The last song on Ceremony’s Matador debut is arguably one of its strongest. With a crawling speed and patience, “Video” is a haunting piece of hardcore/post-punk. The song stops and starts on a dime, exhibiting beautiful production and composition. I can see this release getting a ton of flak from the Bay Area’s fans, but hey, shouldn’t a band grow (along with its fanbase)?
Forming’s self-titled 7” (out on Vitriol Records) is one of my favorite 7”s in recent memory. In fact, every night this summer I would listen to this song before I went out to a party or something. Why? You tell me. Bearing that in mind, as my 21st birthday approaches, I feel it only appropriate that I revisit my fuzzy anthem. Oh and the best part is you can download this record for free right here!
A collaboration between Yoni Wolf (Why?) and Andrew Broder (Fog), Hymie’s Basement create unique musical ideas that still somewhat retain aspects of pop music. “America Won” is a jumble of three different vocal loops that sync up every once in a while, in what seems to be the perfect place for harmony. Using only a light piano and a low vocal drone, “America Won” features idiosyncratic instrumentation reminiscent of both Fog and Why?.
I emerged from the depths of Winter Break to find myself more than slightly obsessed with the Legend of Zelda. Now, there’s been an ongoing love affair between the game series and myself for the last twelve years, so this is nothing all too new. In my fanatical scouring of the web for an awesome rock version of the series’ famous theme song, I stumbled across this gem.
This is a group called “I Fight Dragons,” a Chicago-based rock band that has found a way to incorporate two of my favorite things in life: music and video games. They’re hot off of their first full album release, but you won’t find this on any album. Enjoy I Fight Dragons revisit the start of Zelda in their impromptu bit, “I Fight Ganon.”
The Weakerthans - Confessions Of A Futon-Revolutionist
I’m only beginning to delve into The Weakerthans’ discography, but hearing this gem off of Fallow really cemented the fact that everyday I like this band a bit more. “Confessions of A Futon-Revolutionist” is a really cute, if not slightly self-deprecating, song that talks about cats, drinking, and the impending class war.
Hooking Up is a low-fi garage rock band from Richmond, VA that play fuzzy, drunken jams. I stumbled onto these guys on the Topshelf Records board last year and was hooked on their first EP. They released a new EP on Monday, so do yourself a favor and download it for free at their bandcamp.
The singer/songwriter paradigm is almost always a crap shoot no one wants to fall into. Many try to lay out their emotions over a single acoustic guitar, and nearly everyone fails. Waxhatchee (P.S. Eliot’s Katie Crutchfield) manages to sidestep every “singer / songwriter” pitfall on her debut LP American Weekend. Instead of a sappy, self-pitying mess, Crutchfeild lays out her flaws as if music was her penance. It’s never self-aggrandizing or blaming. “Grass Stain” is such an beautiful bummer, and it was the track that introduced me to Waxahatchee. American Weekend will be out in January on Don Giovanni Records.
With an 80’s synth-pop sound, Class Actress elicits a time when pop music could be loved by the same people who also loved the underground scene. This is the type of music that gets stuck in your head and doesn’t leave. “Love Me Like You Used To” is simple with dense keyboard and the catchiest hook since the plague(I even created a dance for it). Try to listen to this song and not love it. I dare you.
Snowing broke up earlier this year, playing their final show a few weeks ago. I didn’t have the funds to make my way down to Philly to see them, which I’m a little bummed about, but as a result I’ve been listening to a ton of them lately. “Pump Fake” was the first Snowing song that clicked with me. The lyrics are tight, the guitars are jangly as hell, and the production is as shitty as I like it. Too bad this song isn’t on the 7” of Fuck Your Emotional Bullshit. Oh well.
I haven’t really listened to Young the Giant much, but this caught my eye. During a recent recording of an unplugged session for MTV, they decided to end their set covering The Gorillaz. Believe it or not, this band absolutely KILLS it. Probably one of the best covers of any song I’ve heard. The video of it can be found right here at this link!
Playing country rock with sprinkles of punk, Spider Bags is the band that rose from the ashes of DC Snipers, whom I posted about a few weeks back. I dig everything about Spider Bags. The instrumentation is awesome, and the lyrics are pretty down-trodden. Don’t let your “I like everything but country”-mindset stop you from checking Spider Bags out.
This is the new shit. Black Hippy needs the hype of an Odd Future because they have the talent of a Wu-Tang. It is only a matter of time until this collective of Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q has a breakthrough song, tumbling onto internet fame and a record deal. This may not be it, but it certainly resonates with people containing an extensive knowledge of music history; the beat draws a sample from The Zombies “Time of the Season”.
