This is probably what dogs hear when humans talk. I feel like the band could give me a curse for saying this sucks and shit, but if I have a dreamcatcher the curse shouldn't work.
ROBERT GLASPER EXPERIMENT
The Palm Wine Drinkard
Carpark Isaac Emmanuel is an Australian-turned-Brooklyner who goes by Young Magic and hangs with Youth Lagoon. Cryptic electro-pop-rap, it’s as if his music’s been created in the space between dreams and consciousness. Tribal drums and strange synths invoke sweat lodges and voodoo spells. You get the sense this dude’s seen a lot of shit.
SOPHIE Victor Vazquez went to Cuba with his sister for Christmas and made this mixtape. A lot of songs are about pussy popping, and I have to wonder if his sister was an influence in these matters. The best thing about mixtapes is that they’re so devoid of the stiff plastic layers jizzed on by labels. Remember when you were in grade school or junior high and you’d find a book or a tape somewhere and assume it was some big secret thing because you found it in the dirt, even though it was just En Vogue’s first tape with a scratched-up cover and a cigarette burn on the insert? This is like that.
Electric Daisy Carnival Experience
Now Again This is probably what dogs hear when humans talk. I feel like the band could give me a curse for saying this sucks and shit, but if I have a dreamcatcher the curse shouldn’t work, and that’s a chance the band isn’t willing to take because of the time it would waste, keeping them from making more of this stuff.
BALROG ST. CLAIRE
Kitsuné Parisien II
Kitsuné Maison Kitsuné is one of those companies where you can’t tell if it’s a record label that sells jackets or a fashion label that sells records or somehow they’re like a video blog that puts out a newspaper? Confusing and irritating though this may be (on top of the fact that they’re already French), these Kitsuné frogs put together a mean set of comps, such as this sampler of new French electro groups doing stuff that sounds like the Drive soundtrack but in even worse English.
Software/Mexican Summer When a pal of mine told me he’d discovered some 17-year-old Svengali in Woodland Hills making weird new jack funk records that were as smoked out and deep as early Aphex and Boards of Canada, I thought, “What on earth would some young one from LA know about early-90s UK post-rave rainbow-dome skullfuckery?” EVERYTHING, apparently.
Hardly Art Do you think fags write better love songs ’cause they don’t have to be worried about being called fags? I mean, obviously they have to worry about being called fags by other people (especially in Jeeps or Boston), but their brains aren’t sitting there second-guessing everything they say and wondering, “Does this make me sound gay?” because everything they say automatically makes them sound gay, because they are gay. Or maybe it’s just that they’re better than us.
Merge Couple of things: It sort of sounds like the soundtrack to an Alexander Payne movie, but that’s OK. Now that you’ve selected a reasonably priced brie, the dinner party is complete! Also, and I know it ends up in almost every favorable review, but you can totally bust a massive nut to this.
Shake It Is this supposed to be a 90s alt-rock parody album? Eh, fuck “supposed to,” this is a 90s alt-rock parody album. Ugly 90s name; ugly 90s title; that weird barfish, like, sepia-green color on the cover; stupid-loud drums; songs about sci-fi shit AND suburban teenage hangouts; crummy-looking bass dude—the full magilla.
The New Imperative
Sound Study Dear Dudes Still in Gainesville:
So it’s closing in on four years since the last album and all’s we gets is four songs—three of which have been on your MySpace page since last decade—and a photo of the cat poster hanging in that bar downtown? You guys are lucky you’re still hitting that early My Bloody Valentine mark right in the sweet spot, ’cause otherwise it’d be BLAMMO-saurus for you peninsular ding-dongs.
I Am Gemini
Saddle Creek Fucking Tim Kasher. Why does he need THREE bands for his sexual ADD and relationship hang-ups? This concept album spins the tale of good and evil brothers Cassius and Pollock (get it?! Like Castor and Pollux!) and their familial baggage. Think of it as kind of a musical version of the Gallagher brothers, or a dude’s version of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer soundtrack. ’Member how they did that one musical episode? God, that was good.
BLEEDING KNEES CLUB
Kanine Oh, God. What is this, and why didn’t anyone stop it?! When even the cheapest recording equipment can sound decent, it takes a lot of effort to make your recordings sound this shitty. There is an entire four-minute-plus song where two of the band members just yell single words back and forth. This is a joke, right?
Hall of http://scs-assets-cdn.vice.com/int/v19n2/htdocs/records/Breath of Saltwater
UNICYCLE LOVES YOU
Mecca Lecca The label rep for this band is named Jonny Leather, and this band just SOUNDS like the sort of band that WOULD have a label rep named Jonny Leather. I could fart marbles against a tin sheet and sound better than this. Come over and test that theory if you want. Bring Jonny.
The Late Great Slow Country
Wonderland Archives Dear Dudes I Met in Gainesville:
Thanks for moving up to New York and taking shitty jobs so you’d still have time to form a band and write a record’s worth of great songs, only to dissolve into multiple solo projects that still see you playing live with each other in some sort of spiteful, misguided attempt at sticking to your guns. And thank you for releasing this posthumous debut of twangy Flying Burrito Brothers-y songs 12 months after the fact, however retarded that schedule might seem to outsiders.
YRFRIENDS AND FANS
TEENAGE COOL KIDS
Denton After Sunset
Dull Tools Face it, some of your friends sincerely stuck with the DIY thing and now they’re cashing in. Maybe they went to college for making puppets or something, but not you, pal. By the summer after senior year they were already on the road for the third time, in their sort of faithful van, sucking back energy drinks and eating leftovers from last night’s vegan potluck at the show. This year is probably the last year you’ll let them crash at your place when they’re in town because you’re embarrassed sick that half this month’s paycheck is going to getting your Crass tattoo covered up.
SABURO “SKULLOMANIA” NISHIKOYAMA I remember the first time I ever went into a Hot Topic store and thought, “Yay! I’ve discovered a supercool place just for ME where I can buy hot punk gear and rad life supplies!” Years later, I realized that Hot Topic is for retards, but it took much less time to listen to this album and go from “Yay, punk!” to “Oh shit, this sucks!” I feel kind of bad because the kids in this band are like 12, and their one-sheet describes them as a “rip-roaring, party hardy duo.” They probably hate EVERYONE.
Sub Pop Remember that movie that was really popular a few years ago about the singing people who were in love? I think this is that movie. No, wait, this is a movie about a straight blond lady who gets railed by her husband nightly to smooth tunes that he thinks she is wild about because every time he puts them on and lubes up in front of her she screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeams.
Fluff and Gravy I would say if you love Townes Van Zandt so much why don’t you marry him, but I love TVZ so much I want to marry him, and I can’t because he’s dead. Thanks for reminding me of that with this record of embarrassing attempts at outlaw country songs, Portland. Nice fucking face, too.
Misra I like this album because this indie folk duo sound like they don’t have their shit together, yet. Everything on it is bare bones and pulled together, and these guys are so impulsive they’ve already changed their name since I received their promo CD. All that haphazard abandon makes for an exciting listen. By crackins!
WILBERT L. COOPER
Young & Old
Fat Possom Tennis is great and this is a nice record, but I feel like I’m listening to an album of Christmas songs.
GABRIEL AND THE HOUNDS
Kiss Full of Teeth
Ernest Jenning Skipped through this for a sec to see whether any new music appeared to be happening; noticed some orchestral flourishes behind a guy who is basically playing a guitar and singing. I guess the idea was to situate a singer-songwriter record in the milieu of “modern composition”? Smells like everyone’s still posturing instead of having ideas.
Slumberland This reminds me of a shitty girlfriend. It doesn’t do anything sexy, it doesn’t make me mad, it doesn’t make me want to do or think very much at all. It kind of just spins around and stares at me with its one big eye.
