Thursday, July 31, 2008

Flying Lotus

Myspace //

If the scattered slow-moving hip hop of Flying Lotus sounds familiar, you may have heard samples squeezed between Adult Swim cartoons. Flying Lotus is the name California producer/DJ Steven Ellison records under. His second album Los Angeles was released on Warp Records in June. Three EPs also bearing the name of the Southern California city are due out later this year.

Flying Lotus may also sound familiar because the artist is heavily influenced by J Dilla.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Kid Cudi - Day N Nite is currently calling Kid Cudi's "Day N Nite" the stoner anthem of the summer. The incredibly infectious song is held tight with a dub-inspired groove, rock solid beat and rhymes that waft in and out of the track like heaviest of smoke. Of course it's the stoner anthem of the summer!

Hear Here:

"Day N Nite" is on Kid Cudi's mixtape A Kid Named Cudi, made available earlier this month on his website.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mad Decent Brings Dubstep to Philly


Newness has an ever-shortening lifespan. Like that line in LCD Soundsystem's "Losing My Edge" that goes "I was the first guy playing Daft Punk to the rock kids. I played it at CBGB's. Everybody thought I was crazy." It's difficult to remember a time before everyone liked Daft Punk or that they may have an alternate future of only being played at Fabric.

If anyone knows about this it's Diplo. The Philly DJ has made a career out of the line from the LCD Soundsystem song. Whether it was mixing 80s new wave into hip hop and dance sets with fellow Hollertronix DJ Low B or hooking up with trendsettas like M.I.A. and Santogold, Diplo can spot a hot thing (or does he make a thing hot?).

In total "Losing My Edge" fashion, the flyer for Diplo and Skream's show at The Mad Decent Mausoleum looks like it's advertising some black metal show at the Trocadero. Life may imitate art when black metal kids who unsuspectingly wander into the show discover how much they dig Skream's minimal dubstep grooves. And forever Diplo will be known as the guy who brought dubstep to the black metal kids.

Skream and Diplo will be at The Mad Decent Mausoleum in Philadelphia on Sunday August 3rd. More info at R5 Productions

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Bridge and Tunnel

Myspace // "Call To The Comptroller's Office" [mp3]

It looks like CYSTSFTS has beat me to the first Bridge and Tunnel blog reference. Damn. Still, this band is worth mentioning.

Bridge and Tunnel are the path to your forgotten emo past. Like when you used too say much, your old habit of making moments bigger and brighter, and that Deep Elm t-shirt; did you really need an XS? Bridge and Tunnel brings it all back in a good way.

The line in "Call to the Comptroller's Office" that goes "we could build something better," in your head will sound like Small Brown Bike, but in your heart, it will feel like Braid.

Look for their full length East/West out on No Idea Records in late August.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wounded Lion - Pony People

In L.A. secrets are hard to keep. Underground shows sell out as quickly as Staples Center events. In every article I read about No Age, there is an obligatory mention of The Smell and L.A.'s downtown music scene. But in L.A., if you've already heard about it, chances are it's no secret.

There are still bands to discover. The art punks in Wounded Lion put on raucous live shows, but you will rarely catch them playing hip venues. Instead, the band plays parties or gallery openings.

Things may change for Wounded Lion. Earlier this summer they made a video for their song "Pony People" with visual artist Brian Bress. A write up in the LA Weekly, an opening slot at The Echo and a record on the way can mean only one thing--the secret's out.


"Pony People" will be the B-side on Wounded Lion's yet to be released single on S-S Records although it sounds more like an A-side.


Saturday, July 26, 2008


Photo by Robert Giampa

Myspace // "Nothing Oh Nothing" [mp3] // "So We'll Just Take The Night" [youtube]

California songs are not really about California at all. Listening to The Mamas & the Papas's "California Dreamin'," one realizes the song has more to do with New York dreariness than any kind of L.A. bliss. Similarly, Joni Mitchell's "California" is not a song about the golden state as much as it is about the city of light. Phantom Planet's eponymous California song is about being on the road and missing home. In these examples, west coast pop signifies a California Imaginary; rather than an actual place, it becomes a past or future space.

