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Albums Out 10/16: Chelsea Wolfe, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mac DeMarco, Pinback, Tamaryn and More

Posted by Billy Gil, October 15, 2012 07:00pm | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

Chelsea WolfeUnknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs

Chelsea WolfeCD $9.98

LP $16.98

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The electric touches to Chelsea Wolfe’s doom-folk sound are nice window-dressing, but as Unknown Rooms shows, they’re not necessary — perhaps even a distraction — from conveying the gothic folk sound Wolfe built on her previous two albums. Stripped of nearly all else except acoustic guitar, exquisite violin and viola, and Wolfe’s arresting voice, Unknown Rooms is Wolfe’s strongest statement yet. In “The Way We Used To,” which Wolfe’s voice expresses the soulfulness always lurking in the shadows of her sound, harmonizing a simple vibrato vocal line to great effect as Wolfe’s voice gets higher (and more emotional) than she’s ever shown before. “Spinning Centers” takes a similar cue, using singsongy vocals in an ever-so-unsettling backdrop to create a beautiful kind of witchy music that suggests something ancient and beyond simple explanation. A song title like “Appalachia” would imply an exercise in Appalachian folk reverence, but in practice the song’s almost harsh, trudging nature makes it into a woodsy elegy. Her voice and delivery occasionally draw comparison to PJ Harvey, a tough comparison that could drag her down, but Wolfe ensures her music is distinctive enough that she’s considered more than merely a Harvey disciple. The distinctive quality of the incantations in “Boyfriend” and mandolin-esque vocals of “Our Work Was Good” alone make Wolfe sound like the leader of her own cult, one which will surely grow with the release of this excellent work. Chelsea Wolfe will be at Amoeba Hollywood Sunday Oct. 21 to perform at 5 p.m. Be there!

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Weekly Roundup: The Soft Pack, Cold Showers, Chelsea Wolfe and More

Posted by Billy Gil, September 21, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment
the soft packThe Soft Pack – “Bobby Brown”
 
Sweet song from The Soft Pack’s excellent new album, Strapped, coming out next week! Preorder it here. Love the chantalong vocals and reggae swing, but the best part is easily the psych-sax solo breakdown in the middle.
 

 
cold showers
Cold Showers
– “Violent Cries”
 
The second song from L.A.-based Cold Showers’ upcoming debut album, Love and Regret, oozes cool blue menace from beneath a synth-rock veneer. Love and Regret is due Oct. 9 from Dais. It’s streaming over at Stereogum.
 





 
gangiGangi – “Gold”
 
This new song by L.A.-based Gangi starts out mellow and psychy and catchy and just keeps getting better as it goes, with fuzzed out guitars and warbled gospel-style backup vocals that make the “put your hands up” lyrics sound like a religious plea. The folks at Filter have it up to stream. Their album Gesture Is comes out digitally Oct. 2; if you like what you hear, help them out at their Kickstarter to get a physical release and distribution! They’ve also got the following upcoming local shows:
 

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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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My Best of 2010: Music Picks by Kelly

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 13, 2011 08:45pm | Post a Comment
Howdy and Happy New Year, one and all. I've spent about a week and half, that is the first week and a half of 2011, listening only to the music I purchased last year and I've come up with a list of stuff that I am not only not sick of but ready to live happily ever after with. Here's what I love the most, my best picks for music released in 2010, and you know it's gotta be firm 'cause it's all I've been living on. Let's go:
sun city girls funeral mariachi album cover
Sun City Girls - Funeral Mariachi (Abduction)

This is the kind of record that you listen to repeatedly, one side at a time. I think I must have replayed side one at least five times before moving on to play side two again and again --- it's just a mesmerizing and solid piece of work, enchanting and haunted by an astounding breadth of world music influences (no doubt culled from field recordings, transmissions and the like Sun City Girls has gifted to the public via their Sublime Frequencies label, which pretty much makes them, alongside Mississippi Records, the Smithsonian Folkways of our generation). This release is held even more dear by the fact that it is the last Sun City Girls record due to the death of drummer and vocalist Charles Gocher Jr. in 2007. It's also a limited release, so get it while you can. In fact, it's the "get it while you can" of 2010.

Sun City Girls - "Blue West" from Funeral Mariachi