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Weekly Roundup: Warm Soda, Tera Melos, GRMLN, Shellshag, White Fence, King Tuff

Posted by Billy Gil, February 21, 2013 02:23pm | Post a Comment

Warm Soda – “Busy Lizzy” video

warm sodaOakland’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”

tera melosSacramento’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.

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Weekly Roundup: MellowHype, Trash Talk, Young & Sick, Devon Williams, King Tuff, Inc.

Posted by Billy Gil, October 4, 2012 07:16pm | Post a Comment

MellowHypeMellowHype – “Grill”

Here’s the next song from Odd Future’s MellowHype, which will be on their album Numbers, out Oct. 9. The duo’s warped hip-hop is on fine display on “Grill,” as their doubled vocals spell out their name and rap smoke circles around everyone else. Out next week, you can preorder Numbers here.

 

Trash Talk – “Exile on Broadway”

Speaking of Odd Future, sounds like OFWGKTA associates Trash Talk are trying to become the hardcore Rolling Stones with “Exile on Broadway” and the Exile on Main St. referencing album art for 119, which is out Oct. 9. Lofty goals, but you can’t argue with the quality and ferocity of a track like this. Stream “Exile on Broadway” here, and preorder 119 here.

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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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Local Stuff: Flying Lotus, Chelsea Wolfe, Lord Huron, Tamaryn, Plus Shows This Weekend

Posted by Billy Gil, July 27, 2012 11:44am | Post a Comment
Flying LotusFlying Lotus – “Between Friends” (ft. Earl Sweatshirt and Captain Murphy)
 
Everything Flying Lotus does requires us to pay attention — not just because everything he touches, whether it be hosting excellent artists like Jeremiah Jae on his Brainfeeder label or his own work on albums like Comsmogramma, seems to be uniformly excellent, but because there’s a depth of complexity there that extends past sample-rap-repeat. This song for Adult Swim’s Singles Program features guest spots from Earl Sweatshirt and Captain Murphy — who is maybe Tyler, the Creator? So postulates Pitchfork, which may be true, since Captain Murphy was a character from the off-the-air animated series “Sealab 2021” whose original voice, Harry Goz, died in 2003. I love how it starts with this dream soul intro that completely cuts out twice before getting into trading codeine-fueled raps. Sounds like something that would have been concocted at the bottom of the sea, indeed! (Ugh.) Flying Lotus’ new album Until the Quiet Comes is due Oct. 1 on Warp Records, featuring guest spots by Thom Yorke, Erykah Badu and more.
 


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Album Picks: Fiona Apple, King Tuff, Grass Widow, Liars

Posted by Billy Gil, June 19, 2012 07:27pm | Post a Comment
fiona apple the idler wheelToday Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel … was released. The first time I spun the album my jaw dropped. I grew up listening to Fiona Apple. She was one of my favorite artists in high school, and I’d followed her since the Tidal days, through her more “mature” albums When the Pawn … and Extraordinary Machine. I’d always still liked her, but my fervor had subsided a bit since those awkward teen years when her brand of super-confessional experimental pop really hit home. Well, this is something wholly different. As great as her previous three albums were, The Idler Wheel is the gutsiest thing she’s put out yet. Even more so than on Extraordinary Machine, Apple sounds uninterested in storming the radio with The Idler Wheel. She’s after something bigger here. Lyrically, she exposes her greatest wounds and digs at them with extraordinary candor and self-directed venom. “I root for you, I love you, you you you you” she sings on one of her lovelier tunes, “Valentine,” but even then, that devotion has a desperate tone that makes it hard to take at face value. Similarly, on “Jonathan,” lines like “I like watching you live” are accompanied by a fairly dissonant arrangement, deranged drumwork by collaborator Charlie Drayton and musique concrète that makes the whole thing sound like a ship coming apart. Vocally, Apple has never sounded stronger, scarier and more assured, frequently unleashing shiver-inducing cries, growling and singing with unchained vibrato within the same breaths, on songs like the searing “Left Alone.” And just when things get too grim, she closes the album with a jazzy, sexy ode to a guy who cuts through her like a “hot knife.” From start to finish, across its jagged edges and soaring heights, Idler Wheel is an exhilarating, simply astonishing listen.
 
king tuffI’m a big fan of garage rock but not necessarily of its sometimes limiting factors — guitars and vocals have to have just enough care balanced with slop, that sort of thing. So it’s nice to hear a couple of great up-and-coming albums from bands who subscribe to garage rock aesthetics but not “surf rock fun times” generic modes. King Tuff’s self-titled album is a real riot, from its opening track “Anthem,” which delivers perfectly delivered riffery the likes of which is pretty rare these days. Along with like-minded peers Ty Segall and the late Jay Reatard, King Tuff write songs first and foremost, and the ground covered here becomes more apparent upon repeat listens, which isn’t hard to do with an album that’s this much fun to listen to. “Alone & Stoned” has terrific ascendant vocal lines and a cool ’80s vibe under its garage veneer. “Unusual World” is a touching garage ballad that doesn’t shy away from varying its instrumentation, with synths and vibes adding nice touches to Tuff’s Marc Bolan-esque delivery. What I’m most taken with on King Tuff is that it delivers catchy garage pop tunes while refusing to adhere to one tempo and one sound like so many albums of a similar ilk. My personal favorite: the Vaselines-ish “Stupid Superstar.”
 
Grass Widow Internal LogicAlong those same lines, I really can’t get enough of Grass Widow’s Internal Logic. Starting off with its lo-fi sci-fi opener “Goldilocks Zone,” Internal Logic is a perfect example of a band perfectly executing a much-missed particular sound while adding its own peculiar flair of cool nerdy girl chic. Not to be limiting, but the album in some ways plays like a master class in post-punk girl bands: the multiple harmonic voices of Stereolab; the out-of-step tempos of Kleenex and ESG and their progeny, like Erase Errata and Electrelane; and off-kilter charm of bands like The Breeders. Fun and clever without biting off more than it can chew, Internal Logic pretty much leaves me with a smile on my face from start to finish.
 
liars wixiwLast but not least, I hope the new Liars album doesn’t get lost in the shuffle ‘cause WIXIW is every bit as good as their previous few releases, in my mind. Thought it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Drum’s Not Dead, I’m digging this new, quieter yet just as paranoid edition of Liars. WIXIW is pop in the way the Silver Apples or Portishead’s Third are pop, equal parts sinister and beautiful, with a throbbing heart underneath its digital beats. “Octagon” is disturbing, atonal at parts, yet its whole is instantly memorable, sticking mean hooks into you that feel better than they should. “No. 1 Against the Rush” sends goth down the autobahn, playing out like a krautrock variation on The Cure’s “A Forest.” WIXIW has been compared to Radiohead’s Kid A, and, listening to the title track — which disintegrates eerily under waves of oscillators and comes pulsing back for a haunting chanted chorus — it’s not hard to see why.
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