Monday, June 29, 2015

Carnage - "I Like Tuh" (featuring iLoveMakonnen)

Following a long setup featuring twin drug dealers, the music video for Carnage's "I Like Tuh" starts to look like just about any other hip hop music video set at a house party. The girls are sexy, the liquor is flowing, and everybody's dancing. After taking some of the dealers' mysterious drug, heads start exploding. It's not a great song, but it comes with a pretty cool music video.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

New Music Tuesday - May 19, 2015

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

Essential Full-Length Releases

Cale Parks - Lagoon Fool

Cale Parks is a drummer who began performing with Yeasayer in 2012, but is perhaps best known for his time with Aloha. He has also performed on tour with Chet Faker and Tanlines. This year, he is releasing his third album under his own name after a long break from solo recording. He released solo albums in 2006 and 2008.

Listen: "Lagoon Fool"
Listen: "Appalachia"

Hot Chip - Why Make Sense?

Why Make Sense? is the sixth album from this synthpop and electronic band, who most recently released their In Our Heads in 2012. The follow-up record features artwork with a moiré pattern and was printed in such a way that almost no two records would look exactly the same (501 different background colors were used and the lines were placed at various angles on the covers).

Watch: "Huarache Lights"
Watch: "Need You Now"

Shamir - Ratchet

Shamir is a young singer out of Las Vegas who has taken the music world by storm throughout the early part of this year. He has become notable for his androgynous voice and wise-beyond-his-years (he's 20 years old) songwriting. Both his 2014 debut EP and this first full-length album have received rave reviews from critics.

Watch: "Darker"
Watch: "On the Regular"

Tanlines - Highlights

For their sophomore album, this electronic duo seem to have been inspired by the movies. To promote the album, they created  Netflix-style website, complete with "movie" posters for each track, tour date, and previous release. Additionally, the music videos that they've released for the album have each had a cinematic edge.

Watch: "Pieces"
Watch: "Palace"

Total Babes - Heydays

Total Babes is a Cleveland band who share at least one member with another great band from the area; Jayson Gerycz, who is also the drummer for Cloud Nothings. The band released their debut in 2011. For their follow-up, they get some help from another member of Cloud Nothings, lead singer Dylan Baldi.

Watch: "Heydays"
Listen: "Circling" (featuring Dylan Baldi)

Other Full-Length Releases

Barbarossa - Imager

Watch: "Imager"
Listen: "Home" (featuring José González)

Bryce Dessner - Music for Wood & Strings

Listen: "Section 8"
Listen: "Section 1"

Du Blonde - Welcome Back to Milk

Watch: "Black Flag"
Listen: "Mind Is on My Mind" (featuring Samuel T. Herring)

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

Far from Men: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Listen: "Loin des hommes"

Fink - Horizontalism

Watch: "Fall into the Light"
Watch: "Pilgrim"

Pavo Pavo - "Ran Ran Run"/"Annie Hall"

Listen: "Ran Ran Run"
Listen: "Annie Hall"

While We're Young: Motion Picture Soundtrack

Listen: James Murphy - "Only the Stars Above Welcome Me Home"
Listen: James Murphy - "We Used to Dance"

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road

Director: George Miller
Writers: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
Stars: Tom Hardy (Max Rockatansky), Charlize Theron (Imperator Furiosa), Nicolas Hoult (Nux), Zoë Kravitz (Toast the Knowing), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (The Splendid Angharad)

Almost exactly thirty years after the last Mad Max film, the franchise came roaring back earlier this year with a new installment. The latest film follows Max as he meets the Imperator Furiosa, a lieutenant for powerful warlord Immortan Joe. Furiosa has taken several of Joe's "wives," attractive young women that he has set aside for the purpose of carrying his children. Together, they must outrun Joe and his gang of warboys and make their way to Furiosa's childhood home.

And yes, the movie is incredibly feminist, and that is a great thing! It was refreshing to see movie led by such a powerful female character and to see female characters interact without bickering. It made what would still be an incredibly entertaining action film seem more significant.

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Music Tuesday - May 12, 2015

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

This week, I will begin to try out a new format for these posts. Writing up an increasing number of releases weekly has become a time-consuming and often unrewarding (for me) process. Starting this week, I will select a number of "essential releases" for each week and provide more detailed write-ups on those, then present the remaining albums and other releases without commentary. My aim is threefold; first, I would like to re-energize myself and my blog. The second goal is to make it clearer which artists and albums I feel are a little more worth your time. Finally, I just want to get caught up.

