iJamming! Downloads special: Dark Night of the Soul, Deastro, Body Language
You may have heard about the collaboration between David Lynch, Dangermouse, and Sparklehorse, entitled Dark Night of the Soul. The project is meant to come in complementry parts: a book of photographs and text by film-maker Lynch, and an album of music, written by Sparklehorse’s Mark Linous, produced by Dangermouse, and including vocalists such as Iggy Pop, Julian Casablancas, Suzanne Vega, Nina Persson and more.
If you have heard this much, you’re probably then also aware that the musical part of the package has been frozen in legal limbo in large part due to EMI, who have been feuding with Dangermouse ever since he sampled the Beatles for his celebrated (but unauthorized) Grey Album. Copies of Lynch’s limited edition book, are being sold instead with a blank CD-R – an unspoken invitation to find the album online and burn your own copy.
One good, and currently legal source to hear Dark Night of the Soul is NPR’s First Listen page, which has been streaming it both as an album and by individual tracks, since May 30. First Listen is part of NPR’s All Songs Considered program, which has become one of my central sources for new music and intelligent discussion thereof. From the First Listen page, you can easily find your way to NPR’s Song of the Day, its All Songs Considered weekly Podcast, as well as its Second Stage, Concerts and Studio Sessions.
A year, I raved about the Ghostly International compilation that was given away for free via Adult Swim’s web site; as a point of enthusiastic principle, I also included it in my Top Ten albums of 2008. One of the stand-out tracks was Deastro’s uber-electro-instrumental “Light Powered,” which made me all ears when I received news last week of the 22-year old Detroit native’s debut Ghostly album, Moondagger. (He’s released a number of album-length bedroom recordings already over the years.) You can preview the excellent “Parallelogram,” on which Deastro – a.k.a. Randolph Chabot – sings in a style at once both dark and inviting via Ghostly International’s web site. You can access and currently download the new single “Vermillion Plaza” for free at Pitchfork. There’s a “radio” studio session available for streaming and downloading via Daytrotter. Best yet, for fans of experimentally styled electronica, you can download the truly excellent free instrumental EP entitled Grower, from here. (User name:tayfpr. Password: albums.) Says Chabot of Grower,
“This EP is inspired by Detroit and my friends there who I feel are a light in it. The title of it Grower represents what I feel is growing inside of peoples hearts and minds there. It is about human growth, so sometimes it can be messy or tragic all though I am not going to limit human experience to two adjectives or claim that I know the first thing about it.”
Deastro is playing New York’s Mercury Lounge Wednesday night June 10th and, as part of Ghostly International’s tenth anniversary celebrations, at Studio B in Williamsburg on Friday June 12th. I’m not entirely sure what comprises Deastro’s live set, except that the Ghostly site notes that they “are becoming legendary – ecstatic, synth-driven gatherings that have earned him the admiration and respect of the Detroit scene.” And beyond. I’d be surprised if Deastro isn’t one of the biggest names in the electronic music world by the end of this year.
And if I don’t get to it now, I probably never will… Of many tracks I streamed last week at the invitation of umpteen online publicists, I was especially taken by Body Language’s “Huffy Ten Speed,” from their CD EP Speaks, which you can download for free here. Where Deastro is artful and Jourgenson often confrontational, “Huffy Ten Speed” is playful playful playful. I may have misheard the chorus line – almost the only line – but I believe it goes, “Get on, get on, why don’t you text me….” Which ties in very nicely with the news story I heard on NPR this Monday morning, after taking Campbell to his school bus at 7:15 am, about the new generation “hooking up” for via texting rather than “dating” for relationships the old-fashioned way. Body Language are also playing New York City this Wednesday night, at Public Assembly. It sounds a world away.