FIDLAR – “Gimme Something” video, album up for preorder
Of all the scuzzy, sloppy, boozey garage bands in L.A., FIDLAR is the skuzziest, sloppiest and booziest. OK, they might not be the sloppiest any more now that they’re hitting it big, judging by the sounds of “Gimme Something,” a cleaned-up, jangly country-style track that highlights just how good this band’s actual songwriting is. As if to hammer the point home, the “Gimme Something” video either sees the band dolled up like Creedence Clearwater Revival playing some state fair in the ’70s, or it’s very cleverly edited video of some ’70s band made too look like they’re playing FIDLAR’s song. Either way, it rules! FIDLAR’s self-titled debut is due Jan. 22, preoder it on CD or LP here.
Widowspeak – “The Dark Age,” album up for preorder
Anything that comes out on the Captured Tracks label immediately gets my attention, and one of their newest signees doesn’t disappoint. Widowspeak pair Western jangle-rock riffs — like real ones, not limp little guitar doodles — with sultry, breathy vocals from Molly Hamilton. She reminds me a bit of the late, great Trish Keenan of Broadcast, and similarly Hamilton’s grounded vocals serve as a wise counterpoint to her partner Robert Earl Thomas’ wild guitar work. “The Dark Age” comes from their upcoming album, Almanac, due Jan. 22 on LP and CD.
Wavves premieres “Sail to the Sun” video, LP due in Spring
After delivering a sermon, how do the clergy let loose? In the minds of L.A. surf punks Wavves, they get naked, get high and get into trouble. Is this religious hate-baiting? A commentary on the hypocrisy of the religious elite? Or just a really fun, nasty way to introduce Wavves’ new single, a refreshingly well-produced, tight slab of melodic alt-garage mayhem? Most likely the latter, but it’s nice to see a recent video have something to say. This thing could have been banned from MTV in the ’90s! Maybe the new “Beavis & Butthead” will play it or something! Is that still on? Does anyone watch MTV now that everyone’s over “Jersey Shore”? Wavves new album is due in Spring on Mom + Pop.
The Soft Moon remixes How to Destroy Angels_’ “Ice Age”
Oakland-based one-man goth band The Soft Moon aka Luis Vasquez has remixed the song “Ice Age” from How to destroy angels_’ An Omen EP. If you haven’t heard HTDA_ yet (yes, they’re sticking with that name), it’s a project featuring Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, his wife, Mariqueen Maandic, Atticus Ross (who composed The Social Network soundtrack with Reznor) and Nine Inch Nails member Rob Sheridan. The original was sort of an electronic bluegrass song with piercing tones undercutting the track’s prettiness. This remix reimagines into something closer to classic Nine Inch Nails (and to Vasquez’s The Soft Moon, whose excellent Zeros was recently released). It sort of sounds like Vasquez took the vocal from the original and some of the original elements and weaved them into a Soft Moon song. But it totally works, and I think improves upon the original. No word on where the remix might appear yet, but there’s another remix of “Ice Age” by deadmau5 also floating out there, so perhaps we’ll see a remix album, which Reznor is known to release.
The Congos / Sun Araw / M. Geddes Gengras – “Open Up the Gate”
The extremely fruitful collaboration between L.A.-based artists Sun Araw and M. Geddes Gengras with Jamaican reggae group The Congos continues, after this year’s fine FRKWYS Vol. 9: Icon Give Thank LP. The artists performed together for a show at the Village Underground in June of this year, and five tracks from that performance have been culled for a name-your-price EP called Icon Give Life, available from RVNG Intl. Check out this excellent Black Ark cover, and if you haven’t yet heard the psyched-out electronic-dub vibes of Icon Give Thank, I suggest you check it out.
Shows this weekend: