Monday, October 31, 2011

Girls Don't Like Me

Sean Posila of High Pop has a brand-new solo project that he's calling boy crush. We included one of his new songs on the Crash Symbols Halloween compilation, and he released the rest of his new tunes today. The seven tracks that make up his album, Hauntr, are each a small, delicate, lush bouquet of fuzz-pop; most of the tracks are only around two minutes long, so they all bear much repeating to fully savor their lo-fi goodness. "Girls Don't Like Me" gets a little funky in its opening step, while "Darling Duh" is a short excursion into velvety garage-rock simplicity. Sean recorded these tracks in a haunted house, so be on the lookout for ghosts while you're jamming to these misty tunes.

MP3 ::
Grab the whole album for freeeee over heeeeeere.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Video: Koppen and Center of the Universe - Kosmonauts

From the Metronomicon Audio Compilation 5.0, available here.

Zun Zun Egui - Cowboy (Sun Araw Get Glazed Mix)

Sun Araw's "Get Glazed Mix" is perfectly titled. I can only imagine how conceptually gratifying it might have been to take a fun instance of Zun Zun Egui's spastic, poppy art-rock and flatten it out, smoothing those bombastic flares into the drunken rumblings of a nascent schizophrenic, tiredly letting slip tones from the original guitar and distant sounding vocal loops.

Cowboy (Sun Araw Get Glazed Mix)
Grab Zun Zun Egui's recent LP, Katang, from Bella Union, and check out the band's facebook for a chance to win a copy of their earlier Fandango Fresh 12".

Photography

When Daniel Trudeau announces on facebook that he's done a one minute Pregnant tune for an upcoming compilation on Norwegian label Metronomicon Audio I feel justified in investigating purely on its pedigree, but the lamentably brief "Photography" proves its merit as a pocket epic unfolds, forecasting exciting new tunes as he presses on from his big-label debut on Mush.


Grab Pregnant's track from bandcamp, by itself as we wait for more compilation details, and check out some other releases from Metronomicon here.

Fukk Skool

RAJA's 33-song, 42-minute Red is the first in Astro Nautico's three part themed mixtape collection with the young New York producer, together titled the The October Series, which the label characterizes as a tribute to "the origins of contemporary beat music in Madlib and Dilla". If that's "Red" than who knows what other colors and sounds will come, but whatever the case might be they'll be emerging over the next 48 hours or so from Astro Nautico, and Red is the perfect, jazzy beat tape to pass the time with.

Mp3 ::
Download the entire mixtape for free at Astro Nautico.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Video: The Never Years - Honey Island

Club Tropicana's gorgeous tribute to Jacques-Yves Cousteau, set alongside the Never Years' "Honey Island", from their upcoming single on Beko.

Mixtape: Dope Halloween Fuck


Here it is! Crash Symbols' newest compilation, Dope Halloween Fuck. Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I was super excited to put together this delicious treat (and the album art) for y'all. All of the bands that contributed did an amazing job, and I think all of the tracks work really well together to create the perfect atmosphere -- whether it's a pleasant autumn moment, the anticipation of getting ready to go trick-or-treating when you were a kid, or getting psyched for a creepy-fun time at a party. The compilation features a ton of unreleased songs (from The New Lines, Bone Quida Ida, Daniel Sex Jr., Nomadic Firs, and more), as well as the first track from boy crush (Sean Posila of High Pop fame). The Electric Nature/Pop Culture Shaman track even samples Twin Peaks. Put this mix on while you're putting on your facepaint and enjoy. Here's to Halloween!

1. Karma Vision - Teeter Totter
2. Bone Quida Ida - The Witches
3. boy crush - Lizzy Locke
4. Field Dress - Easy Shade (Shadow Mix)
5. The New Lines - The Phylactery of a Spring Street Malcontent
6. Nomadic Firs - In The Morning
7. Red Hook - Lavender Punch
8. Colored Girls - The Third Policeman
9. Rabbit Punch - Watch The Elbow
10. Daniel Sex Jr. - Prowl
11. Goat Lightning - I Am Blue
12. The Electric Nature with Pop Culture Shaman - Shut Yr Eyes and You'll Burst Into Flames

MP3 ::
Please download the whole shebang right HERE!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Glassy

Zac Nelson's Towards Your Own Worlds is as open and varied an opus as the name suggests. Though narrative is tough to find, relationships seem to swell in places. Constructed in subtle sections of activity and arrangement, they connect to one another and suggest the emergence of a larger entity, tangibly "present" by comparison to evacuated periods of ambience and less significant structures. It is, in effect, a pocket electro-opera, shifting focus constantly and only occasionally settling on something it likes, weighted throughout by muted, glassy loops. Another gem from Field Hymns.

Buy the limited edition tape here.

