Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Untouchables

There was a time when Jack White reigned supreme. Those days have long been over. And this is the wave goodbye as the new Kings of the Mountain glide to the top. Their initials are TBK and they come to boogie. It's out next Tuesday. Go buy it.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

And Still My Heart Sweats

The Japandroids, Post-Nothing

Even though the first time I heard this record was in the listless void that is an Alaskan winter, I immediately understood that this album is a love letter to the greatest summer of your entire life. A summer that was far more exciting in the rear view that it was while unfolding. The content of the album offers unlimited opportunity for tasteless irony and cliched nostalgia, but this record is unpretentious and honest, leaving little room for humor.  Loving girls, and quitting girls and being left by girls, boys leaving small towns to realize and actualize the seemingly infinite opportunity of the universe, cheap beer, impossibly good friends and french kissing for hours, help vaguely define our "better time" of youthful innocence and ignorance. For a two piece band these songs are fantastically full bodied.

Be prepared to Facebook stalk your first girlfriend.

We'll leave tonight and
We'll leave together
They'll say that ain't right and I'll say whatever
Leave all our friends back home

No talk of sons and all talk of daughters
We'll find a little place by the water
 Forget all our friends back home

I'll do the talking, you'll write the letters
I'll sing the beatles and you'll sing them better
Forget all our friends back home

It's raining in Vancouver
But I don't give a fuck
Cuz I'm far from home tonight

It's raining in Vancouver
But i don't give a fuck
Cuz i'm in love with you tonight....

Download Post-Nothing

Best Band Name Ever

Bass Drum Of Death, GB City

These guys create brutal,  heavily distorted, minimalist garage.  Their music might leave you with the implication that there are 4 or 5 people on stage but these incoherent genius's of violence are brilliant in their ability to create a sonic wall that could match a thrash-punk orchestra. If you put this on at a party, be prepared to clean the house up not with a broom, but with a shovel and a wheel barrow.

Grab your power tools before you download: GB City

Monday, August 22, 2011

'Bitch' House

The debut full-length from Balam Acab that officially releases on August 30th on CD and LP through Tri Angle Records is finally here. Yet another gloomy electro artist who has been thrown in with the ever-booming "witch house" genre. Honestly the most he has in common with all of these other artists like Salem and oOoOO is the lurky down-tempo drum machine. His first EP didn't really even have any vocal tracks and the feel although still super druggy was a lot more melancholic and dreamier than his more sinister and gothy peers and apparently this new full-length continues to set him apart. I'm really excited to hear it. His first EP See Birds is incredible and I'm itching to hear what he does with Wander/Wonder.


Get Your Rocks Off.

The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street (1972)

     My job is to bring forth outstanding albums from the classic past. Albums that the likes of our generation have unintentionally glazed over, because there is just too much going on today to pay attention to an album that came out 40 years ago.

     Something that has always set The Rolling Stones aside from the transcendent likes of The Beatles, Hendrix and Zeppelin is that they always had the strength to make you feel that both we, and they are hemmed and torn by similar walls, frustrations and tragedies. They are tied to earthly corporeal issues while others dance wildly in other dimensions and heights that feel unattainable to mere mortals. That was truly the breakthrough of Exile on Main Street. Despite an absence of the band's best-known songs, the sweaty, grimy Exile on Main St. has grown into the Rolling Stones' most universally acclaimed record. Despite dozens of hits, putting together a cohesive album often seemed to be beyond the Stones. Exile is built not on hits but on vibrations, space and the united act of beautifully sleazy, gritty, basement noise. Exile is dense enough to be compulsive: hard to hear, at first, the precision and fury behind the murk and depth ensures that you'll come back. Hearing more with each playing. What you hear sooner or later is two things: an intuition for nonstop get down bang-outs, perhaps unmatched by anything in their catalog to date besides The Rolling Stones self-titled freshman release; and a strange kind of humility, love and pain emerging from a dazed and confused indulgence fiasco. Exile is about physical and spiritual casualties, and partying in the face of them. The party is obvious. The casualties are inevitable.
      Sticky Fingers was the flashy, dishonest picture of a multitude of slow deaths. A beautiful album, but an ugly, dishonest space in the lives of the band members. But it's the search for alternatives, something to do, something worthwhile even, that unite us with the Stones continuously. They are masters without competition at rendering the boredom and desperation of living comfortably in this society. On tracks like "Sway" most of us don't get the real words, because at their most vulnerably crucial moments they were slurred and buried in the panache of sexuality. Jagger had to sign it that way, in "Sway" and again in much of Exile, because thats the way his pride and works. Besides, anything else would make it all too concise and clear, like putting the lyrics on an album cover, which is the most impersonal thing any rock'n'roller can possibly do.
     Exile on Main Street was the great step forward, an amplification of the tough insights of "Gimme Shelter" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want." A brilliant projection of nerve-torn nights that follow all the arrogant celebrations of self-destruction, a work of love and fear and humanity. The plot  charts a rough path from drunken late-night revelry to next-day regret, and there's a profound need for redemption here unique to the Stones, an odd moment of guilt for a band known for consequence-free sexual/drug debauchery. The last complete sentence of the album screams this very angst, "You're gonna be the death of me." Even such a piece of seeming filler as "Casino Boogie" reveals itself, once the words come through, to be a picture of the chaotic, draining, scramble of life on the road. "Rocks Off" and "Shine a Light" present the essential picture. The latter addressing the half-phased-out but still desperately alive person who speaks in the first. This music has a capacity to chill where "Dead Flowers" and "Sway" tended to come off as a shallow attempt at nihilism.

I always hear those voices 
on the street
I want to shout
but I can hardly speak

I was makin' love this time
To a dancer friend of mine.
I can't seem to stay in step...

And I only get my rocks off 
when I'm dremin'

Headin' for the overload
Stranded on a dirty road
Kick me like you kicked before
I can't even feel the pain no more.

     The sense of helplessness and impotence is not particularly pleasant, but that's the way it was and still is for too many. Such withering personal honesty was certainly a departure and evolution for the Stones. "Kick me like you kicked before..." the Stones talking to their audience, the audience talking back. They certainly don't yearn like Nancy's to get back to where they "once belonged" but they do recognize the loss of all sense of wonder, the absence of love, the staleness and sometimes frightening inhumanity of this "new" culture. It is the drive for new priorities.
     When too many people are working so hard at believing that nothing exists besides their own worlds and perspectives, the Stones define the unhealthy state, attest to how far they are submerged in it, and wail at the breakdown with the weapons they have: noise, anger and utter frankness. It's what we've always loved them for. And it took a lot more guts to cut this than "Street Fighting Man," even though the impulse is similiar: an intense yearning to merge coupled with the realization that to truly merge may be only to submerge once more. The end of the line and depths of the despair are reached in "Shine a Light," a visit to one or every one of the friends you finally know is not gonna pull through. A love song of a far different kind:

When you're drunk in the alley baby
With your clothes all torn

And when your late night friends 
all leave you 
In the cold gray dawn
Oh, the Scene threw
so many flies on you
I just can't brush 'em off...

     When Mick says he can't brush off the flies, it's not some bit of macho misogyny, but a simple admission that applies to himself as well. "Soul Survivor" follows immediately with necessity, carrying the album out strong and fierce because the Rolling Stones are about nothing if not struggle. They finally met the 70's in its totality. What Exile is about, past the party roar, is absorption. Inclusion. Or  the recognition of exclusion coupled with the yearning for inclusion: "Let me in! I wanna drink/ from your loving cup!"

Exile on Main Street

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Black Mountains or something...

White Hills are an up and coming 3-piece krautrock/space/psychedelic rock band from New York that just keeps getting exponentially better with every release. Their new album "H-p1" is a conceptual album releasing their frustrations with government and corporation controlled society in a 'nut shell' and thus is their most realized and darkest record to date. They've conquered the entire being of psychedelic rock from the droney spaced out jam drifts, to the wah-wah infused melodic soloing, the gritty catchy bluesy chugging riffs, dynamic drumming, all swirling together through the hazy wall of fuzz, synths and even some glitchy electronics here and there. This record blows my mind every time I put it on. Check it out. It's unbelievable start to finish, but for me the strongest tracks are in it's opener and closer, although I have a hard time leaving out "Upon Arrival" which carries this great Stooges-esque riff that I can never get out of my head...So effing good. This is the righteous reincarnation of the old greats ala Hawkwind and Circle with a modern edge. Try it out. For a full review and a good read check out the Aquarius low-down.

White Hills - "H-p1"


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

More of that Summertime Glee

The first time my eyes were opened to Givers was at Sasquatch Music Festival this year and they were definitely the upset of the festival. One of the few bands I had no idea about and I was completely taken by the first song. Immediately I went home found they're music and impatiently awaited the release of their debut album "In Light", which I have here for you.
It's now been a couple months and still I think I've got it at number one for indie-pop releases for 2011. I can't get enough of it. The uplifting energy that emits from every turn of the record is unrelenting. There is such a youthful freshness to it. Dance-y jangle-y guitars that intertwine, spiraling into the atmosphere of glittery shimmering synths. Ecstatic percussion with lots of shakers, maracas, drum rim hits. Afro-poppy bouncy rhythms. And the vocals (from multiple members- male and female) are incredibly catchy and really just put the icing on the cake. This is a must if you're into The Dirty Projectors, (late) Animal Collective, Local Natives, Vampire Weekend (..shhh), Yeasayer, etc.

Givers - "In Light"

///Raining the Black

Dutch Oven of Awesome

I've been jammin this all day, thought I'd share it. One of my favorite stoner rock records from last year. The band is The Machine, they're a three-piece from Holland, not the Pink Floyd cover band; and they conjure some of the heaviest sludgiest Kyuss-esque stoner rock ever. If you're into bluesy psychedelic stoner rock that'll plod you into the bowel of your couch for all eternity, this might be for you? Does that even make sense? All I know is i'm taken aback every single time I throw this record on. It's super groovy, super heavy, and super psychedelic-the three things I strive for in everyday life. I'm an idiot, whatever-just listen to it.

The Machine - "Drie"


Sunday, August 7, 2011

R.I.P. Joe Yamanaka

Joe Yamanaka, vocalist/harmonicist of Flower Travellin' Band, died today (8/7/11). In remembrance of this incredible band, which may or may not be done, I give you their most acclaimed album, "Satori". Back when hard rock was erupting in the late 60s/early 70s England had Zeppelin, Sabbath, and Cream; America had Blue Cheer and Jimi Hendrix; and Japan had Flower Travellin' Band. They started out as a cover band to bring Japan the good news that was infecting the rest of the world, realized what they had, recruited a couple new members (one of which was Joe Yamanaka), recorded an album of covers called "Anywhere " (which also rules), and immediately started cranking out original material and that same year released "Satori". And it is glorious. If you like your rock hard and psychedelic, this is a must.

Flower Travellin' Band - "Satori" - 1971

Reignin' Bows of Black on the Daily (even if it's not on here...sorry 'bout that by the way),

Sunday, June 19, 2011

No Future. Hate Tyrants. Be Someone.

