Monthly Archives: February 2011

Audio Recommendations

So my resolution this year is to listen to more music. Yes, I realize this is like a heroin addict resolving to shoot up twice as much as he did the previous wasted year. However… I’m also resolving to listen to more NEW music, which is something I really slacked off on in 2010.

Here is where I tell the world about it…

For the most part, I’m not going to write reviews about this stuff. I’ll just point you guys in the right direction. If I post it, that means I think it’s good. Give it a listen and tell me I’m wrong. I dare you!

First off, I’m already falling behind on the new music thing. The only new album I’ve listened to is Bright Eyes’ new album, “The People’s Key”. This album isn’t out yet (it’s scheduled for release 2/15). Whoops! But you can hear it for free, and in it’s entirety, on NPR, so don’t feel bad.

Okay… so here’s the first track, “Firewall”. Like on most Bright Eyes albums (if not all?) it begins with some spoken word nonsense. This time, the atmospheric composition behind the vocal sample begs for these boys to attempt an entire ambient album. Maybe I’ll suggest that.

Oh yes… and any song that references a Macaw named Jules Verne might automatically end up in my favorites pile.

Next up… Nocturama, the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ 2003 release.

It really digs its claws in. Here’s “He Wants You”:

Another one that I’ve been listening to for WEEKS now is Angelo Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks Soundtrack.

So mysterious! I was going to just post the theme, since it’s so good, but I decided to put “Audrey’s Dance (Instrumental)” up instead.

And finally… you guys should listen to The Gorillaz latest album, Plastic Beach. It’s the best Gorillaz album so far.

It was hard to pick which song would represent the album the best. So I just chose my current favorite, “White Flag”, featuring Bashy, Kano, and the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music.

-Scott

ps- for other recommendations, check out the features: Canon Sonique and Stuck on Repeat.

Golden Veins Singles Club: Month 6 – “Being Strangled”

Golden Veins Singles Club – Month 6

“Being Strangled”

Well, it’s hard to be believe, but we’ve already reached the halfway mark of this little journey we are calling “Golden Veins Singles Club.” If you thought the first half was great, just wait until you hear what’s coming up….

Anyway, let’s see what Greg has to say about the two tracks…

“BEING STRANGLED”
I don’t have much to say about “Being Strangled”; it’s mainly Scott’s baby. Micah, another stalwart of the Des Moines music scene sings backing vocals and plays guitar on this one. It’s a great song…it has a palpable overcast day feeling. I like singing someone else’s words and melodies, and I think Scott writes really good lyrics and melody. He comes at it in a different way than I do.
“US MERE MORTALS”
One night while screwing around with beats and keyboards, we came up with the foundation for “Us Mere Mortals”. I made the initial beat and put in the harp notes, Ryan added the keyboard trills and Scott basically wrote the other two sections of the song. I tried writing words and melody to the whole song, and we even thought about getting in someone to rap over a part, but ultimately we felt the song worked best with main vocals saved to the very end. Scott also added in the various spoken-word samples. Hopefully the cumulative effect of these elements makes up, at least in some part, for the lack of rapping.

Also included with this single is a brutal remix by our very own Matt Bad, as well as fantastic artwork by Michelle Holley.

The single drops today, so get to it!

and, as always, you can check out/join the club here!

 

Resident Artists: It Might Get Loud!

Tomorrow night(Friday, February 4th), Golden Veins will be playing the Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, Ia for the Resident Artist Series: “It Might Get Loud”

Old cool dudes Deep Sleep Waltzing and Brutus are playing. Plus artist Van Holmgren will be doing some live painting, so who knows what all could go down!

Doors open at 9 and will cost you 5 bucks to get you in. Sorry kids, but it’s 21+.

70 Aspects Of Batman: 32

JIRO KUWATA

From Wikipedia:

Jiro Kuwata (桑田二郎, Kuwata Jirō, alternatively 桑田次郎, born April 17, 1935 in Suita, Osaka) is a Japanese manga artist.

A gifted artist, Kuwata started out as a manga artist at the young age of 13, when he created The Strange Star Cluster (怪奇星団) in 1948. His turning point came in 1957, when he created Phantom Detective (まぼろし探偵) (which was adapted into a tokusatsu TV series in 1959). Since then, Kuwata devoted himself to creating science fiction/superhero adventures. His most famous was 8 Man, which he co-created with writer Kazumasa Hirai.

Unfortunately, in 1965, when he was to finish the final issue of 8 Man, he was arrested for possessing a handgun (he had contemplated suicide). With Kuwata in jail, co-creator Hirai got other manga artists to finish the final issue, but wasn’t satisfied with it. It was published in a manga magazine, but has never before been reprinted.

Nevertheless, Kuwata, released from prison shortly thereafter, continued his manga work well into the 1970s, but also ran into depression and alcoholism. In 1977, he had an epiphany and converted to Buddhism. He has since done beautiful art books about the life of Buddha. He also occasionally got back into manga work, and in 1992, he agreed to do his own version of the final issue of 8 Man, upon being asked by co-creator/friend Kazumasa Hirai.

Kuwata’s Batman work was published in Japan around the time of the huge hit TV show; like most manga adaptations of American superhero comics, its appeal seems to have been somewhat limited to the Japanese audience, and was largely unknown in the States until the publication of a compilation from a couple years ago, entitled Bat-Manga.

Bat-Manga was curated by Chip Kidd, noted graphic designer, author and Batman fan. There was a bit of a kerfluffle when the book was published because of the absence of a credit for Kuwata on the cover. While this was almost definitely an oversight, it remains an unfortunate error. Nevertheless, on its release, Kuwata finally received recognition for his work on the character; Grant Morrison even introduced the Kuwata characters Lord Death Man and Professor Gorilla to DC continuity in the initial Japan-centric arc of his Batman Inc. series.

And, since it’s from Japan, you get some amazing scenes like these:

– Greg

Thanks to the excellent ISB for several of the scans featured here.