The week brought us a mixed bag of offerings. We heared Zooey and Ben “Death Cab for Cutie” Gibbard called it splitsville, insisting that no third parties were involved, but we here at the office have imagined perhaps an inner competitive lover's spat between demographic relevance. Speaking of competition, Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover continues to ape the Odd Future vibe with his “Yonkers” references in a silly video for his track “Bonfire,” while DOOM, Johnny Greenwood and Thom Yorke collabed on a loosie with the politically incorrect title of “Retarded Fren” and we heard that Waka Flocka Flame recruited Suge Knight in his ranks for professional advice – to secure his West Coast fanbase and artist connections, we would imagine. We also lost Gwar guitarist Flattus Maximus, a.k.a. Cory Smoot, while the band was on tour up in Canada. What we have here is a microcosm of life; people moving on, friendly competition can be the best form of mutual flattery as well, the worlds of wisdom we can learn from our elders and the preciousness of life. Now that this column sounds like a self-help book of reaffirmations, let us further examine the artists and videos from the week in no particular order.
Ty Segall has anounced that a compilation called Singles 2007-2010 will be released November 22 on Goner Records. Not only will you be able to listen to Ty's lost classics like “Skin”, featured here, but you could get it packaged with limited edition clear vinyl available through Goner. Pre-order will be available from November 8 to release so get ready to reaquaint yourself with why the critics and fans alike consider Mr. Segall to be one heavy, axe-wielding legend. If the excellent Goodbye Bread has you thinking he's gone soft on us, give “Skin” a listen to revisist his noisier past with a hint at perhaps a scuzzier future.
While we're on the Goner kick, Eddy Current Suppression Ring is releasing So Many Things out November 22 on the imprint. Like their label mate Ty, these Aussies have been kicking their punky garage business around for the latter part of the oughts and are realeasing a collection of singles, demos, random tracks. Like the above album cover, So Many Things promises to be a wonderful collection of attitude and a heap of amp buzzing folderol. Check out the track “You Don't Care” which will have you revisiting the back Eddy catelogue and maybe even blowing the dust off a few sun warped post-punk records as well.
The world's attention has been on Oakland for their violent response to the #occupyOakland freedom fighters and the temporary closure of the Oakland Port, but League510 would like to remind you of the blight they experience day to day in East Oakland, circa 79th and International, in the video for “S.O.S.” TK explains the video's Bay Area consciousness being that, “The main inspiration for this song was the senseless violence that happens in our city, Oakland, CA,” who gets some lyrical back up on the track from fellow League member Mr. Knowitall. In this era of popular protest it is important to recognize the day-to-day struggles of folks trying to survive and to help strengthen and bolster communities like East Oakland through the proliferation of conscious action and some good old fashioned non-violent civil disobedience.
Sea Lions gave us “Grown Up” earlier this week, a jangly patchwork quilt of everything we have love about '60s production values and all the obscuro '80s indie tropes that drive you wild. Growing out of their local YAY! Records that documented the Sound of Young Oxnard, the Lions appear to be ready to take on the rest of the world.Their album Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sea Lions But Were Afraid To Ask drops November 22 on Slumberland.
So yes, David Lynch has made his album debut with Crazy Clown Time – if you don't count his songwriting work shared with Angelo Badalamenti on the two Julee Cruise albums Floating into the Night and The Voice of Love, largely spun from the Twin Peaks soundtrack. The folks at NPR got their mits on this album, due out November 8, and have provided the world a first listen. Lots of buzz is already surrounding the Karen O featured vocal on “Pinky's Dream” which somehow makes you think of a Yeah Yeah Yeahs sesh happening on the disorienting jagged black and white checkered floor of the Black Lodge. Wow Bob, wow.
Forest Fire made a video for their track “The News” involving strange hatchings, an awkward social functioin and things going from strange to histrionic. Look for Forest Fire's Staring at the X now on Fat Cat records.
Georgia Anne Muldrow's new album Owed to Mama Rickie is available in streamed snippets courtesy of Animated Car Tunes. If you discovered Ms. Muldrow through her vocal contributions to Erykah Badu's “Master Teacher” or if you are like me and have to be told by the mighty Thundercat of her greatness; then you need to get acquainted with Stones Throw's secret weapon of soul's future and past. The album is named after her mother Rickie Byars Beckwith who is the Music and Arts Director at the Agape International Center in Culver City, California as well as former jazz singer. Owed to Mama Rickie is out now and can be previewed here.
Stockholm's The Whendays have a video for “Untru Love II,” the first single off their upcoming self-titled debut EP on Cascine. Serge G. and Simon Rheitner are described as 'musicians, filmmakers, actors and seekers' who make the kind of Swedish ambient pop that bounces between the seductiveness of relationships and their fragile nature, along with the romanticism and isolation of also being young and alone. One listen to “Untru Love II” and the accompanying video and you will hear the greatest artists to have not produced Sade but really should. The Whendays EP comes out November 15 on Cascine, digital only.
Gem Club put out a meloncholic, sad, but gorgeous video for “252” off of Breakers. If the emotional heavyweight of the track provided by Christopher Barnes, Kristen Drymala, and Ieva Berberian with piano driven, self-efaced vulnerable lyrics like “this terrible anatomy will surely get the best of me” have yet to reach you; wait til you see the video by Matthew Salton. Depcting a series of relationship discontinuties that would make D.H. Lawrenc cry in his grave, Salton plays up the darkness that includes mouth foaming seizures, strange murky discharges and a series of metaphors that you can only sob along with to believe.
