Jun 23, 2014

Dracula Goes Dreamy (1977)

'Cause even vampires fall in love. Only Lovers, True Blood. Thirst. Unlike those ones, Disco Dracula eventually chills out. Vampires don't just bring terror to the dance floor, they vibe out, they go home, they dream. Until the next night when the dance floor calls and they give in to their vampiric impulses all over again. Sex Me etc. We Can't Stop for those with gout and bloodshot eyes. Ouroborus will not be broken. Morning music for unemployed losers.


Jun 22, 2014


Whiiirrrr bllllmmmmmm reeeee thck thck whirrrrr (repeat)


The last time I heard something this silly I was sitting at work listening to a grown man w/ hammered dulcimer singing about how the plants were gonna eat me. I tried buying the t-shirt but the thing broke on the website and I have this (thing) where I blame myself and not the website when that happens and I always think it's a sign or something, that sign being evidence of the Scrooge McDuck that looks over me but doesn't give enough of a shit to stop me spending money on food, that sign telling me it's just not worth it and to give up and just go eat something. He (SMD) draws the line at grown men w/ hammered dulcimers singing about how the plants are gonna eat me, but is okay with regular pie+sushi+sandwich lunches. Enough of those and I'll never be able to buy the damn t-shirt! He knows it, and I know he knows it. If he knows I know he knows then he's not just looking over me, and the thought of SMD being anywhere other than strictly above me (e.g. in my brain or in possession of a family member) is far more frightening than anything found on Megafauna. It's scarier than Goblin's Suspiria too, but not quite as pretty. And because Megafauna sits somewhere between grown man w/ hammered dulcimer (...plants...eat me) metal and Goblin's Suspiria, it's sillier but also prettier than all of that.

Crucially though the Goblin connection goes deeper than the similarity of sounds. Unlike other black metal weirdos that shoot for atmosphere over impact, Megafauna sounds like Yoga scoring the kind of suffering that aforementioned weirdos think atmosphere evokes. I don't want to call it a parody or anything, but it's like Megafauna is the soundtrack to the act of listening to black metal and feeling something (sadness, affirmation of nihilism/misanthropy/whatever). Detached yet curious, knowingly silly, admittedly moody, and importantly, very pretty.


May 27, 2014

Mac Dre - Ronald Dregan: Dreganomics (2004)

1. Feelin' Myself
2. Fa My Niggaz
3. Jump It
4. Witme??
5. Me Damac
6. Dreganomics
7. Since '84
8. That's Wusup
9. On the Run
10. Get Stupid (Remix)
11. 2 Night
12. Don't Snitch


May 26, 2014

that present (2014)

I'm gonna get you that present. Give me all your money, baby.
On the one hand, fleeting moodpieces. On the other, atmosphere (pulling that one out, lazily explaining why something appeals as being more than just the sum of its parts without having to put anything into words) and thematic coherence as flow (again...).

Which might describe the movie quite well, actually. Maybe it's secretly a musical!

Less about the presence of silence than the last JVW record I heard, more about the layering of cacophony into something pissed off, indifferent, and thoroughly felt. Cynics snort at rockist + Romantic clichés, but it's nice to think that if it's all gone to shit then what remains is love. And if that's too gooey, we've still got the Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light series for those who like their drones mortal.


May 25, 2014

ἀμήν (2014)

There's a 2-part abstraction at play here, one inevitable (sound), and one contrived. Because its form is vibration and its style is haze, it inevitably attacks its corresponding sense and then chooses to grab both head and heart, mush them together, and hurl them back in a sort of bombardment further fucked up by its self-conscious rendering of everything as very stoned and/or distant. If we give it/him/Love the benefit of the doubt, this stylistic vagueness aids in universalising the album's theme. It becomes direct and simple and so visceral- if we're made to feel anything while hearing it, it's our pain and/or happiness being felt and whether McMahon feels the same hardly matters at all. This stylistic death of author turns singer-songwriter autobio bs on its head and actually works if we believe in McMahon (Love's) generosity, but it's so obvious that if it fails in its task and we're made to feel nothing, we're supposed to blame it on the smog and not him or his songs. However stoned/distant/hazy, it's initially difficult to let Love float by unnoticed and this is largely thanks to McMahon's vocalisms. Like the music, it's not the details (words) that matter, but the delivery. And as is the case with the music, the delivery actively obscures the details. The reference point for this method is Astral Weeks, and as with Astral Weeks it's hard not to believe that he's beaten, bruised, and is expressing something genuine. The difference is that on Love, he's gone, vanished, and it's just us, the audience, left. Whether we leave feeling heavier (as we should) again comes down to smog- we could potentially just feel more confused, which without that feeling of heaviness means Love falls short- a formal study in smog and not the emotion at all. I sort of felt it but learned nothing- either it lost me, or I lost it. Unfortunately the intention is there but the work is not. And if that's the point I'm glad to let it go.

keep (physical)

Earl's Grit (2002)

Fun fact: this is Alfie the bald (he's not really bald, he has down rather than fur, and he's also supposed to be really intelligent but he looks silly and sleeps all day) cat's favourite E-40 album! 
I had that all ready to post back in October when I uploaded Grit & Grind, and back then I wasn't lying about it being Alfie's favourite. I feel the need to acknowledge that since October Alfie the bald (down, hypo-allergenic actually) cat has moved onto the double disc The Element of Surprise to get his (daily, can you believe, E-40 definitely attracts fanatics) fill of E-40. He claims The Element of Surprise is better than Grit & Grind because it has 6 more songs on it. Weird. These days I'm all about the horror-gangsta Revenue Retrievin': Graveyard Shift or My Ghetto Report Card (which is Rep Yo City over and over, thanks Lil Jon), but it's interesting that Grit & Grind was at one stage a favourite of both of ours despite the fact that we look for different things in E-40. Though neither of us are purists (they stick to Federal I think, or know the words to every Block Brochure song off by heart), I can recommend Grit & Grind (if my non-purist word means anything) as a moment in E-40's Fall-ish career (rap's own "always different... always the same") where everything made sense.


