Friday, March 30, 2012

Paris Jones: "Ashley Brown" [feat. J. Valle]

Paris Jones has been a busy hombre lately. His website boasts no fewer than three full length, free downloads, and his Soundcloud profile corrals together a ton of non-overlapping loose ends as well. Paris is one of the newer school of R&B singers who are largely rejecting post-new jack, hip hop influenced beats for traditional soulful vamping over top wispy, often hazy electronic melodies. None of his existing tracks exemplify this better than "Ashley Brown", with a filtered synth hook straight out of a 1983 Billy Ocean hit. Speaking of which, Frank Ocean is probably the closest comparison here, and that's fine company to be in.

Van She: "Idea of Happiness"

People like to sneer at my so-called musical elitism, claiming I'm an indie snob who doesn't like pop music just because I don't give it up for the Kelly Clarksons and the Katy Perrys.  Well, fuck you, this IS pop music... and I like it. It may not be in the Billboard Top 40. It may in fact sound like a pop song circa 1984 rather than 2012, but it's still pop music, damn you.

Van She (presumably riffing on Banshee, to which this group owes many obvious similarities) even uses that bouncy synth phrasing in the chorus that's so popular among the youth of today. But mainly it's just that "Idea of Happiness" is so much catchier than anything I have yet to hear out of the David Guetta / Lady GaGa school of dance pop that it fully justifies hating the fuck out of the latter.

[UPDATE 4/4/12: adding official video]:

Massacooramaan: "Trainwreck" [feat. DJ Rashad & RP Boo]

Jesus Christ what a racket. Avant-garde footwork? Take it. We already have artstep, why not

Massacooramaan is Dave Quam from Portland, pretty much the last place I'd expect any footwork/Chicago juke to come out of, but if one of those pasty ass West Coasters was going to do it I would definitely expect it to fall well within the confines of skullfuck territory. Homeboy's got another fucked up bit of electronic frippery here.

Indians: "Magic Kids"

Really getting tired of all these single word, pluralized band names these days, but what are you gonna do? Especially when the band in question is as good as Indians. "Magic Kids" is kind of a deluxe version of chillwave, with orchestral synths bubbling up from an ethereal pool of percolating sounds and crystal clear lyrics breaking occasionally breaking the tranquility. As near as I can tell this is one guy from Copenhagen, and I'll be damned if I can find anything other than this one song by him. Stay tuned.

Erol Alkan & Boys Noize: "Roland Rat" / "Brain Storm"

Apparently these collaborations between Erol Alkan and Boys Noize are an annual meeting of the minds, at least they have been for the past three years. Both the a- and b-side from their latest single are both just sickeningly fantastic, the sort of artistic checks and balances that very rarely add up to the more than the sum of the collaborators' parts. Nothing atmospheric or trippy about either of these cuts, just straight skullfuck floor fillers.
(via Pretty Much Amazing)

Meshuggah: "Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion"

Meshuggah are the Tool of extreme metal. They may not be as accessible to the average modern rock radio junkie, but they come from a similar ethos of mixing moody, progressive riffs with deliberately off-putting, fragmented time signatures. Hopefully the guys in 'shuggah don't decide that they need their own analog to A Perfect Circle to vent their more mainstream (read: sellout) predilections.

By the way, this video sucks. Just listen to the tune and shut the fuck up.

Teen Daze: "Fantasy"

We've covered Teen Daze before, but he's back with a decidedly more downbeat, reflective track this time around. Keeping with the modern trend of intentionally fragmenting one's discography so that only the most diehard fans can keep up with it, Teen Daze does in fact have a new album, All of Us, Together, coming out May 11, but this "Fantasy" single is not on it... nope, it's an exclusive on the tour EP that you have to go to one of his European shows to purchase. I mean, I'm sure copies will eventually make their way for sale online (or the individual tracks will be released in some other form belatedly), but in an increasingly hostile music industry why are so many artists making it difficult to track down their material?

