January 30, 2010

Coyote Clean Up | Double Trouble

Earlier this week, one of the most mystical forces in our blog universe, 20jazzfunkgreats, passed along a velvety 20+ track LP from Coyote Clean Up, and it's been running wild.

Cross some textured electronic with a little trip-hop, a few nintendo games, and Sade, then drop them down a well. Coyote Clean Up will pump from the ground. No clue what this shit is really. It makes the booties shake in slo-mo though. 

Many thanks go to Afternoons Modeling for giving it away. 

January 28, 2010

Friday Send-Off | Family Band

The husband/wife duo from Brooklyn (and also a cabin in the woods of Catskills Mountains) that is Family Band had me in just two songs. One of them was "Hatred", which might not immediately fit the optimistic Send-Off formula, but lingers about a room nicely - which will have to do this weekend, since I can't actually chill in this video:

Family Band | EP (2009) | Stream (or order a generous handmade copy while meeting those requests is still realistic for them)

On the 5 tracks self-coined as "heavy mellow" eerie folk, Family Band appear to know exactly what they want from this process. It makes sense to learn that it all stems from a reclusive and beautiful setting (explained in recent interview). That video pieced together footage of the couple's first days working on their upstate property. Again, it all makes sense.

Look for the Miller Path LP very soon.

January 26, 2010

Girls + The Smith Westerns @ Detroit Bar [Costa Mesa, CA; 01/25/10]

Showing up late to last month's Troubadour show was slightly less of a bummer because I knew this one was in the pipeline. I'd normally be surprised that an act of the moment like Girls would choose to launch their 2010 tour (victory lap) from our humble neighborhood establishment, but it's time to respect Detroit Bar - this place is a gem.

Hunx and His Punx opened the night with some serious flamboyance. Beneath the banter and excessively/amusingly sexual humor were a few sharp, throwback-punk hooks (read: Gay Ramones). Then, S&S favs, Smith Westerns took the stage, replacing some of that schtick with greasy garage swagger. Pretty solid. Especially on account of how young they really are.
"Fuck you, where's your band? And you, grey skirt, eat my dick."
- Cullen Omori's response to a random heckling couple near the front.
Standouts from last year's debut did their thing here ("Tonight", "Dreams", "Girl in Love"). Following the latter, my show buddy, Ian (the Old Prospector), leaned over and said "I can't believe no one had written that song before." I knew exactly what he meant: it's a simple, charming riff-heavy groover that prays to T. Rex, Bowie... all glam-rock gods.

Our shoulder space got a little tighter for Girls, who predictably owned. While crowd favorites were most effective, attention wasn't lost during non-Album tracks like "Broken Dreams Club", "Heartbreak", and "Life In San Francisco", where Christopher Owens seemed at his most vulnerable and endearing. "Hellhole Ratrace", the existential monster that it is, dragged our hearts into a slowly prepared frenzy of distortion, landing in a pool of Sonic Youth called "Morning Light."

Somewhere between that and a "Lust For Life" singalong, this dehydrated/drunk(?) dude beside me passed out, like he hit the deck hard, and I guided him to a glass of water at the bar (with flashbacks of Sir Paul). The end.

Here's that song, captured (very well) by the drummer's aunt or uncle, according to YouTube:

January 24, 2010

Haiti Benefit w/ Zach Galifianakis, Britt Daniel, St. Vincent, Justin Vernon @ Music Hall of Williamsburg [Brooklyn; 01/23/10]

BrooklynVegan and Bowery Presents sounded the horns for Haiti and an all-star cast responded. This thing sold out in hours, with 100% of the proceeds being split between an orphanage in Haiti and the Red Cross. Victoria was there, shooting away (and texting a very envious, me). Here's a recap, in her own stream of words:
"...ended up brushing shoulders with Janeane Garofalo who is the tiniest human being I have ever seen...she is like 4'11'. Wyatt Cenac was funny. Then came Britt Daniels (of Spoon) with White Rabbits frontman Stephen Patterson. They had such a good time on stage together, you can tell they were buds. Janeane Garofalo came next - she has the smartest humor and is a strong rooted New Yorker. Made a ton of jokes about the L train and hipsters which the crowd took very warmly to. Gosh she's tiny. St. Vincent went on and sounded like the lovely thing she is. Someone yelled while she was setting up 'show us your bush?', In which she replied, 'that is the strangest thing someone has ever said to me...on or off stage'. Adorable. Following was Zach Galifianakis who everyone was undeniably waiting for. It really looked like he just rolled out of bed, picked up some papers from a table and walked on stage totally winging his whole act...hilarious. Alas came Vernon (aka Bon Iver). His voice sounded just as amazing it does on record. The room was at its most quiet during "Flume" (video). Unreal. He was the last act but did say something about a special guest (My Brightest Diamond/Megafaun), I had to leave early, I imagine it rounded out the benefit nicely. Really awesome that these guys all came together.'
Watch Vincent and Vernon cover Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" here. UPDATE: BV has the full story up with some wonderful pics, here. Thanks for the plug!

