Saturday, March 30, 2013

Room 237

I finally saw Rodney Ascher's incredible documentary "Room 237" last night (it's currently up on Video On Demand), and i loved it.  A statement about film as art and how that art affects and gets inside our minds, the movie presents different theories about what Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" is all about, from allegories about the Holocaust to the plight of American Indians to minotaurs and labyrinths.  It never validates any opinion, but leaves everything up to the viewer.  It's fascinating.  I now must procure a copy of "The Shining" and watch it again to see what i can pick up on.  Watch the trailer below.

Friday, March 29, 2013


Unstable industrial noise, a sonic assault on the senses that brings to mind images of black and white battle fields, strung barbwire, bloody boots, choking on mud.  A cacophony.  Such is "Abandon," the new album from art house noise maker Margaret Chardiet, otherwise known as Pharmakon.  Listen to the unsettling "Crawling on Bruised Knees" below and be on the lookout for "Abandon" in May from the always excellent Sacred Bones.

You're Next

Adam Wingard's 2011 home invasion horror film "You're Next," (an audience darling at that year's Fantastic Fest) is FINALLY getting released this August through Lionsgate.  The trailer went up yesterday.  Watch it below.  I cannot wait for this movie.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Relatives

Though i am not religious in even the slightest of ways, in the spirit of Good Friday and Easter weekend, here is some fantastic and funky gospel soul from Dallas's The Relatives.  "Things Are Changing" comes from the group's debut album "The Electric Word," a record 40 years in the making.  Produced by Spoon's Jim Eno and featuring Zach Ernst (Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears), the record swims through elements of the aforementioned funk, gospel, and soul, as well as tinges of psychedelia and blues.  This is Sunday family Bar-B-Que music at its very best.  Get it from Yep Roc Records.

Praise the lord!

Single Mothers

This actually came out a while ago, but one simply cannot ignore the high-energy post-hardcore punk that is Ontario's Single Mothers.  A coldness envelopes the whole thing (they are Canadian after all), a restless combination of foot stomping, head banging, and visible breath.  Listen to and download "Winter Coats" below and then go buy their 7" at Deathwish.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bosnian Rainbows

Okay, there's a lot going on here on "Turtle Neck" by El Paso band Bosnian Rainbows, the new project from form Mars Volta cacophony maker Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Teri "Gender Bender" Suarez of Le Butcherettes.  At times, the music recalls the moodier material of the riot grrl acts of the early-mid 90's, while at others an 80's pop aesthetic shines through. All the while, Rodriguez-Lopez's swirling guitar riffs barge in here and there.  And so, my interest is piqued.  The self-titled album is due in May from Sargent House.

Cold Cave - People Are Poison

I've really been digging the industrial Depeche Mode worship of the latest jams from Wes Eisold's Cold Cave.  "People Are Poison" is the B-side from the recently released "Oceans with No End" 7" from Deathwish.  Listen below and check out the A-side over here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cloud Boat

Cloud Boat hail from London, and the duo's first track from their upcoming "Book of Hours" LP is a beautiful combination of soulful electronics and folky lament.  It's got kind of a Bonnie Prince Billie meets James Blake vibe, and i'm digging it.  Listen to "Youthern" below and look for the record in May from R&S / Apollo.

Monday, March 25, 2013

They Live

The UK's Death Waltz Records clearly desire to knock it out of the park with each subsequent release.  From the soundtracks they select to reissue to the always knock-your-socks-off art print covers that accompany each release, i am blown away every time.  Their newest reissued film score goes to none other than the John Carpenter masterpiece "They Live," featuring the synthy blues of the director and co-composer Alan Howarth.  Artist Gary Pullin really did an excellent job with the cover art as well.  It's out now, so you should get it!  Listen to "The Siege of Justiceville" below.

And if reissued horror soundtracks with new original art covers are your bag, check out Mondo for some equally excellent releases as well (though they sell out crazy quick).

Sigur Rós - Brennisteinn

Photo by Lilja Birgisdottir
Sigur Rós has been creating compelling, ethereal soundscapes for quite some time now.  "Agaetis Byrjun" is probably one of my all time favorite albums.  Beautiful music.  As the years have progressed though, at times the the band's sound almost feels derivative of itself, like there's no further room to explore.  That may be changing on upcoming album "Kveikur" if the subtle, black metal elements of first single "Brennisteinn" are any indication.  Watch the video below and look for the album in June from XL.

Sky Ferreira & Twin Shadow

In a lot of ways, Sky Ferreira represents most everything i hate about modern popular music.  She's a model/actress/performer/blah blah blah, a bubblegum princess manufactured for the masses to be consumed and spit back out like so much Britney Spears.  Seriously.  Just look at the vapid expression on her face.  That being said, i enjoyed her at SXSW in spite of myself, and despite her claims of illness (a ploy to cover her lack of a singing voice maybe?), the show was full of energy and fun.  "Everything Is Embarrassing" comes from her "Ghost" EP, a short collection of songs that sways between personal bedroom folk pop and all out dance tunes.  It kind of feels like throwing a bunch of different styles at the wall to see what sticks.  My money's on the dance tunes.  So, if you're in a head-bobbing mood and want a glimpse at what the kids are maybe into these days, check out Twin Shadow's remix of the aforementioned "Everything Is Embarrassing."  I like it better than the original.

And here's the original version for comparison.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Art-pop act TEEN was one of the surprises i came across during my week of drinking and music.  At times the girl group (three sisters and a friend) recalls elements of Siouxsie Sioux, Kate Bush, or even The Bangles.  It's an enjoyable, dreamy, and trippy ride.  Listen to "Carolina" below from the upcoming EP of the same name due in May from Carpark.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Katie Gately

I'm not really sure how to describe the music of Katie Gately.  It's a weird mix of ghostly electronics, strange and distorted vocal effects, but an underlying groove to the whole thing.  There is a definite kinship to the likes of The Knife, but i wouldn't call it a reproduction in any way, just two artists traversing the same cold seas.  Listen to "Sample and Hold Me (Please Don't Scold Me)" below and head over here to listen to the rest of the "Pop Pop" EP.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mefisto in Onyx

Years and years ago, back in my film school days, i wrote a script about a guy with a power.  Despite a little effort, it never went anywhere.  Yesterday, i read Harlan Ellison's 1993 novella "Mefisto in Onyx."  I must say that it's probably good my script never went anywhere, or else i might be paying royalties to Mr. Ellison, as the end of my script is uncannily similar to the ending of the novella, despite my never reading it before now.

That being said, it was a great read.  A real page turner, i knocked it out in about an hour.  It's about a man named Rudy who has a power and is asked by a friend to use said power to uncover some information.  I really don't want to go into it any further, so as not to give anything away, but it's definitely worth your time.  That's the Frank Miller cover art above if you need more enticement.

Here's some ambient music from my friend R. Lee Dockery to accompany your read.  (Listen to more of his work here.)

Prince Innocence

Prince Innocence is the darkwave synth project of Josh McIntyre (Little Girls) and Talvi Faustmann.  Listen to "Golden Hour" below and look for the duo's "Lapse" EP in April.

Ensemble Pearl

Stephen O'Malley from Sunn O))) + Bill Herzog from Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter + Atsuo and Michio Kurihara from Boris + classical/experimental violist Eyvind Kang = Ensemble Pearl.  I don't think any more explanation is necessary.  It's awesome!  Listen to "Painting on a Corpse" below and grab the self-titled album from Drag City.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Werewolves on Wheels

In between getting sick, preparing for fatherhood, and SXSW, i somehow failed to mention the awesomeness that is Michel Levesque's 1971 film "Werewolves on Wheels" or the excellent music therein by Don Gere.  60's biker flick meets 70's satanism with a groovy, country fried, psych rock score.  You can't lose!  As per usual, the fine people at Finders Keepers, a constant purveyor of B-movie soundtrack weirdness, has you covered.  Listen to "Werewolves on Wheels (Main Theme)" below and grab the record here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


New York boy/girl punk band Hunters have a real old school, too-cool-for-school Sonic Youth thing working for them, and i'm loving the hell out of it.  Listen to "Street Trash" below.  You can also grab their 2011 "Hands on Fire" EP here.  Let's hope for more from these kids in the near future.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mac DeMarco

As is wont to occur upon occasion, i totally missed the bus on some awesome music last year.  Case in point, the wonderful album "2" by Mac DeMarco.  It wasn't until seeing his last week during SXSW that i realized what an egregious error i had made.  Trippy, folky jams that sound like Dean Ween tuning guitars for Ariel Pink, DeMarco's stuff has that "getting high with woodland creatures" feel that not too many people can produce.  At times he ventures into stoned Tom Petty territory, but it totally works.  Listen to "Ode to Viceroy" below and get the record from Captured Tracks.

