Saturday, April 02, 2016

Ty Segall Emotional Mugger, Middle Sister Shows # 606 & # 607

Ty Segall’s latest release Emotional Mugger differs from all the albums in his catalogue. Being his eighth full-length album Emotional Mugger slides into a seedy world of temptations, desires, addictions and reactions to the world that is instant social media. The accompanying music video for Emotional Mugger is actually a 14-minute short film. In the film Ty Segall wanders through Los Angeles and as he experiences the less than honest characters in the story, he begins to decay and become physically more grotesque looking as the video comes to an end. On the album Emotional Mugger, Ty Segall explores a similar world within the songs he creates that at times are like little short stories themselves. Musically, this album blends elements of garage, hard rock and noise rock. Synthesizers buzz in and out throughout the album’s eleven-song landscape. Additionally, the album and context presented throughout this creative eleven song venture resemble the elements of Devo’s theory of De-evolution. As we jump further into technology people seem to be digressing.

“Squealer” flirts with seductive keyboard sounds, fuzzy bass octaves and synthy guitar sounds as Ty Segall sings in both his normal tone and a deeper, creepier vocal style. The first two songs are a bit slower paced and less heavy and provide more ominous undertones of what is to come. “Californian Hills” lyrically seems to be a commentary on the typical image of the nuclear family in a modern context. As the song picks up with a frantic pace we are taken into the title track “Emotional Mugger/Leopard Priestess”. The song bends with distorted guitar solos, mechanical sounding keyboards, drums and bass drones. This song with lyrics such as “Shotgun, sugar and spice”, “I am emotional mugger/Like a bag of candy” and several others that are delivered on this track, exemplify the frustrations and complications of instantaneous social media based relationships where “people are victims of their emotional purpose”, as stated in one of the promotional videos released prior to this album. As the album progresses, it gets more aggressive with its explorations in fuzz, distortion and noise. “Breakfast Eggs” is loaded with double entendre and is the first track that the wall of noise begins to intensify.

“Diversion” is a song featuring Dale Crover of The Melvins on Drums and bass from fellow Segall collaborator Mikal Cronin. The song is almost unrecognizable as a cover song. It is actually a cover of The Equals song of the same name. The song’s lyrics seem to portray a miss-step in life choices that eventually brings two people back together again. Although the original is a blend of soulful glam rock and fuzzy guitars, Segall’s noised up version of this song is rather fitting in Emotional Muggers orbit. “Big Baby Man (I Want A Mommy)” musically is a song that provides the listener with an overall unsettling tone. “Mandy Cream” is a bit funky featuring drumming by Charles Mootheart and features additional vocals provided by King Tuff. “Candy Sam” is another noisy, yet catchy track. Segall returns to a fuzzy, funky groove with “Squealer Two”, while “The Magazine” ends the album.

“The Magazine” features dominant futuristic and pulsating sounding basslines, handclaps, distant sounding guitars and vocals displaying Segall’s vocal range. The lyrics “You don’t need a reason/It’s all in the magazine” are loaded with several potential meanings. Emotional Mugger is a step in a noisier, more creative direction from Ty Segall. While it does share some of the very same glam rock and more accessible elements that presented themselves on 2014’s Manipulator, this album has the ability to be seen both as a conceptual album and it doesn’t. If you care to look closely into the lyrics that lurk beneath the heavy sounds on Emotional Mugger’s surface you will find a world of characters and meanings inspired by the frustrations of modern society. If not, the album stands on its own as something different, yet provoking within Segall’s catalogue musically. Unlike the character at the end of the 14-minute “Emotional Mugger” video, Segall doesn’t fall flat here. Emotional Mugger builds itself up with the negative energy from which it draws inspiration and is less accessible in many ways than 2014’s Manipulator. With Emotional Mugger Ty Segall steals from his surroundings and showcases a new noisy depth.


Additionally, this week’s episode of Revolution Rock featured a recording from a CJAM Session done with Windsor’s folk rock group Middle Sister. This is the first in what I plan to be a series of videos featuring live off the floor recordings from bands in Windsor and other parts that come to the area. Check out the video below.

Show 607 Playlist:

1. Parquet Courts - Dear Ramona
2. Meat Puppets - Animal Kingdom
3. Meat Puppets - I Can’t Be Counted On
4. Holding Hands - A Tree Without Its Leaves
5. The Pastels - Up For A Bit
6. Courtney Barnett - David
7. Jerry Jerry & The Sons Of Rhythm Orchestra - Yap Yap
8. South River Slim - Blind Lemon Girl
9. Teenage Geese - Howler
10. Middle Sister - I Want To Be The Man (Alternate Take)(CJAM Session January 2016)
11. The Jesus & Mary Chain - Girlfriend
12. Odonis Odonis - Are We Friends
13. The Dirty Nil - Violent Hands
14. The Cramps - People Ain’t No Good
15. Peanuts Wilson - Cast Iron Arm
16. Bruce Springsteen - State Trooper
17. Shotgun Jimmie - Walkman Battery Bleed
16. Five More - Avalanche
18. Special Edisons - Windingo Psychosis
19. Holy Wave - Night Tripper
20. No Age - C'mon Stimmung
21. Iggy Pop - Break Into Your Heart
22. Teenanger - Big Spirit Payback
23. Noble Savages - She’s So Serious
24. Newtown Neurotics - No Sanctuary
25. The Beat - Rock ’N’ Roll Girl
26. Pointed Sticks - It's O.K.
27. Ty Segall - Californian Hills
28. Ty Segall - Candy Sam

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 2. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Show 606 Playlist:

1. Combomatix - Another Shakin’
2. The Malibus - Cry
3. The Hard Times - I Can’t Wait Till Friday Comes
4. Roxy Music - The Thrill Of It All
5. The Pixies - Broken Face
6. The Yips - Orbit
7. Century Palm - Reasons
8. Pavement - Jackals, False Grails: The Lonesome Era
9. Telegram - Rule Number One
10. The Chills - Silver Bullets
11. The Radiation Flowers - Psychic Attack
12. Safeword - Underwater
13. Trout - Salty Waves
14. Tea Leaves - Bipolar Skies
15. Beck - I Just Started Hating Some People Today
16. Mission Of Burma - Academy Fight Song
17. The Undertones - Mars Bar
18. Pere Ubu - I. Will Wait
19. Randy Rampage - Cheap Tragedies
20. Wire - Too True
21. Wire - Just Don’t Care
22. The Hives - Abra Cadaver
23. Ramones - Endless Vacation
24. Ramones - Howling At The Moon (Sha-La-La)
25. The Scenics - Wild Trout
26. Pylon - Recent Title
27. Milk Toast - Ears Around You
28. The Ronald Reagan Story - Revolutionary Girl
29. The Ronald Reagan Story - Just Another Warning

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for March 26. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

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