Wishing oceans of love -- sweet, fuzzy, flawed, moody, or otherwise imrov'd love -- to everyone on this Valentine's Day. For me, no other band embraces the tragic romanticism of the human condition quite like Blonde Redhead. Without a doubt one of the best live bands still playing today, their sound ever continues to strike the just right chords, conjuring intense feelings and visceral love vibes that have, over the years, served as both cause and cure, effectively igniting and extinguishing many a lovelorn soul's heartache symptoms at once. Their 1995 7" single "10 Feet High" features something of a playful antidote of a b-side in "Valentine" -- a meandering surge of Violent Life dissonance that literally has Kazu giggling in her lah-las before the song is even half finished.
Blonde Redhead - "Valentine"
Here's a pretty great live video from 1999 featuring songs from three of their first four albums La Mia Vita Violenta, In An Expression of the Inexpressible, and Fake Can Be Just As Good -- check it out!
LP issue of the terrific 2013 cassette from the shadowy New York producer. Unlike many straight to tape 4/4 experiments, the forms here are remarkably close to classic techno/dub techno templates; that said, the lo-fi quality that many us producers are employing out of necessity or fashion is in effect. Not a bad track here, yet Josephine is notable. Pastoral pads and tape hiss drift over brittle drums before an ascending bassline sputters out of the garage like an old sedan on a snowy day. On Plural, Patricia dwells on a terrifically mournful synth motif while techno drums rumble underneath. Recommended.
Dancemania, the regional label that could, is experiencing a massive resurgence based on the pure jacking functionality of the label's music in a landscape focused on raw, unstudied sounds. This cleverly sequenced comp traces the label's progression from more traditional house sounds to the lurid, bug in the bassbin jams it's most often associated with. Victor Romeo's Love Will Find a Way is soaring vocal house - the heavy drum machine programming is what sets it apart from a King Street release. Likewise for the Burrell Brothers influenced I Dream You, an ethereal Vincent Floyd t rack. Later, Paul Johnson, Arnaldo and Dj Deeon burn it down. High quality versions, essential.
Cheatahs – “Get Tight” video
Cheatahs are the latest announcement for the upcoming Red Bull Sound Select show we’ve curated at Amoeba, which takes place Feb. 27 at The Echoplex (RSVP here for $3 tickets) and also features FIDLAR, Cherry Glazerr and Isaac Rother & The Phantoms—click on those links for interviews with each band. We’re excited to have Cheatahs on board—“Get Tight” is a shoegazey little slice from their self-titled debut, out now, with a trippy ass video to boot.
Thee Oh Sees Are Back Together! Stream “Penetrating Eye”
Well that didn’t last too long, thankfully. With frontman John Dwyer moving to Los Angeles from S.F., Thee Oh Sees were going to hang their hats after releasing many excellent albums over their run. Now they’ve announced a new LP, Drop, releasing April 19 (Record Store Day!) on Castle Face. After all, why call it quits when the band continues to put out such skin-melting goodness?
FIDLAR headline the Red Bull Sound Select show at the Echoplex Feb. 27, curated by Amoeba. The L.A. garage-punk band had a hell of a 2013, releasing their acclaimed, self-titled debut record and touring around the world, including with a little band known as The Pixies. They even made the time to stop by two Amoeba stores and playing blistering sets at Amoeba Hollywood and S.F.
We caught up with the band before their big performance.