Sunday, February 22, 2009

Moss Icon - Hate in Me

moss icon's self titled 7"

you were visiting a house that's been sealed for a 1000 years.
little crayon scribbles, a white truck on a string.
you were standing there with your plaid and your favorite things.
but now your sleeping or fucking or something.
- moss icon - 'i'm back sleeping, or fucking, or something'

Oddly enough I wrote this first paragraph after the rest. Lyrically I just don't think I can think of a more appropriate example of the topics of early emo records then 'I'm Back Sleeping, or Fucking or Something' because in reality every person has been kept awake thinking about what happened to those that were lost due to whatever situations may arise throughout life. The romantic undertones that are embodied in the song title deal with the futility of things and the fact that the two things he mentions are sleeping and fucking have to resonate in everyone. I guess what I'm saying here is that Moss Icon lyrically have to be the most superior of those early emo bands because they are so easily relateable, but at the same time extremely deep. Perhaps this is just an attempt for me to relate to someone else who is constantly thinking about those people that have passed me by and what they are doing at the moment. Sleeping, or fucking or something .

Moss Icon is almost always associated with emo usually getting placed somewhere between Rites of Spring and The Hated. 'Hate in Me' as a 7" is a perfect slab of late '80s hardcore where you can feel the move of progressive mixed with a attachment to a long stagnant scene. Moss Icon certainly wasn't reaching the more lengthy heights that their later records would embrace on 'Hate in Me' and that more appropriately helps describe how this 7" really gives off that early DC hardcore sound. Oddly enough according to (great piece of this 7" here) the members of Moss Icon said that those bands (Embrace, Rites of Spring) had little impact on their sound. Further goes to show you that this sound was clearly the next progression of hardcore music and that it was popping up everywhere in the late '80s. Musically this record is mostly enjoyable because of the extremely melodic guitar and the vocalists great performance. Unlike The Hated or Rites of Spring John Vance wouldn't come off like he was wailing until his group's later records, here he sounds like the perfect vocalist for this music. His scream isn't restrained, but his knack for filling these otherwise simple tracks with impassioned lyrics that perfectly fit the feel of these tracks is one of a kind. 'I'm Back Sleeping, or Fucking, or Something' remains as one of my favorite songs of this genre and this record in general is probably the best example of the early Moss Icon and emo sound.

Moss Icon - Hate in Me (1988)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Jackie McLean - One Step Beyond

Jackie McLean's 'One Step Beyond'
To parlay into my personal life I work in a restaurant. In my restaurant as any I have a steady group of customers I consider my regulars. One of these individuals happens to be Paul Carmen who played on a few Zappa records and is a pretty accomplished saxophonist. Anyways, tonight while we were talking at the bar we began to discuss some records by musicians such as Freddie Hubbard and Andrew Hill. After coming home and reflecting on the experience I thought of Jackie McLean's One Step Beyond which sort of hints at an avant garde sound while at the same time remaining a bop record. The two highlights in the group here are Grachan Moncur III and Bobby Hutcherson. Hutcherson on vibes and Moncur on trombone really help flavor the rest of the group as McLean isn't the most involved player. Tony Williams really fills this record out on the drums in a subtle yet intelligent way. Truly a lost jazz classic.

Jackie McLean - One Step Beyond (1963)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Hisato Higuchi - Dialogue

hisato higuchi's dialogue
people that are somewhat familiar with this blog may remember a post a year or two ago on the album 'Holy Letters' by L. L got me first interested in Japanese music and Hisato Higuchi's 'Dialogue' was one of the first records after 'Holy Letters' that I found myself really attracted to. unlike L's meandering improvisation on 'Holy Letters' Hisato crafts a contained album with 'Dialogue'. songs exist basically of seemingly random chord patterns with soft singing accompanying. this is definitely the type of album reserved for when you wake up or are about to fall asleep, the minimalism is entrancing. yet another great release from the musical giant that is Japan.

Hisato Higuchi - 'Dialogue' (2006)