I'm up late tonight posting an album to Bandcamp. The Black Bullet Promise. It takes painfully long to load WAV files onto the site. It's 1:40 in the morning and I'm on the third track of fifteen. This is the part of music that no one thinks about when they are downloading your album for free. Hmph. No one knows...
So...some "new" music that I've found that I think is brilliant. Amazing.
Hospitality - EP
This is the type of band that is so perfect it's terrifying. The music really transcends mortality. I'm actually listening to it now for the 40th time in two days. It has destroyed me. It has broken me down slowly and painfully. Amber Papini's voice and songs cut past the bone to the fucking marrow. Really. It's tiny, complex, poetic, lo-fi pop that is just so terribly good that you almost feel guilty. Maybe you don't deserve this? Do you deserve this?
Look...seek it out...try Bandcamp first and then find a way to send this band some money.
Guards - EP
The Guards Ep stands beside Hospitality in brilliance. It's reverb-laced, otherworld, ghostly whispers and aching guitars. It's another piece of genius songwriting that cuts into you like a well-oiled power tool and after slicing you into pieces it mends you and feeds you a steady diet of hair-stroking and chai tea. Songs like "Don't Wake The Dead" and "The Crystal Truth" are masterful examples of songwriting...the punk rock gems that had vanished for so long...do you recall the brilliant cassettes of your youth? It's the tape that someone left in the art room that got passed around...paint splattered on it...tape crimped...
Jesus. I'm tired. This is hardly an official post. Hit publish. Go ahead.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
The new Jack White produced song by First Aid Kit “It Hurts Me Too” has invaded my new playlist. Speaking of my new playlist, appropriately titled: “New Mix” (note to self:consider new title) which will soon find itself burned onto a cd for “in the car” consumption…now there is a poorly constructed sentence! Ok. New playlist. I will transcribe it hear for my second piece for 3DB…maybe offer an invitation to my fellow 3DB contributors to offer their mixes as well. The rules are simple. The playlist must not exceed the length of one burned cd.
These mix cd’s might allow our readers some insight into our tastes and personalities without having to gleam this information from ridiculous biographical blog entries.
If this blog happens (in a snowball’s chance in hell) to garner enough power and prestige to warrant free products for review/consumption, then I want to make it clear that 3DB is not above product placement or the occasional lapse in integrity, given the bribe is: A.) Substancial OR B.) Something we really like anyway and would gladly say nice things about.
Ok. A mix tape of music I’m listening to today:
“Dirty Snow At the Disco”
(A mix tape)
Do your own resizing on the photo. Decorate with a Sharpie marker.
1.) It Hurts Me Too – First Aid Kit
2.) Complicated Life – The Kinks
3.) Where Were You? – The Mekons
4.) Tombstone Blues – Bob Dylan
5.) Golden Seal – Fucked Up
6.) South of France – Harlem
7.) C’est Comme Ca – Les Rita Mitsouko
8.) Boyfriend – Best Coast
9.) As Tears Go By – The Rolling Stones
10.) Hate Me Soon – Yellow Ostrich
11.) Purple Rain – Lavender Diamond
12.) Sixteen Tons – Tennessee Ernie Ford
13.) Stuck – Butterglory
14.) Safe as Milk – Captain Beefheart
15.) Step on Me – The Cardigans
16.) The Things I Used to Do – Guitar Slim
17.) How Many More Times – Led Zeppelin
18.) Fleurette Africaine – Duke Ellington
Ok. Every individual song in that list is worth searching out and enjoying. At the very least you should have a listen on Youtube and decide for yourself.
Email your mixtape to firstname.lastname@example.org. Is there a prize involved? Probably not…but let us think about that. Just send us the list.
-William Scott Chaffin
Friday, January 21, 2011
Yellow Ostrich “The Mistress”
The Mistress is the kind of minor masterpiece created when a keen sense of melody and broken heart collide. It oozes the coldness of pain and isolation and all the warmth and pulse of surging feelings of mortality.
