Oh...FUCK YEAH! The Werps "Love's A Fire" is one of my fave garage jams, ever. That middle organ break...YES YES YES...so much HEAVEN for me!!!
Right, so the above clip is an outtake version only ever issued via Crypt Records' mandatory Back From The Grave series. The single version of "Love's A Fire" is different; it has some odd added horn parts. It's good, too, faster and the horns do fit, but the outtake/BFTG version wins, if you ask me. Also, "Love's A Fire"'s downer flipside, "Shades of Blue" is pretty great, too. The Werps were from Somerville, New Jersey.
I was just minding my own business on Pine, when suddenly this wiggly little friend comes rolling across the sidewalk! Puppies don't even know what they're doing! It's like putting Jell-O on a leash. Jell-O that would rather sit in the middle of the sidewalk looking precious than actually go for a walk.
by Dave Segal
on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 1:53 PM
We need more writing on the Beatles like we need more vehicles on the road, but not all writing about the Beatles is created equal. The blog Let Me Tell You About the Beatles stands out with exceptional, ingratiating insights by writers Robert Bunter and Richard Furnstein. These names are new to me, but I quickly became enamored of their passion for and knowledge of the Beatles' catalog, which is chockablock with the most varied and melodically sumptuous pop/rock songs ever laid down (haters are free to explain their wrongheaded views in the comments).
Bunter and Furnstein go deep with the songs they analyze, but they keep it fun, too, and dudes can verbally spar and turn phrases with the most exalted Beatles critics (would love to see them fog up Greil Marcus' little round spectacles with their dazzling profundities). These master debaters often leave me agreeing equally with both sides of the argument.
Here's a choice snippet from Mr. Furnstein:
"Sun King" is a lovely ode to five in the morning. The crickets are slowing down, ready to surrender their rhythmic grip on the night. There is nothing but promise and hope at this time of day. The taxpayers are starting their early morning routine. The babies are gazing into their mother's eyes during the morning feeding. The Beatles always represented total renewal: each new Beatles album was a rejection of their previous take on pop music. These four supermen were there to gently guide mere mortals through life.
He is we as we are he. The shifting identities that underlay the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band concept and the acid-induced ego confusion of "Strawberry Fields Forever" reached a peak with "Walrus." I don't think John ever got this far out again; even the ominous "Revolution 9" sound collage had a certain experimental air of art-music detachment and opiated languor. "I Am The Walrus" is the unfiltered audio soundtrack to the nightmare that was John Lennon's fundamental brainspace.
More Furnstein wisdom:
"The Inner Light" is truly one of the most delightful and unexpected treasures in The Beatles catalog. Like finding a cardamom pod nestled in the pillowy saffron rice of your grandmother's kheer, George's solemn treatise provides some necessary mindthought to the light (Paul) and dark (John) forces of the world.
Yes! I am ready for a heavy-duty, fungus-enhanced listening session of Magical Mystery Tour with these guys.
Okay, my heart wasn't "broken" because I wasn't really in love because I was only 13. His name was Jason, we held hands once, talked on the phone a few times, and we never kissed. It lasted one week in 7th grade (Monday through Friday, not even the weekend) and I don't remember why we stopped "dating" (read: stopped awkwardly standing next to each other in the hallway between classes). Still, when it was "over," I was crushed and I listened to Janet Jackson sing "Again" every day and night for days, thinking "Yes, Janet, YES. Thank you. You know exactly how it feels."
Overall everything about this memory (and middle school, for that matter) feels so, so insignificant, but that was also the first time in my life I purposefully turned to music with therapeutic intent, which is actually not at all insignificant. It's kind of sweet and awesome.
What was your first therapeutic song? It's okay it if wasn't a good song and it's extra okay if it wasn't actually that heartbreaking of a situation, in hindsight.
This Como, Italy three-piece (singer-guitarist Francesco Mariani, bassist Claudia Manili, and drummer Andrea Napoli) has been around for a few years, but I hadn't heard of them until April when the label released the Sub Pop 1000 compilation, which opens with their blistering, bass-heavy "Kidult," an amalgam of Cabaret Voltaire, Killing Joke, and Al Jourgensen-on-Wax Trax. (Though my cat is accustomed to loud music—I rarely use headphones—she tensed up a little when I played this thing. The last time that happened? When I streamed the Ensemble Pearl album.)