When thinking about songs that evoke the California Imaginary, I'm inclined to point to Costa Mesa's Satisfaction. Lead singer Michael Rosas pulls the California Imaginary directly from Brian Wilson's brain, all sun-kissed and sepia-tinged. On their new EP, Cougars, Sharks, and Flying Sparks, Satisfaction define the California pop sound by drawing influences from 60s surf melodies, 70s L.A. singer/songwriter sophistication, and 80s Huntington Beach hardcore energy.

Like the California imagined by John Phillips and Mama Cass, Satisfaction's California makes more sense as a dream. The fuzzy logic of dreams is a lot like the west coast actual; strange and unreal, the perfection is difficult to accept. As in dreams, one recognizes that things mean rather than have meaning. The world of the California Imaginary is a world of symbols not signs. Sunny days, dead feelings, the deep blue sea, and nights like these suggest imagery more compelling than their literal interpretations. To bring up "California Dreamin'" again, Satisfaction use imagery like The Mamas and the Papas; California becomes more relatable in the imaginary because everyone has an idea of California even if everyone doesn't have a memory of California. Listening to Satisfaction songs like "So We'll Just Take The Night" and "Nothing Oh Nothing" is an experience where one feels California more than one could ever know California.


Friday, July 25, 2008

The Henry Clay People

Myspace // "Echolocation" [mp3]

On their first record Blacklist the Kid with the Red Mustache, L.A. band The Henry Clay People charted territory reserved for bands like Built to Spill and Modest Mouse. The expansive canvas to which The Henry Clay People painted their musical landscape was ambitious yet surprisingly good. They made songs larger than they were able to, often forcing them into existence. Performing live, the band pulled an energy from the struggle not to be totally drowned by the songs themselves, but on record, the band manages to float on.

On their recent EP, Working Part Time, The Henry Clay People leave the vast soundcapes of Built to Spill and Modest Mouse behind. While the title track borders on Hold Steady-like anthemic stream-of-consciousness rock, "Echolocation," however, refreshingly fills the gap between Craig Finn and Co.'s hipster fairy tales and The Dismemberment Plan's emo dancecore. This song, like the best of The Dismemberment Plan songs, straddles the line between being wound too tight and about to fall apart.

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The Take Over, Until Dany's Breaks Over

While Dany drives through the flyover states, Exitfare will be brought to you by Know Yr Product.

The Teeth are no more. The Philadelphia band that talked the talk and walked the walk retired as of April 2008. According to a recent MySpace bulletin, a new band has formed around The Teeth’s surviving members. Calling themselves The Purples, former Teeth play unsurprisingly similar songs. That’s the good part. The bad part is the loss of parting Tooth Aaron MoDavis. His songs, like secrets shared, provided a good balance to brother Peter’s songs describing moments of drunken sincerity.

But let’s focus on better things. Head to The Purples’s MySpace page to hear a cover of Scary Mansion’s “Scum Inside.” Scary Mansion is the music project of Brooklyn artist Leah Hayes. Her song should be played at The Teeth’s wake. It makes you want to celebrate their life and not mourn their death. The haunting organ and lullaby guitar are like old times, but the clandestine confession in the lyrics makes the tune sound like a Peter song disguised as a Aaron song.

The Teeth are dead, long live The Teeth!

Hear Here:

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The More Assured "You Do It Pretty Well"

Myspace // "An Empty Platform" [mp3]

"You do it pretty well, but you can go to hell and stay there as well"

I love that line.

I am a little late with getting this one up as I imagine that the More Assured street team has been all over this one. Good times.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Black Flashes

Myspace // "Barricades" (Rough Demo) [mp3]

It's those things that you can't control that anger us the most, even trivial things like bands breaking up. There are those bands out there that should break up and when they do, you're glad that they did. On the other hand, when you become invested in an exciting new band only to have them call it quits before they actually follow through on their promise, these are the times when you are understandably gutted.

In the past year, English indie rock has already "lost" Mother Vulpine, but thankfully they were reborn as Pulled Apart By Horses. Not unexpectedly, Newcastle quartet (and eventually trio) Kubichek! called it quits, leaving an undeniably masterful debut in their wake, a nearly perfect collection of tunes that took the Bloc Party blueprint and made it better.

