Monday, November 28, 2011

Blotted Science: "Ingesting Blattaria"

Blotted Science are the latest brainchild from Ron Jarzombek, tech-metal virtuoso and sought after studio gunslinger extraordinaire.  Jarzombek got bored playing in traditional speed metal variants of tech-prog, so he hired Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse) and Hannes Grossmann (Obscura) to explore more of a technical death metal direction.  Truthfully, the guitars on "Ingesting Blattaria" still err on the side of speed metal but it's interesting to watch an old dog try to learn new tricks, though, and the chops are top notch by whatever standards you want to employ.

Primus: "Tragedy's A' Comin'"

I lamented the lack of an official video in my review of Green Naugahyde awhile back on Metal Injection, and finally we have one.  "Tragedy A' Comin'" is not really my favorite song from the album but at least they didn't do "HOINFODAMAN".  Plus it's Primus so of course the video is going to have enough wacky visuals to up the endearment quotient proportionally.

The Neptune Power Federation: "Wizard Lovin'"

Not that "Wizard Lovin'" isn't a fine tune in its own right, but its the raucous animated video that really puts this over the hump (pun semi-intended but halfheartedly). Neptune Power Federation is from Down Undah so you know they got that boogie-inflected, old school rock thing going.  Otherwise that's all I know about them because they're new as shit and this is their first single.  If NPF was a Twinkie they'd still have like 60 years worth of shelf life on 'em.  As it is this is rock & roll so I give 'em maybe a week.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Slackk: "Polar Bear"

This appeals to my innate love of polar bears.  I won't even go to a zoo unless they got a coupl'a them muhfuckas.  Nowadays you can't even mention polar bears without someone associating them with global warming.  Which is sad... a polar bear is not an avatar for your sloganeering, he needs to be loved for the savage, inhuman killing machine that nature made him.  It'll take more than climate change to thaw his icy, bloodthirsty heart...

Oh, the song's kind chill though.

Co La: "Vanity Plate"

Already posted Co La recently, but boy keeps bringin' the shit. This one is less laid back than "Egyptian Peaches" and more straight up funky - more dancefloor than beaches and headphones - but it's all part of that diverse range Matthew Papich has to choose from.  Supposedly a full album stream is due this week.

Vanity Plate by Co La

[EDIT 2/19/12: added video for "You've Been Expected", which melds "Vanity Plate" into a seamless transition with album track "Wanna Say Faux"... didn't seem to warrant a separate posting]:

Co La - "You've Been Expected" from Nicky Smith on Vimeo.

Heavenly Beat: "Faithless"

The splintering of so called "chillwave" has taken us to some interesting places, not the least of which is this track by Beach Fossils side project Heavenly Beat.  Did you ever watch Skinemax back in the 1980's, when they were still importing their late night smut from Europe, back before the made-for-video craze ensured there was plenty of homegrown yet cookie cutter (and artificially enhanced) T&A to choose from instead?  It was a glorious time, Mediterranean beach themes and breezy Europop takes on whatever they imagined Jimmy Buffett to be... that's what "Faithless" reminds me of.  Then again, if you have a sewer mind and a potty mouth like me you'll find filth in even the most staunchly fortified innocence.  This could be an earnest stab at transcendence for all I know.

Heavenly Beat - “Faithless” by Creeping Wave

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Darkside: "A1"

I wish there were more of this kind of shit.  Grimy guitars produced squeaky clean and straight out of the late-70's/early-80's - half Mark Knopfler, half King Crimson - over top a Tangerine Dream styled backbeat, itself filtered through a modern, experimental house lens.  It's not as fractured as it sounds as paper.

Darkside is the new side project from Nicholas Jaar featuring guitarist Dave Harrington.  No idea who Harrington is, but Jaar has been making a huge name in the electronic scene, both for the plethora of EP's and digital downloads released under his own label as well as remixes for the likes of The Bees, Matthew Dear and When Saints Go Machine.  You can buy Darkside's new (and only, so far) EP by clicking on the blatantly obvious link below.

