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Bryce Rudow is a freelance political/pop-culture journalist and he likes music. You can send all hatemail to [email protected] and tweet vitriol at him @brycetrudow.

Go to his website and read interesting things: BryceTaylorRudow.com


It’s freezing out. Warm up with new music.

And make sure to follow the Tunes You Should F*cking Know playlist on Spotify…

  • Fellow Creatures – “Séance”

I had this friend named Lady (she hated her name), and she always told me to never get attached to demos.

You never get attached, you never get hurt,” she explained. “You never get hurt, you always have fun. And if you ever get lonely for the rawness of the demo, just go to their Bandcamp page and listen to the mp3.”

So while I’m not going to say I was “attached” to “Shuka Shuka,” the first demo that local group Fellow Creatures put up last August, I did always find myself…gravitating towards it. It even told me, plain and simple, that it was an unfinished demo and it wasn’t always going to be like this. But I just couldn’t resist.

Then two weeks ago, Chunky Glasses premiered “Séance,” the fancier, more produced version of the song. Fellow Creaturer Will McKindley-Ward expounded upon it there too:

This song represents a full-on collaborative effort between me and Sam. We both wrote parts and lyrics for five instruments, destroyed, erased, and improved our favorite bits, and rewrote each other’s lyrics. Then the band figured out how to play it with four people. It was an up-in-your-business experience, and we’re all a bit more honest and trusting of each other as a result. The subject matter reflects the process: a wikihow séance, mechanical and magical, casual and ecstatic. And a bit silly.

I’ll probably always still want to start the song with “How do ya do it?” as opposed to “Set the table” and I’ll always appreciate the charm of the lo-fi demo, but dammit this is a great song, no matter what version it is.


  • Purple – 409

Purple comes to you via me, but via me via Paul Michel of Spirit Animal.

I ran into him the other day and right after the standard pleasantries were exchanged, he immediately told me I had to check out this band Purple because, “I haven’t heard anyone rock like this in a while.” Considering he’s a guy who plays this song on a nightly basis, I knew that had to mean something.

And Purple deliver on Paul Michel’s promise.

The young trio out of “Bible-thumping” Beaumont, Texas have written a wonderful album that is being touted as “party rock,” but which is really, deep down, what we should be reminding ourselves is just good rock-and-roll. Sure there are elements of punk and metal and surf rock (all fusing with some hooky-as-hell pop melodies) throughout 409, but in an era when we love to hyper-classify everything, it might make more sense to be vague with this dynamic a band. Plus, what that term “party rock” really means is, “Shut the fuck up and enjoy it.”

Which Purple seems to be.

I mean, this is the kind of a band with a guitarist that looks like this:


and who calls this “a typical day on tour”:


It also doesn’t hurt that they’re starting to garner some serious buzz. Their video for “DMT” premiered on Entertainment Weekly and both All Songs Considered and Buzzfeed have already reviewed them (though my personal favorite was NothingOriginal saying, “From hitting the beach to parties, it’s as if Ke$ha was punk-rock“). Frontwoman/drummer Hanna Brewer spent a lot of time and energy turning their early shows into “themed events,” and it seems like that promoter approach is really paying dividends now.

And just in case you were wondering like I was, “DMT” was in fact written about the crazy psychedelic “God drug” (learn more about DMT here):

The most intense song we were writing, for me, was ‘DMT,’ because I actually was still kind of on it, you know? My friend came over to our jam room and said, “Smoke this DMT,” and I did it and my whole fucking world changed. I don’t know. I held it in, and everything started shaking and everyone was looking to me, and went into this crazy world. Then when I came off of it, I was still like, “Whoa!” (Laughs) But I just felt so happy and enlightened, it was intense, and I was like, “Let’s play a fucking song!” And I was jamming on the drums and we wrote the song right there. It was just an amazing moment.

Rock on.


Florence + the Machine – “What Kind Of Man”

Florence + the Machine finally put out the real first single to their upcoming album, and it comes with one of the few videos actually worth watching.

Trust me, stick with it until the song turns midway through.


  • Aero Flynn – “Dk/Pi” 

I’ll admit that I’m not sure if I’m fully sold on Aero Flynn yet musically, but the background story behind this artist is too interesting not to share.

Courtesy of their PR person’s email:

Produced by Aero Flynn (aka Josh Scott) and Justin Vernon, the upcoming self-titled debut is an album that many who have known Scott have been quietly and anxiously hoping would come to pass for over a decade. Scott’s good friend Christopher Porterfield of Field Report tells the story better than most, relating a time in the early early aughts in Eau Claire, Wisconsin when the music scene was fervently anticipating the inevitable success of a promising band named Amateur Love.

Amateur Love shared members (Brad and Phil Cook and Brian Moen) with Vernon’s DeYarmond Edison, and as Porterfield relates, the former ‘were the better band and everyone knew it. The songs were better. The ideas were grander. The subject matter weirder. The narrators more honest and articulate. The frontman more compelling.’ Just as things were starting to take off however, Scott abruptly disbanded the group and moved to Chicago. The rest of Amateur Love were now free to focus more on the Vernon linked DeYarmond, which would relocate to North Carolina before spawning the critically acclaimed Megafaun as well as Vernon’s solo work as Bon Iver.

There was a wave of attention and success that washed over the tight knit scene, while passing by one of its incredibly talented original anchors without so much as a ripple. Scott watched it all from Chicago as the friends he had influenced on their own journey to sustainable careers in music tried to coax and cajole him into releasing an album. Instead he battled depression and developed a mysterious autoimmune disease that will require he undergo a kidney transplant in a few years time.

Yet even in the face of those headwinds, and perhaps on account of them, Scott eventually began writing and recording what would become Aero Flynn’s deeply personal self-titled debut. Those who knew his past were excited to hear he was heading back into the studio. Vernon signed on as record producer, and an incredible cast of musicians lent their talents to the process, including Mike Noyce, Sean Carey, Matt Sweeney, Rob Moose, Adam Hurlburt, CJ Camerieri, and Ben Lester. Recording went incredibly well, and over the course of a year an album many had spent over a decade waiting for was finally finished.

‘He had to make it to stay alive,’ says Porterfield of the album. ‘It must be heard in the context of deferred health, deferred relationships, deferred dreams, deferred healing. As spit in the fucking face of the symptoms of disease, like rot and destruction and apathy and cynicism.‘”

What happens to an album deferred?
Does it dry up like vinyl in the sun?