contributors: Phil Runco, William Alberque, Marcus Dowling, Mitchell London, Svetlana Legetic, with some help from Nouveau Riche and Que Sera boys
We’re pleased to inform you that it is, by no means, going to be a boring recorded music fall ahead: Justice is back, Wilco is back (and blessedly weird again), there is a Fall 2011 version of BLUR/OASIS battle on with both Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn coming out with new album, the ladies of Wild Flag and Zola Jesus have everyone excited for girls and rock’n’roll and somewhere, in some cave/thunderdome Metallica and Lou Reed came together to make a new record (called “LuLu” which we secretly hope is Lars’ nickname for Lou). Good times.
MORE FALL GUIDES COMING RIGHT UP TOO .
- DRAKE “TAKE CARE” – So much about Drake annoys the shit out of me: the whininess in his voice; the practiced “Rap Star for Dummies” posturing of his live performances; that Sprite commercial where says “last name Ever / first name Greatest.” Seriously, fuck this guy. But I’d be lying if I said Take Care wasn’t what I want to hear more than anything else this fall. That’s how good the string of singles he put out this summer is. When conventional wisdom would dictate a follow-up to Thank Me Later that’s huge and stupid and overblown, we’ve instead been teased with three understated songs that showcase Drake’s impeccable beat selection, increasingly dexterous delivery, and refreshing vulnerability. And after Jay-Z, Jeezy, and Lil Wayne, who is on tap for this record? The Weeknd, Jamie xx, and goddamn Stevie Wonder. Like I said: fuck this guy. – Phil
Justice – Audio Video Disco: Why? The downside to releasing a huge seminal electronic album with an iconic sound – as Justice did with † – is that the signature sound that you spent so many hours and so much creative juice developing is immediately available to the masses, who are willing and eager to rip you off. And boy did they ever. From this position, Justice must either press down the path and continue being the champions of this one, narrow flavor of electronic music (see: Girl Talk) at the expense of leaving the shovel at home and passing the opportunity to break new ground, or take 50’s advice and switch your style up, at the risk of alienating old fans and creating something, well, bad (See: Embryonic). The latter route is the most exciting, and from the tidbits we have heard so far, I think that’s the path they chose.
Nadastrom’s EP El Baile Diabluma. I work with a little site called moombahton.com, so I have been at ground zero of the rise of the tropical bass hybrid genre. Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom making all original moombahton tracks has me stoked. The genre has largely made its most significant national and international moves in 2011 without any significant output from the inventor, so fully expect this to blow your mind. – Marcus
- SM + Jicks – Mirror Traffic: Why? With every progressive Jicks record, the gap between my expectations (declining) and the quality of output (inclining) grows. I call it the Reverse-Pavement Effect. When I heard that SM was putting out another record, it barely warranted a yawn. Then I listened to “Senator.” Then I listened to “Senator” again.-Mitchell
Bjork’s Biophilia. Our favorite Icelandic quirkster returns after four years with an album that is an app, and is being released in concert with Apple. There will be full remix capability and significant add ons to each track to make Bjork’s music a fully interactive experience. Having borrowed a friend’s iPhone recently to take in DC natives Bluebrain’s marriage between GPS technology, local landmarks and excellent music, this expands that idea in a most explosive format.-Marcus
The New Avalanches Record: Why? Because I’m a glutton for disappointment.-Mitchell
- I am assuming you already purchased your copy of the Horrors’ Skying and pre-ordered Veronica Falls’ self-titled debut. I have high hopes for debut albums by Blouse, 2:54, Fiction, Genuflex, and FOE, but none are confirmed. Instead, the fall 2011 albums I’m most excited about include two debuts – the Still Corners, who have absorbed some of Broadcast’s sound (check out the “History of Love” for a taste), but eschew mathematical precision for soft-focus beauty. They release their debut on Sub Pop on October 16. And. Finally, Zola Jesus will unleash her next album, Conatus, on October 4. The operatic tiny goth girl with the gravitas of Diamanda Galas let “Vessel” loose as a teaser.-William
- Wild Flag S/T-even if it is already out, it’s worth reminding you to get it and get it now.
- Jens Lekman’s AN ARGUMENT WITH MYSELF – because we, as a BYT collective, have a huge crush on every song he’s ever written.
- Damon Albarn & The DRC Music Charity Project (title TBD) – because even though the project’s blog makes a reference in one spot to “Afro-Tech,” we think that whatever Albarn and Dan “The Automator” Nakamura (a cohort of Albarn’s in Gorillaz) touch can’t be half bad ever.
- Noel Gallagher’s HIGH FLYING BIRDS – ok, we’re curious.
- Lou Reed & Metallica’s LULU– because the fact they’re calling the Loutallica on their own website indicates that, against all odds, this project may actually have a sense of humor about itself. Fingers crossed.
- M83’s HURRY UP, WE’RE DREAMING– because we can’t believe it’s been three years since Saturdays=Youth
- Wilco’s THE WHOLE LOVE – because Wilco seems to be getting non-boring again
- One of the biggest music stories of 2011 thus far – and one I hope continues right through fall – is the monster year DFA Records is experiencing. It hasn’t really been the label’s LPs, which have been competent (YACHT, Planningtorock) to, at best, pretty good (Holy Ghost); no, it’s been DFA’s bread and butter: the 12″. Every weeks it seems the label’s putting out something fantastic, from recent signees (Invisible Conga People, Benoit & Sergio) to DFA mainstays (Gavin Russom, Juan MacLean) and more recent fixtures (Walter Jones, Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard). I mean, if you put out a 12” by the former guitarist of Chairlift and the thing turns out to be awesome, then you’re in the zone. And DFA’s retooled and Sound Cloud-enabled website – along with its digital presence on iTunes and Beatport – makes it easier than ever to stay on top of everything. It’s with some irony then that in the year DFA’s flagship act bowed out that I’m more excited about the label than I’ve been in a half decade. – Phil
- Roxy Music – Oh Yeah – Roxy Music has this ability to create music that transcends genres and eras. Sophisticated and dramatic but never kitschy. As the weather starts to get more serious, bring Roxy Music along for the ride. Take a drive down a country road with the windows down and this song blaring…”How can we drive to a movie show, When the music is here in my car”
- The Rolling Stones – Memory Motel -At the end of the summer, I was in Montauk and stayed at this hotel that Jagger used as the backdrop for a song about a one night stand and the love that subsequently fizzled. The weather was cool, the sun was warm, and there was mist in the air that created a sparkle, as if the summer was shining one last time before everything died. This song played in the background for the whole weekend and now is added to my mental catalog of essential fall tunes.
- Go to a beach. It’s not summer any more, but the beach is still there; you’ll remember when you get there. Lay down for a second. Press play on this. Drive home through a forest. Pop this in the tape deck. Look at the foliage. It’s fall.
- Van Morison – Astral Weeks – No matter where you are, in your office or sipping cider at a farmers market, whether its a perfectly crisp fall day or a miserable rainy day, this song makes everything right. Put your buds in, close your eyes and see the images of taylor-made foliage, sun piercing through leaf canopies, pumpkin patches waiting to be picked.
- Fleetwood Mac – Dreams – Fall is all about the mid temp groovers, those songs that make you feel good indulging in nostalgic lovers. Nothing fits that bill more than Dreams, cause it makes you think of that one that slipped away but also makes you fall in love with Stevie Nicks – all over again.
- 1. Rotterdam native and Moombahton/Juke/Trap Hop/Progressive Bass producer Munchi
- 2. Ascendant NYC party diva/DJ/producer/vocalist Roxy Cottontail
- 3. Drop the Lime’s hellbilly pompadour
- 4. Young DC rapper of “Posh on My Dick” fame, Topdolla Sweizy, and his homies, rising go-go/slow bounce act XIB.