[UPDATE 5/15/12: wow... super belated video]:

Pete Swanson: "Misery Beat"

Too many fucking blog entries/reviews start off talking about how apt the song title is to the mood of the track... no shit, ya think the artist might have intended that?

Pete Swanson is a member of PDX duo Yellow Swans and has a new solo album, Man With Potential, out now on Type Records and boy, if there's anybody that has serious potential it's this kid!  See what I did there?

I also hate when people say "see what I did there?"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Penguin Prison: "Don't Fuck With My Money"

I'm not posting this as any kind of political solidarity but simply because it's a great jam that really has nothing to do with politics if you ignore the trendy, bandwagon-jumping video and just focus on the pimp-driven lyrix.  Smangin'.

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire: "Lou Ferigno's Mad"

Ain't this some shit?  Old 70's deep funk groove - early psychedelic-era P-Funk bullshit - channeling Lou Ferrigno's seminal Hulk interpretation, whose name has inexplicably been mispelled.  Just another day in the life of hip hop.  Don't watch this at work unless you work in a flophouse.

Mr Muthafuckin' eXquire "Lou Ferigno's Mad" from on Vimeo.

Homeboy Sandman: "Same Number, Same Hood"

I've been waiting for an excuse to post new Homeboy Sandman since the Mark II version of WKMR began.  This "Juicy"-sampling jam is all about why.  Apparently this is a one-off track commissioned by Puma so no idea whether this will end up on an album or mixtape.

Homeboy Sandman - 'Same Number, Same Hood' by Funky Diabetic

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nutso: "Galaxy of Queens" [feat. Capone-N-Noreaga, Royal Flush & Tragedy Khadafi]

Another post-breakup CNN joint?  In the same week as their collab with Raekwon?  My Spidey sense is tingling... actually that's a heart attack coming on.  This could be my last post.

Raekwon: "Chupacabra" [feat. Capone-N-Noreaga]

For a group that just broke up in June, Capone-N-Noreaga are back already on Raekwon's upcoming mixtape (this shit may very well have been in the can for six months, so don't bank on a full blown CNN reunion just yet).  The line between official albums and mixtapes continues to blur, with "Chupacabra" being a prime example of how MC's are no longer using mixtapes to phone it in over preexisting beats.

Star Slinger: "Moet & Reese"

That artwork says it all.  And by that I mean these beats is pregnant.

Star Slinger - Moet & Reese by Star Slinger

Chrome Dome: "After Midnight"

Chrome Dome are clearly riding the 80's nostalgia wave, but "After Midnight" has as much Wax Trax industrial as Transmat techno going on.  Even that band logo screams Alien Sex Fiend.

Chrome Dome - After Midnight from Angela Bermuda on Vimeo.

Gross Magic: "Yesterdays"

This is pretty much the perfect combination of modern vs 80's throwback.  Sam McGarrigle's hushed, bratty vocals and the bold guitar riff interlacing between the verses and chorus tend to douche the hell out of one's ear canals. "Yesterdays" is a bonus track off of the iTunes version of Gross Magic's debut EP, Teen Jamz.  I'm kind of resentful of this whole retailer-specific exclusives trend, so either enjoy the song via the magic of Youtube or search out the iTunes link for yourself.  iTunes ain't pimpin' WKMR last I checked.

Total Control: "Stonehenge"

Australia has always been synonymous with snarling, prehistoric garage punk (among other things, of course).  Total Control deliver on that promise, the spastic visuals in the video for "Stonehenge" perfectly complementing the herky, jerky rhythm.  Henge Beat is their first album, and according to a Mess + Noise review expect to hear a lot of synthpop influences as well.  Not so much on this track, however.
Total Control - Stonehenge from Timothy Hillier on Vimeo.

Sex Church: "Dull Light"

Sex Church is a provocative name, but "Dull Light" is not particularly confrontational.  A gripping blend of surf rock, post-punk and neo-psych, the name of the song is more appropriately evocative than the name of the band.  If you still want your glib you can get it off their Facebook bio, though.
 Sex Church - Dull Light by Load Records

Factory Floor: "Two Different Ways"

I used to be really, really big into the various strains of techno during the 90s, from the rave hangover of The Prodigy's early material to the Big Beat of Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, Wildchild, etc.  Early on I got used to using the term "trance" to refer to minimalist, usually metronomic hard techno, particularly of the German variety (Hardfloor's "Acperience 1" from 1992 is probably my favorite trance song of all time).

