NEWS AND VIEWS YOU CAN USE: The boys of Atlanta/Athens rockers Wieuca are now five episodes into their self-written and produced podcast “The Wieuca Rogan Experience.” The episodes are creatively and smoothly edited, which is really nice to experience as a listener, and feature well-spoken interviews that are actually interesting. The newest episode highlights Mariah Parker/Linqua Franqa and makes mention of Dope KNife, Slime Ring, Dead Neighbors, Semicircle, Hardy, The YOD, WesdaRuler, Louie Larceny, Clip Art, Bennyhonda Supershifter, The Hernies and Juan de Fuca. The first episode came out last November, and five episodes in roughly two months is a lot of work. Here’s to hoping they can keep the energy and enthusiasm up, because so far they’ve done a fine job. Find this on Spotify and Apple Music.
BUMMIN’ AROUND: If anyone out there remembers when Beck was just an acoustic troubadour making records at home and bumming around Los Angeles, then that memory should serve as a fine entry point to the music of The Mushroom Herders. This is the project of Christopher J. Estrada, and he’s just released the 15-track album HERE!. He’s been releasing tunes for about the past decade, but it’s been a year or so since his last outing. Mostly, this whole record falls in the fuzzily focused area between freak folk and unfinished ideas. For my tastes, he hits the album’s high point early on with the third song, “Trees,” which is a lightly reggae-tinged waltz. There’s an overwhelming sense of meandering going on here, and while this may be edifying for Estrada’s artistic vision, it can be a right test to get all the way through it. If you take the dive, be sure to come up for air sometime. Check it out at estradacjames.bandcamp.com.
ALL GROWN UP: Former Athenian Ed Cashin (Gamut, Freebooters, Recent Title) lived in town for a total of 12 years at different times, but moved away for good 17 years ago. Now based in Atlanta, but with lots of love for the Athens music scene still, he started putting out some new music a few months ago under the name Relaxed Napper. Cashin’s latest collection, Thinking of A Lonely Friend, demonstrates his smooth ability to use traditional rock instruments (guitar, bass, drums, etc.) to make seamless mind music that once upon a time—albeit with a little tech tweaking—would fit right into to the rougher side of vaporwave. Although working in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)-less environment, he nonetheless coordinated all sounds through an Akai MPC 1000 sampler/sequencer. The whole 14-track record works as a headphone party or a soundtrack for driving. All in all, not bad. Check it out at relaxed-napper.bandcamp.com.
LEAN IN: When Winston Parker, recording under the name Ohmu, released 18 yr Brood a couple of years ago, it was his first public-facing work in quite a while. No one imagined we’d wait another two years to hear more. Well, he’s just released a new four-track collection named Gaussian Drift Vol. 1, and it should prick up the ears of fans of improvisational ambient work. The “Vol. 1” in its title is descriptive, too, as Parker is planning a series of releases under the Gaussian Drift flag. The work here is far less prog-oriented than that of 18 Yr Brood and is, indeed, wildly un-composed and was recorded largely via first takes. Parker was thoughtful enough to include a final track that is a continuous mix of the first four. The usual Brian Eno comparisons are appropriate here, but Parker’s work has some sharper edges and moments of musical poignancy that Eno’s pure ambient works sometimes purposefully evade. Find this over at ohmushell.bandcamp.com.
TRUE LOVE WILL FIND YOU IN THE END: Country music singer and songwriter Steven Anglin performs under the name RC Cowboy. He’s taken the stage at local venues such as Hendershot’s and the J&J Flea Market, and he recorded an album at Full Moon Studio a while back as well. His style is regularly off-kilter, with melodies that seem to appear only in his head and are not easily imparted to his audience. His observational lyrical style is exhibited perfectly on his new single “Working At The Golden Pantry,” in which he states “Come to work/ Do your job/ There won’t be no problem.” Anglin sings with an honesty akin to that of Daniel Johnston and, although to a much lesser extent, Wild Man Fischer. Anglin’s music may be an acquired taste, but it only took me a few hours to acquire such. That said, your mileage will vary wildly, so strap yourself in for the ride. Find him on Spotify, and keep up with all the news over at facebook.com/anglincowboy52.
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