Twin Sister - Kimmi in a Rice Field (Grand Atrium Remix)

I can't claim any great familiarity with Twin Sister, but LA producer Grand Atrium took their track "Kimmi in a Rice Field" for a serious ride, adding a much more complex beat and although it largely preserves the original's vocals, they've been subverted to more upbeat purposes by an energetic new synth section.

Look for a new Grand Atrium EP in early 2012.

Video: Water Babys - There's a Griffin at the Door

Thursday, October 27, 2011

El Alfa

Abstrakt Muzak's stunning White Ninja LP, Sounds Like Cocoon Fever, is one of a handful of really special things that I delayed posting about while I got my nuptials checked out, because it's an opus that merits more than a cursory cogitation. More than anything, I'd like to think that the name is some reference to an imaginary craze for Ron Howard's 1985 sci-fi geezer-fest Cocoon, but perhaps that's too much to hope for. Like all meritorious things, Sounds Like Cocoon Fever is constantly in the throws of a bright, bouncy beat, and ultimately the entire album sounds like a focused attempt to construct different songs along that one constant - synths and stuttering tones of electronic gibberish cavort around it, giving way and changing most compellingly around the intonations of White Ninja himself.

Grab the limited edition cassette from big ol' Texas label called Abstrakt Muzak.

Video: Pregnant - Dog

Former NME illustrator David Bailey's video "Dog", off of Pregnant's new LP Life Hard: I Try - just out in the UK - is a shambling assemblage that beautifully syncs the song with a diverse set of found footage clips. It's a charming and effective effort to convey that sort of literal song interpretation that seems to be less fashionable recently, the video becoming an equally impressive counterpoint to Daniel Trudeau's beautifully and evocative lyrics.

If you're one of them "Crown Brittania" peeps than buy the new UK CD edition of Life Hard: I Try here.

Distance

Reed Parker, whom we've talked about before in his Boylant guise, recently called to our attention the inaugural jam from his brand spanking new guise: Rosaries, and it's even better than a group of rose garlands, believe you me. Parker remains a talented multi-instrumentalist so the sound remains active and lively, evoking a sort of stripped down, catchy instrumental pop
along the lines of the very first Cloud Nothings singles that we all got so excited about.

No album or EP plans yet, but his soundcloud has a few other incomplete jams to enjoy in the meantime.

Sa Sa Samoa

It's been some time since I first heard Korallreven, making it that much harder to believe the duo has only just confirmed their first ever live shows. To add to the excitement they've also dropped a new track featuring Julianna Barwick on us. "Sa Sa Samoa" will be featured on Korallreven's debut album, An Album By Korallreven, set to release November 15. It's a sparkling pop jam that feels destined to be a winter anthem. Lightly plucked strings and shimmering synth pads build a crystal ballroom around Barwick's vocals as the track continuously transforms into an almost tropical masterpiece.

MP3: Korallreven - Sa Sa Samoa (ft Julianna Barwick)
Pre-order An Album By Korallreven now, arriving around November 15 via the inimitable Acephale.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Heatstroke

New Jersey duo Brick+Mortar just released "Heatstroke", a fresh new single that comes in with wonderfully hard-hitting drums right off the bat. They're joined by idiosyncratic vocals, powerful lyrics ("the strongest thing I ever felt was feelings for you") and a poppy, catchy chorus. It's definitely piqued my interest in seeing what these guys do next.

You can grab some crazy t-shirts of theirs, as well as check out their EP from last year, here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rattling Mandibles

Though not as prolific as Celer, her project of many years with husband Will Long, Danielle Baquet-Long's solo recordings as Chubby Wolf are numerous even if they are outnumbered by those from her shared endeavor. The most recent collection of her recordings under that name, titled Turkey Decoy, recently came out from Digitalis, making the album one of the most formal releases of her work since she passed away in 2009. It's a stirring set of songs, together composing a cycle of ambient soundscapes that move and gently shift around one another across layers that feel like the intersection of some odd tandem chant, like the call and response of daemons; hierophants conducting souls hither and yon. That sense of mysticism contrasts beautifully with individual track titles which, like the name of the album itself, are evocative and textural; "Rattling Mandibles" conjures up a human jaw vibrating like a hummingbird, singing a gentle, eleven minute drone, while "If There's an Elephant in the Room, Introduce It" is a haloed Ganesh emanating the same. The more explicit or whimsical titles, like "Short Dick" and "Scalloped Toes" compose a more nebulous realm of idiosyncrasy that seems too intimate to scrutinize, but they're nonetheless endearing, if not more so for that reason. Turkey Decoy is sublime.

Mp3 ::
Right now, the vinyl is sold out from Digitalis, but the digital can be gotten here and copies should be arriving with distributors soon. I recommend going after one.

