Upper Wilds – “UFO”


Last week, Thrill Jockey recording artist Dan Friel released Guitar Module 2017,  an album by his new trio Upper Wilds. Guitars rife with distortion and layered vocals populate the LP’s propulsive songs.

“UFO” is the album’s second single. It encapsulates the Upper Wilds’s approach to music-making, with the vocals interspersed with copious amounts of instrumental soloing and guitar switching back and forth between the roles of doubler and foil. Guitar Module 2017 is a versatile and compelling piece of work, likely to be appealing to hard rock and indie fans alike.


Upper Wilds tour dates:
Oct. 7 – New York City, NY – Alphaville w/ E
Nov. 9 – Baltimore, MD – EMP Collective
Nov. 10 – Cleveland, OH – Survival Kit
Nov. 11 – Chicago, IL – Situations w/ RLYR

Upper Wilds


August 22: Noteworthy Music on YouTube

Video of the Telegraph Quartet in a fantastic performance of one of my favorite pieces by Anton Webern.

LCD Soundsystem just couldn’t stay broken up…

The National’s new album, Sleep Well Beast, is out September 8th.

Carson Cooman has another volume of organ works out now on Divine Art.

Man Forever’s Play What They Want is out now on Thrill Jockey.

Last weekend in Tanglewood, we saw the Nashville Symphony’s conductor Giancarlo Guerrero beat the Boston Symphony in a thrilling version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. 

Kiasmos’s Blurred EP will be out in October on Erased Tapes.

Sad I missed Quatuor Bozzini’s August New York performances (Tanglewood two-body problem), but was glad to be kept up to speed by Steve Smith in the Log Journal.

Golden Retriever: “Sunsight” (Bandcamp)

Vibraphone, piano, and glissando strings open the seven-minute long post-rock track “Sunsight.” The band, Golden Retriever, has always incorporated contemporary classical sounds and gestures into its music, but a surprise is the jazzy cast of the bass clarinet solo that follows the introduction. It appears in the foreground; the aforementioned textures are then backgrounded alongside keyboard glissandos.

The original nucleus of Golden Retriever is the duo of Matt Carlson and Jonathan Sielaff. But as our friends over at Tiny Mix Tapes point out, here they enlist a whole chamber orchestra to assist in the recording of this single, which appears as the last track on Rotations, Golden Retriever’s latest full length for Thrill Jockey (out July 28th). The result isn’t merely a thickening of textures, but an enrichment of ideas.

ENTRANCE Releases Single to Benefit Planned Parenthood (Bandcamp)

ENTRANCE Photo: Amanda Charchian
Photo: Amanda Charchian

This week, Guy Blakeslee (who records for Thrill Jockey as ENTRANCE) released a single titled “Not Gonna’ Say Your Name.” The song protests Friday’s presidential inauguration (lyrics below). Proceeds from downloads and streams benefit Planned Parenthood. On Valentine’s Day, he will be playing on a benefit concert for the organization (details below).

Blakeslee penned an article for Talkhouse in which he discusses the genesis of the song. It also includes a well-curated playlist of protest songs that you can hear in full on Spotify.

Not Gonna say Your Name
by Guy Blakeslee
There are people who say
we oughta give you a chance
but there’s not a chance in hell
we’re gonna sit back and watch you try to turn back the clock
and just sigh and say “oh well”
No, we’ll fight you every step of the way
you’re playing a losing game
and you’ll be the one with nothing to say
but I’m not gonna say our name
I’m sick of your name,
I’ve heard it enough
I’d rather not hear it anymore
but you’re wrong if you think we’re gonna look the other way
while you kick our friends to the floor
Though it’s  hard to accept you’re really here to stay
I know our culture is obsessed with fame
I might have to see your face a hundred times every day
but I’m not gonna say your name
you let your name
be a symbol of hate
and you never said a word
anything you say now is too little too late
it’s pathetic and absurd
now the voices of hate are getting louder each day
they’re all looking for someone to blame
but  I’m gonna keep  singing  for love anyway
and I’m not gonna say your name
tell me don’t you have a mother?
a daughter, a wife?
Man, you really oughta be ashamed
you brag about grabbing what gave you your life
you must really think life is a game
when I called up my mother,
we were both in tears
cuz nothing will ever be the same
but   we won’t move away, we will stay right here
and  we’re not gonna say your name

Emptyset and Radian via Thrill Jockey (YouTube)

Two exemplars of heavy electronica have new records coming out.

Borders is out Jan. 27, 2016 via Thrill Jockey Records.

Out this past week on TJ, Radian’s On Dark Silent Off.  EU residents should consider checking out their tour (remaining dates below).

Radian tour dates:
Nov. 24 – Paris, France – Instants Chavires
Nov. 25 – London, UK – Cafe OTO
Nov. 27 – Manchester, UK – Islington Mill
Nov. 28 – Bristol, UK – The Exchange
Nov. 29 – Brussels, Belgium – Magasin 4