March 31, 2010

Pictureplane/Small Black/Washed Out @ The Echoplex [LA; 03/26/10]

The Echoplex turned a few away at the door last Friday (cue flashbacks). That happens when you put five bands of the moment on one bill. I didn't stick around to see YACHT headline, but the preceding hours were well spent. My mind was lost in thought at times (this post could've turned into a discussion on 'the live translation of chillwave', which didn't really sound fun, so we'll let the pubs do that) while at others, lost in pleasant energy. Onward.

It's always wild to see Pictureplane come through LA; musically stimulating as it should be, and also this personal case study in the progressive cycle of things (read: I get really happy for him). Initially shawled and masked, Travis took the stage at 8:30 with an air that felt more like 1am. He didn't just 'open' for the early-goers, he dared them to dance. Most responded in the usual places ("Time Teens", "Boys in Blush", "Trance Doll"). There was a new standout, and for now we'll call it the one that repeats something like "would you be my boy if I was your girl" and samples something like Billy Ocean. UPDATE: it's "Trancegengender" with a vocal sample from The S.O.S Band. No footage of the jam surfaced, but "Goth Star" did:

LA's Bobby Birdman followed. Sorta catchy, sorta campy, sorta went and got a drink. Then came Small Black. No stranger to S&S love, these guys had my expectations high. Probably too high given how young they are, and how perfectly distorted their EP is. Still, they hit a stride towards the end with "Lady in the Wire" and "Despicable Dogs". Next was Washed Out, where my own 'live chillwave' mental commentary continued. He broke into it alone, which bordered on karaoke, but then invited Small Black as a backing band and gave proper treatment to Life of Leisure. This move officially marked a whole that was greater than the sum of its parts (so, they're buddies, they remix each other, they tour together...a future collaboration makes sense here). Pictureplane joined the fun on "Feel It All Around", and we were reminded that songs like these are not for analysis, but rather, good times.

A little look into the Washed Out/Small Black marriage at SXSW via Pitchfork:

Quick | Color Your Life

Taking a 5 here to make sure you've gone over to Twin Sister's site for a free download of their Color Your Life EP (just in case you weren't on the blogosphere yesterday).

Last year's
Vampires With Dreaming Kids captured hearts, becoming my most relived 15 minutes of the season. This one is 30, and bigger in every way that's good. To be expected, "All Around and Away We Go" is the disco-kissed centerpiece. What's satisfying though is that its lovely lead-ins and lead-outs seem to saturate with every spin.

March 25, 2010

Friday Send-Off | Delorean

A beautiful weekend has arrived. Stay close:

Delorean | Subiza (2010)

There was a lot of new to consume this week. And then there was Subiza, waiting there like this bottomless bliss smoothie. It won every time. Delorean's "Seasun" ooo-ahh-ed its way into my top tracks of 09'. And what we have here is a debut LP full of contenders. The 4-piece from Barcelona will no doubt flourish in this post-Pavilion world (they're already a blog-household name). Subiza is physically due in June (leakily obtainable now).

Have fun. Be safe. Get weird.

March 19, 2010

Friday Send-Off | Tanlines

With a steady stream of post-show tweet-praise flowing from SXSW right now, and their Settings EP having now splashed officially (and some dude blurbing them over at, Tanlines are pretty much having 'the best week ever'. And their global dance revolution via wild ride should take us into the weekend:

Tanlines | Settings EP (2010)

In a brief but potent dose, Settings thanks all those who've spent the past year inflating the view counts of Tanlines' many YouTube creations. "Real Life" might have done that on its own already, so really, hearing it all packaged with a few new tropic jams is beyond rewarding. Remember that old Busta Rhymes video with all the blacklight tribal paint? It sounds like a happier version of the way that looked.

Have fun. Be safe. Get weird.