Essential Full-Length Releases

Crocodiles - Boys

Crocodiles is a lo-fi and new wave band out of San Diego, California. The band's last album, Crimes of Passion, was released in 2013, but since then, frontman Brandon Welchez released a collaborative album with Dee Dee Penny of the Dum Dum Girls (his wife) as Haunted Hearts. Now the band is back with their fifth album.

Watch: "Foolin’ Around"
Watch: "Crybaby Demon"

Pfarmers - Gunnera

Members of The National haven't been especially active in side projects, with the exception of Bryce Dessner, who has become known as a composer. Now, drummer Bryan Devendorf is branching out on his own as well. His new projects partners him with members of Menomena, and the backing bands for St. Vincent and Sufjan Stevens.

Listen: "The Ol’ River Gang"
Listen: "You Shall Know the Spirit"

Roísín Murphy - Hairless Toys

Roísín Murphy took a long break after her last album, 2007's Overpowered. Though she began work on a new album seven years ago, and recorded many tracks, it wasn't until last year that fans got any new music from her, in the form of her 2014 EP Mi Senti.

Watch: "Exploitation"
Listen: "Evil Eyes"

Surfer Blood - 1000 Palms

2015 has been a bit of a tough year for Surfer Blood. While he helped on the recording of this latest album, guitarist Thomas Fekete was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. The band went forward with a supporting tour, and collected money for his treatment on the road. Some of that money, as well as equipment, was stolen while they were near Chicago. Despite these setbacks, the band continues to make great music.

Watch: "I Can’t Explain"
Listen: "Grand Inquisitor"

The Tallest Man on Earth - Dark Bird Is Home

The Tallest Man on Earth is the stage name of Kristian Matsson, a Swedish musician of average height. I loved his sophomore album, The Wild Hunt, when it was released in 2010 and he's already released one incredible follow-up to that record. His fourth record promises to be just as amazing.

Listen: "Sagres"
Listen: "Dark Bird Is Home"

Other Full-Length Releases

Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh

Watch: "Dead Format"
Listen: "Detritus"

Novella - Land

Watch: "Land Gone"
Listen: "Sentences"

Prurient - Frozen Niagara Falls

Listen: "Dragonflies to Sew You Up"
Listen: "Greenpoint"

Spirit Club - Spirit Club

Watch: "Duster"
Watch: "Still Life"

Tyondai Braxton - HIVE1

Listen: "Scout1"
Listen: "Gracka"

Urban Cone - Polaroid Memories

Watch: "Sadness Disease"
Watch: "Come Back to Me" (featuring Tove Lo)

Singles, EPs, Soundtracks, etc.

The 2 Bears - Bears in Space

Listen: "(Space) Money Man" (featuring Stylo G)
Listen: "The Night Is Slow"

Bishop Nehru - The Nehruvian EP

Watch: "User$"
Listen: "Bishy in Japan 16 (Knowing Nothing)"

Holy Ghost! - Work for Hire

Listen: Hanni El Khatib - "Two Brothers" (Holy Ghost! Remix)

Jordan Bratton - YOUTH EP

Watch: "Danger" (featuring Fabolous)
Listen: "Bound"

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Quarters EP

Listen: "God Is in the Rhythm"
Listen: "The River"

Leonard Cohen - Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour Live

Listen: "Never Gave Nobody Trouble"
Listen: "Choices"

Lil Silva - Drumatic

Listen: "Drumatic"

Mates of State - Greats

Listen: "Palomino"
Listen: "For the Actor"

Nicolas Jaar - Nymphs II

Listen: "No One Is Looking at U"

Noel Gallagher's High-Flying Birds - "Riverman"

Watch: "Riverman"

Sylvan Esso - H.S.K.T. Remix EP

Watch: "H.S.K.T."
Listen: "H.S.K.T." (Hercules & Love Affair Remix)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

New Music Tuesday - May 5, 2015

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

New Full-Length Releases

Best Coast - California Nights

On their second album since becoming a duo, Best Coast is making sure that fans don't forget where they're from. The album follows up 2012's The Only Place and the 2013 EP Fade Away.

Watch: "Heaven Sent"
Watch: "California Nights"

Django Django - Born Under Saturn

That first album from this jangly Scottish band earned them a Mercury nomination and saw placement on several year-end lists. They are looking to make good on the momentum created that incredible self-titled album.

Watch: "First Light"
Watch: "Beginning to Fade"

Mac MacCaughan - Non-Believers

Mac MacCaughan is the lead singer for Superchunk, which formed more than 25 years ago. He founded a second band, Portastatic, in the mid-90s and has been active with both bands since their inceptions. This is his debut solo album.

