Monday, December 27, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
This is a mix I made about an hour ago. This may only be of interest to insomniacs. Ah well.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
The only phrase I can come up with to describe The Generationals Trust EP is “high energy boredom”. Throughout it’s entirety both the male and female vocals sound ja-ja-ja-jaded which in many cases I would consider a deal breaker; However in contrast to the mildly dynamic fast paced instrumentals it works. The music itself is a blend of analog and synth… something I have a definite weak spot for. Not to mention how welcomed hearing some Hi-Fi produced surf guitar was for a change (on track 4 “Trust”). Overall I’d describe it as a mixture of The Unicorns, Vampire Weekend, Eux Autres, and Why?.
One thing is for sure, this entire EP is damn catchy, I recommend it to anyone who really needs something easy and new to listen to.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Psychic Temple is mood music for people who don’t want to be told how to feel. Schlarb chips his brand of whispy, ambient rock off the all-too-easy-to-replicate post-rock block. The key to his saving distinction is prominent percussion; the drums writhe on the cold floor while the guitars melt into memory foam for what seems like eight hours (but is actually about ten minutes) of confused limbo. The 4-song, 33-minute album can be your best friend during finals; the cloudy keys and slippery guitars are calming enough to lull you away from Bubble Spinner, but the drums jar you awake and back to your half-done study guide whenever you start to drift off. The songs are extravagantly long and experience very little structural variation, but the dynamics and artful discrepancies make this album worth dragging into your library for a few listens in December (and again in May).
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
|Taken from internet. Will post our pic with viva soon!|
Monday, November 29, 2010
In my cynical and overly critical opinion, we had a shitty week in terms of new music. None of the albums sent to us this week got my vote, so I'm not going to dedicate a lot of time explaining why these bands suck when one quick listen will suffice. This band was actually the best of the week by far, and perhaps the biting tone of the following review is somewhat undeserved. But hey, if I want to be a good music critic I have to be an asshole, right? I'm just taking out my frustration on the only band worth commenting on...last week was a great week for us, and this Thanksgiving week just fell short of anything at all remarkable. Oh well. Here goes:
nihiti is so cool that they don’t even use capital letters. if you know how to come up with one marginally intriguing chord progression and play it unwaveringly for three minutes to an off-time gaggle of misguided, fake bongo-based percussion and add swirly-girly effects, you know how to impress hipsters, so fuck grammar, right? wrong. i go to the most shamelessly hip college in the universe, and i’m nowhere near impressed. some of the chord progressions, basslines, and percussion rhythms are somewhat interesting, but nothing pulls me in because the songs lack substance. there is nothing for me to sink my teeth into; there’s no juice. this album is distinctive from other electronic albums in that the tones are mostly natural and the instrumentation includes real tools, but that’s just about the only positive aspect of other people's memories. there is absolutely no attention to songwriting. that’s my biggest bugaboo. if you’re going to shit all over Steve Grammar’s grave with your name and album title, make sure your music doesn't suck;
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
The Parting Gifts is definitely the kind of band you would have to see live to feel the full effect of their music. I say this without having seen them myself, because it is the obvious feeling you get after hearing their album “Strychnine Dandelion”. Their aggressive vocals and fast-distorted guitars have so much contained energy you can’t help but feel the desire to mosh in a crowd full of crazy people. With an obvious influence from The Doors, their music has a sense of rawness. The male vocals are subtle and agressive at the same time with an intensity similar to Jim Morrison. Other songs like “Don’t Stop” embody the feeling of teenage angst of 70s Punk. The vocals are brutal and intense with anti-establishment lyrics. “Don’t Hurt me now” sounds just like Iggy Pop and could easily be part of the Trainspotting soundtrack.
If you are about to go to a crazy punk concert, pre-game on The Parting Gifts and you will not be disappointed.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Jam packed with frenzied vocals, fuzzed up guitar, and sharp drums, Tyvek’s newest album, Nothing Fits, leaves no room for boredom. The Detroit band sounds like they came straight out of the late punk/early grunge scene. The record’s lo-fi recording style even gives it that good ol’ DIY feeling.
Some things you will NOT find on this album...
