Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vines

Knoxville-based band Nomadic Firs is here with some sepia-tinged, fuzzylicious pop that will surely brighten your coming weekend. The dude that makes up Nomadic Firs, Ryan Boos, was kind enough to send us "Vines", a single off the self-tited, self-released debut which will be out next month (I'm definitely looking forward to it; this stuff is catchy as hell). The track is cheerfully carried along by an awesome, swirling bass line that's topped with pleasant vocals that remind me a little of Kelley Stoltz. It's quite apparent that Nomadic Firs believes you "deserve a little bit of sunshine".

Feel free to check out some of his other tracks right hair. We'll try not to hold it against him that he doesn't like goat cheese.

She's Mine

As my final bit of bachelor blogging before bliss becomes me in Beckley, WV, I wanted to present everyone with a commemorative Fork because [Liz]... she's mine. Like our relationship to date, Fork stands on its organs and hand-claps, though everyone's guitar work is pretty damn unassailable as well.

Check out a few more forks here.

PBUH025: Pressed And - Imbue Up

Pressed And is the intriguingly named collaboration of Andrew Hamlet and Mat Jones (with a surname like Hamlet, you have to imagine names are being taken at least a bit more seriously than usual), one of the hydra heads of a burgeoning southeastern electronic scene, that we've often seen in association with North Carolina's Denmark Records. Their debut LP, Imbue Up, is a testament to that emergent milieu; some are calling it post-chillwave, but the reality is a more complex interplay of primal effects and synth landscapes, rife with tension in a cascading sequence of loops and glowing drones. This is an album of sensation, that lingers and mingles in ways you rarely expect and despite its coherence never quite master.

Preorder the limited edition cassette here - although we're only streaming "Raid" for now, every preorder will get an immediate download of the entire album.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Video: Holy Spirits - Tongues (live in a tunnel for Invisible Children)


Holy Spirits recently teamed up with Invisible Children as part of their Musician Coalition; 25 bands coming together to help build life-saving radio towers throughout Central Africa. The band has aimed to raise $250 toward building the towers, a number that I think isn't too high for us to help them achieve at all. You can head over here if you'd like to contribute. In related news, Holy Spirits will be playing at Gravity on October 6 with Gem Club. We're still filling out the line-up, but we'll have more info on that for you later this week.

Video: .L.W.H. ft. Main Attrakionz, Shady Blaze & Friendzone - All In Your Hands

Video: Pretty Bird - beeeeeallllyourrrrpotenchall


[directed by Lindsey Klonoski]

Hondora

White Birds, drawn in part from former members of Drink Up Buttercup, put out a tape with our pals at Grizzly Records (also the homes of self-loving DUDES) at least fairly recently, but I've been sitting on it... it feels like a month... while Liz and I've been hand-dubbing 100 cassette mixtapes. In that time, they've actually begun touring the northeast with Asobi Seksu. That and edding preparations aside, their introduction to a discriminating slice of the world is a self-titled four song EP, produced to preview an upcoming full length. If precedents hold, it will be packed with deftly made harmonies, a well-considered abundance of reverb, and (cue sappy wrap up noises) a sound all their own.

Order the limited edition cassette here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Go Out In Joy

Check out this video for "Go Out In Joy", a song off Halasan Bazar's upcoming album, due out in November. The video footage is taken from a 1921 film by Hans Richter, "Rhythmus 21".

Video: Pregnant - Letter To A Friend

Friday, September 23, 2011

There's a Griffin at the Door

Water Babys is a Denver-based duo that makes guitar-infused, synth-heavy downtempo jams that are laced with danceable breakdowns. Their self-titled debut just dropped and I think my favorite track so far is "There's a Griffin at the Door" -- the tinny 8-bit synth sounds and small vocal samples make it an immediately catchy but somehow relaxing piece. I also really like "Waterbourne", a track with darker vibes but full of killer bass and keys that make me want to dance around our tiny apartment like a fool.

