Wednesday, May 30, 2012

XXYYXX: "About You"

The X stands for Xanax. All of them do. Not really, but you'd be forgiven for thinking so on the basis of this supremely barred out anti-jam. In reality, XXYYXX is 16-year old Marcel Everett, which is way to young to be gobbling Oxy by the fistfuls, which is the impression you get listening to the narcotic drip of his music. You can actually download this whole album at a name-your-price figure over at Bandcamp.

[UPDATE 8/17/12: added "remastered" version, complete with a brand new music video]:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beat Connection: "The Palace Garden, 4AM"

"The Palace Garden, 4AM" reminds me of another AM altogether, that being the radio frequency which saw its twilight in the 1970s. Take away the Erasure-esque synth flourishes and the basic melody sounds like something that would have been at home on K-Billy's Super Sounds of the 70s or those Rhino Have a Nice Day comps that bloated up to 25 volumes back in the 90s. This comes perilously close to being too corporate pop for its own good but somehow manages to keep its shit together.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Place to Bury Strangers: "You Are the One"

Is this a new direction for A Place to Bury Strangers? They've been slowly letting up off the (volume) pedal in small increments since their self titled debut five years ago. The title track from this year's Onwards to the Wall EP hinted at the rhythmic post-punk of "You Are the One", though the other four songs were in line with their faster noise rock material. I'd label this video NSFW for violence and general lascivious sleaze. If the boss is looking over your back you might just settle for the Soundcloud audio below.

Worship is out June 26 on Dead Oceans.

Pop. 1280: "Bodies in the Dunes"

Pop. 1280 are named for the Jim Thompson novel, and just as that novel's title was intended to draw emphasis to the dwindling population as the book progressed, "Bodies in the Dunes" finds Pop. 1280 the band following their sobriquet to its logical conclusion. Cinematics by Jacqueline Castel, who is clearly ready for Hollywood.

Elite Gymnastics: "Life/Trap"

Indecision runs rampant through Minneapolis duo Elite Gymnastic's spastic "Life/Trap", the propulsive, skittery drums wholly at adds with the purp swigging vocals and ambient, beat-resistant production. This was originally recorded for 2011's Ruin 1 & 2 but is just now being released... on Ruin 4. At least you won't have to worry about iTunes screwing up the chronology of your E.G. collection.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Doldrums: "Jump Up"

A lesser writer would talk about how fitting the song title was - or, conversely, how ironic the band name is given the song's bouncy nature - but you're looking at a fucking professional here, so I'll just tickle that elephant fetus on the proboscis and flat out admit I got nothing. Listen to it here but download it there.

Summer Camp: "Life"

I find myself posting more synth-driven indie pop these days than I do guitar-driven indie rock, but for my money that's where the best shit happens to be at right now. I'm not even concerned in the least that most of it is 80's-derivative as long as the hooks are there. A lot of music fans seem to have their guards up when it comes to the possibility of music permanently regressing, but since when has there ever been any danger of musical trends getting set in stone? So what if we seem to be vapor locked in a nostalgia phase right now... eventually artists will get bored and trends will shift toward something else, at which point the gatekeeper types will end up retroactively digging the shit that they've stubbornly overlooked, given the lack of baggage that a hindsight appraisal affords.

Poppy & The Jezebels: "Sign In, Dream On, Drop Out"

These girls are adorable. I know, I know, looks aren't supposed to matter, it's about the music. My ass. People only say that because there too many manufactured pop stars that try to get by exclusively on image. Looks are  part of presentation though, and - done right - they can and do affect perception (ie. in the same way that Adele would come off as ridiculous trying to croon in Lana del Rey's sex kitten voice, Leonard Cohen's soul wrecking ballads would seem a bit disingenuous if he looked like Brad Pitt).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lupe Fiasco: "Around My Way (Freedom Ain't Free)"

 “No disrespect to lupe fiasco and i like him alot but TROY should be left alone. Feel so violated,the beat is next to my heart and was made… Outta anguish and pain. When it’s like that it should not be touched by no one!” he wrote. “It’s so hard for folks to make original music, I possess that, but these dudes are scared of that and this is supposed to be HIP HOP?”
That's Pete Rock's Twitter rebuttal to the new "T.R.O.Y."-sampling single by Lupe Fiasco. I can't wrap my head around this at all. Not only is hip hop as an overall art form centered on discriminating bites from other artists, but the specific beat behind Rock and C.L. Smooth's song "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" is itself based on a sample of sax player Tom Scott covering a Jefferson Airplane song. So the hypocrisy in Rock's objection is so nested it's like a character from Inception turned out to be one of those Russian matryoshka dolls all along. To get back to reality you need just the right chain reaction of exploding heads to get you through the cognitive dissonance.