Dec 19, 2013

2013 list

i'm so sorry i haven't posted anything in forever. this year's been really awful but also kind of good and nowhere near as bad as last year. i think it's like a transition where the last one was a complete failure. everything is okay and the world is beautiful

music-wise i don't know. i made a top 49 (50) list but it's not really in order. the important thing is that the redeemer is no. 1. if pop's a mirror then yeezus says we're fucked. if rock's dead then someone should tell the men to stop being so fucking ancient, but also don't 'cause i like it. the dead c know it. have done since the 80s! liz harris still wants us to feel bad. kurt vile cares too much about not caring. where's the downer that got me through 2011. humanbeast made s&m dinner party music that i listen to while playing sonic. colin stetson found hope. the body and pharmakon made you sweat. so did full of hell actually. full of hell are fucking mental. shaking the habitual was actually fun. tim hecker made another album people will appreciate like three years from now. fat white family reminded people that noise rock is noise rock. haim made people who never liked the replacements like tom petty.

here's my stupid list: (also convenient spotify playlist)

honourables/considered/worth your time/if you're into that kind of thing/huge love + huge flaws/not much love + minimal flaws:

Amber London - Tru 2 Tha Phonk

servin fiendz

Andrew Pekler - Cover Versions

art and liberation

A$AP Ferg - Trap Lord

something tells me i missed the point when my fav moment was an unfinished bone thugs cover

Ace Hood - Trials & Tribulations

gangsta sincerity and all, fuck off wayne and tidy your damn room

Autre Ne Veut - Anxiety

hipster r&b's big 2013 release almost realizes some truth

Barrow - Though I'm Alone

occasionally gripping and consistently interesting, unfortunately atmosphere is something that's earned rather than decided on or cued

Body/Head - Coming Apart

free but suspenseful and with its body/head/heart in the right place

Botanist - IV: Mandragora

once the ears adjust (it'll happen, promise), it's clear that mandragora regularly rises above its gimmick

Bottomless Pit - Shade Perennial

silkworm growd up (post-punk,rock,etc)

Brighter Arrows - Dreamliner

their trick is making you believe over and over that everything's fallen apart and you're witnessing an aftermath or something that won't ever be able to rebuild itself (don't be fooled, but also totally go ahead if you can suspend your disbelief long enough to avoid suspense translating to tedium)

Celeste - Animale(s)

atmosphere earned but wander in and you'll find something that wants to bite your head off

CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe

singular and yet on the side of nwo-poptimism vs everything-but-the-kitchen-sink o shite (escapist house plus mumford stomp)

Ciara - Ciara

here's a double-edged sword- too concise to excuse/bury the missteps

Comadre - Comadre

distraction punk

Danny Brown - Old

(im)mature and totally necessary, yet i will inevitably gravitate toward the 19 track suicide note that is xxx 'cause it made me cry

Deafheaven - Sunbather

'telling you exactly where this is gonna go' from mono to fucking avicii

Dean Blunt - Stone Island

stone island: a free stomach-in-throat supplement courtesy of dean blunt

Death Grips - Government Plates

i get that they're pretty much gonna do it again and again, and so all credit to them when they do it the same but better

DJ Koze - Amygdala

i feel sick

DJ Rashad - Double Cup

sort of a relief after i spent so much of '12 getting used to fragments that hit harder than something dressed as a full-on assault

Drake - Nothing Was the Same

the year's best song and video, content-drake makes his second move away from confused/hungry-drake and the result is both more assured (no shit) and bloated than the last one. probably a future masterpiece

Dustin Wong - Mediation of Ecstatic Energy

when analogies fail- this nail-in-the-coffin-of-post-rock does its best to shed the repetitive excess of the 'genre'(?) while maintaining its core aspiration for audio transcendence

Earl Sweatshirt - Doris

of course we'll never get another EARL, at least with doris earl delivers consistent dead-eyed monotone rap that's complex and even gives a shit

Emptyset - Recur

startling commitment to not only not having fun, but to not containing any sounds which could ever even at a stretch be used by a cornball funlover not yet subscribed to emptyset's greyscale realism (minimal industrial occurrences)

Félicia Atkinson - Visions / Voices

obviously i'm not sure what's going on here, but i like the voices

The Field - Cupid’s Head

i thought this was a folk album before i hit play!

FKA Twigs - EP2

female sexuality in the year of miley

The Flaming Lips - The Terror

optimists look forward and see indifference

Frameworks - Small Victories

instagram deer heads

Frisk Frugt - Dansktoppen Moder Burkina Faso I Det Himmelbla Rum Hvor Solen Bor, Suite

wtf thequietus

Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus

maybe i didn't try hard enough to give a fuck about slow focus but then again why should i have to

The Future of the Left - How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident

“I hope on a special day for you, like on your wedding day, someone lies to you and tells you you’re beautiful and spoils the day like you've spoiled this day for me.”

Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge - Twelve Reasons to Die

how did this get way down (up?) here

Gucci Mane - Trap House 3

twists and turns and unexpectedly looks straight ahead

Haim - Days Are Gone

all-inclusive cornball poptimism strong enough to end our recent obsession with escapist gymcore

Hatred Surge - Human Overdose

hatred. surge. hatred surge. overdose. overdose. human. human overdose. hatred surge's 2013 album, human overdose. fuck.

Have Mercy - The Earth Pushed Back

strong release in a year consistent in high quality muscular dorkcore revivalism

High Wolf - Kairos: Chronos

this year's valley tangents, in that i don't know why i care about it but i really do

Huerco S. - Colonial Patterns

self-contained and self-mutilating freak that shifts and evolves before you

Iceage - You're Nothing

2013's best emo record outside of the emo revival. unlike those ones, you're nothing's anger is a disturbing common-sense laziness and its threat isn't simply to get louder

Jacqueline Humbert & David Rosenboom - Daytime Viewing

an alien hanging in the desert since the early 70s knocks on your window at night and tries to challenge the way you think

Jon Hopkins - Immunity

i didn't care at all until it got warm and cuddly and that forced me to re-evaluate the club concept i can't and will never be able to relate to

Katy Perry - Prism

how presumptuous!