You can download their debut album for free at their community pond. You can also purchase a limited-edition coloring book if you want!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Premiere: Libraries - Get Real

I'm a pretty big fan of Wilmington's own Libraries. Maybe the local factor plays in, but they're one of few local acts I enjoy so I doubt that's all it is. The duo of Justin Chillington (yes that's really his last name) and Tommy Kitrick blast dance music that I can best liken to Justice and Ratatat in an onstage Beyblade battle. Intricate synth patterns slam into pulsing kicks and claps while mind-bending samples clash with smooth guitar lines that after only one song will leave you dizzy on the dancefloor. The duo is currently working on their first full-length; expected to drop early next year via Grip Tapes. "Get Real" is the first new track released from Libraries in almost year, with the promise of plenty more to come soon.

MP3: Libraries - Get Real

Ladies Knight

Based in Charlottesville, VA, the duo of Great Dads has crafted a unique blend of rock, pop, and punk that really hits the spot. Their three-song EP "Crunk Goblins" is a shot of strong, confident vocals and lyrics, layered with slowly unspooling guitar riffs that are held up by a backbone of drums. It all combines to make surprisingly catchy tracks that bear repeating. The song "Ladies Knight" is especially hypnotizing (and hilarious) -- it's perfectly structured and executed, and pretty soon it'll have you singing "good libations" along with it in no time.


Download their EP (for free) here, if ye like.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Science Is My Girlfriend

I present to you: Mr. Alvin Fenner, or neat beats, as they call him in the "biz". His tracks are intricate atmospheres seemingly woven out of sparkling beats, synth loops, and moondust. His most recent album, "Cosmic Surgery", is chock-full of widely varying, lush songs that are perfect to kick back and listen to with your headphones, or as neat beats suggests, "for a rainy day, smoking a cigarette indoors". The track "Science Is My Girlfriend" is a gorgeous, delicate work that expertly blends beats and never comes across as crass. For a very different flavor, check out the equally as dope "Kung Fu of the Astronaut Drunkards".

MP3::
You can download the whole album over at neat beats' spacestation, and like him on the Facebook here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Video: Konnichiwa - Visions in the Dark

The Falaise Gap

The New Lines made my day yesterday when they emailed me about a new track off their upcoming album. I've loved all of their music thus far, and "The Falaise Gap" is no different; deep, gorgeous synth is joined by Hewson Chen's smooth, 1960s-esque vocals and dreamy drums as the track glides through the stars and time like a velvet, psychedelic spaceship. Get ready to put this on repeat for infinity.

The New Lines' album "All That We See And Seem" is set to drop in mid-October via The Great Pop Supplement.

Streaming :: The New Lines - The Falaise Gap


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ruff

Straightforward and catchy, beat-crafter Pandamosity's track "Ruff" (off his album "I Need a Volunteer To Be My First Sacrifice") is a short trek through various hypnotizing sample shifts that begins and ends with an old dude doling out some wisdom. Pretty sweet. You can also check out all of Pandamosity's experimental beat tracks over at his SoundCloud. I'm very curious to see where he goes with this stuff.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Quixote

Dustin Illingworth, a.k.a. Bone Quida Ida, sent us some lovely gems that are perfect for a relaxed Saturday at home. His music is somewhat reminiscent of Panda Bear and Vampire Weekend, but packs even more of a pop-punch. It's funny that his press photo includes cozy Christmas decorations, because the strings, shaker, and lyrics in his track "Quixote" kind of make me feel like I'm in a snowglobe. The other track that's up on his SoundCloud, "Beneath the Pier", is equally as inviting and catchy; its title fits perfectly with the various warm, blurry synth textures throughout. Both tracks will be on a free digital EP he plans to release this winter, also titled Beneath the Pier. We'll be keeping an eye out.

