WE ARE PRETTY OKAY

I still have my copy of Homework on tape. I played it so much that, at one point, my car stereo ate it and I spent the good part of my school lunch break winding the tangled mess back up with my finger. I loved this tape. I love this tape. Even as the relic as it now stands, it’s a marker. When Daft Punk emerged in 1997, they weren’t necessarily “cool”. They came to American shores on the wake of a strong House music current. It was a wave strong enough to have them nominated for multiple Grammy’s. 
Their other releases, Discovery, Human After All, and the Tron soundtrack have all been laudable. Grammy-able. However, there was a lack of pizazz amongst the public outside of the dance floor. It seems as if the world wasn’t ready for a Daft Punk resurgence. 
Today is the day for Daft Punk. Daft Punk for the masses. Random Access Memories is inescapable. Daft Punk remains consistently smart. Their timing, their marketing, their everything. Shit. Their French mystique. Mysterious and approachable is what defines Random Access Memories. 
Track 3, “Giorgio by Moroder”, is so fucking good, it melts my mind. And, if you haven’t seen Moroder’s interview on Vice’s Creator’s Project. Do it now. Fuck this review. Watch this video. Then come back. 
Oh, cool! you’re back. Fucking radical, yes?! Yes. And now you’re on to track 4 on the album, “Within”. Beauty and sadness. Melancholy. Yes. It feels like you’re lost in a labyrith, in an arcade game, in the 80s, like a million mirrors flashing versions of myself, future self, past self, the self that isn’t me - and I’m still lost. And I feel fantastic.  
"Instant Crush". Um. Exactly. I wanna dance to this track. All night. All day. Fucking Julian Casablancas. Hawt. Pharrell on "Lose Yourself to Dance", shit. Smooth as glass. 
This album is so tight it’s ridiculous. Every song flows to the next. Seamless. The surprising collaborations, genius. But Daft Punk is no stranger to calling out tangental influences: Supertramp, Fleetwood Mac, Aphex Twin, you name it. I’ll even forgive them for the slightly too disco tune of “Touch”. Whatevs, I’ll let it slide. It’s got a space jam quality that I can stand behind. I swear to gawd, I hear Michael McDonald’s, “I Keep Forgettin’” on “Beyond”. Daft Punk, my new favorite Yacht Rock band. 
It’s worth the wait. It’s worth the hype. It’s worth all of it. Like Discovery gave us “Faster, Harder, Stronger” like a soundbite for a generation of dance-goers. So gives the entire album of Random Access Memories, an entire album, an entire decade, or life, a classic album to dance to, caress to, feel to. And I feel fucking fantastic. 
And, I’m sure in the future of Daft Punk, “everyone will be dancing and doing it right.”
View Larger

I still have my copy of Homework on tape. I played it so much that, at one point, my car stereo ate it and I spent the good part of my school lunch break winding the tangled mess back up with my finger. I loved this tape. I love this tape. Even as the relic as it now stands, it’s a marker. When Daft Punk emerged in 1997, they weren’t necessarily “cool”. They came to American shores on the wake of a strong House music current. It was a wave strong enough to have them nominated for multiple Grammy’s. 

Their other releases, DiscoveryHuman After All, and the Tron soundtrack have all been laudable. Grammy-able. However, there was a lack of pizazz amongst the public outside of the dance floor. It seems as if the world wasn’t ready for a Daft Punk resurgence. 

Today is the day for Daft Punk. Daft Punk for the masses. Random Access Memories is inescapable. Daft Punk remains consistently smart. Their timing, their marketing, their everything. Shit. Their French mystique. Mysterious and approachable is what defines Random Access Memories

Track 3, “Giorgio by Moroder”, is so fucking good, it melts my mind. And, if you haven’t seen Moroder’s interview on Vice’s Creator’s Project. Do it now. Fuck this review. Watch this video. Then come back. 

Oh, cool! you’re back. Fucking radical, yes?! Yes. And now you’re on to track 4 on the album, “Within”. Beauty and sadness. Melancholy. Yes. It feels like you’re lost in a labyrith, in an arcade game, in the 80s, like a million mirrors flashing versions of myself, future self, past self, the self that isn’t me - and I’m still lost. And I feel fantastic.  

"Instant Crush". Um. Exactly. I wanna dance to this track. All night. All day. Fucking Julian Casablancas. Hawt. Pharrell on "Lose Yourself to Dance", shit. Smooth as glass. 

