Welcome to the happiest end-of-the-world video you will ever see.
Leaders In The Clubhouse new apocalypic video for their single, “Lawnchair” celebrates the end of the world in a blow-out party. After all the crazies flee town to hide in their bunkers with rice and other stored goods, the Leaders camp out on the front lawn with nachos and beer. Several dozen of their best friends show up and they all celebrate a new world of sunshine and no crazies.
A delightfully fun video directed by Mike Stutz (LOLWork), and an upbeat Spin Doctors-esque pop song from the Leaders.
There’s this new sound emerging in R&B, and a new collaboration between singer The Last Artful, Dogr and Portland, OR-based producer Neill Von Tally perfectly illustrates what is happening. Released as a 3-song EP, Fractures is a mashed-up blend of hip hop and EDM with sonic mastery underneath.
The soundscape throughout the EP is sonically beautiful, and combine elements of ambient music with downtempo, mellow rhythms. “Foreclosure”, the last track, especially stands out.
Dogr sounds like a female Chance The Rapper (so says TOPE), and she variously sings and raps throughout.
Indie rockers Great Elk just released a new video for their song “Everything Falls Apart” from their latest LP, Star Stuff. The album’s title pays homage to Carl Sagan, and the new single is particularly beautiful out of the other eight songs on the record. It features the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist, Paul Basile, leading a dog sled team across the Alaskan landscape throughout the course of a single rotation of the Earth.
I liked “Everything Falls Apart” within the first 5 seconds. I was in love with it at 2 minutes in.
Beautiful, soaring atmospheric simplicity. Kind of like Sigur Ros having a jam session with Thom Yorke. It leaves you in tears and uplifts you at the same time.
The video is equally stirring. As the dogs race across the Arctic ice the sky melts into stars and clouds. The music gives the team an air of melancholy. Howard Moon would call it the “howling waste of the tundra.”
More about the band:
Great Elk began in 2008 when Paul Basile, who had just returned to his native New York after working as a sled dog handler in rural Alaska, enlisted guitarist Patrick Hay to help give voice to a stockpile of folk songs. Now a five-piece outfit named after an extinct animal found in the poetry of Seamus Heaney, they have a sound characterized by precise, driving rhythms, eerie synth pads and the lonesome wail of slide guitar enveloping Basile’s gruff, world-weary vocals.
In 2010 keyboardist Bryan Trenis, bassist Tommy Harron and drummer Adam Christgau joined the fold and GreatElk began a steady stream of touring up and down the East and West Coasts while writing new material that would form their debut LP, Autogeography. Produced by D. James Goodwin and recorded at the Isokon in Woodstock, NY,Autogeography showcased a confident, dynamic sound that was forged on the road and polished in the studio.
Shortly after the release of Autogeography in 2012, drummer Bryan Bisordi joined the ranks as Christgau moved to Los Angeles. Basile relocated with his wife and cat to a Silver Streak camper trailer on a Christmas tree farm outside of Eugene, Oregon while the rest of the band remained in Brooklyn. The band continued touring extensively, adding Germany, Switzerland and Alaska to the list, and Basile continued touring and recording as a solo artist, releasing an EP of acoustic material. During this time as a newly bicoastal band, they developed a songwriting process involving trading musical fragments captured in their respective home studios and trying out these new ideas on the road. As a result, songs for a second LP slowly crystallized.
Titled Star Stuff in a nod to Carl Sagan and recorded over eighteen months at the Isokon in Woodstock and in Basile’s Oregon home, the record features a cover photo of a dilapidated igloo hotel taken by Bisordi during the band’s tour of Alaska. Star Stuff finds Great Elk keeping the folk-based cadences of Basile’s lyrics as a bedrock but replacing many of the Americana trimmings of their previous work with textures that are at times dense, jagged and even futuristic. From the pummeling opening chords of “Dark Mountain” to the impressionistic eulogy “A Clouded Head,” the record captures the sound of a band that is unafraid to cover a vast amount of ground.
Stream their latest album, Star Stuff, on the Spotify:
Part of the appeal of these services is their various recommendation algorithms, like Apple Music’s “For You” feature, which has been advertised as an “instant boyfriend mixtape service” – even though the ad with this tagline, directed by Ava DuVernay and featuring Taraji P. Henson, Mary J. Blige, and Kerry Washington, is actually about women sharing music with one another, women who are independently interested in music rather than relying on a boyfriend to spark their exploration. It seems to me like that invisible boyfriend was pretty useless to begin with.
“Many of my male friends and my boyfriend are really aware of how male-dominated music is,” says DJ Bianca Giulione, who performs (and manages artists) as DJBOYZCLUB, “and they often know about female [and] non-binary producers I’ve never heard of, which is really cool.”
Portland experimental musician Zahreen Zahra Zeero agrees that, in her experience, sharing music with women and non-binary friends lacks the kind of socially punitive judgment that a lot of her music-sharing interactions with men have had. In high school, she and a female friend would exchange mix CD-Rs. “Each of us had tastes that overlapped in some areas and differed in others, however, these tastes could be safely shared between us,” she says. “There wasn’t a sense that disclosing an interest in the ‘wrong’ music might cost us – in fact, I would say that any sense that there might be such a thing as ‘wrong’ music was greatly diminished compared to interactions with men.”
Salt Lake City garage musician and promoter Madison Donnelly also likes to exchange mixes with her other femme-of-center friends. “I’ve been trying to get into metal,” she says, “so for my birthday this year, a female friend who is a huge metalhead made me a 60-song mixtape that is amazing.” She argues that setting up (open, inclusive) shows for touring bands she loves is a way to share the music she cares about with the people in her immediate community.