Le Voyage dans la Lune
Astralwerks The story goes that the two gentlemen in Air were so awestruck by the beauty of Le Voyage dans la Lune that they were inspired to craft an homage to it in the form of song. Then you read between the lines and realize that the two gentlemen in Air were so awestruck by the success of their album Moon Safari that they were inspired to craft an homage to it in the form of song. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.
Polyvinyl Talk about an unfortunate career trajectory. These guys went from fourth-tier Olivia Tremor Control wannabes to farty commercial-jingle writers to some sort of lousy midlife-crisis Suede tribute. At least all Skrewdriver did was become racist pieces of shit.
Towards the Low Sun
Drag City When I meet old guys who are super-grumpy, I think about their bowel movements and wonder if I’ll soon face a dazzling array of woes in my digestive system. Just look at how terrifying some of those ads are for Metamucil, Zelnorm, Florastor; and that’s just the tip of the iceberg in the arena of ass problems. Then I think about the Dirty Three and wonder if I’ve spotted their main influence.
BILLY HUNTER WINDY & CARL
We Will Always Be
Kranky This husband-and-wife duo create the lushest, most enrapturing guitar drones imaginable, and this new record is a perfect encapsulation of their nearly 20-year career. I can already think of a few examples this would provide a great soundtrack for: lying in bed all winter morning with the covers pulled up and the window open just a pinch, watching footage of tectonic plates rumble and shift beneath the earth’s crust, staring out of a plane window at sunset and seeing all the little ant-colony people zip around on the highway and finally GETTING THE MEANING OF IT ALL. I could basically listen to this forever.
Ghost of Love
Video Nastie Do you know the Treeman? You don’t!? Go to YouTube right now and search for “the angriest guitar player in the world.” There are two clips of an older, maybe not quite mentally stable Liverpudlian reducing his guitar to splinters in a choking fury over a tricky finger-picking part in a song that kind of sounds like a farther-North-English Robert Wyatt. Watch them both. That’s the Treeman! Nicknamed for the barklike skin condition he’s been afflicted with since youth, John “the Treeman” Ryan has been writing emotionally naked, just-barely-out-of-tune acoustic songs in the vein of Daniel Johnston or a way-less-bullshitty Jandek for the past decade on his lonesome. Then the internet finally made it to him, and now he’s got an endorsement deal with Jägermeister (they sent him a hat), a growing audience of rubberneckers and genuine aficionados, and we’ve got his “Ghost of Love” stuck in our head, which is like hearing someone doing a really obscure La’s song at brainstem karaoke. Thank you, internet!
Arts & Crafts Back in college I had this gorgeous (full-ride-triple-major-hottie-with-a-serious-alcohol-abuse-problem) friend who studied in Berlin for a semester. Upon returning from her trip (and shortly before I convinced her we should sleep together) she described to me a fun experience she had that lasted several days and began with her getting a bloody nose at a packed industrial concert. Disoriented by the pulsating music and sexy on ecstasy, she decided to go home with a couple of goth guys. They led her to a two-day BDSM party, and she stayed the whole time because the hosts were well versed in continental philosophy. Strap in your ball gags, folks. With their debut full-length, Trust has created the perfect, dirty soundtrack for your own gothic sex journey.
In Liturgy and Song
Reed My dad is a butcher, and he works at a grocery store in suburban Illinois. This Josef Germaine guy comes in all the time and hassles him about stuff and chews his ear off about bullshit. My dad made the mistake of telling him I reviewed music for a magazine, and Josef gave him this CD to give to me while I was there for the holidays. My dad and I laughed and laughed and laughed about it, and right before I was about to fly home to New York he was like, “Wait, what if security finds this and thinks you’re gonna blow the plane up?” I was like, “I’m pretty sure being a Jewish singer of Jew songs isn’t illegal.” Anyway, this sounds like music that someone who’d blow up a plane and hassles butchers makes.
Y LA BAMBA
Court the Storm
Tender Loving Empire Wow, the mariachi band that plays outside the bodega below my apartment is covering Aerosmith’s “Dream On.”