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)