January 22, 2010

Friday Send-Off | Real Live Flesh

Just can't get enough tUnE-yArDs around here. I even like typing it. So, the official music video for "Real Live Flesh" dropped in all its funny-faced glory this week. Although creative/interesting/cute, it didn't scream Send-Off. There is, however, something about the way Merrill Garbus brings the track to real life during a 4AD Session, that does.

Download | tUnE-yArDs | BiRd-DrOpPiNgS EP (2009, .rar)

It's clear, on her former contributions to Sister Suvi (grab Now I Am Champion here), and especially on her own, Garbus is a force. Her solo debut BiRd-BrAiNs (grab here) was of the most inventive (and best) releases of 2009. And she wasn't done. This is a 4 song EP where the wow-ing with originality continues. More cuts, loops, afro-beat highs, R&B lows...an all-out untaggable sound.

January 18, 2010

Lindstrøm & Christabelle | Real Life Is No Cool

Play "Lovesick" once. It's not a tough sell. Anyone who crossed my living room over the weekend (a characteristically high traffic zone) averaged about 10 seconds before: "who is this?

Download | Lindstrøm & Christabelle | Real Life Is No Cool (2010)

Norwegian producer Lindstrøm has ushered in a new kind of disco beast on Real Life Is No Cool. Credit the sexually charged vocals of Christabelle (also known as Solale) for some of that, or the shamelessly pulsating beats, or what Lindstrøm himself calls the "structured chaos" of this collaboration.  

"Lovesick" charges down a catwalk, nude. "Baby Can't Stop" borrows the horn section from Off The Wall and gets away with it. "High & Low" lays down a slow-jam spoken word that would make that deep bass dude from Boyz II Men blush. And the attention to detail (you'd expect from a guy that had a 29 minute track on his last album) is not the least bit cheapened by all the fun.

January 16, 2010

RxRy *|* RxRy *|* RxRy *|* RxRy *|* RxRy

Random to post on a Saturday (pretty much accepting that there's no one out there right now), but I'm half-awake after an afternoon snooze, about to get on with it, and gotta share this before I do. Kind of like writing a dream down before it disappears forever.

Download | RxRy | RxRy (2010)

This showed up in the BUTTERxFACE ladies inbox last week, they broke it with a space jammin' blurb, and here we are. It's an intriguing premise - no one seems to know who/what/where RxRy is (via the jj model). His/her/their brand is otherwise well established (*|* everywhere) - which all means nothing if the product isn't equally as enigmatic/aesthetically captivating. And that it is.

Lots going on here, in a very, very subtle way. It bumps and soothes, simultaneously (I see "drownstep" on the myspace). I foresee this thing getting a lot of plays, at some crucial times.

January 15, 2010

Friday Send-Off // Mixtape | "Big Wave Rider" // Underwater Peoples

This track swam around last summer and now we see its video taking the same lap, and I can't help but join in. Too much of a send-off candidate not to let it ride.    

Download | Mixtape | Underwater Peoples Winter Review

Rainbow Bridge, hailing from Olympia, Washington, has a few ditties on a 7" and more in the works. I won't jump the gun on the duo just yet (you can grab the "Big Wave Rider" here), so let's have ourselves a quasi-related mix instead. 

Another fleet of relaxation beats was given away by the rad Underwater Peoples label over the holidays and has since kicked its legs out and totally crashed on my couch. Real Estate, Ducktails, Mountain Man, Rainbow Bridge, and a bliss-load of others for you to get acquainted with. Tracklist, blurbage, and direct download via Chocolate Bobka

Have fun. Be safe. Get weird. 

January 12, 2010

Mixtape | "Forehear 2010"

There's a lot to look forward to this year and Nate's got a damn good handle on it. Here's how he sets it up:
A new year has begun and it’s time to throw out all of 2009’s best-of-lists and start again with a nice clean slate. “Forehear” is a collection of music that has and will come out over the next 12 months. It’s a grab bag of new stuff from old favorites like Spoon, The Magnetic Fields and Hot Chip mixed with fresh faced up and comers like The Soft Pack, Best Coast and Local Natives. You’ll also find some old friends with new names: Indie music slut Danger Mouse harnesses James Mercer’s life-changing-pipes for a new project called Broken Bells. Jónsi Birgisson steps out of the shadows of his band mates in Sigor Ros and his boyfriend in Riceboy Sleeps for his first solo outing aptly titled Jónsi. Now don’t get too excited. This mix is just the tip of 2010’s musical iceberg. With giddily anticipated albums from Radiohead, The Strokes, and Arcade Fire, 2010 is shaping up to be a blockbuster year. Even more exciting is the unknown: What anonymous troubadours are going to create the most deafening buzz this year? Who’s the next next? Will there really be a new Strokes album this year? Those questions and more will be answered in the months to come. For now, just let these tunes wet your ear’s appetite.
This covers some serious bases. Not only does it get me generally stoked (and onto some leads), it also has me thinking I should throw a little one of my own together. Things are coming in too fast. And if Nate's library looks anything like mine (of course it does) then he already knows how the full meal tastes to some of these singles (thank you blog culture). 

