Saturday, May 14, 2016

Audiovisuals...Unknown Mortal Orchestra- "Can't Keep Checking My Phone"

For a band whose music (and interviews) openly delve into the dark depths of witchcraft and the occult, it's fitting that Unknown Mortal Orchestra's latest video depicts all sorts of damnation and turmoil. In his own words, frontman Ruben Nielson describes the video for Can't Keep Checking My Phone as such: [the song] is so full of sounds and its lyrics are so elusive so I decided that one idea wouldn’t do the track justice.” In opposition to the song’s upbeat funk-induced sounds, the montage of entitled hysterias elicit nothing of the sort, though they do serve as safe, vicarious ways of experiencing oddities like capgras syndrome and hybristophilia.

Moral of the story? There are worse things in life than someone not responding to your text.

+ Warning: This video contains a very brief segment of nudity.

+ Also, catch a live version of this track from UMO's KEXP studio sessions. [Link]

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Audiovisuals...Tame Impala- "Let It Happen"

Image result for tame impala let it happen
One needs to only watch five music videos to come to a simple consensus- Music videos don’t make sense, and they don’t need to. If the randomly assembled images or “story” mesh with the sounds and feel of the song, this lack of logic will go untested, and sometimes praised.

Case in point with Tame Impala’s new video for “Let it Happen,” the opening track off their latest album Currents. In it we follow a man running through an airport, presumably late for a flight, though by his overly distraught and sweaty demeanor, there seems to be more troubling him. The man passes out, wakes up on the plane, passes out again, wakes up in a hotel room, passes out again, and sees a sandwich talking to him. There’s no definite reason as to what goes on in the four minute video. Nothing of this sort comes up in the song’s lyrics. What matters though, is how the images seamlessly blend with the hypnotic, trance-inducing sounds of the track. His darting glances and unnerving composure are elevated by the song’s quick successive opening beat. When the buildup slows down and comes to a halt, the man promptly falls over, hits the floor and his hunger-induced (or probably drug-induced) nightmare ensues.

It’s a shame they cut the song in half for the video. After seeing a talking sandwich, I would be curious to see what else the man’s festered mind could conjure up.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Free Music Fridays...#5

1. "I Remember" Bully

A riotous little track from Pitchfork standout Bully that packs 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.