Reading is hard and there are a lot of words this week, so I’ll keep it brief.
Get your tickets to All Things Go’s Fall Classic Festival featuring Future Islands, Bear Hands, Tove Lo, Haerts, Panama Wedding, U.S Royalty, and some other people. Plus they just added DJ B-Roc from The Knocks to the line-up, who responded to my VERY FAIR CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM a few weeks ago by tweeting this at me, so I’ll make sure to give them a high-five or something:
@brycetrudow fixate on these nuts tho
— The Knocks (@theknocks) August 13, 2014
Also, here’s a Spotify playlist of all the best songs from 2014. Follow it.
- Death From Above 1979 – Physical World
I feel like this might start happening a lot as fall album season approaches, but just like last week, as I was writing this week’s column a much-anticipated album got put up for stream so now I have to put some last-minute thoughts down. This time it’s Death From Above 1979’s The Physical World, which I’ve been playing as much as I can over the past few hours since I saw it went up. And as I said about the single released in advance of the record, “Trainwreck 1979,” it’s like Death From Above 1979 decided to just make music that they knew we would eat up.
Don’t get me wrong though, this most certainly is a riffy, heavy, ROCK record. But it’s not just approachable, it’s enticing. It’s intense and vicious and fiery, but it’s passion feels welcoming and inspiring, not defensive and distancing.
And even still, all that is burying the lede: No one expected this album, no one expected it to sound like this, and I feel like I can’t be the only one that is pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoy it, even though it feels so out of the realm of what we probably expected from a Death From Above 1979 follow-up album.
Unfortunately, that means that it’s impossible to be truly objective about this record right now because it’s so easy to be floored enough by the first few tracks on the album that you forget to realize how big a misfire “White Is Red” is the first time you listen to it. Fortunately, though, that’s just more of an excuse to continue to listen to and dissect this “dance punk” album that at times had me not only thinking of bands like Black Sabbath and Guns N’ Roses and even Cursive but also wondering about Velvet Revolver and Avenged Sevenfold (I know…).
Jesus Christ think about how much fun this live show is going to be. December 1st at 9:30 Club. Mark your calendars.
- Flying Lotus feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Never Catch Me”
Just to go further down the last-minute rabbit hole, while I was literally importing this column into BYT’s WordPress, I saw that BYT contributor and general Man About Town Marcus Dowling posted a radio premiere of Flying Lotus’ collaboration with Kendrick Lamar that got leaked and yes and ma’am.
The song is great (and I found a version that didn’t have tons of DJ tags and “RADIO PREMIERE!” interruptions every 10 seconds) so this needed to get thrown in here, and since I can’t write about Flying Lotus better than Marcus did anyway, I asked if I could poach a few lines of his write-up of the song for Do Androids Dance? and he said yes because he’s cool like that.
Enjoy Kendrick’s reminder that he is the best rapper out there! This was a match made in heaven.
“The dominant producer has experimented with rap before…[however] a production featuring bars from incendiary and introspective legend on the rise Lamar are a whole new level of awareness. Whereas Flying Lotus’ work was once just the domain for slavish devotion by bass-loving EDM fanatics and their blog reading or backpack rapper friends, this track (and hopefully more) exposes Flying Lotus’ jazzy trademark style to Lamar’s humble braggadocio with top-tier (and mainstream leaning) results.”
Read the rest of Marcus’ write-up here.
- Pree – “Two Feet Shy”
This might be a bit of a musical whiplash going from the uber-intense Death From Above album to Flying Lotus and Kendrick to the delightful stylings of DC’s very own Pree, but sometimes you need to go full 180 when you’ve just listened to 30-some odd minutes of blistering dance punk and then had your mind blown by jazz rap.
Sometimes you need delightful.
And plus, this is the first bit of new stuff from Pree (the “avant-garde” pop group that somehow got labeled avant-garde just because they’re just a little off-center), who haven’t put out any material since their debut LP Folly three years ago.
And while highlights from that album like “Songs of Promise” and “Lemon Tree” have always been proof that Pree had something going for them, “Two Feet Shy,” the first single released off their follow-up, RIMA, demands more attention than anything they’ve put out before it. It may start out as your typical alt-pop jam, very much in the same family as “Lemon Tree,” but as it goes, the very-often-compared-to-Feist lead-singer of Pree, May Tabol (who was also the guitarist in some band called Le Loup according to every damn article on Pree), tumbles along unscathed through a handful of sonic tectonic shifts, including an outro that feels like a sporadic quake victim.
Bonus: If you really like this song (and live in the DC metro area), you can hear it live TONIGHT, when Pree’s single release party for “Two Feet Shy” takes over Black Cat. Get tickets here.
Bonus Bonus: Here’s a fun story about May Tabol/Folly from Washington City Paper
In the summer of 2010, Tabol’s landlord skipped town, but unlike her two roommates, she decided to stick around and make the most of the grace period before the bank came knocking. “I set up a recording room in one of the bedrooms and a vocal room in the closet,” she says. By summer’s end, she wound up with more than just an album’s worth of demos. Laughing, she says, “I’d also learned a lot about tenants’ rights.”
And now, it’s time for a very special edition of…
AURAL PLEASURE WITH FRIENDS: Lindsay Hogan Edition
Editor’s Note: Lindsay Hogan and I used to live in the same group-house in the glorious village of Mt. Pleasant, and she’s the one who took all those awesome pictures in the Bonnaroo 2014 recap. She also sent me this note along with her write-up, which she probably didn’t want me to include in this:
I’m drunk, sweaty, angry, and U street was mean to me tonight so take this rant-heavy, unedited piece of neurosis and do what you will with it >:(
I didn’t touch a word…
- Eagle and the Worm – “Automatic”
I’d like to think I pay enough attention on the internet to know what tunes are new, which ones are actually good, and who is going to write up those songs, whether or not those tunes fit the undefined metrics of “good.”
And that’s why I found it strange that such an energetic jam like “Automatic” was not picked up days after I came across it in April. I’ve clearly seen worse songs receive more extensive praise.
So sticking with the foundational thesis of “tunes you should fucking know” (Editor’s Note: RIP original column name. I f*cking miss you), I started overthinking why this song wasn’t “fucking known.” Standard Googling on “Eagle and the Worm” revealed that the 7-piece band has been around since 2009, released one album, one EP, and are well-loved and celebrated in their home town: Melbourne Australia. I guess after an onslaught of worthwhile artists coming out of NZ/AUS in the last few years, I took it for granted that a rollicking good song like this would make it to our ears days after its release.
But maybe the real culprit was the 10,174 mile distance from Mt. Pleasant to Melbourne, Australia. The thought seems inconceivable when “the world-wide web” is the most important tool for finding/promoting/selling/sharing music, but I got caught up on the romantic notion that because Melbourne was quite literally on the other side of the goddamn planet, the Aussies were able to house and hide all kinds of unknown and exciting talent. Maybe the world IS still vast and unexplored!
AND NOW THAT I’VE GOT YOU HOOKED WITH MY GEOGRAPHICAL EXISTENTIALISM:
“Automatic” has some raging good energy, due mostly to its unrelenting jungle percussion and obscenely catchy horns. It’s cacophony-pop that kicks-in the front door from the opening notes and doesn’t let up.
I remain, a jealous American who is not used to 10,174 miles having an impact on my exposure to worth-while bands. Especially ones that I can only assume would be unmissable spirited acts if they ever make it to our distant shores.
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