Aztalan Turf's Ramblings

New I:Scintilla. Mmm…

Track #1 from new EP “Marrow 2”

Brittany Bindrim of I:Scintilla

My interview (or more of a guest discussion) with Jim Cookas and Brittany Bindrim of I:Scintilla and Jim Marcus and Vince McAley of Go Fight is posted at aztalanturf.com. We talked about Bandcamp, Kickstarter, the music distribution, touring, Second Life, music fandom, Garbage, playing a show in your underwear, the RIAA and much more.

I:Scintilla share news about their upcoming ep Marrow 2, the movie soundtrack they’re working on, the making of their latest digital single and video (Skin Tight), their remix contest and…yeah, they’ve been really busy.

Go Fight talk about their forthcoming debut album, Music for Military Torture (including where the name comes from) and a new video in the works.

Both bands will be doing a short run of dates in the Midwest in March. If you’re in or near Chicago, Minneapolis or La Crosse March 28, 29 and 30,  check them out! On all three dates, they’ll be joined by Goodnight Criminals, featuring I:Scintilla guitarist Brent Leitner. Minneapolis’ Gabriel and the Apocalypse will be on the bill in Minneapolis and La Crosse.

maqlu:

Remix of I:Scintilla’s “Skin Tight” for their remix contest.

Original version: http://youtu.be/LCIQ1xrXokI

More info at http://iscintilla.com

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Episode 52, featuring an interview with Lindy, Jake and Cody of Gabriel and the Apocalypse is up. Get to know one of my favorite Minneapolis-based bands. Also on this episode, music by PJ Harvey, Skold, American Head Charge, Violet Winter, Army of the Universe, Panic Lift, Screaming Mechanical Brain and Android Lust.

Flyering is Expensive

Went out to flyer for the March 29 I:Scintilla, Gabriel and the Apocalypse, Go Fight and Goodnight Criminals show at Ground Zero in Minneapolis pretty much all weekend. Flyering is an expensive endeavor. I always feel obligated to buy something at the places I go. It doesn’t really help that they’re often places like record stores and music stores. I should not be allowed in there with a credit card…seriously. But I do like supporting local businesses, in particular record stores. And it’s been a while since I’ve done the rounds. So here’s what I bought…

  • Sunna: One Minute Science
  • Killing Joke: MMXII
  • Deee-Lite: World Clique
  • Garbage: Vow (single)
  • Bach: Violin Concerti, Suite No. 3 in D
  • Alesis DM4 drum brain for my Ion Drum Rocker kit
  • Digitata: Sexually Transmitted Emotions
  • Aby Wolf: Sweet Prudence
  • Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy
I’m not going to talk about the Led Zep album because…well…it’s Zeppelin and it’s an album I should have had in my collection long ago.  I’m also not going to talk much about the Garbage single. It only includes two tracks - Vow and Vow (Torn Apart Remix). It’s not terribly rare and thus not terribly exciting, but as a Garbage fangirl, it was quite exciting for me to see a copy at a local record store. Here are my impressions of the other albums.

Sunna - One Minute Science

Sunna - One Minute Science

I’ve know about Sunna for quite a long time. Some friends who I met via the VAST forums forever ago are big fans and I just haven’t checked them out until recently. This is a very fine machine rock album and one I expect will have some good longevity in my car CD player, where it resides currently. I recommend checking these guys out if, like me, you are late in discovering this British industrial rock band.

Killing Joke - MMXII

Killing Joke - MMXII

Killing Joke influenced just about every industrial rock band out there and after 26 years together, they are still putting out fantastic and highly relevant material. Their list of members is quite impressive, boasting former members Paul Raven, Martin Atkins and even Dave Grohl. Front man Jaz Coleman may not be a household name, but his resume is extremely impressive. He’s conducted orchestras, composed classical pieces and even arranged music for the London Symphony Orchestra, in addition to his work with Killing Joke. Just check out his Wikipedia page for more info - I am reading about this for the first time and am totally blown away by what he’s done.

Killing Joke constructed a uniquely identifiable sound while still continuing to grow as a band. I was first introduced to Killing Joke’s work with 2010’s Absolute Dissent. Joe Graham of the Razor Blade Dance Floor recommended it and since he knows what I like and also has impeccable taste, I bought it without having heard a single sample. I was not disappointed. I also bought their live album, Down By The Water, as a digital download from Pledge Music as a good way to explore their back catalog.

The band released MMXII last year and it showed up on Industrial Strength Nightmare’s top albums of 2012, so I added it to my list of albums to buy. Killing Joke are playing dates this spring in select cities in the UK, Europe and the US and if your city is on the list, definitely try to make a show.