To date, His Electro Blue Voice has released several singles, EPs, and compilation tracks, but their first full-length will bear the Sub Pop imprint. With titles like "Death Climb" and "Tumor," I can only assume they like it—their music, their movies, their lives*—on the dark and gritty side. I can dig it, and if the rest of the record sounds anything like "Kidult," we should be in for a noisy treat.
Yes. Sometime in the last couple years I DJed a Bar Mitzvah. It was the young man's specific request that I play '60s soul, which was actually quite amazing and endearing. His party, however, did not devolve into an uncomfortable, atonal karaoke party Bar Mitzvah...
Uncle Mort's Chuck Berry duck walk walk-on @ 1:53 is fucking amazing. Erm, if you can stand to make it that far. Oh, too bad there wasn't any voguing.
Thom Yorke Auctioning Off Painting: Made with friend and album artist Stanley Donwood, the proceeds will go to the Trade Justice Movement, "a coalition of organizations that fight to end poverty and hunger." It's called "Business School for the Dead," and judging on these guys' past work would probably look great above your mantle.
Feminist Taylor Swift Takes Over Twitter: Not sure how I feel about the concept of parody Twitter accounts, but I did enjoy the response from Feminist Kanye: "YO IMMA LET YOU FINISH CUZ AS A MAN I NEED TO STEP BACK AND LET YOU BE HEARD." Oh wait, damnit. I just mentioned Kanye again. Last time.
How Are You Feeling About the New M.I.A?: "Bring the Noize" dropped on Zane Lowe's BBC 1 radio show yesterday. Check it below.
Professional attention-seeker and onstage ranter Michelle Shocked has announced she will return to San Francisco to play a free concert on Sunday, June 30th — the closing night of S.F. Pride festivities. Adding to the already bizzarre and controversial setup, Shocked's concert will coincide with a press blitz/egotrip coordinated across the SF Examiner and SF Weekly.
While many, including ourselves, hoped Shocked's dubious relevance would fade once her tour was cancelled and the retweets died out, the alt-folk singer thrust herself back into limelight late last week. She took to Twitter on Friday to announce the free concert, the SF Weekly exclusive, a treasured spot in the 2013 Pride Guide spread and a forthcoming opinion piece in the Examiner.
Is this really necessary? Does anyone care if she tries to explain herself? Especially at Gay Pride? Especially in San Francisco, the gayest city that ever gay-gayed? I really look forward to NOT reading her interview in the SF Weekly.
The 3rd annual Closer Electronic Music Festival kicks off this weekend, June 20th – 23rd, in Portland, Oregon. Set in the city center and spread out among Portland’s most crucial venues, the festival has grown in scale and this year’s lineup is bursting with talent from up and down the West Coast and beyond. Techno legend John Tejada headlines, showcasing a full-on hardware live set, while other highlights include Planet E’s Monty Luke, Lars Behrenroth, Masa Ueda, Bryan Zentz, and Seattle’s own J. Alvarez aka 214, to name but a few in the 50+ strong lineup.
Closer will also feature a variety of workshops and panel discussions relating to music production and navigating the industry, as well as a free park party held on Sunday afternoon. If you’re heading down early, be sure to swing by Crush on Thursday, as I (Ctrl_Alt_Dlt) have the honor of playing the kickoff event alongside some of Portland’s finest locals. If last year’s installment is any indication, we’re in for an action-packed and sleepless weekend.
by Dave Segal
on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Seattle indie-rock label Barsuk Records will be celebrating 15 years of business with a four-show extravaganza November 7-10. You can purchase the limited-to-50 wristbands for the weekend at noon PST today over (less than an hour away!) here. Single-show wristbands will be available later this summer.
Besides gaining access to all four Barsuk shows, wristband holders also get a set of limited-edition posters by Jason Munn and free rides from each venue (Showbox at the Market, Neptune Theatre, Neumos and Barboza, and Tractor Tavern), provided by Uber. All proceeds for the fest go to Gilda’s Club Seattle.
