Thursday, July 29, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
It's not often we get the chance to promote one of IGN's own, but I'm glad to present the debut mixtape from maybe the most popular IGN rapper, iLLy Mays, who goes by catitude on the boards.
I wasn't expecting much when I downloaded it because IGN's hip-hop board isn't exactly known for pushing their own good stuff. I was pretty surprised to find some gems here such as "Who Dat", "A Bone I Gotta Pick...", and my personal favorite, "Light Up". If you want to hop on the hype train before it leaves you in the dust, jump on now. catitude looks to have a bright future.
(This post wouldn't be complete without a milk tits reference, so there you go.)
Saturday, July 24, 2010
- "Inside a Great Stadium and a Running Race" (5:49)
- "Mich mit einer Mond" (4:10)
- "On the Farm" (4:00)
- "Ohne Titel" (2:38)
- "Fire!" (2:44)
- "O Please Bring Her Back" (3:35)
- "Ain't Got No Troubles" (3:59)
- "Winter in St. Moritz" (2:13)
- "Liebe auf den Ersten Blick" (4:41)
- "A Musician and a Filmmaker" (4:30)
- "We Built a Robot" (3:16)
- "Sometimes When It Hurts Bad Enough It Feels Like This" (4:01)
- "A Lover Once Can No Longer Now Be a Friend" (5:11)
- "Ohne Titel" (2:50)
Friday, July 23, 2010
The months of inevitable hype and speculation is over. Arcade Fire’s third full-length studio album, The Suburbs, has leaked, 11 days prior to its commercial release. I’ll say right now, I’ve already listened to this album 3 times in the past 12 hours and I’m pre-ordering it later today.
After the 00s came to a close and Funeral was hailed as a classic in the top of most critics ‘best of the 00’s’ lists, the expectations on Arcade Fire where always going to be high with whatever they did next. Neon Bible, a fine album in its own right, expanded their sound with the band making use of an organ, harp, accordion and supposedly, a choir. Although generally accepted by critics as a suitable follow up to Funeral (a score of 87 to Funeral’s 90, thank you Metacritic), some fans felt that the expansive instrumentation of Neon Bible diminished it’s emotional quality, which is what made Funeral such a powerful and enjoyable album. With The Suburbs, it sounds like Arcade Fire have tried to find a middle ground between the emotion of Funeral and the expansive sound of Neon Bible, and in my humble opinion they’ve succeeded.
In some ways, The Suburbs is perhaps their most expansive record yet, compiling of 16 tracks at nearly 64 minutes length. But the album never really seems to drag on, because every song has an enjoyable quality to it. In terms of sound, they’re not doing anything amazingly new or innovative with this record, but what makes it work is that it has its own distinct feel and atmosphere like their previous releases.
The Suburbs’ central theme is based on Frontman Win Butler and his brother William’s experiences of growing up in the suburban areas of the Woodlands, in Texas (Both Win and William were born in California, then raised in Texas. Win moved to Montreal in 2000). The album opens with its title track, a beautifully catchy opener with a terrific chorus. It’s a song of reminiscing past troubles with a partner, someone close. The opening lines ‘In the suburbs I, I learned to drive; and you told me we'd never survive, grab your mother's keys we're leaving’ suggest that it’s not a relative, perhaps a classic love story were a young couple in love escape their troubled past to live together in happiness etc. The second part of the verse, ‘You always seemed so sure that one day we'd be fighting; In a suburban war, your part of town against mine’ hints at tension between two ‘sides’, possibly parental disapproval. The chorus, ‘Sometimes I can't believe it; I'm moving past the feeling’ is the closuring part, the moving on and beginning a new chapter. The following song, ‘Ready to Start’, tells of a failed relationship between two people who have unresolved feelings towards each other, which possibly links to the previous story. By the end of the song, the protagonist is ready to resolve the issues between the two.
