Father John Misty delivered one of the best shows of the tour for Austin. One hour and forty-three minutes of sardonic wit and amazing music passionately performed, broken into labeled tracks. Admittedly an imperfect recording for such a perfect night, but well worth sharing for your enjoyment.
oh my fucking god, can this band do no wrong? seems like ever since we bumped these guys way back they have just kept on blowing up. also, what a killer sleeve. cover of the year? nuanced, free-flowing, experimental, and absolutely lovely nu-jazz-nu-funk-space-soul music.
it always blew my mind that everyone slept on this album. you have sufjan, serengeti, and son lux together in one album and the result is fantastic, albeit a bit strange sometimes. but it's artsy as fuck, yo. i paid for it, so that should tell you something here. standout: rhythm of devotion
This has been one of my favourite records for a long, long time. Her voice is slick, the arrangements are tight, and the lush, layered production value lends it an incredibly warm sound overall. At first listen, it's a record for the last lazy days of summer; it's an album for laid-back gatherings and cozy nights in. But what makes it a little "off" - or extremely special, in my eyes - is that despite its positive sound, the lyrics are heartbreakingly bleak.
It took me a few listens to notice, but in the bluntly titled "So Many Ways To Die", I started picking it up. Right off the bat, she lists several options for ending it all: drowning in a river, jumping off a mountain, or drinking an entire case of bourbon, cursing "every drop that I am drinking, 'cause I know booze will get me by and by". Dark themes continue in other tracks, whose apt titles like "I'm Living a Lie" and "Danger Signs" speak for themselves.
There's something almost humorous about this dissonance: this tortured soul, expressing her desolate stories, but over an upbeat, feel-good, jivin' four-on-the-floor track. But ultimately, it's a tender and bittersweet record, and a testament to a woman making cathartic music in the best way she could. And it's really, really good.
At risk of reading far too much into the lyrics, and reflecting them back onto their singer (I can't confirm who's responsible for songwriting on this gem), I did a little digging on Barbara Jean. There's almost nothing out there, though I did manage to glean that she reconnected with her earlier girl group, the Clickettes, to do some touring in the '90s. She's now semi-retired from singing. (What I'm trying to say is, I'm glad she didn't drink that case of bourbon.)
You can sneak a preview of my favourite track below, or get the full record here.
The most catchy and accessible tunes to come out of the dark, industrial genre in a while. This amazing one-man-band literally built his own electronic drum kit, by repurposing and remixing an existing acoustic kit, and refitting it with trigger pads, sample units, and whole set of real, acoustic cymbals for extra bite. What results is a project that sounds amazing, but is also killer fun to watch - his kit outfitted with lights, his stage soaked in projected visuals, with both the former and the latter responding to every glitch, twitch, thump and bang of his songs.
All these songs are fantastic, but "Control You" is particularly catchy: the intro's wavering, pitchy bass, paired with distorted bleeps and blips, will suck you in right before he drops the drums in a big way. These feel like theme songs for busted robots - or, as we become increasingly attached to our devices, maybe they're songs for our own broken, bionic selves. Listen below, or pick it up here.
Songs awash in warm
melody, deft musicianship, and ambient hypnosis populate the latest
albums from Danny Paul Grody, with often little more than his acoustic guitar achieving these
heights. A founding member of instrumental masters Tarentel and the jazzy,
atmospheric The Drift, his solo music has
taken the minimal, circular, and trancelike aspects of his previous work
and boiled them down to their essential elements, but with a newly inspired sound. These records are largely within the vein of American
Primitivism, with spacious patterns of fingerpicked guitar, but Grody's
particular treatment gives the genre a dreamy sound like no other. His
most recent album, Furniture Music, is his most stripped down yet; just
simply beautiful songs and a feeling like these sounds
and moods were ever-present in the world and Grody simply had the ear
and ability to make them manifest. Read his description for his inspiration behind it. His other albums are similarly high
quality, but fans of this John Fahey post may enjoy this the most.
The first things I loved about Slowreader were the fantastic vocal melodies and their rhythmic sensibilities, the kind that make you move your head even in spots when there is no percussion, but as their lyrics became clearer with more listens, the more I realized these guys had a rare ability to perfectly mix bittersweet pain and regret, slyly dry humor and self-deprecation, and subtle turns of phrasing with their unique blend of mostly acoustic jams, ethereal keyboard pieces, bare bones songs, and melodic pop compositions. That is the roundabout way of saying this is strong songwriting all around, and, although it's their only release, an album that endures as a result.
Taking traditional American folk, bluegrass, and blues influences and expanding their possibilities with his own original, melodic, and increasingly intricate fingerpicking and slide guitar techniques, John Fahey laid the foundation for what would become known as American Primitivism, referring to the self-taught and innovative take on the American musical tendencies of the period between the early 20th and late 19th centuries. This early steel-string acoustic album of his only begins to hint at the level of dissonance, experimentation, and spacey arrangements and textures Fahey would eventually bring to his work, while still remaining a blend of traditional styles, classical composition, and Fahey's own signature imprint. The last four tracks were not on the original release, but added to this reissue of the album.
An effortless mix of bossa nova, samba, and acoustic swing, this gem of an album from Brazilian giant Jorge Ben Jor is simultaneously an invitation to chill out while soaking in a sunset and to get up and dance, even if you're physically incapable. From the pitch perfect opening, the playful soothing of "Charles Junior," to the more percussive "Apareceu Aparecida," and finally the assertive closing, the album lives up to its name, 'Brute Force'; obviously not through aggression, but through such a vulgar display of sheer talent and quality.
On the night of Halloween, in the year of our lord 2014, the always amazing, yet sadly defunct, By the End of Tonight saw fit to reunite and grace the world with one more frenetic, powerful, and ultimately pants-moistening live performance in the town of Houston, TX. It was a sight to behold, pure fun and emotion on so many levels, and, if the fates be truly cruel (and the band's words believed), a beautiful final send-off to their illustrious career. As one privileged to witness it, here I humbly offer the sounds we heard that night that I was able to capture. This is indeed the full show, with quality audio and labeled tracks, but of course: any recording is but a shadow of a majestic performance in the flesh. Thank you for all the memories, BtEoT. Love you guys.
A cyborg block party, cut with 8-bit nostalgia: _____Face straddles the gap between the surreal and the hyper-real. In a sample-storm of slow jams, nightclub grinders, lullabies, and hip hop love-letters, _____Face burrows deep into your musical subconscious saying, 'remember those dance moves you made up in grade 5?' 'Bring 'em back. It's time to bust'a'move to this futuristic groove'
Free improvisation is always a trip, whether it be fascinating or banal, through the mind of the performer. Sugimoto is an established name in the world of onkyo, and there's nothing left to the imagination as to why. His playing is strikingly tuneful, and his masterful control of sound and silence in its various forms shines in a particularly melodic fashion on this release. This one is a trip worth taking.
Wyschnegradsky was one of the more revolutionary microtonal composers of his time. Instead of using the "other" 12 notes in the 24 tone scale as some sort of embellishment, he built his compositions by integrating the entirety of the scale into the very framework of his music. The result is a truly striking and memorable journey into the hyperchromatic, a collection of desolate and emotionally charged vignettes for those lil' baby intervals.
Chuck Person, yet another of Daniel Lopatin's aliases (think Oneohtrix Point Never), creates a hazy and hyper-repetitive mix from the superficial and background music of our everyday lives. The sounds of the exterior are brought to the forefront and presented as the final focus, a weird and potentially thought provoking exercise. These aren't jams, no matter how catchy they might be; these are what's left over after the music stops, and your mind's ears are left to take over for the silence.
That hook from that one song that you heard that once somewhere? Yeah, this is that.
