August 31, 2009

children are taking over rock and roll.

As Howard Hughes would say: "Way of the Future"

the music starts at about 1 minute
Monolith Music Festival is growing closer, and I'm so very stoked. I have created a little line up list for each day. I don't really know who I'm going to choose when it comes down to same starting times, but I'm sure I've got time to figure that out. In case you missed it, here's my mix tape for the music festival:

SLM Monolith Fest Mixtape '09 pt. 1
SLM Monolith Fest Mixtape '09 pt. 2
SLM Monolith Fest Mixtape '09 pt. 3
SLM Monolith Fest Mixtape '09 pt. 4

and here's my handy Notepad schedule:


More reviews coming up this week. starting today. tonight, rather

Also, Monolith is greening:"


DENVER, CO - August 31, 2009 - On Wednesday, September 9th at 10:00 am, the 3rd-Annual Monolith Festival Reforestation Project will get underway with festival sponsor, Esurance, the direct-to-customer online auto insurance company, and their environmental partner, The Park People of Colorado. This year's tree planting takes place in Denver's Townview Plaza Community, a Rocky Mountain Community development, and aims to revitalize the landscape in this developing Denver neighborhood.

Townview Plaza Community is located in one of Denver's low-canopy neighborhoods. As The Park People's program manager, Kim Yuan-Farrell, explained, "West Colfax's canopy cover is 12.09 percent, and the city's goal for Denver is 18 percent. We're thrilled to be working again with the Monolith Festival and Esurance to help contribute to this much-needed effort. Trees are truly an important resource for all urban dwellers, and a crucial infrastructure investment for all of Denver's neighborhoods, especially the most under-served."

Joann Lee, Esurance's community relations manager, added, "Urban reforestation, especially in the communities where our customers and associates work and live, has been an important part of Esurance's environmental mission since our company was founded almost 10 years ago. We are proud to work with partners like the Monolith Festival, who understand this aim, and The Park People, who are constantly in the field ensuring that reforestation goals are met."

"The reforestation program has become a much-anticipated week-of-festival tradition for us," said Monolith promoter Josh Baker. "It offers an opportunity for us to give back to the Denver community and helps us practice our teamwork. This program is a very important piece of Monolith's overall festival greening effort, and allows us to extend our positive impact far beyond the festival grounds."

Last year, the Rocky Mountain Communities were involved with the Monolith Festival as recipients of energy retrofits to local resident's homes. The project was part of an additional environmental initiative to reduce the carbon footprint of homes in the Denver area.

Since 2007, the Monolith Festival has been a must-see annual music festival held at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. This year's edition will take place September 12-13, and such renowned artists as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Mars Volta, Girl Talk, MSTRKRFT, Of Montreal, and Method Man & Redman (among many others) will hit the stage.

Please visit for more information on both the tree planting and the music festival. "

August 26, 2009

Andrew Jackson Jihad - Can't Maintain
My Thoughts: Love More (<3)

It was a long winding road of connections with other bands that led me to Andrew Jackson Jihad initially, but it was well worth it. The first record I heard was a split with Ghost Mice, then a year or so (maybe less) after I heard that, his first huge album, People Who Can Eat People Are The Luckiest People in the World, came out, and it was freaking awesome.

This is their first full length since that album. I can only imagine the pressure to repeat the success. Except that with the scene that Sean (vocals, guit) and Ben (bass, back voc) are in, things like that don't even matter a little bit. These Arizona cats, along with their scene mates French Quarter, Foot Ox, and the rest of the regulars at Trunk Space, make music not for success, but because there's no other option.

The previous LPs and EPs have Sean and Ben playing their songs as fast as their well trained hands can play, yelping and screeching the lyrics as loud as they can. This record shows a bit of a step in a different direction for the duo. There are slower songs, sometimes with Neutral Milk Hotel amounts of accompaniment. The music was always, and still is, a method to tell the stories these men live, but there is more focus, it feels, on the music itself.

But AJJ fans need not worry, because the lyrics are just as charging and self-hating-but-hopeful as always. See, AJJ's lyrics are so engaging because what the cats of AJJ talk about is how much they feel like they're not so great, but in a way that people can relate to, so the over all effect is not feelings of pity, but simpatico. Another spastic and raucous smash LP.