Kelly Rowland - Talk A Good Game

good simple quality r&b unfortunately comes out at a time where we demand that something stand out. probably a future cult classic

Kevin Gates - The Luca Brasi Story and Stranger Than Fiction

on the luca brasi story, alter egos muddy the rap-v-real-dichotomy we thought croaky voiced gates' tears just clearly burned right through. stranger than fiction's an odd case of more honesty, more trapping. my vote's on the cinematic piece. more fiction, more feels means something from a rapper part gibbs part future- his currency's the affect of his stories and his gift's his delivery. there's no point worrying if it's an act- it's all from the same place any way

Kvelertak - Meir

anachronistically starting with metallica, every ambitious metal band will eventually become the foo fighters

Lee Noble - Ruiner

are an artist's loneliest jams his/her best jams when he/she is so persistently alone?

Lil B - 05 Fuck Em

lil b as weirdo vision of rapgame contradictions, eccentricities, vulnerabilities, opportunities, 05 fuck em as everything-you-need-to-know about lil b (and by extension, rap generally) marathon

Lil Herb & Lil Bibby - Heir Apparents

naturalistic celebrations and warfare

M.I.A. - Matangi

a delightful mess

Matana Roberts - Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile

further questions, ambiguities, and histories after chapter one's whirlwind shriek caught the attention of like everybody ever in 2011

Migos - Young Rich Niggas

critics seem to argue that they should've invented their own language for the hooks

My Bloody Valentine - MBV

both the cynic and forgiving little guy in me keep trying to convince myself that my bloody valentine could've released loveless for the first time again and due to the circumstances surrounding its (2013 mbv's) release, it would've been an anti-climax regardless. i was about ready to accept that until the last two tracks made it clear that the lazy fuckers actually have it in them to break new ground again. and so i'm hopeful but genuinely let down too. what's with the aimless loveless drafts? didn't want to 100% commit to something new? a mellow regurgitation followed by an infuriatingly promising cliffhanger? what kind of a sadist comes back after 22 years with a last time on the my bloody valentine show trailer followed by a next time on the my bloody valentine show preview?

Nick Cave - Push the Sky Away

icy and awkward as all hell abandonment of cave's genius personae

Oneohtrix Point Never - R Plus Seven

a new and familiar language

Oranssi Pazuzu - Valonielu

in space no one can hear you scream (cue valonielu, gravity)

Paisley Parks - Бh○§†

fragment warfare

Palehorse - Harm Starts Here

see, eyehategod were never committed enough to hire a noise guy to underpin their outbursts

Paramore - Paramore

stadium power pop's final stand

Pinkunoizu - The Drop

again wtfthqts?

Pity Sex - Feast of Love

an ageless familiarity, like you thought you'd lost it but here it is again

Segue - Pacifica

is the fucking cover

Sheep, Dog & Wolf - Egospect

goes for genre blending and in the process ends up with genre indifference (obviously superior, a casual whatever-works approach sitting easier than a set of gimmicks)

Teho Teardo and Blixa Bargeld - Still Smiling

the effect of humour on sincerity, confused and smiling tears

Title Fight - Spring Songs

lp? :)))

The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die - Whenever, If Ever

2013 emo revival's twinkliest and most ball shrivelling. it could potentially change your life

Tree - Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out

rare traditional clarity filtered through shifty hobo wisdom. these fuckin tears, man

Tropic Of Cancer ‎– Restless Idylls

pompously restricts and reduces the pomp of like bauhaus, this is the 2010s after all

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

could be incredible if i could make a case for the shit ones hanging around the ones that briefly convince you that you might be in the presence of 2013's great pop record

Var - No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers

one of the more approachable members of the year's sexless funeral march

Various Artists - Night Slugs Allstars Volume 2

pomo futurism

Waka Flocka Flame - DuFlocka Rant 2

early convinced me 2013 could be waka's other/next year, duflocka2's more spontaneous and less of a machine and so all sympathy for the poor guy's vocal cords

William Tyler - Impossible Truth

how and why does this exist in 2013 (thanks for existing in 2013)

Wolf Eyes - No Answer: Lower Floors

toying with the listener through capture and release

Wölfbait - Wölfbait

manageable nrg

Yo La Tengo - Fade

a mild set built on the musicians' competing desires to a) come to grips with some truth about impermanence and so to be consumed/set free by this knowledge, and b) hold the fuck onto something in spite of this inevitability: it's okay, they hardly sound like they're in the right headspace to destroy rock n roll again for the moment

Young Fathers - Tape Two

80s drum fetish bring the noise spiritualism

top 49 50:

50. Beyoncé - BEYONCÉ

the sophisti-goth visuals effectively set you up for a not just consistent, but consistently interesting soundworld over which beyoncé can reiterate that she's the best

beyoncé / iTunes

49. Ulcerate - Vermis

less 'atmospheric', more organic (atmospheric)

bandcamp / relapse / spotify

48. James Ferraro - NYC, Hell 3:00AM

hipster 'concepts' (in-house jokes) aside, nyc hell stands separate from the vapors if only 'cause it's so damn sad

