"Why Must the People Cry?"
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Monster Rally - "Cuban Velvet"
I've been listening to Monster Rally's tape-loop instrumentals since the summer, and although their southern-hemispheric beat-work seems out-of-season here, I've always thought the best time to soak in tropical art is in the dead of winter, if only for the sake of escapism. All of their releases, especially their debut LP--Coral--come highly recommended. See also - "The Wolf"
Robb London - "Gloria"
Reverb soaked snare drum rattles, snarly guitar ricochets and audience response banter from this no-name south Texas one-record band is yet another grainy gem from the incalculably rad website Garage Hangover. Obviously, this song was covered to death in the 1960's, but here it sounds more vibrant than ever due to production values well ahead of its time. (via)
Ty Segall - "Caesar"
One of my favorite albums 2010, (a lackluster year in independently released music) wasTy Segall's Melted. Formerly a one man band, Ty harnesses noise and pop, heavy riff-work and the most rad use of an acoustic guitar I've heard maybe ever. "Caesar" also features the out-of-tune piano solo the world has been missing since White Light/White Heat. But best of all, it is the ebbs and flows of tempo that reel this one in and out several different grooves for an overall effect of post-garage rock renaissance insanity. Fucking brilliant stuff.
Smith Westerns - "All Die Young"
Smith Westerns sound like the house band from a John Hughes teen-movie prom on their newest, I can just hear Molly Ringwald engaging in meaningful dialogue during an slowdance beneath confetti and a disocball to this. I can't believe it, these guys are only 18 years old. Their first release, (which came out while they were still in high school, evidently), was a low-fi pop classic but with a real production budget they are able to achieve a unique blend of pop nostalgia (and a feature on NPR.)
Kurt Vile - "Jesus Fever"
I saw Kurt Vile at The Shank in the summer of 2009. I didn't know much about him then, but I remember being blown away by his 2:45 A.M. set performed for a gangly bunch of insatiable East-Williamsburg twenty-somethings. Since then, he's been signed to Matador and has more or less gone viral in the indie music-blog world (read: is under profound pressure to deliver an artistically and monetarily viable LP). It's relieving to hear his new song, Jesus Fever, unveiling his unusual casio-folk style in faster tempo and in higher-fidelity.
Aphex Twin - Fingerbib
I was listening to this album at the coffee shop I work (Update: "worked") at, and while making lattes for a French couple I noticed they were sort of nodding their heads. They placed what I later found to be a five dollar bill in the tip jar and said, "this is for the great music." I figured, in light of that, posting this song would be worth something. Aphex Twin hasn't released an album in 10 years, but some say that's going to change this year.
James Blake - "Sparring the Horse"
James Blake has been called "post-dub", and although "Sparing the Horse" is probably the most formulaic song that I've heard from him, (most everything else has been closer to Kraftwerk B-sides), it establishes him as a sonic pioneer. This song possesses a mixture of fidelity that I've never been exposed to, a great use of tension-building rests, and a vocal loop that floats and haunts. But this song truly caught my eye because of its intellectual superiority to most generic dubstep I've been forced to hear, and promises intrigue not only for Blake but for the genre in general. Hear more.
Star Slinger vs. Teams - Punch Drunk Love
A sped-up sample of this classic provides the foundation for this beat, so as a lover of doo-wop and southern rap drum machines, I'm sold. Star Slinger really hits the contemporary hip-hop instrumental void on the head. Further listening - "Longtime".
Madvillain - Avalanche
A preview of the upcoming Madvillain album from the Stones Throw website. Madvillainy is probably my favorite indie-rap album ever, and I've always been fascinated by DOOM's verbal weirdness and dadaist non-sequitors, all spat over some of the best looped music ever assembled. Madlib's compositions rival Donuts in my mind as beat-making at it's highest-art. Here's another one from their forthcoming Madvillainy 2 - "Paper Mill".
Billy Swan - I Can Help
Bizarre one-hit-wonder from disturbed pop genius (this can't be his realy name) Billy Swan. I have always been a sucker for ironic use of pop music in films, and this song played over a murder interrogation scene in the most recent Gus VanSant movie, and I was sold on it's spooky pop-appeal. As far as CBS F.M. 101.1 staples, this has got to be the holy grail, next to this of course.
Winter Review '10