Friday, December 31, 2010

Connor's Top 20 Albums of 2010

1) Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma

2) Band of Horses - Infinite Arms

3) The National - High Violet

4) Big Boi - Sir Lucius Left Foot

5) Land of Talk - Cloak and Cipher

6) Sleigh Bells - Treats

7) Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt

8) Owen Pallet - Heartland

9) Girl Talk - All Day

10) Beach House - Teen Dream

11) The Roots - How I Got Over

12) Gold Panda - Lucky Shiner

13) Four Tet - There is Love in You

14) Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

15) Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest

16) Teebs - Ardour

17) Das Racist - Sit Down, Man

18) Joanna Newsom - Have One on Me

19) Minus the Bear - Omni

20) The Hold Steady - Heaven is Whenever

Honorable Mentions:

The Walkmen - Lisbon
Lil B - Black Ken Mixtape
The Great Explainer - The Way Things Swell
Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

Friday, December 17, 2010

Coke Bust- Degradation (2010)

I'm not going to bother comparing Coke Bust's music to any other hardcore acts for fear of sounding out of touch with the hardcore scene (I am, I've only recently starting revisiting all of my old favorites and checking out new groups) but all you need to know is they play fast pissed off straight edge hardcore and from D.C. If you're into Ceremony, Trash Talk, Punch or any other super fast thrashy shit, you'll dig this. Blast beats and thick metal riffs galore. 6 songs in 5 minutes. The last track, "Deathbed," is the best but the whole thing is awesome.

1. Another Fucking Problem
2. Long Gone
3. Keep Out
4. Degradation
5. No Authority
6. Deathbed

Buy Degradation through Refuse Records

Thursday, December 16, 2010

tooth ache.- "Skin" (2010)

So, a while back the fantastic emerging label Father / Daughter Records got in contact with me asking me to feature this lo-fi gem from Vermont's tooth ache. Despite being so new, as far as I'm concerned Father / Daughter is 3 for 3. In addition to "Skin," they put out singles for Family Trees' "Dream Talkin'," one of my favorite songs of the year, and Levek's "Look On The Bright Side." "Skin" is a freaky mix of spiraling organs, heavy clicking rhythms and the airy vocals reminiscent of A Sunny Day In Glasgow and All Saints Day. Alexandria Hall is the sole figure behind tooth ache. and it shows. But the song's choppy, electronic chirps and simplistic composition give it a home-grown feel that makes it all the more real. Check out "Skin" via Father / Daughter's website and look for features of more great releases from this awesome up and coming label.

tooth ache.- "Skin"

Buy Skin from Father / Daughter Records

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The War On Drugs- Future Weather (2010)

Reccomended If You Like: Kurt Vile, Real Estate, Beach House, The Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan

Just when I was ready to start drawing up my best of 2010 list, along comes The War On Drugs’ new EP Future Weather. The War On Drugs play a unique blend of shoegaze that draws on Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen as much as it does My Bloody Valentine. Listen to cuts like “Taking the Farm” or “Barrel of Batteries” from the band’s 2008 debut LP Wagonwheel Blues and you’ll hear frontman Adam Granduciel’s abstract, colorful lyrics layered over warbling, fuzzed out guitars and the frantic pounding of the rhythm section.

Wagonwheel Blues found a lot of its strength in the spectacular guitar playing and songwriting of Kurt Vile, one of the group’s founding members, who has a burgeoning solo career and is the writer of one of my favorite songs ever. Vile doesn’t play on Future Weather, something that made me skeptical at first, but makes the record all the more impressive. Comparing Wagonwheel Blues with Vile’s solo work, one can tell that despite the strong similarities in style, albums like Childish Prodigy and Constant Hitmaker have a distinct singer-songwriter feel to them not found on Wagonwheel Blues. Vile’s absence on Future Weather allows Granduciel to invoke that same singer-songwriter feel.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bahamadia- Kollage (1996)

Recommended If You Like: Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, Erykah Badu

Fellow Woosa author (though he sure hasn't posted in a while, hint hint) Connor recommended Bahamadia's Kollage to me a few months back. For a while, I only rocked "Uknowhowwedu" and "Rugged Ruff" because those were the two beats that stuck out to me the most. But I listened to the whole album today and it's all top notch. Bahamadia is a female rapper out of Philly and judging by the guest features and production on Kollage, she held a solid place in the burgeoning hip-hop scene of the mid-90s. Her flow and clever lyrics certainly suggest the same, fitting perfectly over the production work of DJ Premier on tracks like"Rugged Ruff," which samples Nas' "Halftime,"and "3 The Hard Way." Also present is the other half of Gang Starr, Guru, who introduces Bahamadia on one of the albums "Interlude" tracks and produces the beat to the first proper song "WordPlay." Other highlights are "Da Jawn," which features fellow Philly natives The Roots, and the soulful "Biggest Part of Me."

I've never really dug female rappers, save for maybe frequent DOOM collaborator Empress Stahhr, who's flow is similar to Bahamadia at points. But Bahamadia's style is pretty undeniable and the beats behind her are just too dope to ignore. Click the album artwork to sample Kollage.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tyondai Braxton- Central Market (2009)

I don't know how it took me so long to grab this one by Battles' former front man Tyondai Braxton considering that Mirrored is one of my favorite albums of all time. On Central Market, Braxton utilizes the same palette of sounds we heard on Mirrored: piercing whistles, grinding gear noises, loud yelps. But Central Market is definitely more of an orchestral album. Swooping violins weave in and out of the absolute chaos of frantic drum loops, thunderous brass and other indistinguishable noises. The album's standout "Platinum Rows" has this heavy-as-fuck electronic breakdown thing that keeps recurring throughout the song's ten and a half minutes. In-between these meticulously timed blasts of vocals and noise, trumpets, violins and xylophones schizophrenically dance the line between familiar melody, symphonic beauty and absolute tonal anarchy.

"Platinum Rows" serves as a sort of dividing line for the album. It features the zany, bubbly arrangements of the first half of the record, but also the dark, evil sounds that appear more prevalently in the record's second half. "Unfurling" is a droning menace, building suspense and then destroying it with unpredictable firecracker blasts. "J. City" is the most traditional sounding song on the album, pushing Braxton's impressive vocal range to the front over crunching, dissonant guitars. Album closer "Dead Strings" is as horrifying and nerve racking as its title, layering quivering violins over the creeping footsteps of the rhythm track before breaking out into an off-tempo barrage of drill noises.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Strange Boys - Be Brave [2010]

With the release of their second album, "Be Brave" The Strange Boys have been under the radar for some time, before, however, they were dubbed as one of the best performances seen at SXSW. Putting on a 'Dylanesque' vibe and time traveling you into what could possibly be the sounds coming from a dirty dive bar in Austin, twenty years ago, it's easy to picture their sound as 'bar music', but bar music is even an understatement. All of the crooning and echo-chamber from their first album gave us an idea of how their next album would be, but little did we know that "Be Brave" would essentially top their predecessor albums.

