Friday, January 23, 2015

Video Of The Day #31: Pond

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

I've been waiting a little while for some new Pond, and the band hasn't messed around with making more epic, giddily confounding psych rock noise. The clip for the title track of their new record "Man It Feels Like Space Again" is, as one might expect, absolutely insane and I all sorts of love it. 

Like a (slightly) less crass Wonder Showzen episode, the video follows the exploits of a retro-inspired kiddie show, complete with peeping tom muppet-like characters, among others, and suits the wonderful weirdness of the song just right. Space is, of course, involved, but I won't ruin the surprise. A perfectly wacky thing to see just before the weekend. 

And make sure to grab the record when it's released next week, y'all.  










[posted 1.23.15]

The Untitled Interview #207: Starring Dexy Valentine (Bonfire Beach/Magic Wands)

Transplanted California girl Dexy Valentine has not one but two pretty fantastic musical ventures going these days: by day it's Magic Wands, and by night Valentine gets her kicks with the dark, gritty scuzz of side gig Bonfire Beach

Having seen them open for the Dandy Warhols this past fall, I saw firsthand what Valentine and her Bonfire Beach compatriots could make happen. It was loud and I liked it. Read on to see what three records inspired young Dexy to make music, where she prefers to shop for records, and why playing in one certain church is pretty dang awesome. And be sure to keep an eye on both of Valentine's ventures. They're both well worth your time.   

Fuzzy Logic: How the hell are you? 
Dexy Valentine: Good, thanks.

FL: What was the last song you listened to? 

DV: Cocteau Twins, "Cherry Coloured Funk."

FL: Playing music is: 

DV: A lifelong dream, an escape, a blessing, a curse, the gift that keeps on giving, all of the above...I think some of the the best and worst times of my life have been associated with music or other musicians.

FL: What album most made you realize you wanted to make music?
DV: When I was a kid I got Madonna's first album, Thriller and Xanadu all at the same time.. MJ is gone now and in the past I've done covers of Madonna's "Burning Up" and Olivia Newton-John's "Magic."

FL: Beatles or Stones? 

DV: Beatles.

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this week, of ever):
DV: This week I've been listening to:

1. The Cure - Pornography

2. The Smiths - The Queen is Dead

3. David Bowie - The Rise And Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars

4. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless

5. Joy Divison - Unknown Pleasures

FL: Favorite music-related movie? 

DV: Searching for Sugar Man.

FL: Half-full or half-empty? 

DV: Half-full.

FL: Which of your peers do you think is making the best music these days?
DV: Rraaiillss, Trace Elements and Pred Forte, all three of those music projects are solo projects by my friend Adam Anderson, you can only find him on Soundcloud and there is like one Pitchfork review of his other project called Incubator. He's really obscure and he's never played live. He produced the Bonfire Beach album and sang on "Paradise Inn."

FL: What's the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
DV: I try to remember what I was dreaming or meditate on what I'm going to do with my day.

FL: Little-known Bonfire Beach fact? 

DV: We've never even been to a bonfire on a beach.

FL: The greatest record store in the world is: 

DV: Sick City Records in Silver Lake is my local favorite.

FL: Your boots were made for: 

DV: Worship.

FL: Shaken or stirred? 

DV: Shaken, we have a lot of earthquakes in California.

FL: Favorite venue (either to play or to visit)? 

DV: The South Gate House Revival in Newport, Kentucky. It's a church that was built in 1848 that was converted into a music venue. We played there last October while on tour with The Dandy Warhols.

FL: Best piece of advice you've ever been given? 

DV: I don't often seek advice outside myself unless I need a lawyer but when in doubt I consult my psychic Tamar Lalenya or the Oscar Wilde Twitter page.

FL: If you weren't in a band you'd be? 

DV: Making indie films and rescuing kittens.

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of? 

DV: ABBA.

FL: Best song ever written?
DV: Cocteau Twins "Heaven or Las Vegas." 







[posted 1.23.15]

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Video Of The Day #30: BRONCHO

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

I was hooked on BRONCHO's catchy as all get out "Class Historian" in two seconds flat, and the video for the infectious to the nth degree ditty is pretty fun in its own right. Playfully poking fun at cheesy foreign flicks from the 70s, the video features a hallway with endless doors, a variety of ladies with impressive coifs, and some serious fog machine action. Hot damn, y'all, this song is seven shades of addictive. 









[posted 1.17.15]

The Week In Shows: 1/19-1/25

A chilly Saturday morning as the sun comes up seems as good a time as any to plot ones weekly live music schedule, I think. Let's take a look at what's happening in the greater DC metro this week, shall we? Hot dignity!