Deee-Lite - World Clique

Deee-Lite - World Clique

I’ve always loved Deee-Lite’s 1990 #1 hit “Groove is in the Heart”. I’d heard that the rest of the album was pretty solid, but just hadn’t picked it up. Well I saw a used copy for a reasonable price this weekend and figured I’d see for myself. It’s quite good. They fused a wide variety of sounds and styles from funk to hip hop to big band to various flavors of electronic music. In short, it appears to be pretty cutting edge for the time, with “Groove is in the Heart” a very good example of the type of stuff you’ll hear on the rest of the album. World Clique is a very appropriate album title. The band may have been too cutting edge considering they had several #1 US Dance hits but only managed to crack the regular US charts with World Clique’s “Groove is in the Heart” (#4) and “Power of Love” (#47). It’s pretty much the same story on the global singles charts. But what does the mainstream know, anyway?

If you like fun, yet interesting dance music, then it’s worth exploring Deee-Lite’s catalog. I can’t vouch for their other work, but World Clique is a very consistent album from start to finish and one that I recommend.

Aby Wolf - Sweet Prudence

Aby Wolf - Sweet Prudence

2009’s Sweet Prudence is sonically extremely different Aby Wolf’s latest album as A. Wolf & Her Claws. I guarantee you that I would not have picked up Sweet Prudence if I was not familiar with Aby Wolf’s later work. Sweet Prudence is very down tempo with plenty of acoustic guitar, violin, cello, trumpet, banjo and even accordion. I am generally not so excited about “singer-songwriter with an acoustic guitar” type music, but Sweet Prudence is a very good album that really highlights Aby’s excellent voice. And there’s quite a bit of violin. I always dig violin. Sweet Prudence is a good album if you’re in the mood for something a little more quiet. 2012’s debut from A. Wolf & Her Claws is much more electronic, bouncy and much more my style, though Sweet Prudence does have it’s more up tempo moments, in particular on the album’s last track, “What U Waitin 4”. Both albums showcase Aby Wolf’s excellent songwriting and vocals in different ways. 

If you haven’t yet heard of Minneapolis-based Aby Wolf or her current band, A. Wolf & Her Claws, take note. Wolf also does a lot of work with various Doomtree/Rhymesayers artists, in particular Dessa, who she’s recently been touring with. The hip hop influence is quite apparent, but not overpowering, in both albums.

Digitata - Sexually Transmitted Emotions

Digitata - Sexually Transmitted Emotions

Digitata are a Minneapolis-based electronic rock band that came recommended by my friend Liz, who generally doesn’t steer me wrong. I bought this album without hearing a single note of Digitata’s work and I am quite impressed by what I hear. Of course, they do have a pretty good female vocalist, which does bias my view quite a bit.

The album is a very nice mix of electronics, synths and live instruments, including live drums. The vocals are one of the strong points on the album. I will definitely try to catch Digitata live and explore their work further. If you like artists such as Ladytron, the Jezabels or Luscious Jackson, then check out Digitata. The list of similar artists on Last.fm is extremely biased toward Minneapolis artists, so my sense from that is that Digitata are not well known outside the area. They need to be.

"I did this. I did this."

I:Scintilla, Skin Tight, Live at Dragon*CON 2012

Aztalan Turf Podcast Episode 50

Episode 50 has been a long time coming. I haven’t been able to post as many shows this year as I’d have liked, but I wouldn’t trade the crazy year of travel for anything. Thanks to everyone for listening. On this episode, new music from I:Scintilla, DRTY LVRS, Desdemona, Geodesique, plus a dirty Christmas song from Junksista and more great music. Also, I announce my 2nd annual 30th birthday party date and lineup.

Full playlist, download link and RSS / iTunes subscription links are at http://www.aztalanturf.com/podcasts.html

Check out I:Scintilla’s new video, Skin Tight, released today!

I:Scintilla performing Prey On You acoustic at Dragon*CON 2012. Singer Brittany Bindrim’s father, Julius Bindrim, joins Brittany and Jim Cookas on stage.

The acoustic version of Prey on You is available on I:Scintilla’s latest ep, Marrow 1.

I:Scintilla covering IAMX “Spit It Out” acoustic at Dragon*CON 2012. You can find this cover on I:Scintilla’s brand new acoustic EP, Marrow 1.

Sorry for the uber zoom on singer Brittany Bindrim. I couldn’t get a clear shot and didn’t want to stand and be in people’s way.

iVardensphere’s Cracked Earth (with Brittany Bindrim of I:Scintilla) live at Live Wire Lounge, Chicago. Girl’s got some pipes.

