Time stands still

Wax Tablet
By PORTLAND PHOENIX MUSIC STAFF  |  October 5, 2011

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• You know the industry's changed when discographies for still-existing record labels get shown in art museums. For two weeks beginning October 12, the ICA AT MECA shares the complete back catalog of TIME-LAG RECORDS, the internationally renowned yet rigorously obscure label started by Nemo Bidstrup in 2000. Of course, Nemo operated in Portland until 2008, but ever since he moved the operation to Montville, we have a tough time keeping a nose on him. We're pumped about this "exhibit" not simply because it's a nice gesture from one art world to another (which it is), or because Time-Lag deserves more of an audience (which they do), but because in 2011, a listening chamber suddenly seems like a radical and downright sexy idea. Think about it: everyone does music in a bar, in a car, on a pod or a console, but who knows what weirdness might occur if you experience, say, SATWA's alien/Brazilian ragas in a private chamber dedicated exclusively to sound? It's rare to hear recorded music that isn't a) selling something or b) tailored to our personal taste. Time-Lag recordings, the majority of which sound like they were recorded on another planet anyway, are a perfect way to start.

JOSE AYERVE's shimmery new pop project A SEVERE JOY gets him way closer to his id than SPOUSE ever did. After 15 years writing awesomely complex and cerebral rock songs via guitar, these new jams are beat heavy and shoot squarely from the hips. Ayerve's planning a debut drop in early December — for now, hear a rather delicious preview at soundcloud.com/aseverejoy. This stuff slays.

SPOSE — whose videos are at least as responsible for his nat'l popstar status as his wit — has a new one out for "Plate Tectonics." In the two-minute vid (directed by Ryan Jarochym), he disses Lil' Wayne, exhibits skill in the art of the illustrative hand gesture, and almost-but-not-quite apologizes for using the word "bitch." (Blinks.) "Plate Tectonics" is found on the We Smoked it All Vol. 2 mixtape, and the video's all over YouTube.

THE MILKMAN'S UNION, now with JEFF BEAM as full-time bassist, celebrate the release of their Texas Hold Me 7" with a get together at Mayo Street Arts October 13. To make room in the ether, the band has made their still-excellent debut LP, 2009's Roads In, free to download on their Bandcamp page.

• Want more free stuff? Look to local alt-folk dudes LIT ON THE FLASH, who've lifted the cost of their new record Revolution Time "in honor of . . . Occupy Wall Street and other protests." One metric of gauging just how bad things are is by how many flavors protest music comes in. Ten years ago, bands like this sold love and sunshine; these guys may sound like Tom Petty or the Goo Goo Dolls, but they seem pretty pissed off.

• Read two mysterious "PRIMUS sucks!!!" reviews of their show last Sunday at the State . . . either it's a clever reverse-tactic marketing ploy, or just as we suspected, Seas of Cheese don't age well after all.

  Topics: New England Music News , Jose Ayerve, Jose Ayerve, Jeff Beam,  More more >
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