Recently, while I was nosing about to see what the band was up to, I saw that they had disbanded, but then quickly regrouped as Black Flashes, a band that is promising to to carry the torch of their previous outfit into new and unchartered territory. They've played just a handful of gigs up north, but as evidenced by their three demos, they are a band to get very excited about.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

The Subways "Alright"

Myspace // "Girls & Boys" [mp3]

Is there anything more nerve-wracking than making an album in the midst of a long and difficult breakup between band members? Granted, there have been some classics to come from this sort of emotional turmoil, like Rumors (Fleetwood Mac), Foolish (Superchunk) and Look Now Look Again (Rainer Maria), but more often than not, it's a battle that tears a band apart. With All or Nothing, The Subways' second release, the split is the catharsis which drives the music, almost making me forget how much I loved their debut. Album opener "Girls & Boys" packs in all of their Ash-inspired guitar crunch, while tracks like "Move to Newlyn" and "Strawberry Blonde" show a band is growing by leaps and bounds with a new found melodic mastery. Buy the import now or wait until Sept. 9th for the US release.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Young/Lost Ones on Tour

Myspace // "I Dunno I'm Kinda Tired I Think" [mp3]

They're still the greatest band that no one knows about. No hyperbole here. Anyone who gets to see this band play on this tour should consider themselves lucky.

Alex Jones > Tom Petty

JULY 17 San Francisco, CA Kimo's w/ Empty Rooms
JULY 18 San Jose, CA house show
JULY 19 Eureka, CA Lil' Red Lion
JULY 20 Portland, OR Tonic Lounge w/ Paper Brain and the Ascetic Junkies
JULY 21 Portland, Or Ash Street Saloon w/ Springtime Panther and An Evening with Dot Matrix
JULY 22 Olympia, WA Le Voyeur w/ HUMA, MISS SHENANDOAH
JULY 23 Pt. Townsend, WA Boiler Room W/ Bryn Lumsden
JULY 24 Bellingham, WA The Ungerground Braille Tapes Lair
JULY 25 Ballard, WA Conor Byrne Pub w/ Bryn Lumsden and The Sweet Dominiques
JULY 26 Seattle, WA off
JULY 27 Seattle, WA Cafe Racer w/ Bryn Lumsden
JULY 28 Arcata, CA Jambalaya w/ the silver darlings, charlotte thistle and pokey lafarge
JULY 29 San Jose, CA Nickel City
JULY 30 Sacramento, CA Club Pow
JULY 31 Stockton, CA Blackwater Cafe with Yankee Racer
AUG 1 San Francisco, CA Brainwash Cafe
AUG 2 Simi Valley, CA The Lodge (home from tour show)

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Streets Preview New Tracks


I suppose by now you either like The Streets (aka Mike Skinner) or you don't. I'll admit, it's not something that hits you right away, but once it hit me, I was sold for life -- Skinner's second disc, A Grand Don't Come For Free, ranks as one of my favorite albums of all time. While his last record was good, it left me wanting more, which is something that is bound to happen when you raise the bar to the stratosphere. Album Number Four is close to completion, and if we're lucky, it will drop by the end of the year. In the meantime, there are snippets from four new songs on The Streets' Myspace -- click the link above.

The minute long tracks are:
The Escapist
The Way Of The Dodo
The Sherry End
On The Flip Of A Coin

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Hair Get Remixed

Myspace // "Half Cut" (The Sunshine Underground Remix) [mp3] // "Disco/Retro" [Video]

It's really not that surprising that The Hair have partnered up with The Sunshine Underground. The two bands both hail from West Yorkshire and their herky jerky dance rock is cut from the same cloth. While TSU are on the down low working on their second album, 2008 has been all business for The Hair -- their debut album (limited edition, only in Japan), Indecisions, came out and free download "Half Cut" is available on July 14th on their label, 4 plus 5 Records.

"Half Cut" was produced by James Kenosha (Grammatics/Duels/This Et Al/Wintermute) and features remixes from the aforementioned TSU, Breaking the Illusion and Rochelle.

Check out all of the remixes
here. The band has two local gigs this week to promote the release.

