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V.24 No.46 | 11/12/2015

Diiv releases new single "Bent (Roi's Song)"

"Is the Is Are" comes out February 5, 2016

If you’re a Spotify user, you can now stream a new single from Diiv's upcoming album Is The Is Are, out in February of next year. The new track, released November 4, is called “Bent (Roi’s Song),” and it’s the second cut from the upcoming album they’ve released.

Diiv's 2012 album Oshin was good but ultimately didn’t blow me away. Filled with glittery, new wavey guitars and some very 80’s drum machine beats, it seemed to be more a tribute to the band’s sources of inspiration than an original work. They were reminiscing along with Yuck and Silversun Pickups, trying to master an old sound. With the two new singles released this year, it seems that they’ve gotten what they can from the old genre and are now building on it.

The first single, “Dopamine,” is a lovely teaser of the new direction that they seem to be heading in, with a distinctly shoegazey sound that I’m very into. They’ve jumped forward a decade and ditched the flat-sounding drum machines, buried the vocals down in the mix like true My Bloody Valentine followers, and have put their very tasty guitar licks front and center, where they belong. “Bent (Roi’s Song)” is in the same vein, clocking in at almost six minutes of fuzzy tremolo and muttered vocal melodies that ditch the soaked-in-reverbness of Oshin. It’s a wall of sound with a heart.

Both of the new tracks touch on frontman Zachary Cole Smith’s struggles with substance abuse and attempting to find a path to sobriety. 2013 saw him and Sky Ferreira (who’s featured on the upcoming album) arrested in New York for possession of illegal substances. “Dopamine” especially feels like a hazy, drug-induced stupor, with the repeated refrain of “I got so high I finally felt like myself,” and ending with a frightening question: “Would you give your 34th year/for a glimpse of heaven, now and here?” On the day of “Bent”’s release, Cole made a statement on the band’s Tumblr in which he said that “roi’s song is about a lot of people, including myself, and our struggles along the path to clarity, sanity, and sobriety.” On the track he details the day-to-day struggles of fighting addiction, singing: “Fought my mind to keep my life, but my body’s putting up a tougher fight.”

Thankfully, things seem to be taking an upward turn for Cole both personally and musically these days. You can stream “Bent” on Spotify or on YouTube, and you can get the new album Is the Is Are on February 5 from Captured Tracks.

Bikini Kill in concert
Courtesy of the artist

Music Editorial

Women, Concerts, Misogyny

Fans and the scene deserve better

There’s a reason that Kathleen Hanna used to shout “girls to the front!” at Bikini Kill concerts.
V.24 No.45 | 11/05/2015
Chairlift, 2015
Courtesy of the artist

I don't understand Chairlift's new single "Ch-Ching" and I love it

Chairlift's new album "Moth" comes out in January

Occasionally I will get so hooked on a new song that I can’t listen to anything else for a while: I just play it on repeat until I’m absolutely sick of it. I haven’t quite gotten sick of Chairlift’s new single, “Ch-Ching” yet, but it’s for sure that everyone around me is sick of me talking about how damn good it is.

If Chairlift hasn’t been on your indie band radar for a while already, it’s time you change that. Last year I saw them perform at Alcatraz. Yeah, like, the old prison. It was an uncomfortably swanky private show where most of the patrons were several decades older than the band and had no idea who they were. I table-surfed a couple glasses of wine, was side-eyed by the staff, and was one of three people who actually applauded after each song.

Chairlift makes smart synthpop gems that get stuck in your head frighteningly easily, like their hit from 2012 “Bruises” that got more airplay than anything else they’ve done. Since that 2012 album Something, Chairlift hasn’t released any new music as a group — although singer Caroline Polachek released a solo album as Ramona Lisa last year, and bassist/drummer/general soundmaker Patrick Wimberly has been busy in the studio with Das Racist and Solange Knowles in a producer role. This new single for their upcoming album Moth is a promising return and a different direction for the band.

“Ch-Ching” is catchy as all hell, with a more lush sound than their previously stripped-down and simple recordings. There’s more samples and more synth textures going on, and Polachek’s voice is more vocoded than I’ve ever heard it (which is still not much, but noticeable after the almost total lack of vocal effects in their past work). But there are some definite similarities with their past work when it comes to the lyrics: as with many of their tracks, it’s really hard to tell what “Ch-Ching” is about. And I love that. The chorus alone is equal parts sexy and totally mysterious: “Getting what you want can be dangerous/But that’s the only way I want it to be/I double dare you to keep a secret/And pass it back under the table to me/I put the stash in the bookshelf/Open your mouth and I’ll slip you the key/Now crack that combination/27-99-23.” What is she talking about? An affair? An international conspiracy? Is she transmitting a secret numerical code to her reptilian overlords? Or is it totally obvious, and I’m just in the dark?

