Monday, June 22, 2020

Music Review //
Liam Mour
"Ode To Youth" //

When I listen to "Ode To Youth" I think about what it was like to be younger than I am now.  Isn't it strange how with every passing second we were younger before we are now though?   By the time I have finished writing this review- by the time you reach that final sentence- you will be older than when you first started reading this all.   The concept of time fascinates me and aside from the science of it all, I also believe that one thing which helps keep older people (like me) feeling younger is having kids because we can, in some ways, revisit our youth through them.

As an instrumental electronic song, "Ode To Youth" somehow finds a way to be both urgent and relaxing at the same time.  You could put this one on and go for a run or drive and it will help you keep awake, but you could also put it on when no one else is around, in the dark, close your eyes and just drift away in your thoughts and dreams.  Songs aren't always so adaptable to where they can create different scenes based upon headphones or speakers but Liam Mour has found a way to capture that here.

Though this song starts with just some synth tones, but then softer tones come in with beats in a "Knight Rider" type of build.  This reminds me of both Makeup and Vanity Set and Phantoms vs Fire.   The more elements it adds to the music, the more it grows- the pace quickens, the sound gets louder and really it just blossoms.   I imagine a lot of the first half of this song as the soundtrack to a plant growing, only in a video where it is sped up, as the seed becomes the stem, leaves and flowers.

It then drops down more minimal, slower as if to seemingly pause and reflect.  This is where I feel like a lot of memories of youth are found, for those of us who are older (or just feel older)   Laser shots come in with cymbals and the whole thing builds back up again but in a different way this time.  It reminds me less of flowers this time and more of a sunrise, as it just feels like we've gone from darkness into the light.   And it is that power- that creativity- which is found when listening to this song that makes it one you should experience at different times and as much as possible for various experiences of self discovery and joy.

Cassette Review //
Rosé Perez + Period Bomb
"Born in a Bag"
(Crass Lips / 20/20 Tapes & Records)

$6 // //

I feel like I'm one of the only people who actually liked the "Birds of Prey" movie.  I don't like most of the films by DC and I genuinely think that their take on "Justice League" is the worst film ever made, but for whatever reasons I really enjoyed "Birds of Prey" to the point where I recently bought it on Blu-Ray.   Perhaps one of the things which I like about it is the casting of Rosie Perez, whom I have loved ever since I saw "White Men Can't Jump".   Though this name may sound similar, this cassette is actually a split between Rosé Perez and Period Bomb.   But, yes, I think Rosie Perez should be a more celebrated actress.

I wasn't sure at first what was going on with the audio clips in the first song, but then when you see the title "Megan's Wedding" it all makes sense because it's about the "royal wedding".   That's about as much as I know about all of that, and bless Rosé Perez for making me listen to their vows and now that's something I can say that I did.   Synths make Rosé Perez sound upbeat, like Oingo Boingo but also in a modern way, as words are sung, spoken and layered.   It's like if Delta Dart fused with Dan Deacon and it's amazing. 

The second begins with slow acoustic strumming and the singing of the word "placenta".  I mean, this is a split with Period Bomb, so don't seem too shocked.  This song kicks in so heavily distorted that it does shock me in that way though because it just went from quiet to loud like flipping a switch but yet it worked so well.   "Placenta Agenda" is also about eating the placenta, which just goes to show why this is a split with Period Bomb.   I could totally see Rosé Perez and Period Bomb playing shows together and trying to outdo the other on stage with freaking out the crowd.

Bass lines lead the charge on "Masculine" and it's a rather distorted song, which I do enjoy.  Is it bad that this song sings (mockingly) "Look at me I'm so masculine" and I immediately think of at least five people?  "Diva Cup" has a lot of talking within the singing.  It's more melodic and less distorted than the other songs.   I'm pretty sure the subject matter is close to that of their friends on the other side.   Sadly, this is the only piece of music I can find from Rosé Perez on Bandcamp but I'm definitely interested in hearing more.   Four songs just doesn't feel like enough.

On the flip side Period Bomb starts up with some bass lines and rocking.  The lyrics are all attributed to the title- "Social Niceities"- and it always has bothered me how as a society we're so inclined to ask "How are you doing?" to someone else- I mean go to a grocery store and the cashier will ask you- but how often does the person asking really care?  I feel like the next time someone asks me "How are you?" I should just open up to them about everything- which is a lot because just look at what's going on in the world right now on top of all of our own personal shit.   But I don't want to be that burden on society, so we lie, say we're fine and move along.