It's played with a delicate touch. Even the moments of chaos are controlled and sparse... helping the listener and creator shed the emerging sadness.
Alex Schaaf’s voice is the driving instrument, looped and manipulated into hypnotic, prayer-like drippings of artsy garage pop. It’s a beautiful voice that, in it’s deepest recesses conjures up the frail bits of mental sickness and the innocent sadness of someone running away from something. It becomes a monotonous drone played perfectly throughout the album; even if the first few listens beg something different. After the third or fourth listen one begins to accept the trickery and even embrace it. You’ve been allowed to peer into this man’s soul and experience the depth of his despair-and if, at first it all seemed silly or insubstanscial repeated listens provide an emotionally cathartic epiphany.
It may be the swan song come early in a career for Schaaf. His two previous EP’s not holding up in comparison to this release. They’re good, but not nearly as honest as “The Mistress”
The Mistress is a simple treat. It's complexities revealing themselves and burning your brain in all the right places. It's for the patient and heart-broken and it takes it's time slowly "healing" them... Eventually changing what once seemed monotonous and derivative (even of itself) importantly thematic.
It's best songs milking the strength of the vocal harmonies and using them as percussion or a hell-bent pusher of melody. It’s the first great album that I’ve heard in 2011.
Letter Grade: 92% (A-)
Best Songs: “Hate Me Soon” “Libraries” “WHALE”
Harlem is what would have happened if the Beach Boys had all been given the cheapest street drugs from the moment they picked up their instruments. I think it’s important to note the previous statement as complimentary. Harlem proudly plays trashy, surf-rock, garage-pop…who else is proudly playing trashy, surf-rock, garage-pop this well? The answer is no one.
“Hippies” plays like the band that everyone wanted to start in high school. The energy in the garage of the drummer’s parents is palpable. The tension is so jumpy and hopped up on “Hippies” that the album all goes by in a blur,resulting in what feels like a very short trip. There are a few “meh” moments in “Hippies” but they are few and far between. Everything seems to be forgivable for an album and band that don’t appear to give a fuck about anything. It’s an early punk rock aesthetic that Harlem employs, or rather, just can’t shake. Crashing drums, jingle-jangle guitars, solid simple bass, and snotty vocals culminate in a solid release whose singles should be radio staples at the moment. What a relief to hear a band that doesn’t take itself so seriously, but seriously plays good music.
My new year’s wish is that Harlem will play every prom, wedding reception, bar-mitzvah, and VFW hall in 2011. I think they would do it too, given the opportunity.
Letter Grade: 90% (A-)
Best Songs: “Gay Human Bones” “Friendly Ghost” “Poolside”
Best Song (Not on “Hippies”) : “South of France”
Random Notes: Britney Spear’s new single is atrociously bad. It imagines a world where homosexual men have created robots to produce music. That comment is not meant to be disparaging to homosexual men or robots. It’s just that Britney Spears career somehow survives and it can only be because the homosexual community is extremely loyal to artists whose careers have reached their shelf life. So…I want to thank the gays for that. Thanks for Britney, Liza, Cher, and all the rest. Is this club music? I wouldn’t know because I don’t go clubbing. If you asked me to go clubbing I might sooner think you were referring to baby seals. In which case I wouldn’t be interested in that either; too cold. However, might I suggest that those who would club baby seals listen to Job For a Cowboy, and those who would go to a large space and have this trite, over-produced, infantile pop played at airplane-volume not spin this new record.
Let Britney go back to wherever she came from and get a job at KFC running the deep fryers. So…here’s the formatted Britney review:
Britney Spears “Hold It Against Me”
Jive Records (A Division of Sony)
Letter Grade: 5% (F) The 5% credit given for the spoken word breakdown. Which, after three listens is still funny.
Random Notes Pt. 2:
Songs you should have (No excuses):
“Where Were You?” The Mekons
“Little Johnny Jewel” Television
These need to be added to your collection immediately. They are both 70’s punk rock masterpieces which you will undoubtedly use on your next mix cd.
-William S. Chaffin