Saturday, February 26, 2011

TV On The Radio - Will Do

Will Do by Tv On The Radio  
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TV on the Radio Will Do.mp3 (3437 KB)

Over the last month or so, I've found myself listening to Dave Sitek's debut album as Maximum Balloon because it's the closest to a new TV On The Radio album it seemed we'd have for a while. I've noticed a lot of things about the album in that time, aside from it being a very dance music kind of beast. Most of what I've noticed though leads me to think that he was just trying to fill time until his actual band got back together.

All of a sudden, here comes an announcement that a new TVOTR album, Nine Types of Light, will be upon us sometime this spring, and then yesterday, "Will Do" was posted by the band and released to radio. It's a pretty straightforward love song, but Kyp Malone's falsetto, as always, takes it to the next level. And Sitek's always overly deep production, which just reveals more and more the louder the track gets on headphones, is impeccable.

The thing that makes Sitek, and indeed TVOTR as a whole, stand at the front of the Brooklyn experimental pack is that they can bring together soulful vocals and all manner of sounds into a complete package. So where "Will Do" could conceivably be produced and sung by any number of duos, the layering and complication is what makes it special. Danger Mouse's specialty is that he strips things bare, and has a sound all his own. Sitek goes in the opposite direction, though with a sound that even more his own. Starting out with what could be a mid-90s Massive Attack-style beat, the song opens into the type of melodic groove fans have come to expect.

Here's the other thing: "Will Do" tells us exactly nothing about what this album is going to sound like. All we have is another slab of soulful music. Three days ago, I suggested that the new Radiohead album was made for alt-sex romance. Scratch that. TV On The Radio wants you to feel actual emotion. They want you to roll with it. My answer? Will do. 

Buy all of TV On The Radio's discography, or just the pieces you don't have, from Amazon.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hit The Switch - The Everfading Afterglow

The Everfading Afterglow by Hit The Switch  
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a80685be9d4b151391f28ea0ba46a9ad.mp3 (5652 KB)

Until I started reading some comments on stuff about these guys, I never drew the obvious line to The Offspring. Not just because their viciously speeding 2006 album Domestic Tranquility and Social Justice was on Nitro Records, which is owned by Dexter and Greg, but something about the band reminds me of the early Offspring stuff, you know, before they stopped giving a shit.

That said, you can hear some early NOFX and the faster Sum 41 stuff. Hell, bring up Strung Out, Diesel Boy, or whatever other mid-90s Fat Wreck stuff you want - this would fit in perfectly, but doesn't sound dated or ripped off.

Hit The Switch has all the ingredients to be a huge Warped Tour-pushed skate punk band. Yet even with my interest, and demos that I've had on my cell phone for two years from their second album, Observing Infinities snuck under my radar because the band basically self-released it. There is an explanation, but come on, I bet Fat Mike loves these guys. Sign to Fat Wreck - it's an album at a time and nobody ever gets fucked over. At least, if it happens, nobody talks about it.

Most of the first album was vague political messaging begging listeners to question, you know, everything, while pounding the shit out melodic-skate-punk-style. The second album is just as political, although I take this track as something personal, but that's me. There are solos on Observing Infinity, but the time shifts and stop-start on a dime skate-punk remains. 

These guys should be huge. Somebody send an mp3 to Kevin Lyman. Please.

Buy Domestic Tranquility and Social Justice from Shockhound or Observing Infinities from Interpunk.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Ergs! - Hysterical Fiction

Hysterical Fiction by The Ergs!  
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40096327910c360b4fc0ced05df1879a.mp3 (2899 KB)

I'll never understand why bands break up. If your band is getting huge like, say, The Ergs, why would you want to leave? Isn't that the idea - for lots of people to fucking worship your music?

The Ergs were a three-piece pop-punk band from New Jersey. I place their sound somewhere between Hagfish and Green Day but often faster, and the songs are almost always about girls and relationships. Is that an awful and boiled down description? You bet.

Drummer Mikey Erg's scraggly voice worked equally well on the fast punk tunes as it did on sad country songs like "Stinking of Whiskey Blues." That and the loud bass-playing of Joey Erg (which reminds me of Mike Dirnt every few songs), and well-written, melodic songs, are what made Dorkrockcorkrod and Upstairs/Downstairs thoroughly digestible over and over and over again.

"Hysterical Fiction," which thunders in halfway through the second half of Upstairs/Downstairs, brings in all these elements nicely. It wouldn't be out of place on the first Unwritten Law album either, but I like it better here because, strangely, it flows nicely into the aforementioned "country" song.

