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The Russian Man - Tongue

[Edited] It took me far too long to brush the digital dust off this one and give it a listen. /  /  / (just go with it) from Tongue (pronounced “No Tongue”) has been waiting on my computer for a while, and I’m kicking myself for not listening to this sooner. Picking a song was hard - ultimately, the shortest one was settled upon, with it’s delicately evocative guitar intro that inevitably gets a bit more frantic. Go to the bandcamp and download this 4-song release, for your own sake [link].

- Tyler Hanan

"Werner Herzog" - Busdriver feat. Open Mike Eagle & Nocando

Full disclosure: I don’t know as much about any of these guys as I probably should. However, that doesn’t stop me from loving nearly everything about this, including:

"Werner Herzog" goes hard and it’s witty as hell - just watch it. It’s enough to get me to download Busdriver’s free Arguments With Dreams EP off Big Dada [link].

- Tyler Hanan

"In A Big City" - Titus Andronicus

This post was inevitable, as is the following flood of random observations I have concerning this new Titus Andronicus video and all the semi-related subjects. I’ll try to control myself.

The Isaac Ravishankara-directed video itself: pretty great. Beardless Stickles looks more grown-up, and, after the initial shock of  the beard loss, I find it quite fitting. Also, the man still looks super-serious and more than a little prickly and pissed off. He sells the face shot-heavy video. The video really picks up at the end, when the quick-switch between face shots ties itself to the song’s beat, when the song itself is subtly gearing up for its excellent climax. 

As for the aptly-titled, toned-down (compared to The MonitorLocal Business, it’s similarly sneaky; a smartly stark departure from The Monitor, it could be said. A review of that possibly coming soon. Also, apparently Grantland is in the business of premiering music reviews. As I quite enjoy Steve Hyden’s music reviews (including one of this very album), I am quite okay with that.

Minimal tangents and rambling. 

- Tyler Hanan

"In a Big City" - Titus Andronicus

Ah yes, the highly-hyped, dirty punkers Titus Andronicus return. Though it’ll be curious to see how they follow up an album as ambitious as The Monitor, first single and album opener “In a Big City” is a fun first taste of Local Business (out October 22nd on XL). Paired with a lyric video surpassing the low bar set by most others, the track seems to be just that - a taste. Though we have two (great) songs now, is there really any way we can predict what else Stickles and Co. will do on the other eight tracks? “The Monitor” was a whole even greater than the sum of its (also great) parts - it’ll be interesting to see how different, how new, Local Business will be. For now, this is pretty awesome. 

Edit: Also, check out the just-announced fall tour dates with the similarly excellent punkers Ceremony. The tour will include an exclusive split 7” featuring this song and the Ceremony track “Everything Burns.” [link]

- Tyler Hanan

"Mtn Tune" - Trails and Ways

Trails and Ways create summery dream pop that, rather than fading away shortly after ending as many light, fun songs are prone to do, sinks a hook into one’s mind that keeps that cursor stuck on the “replay” button. This latest single, along with its live action video of outdoor activities bathed with a warm hue, makes good use of quick pacing and a seamless, shifting blend of rat-a-tat drums and blissed-out guitar to keep the the listener swept up throughout the four minutes of endless-summer pop goodness. Enjoy, then go out where there’s some sunshine. 

- Tyler Hanan

"Get Ya!" - Cheers Elephant

A music blogger without his go-to music blogs is lost, and a person that doesn’t give credit where it is due is a jerk. Thus do I thank Antlered Pigeons for posting (a week ago, but I can only keep up so quickly) ”Leaves,” a raucously fun song from Cheers Elephant. This led me to Cheers Elephant’s, Like Wind Blows Fire, which is available both digitally (for name-your-price, including free)  and physically (just a tad bit more expensive than free), which in turn provided even more jaunty rock ‘n roll filled with a number of wonky tricks and general pluckiness that is simply a blast. See “Get Ya!” above for further evidence [link]. 

- Tyler Hanan

"World Heaves" - Mount Eerie

Though usually hesitant to post prolifically about specific artists, an second Mount Eerie post in less than a week was nothing less than a guarantee upon the release of “World Heaves.” The song is on a 7” single that is part of Graveface Records’ Charity Series [link], a subscription series for 7”s and 10”s from various artists that will benefit Friends of the ACFL [link] (“Dedicated to the preservation of the Anacortes Community Forest Lands through education, outreach, and stewardship.”). Thus, the single simply had to be posted due to the following facts: A) it’s a Mount Eerie song, B) it’s for a good cause, and C) it’s even better than Ocean Roar. Truly it does. It has that slightly off-kilter quality of all the best of Phil Elverum’s catalog, carried with a magnificent, powerful bass and percussion that is… off, but irresistible.

- Tyler Hanan

Nas - Life is Good

Review: Will McGee

An album of humility, personal confessions, musings on society, and a reminder of a still-formidable technique, from a man who’s seen a deficit in those departments for years.  It’s not as though NaS has ridden for nearly twenty years solely on the success of Illmatic, but a few of his releases throughout the years have seemed to be a strange mix of delusion and simply running out of ideas, and hopes for Life Is Good were not necessarily the highest.  

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"Oregon" - Cancellieri

Cancellieri is the synth-powered dream pop project of one Ryan Hutchens, another excellent small artist from the industrious, forward-thinking Post-Echo.  Bringing to mind a few other great artists in the burgeoning one musician-one synth-one bedroom scene such as NSB favorites Youth Lagoon and Arrange. The gentle piano and instrumental build to the climax of this track are especially reminiscent of the former, albeit on a smaller scale. Cancellieri’s most recent release, the astonishingly pretty, tranquil-as-a-painting five-song EP Bad Hands, patiently awaits your restless ears. [link]

- Tyler Hanan

"Pyrakantha" - Balmorhea

Don’t think I didn’t notice this gentle gem’s release today. Balmorhea’s immense talent for creating lithe and lovely pieces of fluid narrative art is difficult to overlook, no matter how they choose to do so. The gift of this beauty and the promise of an album, Stranger, on October 2nd (yet another in what is shaping up to be a packed October slate), make today a day worth celebrating. [link]

- Tyler Hanan