So when asshats like Darude and Tiesto came along at the dawn of the millennium and turned the genre into an uneasy truce between traditional trance and progressive house, shit started sounding like elevator music to me.  And when it proceeded to absolutely dominate electronic music for a large chunk of the ensuing decade, I largely tuned out of my "techno" (fuck the term "electronica") altogether.

Well, Factory Floor are not old school trance revivalists at all (their Wiki page describes them as "post-industrial", whatever the fuck that means) but if "Two Different Ways" is the only thing you've heard by them, you'd be hard pressed to say otherwise.  Minimal?  Check.  Metronomic?  Check.  Dull?  Hardly.  You're thinking of Tiesto.

Modeselektor: "Shipwreck" [feat. Thom Yorke]

I'm predisposed to dislike Modeselektor.  Mainly because they make statements like this to the press: "We don’t like it if people tag us as being a certain style or school or scene or whatever. We don’t really care about all that." Blech. I've always believed that diversity speaks for itself, and I can guarantee you that patchwork artists like Tom Waits and Bjork don't have to warn their fans against pigeonholing them. I call this the Dave Mustaine rule.

However, "Shipwreck" is a pretty sweet little ditty, so I'll assume the two gents that make up Modeselektor are still a little green at this whole press thing, and that they're just parroting what they've heard other people say while they work on their articulation.  They've got Thom Yorke's ear, and that's a heartier co-sign than anything I could offer.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Michael Monroe: "Trick of the Wrist"

This video does little to convince me that Michael Monroe is anyone other than Jaime Pressly's grandmother.  Still rocks more than that shitty, shitty shitcom that Pressly has coming out, though.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Revocation: "No Funeral"

One of the saving graces, I think, for death metal in this era - a full 20 years after its initial ascent - is a renewed focus on technicality.  The race to see who can be the fastest or most brutal had already long ago been subsumed by black metal, which frees death metal up to return to its role as thrash successor: riff-based, catchy, instrumentally competent.  Revocation is all these things, which is why they're one of the more popular bands to emerge from death metal in the last few years.

Abigail Williams: "Ascension Sickness"

The main gripe about Abigail Williams has always been the supposed lack of authenticity.  Black metal purists don't tend to take kindly to the band's attempts to wed progressive/symphonic tendencies to the traditional BM template.  The band appear to have taken that criticism to heart, and if "Ascension Sickness" is indicative of a new direction the naysayers will have to reconsider their objections.  Tortured, muffled vocals, shitty production with rusty blast beats, keyboards used sparingly for ambiance only... this hardly even sounds like the same band.  Looking out for Becoming, out on Jan. 24.

Rammstein: "Mein Land"

I have to take my Rammstein in small doses. Their blend of deep throated vocals and frankly antiquated industrial metal chugging gets stale pretty quick.  For that very reason I haven't gone out of my way to follow them for years now, which makes the timing of this video perfect:  if anything it's been long enough now that I could actually use a little throwback industrial in my life right now, and "Mein Land" has to be their crowning achievement in terms of promo videos.

The majority of the narrative leading up through the guitar solo is a cheeky, upside down accompaniment to Rammstein's intrinsically dark aesthetic, but in the end it's all a false edifice that's been erected for the sole purpose of being torn down by the band's true nature.  The last minute or so of this is NSFW if that matters.

Rammstein - Mein Land from Rammstein on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

CSS: "City Grrrl"

Indie rock fans are often excoriated for being too dismissive of mainstream pop music - obligatory, token coverage of R&B titans like Rihanna and Beyonce in Pitchfork and other indie-centric blogs not really fooling anybody - but to that I would respond: if Top 40 pop music is about anything other than formulaic, unchallenging pablum (musical comfort food) repeated ad nauseum - same production values, sound-alike verse-chorus-verse structures - then there would be no reason "indie" mainstays like CSS wouldn't regularly show up on the charts.  Unpolished, rough around the edges beat aside, "City Grrrl" has everything the mainstream demands out of a Katy Perry song - catchy yet familiar chorus, teen-friendly rock star posturing - but, unlike an actual Perry song, there is a sense of individuality here.