- A welcome return to having the ability to sing be a minimum requirement to front a band. Katie Stelmanis’ awesome, opera-trained voice, and her use of two professional singers as backups; Active Child’s Pat Grossi emerging from choir practice to indie magnificence; Zola Jesus’ Nika Danilova, with her swooping, soaring vocals, classically trained; and Cat’s Eyes merging of Faris Badwan’s individual approach to singing with Rachel Zeffira’s classically-trained voice to startling effect-William
- The Chris and Cosey reappraisal – evident in the icy, goth synthpop of Soft Metals, Cosmetics, and Austra, is in full bloom. – William
- After going away for a few decades, electronic records based around the lifecycle of swine are going to make a huge comeback this fall, sparked by the Top 40 debut of Matthew Herbert’s One Pig. – Phil
- The Simple Minds reappraisal – focusing on their astound phase from Empires and Dance to New Gold Dream. The Horrors are the most obvious trailblazers of this sound, but I heard it again this past week in the Derek Forbes-inspired bass lines of Memory Tapes (live, not on record). – William
- In no particular order: I think that trend of using laptops/sequencers on stage might be tapering off.* So – connecting with the audience might be coming back in style; Pyrotechnics (*it might also be exploding, I’m not 100% sure.); Music Videos – Mitchell
Ummm, they’re all connected. Here goes nothing: Metallica style angst over illegal music downloads. Don’t know who, but I’m thinking that there will have to be an indie musician somewhere who’s going to really get perturbed about the US’ economic crisis and blame illegal downloads for not being able to pay their mortgage. This will lead to a ton more free music, or a push towards really cultivating tremendous reasons for people to invest in the purchase of physical music again. I’m looking at cassette tapes coming back in earnest as the new musical medium. Hipsters trend retro, and marketers love hipsters. Tapes are mad cheap, can cultivate an indie chic, and the pop population isn’t going to kvetch about loss of sonic quality-Marcus
I wonder how long it will take before the dire straits of our economy/ crumbling infrastructure/ war fatigue/ shameful excuse for political debate is reflected in our popular music. Right now, it seems like pop music (and indie/ experimental music of most stripes) is still riding the economic bubble of 2004 – September 2008 (greedwave?), cruising along without a real care in the world. I don’t think anyone in the indie world has topped the social poignancy of “Born Free” by Kid Rock* and that’s saying something. When will we see the next era of socially conscious musicians who make quality/interesting music?*Bill Callahan saying the word “America” over and over again does not count. Though I love Bill Callahan. -Mitchell
Since it seems out music team working on this is all male, I figured it would be a good opportunity to spotlight what’s going on this fall in my personal favorite genre: “Music for Girls (by Girls)” or as I’ve referred to it before “MUSIC IN DRESSES”, which, sort of like rom-coms sometimes gets a bad name. Thankfully, this season sees some seriously talented ladies releasing some great pop records (Wild Flag and Zola Jesus and their male/female crossover appeal nonwithstanding-see above). Keep an eye out for the dose of estrogen coming from:
- FEIST “METALS“ – has it really been four years since “1234” sold a bajillion ipod nanos AND sparkly jumpsuits? I guess so. Well, the woman whose music is essentially the rorschach test of popular culture is back and so are handclaps, horn sections, rollicking pianos, shambling drums and her signature breathy vocals. Don’t even pretend you’re not at least a teeny bit excited.
- LANA DEL RAY “VIDEO GAMES” EP -Lana looks like a Disney princess, dresses like a Nabokov heroine, sounds like a cross between Tennis and Feist and sings about eternal topics of summertime boredom, sex and good fitting jeanwear. In short: nothing here not to like. Expect her debut EP on October 18th. BONUS: Her debut S/T album was released iTunes in January 2010 (produced by vet David Kahne (known for his work with Paul McCartney, the Strokes, and Regina Spektor)) and has since been deleted, but ask around for it, since one of your friends may have it (Cale sent me my copy which is on perma-playing on my ipod right now)
- KIMBRA – “VOWS” – If there is any justice in the world this girl from Australia should be bigger than Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga put together, but less crazy and probably more talented (there, I said it). Big voice, big ambition, big personality, she is sort of the Kate Bush for the new millenium. “Settle Down” and “Cameo Lover”, the lead singles are epic, hilarious (“Settle Down” is probably the only potentially massive pop hit ever that has the lyrics “won’t you raise a child with me?”) and completely out there (to describe “Cameo Lover’s” epicness, one ends up trying to figure out how to put Burt Bacharach and club hits into the same sentence). Plus, some of the best videos you’ve ever laid your eyes on. TRUST ME.
- ERIKA SPRING-6 MORE WEEKS EP -you may remember Erika as 1/3 of AU REVOIR SIMONE, the absolutely lovely keyboard heavy all-girl trio that did pretty well from themselves circa 2006 and onward. With the band on mini-break, Erika emerged with an EP of her own which sounds kind of like a song that would appear on a David Lynch romantic comedy, if David Lynch was in the market to make romantic comedies. Which, in other words means-it sounds GREAT.
- ST. VINCENT- STRANGE MERCY – I figured I’d book-end this list with well known names to make sure you’re paying attention. Whatever Annie Clark is selling, I’m buying, and will continue buying till the day I die. That’s all you need to know.
