Musical Interlude #4


Album recommendation: A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s “Ashes Grammar”
It’s a fine line between psychedelia and spiritualism, but A Sunny Day in Glasgow walks it confidently. The Philadelphia foursome uses spaced out angel harmonies and underwater synth loops to create a sound that simultaneously invokes drug-induced euphoria and religious epiphany. Their sophomore effort Ashes Grammar blends ambient, lounge, electronica, shoegaze and gospel in one big dreamy watercolor of an album.

Music site recommendation:
Chicago-based Boy Kings provide “fresh” and irreverent commentary on the hottest and latest music as well as pop culture at large. Recently, the guys have interviewed Passion Pit, Hey Champ! and The Hood Internet and reviewed new music from Mos Def and Daft Punk. They also provide useful info on the hippest places to see music and hang out in Chicago.


  1. Phoenix “If I Ever Feel Better” With the release of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix earlier this year, pop/rock band Phoenix may have surpassed fellow frogs Daft Punk in the size of their American cult following. Does anyone else remember/love this Phoenix song from way back in 2000? It is so infectious. And while we’re on the topic of vintage Phoenix, does anyone else remember the Phoenix song “Too Young” featured on the Lost in Translation soundtrack?
  2. Daft Punk “Tron Legacy Theme” If Phoenix has in fact usurped Daft Punk’s throne as hottest French import, it’s likely to be a brief reign. It was recently announced that Daft Punk will compose the entire soundtrack to Disney’s remake of 80s classic Tron, thus winning over hipsters, dancers, nerds, and Jeff Bridges fans alike. 3.. Flaming Lips “Silver Trembling Hands” Reviewing a song by the Flaming Lips feels a little like hubris, leaving me at a loss for a pithy description that will do justice to the band or this song. So let’s keep it simple: just listen to this song. And when Embryonic comes out this fall, listen to that too.

Musical Interlude #3


Recommended site:
Billing itself as The Musician’s Resource, Performer Magazine covers bands Pitchfork hasn’t even heard of yet as well as reviews musical equipment and gear. If you’re a musician, or just a wannabe, check out the site, or pick up a copy at your nearest instrument retailer or music venue.

Recommended album: Deerhunter’s Microcastle
Microcastle was pretty much the soundtrack of late winter ‘09 for me. Moody, sometimes monotonous, and occasionally pierced by an ephemeral ray of sunlight, it provided the perfect listening material for January-March in Chicago, World Capital of Depressing Weather. Turns out Microcastle suits summer, too. I just popped it in for a driving trip this week and was blown away while rediscovering the fragile desperation on “Cover Me;” the pop-leaning danceability on “Never Stop;” the slow, spaced-out build and briefly triumphant finish on “Microcastle;” and the epic (well, for an indie band) composition and perfect encapsulation of the simultaneous excitement and malcontented-ness of youth on “Nothing Ever Happened.” I haven’t yet delved into Deerhunter’s other albums, but would be very pleasantly surprised if any of them top Microcastle.


  1. Wavves “Beach Demon” You gotta love a lo-fi (no-fi?) duo whose guitarist/lead singer basically blows a shot at world fame (or at the very least, free travel) by consuming a cocktail of Valium, Xanax and Ecstasy before performing at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Festival. Nathan Williams’ now infamous meltdown in Spain forced him and drummer Ryan Ulsh to abandon the stage and their entire European tour. If you like your rock noisy, volatile and reckless, check out Wavves. ttp://
  2. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart “Stay Alive” Current media darlings, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are frequently compared to My Bloody Valentine. Am I the only one who thinks they sound like New Order? All comparisons aside, Pains of Being Pure at Heart offer a brand of dream pop that’s entirely original.
  3. Lindstrom “The Magnificent” At Pitchfork Music Fest, Lindstrom actually got the audience to dance. That’s right, a crowd of too-cool-to-care, shoe-gazing hipsters put down their PBRs and Parliaments and moved their bodies in time with music. Of course, the proof is in the groovy pudding: next time you invite your friends over, put on some Lindstrom and see what happens.

I hope you’re aware of (by Walther):

  • Hot Chip: pop electronic at it’s finest. Extremely talented.
  • Ratatat: wordless electro-rock. Deadly melodic. A great soundtrack for exciting moments.
  • Crystal Castles: hipster freakout dance classic. Impossible not to shake it out with this.
  • Amadou & Mariam: progressive folk-rock from Mali. This couple is an institution. Definitive.
  • The Wire. If you haven’t watched it – all of it – you can’t be cultured. It’s modern Shakespeare.

