When I cook, I like to pretend I’m at a sweaty punk show in a basement boiler room in West Berlin. I could be making a grilled cheese sandwich and still make a scene. Knives chop at speeds approaching Mach 1, various sauces fly through the air, the range is fired up like an array of F-14 afterburners. Meanwhile, I’ve got something cranked at volumes that could raise the resting heart rate of an extra lethargic tree sloth, and I’m running around like a Jesus Lizard trying to catch a bus.
Are the Welsh rising up again? Up to a certain point in my life, I’d only known of one Welsh musician: Tom Jones. And while his tastes in crooning and unbuttoned button-down shirts exudes enough sheer amazingness for an entire lifetime, I’ve always wondered if there were others.
Now, in the span of months, I’ve heard of two more great Welsh bandleaders. First Cate LeBon, and now H. Hawkline. Both of these folks are unbelievably unique talents, not just at seeing how many consonants and Ys you can fit into a word, but also at weirdo guitar pop. Continue reading →
I’m on some kind of weird 70s kick as of late. Anchored by my long-time love affair with the Bowie Berlin Trilogy, it’s now progressed through an array of strange and obscure figures to emerge back in the mainstream with AM radio gold. That means snaking through the druggy proficiency of Todd Rundgren, the tragic history of Badfinger, and finally landing on The Raspberries.
Canada seems pretty cool. I trawl through a lot of new and old artists on a daily basis, and Canadian groups always seem to catch my ear in one way or another. Poutine is also great. Oh, and maple syrup. Love me some maple syrup. Continue reading →
FoodJams is back with another delicious track — this time, that old strum-along by Blur, “Coffee & TV”.
My dad was a tech guy, always curious about the digital coming-of-age in the late-90s and early-00s. The man made sure my 7th grade research project culminated in a Geocities webpage on Taoism with spinning yin yang gifs and huge Papyrus headlines. When I was 16, I inherited Delores, a 1989 Honda Accord with a sun-faded maroon paint job and conspicuous lack of airbags. But the real gift was the stereo system he included — not the speakers, which had literally seen the falling of the Berlin Wall, but the tape deck, which could play mp3s stored on CD-Rs. Continue reading →
I’m not usually one to make broad, generalizing statements, but it seems these days that the fuzzy garage sound that used to be a uniquely San Francisco sound is shifting south to claim LA as a breeding ground. Thee Oh Sees (briefly) quit and wrote a break-up letter with SF, and Ty Segall set up shop in the plastic mecca, and now acts like LA-based Wand are shooting MS Paint lasers across a sun-streamed beach.
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.
When a band combines four-on-the-floor Suicide drum machines, acid synths, tastefully unhinged feedback and a buuuuuunch of reverb, it’s safe to assume it’s going somewhere good.
That’s the case with Radar Eyes, who have been scoring the scuzzy Chicago night in a way that reaches the same parallels as Vega/Rev did with the psychoses of NYC in the ’70s. But Chicago in 2013 isn’t New York in 1975, and the band isn’t foolish enough to pretend it is. Continue reading →