Alfresco ‘Loves’ Sounds

cover for debut album by Alfresco Love Sounds taken by Joel Dayum

Cover for debut album by Alfresco Love Sounds taken by Joel Dayum

I’m not embarrassed to say that, very recently, a specific piece of derogatory sounding guitar work from an offspring track, wouldn’t get the fuck out of my head! Yes, I heard it and felt offended when it happened. If anyone else had seen me, they would have seen me go from calm to face-cringe in a millisecond, like I don’t already have problems with my rep.

Why wasn’t there an uprising in the Middle-East back then? I don’t doubt when they threw that into the track, the rest of the band were just dumb enough to be blown away. “Oh wow man, that’s great! Leave that in!

Don’t get it? It’s that Arab guitar ‘solo’ in their hit song. Yeah, now you hear it too!

But I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about how I fixed that problem. If it wasn’t for the memorable guitar solos in Tom Ward’s solo project Alfresco Love Sounds, I’d be on a slippery slope.

I want to thank Don’t Need No Melody for drawing attention to the single suck a bag of dreams.

Right from the start of that track, the beat of the snare is essentially the totem to take with you before you go into the dream. Despite the blog’s don’t need a melody title, I found it ironic that this track establishes the melody right at the get go. Whenever I think about starting with a melody for to a song, I try to come up with tricks to tease it in and then figure out how to fill the gap between that and when I’ll use it again. Maybe even stretch it out where I can.

This gap in the song happens right after the melody but you don’t notice it because Tom is actually putting you under with smooth bass lines and harmonies, until the world becomes glittery and all your fears dissipate, telling you how much he could live inside a dream. He does this before he comes back with the melody again, this time with fuzz and swirling guitar solos.

This was weeks ago when I first heard this and weeks later, that same single came back to life in my head while I was doing something really mundane. I had to give this album another listen and it never fails, from the first track, I’m mesmerized by Ward’s mastery of sound.

I’m not gonna use any language here you’re gonna have to look up later. The opening track Sock Cooker Bliss throws you right in the middle of a crispy sunny morning, it’s poppy and fuzzy. Listen to how the drum beat smacks like peanut butter or how the track plays around with its epic sense of space right when you think that serene pop hook is coming back. It’s too immersed to keep you guessing before it sneaks another melodic wave into the second track mirror skies.

According to his blog, releasing this debut came sooner than expected. Ward comes across as a very meticulous perfectionist in his craft. Those shoegaze moments in the album — and there are plenty of them — have purposes beyond fitting the shoegaze moniker. He’s sculpting scenes out of mist and vapor as  they take form before they disappear as he creates new ones.

Yes, I’m a fucking weirdo, I know. But to me that describes what Ward is doing here perfectly because he’s constantly moving. Blame chillwave for making me see things in a more visual sense.

Also, Ward is too self-aware to let the sounds and effects tell one story. Listen to how he changes the order of things with Cleveland and throws in that Burt Rogers sounding rock guitar. Very spontaneous. All it needs are two guitar rah-raahhhhs to go with the twinkling guitar chords. Yes, it doesn’t take much to get me off, I know.

What’s also great about Ward’s work is that he has a lot of it! Check out some of his other band camp releases before he drops another one this coming Sunday!

Look. If Ward was concerned about putting this out before he thought it was ready, he can rest easy. It’s perfect.

Exorcists and Dementors

Mystery Skulls (Los Angeles, CA)

These guys don’t need any help with getting talked about but sometimes I really go overboard with my obsessions. This one has outlived the obsession I had with Christina and the Queens a few weeks ago. I only expressed it recently in a compulsive post somewhere else. This is perhaps the second time and last time I’ll be bringing them up.

I can’t be too loud about this because I’m internalizing my shame of liking these guys past the fact that their shit don’t stink. But they didn’t stick around Dallas long enough to let it, cause when the get’n was good, they took off. Fine. Do what you want. I’m suspicious of bands that say they’re from some place only to say that they’re not, later on down the line.

But you know what? That’s not fair. As I’ve said before, every band is from somewhere. Some of them are pretty hardcore about it and others aren’t. Which side should I take?

Get this though… it’s not guys, it’s just one dude! Years ago it thought it was at the very least, something like Chromeo where a Jew and an Arab walk into a recording studio and make magic. Right?