Andrew Jackson Jihad - Love Will Fuck Us Apart
Andrew Jackson Jihad - Heartilation
Andrew Jackson Jihad - We Didn't Come Here To Rock

August 25, 2009

Divisible - Less Than Lion
My Thoughts: Love (<)

Divisible is sexy. There is no other word that better fits. Heavy, dark, tribal drums crash and explode throughout the record, accompanied, on occasion, by cymbals that may as well be raining down on a rocky mountain side. Through all this is subtle, smooth bass lines sensuously swim around the chaos, melting away any feelings of unease. The sultry vocals are calming but enticing. The whole effect is like watching a spirit, surrounded by fog, slowly float down the saturday night street, all the while holding back a large, crashing beast that you can't quite make out, except for those damned glowing, terrifying eyes.

The songs are simple in the sense that there isn't a whole lot going on, but with the amount that is going on and how the whole thing is constructed, if there was anything else going on it would feel overwhelming. Each song talks of love and loss of some sort, a common topic, but Divisible gives us enough of their own unique characteristics in songwriting that the songs don't feel stale.

Divisible - Big Machines

Divisible - Everybody
Divisible - Love is the Cost

August 24, 2009

Karl Sanders - Saurian Exorcisms
My Thoughts: Like ()

I'm not certain as to how this record found it's way to my home (especially with thie kind of gross/sexist cover), but I can safely say that I was pleasantly surprised by it's tremendous sound. This album is BIG. Karl Sanders is the guitar player/vocalist of Nile, an Egyptian themed/inspired Death Metal band from South Carolina. I've never really enjoyed their work, but I've always respected their talent. If anything, this album talks to the dedication and ability of just one of their members.

Now, it's not the most colossal record ever, and there are a few times in the second and third listen that I found myself thinking that this bit or that part were a little too over the top, and some of the movements don't really feel fully realized, but for the most part the record delivers in ways I hadn't expected. It may be meant as an atmospheric record, but I think it draws too much attention to itself for that goal to have been met, which I count as good because I like music that reaches out and grabs you.

Karl Sanders - Preliminary Purification Before The Calling of Inanna
Karl Sanders - A Most Effective Exorcism Against Azagthoth and his Emissaries
Karl Sanders - Rapture of the Empty Spaces

August 23, 2009

The Antlers - Hospice
My Thoughts: Love More (<3)

The Antlers' new record is soft and brooding, even when things get really distorted and cymbal heavy. The album is dark, not in the "evil" sense but in the "sad" sense. If sounds like the band is just barely getting through the songs, constantly on the edge of simple not being able to continue. It is also beautiful, in the way that new life sprouting from a forest fire is. It is the sound of fresh rain on a new meadow. It's darkness is highlighted by the moments of blissful hopefulness, bringing you to the edge of tears and then slowly drawing you back.

It's a slow record, and definitely needs to be given it's time, but it's good enough that if you just start listening to it, you day will slowly melt away to fit the record into it, because once you start, you're not going to want to stop. I don't know how they're going to do it live, but I can't wait to see it at Monolith. I'll probably cry, like the big baby I am.

The Antlers - Atrophy

The Antlers - Bear
The Antlers - Sylvia
The Thermals - Now We Can See
My Thoughts: Love (<)

I got into the Thermals because of their song A Stare Like Yours. What solidified my love was their mad mad mad song Pillar of Salt. My story is not an uncommon one. Occasionally, with that story, you can replace that first song with another song off of their album Fuckin A, or just say it all started with Pillar of Salt, and you've pretty much covered a large portion of Thermals fans. My theory on this is because their songs, in true punk fashion, stick to a similar formula of heavy fuzz bass, simple but driving drum beats, and perfectly distorted rhythm guitar, occasionally adding some over-dubbed lead guitar riffs which, in most cases, happen to be the things that draw you into the song. Their songs are so heavily stylized that it's hard to even notice that it is stylized at all, because they're not going for a cliche or obvious style or formula. What I mean is they've tweaked the general indie punk sound into their own thing, making it so the thing that they're trying so hard to sound like is, simply, the Thermals.