A gentle guy/girl vocals duo
If you’re sick and tired of the previously listed things taking over new music, Tyvek is the band for you. Give a listen to “Blocks,” “Potato,” and “Pricks in a Car,” off of Nothing Fits.
Fun Fact: Tyvek is a synthetic material that is incredibly tear resistant, but easily cut with scissors or a knife. If you’ve ever been to a music festival you’ve probably been branded with a Tyvek wristband.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Recently the California surf sound seems to be back with female vocalists. The brother/sister band, Eux Autres seems to fit perfectly in this new music crave. They have an undeniable resemblance to Best Coast, with a female voice that seems sung through a handheld megaphone. Yet the vocals in Eux Autres have the perfect amount reverb and distortion.
Their newest album, Broken Bow is filled with beach-like sunshine songs; with fast guitars and sweet piano melodies that float on top of the effortless drumbeats. The songs have a basic song structure yet they have a quirkiness that sets them apart. “Jamais” is a song in French that features the singer Heather Larimer’s lo-fi voice with a perfect tone and harmonization. “Under Rays” is a song The Beatles would of written if they lived in California. And “Rosehill”, which features a male voice provides a great compliment between vocals.If I were on a road trip to the West Coast, this would definitely be the soundtrack of my ride.
Viva’s website tells me that I could think of the titular singer/guitarist “as a female Jeff Buckley.” I’m not gonna do that. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I popped Viva’s album Rock & Roll Lover into my computer but it sure as shit wasn’t Jeff god damn Buckley. I couldn’t decide if Rock & Roll Lover was a cool album title or not, if the cover looked good or not, if I liked the track names or not. However, once the first song started, I was sold.
Cee-lo Green has got a hell of a lot to live up to. His flawless single, “Fuck You” made it onto basically every party playlist since it was dropped over the summer, and everyone is on the edge of their seats to hear The Lady Killer, his newest release. Let me tell you how excited I was to see this album title on the list for this week’s review. Furthermore, I get to be the proud bearer of good news in letting you know that this album is everything it should be.
The Lady Killer opens in true grandiose fashion with one of the sweetest intros I have heard in a long time. Sultry piano? Check. Dramatic horns? Check. Badass lines about ladykillin’? Mother fucking check! This doozy of an intro draws us straight into the synth-driven, dance-beat-boppin “Bright Lights, Bigger City,” a song that drips with 80s influences. Cee-lo’s voice is in perfect form as he croons sweet lines like, “Friday is cool, but there’s something about Saturday night.” Sweeping synth strings and a reverbalicious bridge drive the final 80s nail in this dancehall coffin.
Following "Bright Lights" comes everyone’s favorite tune, “Fuck You.” There isn’t much to say about this song that hasn’t already been said so I’ll leave it at that. The song rules. The rest of the album flows smooth-as-silk. The soulful beatcentric “Bodies” may not be the strongest song on the album but damn is that chorus infectious. It’ll stay in your head for a while. From there, we are taken on a trip through time and genre from the gospel meets pop vibe of “Satisfied” all the way to a 50’s high school dance anthem aptly titled “Old Fashioned.
In all, this album is astoundingly cohesive. It’s timeless. With something for everyone and a huge buzz, this album is going to tear up the charts. There’s nothing not to like. Although songs like “Wildflower,” which drags on a little, break up the smooth pace, they don’t stray far off the path and it’s still easy to find a groove. Cee-lo’s gonna kill a lot of ladies with this album.
I found this extremely strange if for no other reason than this is an electronic/house album, an album which falls into a genre which is (almost) by definition required to be up to date (to the week) on new music releases... always scouting for new tracks. However this is exactly what SHM didn't do, causing them to seem painfully out of touch.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart brought Boston a fun set of sparkling and shiny twee-pop during their set at the Paradise Rock Club last week.
The set was made up of a mix of cuts from their 2009 self-titled debut LP, 2009's Higher Than The Stars EP and a new track here and there. From the second they took stage, it was clear that the goal was to get the audience dancing. The songs were fast, jangly and full of tongue-in-cheek lyrics sung by doe-eyed singer, Kip Berman. They raced through several songs before finally pausing to thank the audience for coming.