Zeero hints at the genuine brokenness of discussions between men and women, about music and beyond, that reflect conventional gender roles: “My experiences with men’s attitudes towards music knowledge have tended towards the building of authority and enforcement of norms,” she says. “In these contexts, learning [was] not offered, but passed down… with the expectation that the knowledge [would] be accepted.” For Giulione, the one-sidedness of these conversations took a slightly different form. “In the past,” she recalls, “men who would share music knowledge [with me] talked with a lot of finality, as if their taste was the only reasonable option.”
North Carolina-based alt pop band Flagship have just released a dark and melancholic video for their song “Carry Us, Merry Us” from their debut EP, Faded.
An older man in a fur coat and clerical robe fantasizes about another man’s pale bent-over backside, while an older woman dressed vaguely like a nun prays in a church. Things are mostly lost in shadows, and the colors are saturated with the wood tones of the pews. The pair make various movements with their arms in various shots around the church while they sit or lie down in various positions.
Meanwhile the band wanders through a misty forest with rich blue shadows and green highlights.
The music is amazing. It’s a gorgeous, mature sound with strong pop sensibilities that is easy on the ears.
It was hard for me to contextualize the lyrics given the visuals. Kind of like the first time you see Bay Uno’s video for Wait For Your Love. It will take some more listening before I “get it”.
I suppose I’ll have to listen to Faded in my car the next time I’m driving for Uber.
Post-queer rapper Uncle Meg has just released a video for “Just A Second”, the second single off her debut EP Dangerfield. It shows off her thoughtful side depicting young lovers on a dreamy, destructive, booze-soaked weekend jag in upstate New York.
Reflecting on her younger years of debauchery, Uncle Meg says, “ As a teenager, 17 years old, running around the streets at night being bad, searching for anything to make me feel alive and free. I loved the drama and it made me nostalgic for those days when I was snorting pills and running crazy through suburban wasteland. And I loved those tortured feelings until I bottomed out on them. One day I woke up and I was like, shit, I’m 25 years old, I need to grow up, this is so painful and unhealthy.”
Eugene Mirman’s I’m Sorry (You’re Welcome) is a 9-volume, 7-LP comedy album just released from Sub Pop.
“I’ve wanted to make this album for a long time,” says Mirman, best known for his roles on Bob’s Burgers, Flight of the Conchords, Delocated, and for the annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival in Brooklyn, NY. He brainstormed dozens of ideas for discs, including some that sounded funnier than they turned out to be in execution (“you quickly run out of secrets to whisper to your dick,” for example). “Since so much of what I wanted to do seemed sort of simple, I bought a moderately good podcasting microphone and actually recorded myself crying for 45 minutes on a sun porch in Cape Cod. A lot of people ask me if the crying is looped, which it is not. I cried for 45 minutes.”
I’m Sorry (You’re Welcome) is the culmination of a long-time dream of Eugene’s. It includes a vast array of sounds that can be described as varyingly poignant, erotic, practical, romantic, mind-altering, educational, and humorous. Need to learn Russian? Eugene provides. Meditation sounds? Eugene provides. The sound of a grown man crying? Eugene provides. Oh, also, this release contains a full set of live standup recorded at Columbia City Theater in Seattle, WA June 6, 7, & 8, 2014.
I’m Sorry (You’re Welcome) contents include:
LP1 – Live In Seattle At The Columbia City Theater
Good-humored noticings from America’s “Master of the Noticing!”
LP 2A – A Guided Meditation For The Thoughtful Body
A calming meditation to cheer and sooth the cluttered mind, the injured heart and the anxious body
LP 2B – Fuckscape
An erotic soundscape for lovebirds and adventurous friends
LP 3 – Eugene’s Comprehensive Sound Effects Library
Tremendous, mouth-made sound effects for amateur and professional foley artists alike
LP 4 – Digital Drugs
A binaural acoustic pharmacy for the carefree or ill
LP 5 – Over 45 Minutes of Crying
A full-hearted 45-minute cry-a-thon
LP 6A – Introduction To Spoken Russian
The language of Pushkin as taught by someone who left Russia at the age of 4
LP 6B – Ringtones & Outgoing Voicemail Messages For Your Personal Use
Turn every phone call you miss or receive into a thousand-million smiles
LP7 – 195 Orgasms
To quote one of many discarded titles for the album, please enjoy this dumb, weird thing.
I had the pleasure of getting an early listen to Lemolo’s sophomore album, Red Right Return. Due to release on November 10th with an extensive cross-country tour (details here) for two months following the release, the new album showcases Lemolo’s indie dream pop sound.
We interviewed Meagan Grandall while back for one of our Practice Space shows (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUNj2tmDiIA) and asked her about her music. She is known for writing haunting, sad songs. At the time she commented that, though sad, writing the songs made her profoundly happy. They are created from a place of joy and wonder.
I couldn’t think of a better way to describe the new album. The tracks are exquisitely arranged and produced. Their sad tone and slow pace somehow produces a feeling of happiness while listening to it. It’s very healing, as though the music pulls out all the negative energy and sadness inside and releases it, leaving the listener feeling light and happy.
The band’s press material says that tracks 7 (“Low Halo”) and 9 (“Hold Light”) are the singles, but there are other gems in the mix as well. The first track (“One to Love”) is gorgeous and sets the tone for the rest of the album perfectly. I’ve been listening to the album for less than a day and the vocal line is already stuck in my head.
Pop n’ Roll band The Slightlys, has a penchant for insistent, hook driven, unapologetically catchy songs.
Led by songwriter and frontman Finneas O’Connell (who found success as an actor with reoccurring roles on Glee and Modern Family and in movies such as Bad Teacher), the band consists of four teenagers born and raised in Los Angeles California. The group met each other at a battle of bands at Club Nokia in 2012 while each playing in different bands with all losing the contest that year. In 2014 they came together to form The Slightlys and took home first place in that same competition.