That's a roundabout way of saying that their songs all kind of sound the same. And I would have just said that, but saying just that is cheapening, and the point is that every song by them is a single, a pattern that has been present since their early releases. This makes the Thermals more of a band experience, as opposed to a song or album experience. I almost feel redundant in saying that this album is great, because it seems so obvious that this would be the case. The Thermals are one of the most reliable rock bands out there. Of course this album freaking rocks.

I saw them a couple years ago with my buddy JJ, and I can safely say that, save for My Bloody Valentine, they're the loudest show in town. I a little afraid for their set at Monolith, but damn you know I'll be as close as I can get for it

The Thermals - I Called Your Name
The Thermals - I Let It Go
The Thermals - At The Bottom of the Sea
reviews posted later today. craazy stuff.

August 20, 2009

We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls
My Thoughts: Love More (<3)

I was initially put off and, oddly, also drawn to the band We Were Promised Jetpacks due to their ... well lets admit it, their strange name. Mere seconds into the record and I could tell the band was much more than a bunch of kids with a band name that seems to be trying too hard.

Charging rhythms backed with crashing drums and hurried, restless vocals rouse the spirit and shake the bum. There are some general Dance Rock things that go on that are, admittedly, tried and true, but the tired qualities show up infrequently, and, under the command of these youngins, stay engaging and fun. Which is what music ought to be, right? The band doesn't stick strictly to dance rock, occationally giving us a few samplings of their slower, more melodic side, which, when it comes, is a nice contrast to the thrillers on the record.

The songs are not just great dance songs, which would be fine if they were, because they're darn good dance rock. The lyrics are consistently zealous and stirring, often giving me shivers when things get a little emotional. They ebb and flow with the wavering mealodies laid down by the skilled guitar lines, churning the album into an unstoppable sonic hurricane, peaking with their 8 minute Explosions in the Sky-esq track Keeping Warm. Yeah, I dig this album. It's not perfect, but I got lost in the album enough to barely notice it's short comings. They have a lot of growth, but if this is where they're starting, I'll be intent on keeping up to date with their actions

We Were Promised Jetpacks actually happen to be playing Monolith, which I'm absolutely stoked for.

We Were Promised Jetpacks - Roll Up Your Sleeves
We Were Promised Jetpacks - Quiet Little Voices
We Were Promised Jetpacks - Keeping Warm

August 17, 2009

The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
My Thoughts: Love (<) +

I have never been a huge fan of the Decemberists, though I have always admired their work. Their ability is undeniable, but their songs, for me, never really got past the Charming mark. The Hazards of Love is their first magnificent album, in my opinion. There are no pop songs on this record, so it's a little hard to get addicted to, but after a few listens, and once I had a good grasp on the story, I found myself singing it while listening to other records. Now that's infectious.

It is a rock opera. Some people don't like that sort of thing, but I don't think there are rock operas out there that are like this one. I've heard my share of them, being deeply interested in the genre in my teen's, and I can safely say that this is in a realm of it's own, as far as I'm considered.

I had a friend say that he didn't like it because it didn't really sound like the Decemberists, and I have to say I agree with him. It does sound like the Decemberists made the album, but it is a step in a different direction for them, especially when considering the direction they seemed to be going with the last 3 albums. That said, I think the album is truly fantastic. And the guest spots with My Brightest Diamond's Shara Worden, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, and Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond bring the album to instant classic in my mind. Truly stunning.

The Decemberists - The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid
The Decemberists - The Rake's Song
The Decemberists - The Queen's Rebuke/The Crossing

August 13, 2009

My friend Makena is a dancer, and a choreographer, and she put together a dance show that is based around the Decemberist's newest album, The Hazards of Love. I'm playing a minor role, but, still, rehearsal is a time consuming monster. the show is this friday and saturday, so, after that, I'll have more reviews posted. Thanks for understanding about the delay.

There might be someone recording the show, and if there is, I'll link to the video when it goes live.