insound / spotify

47. Laurel Halo - Chance of Rain

the cold & fuckin weird 'follow-up' you didn't know you needed

hyperdub / boomkat / spotify

46. Full of Hell - Rudiments of Mutilation

sludge delirium

bandcamp / spotify

45. Parents - Parents

we'll bathe tonight


44. William Basinski - Nocturnes

abstract no-fun and a trail of tears


43. Stara Rzeka - Cień Chmury Nad Ukrytym Polem

earth's beauty and fury and humour


42. Julia Brown - to be close to you

they're actually fuckin great when you can't hear them properly


41. Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Devotion

emotive glitch

bandcamp / spotify

40. Paysage d'Hiver - Das Tor

atmospheric old man dying in the snow music

prophecy / bandcamp

39. Dead in the Dirt - The Blind Hole



38. Arrington De Dionyso's Malaikat Dan Singa - Open the Crown

beefheart revival's most endearing

bandcamp / spotify

37. Crash of Rhinos - Knots

emo revival's angriest

bandcamp / spotify

36. Pharmakon - Abandon

in 2013 there was a screaming across the sky and everyone got scared and everyone was moved

sacred bones / spotify

35. Freddie Gibbs - ESGN

dead eyed nihilism goes teary eyed desperation. it'll spin your face around


34. Raum - Event of Your Leaving

sunburned and longing

glasscommahouse / spotify

33. Machinedrum - Vapor City

nobly soulful

ninjatune / spotify

32. Ashley Paul - Line the Clouds

quiet noise

relrecords / spotify

31. These New Puritans - Field of Reeds

penguin cafe orchestra for bong iver yuppies


30. Inga Copeland - Don't Look Back, That's Not Where You're Going

we're all ears


29. Fat White Family - Champagne Holocaust

pigfuck retards: nothing's shocking

bandcamp / spotify

28. Tal National - Kaani

hot sweat

fatcat / spotify

27. Nails - Abandon All Life

cold sweat

bandcamp / spotify

26. The Body - Christs, Redeemers

the cold shower

thrilljockey / spotify

25. Slow Warm Death - s/t

i guess garage punk gets to the point more directly/less cloyingly than emo(?)

bandcamp / spotify

24. Milk Music - Cruise Your Illusion

pomo zuma nostalgia, not giving a fuck betrayed by the pout, the pout betrayed by the lazy eye

fatpossum / spotify

23. Iron Lung - White Glove Test

in appreciation of life's minute details: so fast that 30 secs with white glove test feels like an hour

bandcamp / spotify

22. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels

political paranoids cool it (but don't cool it at all, of course) just to say: we're the fucking best


21. Bardo Pond - Peace on Venus

the psychedelia never manages to rise above the band's aimless yearning

firerecords / spotify

20. Prurient - Through the Window

ode to the alienated banality of our collective existence, on through the window fernow's prurient (so often the outlet for an abstract primal release) holds himself back for everything but a brief panic attack in the middle. everything else is spirit and desire flattened and set to the rhythm of sexless repetition and empty, mocking phrases


19. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

odd but immediately enjoyable, and with a point to prove

rabidrecords / spotify

18. Bill Orcutt - A History of Every One

history disembowled

editionsmego / spotify

17. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II

suicide pop

cinderblock / spotify

16. RP Boo - Legacy

simultaneously makes a case for, and teaches the listener about, his legacy

planetmu / spotify

15. Humanbeast - Venus Ejaculates in the Banquet

dinner party pop for masochists


14. Hookworms - Pearl Mystic

'space' rock that shoots inward (for introspection rather than the cosmos)


13. (Ensemble Pearl) - (Ensemble Pearl)

chance and spontaneous interaction in a metal context, also the history of rock music


12. Black Boned Angel - The End

transcendental metal (sorry liturgy, deafheaven)


11. Tim Hecker - Virgins

it might not seem this way now, but surely best way to follow an abrasive conceptual masterpiece would be with something organic and personal

kranky / spotify

10. Julianna Barwick - Nepenthe

"waving to you"

deadoceans / spotify

9. The Body - Master, We Perish

sludge collage of human suffering

thrilljockey / spotify

8. Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light

full spectrum- darker and deader, then lighter than ever

cst / spotify

7. The Men - New Moon

punk rock archaeology, pure and vulnerable

sacredbones / spotify

6. Kurt Vile - Wakin On A Pretty Daze

finally happy not to give a fuck

matador / spotify

5. Grouper - The Man Who Died in His Boat

fragments and leftovers sound coherent when you've done the hard work p much creating your own genre

kranky / spotify

4. Endless Boogie - Long Island

zz top for hipsters and metalheads


3. Kanye West - Yeezus

uh-huh, honey

amazon / spotify

2. The Dead C - Armed Courage

pacing, pacing


1. Dean Blunt - The Redeemer

the dull nausea of heartache and how we convince ourselves that we can move on

hipposintanks / spotify

best book i read

Jason - Lost Cat

while it's not as immediately devastating as something like hey, waitlost cat is probably jason's prettiest, best paced, and most consistent book. chance encounters, missed connections, and the end of the fucking world...


Charles Forsman - The End of the Fucking World

forsman renders everything in absolute clarity through his dry and bare artwork, and so there is no opportunity for the romanticization of any of teotfw's characters, decisions, and events. it exists to make you hurt and it will do just that. i cried.

Simon Hanselmann - Life Zone

stoner comedy as dark as it is heartfelt. probably the best pacing i've ever come across in a comic book. cried again.

best games i played

the world might be chaotic but it is still out to get you

gives the player the opportunity to skirt around the edges of its surrealist dislogic and interpret things literally, or just completely cave and see what he/she finds there

completely abandons the grim desperation of the first one for the sake of thoughtful blockbuster storytelling. it's a hypocritical massacre but it's gorgeous.

video game impressionism

awful first half, unexpectedly redeems itself and transcends its bs survivalist cliches

fucking cruel

o bubs

sentimental storytelling for nostalgic indie gamers

Sep 27, 2013

(Dead) 2013

Oooooh I don't know, I put it up there with The White House!!!! Challenges and forces its audience to react while maintaining a level of admittedly unconventional entertainment and payoff. No senseless (noise philosophical) migraines, all mindsplit feels.

mega / buy

Sep 16, 2013

Creepin on ah Come Up

Bone Thugs have always appealed to me ever since I was a kid because their soundworld is one in which realism and the paranormal coexist, musically signified by hard nocturnal g-funk meets ghostly half-sung rapping. Creepin on ah Come Up is essential because it's fun to think of this as the start of everything:

Dear Mr. Ouija, I want to know my future. Mo murda, mo murda.

