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Album Picks: Danny Brown, Jesu, Glasser, Lee Ranaldo, Darkside, Parquet Courts

Posted by Billy Gil, October 8, 2013 09:49am | Post a Comment

Danny BrownOld (CD)

Since Danny Brown launched from relative obscurity to stardom with his excellent mixtape XXX, it follows that his sophomore release should see the rapper sand the edges of his sound from his Internet-rap roots. Not so fast. Danny Brown’s Old doesn’t curb the weirdness that made XXX such a delight; it doubles down on it. The same highwire delivery and tight jeans that made 50 Cent balk at signing the dude are still going strong, though the humor of his previous work is turned down in favor of more straightforward storytelling—and as if in a bit for seriousness, Brown even includes “Side A” and “B” interludes to signify the break between the more laid-back first half and molly-addled crazy second half. Of course, Brown has just learned how to incorporate his wit into the songs more—“Wonderbread” is only slightly more horrifying than funny, about the perils of even going out for bread in the Detroit ghetto where he grew up, whereas the mind-bending “Lonely,” which features a sample from obscure French artist Morice Benin, sees Brown claiming his identity brilliantly (“Hipster by heart but I can tell you how the streets feel” he says, subtly reffing his childhood, selling drugs and time in prison without boasting). Brown’s collaborators—from the indie-minded Purity Ring to fellow rapper Schoolboy Q and especially the grime-influenced wunderkind Scruffizer, on the awesome “Dubstep”—aid in making Old a multifaceted affair. Producer Oh No (of Stones Throw duo Gangrene) helps set the stage for some of Old’s most striking tracks, like the Radiohead-ish “Gremlins” and manic “Red 2 Go,” though Brown at least shares the producer’s chair on each song. He offers some turn of phrase or stellar bit of production on every song, keeping you hooked on Old and hitting the replay button even after 19 tracks.

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Weekly Roundup: Cass McCombs, Glasser, Obliterations and More

Posted by Billy Gil, September 19, 2013 04:16pm | Post a Comment

Cass McCombs – “Brighter” (feat. Karen Black)

Actress Karen Black died from cancer last month. Before she passed, she recorded this great song with singer Cass McCombs, who also dueted with Black on the memorable “Dreams-Come-True-Girl,” the opener to 2009’s Catacombs. In this song from the upcoming Big Wheel and Others, Black takes the lead, her voice sounding lively and wild. For fans of Black, this posthumous release is a beautiful gift. The 22-song Big Wheel and Others is due Oct. 15 on Domino, listen to “Brighter” below and “There Can Only Be One” here. McCombs will be at Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown Nov. 12, L.A.’s The Echo Nov. 14 and S.F.’s Great American Music Hall Nov. 15.

 

Glasser – “Design” video

The video for the second single from L.A.-based Glasser’s upcoming Interiors album (preorder on CD or LP) features Glasser’s Cameron Mesirow in a futuristic Mad Men dress dancing with an animated sculpture. It reinforces the message: This is electro-pop fit for a museum, not just the dancefloor. Interiors is due Oct. 8 on True Panther/Matador.

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Glasser, aka Cameron Mesirow, Chats About Musical Creation, Her Must Have For the Road, and More

Posted by Miss Ess, May 11, 2011 09:58am | Post a Comment


Glasser
, aka Cameron Mesirow, has stormed the indie music scene with her debut full length, Ring. When the creative bug bit, this gal took musical matters into her own hands; she nabbed her Mac and layered sonic tracks and her beautiful, warm vocals and in the process created something totally her own and totally gorgeous.

Listen to "Mirrorage":




Miss Ess: What inspired you to start creating your own music?


Cameron: I was an avid art appreciator and I started feeling like I didn't really have a right to be so invested in other peoples' work if I wasn't making some of my own. That's not necessarily a judgement I would pass on someone else, but for my own self it was right, because I knew that I was seeking vicarious thrills in order to satisfy my creative side, and eventually it wasn't satisfying anymore.

ME: How did your song writing process develop? Do you write the music first and then the lyrics or the other way around?

C: I can't really say that I always start one way or another. I hear a lot of melodies in my head and sometimes those yield actual songs, but mostly they're just forgotten. Sometimes I have a structural idea and sometimes I have a thematic idea, and sometimes I just let it rip and hope for the best!

Your music has strong crossover to the art scene -- who or what inspires you there?

More than anything these days I find myself inspired by communication and its different methods, which can span a wide range of media in the art world and otherwise. I think Ryan Trecartin's films are fascinating. I love Gerhard Richter.  It's not so compartmentalized for me, though. I get inspired by really general things, like the internet. There are so many means by which we convince ourselves that we're not alone, and those things are truly mesmerizing and worthy of the term art.

How is the touring life for you? 

Touring is hard and soft, fast and slow, mild and spicy. Just kidding, but not really. It's isolating to be on tour, and the biggest thing I notice is that the disjointed nature of traveling can make for social hardships. People never know whether you are coming or going, and sometimes they choose to give up on waiting to find out. That's hard. But as far as the actual feeling of being in motion, when it's happening, I like it.  
 
What is the one thing you always bring with you on tour? What are your favorite places to play and why?

I always bring a walnut in its shell that was given to me by a friend who picked it off a tree in Croatia. That's a little funny thing. I have played a lot of wonderful shows in Europe with my band and I have to say, one of the best ones in terms of sound, feeling, tension levels, etc, was in Brussels this last January.

What was the experience of playing this year's Coachella like for you? Did you get to meet any artists you particularly admire?

It was very interesting to watch Kanye West's set at Coachella. I did not meet him, but I felt very strongly that he was totally isolated by his own design. Curious people-watching at festivals. 

Since you lived here before, when you come back to play SF, are there certain old haunts you like to visit? 

I LOVE San Francisco. I like to eat at as many new restaurants as possible. I like to go to Japantown because I hung out there a lot as a teenager.  

What have you been listening to lately?

Lately I have been listening to Art of Noise, Sade, and some Brian Eno instrumental stuff... Smooth hits.

Thanks for your time, Cameron!

Glasser at the Independent in SF this Saturday

Posted by Miss Ess, April 27, 2011 09:33am | Post a Comment

Just announced! This Saturday! Glasser will play the Independent here in SF! Come one, come all, get your tickets here! Check out the video flyer below and stay tuned for an exclusive interview with the artist herself, Miss Cameron Mesirow, here on the blog soon!

Glasser's Cameron Mesirow on Creating Music

Posted by Amoebite, April 15, 2011 01:44pm | Post a Comment
Glasser's Cameron Mesirow talks to the Creators Project about -- what else? -- her creative process, taking her music on the road and translating it live, and how anyone can be a musician these days! Check out the footage below:


She's playing Coachella tomorrow!
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