Gately fills a niche here that I don't think most of us even realized we were missing. Bending acousmatic sounds and her ethereal voice into warped and spacious vignettes that both intrigue and appeal to our most primal pop sensibilities, this S/T is a certain winner.
it's been a while since i checked in here last. in that time, there's been some exciting new developments in auckland music. there's not enough time (or space) to detail them all; but here are some of the highlights :).
Sheep,Dog&Wolf - Egospect
first of all, check out the video for sheep,dog&wolf's amazing new track egospect. it's available for free download, as will be his album, coming out in a couple weeks at this link - http://download.sheepdogandwolf.com/album/egospect
Caroles - Hollow Trophy
caroles released their debut (and maybe only) album. shit is goooooood. free (or paid) download on band camp. grunge/pop punk/emo/alt.
which segues nicely into this. a mix featuring some of the best tracks from some of new zealand's best acts (including cheats and caroles). promotional material for an amazing zine by dirk peterson, it's available for free download(!!) and the zine for only 15 nzd. crazy.
Roslavets is occasionally referred to as the "Russian Schoenberg," an entirely ill fitting comparison in my opinion. Whereas Schoenberg's work often (but not always) sounds cold and mathematical, Roslavets' has a certain lifeblood coursing through its veins, something that can't be faked or imitated. The atmosphere is often tense, with sputters of notes coming and disappearing just as quickly, and an often seemingly illogical composition style, that only presents itself upon closer listening. While certainly not traditionally tonal, these pieces are not lacking in emotion or excitement. Marc-André Hamelin doesn't always play with much gusto, but it is satisfying enough, especially considering the source material, and at points he really brings everything to light.
Ironing Board Sam is an old school blues and rock musician, with his music bordering on psychedelic His name comes from his homemade keyboard, which goddamn, he really shreds on. I don't normally post kickstarters, but here's one that absolutely deserves your attention.
This documentary, made by the inestimable film-maker Tom Ciaburri (maker of my favorite ads for Cathead Vodka (fuck you, I am not selling out right here!)).
Anyways, to support this amazing musician and to see some clips from the upcoming film (I've seen a rough cut; it's fantastic!), hit up the kickstarter page here.
For an all too brief time in my little hometown, these guys were supreme. Super tight, super talented and handsome men, playing lyrically over-the-top, hyper-sexual funk music. Highlights on this one are 'Sweet Tooth', 'Stop' and my fave, 'Cliche Guevara'. The only stuff to play to seduce someone special, or maybe freak them out in the best way.
Give it a try here, or support them here or on the ol' iTunes.
For any and all fans of Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Os Mutantes and the like, this band is a must hear. Sextuple-handedly bringing back Tropicalia, these fine folks pay homage to the Brazilian movement by covering classics, as well as producing originals so authentic you'd swear they walked out of the sixties.
Preview below, stream or purchase to own here. And I swear I'll stop hyping Toronto after this post, because I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but... these guys are covering Caetano Veloso's first solo album in its entirety tomorrow night, and if you're close and enjoy this kinda stuff, you should probably come.
This essentially finishes off the archival of Tobacco's solo music on WFLM (not including the recent split, compilations, bootlegs, etc.). This EP features a set of guest rappers (all of which are listed as Labels) over tracks featured on Maniac Meat and otherwise unreleased instrumentals. Falling into the latter category is album-highlight "Lamborghini Meltdown," which is worth the download alone. This one also befits a summer playlist.
(TO WHOEVER IS MAINTAING THIS BLOG ATM, CAN YOU MAKE THE PICTURE GO ON THE FRONT PAGE AND THEN EDIT THIS TEXT OUT, PLEASE, I DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO IT, THANK YOU BASED WEBMASTER) dropped a few days ago on, suprisingly enough, 4/20, this tape collects tracks from (i think) all of the KCB collective. dope as fuck, as always. trap influences abound, dubstep remnants can be felt, hip hop is ever present and it all smells supa supa dank. get yr smoke on to this shit.
