After this post, I’m going to go in hibernation until I finish up compiling Noise Narcs’ top ten lists. But Atlas Hunter/Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox’s top ten list for Pitchfork roused me to a release that passed me by. Baltimore’s music scene needs no fresh defense, but the Lower Dens smokey psychrock on Twin-Hand Movement mounts one anyway. A simmering vibe with Jana Hunter’s PJ Harvey-esque voice bubbling up from the shoegazing depths.
The Italian profanity “alla cazzo di cane“, which literally translates as doing something the “dog’s dick” way,” idiomatically means doing something shittily. But there’s nothing about the Lower Dens’ “A Dog’s Dick” that’s done alla cazzo di cane. That said, “Truss Me” is the standout (see Clumsy and Shy for that track).
How else can you explain Cox releasing two albums worth of unreleased material from his Atlas Sound project for free on his website? Sure, not all of it is wholly brilliant (and none of it is as great as Deerhunter’s Halcyon Digest), but it’s still pretty damn good. And involves a surprising amount of harmonica. But not, coincidentally, on his cover of Bob Dylan/The Band’s “This Wheel’s on Fire.”
Let us not forget that since 2008, Cox has released two proper Deerhunter albums, two Deerhunter EPs, two Atlas Sound albums, two Atlas Sound EPs, and several albums worth of free bonus material on his website, all the while touring extensively, both as Atlas Sound and Deerhunter. Why? Because he loves you. And wants you to have a happy Thanksgiving. Duh.
PS When Deerhunter played in Philly in October, Cox wore a 1993 Blue Jays World Series Champions t-shirt. Nothing pleased a Mets fan like me more than watching all those Philadelphians cheer against their will for the team that crushed their collective adolescent hopes. Go, Joe Carter, go!
Note about our sponsors: Music blogs exist in a weird gray area. Ultimately, we at Noise Narcs believe that we’re doing more good than harm. But it’s something I agonize about a little bit, and the number of clickthroughs on our buy links doesn’t sit well with me. The future of the music economy matters to me because music matters to me. We donate any proceeds beyond our nuts and bolts cost to music-based charities. But in my mind, the real future of the recorded music biz will be in recurring fees from streaming music. MOG.com, in my mind, is the best of the current bunch, although Material Lives swears by Rdio and their admittedly superior interface and gapless playback (please, MOG Gods, fix this last one). But MOG has truly superior sound (320 Kbps!) and a much larger library (9 million tracks) for $5 a month ($10 including Android or iPhone access).
Starting today, Noise Narcs is happy to offer a 14 day free trial to MOG. As a full disclosure, MOG is an advertising sponsor, but believe me when I say this: paying $5 a month for access to almost any song you can think of is a steal. A steal that actually supports the musicians.
Back to the music:
Since I posted on Tuesday about Neil Young’s “Peaceful Valley Boulevard” being a companion piece to his “Cortez the Killer,” I’ve been thinking a lot about “Cortez the Killer.” And since I’ve been listening a lot to No Age and Deerhunter’s amazing new albums (both candidates for Top Ten of 2010), it didn’t take much of a mental leap for me to think of this truly bizarre and awesome rendition of “Cortez the Killer” by No Age’s Randy Randall, Deerhunter/Atlas Sounds’s Bradford Cox, and director Jim Jarmusch (?!?). RCJ&Y, anybody?
No, no, no. It doesn’t sound the same at all. It’s just as awesome as all previous Deerhunter stuff. Really, has anyone in the indie sphere recently had as prodigious and brilliant an output as Bradford Cox? Between Deerhunter and Atlas Sound, he’s absolutely killing it. Excited as all get out Halcyon Digest, out September 28 on 4AD. [Website.]