In the second song, "Jazz Song", the diva cup is mentioned confirming my belief from that song closing out the first side.   This music is so wild, doing so many different things at once.  It reminds me of Christiansen at times, but then I just also think about "Where have I heard this before?" and my ears become partial from spending so much time listening to Period Bomb.    "Sexy Cowboy" has closer to a traditional sound (for Period Bomb anyway) as it races across verses, starts and stops and just that overall feeling of The B-52's or skramz. 

The bass lines on "Control Freak" do remind me of "Bleach" era Nirvana.  The lyrics raise an interesting point that we are all control freaks- even our dogs- and it's true because we all want to be in charge, we all want to be the main characters of our own stories (and we should be) but sometimes we have to accept that, to others, we are only supporting characters.   If you're not listening to Period Bomb and making similar realizations about yourself and life then I don't know how you're spending your time.

Cassette Review //
Attic Ted
"Kafka Dreaming"
(Pecan Crazy)

$7 // //

From the moment I pressed play on this cassette I knew I was in love.   The music started off as something that you might have heard in the 1980's or early 1990's- during the birth of cassettes- and yet it still also has some kind of modern, strange way about it.  In some ways it's that sound of Talking Heads but perhaps with Fred Schneider in control.   One of those little things which impressed me, just within the first song, which perhaps I should not have been so impressed by is that the title of the song- "Skip To Lulu"- is being sung.

"Come Inside", which is the second song, comes out a bit dreamy and a little bit more like Pink Floyd.   It's not as fast paced as the previous song, but more of an unravelling, as it is slower and more deliberately drawn out.   This takes us into what can best be described as a wild carousel ride on the third song followed by a drum machine fueled song called "14 Hours" to end the first side.   Though, the way this song sounds I literally did put in my notes "Drum machine? More like FUN MACHINE!" and I stand by it.

On the flip side we begin with the titular track and to hold true to that name there is a line in here about being a cockroach.  This song is guitar chord heavy to start, as it can sound a little bit like surf rock.   "Should Have" comes on next with this Groovie Ghoulies way about it.  There are ultrasonic lasers being fired and it just reminds me most of something you would hear while Scooby Doo and the gang were running around on their wacky adventures, but also with a modern twist.

As we approach the end of the cassette the sound truly begins to break down and get even wilder than before (which as the listener I didn't feel was possible)   There are elements of ska in here, but in that way that a band like Gogol Bordello sounds.   It also reminds me a bit of Blue Meanies and then I imagine that particular band singing about wearing purple and it's kind of the sound of this song.   The final song feels like a polka, as modem sounds shoot through the background, and it all comes together with the crashing and banging of what could be something in the studio signaling the end.

I've always been a fan of that weirder, outsider rock because I feel like it's not quite what's on the radio but it's also still something someone who listens to the rock on the radio might listen to and enjoy.  During "Kafka Dreaming" there are moments of "Yeah, this is pop.  People who like that radio rock will like this" and then there are also moments of "Oh no, this will definitely be too weird for them"  As much as I enjoy music both for the masses and for no one, I feel like this combination of both is the most pleasing because in some ways everyone can feel like it's being made just for them.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

That's My Jam! // Volume 2 (May 20th, 2020)

/01/ Dan Deacon "Mystic Familiar" (Domino Recording Co)

I've always enjoyed the music of Dan Deacon, back since that Spider-Man of the Rings album, and this is no exception.   This music starts off in a way which might be the positivity we need in the world right now, but then it dives off into some deep static which makes me feel like we've gone through a portal into a different realm where the rules are not quite the same.    At some point during the second half of the album we're on this instrumental wave that just feels like it neverends, as you can just see it stretch out past the horizons and with limitless potential.   "My Friend" doesn't come on until second to last but it's still my favorite song on this album.

/02/ Johanna Warren "Chaotic Good" (Wax Nine Records)

Pleasant acoustics with hypnotic vocals give this one the feeling of folk.    This kicks into a faster paced song which is somewhere between Michelle Branch and Delta Dart.    It takes almost halfway through the album, but "Twisted" just takes these songs to a whole new level, musically and lyrically.   By "Thru Yr Teeth" we get into a somewhat country ballad though this all ends with a lovely piano ballad.

/03/ Loose Fit "Loose Fit" (Fat Cat Records)

This is fun like Talking Heads. 

/04/ Rimplton "Low Oxy" (1000Doors)

Chill beats.   Relaxing tones.     The second track has a faster paced, virtual ping pong ball bouncing around feel to it.   And then the beats just kick in and this one becomes so much energetic fun.    Synths come shooting through in laser blast form on the third song.   The fourth and final song somehow brings all of the beats, lasers and other chill sounds together to complete this masterpiece.

/05/ Underground Canopy, Bluestaeb, S. Fidelity "Bluestaeb & S. Fidelity Present Underground Canopy"

As a record, this one is sold out but there are funky synths and overall just a futuristic feeling of jazz on this one.    Those pianos come in like Charlie Brown and this just has a rhythm which both makes me want to move and stay still.    That smooth sax brings out some combination of elevator and video game music. 

/06/ Rotting Out "Ronin" (Pure Noise)

Good old fashioned hardcore to wake up the neighbors.

/07/ Stay Inside "Viewing" (No Sleep)

Given that we all are supposed to stay inside right now, this should be a much more popular album than it is.   It's got that mewithoutYou thing going on.

/08/ Mallcops "We Made Plans to Self-Destruct and Return To The Stars"

Fun like Modern Baseball.

/09/ Cavanaugh "Quarantine Recordings"

Cavanaugh is Open Mike Eagle + Serengeti.  At least one of their mutuals is Darko The Super.   This is the type of crossover we need.   I would like more of these songs please.

/10/ Chloe Moriondo "Spirit Orb"

Pop punk, somewhat along the same lines as Speedy Ortiz only not.    These are only four songs, ten minutes or so, which leaves this as fun to put on when you don't want to listen to something longer- like if you just have something quick to do, like getting ready out of the shower.

/11/ Nada Surf "Never Not Together" (Barsuk Records)

Nada Surf has been one of my favorite bands for such a long time, I'm glad that in these times when we're stuck inside and I often find myself listening to music over everything else I have Nada Surf songs to play.   I don't always feel like watching a movie or painting or even writing, but I'll always put on music to not feel so alone.   I'm glad I can press play on this one.

/12/ Marks "ENDGAME"

These beats keep me moving.


Short and to the point.   My how I've missed this type of metal/hardcore that just seems to fuck you and leave.

/14/ MAYBEL "Gathering"

This is folk with elements of country and the first song is about birds which really just has me in love with this entire album.   Sometimes I think of "A Mighty Wind" and other times I'm reminded of June Carter-Cash.    It can be sad, but in an uplifting way. 

/15/ Fake Names "Fake Names" (Epitaph)

I like the energy on this one, kind of like As Friends Rust.

/16/ Keep Shelly In Athens "Horizon's Glow"

Two new songs to Keep Shelly In Athens!

/17/ CocoRosie "Put The Shine On"

This reminds me a little bit of Polly Scattergood but those distorted breakdowns are quite good.

/18/ Deerhoof "Future Teenage Cave Artists" (Joyful Noise Recordings)

I've always felt that Deerhoof and Xiu Xiu are two artists which I will always listen to their new albums and feel better.   "Future Teenage Cave Artists" does not let down.

/19/ VAR "The Never-Ending Year"

Dreamy post rock that isn't afraid to kick in heavy.  This reminds me a bit of The Beautiful Mistake and I like it.

/20/ Wyldlife "Year of the Snake" (Wicked Cool Records)

Punk rock with bits of pop, let's go!

/21/ KLS "Welcome Bienvenidos Hola" (Discos Peroquébien)

Short songs- most around a minute or less- and distorted hardcore along the lines of Drowningman and Snapcase.  This one is not to be missed.   (And it's also on cassette!)

/22/ ANMLPLNET "Fall Asleep"

I spend a lot of time (A LOT) listening to "The Pact" by Slothrust- on average I listen to it at least three or four times a week- and sometimes that takes me to other Slothrust albums and sometimes it takes me to this hidden gem which I'm putting here as a reminder.

/23/ Anna Burch "If You're Dreaming" (Polyvinyl Records)

This is a good type of dreamy for those lazy afternoons which feel like they go on forever.

/24/ Beach Comber "Parting Cuts"

Such a triumph and I cannot stop listening to it.

/25/ Call Me Malcolm "Me, Myself and Something Else" (Wiretap Records)

This isn't just ska, it's great ska!