Win Win: "Pop a Gumball"

When Spank Rock producer XXXchange fired up his Win Win project late last year he didn't fly far from the coop. "Pop a Gumball" - finally getting an official video - has the same minimalist, propulsive danceability that XXXchange's other work (remix and otherwise) is known for. Further flexing his name drop muscle, XXXchange pulls Andrew WK, Spank Rock and Chavez's Matt Sweeney into his sinister vibes on this clip.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

KILLER COVERS || Bill Callahan: "Heaven Help the Child"

Is there anyone in the past forty years more underrated than Mickey Newbury? I feel like in recent years he's finally started to get some belated dues from musicians that cover his songs, but as regards the average music fan the name "Mickey Newbury" doesn't seem to carry the same kind of cache as fellow singer-songwriters Townes Van Zandt or Kris Kristofferson.

Bill Callahan is a bit of a cult figure himself, so his rendition of Newbury's "Heaven Help the Child" probably won't send any Newbury albums posthumously into the Heatseeker charts, but it's a heartfelt tribute nonetheless.

Bill Callahan "Heaven Help The Child" from Drag City on Vimeo.

Frankie Rose: "Night Swim"

Frankie Rose is the O.G. in this shit. She was the first to abandon the arhythmic clatter of Vivian Girls for the lush troposphere of shoegaze / dream pop, a route that current V.G. Katy Goodman has since found success with via her La Sera project. Interstellar is actually Rose's second album for Slumberland but the first recorded exclusively under her own name.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Violens: "Der Microarc"

The title "Der Microarc" may bring to mind steely Teutonic iciness - a rational tyranny of imperative emotionlessness - but that wouldn't be Violens' style. This is warm, nostalgic bliss of timeless melancholy, 60s AM haze and modern dream pop all wrapped into a concise, well executed package. Bonus points for recreating the famous "Subterranean Homesick Blues" cue card sequence using Rorschach-ian free associative imagery.

True is out May 15 on Slumberland Records.

Violens - Der Microarc from Slumberland Records on Vimeo.

The Men: "A Minor"

Record Store Day: a communal, pot luck gesture to collectively rally the consumer to his local mom & pop CD/vinyl outlet via exclusive, limited releases. You aren't shit these days as a band unless you contribute, and that tireless dedication is intended to rub off on you, the record buying public, as well.

Sacred Bones is chipping in with a compilation of unreleased tracks from their artists, including this mind blowing, acid washed epic from The Men. This is one seriously tight fucking band if you're not aware of that already.

Japandroids: "The House That Heaven Built"

It's amazing how closely a band can hew to anthemic, shout along choruses and Class of 77 power chords without falling prey to that slippery slope that is shitty modern pop punk. "The House That Heaven Built" is Jimmy Eat World for the adult set, a rousing garage romp with endless hooks and fuck you pomp. Is it any coincidence their upcoming album is called Celebration Rock?

[UPDATE 8/13/12: added music video]:

Heavy Blanket: "Dr. Marten's Blues"

With Witch and Upsidedown Cross both under his belt - not to mention Dinosaur Jr.'s headier numbers - one might imagine that J. Mascis has had his fill of the landfill sludge over the years. Not so, apparently. Heavy Blanket is his new side gig, and on the basis of "Dr. Marten's Blues" it sounds like what would happen if you locked Neil Young & Crazy Horse in Clutch's Jam Room for a fortnight. Not a bad thing.

Catcall: "The World Is Ours"

There will always be a place in this world for cheerleaders. I like to think even the Roman gladiators slaughtered each other to howls of approval from their own short-kilted cheering section. But at the very least cheerleaders are an essential music video trope, especially for sunny, Go Go's-esque new wave.

The Warmest Place is Sydney one woman band Catcall's debut album, out May 4 on on Ivy League Records.
CATCALL: The World Is Ours from Ivy League Records on Vimeo.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ghost Beach: "Faded"

I'm not at all enthused about that milquetoast, designer pop chorus, but there's enough going on instrumentally on Ghost Beach's new jam "Faded" that I'm willing to give the wannabe pop punk middle frames a break. Ghost Beach arose out of the ashes of TV/TV, whom I've never heard of so presumably no loss there... especially if they were a pop punk band.