Fuck this, I've got other songs to post but a) it's getting late and b) after that bullshit I need a beer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

HEALTH: "Tears"

Can't wait for remixes of this track to start rolling out. If I have one complaint about this original version it's that I want that hulking bassline to go on indefinitely. The vocals are catchy and would be great in any other track, but here they just intrude on the sanctity of that industrial strength bass.

If the above artwork didn't tip you off this was recorded for the new Max Payne video game. Picture listening to this while peeling a few digital caps back and you'll see what I mean about that bassline.

[UPDATE 11/1/12: added much belated "short film"]:

Bear in Heaven: "Sinful Nature"

When I first heard Bear in Heaven back when 2007's Red Bloom of the Boom was released - an album that was heavily praised by Pitchfork - I dug their sprawling, psychedelic sound, but at the same time there was a certain pastiche quality to the songs which made the album as a whole seem unfinished or not fully formed. I'm pretty comfortable with where the band is at five years later, having morphed into a pretty creditable synth pop band with concise pop hooks, and the experimental angle is still there in the overwrought keyboard washes. Much of this is no doubt to the revolving lineup: Jon Philpot is the only original member left, but at this point it looks like he's drafted a team that works.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Father John Misty: "This Is Sally Hatchet"

This one will probably be noted - at least at first - for it's hyperviolent, Tarantino-esque visuals. Do yourself a favor: switch browser tabs and listen to this without the distraction of the cinematic music video. J. Tillman's got a good thing going with his rootsy, progressive Americana that often borders on a kind of cross between epic 70's country-rock and, say, ELP. The mounting guitar/strings crescendo that peaks around the three-minute mark and just keeps going is pure class.

Bonde Do Rolê: "Kilo"

I feel sorry for Americans who live in an area with a non-existent Hispanic population. You go to bars and talk about white people stuff like the weather and NASCAR - don't like either, wait five minutes - while below the Mason-Dixon line, in saloons and taverns from Goliad, Texas to El Cajon, California this is going on 'round the clock:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

TNGHT: "Bugg'n"

TNGHT is HDSN MHWKE and LNC, a.k.a. Hudson Mohawke and Lunice. I've never heard of the latter but I bet he's got five on it. On July 24 the duo will release a self-titled EP on Warp/LuckyMe. Wait a minute: TNGHT TNGHT? Is that a Phil Collins reference?

Nice Face: "You're So Dramatic"

I refuse to link to a Myspace page. I can't exactly explain why. I certainly have no allegiance to Facebook; I'm actually kind of rooting for Google+ to dethrone their ass, but I'm glad I don't have money riding on it.

No, I think my antagonism toward Myspace is the kind that an Eskimo would feel if they put a decrepit grandparent out on an ice floe and the grandparent had the indecency to paddle their way back. No, dude, we thought long and hard about what we were doing before we stuck your ass out on that ice floe. Don't be trying to make a cheesy comeback. You're just embarrassing yourself here.

Nice Face have a Facebook page is I guess what I'm getting at here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dubbel Dutch: "No Futuro"

Two Austin posts in one day? Unreal. I'd actually never even heard of this guy, a local DJ/producer by the name of Dubbel Dutch. Judging from his Soundcloud page dude keeps pretty busy, and right now is peddling beats across Europe. I've spent the last half hour audio-browsing through a bunch of them and he seems to favor Latin and Caribbean rhythms, warping them into electronic club bangers... even his remixes tend to exhibit that same flair.

KILLER COVERS || Ra Ra Riot: "Valerie" [feat. Delicate Steve]

As if the original rendition didn't tip you off (see below), the Friendly Fires remix of Ra Ra Riot's "Valerie" update - yes, the Steve Winwood classic - makes it clear that Ra Ra Riot were definitely inspired by Eric Prydz' super gay club version from a few years back. The latter (also included after the jump) has the distinction of being possibly the hottest heterosexual video ever made for a blatantly homo-oriented tune. Respect.

