July 22, 2010

So long!

Hey friends,

Thought I should let you know that I've decided to stop writing this blog. While I was on vacation, we rolled past the six-year anniversary of the blog's first posting. Six years is a long time for any continuous project to occupy a significant chunk of a person's mind. And I realized as I was posting all those "vacation re-posts" from the early years of the blog that I had a lot more enthusiasm to share my feelings about music back then. These days posting about music has become a lot more perfunctory, and even though I still find a thrill in discovering wonderful new music, the process of constantly auditioning music has become a bit too arduous of a chore. I think it's time to get back to a place where finding new music is mostly just a personal treat, unbound by any obligation except to enjoy it on the spot.

If for any reason you want to keep up with my other endeavors, my personal blog will keep you updated. And I plan to keep the Comfort Radio playlist updated, for the 2.8 of you who listen to it on a semi-regular basis.

Cheers, and so long!

The Nylons - So Long

Recently on Comfort Radio:
M83 - Farewell / Goodbye
Ulrich Schnauss - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
The Beatles - The End

Posted by Scotto at 09:15 AM | Comments (29)

July 16, 2010

I'm not saying, I'm just saying (vacation re-post)

[Greetings! I'm off on a nearly two week vacation for a family reunion near Rome, Georgia. Normally I let the blog go dark during my vacations, but this time I thought I'd re-post a bunch of good stuff from the early days of this blog, back when I knew all four readers by name. This post is from March 11, 2005.]

We're ending our week on an uptempo note with a quartet of completely unrelated boogie down tracks that I've heard on Comfort Radio during the past few weeks. If you can't boogie down to these tracks, you are a soulless robot. (Not that that's a bad thing, I'm just saying.) That is all.

Cornelius - Bird Watching At Inner Forest
Ugress - Swing E Sesso (remix)
Panjabi MC - Mundian To Bach Ke (Roobotika rmx)
Le Hammond Inferno - Speech Defects

Comfort Radio - your friendly neighborhood 24/7 groovebox. See you next week.

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (1)

July 15, 2010

Fateless Flows Collective (vacation re-post)

[Greetings! I'm off on a nearly two week vacation for a family reunion near Rome, Georgia. Normally I let the blog go dark during my vacations, but this time I thought I'd re-post a bunch of good stuff from the early days of this blog, back when I knew all four readers by name. This post is from April 13, 2005.]

LA's Fateless Flows Collective released a new compilation of vaguely experimental ambient music in February, called Shadowmath. It took me a few tracks to realize what it reminded me of - the great old Feed Your Head collections that came out years ago. We used to put those Feed Your Head albums on while watching video feedback and, uh, eating a lot of popcorn. Yeah. Anyway, turns out people still take the time to make good ambient music even in today's miserable, fucked-up world of doom and destruction - as these tracks will attest!

Indicia - Rescue Me (interlude)
Appogee - Coral
Kathie Talbot - Blandula XT

Also, the entire staff of the Comfort media empire (all 2 of us) is going on vacation to Mexico tomorrow. I know I just posted some Beck, but this is exactly the kind of vacation I expect to have.

Beck - Mexico

The blog will probably continue posting while we're gone. The station will probably continue streaming. But you just can't trust computers, so who knows.

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Panjabi MC feat. Twista - Beware Of The Boys
Jem - Missing You
Zero 7 - Look Up

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2010

Spool (vacation re-post)

[Greetings! I'm off on a nearly two week vacation for a family reunion near Rome, Georgia. Normally I let the blog go dark during my vacations, but this time I thought I'd re-post a bunch of good stuff from the early days of this blog, back when I knew all four readers by name. This post is from November 15, 2006.]

After an interminable hiatus, the experimental ambient jazz duo known as Spool has returned from the far reaches of the cosmos to deliver its long-awaited sophomore album. In 1998, Spool (comprised of jhno, who released several excellent solo techno records in the late '90s, and John Ridenour, a guitarist who did a tour of duty with Poi Dog Pondering among other bands) dropped the bombshell of their debut album, a swirling miasma of lusciousness that rapidly rocketed to the top of the "Best Ketamine Music of All Time" chart. (No doubt that's why the liner notes of the new album thank "listeners throughout the galaxy, in neighboring kingdoms, and across the interstitial dimensions".) Then... deafening silence from the two.