It's seriously cold out there. Winter is really getting her digs in at every turn. But as long as we have no serious snow, I'm fine. I guess. Thankfully, bands seem to be immune to cold weather and still plot tours when the weather outside is frightful, and that's just delightful. Here's my picks for this week. And remember, y'all, each week I'll be picking one show that is my seriously, go to this recommended show of the week. And here we go, a look at some recommended shows for the coming week.

TUESDAY, 1/20/15

-Show Pont + Caustic Casanova + Wet Socks + Curse Words (Velvet Lounge) 

WEDNESDAY, 1/21/15

-Israel Nash + Dead Professional (DC9)

THURSDAY, 1/22/15

-Lia Ices + Seoul (DC9)
-Dr. Dog + US Royalty (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)

FRIDAY, 1/23/15

-Dr. Dog + Spirit Family Reunion (9:30 Club)
-Black Clouds + The Effects + Wanted Man (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Hamilton Leithauser + Bully (U Street Music Hall)
-Wings Denied + Tone + Technicians + Cryptodira (Black Cat)

SATURDAY, 1/24/15

-Greenland + Chief Scout + Concord America + Hey Rocco (Paper Haus)
-Expert Alterations + Wildhoney + Big Hush + Myrrh Myrrh (Above The Bayou)
-Lighting Fires + Clones of Clones (Iota)

SUNDAY, 1/25/15

-DC Record Fair (Penn Social)
-Billy Idol + Broncho (Lincoln Theatre - SOLD OUT)(Recommended!)
-Baby Bry Bry & The Apologists + BRNDA + What Moon Things + The Sea Life (U Street Music Hall)
-Ben Howard + Hiss Golden Messenger (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)



[posted 1.17.15]

Guest Best Of: Starring Tracy Wilson (Positive No)

It's time for another year to come to an end, and y'all know what that means...Best Of lists! In honor of the wrapping up of 2014, I'm collecting lists from friends for another year, and mine will be coming in the kinda sorta near future. In the meantime, check out what some pretty awesome folks had to say about some of the pretty awesome records that came out over the past 365 days.

Tracy Wilson is a true music person. Not only does she love music (and have the vinyl collection to prove it), but she also makes it (currently, Tracy struts her stuff in killer Richmond band Positive No) and helps bands get it out there (through her Little Black Cloud label). She's also great to have as part of your rock & roll trivia team, and I speak from experience. In short, she's pretty rad. Read on to see what from 2014 really made the lovely Miss Wilson's day, and why, and be sure you check out her varied musical ventures. 


"I have roughly listened to at least 55,000 full length releases during my lifetime. This means I have listened between 5 to 15 albums a day (in one format or another) and have done so for easily the past 30 years. That being said, it takes a lot for a new record to grab hold of me. Most of the time I play something once and it doesn’t get played again. I think of it a bit like speed dating. There are a lot of records out there and if one doesn’t grab me on some level, I move on.

Like a true addict looking for a high that meets the greatness of that first perfect high from those first records I fell in love with, I keep searching, listening, and hoping for the best. I do this daily.

Now you know a little more behind the stranger about to offer up a top five 2014 list."

* Protomartyr Under The Color of Official Right (Hardly Art) - Pure black magic. They are four men playing the same old instruments and notes as everyone else but somehow they made the PERFECT RECORD. It swaggers like Bukowski if he didn’t dwell on women. It bites like a good whiskey that finishes smoothly. It is Detroit at its most beautiful; honest and real. The vocals suggest just enough melody to give us non perfect singers the hope that we too might front a band successfully. If this record was a meal, it would leave you licking the plate in an effort to gather up every ounce of its greatness. RIYL: Hold Steady, The Fall, Gang of Four, Tyvek, Wire, and great American poets.

* The Gotobeds Poor People Are Revolting (12XU) - I dare you to find a record of 2014 that starts out with a stronger A side. I don’t know how a record can sound like a pillow fight with bags of bricks but this one does. It is swift, energetic, weighty, and wild eyed Pop with adult themes. RIYL: see Protomartyr and add in a dash of Pavement, middle period Dischord, Futureheads (guitar bits) and early Stranglers.

* The Soundcarriers - Entropicalia (Ghost Box) - There is no getting around that the death of Trish Keenan from Broadcast left a giant hole in my heart. There will never be another spellbinding songwriter and performer like her but I admittedly continue to seek out artists who act like a bandaid to that loss. The Soundcarriers are dreamy, exotic, mysterious, and doused in 60s psychedelia. Entropicalia’s multilayered gift includes baroque choral Pop, south of the equator rhythms, and sexiness from start to finish. This is the ultimate fuzzy technicolor kaleidoscope for your ears. RIYL: Broadcast, Thievery Corp, Exotica, tropic adventures, High Llamas and late ‘60s soundtracks from movies that feature ascots and mini skirts.

* Austerity Program Beyond Calculation (Controlled Burn) - Some bands are pure business. Some don’t even need song titles to be burdened with words. Instead they are mathematically precise. They redefine heavy. They are Albini’s hammer, Swans’ apocalypse, and like Helmet before them, they remind us that short hair guys can pummel the shit out of you too. RIYL: Vintage AM REP records, Hydra Head Records family tree, Chicago in the ‘90s, and think live drummers were so last year.

* Bry Webb Free Will (idée fixe records) - I want to thank this Canadian, velvet throated lead vocalist of Constantines. It takes incredible skill to express tender vulnerability yet never burdon the listener with too much nakedness. If my ears had their way, they would invite him into my head and ask him to stay for good. There is genuine solace to be found in his hushed words and melodies. RIYL: Bill Callahan, Eric Bachmann, Mark Kozelek , a working class Nick Drake, and Constantines.

And to finish out the rest of my favorites of 2014 in a less wordy fashion:

* The Cold Beat Over Me (Crime on the Moon)

* Wreck & Reference Want (The Flenser)

* Woods of Desolation As The Stars (Northern Silence)

* Indian From All Purity (Relapse)

* Treehouse Interzone (Vacant Valley)

* Lorelle Meets the Obsolete Chambers (Captcha Records)

* Coffinworm IV.I.VIII (Profound Lore)

* Scott Walker + Sunn O))) Soused (4AD)

* Forever Pavot Rhapsode (Born Bad Records)

* Andy Stott Faith In Strangers (Modern Love/Revolver)

* Thou Heathen (Gilead Media)





[posted 1.17.15]




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Untitled Interview #206: Starring Heather Heywood (Kissing Cousins)

I have a confession, friends. I kinda wish I was in Kissing Cousins. Mind you, I'd have to have musical talent and live in LA, neither of which can be said, but there it is. Their bewitching, otherworldly noise is bolstered by the occasional tempest of hellion racket, and I daresay it's impossible to ignore. 

Songsmith and lead witchy woman Heather Heywood hails from Alabama, has quite a way with lyrics, and would take Elvis over the Beatles and the Stones. That Black Sabbath ended up on Heywood's list of favorite records is really no surprise. Read on to get to know this Kissing Cousin, and do it while you listen to the song posted down below, or to their killer EP In With Them (spoiler alert: you'll see it on a certain list in the not so distant future).


Fuzzy Logic: How the hell are you? 
Heather Heywood: Sassy 'n fabulous!

FL: What was the last song you listened to? 

HH: Ex Hex - "Waterfall."

FL: Playing music is: 

HH: aural witchcraft.

FL: What album most made you realize you wanted to make music? 

HH: Bananarama, self-titled.

FL: Beatles or Stones? 

HH: The real question is, Beatles or Elvis. And the answer is Elvis.

FL: Top 5 albums (of now, of this week, of ever): 

HH: PJ Harvey - Rid of Me, Cocteau Twins - Head Over Heels, Black Sabbath - Paranoid, Madonna - Like a Prayer, The Cure - Disintegration.

FL: Favorite music-related movie? 

HH: Almost Famous.

FL: Half-full or half-empty? 

HH: Thrown against the wall & shattered with blood and water pooling on the floor.

FL: Which of your peers do you think is making the best music these days?
HH: Fakers (brand new supergroup).

FL: What's the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning? 

HH: Coffee.

FL: Little-known Kissing Cousins fact? 

HH: We're all actual cousins!

FL: The greatest record store in the world is: 

HH: Amoeba, Origami Vinyl, Vacation Vinyl, Record Surplus.

FL: What's your favorite spot in all of Silver Lake? 

HH: The dog park, obviously.

FL: Your boots were made for: 

HH: Stomping on guitar pedals.

FL: Shaken or stirred? 

HH: Whiskey neat.

FL: Favorite venue (either to play or to visit)? 

HH: We just finished a residency at the Satellite, so it kind of feels like our second home.

FL: Best piece of advice you've ever been given? 

HH: Liquor before beer. Definitely lick her before beer.

FL: If you weren't in a band you'd be? 

HH: Boring.

FL: If you were so inclined, whom would you form a tribute band in honor of? 

HH: KISS. And the band shall henceforth be known as KISS-ing Cousins.

FL: Best song ever written? 

HH: "Put It In Your Mouth." Google it! You're welcome.





[posted 1.13.15]

[photo by Jessica Tosoc]

Guest Best Of: Starring Melissa Koch (Smart Ladies Love Stuff)

It's time for another year to come to an end, and y'all know what that means...Best Of lists! In honor of the wrapping up of 2014, I'm collecting lists from friends for another year, and mine will be coming in the kinda sorta near future. In the meantime, check out what some pretty awesome folks had to say about some of the pretty awesome records that came out over the past 365 days.

Melissa Koch and I have plenty in common. After all, we're both obsessed with pretty/cute stuff, thrifting, and band boys (she even married one! Check out the list her hubby PJ Sykes came up with here). Melissa and her partner in crime Katie have found their own corner of the internet writing about all things vintage/pop culture/girlie, called Smart Ladies Love Stuff. If you're a smart lady, get thee thither. Check out the full scoop on Melissa's best of 2014 here, and peep the abbreviated version below:  


Top 15:

1. Lydia Loveless, Somewhere Else
2. Nude Beach, 77
3. Angel Olsen, Burn Your Fire for No Witness
4. Perfect Pussy, Say Yes to Love
5. Frankie Cosmos, Zentropy
6. The New Pornographers, Brill Bruisers
7. Radiator Hospital, Torch Song
8. Ex Hex, Rips
9. The Unwound box set reissues on Numero; Rat Conspiracy and No Energy
10. Mitski, Bury Me at Makeout Creek
11. Weyes Blood, The Innocents
12. Shamir, Northtown EP
13. LVL UP, Hoodwink'd
14. Tacocat, NVM
15. One Direction, Four



[posted 1.13.15]

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Week In Shows: 1/12/15-1/18/15

A Monday afternoon full of rainy doom and gloom seems as good a time as any to plot ones weekly live music schedule, I think. Let's take a look at what's happening in the greater DC metro this week, shall we? Hot dignity!

It's the time of year that really makes me just want to stay in and hibernate, which doesn't auger well for my show-going. However, just for shits and giggles, here's my crop of recommended shows, just in case you're feeling more motivated than I to get out there and see some good bands. And as a fun new thing, each week I'll be picking one show that is my seriously, go to this recommended show of the week. And now, here's a look at some recommended shows for the coming week.

MONDAY, 1/12/15

-Rival Nova (Galaxy Hut)
-Operators + Pleasure Curses (DC9)

TUESDAY, 1/13/15

-Redline Graffiti + Ravi Shavi + Crystal Robots + Warm Sun (Paper Haus)

WEDNESDAY, 1/14/15

-Cracker + Camper Van Beethoven (9:30 Club)(Recommended)
-Clones of Clones + Hank & Cupcakes + Bells & Hunters (Velvet Lounge)
-The Vaselines + Amanda X (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Psychedelic Furs (Birchmere)

FRIDAY, 1/16/15

-People's Blues of Richmond + MH & His Orchestra + Toxic Moxie (Black Cat)
-French Admirals + Exit Vehicles + Feral Conservatives + Oppo (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Teen Mom + Honey Wild + Big Hush (Bathtub Republic)

SATURDAY, 1/17/15

-Reverend Horton Heat + Robert Gordon + Dale Watson + Rosie Flores (Black Cat)



[posted 1.12.15]

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Video Of The Day #29: CHAMPS

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

You may know the Isle of Wight as the place Paul McCartney wanted to be when he was 64. Britain's most famous Isle is also home to an occasional music festival, and also to the duo behind CHAMPS

The first single from their upcoming sophomore effort VAMALA, "Desire" is a swoon-worthy track on its own. Throw in the video and the effect is stunning. Simple black and white gives off white heat, and the crisp shots of sinewy muscles embody desire. The 80s-inspired track is full of impeccable vocals and synthtasticness, and it's already one of my favorite songs of the year. Crucial viewing/listening.
  







[posted 1.10.15]

Meet The Roaring 420s

Being a sucker for a great name (and let's be real, this has to be one of the best band names out there), and being that they are purveyors of psych rock, obviously I had to check out The Roaring 420s

Hailing from Dresden, this foursome brings an interesting sound to the party. It's a throwback to the days of wild parties with tuned-in, chemically-enhanced boys and girls shaking themselves silly, and could easily be mistaken for a lost European psych gem of many moons ago. And did I mention there's an electric sitar involved? The band's album What Is Psych? is out now, which is surely rhetorical, because The Roaring 420s definitely knows what's up.
    





[posted 1.10.15]


[photo by Thomas Schlorke]


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Guest Best Of: Starring Alexa Cabellon (Little Anchor)

It's time for another year to come to an end, and y'all know what that means...Best Of lists! In honor of the wrapping up of 2014, I'm collecting lists from friends for another year, and mine will be coming in the kinda sorta near future. In the meantime, check out what some pretty awesome folks had to say about some of the pretty awesome records that came out over the past 365 days.