Video: Featureless Ghost - Brain Case

Zola Jesus live on NPR

Last week NPR posted audio from a live set with Zola Jesus at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC. Her beautiful voice flows like smoke, wrapping delicately around every snare pop and cymbal ride. Almost tribal drum work keeps your heart pounding. The only bad thing about this recording is how bad it makes me wish I were there. Or how much I wish I was seeing her tonight in Chapel Hill at Local 506. Fortunately Audrey will be there getting photos of the whole thing for us. Any readers in the Triangle, listen and take note. Tonight you get one of the most astounding performers of our day.

Stream: Zola Jesus live at Le Poisson Rouge

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Premiere: kuxxan SUUM - Binary

kuxxan SUUM's new Binary EP is the kaleidoscopic sound of an android one man band laying down skewed beats as it moves tersely along an endless spectrum of effects and samples, some of which seem to pop up only a few times before being replaced with a new line from a different oddity.

Download it from End Fence, kuxxan SUUM's own collaborative imprint, or via the friendly glowing widget above.

Niebieski Ptak

Demo B is our first introduction to Polish producer baklu, and it's a solid outing in spite of the oblique name. Though the tone is down tempo, interesting sample arrangements and confident beats keep it feeling deceptively energetic. I'd call it witty, even with my internet's lamentable streaming today. (via Crack in the Road)

Grab Demo B for free here.

Mixtape Premiere: beko_hartzine

Opening with another mysterious jaunt from Ender Belongs To Me, Beko's latest is a moody collection of songs curated by gallant Thibault, one of our favorite writers at French website Hartzine. From the outset, the mix is eclectic, shifting from vaguely claustrophobic electronica into an ambient interior, shot through with more gregarious flashes of bigger sounding pop - Ela Orlean's amazing cover of "Beat Goes On" was a particular highlight for us. Definitely one of our favorites from Beko.

Mp3 ::
Download it here, for now, and at the obvious place tomorrow.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cards 'n' Hearts

Here's a Saturday afternoon treat for you all: Field Trips (who are from Leipzig, Germany -- not Oakland, as I learned from my last post about them) have released another track from their upcoming album. "Cards 'n' Hearts" is reminiscent of Animal Collective (and Panda Bear) in its layers of rhythmic, chanting vocals and loops of guitar-strums, yet there's still something about the way that Field Trips crafts songs that is entirely unique...the repetitive, hypnotic quality of their psychedelic-pop ensures that this track will be on repeat for awhile.

You can check out a few other songs by them here while we wait impatiently for a full-length to drop.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Prescription Vision

Mrs. Magician just announced their newest 7" release via Grizzly Records, Prescription Vision. The total time of both tracks is only 3:38, upsetting only in that two such wonderfully crafted pop songs don't continue for far longer. It's a brief single that after only the first listen will likely remain in your head for days.

MP3: Mrs. Magician - Prescription Vision
Listen to the b-side and order your copy of the Prescription Vision 7" over at the MM bandcamp.

I

Last week we premiered the opening track to Blissed Out's new mixtape, I. Now today we have the full release, eight effervescent tracks that are perfect Halloween ragers. It's easily my favorite release from Alex yet, with him seemingly more willing to embrace the collision of frantic dance music and hip-hop rather than lean heavily on one or the other. There's also a killer guest spot from Ritualz that compliments well to Blissed Out's style. Hopefully we'll continue to see more from the two.

Stream/Download: Blissed Out - I

Chasin Paper


Just over a week ago Silky Johnson released his newest beat tape, titled Hater Of The Year. Many of these bangers already have rappers ready to jump on them; specifically the Green Ova crew whom Silky already has an extensive working history with. "Nothin' Gonna Change" was one of my favorite tracks from Main Attrakionz 808s & Dark Grapes II, and this album proves that the hits don't stop there. Check out the stellar video above for "Chasin Paper", and if that's not enough you can catch a clip for "Fuck The Money" over here.

MP3: Silky Johnson - Chasin Paper
Pick up Hater Of The Year in full over at bandcamp.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Back in Bizniss

Dormant for months now, the world's most fatefully named record label, MJ MJ is back and they've prepared an announcement. That is to say they've crafted a seventeen song mixtape called Back in Bizniss to herald their return, weighted down with freak pop and noisey garbage, and some seriously beautiful lo-fi vocal harmonies. Bizness is the perfect, effusively positive counterpoint to the theft that originally kept them from attaining to their proper place in the burgeoning constellation of tape labels that journalist's have aptly named "I saw a tape once!" Download it for free at yon bandcamp.

Tape, Deported

Apparently Acid Glasses were just deported from the UK, aborting only one of many American planned liberation attempts for the impoverished Britons. The band has opted to make the most of it, announcing that they're going to give away what was originally planned as a tour only cassette and kicking off a new imprint to house it, called Sunday Firs, in their hometown of Memphis (famous for it's failed oversees military interventions). From the horse's mouth...
"For your own free copy of Tape, Deported please send your name + address to sundayfir@gmail.com"
Don't get caught without one.