This album is so tight it’s ridiculous. Every song flows to the next. Seamless. The surprising collaborations, genius. But Daft Punk is no stranger to calling out tangental influences: Supertramp, Fleetwood Mac, Aphex Twin, you name it. I’ll even forgive them for the slightly too disco tune of “Touch”. Whatevs, I’ll let it slide. It’s got a space jam quality that I can stand behind. I swear to gawd, I hear Michael McDonald’s, “I Keep Forgettin’” on “Beyond”. Daft Punk, my new favorite Yacht Rock band. 

It’s worth the wait. It’s worth the hype. It’s worth all of it. Like Discovery gave us “Faster, Harder, Stronger” like a soundbite for a generation of dance-goers. So gives the entire album of Random Access Memories, an entire album, an entire decade, or life, a classic album to dance to, caress to, feel to. And I feel fucking fantastic. 

And, I’m sure in the future of Daft Punk, “everyone will be dancing and doing it right.”


METZ | No Joy | Urban Lounge | May 2013

I’m, often times, the laziest human on the planet. Such was the case when Canadian rockers, METZ, played last time at Urban Lounge. I was asleep. I had full intent on attending. Note: if you care to stay productive throughout life, don’t buy a memory foam mattress - it wil be the death of your social life. 

Suffice it to say, I wasn’t going to miss them again. Even if it meant somnambulating my ass to the bar and drinking coffee and eating mashed up cross tops. Gawd, sometimes I wish stimulants didn’t make me feel like a hamster on meth. Anyway. 

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Get to the bar and the L.A. based (née Canadian) ladies (and Gent) of No Joy, are setting up. The best part was that guitarist Laura Lloyd was having some technical difficulties and everyone else looked too stoned to help. Laura’s the shit, so I’m sure they just thought she had it handled. In any case, she ruled it and so began the show. It’s undeniable that No Joy is hot. Apparently, No Joy’s first show was with Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü - I mean, not too shabby. Fuck. They’re hawt, their music is hawt, the whole shebang is hawt. Hair flying, guitars with a swallowing sound. You are consumed. 

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METZ. Oh METZ. There are so many things I could say. First off: the lights. 2 shop lights backlighting the dudes. Perfect. Sweaty hot sweet halogen goodness. METZ sounds like every band I’ve ever wanted to be in. Fast, loud, pop-infused, fucking fun to listen to. 

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Alex Edkins is the epitome of the hot, nerdy, don’t-give-a-fuck combo that my 15 year old self lusted over. Now as I write this it sounds dirty and wrong, and yet, still resonates the same in my adult self - he’s got sex appeal. And this is pretty much what METZ feels like - a rawness, an awesomeness, a simplicity, a sexy. It feels and sounds like ‘fuck you+fuck me=fuck yes’ and I like it. When’s the last time you were in a mosh pit? Yeah - me neither, but there was one this night, and it ruled. 

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These dudes are on a mega tour until October, and holy shit, I hope they can keep up this level of energy throughout. They deserve it, all of it. We need METZ in the universe and I’m fucking glad I was awake to see it. 

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Do yourself a favor and go see METZ live. They are amazeballs. And even if you’re sleepwalking to get there - it will be worth it. They will haunt your dreams in the best way. 


Deer Tick | Urban Lounge | April 2013

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I walked into the show and immediately felt as though something was off. It was a sold out show, however, it was missing a certain packedness, a lack of depth, a lack of oomph. It took me a good 3 songs into their set to realize what was missing: their drummer. I’m pretty sure frontman John McCauley and crew are used to unpredictable antics onstage…so what hurt could a missing drummer do? Not much. Other than the intensity of the set was lacking a bit, the stage antics were still there. 

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Perhaps the mood was a little pekid [sic], McCauley decided to harness his inner Kurt Cobain and pump some life into the crowd. And by pump I mean play and by life I mean wang. Yep. Wang noodle - literally. John takes out his dick and plays a guitar solo - pick in meatus - and jams on. Take that flaccid crowd! 

Sadly, I wasn’t in a good position at the time of the moment, so, to whoever took this photo, thank you. 

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Purity Ring | Blue Hawaii | Urban Lounge | April 2013

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I’ve had conversations about Purity Ring amongst friends. The consensus has always been divided. Mind you, we’re a crowd that’s mostly into all things heavy, dark, and luminous. And those are the words that I can also prescribe to Purity Ring, especially their live performance. 

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Firstly, the opener: Blue Hawaii. Their electronic layerings were surprisingly intricate and involved. Raph Standell-Preston’s vocals are swirling waves, slightly mesmerizing. Although completely satisfying on its own, the music would be best suited for a strong visual presentation. Or drugs. I might have needed drugs. Or shit, I can take responsibility and say, perhaps I need more imagination. Perhaps it was the promise of visual stimulation by way of a shrouded backdrop for what would become Purity Ring’s visual set. It made Blue Hawaii’s set somehow feel like it was performed on a dress rehearsal stage. Visuals aside, the sounds was amazing, the vocals were clear, sharp, timed, and the beats well executed. It will be exciting to see them headline their own set and see what they come up with.