Simian Mobile Disco: "Cerulean"

Simian Mobile Disco have spent most of the past three years outsourcing their talent in the form of remixes and DJ gigs. Finally, after a long hiatus they return to gift fans with Unpatterns, a new full length that will presumably defy formulae. First up is this video for "Cerulean", which strongly resembles a rudimentary geography game intended to run seamless on a Commodore Vic 20.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Margot & the Nuclear So and So's: "Shannon"

I used to live in Indianapolis. You'd think with Jagjaguwar / Secretly Canadian ensconced right down the freeway in Bloomington that Indy would have a fairly vibrant indie rock scene going on, all the better to compete for one of those super-indie (Grammy winning!) record label contracts, right?


Margot & the Nuclear So and So's are just. about. it. There are some fairly respectable metal bands coming out of Indy - Demiricous, Year of Desolation, Gates of Slumber - but for the most part their idea of "indie" rock sounds like this. Get your shit together Indy, before Margot & the Nukes head off to Detroit or Chicago like all your other homespun talent.

Shannon from Margot Cloud on Vimeo.

Ufomammut: "Empireum"

In the whole doom metal realm I don't think anyone gets under-appreciated more than Italy's Ufomammut. Psychedelic almost to a Krautrock T, this band isn't quite filthy enough to satisfy Electric Wizard fans nor do they write accessible enough songs to hit it off with the Cathedral / Sabbath-loving crowd. Instead, they favor spacey, long form jams with no real vocals to speak of - some occasional chanting or buried howls occasionally pop up but that's about it - so think of a more ethereal, less immediate Yob and you're on the right track... sorta.

Ufomammut have jumped ship from their own Supernatural Cat label to Neurot Recordings for their latest, Oro: Opus Primum, which is the first of two themed concept albums. Interesting choice, releasing the longest song on the album as the first official "single", especially considering this new album is a slow burner, so track one is mostly a long build. Whatever: they put together some visuals for your punk ass, so chew your food and enjoy.

Grinderman: "Hyper Worm Tamer" [U.N.K.L.E. Remix]

An album once described by band member Warren Ellis as "stoner rock meets Sly Stone via Amon Duul" would not seem to require a remix album - and truthfully it doesn't - but several producers have managed to enhance the fuzz / psych quotient through electronics without trying to make the underlying song too clubby. U.N.K.L.E. do perhaps the best job of this, the A Place To Bury Strangers mix of this same track going too far into industrial dance territory. Still, there's debatable merit to the release of Grinderman 2 RMX, which is largely just a collection of b-sides from individual singles... not sure how much point there is to that in the iTunes era, but maybe ol' man Cave is trying to buy himself some down time before getting the Bad Seeds back into the studio.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Miike Snow: "The Wave"

Musically, Sweden is known for two things: chilly, hateful extreme metal and sunny, effervescent pop music. Miike Snow fit squarely in the latter camp, despite having an American singer / songwriter in Andrew Wyatt. "The Wave" is the second single from their sophomore album, Happy to You, and continues in the vein of cheeky, obscure videos established with previous single "Paddling Out", both directed by Andreas Nillson. Both are part of a story arc about humans being abducted by aliens in order to create the perfect human being Frankenstein-style. If you purchase the "Jackalope Edition" of Happy to You there's a remix of "The Wave" included on the bonus disc.

