Saturday, May 31, 2014
Melted is offering 50% of their current Demo Album for FREE Download. Well, it is just a two track album but still, free is free and both songs are killer possessing that late 70's / 80's attack of iconic punk pioneers like The Adolescents and Bad Brains but with tons of deliciously fun noise heaped on top. The disjointed thrashing and blistering dissonant lead guitar of Secrets, Secrets makes you want to stomp around in your Doc Martens or tennis shoes, which ever you prefer.
Melted will be performing at Viva Pomona in July- (see poster down below)
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Do you remember when you first heard "Remember When"- The Orwells' first full length album which came out back in 2012? I do. Not the specific place but the feeling I had. From the bedroom punk sound of Lays at Rest to the blistering obnoxiously enticing Mall Rats to the lush cavernous sock hop punk of Halloween All Year to the shimy shake bedlam of Suspended and the staccato sledgehammer of In My Bed I felt like I was transported back in time and hearing punk in embryo. These young kids from Elmhurst, Illinios had this almighty righteous sound that harkened back to the 60s / 70/s proto-punk and garage rock sound of bands like The Kingsmen, MC5 and the Stooges. I was also enamored with Mario Cuomo's razor blade dirty vocals that felt like he must of chained smoked since the age of 9. The over modulated noisey tone with disjointed drumming and all added to the excitement. A great album.
Fast forward to now and the Orwells' sophomore outing "Disgraceland." Super name and I would not expect anything less smart and cheeky from these guys. The title however paints a somewhat false impression of what this album is sonically speaking. I mean, don't get me wrong, I know these boys are maturing, but do they have to grow up so fast? In the short 2 years since "Remember When" the Orwells' sound has evolved into polished mainstream songs. Dare I say that on some of these songs the boys feel more like they are approaching 30 (or maybe that is just their production team??). The song chops are here but the production flourishes and approach feel less proto punk and more 90's mainstream rock. There are production decisions, sounds and flourishes that feel much more cliched than before. Many songs do not have the wild eyed abandon exhibited in "Remember When." The Righteous Ones has song cues and sounds that feel more in line with Smashmouth. Gotta Get Down feels a bit like the Pixies (from now) and Everclear rolled into one. North Ave has a decidedly power poppy feel ala Smith Westerns. Bathroom Tile Blues pretty much stuns me in that I would not be able to pick it out of an Orwells line up. It is free and happy and could have cross over potential with country rock audiences. Grandmas would love it and gladly dance to it at a wedding. Let It Burn sonically exists somewhere between Neon Trees and The Smithereens.
Thankfully there are tracks that still sound like they are coming from an Elmhurst garage. Who Needs You grabs you by the cajones and Mario's vox bristle with an inebriated snarl. Norman feels epic in it's B-Movie punk. Dirty Sheets straddles the boogie rock and blues proto punk fence perfectly. My favorite track, Blood Bubbles with it's angsty tortured tone is big and messy like the best Orwells songs should be.
In the end "Disgraceland" is a solid album, in fact, many of the songs I semi lambast as 90's rehashes are good songs that will undoubtedly find an audience, end up on movie soundtracks, and put money in Mario and the boy's pocket and that is a GOOD thing. There is however a demarcation, a sonic line in the sand that exists on this record and it is no more evident than listening to track 6. Let It Burn and track 7. Who Needs You. When you listen to these tracks back to back as a sort of representations of the two types of music on this record it is a clear and startling contrast of sounds. Both sound good in their own right but are so drastically different. The proto-punk ying to the mainstream rock yang. People who know me, know that I like music with ripped up dirty shoes.
Stream full album here: Beta Zumic
Monday, May 26, 2014
Lana Del Rey's latest Ultraviolence tease is "Shades of Cool." I really love "West Coast" (you can read my track review here) but am feeling a bit ambivalent about this new track. From the get go it sounds like a Bond flick theme song and the rhymes feel a bit forced. The melody goes exactly where you think it will go. In short, the song does not offer much in the way of surprises except for Lana's voice that sometimes strays dangerously close to the off key cliff. She purposely lets her vocals hang into that dissonant place that a more (technically) skilled vocalist could pull off but (for me) it just doesn't work here. I have listened to this song a dozen times and unfortunately the most dramatic and engaging parts of the song are when she is not singing. In any event, I know her fans will absolutely love this track. "West Coast" had some totally awesome diversions that were totally original and I still am hoping that as an album Ultraviolence will shine. I also hope that Del Rey and her writing team will compose some songs that are not afraid to be poetic without the rhyme and produce some songs with more spartan arrangements. Check out Shades of Cool. What do you think?
Ultraviolence drops on 6/13 on Polydor / Interscope Records.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
The Vibekills (don't you just love that name?) are a 4 piece rock band from Los Angeles. Truth be told, I don't know all that much about them but when I saw their name on the Viva Pomona Poster (see below) I felt drawn in to see what they were all about. While I didn't find out much about the band I did find their latest digital offering called Common People and while this EP is a short burst of only 4 songs totaling only a little over 10 minutes I will take quality over quantity any day and all these song are killer. Well crafted and catchy as hell they are full of dynamic musical breaks and changes. They will go from a hard post punk sound and switch on a dime to a more surfy punk or power pop feel and then even toss in a kind of grungy punk thing as well. To me, The Vibekills- Common People (Demos) EP feels like the musical blend of bands like Mrs. Magician, Audacity, The Violent Femmes, Weezer and Mozes & The Firstborn. Give them a loud listen. I look forward to hearing more from these guys. As I eluded to earlier they will be playing at the awesome Viva Pomona fest in July.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
ALBUM REVIEW- Kishi Bashi - "Lighght" - One Of The Greatest Albums Ever Produced - A Sonic Ambassador Of Youthful Hope
Kishi Bashi, the moniker of songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and dream violinist Kaoru Ishibashi has been a mixed bag for me. His first full length album 151 a did contain some beautifully unique songs but as a collection of songs was (for me) a meandering affair that didn't quite gel together as a whole piece of work. This second album Lighght which takes it's title from the one word poem by Aram Saroyan (think about that for a second) is a huge step up. It is a tapestry of sounds that sonically feel like a dreamy synthesis of modern indie pop, 70's prog rock pop and orchestral music. The varied songs carry with them some melodies that feel familiar but not in a detrimental sort of way. While every listener will undoubtedly flash certain similarities based on their own library of other music and artists, I thought of bands like Electric Light Orchestra, Sin Fang Bous, Alan Parsons Project, Animal Collective, Moody Blues, Abba, A-Ha, Gap Dream, Supertramp and more. I even thought of Tiny Tim and some of the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Yeah, I know that is weird. These songs are wrapped in the youthful exuberance of a 13 year old heart before it was broken. Musical images that sometimes feel like fables. The songs on Lighght feel so purely rendered. The sound, the tones don't feel beholden to any set trends which is refreshing.
The funny thing is I heard The Ballad of Mr. Steak before I heard the album in it's entirety. It is a dazzling shiny song full of bittersweet and uplifting melodies. It is like a tortured Sci-Fi love pop song full of gee whiz and cheese whiz too. At first listen, I liked it despite some of the lyrics that might make me gag if I just read them. The song succeeds despite these shortcomings because Ishibashi is fully invested in it. This is key because all the songs share this inspired feel and I might add, these songs work best when listened to non stop as an album. All the individual songs are bolstered by the others. Because Lighght is so special and should be listened and experienced in it's completeness I dare not speak about every song but I would like to mention a few. The 5th track Bittersweet Genesis for Him AND Her is an absolute stunning piece of work. It's tone and structure not only surprised me but it has a gravitas that the other songs do not contain. It is so beautifully intimate and sublimely poetic that it can wrap you in a blanket of sadness. Lighter fare but also special is the mainstream sounding Q&A. It feels like falling in love for the first time. I think for me it was my first grade teacher Miss Sayers. Once Upon a Lucid Dream (in Afrikaans) has a vast sweep to it with production flourishes that harken back to 80's pop rock. Plilosophize In It! Chemicalize With It! is a celebratory mish mash of beats and sounds and deeply moving musical breaks. Hahaha Pt.1 is a breezy sail across a beautiful sea. In Fantasia with it's dark themes builds a world around you as you listen.