August 10, 2009

My thoughts on HEALTH's new album and some initial thoughts on "NPR Pop"

My Thoughts: Love More (<3)+

With Get Color, HEALTH,
it would seem, is delivering on their promise of creating what they call Noise Pop more so now than on their previous record, which came off as more of a contemplative experiment in how to make crowd churning club smashers out of instruments so heavily distorted they're barely recognizable as musical instruments. Get Color is both far more focused, and far more poppy, but without sacrificing the cleverly distorted instrumentation that HEALTH has become world renowned for. The songs on this record will be instantly more accessible to people unaccustomed to HEALTH's leanings toward chaos, though it may disappoint a few of the noise fans for leaning further into the pop world than the noise fans may like.

I freaking love it. It's weird and dancy, but there is this undeniable pop sensibility about the record that kind of tweaks me, which doesn't make any sense, because the album is freaking weird compared to other things put into the pop world, or what has become what I now refer to as "NPR Pop." initial

What is NPR Pop? I came up for the term to describe this new modern music that I just can't seem to describe any other way without sounding foolish. It's music that is weird, but safe. Music that pushes the boundaries, but doesn't push them so far that people are pushed past the edge of their comfort zone. Beirut, My Brightest Diamond, Animal Collective, The Dirty Projectors, the whole Dark Was the Night collection, Dan Deacon('s new album), Ra Ra Riot, etc. etc. I'm not using the term derogatorily though, I think NPR Pop is really great stuff.

But for a band who I think of as pushing the limits of reality to the next level, I think that being able to fall into the category of NPR Pop is ... a little odd at best. Maybe I'm too caught up in it though. It's such an undeniably charging record that it could be that it is still as mind bending to those who will hear it, and HEALTH, for the first time as it was for me when I first saw them live. I know I'll still check out their live set during Monolith when they play, but I'm definitely going to take a step back and see what happens, as opposed to getting caught up in the madness, because with an album like this, I may not come back from the edge of reality if I let myself get to carried away.

I would host my more favorite tracks, like Severin and We Are Water, but since it hasn't come out yet 4reelz yet, I'll just host the single and the remix by our man Travis:

HEALTH - Die Slow
HEALTH - Die Slow (Pictureplane Remix)

August 7, 2009

*Phew*! as you can see I'm taking a bit of a break. I am flat out BEAT. and after writing so much about Mile High Music Festival, I'm a little tired of looking at my computer screen. I'll be back on Monday with album reviews. For now, here's a song:

Nina Simone - Will I Find My Love Today (Live At Carnegie Hall)

August 4, 2009

Monolith Music Festival Mixtape 2009, Pt. 1

Hey all those living on Awesome Ave. Here is my 3rd annual Monolith Music Festival Mixtape. Monolith happens this year at Sept. 12th and 13th, and promises to be, for the third time, the only place to be on the planet during that weekend. I've put together a mix for you to download. It has 1 song by every artist playing that has been announced so far.

Here's all the songs in one huge .rar file:

SLM Monolith Fest Mixtape '09

Here is the exact same mix as above, but split into 4 bite size chunks:

SLM Monolith Fest Mixtape '09 pt. 1
SLM Monolith Fest Mixtape '09 pt. 2
SLM Monolith Fest Mixtape '09 pt. 3
SLM Monolith Fest Mixtape '09 pt. 4

And, finally, here are all the tracks hosted individually:

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Modern Things
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Runaway
The Mars Volta - Metatron
Girl Talk - (You can get the whole new album right here)
Girl Talk - Smash Your Head
MSTRKRFT - The Looks
Of Montreal - Don't Ask Me To Explain
Redman & Method Man - Dangerous MCs (Bossasaurus remix)
M. Ward - Chinese Translation (live on Conan w/ Jim James & Neko Case)
Chromeo - Bonafied Lovin (Tough Guys)
MF Doom - Guinnesses (feat. 4-Ize_Angelika)
Walkmen - Dónde Está la Playa
Phoenix - Lasso
OK Go - Skyscrapers
Ida Maria - Louie
Passion Pit - Sleepyhead

Monolith Music Festival Mixtape 2009, Pt. 2

The Thermals - When We Were Alive
Frightened Rabbit - The Modern Leper (version from live album)
Harlem Shakes - Niagara Falls
Thao With The Get Down Stay Down - Bag Of Hammers
Monotonix - Body Language
Hollywood Holt + Million $ Mano - The Anthem (remix of the Good Charlotte song)
The Grates - Burn Bridges
Starfucker - Laadeedaa

Monolith Music Festival Mixtape 2009, Pt. 3

HEALTH - Die Slow
Miniature Tigers - The Wolf
Woodhands - Breaking Up
Spindrift - The Legend Of God's Gun
Viva Voce - From The Devil Himself
Savoy - See What Becomes
These United States - Only The Lonely Devil Knows
Cymbals Eat Guitars - Wind Phoenix
Beats Antique - Trinkit

Monolith Music Festival Mixtape 2009, Pt. 4

Caitlin Rose - Dead Flowers
Rachel Goodrich - Light Bulb
French Horn Rebellion - Up All Night
Gregory Alan Isakov - All There Is
Deer Tick - Little White Lies
The Twilight Sad - Reflection of the Television
Thunderheist - Cruise Low
The Dandy Warhols - Wonderful You

Monolith Music Festival Mixtape 2009, Pt. 5

The Answering Machine - Emergency
Red Wire Black Wire - Compass
Roadside Graves - Far And Wide
Jim McTurnan and The Kids That Killed The Man (ex-Cat-A-Tac singer) Cat-A-Tac - Devil
Speakeasy, Tiger - Story
AutoVaughn (myspace)
Avi Buffalo - What's It In For?
Wendy Darling - Sic Endgame

Monolith Music Festival Mixtape 2009, Pt. 6

The Antlers - Kettering
Tigercity - Are You Sensation?
Cotton Jones - Home Is Where
The Pirate Signal (myspace)
Lydia - This is Twice Now
Neon Indian - Should Have Taken Acid With You
The Knew - By Yourself
Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros - 40 Day Dream
The Lonely Forest - We Sing in Time

Monolith Music Festival Mixtape 2009, Pt. 7

The Glitch Mob - Red Dress (remix of the TV on the Radio song)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - This Love is Fucking Right
Danielle Ate the Sandwich - Handsome Girl
We Were Promised Jetpacks - Roll Up Your Sleeves
Boulder Acoustic Society (myspace)
A Shoreline Dream - The Night Before
Generationals - When They Fight, They Fight

August 3, 2009

Mile High Music Festival 2009 Wrap-Up: Misquoted: w/ Pepper

Misquoted: w/ Pepper

(ah we've finally come to the end of my Mile High Music Festival coverage. It was a good time. Here's the last interview)

Have you guys noticed any trends in music recently, and, if so, how do you guys feel like you fit into them?

Yesod Williams (Drums): Well it's moving away from the whole "emo" thing, it seems like.

Bret Bollinger (Bass, Vocals): There's always going to be these certain trends that will stick throughout history no matter what. I'm talking about the "Walt Disney" "young kid" act,

Kaleo Wasman (Guitar, Vocals): Jonas Brothers

BB: That trend will always be present no matter what era of music we're in.

YW: Hannah Montana

BB: Right, right. They've been around forever. Boy bands or girl groups, you know like "power! yay!" Those trends will always be around. We're just looking for the next trend that'll really shake things up, until the corporate world grabs them and makes them stupid, just like everyone else.

YW: It just turns it into a mass produced product

KW: The only thing I have to add to that is that a lot of music, just popular music, even some music that I've grown up with, it seems like everyone's just like "what do we have to do to make this work?" … Everything sounds more and more like a commercial to me. But, like, not as good. Like Meow Mix, Meow Mix is better to me than a lot of Top 40.

Where do you guys think you fit into that? Like, how do you write your songs? Do you focus in on a certain type of music or genre or…?

KW: I think every artist has a place that they can go to where they feel the most comfortable, so maybe they'll go to a certain type of beat or whatever to make sure that their writing isn't really inhibited. They're like "okay, I don't have to concentrate on this new beat, so I'm able to write a little more." I think certain artists have a niche that they can fall into just so they're comfortable and they're able to expand. But that's the thing, they're able to expand off of that, and keep letting it expand and expand.