Video Premiere: Eric Sariemento - Bilumsman

Jeffrey P. Palmer calls his new video for musician Eric Sarmiento a "meditation on movement and performance" that creates a "magical space of mindfulness", that I think most viewers will easily find as well. Images fade and solidify at odd speeds, but effective points within Sarmiento's music - a series of pictures of a hand against the void create the sensation of flight as a hushed vocal recording meanders across their mysterious stop-starting, creating only the first in a series of pleasant juxtapositions of pace and time.

"Bilumsman" comes from Sarmiento's most recent album, The Friend is This Animal, available now over at Alchemist Records.

PBUH022: Featureless Ghost - Biologically-Sound Cyber-Bodies

Web Walk... delves into the inner workings of a technology-damaged psyche with a sort of macabre sense of humor, via punk-fueled, claustrophobic electro pop. -Don't Die Wondering
Biologically-Sound Cyber-Bodies is a grotesque artifact, carried back from the death of an alternate future and embellished by a cult of delusionals for a decade until its commitment to highest-fidely chrome reel. It's the latest from our imprint Crash Symbols and we hope it makes your implants tingle.

Preorder the particularly limited cassette edition right over yonder.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Video: Com Truise - Brokendate

Music as evocative as the stuff made by ideo—master of the transporting synth odyssey—necessitates videos that are nothing short of cinematic. Hence the fully blown-out treatment for “Brokendate,” which rolls everything from eighties cop noir to Blade Runner retro-futurism to slo-mo Hype Williams nods into one five-minute world unto itself.
If this isn't already on television, I say we start a letter writing campaign. (via Smoke Don't Smoke)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Archipelago

Pittsburgh Track Authority is a fresh injection of nostalgia for me, hailing from the post-industrial mini-metropolis of their own, eponymous, hometown, just a couple hours north of mine. Even the music fits my perception of the city; mostly restrained and vaguely acidic, with bubbly synths that have no place in my "this is like Pittsburgh" scheme, though they certainly bear mentioning.

Buy the fucking incredible looking transparent yellow (green?) vinyl here.

Video: Dreams - Feelings 4 U


From Dreams' upcoming album on Absent Fever, available on their bandcamp tomorrow.

Nouveaunoise - Believe (Lemonada Remix)

Taken from Nouveaunoise's recent Sequence Consequence EP, "Believe" has the pop sucked out of it in Lemonada's remix, turning the schizophrenic four minute track into a stripped down, five minute exposition of the original's shifting interior nonsense bits.

Nouveaunoise - Believe (Lemonada Remix)
Grab Nouveaunoise's Sequence Consequence EP here.

Video Premiere: Tonstartssbandht - Sinkhole Storm and Sandwich / Hotel For Gods



Clocking in at roughly 18 minutes each, Spencer Gilley and Corbin Ordel's two videos for Tonstartssbandht's latest may not be something you want to try and watch if you're getting ready to leave for work. In a perfect universe, I'd project them on our wall for atmosphere while we make breakfast this morning... which might just be a religious experience. "Sinkhole Storm and Sandwich" begins with a claymation intro and ends in chaos, the collapsed dream of some endless boogie jam, while "Hotel For Gods" is the higher brow experience that perhaps the name suggests. Brothers Andy and Edwin skateboard for a day, goofing off and periodically hugging like the park is the best place they've ever been. Brotherly love or quasi-religious skateboard advocacy? Who knows, but it's all there.

The two tracks appear as the a-side and b-side on the band's latest release, a tremendously limited edition cassette available from them and the irredeemable heathens at Arbutus.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I'm A 99

Our friend Ryan Boos from Nomadic Firs just sent us a protest song he made, called "I'm A 99". Power to the people!

East Bay Music

Before moving to Oakland and the East Bay, I could never have imagined quite how the area defined itself within and without the shadow of San Francisco, which seems sometimes less the partner or patron I might have imagined. Although a mixtape of East Bay music wouldn't have actually filled in all of the particulars necessary for understanding that relationship, it would have helped with the legwork. Adam Myatt of Oakland band James & Evander made this one for The Bay Bridged and though it's not exhaustive, it's a great introduction to exactly what you'd think.

1. shortcircles - Everythingyoulove(disappearsovernight)
2. Benefitz - Nite Ripper
3. Aaron Ferguson - Farming in My Nike Dunks
4. Parentz - Back It Up
5. Yalls - Germs
6. James & Evander - Constellating (Ander Remix)
7. Forest Floor - Middle
8. Kapowski - Look Alive
9. B. Hamilton - Outside a Hexagram
10. Man/Miracle - Up
11. Silian Rail - Halcyon Days
12. Tall Grass - Goat Masks

Mp3 ::
Download the entire mix here.

