122: Radio Babylon contest

The Decorate Kevin's Passport 2005 contest:


Ok, so this summer I'm planning on going somewhere, only I haven't decided where yet. But wherever it is, I really want to go some sort of music festival/event (although I'm open to other ideas to). So I've decided that since you, my readers, are such a fine and cultured group of people, I thought I'd open this up to you all and offer an exclusive(-ish) prize for the winner. All you have to do is tell me where to go on vacation and what to do when I get there. This can be anything from a festival of Mongolian throat singers to your friend's punk band playing in Oslo, as long as you can make it all sound interesting. Here are the rules:

1) The place must be outside the US (hence decorating my passport), anywhere else is fair game. Don't take this as "anti-Americanism", but I spend the rest of the year here, so I want a change of pace.
2) Ideally, I'm looking for some music related (any genre), but if know of anything else interesting that I won't find in any tourist books, that's cool too. Anything where Aphex Twin is playing gets bonus points, I can never seem to track that fucker down.
3) If you know of anywhere that I can get extra information (web sites, etc.), please include them.
4) Events should be for June or July, somewhere around there, preferably June.
5) E-mail responses to radiobabylon@gmail.com

The Prize: A mix CD made by me, with tracks chosen more or less at random. Be sure to include an address to send this to.

I know I've got at least a handful of international readers, but this is open to anyone with an idea of something for me to do this summer.


121: Sweet Billy Pilgrim

Been a rather busy couple of weeks for me, but my lack of updates has been because of anything except for lack of new music to write about. So while I've got a little more time at the moment, I thought I should post some new music and a few little nuggets of music info I've got. Still some hosting problems I'm afraid, perhaps this weekend will resolve that.

I don't really see much about Nine Inch Nails on any of the blogs, unless I've missed it somewhere. Anyway, while I'm not too big into hard rock and I don't listen to much industrial any more (aside from Einsturzende Neubauten), I've got a lot of respect for Trent Reznor, regardless of how long it takes that guy to make new albums. Evidently, there are enough other loyal fans out there to keep him going. Congrats to anyone who managed to get tickets to their tour. At the moment, unfortunately I've got nothing to post from the new, With Teeth, there mp3's of The Hand That Feeds and The Line Begins to Blur are still floating on the internet. If there's any indication of the what the album will sound like, I'm expecting something musically like LCD Soundsystem, with that same stripped down music and rough vocals, only much more brutal sound and you can't dance to it.

The sound of stripped down intensity seems to be big for 2005. I'm getting the same sort of impression from what I've heard of the new Daft Punk album, Human After all (samples available here). And while I'm happy Daft Punk are returning more of a Homework sound than the poppier Discovery, so far there are only really a handful of tracks that have impressed me. Robot Rock and Make Love are the standout tracks as far as I'm concerned. So if this is turning out to be the sound of 2005, I'd say it's good. Certainly a nice change of pace, but it makes me want to hear something more complex and different.

...different, kind of like a Balkan Brass Wedding Band. I'm actually pretty interested in this, just for doing something a little different. They're performing at a Six Degrees show tomorrow night.

Of course, if none of this is your thing, what about some folktronica? Newish band from the UK that you'll hopefully be hearing from again, is Sweet Billy Pilgrim. It's calm music from a variety of influences (Iron and Win, Four Tet, Eno, etc.) with small electronic samples that fit themselves in, such as in God in the Details. But to me, the highlight of this band is a track that might be in danger of going unnoticed at first. That is to say, Experience is not a single track the way the others might be, but I think it's the most powerful. It's something that you can find yourself unconsciously replaying on your ipod and comfortably resting in your head while your at work and trying to mentally escape for a while. So have a listen, see what you think.

Sweet Billy Pilgrim - Experience
Sweet Billy Pilgrim - God in the Details
Sweet Billy Pilgrim - Ain't No Jesus in Here