Friday, July 24, 2015

Free Music Fridays...#5

1. "I Remember" Bully
A explosive little track from Pitchfork standouts Bully that manages to pack a grungy sucker-punch in under two minutes. Lyrics about throw up and shit have never sounded so awesome.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Free Music Fridays...#4

1. "Be Cool" Home School
A snappy little pop song with petals of rosy guitar jangles-- the perfect song for our first official day of summer

2. "Born to Die" King Khan & the Shrines 
Described by Khan himself as "an apocalyptic ode to the heinous war machine that to this day ruins our lives." In other words, a way-cool, joyous soudning psych antem complete with brass and string sections, richly obssessed with a wah-wah pedal.

3. "Hello" The Mantles
A brawny piece of garage rock with a refrain that suddenly tingles between the ears.

4. "Honeypot" Thom Yorke
Once a discarded remix of Radiohead's All I Need, Honeypot is a dark trance of cycling beats, switches and ticks under Yorke's whimpering falsettos.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hear This...Arctic Monkeys' Brand New Single "Do I Wanna Know?"

Having earned the fastest selling record ever in Great Britain with the outstanding and dynamic debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not [2006], the Arctic Monkeys have since stood at the forefront of English alternative rock— without question one of Britain’s best outputs in recent memory. Despite the almost effortless legacy affirmed in their home country, the Arctic Monkeys have never truly equated the same impact across the pond. Whether labeled by American critics as just another over-hyped UK band or outshined by homegrown alt acts like the Foo Fighters, the Arctic Monkeys have certainly not received the credit they deserve in our land of the free and home of the brave.

And since that marvelous debut, the Arctic Monkeys have made few faults otherwise, hitting critical stride with each continued effort (though of course that is subject for discussion in the U.S.). Eleven years in, the Suffield boys are that no more, now confidants, even masters of their trade. And as Turner and company have grown up, so has their music, ever so slightly. Their dashing, red-blooded riffs have slowed down some, albeit never losing that deep, commanding sound evident on their under appreciated 2011 LP Suck it and See. And their latest single to be released, "Do I Wanna Know?," moves forward in that same direction; a slow burner of a song, fit with steady heartbeat of a drum, fuzzy guitar riffs and a bellowing chorus. Chances are Do I Wanna Know? will be the lead single for their fifth album, which Turner has added could be out later this year. If so, it’s a strong start.

Check out the track along with the official music video over on YouTube

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hear This..."Take Your Time" The Cairo Gang

Psychedelic rock owes its earliest years to the hippie counterculture era that was the 1960s.  It is a blessing that the genre earns itself a place at such a time within history, at the same time, such an association I fear has deeply confined people's understanding of the genre.  Simply put, when one thinks of psychedelic rock, the first association is often times drugs.  In this day and age, I could type in psychededlic rock into YouTube, and one of the first videos that appear bears the title "(Rock to trip to) :) I guess there's no avoiding that, but psychedelic rock came forth built on much more than a bunch of stoned "free-thinkers"  Psychedelic rock transfused genres and crossed cultures, finding influence from as close as Southern blues and as far away as India.  

"Take Your Time," a new track by The Cairo Gang is a quintessential example of psychedelic rock.  Of course the uneasy genre has taken off to various sub-categories (space rock, ambient rock, shoegaze, etc), but this track remains grounded in the original flux of twangy guitars, tamborines and Eastern raga sounds of the early 1960s psych rock.  Its hard to believe that this here is a new song, with the obvious influences of late Beatles and The Byrds pinned to the very sleeve of this song.  Obvious as it is, that is not such a bad thing. The optimist in me takes this as a good sign, that the absurd sub-categories of psych have not truly taken over. "Keep negative spirits away."

The Cairo Gang have a small six song LP set for release 7/23 titled Tiny Rebels

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Useless Clatter...David Bowie Announces New Album + Single

With its many perks and glories, fame can be a deceptive trap.  Old age can squander any star athlete's sports career, but this is not the case with music.  Call it a blessing, but also call it a curse.

