Posted 1 day ago

Song of the Day: April 16, 2014
Woods: “Moving To The Left”

Man this has been a great year for singles so far! Here’s another just killer track…

I first got into Woods in 2010—the summer we moved to Singapore. “Blood Dries Darker”—in all it’s Elephant Sixish glory was my packing song. I must of taped 3 dozen boxes listening to that song on repeat. So it’s some kind of good karma (or coincidence) that their newest and maybe best album yet gets released while I’m here in Singapore for the first time since we moved back to a Jet City.

"Moving to the Left" is maybe their most accessible track yet— a little Lips, a little David Garza, all good. In the alternative universe of my mind everyone this is straight bullet to the top of the pop charts. And that one string solo! Perfect. (Mize)

Posted 4 days ago

Song of the Day: April 15, 2014

Afghan Whigs, “Algiers”

So many songs we could have posted today. Tax day in the US. The 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster in the UK (there’s really only one song for that anyway, right?). New release Tuesday… the list goes on.

But the Whigs are playing tonight at the Showbox here in Seattle.  I’ll be there. I know that Witz was in the house down in PDX last night, too. Dulli  & Co. are singing da blooze again, ’90s-style, and it’s never sounded as fine or as welcome as it does right now. The band’s Coachella set was fantastic but this video, to me, sets up everything about this grimy little cabaret act I’ve always loved: the “shot on location” cinematic conceit, the spaghetti-western slow-cooked air of inevitable heartbreak, the sly wink that lets you know Dulli is gonna survive this little bit of ultraviolence with a scar or two, but he’ll be back.  Same as it ever was.  Which is to say: “right on, brother.” (CdB) 

Posted 4 days ago

Song of the Day: April 14, 2014

Lyla Foy: “Honeymoon”

Hi there. I’ve been on the road for the last 10 days—first on holiday in San Diego and Mexico and now for work in Singapore and (Thursday) Jakarta. So I’ve had a lot of plane time listening to music. This Lyla Foy record has was a nice little treat during my 25 hour trip from Cabo to SF to HK to SG..While I initially thought it was a weird signing for Sub Pop (more Beth Orton than Cat Butt), I think I just need to get over any residual expectation that there is a Sub Pop Sound. And like Corey’s FKA Twigs post from a couple of weeks ago, this sounds explicitly English to me, but despite the electo textures more in the Vashti Bunyan folk tradition than trip hop. Or am I just crazy? (mize)

Posted 1 week ago

Song of the Day: April 11, 2014

The War on Drugs, “Under the Pressure”

Most people who know anything about this Philly outfit seem to recall that it’s the place where a younger Kurt Vile cut his musical teeth before heading out on his own. That’s both reductive, and somewhat incorrect. And in any event, completely misses that this band’s third full-length, "Lost in the Dream," is by far its best yet.  And that singer/songwriter/leader Adam Granduciel (who essentially IS TWOD) is really coming into his own as a melodic, spacey songwriter on par with J. Mascis and Stephen Malkmus, two 90s guys who know their way around a good hook and a stoned & dethroned lyrical couplet when they hear it.  One of my faves of 2014 so far. (CdB) 

Posted 1 week ago

Song of the Day: April 9, 2014

Damon Albarn, “Lonely Press Play”

I’ve written here before about what a huge Blur/Gorillaz (and I guess, The Good the Bad & the Queen while I’m at it) fanboy I am and the extent to which Damon’s music has just kinda spoken to me at various moments over the past couple of decades.

Now there’s a revealing interview on the cover of this month’s Q in which Albarn opens up about the Class A misbehavior of his past, saying (in part) that heroin “freed me up creatively” and citing it as a major factor in changing him as a musician — a really interesting revelation not altogether removed from Keef and Perry Farrell’s unapologetic cops to copping in their not-so-distant past.  

I rate Damon’s new solo joint right up there with the best work of his career — sad-eyed and blue, this is the sound of a guy taking stock of his life and realizing that when the Parklife is over and the Popscene has slowed down a bit, all you’re left with is yourself — and maybe that guy isn’t quite who you’d like him to be.  Which is altogether self-aware.

"Cause you’re not resolved in your heart, you’re waiting for me to improve/right here, when I’m lonely, I press play."  Brilliant, that. (CdB)

Posted 1 week ago

Song of the Day: April 8, 2014

Kris Orlowski, “Fighting the War”

What is a Tumblr good for if not to blatantly and shamelessly promote the hell out of the amazing musical creations of our friends?

Any and all Seattle-based music lovers should recognize both the venue that forms the backdrop of this Belltown-rooted video as well as the voice placed deservedly in the foreground. Kris will be playing the Showbox this weekend and you simply MUST be there to hear/believe how far he’s come. Dude is poised to strike at the heart of this boring, brokedown jalopy of an industry called The Music Business and I, for one, can’t wait to see the fang-marks. (CdB) 

Posted 1 week ago

Song of the Day: April 6, 2014

Sharon Van Etten, “Taking Chances”

Back from Mexican holiday and totally obsessed. Again. 

Tarot cards. Chipped nails. A Sneaker Pimp-like beat with Miss Sharon’s codeine-flavored vox as accompaniment.  What’s not to love?

Cannot WAIT for the full-length. (CdB) 

Posted 2 weeks ago

The National “Graceless (Live on SNL)”

Song of the Day - April 4, 2014

The National continues to get better with each record, and their live performances have made them a must see. I was pretty blown away by their performance on SNL, seen here.

Their new documentary, "Mistaken for Strangers" is one of the best music documentaries I’ve seen in some time, a great tale of sibling rivalry/love where the music take a back seat to two brothers relationship. Stunning and funny. (Witz)

Posted 2 weeks ago

SONG OF THE DAY: April 3, 2014

BEAR HANDS: Giants

Looking forward to checking out Bear Hands at this year’s Coachella. Their ‘Distractions’ album if chock-full of killer singles. (CB).

Posted 3 weeks ago

Song of the Day: March 28, 2014

Lydia Loveless; “Head”

Do you like Maria McKee or Lone Justice?  A fan of that sound that only can be cultivated in shitty beer bars across America? I certainly am. I’m really excited about this album and about this talented song writer. Her previous records were fun in a specific Lone Highway kind of way, but the new one “Somewhere Else” shows a ton of growth. I think its gonna be a great summer BBQ record…..(mize)

PS: Yes, this song is about what you think it’s about. But, like, sad?

Posted 3 weeks ago

Song of the Day: March 27, 2014

Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, “Thuggin’”

Gary, Indiana in the house, yo. Freddie Gibbs has been bouncing around on the edges of rap superstardom for some time now. Madlib, meanwhile, needs no introduction but has been associated with such a stunning lineup of collabos (DOOM as Madvillain, the late J Dilla as Jaylib, a jazz project with Talib Kweli) as well as disguised solo projects (sped-up trip-hop as Quasimoto, psych-electronic/house as DJ Rels) that he’s carved out a unique niche as a hip-hop’s most imaginative freak-flag waver of the last decade.

The pair have been issuing EP’s since 2011, and finally the album we’ve all been waiting for dropped this week. Piñata is easily my favorite hip-hop joint of 2014 to date: a bubbling, raw sprawl of a record that defies easy categorization and reveals new layers with each passing spin. "Critically acclaimed but that shit don’t mean a thang." Realness. (CdB)  

Posted 3 weeks ago

Song of the Day: March 26, 2014

Loop: “This Is Where You End”

Malevolent psychedelia. Drone gaze. Joy Division with axe chops. whatever you want to call it. Loop was on the other end of the shoegaze spectrum of My Bloody Valentine. Piercing where MBV shimmered. Echoey vocals from a bottom of a well, not echoey vocals from heaven. Their three records are basically perfect—and hold up really well-but they broke up before I could ever see them, the first time around. But thanks to good old filthy lucre and the nostalgic memories of old farts like me, they’re playing their first US shows in 24 years. I just bought my tickets for May 15 at Chop Suey here in Seattle. Who’s going with me? (mize) 

Posted 3 weeks ago

Song of the Day: March 25, 2014

Veruca Salt, “Fly”

Every so often, I’ll dive back into the stacks and just totally obsess over an old album, or a group that I’ve forgotten about for whatever reason. Chicago’s Veruca Salt — its name cribbed from the bratty Charlie and the Chocolate Factory character, its loud/soft steez an amalgam of other, cooler contemporaneous bands (guitar fuzz borrowed from the Pumpkins, vocals/harmonies/tough-chick personas taken nearly wholesale from Kim Deal’s Breeders) — is one of those bands, and American Thighs is one of those albums. 

So for those of you who never cared if they were “cool” (they were; just check out this Louise Post-penned deep track from their debut, as compelling a mix of sad, moody and weird as the ’90s was capable of producing), or if they “sold out” (their second album kinda did, but hey, so did Liz Phair’s), or if their inevitable split proved the most dramatic rock soap opera since the breakups of Fleetwood Mac or Husker Du (essentially Post and her running mate Nina Gordon didn’t do much talking for about 14 years), I have news: Record Store Day is April 19th, and Veruca Salt will release a limited edition 10-inch for the occasion: two brand-new songs (from the forthcoming album!), plus a b-side 20th-anniversary take on “Seether” for old time’s sake (producer Brad Wood is back on board, and Minty Fresh is releasing it, just like the first go-round).  

Twice bitten, twice baked. I, for one, am stoked. Fly me. (CdB)

Posted 3 weeks ago

Song of the Day: March 24, 2014

Happy Mondays, “Wrote For Luck”

Public Enemy had their hypeman, Flava Flav. A Tribe Called Quest cited the non-participant Jarobi as an official member, early on. The Brian Jonestown Massacre had Joel Gion, “Spokesman of the Revolution” (and the fanciest name ever for a tambourine player). Hazel had, uh, “Fred.”  And the Happy Mondays notably included Mark “Bez” Berry, an E-popping, arm-waving, maracas-shaking dancer who did little but take recreational drugs and sway in crazy time to the band’s Ecstacy-fueled mix of dance beats, guitar rock and Mancunian weirdness during the height of ’90s-era Madchester.

Back in the UK this week and had to giggle at the news that Bez is now standing as an MP candidate for Salford, the down-at-the-heels Manchester council-estate neighborhood made famous by the Smiths’ pose in front of the Salford Lads Club on the cover of “The Queen Is Dead.” It’s twistin’ my melon, man. (CdB) 

Posted 1 month ago

Song of the Day: March 21, 2014

Robyn Hitchcock: "Viva Sea-Tac"

Its a beautiful day here today, and the gloomy grey, beige and moss greens are looking a teensy bit less like triggers for seasonal affective disorder. (mize)