Monday, March 31, 2014

Jam of the Day: SZA ft. Chance the Rapper - "Child's Play"


Built off a languid sample from Lapalux, this slow jam from SZA is a subtle charmer.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Jam of the Day: The Chain Gang of 1974 - "Sleepwalking"


Skyscraping indie-tronic track from this project of American musician and DJ, Kamtin Mohager, who records under the name The Chain Gang of 1974.

Videos of the Week


Here are the videos that made me slide headfirst into the weekend:



Slick track and video from R&B singer Tinashe.



Kelis decides to hang out in the middle of a lake for her latest clip.



Striking clip from dream poppers Fear of Men.



Really cool clip from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.



Tokyo Police Club hang out in a bar with vintage video games in this fun clip.

New: Jamie xx - "Sleep Sound"


From his upcoming single "Girl/Sleep Sound" which is due for release on Young Turks May 5th, "Sleep Sound" debuted last year on a radio show and is now here in final form. A gorgeous, liquidy track, "Sleep Sound" is more evocative music from the talented producer.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jam of the Day: Popstrangers - "Country Kills"


Brittle and tense guitar work highlight this track from the London via New Zealand band Popstrangers, whose debut album Fortuna is released in May.

Non-Sequiturs


Furry godness.


Abs please.


Daddy.


So cute.


Rough and hot.


Beefy.


Nips!


Sexy bubba.


Sexy chesticles.


Adorable.


Likewise.


Belly.


A little too big for me, but dayum.


That is a damn sexy man.


Woof.


Daddy bear.


Nice fur.


Bear in a bath.


Beefy boy.


Handsome and tatts.


Flannel hottie.


UNF.


Wow.


Just perfect.


Grrrr.


Rough daddy.


Awww, so cute.


Perfect belly.


Damn.


I love this picture.


Grrrrrr and Grrrrrr.


Intense.


Now those are abs.


Nips!


Those eyes.

Seriously, who goes on Scruff for "networking?"

Why are most therapists certifiably crazy?

Unfailing politeness can be irritating as hell.


Plato was a wise man.

Always hilarious when a friend (who you know always has their phone on them) takes forever to respond to a message.

Ever since I switched out my jewelry for my nipple piercings, it has almost been like they were recently re-pierced. I am about over it.

I don't particularly understand the need of some people to tell you the intricate details of how much they spend on something. It's just tacky.


My latest tattoo.  My others were pussy tatts compared to this one.  It was very painful, but well worth it. Lew Hands, my tattoo artist at Timeless Tattoo, did an amazing job.

It is never too late to try new things or to stretch your boundaries.

"Selfie" has to be the year's worst song so far.

Privilege reviews are the biggest headache inducers.


This sums up most cats.

Two rules of office etiquette the denizens of my hallway fail to follow: (1) if you are on a conference call, close your door; and (2), which is very similar to (1), if you are having a meeting with someone, close your door as well. Other people do have work to get done without having to drown out your blather.

I hate when someone's comment states the obvious and kills a joke post. Stop being so damn literal!

Just because I call you handsome or something similar doesn't mean I automatically want to get in your pants. Learn to take a compliment, people.

I rarely make the same mistake twice, and when I do, shame on me. But remember, I will not forget, so you can take your shit elsewhere.

Mustard seeds have a very strong fragrance over time.


Your cute for the day.

Lyrics Rattling Around My Brain

"I can't remember and I can't concentrate
But I can take a note to permeate
A hit between the eyes
And if souls are meant to be sold
And if hands are only to hold
That I can't do what I'm told

So we'll ride the coattails to the finish line
I don't hear those church bells chime anymore
'Cause I'm in love with this
Oh we'll ride the coattails to the finish line
I don't hear those church bells chime anymore
'Cause I'm in love with this

For a moment I feel I'm losing it
Throw my temper down and bury it
The earth will reach the sky
If you talk me out of my needs
And stitch me up at the seams
Then I could live in my dreams

So we'll ride the coattails to the finish line
I don't hear those church bells chime anymore
'Cause I'm in love with this
Oh we'll ride the coattails to the finish line
I don't hear those church bells chime anymore
'Cause I'm in love with this

In love, in love, in love
In love, in love, in love

Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

So we'll ride the coattails to the finish line
I don't hear those church bells chime anymore
'Cause I'm in love with this
Oh we'll ride the coattails to the finish line
I don't hear those church bells chime anymore
'Cause I'm in love with this

In love, in love, in love."