Yo Toad

I hear from our buddy Waylon that down in Florida they got something called the Shithouse that he and this band Honey Train are in, which is more than enough information to justify investigating the latter. Turns out their latest is ostensibly a set of eight demos, though each track sounds complete and fully realized; thick with reverb, warbling croon, and a persistent jangle. (via Mother-Fucking Waylon Thornton)


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dead Eyes

Philadelphia solo act SHAPE BREAKER just released his first album and he's clearly not messing around. All seven tracks on no fun. are a well-balanced blend of shambling, fuzzed-out psych-rock and raw punk energy. I'm particularly digging "Dead Eyes"; sinister organ is layered between hooky guitar riffs, woolly vocals, and on-the-spot drums to make a track that brings to mind all things thrillingly spooky.

Download the album for free at the bindcomp.

Video: Spastic Joy - The Mission

"The Mission" is from Spastic Joy's new tape, God's Lovers, available from Clan Destine Records. (via Hartzine)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Space Matterhorn

Honestly, Oakland may be too hot right now (at least in our apartment) to appreciate music of any kind, but Mode7's Dusk Drops EP is helping to take a little bit of the edge, for more reasons than just its name. If glitchy instrumental hip hop is good for a chill down, we're trying to think of the logical extreme... maybe we need some more skwee this week.

For the next couple of days, the EP is available for free on Mode7's bandcamp.

We Could Get High

The original "July" comes from Long Beach's Rizzo and their totally ambivalent, one and only EP, titled EP. Honestly, whoever let that band go defunct really fucked up, but at least their former guitarist and our current chum, Michael Stein (currently of School Knights) thought well enough to pass on this swinging remix from The Great Rafiki, who picks up on the lyric "we could get high" and drives away with it into the same kind of effortless perfection that Rizzo somehow tapped into so consistently.

Rizzo - July (The Great Rafiki Remix)
Check out a few more The Great Rafiki joints over on his soundcloud. It also bears saying that EP was one of the best, so grab the entire thing here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Max Can't Surf

I was just recently turned on to FIDLAR's particular brand of dirty garage rock. Minimal at points, the tracks always build into a storm of energy. The band just released a four-track EP on White Iris, titled DIYDUI. It's a pretty fitting title when you consider the acronym that is their name stands for "Fuck It Dog Life's A Risk". If you're lucky enough to be in New York next week for CMJ you can catch FIDLAR at several shows on the 19th and again on the 21st. Catch the full details over here.

MP3: FIDLAR - Max Can't Surf
White Iris also recently put up "Oh" for free, which you can get in exchange for an email address over here. You can also pick up the DIYDUI 7" via the White Iris webstore.

Compromise

Muscle Drum is the eccentric home recording project of Robert Spector (formally from Spector Protector and Fuckwolf, he also now makes up a third of the psychedelic art-dance trio Bronze). San Francisco-based record label Break Up recently put out Muscle Drum's first "real" album (as opposed to the CD-Rs of the past), and it's also the label's first release.

The record, Fog Hag, is a mixed treat bag of minimalist synth jams, jangly guitar bits, waves of drum machines, and the one-off dark, fuzzed-out metal track. Spector's vocals are consistently sincere as they burn through the album's "off-kilter pop haze". Check out "Compromise" (a lovely reverb-heavy psychedelic thing) and "Room To Hide" (the aforementioned weird dark track) -- their stark differences highlight the variety that can be found on Fog Hag, and they're both awesome.

MP3 ::
You can buy the 12" here (the first 100 copies come with a CD of earlier material), and you can also stream the whole album here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Moonlude

As someone that likes to be able to have every proper noun in my posts link through to something - a bandcamp, facebook, wikipedia page, etc - it's particularly difficult to write about Moon, because I can link you to the bandcamp it's on and nearly nothing else besides. Apparently it's the second of a mixtape series from LA's homotownrecords, for whom I can find no web presence. Even their bandcamp has only this mixtape. I'd like to think that all of the bands on it were made up exclusively for the mixtape by housemates or neighbors of the label, which might explain it's consistent quality and its fun shifts from lo-fi noise freak outs to reserved bursts of inventive, but significantly more conservative, jazzy weirdness - Architect's interspersing "Moonludes" are a particular treat. If they had a website that I could find, I'd tell you to watch, but in the meantime download this thing for free here. (via Foxy Digitalis)


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Take You Alone

The Bombay Sweets, a Minneapolis-based duo consisting of Nathan Grumdahl and Jeff Brown (who uses a cocktail drum kit, which is fucking awesome), have managed to craft a truly unique blend of surfer-garage-rockabilly, and early rock 'n roll raucousness. Phantom Form recently released their first real collection of studio-recorded songs (a self-titled EP), and all six songs are warm, dusty gems -- like some old, awesome record you might find in your parents' vinyl collection and listen to over and over, whenever you want to feel like a hot-blooded teenager growing up in the 1960s. I'm really digging the opening track, "I Take You Alone"; like the other tracks on the album, it's chock-full of primitive, straightforward percussion, Grumdahl's soulful, haunting vocals, and tasty guitar riffs that all work together at a pace that will keep you panting.