The Rolling Stones are no doubt one of the greatest rock bands ever, but I am probably not the only one that finds issue with a man my grandpa's age jumping about on stage swinging his hips while wearing skinny jeans.  The music is not the issue; its just the image.  

With the release of Reality in 2003, David Bowie placed himself into an elite category of musical acts, alongside the Rolling Stones, whose career has spanned over five decades.  Its is a remarkable feat for an artist to remain relevant through 50 years of music, withstanding the test of time amidst an ever-changing musical landscape.  After a number of rather quiet years went by without any talks of a new single or album, many thought that Bowie's time has passed.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Audiovisuals...In Guards We Trust [album promo]

Quite easily my favorite band that doesn't yet have a full-length album, New York trio Guards have been circulating on my iPod ever since I stumbled upon their fabulous Guards EP January 18, 2011.   But that was two years ago.  Being that it is now January 2013, I have beaten that EP to death, memorized just about every verse and rhyme, yet it never gets old.

Thankfully, come February 5th, the wait will finally end as Guards has announced the coming of their debut album In Guards We Trust for that Tuesday.  In anticipation of the new LP, the band released a quick album teaser reminding us all to save the date.  a quick teaser little promo video featuring a brand new track called "Nightmare" that we can assume will pop-up somewhere on the upcoming album.  The song features a darker sound, blending their oft familiar brand of rock pop with a hint of psychedelia.  An off-shoot of what we have heard thus far with the twp previously released IGWT singles, but versatility proves fare when it comes to music.

And what goes better with the sounds of smoky psychedelia than a straining montage of fast cars, race tracks at night, and motorboats gliding across across the sea with people wearing veils over their faces? Its hard to describe as it is one of those "you have to see it" things, but trust me it fits like a glove.

With barely more than a few songs to their name, Guards are still in limbo, apart of that endless category of "emerging indie-bands hailing from New York" until February 5th, but this video surely deals them them an elusive hand.  Sure every band wants that Gwendolyn Brooks-we-cool-type mantra attached to them, but few actually do it. All in all, Guards has got it, and come February 5th, I see no signs of that changing.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Useless Clatter...First Cuts/Demos- Tennis, Cults, The Brian Jonestown Massacre

      Like a writer's rough draft, a song goes through countless edits and re-edits as demos before the finished product finds itself on an album.  Sometimes big changes are made once a band is settled into the recording studio and begin to play. The Rolling Stones originally wanted "Start Me Up" to have a more reggae feel to it, until four years in the recording studio turned it into the song we know and love today.  In most cases though, it's just a tweak or two that comes by way of the producer or sound engineer meant to "clean up" a song and give it a crisp finish.  These demo tracks, or first cuts as they are sometimes called, often get tossed out and forgotten once the band discovers the perfect sound, records it and calls it a day.  
      In some cases, bands save their demos and first cuts to be released as promotional material for a forthcoming album.  The songs are let free into the realms of the internet and find their way onto various music blogs, tabloids and websites taken as evidence for what to expect next from the band.  We sit and listen to these first cuts as the band heads back to the studio to work the final nooks and crannies for another, better release.

[Personally I enjoy the Tennis demo versions better than the actual album tracks]

demo/first Cut                                                                          released on CAPE DORY  [2011]
Baltimore by Tennis on Grooveshark Baltimore by Tennis on Grooveshark

demo/first Cut                                                                           released on CAPE DORY  [2011]
South Carolina by Tennis on Grooveshark                                 South Carolina by Tennis on Grooveshark

demo/first Cut                                                                         released on CULTS  [2011]
Most Wanted by Cults on Grooveshark                                Most Wanted by Cults on Grooveshark

released on TAKE IT FROM THE MAN  [1996]                         re-released on STRUNG OUT IN HEAVEN  [1998]
Dawn by The Brian Jonestown Massacre on Grooveshark                                Dawn by The Brian Jonestown Massacre on Grooveshark