Friday, March 21, 2014

Some Music I Liked This Week

via NPR Music
Somewhere there's a hipster weeping, "I worshipped Sam Herring's dance moves before he was on Letterman!"

Deal with it.

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Tokyo Police Club


From roughly 2004-08, Saddle Creek Records (Omaha, Nebraska) was THE record label in my life. It started with a six-track Bright Eyes mix CD, caromed into Ugly Organ and settled gently on "Steady Rollin''' - to name a few influences. Within that time, Tokyo Police Club released an EP and their first full-length, Elephant Shell, on Saddle Creek. It was the perfect prescription for that time and place in my life.

Jump cut to 2014 and Saddle Creek represents nostalgia. When I hear a new release by one of their bands, I might as well be hunkered down in my cold, empty, single-occupancy freshman dorm room with my speakers turned up just loud enough to coerce someone into knocking should they be interested in sharing my dope jams. It's not that Saddle Creek bands haven't adapted and matured - heck, many of them have released new records on differently labels entirely - but when their influence was so strong at such a malleable state in my life, I can't help but retreat to Waneta Hall.

Such was the case when I streamed Forcefield, the first record from TPC since 2010. They've moved on to Mom + Pop, but the second I pressed play on "Argentina (Parts I, II, III)", I might as well have been in the Old Market.

Forcefield is currently streaming on New York Times "Press Play".

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tUnE-yArDs


If you've enjoyed tUnE-yArDs before, you'll admit that Merrill Garbus can craft a hit. Her joy and passion ooze from drums loops and her primal yell will make you see colors. But apparently she didn't see it that way. Garbus will release her new record, Nikki Nack, later this year and to her it represents heading back to square one. According to a recent interview, she started by picking up Molly-Ann Leikin's "How To Write A Hit Song".

"Water Fountain", the first single from the new record is unmistakably tUnE-yArDs. Even after voice lessons, there's no denying who's singing. And fortunately for us fans, a new beginning still produces the same result - a damn catchy tune.

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Liars

photo by Jiro Schneider
I nearly stopped streaming Mess, the newest album from Liars, as soon as it started. The opening track is like something straight out of a 2014 reincarnation of Silence of the Lambs. Angus Andrew's distorted voice chants "Take my pants off / use my socks / smell my socks / eat my face off," as if Buffalo Bill was seducing Hannibal Lecter from his own earthy pit. But I didn't stop the stream. Instead, Mess ended up being the exact droning, electronic soundscape that I needed this week to quiet my mind and focus.

Mess is currently streaming on NPR's First Listen.

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Pitchfork Music Festival // Update


Pitchfork announced another 20+ artists for their Chicago summer classic, which means I updated my Spotify playlist. I was certainly excited to see the additions of St. Vincent, Danny Brown, and Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, amongst many others. And this playlist has come to represent my only warm thoughts during the end of a seemingly endless winter.

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