  Go find an mp3 of this four-track demo.  Here's a taste:

Choking Victim // Crack Rock Steady EP // 1994

I woke up to this today.  It was awesome.  A total classic.  Anti-establishment ska-hardcore at its best.  Silly, irreverent, angry, and not afraid to be outspoken, these guys set the standard for American anarcho-punk in the mid-90s.  As many of you probably know, a few of them went on to start the hugely influential Leftôver Crack circa 2000.  This is the entirety of their first EP in a single, 9-minute youtube video.

ACxDC // He Had It Coming // 2005

These guys sadly split up before they could release a full-length, but this is just such a killer fucking first attempt.  Grindcore/powerviolence at its absolute best.  Star Wars Imperial March breakdowns, laughably over-the-top anti-Christian sentiments and completely unintelligible vocals with some killer start-stop timing and super-short songs.  8 songs, not even 10 minutes.  Every second is worth it.  This is one of my most played albums ever.  EVER.  Fortunately for us, they just released a second EP called The Second Coming.  They're both free at their bandcamp.  But the first one is better.  Listen below: