I mentioned last week how I receive roughly half the music I write about from thankless PR people who have to suck up their pride and write “This band is like TV on the Radio meets The Beatles meets Radiohead!” with a straight face and email blast it to the world. Well, a good portion of the other half comes courtesy of a pretty stellar music group on Facebook I got the chance to be a part of, and I want to dedicate this week’s column to all the people whose coolness I poach constantly. If it weren’t for them, this column and I would be even lamer than we are now.
But you know what isn’t lame? When the world lets your dreams come true…
At DC Music Download’s anniversary show, I ended up talking to some of the guys from Drop Electric about their use of multimedia and how they could best utilize it (aka I was high and talking to them about the trippy videos they project behind them while they play). Anyway, I mentioned how cool it would be if they did something in the Dome Theater at Artisphere over in Rosslyn, and we spent the next few minutes brainstorming/bullshitting on what they’d do with the space. Well, it turns out the guys are enterprising people and they actually went ahead and booked a show there.
It’s going to be July 19th with Margot MacDonald opening, and I am very excited to make brownies and watch very large videos projected around me while a band plays sprawling instrumental-based music to accompany it. Get tickets here.
Also, here’s a shameless plug for the Tunes You Should Know in 2014 Spotify playlist.
- Parla – “I’ve Been A Mess”
All Things Go head honcho Adrian Maseda posted this in the group earlier this week, and while it took me a bit to realize this is a cover of American Music Company’s single from their 1993 album Mercury (duh), it’s one of those songs that just struck a chord with me. It’s a refreshingly bright, but still respectable, take on a “sadcore” song that captures the forlorn tone of the original without dipping into the usual bag of tricks that others in this genre might have been tempted to use: deep resonating bass, “pretty” wobbles, etc.
Really, this song is more Rufus Wainwright than it is SOHN (and that’s a compliment, as SOHN is really overrated and I feel like Ian Cohen of Pitchfork and I are the only people to understand that). It sheds the rugged sarcasm of the original and embraces the fragility in lines like the eponymous “I’ve been a mess since you been gone” with the kind of tender theatricality that the younger Wainwright mastered early on.
And I know this is usually where I’d go into the biographical background of the artist, but honestly, even my Sherlock-meets-Batman-meets-Harriet the Spy internet detection skills have come up relatively empty-handed. This video is only a few days old and Parla has no other videos uploaded, all Google tells me is that Parla is a municipality of Madrid, and I happen to be one of the few people out there to have written about him so far.
But I do have a lead…
This video, while a newborn on YouTube, was actually uploaded by its director Joseph Rodrigues Marsh to Vimeo over 5 months ago and he credits someone named Bert Audebert as “The Creator.” Unfortunately, Bert Audebart is just as Google unfriendly as Parla, but it’s a start?
I’m sure more information will leak out, but until then, just enjoy these awesome lyrics:
“Your beauty is just a slap in the face That’s gonna bring me back to life Back to another sky that’s blue It’s gonna turn me into another Great american zombie So hungry for you.”
- Courtney Love – “You Know My Name”
Alex Anderson, writer at Blisspop and 9:30 Club promotions manager, threw this up as I was writing this column and while I’m still trying to wrap my head around the concept that I think I really like the new single from Courtney Love, I know it’s worth bumping the song I was working on to throw it in here.
This just makes me question Cobain’s death so much more…
- Glass Animals – “Pools”
Thrown on the group’s board by my former roommate’s younger brother, Neil Fitzgerald, who might not have the credentials of Adrian or Alex but who was on Capital Cities years ago and who consistently impresses me with his finds, “Pools” isn’t a game-changing song or anything, but I promise you there are going to be a strong percentage of people that listen to this that fall in love with it and immediately add it to their “Summer 2k14ever” playlists.
It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does what it does well.
It’s got that slightly African rhythm, it adds the right amount of bloops and bleeps, and the vocals are charming but inoffensive. Hell even the band name Glass Animals feels like it was selected from a “Buzzband Name Generator.”
This song just feels like a song music bloggers are supposed to write overly-flowerly shit about (and they will).
But that doesn’t mean it’s not actually a genuinely entertaining song, so enjoy the fact that the weather is finally warming up and use it as a chance to shed your ironic disposition and embrace the slightly saccharin jam that is “Pools.”
Then wait for the Vacationer/RAC/Viceroy remix…
And now it’s time for a very special edition of…
AURAL PLEASURE WITH FRIENDS: Ben Wormald Edition
Editor’s Note: Ben Wormald is a writer for All Things Go whose snarky disposition is just masking a big teddy bear who wants to be hugged.
- Frànçois & the Atlas Mountains – “La Vérité”
I’m of the opinion that music writing should reflect the music itself. François & the Atlas Mountains’s new album Piano Ombre, is a robust collection of afro-beat inspired chamber pop that is so full of diverse, swiftly executed ideas that the 40-minute runtime seems awfully pithy.
With that, a smilarly pithy review: imagine Animal Collective and Vampire Weekend shacked up together in Cannes for two weeks and emerged with an infectious pop tune that, in a perfect world, you would hear at any discotheque three times a night for the rest of the summer until you were utterly exhausted by it, but you’d always remember that time you had with Claudette fondly.
It’s that kind of music.