Archive for the math-rock Category

“Just Screwin Around”: King Buzzo On Writing

Posted in interesting things that caught my attention, math-rock, music, poetry, random with tags , , , , , on 05/13/2012 by alex c

The best laugh in the business.

Friday Morning Subway Ride Random Rock Playlist

Posted in Lists, math-rock, music, random with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 03/30/2012 by alex c

Settings > Shuffle > Songs

Music > Genres > Rock > All Songs

Subway > M train

Dazzling Killmen – “Captain Is Dead”, Dig Out the Switch

Tera Melos – “Party With Gina”, Patagonian Rats

TAD – “Trash Truck”, 8-Way Santa

Torche – “Erase”, Torche

The Catalyst – “Jesus Garcia”, Marianas Trench + 9

Melvins – “Big As Mountain”, Gluey Porch Treatments

Soundgarden – “Half”, Superunknown

Karp – “Pistol Whipped”, Action Chemistry

Radiohead – “Airbag”, OK Computer

Faith No More – “Crack Hitler”, Angel Dust


Posted in event, math-rock, music, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , on 03/18/2012 by alex c

After nine months of no shows at all, my band [WARMTH] returns to play as a duo. We’ll be opening up for our friends/space-mates, ICONCHASM, on their debut show. This should be real rad, it’s cheap and at Death by Audio, which is always a great place to both see and play shows.

New Musical Friends I Made In 2011

Posted in interesting things that caught my attention, Lists, math-rock, music, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 01/13/2012 by alex c

Near the end of 2011, as I was ruminating about my favorite albums of the previous three hundred fifty days, my thoughts couldn’t help but gravitate toward all the new older music I had been turned on to over the course of the year. A few months back, when I wasn’t working a whole lot, I got a little obsessive with my music cataloging and tagging. Once you get into the grit of that, you start to notice patterns in listening, in collecting, in traversing histories, et cetera. So when I decided to compile my own year-end-best list, I thought I would do a full post on some of the other new material that happened to be released during a previous calendar. Sure, I wanted to have this done over a week ago, but I’ve been both extraordinarily busy of late and it was also just fun to go back and have a bunch more listens to all this stuff. (I plan on continuing this practice, as it also happens to be a great memory aide.) So what follows is basically alphabetical accounting of my favorite non-2011 music I first heard in 2011.

AnacrusisManic Impressions (1990), CoronerMental Vortex (1991)

As far as I could tell, 2011 was a major year for two already-hot metal trends. So much of what made people’s year-end lists was either “doom”-y or “black[ened]” or some combo. I can’t say I eschewed those trends in my listening habits at all, but one thing I did do was some thrash history homework. At some point in late spring I got an old Voivod album I hadn’t yet heard, Dimension Hatross, that has since become my favorite in their catalog. Not long after that I got turned on to Swiss prog-thrashers Coroner. I had always been under the mistaken impression that these guys were a hair metal band, but whoa was I way wrong. A similar mistake was made with Anacrusis, whom I believed a crust band or something (c’mon, the name totally sounds like a crust band!). One could simply say Anacrusis were the American apex of this triad, so that’s what I’ll do. Both bands wrote technically-adept, yet infectious, songs with sweet guitar riffs (and solos!) and flow-savvy rhythm sections. No, I don’t really know what “flow-savvy” means, but I’m thinking melodic basslines that are interesting in their own right (Cliff Burton style) and drummers who never overdid the flash but were some happy [triangular] medium between Lars Ulrich’s technically-limited solidity, Dave Lombardo’s davelombardosity and a generalized math-tastic choppyness. Every metalhead worth her salt probably knew these two bands inside out already, so consider me “caught up” now. So good. Continue reading

Your Unrealized Love for Blind Melon

Posted in math-rock, music, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , , on 08/18/2011 by alex c

A few years back I played in a cover band. We changed our name for each song we played and played live a couple times. It was really stupid fun and as much as people can rag on covers, learning other people’s songs is vital to growth as a musician. I know a decent number of people who never learn others’ songs. This seems shortsighted to me.

Anyway, I also just found video of one of the last Blind Melon shows ever. I know this because Shannon Hoon died (10/21/95) less than a month after this show was played (9/27/95). They kicked off their set with “2×4”, a song we covered in that band with shifting names. One of the most remarkable aspects of this song is how smoothly they transition between common time, 3/4 and, briefly, 5/8. Yep, the Melon mathed it up.

It often seems like people heard “No Rain”, watched the Bee-Girl video and wrote them off entirely. Firstly, that’s not a bad song regardless of how overplayed it was at the time. Secondly, pretty much every other song of theirs was really good if not entirely, completely awesome. I will defend Blind Melon until I die. They were awesome.

Meditations on “Math”, Pt.IV: D-E-F-F-F

Posted in math-rock, music, people to watch for with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 08/11/2011 by alex c

• Drive Like Jehu


Apologies for the quality of sound and image, but I had to post this one, being the first Jehu I’d ever heard. I can’t say I remember exactly what my first impressions of it were, though I do recall being slightly baffled at how irregular it felt for what otherwise seemed total punk rock. At this point I had already heard a fair share “mathy” bands, but something about Jehu stuck out, perhaps because nobody I knew really knew anything about them (at least in college, this changed soon after). They also predated by nearly a decade most of the bands that originally exemplified off-kilter rock in my mind. Add the fact that they seemed like skatepunks and hailed from San Diego while their stylistic peers arose mainly in the Midwest or Northwest made them even more of an oddity. Continue reading

Them — “It’s Them” & Rap Maths

Posted in math-rock, music, people to watch for with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 08/04/2011 by alex c

For the past couple years I’ve been involved in a decent number of long conversations about stagnation and conservatism in hip-hop. I’ve always identified more with that weird d.i.y. late-’90s/early ’00s sensibility exemplified by anticon, rhymesayers, def jux and probably a handful of others I can’t recall anymore. Frankly the affection grew mainly because it was way weirder than any other rap I’d ever heard.

One of the main issues I’ve had with even some of the most innovative rap is the tendency for emcees to hew too closely to the 16 bar lather rinse repeat formula. I guess it could be the “sonnet” of rap or something. It’s refreshing to hear emcees do something fresh with a classic form, but I also wanna hear beats in odd time signatures and irregular verses!

Slowly I’ve started to track down newer material that strays into bizarre territory (I recommend checking out Death Grips), but I’m also in the process of digging through older stuff to unearth any shards I’d missed or forgotten. Dose One could always be counted upon to bring your head to a new place (see also his work with Why? and Odd Nosdam in cLOUDDEAD) and with Jel on beats he had a producer equally willing to be that kind of tour guide.

“It’s Them” doesn’t get super crazy, but at the very least it varies between 4/4 and 6/8 with some slightly irregular transitions between parts. A few people have told me that a few groups have ventured into 5/4 and 5/8 territory, but they’ve yet to recall what tracks and I haven’t found them on my own yet. . .

This Sunday: WARMTH / BUILDINGS / WoNA / FotE

Posted in math-rock, music, people to watch for, the universe will wreck you with tags , , , , on 06/03/2011 by alex c


This Sunday night, come out to Legion Bar and catch my band, WARMTH, tear it up for the first time this year. We haven’t played in what feels like a very long year, but our friends from Minneapolis, BUILDINGS, are on tour and coming through town. They are definitely worth checking out and I’m personally excited to play with them again. Opening the show will be the dual duo attack of WAR of NORTHERN AGGRESSION and FEAST of the EPIPHANY.

Legion Bar

790 Metropolitan (@Humboldt, Graham L stop, nr. the White Castle)

$5 (that’s $1.25/band!)

Meditations on “Math”, Pt.III: The “Indie” Underbelly

Posted in math-rock, music with tags , , , , , , , , on 05/25/2011 by alex c

Finally, things are returning to semi-normalcy and I can get back to some too-long neglected items around here. It’s finally sorta nice out today in Brooklyn (meaning=not raining), I’ve had my iced coffee and a little time was spent job searching. Now to the important stuff: math rock.

Since I started this series off with mostly heavier bands, I’m going to head down a “lighter” path today. That doesn’t mean the following outfits are soft on the ears, rather they are predominantly the type of bands people like to describe as “angular”, “jagged” or anything that insinuates rough edges or—perhaps oxymoronically—a regulated discontinuity. But they are “lighter” in that there is a greater variety of sonic tonality, ranging from gentle instrumental passages to ecstatic screaming frenzy. The rhythm sections in particular tend towards the propulsive, composing their own riffs instead of merely providing a steady backdrop for guitars and vocals. This, perhaps, is the major differentiation between those below and a “purer” form of pop-influenced rock music. Continue reading

New WARMTH Tracks Posted!

Posted in math-rock, music with tags , on 03/24/2011 by alex c

Not terribly long ago my band, Warmth, recorded some demo tracks for an album we’re hoping to record later this year. They’re up now on our new Bandcamp site ( so go check them out. Hope you dig ’em if you check ’em out. If you’re not feelin’ it, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it just means you have questionable taste.

I’m also in the process of putting together some summer shows and will update any progress here. One of said shows will feature our friends Buildings from Minneapolis. We played with them last summer and they’re coming to NYC in early June. Definitely worth your time, particularly if you’re into The Jesus Lizard or Hammerhead (or even a dirtier version of Braid!).