January 26, 2010
Last time we saw Brooklyn’s Shark?, they were happily covering Beat Happening’s anti-Christmas, Christmas hit, “Christmas” (for good measure, once more, Christmas!). Now they’re doing all sorts of stuff: playing shows, releasing an EP, acting like they are some kind of band. Yeah, okay.
Their EP, Noise Maker is out today, and if it’s half as rowdy as “Hey Grrl,” then it is probably pretty rowdy. As “Brooklyn Garage” becomes a somewhat acceptable tag (ironically, because there are very few carports around here, but “Brooklyn Rented Practice Space” doesn’t really sound genre-fied), Shark? manages to sound consistently fresh. It may be the party-time synths (party-time synths mean ‘time to party’), or the drums that sound like Zach Hill violently beating a 7-11 dumpster. Either way, “Hey Grrl” is infectiously trashy.
Even the spelling of “Grrl” is a little tweaked from the norm. Tons of bands are using AIM-speak in their album titles (the Mae Shi’s HLLYH), song names (uhh..Katy Perry’s “Ur So Gay”) and band names (try LOL, “one of Utah’s finest dance and rock cover bands.” I found this on Google, unable to think of another Internet band name. I am still right). But Shark? takes the typical “grl” shortening, and makes it “grrl,” making the whole thing a bit more animalistic.
Bottom line: this song brings the Pabst keg to the party. You bring the grrls.
Download Shark?’s Noise Maker EP right now.
by Max Sebela
Brooklyn Vegan Hosting What Could Be Unquestionably the Hippest Haiti Fundraiser Possible, With Zach Galifianakis, Britt Daniel, Justin Vernon, and St. Vincent – The Only Way This Could Get Hipper Is if Win and Regine Butler Engaged Physically Onstage and Called It “Art” (But Seriously, Go To This. $45 At the Door) [Brooklyn]
Stream Grizzly Bear Covering Hot Chip’s “Boy From School,” Stripping It Down to a Haunting Yellow House Era Dirge, Uncovering Hot Chip as Apparently Brilliant Pop Arrangers, Surprising Every Single Person Who Has Listened to Music. Ever. [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Joanna Newsom’s Have One On Me Has Been Revealed to Be 3-Discs Long, Thus Causing It’s Title to Be Paradoxical; Released February 23 [NME]
Stream What Could Possibly Be a New Song From Daft Punk, “Fragile,” Which Popped Up on a Daft Punk Fansite, and is Allegedly Appearing on the Tron: Legacy Soundtrack. As It Sounds Like it Was Crafted By the Cold, Metallic Hands of Overtly Powerful Robots, I’m Willing to Believe It’s True [Idolator]
Stream Prince’s Minnesota Vikings Fight Song, “Purple and Gold,” Which Will Get Absolutely No Vikings Fans Psyched, and, Knowing Football Fans, Will Result in Many Homophobic Insults Tossed Out at this “Lil Fairy’s Jam” [Spin]
News Slow. I, Like Pitchfork, Take Time to Announce That the Decemberists and Mastodon Recently Faced Off in Bumpercars. We Have Fun. [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
January 21, 2010
I’ve been known to criticize buzz bands’ MySpace pages. The now-dated social network, with its limited blog toolsets and style capabilities, sadly remains the very best way for a band to host .mp3s, and can lead to some terrifyingly awful web design. But Hooray For Earth has no excuse. The thing is caked with low res purple text, symmetrically layered behind, that is supposed to disjointedly read “Hooray For Earth” (stay with me, that’s the band name). Behind the text is a VCR display, and what I can only guess is the windshield of a car. Where is the car going? Most likely into bad Myspace hell (which is probably more populated than actual hell (to be fair, bad Myspace hell is probably the same place as actual hell, as one of the lost Commandments was “Thou Shall Not Upload Low Res and Obscured Images As a Background To One’s Social Network”)).
Still, as with Suckers before them, I’m willing to forgive the bizarre/sad/desperate aesthetic choice on merit of the songs. “Surrounded by Your Friends” is the best kind of electro posi-jam, right up there with James Murphy’s “All My Friends.” Simple, 8-bit pulses and drum pads back up the vocals, which are languid and rhythmic, if not slightly apathetic. As the chorus soars in, “In then end, you’re surrounded by your friends,” the listener is forced to smile. Isn’t that what we all wish?
As the world ends, I hope yellow-warm synth kicks in, and I look around, and there are at least a couple of my friends there. A four-minute pop song is able to evoke that – from a band with the worst Myspace page I have ever seen.
Stream it here.
by Max Sebela
Vampire Weekend is Number One on the Billboard Charts; I Still Claim They Have Many Hurdles to Get Past the ‘Blog Backlash,’ or Can Willfully Ignore It and Begin Sleeping in Piles of Sweet, Sweet Cash that Wasn’t Inherited From a Trust Fund [Brooklyn Vegan]
Watch Video For Beach House’s “10 Mile Stereo,” Which Looks and Sounds Nothing Like an 8 Mile Stereo, Though You’ll Likely “Lose Yourself in the Music”…Elsewhere, I Apologize For a Dated and Sad Joke [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Gorillaz Debut Plastic Beach Cover Art: An Image of a Plastic Beach (Basically, a Beach Carved Out of those Wax Machines You’d Beg Your Parents to Let You Use at the Zoo); Plastic Beach Released March 9. Stream “Stylo,” Featuring Mos Def and Bobby Womack; Unsurprisingly, It’s a Bowie-Esque Sex Jam [Idolator]
Watch Spoon Play “Written in Reverse,” on Conan, the Lead Single off Transference, Which Was Released Yesterday. Mostly, Though, Just Watch Conan. Dude Has Very Little Airtime Left (And, If You’ve Seen Spoon Once, You’ve Seen Them Too Many Times) [Spin]
Brian Jonestown Massacre Announce U.S. Tour, Supporting the Upcoming Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?; Obviously, Anton and the Rest of the BJM Are Still Too Messed Up to Realize The Police Caught Mark David Chapman in 1980 [NME]
Listen to Thom Yorke Co-Host a Radio Show for BBC Radio 1; Because You Too Can Senselessly Waste Time Virtually Stalking Thom Yorke as the People Over At [Pitchfork] Do (Seriously Though, This Shit’s Boring)
Brooklyn’s Own Golden Triangle Announce Debut Full Length LP Double Jointer, Which Will Most Certainly Be Abrasively Fashionable (If You Need Convincing, Stream This…The Girls Sound Pretty Good Fully Produced (Though I’m Pretty Sure There is Not a Place Called Neon Noose)) [Prefix]
Raekwon Promises Two Albums in 2010, After Taking Well Over a Decade to Follow Up Cuban Linx; He Also Encourages Us to “Rt this crack….,” Which Either Refers to a Tweet as Crack (Funny), or Encourages the Spread of Crack-Cocaine Via the Web (Funnier) [Tiny Mix Tapes]
compiled by Max Sebela
“Oh my Lord, so FUNKY.” This is what you are about to think to yourself/say outloud (for those who find themselves in a semi-social situation midday through a Wednesday, or are of the sort likely to be overcome with excitement toward funk that you begin to speak outloud) when listening to Soundpool’s “But It’s So.” A thick, dreamy shoegazing guitar jumble, driven by an even thicker disco beat, “But It’s So” is immediately one of the best tracks recorded by the NYC quintet, who have been relatively quiet since 2008′s Dichotomies and Dreamland.
The track is good enough to ignore the chorus of, “But it’s so…,” without really understanding what “it” is, or what this “it” is “so.” And if you really feel like you need an answer, just fill in “hot” at the end of the line, and you’ll be just fine.
“But It’s So” is set to appear on Soundpool’s upcoming LP Mirrors in Your Eyes, released sometime early on this year on Killer Pimp. With this, and Music Go Music’s Expressions both due out soon, 2010 is already shaping up to be a pretty great year for disco-revival. Which, depending on how receptive you are to disco, means 2010 is shaping up to be a good/awful year for new/tired music.
Soundpool – “But Its So”
by Max Sebela
January 19, 2010
IN THE TUBE
Yes, it stars a full cast of puppets. Yes, the majority of the eleven -minute duration is spent on these puppets speaking to each other, and almost nothing to do with a Dan Deacon song. Yes, the puppets almost exclusively speak with content that breaks down almost all possible metaphysical views. No, there is no sense trying to draw out literal meaning from the nonsense of what you are about to watch:
But, as with most Dan Deacon material, even if you viscerally hate the thing, you end up with the inevitable conclusion that it is brilliant. Because buried under all the pop fluff (here, the fluff is puppets and a tiger-costumed Deacon, who is simultaneously the devil), there is just more fluff. Deacon’s music is like a set of Russian stacking dolls. You approach it under the assumption that, if you just spend enough time unpacking, you’ll get to something deeper and more significant; there must be something behind how seemingly randomly intricate the mess of organs and sequencers is.
But there isn’t. It’s as fluff-filled as any pop song or children’s show, even if it seems like it shouldn’t be. Being a genius is great; being genius enough to make everyone think you’re a genius is way better.
by Max Sebela
Teddy Pendergrass, 59, Soul Singer of “Turn off the Lights,” Passes Away [Brooklyn Vegan]
Jay Reatard’s Death Being Investigated as Homicide…This is Not a Funny Day For News, Apparently [Pitchfork]
Brooklyn Venue Monkeytown Will Close in 11 Nights, With Woods Family Creeps (The Dudes From Woods’ Jam-Band Side Alter Ego Band) Playing the Final Night…Will Most Likely Be Replaced By a “Cool” Coffee Shop, or a “Cool” Thai Restaurant…or a “Cool” T.G.I. Friday’s [Brooklyn Vegan]
Watch Puppet Filled Video For Dan Deacon’s “Woof Woof,” Which is Either Horrifying, Brilliant, or Just Plain Stupid (But Made Me Second Guess Eating Any Form of Breakfast Cereal. That Cereal Could Be Poison, or Cause My House to Randomly Implode) [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
Garage Rock Prodigy Jay Reatard, 29, Passes Away in His Sleep [Brooklyn Vegan]
Stream “Girls FM” From Latest 70s Revival Band, “Happy Birthday,” Which Sounds Enough Like Girls That I’m Willing to Bet “Girls FM” Actually Refers to the Band Girls Having Their Own Radio Station, Consisting of Heartbreakingly Genuine, But Increasingly Tiresome, Pop [Gorilla vs. Bear]
New Joanna Newsom Album Confirmed; Unsure of Whether It Will Feature Monkeys, Bears, Medieval Lost Cities, and Other Thoughts of Magic and Whimsy; Have One On Me Released February 23 [NME]
Stream Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell’s Duet With Emerging Singer-Songwriter Courtney Jaye on a Cover of the Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Sometimes Always;” Grow Disturbed Over the Chosen Color Palette On Courtney Jaye’s Myspace…Feel Needlessly Concerned That Such a Woman is Covering Jesus and Mary Chain [Pitchfork]
The Final Edition of Johnny Cash’s American Recordings, American VI: Ain’t No Grave To Be Released February 26, Featuring a Sheryl Crow Cover, a Kris Kristofferson Cover, and a Cash Original Called “I Corinthians: 15:55” (A Bible Verse Which Reads “Where, O Death, is Your Victor? Where, O Death, is Your Sting” – Cash Still Extremely Bad Ass, Even From the Grave [Prefix]
Hey, You Love MGMT?…No, Not Really?…Okay, You Love Indie Rock Memorabilia?…No, I Guess Not, Either…Uhh…You Love Monsters! Yeah, I Know You All Saw The Happening, and Love Getting Spooked. Well Here’s Your Chance to Own All the Monsters From MGMT’s “Kids” Video, and Scare the Piss Out of Your…Kids. [Pitchfork]
Stream an Updated, Rerecorded Version of Dum Dum Girls, “Jail La La,” off Their Upcoming Full-Length I Will Be Released March 30 (This Music Is Impossible to Listen to When You Aren’t Being Baked By Sun/Weed/Pabst/…Kiln?) [Gorilla vs. Bear]
compiled by Max Sebela