So basically my rebuttal is this: it's not so much that indie rock fans reject pop music as it is that pop fans tend to marginalize anything that indie aficionados would consider "pop" in the first place.  Without the multimedia blitz of cookie cutter superstar producers, high profile hip hop guest stars for that added street cred, and frequent radio play sandwiched between established giants like Coldplay and Lady GaGa, what chance does CSS - an inherently pop band whether you want to admit it or not - have in the cold light of the status quo?

CSS - City Grrrl feat. SSION from Freak! Produtora on Vimeo.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Vallenfyre: "Cathedrals of Dread"

Another new band signed to Century Media whose name starts with a V and are releasing their first album this fall (actually A Fragile King has been out since Halloween).  Vallenfyre have more of an old school Entombed sound going on, however, which is always welcome since Entombed themselves left the style behind well before it had been picked clean.

Vildhjarta: "Benblåst"

Måsstaden, the debut album from Swedish prog metal merchants Vildhjarta, has got to be one of the more hotly anticipated releases of late 2011.  Vildhjarta are loosely influenced by and often compared to countrymen Meshuggah, but a quick listen to "Benblåst" shows a little more going on in the experimental realm.  At just over three minutes, roughly 1/3 of which is an atmospheric intro, this serves as little more than a teaser of what's to come when the album hits on 11/29.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Canyons: "See Blind Through"

Continuing with this morning's theme of multi-culti weirdo rock, Canyons is from Australia and are clearly on some space age aboriginal shit.  They've been kicking around for a couple of years now releasing singles, but their first album, Keep Your Dreams, is just now coming out Tuesday.  Sounds like it might be a little more vocal-oriented - read: conventional - than their previous material, so if you dig this you might want to back track through their singles before digesting the album.

Fatima Al Qadiri: "Hip Hop Spa"

Even motherfuckers from Senegal are making their way to Brooklyn these days.  I really can't wait until Brooklyn starts falling off so I can go back to hating Williamsburg again - I really thought LA might grab their gusto, but the Golden State is already starting to fade if anything - but here's another quality heater up out the hipster capital of America.  Neither the title nor the video itself really has anything at all to do with the feel of the song, so ignore both and save this one for when you have some alone time.

Die Antwoord: "Fok Julle Naaiers"

These guys remind me of a darker version of Andrew WK... not musically, but in the sense that I vacillate between embracing both artists wholeheartedly and complete embarrassment for even entertaining the idea that either might be worth a shit.  "Fok Julle Naaiers" don't make things any easier for me vis a vis Die Antwoord, at least, more forced cracker rhymes and faux machismo (even coming from the albino-looking chick), but it's all so over the top you can't help but be taken in by the hermetic, closed system of a culture the group have going on.

Kind of.

FOK JULLE NAAIERS from Die Antwoord on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wild Flag: "Electric Band"

Wild Flag has been touted as a "supergroup", but with all due respect I'm not buying that shit.  Carrie Brownstein is the most visible presence here, having sang and played guitar in Sleater-Kinney; if you really have your indie shit together you may have heard the name Mary Timony in passing... she served stints in Autoclave and Helium back in the 90s.  Janet Weiss played drums in Sleater-Kinney as well, but having two of your "star" players coming from the same group hardly makes one a "supergroup", and Timony's not a big enough player in the indie rock world to put Wild Flag over the top.

This is a journalistic complaint, not a knock on the band itself.  They'd be the first to scoff at the supergroup tag, and if anything it's probably the staunch early 90s pop accessibility of songs like "Electric Band" that encourage music writers to fall back on the kind of shorthand nostalgia that terms like supergroup are meant to evoke in the first place.

Sean Falyon: "1970 Charger" [feat. Playboy Tre & Tony Williams]

Sean Falyon is a new cat to me.  He's a new cat period, still primarily locked into introductory mixtape mode if his blog is any indication.  Apparently deciding the Roots had Philly on lockdown, Falyon moved to Atlanta, where of course there's no competition whatsoever.  I hope he didn't drive this song's titular vehicle on the way down.  Not a lot of trunk space to fit them draws.

1970 Charger - Sean Falyon feat. (Playboy Tre & Tony Williams) by seanfalyonmusic

Fat Joe: "Dopeman" [feat. Jadakiss & Dre]

This mixtape shit is officially getting too confusing to keep up with.  The Darkside Vol. 1 was Fat Joe's most recent official album, but here we have The Darkside Vol. 2 which is a mixtape.  This is a bad precedent.  Titling your mixtapes in sequel fashion is entirely welcome - it helps fans quickly identify the release as official or  boot - but blurring the lines between the two is an undesirable development.  Aw, fuck it, "Dopeman" (not an NWA cover) is a great fucking song regardless of dubious marketing.  No idea what the individual Beatle references are all about, nor why Ringo Starr is the only one omitted.

Lil B: "Unchain Me"

With the current trend toward melancholy, introspective lyrics it was only a matter of time before someone got around to sampling "Cry Little Sister" from the Lost Boys soundtrack.  Actually, both Eminem and Joe Budden - maybe others as well - had already gotten to it earlier, but the way Lil B interlaces it into the beat I can definitely see other artists picking up on his initiative and lifting the sample for themselves.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Boots Electric: "Complexity"

Boots Electric is Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal.  Boots Electric is the solo project he created because  a) Josh Homme was busy, and/or b) Eagles of DM just wasn't sleazy enough for him.  It may also be that he got drunk one night and fell asleep watching Andrew WK and Electric Six videos.  Honkey Kong is a brand new album, but in long form Boots' schtick loses its appeal pretty fast, so peep this video for "Complexity" and then forget you've ever heard of the project.

Summer Camp: "Down"

This video was apparently created out of a series of repeating animated GIFs.  Seems like even if that's the case certain elements are inserted into other freestanding, motionless images.  Whatever, I'm not a special effects guy.  It's probably fucking magic anyway.

Zun Zun Egui: "Fandango Fresh"

I missed this the first time around when the Fandango Fresh EP came out a few months back, but with Zun Zun Egui's new full length Katang dropping today it's a good time to play catch up.  With a spastic, energetic cross between world beat and island jazz, ZZE would make ideal tour mates with Mutemath.

Glass Candy: "Warm in the Winter"

Could Portland become the next Brooklyn?  Maybe.  They already think they invented food trucks and the meme "Keep ____ Weird", so why couldn't they have invented indie rock as well?  Smug pretense aside, there is a veritable shitload of great bands coming out of the Pacific NW right now, and not only is Glass Candy signed to Italians Do It Better (this year's Mexican Summer, for those of you who don't read your Hipster Runoff) but I just noticed they put out an album called Geto Boys in 2009.  The Geto Boys had a song called "Read These Nikes".  Nike is based in Beaverton, a suburb of Portland.  Coincidence?  Yes, absolutely.

Moby: "After" [iamamiwhoami remix]

Ah, Moby.  Is there anyone in the electronic music community who it's easier to hate?  After doing his part to put techno on the mainstream radar with 1999's classic Play, Mr. Richard Melville Hall went on a decade long tear, destroying all that goodwill by releasing album after album of cookie cutter, water treading pablum (to be fair, contemporaries Chemical Brothers and Crystal Method hardly fared any better in the 'aughts).

I'd love to be able to call 2011's Destroyed an artistic comeback, but it's mostly just more of that nothing-embarrassing-but-nothing-great-either succession of beige electronic pop tracks.  I suppose if you cared enough you could probably find a couple of songs that grow on you with repeat listens, but it doesn't take repeat listens to dig the fuck out of iamamiwhoami's stellar remix of "After".  For a summer-friendly, laid back jam it's unseasonably fantastic.

Active Child: "Diamond Heart"

One of the things that for me justifies an occasional revival of older music - more homage than influence - is the continued advance of technology.  There is a ton of music being produced right now that was clearly intended to sound like it came straight out of 1983, but whereas 80's synth music benefitted from great studio production (under ideal, big budget circumstances anyway) it was always hampered by shitty, first or second generation keyboards.  In spite of that, artists like John Foxx, Gary Numan and a host of unheralded new wave groups proved that what was at the time new technology could produce entirely new styles of pop music that were far more than just guitar pop transposed for MIDI.

Active Child are one of those homage bands, but in 2011 you not only have the option of cutting edge production regardless of your budget, but with advances in software it really doesn't matter if you have a shitty keyboard anymore.  "Diamond Heart" isn't so much reinventing the wheel as celebrating what it's given us as a cultural entity.

Mazzy Star: "Common Burn"/"Lay Myself Down"

Don't know about you, but I'm not one to automatically get a fan boner when I hear a long dormant band is getting back together to tour. I need new material before I can get really excited.  Look, we'd all like to say we saw the Velvet Underground or Led Zeppelin, but face it: seeing those bands in 2011 doesn't in any way make up for missing them during their 60s/70s peak.  It's a false check mark off your "to do" list.

Mazzy Star is doing this reunion thing right.  For all intents and purposes the band is Hope Sandoval and guitarist David Roback, and though neither is really old enough to be burnt out or passed their prime on the live stage necessarily, I think reunion tours sans new material are really too commonplace to get worked up over.  I'd rather the Cars get back together and make a so-so album - easily one of the minor entries in their catalog - than for the Police to tour incessantly but not manage to eek out a single new track out of it.

Of course this ethos can always backfire if the band fails to build on old chemistry and just flat out embarrasses themselves on their new album (a lot of 70s/80s punk bands fall prey to this) but based on the two cuts leaked so far this sounds like a legit comeback effort... neither song is overtly catchy enough to make for a likely hit single but each has subtle charms that invite repeat listening.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Jon Connor: "Reppin' 4 Flint"

With Detroit becoming a hip hop mecca in recent years, it was a foregone conclusion that other rust belt MC's would come to make their presence known.  A couple years back it was Freddie Gibbs (Gary, IN) and now I'm banking on Jon Connor from Flint, Michigan to go national.  This may end up on his upcoming Vinnie Chase: Season Two mixtape or may have been intended as a standalone freestyle.  Playa didn't really say.

Pusha T: "What Dreams Are Made Of"

For y'all ain't know, Pusha T is one half of the hip hop duo Clipse (his brother Malice has yet to release any solo material).  This VIPS-produced track is the latest single culled from Pusha T's first official solo album, Fear of God II: Let Us Prey, releasing tomorrow.  Any song which samples both Rick Flair and a car starter refusing to turn over totally earns the misogynistic lyrics in the chorus in this blog's opinion.

[EDIT 1/8/12: adding official video]

 Pusha T - What Dreams Are Made Of by Pusha T

Duck Sauce: "Big Bad Wolf"

In a lot of ways Duck Sauce are what LMFAO would sound like if they weren't a studio concocted pop construct based on what black studio executives think white kids like to party to.  There isn't anything artistically forward thinking about them - they're clearly here to take the piss and enjoy themselves - but they have that kind of knowing wink in regards to their own idiocy that made the Ramones endearing.  It's still pretty manufactured, though; I don't think one would be inclined to listen to "Big Bad Wolf" over and over sans the video accompaniment, but in terms of using the music as an excuse for multimedia crossover opportunities I'd much rather endure Duck Sauce over something as vapid and completely devoid of value as "Party Rock Anthem", the LMFAO ditty that sickeningly went platinum in seven different countries.

Crystal Stilts: "Dark Eyes"

One of many bands taking Phil Spector's Wall of Sound concept into esoteric, psychedelic new directions, Crystal Stilts have been around for what seems like forever now, even though they've only been releasing music since 2005 (part of this may have to do with the fact that they were part of the trend of new bands having "crystal" in their names circa 2007-2008; see also Crystal Castles, Crystal Skulls, Crystal Antlers, etc).

Their In Love With Oblivion LP came out back in April but already they have a new EP, Radiant Doors, ready to ring in the holidays with suitably foul cheer.

CANT: "Believe"

Now this shit is kind of eerie.  I'm a bit of a skeptic, so when you show me clips of supposed unidentified flying objects I always assume there is some logical (usually atmospheric or militaristic) explanation and wonder why the footage always has to be grainy.  However, all these "found footage" movies that have come out over the last few years have gotten me in the spirit of suspension of disbelief - if only for entertainment purposes - so when you match this succession of "UFO" clips with the moody electronics of CANT's "Believe" I'm capable of getting suitably spooked.

Chelsea Wolfe: "Mer"

Chelsea Wolfe is on her third album (Apokalypsis) of droning dirge-folk, but with accolades from Pitchfork and NPR among others her moon is just now on the ascent.  I sometimes wish all these goth metal bands would take a listen to shit like this and Diamanda Galas realize that there are ways for expressive female voices to do "dark" evocatively without constantly pandering to the Evanescence and Nightwish crowds.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Weeknd: "Initiation"

Though you'd figure a band naming themselves after everyone's favorite time of the week would be one of the many sunny indie pop bands offering summer jams well into the fall, that is clearly not the case.  Instead they opt for a semi-psychedelic (borderline witch house) update on modern R&B.  Since the most forward thinking R&B artists these days seem to be the ones looking backward toward 60's soul standards, artists like The Weeknd and Frank Ocean that are doing something legitimately different while keeping their eye on the future are obviously the new cutting edge.

NSFW warning:  this video is delightfully chock full of what appear to be those slightly unwell American Apparel models in various states of undress.

The Weeknd - 'Initiation' video (nsfw) by MarcosFantu

Chris Young: "Save Water, Drink Beer"

Don't let the fact that Chris Young won the 2006 season of Nashville Star throw you off.  Though Nashville Star was positioned as the country version of American Idol - before AI turned their own focus to country music and made NS irrelevant - the talent on that show was far more authentic and less teeny-bopper than the Simon Cowell juggernaut (first season winner Buddy Jewell has also gone on to legit chart success, but not as much as third place finisher from that same season, Miranda Lambert).

Chris Young is on his third album for RCA Nashville, which has netted him his fourth #1 chart single, "Tomorrow".  Maybe I'll celebrate that song mañana, but for right now it's the weekend which means rationalizations for drinking are still in order:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Real Estate: "It's Real"

With all the cat love being bandied about indiscriminately on the internet, it's nice to see a canine take center stage every now and then.  In fact, this new video for Real Estate's "It's Real" posits a scenario where family movie reels are entirely pet-centric, a scenario which would be positively sickening if it were kitten-based.

Real Estate have been one of the big underground success stories of late, their laid back, sunny jangle pop appealing to both the chillwave zeitgeist as well as your more trad indie pop fans, and it doesn't hurt that their sophomore album, Days, is brilliant from start to finish, with nary a throwaway cut to be found.  You really have to be one of those anti-hipster types who instinctively recoil from anything Pitchfork co-signs to dislike this  band.

Pterodactyl: "School Glue"

Star Wars fan rehashes have long been played out.  Raiders of the Lost Ark was remade shot-for-shot years ago.  In fact, one could make a very good case that the whole tongue-in-cheek homage thing has been done to death and needs to be retired.  But if there's one last turd allowed out of the poop chute before we shut 'er done I nominate this Superman nod, a mischievous romp through the opening scenes of the 1978 classic which essentially laid the blueprint for all modern superhero movies.

Pterodactyl - "School Glue" from stereogum on Vimeo.

Co La: "Egyptian Peaches"

Matthew Papich takes a time out from being a member of Ecstatic Sunshine to indulge his Co La solo project.  "Egyptian Peaches" is custom engineered for the beach.  Leave that John Grisham bestseller at home - it's the same as the last one anyway - and bump this elastic groove instead.

Co La-Egyptian Peaches by NNA Tapes