This new record, entitled Spool Saves The World, was apparently recorded in 1999, but only recently saw a final mixdown and release. How's it compare? Like the first album, it's just seven tracks; like the first album, it's a mixture of driving textures and almost Eno-esque retreats. The debut just slightly edges the new one in my opinion, but the new one features the astonishing track "Xok", which is hands down the best Spool track in the catalogue, better even than the sublimely iterative "Joni" (which you can conveniently snag from Epitonic's Spool page). My advice: just make sure you have both of these records in your collection when the singularity hits and you need a soundtrack for humanity's inevitable slide into interdimensional anarchy.

Spool - Xok
Spool - Tuesday

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Bowery Electric - Shook Ones
The Herbaliser - Saturday Night
Meat Beat Manifesto - Peristaltic Wave

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2010

My Computer (vacation re-post)

[Greetings! I'm off on a nearly two week vacation for a family reunion near Rome, Georgia. Normally I let the blog go dark during my vacations, but this time I thought I'd re-post a bunch of good stuff from the early days of this blog, back when I knew all four readers by name. This post is from November 22, 2006.]

One of the advantages of keeping an Amazon wish list around for years and years is that occasionally, when browsing back through page after page, I will realize that a formerly expensive import can now be had for $5 new via Amazon Marketplace. Hooray for capitalism! My Computer released the album Vulnerabilia in 2002; it's a trippy little slice of baroque electropop with hints of disco goofiness undercutting its occasional orchestral flourishes. I see they also put out a record in 2005; if I wish list it now, I might be able to snag it in a few years for twenty-five cents!

My Computer - Rope
My Computer - Vulnerabilia
My Computer - Majic Flat

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Supreme Beings Of Leisure - Under the gun
Hexstatic - Perfect Bird
Shaun Escofferey - Let It Go (Jazzanova Remix)

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (1)

July 12, 2010

Jazzupstarts (vacation re-post)

[Greetings! I'm off on a nearly two week vacation for a family reunion near Rome, Georgia. Normally I let the blog go dark during my vacations, but this time I thought I'd re-post a bunch of good stuff from the early days of this blog, back when I knew all four readers by name. This post is from October 31, 2005.]

In 2003, a group called Jazzupstarts put out a record called Are You OK? In 2005, a lazy MP3 blogger finally stumbled across it. On this album, you'll find good time party tracks reminiscent of Mint Royale, ecstasy-soaked upbeat techno, and even some Curve-style grunge for good measure. The one thing they don't sound like is jazz - those wacky Jazzupstarts! There's not a single track on this album that doesn't deliver - which makes their inexplicable disappearance a little depressing. Curse you, cruel recording industry and your fickle ways!

Jazzupstarts - Over And Over
Jazzupstarts - Everything
Jazzupstarts - Sanctuary

Recently on Comfort Radio:
DJ Spooky - Dialectical Transformation II (Du Nouveau Monde)
The Orb - into the fourth dimension
Russ Garcia - Sophisticated Lady

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2010

Friday grab bag (vacation re-post)

[Greetings! I'm off on a nearly two week vacation for a family reunion near Rome, Georgia. Normally I let the blog go dark during my vacations, but this time I thought I'd re-post a bunch of good stuff from the early days of this blog, back when I knew all four readers by name. This post is from January 19, 2007.]

I'd never heard of Charlotte Hatherley until Warren Ellis posted a link to the video for this song on his blog; seeing the video (which is beautiful to look at, by the way) got this song firmly lodged in my head. Now, I pass on the love to you. From the 2006 Behave EP.

Charlotte Hatherley - Behave

This Boom Bip track came up on my MP3 player recently and made me swoon with delight. It's just so silky and pretty. From the 2005 release Blue Eyed in the Red Room.

Boom Bip - Dos And Donts (with Gruff Rhys)

And this song is really so self-explanatory that even writing this sentence is overkill. From the 2000 release Karen Mantler's Pet Project.

Karen Mantler - My Cat Arnold Is Dead

These and other fine, fine tracks can be heard on Comfort Radio. See you next week.

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2010

Optiganally Yours (vacation re-post)

[Greetings! I'm off on a nearly two week vacation for a family reunion near Rome, Georgia. Normally I let the blog go dark during my vacations, but this time I thought I'd re-post a bunch of good stuff from the early days of this blog, back when I knew all four readers by name. This post is from January 06, 2006.]

One of my favorite things to do here on Comfort Music is stumble across something from years ago that I'd never heard about and post about it in a witless frenzy as though no one else had ever heard about it either. Which brings us to today's post about a group called Optiganally Yours, whose 1997 debut album Spotlight On Optiganally Yours showcases the band's fetishistic obsession with an obscure instrument called - wait for it - the Optigan. Epitonic describes the instrument thusly: "Produced by Mattel in the 1970s, the Optigan (a combination of 'optical' and 'organ') is an organ that plays back the sounds of real instruments that have been recorded onto celluloid disks with alluring titles like Polynesian Village, Latin Village and Singing Rhythm. Optigans, while endearing, proved to be unreliable and commercially unsuccessful, so they were produced for only a few years." But it's not just the Optigan on display - don't overlook the masterful playing of the Schoenhut toy piano on the album.

I learned about this album from my friend John, whose band "Awesome" covers a track from the second Optiganally Yours album, which features the Chilton Talentmaker and the Vako Orchestron instead of the Optigan. Again, from Epitonic: "The Talentmaker is similar to the Optigan, but it can play several chords (E flat major and minor chords as well as true A and E major) that the Optigan cannot. It also has the bonus feature that allows the player to open the front of the instrument and scratch the sound disks, which is impossible to do with the Optigan." Get some freebies from that album at the band's Epitonic page, but these tracks are from the first album, which is chock full of Optigan delight. The band's site has additional freebies here.

Oh - aside from the instrument's unique appeal, the songs themselves are very enjoyable indie pop. So there.

Optiganally Yours - Mr. Wilson
Optiganally Yours - Wichita Lineman
Optiganally Yours - Beebo

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Crash Worship - Awake
Emorej - Columbia
Lily Allen - Who'd Of Known (DOCTOR ROSEN ROSEN Rx)

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2010

"Awesome" (vacation re-post)

[Greetings! I'm off on a nearly two week vacation for a family reunion near Rome, Georgia. Normally I let the blog go dark during my vacations, but this time I thought I'd re-post a bunch of good stuff from the early days of this blog, back when I knew all four readers by name. This post is from October 15, 2007.]

Seattle art rock phenomenon "Awesome" is back with their sophomore release, Beehive Sessions, produced by Jon Auer of The Posies. For those who haven't had the benefit of seeing these cats live, "Awesome" is a seven-person outfit that collectively brings to bear an arsenal of guitar, bass, drums, keys, mandolin, violin, theremin, trumpet, accordion, clarinet, banjo, and an assortment of vocals. The result is pleasingly reminiscent of some of the best chamber pop elements of recent Sufjan Stevens, some of the quirkiest art pop elements of Moxy Früvous or They Might Be Giants, and some of the catchiest purely pop elements of Rubber Soul-era Beatles. I thought I'd outgrown "prog rock" but these guys bring tremendous whimsy and creativity to the genre, while at the same time sneaking in some '70s AM radio goodness to the mix; it's hard to describe, but very easy to listen to, so dig these tracks and then grab the CD as fast as you can.

"Awesome" - Telephone
"Awesome" - Anthem

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Anima Sound Sytem - More Fire
Mogwai - like herod (hood remix)
Up, Bustle & Out - Hip Hop Barrio

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2010

Jackson & His Computer Band (vacation re-post)

[Greetings! I'm off on a nearly two week vacation for a family reunion near Rome, Georgia. Normally I let the blog go dark during my vacations, but this time I thought I'd re-post a bunch of good stuff from the early days of this blog, back when I knew all four readers by name. This post is from March 06, 2006.]

Creative, energetic, muscular IDM, anyone? Try Jackson & His Computer Band. His album, Smash, is so cool it makes me weepy. "Utopia" gives me chills. I realize all the interwebs have already shouted such praise, but there it is - I got this record as a very belated birthday present and felt compelled to jump up and down and be a dork about it.

Jackson & His Computer Band - Utopia
Jackson & His Computer Band - Arpeggio
Jackson & His Computer Band - Fast Life

Recently on Comfort Radio:
RJD2 - One Day
Downtown - Nowhere To Hide
super science - sometimes we're happy

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2010

Plus-Tech Squeeze Box (vacation re-post)

[Greetings! I'm off on a nearly two week vacation for a family reunion near Rome, Georgia. Normally I let the blog go dark during my vacations, but this time I thought I'd re-post a bunch of good stuff from the early days of this blog, back when I knew all four readers by name. This post is from June 05, 2006.]

Jen's grand finale to my birthday fortnight this year was a special delivery of two shiny CDs straight from Japan: the 2004 and 2005 releases by Plus-Tech Squeeze Box, an insane pop band that I've been obsessed with ever since Fluxblog dropped "THE mARTIN SHOW!!" in our laps last year. But since Jen had the wherewithal to track down sane(ish) prices for importing the discs, I'm pleased to be able to foist these maniacs on you once more. From the albums Cartoom! and Fakevox.

Plus-Tech Squeeze Box - Dough-Nuts Town's Map
Plus-Tech Squeeze Box - Sneaker Song!
Plus-Tech Squeeze Box - kitchen shock? (Pancake Partymix)
Plus-Tech Squeeze Box - THE mARTIN SHOW!!

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Mixmaster Mike - Audio Mass
Electrelane - On Parade
The Cinematic Orchestra - All That You Give (Dr. Rockit Mix)

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (1)

July 02, 2010

School of Seven Bells

School of Seven Bells return on July 13 with an excellent sophomore release, Disconnect From Desire, which is now available for pre-order. I know the wait might be torturous for some, so you can sample the tracks below, or stream the entire album at your leisure. I've been a helpless fanboy for this band since the moment I first heard their debut, and their super tight set at last year's Sasquatch Festival was a perfect way to take over the small stage with presence. My verdict on the new album is that it's luscious and crisp, an iterative step forward if not a giant leap, and pretty much exactly what I was hoping for - continued awesomeness. Their prowess at combining ethereal musical textures with a perfect kind of driving momentum is very addictive.

School of Seven Bells - Babelonia
School of Seven Bells - Windstorm

Recently on Comfort Radio:
The Avalanches - Rock City
Siouxsie - One Mile Below
cLOUDDEAD - Untitled

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2010

Cilla K.

Cilla K. is a "French West Indian vocalist and beatmaker" whose debut album, Fine Line, is a sleek yet edgy treat, a futuristic urban soundscape in which her beautiful vocals seem to float effortlessly. The MP3 version of the album is currently a steal at Amazon for only $5.99; stream the whole thing here if you're not convinced.

Cilla K. - Fine Line
Cilla K. - Evil Child

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Breakbeat Era - Max
John Vanderslice - Exodus Damage
Curve - Bleeding Heart

Posted by Scotto at 05:13 PM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2010

Zoe Keating

Virtuoso cellist & avant composer Zoe Keating has a stunning new record out called Into The Trees. The album is, eerily, lush & evocative on the one hand and amazingly sparse & precise on the other. Luckily for us, she's streaming the entire thing for free, and high quality MP3s are easily purchased for the low low price of $8. Dig it.

Stream Zoe Keating's Into The Trees album

Recently on Comfort Radio:
Eat Static - Nocturnal Umbra
The Fiery Furnaces - Bow Wow
The Orb - The Land Of Green Ginger

Posted by Scotto at 03:38 PM | Comments (1)

June 25, 2010

The Like

My new favorite retropop girl group is The Like, whose second album, Release Me, is a carefully crafted confection, produced by Mark Ronson and featuring members of the Dap-Kings in the mix for good measure. I could pretty much listen to this record all day. (RCRD LBL has a couple more tracks by the band if you're digging the sound.)

The Like - He's Not A Boy
The Like - Release Me

Recently on Comfort Radio:
DJ Krush - Instrument
Lionrock - Fire Up The Shoesaw (Vocal Mix)
Lifesavas - It's Over

Posted by Scotto at 08:00 AM | Comments (1)