Luis Dubuc’s history in Dallas speaks for itself. This guy was the secret handshake which I remember as the act the Dallas Observer used to shit all over, back when I gave a shit about what they said. I’m guilty of that. It’s my Saigon and I hate reliving it. I locked in a few years ago with the Mystery Skulls debut on bandcamp. Where he threw all of his influences right in; neo-soul and whatever else he felt like doing. How Hispanic are you Dubuc? The man knows enough Spanish for my book of top great Hispanic-Americans like Alfonso Cuaron and Luis Vasquez.

Yes, some of us are late in this shit and so in reading up on this dude I start to realize how unfair I’ve been. He’s had his eye on the prize since the beginning and didn’t bother looking up. That mall-rat sound he was accused of wrangling must have forced him to rethink things, but I think that sound helped.

It’s the life experience, man. He made it through and earned the clout to work with some mainstream mall-friendly heavy-hitters.

Look. This shit is fucking awesome, why don’t I just leave it there.

Want some remixes to go with your exorcists and demeantors?

Sources

1. “MYSTERY SKULLS.” MYSTERY SKULLS. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://mysteryskulls.com/&gt;.

 

2. Mark, Jon. “Dallas ‘Kills It’ In Music: Mystery Skulls – Bubblews.” Bubblews. Bubblews LLC, 14 Sept. 2014. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.bubblews.com/news/7311430-dallas-039kills-it039-in-music-mystery-skulls&gt;.

 

3. Freedman, Pete. “The Secret Handshake Continues To Confuse, Buzz, Overhype the ’90s.”Dallas Observer. Dallas Observer, LP, 13 Feb. 2009. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/dc9/2009/02/the_secret_handshake_continues.php&gt;.

4.”Alfonso Cuarón.” IMDb. IMDb.com. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0190859/&gt;.

 

5. The Soft Moon. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.thesoftmoon.com/&gt;.

6. Freedman, Pete. “The Secret Handshake Comes to Grips With Adulthood.” Dallas News and Events. Dallas News, 19 Aug. 2010. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.dallasobserver.com/2010-08-19/music/all-grown-up/&gt;.

 

 

Blogger Beat Down #29

The Big Whatever!

How can I apologize for not posting on here? Well, let’s see. Cause I’ve been too focused on trying to earn some money writing somewhere else! Go check out the about page and you’ll see the updates on some of the earnings there. Now that I can organize these things a little better, I’m nice and comfy with my blogging abilities. I still have more shifting to do with scheduling these post and hopefully when you see this one, I will have already figured all of that shit out.

But here we are with another Beat Down.  A bunch of posts about shit I wanted to talk about when I was in the I-do-what-I-want zone.

Ugh. Let’s get some of this out of the way.

Ideology

The Garbage Of Xiao

“A Daughter’s Duty – Fifial piety” is under License Some rights reserved by Instant Vantage

I was watching Curse of the Golden Flower recently and in the extras the director talks about the days of feudalism and fifial piety or Xiao, and how it’s a cherished virtue in Chinese culture. I’ve seen a few documentaries where the female sex is subservient to the male sex in the family. We read stories about that kind of thing every day and it makes us cringe, but this in particular is overdoing it, where praising parents and ancestors is another form of social control.

Making A Case For The New Atheism Movement

Much like the Xiao, religion is another bogus bullshit ideology that I’m fighting against every single day. I’ll give you more updates on what kind of arguments I get into with other people. But, I’ve been on that other side of the argument, where my old self would be arguing with my new self. But all of this stuff comes with experience. I wouldn’t expect someone younger than their thirties to be an atheist. Of course, that all depends on how indoctrinated you are cause deprogramming is a fucking bitch.

 

My Investing Idea For Poor People

“kevinrosseel_00001ad” is a morgueFile free photo By krosseel

I’m sure many of you know this but I have a feeling some aren’t ready to accept how much easier it is for us poor people to invest in our own futures. Technology has made that easy as technology but it’s also forced us to think differently and show the fuck down. One thing I’ve seen in these poverty camps is that they’re always running around trying to scrape something together. Poverty is also in the eye of the beholder. Sure, there are times when things are really fucking hard. Slow the fuck down and think about investing now. Train yourself to save up for that nest egg.

I guess that’s all I want to throw out there for you to see. I swear it, the next beat down won’t be so beat down.