Zola Jesus' new track "Dangerous Days" is a modern-sounding electro-pop banger.
Welcome to the first installment of "Now Hear This," a column to chronicle my obsessive-compulsive sonic studies, archaelogical and futurist alike. And while here with me, expect everything from old and alt.country to rocanrol to dark wave to Italo disco to queercore to punk to riot grrrl to noise to minimal synth and everywhere in between ... Except smooth jazz, (most) contemporary country and reggae. They just don't do it for me. As they say—who are they, anyway?—there's no accounting for taste.
The other day Mark asked what my favorite Steely Dan song is. It's "Your Gold Teeth." Steely Dan's Jamalot tour hits Legends Theater on Wednesday, July 16, y'all. Check out i28 for all the deets.
I embrace that motto and am wholly dependent on my musical addiction to transcend the banality of everyday life. Don't get me wrong. I really dig my life. Getting to collaborate with and work alongside an uber-talented editorial staff and freelancers every day is, like, the dream. But sometimes you simply have to hear something new or unfamiliar that excites and challenges you. This column will serve as complement to my colleague Mark Lopez' wide-ranging Rooster Roundabout series.
Mike put Iris Dement's "Let the Mystery Be" on a mixtape, and it was love at first listen.
My soundscape and its population, past and present, have benefited from the hive mind of many wonderful humans, ranging from my vinyl historian pal Mike Harper in Huntsville, Tex., who first exposed me to the music nerd bug;
I might never have heard Starter's "Victim" if not for Frankie. And that, my friends, would be a tragedy.
to synth/post-punk/ industrial maven and Systems of Romance curator Frankie Teardrop, also of cold wave/post-punk band The Harrow;
On one of the first Caterwaul radio shows I heard, I was comforted to recognize a fellow Culturcide fan.
to Dirt City denizen Derek Caterwaul, notably of KUNM Radio and Low Life at Blackbird Buvette, who remains one of my favorite DJs after more than a decade of listening to his Music to Soothe the Savage Beast and Overnight Freeform shows;
Listen to TAHNZZ' "Her Strange Dwellings" above.
to Burqueña Tahnee Udero aka DJ Tahnee, whose massive knowledge base is supplanted by exquisite taste, and her solo project TAHNZZ garnered serious listmas praise in 2013;
Stream DJ Mello's "Sprinkles," a nonpareil mix of funk, jazz, R&B and soul, above.
to Mello Sanchez aka DJ Mello, an uber-talented DJ and pastry chef and one of my best friends;
Get ready for a night to remember: The multi-platinum rock band 311 comes to Albuquerque tonight. In fact, this will be their first stop for a seven-week North America summer tour. With influences from hip-hop to funk to ska, there’s plenty to take away from their show.
Stereolithic, their most recent album, has debuted in the top 10 on Billboard's Top 200 Album Chart and features 15 new songs. It originally dropped on March 11—get it, 3/11?—making it 311 Day, which consisted of the band playing a 66-song, 5-hour set in New Orleans. Definitely a tough show, but by all reports, they held their own.
After more than 25 years, the band has been able to keep and grow its fan base. According to a 2012 interview with 311 vocalist and DJ SA Martinez, "There’s always a younger generation that may not be privy to a lot of musical styles, but I find our audiences constantly changing. ... When we came out in the ’90s, we had a different sound and radio wasn’t initially ready for us."
With that being said, “Count me in” for 311’s Goodwill benefit concert tonight at the Sandia Resort and Casino Amphitheater (30 Rainbow Rd.). Doors open at 7pm and the show kicks off at 8. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com or at the Sandia Casino and Resort box office or by calling (800) 745-3000.
A friend of mine recently introduced me to the band Ought. Normally I don't take advice from people that vouch heavily for Phoenix, but I gave them a listen. And I liked their dissociative, manic sense of how rock is played. It caught my attention quickly. Now, the band has come out with a video for their song “Today More Than Any Other Day,” off their record More Than Any Other Day. The band is also touring, but sadly, no stop in the Duke City. Either way, have a looksie at the vid below.
