Friday, April 27, 2012

Death Grips

In recent years there have been a plethora of genre-bending hip-hop acts taking rap to new and weird places. Das Racist, Shabazz Palaces, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, Lil B, and Action Bronson to name a few. However 2012 marks the rise of a hip-hop group that might take the cake; Death Grips. While Tyler The Creator might be seen as a foul-mouthed prankster keen on inciting riots, Death Grips are the real deal. Death Grips make terrifying music. Their music is a messy fusion of rap/punk/electro and straight up avant-garde. They tread the line of genius and thoroughly unlistenable throughout their sophomore mixtape The Money Store. If the rancorous skater crowd isn't listening to this then I don't know what they are anymore.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Late Discoveries: The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs

Late Discoveries is a new periodical for ST&SP. It has been created because we're only human and can't be up on every band on the planet. Sometimes we arrive late to a great album.

For myself 2012 is the year I discovered The Magnetic Fields. Their hit "Andrew In Drag" from Love At The Bottom Of The Sea is easily my favorite song of the year thus far, I decided to delve into their catalogue and it wasn't long until I found myself tearing through 69 Love Songs their epic triple album comprised of, you guessed it, sixty-nine songs about love. Yet, saying this album is just a collection of love songs is putting it too simply. What Stephin Merritt has done is composed a musical version of a doctoral study on love. Each song is told from a different character's point of view and deals with love in different frames of light using many different subjects of love. The way he writes love songs reminds me of early tracks by The Beatles. So simple, so catchy and concise yet such a hard accomplishment to achieve. Merritt isn't just a singer and lyricist, his lyrics are poetry. Here are just a few of my personal favorite lines from this record:

"You need me like the wind needs the trees to blow in Like the moon needs poetry"
"Pack bags, call cabs and hurry home to me"
"Let this be the epitaph for my heart Cupid put too much poison in the dart"
"The book of love has music in it In fact that's where music comes from Some of it is just transcendental Some of it is just really dumb" 

Since this album covers an array of topics concerning love, it's no surprise that at least one song has a "oh man, I've been there" moment for every listener. In fact this album has sort of evolved into the hipster wedding/breakup record by containing ample tracks about both subjects. All in all 69 Love Songs is already seen as a classic and a monumental achievement in creative writing. It's no wonder Stephin Merritt is referred to as the Cole Porter of this generation.
Check out this Spotify Playlist I made featuring my favorite tracks from 69 Love Songs

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lotus Plaza

While Bradford Cox may be the frontman for Deerhunter, the group would be nowhere without the finesse of guitarist Lockett Pundt. While Cox's solo-work dons the Atlas Sound moniker, Pundt releases music as Lotus Plaza. It's fun to dissect these groups to see how these two halves make up the whole of Deerhunter. Bradford seems to bring the experimental elements to the table, while Pundt likes to provide a lush landscape of sound. Lotus Plaza has just released Spooky Action At A Distance. It's a very fine album that blends together quite nicely. Some critics are citing it as one of the best albums of the year so far, while I disagree I still find it to be a highly enjoyable record. Though these songs mesh together and some are easily forgotten, I've found "Eveningness" to be the stand-out, it makes me feel like I'm up in the clouds. Perfect for a spring-evening in Los Angeles.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ty Segall with White Fence

San Francisco slime-punk star Ty Segall has teamed up with another psychedelic garage artist White Fence for an upcoming collaborative LP. They have released one track from the record called "I Am Not A Game." It's a brash, loose and high-spirited garage-punk jam that oozes out of your speakers. Segall and White Fence have found a groove here that one gets lost in until it stops abruptly. I am very much looking forward to hearing more from this upcoming record.

Download via Mediafire:
I Am Not A Game

Monday, April 9, 2012

Chromatics - Kill For Love

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a front-runner for album of the year. Chromatics, the brain-child of Johnny Jewel the man behind Glass Candy, Nite Jewel, Desire, Symmetry and of course playing a big role in the soundtrack to the movie Drive. A new Chromatics record has been a long time coming and the Portland outfit has lived up to the hype with Kill For Love. This is a sprawling record full of different moods and textures. It's a record that is so relaxed and confident with itself that it gets away with being over an hour and a half long with most of the album's tracks being instrumental interludes. The last track "No Escape" is fifteen minutes of ambiance. It's a risk that Jewel & Co. took that has paid off in dividends. The whole Chill-Wave movement has a new king to look-up to. I cannot reccommend listening to Kill For Love while driving at night. This is a night time record if there ever was one for sure.

Download via Mediafire:
These Streets Will Never Look The Same