And it has Thuggish Ruggish Bone and Foe tha Love of $ on it. Catchy and creepy.

mega / cd

Aug 16, 2013

Vows (2013)

Things I'm reminded of when listening to Slave Vows: how much I wanted to like The Icarus Line before even hearing them 'cause they looked like a handsome death metal band, how The Icarus Line dissed The Strokes when I was still in love w The Strokes and people said 'diss', how The Icarus Line called The Strokes '$ellout$' or something even though The $troke$ always sounded cynically planned if not entirely manufactured (like heaps of good pop!), how Joe Cardamone went all Birthday Party and I stopped paying attention to his band having 'discovered' The Birthday Party/Jesus Lizard/whatever, probably thanks to being 'warmed up' to that shit prior via the much celebrated Penance Soiree which for all of its praise sounded to me, and this is why I liked it back then, like Marilyn fucking Manson, something about how Aaron North was mean to the crowd at their Auckland show, something about mental collapse, how that same year I went to a festival solely to see The $troke$ and $Metallica$ and left permanently suspicious of both epics and hipster apathy, I hear Iggy Pop (inevitably), and Damo Suzuki (surprisingly), and the bullshit rockist figurative-athons stemming from the same born-too-late anxiety that lead to the garage rock revival of the 000s (and helped Penance Soiree reach the ridic audience it did, no doubt) have become the go-to method for describing Slave Vows and what's worse is something like this, but I'm having an operation in 3 hours! and I'm bored and hungry and all I wanted from this, 'cause I don't care whether rock's dead or alive or in the process of being 'saved', was to be excited and engaged, and oh hey this one sounds like Suicide, and it's excited me, but I want it LOUDER, so I'm gonna lie in bed for the next 2 days with headphones and Slave Vows and see if maybe the born-too-late-rs are right for once again, and think about this, as corny as it is, I thought it was defining at the time I left that $trotellica$ festival, for those of us already dead or alone or in stasis who want anything other than music designed to embody this state (they call it ennui!) or avoid acknowledging it altogether (epix), something which impulsively or intuitively breaks from it, in spite of it, having lived with it, and hating it, like it's not some cynical and so profound truth of our age but an inevitable bad luck which maybe real expression can cure: Slave Vows may or may not be just this on an individual level, but it's intended that way and so well worth a shot:

“In previous years I’ve put out records that have been too long, because I’ve been working on them for like four fuckin’ years, and I’ve imagined it’s probably the last one I’ll ever do, so I just put everything on there. But at this point in my life, I don’t really give a fuck anymore. I know I’m gonna make records for as long as I’m alive, so I’m not as precious any more, I don’t care. This thing only exists so we can be happy and do something that matters to us, and to the people who need this as much as we do.”

try / where to buy(?)

Aug 10, 2013

PERISH (2013)

I love a good scream and it's a shame that in becoming a sort of staple of heavy music, it's so often reduced to something mechanical, obligatory, or matter-of-fact. Like the distorted guitar, it's frequently used without reflection, missing its potential for the simple empathetic transmission of feels from musician to listener. This year two albums (at least) have re-examined this potential (direct-expression-of-human-suffering-or-feeling)- Master, We Perish and Abandon, returning the scream to something startling, physical, and abstract- my first holy fuck that's a scream moment being the first time I heard Milk It having bought In Utero 'cause it was cheaper, and the nonsense line "doll steak, test meat" meaning infinitely more than any of the singer's sung poetics. On Master, We Perish I'm reminded of the guy singing for Weakling, shrieking in agony trying make his way out of the band's whirlwind of brootal noise. It's importantly human as the instruments shift and change- a tribal drum could turn into a jackhammer, and other voices seem disembodied- whether original or sampled, they become part of Master, We Perish's noisy collage. Vocals more typical of the slightly misleading 'sludge' tag might make it sound entirely like music in a blender, but the ones they've gone for seem to react to the collage's themes of devotion and ritual suicide (rather than say glamorizing or condoning these things), giving everything a real human consequence. The EP is a triumph of efficiency, the band do just about everything they need to in only three songs and each works for its own specific reasons. Also I really like this (is it real?):

bluecollar / insound / mega

Aug 2, 2013

Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos - River Falling Love (1987)

It's all very young and hopeful- Morley'd go on to destroy rock with The Dead C and examine the leftovers with Gate- but man is it ever depressing 'cause the thing just sounds like a damn haunting. He's singing to nobody at all and the 'experimental' elements just tease and distract, all broken and falling apart.


Aug 1, 2013

Hash Jar Tempo - Well Oiled (1997)

Yaaaaaaawwwn. At the tempo of a fucking- OH SHIT. HEY GUYS DID YOU GET-

At the temple of a fucking Ash Ra! Right!! Drones take turns droning and twinkling, drums helping us through the chaos or forcibly driving us in, making sure we can't get up for air


Somewhere (1986)

Dumb denim jackets go to the Chinese takeaways and beat the kid outside at Street Fighter because he's always there and he plays shit so you'll play him again but you never do

fuckin robocop

2 (2013)

'Experimental' insofar as they might miss a verse for the sake of singing or go in over a beat that reminds more of "world" music (essentially 80s drum and hook worship) if not UK appropriate bring the noise


Jul 31, 2013

Mercyful Fate - Melissa (1983)

It's my day off and I'm sick and this bald cat came in and I think he's made it all worse! He's bald but I'm allergic. He sat on my bed and now I'm worried about sleeping. I used to have a (haired) cat and must've felt like this all the time back then! I blamed the wind and the trees and the sun!

I just can't get enough twin guitar falsetto metal at the mo and Melissa is the best 'cause the riffs are heaps of fun, King Diamond is endearingly ridiculous, and the band's dedication to skulls and satan is fucking unprecedented!