Some pieces of music I don't have words for, you just have to listen to them for yourself :::
(some of these are from the beginning of my lockdown, I just didn't know if I'd find words for them or not so they're included now)

Abrams "Modern Ways"

Amos the Kid "Mountain View"

Trail of Dead "X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Dine Alone)

Annie Hamilton "annie hamilton EP"

Atariame "Completeness"

Austra "HiRUDiN" (Domino Recording Co)

Boardgame James "Daydream" (1000Doors)

Beata "Mourning/Master"

Blue Canopy "Mild Anxiety" (Grind Select)

Bolt Gun "Begotten" (Art As Catharsis)

boys be kko "Far East Express"

Brutal Panda 2020 Label Sampler

Caroline Blind "The Spell Between"

CAUSTIC WOUND "Death Posture" (Profound Lore)

chance|to|tliwosc "corriger la fortune a 4 mains"

Chris Pellnat "Rain"

Clea Vincent "Tropi-Clea 2" (Midnight Special Records)

Commodo "Loan Shark"

Couch Slut "Take A Chance On Rock 'n' Roll"

Crowhurst and Gavin Bryars present Incoherent American Narrative

Cup "Nothing Could Be Wrong"

Dana Gavanski "Yesterday Is Gone" (Full Time Hobby)

Daniel Ruiz "Diamond Fanged Black Feline"

Darko The Super "Nevermind"

dave phillips "post homo sapiens"

Do Nothing "Zero Dollar Bill"

dreamcrusher "Panopticon!"

DZTN 1980 "War of Good Intentions"

Eartheater "Below the Clavicle"

Eishan Ensemble "Afternoon Tea at Six"

Ella Joy Meir "Old Songs"

-EMERGE- "steps"

Emile Nicolas "Let Her Breathe"

Emily A. Sprague "Hill, Flower, Fog"

Emma-Jean Thackray "RAIN DANCE"

Empress Of "I'm Your Empress Of" (Terrible Records)

Endless Melancholy "A Perception Of Everything"

Gardening, Not Architecture "First LP"

Gaytheist "How Long Have I Been On Fire?"

Ghost Work "You'll Be Buried With" (IDEAS) 6/5

Hinds "The Prettiest Curse"

h i y o h i y o i p s e n i y o "InDiferents per cortesia"

Ian Watson "The Pile" (Invisible City Records)

Jasmine Infiniti "BXTCH SLAP" (New World Dysorder World Wide)

Jennifer Touch "Behind the Wall" (Fatcat Records)

Jesse Stewart + Mike Desj Live

Laura Cole "Enough"

Lorelle Meets The Obsolete "Re-Facto"

Lovedrug "Turning Into Something You Were Never Meant To Be"

Madeleine Cocolas "Ithaca"

Makeup and Vanity Set "To Live And Die In LA"

Martina Bertoni "All the ghosts are gone"

Men And Health "Devil in a Suitcase & Jesus in a Pocket"

Michelle Blades "Nombrar las cosas"

Michelle Gurevich "Ecstasy in the Shadow of Ecstasy"

Portico Quartet "Trajectory"

Portico Quartet "We Welcome Tomorrow"

Sam Goku "Paradise Drum EP" (Atomnation Records)

Senator Quartet "Senator Quartet"

Snorlax "II"

Sofia Bolt "Waves"

STRFKR "Future Past Life"

Sunshine State "The Mess"

Sunwatchers "Oh Yeah?"

Surf Philosophies "St Tropez Gossip" (Adrian Recordings)

TAKAHIRO MUKAI "Multiple Connections"

Time Stalkers "Time Stalkers" (Gentle Reminder)

Top Threat Top 40

Triple Ente "Demos"

UGLY FLY GUYS "Cult Of Buzz" (Dirty Water Records)

Ultimate Fakebook "The Preserving Machine" (Sonic Ritual)

Uncommon Nasa "Ornate"

Unconditional Arms "Formation"

Van Der Blute "Passion / Desire" (Schwarz Neon Licht)

Vanessa Rossetto "self-care"

Water From Your Eyes "33:44"

White Poppy "Paradise Gardens" (Not Not Fun Records)

Why Bonnie "Voice Box" (Fat Possum Records)

Three One G Cramps Covers Album

Monday, June 8, 2020

Music Review //

"LiONESS" starts off fast and it starts off with a lot of energy.    Right away, I can hear the distorted rock n roll with elements of punk.   As I think of this as a psych Delta Dart, there are these guitar parts which just feel like they are driving and that makes me think of a band like Steppenwolf, which helps me to appreciate that overall classic rock quality underneath it all.   By the time we get into "That's It" I'm reminded of Talking Heads, but also I start thinking about Michelle Blades, which is nice because as much as I've been thinking about the past it's good to have something to tie this with the present.

There is a certain horns sound on "Empty"- but it's those rock n roll/punk horns- and that brings what I feel is the first side to a close.   This is released as a record and if I had to guess I would assume that "Empty" would close out the first side and the record would split an even five songs on each side.  I don't think this because of the length of the songs (because of time) but rather because of their sound.  "Turtles" comes out a bit slower and darker than anything heard previously and from here the album slows down on the whole.

"Beehive" can come out even slower than "Turtles" but then when "Bentley" comes on it does bring back a bit of that driving sound heard earlier.  When "Butterflies" starts up it's quiet but kicks in louder.   For some reason, that reminds me of Bush.   By the end of the album, we reach "Veronica", which is perhaps the slowest of all of the songs yet somehow comes through really dreamy.   This isn't just an appropriate way to end the album, but it's just such a beautiful song even standing on its own.

Each of these ten songs is just full of so much life.   It's like each one of them is their own little album, forging through with big sounds and just feeling dramatic in the best possible way.  It's not often that I hear an album these days where it feels like each song could stand on its own merits, but what I love even more about "LiONESS" is that it is also able to follow that rhythm of loud to soft where you can tell an importance was placed on the album itself so that this is seen less as a collection of songs and more as a true overall experience from start to finish.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Interview # 2 2 0 // UNFITS

1) With the name "Unfits" what do you feel like you are not fit for?

Every occupation in life seems to be held by the individuals who don’t necessarily have the best qualifications for it. Many fans we talk to have told us they had a dream, but, didn’t feel like they were qualified enough for it. The truth is, no one is qualified supremely to be anything. It’s not like Isaac Newton was qualified to be the father of physics, or Hugh Hefner was qualified to be an icon magazine publisher, or Mick Jagger is qualified to be a front man of the greatest band. So being unfit is actually more normal than you think. It’s everyone and it gives you permission to be who you are unapologetically. 

2) How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?

Dark alternative pop music with twisted lyrics. Or perhaps as Kurt Cobain used to say, radio friendly unit shifters. But, streaming friendly unit shifters. Our genre is absolutely trans streaming friendly unit shifters. 

3) When you were homeless you said that music saved your life.  Do you feel like even if people cannot relate to you in the way that exact way that they will on some level because music has that magical power of saving lives?

Music is the ultimate baptism into a new perspective. I have counted so far 80 people who have tattoos from our influence. Online people are always DMing us and sharing how a specific song moved them. Music is the only thing that actually matters and everything else is just details. 

4) Do you feel like there isn't enough importance placed on music videos in 2020?

I feel the opposite of that. Some of the best music videos have came out in our era and 2020 is no exception to that. The visual art form is almost equally as important as the audio at this point. Visual expression can enhance the music in ways that listening to it passively never could. I am currently working with a team of Cinema 4D and motion graphics teams in directing sci fi visuals for our next video.  

5) People do tend to think that technology is hindering art, but you try to find the connection between the two.  How do you feel your music represents that technology can still help mold and shape art?

I must admit that I am biased. I love technology. Technology to me is simply a way to be more efficient, expressive and evolved. That said, tech doesn’t hurt or help a bad song. And if a song is good all you have to do is get out of the way of it. 

6) Having a background in rap but also a rock sound (and the pop) do you ever feel like there will be another soundtrack similar to that of "Judgment Night"?  How do we make that rock/rap crossover happen in a non-comical way?

I believe all genres will simply fall into one of two categories. You will have “known” music that has an audience. And, you will have unknown music that doesn’t have an audience yet. All music will be in either a popular music river, or an unknown music river online. The goal then of an artist is to do what they like without needing to even think about a genre or a category. 

7) What are your thoughts on physical music? Would you ever see your music being released as a cassette?

It might be cool to do that as a throw back. Not sure how I would even play a cassette though. I honestly don’t even know what a cassette looks like. 

8. You have one song out right now called "Satisfy Me".  Are there plans for the next single or an EP or LP?

We recorded our whole album in demos already and we are working with a number of producers like Emile Haynie on the finished production. I am equally excited to direct a visual component for every song to continue the simulation world we have established with “Satisfy me.” 

9) If you could play a show or go on tour with any other artist, who would you want it to be and why?

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye because he is like the last rockstar of our generation. I love showmanship and creating worlds of experiences for fans to get lost in. 

10) Final thoughts, shout outs, etc... ??

I would like to give a shout out to my future self ten years from now. Thanks for not quitting when your bank was empty, when your coffee was bad, when your relationships ended, when life was dark and when times were rough. I appreciate you doing what you had to do in order to keep moving forward and living a life independent of the rules society dictates. Really appreciate that.