The Sex Pistols, Nevermind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols(1977)

     As history played out, it showed that the majority of Americans misunderstood much of the no-survivors-not-even-us stance of the punk-rock New Wave, anarchy in the U.K. mentality. When the main enemy is an oppressive mood of collective hopelessness, no one learns faster from experience than the would-be, murderers of society... Enter Sex Pistols. In a commercial sense, the Sex Pistols didn't really destroy anything but themselves. But they took rock & roll seriously and personally, as a matter of pride and necessity, and they played with an energy and conviction that is transcendent in its hatred. It ain't pretty folks, it ain't all that accessible neither, it often sounds like two locomotives colliding under forty feet of mud, but it has a David and Goliath power that will give you goosebumps and lead you fantasizing about burning everything you own and starting the insurrection yourself, for no reason other than your own desire to throw beer bottles at riot police.
     Instead of exploiting the commercial potential of revolution, like what became of the Stones "Street Fighting Man" or The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," the Sex Pistols chose to explore their actual influence on culture. In some sense they absorbed from reggae and Rastafarianism, the idea of a culture making such fantastically outrageous demands upon those who operate society. Demands that no government could ever satisfy; demands that will create a culture that will be exclusive, separatist, apocalyptic, righteous, and stoic, and that will ignore or smash any contradiction inherent in such complexity of stances. 'Anarchy in the U.K.' became, among many things, the white kids 'War on Babylon.'
     They were haters, not lovers and this open defiance of anything structured, stood in stark contrast, to the fact that any revolution in America, is usually based on a platform of a workers-united revolt or acid-casualties, holding hands around the Pentagon and trying to make it levitate. This new militant radicalism, demanding a complete reconfiguration of society, via an immediate dismantling of the government terrified and galvanized American youth. But before we make the Sex Pistols and their minions and associates into tea-and-crumpet Sandinista's, we must remember that this band had more on their minds than being a rock & roll centerpiece for enlightened political discussion. First and foremost, they are musicians, not philosophers, this means they are more interested in making the best and loudest possible noise, than they are in any logical, or illogical, inverted political doctrine.
      It's all speed, not nuance and explodes like a 500 gallon drum of diesel fuel. Johnny Rotten may be a lunatic, but he's got a right to be. Overpowered by his own brand of accusatory dynamite, he stands in front of the mirror, "in love with myself, my beautiful self",  the lyrics that result in the title "No Feelings." You ask for "Holidays in the Sun," he screams, "I wanna go to new Belsen." Johnny Rotten seems to saunter right on through the ego and straight into the realm of his own id and then proceeds to beat the mother-loving fuck out of it. On the subject of relationships or basic human interaction all you get out of Rotten is "See my face, not a trace, no reality," or openly thrashing his own cultural demographic "we're so pretty, oh so pretty/we're vacant/and we don't care," all in the same song where he declares that the Queen "ain't no human being" and England's "a fascist regime." All that said, NO ONE should be frightened away from this album. "Anarchy in the U.K." and especially "God Save the Queen" are perfect rock songs, classics in the vein of "My Generation," "Voodoo Child," "Satisfaction" or "Sunshine of Your Love." 
     Those that judge the Pistols specifically in terms of destruction should stop and remember that any theory of chaos as pretentious as Johnny Rotten's, also contains freedom and beauty. Because anybody who has the capacity for such extreme passion is probably not as much of a nihilist as they come of as, but rather ironically, a moralist and a romantic. In order to direct such passionate hatred towards an unjust system and establishment, you need some honest moral grounds to measure that injustice against. The Sex Pistols want to see everything destroyed, in order to see what is left. Johnny Rotten thinks something will be. Lets fucking hope he's right. 

Here's a prime track that I'm sure most of you are unfamiliar with. 

It Aint Something You Can Synthesize

Jamie Woon - "Lady Luck"

I've already talked about Burial, who, at heart, really is just a massive R&B fan and goes so far as to show that by sampling Ray J and Christina fucking Aguilera. “Lady Luck” is about as close as you'll get to a Burial pop production; it's a less low-fi How to Dress Well, a less twisted Weeknd, but still something fresh and unique in the sense that it would still never be found on American airwaves that shy away from anything that has even a trace of an avant-garde trait. Burial's shit can be pretty terrifying, and while the song's minimal dubstep-like production is where his style really is found, that initial double-tracked burst of hyperventilation over what sounds like the distant march of an oncoming army of undead soldiers sets the tone. Like Burial's tunes themselves, the first few seconds give the track a personality that's soulfully seductive but with a profoundly darker underlining. But either way, Woon knows his voice is the only instrument that really matters here, his silky falsetto jetting to some alternate reality where Justin Timberlake frequently collaborates with James Blake.

