Deerhoof played a typically destructive set at the Troubadour in West Hollywood last night, starting off with tracks from their excellent new album, La Isla Bonita. Satomi Matsuzaki irrepressibly chanted to the cute “Paradise Girls” (“Girls…who play the bass guitar!”) and skronky “Last Fad” (“Baseball is cancelled!”) while John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez braided sneaky guitar lines around her. “Exit Only” sounded a lot fiercer live, while drummer/madman Greg Saunier traded instruments with Matsuzaki for La Isla Bonita’s pulsating, chaotic closer, “Oh Bummer.” A well-selected sprinkling of older material meshed well with the newer stuff, from the crashing “Dummy Discards a Heart” (from Apple O’) to the thumping “Twin Killers” (from The Runners Four) and riff-stuffed “Fresh Born” (from Offend Maggie). Saunier’s drumming remains a barely contained tornado to which the rest of the band somehow hangs on; the band stays tight even when he flies off the rails, making everything exciting, unpredictable and yet always masterful. Matsuzaki let loose for insane closer “Come See the Duck” (from the Green Cosmos EP), goading the audience into an off-beat call-and-response of “Come! Come! Come see the duck!” and teasing us when we got it wrong. Who can guess how 12 albums and 20 years in, Deerhoof are as energetic and thrilling to experience as ever. If you’re in S.F., they’re at the American Music Hall tonight with Crystal Skulls and Go Dark. Don’t miss it.
Forget everything you’ve read about Ariel Pink. His public persona has nothing to do with his music, which has never been more remarkable than it is on pom pom. “Plastic Raincoats in the Pig Parade” begins the album by approximating decades of children’s music, family VHS tapes and video game music into a multicolored parade of half-remembered sounds. On tracks like “White Freckles,” Pink taps into similar territory of outdated interstitial music and lyrics and sounds inspired by advertising, pouring his exaggerated lothario presence all over them and ending up with sticky-sweet concoctions that leave you feeling titillated and slightly nauseated. Nothing that could possibly be interesting gets thrown away in Pink’s world—“Lipstick” could be based on an adult contemporary jam you never learned the name of; “Nude Beat A Go-Go” is like a perved-up version of a Frankie & Annette movie theme song. This means there are a few tracks you’ll skip past, but it’s better to have the full Pink treatment, making pom pom feel more crucial than 2012’s somewhat cleaned-up Mature Themes. And the singles are killer. “Put Your Number in My Phone” is a new cheese classic in silk pajamas. “Black Ballerina,” like its precursor, Before Today’s “Round and Round,” is a sick roller rink jam, with a disjointed narrative flowing through. And “Picture Me Gone” takes Pink’s simmering Beach Boys influence into a gossamer synth ballad. So he’s kind of a creep. But pom pom is proof that for all his off-putting proclivities, Ariel Pink still makes some of the most fascinating and entertaining pop music around.
Black Friday launches the holiday shopping season the day after Thanksgiving with lots of great deals. Instead of yanking someone by the hair off of that $10 barbecue set at Wal-Marts or whatever, you can come to Amoeba for a variety of deals on turntables, Blu-rays, gift certificates and more. Additionally, there will be nearly 140 Record Store Day exclusive Black Friday releases to choose from—see the whole list (.pdf) here. That’s a lot of records, bro/broette! Here are 10 that stood out to me.
“Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)” is an unsettling new David Bowie track full of jazzy horns and creepy lyrics about a dissolving relationship that may end in murder. It’s backed on this 7” by another new Bowie song, “Tis a Pity She Was a Whore,” a fluctuating electro-rocker that shares its name with a play from the 1600s by John Ford. Both songs will also appear on the Bowie retrospective Nothing Has Changed, which came out today, but here’s your chance to get them separately from that. Hear both tracks in all their maddening glory below:
Joel Jerome has been one of the best songwriters in L.A. for years under a number of guises—with his bands, dios, dios (malos) and Babies on Acid. Recently, he’s been going under his own name, under which he’s released the Beck covers album When Beck Was Cool and now a collection of his own songs called Psychedelic Thriftstore Folk. It’s perhaps the most direct and honed release he’s put out yet, consisting of songs new and old that have been whittled down to pop perfection in his home studio in Echo Park. I caught up with him a bit before his Amoeba Hollywood performance Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. Instead of teasing you with some “quirky” factoid about our interview, why don’t you just take two minutes and read it??
What made you change the name under which you record, from dios/dios malos to Babies on Acid and finally Joel Jerome?
Joel: I finally decided to have everything I do under one umbrella, one name, since I write, arrange, produce and record all my music. I decided to just have it under my name so I could have the freedom of having different players for different shows. I’m the one busting my ass for this, so I may as well take full responsibility and have it all go under my name.
Deerhoof – “Exit Only” video
Take Shelter’s Michael Shannon stars in a new video as two guys losing their shit while listening to Deerhoof’s ferocious “Exit Only,” from their great new album La Isla Bonita, which is out now. To be fair, Deerhoof’s music does kind of make you feel like you’re losing it—in the best way.
Silk Rhodes – “Realtime”
The second track (after "Pains") that we’ve heard from Silk Rhodes upcoming self-titled debut, out Dec. 2 on Stones Throw, is a delicious slice of minimalist, pyschedelic neo-soul. The L.A. duo are subtle, yet they immediately get under your skin.