Cold Specks: "Winter Solstice"

One thing you don't see paired much is the contrast of expansive, orchestral baroque pop with a bluesy, soulful vocalist, but that's exactly the winning juxtaposition newcomers Cold Specks bring to the table on "Winter Solstice". That chanteuse in question is Al Spx, who leads a crackerjack ensemble that just tore it up at this year's SXSW. Look for their debut LP I Predict a Graceful Expulsion out May 21 on Mute, and you can stream some older tracks via their Facebook profile in the meantime. The older tracks tend to be in more of a folk blues vein, so it will be interesting to see if "Winter Solstice" is indicative of a new direction or just an unusually ornate take on Spx's roots music predilections.
(via Globe and Mail)

Married in Berdichev: "Light Comes"

In the same manner that you can instantly identify anything recorded in the 80's by its compressed dynamics and dry, in your face percussion, I think one of the hallmarks of today's production considered decades from now will be the ubiquitous use of cavernous, almost cathedral-like space that modern recording equipment affords this generation's artists.

In the same way that 80's artists were merely taking advantage of new-at-the-time technology to achieve a crystal clean clarity that wasn't possible in the analog era, it's unlikely that modern artists are intentionally trying to all produce minor variations on dream pop ambiance so much as just trying to get the most out of the cutting edge technology available in 2012. Either way there's a lot of somnolent, lush avant pop bubbling up from the underground these days.

Emeralds: "Does It Look Like I'm Here?" [Daphni Mixes 1 & 2]

"It's like The Smiths suing John Smith or something".  That was Daniel Victor Snaith's retort when a 2004 lawsuit from Handsome Dick Manitoba forced a name change to Caribou... apparently the Ontario native was determined to keep it both Canuck and minimalist at all costs.

When he began producing more club-oriented electronic tracks in 2011, Snaith opted for another name change, this time going with the Daphni pseudonym. Already having released nearly half a dozen EPs and singles under that name, Snaith was recently commissioned to remix Emeralds' 2010 track "Does It Look Like I'm Here?" Snaith did them one better and came up with two mixes, the first a little more dynamic and spacey, with a greater concern for the slow build, the second a harder edged trance piece. Stream both below or download them here.

Danny Brown: "Baseline"

Something about that hair flip makes me think of a skatepunk version of DJ Quik, but that's about the only connection I can make between Danny Brown and any other rapper. He positions himself thematically in the standard "talkin' shit" hip hop archetype, but his actual flow betrays a man so ecstatic with his own iconoclasm that he's barely holding his shit together. That kind of smug self-confidence would be fatal to a lesser talent, but Brown is the real deal Holyfield. Now all you hookers and hoes know how I feel.

Frank Ocean: "Whip Appeal"

Not a Babyface cover, although the reference is probably not accidental... Frank Ocean has obviously learned a trick or two from 'face's honeyed falsetto. "Whip Appeal" was supposed to be on the deluxe edition of Ocean's Nostalgia, Ultra, which was self-released in February 2011, but apparently Ocean felt like too much time had passed, too many people already had this critically acclaimed, wildly popular album in their hands to attempt a mainstream re-release on a major label. Which is perfectly sensible: in the fickle world of pop music, you're only as big as your last hit, and if Ocean tries to pimp his old shit over on an audience that already owns most of this material, the shitty sales which would likely result could have catastrophic consequences to Ocean's commercial momentum. Best to just get back in the studio, eyes ahead.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Howse: "VBS"

I don't know who Howse is and apparently neither does whoever set up his Facebook profile, but this is coming out on Tri Angle and that's all the brand loyalty you should need. A little more clubby / accessible than their usual experimental fare, "VBS" is a sexed up, jittery late night anthem... if Amsterdam's Red Light District sports any of those icy, austere ultra lounges that have popped up all over the US in the past 10 years I imagine this will fit right into their rotation.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lana Del Rey: "Blue Jeans" [RAC Remix]

I'm not posting this to get in yet another stale argument about the legitimacy of Ms. Del Rey but it's a good gateway to discussion about how much more listenable mainstream dance pop would be if the production was this damn good. For those of us who are comfortable enough in our shoes not to feel like a stuck up elitist if we don't feel obligated to fill some quota of token mainstream coverage, it's because there's not enough of it out there that bothers to put together more than a couple of rudimentary beats, the melody usually getting sacrificed wholesale in favor of low bass punctuated with whatever mating call synth patch is currently all the rage with producers. RAC put together the whole package with this one, to the point where it really doesn't matter what you think of Lana Del Rey herself. But for those of you on the fence I avoided posting yet another sex kitten pose to frame the article... she's had so many damn official / unofficial remixes of this song I can't figure out which cover art goes with which single anyway.

