KUSF Top 10

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USF’s own 90.3 KUSF has been delivering some of the best public radio broadcasting for over 31 years.  We are excited to bring you their top ten played albums from their New Music program which takes place from Monday at 12:00 a.m. to Friday at 6:00 p.m.  Here’s what we thought of what got played this week.

1)
July “July”
Rev-Ola Records 1968, 2008
This 2008 re-release of the 1968 July self-titled album brings warm psychedelic sounds from the UK to refresh your tired collection of Jimi, Janis and Jim (Morrison).  More than your average lysergic garage band, July’s use of ultra-tremolo vocals highlight their place in 1960s rock mythology.

2) 
Sparks “Exotic 
Creatures of the Deep”
Lil’ Beethoven Records 2008

To say that 37 years into their career, this Los Angeles duo turned UK transplants “still have it going on” would be an understatement.  Sounding like a meld of Queen, Scissor Sisters and XTC, brothers Russel and Ron Mael are here to melt you with painfully catchy tenor voices over synthesized classical instruments once again.

3)
Droids “Star Peace”
Barclay 1978
Repressed/Cherry Red 2008

In a galaxy far, far away, Moog Arp Oberheim synthesizers and sequencers gave birth to proggy French disco that would influence the new Italian dance scene long before members of Ed Banger and Co. even finished grammar school.  It’s been over 30 years since singles such as “Do You Have The Force” and “Be Happy” were released.  It appears that “band” members Yvews Hayat, Fabrice Cuitard, Jean Fredenucci, Francis Miannay and Jean-Luc Lemerre have landed their spaceship on Earth to revive their light-saber blips.  Perhaps these guys are human after all.

4)
Wire “Object 47”
Pink Flag/Mutesong 2008

The spirit of moody pop is alive in the sound of London band Wire.  Their nine-song 2008 offering epitomizes melodic art pop while dissolving the genre’s old ideals of destructuralization with their own raw sensibility.

5)
Quiet Village “Silent Movie”
!K7 2008
Hardly “quiet,” and otherwise difficult to define their new release, “Silent Movie” evokes what it might sound like for a feather to fall, or an animal to faint with the tempo of a Marvin Gaye song fading into the backdrop.  You could lump the sampling utopia: “Silent Village” into the ongoing movement of revival disco, but that would be largely inaccurate due to its eminent slowness of what sounds like the soundtrack to “Danger Man,” the TV series that dominated the secret agent genre in the UK in the 1960s. 

6)
Rodriguez “Cold Fact”
Light In The Attic Records 2008
Record in August and September of 1969

Detroit singer-songwriter Sixto Diaz Rodriguez knows the score on inner city poverty, and wants you to hear about it loud and clear.  Despite having a huge following in Australia, Rodriguez was and is largely unknown in the U.S.  Light In The Attic Records reissues this almost-forgotten diamond in the rough debut album.  Listener beware: the beats are groovy but the lyrics are dark.

7)
Calexico “Carried To Dust”
Quartersitck Records 2008

Deftly articulate guitars run along strong horns that accompany the tepid notes of Joey Burns‘ voice to cement the magic of Calexico’s newest album.  The fresh cuts off “Dust” are forging the band’s previous subtle tendency to give off a Latin feel.  Guest contributors include members from Tortoise, Iron & Wine and also Amparo Sanchez.

8)
Digital Leather “Sorcerer”
Goner Records 2008

It’s dance-punk that you can’t dance to.  It’s stripped down and sometimes temporally off-cue.  Songwriter Shawn Foree’s inclusions of electronic novelty sounds are nakedly charming rather than worn out.  Contemporary indie cult (not the Charles Manson kind, the Alice Glass kind) leader Jay Reatard mastered this clever little disc that features one side of studio songs and another side of thrashing live material.

9)
Negativland “Thigomatic”
Seeland 2008

Potty-mouthed Bay Area jokers are back with… songs!!  Though still experimental by implementing sound-collages into these songs, the boys have found other ways to push peoples’ buttons.  This time a little more cohesively.  This wondrously manic disc provides you with laughs, head scratchers and moments of ‘surrealizations.’ 

10)
Karen Dalton 
“Green Rocky Rock”
Megaphone 2008

Shy to the media, master of folk Karen Dalton, recorded this gritty album on a 2-track machine in 1962.  The album strictly features only vocals, guitar and banjo, though it is rumored that producer Joe Loop played brush drums on a suitcase rather than a stand on some tracks.  The last track however, starts with a conversation between Karen and her mother Evelyn Cariker.  The duplicitously simple exchange of words employs a stark realism akin to the pre-bluegrass style demonstrated on this enchanting disc.

1 COMMENT

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