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Purity Ring hit the stage. Darkened cocoons light up and draped from the ceiling. Smaller, geometric, orbs were lighted at the touch of a drumstick from Megan James. This procession continued as a prelude to a fully hypnotic performance. James’ vocals wove through her mouth between her gestural hands. There’s a distance in her voice, yet, an intimacy in her deliverance that warms the often digital slant of Purity Ring. Many of the phased and delayed synths feel like they wrap around you and pull you in. 

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Corin Roddick sank into his pocket and delivered perfect execution of rhythm and time, perhaps enveloped in his own creations. About half way through James took part in the rhythm section by engaging a large kick drum and returned to face the crowd yielding an amber light held above her head, in front of her face. I had to leave the show a couple songs short of their set. The sharp sounds of the crowd pleasing "Fineshrine" rang until the door closed behind me leaving the muffled sound of James’ voice lingering in my head. It was raining and somehow lent the perfect backdrop to the music video that played in my head and down the street as I headed home. 

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Dramatic. Sparse. Obtuse. 
The Knife’s newest release, Shaking the Habitual, reads more like an artistic visual performance than purely an audio feature. And, I say this in hope that this is exactly what they were going for. 
In 2006, I made the trip from SLC to SF to see The Knife play live at the Mezzanine. I parked my rental PT Cruiser, smoked a joint in the parking lot, meandered to the venue, somehow, stoned, circumnavigated toward the front, body to body. Bouncing. Lights. Up. Down. Up Down. Updown. It was all one. One experience - The music, the lights (here’s a photo I took that eve), the animations, the crowd - So much so that when I left the show I felt as if a cohesive ocean carried me with a disintegrated low-tide wave back to my car. I sat stupefied by the experience. I drove across some bridges to Sausalito, stopped at a Denny’s, ate some food, and then crashed at a friend of a friend’s house. 
Fast forward to now, as I listen to Shaking the Habitual, the album fucking sounds like the silence in my head as I drove, it sounds like the shuffle of streets. It sounds like a crowd pulsating in slow motion around me. It sounds like the clamor of the San Francisco streets (I can even hear the traffic and the cross walk beep in the track “Old Dreams Waiting to be Realized.” Then, just now I realize the irony in that title and of what I’ve written. WTF. 
The Knife must be reading my mind and the album is bending its notes to my every nodal synapse. And, I must cave in and say that the most resonant track on the album is, “Wrap Your Arms Around Me.” This song is like if some indigenous tribe hijacked your IP address and bought a one way ticket to inside the matrix. 
Enjoy. 
Shaking the Habitual releases April 9, 2013. Stream it live on theknife.net View Larger

Dramatic. Sparse. Obtuse. 

The Knife’s newest release, Shaking the Habitual, reads more like an artistic visual performance than purely an audio feature. And, I say this in hope that this is exactly what they were going for. 

In 2006, I made the trip from SLC to SF to see The Knife play live at the Mezzanine. I parked my rental PT Cruiser, smoked a joint in the parking lot, meandered to the venue, somehow, stoned, circumnavigated toward the front, body to body. Bouncing. Lights. Up. Down. Up Down. Updown. It was all one. One experience - The music, the lights (here’s a photo I took that eve), the animations, the crowd - So much so that when I left the show I felt as if a cohesive ocean carried me with a disintegrated low-tide wave back to my car. I sat stupefied by the experience. I drove across some bridges to Sausalito, stopped at a Denny’s, ate some food, and then crashed at a friend of a friend’s house. 

Fast forward to now, as I listen to Shaking the Habitual, the album fucking sounds like the silence in my head as I drove, it sounds like the shuffle of streets. It sounds like a crowd pulsating in slow motion around me. It sounds like the clamor of the San Francisco streets (I can even hear the traffic and the cross walk beep in the track “Old Dreams Waiting to be Realized.” Then, just now I realize the irony in that title and of what I’ve written. WTF. 

The Knife must be reading my mind and the album is bending its notes to my every nodal synapse. And, I must cave in and say that the most resonant track on the album is, “Wrap Your Arms Around Me.” This song is like if some indigenous tribe hijacked your IP address and bought a one way ticket to inside the matrix. 

Enjoy. 