Sleep ∞ Over: "Romantic Streams" [CFCF Remix]

In between covering bands from Portland and Brooklyn to the point of near exclusivity, I sometimes like to squeeze one in from some homegrown Austin bands... what with being the Live Music Capital of the World, which to many just means we get a crap ton of touring acts and to some is just straight up bullshit one way or the other. "Romantic Streams" isn't exactly new, but since there's no such thing as an album cycle anymore Montreal's CFCF is just now getting around to remixing it. Anyway they're called Sleep ∞ Over because they make drowsy, somnolent music that's kind of like a lullaby... get it? Yeah they could afford to be a little more obtuse... agreed. I'd tell them myself except their website is damn near unnavigable.

Digitalism: "A New Drug"

Digitalism is coming hard with their new tune, "A New Drug", one of six previously unreleased songs (+ two remixes) that will appear on the duo's DJ-Kicks mix CD. At 21 tracks total Digitalism obviously dominate the setlist, but in between showcasing their own goods they also insert jams by electronica-friendly pimps such as Whomadewho, Alex Gopher and the ubiquitous The Rapture. Full tracklist is here.

Kitty Pryde: "Okay Cupid"

Apparently named after the longtime X-(wo)man, Kitty Pryde is like a cross between Childish Gambino and Frank Ocean (the latter of which is name checked in the song). "Okay Cupid" would probably be thoroughly incipient with a different type of production - see most of Gambino's ballads - but the hazy, narcotic beat re-contextualizes the adolescent, book cover poetry of the lyrics into a more sinister, drug-induced form of daydream.

Monday, May 7, 2012

THROWBACK 1987 || The Proclaimers: "The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues"

These Throwback entries have fallen by the wayside big time. Don't get me wrong, they were always intended to be a secondary aspect of the site, basically something to fill in the cracks during lulls in notable new releases. The problem with that is that there's been a fairly steady influx of quality tracks that have been coming out in the - oh - eight months since Throwback was last updated regularly.

Josh Abbott Band: "My Texas" [feat. Pat Green]

Josh Abbott is not the most gifted singer out there, but he's got a flair for writing some decent country tunes. Aside from drinking, the next best thing I want to hear a redneck troubadour sing about is my home state of Texas, and if you didn't get a proper hint from the title "My Texas" is in the vein of Gary P. Nunn's "What I Like About Texas", basically a to do checklist about everything that's great about the Lone Star State.

By the way, according to Wikipedia "My Texas" was released as a single in 2011, but the album containing the song - Small Town Family Dream - just came out two weeks ago on Pretty Damn Tough Records, so I'm shoehorning this in as a new release anyway. Maybe that's cheating, I don't know, but it seems to me that giving a shit just ain't country.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Saitam: "Union"

Big up to Ad Hoc for finding this. For those of you who haven't heard, Ad Hoc is basically a retooled MP3 arcana aggregator from the folks that ran the ill-fated (Pitchfork-associated) site Altered Zones, which went kaput somewhere around six months ago (this information could probably be researched and verified if WKMR had any kind of editorial guidelines... we don't).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

2:54: "Creeping"

If 4:20 is when you smoke a joint does that make 2:54 when you pop an Ambien?

[UPDATE 5/29/12: adding music video]

Cut Chemist: "Outro (Revisited)"

When people think of "speed rap" - not really a thing but that's another argument - they usually consider guys like Twista or various Bone Thugz alumni, but why can't the beat itself have a sort of disco-punk propulsion to it? That seems to be the question Cut Chemist is asking himself with "Outro (Revisited)", which is pretty much a direct answer to all the screwed & chopped / crunk shit even if it wasn't intended to be.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Whosane: "The Legacy" [feat. Lindiwe]

Whosane is currently a Brooklyn resident - isn't everybody? - but he hasn't forgotten his Capetown, South Africa roots. His flow may be straight New York but by incorporating "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika", the national anthem of South Africa, into new track "The Legacy" he manages to bridge those two worlds together. With hip hop becoming more and more of an international phenomenon it's no surprise to see the Motherland represented. Produced by the inimitable Ski Beatz.
(via Okayafrica):