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Weekly album rec time. No mini review today, just please listen to Pieces of a Man by Gil Scott Heron. Its perfect all round and make sure you listen to every single lyric, for they’re all too relevant. Unquestionably one of the best records ever. Pce
Crazy it has to even be said but BLACK LIVES MATTER. I wish the idea of fighting racism wasn’t so controversial. How hard is it to live a life free from prejudice? Seriously? As a cis white Canadian, I know damn sure the privileges I have in life. All people like me need to do better. Nothing will change if we deny our white privilege and don’t actively inform ourselves of the ways we can help get to a point where nobody is treated with violence and hate because of the colour of their damn skin. I’m heartbroken watching it but I can’t even begin to imagine how it feels to live it. I’m so sorry. Take action and use your voice. Sign petitions. Keep in the loop. Have tough discussions. Call out ignorance and bad behaviour in everyone. Don’t let the outpouring of these posts die down. Donate to reputable causes. I’ve linked a very comprehensive page of links and information on how non-black Canadians can help, but this info and my sentiments are meant for everyone who will listen. Stay safe, stay angry and give love freely. It just not that hard.
Weekly album rec #7! Up today is Public Image LTD’s 1981 post punk oddball: Flowers of Romance. This is one HELL of a left turn. In just three short years, the band’s frontman John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) went from the chaotic anarchy of the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks to one of Post-Punk’s best and most introspective LP’s (PIL’s Metal Box). His band’s next reinvention however, was about to be the most radical. Flowers of Romance is a cold, dark and jittery album unlike any other. This record is scant: it’s only 33 minutes long, the instrumentation is sparse, and it’s compositionally bare. Percussion takes the front stage on every track here; a primitive looped drum beat lays the foundation for each song with icy and unsettling loops of noise. Heavily processed guitar, minimal synthesizers, shrill strings and percussive keys all are masterfully used to create a tense atmosphere. However, don’t let this give you the impression that Flowers sounds nice. All of the mixes are messy and the arrangements are sporadic. It’s an ugly, grim and repetitive record, but it makes it all the better. Think of it as PIL’s answer to Eno’s production on Remain in Light. Perhaps the most anxious element of this album is Lydon’s manic vocal. He truly sounds tortured, mixing in shrieks with his strained vibrato. I could see this record leaving an impression of a young Jamie Stewart. Lydon sounds locked up and chained, pleading and chanting for his life. The hypnosis of the repetitive instrumentals and vocals are trance inducing, like a freak post-punkian krautrock hybrid. The rigidity and brazen nature of the songs on here influenced most of the late 80’s-early 90’s industrial scene. You can hear it right out of the gate on the stuttering opener “Four Enclosed Walls”. Flowers is one of those LPs where you get everything it has to offer within the first 10 seconds, yet you can’t put it down because it keeps pulling you back. Do give it a shot, it’s a pretty strange and disorienting experience. Don’t be shocked if it takes a couple times before you love it though.
New piece out link in bio 🚨
Weekly album rec #6! Today’s pick is Destroyer’s 2011 sophisti-pop gem, Kaputt. After a very impressive and theatrical 2000’s run, Dan Bejar took a big turn for the past; an 80’s throwback record like few else. I get asked by you pretty much every day asking for indie recs so here’s one for this week. In my eyes, Kaputt is THE indie album of the 2010’s. Bedroom pop artists, jangle revivalists and the never-ending 80’s throwbacks from last decade… Destroyer beat all them to the chase. Still present on Kaputt are Bejar’s signature poetry and vocals, but the sometimes clunky instrumentation from past Destroyer albums is swapped out for a ridiculously lush palette of 80’s sounds. Its so luscious its… corny. Yes, Kaputt is baked in 80’s cheese but it just makes you love this thing more. If anything, Kaputt proves that good songwriting makes anything work. The 9 songs on here are expansive and incredibly tasteful. The female backup singers on here - a HUGE highlight - add just the right amount of cheese to make it work. The constant trumpet floating in the background blend perfectly with the gooey synths and overmodulated-guitars. Make no mistake though, Bejar is still the center of the show. Some of my favourite Destroyer lyrics land on this thing: see no further than the opening lyrics to the title track. By this point in his career, Dan has mastered his delivery and writing. He sets up punchlines, dances around his words and knows exactly where to twist and turn his poetry. His words and the music exist in perfect harmony. The disco and synthpop flourishes are sometimes hilarious compliments to the wry and dark nature of the lyrics. The structure of these tracks all vary greatly. “Suicide Demo For Kara Walker” and “Bay of Pigs (Detail)” both begin with gorgeous ambient interludes while the title track contains an over-the-top tasteful jam outro. “Blue Eyes” explodes into a delicious chorus while “Poor In Love” is a gorgeous ascension to nowhere. Some records don’t really have a lot of gimmicks, and are just incredibly written and performed. Kaputt is absolutely one of them. Aside from the intentional corn, it’s just a delightfully written record. Listen!
Weekly album rec #5! Up now is a brand new record, Vladislav Delay’s “Rakka”. This is one hell of a noisy, glitchy, post-industrial, post-apocalyptic warp chamber. I’m not a big perpetuator of the idea that you need to listen to music loud, but if you gotta crank it, this might as well be the album. Rakka is only 7 songs in 45 minutes, and despite its repetitive nature, there’s not one static or stale moment on the entire record. Rakka could not be more different than a record like Vocalcity, released under another Delay moniker: Luomo. This music is panicked and angry; noisy industrial percussion is almost never able to sustain itself into a full phrase, opting to circle about in flurries of looped rhythms. There’s such a wonderful glitchy push and pull between buildup and release, one I can’t say I’ve ever heard quite like this. It struts and stutters like a maniac. What makes the sonic landscape of this record more interesting for me is the fact that half of the mix is often beautiful ambient drones. These are icy, cold and despondent digital drones, inspired by arctic ambient pioneers like Thomas Koner and Biosphere. The contrast between the powerful noise and subtle ambience plays off incredibly well here, as both opposites complement each other in a beautiful, albeit unsettling way. Where many post-industrial artists alternate between ambience and electronic sludge, Vladislav Delay tackles both head on at the same time. Loops of percussion and noise sometimes slip in and out of phase, like on the track Rampa, disorienting you until youre struck with a powerful repeating kick to bring everything back to one solid rhythm. I can’t tell how much of this record is performed or programmed, but there’s definitely a remarkable hybrid of roboticism and human angst. I’m still for the life of me trying to figure out how he got some of these sounds and arrangements. It’s a masterclass in audio processing and effects. Crazy good stuff. Check this out if you like anyone from The Field to Ministry to TG to Squarepusher to Biosphere to Tim hecker to Cluster. This thing is fantastic, it’ gonna place very high (maybe even top) my year end list.
Happy Mother’s Day to the best one out there 💫❤️
Thank u legend @elsiekfisher for the nomination for the Rainbows In Windows challenge! For every rainbow you make, post and tag with #rainbowsinwindows and @yumi, @yumi will provide a family’s month worth of food for @feedingamerica to help ppl in need during this time. I nominate literally EVERY ONE OF U but especially @aylateslermabe. Pls tag me in your rainbows because I wanna see them and thank u for doin a lil bit of good:’)
Weekly album rec #4! This week’s essential is Gorguts’ 1999 technical/avante garde death metal odyssey: Obscura. The Quebec band’s 3rd record is one of the most explorative metal albums I’ve ever heard. To be quite honest, I really don’t care for a lot of tech-death or any music that heavily relies on anything other than the way the music itself sounds. However, Obscura never loses sight of the sound it’s chasing. Even with the often ridiculous passages this album can go down, the songwriting, performances and focus of the record never waver. Obscura is a freakish alien beast. I can’t for the life of me understand how the band wrote the damn thing. I think the record starts off in 23/8 time into 14/8 into 17/8 and I give up trying to understand the album’s composition about 15 seconds in. That also could be wrong. Who the hell really knows what’s going on? It’s so disorienting. EVERY MOMENT on this record is fluid; constantly changing from tempo to time signature to texture to tones. However, It never comes across as overly pretentious or boasty. It’s just insane. I think this album gets a lot of comparisons to Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica, and I think it’s a pretty good touchstone. Both records spontaneously shock me into a laugh with their ridiculousness and outlandish ideas. The difference though, is that Obscura not once feels silly. There’s no “fast and bulbous” to ease the insanity; Obscura IS the insanity. Talking about individual tracks here feels a bit odd, because it often feels like the album is either a hundred different mini songs or just one gargantuan piece. One minute, you have gnarly riffs with guitar stabs, until the drums go haywire and suddenly you’re listening to a Doom metal breakdown, all in the span of seconds. Singer Luc Lemay’s beautiful poetry sounds nothing like his insane gutturals, but it works. His delivery on this album is maybe my favourite on any metal record. I can’t do this album justice on paper, it’s just too wild. Go listen to it, try to headbang and fail at that miserably. You’ll see what I mean.
UNTITLED 47 LINK IN BIO
Weekly album rec #3! Up today is Lou Reed’s 1973 storybook that is “Berlin”. Hot off the heels of the highly revered Transformer, Berlin is Lou’s darker, rougher and in my opinion, superior foray into the world of art/glam/rock opera. If Transformer is the glam show itself, then Berlin is the performer draped over their cigarette in the back alley of the venue afterwards; wig off, makeup smeared. It’s all things ugly and depressing about life. These 10 tracks are a continuation of the lives of Jim and Caroline, the troubled couple that Lou penned in his 1971 song, also called Berlin. Addiction, domestic violence, prostitution, suicide and mental illness are all their lives have spiraled into. It’s definitely not the easiest listen. The way Lou staggers atop the sometimes triumphant instrumentation is crushing. There’s always a brutal sadness under the triumph of some of these songs, while others are just entirely harrowing. You can hear the defeat in his voice. It’s either draped in echo or whisper quiet, right up in your ear, guiding you through the hellish life that Jim and Caroline lead. Hearing him flush out one of his signature vignettes across an entire album is a genius move. Every track goes into such creative detail about their lives; it reminds me of a cross between what Jarvis Cocker and Mark Kozelek do with their characters/settings 20+ years later. Like many on the album, the song “The Kids” features straightforward but very effective lyrics. The couple’s kids get seized by the authorities as Lou nonchalantly chants “they’re taking her children away” over the sound of screaming kids. Lou slightly alters and sours all of the descriptions in his lyrics everytime he circles back to an idea. This makes the entire story feel as if it’s becoming more hellish without the progression being too direct. Another standout, “The Bed” details Caroline’s suicide in grim and very astute detail over minimal instrumentation. The “oh what a feeling” hook is haunting, especially with the ghostly female voice hanging behind Lou. Caroline sings. The gore, the dirt, the grime. Lou Reed drapes Berlin in all of it. Listen.
Rc car driving on the road:(
Hey all, just wanted to take a second to thank you all for the birthday messages yesterday. I’m so grateful for all of the kind things you said/made/posted. It blows me away and I never take it for granted:) Hope you all have a great night and like my @100gecs shirt (and tix 🥺) that my brother kindly got me ^_^