Listen to "Night Might" here.

Twin Shadow - Forget [2010]

The guitar in "Castles In The Snow" towards the end. Wait for it. That's all i'm saying

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cold Cave- "Life Magazine" (2009)

Ugh, I know I have been terrible about posting and I wish I had a legitimate excuse to give you, my few readers. But I don't. But I'm going to be better I promise. And to the artists who sent me music, don't worry! I'm going to post about it soon I promise!

But as for today, I bring you a great track from Cold Cave's awesome, overlooked 2009 release Love Comes Close. The track is called "Life Magazine," I believe they came out with an EP for the track this year that featured a bunch of remixes. Love Comes Close finds its strength in its variation. It jumps from slow moving drone, to bouncy shoegaze, to buzzing synth-pop, all within the first three tracks. "Life Magazine," the third of the aforementioned tracks, is the hybrid of the glitchy beeps of Crystal Castles and the driving dance punk of Death From Above 1979. Female vocalist Jennifer Clavin's voice bears a striking resemblance to Lisa Lobsinger of Broken Social Scene. Wes Eisold, formerly of American Nightmare and Some Girls, split's vocals with Clavin and is the mastermind behind the group. And though Cold Cave retains some of his punk and hardcore roots, their music is much more experimental than anything he has done previously. Check out the fantastic "Life Magazine" and Love Comes Close if you have a chance.

Cold Cave- "Life Magazine" (via Stereogum)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mac Miller

Whoa, sorry for the month long hiatus. Now that I'm back at school, I should be posting more regularly. Today, I'm here to bring you two fresh tracks from Pittsburgh's Mac Miller. This kid is only 19 years old and he's already been featured on a Wiz Khalifa track. His lyrics and flow definitely borrow from Khalifa (he loves to sing about weed), but there's also elements of Big L and Curren$y in there. Check out these two dope tracks from his K.I.D.S. (Kickin Incredibly Dope Shit) Mixtape, out now on Rostrum Records and available for free download over at "Nikes On My Feet" might be one of the illest beats I've heard this year.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Morrissey- You Are The Quarry (2004)

There is that crucial moment for every massive Smiths fan, like myself, when you get your first taste of Morrissey's solo work. For me, it was his debut album, 1988's excellent Viva Hate. "This isn't so bad," I thought. The instrumentation is definitely not as memorable or definitive as The Smiths' work, but the album can hold its own and is one of his finest solo releases. However, when I dug up 2004's You Are The Quarry from my parents' collection of CDs, an unfamiliar side of the singer was revealed to me. Instead of the colorful arrangements, distinctly 80s era overproduction and Smiths sounding jangly guitars, You Are The Quarry's musical backing is one that can be described simply and/or impossibly as "Britpop" or "Brit Rock." I say that because I can never quite put my finger on what makes something Brit Rock, so I mostly try to refrain from using the term. But I'm pretty sure this is it.

The music ranges from angsty, octave chord anthems to delightfully intimate piano musings. We all know the focus of a Morrissey album is the man himself, his lyrics, his presence, his mighty bellows and whimsical la-la-la's, but to not mention the masterful pop rock arrangements on this album would be a shame. No matter how much you love the Moz, the stuff behind him has got to be interesting to make it a worthy solo release. But I digress.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dead Luke- "The Best Drug I've Ever Done"

Sup y'all posting from Block Island. Going through the massive list of songs I've downloaded recently and I found this aptly titled gem from Dead Luke called "The Best Drug I've Ever Done." The song is a cut of haunting psychedelia; the reverberating guitars and drugged out vocals make the song a devastatingly enveloping swell of noise. Very similar to Kurt Vile, a little more less coherent but just as awesome. Give it a try.

Dead Luke- "The Best Drug I've Ever Done" from American Haircut (via Raven Sings The Blues)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dwight K. Schrute vs. Weezy- "Office Musik (Clockwork Edit)"

I know I'm probably hella late on this one but goddamn, I never thought I would be listing a novelty mashup as one of my favorite tracks of the year. Clockwork's brilliant "Office Musik" combines The Office's catchy theme music with Lil Wayne's "Hustler Muzik" into a hilarious and more importantly catchy as hell party anthem. And Clockwork actually puts some work into this one, switching up the beats and chopping up the theme's signature piano melodies. Just try not to think about how mediocre The Office is now.

Dwight K. Schrute vs. Weezy- "Office Musik (Clockwork Edit)"
via Feral Party Kids

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thee Oh Sees- "I Was Denied"

"I Was Denied" is actually my first taste of Thee Oh Sees, I downloaded it a month or two back after hearing good things about the band. The song is ripped from their 2010 album Warm Slime, out now on In The Red. Warm Slime is almost good way to describe this fuzzy slab of psych pop, full of clanging distorted guitars, frontman John Dwyer's manic yelps, and thunderous cymbal crashes. It's got this awesome lo-fi bluesy, punky stomp beat to it that brings to mind the work of King Khan (King Khan & BBQ show, King Khan & The Shrines) or The White Stripes. It's loud, it's catchy, it's heavy, it's slimey, just an all around good time. Definitely gonna check out the album, but for now enjoy "I Was Denied."

Thee Oh Sees- "I Was Denied" from Warm Slime (via MBV Music)

Tamaryn- "Sandstone"

I've only listened to Tamaryn's "Sandstone" a few times but I can already tell it's one of my favorite songs of the year. While we all keep waiting for that new My Bloody Valentine album, Tamaryn's about the closest you'll come to hearing something that sounds like Loveless. The song's droning bass lines, ethereal vocals and fuzzy guitar loops are most obviously indebted to the aforementioned shoegaze pioneers, though there are hints of The Jesus and Mary Chain, Beach House and A Sunny Day in Glasgow. Don't miss this one, definitely gonna be on my year end list.