Orbital: "New France" [feat. Zola Jesus]

Passed on the chance to cover this when the audio was released several weeks back, but one of the benefits of these staggered release schedules is it gives thick skulled guys like me a chance for proper digestion and reappraisal. The leonine stuffed animal starring in this vid is just the right mix of creepy and endearing, though the song itself could only be accused of the latter quality, basically just a no frills clubber with epic synth washes and breakdowns in all the right places. Orbital don't always come through consistently but when they do it's usually timeless and immediate... that is if you don't have ADD like yours truly.

Death Grips: "Lost Boys"

Already covered Death Grips recently but they keep giving me more of that reverb evil my soul needs to get out of bed in the morning. I heard about them signing a major label deal with Epic at the same time as I caught their previous single "Get Got", which frankly was a little too cleaned up and normal sounding for my tastes... started to get worried instead of getting got like I was instructed. Not good. What is good is "Lost Boys", which to some may sound too similar to the previously posted "Blackjack", but that's like quibbling that Motorhead have never tried their hand at prog.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Shoes: "Time to Dance"

One last quickie before WKMR bails for SXSW. Would love to tell you we'll be providing beaucoup coverage of the festival but most likely we'll be too sideways to remember any of it afterward. We could point you to some alternative sites that do excellent work at covering SXSW, but none of those sites ever link to WKMR so fuck 'em.

Pay no attention to the fact that Jake Gyllenhaal is in this video. He may genuinely be into The Shoes, but most likely he's just looking to get his indie card punched. I don't really know much about The Shoes but presumably they bear no relation to the power pop group Shoes from Illinois. You can read up on the band on their FB page if you want but most likely all you'll need to know is that this discofied pop song easily trumps any dance-punk I've heard from Justice, The Rapture or anyone on DFA Records lately. This is THE song of 2012 so far in my book.

Doctor Jeep: "Level II" [kuxxan SUUM Remix]

End Fence is a Brooklyn (where else?) label which has initiated their free Single Series Session 1 via their Soundcloud page.  Co-owned by kuxxan SUUM - who provides the remix here of Doctor Jeep's "Level II" - End Fence claims to have "no manifesto" and is seeking out "timeless" electronic music regardless of genre trappings, so future releases may be more esoteric / less clubby than this particular banger.

(via XLR8R)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Torae: "For the Record"

Always nice when a hip hop producer unearths a 70s soul/funk jam that hasn't already been sampled to death. In this case DJ Premier breaks out "Eclipse" by Ahmad Jamal as the backbone for Torae's "For the Record", the title track from his latest album. Jamal has been sampled before - most notably when Nas cribbed his "I Love Music" for Nas' own career highlight "The World Is Yours". However, doesn't list a single instance of "Eclipse" making its way beneath another MC's rhymes, so if "For the Record" sounds immediately familiar it's only because it hearkens back to that early 90s era when the last of the great soul/jazz-funk samples were getting spent.

Royce Wood Junior & Stac: "Edge" [Fybe Remix]

Fybe:one is a South London producer and co-founder of the Shades of Grey label, which released the Second Lens EP from Royce Wood Junior & Stac (no idea if that's four people or just... less than four). Dude's taken it upon himself to remix "Edge" from that EP, and what a bang up job he's done. This is one of those new school of dubstep (post-dubstep?) tracks that seek to both take the genre back to its minimalist roots while at the same time pushing it forward by incorporating other genres, in this case deep house.
(via Soulection)

Korallreven: "Sa Sa Samoa" [Elite Gymnastics Remix]

Perhaps a bit opportunistic with the prominent Whitney Houston sample, but Elite Gymnastics turn Korallreven's dream-tech "Sa Sa Samoa" into an old school rave throwback tune. The video is not much to speak of - another artsy found footage bouillabaisse, just what the planet needs - but the remix itself is worth cracking a glow stick over.