MP3 ::

Video: Frank Ocean - Swim Good


[Directed by NABIL]

The Story Of Marsha Lotus

The folks at Stroll On Records have announced their second physical release. Hal Williams, bka Pyramid Vritra, is one half of The Jet Age Of Tomorrow, known for their two brilliant album releases as part of OFWGKTA. He's also part of NRK, another group known all around for their extraordinary production work. With all of that in mind, it comes as no surprise that The Story Of Marsha Lotus is one of the best produced records I've heard this year. Things don't end at the production, however, as Pyramid Vritra sings and raps through the entire release. Stroll On has hooked us up with a stream of the title track, a nearly fifteen-minute whirlwind of astral beats guiding Williams through verse after verse explaining his love for Marsha Lotus and their subsequent falling out.

Stream: Pyramid Vritra - The Story Of Marsha Lotus

The Story Of Marsha Lotus drops November 21, is limited to 500 numbered copies, and is available now to pre-order via Stroll On Records.

Nightmare from the 90's

Michael Myerz recently hit me up about his debut album on Holy Page Records, Nightmare from the 90's. This actually wasn't the first time I've heard Myerz, having already been turned on to the album's standout track Space Ape a couple of months ago. Heavy synths and a slow paced clap/bass combo ride smoothly as Carl Miller starts things off, leaving Myerz primed to go. There's also the track immediately following on the record, "Golden Eye". Named for one of the best N64 games ever and also featuring Harriet the Spy in the chorus, it's obvious that Myerz is a child of the 90s as much as he is a nightmare. This probably only matters because I'm from the same generation, but that's good enough for me.

MP3:
Michael Myerz - Space Ape (ft Carl Miller)
Michael Myerz - Golden Eye
You can grab Nightmare from the 90's entirely free via the awesome folks at Holy Page Records.
**********
In related news, Myerz just dropped this new one on us earlier this morning, featuring Myerz' homie Civil making his debut on the track. Myerz also tells me that he, Civil and Carl Miller are working on an EP together as Bullet Proof Tigers, so stay up on that.

MP3: Michael Myerz - Pianos in Autumn (ft Civil)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Not the 1s - Silverstein Status (prod. by Monster Rally)

Though it's conceivable that Monster Rally's perfect, crystalline loops would seem like an ambivalent backdrop for hip hop of any stripe, Not the 1s create a perfect showcase for themselves on a track that, for me at least, remains the standout on their debut, Why You Cryin?

Streaming :: Not the 1s - Silverstein Status (prod. by Monster Rally)
The band's LP officially dropped this past Tuesday, so hustle on over to Gold Robot to cop a copy.

Hopscotch: Day 3

When I awoke Sunday I had to wait for Audrey to return from her cousin's bat mitzvah. Once she got back we headed out for the third and final day of Hopscotch. We also picked up a friend who was planning on seeing just the Flaming Lips show at the Plaza later that day. We had some time to kill before Flaming Lips played (about 2 hours) so we hit up a few day shows during the wait. Keep up after the jump for more photos from Audrey and how the festival wrapped up for us.