The amazing musical vistas of sound that Kishi Bashi crafts tap into that youthful sense of hope that children have and that adults all too often lack but are in constant need of. These songs make you want to engage in magical thinking, so much so that at one point I thought that if the entire world could listen to this album en mass at the same time we could have world peace. Okay, let me amend this statement. If the entire world could listen to this album en mass and smoke some good 70's California weed THEN we could have world peace. All silliness aside, after many many listens to Lighght I finally figured out why this alubm is so utterly special to me. Besides the childlike hope that is infused in these songs, there are passages of music on this album (many of them really) that are perfect sound tracks, remembrances to pieces of your life. Musical imagery to underscore the trials and tribulations of youth and beyond, the utter high and lows, triumphs and tragedies, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one. For now, Lighght is Kishi Bashi's White Album and it glows with all the passion and life put there by it's creator and that, my friend, is special indeed.
Sunday, May 18, 2014
We Will Be Lions are a San Francisco based indie outfit that blends a myriad of sounds together from 60's psychedelia and garden rock, to 70's glam and art rock, to 80's new wave, 90's power pop and beyond to form a lush divergent sound. They just finished recording a new single entitled "Burn Me Like A Disco" which amps up their sound even more. It is a heady mix of crashing synths, bottom heavy deep jungle beats, attacking guitar strains and vox that intersperses falsettos with throaty sultry howls. It is so fucking cool and my mind gravitated to some kind of seedy club world with flashes of Bowie, Bryan Ferry, ABC, T-REX, Lennie Kravitz and Prince providing the soundtrack along with We Will Be Lions (of course).
Regrettably I cannot share the track with you until it's official drop in June but here is a look at the cover art.
In the mean time check out the video for Sunflower from their 2013 Debut EP - You Will Be Heroes-
We Will Be Lions Online:
UPCOMING SPACELAND SHOWS
The garage-punk band Le Butcherettes present their highly anticipated album "Cry Is For The Flies" under
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's new label Nadie Sound
"Gender Bender has a tremendous gift for capturing feelings and emotional processes that are difficult to narrate, including guilt. It's interesting that such a young woman - someone who grew up in the era of singles - would craft an album so beautifully narrative as a whole"
"Cry Is For the Flies is a high-end studio work with an experienced producer. The album is darker, with Suarez's vocal work stronger and more mature" - LA Weekly
"Cry is for the Flies is a display of an artist coming to terms with her world, bringing a sample of her raw nerves and guts for the listener's pleasure and, perhaps, even their sympathy" - Remezcla
""Bender's lyrics read like a descriptive narrative; telling stories of guilt, new beginnings, overcoming stigmas, and many other heavy topics. The album is beautifully written and will envelope you whole" - Grimy Goods
Los Angeles, California - After the success and critical acclaim received for their debut album 'Sin Sin Sin' (2011), Le Butcherettes are back with their new album "Cry Is For The Flies." The album dropped on May 15 under Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's label Nadie Sound and it will be available in digital, CD and vinyl formats.
The first single off of the band's second album "Demon Stuck In Your Eye" is an original song by the band's vocalist, Teri Gender Bender (Teresa Suarez) and it was produced by Rodriguez-Lopez. "Cry Is For The Flies" includes special guests such as Henry Rollins in 'Moment of Guilt' a 'spoken word' that Rollins wrote about a man who had a conversation with "guilt."
Without a doubt, the chemistry on stage and in the studio has been captured in their new work. Le Butcherettes, a band that exploded on the rock scene and has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Europe and Latin America, have participated in diverse music festivals and shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the rock world.