Tree - Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out (2013)

Another one dragged out for emphasis! Tree is 'soul trap' is old dusty emotional samples, g-as-fuck-2013-edtn drums, and Tree's voice which is so fucking hoarse it convinces you you're in the presence of an old weary genius you're totally blessed/undeserved of. Might just shed a tear.



There's a dry scream and then a 4-song conversation between the dirge-like and the frightened and hysterical. The former makes for a heavy and intoxicating listening experience, the latter's outbursts make you stop what you're doing with sweaty palms and look over there somewhere, sort of really stressed out. Crawling on Bruised Knees is like holy fuck. No idea why some noise releases make it out of the darkndoomy/s&m pit o despair and into the attention of 'hipsters' (malleable as always, here meaning I don't actually know, everyone?) and some don't, though it might have something to do with the lack of s&m, nazi shite, and c.p. found here, leaving just darkndoom and tracks like Crawling on Bruised Knees. THAT, the general public (hipsters) can handle, I think (evidently).

try / buy / spotify

NO LIFE (1982)

The much adored SEE FUCK U KIRK WHY CANT U DO IT LIKE DAAAVE HAHA demo that's like the worst thing ever to happen to Lars Ulrich

Thrash-political issues aside, I usually always love Metallica and definitely always love lo-fi Metallica and the way "it's how I live my life" is sung on Motorbreath is one of my favourite little things in music ever along with "what went wrong" in Death's Flattening of Emotions, "all you ever wanted" in The Replacements' Little Mascara, "one time for my niggas doin life in hell" in 2Pac's Krazy.

In 1982 they're still doing songs rather than compositions, and all of these songs are excellent. Their heaviness is sort of undercut by a youthful, spontaneous sense of garage-y fun and the eye-of-the-tiger urgency that'd drive them into 'compositions' and cross-genre acclaim. I love this EP heaps.


Slow Warm Death - Slow Warm Death (2013)

Emo gone garage pop. Another 2013 notable worth noting outside of a list of notables. Generously free just to rub it in.

bandcamp / storenvy

Heir Apparents (2013)

It's on my list of notable stuff released this year, but I wanted to put it here with a picture too! I'm lazy:

In essence, Herb and Bibby fall under the same umbrella of another young’n like Asean Johnson. Both represent the plight of young black males in America’s third largest city crying for help in explicitly contrasting manners. It’s far too early to crown Bibby and Herb the “next” anybody. They’re their own artists anyway. Nevertheless, I’d be lying by saying a faint hint of a Boosie and Webbie-like natural chemistry on wax was easy to ignore. And in sort of a “coming full circle” moment, those looking for a crash course in the previous 400 words can thank FSD and DJ L for The Best Of Lil Herb & Lil Bibby: Heir Apparents. -smokingsection


The End (2013)

Campbell Kneale (Birchville Cat Motel) farewells Black Boned Angel, his less prolific (only (at least) an album or ep (or both) a year!) genre project (whereas BCM seemed to deal nonspecifically with anything 'abstract'), the genre being drone doom metal. He employs a three step process to let it go without freaking him or his audience out too much- summarization, play, open-ended conclusion. All three components head toward the same point, that being mental/emotional transcendence. Even its most oppressive sounds let the hopeful ones escape and flourish, not competing but working together as they knowingly build Black Boned Angel's final work and ode to the coexistence of beauty, ugliness, hope, sadness, lightness, and heaviness in the best music of this kind.

try / thrill jockey

Jul 4, 2013

2013 so far

The year of exercise and body dysmorphia and growing a Metallica mullet! Not as fake as last year 'cause we knew it would be. It's actually kind of pleasant. Listening in 2012 always felt self-conscious or like it had some purpose 'cause of coverage/expectations/whatever. This year it seems like things are coming out of nowhere, and on their own terms. Other than the obvious ones, I mean (22 YEARS!!1!!)

New favs

Things I want to store away and hug because right now I feel like I will always love them

1. Dean Blunt The Redeemer

Double bluffs its way into sincerity, leaving behind critics' expectations of a single, cynical subversion. 2013's saddest, most truthful and empathetic record yet.

spotify / hippos in tanks

2. Kanye West Yeezus

Argues for MBDTF as an apology where in its time it was regarded as being so truthful that it resembled something like Ye's id. In retrospect, however, it really does sound teary-eyed and human. Cuts that one's heady maximalism and injects 808s' skeletal fragments with noise, ultimately favouring the physical. Assumes that minimalism gets closer to some truth, leading to much confusion and controversy over what he actually chose to include (bjs, Nina Simone). He's always been about vulnerability, Yeezus is the ugly, narcissistic lashing out after the last few laughed, cowered, or understood.

spotify / amazon

3. The Men New Moon

Pays debt to the proto-indie fuckups that inspired those they endearingly plagiarized for two albums. Refreshingly stripped down and imperfect. In the end they take what they learned and hold a noise rock ritual to indicate what's to come (out of the forest and into the sky).

spotify / sacred bones

4. Colin Stetson New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light

Stetson's epic finale is a real inspiring tearjerker that plummets into new levels of hopelessness and then ascends with hope and beauty.

spotify / constellation

5. Hookworms Pearl Mystic

Starts with the propulsive energy of something like VU meets Primal Scream and then gets derailed and takes an unexpectedly emotional, ultimately spiritual journey.

bandcamp / gringo

6. Grouper The Man Who Died in His Boat

Evokes in simple fragments more personality and cohesive ideas than the average musician's epic.

spotify / kranky

7. Ensemble Pearl Ensemble Pearl

Drone that relies on the expertise of and relationship between its players. Something like a drone super-group, their aim stays focused where it matters, and every spontaneous detour is perhaps even more exciting.

drag city

8. Unknown Mortal Orchestra II

Delegates even its rockier moments to the head (rather than the body). Nielson tries out everything he likes and keeps it all tied together with feelings of weightlessness and aimless frustration. Pomo pop for the bored and alone.

spotify / umo

9. Endless Boogie Long Island

Jams psychedelically but keeps itself grounded somewhere between sludge metal and ZZ Top.

no quarter

10. Daft Punk Random Access Memories

NOT 22 YEARS but still a huge deal. A flawed, frequently corny epic that once again has the duo humanizing the digital, again through the help of disco, this time with live musicians.

spotify / ram

Still going

Things I regularly play and/or have quite a bit of love for, p much in exactly the same way as the stuff under 'new favs', but I wanted a top 10

11. Ghostface Killah & Adrian Younge Twelve Reasons to Die

Surprisingly lean and restrained, unsurprisingly weird rejuvenation/resurrection concept album where the listener brings Ghostface back through playing his dusty new record.


