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DFA1979 x Wax Volcanic


There’s the blonde policewoman hand-beating a rioter in the alley behind the Beauty Bar at SXSW. There’s the dune-like mass of bodies—overpacked and seemingly in stasis—at Coachella’s main stage. There’s the moment Sebastian Grainger and Jesse F Keeler apologised after not speaking for five years.

There’s no shortage of potent images from the disentombing of Death From Above 1979. But if a single central image had to be chosen, one that most comprehensively frames the resurrection of the band, it would have to be from the secret show they played in Toronto earlier this month. It was, similar to the unruly shows of the band’s provenance, in a parking lot. Except this time, the parking lot belonged to the Edward Day Gallery—located next to the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art— and had been hired for the show.

Jesse F Keeler is the first to admit that things have changed since the band’s explosive self-exhuming in 2011.

“Now we walk in the room with hundreds of thousands of kids behind us” Keeler says of DFA 1979’s more recent summits with industry. “Compare now to back in the day and it’s a whole new experience, it’s wonderful. I still don’t shower before those meetings though. On principal.” As he recounts stories of being applauded in boardrooms (true stories I’m assured) Keeler seems ignited with the kind of faith generated by unstoppable force—the force of the deathless. And it’s faith well founded. There’s a palpable excitement and disbelief surrounding DFA 1979’s return, an excitement that extends beyond the immediate ambit of DFA fans and deep into the furthest corners of the music industry. Amid the scrutiny and anticipation of their reformation, one question that hangs dense and steam-like over the reforged duo since Coachella 2011, which is: are they the true architects of their own resurrection or willingly caught up in the acute excitement of external parties?

“Well I know it’s not the second thing for me…” Keeler yawns. “I really take a lot of enjoyment in disappointing people and being the guy at the party that makes the party end. I don’t know. I just see an excited crowd and I just wanna go out there and really hammer the shit out of them and still see if they like it when it’s over…”

And DFA 1979 still seem to enjoy hammering the shit out of people. The Physical World has the same convulsive snarl and thunderous swagger that 2006’s You’re a Woman I’m a Machine was so famous for. There’s something almost compulsively kinetic about the album. From the opening shrieks of ‘Cheap Talk’ to the haunted strains of ‘The Physical World’, the album only draws breath during the smog-cloaked fabulism of ‘White is Red’.

“The challenge is trying to capture the band on the recording like how it feels for us to play” Keeler winces.  “I don’t know if that’s ever really possible but I think we got closer this time…”

But despite feeling closer to invoking their live sound on record, DFA 1979 made almost no radical changes to their approach. In much the same way as he did over a decade ago, Keeler wrote around 6 songs on bass and sketched out some drum ideas before sending them to Sebastian Grainger, who laid his own ideas on the demos. By the time they finally convened in the studio, Keeler and Grainger made sure they had nudged the bulk of their songs to near-completion. Neither member of DFA 1979, according to Keeler, likes to be in the studio without a plan.

“It’s one thing to be under pressure” Keeler reasons “but this is going to outlive me [so] its gotta be right. I’m gonna put my name on it…and answer questions about it when people call me from Australia so I gotta make sure that I like it.”


The only notable change to the process on The Physical World, was the incorporation of an external producer—in this case Dave Sardy, whose production credits list Oasis alongside Jay-Z, Johnny Cash and Marilyn Manson, among a profusion of other household names. By the time Keeler and Grainger had met Sardy, most of the album was completed, so he was used a pair of extra ears, to correct any structural glitches that had been cloaked by over-familiarity and left unchecked.

“So we sort of met up and played him everything and as we’d go through songs he’d ask questions like: ‘what’s that part? Is that the chorus? It’s not? Why isn’t that part the chorus? It’s the best part’ So we were like ‘okay, maybe yeah’…”

Whatever roles were occupied and differences carefully rebalanced, they undisputedly captured their old sound. And after a few listens, songs like ‘Crystal Ball’ and ‘Right On Frankstein’ become impossible to deny.