The music video for “Ch-Ching” is no more enlightening than the lyrics, but does feature an awesome Bollywood-inspired dance number choreographed by Korie Genius and performed by Polacheck.

Chairlift’s new album Moth comes out in January of next year.

Hotline Online

The Hotline Bling music video from Drake has a lot of people losing their shit. Everyone is making fun of Drake for how he dances, but personally, I love it. I think it's totally great when people are, like, fully and unabashedly themselves, you know? The video has inspired lots of new memes and weird videos, which are my favorite things about life (obviously things are going great for me). So I've collected my favorite videos and memes, plus the original, too! So yeah, here's my list. Suck it, nerds!

The Original:

Bernie Sanders(???):

Drake on me (please):

Drake the Pokémon Master:

Tina Beltcher is always ready:

Peanuts style.

Drizzy has always been in Twin Peaks.

For Avatar fans.

And for 2003 Runescape fans!

Finally, my personal fave: Ready to rave?

V.24 No.44 | 10/29/2015
Ryan Dickey via flickr

Event Horizon

Maximum Bacon Achieved

Saturday, Nov 7: 3rd Annual Southwest Bacon Fest

Celebrate bacon, beer and blues as 50 restaurants, food trucks and chefs serve up their most creative bacon dishes.
V.24 No.45 | 11/05/2015

The Daily Word in the US, Bees and Policing

The Daily Word

Presidential Candidates as Disney villains.

Details of the US-led attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital are being released.

This women's underwear brand is getting a lot of attention—but not for the reason you think.

Listen to the bees!

More disgusting issues regarding APS employees.

Kurt Cobain's unreleased songs will be made public soon. You can listen to one right now!

Police unions are active against fighting reform. Surprised? Me either.

Scaring kids doesn't teach them to know better. Water is wet.

V.24 No.45 | 11/5/2015
Iration in concert
Courtesy of the artist

Aural Fixation

Hotting Up the Roads of Reggae

Take your cerebellum to a new level of chill when reggae sensation Iration surfs onto the stage at Sunshine Theater.
View in Alibi calendar calendar
V.24 No.44 | 10/29/2015
Courtesy of the artist


Five Trans Musicians Happening Now

So, in case you missed it, a few weeks ago the band Whirr said some pretty hateful things on Twitter about trans* people and about the band G.L.O.S.S. (Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit) in particular. Things like “misogyny is hating women. g.l.o.s.s. Is just a bunch of boys running around in panties making shitty music.” In response, their record label dropped them quicker than you can say “transphobia is misogyny, you jerks.” It was one of those rare and gratifying moments of immediate justice being delivered on the internet.

You can listen to G.L.O.S.S.’s EP Demo on their bandcamp. Their queer brand of hardcore is filled with stellar lines like “with lined lips and spiked bats, gonna take femininity back” and “straight America, you will ruin me,” radiating a truly punk ethic of not giving a shit what people think about them.

In the spirit of throwing more light on trans* people in music, here’s a list of five other awesome openly trans* musicians who you should be listening to now. They deserve as much support as they can get—not just because they make good music, but because if we as a society can start not only tolerating but highlighting trans* people in music, then maybe there is hope for us yet.

(Note: below I’ve used the gender pronouns most recently cited as preferred by each artist. If you know better, though, please drop me a line.)

1. Mykki Blanco

Ok, hopefully you already know about Mykki Blanco—if from nothing else, from her 2012 single “Wavvy” that was playing everywhere for a minute. In addition to her short but prolific music career, Blanco has also made a name for herself as an LGBT activist, performance artist and poet, with the release of her 2011 book From the Silence of Duchamp to the Noise of Boys. Go watch all of her music videos, and then listen to Betty Rubble: The Initiation, her album from earlier this year.

2. Antony and the Johnsons

Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons has also had a prolific and varied artistic career. A director and artist, Antony also has one of the most haunting voices in contemporary music. The band is known for tear-jerking baroque-pop ballads like “Hope There’s Someone.” Listen to their self-titled debut album of 2000, then check out some of Antony’s art projects, two of which were listed in SFAQ’s list of “The Top 5 Art Shows in New York City Last Year.”

