Monday, February 02, 2015

Radar 2k14 Reflectozoid


Andrew Bird: I Want To See Pulaski At Night [Grimsey] 
Bill Callahan: Have Fun With God [Drag City]
Nick Drake: Tuck Box [Island]
Olivia Tremor Control: John Peel Sessions [Chunklet]
The Velvet Underground: Foggy Nation [Sundazed]
The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground [Sundazed]
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra: Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything [Constellation]

Lambchop: Nixon [Merge] [reissue]
Quilt: Held in Splendor [Mexican Summer]

Breton: War Room Stories [Cut Tooth]

Broken Bells: After the Disco [Columbia]

Sun Kil Moon: Benji [Caldo Verde]


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Elliott Smith Unreleased Compilations:: A Shot of White Noise & Violent Girl

A Shot of White Noise

Violent Girl

I recently re-curated my Elliott Smith rarities into two collections. The idea behind these two compilations was to try to create two albums that could feasibly be like actual Elliott Smith releases. The first record, A Shot of White Noise, is more acoustic and the second, Violent Girl, features compositions with more instruments and usually electric guitar.

"A shot of white noise" is a lyric from "Crazy Fucker" (also called "Another Standard Folk Song"). "Crazy Fucker" starts off in the middle of a recording session where a disappointed Smith has already finished a song and says, "That wasn't such a good version of that..." The lyrics that follow capture an unique autobiographical portrait of the Elliott Smith in accounts from people that were close to him like photographer Autumn De Wilde (check out her excellent Elliott Smith photo and interview book here). It's a perspective of his music, flirtations with drugs, his juxtaposing character that sings sensitive songs and also gets into bar fights, as well as subtle hints of his past. Arrow also happens to be the name of Autumn De Wilde's daughter that had him singing "Arrow, come pick me out."

"Violent girl" captures the more aggressive (and more upbeat poppy) songs and the title comes from "Some (Rock) Song." The lyric is "I want a violent girl who's not afraid of anything." It's an interesting song, because there's another version of it present on A Shot of White Noise. One of the most striking differences is that the lyrics are changed from "Charlie beat you up week after week" in "Some (Rock) Song." Charlie was Elliott's step-father and, as one could gather from the lyric, he may have been quite abusive. The name comes up in a couple other of Elliott's songs, particularly "Flowers for Charlie."


Friday, October 03, 2014

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

New Emperor X: The Orlando Sentinel

Emperor X has a new EP/album coming out on June 27th called The Orlando Sentinel.  You can listen to the first track "Fierce Resource Allocation" above. Not too many details have come out about the album yet, except that it will be awesome. Emperor X is touring around the US in June and Europe in July.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Spanish bands to watch from Primavera Sound 2014

Every year Primavera Sound in Barcelona hosts some of the best indie bands out there, but did you also know that Spanish bands play the festival? And no, not just John Talabot. Spanish groups usually play during the 5PM time slot when everyone is either just waking up from their 7AM bedtime or going back to sleep for that sweet, sweet siesta so you’re sure to see Arcade Fire or Kendrick Lamar. So, it’s easy to miss them. Here’s a list of some of the Spanish acts that played the festival that are worth keeping an eye on.

Univers, from Barcelona

The epitome of Spanish shoegaze, Univers have been our friends since we interviewed Mujeres a while back, as both groups share a member. We also wrote about their last EP La Pedregada, and this year they came out with their first full length L’Estat Natural. It’s lovely dimension bending guitar riffs and voices drenched in reverb.

Pional, from Madrid

A good buddy of John Talabot and featured on 2012's Fin, Pional makes house and electro music. Constantly releasing remixes on his soundcloud page, his DJ set is one of the best at Primavera Sound. And his original electronic compositions aren't too shabby either.

Oso Leone, from Mallorca

Oso Leone make some minimalist electronic music that is as entrancing as it is poppy at times. With reverb drenched vocals as the songs wind deep into their meditations, you might not even realize what language the band is singing in, but it doesn’t even matter.


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Angel Olsen :: Burn Your Fire for No Witness

"I started dancing just to be around you..."

There's something about Angel Olsen's voice and recording style that are nostalgic for a lost era without sounding like a rip off. There's also something about that moment in the first track, "Unfucktheworld" when the hi-fi vocals kick in that you realize you were taken away somewhere where hi-fi didn't exist and now she's not just singing to you from a broken radio, but also right beside you and whispering into your ear. There are a few good upbeat, fuzzy guitar, kick drum songs, but what was really snagging were the haunting intimate melodies where it's just her and a guitar and me. She's mostly just singing about her lonely broken heart, but she's made it really damn charming. It's the perfect thing to listen to while walking around the little cobblestone backstreets of French city.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sun Kil Moon :: Benji

An incredibly verbose album full of stories from deep backwoods Ohio. Mark Kozelek reaches deeper into it's folk roots than other albums, with less obvious hooks and melodies and somehow manages to make rednecks and frying up frog legs charming. The songs don't dance around anything, "Dogs" details all of Kozelek's early sexual encounters, but most of the tunes are stories about death and loss and family. And he loves his Mom and Dad.