With the approach of summer, I figure that this is the perfect time to drop this album on you guys. Ringo Deathstarr sound like a quintessential Texas band; by that I mean that their particular brand of shoegaze is dripping in summer haze. This record alternates between garage rock and 90s alternative influences to slow, dopey slacker "anthems." A dash of bass groove can be found dragging in the dirt, and the vocals don't stray from the tried-and-true quasi-male-female dynamic a la Shields and Butcher. Particularly recommended if the phrase "Smashing Pumpkins gone shoegaze" grabs you.
In more news of good news from Canadaland, this is old news, but still good news. From the frontman of such awesome projects as Phedre and Hooded Fang, this garage rock band is washy, catchy, and a little messy in the best way. I'm pretty hooked, and have been for a while.
This debut excels in its variety. While the majority of the record falls into the doom metal camp, black metal interludes occasionally make an appearance. These are certainly genres of music where mastery of one doesn't imply a particular musical disposition for exceptional crafting ability in the style of the other; however, just like all good musicians, the group makes both "sides" of the album emotive and interesting to the listener, and the transition between each relatively seamless. It's also relevant to note that even the doom portions segue between the majestic and oppressive (think funeral) to old-school, devil-worshiping Sabbathian jams. For those who follow the scene, it may make sense to think of this as existing on the opposite side of the black metal coin as Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult's also good 2013 record (Necrovision), an album of unwavering second-wave punishment. Usnea isn't afraid to mix it up a bit.
This video was sent to us cordially by Tzvika Force, an Israelite singer-songwriter/musician who makes an impressive mix of powerful, soulful vocals, and unique and articulate instrumentation. We did a Q&A with him about the following video, which includes various playful and interesting imagery:
How did this video come about, and how difficult was it to put it together?
On the day we shot the video everything worked like a charm. We arrived on set and things just started to happen on their own. Everything synced and matched - the haunted studio that was once a factory of large iron drain covers in the old part of Tel Aviv, the broken, dusty piano, Joy, the Indian, who got into character perfectly and of course the song which was playing in the background throughout the day and inspired us. Also, we had a lot of fun working with the guys of Video De Lux, who directed and edited the video. These days, artists usually take care of everything and need to keep it all under control, but on our shooting day I just arrived on set, shot my part, had a really good time and went home. It was quite a refreshing change. The crew also really loved and connected to the song – which, they say, doesn't happen to them very often, so I guess that's probably why the video came out so authentic.
There seems to be a bustling music scene blossoming out of Israel when it comes to modern acts, and your music stands out in terms of both your voice, and how unique the music is, how do you feel about your place within this scene?
That's true, and the competition is tough but I'm really glad I have my ways to standout and be unique. I think that's all one really needs in any artistic field. Nowadays, when there are so many ways to get your music out there and with the variety of so many wonderful musicians around, you need to leave your identifying mark so the listeners can immediately recognize you and your work. Despite today's blossoming scene, there's still a strong sense that many people here are "afraid" or not yet ready to be exposed to different, less conventional things and prefer what's simple and familiar. But still, there's definitely a positive development compared to earlier years. You can hear it on the radio, on television and feel it in the audience's reaction, it's spreading and it's totally great. I hope to have an impact on this process by exposing more and more people here to new music and new musical styles.
The music seems to combine both a) strong, wonderful vocals and b) unique, and interesting instrumentation; did this decision come about consciously, or was it pure coincidence?
I've always wanted to excite and fascinate the audience so I guess this is a choice my subconscious made and I kept over the years. I always think about what would excite me and what I would like to listen to and I follow these thoughts, I act and write upon them. I also listen to a lot of new music and I'm very influenced by what's happening worldwide, especially technology wise. I guess the fact that I'm a guy who loves drama and theatricality is reflected in my music and my musical choices, but so many things also just happen by coincidence, like my connection with Ben Specter – the EP's musical producer, my work with the band and just random things that happen in my life which expose me to new musical directions. The music keeps bursting into my life by surprise. All the sudden I get this intense, uncontrollable need to write a specific song or compose a specific tune. It still manages to amaze me every time. This need I have to share things with the listener and the audience always fascinated me and it's there every step of the way.