And thank you Nate.

View tracklist here. Photo credit for artwork: The Sartorialist.

January 11, 2010

Atlas Sound @ LA Natural History Museum [1/8/10; in mammal photos]

The idea of some high profile acts playing the mammal room of a museum is odd and awesome, especially when the main draw is Bradford Cox - one of the more fascinating human beings roaming the earth. Turned out to be just that; a tad flawed by the capacity logistics of an unconventional venue, but ultimately special, given the spectacle, and well, Bradford Cox.

The First Friday series is rad and consequently, insanely popular and probably oversold (good luck with Yeasayer next month, guys). So I heard most of tUnE-yArDs (another best of 2009) from a crawling line that ran back to the main entrance. Luckily Merrill Garbus's worldly percussion party was loud and clear. I obviously would have preferred to see songs like "Hatari" and "Fiya", but at least they could be felt from anywhere in the building.

All was put at ease when Cox aka Atlas Sound took the stage (while I did the "hey there's my friend" trick to the front, thanks Ashley). I've seen him perform with Deerhunter before, but never on his own. With a diorama of majestic bison at his back, he took us through some intimate solo work. As would be the case throughout the set, his opener was drenched in reverb and layered for days, introducing a hypnotic command of both freeform dreamscapes and complex, well-practiced structures. It was like watching a perfect song spontaneously written in slow motion. His tools: a guitar, harmonica, mixer, looping pedal and voice - sometimes raw, sometimes intoxicated by effects.

He too was digging the the taxidermy surroundings, likening it to his own childhood hamsters - a funny story that broke into an ode to his dad, and a crowd participation chant, which was repeated on itself and released over a very heartfelt "Criminals". More Logos songs would take familiar shape and then float away in unrestrained holes of time, with Cox never losing his whereabouts. A cutesy version of "Walkabout" ended on a metallic strum that founded the start of "Sheila"; it was one effortless transition after another. He declared the last song to also be his favorite (a rare disclosure for most musicians). "Attic Lights" must have been doubled, if not tripled in length here, ranging from a wall of piercing howls to a warmth of melodies - a true finale, and quite simply, Cox's artistic existence in a nutshell.

Here's "Walkabout" (also see related videos for "Sheila" and "My Halo")

January 8, 2010

Friday Send-Off | Small Black

The first proper send-off of the new year belongs to Long Island by way of Brooklyn's Small Black and pretty much owns on an existential level. Never stop doing what you love:

Download | Small Black | Small Black EP (2009, .rar)

From Pictureplane's Best of 09':

"I was lucky enough to meet and play two shows with these dudes, and they blew me away. They sound like some sort of alternative cool kid house party that takes place in a movie from the 90s. A house party where everything goes right, you get the girl and jump in the pool with all your clothes on..."

While "Despicable Dogs" is its moving single (along with a remix from Washed Out), Small Black EP is able to hold that basic vibe throughout. 'Minimal Casio noise pop' ballads like "Bad Lover" and "Lady In The Wires" get a little less minimal with every listen. More please.

January 7, 2010

Toro Y Moi | Causers Of This

The cure to my chillwave hangover of 09', Causers Of This showed up in early December (after lead track "Blessa" teased its way through the fall, while that Beach House cover continued to linger) and has been pretty much on call ever since.

Download | Toro Y Moi | Causers Of This (2010)

It's not too far off from the aforementioned subgenre (making that cure more like a bloody mary or something), but this shouldn't be restricted to just one bin. Chaz Bundick's beats are plenty woozy and every bit as edible as those from Washed Out/Neon Indian/etc (what The Wire coined "hypnagogic pop"). That comparison though says little about how diverse and danceable this can get. Chill/dreamy/'glo'-ey, sure, but someone invited R&B, hip hop, and prog rock to this party and shit got interesting. All lines have been blurred. If you aren't already, get in.

And grab the cover of MJ's "Human Nature" he did for the
BUTTERxFACE girls here. YES.

January 4, 2010

Quick | Pictureplane Brings Back Totally Dude

The self-directed video for "Cyclical Cyclical (Atlantis)" is one shot, and it's totally dude. That is, it recreates one of Travis' random YouTube clips from the early years.

The 2007 original:

He gave some words on the performance art piece over at
Stereogum. Plenty where that came from, my personal favorite: "Visual Manipulation At The Apollo Theatre".