12. RP Boo Legacy

Even if the listener goes in having no idea what to expect, the originator explains everything within ~5 seconds of Steamidity and that's the first track.

spotify / planet mu

13. The Knife Shaking the Habitual

BIG EVENT #2. Actually a lot of fun! Addictive and thoroughly enjoyable gender studies avant-dance. Even when they drone they're doing it for us.

spotify / theknife

14. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Push the Sky Away

Cave acknowledges his persona as persona, awkwardly pointing out that he lives in the same dull, lonely world as his listeners. Mick Harvey's absence is sadly immediately obvious, and every song sounds very much 'composed by Cave&Ellis.'

spotify / nickcave

15. Black Boned Angel The End

Kneale farewells his doom project in just three parts: 1, the oppressive side of the genre expertly summarized, 2, a look at the kind of emotional and experimental variety pursued by the best in the field, and 3, a dramatic, unexpectedly transcendent climax that sort of says thanks for being there with me and by the way this is the inevitable end to everything.

thrill jockey

16. Kurt Vile Wakin on a Pretty Daze

Keep on slacking!

spotify / matador

17. Milk Music Cruise Your Illusion

Keep on.. Milk Music Could Be Your Life!

spotify / norman

18. Waka Flocka Flame DuFlocka Rant 2

'Full steam ahead' high energy Waka fun with exciting voice breaks that make you feel real sorry for his vocal cords.


19. Tree Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out

The recipe for 'soul trap' is old samples, 'modern' 808s, and Tree's own wonderful wise gravelly delivery. I'm in love with his voice!


20. Prurient Through the Window

Uses techno to universalize the Prurient character as 'horribly alone individual in post-industrial nightmare.'


21. Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience

He knew his best moments were the aimless/stoned ones!

spotify / justintimberlake

22. Young Fathers Tape Two



23. Andrew Pekler Cover Versions

Uses collage to liberate hundreds of second-hand records from their bland contexts and intentions, emphasizing their oddball romanticism, (accidental) artistry, and intrigue.

senufo editions

24. Stara Rzeka Cień chmury nad ukrytym polem

When genre blends and shifts mean more than the process of blending and shifting, then the aim is so focussed and makes so much sense that you feel kind of dirty for trying to freeze moments in the flow of aim, ambition, and artistry, and say oh krautrock folk bm because all that matters is the flow which in this case is so moving and seamless that it's like why would you.


25. High Wolf Kairos: Chronos

not not fun

Still growing

Things which are still growing on me and I already like heaps but will soon maybe compete with the stuff from 1-25

26. Inga Copeland Don't Look Back, That's Not Where You're Going

Speak is wow! This is gonna be huge.


27. The Body Master, We Perish

Fucking hideous.

blue collar

28. My Bloody Valentine m b v

22 YEARS (!!1!) to give us some fucking Loveless b-sides and a second half that you can't hate- it's so incredible it's like why didn't you do that the whole time instead?


29. Comadre Comadre

Pushes for weird distractions from the immediacy of its aggression, actually enhancing the power behind and around.

spotify / bandcamp

30. Botanist IV: Mandragora

1-man hammered dulcimer ultra-lo-fi metal imagines the world when humankind's finally gone and what remains is flora.


31. Iceage You're Nothing

2013's most primal and exciting pop punk record.


32. Fear of Men Early Fragments


33. Scissor Lock Churn

Frozen, dislocated, then disembodied voices clue us in to little moments lost, then lurching forward half-asleep into a big nothing- they'll return to the source to be anonymized in the multitude, pretending like it never meant anything, and we'll be served more comatose moments to watch repeat the same process.


34. Run the Jewels Run the Jewels

To say that they're two of the best at what they do is an understatement and so is to say that they straight kill it over and over on Run the Jewels and so is to say and oh how nice of them to do it for free as well.

fool's gold

35. Night Slugs Allstars Volume 2

The ones to watch! Destroying your stomach one beat at a time, withholding melody and then letting it all go shimmery and/or fun, increasing the distance between gut and head to addictive effect.


36. Lil Herb & Lil Bibby Heir Apparents

Hehe Drizzy ✔ @Drake MOB I don't love a ho I'mma be this way till I'm 46 - Lil Herb 7:49 PM - 3 Apr 2013 5,423 RETWEETS 2,545 FAVORITES

fake shore drive

37. Jon Hopkins Immunity

I didn't believe it until the last two tracks!


38. Maxmillion Dunbar House of Woo

Interplay betw lil sounds and what happens when assembled- twitchy collage and the evocation of imagined depth.


39. Fort Romeau SW9


40. Freddie Gibbs ESGN

Finds that inexpressible balance between we get it gibbs, you hard and what is this i want angry gibbs!, resulting in an angry Gibbs so enjoyable that he couldn't possibly go hard enough.


Growing on or growing off

Things that are either growing on me, or I abused and overplayed and are now sort of growing off me. Order shuffled up so I don't feel as bad for pushing them away/am keeping them in mind in case I return again all apologetic later

41. Gucci Mane Trap House 3

Cohesive, smooth, and thoroughly enjoyable. The kind of thing you know he's capable of when you're arguing that a certain release might be shit and the person you're arguing with is wearing his/her best anti-intellectual hat and saying like you wouldn't get it or why should it have to be good? and now you can say Trap House 3.