You can purchase the gorgeous one-sided, lime green and pink 12" (or a digital download via iTunes) right here, y'all.

Sharpening Knives

In spite of its self-depricating name, Montage Populaire's Nothing Serious EP, collecting a handful of recent demos and home recordings, remains as good as any other introduction to the British band. Fast paced, carnivalesque chaos is the backdrop for relatively polished pop, derived from some productive nexus of tension along the border of nonsense.



Spring Sabbat

Polypus Acephalous evokes the ghost of Rimsky-Korsakov, one Russia's master orchestral composers and a prime resuscitator of its native folklore, united in the 21st-century to conjure up the uniquely weird players that populate the former's latest album, The Outcast Tribes. They shamble in a slow rise, spontaneously creating some perverse funeral march, each voice possessed by what the band's label calls a sort of "eskimo disco".

Get it on limited edition cassette from Full of Nothing. I'll just add that they're a label from the Republic of Karelia, which is one of those awesome, vaguely autonomous regions in Russia that you never really hear about, god bless 'em.

Interview: La Dispute

Last week La Dispute released their second full-length LP for No Sleep Records, titled Wildlife. A collection of short stories from a fictional author of sorts comprise the album, complete with an author's note and all. Brian recently got to ask the band's lead vocalist, Jordan Dreyer, a few questions about Wildlife, the stories it tells, touring with Envy, and even superpowers.

Stream: La Dispute - Wildlife

Hello fellas, very nice to have the opportunity to talk. Before I delve into this, I've gotta ask. When I was reading through some of your other interviews, I read that you guys started because you wanted to cover a song by At the Drive-In. I've been an avid fan of them since I was in high school, so I'm curious now, what song did you set out to cover, and will it ever be released?
The first song we ever played (or attempted to play) together was "Cosmonaut" from Relationship of Command. I can't really remember how well it went, but I remember that we had a great time doing it. But we haven't played it since that time so the chances that it'll get recorded and released are pretty slim, unfortunately.

Stay tuned after the jump for more questions with La Dispute.

In Wildlife you've departed with the subject of love, moving onto the general struggle of finding purpose and figuring out life in your twenties, caught between youth and adulthood. Was this premeditated, or was something that arose organically as you wrote?
A little of both, I think. The decision was made pretty early on to broaden things thematically, but we didn't sit down at that instance and plot out how we'd do that; the actual themes and stories came naturally before and while we were writing. There also wasn't a conscious effort to eliminate love or relationships from the record altogether, that's in fact all there still, but we wanted to approach everything that confronts people at this time in your life, and that required a lot of stepping out from direct personal experience to discuss other people's experiences. But, again, those other experiences came up naturally in the time between now and when "Somewhere…" came out.

How much of Wildlife was autobiographical? Did any of the stories come to you by other means?
It kind of depends. There are two ongoing "voices" throughout the record, one of which pretty strictly tells stories and the other of which shows the author's personal connection to those stories. The stories are about half-autobiographical and half-fiction, although I think you could argue that even the fabricated stories are still somewhat autobiographical, while the second voice is pretty exclusively drawn from personal relationships and experiences, although connecting it to everything required a certain amount of fictionalizing (let's hope that's a word). So, yeah, that's a confusing answer. I probably just could've said yes. Ha ha. In regards to the stories, a lot of them happened in the neighborhood that I grew up in, and some of them were made up to capture a feeling or mood that was less specific to an individual and more general to a time or place.

You touch a lot of emotional, personal, and sometimes dark subjects in your songs. Whenever you perform live you have to bring it all out again, is this ever a draining experience for you, or is it more cathartic?
Both, I think. If it's draining it's more likely subconscious, although there are occasionally times when things hit you the right way and come flooding back for whatever reason, and that can be difficult. If it's cathartic it's just the release of energy and emotion that accompanies it and not the specific thing discussed in the song. The best part about playing live is being able to give new meaning to things in the moment, just by looking at the crowd and feeling that connection. It's an amazing thing.

You toured with Envy about a year ago, what was that like? Was the language barrier an issue?
Touring with Envy was one of the most incredible experiences we've ever had. I don't know that there is a more incredible band, on record and on stage, so getting the opportunity to play before them every night, and then to watch them every night, was an honor and a privilege. As for the language barrier, you adjust pretty quickly to short conversations and physical gestures (hugs, high fives, that kind of stuff) and they are some of the nicest people ever, so we got along well.

