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The Dark, Sexy Sound of Minneapolis' Polica

Posted by Rachael McGovern, August 1, 2012 06:36pm | Post a Comment
Polica A good friend of mine from Minneapolis introduced me to a local band called Poliça earlier this year via a performance video from Minnesota public radio station The Current. I loved the song (the name "Wandering Star" also caught my attention as it's the name of one of my favorite Portishead songs), but what really got my attention was the double drummers!

But I have to admit I didn't follow through to discover more about the band until I went back to Minnesota this spring. I heard Poliça on the radio there and responded to the music again, this time vowing to listen to the whole album when I came home. Which I did, on repeat.


The band consists of vocalist Channy Leaneagh (formerly Channy Casselle), bassist Chris Bierden and drummers Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson. But the other important person involved with the band is not technically a band member. Instrumentalist Ryan Olson, who was in Gayngs with Leaneagh, helped shape the band from its very start. The two started working on songs together, with Olson providing electronic beats and Leaneagh singing the melodies, even before there were actual words and lyrics. Then Olson brought in Beirden to lay down bass lines, and contacted Ivascu and Christopherson about being the new band's drummers. Together, they became Poliça.

A few things strike you right away when you listen to their music. One is that Leaneagh's vocals are manipulated by effects pedals and auto-tune, which she says adds drama and allows her voice to be viewed more as an instrument. The second, is the overall mood of the album - dark, slightly aggressive, and beautiful. And slinky, if that could be considered a mood. See the video for "Lay Your Cards Out" as an example.

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Local Stuff: Chelsea Wolfe, John Maus, Everest, Ariel Pink

Posted by Billy Gil, June 22, 2012 01:07pm | Post a Comment
Chelsea Wolfe
Chelsea Wolfe – "Flatlands
"
 
Chelsea Wolfe has a new, all-acoustic album due in October on Sargent House. Here’s the first track, a spare and haunting departure from the more densely layered, dark folk you’ll find on 2011’s Apocalypsis. The track features Andrea Calderón on violin, Ezra Buchla on viola and Ben Chisholm also on guitar.
 

 

John Maus
John Maus – "Bennington"

 
John MausWe Must Become the Pitless Censors of Ourselves was a fun trip through the sort of cerebral art pop of Klaus Nomi or Kraftwerk but with goofy lyrics and sturdy hooks. “Bennington” is no different, boasting a raunchy synth groove and lyrics like “I miss those funky eyes.” A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material, collecting 16 tracks recorded over the past decade or so, is slated to come out July 17 on Ribbon Music. He’ll be at FYF Fest Sept. 1 (tickets go on sale at Amoeba today at 5!). I never realized what a babe John Maus is till today.
 

 

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New Blood Diamonds Track "Phone Sex" Featuring Grimes

Posted by Rachael McGovern, May 31, 2012 02:28pm | Post a Comment
Blood DiamondsLA-based pop artist Blood Diamonds (a.k.a. Michael Diamond) has a new 12" coming out called "Phone Sex" featuring Grimes. Both artists are influenced by K-Pop and love big productions, and they decided to attempt the perfect summer pop anthem together during one long winter night in Vancouver. 

I noticed two things about the song right away: one, the sound of steel drums (which Diamond says are actually halo drums); and two, Grimes singing "hey daddy" over and over, which is a little disconcerting given her little girl voice and the fact that the track is called "Phone Sex," but maybe that's the point...Regardless, I like it.

The "Phone Sex" 12" will be out on transparent pink vinyl July 24th on 4AD.


Blood Diamonds and Grimes are at the Echoplex in LA on June 19 for Check Yo Ponytail 2 (18+ show). Or you can see Grimes for free at Make Music Pasadena on Saturday, June 16.

Lemonade Grimes at EchoPlex

New JD Samson + MEN Video, Plus LA Show Tonight at the Echoplex

Posted by Amoebite, May 10, 2012 02:19pm | Post a Comment
JD Samson + MenJD Samson + MEN are performing tonight at the Echoplex in Los Angeles and Friday at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco. The band, formerly called MEN but recently renamed for clarity (try searching just MEN and see what you come up with!), is a Brooklyn-based art/performance collective led by JD Samson (of Le Tigre) and Michael O'Neill, with Le Tigre bandmate Johanna Fateman and artist Emily Roysdon contributing as writers, consultants, and producers. When MEN performed at Amoeba Hollywood last year, they were joined by Tami Hart on bass and guitar. For this West Coast tour, they are performing as a four-piece for the first time.

Watch their full performance from Amoeba Hollywood:


Samson, who is a leader in the LGBT community, wanted to create dance music that also spoke to her Men Talk About Bodypolitics, beliefs, and passions. Formed in 2007, MEN released their debut full-length album, Talk About Body, on IAMSOUND Records in February 2011. This February, the band released Next, the first in a series of four EPs to be released this year that further mix dance floor beats with politics and life issues. They also recently performed at Occupy Wall Street on May Day.  

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Local Bits: New Tracks from Princeton, TRMRS, Races

Posted by Billy Gil, February 10, 2012 11:26am | Post a Comment
princetonPrinceton – Florida

Princeton have gotten increasingly pop-oriented and more electronic over the past couple of years. “Florida” is the latest example of their evolution, a richly detailed Rhodes piano-led driving jam that feels like cruising beachside, either in Miami or their native So. Cal. Check out its Cosmic Kids remix too for even more chill vibes. Princeton play Café Bleu Feb. 16, and their new album, Remembrance of Things to Come, is due Feb. 21 on Hit City U.S.A./Easter Everywhere.

 

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