[Butterflies @ Pour House]
Butterflies, whom I'd never heard of before, was playing the Trekky Records showcase at Pour House. A friend of a friend of a friend was playing drums with the band, which turned out to be the best aspect. I try to keep it positive over here, so I'll just positively say the band could have done without vocals. Everything else was incredibly solid.
[Steve Gunn, Nathan Bowles & Mike Gangloff @ Lump Art Gallery]
After Butterflies we decided to hit up Lump Art Gallery, where All Day Records had a pretty rad showcase going on. Various folk musicians including Hiss Golden Messenger, Steve Gunn, Nathan Bowles & Mike Gangloff were alternating through instruments and songs, with artists just dropping in and out for tracks. It was really cool to see so many musicians working in a group like that.
[The Flaming Lips @ City Plaza]
Around 7pm we headed over to City Plaza. Superchunk was just finishing up their set and Flaming Lips was up next. I didn't listen to good music in the 90s and I wasn't into "indie" music until like five years ago really. With that said, this was still my most anticipated show of the weekend. If you've read even one show review of Flaming Lips then you get it. Wayne Coyne starts things out by entering the crowd in his giant space bubble. Note that he calls it that; it's not just something I named it. All the while the rest of the band is furiously jamming on stage until Wayne rejoins them. The rest of the set was spent going through some of their best tracks while continuously launching confetti and huge balloons into the crowd. You'd have to hate fun to not have a good time when Flaming Lips play.
[Chaz Bundick of Toro Y Moi]
After Flaming Lips, Audrey and I decided to hit up the Andrew Cedermark show at Deep South. On the way there we also saw Chaz Bundick of Toro Y Moi posing in front of some LEDs, a shot too good not to steal. Plans to see Andrew were unfortunately foiled as Audrey is under 21 and therefor wasn't allowed into the venue, despite having a photo badge and all. She decided instead to go grab some food before heading over to Future Islands set. In the next hour I spent more time running around than I had the entire weekend. Andrew Cedermark and his band, Buffalo Wildwing, were fantastic. I'd been waiting a long time to catch his furious noise pop live and it translated perfectly. After a few songs I jetted over to The Union (which was fortunately next door) to catch the last five songs of Gross Ghost's set. I couldn't be happier to have made it in time because this was the best I've ever seen Gross Ghost. Eric from Gravity Records was there for the set, and afterward we talked a bit about how good it was. He pointed out how many longtime Gross Ghost fans were front and center, something we agreed must have felt good for the band. Mike Dillon also told me that having the full band together presenting the songs as he always knew they should be played live helped keep the energy at its most vibrant. Once Gross Ghost finished playing a one hitter was packed and passed several times before we all headed to Unknown Mortal Orchestra's set at Five Star Restaurant. On the walk over I got to chat briefly with Stu McLamb of The Love Language, who told me that on the upcoming record he's being a little more experimental and trying some new things he's wanted to do for a while. I'm a huge Love Language fan so I'm excited to hear that come to fruition. Unknown Mortal Orchestra sounded great despite more sound problems from Five Star. Just as with White Ring, the vocals weren't coming through loud enough at all. Regardless, this was Eric's most anticipated show of Hopscotch, and he's taken to calling UMO the best new band of 2011 so you know it was good.
[Sarah Kinlaw of SoftSpot]
[Future Islands @ Lincoln Theatre]
Next up I quickly darted over to Future Islands at Lincoln Theatre, where Audrey was already taking some photos. On the way there I ran into former-Wilmington homie Sarah Kinlaw and Bryan Wade Keller Jr, who form two-thirds of dark-psychedelic trio SoftSpot. We arrived in time to catch the last Future Islands song, one good enough to make me sorely regret missing the rest of it.
[Yelawolf @ Lincoln Theatre]
The final show of the night was Yelawolf. The whole crowd had a lot of fun, dancing wildly to explosive beats; something made it that much more annoying when he would stop the beat so he could rap over nothing. I believe my dude Shady Blaze said it best with his recent mixtape Rappers Ain't Shit Without A Producer. Still, it was a fun show and I'm glad we caught it. The next two hours would be spent wandering through various after parties before deciding we were too tired and heading off to sleep. Hopscotch was a helluva festival; I had a great time, and it totally wore me out. I can't wait for next year.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hopscotch: Day 2

I awoke after about 4 hours of sleep on the hardwood floor of Moving Island. It was time to begin day 2 of Hopscotch and we were all a little groggy. Last Year's Men and Gross Ghost were both slated to play the Churchkey Records and Gravity Records day show at Slim's, so Audrey and I headed that way. I also ate my first sandwich from Jimmy John's, which was no where near as awful as I thought it might be. Apparently I should be a less cynical sandwich eater. Stick around after the jump for the full rundown of day 2, complete with more photos from Audrey.