Along with the rest of the world, I listened to Yeezus this morning, now that it's up on Spotify. Turns out Kanye West loves to stick his dick in things. Who knew? Also, look who makes a guest appearance on the song "I Am a God" (in which West demands that someone bring him some croissants):
by Mike Ramos
on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 10:21 AM
(Nectar) Danish electronic-soul duo Quadron have only been around since 2009, but in that four-year span, singer Coco O. and composer Robin Hannibal's crowd-pleasing combination of classic and modern vocals/production elements have caught the attention of everyone from punk-rap controversialist Tyler, the Creator (Coco O. is featured on Wolf standout "Treehome95" and joined him to perform the song live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) to Hollywood director Baz Luhrmann (who got O. to contribute to The Great Gatsby's original soundtrack). Their recent Avalanche picks up right where their self-titled debut left off, offering a short-but-sweet collection of sultry, soulful love (and anti-love) songs—and a Kendrick Lamar guest spot on "Better Off"—that should pack Fremont's Nectar Lounge with embracing, swaying couples.
by Kyle Fleck
on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM
Someone once said writing about music is like dancing about architecture. Well, dancing to Mount Kimbie is like dancing to architecture: it feels like their compositions have hidden passages, back doors, and sky lights, beaming in sneakily beautiful, sun-kissed melodies. They are a modest band making audacious, idiosyncratic music, and I cherished seeing it live.
But let’s rewind. I love to be proven wrong when it comes to the live acts of my favorite electronic musicians. The old chestnut about dudes just adjusting volumes on their laptops and calling it a show was replaced by actual charisma and genuine technical know-how on the part of the musicians on this bill. Case in point: Holy Other. I was curious how his brand of distressed, melancholy witch-house would translate live, and immediately I was met with the answer: all his songs sound even better with some bad-ass 4/4 drum programming underpinning them, and some creepy imagery of tin foil and hands covered in tar to stare at.
I was genuinely surprised at how many in the crowd seemed to know the songs he played (almost all from his album Held), as each new sample brought appreciative shouts of recognition from the audience. In short, he was everything you could ask for in an opening act: adrenaline-pumping, to-the-point, and emotive.
This weekend I introduced the DCHC band Void to a handful of friends who grew up in Seattle and, as teens, came of age via the early '90s grunge thing. I chose Void's obvious hit "Who Are You" obviously! It's got everything: feedback, it's heavy, confrontational, and it was typically the song to play to metalheads who didn't understand hardcore, so I kinda thought they'd dig it.
Alas, the grunge kids were nonplussed. I guess I shoulda known; their teenaged-jump from Guns & Roses to Alice in Chains, versus a band like Mudhoney, makes sense. It was a lateral jump. Alice in Chains were a metal band in the same league as other local groups like Queensrÿche. Of course, AiC did perhaps use less hairspray and "yawrled," but they were lumped in as grunge via geography. Anyways, so with Void I took a punt; it's been 20 years and these grunge kids are older, smarter, in good bands, and seem to like a wide swath of the rock music. Well, they did NOT get Void. Oh well, I suppose it's good to know '80s hardcore's can still off putting. Hmmm, perhaps I should've played Corrosion Of Conformity's "Prayer"...it is the perfect crossover jam; next time maybe...
Sidebar: If you wanna watch a (presumably) Xtian rock band named Melody Unit, a band from Japan, covering "Who Are You" at the International Cristian University freshmen orientation, 2011, then watch it HERE. Gah, I don't ever remember my church being that entertaining.
“I never learned to swim, and I’m tired of holding my breath.” —“Monster in Montauk,” Hounds of the Wild Hunt
Several months ago I watched a woman end her life. Sort of. Maybe. It’s still unclear what exactly happened. See, back in October my husband and I were in New York City—visiting friends, eating everything on Momofuku Milk Bar's menu, and riding public transportation that isn't worthless—and one night we decided to take the Roosevelt Island Tramway over the East River to Roosevelt Island to gaze at the city’s skyline from across the water. It was a dark, chilly October night, the perfect fall night for a walk. It was just a few days before Halloween and, no fucking joke, we saw a person in a Grim Reaper costume walk past us and disappear down an escalator to get on the subway. The Grim Reaper had a scythe. It was spooky and funny at the time, but now it's just spooky.
While strolling down the sidewalk that follows along the river, a man who we didn't know was behind us, started yelling at us. He was shouting something about the police and a woman and the river. He ran towards us, he didn’t speak English very well, and kept insisting we call the police. After 15 seconds, maybe 30, I don't know, we realized what was happening.