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Viking's Choice: Appalachian Juggalo Blues, Psychedelic Black Metal, More

Jun 25, 2019
Originally published on June 26, 2019 7:03 am

Nothing is permanent — these meat sacks we call bodies, the weekly Viking's Choice playlist available on Spotify and Apple Music. Seriously, if you'd been sitting on last week's mix of metal, punk, drone and other misfit music for a late-night sesh, it's gone — like dust in the wind, dude.

Am I going to make an entirely new playlist every week? Maybe. Once upon a time, I was a college radio DJ and lived for the mix. Do I neurotically cram enough music into my ears to sustain such passion? I mean, yes. Case in point: we've now got new jams by goth queen Chelsea Wolfe, the surreal downtempo-pop of Simulation, death metal meatheads Devourment, some unreleased Tangerine Dream and "Blood from a Stone" by Sheer Mag, who reminds us that the best rock and roll being made in America right now is by a bunch of Philly punks.

Per usual, I've been doing high kicks — Jeanne-Claude Van Damme-style — over some Bandcamp finds. I must be on Broadway. (Note: Some of these tracks can only be found on Bandcamp.)


Frank Hurricane, "Susquehanna River Blues"

The positivity that spins throughout Life is Spiritual oozes an off-kilter charm — Frank Hurricane just wants to love someone, and that includes a batch of juggalos in this winding and weird Appalachian blues tale. Honestly, some of the most open-hearted songwriting I've heard in a long time.


Skáphe + Wormlust, "Vaxvængir vonar"

Your mileage may vary (or be completely non-existent) when it comes to black metal made to sound like a collapsing black hole. But this collaboration understands that the darker depths of psychedelia can wield some brilliantly colored nightmares.


Lea Bertucci, "Warp and Weft"

I pretty much always want to hear solo saxophone records made in cavernous tunnels and reverberant rooms. Lea Bertucci plays with the decay of the grain elevator at Silo City in Buffalo, N.Y., like a spinning top that doesn't so much end, but seeps into our spiraling consciousness.


Opaline, "Spirals"

You've jumped through time, a fraught journey immediately soothed by an oblong landscape — where the laws of physics break down to shift shapes and shape sounds into the calm of your new being. Also, there's a sweet synth soundtrack.


Carole Pegg & Radik Tülüsh, "A Gay Goshawk"

Jake Xerxes Fussell, Marisa Anderson and Ami Dang are familiar names on Quilt of the Universe, a cosmic patchwork of a tape compilation from Spinster Sounds. But less known (to me) is this British folksinger/fiddler and Tuvan throat-singer duo, a sedate, bewildering combination of folkloric drone.


Jim O'Rourke, "Sigaretstraat"

Jim O'Rourke may never release a singer-songwriter album again, but regularly drops electronic excavations from the deep abyss. The 37-minute "Sigaretstraat" is a master class in patience, dynamics and sublime dissonance.

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