Weekly Roundup: Julia Holter, Flying Lotus, Pacific Air, Allah-Las, Spaceships

Posted by Billy Gil, November 29, 2012 02:36pm | Post a Comment

Julia Holter – “Gold Dust Woman”

Julia HolterJulia Holter, who put out this year’s excellent Ekstasis album, sure to be on my top albums of the year list, has contributed a track to Rumours revisited, a Fleetwood Mac cover album (not to be confused with this one, also released this year) with current artists taking on songs from that iconic album. The album, put out with the current Mojo magazine, also includes tracks by Liars, Yeasayer and the Besnard Lakes. (What are the Besnard Lakes up to, anyway? I love those guys.) This cover remains faithful to the original by maintaining and amplifying the scary space in Stevie Nicks’ version, though Holter’s delivery is more slightly detached than Nicks’ sultry vocal. Still, it’s on the warmer end of Holter’s songs, which can range from icy and otherworldly to coy, playful art-pop. Anyone remember the Hole cover of this song (for The Crow 2 soundtrack!) where she messes up the lyric and goes “one less challeoonge” all crazy? Loved that. Find Mojo at Amoeba Hollywood. (See photos of Julia Holter's performance live at Amoeba Hollywood.)

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Flying Lotus Rocks Amoeba With Killer Set

Posted by Billy Gil, October 4, 2012 12:05pm | Post a Comment

Flying Lotus AmoebaThe subtleties of what goes into creating a Flying Lotus song could be seen when he took the stage at Amoeba Hollywood Oct. 1, the day before his new album, Until the Quiet Comes, was officially released. Fly Lo worked busily over a minimal setup of a couple of laptops and samplers/sequencers. He played bits from the new album, like the bass-heavy “Sultan’s Request,” but kept things moving quickly — much like his albums do — never lingering long on a particular sound or song before flowing it into the next. A large and very appreciative crowd head-bobbed furiously to the music (the beatheads’ equivalent to head banging) as Fly Lo worked the heavier side of his sound spectrum, unlike the mostly chilled-out quality of his latest album. He paused a minute from the beat assault and spinning bits of songs like Schoolboy Q/A$ap Rocky’s “Hands on the Wheel,” Jay-Z/Kanye West’s “Ni**as in Paris,” Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You,” Portishead’s “Machine Gun” and Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic” to welcome the audience and later ask for Transformers 3 on Blu-ray — which he got, and held up with glee, before passing it off quickly to continue hyperactively turning knobs and setting off sequences. Watching Flying Lotus at somewhere like the Hollywood Bowl, it can be easy to dismiss the work he puts into everything. In closer quarters Flying Lotus appears as a virtuoso, animatedly hunching and bouncing over his machines and stroking them like a piano with ease. They don’t call him a beat maestro for nothing. Flying Lotus was joined by fellow artists from his Brainfeeder label Teebs and Jeremiah Jae, the latter of who released one of my favorite hip-hop albums this year, Raw Money Raps. See more photos from the performance and Flying Lotus’ signing session here!

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Albums Out 10/2: Moon Duo, Taken By Trees, Flying Lotus and More

Posted by Billy Gil, October 1, 2012 07:29pm | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

Moon Duo CirclesMoon DuoCircles
Echoes of Suicide, Silver Apples and Spacemen 3 emulate from Moon Duo’s big bad amplifiers, but the San Francisco band develops that into their own brand of psychedelia on Circles, their latest and finest release. The band, which consists of SF psych-rockers Wooden Shjips’ Erik “Ripley” Johnson on guitar as well as Sanae Yamada on keyboards, sounded great on previous releases when they let things fly into extended jam territory (as do Wooden Shjips), but they sound just as engaging in more bite-sized pieces, as on the darkly melodic “I Can See” and jangly title track, which lets just enough light in to help illuminate the rest of the album as a result. They still do motorized rock with Kraut beats like no other, as on songs like “I Been Gone,” but songs like the actually kind of dancey “Dance pt. 3” prove to be the perfect augment to their sound. Badass and no-nonsense, for sure, Circles captures Moon Duo at their best but allows them loosen up stylistically and have a little more fun at the same time.
taken by treesTaken By TreesOther Worlds
After leaving Swedish indie pop group The Concretes, Victoria Bergsman has straddled the line between conventional pop wisdom (her duet with Peter Bjorn & John, “Young Folks,” and covers of Animal Collective and Guns ‘N’ Roses) and more worldly aspirations. Other Worlds continues that tradition for Bergsman. Inspired by her travels to Hawaii, Other Worlds similarly concerns itself with one place, or one feel, rather than taking a pan-global approach (similarly to her last album, the Pakistan-influenced East of Eden), though Other Worlds doesn’t sound terribly Hawaiian as it does have a swaying, oceanic feel, like a dive captured in slow motion. “Dreams” beautifully floats into the ether on the strength of Bergsman’s nocturnal voice and chorus-heavy guitars. “In Other Words’” most notable feature is actually its country-inspired steel guitar, but the song’s slow jaunt and vaguely singsongy quality makes it feel like a codeine-fueled cover of a sea shanty. Thankfully Bergsman doesn’t allow her muse to overly rule or define her songs, and Other Worlds is quite distinct and varied, despite its understated island vibe. You forgive some of the seemingly cheesy elements of its theme, like the cutesy vibraphone and steel drums on “Pacific Blue,” because Bergsman weaves them into something unique and seamlessly ties them together with unrelated sounds. The album’s opening songs, for instance, build airy ballads over airy bedroom electronics and found sounds, which come back to the fore with the clanging “Not Like Any Other” and dubby beatwork of “Large,” both of which sound a bit like a chilled out Grimes. Like most of Bergsman’s work, Other Worlds is a feat of subtlety, but is nonetheless memorable, tuneful and easy to submerge yourself in.

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New Preorders: Ty Segall, Muse, Bat For Lashes, Taylor Swift and More

Posted by Billy Gil, September 19, 2012 04:50pm | Post a Comment
flying lotusFlying LotusUntil the Quiet Comes – Oct. 2
The latest from the L.A. sound maestro features contributions from Erykah Badu, Laura Darlington, Niki Randa, Thundercat and Thom Yorke.


the vaccinesThe VaccinesCome of Age – Oct. 2
The second album from the NME-touted Brit punks.

MuseMuseThe Second Law – Oct. 2
The Britpop group turned arena rockers’ next album may have an electro edge, given its first single, “Madness.”

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Local Stuff: Flying Lotus, Deerhoof, King Tuff, The Soft Moon, Cold Showers, Ty Segall

Posted by Billy Gil, August 17, 2012 12:30pm | Post a Comment
flying lotusFlying Lotus feat. Erykah Badu – “See Thru to U”
This sumptuous, propulsive track comes from L.A. beat maestro Flying Lotus’ new album, Until the Quiet Comes, due Oct. 2 on Warp (preorder here). Expect more excellent pair-ups, such as another with Thom Yorke, on the album.


DeerhoofDeerhoof – “Fête d'Adieu”

So excited to share a new track from S.F.’s Deerhoof, one of my all-time favorite guitar bands. For a while there, it seemed minus guitarist Chris Cohen, the band was losing steam on the lackluster Deerhoof vs. Evil. “Fête d'Adieu” is very promising, however, employing the poppier balance of melodicism with awkward time signatures and chirpy vocals that they moved toward on the Cohen-less but still excellent Friend Opportunity. Here’s hoping Breakup Song is awesome! (Preorder the album here.)


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