DJ Nu-Mark spun a set frontloaded with hits and gradually growing weirder Feb. 28 at Amoeba Hollywood. Through promoting his fine Broken Sunlight album, released last year, the DJ stuck with a more traditional set of blending well-known records into one another. He got the audience percolating with an “L.A., California” refrain, building a beat with booming bass and classic funk horns as a crowd of beatheads nodded on. He worked in The Jackson 5's “ABC,” The O’Jays “For the Love of Money,” Men Without Hats’ “The Safety Dance,” Phil Collins’ “You Can’t Hurry Love,” the Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic,” Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.,” Kanye West and Jay-Z’s “Ni**as in Paris,” a remix of Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun,” Jay-Z’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” Oasis’ “Wonderwall” and many other songs. The set started with big hits everyone knew and moved into more obscure sounds — an extended didgeridoo part, instrumental passages, “Kung Fu Fighting” with an underwater effect, a muzak version of “Satisfaction.” Nu-Mark worked with a minimal set-up of a laptop and two turntables, moving quickly between songs and grooving hard, keeping the energy alive even as the set grew more challenging. See more photos of the performance here.
Hi guys, it’s a quick one this week (DEADLINES!!) but here are some great local songs/vids I checked out:
Heavy Hawaii – “Airborne Kawasaki”
Oh man, I’m falling hard for Heavy Hawaii, a San Diego duo that produces woozy, lo-fi surf pop that sounds like a Beach Boys tape reel warped from years of disintegration, with its parts sounding as though they’re played at different speeds — guitars charge forward while synths rest uneasily underneath and Matt Bahamas’ vocals move from sweet high-end coo to low-end doom. Goosebumps is due March 19 on Art Fag.
Bleached – “Next Stop” video
LA kids get cozy at a party over the Clavin sisters’ raw surf-punk riffs and harmonies. The long-awaited debut LP Ride Your Heart, from Bleached, featuring Jessie and Jennifer Clavin formerly of Mika Miko, hits April 2 on Dead Oceans. Preorder it on CD or LP.
Amoeba is now taking preorders for My Bloody Valentine’s long-awaited third LP, mbv, at Amoeba.com. The album hits stores March 12 and is available on CD or LP. The LP is 180 gram and includes the CD as well.
Most of you probably know the story, but here’s the quick rundown: My Bloody Valentine released two full-length albums, 1988’s Isn’t Anything and 1991’s Loveless, to universal acclaim and a cult following which seemed to grow with each passing year, kicking off the shoegaze genre and spawning legions of imitators. Then they virtually disappeared — mastermind Kevin Shields could be seen in a number of guises over the years, namely playing with and producing Primal Scream and contributing to Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation soundtrack, but the band was dormant. An album was said to be “3/4 done” in 1996 but never surfaced.
Atoms For Peace - Amok
Deluxe CD $16.98
Deluxe LP $32.98
Thom Yorke further blurs the line between organic and electronic, emotional and mechanical on his latest release, with Atoms for Peace. Keeping the more electronic-based notion of his 2006 solo album, The Eraser, Yorke balloons the tinny sound of that album with living, breathing collaborators — Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and session drummer Joey Waronker. “Before Your Very Eyes” wipes the floor with most songs on The Eraser with its fully realized sound and emphasis on Yorke’s robofunk riffs and supernatural, swooping vocals. “Default,” too, is like the gnarled single the last Radiohead album, The King of Limbs, was missing. “Ingenue” boasts some of the catchiest synth riffs on the album, and its backbeat, a sort of digitally created, organically reconstructed afrobeat/dubstep hybrid, demands careful attention. Though Amok is sequenced well, some of its tracks fail to make a lasting impression, but by album’s end, the acoustic guitar spiderwebs, handclaps and layers of heavenly Yorke vocals on “Judge, Jury And Executioner” save the day, along with the trippy jazz beat, mathematical guitar, buzzing synths and gurgling, cut-up vocals of “Reverse Running.” Musically there’s something new to glean from each listen, from allowing the densely sequenced beats to firmly etch themselves in your brain to appreciating Yorke’s croon as it echoes out and drowns in reverb. Those who closely follow Yorke’s forward-looking adventurousness will get more from Amok than those looking for songs with the emotional heft of, say, a “Karma Police” or “Kid A.” However, Amok is a more than striking debut, sending new spores to grow on you with each listen and establishing Atoms for Peace as a welcome project from Yorke and co.
Warm Soda – “Busy Lizzy” video
Oakland’s Warm Soda have released a video for “Busy Lizzy,” from their excellent Someone for You, recently released on Castle Face. In the video, sexy librarian babe Busy Lizza walks around town and causes havok with her sheer babeness, all shot on VHS video. It’s like a great ’80s local commercial, set to one of the finest power-pop jams you’ll hear in this young year. They’re all over California in the coming days, check ’em out:
2/21 – San Diego – Soda Bar w/Teenage Burritos, Shiva Trash
2/22 – Fullerton – Burger Records
2/23 – Oakland – Night Light w/Bad Vibez, Cocktails
2/28 – San Francisco – Noise Pop – Brick & Mortar w/Free Energy
3/1 – Pacifica – Winters Tavern
3/7 – Long Beach – Alex’s Bar w/Cigarette Bums, Feral Kizzy
Tera Melos – “Sunburn”
Sacramento’s Tera Melos have unveiled the second track from their buzzed-about forthcoming album X’ed Out. Buzz is the operative word here — glorious guitar buzz, manipulated and strangled into convoluted math-rock guitar lines that bleed into big choruses. There just aren’t a lot of bands exploring guitar textures this way any more, and Tera Melos definitely fill a void. X’ed Out is due April 16 on Sargent House.