07/18: The Cockpit, Leeds - Support from Breaking The Illusion + Stop! Motion

07/19: The Duchess, York - Support from Rochelle

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Bloc Party "Mercury"

Myspace // "Mercury" [Buy]

It's up in the air as to whether or not this song will end up on Bloc Party's third album. First off, this video is weird, and the song comes off like a distorted version of "She's Hearing Voices." There's been a lot of smack already talked about this, but since BP is the type of band that likes trying on a few different hats, this should be taken with a grain of salt. By no means the band's best song, it is a solid tune from a band that is almost obsessed with not being categorized.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Health Remix Album

Myspace // "Triceratops" (Acid Girls Remix) [mp3] // Health // Disco [Buy]

For the longest time, I thought all remix albums were self-indulgent and artistically lazy, and really, a lot of them still are, but Health is a smart band, one that is adroit enough to make a remix CD unlike any other. At times, it's not even listenable, but that's one of the charms of these guys. Unlike band of today's bands that are reaching backwards to go farther, Health just continues to reach ahead, so far in fact that it's sometimes tough to full wrap your head around what the fuck it is they are doing. But this isn't the sort of music that you should allow to go over your head, because for the most part, the band produces likable post-hardcore. What their music does require is time, and like any good novel, if you're willing to put in that time, then you'll be rewarded.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Myspace // "Rat Is Dead (Rage)" [mp3]

Everyone's favorite Brazilian weirdos, CSS, are at it again. Two years after the release of their astonishingly huge debut LP, the quirky electro-punk band are set to release another album on July 22 on Sub Pop Records. Donkey finds the band diving headfirst into the electro-dance genre with Lovefoxxx at times purring over pulsating synths and big dance beats. Gone are many of the quirks that made their last album so surprising and enjoyable, like
lyrics about topics as diverse as art, sex, and Paris Hilton and weird sounds and riffs driving each song. Though I have definitely enjoyed the new record, there are definitely a few songs that I dare say are so straight-ahead and normal that I've thought to myself, "This is CSS?"

Tour Dates:

Jul 11 2008 Les Ardentes (Liege)
Jul 13 2008 London Rise Festival (London)
Jul 16 2008 iTunes Festival @ Koko (London)
Jul 18 2008 Summercase Festival (Barcelona/Madrid)
Jul 19 2008 Summercase Festival (Barcelona/Madrid)
Jul 27 2008 Fuji Rock Festival (Niigata)
Jul 30 2008 First Avenue (Minneapolis)
Jul 31 2008 Turner Hall (Milwaukee)
Aug 1 2008 Lollapalooza (Chicago)
Aug 4 2008 Osheaga Festival (Montreal)
Aug 5 2008 Kool Haus (Toronto)
Aug 7 2008 Trocadero Theater (Philadelphia)
Aug 8 2008 All Points West Festival (Jersey City)
Aug 9 2008 Roxy (Boston)
Aug 10 2008 House of Blues (Atlantic City)
Aug 16 2008 Flow Festival (Helsinki)
Aug 22 2008 Leeds Festival (Leeds)
Aug 24 2008 Reading Festival (Reading)
Aug 31 2008 Electric Picnic (Ireland)
Sep 5 2008 Bestival (Isle of Wight)
Sep 14 2008 Monolith Festival @ Red Rocks Amphitheater (Denver)

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Look See Proof in Vienna

[Photo Credit: Tim Cochrane]

Myspace // "Casualty" [mp3] // "Casualty" (Live in Vienna) [Video] // "Standard Class" (Live at the Danube Canal) [Video]

As part of the videoblog project called
They Shoot Music Don't They, Look See Proof performed "Casualty" in Vienna on a floating swimming pool and "Standard Class" at the Danube Canal. The coolest thing about this project is that all of the performances that are filmed at unique locations, and some of the other bands featured are Girls in Hawaii, Shout Out Louds, Two Gallants and Bishop Allen.

Look See Proof's debut album Between Here & There is out now on
Weekender Records in the UK. The band will be playing select dates in London and on festivals this summer.

Jul 11 2008 Obstwiesen Festival Ulm
Jul 13 2008 ROTW Festival (The Phill Friendly Stage) Hitchin

Jul 22 2008 The Buffalo Bar London

Jul 25 2008 Barfly London

Aug 14 2008 Frequency Festival Salzburg
Aug 16 2008 Pukkelpop Hasslet

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Monday, July 07, 2008



Myspace // "Born To Be Your Man" [mp3]

We've been huge Birdmonster fans for a few years now, since before the band even released their amazing debut album, No Midnight. It's easy to fall in love with the group, because--besides being made up of the nicest guys around--their music evokes the best of Bruce Springsteen and their live shows are positively electrifying. Though I've only heard a few songs off of the new album, I've been told by reliable sources (cough Dany) that it is even better than their debut. From the Mountain To the Sea will be released digitally on August 5 and then physically on September 2 by the FADER label.

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