わめく▷ ⎛VISUAL⎠ from ELITE GYMNASTICS on Vimeo.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Stalley: "Everything New"

Stalley has been releasing a slew of songs under the unofficial umbrella title Songs By Me, Stalley as a warm up to his latest proper full length, Savage Journey to the American Dream (presumed Hunter S. Thompson misquote). It's worked. I wasn't aware of the dude until a month or so ago, but lately he's insinuated himself as one of my favorite new rappers. Hard to believe he's signed with Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group, as Ross and his affiliates - Meek Mill, Wale, Young Buck, etc. - are as representative as any rappers on the planet of what bores me about modern bling rap.

[EDIT 4/4/12: added official video]:

Virtual Boy: "Memory of a Ghost"

Not every song needs to be a perfect compendium of flawless parts. Witness Virtual Boy's new single "Memory of a Ghost": you'd be hard pressed to make a case that the flimsy, robotic vocals add anything to the whole, but the washed out, broken carousel of a melody segueing into that sizzling, pan fried synth line is definitely worthy of multiple listens.

Virtual Boy, the self titled album from you know who, came out a month ago on Alpha Pup.
(via XLR8R)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Graphics: "I Don't Wanna"

UK producer Graphics has been shitting out tracks lately, that thus far the London-based Alfie MacGibbon has been content to give away for free (mostly here and here), but he recently announced via XLR8R that he was starting his own label, LYWat Records. What's not entirely clear from the first two tracks self-leaked from a supposed upcoming EP is whether an actual physical release is forthcoming or whether he's just compiling free singles by mood and feel. Presumably the former, as the previously released "Dogs Yawn" is quite the mopey, atmospheric dirge compared to the downright club-friendly "I Don't Wanna".

NHK: "Fu2"

NHK is one of several pseudonyms used by Osaka producer Kouhei Matsunaga. "Fu2" is his side of a split 12" with SND, who he'll be touring Japan with this month (the tour is just about wrapping up, actually). Matsunaga also recently released a collection of his more accessible, dance-oriented material - suitably entitled Dance Classics Vol. 1 - on PAN under the moniker NHK'Koyxeи.

(via Tiny Mix Tapes)

Traxman: "1988"

Planet Mu, long time home of IDM, glitch and experimental electronic acts such as Venetian Snares, Luke Vibert, and label head Mike Paradinas' own μ-Ziq project, have gotten a little less esoteric in their signings lately; recognizing shifting trends in relevance in the electronic music genre, Paradinas has added dubstep (Benga, Pinch), artstep (Burial), and now footwork to his arsenal. Traxman operates within the accepted bounds of the footwork repertoire on "1988", with its knob-twiddling 303s and boilerplate footwork beats, though he started off as a ghetto house DJ in the 90s. Da Mind of Traxman is his debut for Planet Mu (due April 9), and you can pre-order and/or get a taste of the other 17 tracks on the Mu website.
(via Boiler Room)

The Golden Filter: "Kill Me"

Syndromes, a ten minute short film from Norwegian director Kristoffer Borgli, is the genesis of The Golden Filter's song "Kill Me" (though the video below is a separately shot piece with a differing theme). Syndromes is being screened at this year's SXSW Film Festival, though it's already been released on DVD coupled with a six song soundtrack album by The Golden Filter (you can also view it on the band's website). Otherwise not a whole lot appears to be going on in the GF camp at present, but this weird ass video should hold you over in the meantime.

The Golden Filter - 'Kill Me' from The Golden Filter on Vimeo.

Magic Wands: "Space"

Magic Wands have finally worked their way up from EPs and singles and now have a full length album, Aloha Moon, coming out April 24 on Bright Antenna. If you haven't already gotten hip to this self-described "lovewave" band from LA, most of the early singles tracks are being recycled for the album. They have numerous shows lined up for SXSW this year, so within another week and a half we should know whether they'll become the next big blog sensation or just fizzle out, but "Space" is a worthy tune regardless of whether they go unnoticed or get their just due.

Soso: "My Women, My Guitars" [feat. KRIGET]

Cody ChesnuTT was - is - one of those peer-heralded acts that the public just never really allowed to fully cross over. Dude got props from Thom Yorke, one of his songs was covered by The Roots, he appeared in Dave Chappelle's Block Party... if that didn't work another cover by the relatively unknown Soso is unlikely to further raise his profile, but this rendition of "My Women, My Guitars" is strong enough to stand on its own without needing an agenda. Backing band KRIGET are what really sell this, their grime-y electronics expertly counterpointing Soso's poppy, accessible vocals. Soso herself has an album - That Time I Dug So Deep I Ended Up In China - coming out May 1.

Christian Mistress: "Pentagram and Crucifix"

Christian Mistress have catapulted right up there with Pentagram and St Vitus among the elite 70s-obsessed metal throwback bands. Possession is their second album and a quantum leap over their already-promising debut. There's a nice early 80s Metal Massacre comp vibe to "Pentagram and Crucifix" which takes me back a bit.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lambchop: "Gone Tomorrow"

I could post just about any track off Lambchop's new album Mr. M and not go wrong (although it does taper off in quality a bit toward the end), but "Gone Tomorrow" is probably the best and - hey - it actually has a wrestling-themed video. Mr. M eschews a lot of the kitschy lounge sound that Lambchop have become known for, but there is plenty of Wilco-esque Americana jazziness in the late instrumental breakdown.

FUPM (Bobby Creekwater & Stat Quo): "Blast Off"

Fuk U Pay Me. Takes longer to spell out FUPM as it does to just say what it stands for, but I guess we're still making concessions to radio and shit.

Bobby Creekwater and Stat Quo are both former affiliates of Eminem, but listening to their entirely different rap sensibilities it's not hard to figure out why they weren't a good fit on Shady Records. That's a compliment, by the way.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Grimes: "Oblivion"

Claire Boucher has raised Lana Del Ray-sized hackles among some in the internet community with her dance-y, admittedly slight take on the dream pop sound... but hell, they don't call it dream "pop" for nothing. I'm not sure the genre demands a Cocteau Twins level of arty gravitas from every practitioner out of the gate. Listening to "Oblivion", I don't see a single thing that's any more egregiously vapid than the unapologetic trifle that is the Bear in Heaven track I just posted, do you? Are attractive, wispy waifs of the female persuasion under a greater obligation to bring substance to their roles in pop culture in a way that sweaty, goofy looking rock bros are not?

Bear in Heaven: "The Reflection of You"

Bear in Heaven may be best known to neophytes as the band that "leaked" their upcoming album I Love You, It's Cool to the web, only slowed down to sheer unlistenability by a 400,000% margin. They have more going for them than novelty marketing, though; "The Reflection of You" is a heavily new wave-tinged, upbeat pop song with old school synths, but it's really the jazzy analog drumming that sells this track. Warning: the video is NSFE(pileptics).

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm from Barcelona: "Battleships"

Sweden's poppin' with the deceptively christened I'm from Barcelona, a sideways pop ensemble that rolls 29 members deep (eat your heart out, Polyphonic Spree). Forever Today is their fourth album and came out last year, but the video for latest single "Battleships" was just uploaded to their Youtube channel today.

Wise Blood: "Loud Mouths"

Bizarre videos with non sequitur plots are all the rage these days. Pittsburgh act Wise Blood gets in on some of that action with funereal imagery and an off-kilter tune to go with it. The closest comparison I can make is to the falsetto Jack White sometimes uses, but otherwise the instrumentation is not all White Stripes-like; maybe this could be an outtake from the Jack White / Danger Mouse sessions... or it could just be its own thing.

Loud Mouths - Wise Blood from Young Replicant on Vimeo.