42. Ten Walls Gotham EP

Deep and moody.


43. Wolf Eyes No Answer

de stijl

44. Segue Pacifica


45. Autre Ne Veut Anxiety

Selfish but genuinely emotive indie-R&B diagnoses the genre with separation anxiety and so the singer uses it as a tool to analyze his own self. Every now and then it's possible to hear a few moments in Anxiety that mean so much to the listener that it's almost tempting to not call the rest of it solipsistic wank.


46. Deafheaven Sunbather

Similarly, Sunbather occasionally provides the listener with whole minutes of music so spine-tinglingly, skull-crushingly, life-affirmingly beautiful that you almost feel bad for noticing its trite, manipulative (post-rock) dynamics.

spotify / bandcamp

47. Waka Flocka Flame DuFlocka Rant Halftime Show

Rides on the positivity of DFR2 and adds some variety- basically Waka tries his hand at flowing.


48. Curren$y New Jet City

I can't tell whether it's fortunate or unfortunate that all I've heard from Curren$y since Pilot Talk 2 has been like warmly underwhelming, as in enjoyable enough not to delete and even listen to regularly, but the threat of  a dip into lukewarm mediocrity has been ever-present. Fortunately/unfortunately the existence of New Jet City seems to suggest that such a dip occurred at some point, as the mixtape is still warmly underwhelming, but is also a clear improvement over his last I'm-not-sure-how-many releases. If he keeps going this way, we might just get another overwhelmingly underwhelming (understated) weed rap classic sometime in the near future.


49. Paisley Parks Бh○§†


50. Quasimoto Yessir Whatever

A collection of songs already heard/loved/digested by ultra-fans, hilariously coherent for the man whose Lord Quas project always specialized in incoherence. This is a good and a bad thing. On one hand, the assault of disjointed ideas and moments found on his non-collections (albums) were headache inducing for the non-converted, and sometimes frustrating for fans. On the other hand, there were moments within the sprawling chaos that really hit home for some (usually incomprehensible) reason, and those moments made the whole Lord Quas project worth standing by, arguing for, and encouraging others to endure in order to find their own moments and justifications. Yessir Whatever is perfectly enjoyable avant-garde rap and no more than that.

stones throw

51. Powell [untitled]



52. Lil B Pretty Young Thug (P.Y.T)


53. DJ Koze Amygdala


54. Portal Vexovoid

profound lore

55. Cornelius NHK「デザインあ」


56. Future F.B.G.: The Movie


57. Yo La Tengo Fade


58. Young Scooter Street Lottery


59. Amber London Tru 2 Tha Phonk

live mixtapes

60. Function Incubation


61. K. Roosevelt RoseGold


62. Fluorescent Heights Vendetta in Paradise

spotify / bandcamp

63. Nails Abandon All Life

spotify / bandcamp

64. Kvelertak Meir


65. Slow Warm Death Slow Warm Death


66. inc. No World

spotify / 4AD

67. The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die Whenever, If Ever

Plays its perpetually self-conscious midwest emo solipsism off against its confidence in its own self-conscious self-loathing. Its genre solipsism is occasionally so believable that you'll hear it and think good, they're bringing it back but it's unclear what they're bringing back other than good old un-self-conscious whining about being self-conscious and confidentally pathetic vocals over Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks-ish unhinged ambience. Whatever, it's emo after all.


68. Queens of the Stone Age ...Like Clockwork

Re-modeled, re-considered, and for the moment re-freshing in its one-off vulnerabilities.


69. Migos Young Rich Niggas


70. Ciara Ciara

Not so much a matter of restraint as just a welcome and pervading focus so straight that even its fuckups feel deliberate or calculated to some yet unknown end.


71. Pharmakon Abandon

There's a dry scream and then a 4-song conversation between the dirge-like and the frightened and hysterical. The former makes for a heavy and intoxicating listening experience, the latter's outbursts make you stop what you're doing with sweaty palms and look over there somewhere, sort of stressed out.


Jun 26, 2013

Jacks - Vacant World (1968)

Jacks played depressi-psych years before it was cool. Vacant World is their first album. The songs are all folky and poppy with depressive/psych undercurrents there to keep the listener on edge and feeling bad over the course of the album. It never gives the listener a reason to be on edge because it doesn't explode at any point, and its psychedelia is more of an outcome in the listener than an explicit stylistic decision. Although its undercurrents remain undercurrents, Vacant World will depress you and it will make you dizzy, entirely because of these undercurrents. Undercurrents.


Get Your Singles (1999)

Svenonius-core (though the ideological core is supposedly sharing/liberation) Gospel Yeh-Yeh. Get yours, you fifth member. Fire your boss. Replace your bourgeois rock n roll with Svenonius-core rock n roll. Pretend participate in this collection, ready and awaiting your consumption. The joke's on you in one way or another, but the songs are good and there are 23 of them.

get yours / you pig

Jun 20, 2013

Rigid Alien Funk (1983)

I swear to god this is what disco would sound like produced by asexual robot aliens. It's actually kind of disturbing.


TRVE GAME (1995)

Responsible gangsta Mad CJ Mac says he's been up and down and up again financially over the years, and so his gangsta boasts are retrospective rather than say hungry. On True Game hunger is reserved for the literal kind, again dealt with retrospectively when personal, and again responsibly/wisely when it's general (universals being the tool of the 'conscious,' autobiographical generalities being that of the caring g storyteller, and that oxymoron being symptomatic of Mac's or Pac's brand of thug). Because I'm simple and like smoothness and emo things, I like it best when he reflects that maybe he's losing his mind a la Nightmares (though at the end of that we still don't think the Thorntons could ever feel a thing) or label mate Geto Boys' Mind Playing Tricks on Me. Consequence, after all, lends a kind of credibility or weight to the otherwise hypothetical or fantastical situations surrounding.