Leica M9, 21 mm Summilux.
Archive for April, 2010
Tulip Frenzy’s incredibly hip and extensive readership may have grokked Capsula’s penultimate album Songs & Circuits when it came out in 2008. It may have made 10 Best lists that year, and the world’s bright young rock crits may have added it to the fin de siecle roundups that were popular in the last few months of the last year of the last decade, er, five months ago. But damn, we missed the phenom entire. And of course when we were finally on the case, we naturally first snagged their latest, the incredibly fine Rising Mountains. Yet boss as that ‘un is, it is an underachiever when compared to its taller, stronger, faster old sib. Our whole world view under assault, and striving not to overcompensate and call Song & Circuits, like, the best punk album since Elastica, the only thing we can think to say is, Song & Circuits is, like, the best punk album since The Clash.
Seriously. This album is Desert Island good. It is Rocket To Russia good. Not quite Exile On Main Street good, in part because only time will make that case, partly because declaring it so interferes with one of Tulip Frenzy’s spring narratives, which is that the forthcoming re-release of the Stones’ classic is gonna trigger Jubilee Time, or the End of Days, or something suitably mega.
Back to Songs & Circuits. If this space has not yet prompted you to sidle over to the iTunes bar to check out Capsula — the real Capsula, not the dopey Israeli electronica outfit that are currently clogging the Amazon listings, but the genuine Buenos Aires-bred, Bilbao habitating trio with their Sonic Youth Meets Brendan Benson dynamic — then may we politely urge you to GET OFF THE DIME AND CHECK THESE GUYS OUT. And the place to start, actually, is Songs & Circuits. Only after you become acclimated to their immense greatness should you turn to last year’s Rising Mountains.
We had thought our life was reasonably complete without even knowing Capsula was out there. Now we realize life can never be complete until this band gets HUGE. Do your part.
From The Guardian, and very much worth reading, as it combines reporting with the many myths about the recording sessions in Villefranche-sur-Mer.
The alchemist with a glint in his eye drops the following ingredients into an old Sunbeam blender propped on a mahogany bar: Gun Club, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, 8 Eyed Spy, The Cramps, Sonic Youth, Elastica, the Black Angels, the Stems, PJ Harvey, The Pretenders, Cracker, 13th Floor Elevators, Fleshtones, The D4, The Who, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Then he turns on the switch and we watch Roky Erickson’s Rickenbacker, Kim Gordon’s Go-Go boots, Pete Townshend’s plectrum, and Bill Milhizer’s drum stick dissolve into a fiery red magma which gets poured into a Sangria pitcher. You take one sip and swoon. Yep, that’s Capsula.
Little Steven could concoct a wide and varying playlist for The Underground Garage and never have to leave Capsula’s almost overwhelming encyclopedia of rock. Rising Mountains was released in the U.S. a year ago Monday, and while Tulip Frenzy regrets not putting these guys in the 2009 Top 10 List, we would have been downright chagrined if more than a year had gone by without us grokking on their Iberian fineness.
A few years ago, we marveled that Spain had produced the Shake. But comparing the Shake to Capsula is like comparing Owen Bieber to Iggy and the Stooges. A Spanish band you could see opening for, like, The Dandy Warhols? Well, globalism has it’s critics, but we’re not among them.
I can’t think of a working band around today I’d rather see right now. ‘Course, we’d like to see these guys play in the U.S. of A, as over there in Spain they’d probably come on at 4:30 a.m. You know, right after dinner. Too bad we missed ’em at SXSW.
(Hat tip to Andrew Bennett of San Francisco, CA, who admittedly did try getting Tulip Frenzy to open its ears. At least we saved the email and, after clicking on the link to Capsula’s site, accepted Espana’s greatest export since the Inquisition.)
UPDATE: Capsula is originally from Buenos Aires, though they’re based out of Bilbao. Also, for those who immediately headed to the iTunes store, there is another band using the same name, I believe, as it does not seem possible these guys could also produce dreamy electronica…