Watch: "Wet Leaves"
Listen: "Lost Again"


METZ is another band looking to follow-up on a successful and well-received debut album; they released METZ in 2012. That debut saw them nominated for Canada's national music prize (the Polaris awards) and placement on many best of lists at the end of the year.

Watch: "Acetate"
Watch: "The Swimmer"

Mikal Cronin - MCIII

Mikal Cronin has been a member of several bands, such as Okie Dokie, Party Fowl, and Moonhearts, while also providing bass and backing vocals for Ty Segall's touring band. Additionally, he has performed as a solo artist since 2011, releasing three albums in that time.

Watch: "Turn Around"
Watch: "Say"

Mumford & Sons - Wilder Mind

Mumford & Sons heralded in a new level of popularity for vaguely-folkish indie rock. They released two albums of that style, then decided that they wanted to do something different. Wilder Mind is their first foray into more typical (read: generic) alternative rock.

Watch: "The Wolf"
Watch: "Believe"

My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall

It's been a minute since MMJ's last record, 2011's Circuital; an album which is my personal favorite of theirs. In that time, though, we've gotten a couple of solo projects from frontman Jim James, most notably his 2013 record Regions of Light and Sound of God. The band is back with this new album.

Watch: "Spring (Among the Living)"
Watch: "Big Decisions"

Nosaj Thing - Fated

Nosaj Thing, real name Jason Chung, is a hip-hop producer who has worked with artists like Chance The Rapper, Kid Cudi, and Kendrick Lamar. He has also been an active solo artist, releasing his debut, Drift, in 2009. Fated is his third album, and features contributions from Chance.

Listen: "Cold Stares" (featuring Chance The Rapper)
Listen: "Don’t Mind Me" (featuring Whoarei)

Scallops Hotel - Plain Speaking

Scallops Hotel is Rory Ferreira, who also performs under the name Milo. This is his second release under the alternate name. The album features a surprising guest verse from Samuel T. Herring of Future Islands, performing as Hemlock Ernst.

Listen: "Lavender Chunk" (featuring Hemlock Ernst)
Listen: "Gnosis, Black Nationalism, Rice"

Todd Rundgren, Emil Nikolaisen, Hans-Peter Lindström - Runddans

Todd Rundgren is a well-established producer and musician with an almost half-century long career. In a somewhat surprise move, he has partnered with a pair of younger Norwegian musicians, more known for their work in indie rock and electronic music, for this new project.

Listen: "Put Your Arms Around Me"
Listen: "B for Birth"

Torres - Sprinter

Torres is the stage name of indie rock musician Mackenzie Scott. The 24-year-old started her career in 2012, and released her debut album, Torres, the next year.

Watch: "Sprinter"
Watch: "Strange Hellos"

Other New Releases

Arborist - "Twisted Arrow"

Arborist is a country project started by Irish folk musician Mark McCambridge. He gets some help in the project from an American musician, albeit one more known for her work in indie and alternative rock; Kim Deal, formerly of The Pixies.

Watch: "Twisted Arrow" (featuring Kim Deal)

The Arcs - "Stay in My Corner/Tomato Can"

Dan Auerbach primary work through his career has been with The Black Keys. He took his first break from that band was in 2009, when he released his solo debut, Keep It Hid. He's branching out again with a new band and a couple of tracks inspired by the sport of boxing.

Listen: "Stay in My Corner"
Listen: "Tomato Can"

Cillie Barnes - Friendly Witch

Cillie Barnes is a young singer from LA who describes her music as "gyp hop." Production on her latest EP was provided by two members of Bright Eyes, Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott.

Listen: "Facework"
Listen: "Earthquake Season at the Crystal Convention"

iSHi - Spring Pieces

iSHi is a Swedish production who has been described as "mysterious." While we may not fully know who he is, he does have some impressive guests on his new mixtape; which includes Raekwon and Pusha T.

Watch: "Push It" (featuring Pusha T)
Listen: "Long Gone" (featuring Georgia Ku)

Kelela - Hallucinogen EP

Kelela is an American singer-songwriter who earned a great deal of praise for her 2013 debut mixtape, Cut 4 Me. She reissued that release in March with a few new tracks, but is back with even more new music with this follow-up EP.

Watch: "A Message"

Live at Pickathon, Vol. 2

The first volume of Live at Pickathon, which was recorded at the festival last year, was released as a special Record Store Day offering. The second offering of live tracks contains recordings from Ty Segall and King Tuff.

Listen: Ty Segall - "The Keepers"
Listen: Ty Segall - "Girlfriend"

Vince Staples - "Señorita"

Vince Staples is gearing up to release his debut album later this year. First, though, we get a little taste of new music with the first single from the forthcoming release.

Watch: "Señorita"