Tamaryn- "Sandstone"
from The Waves (via Pitchfork)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ghettosocks - Out For Treats (2009)

Plain and simple -- even though this is a release from last year I feel that it's still worthy of mentioning. It's a shame how great new music can fall so low beneath the radar with artist pollution at an all time high, but I digress. Obviously,with any hip-hop single there's compromise of content. This is supposed to be Ghettosocks' stab at a pop song,and it's pretty clear some of these hip hop guys aren't pop music stars but, in my opinion at least, this is a solid single.With that said, this is also the most pop-oriented track on the album, which is absolutely worth picking up if you're into this old-school vibe. Every listen I'm find myself discovering that Mr. Socks is a Canadian hip-hop artist with all the right influences, hopefully you see it too. Luckily, even if you don’t see what I’m talking about there’s some delicious looking snacks that even Rachel Ray would want to rub all over herself all dirty-like.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Neko Case- Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (2006)

Neko Case is a member of the prolific Canadian supergroup The New Pornographers, but her solo material similar has a distinctly alternative country feel to it similar to Calexico, Cass McCombs or Camera Obscura. On Fox Confessor Brings The Flood, what I consider her best work, Case is joined by a talented array of musicians including members of Calexico and The Band. She uses her instantly recognizable beautiful voice, multi-tracked to create some of the most spine-tingling harmonies I've ever heard, to tell stories of nostalgia and heartbreak. The music behind her ranges from acoustic ballads to twangy rock compositions.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Beach Fossils- "Youth"

Really digging this track from Brooklyn's Beach Fossils from their self-titled debut, out this year on Captured Tracks. Any fan of all that reverb drenched stuff that has been coming out on Woodsist, Underwater Peoples (see: Real Estate, Gauntlet Hair, Wild Nothing, Alex Bleeker, Pill Wonder, etc.) will absolutely love this song. The Smiths are definitely in there somewhere too. Chiming guitars, vocal overdubs, driving melodies, why listen to Beach House when you could be listening to Beach Fossils!

Beach Fossils- "Youth" from Beach Fossils (via One Track Mind)

Silver Jews- American Water (1998)

American Water is the third album by Silver Jews, aka David Berman and friends, and I've been told it's their best. I haven't heard any of Berman's other albums as the Silver Jews, but I absolutely love American Water. It surprises me that despite all the wide recognition and acclaim that Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain get, American Water, an album which should most certainly be mentioned in the same sentence for its similarities in both level of excellence and musical sound, is often overlooked. The music, a mix of Berman's dry Southern drawl, which calls to mind the low croons of Bill Callahan, witty and surreal lyrics and twangy, raw guitar work, certainly calls to mind Pavement almost immediately, though Berman's style is unique. The similarities are not surprising given the bands' close connections; Stephen Malkmus plays on and co-wrote some of the songs on the album. "People," "Buckingham Rabbit" and "Federal Dust" are some of the record's highlights, each track loaded with Berman's impressive lyrics, either devastatingly personal or playful. The album's influence is hard to miss, both in the work of contemporaries Built to Spill, Yo La Tengo and Guided By Voices, as well as modern acts like Real Estate and Destroyer. Click the album artwork to sample or buy below.

1. Random Rules
2. Smith & Jones Forever
3. Night Society
4. Federal Dust
5. People
6. Blue Arrangements
7. We Are Real
8. Send In the Clouds
9. Like like the the the Death
10. Buckingham Rabbit
11. Honk If You're Lonely
12. The Wild Kindness

Recommended If You Like: Pavement, Guided By Voices, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Real Estate, Bill Callahan, Yo La Tengo


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Doomriders- Black Thunder (2005)

Doomriders are a four piece punk group out of Boston whose line up features metal heavyweights like Converge's Nate Newton and Disappearer's Jebb Riley. Despite the attention that the band's 2009 release Darkness Come Alive, I think Doomriders' crushing mix of skate punk, thrash and stoner metal is unleashed with the most precision and ferocity on their 2005 debut Black Thunder. The album cover gives you a pretty good idea of both the group's sound and intentions; you'll be wishing your hair was longer and/or throwing up the horns by the end of the first track. The album's title track and opener is extreme blend of Newton's Lemmy-esque roars, descending guitar harmonies and crunching bass.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Zed- "Plastic Love" (1983)

Here's a ridiculous 80s disco tune that me and fellow blog author Connor heard on Princeton College Radio WPRB today, specifically the show MotorFunker (check out their blog here). It's definitely cheesy 80s disco to the max, but its primitive rhythm track, stuttered vocals and bouncy synths probably serve as an indirect influence to modern day acts like The Knife, Dâm-Funk or even lo-fi weirdos like Tickley Feather, Ariel Pink and High Places. Check it out.

Monday, May 17, 2010

White Ring- "IxC999"

Sorry for the lack of updates, finals + summer bro10 kick off + work has been consuming my life. I did start my summer off the right way by seeing the one and only Moby at Webster Hall on Friday, one of the sickest dj sets I have ever seen. Anyway, here's a quick post about this amazingly creepy song "IxC999" by duo White Ring. Imagine if The Knife's "Heartbeats" sounded more like their darker work on Silent Shout instead of the upbeat club banger that it is. Then imagine something about 10x more creepy than that. "IxC999" starts off with ominous blaring synths before morphing into a haunting mix of distorted female vocals, steel drums, and rhythmic gun shots a la "Paper Planes." Kinda plays like a creation of the evil twins of Crystal Castles. Fans of Silent Shout, Zola Jesus, Cocteau Twins should check this one out, but beware: it's not for the faint of heart.

White Ring- "IxC999"
(via Pitchfork)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Born Ruffians- "I Need A Life (Four Tet Mix)"

Born Ruffians are delightfully catchy three piece from Ontario (I'll be featuring their debut LP Red, Yellow & Blue very soon, don't miss it) whose music usually resembles the jangly indie pop of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! or Peter Bjorn and John. But when Warp labelmate Four Tet remixes the Ruffians' "I Need A Life," the result is very different. As a b-side to their Little Garçon single, Four Tet turns the rowdy teenage singalong into a hypnotic mix of twinkling guitars and echoing harmonies. The remix reminds me a lot of Deakin's remix of Phoenix's "Love Like A Sunset," but of course that's a good thing. Add this one Four Tet's already enormous list of awesome remixes.

"Born Ruffians- I Need A Life (Four Tet Mix)" from Little Garçon (via This Music Wins) LINK REMOVED

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Grouper- Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill (2008)

One of 2008's often overlooked gems, Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill by Portland's Liz Harris, stage name Grouper, is one of my favorite records of all time. Fans of the hypnotizing drone of Animal Collective's Campfire Songs, Grizzly Bear's Horn Of Plenty or Pocahaunted's Island Diamonds will fall instantly in love with Harris' beautiful mix of ethereal vocals and delicate guitar. Acoustic drone is such an awesome concept, one that Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill executes drenched with haunting emotion and heartbreaking beauty. Songs like "Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping" and "When We Fall" are personal favorites, both full of Harris' reverb-covered moans, where her falsettos seem to pierce the soul. Harris' unique mix of folk, drone and psychedelia has cemented her position in the experimental scene and her work is now getting the recognition it deserves. Don't miss this one. Skip track one, start with "Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping." I opted for that picture up there instead of the artwork (it's creepy) because that is one of my favorite pictures of a musical artist. So cool.