Musical Interlude #2

Recommended album Pterodactyl “Worldwild”
The sophomore album from Brooklyn band Pterodactyl, “Worldwild” layers muddy guitar effects and largely unintelligible vocals on shot-from-a-canon drumming. The result feels like riding backseat in a pickup truck steered by a drunk driver through a minefield. There are a few moments of quiet reflection – as in “Easy Pieces“ and “Alex” when a shamisen-sounding guitar and hypnotic vocals conjure images of a tranquil koi pond, or on the musical palate cleanser “Ghost Facts” – but the overall tone is raw, unbridled noise rock. Close your eyes and hang on for dear life.

Recommended music site:
Simultaneously irreverent and informative, puts you in the center of the biggest and best music fests – Rothbury, SXSW, NO Jazz Fest and PItchfork to name a few – even if your twenty-something salary has left you stuck at home on your futon, isolated save for a high speed internet connection. Fellow twenty-somethings and seasoned festival crashers Andy Shore and Zack Teibloom understand how hard life can be when you’re just scraping by. That’s why they’ve mastered the art of the festival crash and share their experiences as well as a few tips online.


  1. Atlas Sound f. Noah Lennox “Walkabout” The first track off Atlas Sound’s forthcoming Logos is like pure downloadable sunshine. The influence of Noah Lennox, aka Animal Collective’s Panda Bear, whose Person Pitch and Endless Summer homage Young Prayer sound like 60s musical time capsules, is about as obvious as the inevitable happy ending in a Kate Hudson vehicle. But hey, we could all use a little peace and love right about now.
  2. Javelin “Vibrationz” Just when I thought I was the only person who longed for the 90s, Brooklyn duo Javelin comes out with “Jamz n Jemz,” an album full of carefree, ultra-simple dance tracks that would have provided fresh beats for Will Smith back when he was still with Jazzy Jeff. Check out “Vibrationz.” It’s ill.
  3. Grand Ole Party “Look Out Young Son” All you need to know about this San Diego band is that it features a female lead singer-cum-drummer. Sweetness.

I hope you’re aware of (by Walther):

  • Grizzly Bear’s new album Veckatimest
  • An Indie complication album entitled Dark was the Night
  • The band Deerhunter
  • If you like progressive house music Gui Boratto
  • The documentary about The Gorillaz entitled ‘Bananaz’Musi

Musical Interlude #1


New Tracks

  1. Vega “No Reasons” Austin’s Vega, aka Alan Palomo, blends funk, disco and house for a pretty intoxicating synth-heavy electro cocktail. Basically, it’s good to dance to.
  2. Neon Indian “Terminally Chill” No wonder I’m feeling this electro song – Terminally Chill is the second project of Alan Palomo, aka Vega. If you dig it too, check out “Deadbeat Summer,” also by Neon Indian.
  3. Generationals “When They Fight, They Fight” Mark Ronson eat your heart out: New Orleans-based Generationals are near flawless in their 60s pop/soul time capsule “When They Fight, They Fight.”

Slightly Used (Walther)

  1. Down Boy by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs Teeth grinding anticipation of the lead singer Karen O’s growl makes it difficult not to punk-dance the fuck out of this song, making the track’s title all the more relevant. I need to relax.
  2. House Jam by Gang Gang Dance When I discovered this band earlier this year I almost thew up: they’ve been performing for over 5 years all over NYC. Where have I been? Their tracks are hot: enough pop to make the Middle Eastern/Africa influence go down easy; enough beat to keep you moving while the electronics take your mind elsewhere and enough experimental sounds to keep you wondering what’s gonna happen next.

Merrill Garbus, aka tUnE-yArDs wrote her debut album BiRd-BrAiNs with just a ukelele, a few bottles and random found sounds, and a background in puppetry. She recorded it using only a Sony digital recorder and laptop with free Audacity software. The resulting album, produced entirely from free media, is experimental, but utterly listenable. Songs like “Sunlight,” “Hatari,” “Jamaican” and my personal favorite “News,” which conjures images of a gaggle of village women rhythmically pounding meat for dinner and then breaking into a jubilant MGM musical-style song and dance, will have you humming, tapping and yodeling along your commute to work. The other passengers on the subway would complain if you didn’t look so darn happy.
Test the music out:
Get the record:

For the sake of conveying just how awesome is, I will openly admit that some of the songs selected for the playlist were stolen directly from the site. We Are Hunted aggregates social networks, P2P networks, music forums and blogs to compile a chart of the most popular songs in the blogosphere based on sentiment, expression and advocacy rather than a mere download count. It’s a smart and highly addictive tool to discover new music, not to mention the easiest way to out-hip your friends.

Flu Season is Coming

If the governor of the state of Massachusetts declares a pandemic, his workers can enter your home, take your property, arrest you and anyone in the house, quarantine you and inject you with a needle. Is that something you’ll accept?

Some people trust the government. Most of those people advocated going to war in Iraq.

Read about this bill and ask yourself why you need to forfeit all your civil rights during the next flu pandemic. Also… why does the government need to seize control of all the flu vaccines in the instance of a flu pandemic?

If you’d prefer to keep your rights during the next crisis, check out these guys. They actually believe in freedom; just like our nation’s founding fathers.

Lost and Found

Hello there folks, first off, a major lo siento for missing out on last week’s edition. I swear it wasn’t because I had totally forgot that it was Thursday before it was too late. More like it was because I didn’t want to be too much of a music slut, you know, just sharing all the goods with all who want to experience it. I had to take one week off to keep all of you pervs in line. I bet you’re happy that I did, because now you’re even more ecstatic to be reading me than ever before. Just keeping you on your toes. This week installment will be moving from my introspective sissy music suggestions back towards a harder edge electronic genre. Why? Because I’m a harder edged guy and I need musical manna for my badassitude. Just kidding, probably because Justice popped up on my iPod and I thought it would be a good area to rediscover. Whatever my rationale, it’s good friggin music that will get your toes tapping and your blood flowing. What else do you need?

1) Apparat (

I found Apparat in a pretty unconventional manner- from a Showtime commercial that I have to sit through before my Dexter DVDs start up. I pop in the DVD, and the first thing I hear is this awesome pounding yet muted drum beat combined with a sick bass line. What is THIS??!! I was all thrown off because I was expecting to whistle to the theme music from Dexter (my favorite song to whistle), and then a full frontal assault of awesomeness totally unrelated to the Dexter theme song grabbed my full attention. Turns our that the song from the Showtime commercial (Hailin From the Edge) isn’t exactly what most of the rest of Apparat’s music is like, but hey, that’s cool because the rest of his music fends well for itself. The music has an electronic pop feel to it, but is dark and subtle enough to give it a bit of a manic edge. Overall, the experience is varied and gratifying, however a little less appropriate for the dancefloor than my other suggestions this week- definitely more of a headphone “party in my head” type of experience. Recommended tracks: “Hailin From the Edge”, “Fractales Pt. I & II”


MSTRKRFT’s last album title was FIST OF GOD. Whoaaaa there skinny hipster dudes, can you really back up that album title by tapping on some electronic music-boards whilst wearing hoodies (hood up) and skinny jeans? Okay okay, yes you can. Grungy, pulsing, powerful… MSTRKRFT does a great job of pounding out some pretty intense party-ready gems. The surprising part of these intense beats is that a lot of their songs are laced with some pretty interesting guest vocals as diverse as John Legend and Ghostface Killah. These vocals, in addition to the smart sampling and cutting on the tracks that don’t include the vocals, end up transforming the music from pretty hardcore electronica into party worthy songs that will get everyone jumping around. Or if you are alone, it will get you jumping around by yourself… Either way. Recommended tracks: “So Deep”, “It Ain’t Love”

3) Modeselektor (

You know that when you have Thom Yorke making a guest appearance on one of your tracks that you are pretty much the shit. Such is the case for Modeselektor, who’s frenetic “glitch-hop” background provide for music that at first can sound a bit awkward, but rapidly grows on you as you realize the complexity of the sounds they are trying to create. The guest vocals, like those on some MSTRKRFT tracks, provide a diverse layer over the twitchy and frenetic beats that permeate throughout all of the songs. Most of the songs retain a unique signature, but its a receptive enough signature that the mood of the vocals can change the whole experience. One song can be smoothed out and melodic, while the next can be rowdy and sound like a short circuited fem-bot with the voice of M.I.A. is rapping over the track. Definitely give Modeselektor more than one listen, I bet you’ll like it more and more as you come back. Recommended tracks: “Silikon”, “The White Flash”