3. Aye Nako

This punk queercore band from Brooklyn just won Village Voice’s “Best Garage Band of 2015” and it’s well deserved—their music is raw and emotional while still melodic and catchy. In their own words, the quartet plays “sad punk songs about being queer, trans, and black.” You can get their latest EP The Blackest Eye here.

4. Mya Byrne

Mya Byrne is a folk musician and songwriter from Boston. She released her first solo EP in 2004, and has been a staple in the New York folk scene since. She played for the band The Ramblers from 2008 to 2014. You can listen to her first solo LP since her transition in 2014, As I Am, on her website.

5. Rae Spoon

Rae Spoon started songwriting and performing in their hometown of Calgary, Alberta, when they were a teenager. Their early music is decidedly down-home folksy, with Spoon playing guitar, banjo and mandolin on albums Throw Some Dirt on Me and Your Trailer Door, but their most recent album My Prairie Home displays some much more slowed-down, orchestral elements. Besides their musical career, Spoon has authored a book of short stories called First Spring Grass Fire, and has collaborated on the book Gender Failure with Ivan E. Coyote.

Music Interview

The King Khan & BBQ Show

Bring the doo, the wop and the weird to Burque

King Khan is a consummate front-man whose guitar and vocals, combined with his wild stage presence, bring The King Khan & BBQ Show to a seldom-accomplished level of trash rock weirdness. Weekly Alibi spoke with Khan from his home in Berlin where he was preparing for the “Nipples and Bits” Tour supporting their new album Bad News Boys.
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V.24 No.43 | 10/22/2015
Bouncin' Booties

Planet Booty Bounces into Town

I was surprised at the amount of people that were at Stereo, some of the people I talked to before the show didn’t know a band was going to play but by the end of the first song most of the people were dancing. The electro-funk trio that completes Planet Booty was extraordinarily energetic and charismatic during their performance. Seeing them reminded me of seeing a friend’s show. It felt personal when they would motion at individuals, dance with people and chatted and (especially) approached and thanked individuals for coming to the show and the entire audience collectively.

If they weren’t wielding an instrument, they stood at the front of the stage facing the crowd trying to get everyone to “bounce that ass” but not in a disrespectful way like I’ve encountered at venues before. Planet Booty wanted everyone to have as much fun as they were having. I’m not sure that was possible because, it seemed to me that Dylan Charles Germick (vocals, trumpet, beats), Josh Cantero (vocals, keyboard, trombone) and Rob Gwin (bass, percussion, software) were having the time of their lives. Germick mainly sang at the front of the group but was joined by Cantero often. Germick is exceedingly personable and effectively gets the crowd going. Cantero would return to his keyboard and sing when needed, but was unfailingly animated the entire show. Gwin was the heartbeat, keeping them all together and moving forward, all while maintaining as much enthusiasm as he had at the beginning. I was stunned by all of them sustaining the very high energy they begun the show with.

Their vigor and passion is incredible and virtually unmatched by any show I’ve been to (shows that I’ve paid to see!). They all are performers and they are ready to party with their fans. Germick would join the crowd throughout the show to dance with the audience, forming a delightful relationship and, overall, loving vibe with the crowd. Their proclaimed genre is “Sweat” and I felt that by the end of the show. Afterwards they mingled with the crowd for as long as they could, but they had to head out for their next gig in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 24. I hope they come back to Albuquerque soon so I can see them again.

The Daily word in Dancing, Horror and Dealers

Like mortal blood feeding a vampire, queer women in horror films gives me life.

A collection of my bbg's most important instagram posts.

Watch Jimmy, I mean Drake, dance to different songs.

I guess I'll give country music a second chance.

Canadian Dealers will miss the children once Trudeau legalizes marijuana.

Anti-woman protestors don't like being counter-protested? Oh, woe is me.

Youtube is going to charge people now? Smell ya later, nerds.

Through tragedy we find that there are good people.

Hey, can I hold your lottery ticket for a second? Cool, I'll be right back.

V.24 No.42 | 10/15/2015

The Daily Word in the future is the present, who killed the four-year-old, and good old MJ

The Daily Word

Today is Back to the Future day, but no one is in a hovercraft.

A road rage incident has the city in shock. There is now new information on the suspect.

A realistic portrayal of what Trump would do with his first 100 days in office.

Jaden Smith plans to disappear. Please don't leave us, you are an irreplaceable voice of insight in the blind modern day Hollywood.

Joe Biden isn't running for president, and lots of people are surprised.

Dogs go to Utah instead of Heaven.

Listen to Smooth Criminal played on traditional Japanese instruments.

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    Fat Tuesday Party!
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