 “If you imagine that the world of DFA is a circle” explains Keeler, “then what we wanted to do is kick that circle out and make it bigger but in every direction. Keep it a circle but push it out in every way… a little faster, a little heavier, a little more musical, a little poppier, a little softer.” Which is precisely what The Physical World sounds like. It’s not a distillation of the band’s core essence, but nor is it a wild departure. It’s simply a nudge outwards. But this raises irresistibly (despairingly) the question of growth. How might they have matured if they could have done it together rather than separately? There’s still the nagging sense that we could just be listening to a retreat to their old sound. Who knows, if they had remained and grown together, what they would sound like today? It’s a ludicrous line of logic, an irresistible one nonetheless.

Let’s return once more to our central image—the carefully organised parking lot show outside the Canadian Museum of Modern Art. This image is far more than just an expression of how DFA 1979 have been concretely empowered by their absence. More compelling is its crystalline illustration of how the band is now perceived—less as a rock band and more as an apparition or monument of disbelief. And DFA 1979 know it. It’s what drove the ferocity of the small riot at SXSW and what is drawing fans moth-like to their shows in waves of awe.

“The thing that me and Sebastian have spoken about a lot when we see people getting excited is: ‘do they know? Do they know what they’re excited about? I mean it’s been so long. They’re excited by an idea but they’re not actually excited about us because they couldn’t be, it’s anticipation built on something else…” But this, of course, makes it hard for the band. If people become absorbed by the mythology of DFA 1979, then they become instantly impossible to please. They must sound as unremittingly wild and new as they did upon first listen, simultaneously recapturing the youth and embracing the matured tastes of their fans. Which is basically impossible. Especially for two guys who just want to be in a rock band, which is “all [they] think of [them]selves as” implores Keeler.

But in the end, there really is no pleasing everybody, and DFA 1979 have made a fairly easy peace with it all. Keeler, through his DJing with MSRKRFT saw, in the merciless pace of the dance music world, how audiences change.

“People are always in a state of change, there’s no constant…I fully expect that there are fans that were around in the past who won’t like what we’re doing now, and there will be new fans that will only know this stuff now and look into the other records later on. That’s okay. Noone needs to pledge alligiance.”

I happen to think DFA 1979 have made a pretty great album this year. And despite the hype, the history, the myth or the venue, it’s still no more than it claims to be—the consummate execution of a strikingly simple idea.

“Once you’re up there, there’s the gear that I know and the guy that I’m in the band with…it’s cool that there’s people out there that seem to be enjoying it. But in the end,” Keeler says, “every stage ends up being the same.”

FOR COOL ACCIDENTS



Death From Above 1979’s loooooong overdue second record The Physical World is available now where all good music is sold | streamed

Inspired By Sylvia Plath


A little while ago we wrote about legendary Avant garde-ists from the UK This Heat! Who later went on to form an intriguing side project called Flaming Tunes. Which is less challenging than This Heat and worth a listen.

Their track Generous Moon declares its affiliation to Sylvia Plath & specifically her poem The Thin People, which is a great excuse to revisit that.


They are always with us, the thin people
Meagre of dimension as the gray people

On a movie-screen.  They
Are unreal, we say:

It was only in a movie, it was only
In a war making evil headlines when we

Were small that they famished and
Grew so lean and would not round

Out their stalky limbs again though peace
Plumped the bellies of the mice

Under the meanest table.
It was during the long hunger-battle

They found their talent to persevere
In thinness, to come, later,

Into our bad dreams, their menace
Not guns, not abuses,

But a thin silence.
Wrapped in flea-ridded donkey skins,

Empty of complaint, forever
Drinking vinegar from tin cups: they wore

The insufferable nimbus of the lot-drawn
Scapegoat.  But so thin,

So weedy a race could not remain in dreams,
Could not remain outlandish victims

In the contracted country of the head
Any more than the old woman in her mud hut could

Keep from cutting fat meat
Out of the side of the generous moon when it

Set foot nightly in her yard
Until her knife had pared

The moon to a rind of little light.
Now the thin people do not obliterate

Themselves as the dawn
Grayness blues, reddens, and the outline

Of the world comes clear and fills with color.
They persist in the sunlit room: the wallpaper

Frieze of cabbage-roses and cornflowers pales
Under their thin-lipped smiles,

Their withering kingship.
How they prop each other up!

