Monday, October 31, 2011

Ted Nguyent - Pizza & Regret

Genre: Punk, Pop Punk, Math Rock
Sounds like: Algernon Cadwallader, Glocca Morra

Here's something pretty new that's easy to shout along too. I'm not sure if I think their band name is clever or stupid, sometimes bands like this really toe that line. I guess it's not supposed to be that serious. Anyways there's a lot of shout-y singing, sing-along choruses and good riffs to be had here so I would check it out.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bygones - by-

Genre: Math Rock, Psychedelic
Sounds like: Tera Melos, Hella, Lightning Bolt

One day I heard that my favorite drummer (Zach Hill from Hella) and one of my favorite guitarists (Nick Reinhart from Tera Melos) formed a band and then my mind exploded. This is basically the math rock equivalent of Tupac and Biggie coming back from the dead and releasing an album together. My expectations ran high for several months and this did NOT disappoint. The guitar playing is ridiculous and Reinhart pulls crazy riffs out of nowhere while Zach Hill goes predictably insane on drums. Unlike a lot of math rock the songwriting on this is very tight and focused with some good hooks and nice catchy choruses. Unlike a lot of two-pieces the sound is very full and never gets boring with lots of effects wizardry and guitar freakouts to keep just about anybody interested.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ssaliva - Thought Has Wings

Genre: Electronic, Ambient, Chill Beats
Sounds like: Aphex Twin's mellow stuff

I totally understand why a lot of blog writers hate filling out the "genre" and "sounds like" parts because for the most part I'm just guessing on this one. I found Ssaliva cause I follow John Campbell's webcomic pretty regularly and saw that he's been making some seriously weird videos lately. One of them was a short little music video for this band (linked below). I can't really find out anything about them but they've got some mellow tunes with good beats, nice textures and even a little bit of ambient noise thrown in. If you liked the Monster Rally link you'll like this.

I was going to put the John Campbell music video here but couldn't figure out how to embed Vimeo links so just click here if you're interested.

Monster Rally

Genre: Hawaiian, Surf, Tropical, Hip Hop, Beats
Sounds like: Madlib at the beach

One of these days I bet somebody will see this thing and leave me a comment and it is going to feel SO GOOD. Until then I'll just keep plugging away. Monster Rally is one of those bands that I put on the stereo when I know there'll be people over that are judging my taste in music (they probably don't even care about the music but in my mind they're judging me). These songs are all really pop-y and easy to listen to without being too in your face. As far as I can tell, most Monster Rally songs are just one or two Hawaiian sounding guitar lines that are sampled and looped into a hip hop beat. They're all short and sweet and to the point. Anyways, you can listen to all their (his?) stuff on their Bandcamp and even download it for free so check it out. I would start with the Crystal Ball or Coral LPs but it's all pretty much the same.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Karate - The Bed Is In The Ocean

Genre: Jazz, Indie
Sounds like: Crystal Skulls, Faraquet

No updates in a few days I took the weekend off because of this band. Pretty much the only thing I've been listening to. They have a bunch of albums and they're all solid, I chose this one pseudo-randomly. The songwriting on this is excellent and the musicianship is even better. I love good guitar solos and Geoff Farina doesn't disappoint. I'd like to know where this guy learned to play guitar cause he is just wonderful. Very clean band. Check it out.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks New York Sessions

Genre: Folk, singer/songwriter
Sounds like: It sounds like Bob Dylan

I'm not really under any impression that this two-bit blog is going to improve or clarify on any of the volumes written about Dylan over the past 40+ years. I'm posting this mostly because 1) it's awesome, and 2) it's interesting.

To cut it short, Dylan mostly went through the early '70s just pissing everybody off and releasing stuff that didn't sound like Classic Dylan. Supposedly he was going through a divorce and whatnot as well (check out Sara off of Desire for some classic bitter heartbreak). Anyways, this album is the ORIGINAL version of Blood on the Tracks done mostly as just Dylan, his guitar and some harmonica. It's basically a throwback to his early stuff before he went Judas and started playing electric guitar with a backup band. He eventually scrapped this album and did the official BOTT with a full band, changing the feel of the songs pretty dramatically.

People argue a lot about which version is "better." I would put my money on this version. The subject matter alone makes it more heartfelt with Just Dylan and a lot of the more bitter elements ("idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth") tend to hit a little harder. If You See Her Say Hello is worth the listen if you're too lazy to do a track-by-track comparison of the whole thing. I'm not willing to sort through all the horrible cover songs on Youtube so you're on your own for that.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A-Frames - 333

Genre: Robot Punk
Sounds Like: The Intelligence, Mclusky without the yelling

Whenever the Rapture happens (wasn't it supposed to be a few days ago?) I'm going to spend my last moments sitting on the beach, staring directly into the sun and listening to this band.

The A-Frames were a really great band that put out a couple awesome albums about 10 years ago. Their whole schtick involved monotonous vocals laid over gross, distorted basslines. Add some detuned apocalyptic guitar, a little noise, and serve chilled. I would recommend all of their albums (especially Black Forest) but the one I'm posting is actually just a compilation of a bunch of singles and demos. It's as good a place as any to start (although it's a little long and drags on in parts). Standout songs include Shadows and Satellite Around You (linked below).

Big Soda

Genre: 90's Indie, catchy punk
Sounds like: Dinosaur Jr. with more hooks, that band that did the Pete & Pete theme song (what were they called?)

Ok so I told myself that I would post one thing a day and now it's 1:00 in the morning so technically it's been more than 24 hours. Whatever. So this is pretty cool. I went to go see New Creases last spring and this band opened. They KILLED it. Super catchy indie rock in sort of a 90's vein - great songwriting, cool basslines, overall a lot of songs that get stuck in your head. You can sing along to everything and each song is short enough that you can just listen it over and over again like 20 times in a row (I mean...if you're that type of person). I put on some serious miles this last summer while listening to their ep/demo/whatever.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Don Caballero - What Burns Never Returns

Genre: Math Rock
Sounds like: Battles, Hella

So I decided to start a blog. One of the perks of being unemployed is that you can sit around and listen to music all day. We'll see if this thing gets any direction over time but in an effort to not just rip off the few other places that I get most of my music, I've decided to post my favorite album that I don't really see other places. Yes, the great Don Cab. Math rock pioneers. The best thing to put on your stereo at a party when you want everyone to stop having fun and leave.

What is there to say about this album? Like good jazz, this album makes you really work to find the melodies. On first listen most songs sound like all the musicians got together and started playing everything randomly. Repeat a few more times and it becomes catchy. Eventually it'll become beautiful. The whole thing just lives off the tension between the guitars and drums with the best songs usually finding a stone-cold locked groove about halfway through. Basically this band popped my math rock cherry and these guys are still some of my favorite musicians ever.