‘Modern Man’ and ‘Rococo’ are what I consider to be the only mildly, somewhat ‘weak spots’ of the album. They’re enjoyable songs, but they just don’t have the same energy as the first 2. The following track, ‘Empty Room’, is a catchy, incredibly energetic song with great vocal harmonies between Win and Regina. ‘City With No Children’ is a guitar driven, more personal song, with Win singing about his old home in Texas, ‘Dreamt I drove home to Houston, on a highway that was underground; There was no light that we could see, as we listened to the sound of the engine failing’.
I’m not going to go into every song in detail. Mainly because I’m too lazy, but also because I don’t need to. The Suburbs is such an immersive record, a journey in a way. It takes you through happiness and sadness, heartbreak in ‘We Used to Wait’ (‘So I never wrote a letter; I never took my true heart, I never wrote it down’) and humor in ‘The Month of May’ (‘I said some things are pure and some things are right; but the kids are still standing with their arms folded tight’). The highlights of the album for me are ‘Deep Blue’ and the two-parters, ‘Half Light I & II’ and ‘The Sprawl I & II’. The synthesizers in the second parts of both add a whole new dynamic to the album, a climax-like feel that almost splits the album into two parts, and does it wonderfully. The album finishes beautifully with ‘The Suburbs (continued)’, a reprise to how the album began, with Win and Regina again singing the words ‘Sometimes I can't believe it; I'm moving past the feeling’ in beautiful harmony. In the final track, Win chimes the words ‘If I could have it back; all the time that we’ve wasted’. I can assure you this album is not a waste of your time, all 64 minutes of it.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Cold and wrathful
I've been inside your bedroom
I've murdered half the town
Left you love notes on their headstones
I'll fill the graveyards
Until I have you
- "Forever Heavy" – 4:16
- "Jump Into My Mouth and Breathe the Stardust" – 2:33
- "Melt Me" – 2:22
- "Lollipopsichord" – 1:32
- "They Live In the Meadow" – 2:33
- "Sun Lips" – 3:16
- "Rollerdisco" – 2:34
- "Neon Syrup for the Cemetery Sisters" – 2:52
- "The Afternoon Turns Pink" – 2:37
- "When the Sun Grows on Your Tongue" – 2:40
- "Spinning Cotton Candy In a Shack Made of Shingles" – 3:11
- "Drippy Eye" – 3:13
- "Lost, Picking Flowers In the Woods" – 3:22
- "Caterpillar House" – 1:58
- "Wall of Gum" – 0:59
- "Untitled Roadside Demo" – 3:34
- "Untitled" (Hidden Song) – 3:10
I just listened to this album for the first time yesterday, so I can't say much about it but I was really impressed. here's a summary I found:
"Take the heart of the Beatles and wrap it in the melodies of Neutral Milk Hotel and/or the Flaming Lips... and you have Olivia Tremor Control -- one of the best swirls of neo-psychedelica in history. "Music From the Unrealized Film Script: Dusk at Cubist Castle" is an intoxicating, sprawling mix of abstract soundscapes and Beatles-esque pop -- and it never stumbles once.
The first song opens with a slowly revving bass, haunted by a backdrop of peculiar feedback sounds... followed by a majestic, poppy "Opera House." Things take a slightly stranger turn in the eerie music-box melody of "Frosted Ambassador" and the fizzing, exotic "Tropical Bells." But still there is the upbeat, slightly warped Britpoppy "Courtyard" and slightly ominous beauty of "Holiday Surprise 1,2,3."
But after the lush piano-pop of "Marking Time," things take a rather surreal turn. A ten-song cycle called "Green Typewriters continues, mixing distortion, fuzz and sputtery percussion with synths and lilting vocals. They return to their previous sound with the brassy pop of "Spring Succeeds," but most of what remains is eerie and strange. The climax is "Dusk at Cubist Castle," a sprawling seven-and-a-half-miniute track with a dark, shimmery background and the sounds of a Tibetan prayer bowl.
It's hard to criticize any one song on "Music From the Unrealized Film Script: Dusk at Cubist Castle," because it feels more like a musical tapestry of many different colors. Diss one song while praising another? Can't be done. Even "Green Typewriters VIII," a ten-minute sprawl of ominous sounds, seems to fit in perfectly.