Apparently, Upstairs/Downstairs isn't available anywhere online (unless you want it on CD or vinyl), so just go grab Dorkrockcorkrod from Shockhound to start with.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Radiohead - Separator

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08 Separator.MP3 (12664 KB)

Radiohead has always clicked best for me on headphones, and usually not on the first listen. "Idioteque" blew me away, in the car, the first listen, on the way home from the record store. OK Computer and Hail To The Thief (let alone Pablo Honey and The Bends) never baffled me at any point. But overall, this is a band that demands repeated listens, through all manner of speaker: car, home stereo (and I mean stereo, not that tiny shelf crap from Wal-Mart) and headphones. The King of Limbs takes this requirement to new lengths.

The range of reactions to this surprise album, a surprise because before last Monday the only thing we knew was that Radiohead was working on something new, has run the gamut, though nobody has embraced it full on. After listening to it about a dozen times in the last three days, I think I know why: They're too busy trying to have the first review, and get page views while the hype is high, to really let this thing sink in.

The King of Limbs is an album of textures, many of them dark, and even more of them subtle. But by the third time I let the understated bottom end of the album, especially "Bloom," "Morning Mr. Magpie" and "Little By Little," because when you've got it on repeat, those tracks, which are the closest to bangers this effort comes to, the moody experimentation at work lays itself bare. These guys are pushing out, but not in the what-else-is-there-to-do that resulted in Kid A and Amnesiac. This time, it's different.

As the title implies, Radiohead is a band lost in the forest. There have to be more than eight tracks that came from the Limbs sessions. With In Rainbows, the band held back on the loud guitars. Where that album was about emotion, this is all about nuance, so there's not telling what else could come up. Thom and company want us to get lost with them - which is why I posted "Separator," the last track on the album.

Get yourself a drink and plug in some headphones. Even if The King of Limbs has already been taken off your respective music player and buried deep on your hard drive, put those cans on your ears and let "Separator" seep into your head. This is 3 a.m. come down music. It might be alt-romantic sex music. Whatever. By the fourth or fifth listen, you'll be revisiting the rest of the album to see what you've missed. "Separator" makes sense the same way as when you realize that "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" is the best track on The Bends. It's the revelation that makes every song before it that much better.

The King of Limbs is already the most underrated album of the year because in the fast, faster, fasterest times we live in, nobody is giving it a chance. Radiohead is begging you to slow down and lose yourself in an album like the Internet never happened and the long-playing album never approached its death throes. Forget the reviews and let yourself wander. It's worth it.

Buy The King of Limbs directly from Radiohead. (Worth every single penny. But you knew I'd say that.)

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Marqui Adora - Everything That Makes No Sense

Everything That Makes No Sense by Marqui Adora  
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06_Everything_That_Makes_No_Sense.mp3 (10497 KB)

So this will be a weird post...

I'm typically pretty gun-shy about posting about music I'm directly involved in, but I'm in a good mood so fuck it! ;)

I just finished my initial listen of Radiohead's "The King of Limbs" and it's lead me back to one of my bands songs from 2006. Well the song is a few years older than that actually, it started out with just John and I messing around with a Rhodes piano and playing a bunch of different live drum loops into Pro Tools some time in 2002 after the implosion of our Drum & Bass group, New Republic. Nonetheless, the song was finished with Marqui Adora and made the cut for our White Buildings EP in 2006 (and re-released in 2007).

ANYWAYS... It's my favorite song from Marqui Adora's catalog. We never played it live, we were too lazy for that, but it stands out, to me anyway, as one of the songs where we truly achieved something different. Yeah, John and I we're linstening to a lot of U.N.K.L.E.'s "Psyence Fiction" at the time but when it reached the finish line with Danny's wall of Vocals and John's swerving Bass lines and Anthemic Guitars it felt like the song reached a whole new place. No one else might see it that way, but to me "Everything That Makes No Sense" raised the bar a little higher for what we were capable of and how much harder we would have to work to top it (take note of the lack of our output over the past few years).

So now you're saying "That's nice Joe, but what's that got to do with Radiohead?" Yes exactly. The drums. Being a drummer it's what I pick up on first when listening to music. On "The King of Limbs" the drums for nearly every song are comprised of live loops of Phil Selway, and Thom Yorke I suppose, playing rhythms on top of them selves. I can relate because I've done it, although with far less reverb.
It's funny how new sounds can send you in all sorts of directions isn't it?

Get more Marqui Adore here for free and enjoy your International Radiohead Listening Weekend!


Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Smashing Pumpkins - "You're All I've Got Tonight"

You're All I've Got Tonight by The Smashing Pumpkins  
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sp - tonight.mp3 (4481 KB)

Former Smashing Pumpkins bassist D'arcy Wretzy was arrested today for not taking care of a ticket on "Animals Running at Large." That is, she got a ticket because her horses got out, ran amok in town and she did nothing about the summons. That is completely INSANE!

Actually, what's really crazy, is that she looks like a meth-head in her mug shot who's had some bad surgery done on her face. It's all pretty sad.

This cover of the classic track by The Cars, "You're All I've Got Tonight," was originally included on the "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" EP which was released as the band was peaking. At the height of their powers, Billy and his backing band were among alt-rock royalty in the mid-90s. For some, covering this song is excess. For me, this was the track that made me go beyond the raging on MTV and actually listen to the albums. I had no reason whatsoever not to like The Smashing Pumpkins. I was protesting just because I could.

"You're All I've Got Tonight" is a great song. Of course, you could gather four random, instrument playing monkeys to do "You're All I've Got Tonight" and it would be awesome. What's interesting is that on top the Pumpkins not changing much of the song, it fits the band's catalog, and is really, really good.

There's no way to tell if the end of the actual Pumpkins - yes, without the original four, the actual Pumpkins do not exist and never will again - is responsible for Wretzky's downfall. It would be nice if somebody could go pick her up though, because for somebody who did some really cool stuff that meant a lot to people, it's a damn shame that she could down like this. If you're not sure, take another look at that mugshot.

Buy "You're All I've Got Tonight," or the entire and gigantic Rarities and B-Sides which I'm sure is worth the $74.18, from Amazon. Or just buy the tracks you like. Also, buy The Cars self-titled debut from Amazon. Hopefully, you've already heard it. Several times.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Friday, February 11, 2011

I'm confused. Don't crips wear blue? And they're farming now??

Yes. I know it's spelled wrong.

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Rye Coalition - Cigarette Catastrophe

Cigarette Catastrophe by Rye Coalition  
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Rye Coalition_03_Cigarette Catastrophe.mp3 (4836 KB)

I really wanted to get to the new Bright Eyes album, which is better than I expected, and I mean that in a very good way as you'll find out in a few days, but needed something brash to blow my ears out with. Let's face it: It's hump day, which is tough for all of us, and the bottle of red wine I picked up on the way home needs to be matched on some level.

The boys of Rye Coalition, who have some of the most ridiculous sounding song titles in history, blessed my presence in a mp3Tunes shuffle. It's been a while since I just let Curses, their 2006 Dave Grohl-assisted hard rock masterpiece, play at full volume all the way through.

Getting it together since the mid-90s, Rye Coalition took the rock world by storm with their 2002 album On Top, produced by Steve Albini. That album won new fans and attracted major label attention for Curses, which is part of how they got Grohl behind the boards.

What's important is that you've got a bunch of guys who love hardcore and AC/DC equally - you know, like normal people. The purists always hate a well-rounded band but for most of us, it results in amazing albums. What's great about "Cigarette Catastrophe" is that it's got riffs, screaming and a killer solo in the middle. Yeah, simple and great, right?

Rye Coalition lost a bassist in 2007. I don't know what's taken them so long to find a new one, but it would nice if these guys could get it together and put out another album. 

Buy Curses at Shockhound.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Datarock - Catcher In The Rye

Catcher In The Rye by Datarock  
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datarock_-_Catcher_In_The_Rye.mp3 (7992 KB)

The Talking Heads don't get enough credit. Maybe that's just because I feel like I hear them everywhere lately.

On "Catcher In The Rye," the Norweigian duo Datarock (that actually has six members) have channeled David Byrne in his prime, over what is effectively a disco beat and thick, thick bass line that makes me think of The Chemical Brothers - which isn't fair to the Chems, the 80s or, especially, Datarock. (Though it sounds completely different, I also hear this Modest Mouse song in the bassline.) Datarock, they've always kind of reminded me of Talking Heads, if not something else from the 80s that I just can't place, so "Catcher In The Rye" is really just another drop in what I guess is a guiltily unknown pleasure. (That would be 80s dance music, because I feel no guilt for loving The Talking Heads and The Chemical Brothers.)

For their new album, Datarock - Limited Edition, the band has teamed with the Super7 toy company to produce a toy that includes, on the inside, a USB stick with the "Catcher In The Rye" single, brand new Music For Synchronization full length, a concert film and 1,500 pictures. That's pretty cool.