'Member how I mentioned a while back that Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé were featured on a track (“Say Yes”) on Michelle Williams' upcoming gospel record, making for a pseudo Destiny's Child reunion? Well, fans of Williams and the group can bask in the visual accompaniment of the song in Williams' new video. Go ahead and view that below.
Michelle Williams feat. Beyoncé & Kelly Rowland - “Say Yes”
What would Lana Del Rey's videos look like if not seen through an Instagram-filtered scope? Well, they probably wouldn't exist. I know I've written about Del Rey quite a bit in the past couple months, but since her third LP (Ultraviolence) is now out and about, this one will focus on the video for album track “Shades of Cool,” which is one of the better tracks she's put out in anticipation for the record. Watch the colorful proceedings below.
Lana Del Rey - “Shades of Cool”
Another artist that's come out with a visual representation of a lofty ditty is the band Arctic Monkeys. The song in question: “Snap Out of It” off their latest LP AM. Is there really anything else to say? Other than you should watch it? I think not.
Arctic Monkeys - “Snap Out of It”
Good news for good news lovers
I don't know about you, but I'm always up for a good competition. In this case, Mac Demarco, fresh off the release of his latest LP Salad Days, is issuing a “Draw Me” contest. Participants are asked to submit a 7X7 drawing of Demarco to Captured Tracks. And if it wins, it'll be the cover of one of his upcoming 7” series records. The submission deadline is June 27, which is a short time away, so get drawing! You can head to Stereogum for more info and guidelines. Let the games begin!
'Member how I mentioned that a tribute LP to Duran Duran was coming out soon? It's fine if you don't. I talk about a lot of stuff. Regardless, the record (Making Patterns Rhyme: A Tribute to Duran Duran) is ready to hit stores and online markets on July 15, with proceeds benefiting Amnesty International. And to give fans of the band a taste of what the album will sound like (or at least this one track), the song “The Chauffer,” interpreted by Warpaint, is available for listening. Enjoy!
Aphex Twin was another one of those artists that slipped through my fingers. I couldn't even name one song, though I'm sure if you played one, my mind would recall the rhythms, the cadences, the whatnots. But a long-lost album (Caustic Window) from 1994 is finally available for mass consumption, thanks to the efforts of a Kickstarter campaign that provided fans with digital copies of the record. And now it's online, so everyone can partake in the sonic celebration. Head to Pitchfork to give that a listen and to read more 'bout it.
So I mentioned a couple times that a Kickstarted documentary about Elliott Smith was in the works. Heaven Adores You, directed by Nickolas Rossi, debuted last month, but fans now have the opportunity to see the first few minutes—you know, to tide you over 'til the film becomes available in your area. Take a gander at the video below.
Heaven Adores You: The First Few Minutes
Aaliyah's death hit pretty hard. I still remember attending my cousin's quinceanera and seeing coverage on the television set after the party had died down. My jaw dropped. The woman who had sung several of my favorites like “Are You That Somebody” and “Try Again” had passed away in an airplane accident. But lucky for people like me—people that will jump at the opportunity for an homage or a biopic—Lifetime is coming out with a film about the late R&B singer. The film, Aaliyah: Princess of R&B, will show some time in the fall, and it stars Zendaya. She's apparently famous from the Disney Channel, so that's probably why I've never heard of her. You can read more about it over at A.V. Club.
Now, we say goodbye.
If you ask most music historians about songwriting, you'll most likely hear them reference the duo that was Goffin & King, or Gerry Goffin and Carole King—the once-married duo who penned fantastic songs like the Everly Brothers' “Crying in the Rain,” the great “Loco-Motion” and The Drifters' “Some Kind of Wonderful,” among others. So it's a sad announcement that Goffin has passed on. He was 75 years old. I'm not sure what the cause of death was, but it's sad nonetheless. So, Goffin, this one's for you ...