The biggest flaw might be the obvious debt to the Beatles -- at times you can almost swear you hear John and Paul in there. But the Beatles at their most psychedelic never made anything like this -- space bubbles, sparkling piano, trombones, the singing saw, Tibetan prayer bowls, all overlaid on jolly pop melodies and ominous soundscapes teeming with fuzz and distortion. Even at its most abstract, Olivia Tremor Control's sound is hypnotic.
The vocals are handled by Robert Schneider and Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum (who is rumored to have joined the circus or something like that). Their vocals are a bit off-key, but pleasant and warm. And the songwriting reflects the music -- it starts off relatively normal with "Conflict in our heads makes us see/without the depth that we used to/all of the problems in our way." Pretty ordinary, huh? But the second half has dreamlike songs like "Dusk at Cubist Castle/all the clouds are in past tense/all the kingdom is in fragments/and these paintings don't make sense..." You don't need to understand -- just listen.
Olivia Tremor Control's "Music From the Unrealized Film Script: Dusk at Cubist Castle" is a sweeping psychedelic tapestry, full of strange dreams and even stranger music. This unrecognized classic is a must have, for those willing to dream and imagine the Cubist Castle."
- "The Opera House" – 3:12
- "Frosted Ambassador" – 1:02
- "Jumping Fences" – 1:52
- "Define a Transparent Dream" – 2:49
- "No Growing (Exegesis)" – 3:00
- "Holiday Surprise 1, 2, 3" – 6:11
- "Courtyard" – 2:57
- "Memories of Jacqueline 1906" – 2:15
- "Tropical Bells" – 1:40
- "Can You Come Down with Us?" – 2:18
- "Marking Time" – 4:28
- "Green Typewriters" – 2:22
- "Green Typewriters" – :24
- "Green Typewriters" – :59
- "Green Typewriters" – 2:11
- "Green Typewriters" – 1:10
- "Green Typewriters" – :38
- "Green Typewriters" – 1:38
- "Green Typewriters" – 9:39
- "Green Typewriters" – 1:21
- "Green Typewriters" – 2:39
- "Spring Succeeds" – 2:25
- "Theme for a Very Delicious Grand Piano" – :57
- "I Can Smell the Leaves" – 1:50
- "Dusk at Cubist Castle" – 7:35
- "The Gravity Car" – 1:45
- "NYC-25" – 4:39
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
On July 2nd, the artist known as Childish Gambino put out his new CD Culdesac. If you aren’t familiar with Childish Gambino, it is the rap name for Comic/Actor/Rapper Donald Glover from Derrick Comedy (The Youtube Comedy Group... Also the Makers of Bro Rape) and Community. He also wrote for Tina Fey on 30 Rock. Glover also put out a few mixtapes in 2010, but Culdesac is in essence his first “album” release.
Although Glover is known for being a comic and actor, make no mistake, Culdesac shows that he is not joking around when it comes to his rap career. This album is incredibly solid. You can really see Glover’s enthusiasm and attitude come through in his songs. Glover has a really great flow going on, and his song lyrics are very well thought out and clever. The album is loaded with clever lyrics such as “I’m coming harder than these chicks that you would swear were pissing” and “NBC isn’t the only thing I’m coming on tonight”. Culdesac addresses a number of different topics, from Girls, Donald Glover’s early life and troubles, and how Glover has struggled with being “different”. This album really shed’s Glover’s “comedian” persona and is a solid piece of work. Culdesac is one of my favorite albums of the year because of its originality and cleverness. My favorite song on the album is “Hero” but the rest of the songs are almost equally as good.
Childish Gambino's Website
Free Album Download Here
To see the Residents at their most intriguing, one cannot do much better than the Duck Stab/Buster & Glen album. The highlight of the work, "Constantinople", is a droning bit of whimsy whose effect is sufficiently hypnotic as to make you peruse the record for evidence of subliminal backwards masking. As is typical of the work, the entire album is synthesizer-laden, filled with ominously non-sensical lyrics, and a range of parody and homage which includes styles as diverse as 50s Elvis-style rock, the invented musics of Harry Partch, jazz which alternates between pre-bop and Sun Ra and veers into Beefheart-esque territory.