Shaking the Habitual releases April 9, 2013. Stream it live on theknife.net


I started the opening track over about 10 times before I could believe that the album really started off like that. Like you stepped into a club 2 seconds after they started their set, after showing your ID to a doorman in a soundproof room, and then: BOOM. It’s in your face. It’s fucking brutal. It feels a little like this:

But, we’re all penitents for this sort of thing. We crave the lashings. Sky Burial is a journey. It flows like a doom record, to hints of Norwegian black metal, to a Pink Floyd album (which, strangely, Pitchfork agrees). The title track, “Sky Burial” breaks down in a Dark Side of the Moon fashion with an acoustic slide drawl and then right back into this conglomerate of metal and soul.
It would, somehow, make sense to me that they hail from Richmond, VA. For no other reason that I know some brutal dudes/gals from there. Inter Arma feels like RIchmond. I’d say that Inter Arma is the best thing since Lamb of God to come from VA.
It’s really interesting how the band chooses to keep tracks together rather than separate the tonal shifts in songs. It makes for the journey appeal. You’re on a long fucking walk and the scenes change, but the destination remains the same. You’re walking one path. One path of fucking great times. Sky Burial sways with the big simple hits of Harvey Milk and The Melvins to an At the Gates fury to the post-hardcore guitar chop of Coalesce or Buried Inside, to the mind bending simplistic heaviness of Eagle Twin. 
I must admit, the only song that didn’t kick complete ass for me is the track, “The Long Road Home”, and only in the last couple of minutes, for no other reason than that I thought the drums could be a little different. The first 8 minutes are transcendent. Then the last 2 minutes fall into a typical (atypical) shift. The double bass seems forced and ill-fitted to the smartness of the rest of a pilgrimage of exponential depth, each transition more enlightening then the next, and then it’s squashed with the sounds of familiarity. It appeared lazy (in the most effort driven way).
The best track on the album has to be “Westward.” It begins in this stomping kick drum, minimal chords, and serves as a sort of war chant for a good three minutes. It then breaks open into the field battle scene only to get one step more fucking epic with the most interesting music+lyrical syntax that I’ve EVER heard in a metal song. I can’t explain it. It’s like if static sounded like angels. Like, if I could hear the pitch of a dog whistle it would sound like the 6:35 minute mark of “Westward.” It’s got a weird frantic, math-like, Lightning Bolt-esque cadence that’s so fucking good I could cry.
That’s about it…an album so good I could cry.
View Larger

I started the opening track over about 10 times before I could believe that the album really started off like that. Like you stepped into a club 2 seconds after they started their set, after showing your ID to a doorman in a soundproof room, and then: BOOM. It’s in your face. It’s fucking brutal. It feels a little like this:

But, we’re all penitents for this sort of thing. We crave the lashings. Sky Burial is a journey. It flows like a doom record, to hints of Norwegian black metal, to a Pink Floyd album (which, strangely, Pitchfork agrees). The title track, “Sky Burial” breaks down in a Dark Side of the Moon fashion with an acoustic slide drawl and then right back into this conglomerate of metal and soul.

It would, somehow, make sense to me that they hail from Richmond, VA. For no other reason that I know some brutal dudes/gals from there. Inter Arma feels like RIchmond. I’d say that Inter Arma is the best thing since Lamb of God to come from VA.

It’s really interesting how the band chooses to keep tracks together rather than separate the tonal shifts in songs. It makes for the journey appeal. You’re on a long fucking walk and the scenes change, but the destination remains the same. You’re walking one path. One path of fucking great times. Sky Burial sways with the big simple hits of Harvey Milk and The Melvins to an At the Gates fury to the post-hardcore guitar chop of Coalesce or Buried Inside, to the mind bending simplistic heaviness of Eagle Twin.

I must admit, the only song that didn’t kick complete ass for me is the track, “The Long Road Home”, and only in the last couple of minutes, for no other reason than that I thought the drums could be a little different. The first 8 minutes are transcendent. Then the last 2 minutes fall into a typical (atypical) shift. The double bass seems forced and ill-fitted to the smartness of the rest of a pilgrimage of exponential depth, each transition more enlightening then the next, and then it’s squashed with the sounds of familiarity. It appeared lazy (in the most effort driven way).

The best track on the album has to be “Westward.” It begins in this stomping kick drum, minimal chords, and serves as a sort of war chant for a good three minutes. It then breaks open into the field battle scene only to get one step more fucking epic with the most interesting music+lyrical syntax that I’ve EVER heard in a metal song. I can’t explain it. It’s like if static sounded like angels. Like, if I could hear the pitch of a dog whistle it would sound like the 6:35 minute mark of “Westward.” It’s got a weird frantic, math-like, Lightning Bolt-esque cadence that’s so fucking good I could cry.

