Friday, March 19, 2010
When doing some digging on Scanners, the first hit was 1981 cult horror flick about suits using psychics to wage war on the world. "Their thoughts can kill!"
And as badass as that sounds, what I was really looking for is nearly on par.
Two boys and two gals from London with 80's post-punk pop sound - they keep a sneer on their face whilst pouring on the melodic hooks so everyone can get soaked. Sparked by Sarah (total babe - vocals, bass) and Matt (vocals, guitar) in 2004, they played sets backed by a drum kit. Amina (guitar, keys) and Tom (drums) soon joined in on the stank to release their first EP Violence is Golden.
Submarine released this past month, and they just finished getting beast at SXSW to rave reviews. Won't be long before Sarah will be on the "this or that" list with Siouxsie Sioux, Karen-O and Joan Jett.
"Salvation," menacingly sweet and simple. Both here and your own. Ominously windy whooooas twisted with brightly chipper "I'll take you to my grave" makes for a track Billy Corgan could be proud.
"Sick Love" makes me want to take a surfboard out to the breakpoint. Maybe see a shark. But then see that shark get it's ass handed to it by a dolphin. Then I'd ditch the board and ride in on the dolphin - or keep going out? Depends on what the dolphin wants; it IS bigger than I am and I would owe it for saving my life, so I couldn't exactly demand to be taken back to the beach. You know?
Now pardon me while I go take over the capital building using my sixth sense. Or my dolphin's echolocation.
Scanners // Salvation
Scanners // Sick Love
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Sometimes you don't realize just how good you have it until you go and fuck things up. You spit on the hand that feeds you and it doesn't want to feed you anymore. Then it's all you can do to get one more glance at the fingernails. Those fingernails are the inspiration for today's post.
It's been a long time since I've posted anything of merit. Or anything at all really. Mainly because I've been absent. But even I can't be invisible to something this overpowering. The beats and sweet electronic melodies from Phantogram make time slow down. The music just reaches through the space, grabs a hold of whatever air you're harboring behind that epidermic mask you wear, and simply makes you high. But not like a crack high, more like a pure air clarity high (RE: Woody Harrelson).
This duo from Saratoga Springs, New York, consisting of darling keyboardist Sarah Barthel and guitarist Josh Carter, with their latest album, Eyelid Movies, have made the perfect collection of baby-making tracks that will occasionally make you think about things that are important. Things like you. "'Cause you are the Ocean. And I'm good at drowning."
Phantogram // You Are the Ocean
Phantogram // When I'm Small
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
On first listen to "Shark's Tooth," I felt like my brain was involuntarily jangled from earhole to earhole. Lots of reverb, lots of steel serration, lots of shaking a sheet of tin. My head nearly exploded, no joke! I had to turn that shit down, son!
Then I realized I was drumming on my desk and robotically shimmying my shoulders. Maybe even having a daydream about riding a stag armored with uzis, shooting down enemy cyclopses. Hey-o, Bronco!
The good stuff comes from a trio that became mates at Kingswood School, Bath. Just look at the guys, you know reverb comes easy when you have that kind of lavish beard to help with the acoustics.
Their most recent LP, Coconut, came after a four year hiatus post Derdang Derdang. If you'd like nothing more but to have your ears ringing with sound heavy on ferocious, primal squalling from these lads - you'll have to cross the Pond to catch them on tour.
Nbd, you can take my battle stag.
Archie Bronson Outfit // Shark's Tooth
Monday, March 8, 2010
A DIY project out of Seattle, Yair Rubenstein is another musician coming out of his bedroom studio and hanging in the clubhouse with the likes of Atlas Sound, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Animal Collective and Neon Indian.
Just listen to the first 120 seconds of this track. First there's acoustic strings, maybe ukulele? Add synth percussion. Stir in tin bell jangles. Splash on shimmery light. Pound on piano keys. Sift on two-picked electric guitar chords. Blow in river reedy vocals on the lower keys. Keep up the loops of both electric and acoustic guitar to wrap it up in a tight cocoon you wouldn't mind climbing in to yourself.
You'll want to listen to most of the tracks on his debut EP, Warped, on "repeat one" so you don't miss anything.
Big Spider's Back // Perfect Machine
Friday, March 5, 2010
When I first heard the feel-good jam (sammich pun !) "Back to the Sea," first simile to mind was Gidget before she got on her surfboard. Girlie '50s doo-woppin in cat eye glasses, perfectly coiffed ponytails flipping after syncopated snapping.
But Gidget might be a bit aghast. A deeper dive into How to Make Ambient Sadcake reveals shades of hippie americana, goth, noise pop and bossa nova. The Sandwitches like to play shows with faces painted like ICP going to church. Asexual, sometimes searing harmonies with vamp. Gals who want nothing to do with your flippin ponytail, ripped stockings and two-legged cats are more their speed. They'll break your poser, cat eye glasses in half - and will NOT provide tape for a patch job.
I'm kidding, I'm sure they're very nice girls who brush and floss every night - which makes them more the model citizen than most of us.
The San Franisco trio's mix of cane sugar, city grime and nostalgia makes for a far from miserable three-layer baked good.
Or club sandwich.
The Sandwitches // Back to the Sea
The Sandwitches // Fire
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
There isn't much to gather on JBM. He's from Montreal. His given name is Jesse Marchant. He's touring with Sondre Lerche, playing his '09 release, not even in July. But honestly, who wants to read a loveletter to a lanky gent when alabaster skeleton folk is tripping up your spine?
Hope you like. Not like I do or anything.
JBM // Cleo's Song
JBM // Friends for Fireworks
Monday, March 1, 2010
The just-a-slip-of-a-thing Charlotte is no stranger to the scene.
Singing scandalous melodies with her dear daddy, Serge, barely out of grade school.
Playing dressup in movies like L'effrontée and La science des rêves (The Science of Sleep, you wanted to ride that patchwork pony, too).
Dropping two albums, one of which climbed to the top of the French music charts. All seemingly a magnolia dream until she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in 2007.
Two years later, Charlotte collaborates with Beck on her most recent release, IRM. Influenced by her chaotic experience (MRI, ah - now we're up to speed), the two connected on weird levels. We're talking Beck-written lyrics like "drill my head full of holes / to let the memories out" before he even knew what had happened. Makes you want to touch fingertips with your cubicle-mate and zip energies to each other.
IRM is Charlotte retro soul '60s baroque with strokes of Beck's electronic ambience. Sometimes darkly droning and steely, at others layered like tulle. Enjoy a track more on the tutu side.
Charlotte Gainsbourg // Me and Jane Doe