Avi Buffalo has the feel of an old school indie rock band that's been around for years. When they took the stage at Amoeba Hollywood Sept. 17, confidently launching into the crisp "So What," from the band's new album, At Best Cuckold, it felt like seeing a veteran band working through a set of new tunes and old classics, despite that it was only the band's second album, and 23-year-old frontman Avi Zahner-Isenberg wasn't even old enough to legally drink when their first was released.
Of course, there are a few tell-tale signs of the Long Beach-born band's relative age—namesly, Zahner-Isenberg's boyish falsetto, sneaking naughty bits into otherwise mature-sounding songs ("my boner pressed up to your chest," it at least sounds like he sings over tasteful country-rock jangle on "Memories of You"). Off-color moments like this are scattered throughout the excellent At Best Cuckold, which has a more demure feel than its self-titled predecessor but whose lyrics are riddled with strange characters and surreal moments.
I caught up with Zahner-Isenberg to talk about At Best Cuckold, released four years after its predecessor, and his recording process in general.
Flying Lotus – “Coronus, the Terminator”
For the latest unveiled track from Flying Lotus’ upcoming You’re Dead (out Oct. 7; preorder on LP or CD), FlyLo sets the stage with some backwards instruments and rain, moving into what sounds like a sultry Quiet Storm track. Singer Niki Randa gives the song that extra sumptuousness while Flying Lotus’ subtly detailed production demands repeat listens. From the sound of this and the other tracks he’s released, You’re Dead might already be the most accessible Flying Lotus album yet.
Medicine – “Move Along – Down the Road”
L.A. shoegaze legends Medicine’s second run generated the terrific To the Happy Few last year, and impressively, they’ve already got another new one on the way. With the release of the “Move Along – Down the Road,” Medicine’s Home Everywhere (due Oct. 28 on Captured Tracks) is quickly becoming one of our most anticipated new albums of the year. It sounds like two ’60s pop songs fused together, sped up and filtered through eight kinds of distortion, threatening to tear apart but always coming back to some new riff or idea.
The prolific producer known for his work with Chosen Few, Opio and Pep Love, The Hieroglyphics, as well as his own instrumental album/movie Full Melt, has taken a break of sorts (well, a fun detour at least) with his just unveiled project: the free mixtape Kendrick Lamar Burton that innovatively mashes up the vocals of Kendrick Lamar with the instrumentals of familiar 1970's and 1980's TV show themes.
Among the ten tracks included on Kendrick Lamar Burton are "Sing About MeGyver," "Trek It To You," "Kojak Lamar" and the lead single/video "She Reads Me" (see/hear below) which juxtaposes Lamar's "She Needs Me" with a reworked version of the Reading Rainbow theme.