[Last Year's Men @ Slim's]
[Gross Ghost @ Slim's]
Last Year's Men was up first at Slim's and for the third time in twenty-four hours they kicked ass. Up next was Gross Ghost. I've gotten to see Gross Ghost some seven or eight times now and it's rarely been the same line-up. Mike and Tre are always at the core, but this past weekend's lineup included guitarist Rob Dipatri and drummer Chris Hutcherson-Riddle (who also plays keyboard in Motor Skills). It was also the best I've seen the project yet, first at this show and then the next night as well.
[Trying on all the free shit in the Lenovo Lounge]
[Diamond Rings chilling in the Lenovo Lounge]
After Gross Ghost's set Audrey and I hung around chatting with friends for a bit before heading over to the Lenovo Lounge where I was charging my phone. This was also where they were handing out free Vitamin Water, which I made sure to stock up on. Cotton mouth is a bitch and I like to be prepared. While there we also saw the gorgeous homie from Diamond Rings, adorned as usual in all white. He decided to forgo the grey chairs inside the lounge and go for the white ones outside instead, making for a stellar photo.
[The Dodos @ City Plaza]
[The Hopscotch crowd @ City Plaza]
After charging up we headed out to the City Plaza to check out the Dodos. I've honestly never been too huge on these guys, though I've also never given them a real shot. I was still very thrilled by their set; they put on a great live show that is full of energy and drummer Logan Kroeber is fantastic behind a kit. As Drive-By Truckers began to play we headed up to a balcony to catch up with a friend and grab a crowd shot before bailing out.
[Pepper Rabbit @ Five Star Restaurant]
I headed out to catch Soft Company at Pour House while Audrey went over to Five Star Restaurant to watch Pepper Rabbit. Pepper Rabbit's combination of electronic pop and melodic folk is one that translated into one of Audrey's favorite shows of the weekend. Soft Company is an indie pop project that features Missy from the Love Language on keyboard and vocal. Their set was full of energy and had the entire crowd moving on their feet.
[Braids @ Pour House]
Next up at Pour House was Braids, so I made sure not to head anywhere. Audrey had also made her way over to catch this set, though we never did find each other. The venue was packed tight, the most full I'd seen any place yet. We had both caught Braids earlier this year at SXSW and it was one of our favorite shows that week. This show was of no exception to that. Lead singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston has one of the most wonderful live voices I've ever heard, and the entire band plays with such a zest that it's almost impossible not to be wooed by their songs.
[Generationals @ White Collar Crime]
[Twin Shadow @ Lincoln Theatre]
After Braids finished I caught up with Eric and Sarah once more. We were on the way to Twin Shadow at Lincoln Theatre so Eric and I decided to put things in a greener perspective before hand. Audrey had made her way over to see some of Generationals set at White Collar Crime before catching up with us just as Twin Shadow's set was starting. If asked what was my favorite show of the weekend there's a good chance I'd say Twin Shadow after staring blankly for a minute and a half while muttering "uh.." repeatedly. I said it yesterday, but praise for the sound system at Lincoln Theatre is needed once more. Credit also goes to the band for playing the songs even more wonderfully than I've heard them recorded.
[White Ring @ Five Star Restaurant]
After Twin Shadow ended Audrey and I made our way over to White Ring. The show was at Five Star Restaurant, where apparently the sound guy has never heard of vocals. The music sounded fantastic and White Ring put on a tremendous performance. For some reason though, the vocals never seemed to be loud enough. I ended the night wondering if this was the fault of the venue or the fault of White Ring. I would find out the next day that it was indeed the venue. After dancing as hard as we could (which really wasn't much by this point) we decided to call it a night. We stayed at Audrey's place in Chapel Hill since she had a bat mitzvah to attend early the next day, and the couch was calling my name.
[All photos © Audrey Melton]