- Ifan Dafydd – No Good– This one came out a little while ago, but Jamie xx recently brought it to light on his Essential Mix and we’ve been in love ever since. Rumor has it that Ifan Dafydd was James Blake’s flatmate and/or cousin, and taught James Blake his chops — the similarity isn’t hard to hear. It’s a beautiful dark garage tune that samples the late Amy Winehouse.
- Zeds Dead ft. Mavado – Undah Yuh Skirt (skip to 1:10)- Forthcoming on Mad Decent. Mavado is a longtime Nouveau Riche favorite, and Zeds Dead provides the dancehall-meets-drum ‘n bass insanity we crave.
- JWLS – Bashin– Unless you’ve been living in a hyperbaric chamber for the past year, you’ve probably heard of this new dance craze called “moombahton”, invented by DC native and friend and longtime partyrocker Dave Nada. Too many tunes to list here, but JWLS “Bashin” is a great example.
- Joe Goddard ft. Valentina – Gabriel-DFA Records’ answer to “Alejandro”? Perhaps. A late night groover of the first order.
- Duck Sauce – The Big Bad Wolf– Armand Van Helden and A-Trak team up to bring us yet another banger. This one strays from their usual disco house formula into jackin’, Green Velvet-influenced territory.
- LIKE WHAT YOU HEAR? JOIN NOUVEAU RICHE FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THEIR ALWAYS GREAT DANCE PARTY ON OCTOBER 8TH @ U STREET MUSIC HALL
- The Smashing Pumpkins: Goddammit, Billy Corgan, we can’t be nostalgic for you until you go away. To those of you who bought tickets to the band’s sold-out 9:30 club show, you’re not helping. – Phil
- Ryan Adams: Every time Ry Guy teases us with retirement, he comes raging back to the coffee shops of America with another toothless, saccharine, worthless turd. Ashes & Fire? Featuring Norah Jones on three songs? Sounds about right. – Phil
- Tindersticks. You guys were amazing. Remember when you were going to title the third album “Curtains” because it was all over? Yeah… Mind you, Nénette et Boni is a blinder of a record, and there have been some respectable songs since then (“Trying to Find a Home”), but with Dickon gone for good, and Stuart’s lovely solo records, anything further Tindersticky is increasingly like sifting through the poo for peanuts. Hang it up. – William
- Blitzen Trapper: These guys keep making the same record. They are legitimately recycling melodies into less interesting versions of older songs. It’s harmless stuff, but stop cranking it out. – Phil
- Wire. Good lord; that was an AMAZING return. The 930 Club show – your first in eons – with the raw power of the Third Day reimagining of “Pink Flag (R1)” and (R2) was nothing less than bliss (and, I got to see it with Ian MacKaye. Yeah – when they did “12XU”? Rarely happier, me). Each show after that was slightly less impressive. This last show, without Robert Gotobed or Bruce Gilbert, and with Colin Newman looking like a lost history professor stumbling through the (critically praised, but actually shite) songs from the latest album, while Graham looked…creepy, I just felt really, really embarrassed for you. Please, think of the kids, stop. – William
- Peter Hook. Mate, I get it. You earned your victory lap, which, to be fair, you took by touring as a DJ playing Italo-disco. Now, you evidently think recruiting a bunch of no-hopers and playing Joy Division songs is an appropriate way to act. And all this, to the dismay of…all the other surviving members of Joy Division. You know how you know you’ve gone wrong? Yeah. But the bass down. Go write some new songs, if you must…but really, please, stop. [Oh, and Bernard, Bad Lieutenant was fetid. You might consider stopping as well.] I say all of this with the love of someone who knows, and knows, and knows. – William
- Mr. Wobble Bass– Mitchell
Fuck. I hate Steven Tyler on American Idol. I don’t want any more drugged out or otherwise completely crazed rock dudes who used to be bad ass sanitized on my TV. I really hate the de-fanging of Steven Tyler, Gene Simmons’ divorce and Bret Michaels having cancer. Large portions of my teen/college were largely spent dreaming of drinking champagne off of groupies while romancing Liv Tyler and then performing “Dr. Love” live at Budokan. The pillaging of my tender youth is too much to handle and needs to stop.I’m also going to need R. Kelly to contemplate a career retrospective show in Vegas. Preferably at the Palms. Consider Vegas Elvis. Now, consider Vegas Kells. Your day has been made, and you’re welcome. 🙂 – Marcus