Buy Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill on iTunes

Pimpin' Ain't Easy

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Little Ones- "Lovers Who Uncover (Crystal Castles Remix)"

Check out this sick remix by Crystal Castles that my friend Cris showed me, it's been on constant repeat for the last few days. I still haven't made up mind about Crystal Castles (I hated pretty hard on their first album but I think I am slowly starting to see the light, I'm definitely gonna give the new one a chance) but there's no denying it, this song fucking rules. Heavy percussion, those 8-bit synths bleeps the Castles have become so known for, don't miss out on this one.

The Little Ones- "Lovers Who Uncover (Crystal Castles Remix)"
(via Rewriteable Content)

Friday, April 30, 2010

NPR's "This American Life" series is now on Netflix Instant

Ira Glass, American public radio personality, took Boston Public Radio's hour long program "This American Life" and gave it a new medium by turning it into a series. In 2007, the show ran for a good year, before Ira and a few others on TAL's staff pulled the plug on the series. (Reason being, because the footage captured for one show, would be over a timespan that conflicted with Showtime's airing deadlines.) If you have Netflix or Itunes, I recommend watching the series. The stories told are beautiful and most imporantly, real.

If you don't have Netflix or Itunes, it's not the end of the world: You'll find some here.

Tim Hecker- Harmony In Ultraviolet (2006)

I'm not gonna bother trying to explain this album a) because it's really hard to explain drone/ambient albums b) I'm way too drunk right now to be articulate. But Tim Hecker's Harmony In Ultraviolet is without question one of the best ambient albums I have ever heard. Hecker has been at the forefront of the experimental electronic music for almost 10 years and Harmony In Ultraviolet is surely his finest composition. The album is a haunting but undeniably compelling mix of glitch, drone and laptop electronica, similar in sound to avant-garde contemporaries Christian Fennesz, Nadja, or even the expansive post-rock of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Also, Harmony In Ultraviolet has to be one of the best fucking album names ever, not to mention it describes this album perfectly. I'm not gonna bother explaining any further, JUST DOWNLOAD THIS ALBUM RIGHT NOW. Refer to When We Were Younger And Better's comprehensive Tim Hecker post for more of his amazing back catalog. Otherwise click the album artwork to sample.

Buy Harmony In Ultraviolet on iTunes

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Andrew W.K.- "Party Hard"

After having a sick throwback session with my roommate Pat White (check out his sick photo blog here and download his mixtape), I decided that Andrew W.K.'s "Party Hard" is probably one of the best songs ever written. Perfect mix of early 00's nostalgia and hilarious balls out rock. Remember when this song was the shit? Don't hate.

Friday, April 23, 2010

M.I.A.- "Born Free"

Only a few days after she announced the release date for her new album (via blimp), M.I.A. has blessed us all with "Born Free," the first single from her yet to be titled new album. It fucking rules. Psychedelic swirling vocals boom over crashing cymbals and a fuzzy guitar line. It's sure as hell like nothing she's done before, this shit is straight punk rock. I know she had mentioned in an interview that this album was going to be different, but this is more awesome than expected. Check out "Born Free" below and commence "getting stoked" about M.I.A.'s new album.

Stream M.I.A.- "Born Free" at Stereogum

Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record [2010]

Count on a band like Broken Social Scene to not change anything you love about them and yet completely throw to the wind any suggestions they're a one trick pony. Let's run through my Official "What makes an album like Forgiveness Rock Record successful?" Check List, shall we?

- Kevin Drew's outrageously catchy and abstract lyrics? (Check.)

- Amy Millan, Leslie Feist, and Emily Haines tearing it up on vocals? (Check.)

- Production by John McEntire (who's worked with Tortoise and Sea & Cake)? (Check.)

- Brand spankin' new horn section that feels like it's been missing since the first album? (Check.)

Broken Social Scene's contributions to setting the bar for indie music have yet to cease and that's the bottom line. For their first album in five years, this maintains true to their roots in a clear and more straightforward way then ever: accessible and poppy yet expansive and psychedelic. This should absolutely be the first BSS record you pass on to a friend.

Between 'You Forgot It In People' and their self-titled, there's usually noticeable correlation after each release and what gets popular in the indie scene. Perhaps Forgiveness Rock Record is a sincere apology from the company to any of their listeners expecting them to set the bar any lower? Or maybe a light-hearted joke on the bands that will have to gall to try and replicate it? Either way, nobody should be sorry purchasing this CD May 4th.

Toro Y Moi -"Talamak"

This year, one must ask themselves... "Am I riding the chill wave?"

Toro Y Moi dropped their first full-length album titled, "Causers of This" earlier this year, and since then, it's been spreading like wildfire. Chazwick Bundick, the brain behind this entire album, (not surprised he chose Toro Y Moi as a name to represent his music, aside from just using his name... chazwick? really?) either way his music is a slice of heaven. Most of the songs on this album, have a really low-key "vaca" vibe to them, so if you're trying to get pumped for warm weather, drunk volleyball games, and Fla-Vor-Ice, get this album. It'll do you some good.

Sunglasses- "Whiplash"

Although I tend to dislike most of the stuff that comes out nowadays that sounds exactly like Animal Collective, Sunglasses' song "Whiplash," despite all it's unashamed Panda Bear influence, is one of the best singles of the year. Given its revolving beats, carnival-esque synths, and playful vocals, the song should henceforth be mentioned in any sentence concerning the best Animal Collective impression of 2010, in the running with Delorean's "Stay Close" and Keepaway's "Yellow Wings." All comparisons aside, "Whiplash" is a delightful track that any fan of electronic psychedelic pop will dig. Check the track below.

Sunglasses- "Whiplash" (via Fantastic Weapon)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sonic Youth- Screaming Fields Of Sonic Love

As if you needed anymore proof that Experimental Etc. is one of the best music blogs out there right now, they just posted an awesome VHS Rip of a Sonic Youth's video collection Screaming Fields of Sonic Love which features music videos of the band's songs from their first album through their 1988 classic Daydream Nation. I haven't watched it yet but the stills that Exp. Etc. posted are enough to get me excited and convince me its worth clicking 7 different Rapidshare links to download.