One highlight was Young Adult Friction, a standout from the debut. The song tells the story of a young boy and girl who have a fling in the stacks of a library. Featuring an uber-catchy chorus that chants "don't check me out!", the song live was a 3 minute long piece of pure pop brilliance. Another standout from the show was the new track, Heart In Your Heartbreak, the lead single from the band's upcoming second LP, Belong. Heart In Your Heartbreak showed that the tracks from the new album will be just as catchy and fun as the old ones are.
The only qualm I had about the show was it was simply too short! The entire set (including the encore) lasted just 45 minutes. After the band left the stage, it was obvious that everyone in the audience wanted more. Despite that, the Pains put on a lovely show. If you have the chance to see the band, do it! They won't disappoint.
Monday, November 8, 2010
The Black Angels show at the Paradise this week was, well, sorta’ stinky. (And no, I’m not referring to the guy next to me whose dinner was definitely disagreeing with him) As much as I love them- yes, I still love them and always will- the Black Angels played like an opening band.
They started off strong with each of the first three songs taken from their three different albums. They kept playing, seemingly enjoying themselves, and the crowd was having fun. But then they played “Manipulation” a classic off of their first album Passover and they lost it. For whatever reason they really screwed up the song, and from there on out the energy was just gone. On top of that, the next song they played, “Yellow Elevator,” is on of the more complex tracks from their newest album, Phosphene Dream. They weren’t comfortable with it, and especially after the mess of “Manipulation” it just didn’t go well.
Alex Maas was having trouble with the microphone- too much reverb, not enough reverb- Nate Ryan couldn’t hear himself on the guitar, Kyle Hunt broke a bass string in the middle of playing “Haunting at 1300 McKinley,” the band just fell apart.
But that’s not to say they didn’t have a few good moments here and there. They did. They were all on key playing Phosphene Dream’s “The Sniper” and they did a great job ending the show with “Young Men Dead.” Overall though, they just weren’t really in the zone.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger - Acoustic Sessions
Asthmatic Kitty records, the record label started by Sufjan Stevens, recently released Music for Honey and Bile, the latest album by film composer William Ryan Fitch. The album came out as part of Asthmatic Kitty’s Library Catalog Music Series, which the label defines as “a series of instrumental albums designed for possible use in films and television, background sounds for home or office, or personal needs, such as relaxation, stimulation, meditation, concentration, or elevation.”
Although Music for Honey and Bile was not composed specifically for a film, it is easy to envision an array of scenes to go along with the songs. Fitch, having scored nearly 30 films in the past two years- some of which have premiered at film festivals such as Sundance and SXSW- clearly has a knack for creating music to pair with motion. When first listening to the album, even before I learned all about Fitch and the Library Catalog Music Series, everything I saw seemed to have some sort of story behind it, a story that matched the mood of the particular song playing at the time.
Music for Honey and Bile is a beautiful album. It makes everything around you far more aesthetically pleasing while listening to it. In fact, I’d go as far as to say the album itself is aesthetically pleasing, sounding like Monet’s Impression, Soleiol Levant.
Every last corner of every single song overflows with a huge variety of sounds elicited from a vast array of instruments, all of which are played by Fitch. This is the sort of album that needs to be listened to in it’s entirety, so I can’t really give you any track recommendations, but I can list for you the instruments on the album just to give you an idea:
Piano, organ, wurlitzer, pianet, guitars, pedal steel, drums, saxophone, percussion, marimba, cello, violin, viola, bass, contrabass, mandolin, banjo, hammered dulcimer, vibraphone, trumpet, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, programming, erhu, sarangi, etc, etc.
Interested? I hope so. Asthmatic Kitty suggest that it’s Library Catalog Music Series is perfect for “accompaniment to cooking, eating, sculpting, exercising, high stakes poker, soaking, panoramic landscapes, cuddling, car chases, drawing, knitting, bandaging, romance, playing chess, or planning the rest of your life, of which this is the first day.” So get out and go chase some cars or just stay home and soak, but whatever you chose to do, do it while listening to Music for Honey and Bile.