Cheap Girls plays crunchy indie-punk along the lines of Yuck or Forming (who will be getting an audio post in the near future). Unlike Yuck, Cheap Girls has more lyrical structure, and they wield it like the saddest sword ever. “All My Clean Friends” is a manifesto to the post-graduate who still smokes cigarettes, still drinks, still ends the day by blacking out to get over his ex-girlfriend. But he doesn’t want to change. It’s bittersweet.
You can grab Cheap Girls’ first album for free here.
This is too big to happen. Freddie Gibbs is probably the biggest underground rapper right now. Madlib is one of the best producers in hip hop. This shit is too much; you better believe Imma pick up this 12”.
A$AP Rocky has definitely been getting a LOAD of hype lately. Between a $3 million record deal and a Pitchfork “Best New Music” nod, it’s hard to lose sight of what exactly he brings to the table. It’s blurry eyed rap with stellar production. On the mixtape, the production is what really drives it. Clams Casino produces this particular track and kills it. I’m a huge fan of his hazy, chanting beats and this is a great example of how large his productions can sound. If you’re into the underground rap scene, then you know this might be the sign of more breakthroughs into popular rap, bearing in mind if this project is a commercial success.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 24 hours…
Jeff Mangum has announced his 2012 tour dates, with the kickoff in New Haven CT!
01.18.12 - New Haven, CT - Shubert Theater 01.20.12 - Brooklyn, NY - Gilman Opera House at Brooklyn Academy of Music 01.25.12 - Philadelphia, PA - Irvine Auditorium at University of Pennsylvania 01.27.12 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre 01.30.12 - Chapel Hill, NC - Memorial Hall at University of North Carolina 02.01.12 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse 02.04.12 - Minneapolis, MN - Pantages Theatre 02.06.12 - Chicago, IL - Athenaeum Theater 02.07.12 - Chicago, IL - Athenaeum Theater 02.08.12 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater 02.10.12 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club 02.11.12 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club 03.07.12 - Dublin, IRE - Vicar Street 03.09.12 - Minehead, UK - All Tomorrow’s Parties Curated By Jeff Mangum 03.13.12 - London, UK - Union Chapel 03.14.12 - London, UK - Union Chapel
Damn my allegiance to pop-punk in high school. If I didn’t have in my head in the sand for four years, I would have been able to experience this amazing North Jersey punk band in all of their glory. Their 2006 debut Missile Sunset is a great, dirty piece of work. Drawing influence from proto-punk and combining it with their own take on the “New Jersey sound” they create punk music that is undeniably organic, but it’s also aggressively catchy and absolutely danceable. Unfortunately DC Snipers are broken up now, but you can hear Dan McGee tear it up in his North Carolina based Spider Bags.
Holy lord has this band grown. Last year’s self-titled was full of poppy punk songs and only a handful of slow songs; this song crawls and scratches at your ears. Think Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana melded together in a dark back alley. The raw, emotional buildup heard in the vocals is titillating. I cannot wait to hear more from of this; it is one of the most welcomely accepted maturations of a band I have experienced, since Trophy Scars went bluesy.
New EMA! My love for EMA is unabashed, so I was excited to hear the b-side of her “Marked” single that’s just been released. It keeps that layered noise-folk vibe that she completely owns and features a verse from Oakland, CA rapper Mz’Gorjis in a surprising twist. The single for “Marked” will be released on November 21.
Metallica and Lou Reed collaborated; it’s called Lulu. I’m sure you know this by now. The record was finally released and let me tell you it is bad. It’s the worst piece of shit I have heard in some time, but I’m not here to complain about how put together the sound is or how boring it is; I’m hear to call out the reviews.
Allmusic, Pitchfork, and Tiny Mix Tapes all reviewed the album. What would you expect from a cynical site like Pitchfork for a project like this? Most certainly a 0. What would you expect from a site like Tiny Mix Tapes, who prides itself on finding the most left-field of music enjoyable? Artistically a 0. Allmusic is pretty fair about everything and gives it all a shot, so I didn’t expect a 0, but I wanted a 1. I just don’t understand how you can even give the tiniest of merit to what seems like such a cash grab; it’s a Warner Brothers’ release, god dammit.
This is my call to arm: don’t buy, chart or listen to this record. I don’t even think it has an audience, except for the reviewers.
Just a quick update for those who wanted to listen to this year’s WQAQ Fright Night. As you know there has been a massive amount of snow. As a result it has been moved to Sunday at 8pm. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Band of Skulls is an amazing band with an awesome raw heavy rock sound. Similar to the white stripes and the black keys. They are currently on tour over seas with the black keys. Check out their album Baby Darling Doll Face Honey, it is one of my favorite albums of all time. This song is a new song from hopefully a new album soon!!