Luck be a lady tonight. This song is fire.

Jamie Woon - "Lady Luck"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Atomic Bladio Groovin'

I honestly don't know a thing about these guys and I don't care. My friend Joose Washington sent this to me, and I can't stop listening and trying to figure out this dance. Lets boogie.

Alpha Beta Fix

Sound Tribe Sector 9, Peaceblaster(2008) "The New Soma"

STS9 has always been one of my favorite live acts. Although primarily Electronic, they meld Jazz, Rock, Hip-hop breakbeats, and tastes of classical. Each of their songs sets a theme, which they push and stretch the webbing and limits of, until they find a comfortable place where they settle momentarily then transpose the bastard into something else entirely.  Each songs specific set of experimental stipulations provides stark contrast in tone. Easily moving between spaces of positive, peace-love-dope vibrations, then, apparently no longer content with tranquility, they plunge with speed and force into the confusing, tempestuousness writhing in the cores, of their alienated community of an audience in this post-industrial age. There is an immediate sense of House influence here, but I assure you the percussion is far more exotic and complex than your typical warehouse bullshit. The layering is deep, and flows effortlessly through loops, and keyboards and synthesizers to funk-jam style guitars and bass lines. A song can often sound like two or three by the time it is said and done.  They are very atmospheric, almost visual, I can watch the album with my eyes closed.

The New Soma

-kori auditory

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Bird Brothers Are Tweakin'

The debut full-length by heavy rock duo Tweak Bird slays all. Their first EP Reservations I was quite fond of but nothing on that compares to this monster they released last fall. They have the heavy gritty dancey nature of Death From Above 1979, but instead of the synthy electro-ness of that band they take their twist towards spacey psychedelic rock.
Caleb Bird on baritone guitar lays down the bone crushing guitar riffage while his brother Ashton is pummeling you with drums. (If you see them live, guard yourself from the shrapnel of drum sticks spraying at you as Ashton will surely break a dozen with how powerful he hits them skins.) As you could lazily throw them in with 'stoner rock' these guys are sooooo much more. The powerful rhythm is matched by sweet guitar melodies, spaced out psychedelic freakouts, saxophone solos, flute, the list goes on, and their high-pitched vocal harmonies just soar throughout-mostly babbling about fantastical journeys and aliens and awesome. They are really in a league of their own and are quite difficult to compare. DFA meets Torche meets Sleepy Sun? How does that work you ask? It does. And it'll conquer the world if the public ever decides what good music is. Check out this video for track two, download the album and then buy it.

-Blakk Reynbo

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Less Deadly than the actual Disease

This is a band that was birthed in the eclectic melting pot of Los Angeles, California. As far as new "world" music goes, these guys are IT. I know that's saying a lot, since "world" is such a ranged, loose genre, but I'm not taking it lightly. When most of the gunk coming out of "world" these days is contemporary and traditional these guys are hip and unpredictable.
Lo-fi psychedelic funk with eastern influenced surfy guitars, sax solos, all fronted by the beautiful Chhom Nimol who is a Cambodian goddess singing mostly in her native Khmer tongue with a 60s pop vibe. The mix is perfect. A lot of their earlier stuff is a lot more lo-fi and surfy and although it's still a huge part in this new one, the production soars over anything else they've ever done in the past and I love it. If you dig classy Indian and Southeast-Asian pop and you also like to funk it up, this is for you. Their grooves are massive, and even if she's not singing in English you'll be singing along the top of your lungs. I love love love Dengue Fever and I want you to too. This is a glimpse of one of my favorite tunes from the one that came out earlier this year, although you need to hear more to get a grasp on their entire sound. So download it. It's there for you.

Dengue Fever - Cannibal Courtship

-B↓åçk Ræñb°∙○