If you like sweetly pastoral indie pop with pretty vocals (and some realism), you'll love Brooklyn's Little Anchor. She of the pretty vocals (among other things), Miss Alexa Cabellon, is next up to share her picks from the year that was 2014. Make sure you check out their most recent record, Floating Bridges. It's a lovely listen.

  
1) St. Vincent - S/T (Seven Four Entertainment/Republic Records/UMG)

I've been a big fan of St. Vincent from the beginning, and her evolution to this self-titled major label release has been quite a ride for listeners and fans. She continues to inspire me with each album, never ceasing to push the limits of her songwriting and sound. Looking back on her three prior releases, this album feels like the culmination of what they were building towards, but I'm sure this isn't the peak by any means. 


Favorite tracks: "Regret," "Prince Johnny"

2) Blake Mills - Heigh Ho (Verve/UMG)

I learned of Blake Mills' debut record, Break Mirrors (2010), maybe a year and a half or so after its initial release, and it was a near perfect album for me. Needless to say, there was a lot of expectation around the sophomore release, and though Heigh Ho didn't grab me by the heartstrings right off the bat, the album was a true slow burn for me, becoming the most played vinyl record in my collection this year. Mills' combination of evocative songwriting, a soulful voice, and masterful guitar playing truly convey the emotions that fueled each song and put me, as a listener, in the shotgun seat right next to him. 


Favorite tracks: "If I'm Unworthy," "Just Out of View"

3) Landlady - Upright Behavior (Hometapes)

Adam Schatz, the main man behind Landlady, is an old friend from NYU days and I'm happy to see him and the Landlady men take off with Farfisa in hand! A truly unique voice, no one can simply command an audience like Mr. Schatz to sing and repeat "always" into the ether. 


Favorite tracks: "Above My Ground," "Washington State is Important"

4) Phuey - Triumphant (Yesterday Once More)

Who knew the countryside of Nagasaki, Japan could propel beats like this? Well, of course it could when it's coming from my cousin, Phuey. Just be careful of where you play this record, because it is an instant dance party complete with 90s R&B vocals. 


Favorite tracks: "1 Chance," "All The Same // MJRLGZ.ABC.BBD"

5) Son Lux - Alternate Worlds (Joyful Noise Recordings)

Hands down the best show that I saw all year was Son Lux at Le Poisson Rouge (NYC) in May 2014. Son Lux's blend of classical elements meeting an ethereal electronic landscape with a groove makes even the most sparse parts of a song intense. Though this EP was something to tide fans over from Lanterns (2013) to the next full-length release, the alternate version of "Easy" featuring Lorde was a truly unexpected collaboration. 


Favorite track: "Easy (Switch Screens) [feat. Lorde]"





[posted 1.8.15]

Monday, January 5, 2015

Video Of The Day #28: Mysteries

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

An anonymous band. A possible alien abduction. And a crazy good song. What do these three things have in common? Answer: Mysteries, and specifically, their debut video for "Authenticity Machine." If you dig the notion of a slightly downtempo, spacier Beta Band, you might just dig this song. And if you're into alien abductions, well then friend, this one's for you. Even if it never really happened.









[posted 1.5.15]


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Free For All: This Heel

Times are tough out there, and for many of us buying music has become quite an indulgence (albeit a necessary one). Happily, there are some lovely musician folk out there that have offered up some fruits of their labors to the masses, free of charge. Free For All celebrates these wonderful people, and you, dear reader types.

Released on the first of January, This Heel's EP definitely starts the year off on the right foot. Four perfunctory, (primarily) punchy pieces of poppy racket, and it's over so fast you simply must listen to it again. And again. And perhaps once more. This Heel is the side project of Dog, Paper, Submarine frontman Martin Månsson Sjöstrand, and it's just him you'll hear on these four tracks. Yay Sweden! 

The EP is available on a name-your-price basis, so if you want to lay down a little cash for it don't be shy. 





[posted 1.4.15]

Video Of The Day #27: The Vickers

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

There's a lively psych scene happening across the Atlantic, and Italian band The Vickers is a part of said scene. Hailing from Florence, with "All I Need" the band incorporates a healthy dose of spooky, haunting psych into their fuzzy jangle (go figure, the record the song comes from is called Ghosts). The accompanying video is a perfect visual for the song, all hazy spins and fancy light effects. Altogether the effect is perfectly murky, and is quite a treat for any psych lover.








[posted 1.4.15]