Video: M83 – “Steve McQueen”

This album is almost a year old and I am not even the least bit sick of it.

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Obsessed: Kid Koala – 12 Bit Blues

Holy Shit. A Chinese-Canadian turntablist DJ goes nuts with an sampler, producing an album that is blues crossed with old school hip hop. A MARRIAGE MADE IN HEAVEN… AMURRICAN HEAVEN. Favorite song is easily the thumpin, hook-y “2 bit blues”. Then, “8 bit Blues (Chicago to LA to NY)”, a modern version of the classic road song, which crisscrosses the country, landing in my three favorite area codes: 212, 213, 312. The above video was made in one shot with no editing.

Spin has also got Kid Koala’s breakdown of each song on 12 Bit Blues.

Bonus: if you buy the album you get an actually functional CARDBOARD GRAMOPHONE.

Kid Koala Flexi Player from See Creature on Vimeo.

Tame Impala’s Lonerism out next week

Tame Impala Lonerism

Stereogum has got Tame Impala’s new album Lonerism to stream, out October 9th on Modular. I don’t talk about Australian bands enough here, but Australia is my #2 favorite indie music country, for reasons like Tame Impala. Lonerism is a swirly psychedelic trip, yet an exuberant and melodic one.

Video: First Aid Kit – “Wolf”

If Lykke Li and Fleet Foxes had a child…

Sam Sparro – Happiness (The Magician Remix)

Wouldn’t you just love to be in the club dancing to this song and not wherever you are right now?

Very Slowly Warming to Bushwick’s Friends

Friends

I want to hate Friends so bad. They embody so much that I despise – the glorification of Bushwick, the abuse of 90s jean shorts and Super 8 cameras. And the out-of-tune singing! Their song “I’m His Girl”, which should be featured in School House Rock: FEMINISM, is probably the worst offender. Moronic lyrics and ugly clothes.

Yet, I can’t help but enjoy the freshman release of this group of hipster friends (that’s where they got their name, unsurprisingly). All of my issues with Brooklyn hipsters aside, you can actually tell this album was made by a group of friends because it is so goddamn much FUN. Samantha Urbani kind of sucks at singing, but she has got a pleasantly whiny 90s style of delivery, straight out of all those dance hits of lore, and a real sexiness. Bass lines are equally seductive, while guitar hooks ring out infectiously. Meanwhile, the mix of percussion creates a vibe of never-ending backyard party.

This is one of my favorites, besides “Friend Crush” and “Va Fan Gor Du”. Lyrics I want to sing along to, a soulful and emotional delivery, BONGOS!, and a perfect little bridge:

Father John Misty: Folk Rock, Laurel Canyon-Style

I only clicked on Father John Misty’s “I’m Writing a Novel” when it was featured on KCRW because I’m writing a novel and was tickled by the song name. Little did I know that Father John Misty is the alter-ego and solo project of Josh Tillman, former drummer of Fleet Foxes. His record “Fear Fun” is the product of driving down the coast actually writing a novel, living in a “spider-shack” in Laurel Canyon, taking a lot of shrooms and a general process of losing it, going off the rails, having a total breakdown. There are several references to the voices and prophecies of a monkey companion.

Case in point:
I ran down the road, pants down to my knees
Screaming “please come help me, that Canadian shaman gave a little too much to me!”
And I’m writing a novel because it’s never been done before

I don’t know why I like songs about insanity so much. My other favorites are Harvey Danger’s Flagpole Sitta and Queen’s I’m Going Slightly Mad. Maybe because sometimes my own brain feels like a shaking pot on a stove about to overflow.

This album is steeped in that Los Angeles insanity, one of alternating cloaking darkness and blindingly bright desert sun, weird parties in the backyard, paranoia and aloofness and togetherness and chaos, all in a drug-fueled blender. [If you don’t know what I’m talking about, and hell if I know actually because I have never lived in Los Angeles, see the above video starring the wonderful Aubrey Plaza, or perhaps David Lynch’s Crazy Clown Time video.]

Folk-tinged music tends toward the forlorn and bittersweet, so it’s refreshing to hear it fun and full of humor. Tillman’s wails in that resonant Fleet Foxes fashion to the harmonies of andante acoustic guitar and piano. Yet you are reminded clearly of modern Los Angeles rather than some lonely backwoods past.