Last pimp o' the month: CANON BLUE


(Sorry about the inactivity. There has been a whole boatload of stress in my hands lately, what with my return to college, my health, etc.. I've got something great planned for September, and I hope you'll stick with me and stop by often. The only hint I'll give is that my radio dial is going to be stuck on K-DILLY for the entire month. This will hopefully be great news to some readers, like Nick from Eux Autres. For now, I'd like to highlight a new artist. . .)

It's pretty rare -- hell, almost never -- that I have a chance to follow up on any of the promos or publicity emails that I get in my Pimps of Gore inbox. It's not that I don't love discovering new artists, it's just that this blog was originally intended to just be this little page where I sent some of my favorite music along to my friends. I never really anticipated that there would be any sort of readership around here. I just figured I'd drop in every once in a while and share a few songs I'd been listening to that day or that week.

After several months of running the site, I started to get random email, sometimes from publicists, sometimes from musicians or bands, pimping new music. At first, I figured this was all just spam. No offense to people who may have sent me this stuff, but I just figured these people were fruitcakes and rarely even bothered to open the mail.

Then I started to notice that people were reading. Songs were being downloaded, and occasionally people would actually return and read more. Gradually, I started paying a little more attention to the emails I was getting. Still, I rarely heard anything that caught my attention enough for me to say "This belongs right alongside the stuff I've been posting." It didn't help that when I did my weekly bloghunt, where I pore over the 50+ music blogs I follow, I'd see that I'd already been beat to the punch on posting this stuff. I never saw Pimps of Gore as a site for new music, but more of a place where you might find something you missed when it first came around 5, 10, 20 years ago.

I got an email a few weeks ago from a guy named Daniel James, a very nice email which discussed a shared love of producer/composer David Axelrod. In the email, James mentioned that he was releasing an album of material he'd recorded on his own, under the name CANON BLUE. Seeing "I recorded/produced it myself" did not, in all honesty, bode well. I've received some of the absolute shittiest "self-recorded" music known to man, but the fact that Mr. James had already referenced David Axelrod was a plus. He also mentioned that his album, Colonies, had been mixed and further produced by GRIZZLY BEAR's Chris Taylor. and mastered by CHRISTIAN VOGEL, an expirmental techno artist whose name I recognized from some of his remix work.

"Okay, maybe this guy's got something," I thought, and for the first time in a long time, I clicked the link in the email that would take me to one of his songs.

That song: "Pilguin Pop"

Goddamn, was I surprised. This didn't sound like some nutjob holed up in his apartment, jerking around and putting it all down on 4-track tape. This was real music: dreamy, somewhat trippy techno folk with layers of instruments, melody and nuance. I immediately wrote James back and asked if he could send me the whole album.

I've been listening to Colonies for a couple of weeks now, and am continually impressed with his music. I know it sucks that all new artists have to go through that phase of their careers where their work gets compared to other people's work, but it's an inevitability. No one has to say "Sonic Youth sounds like . . ." because they're fucking Sonic Youth. So, if I have to do the shitty "Sounds like. . . " thing, I'd have to say Canon Blue sounds like what would have happened if Jeff Buckley had decided not to go swimming in the Wolf River that fateful night and instead decided to make a record that sounded like a mixture of Bjork and the Folk Implosion.

There are some really oustanding tracks on the record, which comes out in about a month on Rumraket records. I highly rec seeking out "Mother Tongue," as it's my favorite on the album, but I'm not going to post it tonight (partly at James' request, and partly to entice you to go seek out Colonies for yourself). I'm closing instead with another beauty:

"Rum Diary"

For more on CANON BLUE:

- Here's a link to CB/Daniel James' MySpace profile, with several more songs streaming from the new album.