Later on, we will do a review of his upcoming EP, Petite Nature, which is fantastic enough.
Drome Triler of Puzzle Zoo People is perhaps one of the more unique albums released under the hardcore domain. The music here is an oddball mix of sludge influenced grindcore (an odd combination in and of itself) and ambient interludes; the caveat is that the two rarely intermix à la Iron Lung's White Glove Test, that artist's recent, perhaps contrived, mix of noise and hardcore. Regardless, this psych-tinged Californian hardcore is worth sharing. If you enjoy this one, here's Gasp's 2005 compilation, which contains tracks from numerous splits (Noothgrush, Deerhoof, Suffering Luna, Volume 11), along with unreleased and demo-sourced material.
The latest in a series of releases from Fire, a trio made up of Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling, and Andreas Werliin.
In particular, Fire Orchestra is Fire plus twenty five. The group delivers an excellent take on free jazz, though that may be pigeonholing the music actually contained on Exit. Reminiscent of post rock, the album's two tracks both thrive on the gradual crescendo while centering around a steady backbone. While the music does eventually let loose, the subtlety of much of the playing (and singing) is what gives the record its atmosphere which, in turn, may set it aside from what people normally think of as free jazz. Highly recommended.
Polish fusion-y djent in the vein of Periphery and Animals as Leaders -- tons of those beautiful melodies and wonderful atmospheres which differentiate Periphery songwriter Misha Mansoor's work
from the other djent out there. However, the music is really grounded in the impressive guitar work of Jakub Żytecki, whose tasteful shredding bears a stunning resemblance to that of Tosin Abasi on Animals as Leaders' self-titled. The predominantly "scene" (think Spencer Sotelo) clean vocals can prove to be a damper on the whole experience, but they're usually tolerable, and even occasionally work. Regardless, highly recommended to any prog-heads.
fun, witty, and deliciously proficient, ike have put out a great EP called bello. self described as electric rock, i'd say that they have hit the nail on the head; the production is clean and jarringly similar to that of most new-age anf fusion jazz releases i.e. get this shit now. it needs to be heard. will definitely be watching these folks to see what they do in times to come.
it seems like this is going to be the official (as 2012 was just a prep) year that psych rock comes back at full force. haunted leather have put out a stunning, albeit lo-fi, collection of seven electrifying songs. their small label stolen body records will be putting out a limited, 250 copy european release of their record this april.
Hands down my favourite band in Toronto, this is a short EP soaked in their signature minor keys, gorgeous vocals, and beautifully textured production value, though a little lighter and less raucous than their full albums. A particularly beautiful track is the ever-Canadian tribute to Loudon Wainwright III and company, in the form of a cover of Swimming Song.
Enjoy a preview below, and stream and purchase the whole thing here.
israelite female duo the aprons have come out with a wonderful video that perfectly accompanies the haunting fragility of their dark, dream-pop music, featured here in the first installment of our video highlights.
Saw this guy live the other night, and he's doing some really fantastic things. Also a member of Owen Pallett's live set, his stuff is self-tagged as "weird everything folk soul" - I hear it as a glitchy, rhythmic, laid back but still biting, with distorted vocals and serious catch.
Apologies. This is not an album download (oh how I wish it were), but I promise you'll love it.
Okay, so first, music:
This is the new project of Martin Molin, who you might know from his legendary folktronica trio Detektivbyrån. - Corrected!
This new project is called Wintergatan, and while it has many of the melodic and whistful ideas of Detektivbyrån, it uses them in a much more proggy way. I'm reminded of fnessnej (link leads to an old post of mine about them, which may or may not have a working download link), with echoes of Mum.
I'm eagerly awaiting for the release of this album.