"Advanced Falconry" - Mutual Benefit
School has rendered me somewhat socially inept in my usual music circles - even more so than previously.. This unfortunate turn can best be illustrated by my discovering the new Mutual Benefit album, Love’s Crushing Diamond, only yesterday - ten days after it’s release and six days after Pitchfork bestowed BNM status upon “Advanced Falconry.”
It would be a truly dark moment for me, this realization, if not for the fact that there’s a new Mutual Benefit album. This is a time for sweet celebration by way of lying back and getting emotional in a dark bedroom, or sitting in… a sunny, flower-filled field, or someplace similarly pretty.
Jordan Lee’s delicate lo-fi pop, arranged in a manner that is slightly different, a manner that is just so, has enchanted me since a good friend sent me Spider Heaven in the good ol’ days of 2010. Distinct and realized, Lee’s music builds an intimate alternate reality. I described it as an “enchanted basement” when I first heard it. It overlaps our own, mostly, but everything there is gossamer and shy, more beautiful and… better.
That album also served as my doorway into the communities of lo-fi and ambiance and pop and found sounds and more, along with their online and real life communities. There’s a lot going on here, for me.
For now, I must take time to poor over the “liner notes” of the bandcamp page, where the album is available digitally and on cd and vinyl. Meet me by the “Strong River,” friends. For more information, including the album’s release on newer Brooklyn label Soft Eyes, browse through Lee’s interview with BDCwire. Perhaps we’ll have more thoughts on the album available to read at a later date.
- Tyler Hanan
In a music video trying so very hard to evoke, the most effective moment is at 2:52. A snapping, a break, splits the separates the deranged vocal samples of the earlier half with the third minute’s anti-crescendo. That fracture, that break, comes at the same moment as actress India Menuez’ bending over backwards towards the camera. The sound is the most gruesome ingredient, but it’s heightened to the level of “truly cringe-inducing” when paired with what had before been some fairly harmless rhythmic movement.
Now, is anything that’s happening here any good? I think the answer is “Definitely, probably,” but music and video seem more interested in being art and experience than video - a nit I very rarely pick. It’s irresistibly perverse and terribly effective at unnerving, mostly, and its timeliness is obvious.
It should also be said that it is fascinating to hear Chairlift's Polachek in proceedings so sinister when even Chairlift's darker moments can still be quantified with descriptors like “melodic” and “fun.”
This is only one in a number of collaborations Elbrecht - of Violens, Lansing-Dreiden, and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti - has done with other artists, including team-ups with Tamaryn and Ariel Pink, all of which can be had from Mexican Summer (the physical release for this single will be handled by Siberia Records, though). It is officially listed as being from “Gloss Coma 001, the first in a series of collaborations.” The video was directed by Cara Stricker,
- Tyler Hanan
"PrimeTime" - Janelle Monáe ft. Miguel
It’s late on an especially average Thursday night. Instead of making sweet, glorious love to some sexy stranger, you’re sitting at home, perusing sites you’ve already checked twelve times today. You need some spice in this dull life.
Like the superstar android she is - er, plays - Janelle Monáe has saved you from a night previously devoid of sexiness. She and her pal Miguel, quite the fox himself, have given the year’s sexiest song a romantic turn that is not only alluring, but devastatingly romantic.
Who cares if you’re in bed alone? It’s not like those who aren’t have any better a chance to match the magic of “PrimeTime” than you do in your oversized t-shirt and underwear. And please, use proper protection before watching this video.
- Tyler Hanan
After the Disco trailer - Broken Bells
Good news everyone. Broken Bells has released a minute long teaser for a new, full-length album, which is apparently titled After the Disco and due out in January of 2014.
Go to the band’s website and scroll down. It’s simple, but fantastic. That’s some solid use of advertising dollars.
Broken Bells, if you haven’t had the pleasure of deep-diving, is the duo of The Shins’ main man James Mercer and super-producer Brian Burton, a.k.a. Danger Mouse, a.k.a. super talented dude who made the Grey Album, was one half of both Gnarls Barkley and Danger Doom, and has produced albums for The Black Keys, Norah Jones, and Portugal. the Man. He also worked/will work on the upcoming U2 and Frank Ocean (if Wiki is to be believed) records, in addition to crafting one of my favorite albums, Dark Night of the Soul, with the late Mark Linkous, David Lynch, and friends.
To conclude, this news alleviates my worries about the government shutdown nixing my school loans. Also, I’m grotesquely biased. But I mean, did you hear that self-titled album? Don’t we all have October on every single fall mixtape we’ve ever made?
- Tyler Hanan
There are moments in our music lives that we’ll never forget. Your first arena show. Your first basement show. The moment when OK Computer clicked, or that time you got dirty with JT on blast. I’m still working on both of those, but I imagine they’re great.
Four Tet’s eight hour DJ-set on Rinse Sunday was one of those moments. We won’t discuss whether I actually left the house that day; it’s totally irrelevant and none of your business how much Bioshock I played. Suffice it to say, I heard almost all of that set, and there was that fresh, bonkers, why-haven’t-I-heard-most-of-these-before feeling I was hoping for.
The hook for the whole thing - if eight hours of music curated by Four Tet weren’t sharp enough - was the tease of an unreleased track with Burial, recorded at some point during their previous collaborations. As can only be expected, he didn’t play the track until only an hour was left in the set.
Unlike a Breaking Bad teaser halfway through the excruciating Low Winter Sun, though, this wait was full of things the world actually wanted and was better for having, including the also-teased appearances of Caribou, Anthony Naples, and Floating Points.
Now we can relisten to that track - thank you Fact - as well as the first two hours of the set in full. It also looks like people found a way to get the full eight hours, because that’s what the internet does.
- Tyler Hanan
"Consumerism" - Lauryn Hill
I think it’s overlong, overcooked, and too confused to get any message across other than, “isms are bad, I think, I didn’t quite catch them all.”
I also think it’s still quite dynamic, for a few listens. It’s built to get the blood pumping. Sure, it’s a machine gun on the ground with the trigger taped down, bouncing around and firing at, well, everything. One of those every once in a while can be exciting.
- Tyler Hanan
"Blow It South" - White Lung
White Lung released an fabulous rager of an album last year with Sorry, a ferocious effort that actually got a fair amount of well-deserved love. “Melodic punk,” the press release says, but that doesn’t even remotely capture the fervor, fury, and screaming riffs that fuel a White Lung track’s peaks.
"Blow It South" is a single off a 7" slated for a November 5 release on record labels appropriately named "Deranged" and "Sex Beat.” The band is also on tour, with all dates but the fests also featuring Antwon.
10/30 - 10/31: Fest 12 - Gainesville, FL
11/1: Barboza – Seattle, WA
11/2: Bunk Bar – Portland, OR
11/4: Strummers – Fresno, CA
11/5: Soda Bar – San Diego, CA
11/8-11/10: Fun Fun Fun Fest – Austin, TX
11/10: Rubber Gloves – Denton, TX
11/11: Lowbrow Palace – El Paso, TX
11/13: Pub Rock Live – Scottsdale, AZ
11/14: Beauty Bar – Las Vegas, NV
11/15: The Echo – Los Angeles, CA
11/16: Crepe Place – Santa Cruz, CA
11/17: Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA
- Tyler Hanan
"Year of the Dragon" - Fucked Up
One of the raddest pseudo-regularities in hardcore is the yearly-ish Zodiac release from indie’s favorite hardcore band, Fucked Up, a band deserving a far better intro than what I just gave them.
The band performed at NYC’s Le Poisson Rouge on Saturday, September 28, where they debuted what is presumably the title track for the next Zodiac 12”. As vocalist and Yo Gabba Gabba guest Damian Abraham unsurprisingly confess at the clip’s onset, “It’s long.”
That joke is two years old? Jesus, I’m getting old.
Quality is iffy, those dudes in the front look far less than stoked, and Damian is wearing a shirt, so the news is far more exciting than the clip itself. I’m sure the final product will be thrilling, though. Not even terrible audio quality can completely strip those guitars of their cosmic power.
Oh, and according to the totally legit and trustworthy message boards I perused, “Year of the Rabbit” is also done/coming out at some point. Journalism!
- Tyler Hanan
"Ainnome" - Laurel Halo
I was just thinking about Laurel Halo while listening to Lopatin’s new R Plus Seven. Experimental music has been hitting in a big way lately, with Oneohtrix Point Never, Tim Hecker, and Laurel Halo being at the forefront. Quarantine was one of my favorite albums last year, and it was the intuitive melody and awkward vocal phrasings that seduced. So it’s intriguing to see “Ainnome” as a return to a regular electronic jam. Are those loving vocals going to appear on the new album? Are the gone forever? “Ainnome” simply sounds like a regular electronic track in comparison. Here’s to hoping for something great on the new album.
Chance of Rain will be out on Hyperdub on October 28th
"Thor’s Stone" - Forest Swords
I didn’t initially buy into all the Forest Swords hype a couple years ago. The slow, frightening atmosphere doesn’t exactly invite listeners. But Engravings, over time, is really something to dive into; there are new textures to discover, new sounds, new excitements, and it might be one of my favorites this year.
I can’t say enough about this video. A man convulses on the floor for four minutes into the most thrilling, frightening, and overall watchable videos this year. You won’t be able to look away.
- Eric Kossina