Thursday, February 28, 2013

Small Black

It's been awhile since we last heard from Brooklyn's Small Black, 2011's "Moon Killer" mixtape to be exact.  The layers of warm synths still dominate the guys' sound, but ultimately, it's a lovely and inviting thing, reminding me of a blissed out version of an early U2 record (before they became unbearable).  New album "Limits of Desire" is due from Jagjaguwar in May, but take a listen to first single "Free at Dawn" below.

Big K.R.I.T. and Bun B

Southern born Big K.R.I.T. has easily become one of my favorite rappers over the last couple of years.  After a string of excellent mixtapes and one album, the man always manages to sound fresh, and i love his left of center production.  New single "Shine On" features Houston living legend Bun B in what i can only hope is the beginning of a long line of collaborative work.  Listen and download below.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cold Cave

Wesley Eisold, aka Cold Cave, will be releasing a new EP, "Oceans with no End," via Deathwish Inc in the very near future.  Listen to the title track below, another exploration on the industrial, darkwave, synth-goth pastiche that has been (to my benefit) making a comeback of late.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Night Sins

Because it is sunny outside, and because the power is still out at my office from the crazy wind gusts blowing through the Austin area yesterday, we all may as well do a little Gothic shake to the stylings of Night Sins, a post-punk, no-wave act out of Philadelphia.  You can grab the band's 2012 LP "New Grave" from Avant! Records, but listen to "Spectral Bliss" below in the meantime.  It's like a foggy dance party held in the inner sanctums of a steel mill.  Enjoy.

Sally Shapiro

Sally Shapiro's newest album "Somewhere Else" is a wonderful collection of 80's synth-inspired roller disco anthems, and while we've already heard the thumping "Starman," new single "Sundown" slows it down to a steamy crawl.  Dig on that ridiculous sax solo at the end.  Listen below and grab the record from Paper Bag.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Of all the synth artists out there creating soundtracks and scores to movies that don't actually exist, Matt Hill's work as Umberto is probably one my favorites.  Equal parts Goblin and Carpenter, the man has crafted some beautiful pieces of music as homages to Italian Giallo movies and slasher films.  "Confrontations" is the latest album, available over at Not Not Fun, and gives us Hill's take on an alien invasion film score.  Listen to "The Summoning" below and grab the record here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I don't know why it's taken me so long to mention the wonderful and eccentric work of Italian Emiliano Maggi and his Estasy project.  I first came across this stuff about a year ago from the always excellent Acephale Records.  Creepy and unsettling, combining elements of drone, folk, and minimal synth and organ, the music parades as some kind of fantastical death march for a fairy or elf funeral.  Move into the next world.  Listen to and download "Wild Wants" below and grab the "Wild Songs" LP here.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


I don't write about literature or the books i'm reading nearly enough on this blog.  Recently that my be because i have spent awhile wading through Haruki Murakami's "1Q84," a long, dense, surreal tome about love and destiny in a world with two moons.  The novel follows two main characters in alternating chapters; Aomame, a personal trainer and assassin of awful men, and Tengo, a math teacher and aspiring writer who agrees to become a ghostwriter for a young girl's strange entry in a writing contest.  Her story is a fantasy involving "little people" who emerge from the mouth of a dead goat to create an air chrysalis as a cocoon for a doppelganger like being.  As the girl's story and the narrative of "1Q84" begin to merge, things get more and more surreal.

I've always likened Murakami's work as the literary equivalent of a David Lynch film.  There always seems to be something more under the surface of everything, while a general feeling of foreboding emits from every sentence and passage.  Narratives and story arcs are left open ended to leave the reader even more confounded.  To give it another cinematic comparison, think "Donnie Darko" before the director's cut and commentary that tried to explain everything came out.  Remember the first time you saw that movie, and when it ended, you were just left there sitting and blinking.  And you thought about it for days.  What did it mean?  What did it mean?  I dig that.  And like that movie, any book that keeps me thinking about it for a long while after i've finished reading it is one to keep prominently displayed on the shelf.

Murakami is an avid music lover, and it usually winds up in his work.  Below is a video of the BBC Symphony Orchestra performing the final movement of Janacek's "Sinfonietta," a piece that plays prominently into the novel.  Enjoy.

