“Fried Eagle Mind” - Sun O))) & Boris
It’s been a hectic end of a semester at my Fairly Straight University, a unfortunate occurrence that’s resulted in a decrease in NSB productivity. Days grew shorter, assignments grew longer, all usual sad-sack college kid complaints. It’s been a final Friday of unwinding, lying back while toggling between cool kid critically acclaimed cable television and the most languid, distended sounds to be found on various streaming services.
It is with this peripheral information that I pick up on what much cleverer posts at The Quietus and Tiny Mix Tapes are dropping: Sunn O))), doom crew from the most unlikely of cities, has posted its discography on Bandcamp for any schlump to zone to. This schlump has found the subversive noise of the 2006 collaboration with Boris - Altar - especially gratifying on this beautiful, lazy day. Their are 27 releases to choose from: studio album, live album, EP, collaboriation, demos, any decidedly lightless recordings a black heart could desire [link].
- Tyler Hanan
“Music for a Film 1” - Ty Segall
I want to be Ty Segall when I grow up, or at least as productive as him. The man of many projects for whom the word “prolific” is insignificant has yet another song making the rounds on all blogs both hip, pseudo-hip, and hip-aspiring, taking a… damn it, someone else already used “skronky” to describe the guitar, and that word is as apt as any here. Anyways, he takes the screeching, disjunct guitar to a perilously vibrant beat in the (partial) name of charity on this Famous Class split 7” with Chad & The Meatbodies.
100% of the digital proceeds going to the Ariel Panero Memorial Fund at VH1 Save the Music - a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in America’s public schools.
- Tyler Hanan
“Amends” - Braids
It’s been nearly a year to the day since SPIN had an article about Braids making a follow-up to their 2011 debut Native Speaker. In that article, members of the band discussed the direction they were headed in. The article itself talked about how there was a shift from the lightness and pep featured on Native Speaker to a much darker space. Drummer Austin Tufts confirmed another shift that came with the different mood: “Our interest has been a lot more electronic-based.”
Cut to today, and while the article stated that a new album could’ve come out as soon as early this year, the new material is welcome nonetheless. Braids have made good on what they said to SPIN a year ago and are now releasing the 12” In Kind // Amends as the fruit of their efforts. “Amends” shows just how great the shift in style and operation has been for Braids, an act that certainly warrants the amount of time it has taken for new material to surface. In Kind // Amends will be released on June 11 via Arbutus with both expected to be on the band’s upcoming sophomore release, now expected sometime this fall.
- Kevin Tappin
“Shut Up” - Savages
I was so hesitant at first. Savages sound just like every other nostalgia post-punk band, until you realize their music promotes thought instead of feeling. Picking up where WU LYF left off, their noir punk anthems are so current, so of the moment, it’s impossible to listen to their music and feel anything but alive. Jehnny Beth pierces like Beth Gibbons, Gemma Thompson rips notes out of yesterday’s post-punk movement, while Ayse Hassan late-80’s bass pulses forward. It’s cringe-worthy music, in the fresh way new music makes you reevaluate the past. It’s nice to have a political band again, a band that rejects those easy base emotions The National needs to survive.
A post about Savages was long overdue. I’ll withhold my surprise if a new movement starts next year, a crop of newly awakened bands questioning our culture’s post 9/11 slumber. As we all should. Savages are a call to arms and you don’t even know the sides.
“Party At Dead Man’s” - Drug Church
Because what he said is better than any pretentious, Mobius strip nonsense I could come up with, I’m quoting what Drug Church (and Self Defense Family) vocalist Patrick Kindlon wrote about the new Drug Church single. Because the Secret Voice website’s description of Patrick Kindlon is better than any jokes I would make (although “online therapist” isn’t quite as accurate as “opinionated curmudgeon who incidentally doubles as a life guide” - I say this in a positive manner), I’m quoting their quote of him. Then I’ll comment on everything but the song itself.
Instead of doing a write up of my own that explains how much this band rules, I asked band vocalist and online therapist Patrick Kindlon (of Self Defense Family) to present one
“Two songs of primal fury informed by truly petty thoughts. A direct line to the brain of men without motivation, direction, or meaningful
employment. Seaweed and Tolkien swirling in a barf-stew thrown against a wall of indifference. Like dogs dancing to E-Town.”
That was fun. Now, this rambunctious little song itself is the raspy A-side shout to the gnarly B-side riff of “Selling Drugs From Your Mom’s Condo,” a pairing that doubles as both the life story I pass off as my own to the internet and also the dynamic song duo featured on Drug Church’s upcoming Secret Voice 7”. Now, let’s all retroactively shape our lives so we fit the description of the directionless dudes in Kindlon’s description.
- Tyler Hanan
“Q.U.E.E.N.” ft. Erykah Badu - Janelle Monáe
I had been waiting for this all day yesterday, and was caught unawares when it finally came out. In my defense, I was heeding Monáe’s own words and making a cake. Anyways, the highly anticipated single has finally hit, funky as hell and appended with an extra helping of slick rap verse. Soon the follow up the incredible diverse The Archandroid with a new full length, The Electric Lady, here’s hoping for a repeat performance in terms of quality and a new hit single to supplant her backing work on “We Are Young” as her biggest credit.
- Tyler Hanan
“Shadow of a Shadow” - The Casket Girls
“Are you afraid of the dark? Turn around and there’s nothing there.”
I had forgotten how many musical projects Ryan Graveface was involved in - Dreamend, where he’s recently gone NBC Hannibal and gotten in a serial killers’ head; Black Moth Super Rainbow, the well-named, unique pop enigma; The Marshmallow Ghosts, which I’m less familiar with but seem to fit the same vein, if more delightfully Halloween appropriate; and The Casket Girls, where he shifts a haunted house into an alternate dimension, and more besides.
The Casket Girls is a band aptly named, and quite recognizably backed by Graveface’s work. Even leaving subject matter and band name aside, his work has always been amply imbued with jarring, otherworldly elements that skew towards more upbeat and sinister registers. Very Halloween chic I was going to say, but the first thing to come up when I googled that was a Pinterest board. Moving on.
Goth pop is hip right now (says a man shamelessly shackled to that bandwagon). There are numerous wonderful artists (Zola Jesus being a favorite) and a neverending plethora of… less noteworthy recent entries (apologies, Esben - I tried) in a field becoming increasingly crowded yet ever more diverse. Graveface gives The Casket Girls a subversive, legitimately spooky bent that gives the group an diaphonous leg up.
The Record Store Day-released Self-Titled mini-LP is streaming on Filter [link] and, if it’s opened the - casket, grave, pick your pun - of that id you thought you’d buried deep, the digital/cassette release is available from Graveface’s own self-titled record label [link].
The final of the five tracks is especially delicious, with direct-from-DVD organ and a monstrous, twisted swell that devours the release’s sweetest melody.
This is what happens when one writes after watching two hours of disturbing, visually arresting horror crime television.
- Tyler Hanan
Album of the Week: Tyler Hanan [4/20/13]
Elvis Depressedly, still somehow out-lofi-ing and out-sadding Mat Cothran’s bigger headliner Coma Cinema, returns as triumphantly as these downers can get. The stay is brief, as is tradition, as the Birdtapes-released holo pleasures clocks in at just over twelve minutes.
Revisiting the past few Elvis Depressedly releases in preparation for this (yes, actually preparation) left me feeling pretty down. Have you heard the end of hotter sadness? That’s some pretty cynical stuff. Here are the names of the last three tracks alone: “i bought a gun,” “hurt everything,” and “i can’t wait for you to die.” That’s a lot for a simple, impressionable young mind (mine) to process.
Starting into holo pleasures, it’s immediately recognizable as Elvis Depressedly, or, perhaps more accurately, Mat Cothran. holo pleasures isn’t as unnerving as the end of hotter sadness, and the more consistent, mid-tempo nature sounds a bit more like a Coma Cinema release. The production may be upped just a tic, but that wonderful lofi sound and simple-yet-effective arrangements are all there (as opposed to the excellent new, hifi-minded Coma Cinema track “Satan Made A Mansion”). Cothran’s low, fuck-all voice fits the tunes like a glove, as ever. I can’t say it’s any more upbeat than before, but it seems a bit less cynical - despite the song title “pepsi/coke suicide.”
“It’s Not Good For The Man To Be Alone” - Self Defense Family
There was a time when I was up to date on the ever-expanding discography of the proudly prolific Self Defense Family. I even regularly caught up with their attention-grabbing, opinion spouting “ask and you shall receive” tumblr. That said, even if I couldn’t tell you how many releases they’ve been a part of this year (twelve, probably), I’m always happy to see new material from them come to my attention, with their ever-more-apparent Lungfish affection (a joke that is either partially plagiarized or part of the public domain at this point).
They’re constant forward motion and they’re shirking of self-nostalgia is adorably endearing, really, and usually rewarding on a music level. It’s also fun to think about when considering this tracks’ dusty life tucked away on the shelf for the last twelve months, according to Familiy Drugs. This is a fairly excellent track with a home run instrumental bridge, Patrick Kindlon’s voice doesn’t even sound that bad here, though it’s quite muffled.
I look forward to hearing the other two tracks off The Corrections Officer in Me, SDF’sone-sided 12” that’ll be out on Family Drugs this summer [link]. It was originally meant to be a two-sided 7” but, well…
update: size matters. the SDF EP couldn’t fit on a 7”, so it’s now a one-sided 12”. more details later. listen here: music.familydrugs.org— family drugs (@familydrugs)
French skramz fiends Sed Non Satiata return with “San Andrea,” the first reveal from their upcoming new album Mappō. Opened with the expected post-rock slow build shenanigans, all slimmed down, seductive guitar and maddeningly patient cymbal taps, the track gets a big red “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” stamp on it for its achievements in the field of amping up anticipation. Get hooked, and use the band’s Orchid covers to help bide the time until the album’s June 1st release [link].
- Tyler Hanan