We own no wilderness rich and deep enough
For stronghold against their stiff

Battalions.  See, how the tree boles flatten
And lose their good browns

If the thin people simply stand in the forest,
Making the world go thin as a wasp’s nest

And grayer; not even moving their bones.


And reflect that she was a worthy inspiration.



-TH


[NB. Sylvia Plath also inspired many other singers from Patti Smith & Ralph McTell to Tracey Thorn including Ryan Adams who wrote a song called Sylvia Plath (surprisingly and with less subtlety than Flaming Tunes) about her .. that and 13 other poetically inspired songs can be found on this enticing link]

Craft with Kit Starring GROUPLOVE!

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We’re pretty excited to announce the launch of our latest collaboration here at Cool Accidents that’s seen us join forces with local Australian designer/craft expert Kitiya Palaskas to create our new filmed DIY series Craft with Kit.

Each episode features a short filmed interview/craft making session with Kit and a very special musical guest. Together they complete a quick, easy and fun craft project whilst chatting about music and general randomness. The finished segments also include step-by-step photos for readers to complete the project at home.

With an aesthetic style that takes cues from childhood favourites like Playschool and Art Attack, and a cheeky sense of humour inspired by Between Two Ferns and Amy Sedaris, Craft with Kit is a playful, tongue-in-cheek homage to the traditional craft shows of our time.

All the craft projects themselves are inspired by the artist’s music, iconography or themes from their latest music videos or their style in general.

Craft with Kit aims to attract:
A. creative kids who like their crafternoons to be accompanied by the perfect musical soundtrack.
B. music lovers who want to see a different side to their fave artists.
C. anyone who loves a good LOL.

Aaaaaanyway, now you know what it’s all about, without further ado may we present the very first episode featuring one of our all-time faves and regular Cool Accidents cohorts GROUPLOVE!

Kit caught up with the guys while they were in town for Splendour In The Grass and decided to play on the title of their latest album Spreading Rumours by creating a ridiculously large chatterbox.

Watch what went down on the day below and then thanks to Kit’s handy step by step tutorial that follows you can make a chatterbox of your own!



Make Your Own Chatterbox!

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You will need:

1 x square piece of paper (any colour, pattern or size that your lil’ heart desires)

1 x pen

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Step 1 

Fold your paper square in half, open it up, and fold it in half again in the other direction.

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Step 2

Open your square up again and fold each corner into the centre.

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Step 3

Turn the folded square over. Fold each corner into the centre once more. So much folding!

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Step 4

Fold the square in half. There should now be 4 little square panels on the outside of your chatterbox, and triangle panels on the inside.

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Step 5

Write a colour of your choice on each of the square panels.

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Step 6

On the inside of the chatterbox, write a number of your choice on each of the triangular panels.

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Step 7

Open up each triangular panel and write a fortune inside each. You can make them as great or as gruesome as you want. Or, you could try a mix of both to keep things a bit thrilling.

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Try your chatterbox out on all your besties and watch them squeal/squirm as their futures are revealed!!

30 Years Of Music Industry Change

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via Digital Music News


Checkout the individual images and a higher res of the above gif HERE

Where In The World Is Sébastien Tellier?


Interpol’s raid of the Utopic commune ‘Alliance Bleue’ in the early hours of January 15, 2013, was over in just 12 minutes.

Some attribute this to Interpol’s airtight running of ‘Operation Deep Blue’ in the leadup to the raid. Others attribute it to Alliance Bleue’s holographic walls. Whatever the reason, Alliance Bleue’s acolytes were sent scurrying into the undergrowth and the mission’s officers sent largely insane; the perceived power to walk through walls leading to a string of dischargeable offences and in many cases, institutionalisation.

But Sébastien Tellier, founder and leader of the free artisan society, vanished. Until now.

While inside the wall-less compound, some of Alliance Bleue’s Free Minds had perfected a form of digital absorption. Tellier, meanwhile, had been honing his burgeoning telepathic and psychokinetic abilities and forseeing the coming raid, was absorbed into the Internet. Where in the world is Sébastien Tellier? He’s everywhere.

“He’s in a better mood now” shrugs Marlon, brushing the sleeve of his white overalls. “He’s…refreshed…”

Marlon’s a cleaner. He spends his time sweeping junk code into the giant, slavering chutes studded along the glassy halls of the Internet. He will keep tipping code ceaselessly into these chutes until he’s told to stop. Then he’ll tip himself in.

“It’s what you would commonly refer to as a ‘house arrest’”, Marlon explains of Tellier’s living arrangements. “The prevailing nodes of wisdom felt it better suited their purposes if he remained here in his domicile, without the temptations of accessible technology or physical human form.”

“So he’s trapped here? How…is he?”

“There was a period of low mood” Marlon admits, looking down at the junk code caked over his feet. “He managed on three occassions to fashion wet bundles of rogue code into a sort of crude knife”

“Yikes”

“Yes…So we allowed him a short, heavily-supervised break, in fully flesh form”

“Where did he go?”


“You can talk with him now. But not in person, not with words, it’s too much of a liability. Use these.” Marlon hands me a small box of index cards. “No descriptions of the outside. No questions about Alliance Bleue. If you need me…I’ll be everywhere.”

I slide a card under the door.

 

“What are you doing?”

“Sorry Marlon?”

“What are you doing? I told you, no questions about Alliance Bleue.”

Marlon looks agitated, or whatever the digital approximation of agitated is, standing a little too close, voice volume raised 15% above normal speaking level. He steps back, lowering his oversized black broom.

“The rules…” he begins. He steps forward again. “The rules are important here. Please. You must abide them.” Then he turns, sweeping as he goes, ashen clouds of code billowing around the head of his broom. I hear a voice from under the door.

Brûle en enfer.”

 

I stand in the hallway for a full minute waiting for Marlon to return. Finally I can hear the sound of his metronomic footfalls slapping against the slick surrounding walls. He turns his head to me and empties a small heap of junk code into the jutting grey lip of a disposal chute. He continues staring at me, his features uncreased by any perceptible feeling or inclination. He opens his mouth to speak, but lets it fall shut. Then he eases himself into the chute.


For Cool Accidents

Support Your Local

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When was the last time you bought an actual record from an actual record store?

We highly recommend giving it a go if it’s been a while…

It really is good for the soul… or rock… or pop… or alternative… or electronica… or hip hop… or classical… or country… or dance… or folk… or heavy metal… or jazz… or (insert weird sub-genre here) or world.

TGIF - Latin Flavour


So the world cup is almost through its first round and the twin horrors of Wayne Rooney & Pitbull (are they the same person?) are rapidly fading from memory.

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Banished from our memories in favour of latin flair and fervour.

It is already the Latin world cup just through location and now 7 of their teams are already through to the second (knockout rounds). To celebrate the end of the first round here’s some party music from the lucky ones – only Ecuador and Honduras have missed out to date, back on the plane with England, Italy and Spain. If this doesn’t give you football fervour nothing will:

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Airto – Celebration Suite

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Mexican Institute of Sound

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Anna Tijoux – 1977

 

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Quantic y su Conjunto

 

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Los Hicsos

 

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Senor Faraon

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Binary Cumbia Orchestra

 

That Boy Needs Therapy!

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Well… Probably not when you’re dealing with that many but we do love the sentiment.

Age Before Beauty After Midnight.

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“Non posso credere che un ragazzino dalla Norvegia ha fatto un remix Coldplay migliore di me” Fictional quote from Giorgio Moroder

What is Fake-Giorgio saying we hear you ask you unilingual peasants…  Fake-Giorgio is saying “I cannot believe that Kygo kid from Norway has done a remix of Coldplay better than mine”.

While fictional Giorgio is remarkably humble WE personally prefer his epic, 8 minute remix of Midnight that was secretly transported from a disco on Saturn to Soundcloud to Kygo’s blissed out version, But his comments do indicate just how intensely competitive the Coldplay remix race has been. Just one week after the release of the band’s new album Ghost Stories, there are a heap of remixes doing the rounds… shit, Tiësto even got all experimental tech housey with his own bootleg.

As far as the official ones go though, who do YOU think did it better? 23 year Kygo or 74 year old Giorgio?



But What’s The Right Music?

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Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio." - Hunter S. Thompson


"One could argue pretty vigorously that Thompson’s favourite song of all time was “Mr. Tambourine Man.” find out other potential HST ‘right music’ faves via THIS fantastic Beatdom article.