Sonic Youth- Screaming Fields Of Sonic Love at Experimental Etc.

Jim Carroll Band- "People Who Died"

My friend Andrew (he doesn't have a blog but if he did it would too ridiculous for the internet to handle) turned me on to this amazing song by the Jim Carroll Band called "People Who Died" from their 1980 album Catholic Boy. With a little research, I was able to briefly familiarize myself with Jim Carroll, author of the Basketball Diaries and all around awesome relevant punk literary figure. Listening to "People Who Died," it's easy to see what Kurt Vile and his band The War On Drugs were listening to before writing their songs. The song's morbid lyrics and fast-paced, rowdy and almost shoegaze-y guitar work call to mind the raw punk of contemporaries The Misfits, The Velvet Underground, and The Stooges. Check out "People Who Died Below."

Jim Carroll Band- "People Who Died" from Catholic Boy

Saturday, April 17, 2010

RUN DMT- "Spruce Bringsteen"

Ughhh, sorry I haven't updated in forever. Just been real busy with school and shit. Anyway, I'm probably gonna bombard you all with a bunch of posts over the next few days to make up for it. Here's a great song I found over at Chocolate Bobka called "Spruce Bringsteen" by RUN DMT. Judging from their myspace, this dude has a love for all things psychedelic and drug related and it certainly comes through in the music. "Spruce Bringsteen" is a short little variation whose twinkling guitar, ambling bass line and hazy melodies call to mind the Beach Boys influenced psychedelic pop of Ariel Pink, Department Of Eagles, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Check out "Spruce Bringsteen" below and be sure to check out RUN DMT's myspace, he's put up a bunch of free albums for download.

RUN DMT- "Spruce Bringsteen"
(via Chocolate Bobka)
RUN DMT on Myspace

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti- The Doldrums (2004)

Check out Glowing Raw's awesome feature on Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti's The Doldrums. Ariel Pink is finally getting some more mainstream exposure with the release of "Round and Round" from the band's upcoming album on 4AD. The Doldrums is one of Pink's first releases so it features the distinct lo-fi feel that his work is known for. Pink boasts a cult following because of his strange approach to songwriting; on The Doldrums, Pink recorded most of the drums sounds using his mouth and he is also known for his extensive list of unreleased material available on CD-Rs and tapes passed out at shows.

But behind all the weirdness, The Doldrums stands as a testament of Pink's brilliantly unique take on music. The music sounds like some kind of alternate reality Beach Boys. It's poppy and sappy, but there is a distinct creepy vibe to it. The lo-fi recording accentuates the out of tune guitars, crackling violins and swirling vocals. It's like the music of some lost weird psychedelic decade.

Anyway I could go on, but I'll just refer you to Glowing Raw's sweet coverage (and upload) of The Doldrums. I will probably be posting some of more of Pink's stuff soon. Read up on the guy in the mean time, his Wikipedia is a good place to start, he is really an amazingly interesting musician.

Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti- The Doldrums (2004) on Glowing Raw
Ariel Pink on Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Delorean- "Stay Close" (2010)

I feel like I shouldn't, but I love the new Delorean song. No, not that cool car from Back To The Future. The four piece from Barcelona who had that pretty good song last year called "Seasun." Their new song "Stay Close" from their upcoming debut LP Subiza is a blissful mix of all that synth-pop you love to hate or hate to love. The catchy melodies and chopped up samples are reminiscent of bands like Passion Pit and Discovery, though their well thought out pop based arrangements give them a Phoenix-esque maturity in regards to their songwriting. One more reason to love this song: they use that awesome 'woohoo' loop from the untouchable middle section of "Brother Sport."

Check out "Stay Close" from Delorean's Subiza, it's due out June 8th on True Panther Sounds. Stream the track below.

Delorean- "Stay Close" (via Stereogum)
Link Removed

Tobacco- "Sweatmother" (2010)

The first official track from Tobacco's eagerly anticipated sophomore LP Maniac Meat. Fuzzy grinding synths, demonic croaks, percussion to melt your mind. You know the drill.

By now, you should be as excited about this album as I am.


Tobacco- "Sweatmother" (via Pitchfork)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bob Dylan- Another Side Of Bob Dylan (1964)

Another Side Of Bob Dylan is Dylan’s fourth album, the follow up the monumental The Times They Are a-Changin’. While many of the songs on the album retain the deeply political themes of its predecessor, Another Side Of Bob Dylan, like its title explains, portrays the increasingly poetic and emotional side of the musician, a side that appears in his earlier work but is now more completely realized. Album opener “All I Really Want To Do” showcases Dylan’s mastering of rhyme as well as his deeply emotional yet playful lyrics.
I ain't lookin' to compete with you
Beat or cheat or mistreat you
Simplify you, classify you
Deny, defy or crucify you
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.
The whole album plays like an intimate personal concert rather than a studio recording. All the songs on the album feature only Dylan’s vocals, his acoustic guitar and his harmonica. The fact that the guitar sometimes plays out of time and Dylan giggles his way through the final lines of “All I Really Want To Do” only add the album’s personal and intimate feel. Other fan favorites present are the absolutely heartbreaking “It Ain’t Me Babe” as well the scathing, politically fueled “My Back Pages.”

But equally as fantastic are some of the album’s lesser-known tunes. “Spanish Harlem Incident,” one of my favorite Dylan tunes, has some of the album’s best and most surreal lyrics. “Motorpsycho Nitemare” and “I Shall Be Free No. 10” portray Dylan’s brilliant wit, particularly when it is infused with his fierce political criticism. The former weaves a hilarious story of Dylan’s night spent on a farm, trying to resist the temptation of the farmer’s beautiful daughter. He resolves the situation by shouting “I like Fidel Castro and his beard,” which results in the farmer chasing him out with a shotgun. Dylan closes the song with the brilliant line, “Me, I romp and stomping, thankful as a romp, without freedom of speech, I’d still be in the swamp.” The lyrics of “I Shall Be Free No. 10” brings to mind the stream of consciousness style that contemporary John Lennon popularized later in the decade.
I was shadow-boxing earlier in the day
I figured I was ready for Cassius Clay
I said "Fee, fie, fo, fum, Cassius Clay, here I come
26, 27, 28, 29, I'm gonna make your face look just like mine
Five, four, three, two, one, Cassius Clay you'd better run
99, 100, 101, 102, your ma won't even recognize you
14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, gonna knock him clean right out of his spleen."