Limited Edition and everything else is out March 11 - more information here.
Buy music by Datarock at Shockhound.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Reaganomics - Semi-Productive

Semi - Productive by Reaganomics  
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Reaganomics_02_Semi-Productive.mp3 (3479 KB)

There's a cover band called The Reaganomics. I have no idea what they sound like and I have no intention of finding out. Not since I discovered these four guys from Illinois, anyway.

Conjuring the part of the attitude of Blink-182 that doesn't involve girls or anything serious, and also ditching the pop edge in favor of a Bouncing Souls playful-hardcore feeling and Off With Their Heads vocal growl that is actually two voices a la, well, Blink, The Reaganomics are the new fun boys of punk.

New album Lower The Bar is due out on February 15, so all I've got is the 17-track, 21-minute debut Get Lost Stay Lost. It flies by faster than you can say "what the shit is that guy singing about." Listened to it four times today and twice last night. That wasn't enough, but I'll make up for it this weekend and next week.

Since it's Friday and all, the beer-and-television laze of "Semi-Productive" beat out the perfect piss-off-ness of "Smug Punx" and wouldn't-that-be-nice-for-life "My Best Friend Is A Bear." Really, I wavered between those three tracks. Come on, being friends with a bear despite the fact that he wants to chew your legs off, and noting that it's better than the real world? That's the stuff that superstardom is made of.

At some point, they're going to have to add some mental substance to the early-Fat Mike "eat me" of their lyrics if for no other reason than the perfect name. These guys are cynical and punk as fuck though so who cares. Enjoy.

Buy Get Lost Stay Lost at Amazon.
Stream some of Lower The Bar at Punknews.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

The Get Up Kids - Rally Round The Fool

Rally 'round The Fool by The Get Up Kids  
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06-Rally_Round_The_Fool.mp3 (9620 KB)

The Get Up Kids used to sound softer. Nothing against any of what they did in the 90s, but There Are Rules, their first album in seven years, has caught my attention and now I'm reexamining their discography because there has to be some clue that they could be this interesting. I think I'm about to be obsessed with this band.

Half of There Are Rules sounds like a great effort from The Faint and the other half sounds like a great post-punk album, and together it works out really smoothly. From the jamming first track, "Tithe," to the jamming last track, "Rememorable," this is an album that moves, man.

It's got ups and downs, and what stood out, through all the other enjoyment, was the electronic inspection of somebody else's efforts and intent on "Rally 'Round The Fool." As much as the album strikes a new chord for the band, this track is really a new direction. Posting one of the pounding electro-tracks seemed obvious, and this one is not.

After all the disinterest, it's a complete deviation from their past that has me very interested in The Get Up Kids.

Buy There Are Rules at Shockhound.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The new Strokes single sounds classic, AKA like an "Is This It?" outtake

The band really wasn't kidding when they said it sounded like The Strokes. Check out the 30-second preview Amazon, where you can pre-order it for actual download on February 15. (Seriously? I bet it leaks before kickoff in the Super Bowl.)

This has me excited. How 'bout you?

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Am I missing something here?

Parts & Labor - Constant Future

Constant Future by Parts & Labor  
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parts and labor - constant future.mp3 (9476 KB)

Brooklyn's noise rock scene has birthed a lot of bands in the last decade such as TV On The Radio, Battles and Pterodactyl that can make a lot of beautiful noise, but the racket that comes from Parts and Labor is more rock and roll than anything else. 

They're the band that is rooted in both noise and rock - though they experiment, they're not trying to challenge the listener so much as pummel their ear drums. But like TVOTR, they've got an anthemic quality to them at the same time, minus the motown melodies, of course.

2008's Receivers was their first album without drummer Christopher Weingarten. On that album, it almost sounded like the band, at that point a quartet, was looking for a straight-ahead, stripped back just noise-y 4/4 rock. While that sounded like the band, something felt off. Thankfully, "Constant Future," the first single from the new album of the same name sounds like P&L is back.

Sounding like a galloping horse, lead singer Dan Friel sings of "no more constant future," which is a little bit different than the constant digging of gold he sang up a few years ago. If this is the band looking back, or just slowing down, then either P&L is on their last hurrah or just about to take off. Regardless, this is one of those highly anticipated albums of 2011 and "Constant Future" just raised my expectations thoroughly.

The new Parts & Labor album, Constant Future, is out March 8 on Jagjaguwar, one of the best labels that nobody ever talks about because people suck. In the meantime, buy music by Parts & Labor from Shockhound. (Check out everything, but go for Mapmaker first. That's the gold right there.)

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop