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June 2015
Annique Monet
"Phantom Letters
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Some records have the ability to plunge the listener into some kind of alternate reality. Annique Monet's uber-psychedelic debut album 'Phantom Letters' will do that to you. It took a few notes for opening track "Salt, Veruca," (streaming) to hypnotize us with its haunting beginning: a simple electric piano part, whistles, a fake horn section and a droney verse slowly led us towards a celestial chorus, which was quickly fogotten - for good - in favor of a baroque, droney outro. The following track 'Voodoo', a grottesque and dissonant waltz, took us to a really weird (and scary) place: we saw the devil looking at us through the speakers, from Vienna. With a beautiful melody, the first few bars of "Nowhere"  brought back some hope for a return to light, but the song didn't go anywhere - we should have expected it, considering the title. 'Relapse' delivered another waltz - a more subtle one - but filled to the brim with eerie and decadent melancholy. From its plodding intro, Turtlenecks in July resurrected the ghost of The Beatles' psychedelic pop, although sounding nothing like it, while in '52,' Greek mermeids lured us with the most ghostly of lithanies, asking us to join them - and drown. The following two songs on the record kept this beautifully absurd, elusive dream going, with noteworthy track "Unchange" closing the collection.

Although we often praise structure in songwriting (many songs here would benefit from more of it), there's very little structure in a dream - which is what this album is. In a scene that seems to have lost the imagination of its peak years, this is a record that will hopefully inspire other NYC artists to be more daring.

 
The 60's

Band of Gypsys

Bob Dylan

Bruce Haack

The Fugs

The Godz

Holy Modal Rounders

Velvet Underground
The 70's
Television
Patti Smith
The New York Dolls

The Ramones

The Talking Heads
Richard Hell
The Dead Boys
Blondie
Suicide
Lydia Lunch
DNA  
Mars
The Contortions  
The 80's
Afrika Bambaataa
Arto Lindsay
Bad Brains
Beastie Boys
Bruce Springsteen
The Feelies
The Fleshtones
Grandmaster Melle Mel
John Zorn
Laurie Anderson
Public Enemy
Run D.M.C.
Sonic Youth
Swans
They Might Be Giants
The 90's
A Tribe Called Quest
Cat Power

Jeff Buckley

The Magnetic Fields
Nas
The Notorious B.I.G.
Soul Coughing
Yo La Tengo
The 00's
The Strokes
Interpol
TV on The Radio
Fiery Furnaces
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
The Bravery
Animal Collective
Bright Eyes
Devendra Banhart
Moldy Peaches
Le Tigre
Liars
Blonde Redhead
Grizzly Bear
 

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scene blog

Experimental NYC: The Human Carpet, Borts Minorts and Little Band of Sailors

Experimental NYC: The Human Carpet, Borts Minorts and Little Band of Sailors

We welcome new blog contributor Valerie Kuehne, a Brooklyn based cellist and composer, who will write for The Deli about experimental/performence music. Valerie curates the live experimental series "The Super Coda" out of Cafe Orwell in Bushwick.

When I first moved to this city I took a Craigslist job working as an 'assistant' for The Human Carpet.  This meant attending happy hour at a handful of dive bars and lesbian clubs, helping roll The Human Carpet into his carpet, standing on top of "it" for the next 2 hours, encouraging everybody within 10 ft. to do the same.  The compensation was 20 bucks plus drinks. So it seems this is the fate of performance art.



But then there's Borts Minorts.  Borts plays a ski.  Borts dresses in a head-to-toe spandex suit that walks a distinguished line between condom and intergalactic time capsule. You kinda want to reach out and pet Borts. You want to take Borts home to meet your family. You are also vaguely afraid that Borts might eat a kitten.  Clearly Borts carries the torch once ignited by Laurie Anderson and Klaus Nomi, god rest his soul. However Borts is living dissonance, and while you might see him accompanied by dancers, they are less exuberant and more scary, scantily clad or dressed in burkas depending on whatever zeitgeist he's feeling by the hour.  His songs rarely span more than a minute and there is darkness.  His eyes burn with a nostalgia hungering for the grit and freaks of old New York, leering behind the scenes of Taxi Driver and scarcely escaping that fated commute in The Taking of Pelham 123.. 



The resurrection of Borts Minorts (it's true, he started a family and briefly left the circuit) took place at Cafe Orwell, during a Super Coda show 6 months ago.  Borts was summoned by Little Band of Sailors (in the picture), the brainchild of Rachel Mason, a Yale graduate whose degree was underwritten by gay porn and whose press kit is staggering.  Ms. Mason's Band of Sailors includes a revolving cast of personalities and a dizzying sequence of costume changes that pay homage to as many star-struck figures and iconoclasts as will fit into a 40 minute set.  (Lately Ms. Mason has been spotted dressed like Borts). In the spirit of all tortured heroines her sound pulls P.J. Harvey out of quicksand by the hair while recounting a rich tradition of witchcraft.  She is soothsayer, harlequin, medicine woman, demolishing any accountability to history through terrified hysteria and incongruous outbursts. Before the resurrection, I helped her roll Borts up like a mummy. I have no idea who inherited the Human Carpet gig.

Both Borts Minorts and Rachel Mason will be featured at this years Experi-MENTAL festival at Goodbye Blue Monday, August 5-7th.

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