That’s about it…an album so good I could cry.


I was sixteen, I put some american dollars in an envelope and sent it over the sea. Two weeks later it arrived, I didn’t know music could sound that close. I followed his every move for years, bought every little strange seven inch and ‘tour only’ CD. I’m sitting here now with those records spread out across the floor. I never grew tired of Jason’s songs because they don’t belong to a time but rather a place. I don’t think I’ve ever heard music be so geographical. It’s not a place I’ve ever seen on a map, it’s a hut in a dark rainforest, a savannah in the sunset, a freeway with no traffic signs. A place no satellites has ever laid their eyes on but your GPS tells you, ‘you have reached your destination’.

Jens Lekman remembering Jason Molina, the songwriter behind Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co., days after he passed away.
(via eurekajunkyard)


The Virgins
Strike Gently
I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people with exceptional taste in music. It’s also a perk to be a musician. Recently my friend and fellow bandmate, Levi Lebo, recommended that I listen to a band called The Virgins. Holy Smokes. It’s like every album I’ve ever loved from the 60s & 70s has been morphed into one album of greatness. It’s nostalgic. It new. It’s a fucking oxymoron. It’s fucking amazing. It’s good in a way that, at first makes me slightly uncomfortable. Like, why do I like this so much? Why is this so fantastic? Fuck. Yes. 
Formed in 2006 and hailing from NYC, The Virgins have opened for Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Sonic Youth, yadda yadda -wow. What in the world. Either these guys are really good at hi-fiving the right people or they’re really amazing. It’s probably a combo of the two and having the NYC club scene proliferate your music can’t help. Whatever the case, even if it is the alignment of the solar system, The Virgins are that great. 
The album moves like a short history in all things great by moving from the opening track to ‘Wheel of Fortune’ that has a resonance of a track off Born to Run. Donald Cumming’s vocals weave in and out of sounding like Alice rattle off the ingredient list on the Drink Me bottle (pineapple, ham, cherry tart…) Lou Reed, Tom Petty, Jerry Garcia, and ultimately full circle back to Donald Cumming.
The guitars of Cumming and Xan Aird sing in bright harmonies and fill your body with dance moves. There’s a movement throughout the songs that carry one to the next. John Eatherly’s drums paired with Max Kamin’s Bass make this perfect rhythm that allow the guitars the room to breathe their subtle and catchy air. The entire album can be revved up to 11 and keep you dancing all night, or it can be toned down for a Sunday hangover. Strike Gently is versatile. Dare I say, a classic album? Yes. 
What is so amazing is that while the comparisons are undeniable, so is the authenticity of The Virgins being just that: purely themselves. 
View Larger

The Virgins

Strike Gently

I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by people with exceptional taste in music. It’s also a perk to be a musician. Recently my friend and fellow bandmate, Levi Lebo, recommended that I listen to a band called The Virgins. Holy Smokes. It’s like every album I’ve ever loved from the 60s & 70s has been morphed into one album of greatness. It’s nostalgic. It new. It’s a fucking oxymoron. It’s fucking amazing. It’s good in a way that, at first makes me slightly uncomfortable. Like, why do I like this so much? Why is this so fantastic? Fuck. Yes. 

Formed in 2006 and hailing from NYC, The Virgins have opened for Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Sonic Youth, yadda yadda -wow. What in the world. Either these guys are really good at hi-fiving the right people or they’re really amazing. It’s probably a combo of the two and having the NYC club scene proliferate your music can’t help. Whatever the case, even if it is the alignment of the solar system, The Virgins are that great. 

The album moves like a short history in all things great by moving from the opening track to ‘Wheel of Fortune’ that has a resonance of a track off Born to Run. Donald Cumming’s vocals weave in and out of sounding like Alice rattle off the ingredient list on the Drink Me bottle (pineapple, ham, cherry tart…) Lou Reed, Tom Petty, Jerry Garcia, and ultimately full circle back to Donald Cumming.

The guitars of Cumming and Xan Aird sing in bright harmonies and fill your body with dance moves. There’s a movement throughout the songs that carry one to the next. John Eatherly’s drums paired with Max Kamin’s Bass make this perfect rhythm that allow the guitars the room to breathe their subtle and catchy air. The entire album can be revved up to 11 and keep you dancing all night, or it can be toned down for a Sunday hangover. Strike Gently is versatile. Dare I say, a classic album? Yes. 

What is so amazing is that while the comparisons are undeniable, so is the authenticity of The Virgins being just that: purely themselves.