Oh what a slacker I’ve been this week. I’m still on Mexico time. This new video of Damien Jurado’s ‘Casket‘ from the album Caught in the Trees inspired me to action, however. Check it out.
A long time ago, I posted some great clips from the beta site of this project, Digforfire.tv. It’s like a compilation of little music documentaries from all of your favorite indie rock bands. The production quality is stunning. And it’s finally live. Go check it out and get lost in their library of great videos. Like this one from Band of Horses.
I’m signing off for a couple of days because ‘I’m going down the coast to M.E.X.I.C.O. CU.’
The Kills, M.E.X.I.C.O.
Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be an unusual number of up and coming indie bands of late with the word f**k in their name. There’s Fuck, Fuck Buttons, Holy Fuck, Starfuckers, Fuck the Writer, Fucked Up. And those are just the bands. I’m not evening delving into recent album titles using said profanity. I guess we’re just one pissed off generation. We are amidst tumultuous times, but instead of adopting the peace, love and rock-n-roll attitude of the 70s, I guess we’re just going for piss and vinegar.
I personally would like to see a little more Hope, Faith and Sunshines in our world, but I tend to be a bit of a Pollyanna like that. That being said, I do like the sounds these f**ckers are putting out. Aside from Fucked Up, these bands don’t really sound at all what you would expect them to. Take a listen.
Oakland, CA based Fuck’s pop melodies are consistently at odds with their vulgar moniker. I like their sense of humor in their naming convention, however.
Listen to ‘Motherfuckeroos’:
I like the experimental sounds of Bristol, England-based duo Fuck Buttons. They just released their first album, Street Horrrsing, this year.
Listen to ‘Colours Move (Mogwai Remix)’:
“Holy Fuck, these guys rock!” That’s probably how the Toronto-based lo-fi electronic group got it’s name. Their music is created entirely with old analog musical and non-musical instruments — including a 35mm film synchronizer.
Listen to ‘Balloons (Foals Cover)‘:
I like the mellow pop grooves and overall cheekiness of this Portland-based group. I imagine these three guys sitting around the kitchen table giggling as they brainstormed their band name and song tracks like ‘German Love’ (I’m gonna give it to you). Their self-titled debut, released earlier this year, is quirky and easy on the ears.
Listen to ‘Florida‘:
Fuck the Writer is Emil van Steenwijk from the Netherlands. Amsterdam-based indie folk. Go figure. He’s had a couple of solo albums so far: ‘Maar Ik Dans Niet’ and ‘Keeping The Aspidistra Flying’. Don’t ask me what any of that means or how to pronounce it. I just know it sounds good.
Listen to ‘Inside Out’:
Tobacco is the new endeavor of Black Moth Super Rainbow’s Tom Fec. While you can definitely hear the BMSR influence, Fucked Up Friends is much more tweaked-out and…fucked up!
Listen to ‘Hairy Candy’:
Artist: Department of Eagles
Album: In Ear Park
File Under: Psychedelic Folk, Folktronica
Recommended if You Like: Grizzly Bear, Elliott Smith, Fleet Foxes
Featured Track: Phantom Other; No One Does It Like You
‘No One Does it Like You’:
Department of Eagles is essentially a side-project of Grizzly Bear singer-songwriter Daniel Rossen, who developed its dreamy, autobiographical songs with college friend and cohort, Fred Nicolaus. Their latest album, In Ear Park, was developed over the years between the two, stealing time on weekends and between tours. Other Grizzly Bear band members were also involved in the endeavor. Chris Taylor acted as producer/engineer and played electric bass and horns and Chris Bear, Grizzly Bear’s drummer, also contributed heavily to the album.
Most people, like me, are immediately struck by the track, ‘No One Does It Like You‘. I obsessed over that track initially too. The rest of the album is on the mellow, quieter side. But dig deeper and you’ll start to appreciate the complexities and amazing orchestral arrangements that continue to unfold listen after listen. Which for me makes it one of the better albums I’ve heard so far this year.
I have two tickets to giveaway to see one of my favorite newcomers, Nova Scotia-based Wintersleep, at Slim’s in San Francisco on November 24. Send an email to theOCMD@gmail.com by this Wednesday, November 19th to win. I’ll pick a winner randomly.
Reportedly, they put on an excellent live show. As one fan put it, ‘Wintersleep turned me from a casual listener to a fan in one show.’
Listen to ‘Drunk on Aluminum’:
I’ve long been intrigued with the work of Bradford Cox and follow all of his projects – from his solo venture, Atlas Sound, to his five piece group, Deerhunter. I love his haunted, dreamy vocals and ambient, atmospheric sound. It’s right up my alley. And while I enjoyed Deerhunter’s last release, Cryptograms, I must say I’m liking their latest release, Microcastle, even more. It’s beautiful and I can’t stop listening to it. It’s hard for me to even pick out a single song to highlight as it’s truly one of those album experiences that should be listened to and enjoyed in it’s entirety. The music builds upon itself, ebbing and flowing from moments of quiet, hypnotic bliss into smashing, reverb drenched crescendos.
Much more song oriented than their last release, Microcastle is sure to convert more than a few skeptics. If you were once one, you should definitely give them another listen. This one’s a classic.
Catch Deerhunter at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall November 24 with Times New Viking.
One of the coolest websites I’ve seen in a while, NowPlayIt, teaches you how to play your favorite songs in an online video tutorial. There are lessons for guitar, drums, bass and piano/keyboard. Many of the tutorials are taught by the artists themselves. Even the greats like Paul McCartney. How fun is that? They have a wide array of popular and indie artists too. But it is UK based so there seems to be a bit of bias toward the Brit Rock set. Which is okay by me. There’s enough Radiohead there to keep anyone happy. As a beginning drummer, I’ll definitely be checking it out.
Thanks to Ken and Jon, I was able to squeeze into the sold out show Monday night at Bottom of the Hill to catch one of my favorite bands this year, Women. I hadn’t seen Bottom of the Hill quite that packed before and there were clearly two distinct crowds – those who came to see Women and those who came to see Swedish psyche rockers, Dungen. It was clearly a case of the hipsters vs. the hippies. In in my opinion, hipster band Women clearly won. Their lo-fi sound did not disappoint. My only complaint is that they weren’t opening for label mate, Chad VanGaalen. Now that would have been a stellar line up.
While I’ve never been able to wrap my head around Dungen, I did stick around to see if they could change my mind. They didn’t. Every time I hear their music I think I’m listening to Thai karaoke and immediately want to turn it off. It’s not fair, I know. I’ve just spent too much time in seedy Bangkok bars and San Francisco’s Thai karaoke hot spot, Ozone, I suppose. Musically, Dungen is talented. There’s just something about Swedish in song that doesn’t translate for me. At all.
Listen to Women’s ‘Black Rice‘: