FoodJams, Vol. 1: “Good Girl/Carrots”

Panda Bear: "Person Pitch"

Paw Tracks; 2007

Let me explain: my girlfriend, Mel, has been on a bit of a hiatus from blogging. It’s been an especially tough last couple of months, but she’s ready to get back into the swing of baking things. (And I’m ready to get back into the swing of eating them.)

Having just dusted off my own blog, we figured this was a good chance to do a collaborative project, and that’s where “FoodJams” comes into play. I choose the music, Mel bakes the things. (Sorry Primus, no “Seas of Cheese” this time. Mel is not lactose-friendly.)

Continue reading

Alvvays – “Adult Diversion”

Alvvays: Alvvays

Polyvinyl; 2014

Three or four years ago, summer guitar pop songs were harder to come by, but they were always refreshingly different from the Great Chillwave Bubble of 2010. You have so many options to choose from these days, that it can hard to find a gem. Blah, blah, market saturation, you get the idea.

Continue reading

OOIOO: Gamel

OOIOO: Gamel

Thrill Jockey; 2014

It took a long while, but after years of treating the music of my Indonesian background as little more than a curiosity, I’ve finally started to see how great it can be. I no longer say words like “dangdut” or “kroncong” with a grimace. (Now it’s more of a beaming smirk.)

As far as Japanese noise experiments go, I’m pretty unversed. Appreciative, but unversed. But when OOIOO‘s new album dropped with the title Gamel — as in “gamelan,” the traditional Javanese percussion orchestral ensembles — my eyes lit up. To me, gamelan music is like the bagpipes of southeast Asia. Ugly and annoying, but a sacred link to the past, and a fixture at ceremonies where people wear too many layers of clothing for a tropical third-world country. No one listens to gamelan music by choice unless they’re smug assholes looking to make a point.

Continue reading