Le Bucherettes enter a new an interesting stage with a tour in the near future that will be announced soon.
The bands' growing prestige has led them to share the stage on tours with names such as The Flaming Lips, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Deftones, Janes Addiction, The Mars Volta, The Dead Weather, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Pixies and Iggy Pop & The Stooges, just to mention a few. They were also invited to play festivals like Sonar in Barcelona, Corona Capital, Lollapalooza, Coachella and Fun Fun Fun Fest.
The recent past of Le Bucherettes is very interesting, but the present is fascinating and the immediate future is promising, starting with the release of one of the most awaited albums in the rock world: "Cry Is For The Flies" is now available exclusively at Nadie Sound.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Andy Samberg Digital Short- goes all Cronenberg and Musical Guest St. Vincent Shines on SNL Season Finale
Digital Short - When Will The Bass Drop - SNL 5... by IdolxMuzic
SNL's Digital Short starring Samberg as DJ DAVVINCI and featuring Lil Jon in the cameo plays out like a David Cronenberg film and musical guest St.Vincent interjects a much needed dose of artistry which has been lacking lately for the musical guests on SNL. That is so nice after the lack luster performances in recent weeks by The Black Keys and Coldplay.
[HD] St. Vincent - Digital Witness - SNL 5-17-14 by IdolxMuzic
DASH JACKET - OC Dream punk pop outfit is BACK @ Pehrspace with Post Life, Heathers, Arjuna Genome, Wide Streets, Flowergirl, Canyons, Media Jeweler - SUNDAY - MAY 18th
Dash Jacket are ostensibly an indie punk pop dynamic duo (out of Irvine, California) comprised of Matthew Towles and Thomas Lucero who both play drums and guitars switching back and forth. Both sing as well and I have seen them from time to time as a three piece outfit too. I apologize for not knowing the name of that "other guy." One thing I do know is that their catalog of projects on Bandcamp are all great. There last release, the 11 track Ten Thousand Things is a stellar piece of punk power pop brilliance. It was released on July of 2012. Sadly, rumors had it that Dash Jacket ended in September of that same year. Hmmm?? Maybe the rumors were wrong.
Whether this is a reunion performance of sorts or Dash Jacket never left, I don't care. I am just stoked to see them perform. They will be cranking out their dreamy tunes at the much beloved Pehrspace in LA with a ton of awesome bands including American Pancake favs Wide Streets, Canyons and Post Life. Check out the Facebook Post Below:
FACEBOOK EVENT POST:
Hey! Guess what? The stars are aligning and all of Dash Jacket will be in southern California at the same time! Which means this is happening. Additionally, this is a fundraiser for pehrspace's new liability insurance premium--your donations will directly go towards keeping the space open and running. Music and good humans and good vibes and ♥ ♥ ♥
Dash Jacket ("romantic echoes, in california, in drag, of course", "heart-on-DIY-Tiger-Trap-s
Post Life (there are no words for how completely amazing this band is! http://
Heathers (POP with a heart drawn around it, and also lotsa feedback, fresh from being totally banned from the UK, no joke, http://
Arjuna Genome (the universe is indeed blinking, http://
Wide Streets (this band will not stop being the best, wtf, http://
Flowergirl (Harmoon, cactus cookie, girl-fi, ♥ forever, http://
Canyons (not to be confused with the geological formation of the same name, this band is way more awesome and powerful to behold, http://
Media Jeweler (like a deathsprint through a rainbow rainstorm of shattered sugar glass, http://
This will start during the day and go into the night, and there will be some sort of BBQ! We'll have some veggie burgers but bring something to grill if we run out!
This order has nothing to do with the actual order of the bands! That will be figured out in time. Honestly Dash Jacket should probably just open.
5:15p Wide Streets
6:45p Arjuna Genome
7:15p Media Jeweler
9:15p Post Life
10:15p Dash Jacket