You've said that the Here, Hear series will continue for as long as you are a band. For the first two you used segments from various pieces of writing you've like, however in the third it switched to original material. So what can we expect for the future of Here, Hear?
Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. We've been so involved in making this record that we haven't really discussed any concrete plans or even any preliminary ideas. I know we'll do another one in the future, but the shape it'll take is a question mark right now. If I had to guess, more original material. The downside of quoting someone else is that people, no matter how hard you try to clarify, will confuse it for original work, and that's a bummer for everyone. Plus, the last one was the most satisfying to make, at least from my end.

On the subject of Here, Hear, you've more-or-less started a book club amongst some of the fans I've met, so it only seems appropriate that I ask; what are you reading now?
That's a crazy thought. Crazy, but pretty cool. I don't know how I've become any sort of authority, but if people are discovering new things through me than I'm on board all the way. Right now I'm reading Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace. Enjoying both immensely so far.

Any bands you'd like to recommend to the world?
Pianos Become the Teeth has a record called The Lack Long After coming out and it will be absolutely crushing. I can't stress how much that band matters enough. Everyone go listen.

And now we move on to the hypothetical questions. You've been known for having a wide array of influences, which I've always appreciated. If you had the opportunity to record a split and do a tour with any now defunct band, who would you pick?
Fugazi? Planes Mistaken for Stars? At least those seem like bands that we could tour with. If we want to get more wacky, Neutral Milk Hotel? I don't know. And Jeff Mangum's out and about again, so "defunct" is questionable there. But so many great bands aren't bands anymore. It's difficult to choose.

Finally, if you could have any super power, BUT you could only use it while onstage and performing, what power would you want?
Super human strength so that I could stay out of Brad's drum set while playing on the floor. Or Wolverine's accelerated healing so that I would be alright after stepping on glass or hitting myself in the face accidentally while playing.

Wildlife is available now in CD & LP formats via No Sleep Records.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Video: Matt Duncan - Validate My Parking

If you don't know by now, we'd post about absolutely anything that Matt Duncan ever does. If he ever gets his parking validated and someone cares to supply us with the necessary details, we'd even post about that. That's meaningful, right? Following up on the original post. Never let the issues down, man, f'real. Someone come on and love this guy.

All Working

"All Working" is one of several new singles being slowly released by Ender Belongs To Me, a duo made up one who goes by Peter Wiggin and another who is his childhood friend. Their music is apparently already relatively old, originating from a three year period - now ended, one hopes - during which the two were "slipping into a more and more aggressive state of addiction," which they identify as "the sad fate for many in our bored generation". This sense profoundly informs the vulnerability of their music. Particularly how the earnest, lightly effected vocals are experienced as they describe desperate hope amidst a spare piano arrangement and beat sequences that lift the tone toward an artificial positivity, where the duo's lyrics evoke the ordered succumbing of our "bored generation" to vice.

Expect more soon, watch for it here.

Firecracker

Having come to dance music primarily through its later-stage, prismatic eruption into pop, for me the retrospective "Greatest Bits" compilation from Manchester's 808 State is a fun selection with which to explore some elements of their early relationship, as it showcases both the bands chilled-out funk and more caustic, industrial bangers (try finding one of those on amazon.com). As familiar as that sort of thing might seem, I think the album's grab bag of remixes interspersed across the tracklist are what occasionally detract from its novelty, teasing certain tracks into the well-trodden ethos of Aphex Twin or Brian Eno, for instance. Ultimately, its the bands own new edits that stand out - in defiance of the common wisdom on what a retrospective tends to be it's actually pretty hard to spot the original tracks, which number only a handful on the 17-track album.

Grab Blueprint here or from amazon.com.

Mixtape Premiere :: Occupied Sleep

Heathered Pearls is the alias of one Jakub Alexander, the music curator over at our perenial favorite ISO50 and founder of Moodgadget Records, though his professional credentials can't compete with his prolific output, having offered up a dozen or so singles and EPs since earlier this year. I'm particularly honored to be unveiling his latest mixtape, a 38 minute meditation on hypnosis, through a highly textural experience of beat and capsule periods of shifting ambiance. The emphasis is definitely on that beat and it's legion ways of manifesting, whether shaped within a globule of sludge or a halo of light.

1. Casino Versus Japan - Names on Maps of Venus (Part 2)
2. Basic Channel - Radiance II Edit
3. Le Révélateur - Mirages
4. Mark Mcguire - The Marfa Lights
5. Fennesz - Happy Audio
6. John Maus - Do Your Best
7. Lawrence - Jill (Reprise)
8. Dettinger - Untitled
9. Popnoname - Nightliner
10. Bola - Glink

Download the mix here and check out Heathered Pearls most recent free EP, Vaults, over at Jakub's bandcamp.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

En Route (ou Enfin! Le Défilé Capsule de Temps va au Centre de Contrôle)

Nothing evokes the positive ambiance of productivity and self-conscious industriousness, as in the case of any smoothly executed operation or the simplicity of a divine repetition, better than Monroeville Music Center. Monroeville Music Center is the heart of the community, a window into the universe of international creativity that can be glimpsed in the pearly racks of new imports. I'd have gone there this Sunday if they had an outlet in California.

Download the EP from Dracula Horse.

Holy Page Halloween

Although it is not normally our policy to allow facebook bullies into pressuring us to write posts, we're only too happy to acquiesce when the bully in question is space-age desert wunderkind Christian Filardo, pushing his latest mammoth Holy Page mixtape, this time for Halloween. From Acid Glasses' short opener onward the whole thing is a triumph of his curatorship, showcasing varying degrees of tongue-in-cheekiness and a whole spectrum of tones as bands run the gamut between noise and pop, with at least one short and truly notable pit-stop made for some new minimalist hip hop from Pop Culture Shaman (may God have mercy on his soul).

Lake of Memory

That beautiful album cover up there is the face of a 10" split between Arches and Banned Books, out now on Magic Death Sounds (it's their first release!). The vinyl itself is also totally gorgeous -- grey with pink, blue, and yellow swirls. We received this bit of pulchritude in the mail while we were gettin' hitched in West Virginia, so it was kind of like a sweet wedding gift. While all four tracks are great, I find myself gravitating towards the B-side... Banned Books' track "Lake of Memory" is a howling good time; herky-jerky noise pop with hard-hitting drums and art-rock vocals takes your hand and walks you down a shaky path to pure giddiness. I'd be keeping an eye on these guys -- they've already played shows with tUnE-yArDs, Deerhoof, Grand Buffet, and Minus the Bear.

You can stream the record here (check out the other B.B. track, "Dream Castle"!) and buy the pretty thing heeeere.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

...but rather to Escape the Pain

The cover art for Valeskja Valcav's self-titled debut is as evocative as the music and the titles of its songs; highly textural and fragmented, splintered and ambivalent as to the piercing of an observer. Beats drenched in reverb march in and out through a cacophony, itself periodically punctuated by piercing people sounds; an agitated voice screaming lyrics or who knows what. Good Saturday fun, I tell you. (via Don't Die Wondering)

Ring Of Fire

Start your Saturday off right with this slow-burning cover of the classic "Ring Of Fire" by Baltimore-based band Romantic States. Simplified by crunchy synth beats and Jim Triplett's smooth, laidback vocals, the cover is one of eleven tracks off Romantic States' latest exploration into lo-fi bedroom electro-pop, A Shell Is Born.

You can download the whole album for free at yon bandcampery.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Video: Maison Neuve - Under Skies of Fire

It's always grand to wake up to some interesting things floating around on facebook, which is how Paris' Maison Neuve comes to me. A series of monoliths and grotesques is easy embellishment to their brooding, orchestral pop, but the sequence of petrified masks seems as much a satire as reflection of their own intensity and the atmosphere remains positive. "Under Skies of Fire" comes from their album Joan, out this past September on the 26th, from Talitres Records.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Old Friends

Each year, when it starts to get colder outside and the leaves begin turning, I always find myself wanting to listen to more indie-folk-rock and the like (it always seems cozy and familiar). So, I felt it was good timing when Minnesota-based band EMOT emailed us about their sophomore album, "Make You Electric", on which they made use of "sixty year-old tube microphones, half-inch tape and crackling amplifiers" while recording. The warmth definitely comes through on all ten tracks. The songs are simple, straightforward, and honest; in the first track, "My Old Friends", the vocals are a clear brook in an autumn forest of banjo, guitar, and simple percussion. Give this record a listen when it's chilly out and you're unboxing your scarves and sweaters.

Stream and/or buy the whole thing right here.

Premiere: Blissed Out - Intro


Alex Winter, or Blissed Out as we've come to know him, recently announced a new mixtape, titled I, to drop October 20. It will be the first full collection of tracks released since Blissed Out became a solo project last February. According to Winter, the title refers to himself, and also serves as a Roman numeral that will increase as more mixes are developed in the series. Today we get the first look at I, a video that acts more like an animated place card for the opening track, appropriately titled "Intro".

We're All Dying To Live

As accompaniment to his upcoming album, We're All Dying To Live, Rich Aucoin has apparently been collecting as many film clips as he has musician credits - over 500 according to the government's latest tallies - evidenced by the final trailer for the film of the same name. If we're assuming that the movie ultimately takes the same form, I don't think Rich will have any difficulty getting people's chemicals from point A to point drooling quiver-mass.