If you have not "bought into" the Residents, this is an excellent start--it's sophisticated and yet very D.I.Y., musically complex and yet arguably as much a product of Shreveport as San Francisco. My only real critique of this album is that it's entirely eerie, but perhaps that's one of the many points.Buy It
Monday, July 19, 2010
To take a quote from Sonore's wonderful book on Japanese independent music (subtly titled, Japanese Independent Music), Haco was noted as "embodying a light attitude which consciously embraces and critiques both kitsch and experimentalism; Haco has for the past decade stretched and broken the notion of the pop song". With her 1999 release, Happiness Proof, (also featuring Astushi Tsynama and I.S.O. drummer Ichiracku Yoshimitsu, and more) she exemplifies that statement, bringing her soft, cheery voice into slow charming tunes, and then carefully displacing it, adding lush distortion, cacophonous structures and atypical instruments such as a pocket theremin and electric mandolins.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Kurt Vile (yes, Vile is his actual last name) is a musician from Philadelphia who makes dreamy music best described as "bedroom pop". Vile began to gain fans quickly in late 2008/early 2009 when his track "Freeway" started to gain steam, getting mentions on assorted blogs and websites all throughout the internet. It culminated in a record deal from Matador Records, one of the most respected indie labels in existence, and newfound fans like Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth.
To me, Vile is at his best on this 41 minute album in which he goes from hi-fi ("Freeway") to no-fi ("Breathin' Out"), from straightforward to sleepy and dreamlike, and so on and so on. The standouts here are "Freeway", "Space Forklift", "Slow Talkers", and "Classic Rock in Spring/Freeway in Mind" (the latter half being an acoustic version of "Freeway"). Vile's latest release, Childish Prodigy, was his first on Matador and was the album that received rave reviews from Gordon and many other music review sites. Check this out; you won't be disappointed.
Try it (password: haveanicelife)
I've been recommending this band for a long time now on the Vesti to someone who is even remotely interested in Rock or Punk, and have a been a favorite of mine for a while now.
The trio's musical-chairs approach to instrumentation makes it nearly impossible to keep track of who has the mic at any given moment, but despite the juggling act, the record maintains a cohesive sense throughout. Marked by abrasive guitars that call to mind everyone from the Gibson Bros. and Junior Kimbrough to the New Bomb Turks or Lazy Cowgirls, the Oblivians' dirty rock calls to mind images of panicked parents in the 1960s trying to shield their children from the evil powers of rock & roll. Well, everyone knows who won that battle. Mixed among the riotous guitar treble and gruff vocals are songs with universal themes like "Guitar Shop Asshole" and "You Fucked Me Up, You Put Me Down." Though the back cover boasts that "There never was a sound like this before," spinning discs by acts like the Mummies, 68 Comeback, Iggy & the Stooges, or Them Wranch will prove otherwise, but who's complaining? If you dig through the record collection of any self-respecting rock & roller (or the list of bands who influenced acts like the White Stripes or the Strokes), odds are there'll be at least one Oblivians opus (or Oblivians spin-offs, like Jack Oblivian's Compulsive Gamblers or Greg Oblivian's Reigning Sound). In a move typical of the hipsters over at Crypt, the album cover art is half the fun. An overlooked classic, the cover of Popular Favorites is a photo of concertgoers wherein a guy and gal in matching Black Sabbath t-shirts are standing next to a mulleted young man proudly displaying a homemade t-shirt that reads "Kill a Punk for Rock & Roll."
Oblivians 'The Leather'
Oblivians 'The Milkshake'
There's not a lot known about Beautiful Swimmers, a group that creates slick electro-funk/disco type releases, which I'd also consider tropical. Their big claim to fame so far is making a video for their song "Big Coast" which has set the blogosphere ablaze.
They don't stop there, though. In the five songs included on the two releases, you'll hear sweet sounds on "Swimmers Groove" that remind me of early mornings on Saturday for whatever reason. "Big Coast" is the obvious standout here; however, don't just stop there.
Big Coast and Swimmers Groove
Buy Big Coast (Swimmers Groove out of print?)
Cipher immediately lives up to its name thanks to its cryptic liner notes, written in, of course, cipher. While this is all well and good, it does kind of defeat the information-conveying purpose of liner notes. Once the track listing has been deciphered, it becomes obvious that there is a motif running through the album: four of the 15 songs are titled “An Introduction to the Power of Braces” with the respective subtitles “Arms”, “Legs”, “Teeth”, and “Faith”. The general theme of these songs is that oft-painful braces are used to straighten and strengthen physical bodies, so why not use them for spiritual bodies? It’s a good point, especially in these days of soft, easy faith.It’s not all fundamentalist fervor here; SCAC tackles Woody Guthrie with “This Land is Your Land Redux”. Like the original, “Redux” is a protest song, but with a violent twist Guthrie’s work never had. Slim Cessna also seems to be a graduate of the Sufjan Stevens School of Strange Song Titles: Cipher includes numbers such as, “All About the Bullfrog in 3 Verses” and “That Fierce Cow is Common Sense in a Country Dress”. Luckily, the lyrics are as interesting as the song titles, and a nice break from Slim Cessna’s street preaching. The strongest song of the record is “Children of the Lord”, a hard driving gospel song that could make a believer out of just about anyone. Hell, even if you’re not a believer, you just might find yourself tapping your foot and singing along to its catchy chorus.
Sorry about the rapidshit links.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I literally have two or three minutes to write this, so here we go. The Trashmen are a surf rock band known best for the song "Surfin' Bird", which was repopularized recently by (unfortunately) Family Guy. There's so much more to them than a silly novelty song, though. There are some excellent cuts on this album - a cover of Dick Dale's "Misirlou", a tongue-in-cheek song entitled "My Woodie", and "King of the Surf" and "Bird Bath" are also standouts. One of the best surf rock bands to ever exist.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
This album, holy shit. Kayo Dot's music stops time and takes you out of your body. Choirs of the Eye is one of my favorite albums of all time and sets the standard for all music. The first track, "Marathon", is one of the best songs ever. The beginning makes this the perfect song to wake up in the morning, and gives that HOLY SHIT feeling right as you put the CD in the player (or right when you press play in Winamp). I won't give an exact moment in the song because almost everything is amazing. The burst at the beginning, the BRUTAWLITY that there is before, and the ambient second part that starts around 4:30 that can freeze time and suddenly everything is in slow motion. Thankfully after this song there is "A Pitch of Summer" so we can recover from the burst of geniousness.
Did I say the next song helped you rest? Lies! What you think is a ballad like song ends building up into a complete monster that may RAPE your ears. Don't come here unprepared. Then there's "The Manifold Curiosity", perhaps the greatest song on this album. I could simply say that the whole song is speechless. I don't know why every little note from this album touches my heart like no other band does. There are many great moments in this song that make me want to close my eyes and just lie on my bed listening to it. The sudden "musical explosion" that would make people jump if they come unprepared (4:40), the subtle background riff at 5:55 that always makes me smile...
But the real standout of this song is the amazing build up until the end that concludes with the most BRUTAWL piece of music ever. If there is one song that makes people shit, it's this. All the second part of this song is either the build up for this climax, or it. I'm never able to move properly when it comes, I feel nervous, like if the world would end in just a few seconds, and when the guitar begins with the crushing riff at 10:25, I already know it's too late. Don't try to talk me there, because I'll be unable to move. Also, check how loud the snare is at the end, holy shit.
Fortunately (or not) "Wayfarer" is all nice and pretty with cool solo but there isn't any holy shit moments (there are, but nothing that deserves begin in the HOLY FUCKING SHIT list). A cool relax after "The Manifold Curiosity". The final track, "The Antique", is less dramatic than in "The Manifold Curiosity", since the song is overall much heavier and doesn't build up like the other does, but it's still really great, especially when the acoustic riffing comes. Brutality paired up with something beautiful make an amazing pair. Also, the ending after that is really something magic, and IMO, the best thing of this song.
Get this album right now. You won't regret it.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
oh my dear god
"Tomboy" is good/decent, but "Slow Motion" is amazing. Don't have a top ten on me in terms of best tracks from 2010, but it's threatening.
I'll let you have your own opinions.
Hopefully we won't get Web Sheriff'd over this.
Friday, July 9, 2010
And in case I never post Water for Mars on this blog, I'm going to go ahead and post a song from that album, the best hip hop song to come out in the last few years, with amazing production from the late Nujabes.
Back to Evolution Fight:
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Good summery EP. "Lifted" is on the summer mix I made for myself (probably will post on Last.fm or here). Quite the good dance/beat music.
"Lemonade is a three-piece band who recently moved from San Francisco to Brooklyn. Their most recent effort, the five song EP Pure Moods, sounds like a Caribbean acid trip, warping steel drums, horns, and xylophones into a funky electronic jamfest.
Within the electronic genre, Lemonade finds a unique niche and gets down to work. The sound is hard to pin down, adding tropical instruments over more conventional melodies to create something new and interesting. The songs are all long; none is shorter than four minutes. This length makes melodies and riffs get a bit repetitive, but it’s almost a soothing repetition and one that doesn’t get annoying. A few personal favorites: ‘Lifted’, which features a xylophone, steel drums, a giggle, and an odd “dropping-a-heavy-object-into-water” sound. Like I said, a hard sound to pin down. Another favorite is ‘Sunsplash’, a grooving, laid back jam that uses a Loony Tunes-esque “boing” as percussion.
Pure Moods is something new. It takes “Caribbean Inspired” in a whole different direction. Instead of adopting the melodies, they take the Caribbean instruments and go in their own direction with them. Definitely an EP worth checking out."
LeBronathon is tonight. 29 NBA teams (including mine, Memphis) will be disappointed, one team (most likely Miami) will be overjoyed.
If nothing else, he's already won the 2010 Attention Whore of the Year Award. Check out LPC in LeBronese.
In short, go to the Knicks.
MillionYoung - Hammock
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Young Legionnaire is the combination of Gordon Moakes, YOURCODENAMEIS:MILO frontman Paul Mullen, and La Roux drummer Will Bowerman. They sound like a comically mismatched trio, but they actually come together in a very cohesive way.
The band has released their first piece of work, the Colossus/Iron Dream 7". The first thing you'll notice about this music is that it is fairly no-frills Post-Hardcore affair, which actually seems somewhat refreshing in this day and age, especially considering the past work of the people who compose Young Legionnaire. There are no fancy basslines, alternate instruments, and very few glossy studio effects.
'Colossus' starts out with a pretty,chiming guitar riff before exploding into a fairly typical rock song. It is well-played and loud, but is perhaps a bit too generic to have any real lasting effect. The vocals are the weakest link in this song, at times even making the song sound like early Deftones. It should be noted that Paul Mullen, not Gordon Moakes, is the vocalist, and I must admit to thinking of the vocals of his past project YOURCODENAMEIS:MILO to be that band's weak link as well.
'Iron Dream' comes off quite a bit better, starting with a fast chunky-sounding guitar line and slowly growing. The vocals seem more earnest, the bass seems more involved, and everything seems a bit more interesting and lively. It has some nice falsetto vocals in the background and during the bridge and evolves fairly nicely, staying interesting throughout.
Young Legionnaire isn't breaking new ground by any means, but they have released a decent pair or songs and deserve to be cautiously watched for the future.
Youtube: 'Iron Dream'
As another band riding the wave of music tying the line between shoegaze, post-punk, and depressive-suicidal black metal, it's hard to say that Swedish (I think) band Svarti Loghin is really treading any new ground. A review would almost work just as well just to describe the general sound of most bands performing within these bounds. Although the sound is certainly not as harsh as the comparable bands working with that black metal influence, the songs are bittersweet, the atmospheres are lush, and the screams are full of anguish and foreboding.