The Internet broke loose this week with Odd Future's DJ-in-chief Syd Da Kid dropping the excessive and excellent video for “Cocaine.” We have been wondering when Syd was going to find her own groove vehicle apart from her Odd Future clique and by joining Matt Martian for the Internet she has found a platform to present her lesbian leanings and to challenge the homophobic norms that have long beleagured the hip-hop paradigm. Join Syd on a carnival ride of chemicals, wide-eyed make out sessions, whispered vocals, and blatant narcotic coaxing, if you will. We are happy to see Syd stepping out and look forward to see further offerings from the Internet.
Syd's work with The Internet has been a slow leak and we have another glimpse with the this down-tempo track “Love Song -1.”
Still being late to The Internet party, here is some more Syd cool-weirdness with “They Say.” Keep your eyes and ears out for more Internet offerings to come.
Cloud Nothings released a taste of the future with “No Future, No Past” this week with further details about the new album. Enlisting the larger-than-legend-and-life producer Steve Albini, Dylan Baldi has been taking his sound to new heights with the Albini work really bringing out the clear and mean chugging bass and percussion elements. The new Nothings record Attack on Memory is set to be released January 24 on Carpark Records. After their killer show at this year's SXSW Imposition, we are more than officially excited.
As Young Magic has set out on their tour with Youth Lagoon, they did a remix of Martin Denny's “The Enchanted Sea (Young Magic Trip).” And what a trip it is, you will feel like a psychedelic sailor braving the breeze loops and waves of keyboards in phasers.
This week Wale had a massive release celebration of his album Ambition at Highline Ballroom in NYC hosted by Hot97. Check out this video of the MMG’s Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Miguel, Ne-Yo, Stalley and Trey Song all helping Wale have a blowout party while keeping the spirits, well, high.
Field Music dropped the excellent power-popped jam “(I Keep Thinking)About a New Thing.” Despite their promo pic of the band being surrounded by synthesizers, Field Music idolizes the positive power of guitar based rock and roll that is made by the bastard sons of the late Alex Chilton. Their album Plumb is slated for release February 14 on Memphis Industries.
Jordan Allen of RLMDL is the embodiement of everything you love about the waves of chill that we journos run with, lambast, propagate, tirelessly define while the rest of you click on another tab to watch dumb cute cat videos on YouTube. I know how you feel, because who can resist the warmth and charm of feline acts streamed in 360p? RLMDL brings some warmth with tracks like “Just My Luck” that feels like waves both washing and masaging your entire being. His debut EP Just My Luck drops in December on limited edition cassette/digital with word that the LP will come soon after in January 2012 on PLACE Machine Records.
In a week that has been littered by covers, Parenthetical Girls covered Kate Bush's “Under the Ivy.” As a thank you to their fans, those who pick up their latest 12″ Privilege might also receive Demos for the Dreaming, a compilation of Kate covers. I appreciate Zac Pennington's taste in keyboards, providing the that electronic key rain that sounds like a cleaned up opening lifted from Belle & Sebastian's “Electronic Renaissance.”
While we are looking at bands in the letter P section, Porcelain Raft presents us with “Put Me to Sleep.” A project fronted by the Italian born but internationally hip Mario Remiddi who has been a part of many former acts of disparate styles from klezmer, tap dance piano, until finally settling on the dream-pop that sub-genre devotees like to describe as ethereal. Coming up on a three month 2012 tour from January to March with M83; keep an ear out for his upcoming Strange Weekend album January 24 on Secret Canadian.
So the other day Common dropped the track “Sweet” and we decided to give the arrogant star another chance. Achieving the kind of celebrity status to be allowed to bronoodle with Obama was only kind of cool because Fox News made a big stink about a “vile” person being invited to the White House. While keeping his production like a man who sounds like he is both listening and watching his own throne, he's giving the big O a lyrical fist bump with, “I am to hip-hop what Obama is to politics” amid mad boasts. Common has plans to relese his upcoming album The Dreamer, The Believer sometime before Christmas in December.
Now to drop another proverbial flavor in your ear, here is the video from SF's local boy DaVinci with “Paying For My Past (featuring Tenille).” He provides more gritty tales that expose the not-so-glamorous side of hustling while presenting a narrative of real inner city struggles that you rarely hear from SF rappers. Look out for DaVinci on a winter tour with Freddie Gibbs and get his Feast Or Famine EP here.
Loney, Dear has headed out on a US tour and with that is a listen to “Stay Calm” from his newly released album Hall Music. The track is one of those you put on to quell a bad trip with Emil Svanangen singing “slow down, there's nothing after you, back down, there's nothing after you, calm down, there's nothing after you.” Extra points for the slow build, soft and muted strings and the slow snow melt of the far away vocals and xylophone that really brings it on home.
Glasgow's Errors gave us “Earthscore” this week, providing some fine electro sounds from Northern Britain. They have toured stateside with Mogwai, shrugged off the post-rock labels and are not afraid to interject vocals into the electronic mix as an instrument, as the group’s Steev Livingstone explains; “It was just something that naturally happened, we had the idea to put vocals in the music a while ago but we always intended that they should be treated as another instrument. We’ve used them in a way that sits really naturally so the music and the vocals don't feel like separate entities.” The new Errors album Have Some Faith in Magic drops January 31 on Rock Action Records.
While not being a fan of Arcade Fire, I happened on this cover by Matt Haimovitz and Christopher O'Riley playing “Empty Room” amid my aggregating. A lovely classical take that eclipses the aformentioned band themselves.