March 18, 2010

Spring Mixtape | Bloom

Nate Larkin-Connolly started sharing his mixes with us last fall. Since then, every seasonal highlight has been successfully...Nate Larkin-Connolly-ed. Spring is a big one. We knew he'd be on it. And here we are, getting an exceptionally fresh compilation, right on cue. His preface below might have the fever:
The calendar year begins January 1st, but it doesn’t really feel like a real new year until March 20th. The first day of spring is like a Boy Scout merit badge. You made it through the winter, mostly unscathed, and as a reward you get a nice shiny new sunny day to pin on your belt. All that cold gross winter stuff was so last year. Now you’re invigorated. This year will be different. This year will have flip-flops and shorts. This year will have flowers and birds. This year will have tons of happy music. The kind of music you need to roll the windows down in car in order to really appreciate. Music that makes you build a tree house or plant a garden. Music so hopeful it seems to inspire the sun to stay up longer and longer with each passing day. Bloom features all new songs that celebrate this new year. Though some of the songs may flirt with summer exuberance, make sure not to look too far ahead. You made it through winter and spring is your victory lap. Take some to time to stop and hear the music.
Download | Spring Mixtape | Bloom

What I dig about Bloom is its slight preference towards the full band and the fearless folk song. In a strange way, I see The Morning Benders' track here as a bridge between this and my previous Random Rainbow mix. If the hazy Rainbow left you yearning for clean guitars and clear vocals, then Bloom should do the trick. And that's not to say it doesn't have some weirder rays of its own. Nicely done.

View tracklist here

March 16, 2010

Woods + Real Estate @ Music Hall of Williamsburg [NY; 03/12/10]

Two very, very good bands played MHOW on Friday. Victoria took pictures.

Together as 'Real Woods' they covered Blind Melon's classic "No Rain", which is notable, watchable (via 3/14 Toronto footage), and downloadable (via Chocolate Bobka). As are these (via popular search engine):
Woods | Songs of Shame (2009)

Real Estate | Real Estate (2009)

March 15, 2010

Monday Love | RxRy

Touched down late last night, and if it were at all an option, I'd be airborne again today, this time for Austin. Especially since our favorite space case study, RxRy, will be physically appearing there (a first, anywhere). He sent over this brief meteor shower from his tour cdr, which you SXSW bound can grab at the set/shake some action party.

Download | Aepreantly Knauwt

Monday love.

March 4, 2010

Friday Thursday Send-Off | Pill Wonder

Just a personal heads up, I’ll be out of my Internet box for a week, starting tomorrow. Conveniently, a week of special posts are lined up, all being hosted over at Crazy right?

If you’re a long time reader, you may be familiar with these annual trips with Habitat for Humanity. I get so caught up in my own ‘boxes’ here; I’m really looking forward to building some physical ones for those who really need them.

Today’s send-off package comes from Pill Wonder. Our first visual inspires via box analogy:

Our second is straight up bananas (note: there are boobs).

Pill Wonder | Jungle/Surf (2010)

This mind safari is brought to us by a 22 year-old Seattle bedroom scientist named William Murder/Murdoch. The wonderful Underwater Peoples tell us that it's the offspring of an old DELL desktop computer with the illegally downloaded Adobe Audition recording software, boxes of macaroni 'n cheese, a little kid's drum set purchased at a garage sale, beat boxing for his rhythm tracks, a 3rd grader's recorder, an electric guitar of the Fender variety, a guitar amp of the Fender variety, some sort of cheap keyboard and one Shure SM 57 microphone. And some wild imagination.

Jungle/Surf found it's way into civilization, so a quick search will land you this.

Have fun. Be safe. Get weird.

March 1, 2010

Wild Beasts @ Music Hall of Williamsburg [Brooklyn, 02/28/10]

Our east coast eyes were present for a good one Sunday night. Aside from the occasional elated text message, I can usually tell just by the photo selects - how many and the speed at which they come in. Needless to say: a lot, and fast. Victoria had this to add:
"There was so much positive hype coming off their west coast and international glad they closed their US tour in Brooklyn. They joked about how their US leg had its ups and downs (getting booed in Detroit). Between Hayden Thorpe's angelic choirboy voice and Tom Fleming's deeper more masculine sound, everyone was completely transfixed at the stage. They played off each other brilliantly - not to mention Hayden's got stage presence...and hits every key, he brings something really special to this group. They closed shop with a 4-song encore and we all left the Music Hall in smiles."

Monday Love