Unlike last week’s post, there’s nothing in here to unduly alarm your cubicle mates; these guys proudly Do Not Rock.
The American Analog Set were an Austin-based band specializing in hypnotic minimalist lullabies. They used hushed vocals, brushed snare, droning organ, and rippling vibraphone to gently envelop listeners in a warm, textured trance. They sound like they took Luna’s 1994 “Sleeping Pill” and never woke up.
I must have watched the video up top for “Come Home Baby Julie, Come Home” a dozen times this week; it somehow stays just on the right side of hipster twee for me, instead remaining really lovely and affecting. Any theories as to what it all means? It seems like an homage to fellow Austinite Richard Linklater’s Waking Life, though it could be the rotoscoping effect that makes my mind go in that direction.
The weightlessly-floating “Gone To Earth” has a video that is chock-full of that delicious, delicious retro-futurism (love the shot at 1:12 of the “Space Speed Indicator”) that makes my heart ache:
The American Analog Set – Gone To Earth
I’m not sure if either of the above two AmAnSet (an abbreviation you can use to save valuable time and/or sound “in the know”) videos were official – I suspect the second, at least, was not.
But I often enjoy fan-made videos as much as official ones. Like this one that repurposes Buster Keaton footage:
The American Analog Set – Fool Around
Or this one – flickering home movie footage provides the perfect accompaniment to softly-glowing music that treats simplicity as a virtue and already sounds wavering and grainy, like a dream of an old love half-remembered on waking:
The American Analog Set – Magnificent Seventies
“In this whole world,
The beat in my heart is
Your feet when you’re walking”
Bonus Track: American Analog Set – The Green Green Grass (Telefon Tel Aviv Remix)
Feel free to hold forth in comments about: the fine line between “serenely soothing” and “stupefyingly soporific”, or whatever strikes your fancy.
Heh…I won’t lie…I have been known to choose headlines that I think just may catch the eye of the LoOG demographic.
good stuff. i think this is the kind of music grows and gets better with each listen. its in the emusic queue now.
I kind of miss my eMusic subscription.
We’re you around back when they had unlimited downloads? That was awesome.
emusic was great back then. they have added a lot popular and big time bands so they have changed a lot. there customer service is weak and their downloaders have always been meh, but its always been a great source.
the fine line between “serenely soothing” and “stupefyingly soporific” may be calculated using a complex set of variables include at least: caffeination level, anxiety level, time of day, quality of speakers.
It is a testament to the quality of these tracks that at 2:19 am, with no caffeine in my system, and crappy laptop speakers, I find them more the former than the latter.
Good gravy, at that time, these guys would knock me right the fish out!
They have a song called “I Must Soon Quit The Scene” that I didn’t include (the video had really low-quality sound) that I find positively narcotic.
Hi all – something seemed to have changed – either on YouTube’s side or my side – where these embedded videos were automatically playing at the lowest resolutions for me. I tweaked the embed code a bit, and now they all appear to automatically play for me in the highest available resolutions – is that also working OK for everyone else?
where do you stand on charles atlas?
He transformed me from a 98-pound weakling who was always getting sand kicked in his face by bullies, to the overly-confident man-child that I am today!
Dude! I was beginning to think I was the only one who’d seen Rocky Horror more times than I can count on two hands.
Would you believe I have somehow never seen RHPS? I was just riffing off the old comic-book ad trope (in college we used to have a pretty funny cartoon on the wall that was parodying the Charles Atlas ads, featuring Henry Rollins. All I remember about it is that it started with Rollins exhorting the wimp with “BOY! YES YOU, BOY!”)
At this point, if you watch it, you’ll probably watch it on Netflix in the privacy of your own home and you will most likely say “Oh, so this is what a certain subset did before there was an internet.”
If you’re going to watch it on Netflix, it will help you to better understand what “a certain subset did before the internet” if you do it in your underwear, with a bunch of other people also in their underwear.
So…the usual then?
Let’s make this a thing.
Bring rice to throw. And be sure to shout “Don’t go to the castle!” at the appropriate moment. You’ll know when.
I can’t even imagine seeing it other than midnight, after at least several beers, and at a theatre which has since been closed.
I used to see it here. They don’t show it there anymore, but it was shown every Friday and Saturday night at midnight, including Christmas, from ’82 or so through ’96 or ’97. Back then, you could eat, drink, and smoke in the theater. As a teenager in a small town, going to see Rocky Horror, sometimes both nights, and then going to Waffle House was pretty much all there was to do on the weekend (assuming you weren’t invited to the cool kids’ parties). Fortunately, this was pre-internet, because I didn’t feel like I had to post the pictures of me in costume on Facebook (ruining any chance I’d ever have at gainful employment).
On foot on each shoulder, being careful in case he shrugs.
oh youse guys.
I just tried to use this to put me back to sleep after being woken up by a sick kid.
I won’t hold it against the band that this attempt failed.
I prefer Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery.
When I first moved here, Kenny was still a big part of the music scene. I think he’s gone through a few bands since American Analog Set, and I know he was in one with another Austinite, and Matt Pond recently.
He’s in Wooden Birds now I think. I have heard a few tracks and they are OK, but I like AAS better. Matt Pond PA used to put on a pretty good show, saw him a couple times.
I saw AAS a couple times; the last time was at Dreikönigskeller in Frankfurt in ’02.
I can’t find a great picture, but as the name implies, it is a cellar:
It was hot. It was crowded. It was stuffy.
It was magical.
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