Now go read the book!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hotel Mexico

Japanese Ariel Pink acolytes Hotel Mexico have released a video for their trippy, poppy new track "A.I. In Dreams" from their "Her Decorated Post Love" album.  Watch it below.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Friendzone has been popping up on the radar lately as a pretty good crafter of hip-hop and electronic beats. New mixtape "Kuchibiru Network 3" will be out next week, but you can listen to and download the lovely, floating beeps and boops of "Moments (Part 2)" below.

Club 8

Sweden's Club 8 have been on my radar for a number of years, mostly thanks to my friend Mike's infatuation with all things indie-pop.  Their jams have always been such bouncy, danceable, sing-songy pieces of pure pop joy, that their latest single "Kill, Kill, Kill" is all the more jarring.  Somber and hypnotic, with an occasional organ death knell, the song is a meditation on animal cruelty and slaughter.  The accompanying video is intense and uncomfortable, but the song will stay with you for days.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Georgiana Starlington

Georgiana Starlington is Jack and Julie Hines of The K-Holes, a more mellow, country and Americana-tinged project as compared to the raucous, gutter-punk of their other band. The duo have and album, "Paper Moon" out on Hozac in March, but in the meantime, listen to the sun drenched and wistful "Gust" over at Pitchfork.

(Evidently there are two different Georgiana Starlingtons, and i had the above information associated with the wrong song.  Many apologies and thanks to those who caught the error.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Alright boys and girls, it's time to get the sexy time started with the new mixtape from San Francisco producer Giraffage.  "Needs" blends warbled pop samples with airy hip-hop beats, disco bass lines, and more synthesizers than you can shake a stick at.  Listen to sweaty slow dance jam "All That Matters" below and download the whole thing for free here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sven Libaek

Sometimes listening to a steady stream of garage and psych rock, hip-hop, synth and electronic, heavy metal, and on and on and on can finally reach to levels of the mundane, and thus we are forced to scour the cracks and crevices of pop music to find something new (or old, but new to us).  I was first introduced to composer Sven Libaek on a compilation CD from the excellent Trunk Records, a label that specializes in obscure and hard to find library music.  I dug the mix of classical, jazz, funk, and pop, but never really sought out more music from the man.  Cue the reissue release of the "Inner Space" soundtrack, a 1970's Australian documentary series on ocean life from Votary Records, and now i'm absolutely hooked on the stuff.  Listen to the short but awesome "Main Title Theme" below and order a copy of the record here.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

In case you hadn't heard, there's a new Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds record coming out next week.  "Push the Sky Away" seems to find them in a more mellow and contemplative state...and that suits me just fine, as a new Nick Cave album is always something to be stoked for.  Watch the video for "Jubilee Street" below (uncensored), and here's to hoping i can sneak into the band's SXSW performance in three weeks.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Pure X

Austin's own Pure X has a new album of sun drenched, slow burning jams due out later this year.  "Crawling Up The Stairs" will be out on Acephale in May, but you can listen to and download "Things In My Head" below right now.  Hooray!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tyler The Creator

Odd Future front man Tyler The Creator will release his new album "Wolf" in April from Odd Future's own record label.  Above is one of the three album covers (and my favorite).  Below, watch the video for first single "Domo 23."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wear Your Wounds and Revelator

Wear Your Wounds is Jacob Bannon from Converge.  Revelator is Ben Chisholm, a member of Chelsea Wolfe's band.  The two have put out a split 7" featuring a noisy, doom opus from the former and a haunting, piano driven processional from the latter.  Unfortunately, the record is sold out, but you can still buy the digital tracks here.  In the meantime, listen to Wear Your Wounds' "Adrift In You" and Revelator's "Net of Gems" below.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Haxan Cloak

The Haxan Cloak is the work of artist Bobby Krlic, a desolate soundscape to score the end of the world, or at the very least, the post apocalyptic wastelands that follow.  Part drone, part horror soundtrack, part electronic experimentation, the songs on new album "Excavation" are almost hypnotizing in their murk and doom and gloom.  Listen to "The Mirror Reflecting (Part 2)" below and look for the album in April from Tri Angle.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

King Stag

Combining elements of minimal cold wave synth, Gothic, doo-wop, and horror movie music, King Stag's "Tight Rope" really sets itself apart from all those other Gothic-synth-doo-wop-horror-music bands.  There's something very Ed Wood about the whole thing.  Grab the album here and listen to the wonderful "La Danse Macabre" below.