Marnie Stern

Marnie Stern is traditionally known as the indie rock chick who can wail.  And that's true.  Just listen to the opening bit of new single "Nothing Is Easy" from the new, excellently named album "The Chronicles of Marnia."  But she's also a great songsmith, and this new record is a lot of fun.  Listen to the aforementioned "Nothing Is Easy" below and grab the album from Kill Rock Stars.


I first came across Phosphorescent about a decade ago with the brilliant "Aw Come Aw Wry," and they still manage to find new and interesting places to go on each subsequent release.  New album "Muchacho" is probably their best yet.  Haunting and dust, it sounds kind of like if Lee Hazlewood was on a downer kick, toying with synthesizers and other modern studio devices, and recorded an alt-country album with Bruce Springsteen.  Yeah...that sounds about right.  Listen to the beautiful "Song for Zula" below and grab the album from Dead Oceans.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Swim Deep

Birmingham, UK act Swim Deep traverse the smooth and sweet waters of the late 80's/early 90's indie pop aesthetic.  And they do so quite ably.  Listen to "Honey" below and be on the lookout for a proper full length later in the year from Chess Club Records.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fat Tony

This last week during SXSW here in Austin, i managed to see a lot of music, but unfortunately did not get to see much hip-hop this year.  I did get to see burgeoning Houston rapper Fat Tony though, and he was excellent.  Listen to and download "Hood Party," below from the upcoming album "Smart Ass Black Boy," coming out in June from Young One Records.  It's a little ditty about gentrification in Houston and features Kool A.D. and Despot.  Enjoy.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Night Panther

It's Saturday, the end of SXSW, the end of spring break, and it's damn near 90 degrees outside, so let's all crack open a beer, sit in a lawn chair maybe by some sprinklers in the front yard, and jam some synthy electro-pop to make ourselves feel powerful.  Night Panther will do.  New tune "Lioness" plays like an epic soundtrack to a championship game.  Nice stuff.  No word on an album yet.  Listen and download below.

SXSW day 4 pics

Alright SXSW, it's been real, but the demands of a healthy (ish) digestive system require me to take my leave.  I'll let the good folks over at Brooklyn Vegan play us off (that is unless i get the energy to go back out again tonight to catch The Coathangers or Death Grips).  Until we meet again.

Empress Of





Palma Violets

Autre Ne Veut

Friday, March 15, 2013

SXSW day 3 pics

No. More. Free. Beer.

Not that i'm complaining or anything, but it's starting to do me in.  Here's a few pics from today's Rhapsody day party before i fell asleep.


In The Valley Below



The Walkmen
And because it's not a Nobunny show unless he takes his pants off...

Nobunny (pants-less)

Thursday, March 14, 2013


One of the things i love most about living in Austin during SXSW is that i seem to come across new bands and artists at an almost hourly rate.  There is so much to discover.  And so, hailing from London, i heard the band Toy today, and they're marvelous (now attempting to find a show they're playing at).  The 5-piece incorporates elements of psych, prog, post-punk, and krautrock to create a really full sound.  The songs are arena ready, yet also sound like they could be jamming away in the garage just as easily.  Listen to the epic, 10-minute album closer "Kopter" below and look for their self-titled album on Heavenly Records.

Calvin Love

Edmonton, Canada's Calvin Love crafts warm little lo-fi pop songs, catchy aural candy from the heart and the 4-track recorder.  His "New Radar" LP is bedroom jamming done right.  Get it from Autumn Tone and listen to and download "Magic Hearts" below.

SXSW day 2 pics

 Another day of SXSW, another day of feeling like i'm too old for this shit.  An interesting line up today of decent bands, good bands, and bands who desperately want to be Maroon 5 (blegh!), but there were drinks to be had and some artists i've not heard before to discover.  Check out some pics below.


Half Moon Run

Jamie N Commons

Michael Kiwanuka




Swim Deep

Sky Ferreira
Sleep well.  I'll most likely kill you in the morning.