Now, I'm liberal, but to a degree
I want ev'rybody to be free
But if you think that I'll let Barry Goldwater
Move in next door and marry my daughter
You must think I'm crazy!
I wouldn't let him do it for all the farms in Cuba.
Other highlights are the sprawling “Ballad In Plain D” and “Chimes Of Freedom,” as well as the beautiful “To Ramona” and lighthearted “I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met).” The whole album is a stunning portrait of Dylan, as stark and candid as the black and white photo of him on the cover. Without the full band backing of his later albums, Another Side Of Bob Dylan’s minimalist guitar and vocal combinations allow Dylan’s lyrics to be completely at the forefront. The intellectualism of the folk movement is combined with his uniquely witty and raw emotional lyrics. It is one of my favorite Dylan albums, full of hidden gems, and both a good starting place for Dylan newbies and an essential for any fan of his work. Click the album artwork to sample the album.

UPDATE: Sorry dudes, apparently Bob Dylan and Columbia haven't made enough money so I can't let you sample the album.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bill Clinton proves (again) that he is a candid and honest guy

"It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake. I had to live everyday with the consequences of the loss of capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people because of what I did; nobody else."
I generally think that Bill Clinton is a good guy and one of the better presidents (probably from reading Lies And The Lying Liars That Tell Them by Al Franken). He did do some questionable things while in office, ranging from his free trade policies to his personal mistakes, but I think overall he has been given a bit of a bad rap and since his presidency, has been honest about his missteps in not intervening in Rwanda and recently, about how his free trade policies have destroyed Haiti's ability to rely on itself for food. Clinton's free trade policies also undermined food markets in Mexico and the issues of food security and barriers to self sufficiency are ones of great importance, so Clinton acknowledging this, speaking on behalf of the UN envoy to Haiti, is still an important and good thing. Check out the Huffington Post's coverage of the issue, it discusses some of the complex issues with tariffs on food and the U.S.'s rocky past with Haiti.

World Water Day

Check out the Big Picture's fantastic photo series commemorating 2010's World Water Day. It's a moving set that incorporates both beautiful imagery of water around the globe and thought-provoking photos that highlight water-related issues around the world including pollution, drought and climate change. From the Big Picture's post, I learned that National Geographic is giving away a free issue of their April issue entitled Water: Our Thirsty Planet which also highlights various crucial issues pertaining to water. You can download it here, but downloading it requires installing a program called Zinio Reader, which is a program that manages online magazine and print subscriptions. I downloaded it and it seems harmless enough but its up to you if its worth it for a free issue of National Geographic. If you do choose to download it, make sure you do it before April 2nd, which is when the free download expires.

Also coinciding with World Water Day is the release of the Story of Bottled Water, from the makers of the fantastic Story of Stuff. Watch it below:

Bottled water is whack, I've known for a while that Dasani and Aquafina are just glorified, expensive tap water. I do really enjoy Poland Spring but this video is compelling enough to get me to not buy bottled water.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Dinner Was Better Than Yours and other Sunday night musings

Sunday night, home alone, been procrastinating all day, the solution: heady dinner. Above you can see the meal fit for kings that I ate tonight:

- Salad (broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, Drew's Caesar Salad Dressing (no anchovies, essential) and pecorino romano)
- Tater tots
- Boca Spicy Chik'n Patty

That's a pretty fine meal if you ask. I even put just enough ketchup on my plate to last for all of the tater tots. I'm listening to this awesome compilation called Pomegranates: Persian Pop, Funk and Psych of the 60's & 70's, two awesome blogs that I read (and you probably should too), Glowing Raw and Exp Etc., recently did features on the album and I think I might just have to do my own. Cool stuff.

In other news, I'm super amped about the premiere of Life tonight on Discovery. It looks epic as hell, very similar to Planet Earth. Keep up with that.

I'll have some more music coming your way tomorrow, stay tuned.

Kisses- "Bermuda"

Absolutely love this track from LA duo Kisses called "Bermuda." The fact that they are a duo and write sunny, hazy pop will no doubt draw numerous comparisons to Beach House, but they have a unique flavor that has me really excited. Singer Jesse Kivel's voice calls to mind fellow melancholy crooners like Jens Lekman and Belle & Sebastian, while the music itself is more dance-oriented. Its heavy but simple clap rhythms and sunny synths remind me of those found in the music of artists like Discovery, Toro Y Moi, or Bibio.

Check out Kisses' beautiful "Bermuda" and be on the lookout for their debut album The Heart of the Nightlife, due out soon.

Kisses- "Bermuda" from Bermuda (via The Yellow Stereo)

Here We Go Magic- "Tunnelvision" and "Collector"

For some reason, I never bothered checking out Here We Go Magic despite the buzz they got last year. Man, do I regret that. I recently downloaded their new single "Collector" from their forthcoming Pigeons, due out in June on Secretly Canadian, as well as the track "Tunnelvision" from their self-titled album from last year. The tracks are wildly different but both fantastic. "Collector" starts with an urgent bass line and then explodes into a rhythmically driven blend of dancing guitars and frantic vocals. The track lies somewhere between the psychedelia of the band's first album and simple, upbeat indie pop, reminiscent of bands like Eastern Youth, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Deerhoof, Ponytail, or Sunset Rubdown.

Besides the similar psychedelic elements the two tracks may share, "Tunnelvision" is on the opposite end of the spectrum. The track is a haunting mix of repetitive rhythms and chants, droning acoustic guitars, and high pitched croons. The most obvious similarity in sound is to Grizzly Bear's Yellow House, though the track's lo-fi feel and shimmering guitars call to mind Ariel Pink, Grouper and Animal Collective's Sung Tongs. Though both tracks are fantastic in their own way, I must say I prefer "Tunnelvision."

Keep your eyes and ears open for Here We Go Magic's second LP Pigeons and a possible write-up on their first album soon. Until then, enjoy streaming both tracks below.

Here We Go Magic- "Tunnelvision" from Here We Go Magic (via You Ain't No Picasso)
Here We Go Magic- "Collector" from Pigeons (via We All Want Someone To Shout For)
More tunes on Myspace

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bluebrain- Soft Power (2010)

Last night, my friend Connor and I attended the Brightest Young Things sponsored album release party for Bluebrain's new album Soft Power. It was kind of a spontaneous thing, my interest was sparked more by the promise of a DJ set by Molly Siegel (lead singer of Ponytail). The first time I heard Bluebrain was when they started playing at around 10:45.

Quick review of the openers: Molly Siegel was awesome. You could tell she wasn't really used to doing DJ sets but her eclectic samples and heavy beats had me dancing. DJ Empath followed with a set of ridiculously heavy dubstep, which was fucking awesome, not much more to say about that.

Then it was time for Bluebrain, the band I had come to see without ever hearing them. I had a good feeling though, just from the fact that the only things on the stage were two opposing podiums filled with mixers, sampling equipment and keyboards. Each podium had four mics hovering above it running into the mixer; I was excited. My good feeling was validated about three seconds into the first song: Bluebrain is incredible live. In addition to the pummeling beats, blaring synths and echoing vocals that came blasting from the speakers, the brotherly duo had a huge screen behind them displaying some trippy visuals that fit perfectly with their wild music.

I'm stupid and didn't buy their debut LP Soft Power but you can find some of their music online luckily. Their mp3s don't really live up to the brilliance and intensity of their live show, but they still showcase the bands undeniable talent and creativity. Think of a smarter version of MGMT, layered vocals, driving percussion and layered vocals, mixed with with the more chilling, lo-fi weirdness of Nurses. Definitely keep an eye on this band because they are already creating a buzz with the release of Soft Power.

The record release also marked one of the first shows for D.C.'s new U St. Music Hall and it's definitely a cool venue. Intimate with a lot of bar space and room to dance. Up and coming DJ Tittsworth will be there this Saturday, so check that out if you're in the DC area. Check out three tracks from Bluebrain's Soft Power below.

<a href="">Ten By Ten by BLUEBRAIN</a>
<a href="">Caught Up In The Laughter by BLUEBRAIN</a>
<a href="">Royal Blue by BLUEBRAIN</a>

Additionally, you can find two tracks from Bluebrain's EP Cult Following here. Check out the band's website for more music and info on upcoming shows.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tobacco- Fucked Up Friends (2008)

If you dig: Black Moth Super Rainbow, Flying Lotus, Prefuse 73, Four Tet

I don't understand how anyone could honestly not like Tobacco's Fucked Up Friends. On the album, Black Moth Super Rainbow leader Tom Fec uses the psychedelic palette of bubblegum sounds that his band uses: the warbling flute lines, buzzing synths, spacey percussion, vocoders, etc. But Fucked Up Friends has a unique focus on rhythm, giving it a more hip-hop feel. Though much of Black Moth Super Rainbow's work has always featured impressive rhythmic and percussive background, Tobacco allows Fec the control to construct short variations based on brilliant blends of strange psychedelia and engaging beats. Fec's preference for analog devices gives the songs a mysterious vibe, sounding both futuristic and old and haunted at the same time. Fec described that the album is inspired partly by "fucked up" 80s workout videos and the songs' energy and weird sounds (along with its fantastic cover art, seen above) perfectly convey the "awful yet good and curious" Fec claims he is trying to achieve.

"Truck Sweat," my favorite off the album, starts with a crunchy snare beat and a foreboding ascending loop before exploding into a weaving mix of bouncing synths, flutes and warped vocals. "Berries That Burn" alternates between space age synths and hammering bass and drums. Right in the middle of the album there is an awesome feature by Aesop Rock, though I think Tobacco's stuff is ultimately better sans rapping. To me, the beats are just to compelling and layered to not pay attention to.

Games- "Everything Is Working"

The track "Everything Is Working" by Games caught my attention because apparently one half of Games is Dan Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never. I've been jamming the shit out of Oneohtrix Point Never's Rifts, an overlooked 2009 gem (check out when we were younger & better's feature on Rifts). Games are little more straightforward than the expansive drone and ambient of Oneohtrix Point Never (the other member of Games is Joel Ford of Tiger City), I guess they channel a little bit of the chillwave sound that has been popular recently, though let's just disassociate the two right now because I hate using that word. "Everything Is Working" uses warped vocal samples, dreamy synth loops and a driving beat to create a final product that is both complex and catchy. Check out "Everything Is Working" and be on the lookout for Games' debut EP That We Can Play.

Games- "Everything Is Working"
from That We Can Play (via Chocolate Bobka)

Cults- "Go Outside"

This cool track by mysterious Brooklyn duo Cults is getting some hype and it definitely shows some promise for the band. The sing song melodies and tropical, punchy percussion of "Go Outside" bring to mind acts like The Ruby Suns or The Flaming Lips. The band has made "Go Outside" and two other tracks available for free on bandcamp so check that out or stream the song below.

Cults- "Go Outside" from Cults (via Weekly Tape Deck)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Anti-Apartheid Poetry, DC Shows, Etc.

Welcome back. Been kind of slacking with posting lately so here's a bunch of goodies.

I had this awesome guest lecturer yesterday for my US-Africa Policy course named Dr. Keith Gottschalk. He grew up in South Africa during apartheid and would read his poetry at anti-apartheid rallies. He performed a few for us and I managed to find some more of it here.

For those readers reporting from the DC area, there are some awesome shows coming up.

The Black Cat
Wed Mar 24- THE RUBY SUNS, TORO Y MOI $10 Backstage 9:00
Thu Apr 15- OWEN PALLETT (formerly Final Fantasy) $15 Mainstage 8:00
Fri Apr 23- THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH, NURSES $12 Mainstage 9:00

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tobacco To Drop Maniac Meat

Above you can see the predictably terrifying album artwork for Tobacco's new album, the similarly predictably titled Maniac Meat. Tobacco is the alias of Tom Fec, a member of the mysterious collective of bubblegum psych weirdos Black Moth Super Rainbow. Tobacco's work expands off the sugary psychedelic synths, vocoder vocals and general lo-fi weirdness that Black Moth Super Rainbow has become known for. But Tobacco's work owes more to hip-hop and dance than anything else the group has done. Tobacco's 2008 debut Fucked Up Friends is one of my favorite albums and is definitely an underrated 2008 gem.

No official tracks are available yet but we do know Beck will be featured on two tracks! Additionally, if you head over The Hairy Cult, which seems like it is run by someone closely affiliated or enamored with all things BMSR, you can find what I presume is some early demos from Maniac Meat. If your a fan of BMSR or Tobacco, definitely check out some of the other posts, the guy has uploaded a bunch of awesome rare tracks, demos and other cool stuff.

In other Black Moth news, I am currently listening to keyboardists The Seven Fields of Aphelion's debut solo album Periphery. Definitely not as compelling as Tobacco's work, but cool nonetheless.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Life Magazine Profiles The Great Liteary Boozers & Drug Addicts

Found this awesome article on boing boing. Having read work by many of the authors mentioned, it provided insight into some of their interesting writing styles. The embedded gallery doesn't list their names but you should know them already! If you don't, click the link at the top of the gallery for the article on Life's website, complete with the author's name, drug(s) of choice and some hilarious quotes. Dig it.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Caribou- "Odessa"

Caribou is the moniker of Canadian electronic musician/multi-instrumentalist Daniel Snaith. Although I dug a few tracks from his 2007 Polaris prize winning album Andorra, I never really quite understood all the praise that it got. But I could definitely respect it; it's undeniable that the man has a knack for composing some interesting and catchy tunes.

A few days ago, Merge Record announced the release of Caribou's new LP Swim on April 20th and debuted the album's first single, "Odessa." Upon listening to "Odessa" for the first time, I was instantly drawn to it more than any of the tracks on Andorra. The track has Snaith's ethereal vocals and smooth melodies, both familiar dynamics of Caribou's music. But its funky bass line, dissonant background noise and simple percussion give the track a certain danceable feel that was absent on Andorra. "Odessa" has got me excited for Swim, despite any gripes I might have had with Andorra. If Snaith is able to blend his unique palette of sounds with more rhythm-oriented, upbeat dynamics, Swim may be one of the most interesting releases of the year and certainly a restorer-of-faith, so to say.

Download "Odessa" by clicking the album artwork above or stream the track below.

Caribou- "Odessa" from Swim (via I Guess I'm Floating)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Liars- Sisterworld (2010)

By now, Liars probably need no introduction. After putting out two stunning LPs, 2006's Drum's Not Dead and 2007's Liars, the New York City trio have returned as strong as ever with 2010's Sisterworld. The record lies halfway between the ambitious noise/heavy percussion of Drum's Not Dead and the more straightforward punk of Liars. What comes out is kind of like the bastard child of Radiohead and Sonic Youth. "No Barrier Fun" is a haunting combination of pulsating percussion, throbbing bass and eeire violins, while "Scarecrows On A Killer Slant" could be the heaviest thing Liars have done, full of sadistic lyrics and blaring guitars. The rest of the record employs all the dynamics Liars have been perfecting over the years: the haunting lyrics and moans of Angus Andrew, the experimental guitar soundscapes of Aaron Hemphill and of course the captivating percussion of Julian Gross. Even the dance punk of the band's early albums is present. The result is a masterful mix of punk and unfettered noise that might make Sisterworld Liars' most focused and well written release to date.

Sisterworld comes out on Mute on March 9th and will feature a bonus disc of remixes by artists like TV On The Radio's Tunde Adebimpe, Atlas Sound and Thom Yorke. Click the album artwork to sample the record but be sure to pre-order it or buy it when it comes out.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pantha du Prince- Black Noise (2010)

I'm just gonna get this in there, before all (well, before some of) the hype, the new Pantha du Prince album Black Noise rules. I first heard of this dude from his remix of Animal Collective's 'Peacebone,' but apparently he's been putting out music in Germany for a couple years now. His latest effort, 2010's Black Noise features contributions from Animal Collective's Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) and !!!/LCD Soundsystem bassist Tyler Pope. It's hard to describe, but I've seen the term minimal techno thrown out there a lot so I'll stick with that. Definitely more chilled out than The Field, it's mostly more ambient stuff. He does drop a couple heavier beats throughout the album. Anyway, I'm expecting some good reviews for it once it drops on February 8th on Rough Trade, so be the first one in your circle of friends to be repping this awesome album. Click the album artwork to sample.

Pantha du Prince- Stick To My Side (feat. Panda Bear) via
Animal Collective- Peacebone (Pantha du Prince Remix) via hype machine

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Two More Notes...

Here's an interesting article I found on CNN about how consumerism needs to be curbed in order to create an effective defense from further environmental degradation. Kind of obvious but a nice thing to cite when you're discussing anything environmental.

Speaking of CNN, as I poured over the front page this morning and saw every article was about the devastating earthquake in Haiti, I couldn't help but feel some inkling of hope despite all the despair. Though Haiti has suffered from extreme poverty and gang violence for years now, perhaps this will be the event that serves as a wake-up call for the West. That even with all of our humanitarian efforts and democracy promotion, a mere 2000 miles away from us a country has been in dire need of help for years now. My hope is that the events in Haiti could perhaps serve as a catalyst for an increased funding/focus on the humanitarian movement in the US and abroad.

In other sad news, punk musician Jay Reatard was found dead today at 29. I never listened to much of his music but the death of any young creative artist is a tragedy.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Welcome 2010

Hope everyone had a nice new years, mine was low-key. I was supposed to go into New York City but ugly weather put a damper on those plans. I am still working on my best of '09 list, it's turning out to be much more difficult than I thought. But I thought I'd just do a quick post to hold any followers over until that list is posted.

Today in the headlines is Pat Robertson making a complete asshole of himself in light of the absolutely terrible news of an earthquake in Haiti that is rumored to have killed over 100,000 people.

The Haitians "were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever," Robertson said on his broadcast Wednesday. "And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.' True story. And so, the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.' "

Native Haitians defeated French colonists in 1804 and declared independence.

"You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other." Robertson has previously linked natural disasters and terrorist attacks to legalized abortion in the United States. Soon after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,800 and wreaking unprecedented devastation on New Orleans, Louisiana, Robertson weighed in with his own theory.

Just in case this guy wasn't already on your shit list, there's some stunning evidence. Why this guy has his own television show or still gets attention from the mainstream media is beyond me. Click here for some more wonderfully stupid quotes from Robertson, but also check out The Big Picture's coverage of the earthquake in Haiti. Condolences to the people of Haiti and everyone affected.

Winter break wasn't very interesting for me. Just spent some time relaxing, watching some good tv and catching up on my 2009 music (Ambivalence Avenue and Ashes Grammar, why did I not listen to you earlier?!). Here's my definition of good tv as of late:
  • Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
  • Man vs. Food
  • Mythbusters
  • It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
  • Weird, True & Freaky
  • Californication
  • Burn Notice
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  • Man vs. Wild
Most of the shows are starting or are almost beginning new seasons, so check them out.

I started my classes this week most seem pretty interesting. Definitely going to be doing some interesting reading to say the least. Here's a list of books I'm looking forward to reading, included is my Christmas haul:
  • The Sound And The Fury by William Faulkner
  • The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
  • Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • The Discovery of Global Warming by Spencer Weart
  • Allah Is Not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma
  • Last Exit To Brooklyn by Hubert Selby, Jr.
  • And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs

That's a pretty ambitious list. let's see if I get any of it done. Until next time, check out this song I've been digging lately, it will definitely be on my top songs of the year list:

Kurt Vile- Freeway
from his 2008 LP Constant Hitmaker (via Salad Days Music)