Broods
"Coattails"

"Through the summer
You can breathe the air
Rest forever
Because there's nothing else
See the way the valley
Starts to grow
Every movement
Seems to be for you
I can see your future in it
I can see it there
I can see your future in it
I can see it there


I see you
I see you
I see you
I see you

And all the things you might do
And all the things you might do
And all the things you might do

I see you
I see you
I see you
I see you

Through the summer
You will soon forget
Days get longer
But the sun still sets
You're so fair while
Love is yours to choose
Life is fragile
Don't you let it go
I can see your future in it
I can see it there

I see you
I see you
I see you
I see you

And all the things you might do
And all the things you might do
And all the things you might do

I see you."

The Horrors
"I See You"

Appealing Things

New pillows
Working with a great tattoo artist
Interesting opportunities
The Horrors
Two good going out weekends in a row
Getting all of our wedding/reception details finalized
Having all the rooms in our PTown house occupied

Annoying Things

Winter that won't go away
Working on a project with very conflicting instructions
People who don't say thank you when you open a door for them
Never feeling like I am making headway on paying debt down

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jam of the Day: XO ft. Emma Corbett-Usher - "What's Luv?"


UK producer Sunil Heera teams up with singer Emma Corbett-Usher for this sleek R&B meets electronica track.

Album Review: Skrillex - Recess


Skrillex
Recess
Rating: Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It

Go ahead, insert your favorite Skrillex joke here. Get it out of your system. I will wait.

It is doubtful anyone's opinion of Mr. Sonny John Moore is going to change based on a simple review. You are either on board with his big room EDM assault or you think it sounds like machinery being melted down. But there is no denying that Skrillex is still one of the most sought after DJs on the festival circuit and is likely to be for some time. Recess, Skrillex's first full-scale album, is an interesting look into where Skrillex has been, where he is, and where he might be going. As I point out in a lot of my reviews, I am usually drawn more to music an artist puts out that stretches their boundaries and takes me to a new place. Strangely here, I find that Skrillex does best when he stays with what he knows best; whereas, his experiments and other genre exercises find him either curiously flat or just out of his element completely.

What I do love about Skrillex is that is well-aware of the haters out there and even throws in a joke right off the bat with the title of first song "All Is Fair In Love And Brostep" and yet still manages to come up with a killer track.



And when Skrillex sticks to his strengths he usually knocks it out of the park. Title track "Recess," a collaboration with Kill The Noise, brings all the usual Skrillex elements to the mix, sing-songy vocal samples, killer build up, and massive bass drop;



"Dirty Vibe" with Diplo is another maniacal and relentless track;



"Try It Out" starts out uncharacteristically muted and atmospheric for Skrillex until his patented bass drop explodes from the speakers;



and he recasts the haunting Niki and the Dove track "Ease My Mind" into a dancehall-inflected workout.



And I understand that as an artist you don't want to stick to making the same song over and over again and, for that, I applaud Skrillex for really stepping out on some tracks and experimenting with who Skrillex is, but honestly, it finds him moving away from something distinctive and almost fading into the background or just going off the rails entirely. "Stranger" thumps along on a muted percussive track and bobbing bass line, but just plods along for a very long five minutes;



"Doompy Poomp" is perhaps the major head scratcher here, a wonky psychedelic number that is just plain bizarre;



and you can definitely tell Skillex has been listening to a lot of Burial, which finds his influence seeping into final track "Fire Away," which is a gorgeous track but is basically ruined by an incongruous vocal that should have been left off.



Skrillex finds himself in an interesting place. Being at the top of his game and headlining most of the major festivals this year, he can certainly not be faulted if he wanted to rest on his laurels and churn out bass drop after bass drop, but Mr. Moore seemingly wants more than just that. I may not like some of these side trips he makes on Recess, but I certainly appreciate his willingness to strive for something different. Somewhere in this mix of tracks is a more happy medium for his trademarked sound and some more experimentation. Here is hoping he continues that journey.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jam of the Day: Lust For Youth - "Epoetin Alpha"


New Order/The Cure/Depeche Mode-esque track from Swedish producer Hannes Norrvide, aka Lust For Youth.

Album Review: Liars - Mess


Liars
Mess
Rating: Grrrr

Over six albums, Liars only consistency has been their inconsistency in approach. Starting off their career with the brutal dance punk of They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top and taking the monstrous left turn with the conceptual art rock of They We Wrong, So We Drowned, it was immediately apparent that you could never actually know what the band was thinking or going to do. While there have been attempts at more conventional song writing, 2007's Liars comes to mind, the band seems to thrive more when they are pushing boundaries. From the haunting almost tribal drone of Drum's Not Dead to the icy synth explorations on their last record WIXIW, these boundary pushing releases always make me eagerly anticipate any new music from these sonic artists. With their seventh album Mess, the band takes the experimentation of WIXIW and turns it on its head. Where WIXIW was almost contemplative, Mess is a full on attack, beating you senseless with an onslaught of harsh electronic beats and corrosive synths, with few moments of stark clarity and beauty. It refuses to be an easy listen, but is still captivating in its own twisted way.

The band wastes no time throwing out the one/two punch of "Mask Maker" and "Vox Tuned D.E.D.," two the band's dancier tracks with still enough edge. "Mask Maker" takes singer Angus Andrew's voice and cuts and pastes it with sinister abandon, having him shout out "eat my face off," "take my pants off," and "use my socks" while the music swirls and blasts against the throbbing beats.



"Vox Tuned D.E.D." takes those chilly strains and makes it more full bodied and ominous, pushing bass bursts and dramatic synth string swells to orgiastic heights.



Liars clearly relish their new found sonic acumen with their sequencers and samplers seemingly headed pell mell to the brink of chaos. The onslaught is almost too much to bear at times, with intense tracks like the proto-industrial "I'm No Gold," kaleidoscopic whirlwind and first single "Mess On A Mission,"



and furious rush of "Pro Anti Anti."

Of course, aside from these driving tracks, this wouldn't be a Liars album without some detours into the sinister and strange. There are several tracks on Mess that seep into your skin like a slow-acting poison. The back half of the record triptych of "Darkslide," "Boyzone," and "Dress Walker" takes things to the extreme at times, and almost threaten to derail the record. Not that these tracks are in any way inferior, they just happen to be paced such that the gloom becomes almost overpowering. However, Liars are not one to make things too monochromatic, and there are a few moments of hope and light that seep through. The album is broken up mid-point by the analog oscillations of "Can't Hear Well," which finds Andrews' voice at its most haunting and moving. While the two tracks that close out the record are more muted, focusing more on atmosphere than attack. The almost 9+ minutes of "Perpetual Village" is a buzzy, slow building track that echoes the millennial dread of the best of Massive Attack, while final track "Left Speaker Blown," while still hovering in darkness, is one of Liars' most gorgeous and intense beatless ventures.



Mess is Liars through and through. They are never going to release a record for the masses, choosing to wind their way down their own path. They don't like to stay in one place long, and as they now feel confident with their ability to craft heady electronic music, I have no doubt their next adventure will find them going in a completely different direction. Mess is classic Liars and a worthy addition to their increasing canon.

Rating Scale:

Chilfos: masterpiece; coolest thing I've heard in ages.

Woof Daddy: excellent; just a hair away from being a masterpiece.

Grrrr: very good; will definitely be considered for my top releases of the year.

Yeah Daddy Make Me Want It: good; definitely invites further listens and piques one's interest for more material.

Meh: not horrible, but certainly not great; could have either been polished, trimmed, or re-thought.

Jeez Lady: what the hell happened? Just plain bad. They should hang their heads in shame and be forced to listen to Lady Gaga ad nauseam as penance.

Tragicistani: so bad, armed villagers with pitchforks and torches should run the artist out of the country for inflicting this abomination on the human race.

Monday, March 24, 2014

London Grammar: "Devil Inside (INXS Cover)"


Striking cover of the INXS classic "Devil Inside" from London Grammar. The song was recently previewed in the Game of Thrones trailer for Season Four.

Jam of the Day: Liars - "Vox Turned D.E.D."


Blistering electronic track from Liars' new record Mess.