Beach House – “Myth”
March 7, 2012, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As rumored, Beach House will be releasing their fourth album, Bloom, in May and they teased us today with the first single “Myth” – a typically gorgeous slab of shimmering 4AD pop.  “Myth” sticks to Teen Dream‘s heftier sound with a more pronounced back-beat and soaring solo at the end.  Can’t help thinking this is going to sound big live.

Bloom is out 5/15 via Sub Pop.

Download MP3: “Myth”

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Bearded Ceph Mix #2: The Thaw
February 25, 2012, 4:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The second installment of my mix series is now available for your listening pleasure over on Spotify.  The tracklist is below:

1. M83 – “Intro (feat. Zola Jesus)”

2. Pulp – “Do You Remember The First Time?”

3. Porcelain Raft – “Unless You Speak From Your Heart”

4. WU LYF – “Such A Sad Puppy Dog”

5. Modest Mouse – “Night On The Sun”

6. Frankie Rose – “Interstellar”

7. Wolf Parade – “Yulia”

8. Light Asylum – “Shallow Tears”

9. Ride – “Vapour Trail”



Moonface – “Teary Eyes and Bloody Lips”

I’ve been an unabashed Spencer Krug fan for as long as possible but his first LP under the Moonface moniker, last year’s Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped, left me feeling more than a little underwhelmed.  I have no problem with the new sonic territory – he can write on organ and marimbas all he wants as long as he’s writing compelling songs.  Organ Music was the first time Krug seemed more interested in exploring sounds than writing something memorable which is doubly troubling as he’s an artist whose always seemed to have a surplus of memorable songs.  The next Moonface release, a collaboration with Finnish post-rock band Siinai (they toured through Europe with Wolf Parade in 2009), already sounds more promising.  First single “Teary Eyes and Bloody Lips” doesn’t sound that far removed from Krug’s Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown material and, most importantly, the brief, gripping motorik jam is the most memorable thing Krug has released in a couple of years.

With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery is out 4/17 via Jagjaguwar.

Download MP3: “Teary Eyes And Bloody Lips”



Porcelain Raft – “Put Me To Sleep” & “Unless You Speak From Your Heart”

For the last few years, Mauro Remiddi has been writing and recording songs on his own as the one man band, Porcelain Raft.  After releasing the excellent EP, Gone Blind, last year (as well as many other songs via bandcamp), Porcelain Raft’s debut LP, Strange Weekend, is finally coming out this week courtesy of the always dependable Secretly Canadian.  His woozy, lo-fi, bedroom pop has often been saddled (not inaccurately) with the label “dream-pop” but Strange Weekend boasts higher fidelity, louder guitars and neverending earworms (I guess you could call it shoegaze now?).  It is true nothing Remiddi is doing sonically is new or original but he separates himself from the pack of Cocteau Twins/MBV acolytes with his strongly defined pop songcraft.  Yes, he pens hooks and choruses that will stay lodged in your brain for years but I’ve also noticed a lot of his songs have a certain swagger and dramatic sweep emblematic of glam figureheads Bowie and T. Rex.  Recently, my girlfriend astutely observed that “Unless You Speak From Your Heart” was reminiscent of the Smith Westerns (a band strongly indebted to Bowie/Bolan) and that “Put Me To Sleep” echoed The Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979” a fair amount.  I probably never would have made those connections on my own but I agreed completely.  Most importantly, it was a reminder that it would be lazy and unfair to simply continue labeling Porcelain Raft as dream-pop/shoegaze when Remiddi is offering us much more.

Strange Weekend is out 1/24 via Secretly Canadian.

Download MP3: “Put Me To Sleep”

Download MP3: “Unless You Speak From Your Heart”



Bearded Ceph Mix #1: Here Comes The Winter
January 19, 2012, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Since Spotify makes it so damn easy, fun and, most importantly, legal to make/share mixes with pretty much anyone, I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity and start creating a series of mixes/playlists that I will share via this ol’ blog of mine.  First up is “Here Comes The Winter” which is pretty self-explanatory.  The tracklist:

1. David Bowie – “Warszawa”

2. Future Islands – “In The Fall”

3. Radiohead – “Staircase”

4. I Break Horses – “Winter Beats”

5. Oneohtrix Point Never – “Andro”

6. Grimes – “Crystal Ball”

7. The National – “Exile Vilify”

8. Galaxie 500 – “Snowstorm”

9. Real Estate – “Snow Days”



Top 20 Albums of 2011
December 27, 2011, 5:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

So, here it is.  A little earlier than planned but I’m ready to put 2011 behind me.  Compared to ’09 and ’10, this year in music was fairly disappointing.  Many of my most anticipated albums of 2011 were letdowns to some degree – some big enough that I have very little interest in revisiting them (Radiohead, TV on the Radio) and some managed to still make my top 20 despite being less than what I hoped for (Bon Iver, Panda Bear).  A lot of my favorite music this year came from vets that I did not have high expectations for anymore (PJ Harvey, Wilco, Low, Wild Flag) or new acts that blew me away (EMA, WU LYF, IceAge, The Men).  In short, 2011 was a year of surprises.

As a bonus, I compiled a Spotify playlist of my 50 favorite songs of 2011.  Note: they are unranked and in alphabetical order.

20) Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica

Download MP3: “Sleep Dealer”

Download MP3: “Replica”

19) Bon Iver – Bon Iver

“Holocene”

18) Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo

Download MP3: “Jesus Fever”

Download MP3: “In My Time”

17) Wilco – The Whole Love

“Dawned On Me”

16) The Men – Leave Home

Download MP3: “Bataille”

15) IceAge – New Brigade

Download MP3: “White Rune”

Download MP3: “Broken Bone”

14) Atlas Sound – Parallax

Download MP3: “Te Amo”

Download MP3: “Terra Incognita”

13) Future Islands – On The Water

Download MP3: “Before The Bridge”

Download MP3: “Balance”

12) Panda Bear – Tomboy

Download MP3: “Last Night At The Jetty”

11) Wild Flag – Wild Flag

“Romance”

10) Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact

Download MP3: “Mindkilla”

9) PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

“Written On The Forehead”

8) Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost

Download MP3: “Vomit”

7) WU LYF – Go Tell Fire To The Mountain

“Heavy Pop”

6) Low – C’mon

Download MP3: “Try to Sleep”

Download MP3: “Especially Me”

5) Smith Westerns – Dye It Blonde

“All Die Young”

“Weekend”

4) tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l

Download MP3: “Bizness”

3) Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital

Download MP3: “What About Us”

Download MP3: “Repatriated”

2) Fucked Up – David Comes To Life

Download MP3: “Queen of Hearts”

Download MP3: “Ship of Fools”

1) EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints

Download MP3: “The Grey Ship”

“California”

Honorable Mentions

Beyoncé – 4

Blanck Mass – Blanck Mass


Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto

Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges


Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues


The Horrors – Skying

Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne

John Maus – We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves


Tom Waits – Bad As Me


The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient

 



The Men – “Bataille”
December 18, 2011, 5:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Next in my slowly continuing series of “albums I slept on until the last minute” is Brooklyn-based, noise-punk quartet The Men who weld noise, shoegaze, hardcore and krautrock into a monolithic blitzkrieg akin to their neighbors, A Place To Bury Strangers.  In more colorful terms, imagine the supernova resulting from the collision of The Stooges’ Fun House and My Bloody Valentine’s Isn’t Anything and we’re getting pretty close.  It’s also worth noting that the epic “( )” weaves in snippets of Spacemen 3’s “Revolution” and “Take Me To The Other Side.”  “Bataille” is probably the best entry point on Leave Home due to it’s relative adherence to a verse-chorus-verse structure and scorched-earth, surf-rock riffage.

If Leave Home isn’t enough for you (it wasn’t for me), The Men have already announced Leave Home‘s follow-up, Open Your Heart, will be out March 6th.

Leave Home is out now via Sacred Bones.

Download MP3: “Bataille”




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