I’m back with lots of great new music after a much too long break. On this episode, I talk about where I’ve been, fangirl about Garbage and play tons of new music. Artists on this episode include: Garbage, I:Scintilla, Goodnight Criminals, VTG, Icon of Coil, Sensuous Enemy, Screaming Mechanical Brain, Thira, The Joy Formidable, Sleigh Bells, School of Seven Bells and more!

In just under 1 week, I:Scintilla make their return to Minneapolis at Ground Zero with Thought Thieves & Cwn Annwn. It’s been 4 years since I:Scintilla played the Varsity with The Cruxshadows. Who’s excited?

2012 Awsomeness

2012 is shaping up to be a big year for me, both music-wise and personally. Here are a few things I’m most looking forward to.

30th Birthday Bash with I:Scintilla at Ground Zero on March 30

Chicago’s I:Scintilla are one of my all time favorite bands, but unfortunately, they’ve only been up to Minneapolis once, in 2008 when they toured with The Cruxshadows and Ayria. It’s not due to lack of effort on their part. There are very few promoters in the Twin Cities right now for the type of music they play and the few bills that Kilted Farmer (the group I help) has done where they’d have been a fit haven’t worked out for various reasons beyond anyone’s control. Like scheduling.

After traveling to Milwaukee and Madison to see I:Scintilla play, I decided to take matters into my own hands and build a show around the band to get them back up to Minneapolis. And as the host, I want to draw as big of a crowd as possible, so I decided to do the show in conjunction with my 30th birthday. I’m pretty sure I will turn 30 only once and it’s a great opportunity to expose new people to the band’s music.

Words cannot describe how excited I am for this show. And I’m super excited about the rest of the bill, as well. Cwn Annwn, who I interviewed for episode 23 are starting off the night, and Thought Thieves, a band I’ve seen several times in the past year, will also be playing. Full details are posted at aztalanturf.com. Here’s the flyer:

I:Scintilla flyer

Album Releases

I honestly haven’t been keeping real close tabs on who’s releasing new albums in 2012, but I do know of two very big ones (for me) in the pipeline: Garbage and I:Scintilla. Garbage are back together and their new album is in the can, set to be released on May 15. They’ll also be touring. This time around, I plan on going to as many dates as my budget and my work schedule allow, because you never know if this will be their last. More about that later.

I:Scintilla are working on scores to 3 films and also plan on releasing new material in 2012. Even though their most recent album was released just over a year ago, new music is a long time coming, as they had already been hard at work on a new EP last spring.

Finally, Violet Winter, another great Chicago band, is set to release a new full length on Glitchmode Recordings, a newish label founded by Cyanotic’s Sean Payne. I have thoroughly enjoyed Violet Winter’s debut and I am very much looking forward to more. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Sean Payne is involved, either.

Garbage in LA April 9 & 10

Garbage have started announcing tour dates and their first two “regular” sets in 7 years will be on April 9 and April 10 in LA at the cozy El Rey Theater. I have two tickets to the April 9 date and one of my best friends from college, who’s also a live music junkie and big Garbage fan, will be my partner in crime. I had to buy a point and shoot camera just for this trip, as the El Rey doesn’t allow SLRs, at least according to the camera policy on their website.

I’m not sure if I’m more excited to see Garbage or to finally meet in person some of the big time Garbage fans I’ve known for the past 7 or so years. We’re going to be hanging out both days of the shows and even though I don’t have a ticket for the April 10 date, I’ll be joining the rest of the “Garbage Board” group on the 10th as well. And as much as I hate the idea of buying a ticket from a scalper, if there’s a real ticket available on-site on the 10th, I may buy one, since I’ll be there anyway (though I refuse to buy a ticket online from StubHub).

Dragon*CON, August 31 - September 3

I had such a great time at Dragon*CON last year, that I booked my trip for this year as soon as I could. I saw tons of great bands, hung out with some really great people I’d gotten to know via the Internet and met some new friends. I’m really looking forward to going back. This year, a few more of my Terminator friends are planning on attending and we are somewhat organized on doing a meet up at the con. 2012 is shaping up to be pretty awsome!

I:Scintilla performing Ammunition (their heaviest track released to date) acoustic.

Here’s the album version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0nnN3o2QjI

I love acoustic performances. A good song sounds great even when stripped down to just guitar and vocals. There’s no hiding behind studio techniques, electronics, or distortion. I would have never expected I:Scintilla to play Ammunition acoustic, but it works! This just goes to show how talented this band is.