Remember flexi discs? Those beautiful little one sided, thin vinyl records that would often come as inserts in magazines, hell, some were even distributed in cereal boxes. They were once a popular way of releasing often rare material. So, what if someone was to say, I’ll post you a flexi disc of unreleased material from some of the worlds finest independent artists; think… Lou Barlow, Tortoise, Akron Family, Deerhoof, Of Montreal; every month, including original artwork, designed specifically for each band for just $7USD anywhere in the world.
And to make it extra special, let you know that the only way to hear these songs is be one of the 500 people who sign up to have them sent out; that they will NOT be made available digitally or released in other formats.
If, like me, this sounds like a great way to hear some new music throughout the year, then you need to head on over to Joyful Noise and sign yourself up. I am sure the 500 will be snapped up quickly… I know I have mine!
It also got me thinking that this would be a great way to distribute poetry… a tastefully designed 12 page booklet, featuring limited edition work from a single author, sent out each month on a subscription basis. Wagtail do something similar each year, and they do it very well, but there is such potential to expand the idea… Must ponder this some more.
So while I ponder, why not fill your head with some Deerhoof!
There has been some talk lately about getting people to post the songs/albums that they listen to while writing, so I thought I would lead off by posting five of my current favourite artists and links to some of the sounds that are currently helping me put pen to paper. Hopefully this inspires a few others to make a similar post (or leave a comment with links to your fave writing music) so that we can all broaden our musical palette and get a sense of the music that makes our writing tick.
Balmorhea – All is Wild, All is Silent
Balmorhea’s third album is a swirling masterpiece. The musical landscape these Texan’s create slowly draws you in and then let’s the fireworks ignite. And importantly there is enough silence to let the words come freely. Here’s links to two songs from the album – Remembrance and Settler (a great live version)
Tortoise – Beacons of Ancestorship
Tortoise’s latest blends scrappy rock, cool jazz and fuzzed out synth-pop… sometimes all in the one track. They are band that never let you get too comfortable… each change in dynamic making your blood surge and hopefully the words along with it. Check out Prepare Your Coffin and album opener High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In.
Because of Ghosts – This Culture of Background Noise
Recorded at the legendary Hotel2Tango in Montreal, the Melbourne 3-piece have taken their spidery melodies and scratchy percussion to new heights. While their crescendos may make your limbs buckle (in the best kind of way), the journey to the top and down again is studded with beauty. Just watch the clips for “…in 2050 when we know we’ll all be dead anyway” and Dreaming is Essential.
Explosions in the Sky – The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place
I saw this band a while ago and they made my ears melt. Their blistering guitar attack and percussive drive is both melodic and angular. This album has been on regular rotation in my house since its release in 2003 and it has lost none of its shine. Get a taste here: First Breath After Coma and The Only Moment We Were Alone (live… where they are at their absolute peak!)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
For me, the band that started it all… I discovered Lift Your Skinny Fists through a review in The Big Issue and it changed the way I listen to music. Their sprawling instrumentals blend rock, chamber music, samples and field recordings to create some of the most cinematic music of our times. My writing would not be the same without them. So to finish, here’s Antennas to Heaven pt 1 and Antennas to Heaven pt 2