Mark Kozelek

Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon mastermind Mark Kozelek loves covers.  The man has been doing stripped down, emotionally stirring versions of everyone from Modest Mouse to Ace Frehley, AC/DC to Simon and Garfunkel, The Cars to our own national anthem, turning the songs into deeply moving, personal gems.  Needless to say, i'm pretty stoked about new album "Like Rats."  On it, Kozelek covers Danzig, Bad Brains, Descendents, Godflesh (from whence the title comes), and more.  Watch the video for the title track below and look for the album from Kozelek's own Caldo Verde Records.


There is just something about the kids from Danish punk group Iceage that just gets under my skin and glued to my brain.  Whether it's the stranger, quirkier, more post-punk noodlings of the group's side outings, or the full-frontal assault of their namesake's raucous punk rock, i am hooked.  The boys have a new record, "You're Nothing," due from Matador next week.  "Coalition" is the first single.  Listen and download below.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Anika covers Chromatics

British/German chanteuse Anika continues forward on the New-York-post-punk-no-wave-as-fronted-by-Nico vibes she began on her self-titled 2011 album.  April's self-titled EP features continued production from Portishead and Beak> alum Geoff Barrow and a funky little cover of Chromatics' "In The City."  Listen below and keep an eye out for the record from Stones Throw.

Friday, February 8, 2013

New Thee Oh Sees

I don't know what's in the water in San Francisco, but the sheer output of a lot of the garage rock bands out there can leave the mind boggled (see Ty Segall).  Thee Oh Sees, who have released a steady stream of excellent material over the last few years (and one of the best live acts in the country i might add) will be releasing their newest album "Floating Coffin" in April from Castle Face.  Listen to the mellow and fuzzy closer "Minotaur" below.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Jacco Gardner

Oh when bands recall the sounds and wonders of the sunshine and psychedelia of the 60's, it is a mixed bag. Sometimes it comes off as awful aping, and then there are those bands that manage to hit the proverbial nail on the head, sound both retro and in the now (see Dungen or Tame Impala).  Netherlands native Jacco Gardner fits in that latter group, and his new LP "Cabinet of Curiosities" is a delight.  It has elements of Brian Wilson and Syd Barrett and Donovan and all those other drug-taking, song-writing cats, paying obvious tribute to what came before but still sounds fresh.  I love it.  Get it from Trouble In Mind and listen to "The Ballad of Little Jane" below.

James Blake

Here's a new jam from James Blake's upcoming new LP "Overgrown."  "Retrograde" continues the soulful electronic rhythm and blues the guy's made a name doing.  Listen below and look for the album in April from Republic Records.

UPDATE:  The track was removed from Soundcloud.  Boo-urns!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gibby Haynes

Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surfers fame is the next in a long line of awesome artists to record a 7" for Jack White and Third Man Records' blue series.  His outing features White on guitar and a cover of Adrenalin O.D.'s "Paul's Not Home."  Look for it next week and listen below.

Bonus:  If you're in Austin for SXSW and stumble upon the Third Man Records rolling record store, they will be selling a limited variant of the 7" pressed on old X-rays.  Right on.


Here's a new one from Scotland's synth-trio CHVRCHES.  "Recover" comes from the forthcoming EP of the same name on Glassnote, and it's got the same wonderful, synthy, sing-along, mall brat anthem feel that last year's "The Mother We Share" nailed.  Listen below.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Hands create poppy, ethereal, sometimes almost island-sounding tunes that remind me of the pre-party atmosphere before the night really begins.  Grab their 7" from White Iris Records and stream both "I Want to Know" and "Exactly Sharp" below.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tame Impala remixed by Chrome Canyon

Tame Impala's stand out track "It Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" from last year's "Lonerism" gets the remix treatment from synth artist Chrome Canyon, creating an even floatier, dreamier version of the song.  Listen and download below.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Bloody Valentine

It's been over 20 years since shoegaze stalwarts My Bloody Valentine graced us with a new album, but the wait is finally, finally over.  No bullshit.  Yesterday, the band's new website went live with the new album, "mbv" up for sale in a variety of formats.  Sure enough, in the worldwide mad dash to hear it, the site crashed.  It's back now, and you should go purchase it right now.  Go here.  Listen to "She Found Now" below in the meantime.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


London's James Page, otherwise know as Sivu, crafts melancholy little pop songs.  His debut 7" is up for pre-order over at No Recordings (who have issued two stellar releases from Moons and Empress Of), but you can watch the video for "Better Man Than He" below.