Brooklyn-based Buke & Gass (pronounced byook & gace) are Arone Dyer on the “buke” (a self-modified six-string former baritone ukulele) and Aron Sanchez on the “gass” (a guitar-bass hybrid of his own creation). Rumor has it that Brassland (their current label) co-founders Aaron and Bryce Dessner discovered Buke & Gass when they played Sycamore, the basement venue down the street from The National’s home studio in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. They were so blown away that their self-produced the full-length record, Riposte, is now due out on the label September 14th. “Medulla Oblongata” is the first track from that album. Expect to hear more from this duo.
As does most everyone, I adore The National’s latest album, High Violet. Beautiful, dark and brooding, it will certainly be one of my top albums of 2010. This track in particular is a standout for me. An obsession really as I listen to it over and over again. Matt Beringer’s pathos speaks to me. His distinctive baritone “voice has swallowed my soul.” The lyrics of this particular tune are so lonely and dark that I yearn to understand what the song is about. But like all great songs, it’s vague enough to lead you to your own meaning and conclusion. I suspect it’s politically slanted but the subtext of trust is pervasive for me. And who hasn’t grappled with that concept at some point? What takes so long to establish and seconds to destroy, nothing is more painful than being hurt by someone you trust. It’s an alluring road, easy to get lost on…that road of fear. To forgive and trust again is easy to intellectualize, difficult to practice. Finding the road to get you there? Well, like the song says, “I don’t have the drugs to sort it out.”
The OCMD Best of 2009 Questionnaire
- Best Album: Dark was the Night compilation – tough to beat out this much fire power
- Most Overlooked Album: Patrick Watson – Wooden Arms – I just can’t stop listening to this album.
- Best Song: Yikes. This one’s to close to call. Last.fm tells me I’ve listened to “So Far Around the Bend” by The National the most this year, so I guess that’s as good an indicator as any. Elvis Perkins’ “Shampoo”, Phoenix’s “1901” and “What I Mean To You” by Justin Townes Earle are all right up there.
- Best Live Show: Josh Ritter’s NoisePop gig at Great American Music Hall last February just edged out J. Tillman’s surprisingly epic show at Cafe du Nord. Both shows outmatched a lot of the bigger ticket shows I caught this year.
- Band/Artist I am most happy to have discovered: Patrick Watson
- Band/Artist I kick myself for missing: St. Vincent
- Band/Artist everyone seems to love but I just can’t get behind: Animal Collective
- Favorite SF Band: Maus Haus. You’d probably get a different answer tomorrow, but that’s my pick today.
- One to Watch in 2010: Girls / Maus Haus
Here it is. The initial line up for Outside Lands. And all I can say is WTF? Pearl Jam, Black Eyed Peas and The Dave Matthews Band for christ sakes? We’ve gone from Radiohead to Fergie. That’s definitely going to draw the wrong crowd. Too bad because the ‘opening’ bands look great – Band of Horses, Silversun Pickups, The Dead Weather (definitely interested in Jack White’s latest venture), The National, Deerhunter, The Duke Spirit.
Ah well, it’s up to you Treasure Island Music Fest. You haven’t let me down yet.
The official videos for Yeasayer’s “Tight Rope”, Dirty Projectors – “Knotty Pine” and The National – “So Far Around The Bend”, off of the Dark Was the Night, a charity compilation for AIDS released by 4AD Records and Red Hot. The Red Hot Organization is the leading international organization dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture.
Album: My Haunted
File Under: Lo Fi Indie Pop
Recommended if You Like: The National, Bon Iver, Bonnie Prince Billy
Featured Track: The Columbia
Lackthereof is the solo side project of Portland, Oregon’s Menomena drummer, Danny Seim. He’s self recorded many albums under this moniker. I just stumbled upon this release from earlier this year entitled, ‘My Haunted’, and can’t stop listening to it. It’s such a beautiful, gentle, lo-fi, atmospheric album – in the same sense that Bon Iver evokes. But his voice is like listening to The National’s, ‘Fake Empire’. A lovely combination indeed.
He also just released a new album, ‘Your Anchor‘, last month. Check it out as you won’t be seeing him live anytime soon. He doesn’t have any plans to take this gig outside of Portland at the moment.