YW: And always inevitably it has to do with what you're listening to at the time. Say you're listening to "this" type of music at "that" time, it inevitably comes out in your own music, even unconsciously.

What kind of stuff are you guys listening to these days? Like recent stuff that is really changing the way you think about music?

KW: I'll be honest, and this is one of the ones that is more mainstream and has been around, but I've really been enjoying the Kings of Leon a lot.

YW: Yeah, I've been listening to them a lot. I've been listening to a lot of Muse. Muse is awesome.

Is there old stuff out there that is still changing the way you think about music?

BB: All the time. There's all those bands … well, for instance, Tool that we watched last night. That was the first time for us to see them after all these years.

YW: They'll continue to blow everyone's mind for the rest of Earth, you know what I mean? Their music is so timeless and powerful.

BB: Here's something cool about Tool: you put on a new record, and you're like "oh yeah, it sounds exactly where they just continued off of their last record." And then it goes somewhere else too.

YW: Yeah, whether it's like 5 years between releases or whatever.

KW: It's like they're writing an amazing book or creating an amazing story.

Mile High Music Festival 2009 Wrap-Up: Misquoted: w/ Electric Touch
Misquoted: w/ Electric Touch

(again, you may notice that all of the Mile High Music Festival interviews have roughly the same questions. This is because I wanted to get different points of view from as many bands as I could concerning these topics. Enjoy!)

Have you guys noticed if there have been any trends in music that seem to be pushing it in a certain direction, and, if so, how do you guys feel like you fit into that?

Shane Lawlor (Vocals, guitar): I feel like the boarders of genres are falling down. I feel like bands that might have been obscure indie bands have an opportunity to get the mainstream conscious about them. So I feel that, in a good way, the walls are coming down, and people can make whatever they want. They have the technology at their fingertips, like with their laptops, to make the recordings their own. And, you know, there've been #1 recordings made on Garage Band. So I think it's a wonderful time to be in a band, or to be young, to be a musician. And that's the only trend I've noticed. Maybe the lack of pigeonholes.

Ross DuBois (Bass): When we were growing up, when we were kids, you'd like all different kinds of music that were distinctly different, and you'd think "Wouldn't it be great if you could have a band that sounded like INXS and Aerosmith at the same time. Aww, but that couldn't happen." But now it's like the rules are off.

What kind of albums, new or old, have you guys been listening to recently that, with new, is starting to change the way you think about music, and, with old, is still changing the way you think about music?

Louis Messina Jr. (Drum): Some of the new bands … the last three Killers records I hated the first time I listened to them, but then I ended up loving them. The just grew on me. And, the Arctic Monkeys … I'm trying to think of newer bands … I was actually impressed by the new Fall Out Boy record that came out last year.

Infinity on High, or the one after that?

LM: Folie à Deux. I was impressed with it. I always dogged them, but I always just listened to their singles, and I've got to stray away from the singles to get my opinion about bands now. Like the Killers' Somebody Told Me. I was like "stop playing that song," and now I'm like "yeah, 'somebody told me …' yeah that's awesome."

Christopher Leigh (Guitar): For me, I've been jamming the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' record. That hasn't changed a lot except that it reminds of every time that I've seen Karen O in concert it's been amazing. But the new Green Day record is amazing. I mean, sonically it has taught me a lot about music. I feel like a better guitar player while listening to it. It's so strict, but not a lot is going on. It's still three chord songs, and it sounds so big. It's bigger than anything that's out there right now, sonically.

SL: I heard Grizzly Bear for the first time. I met one of the guys from that band in Brooklyn recently, so I went and downloaded one of his albums, and I thought it was amazing to be honest. It really got me excited. And I often get excited about music, because I listen to a lot of it, but this was in a different way. And I was talking earlier about the walls of the genres coming down, Grizzly Bear was just the perfect example for me. I won't even try and attempt to say what they sound like, just go and check out the Yellow House record.

That was their 2006 release, right? That was a great record.

SL: Yeah, yeah. That really blew my mind when I listened to it, and I thought it was wonderful.

As far as writing style goes, how do you guys go about writing your songs? Do you try to fit into a certain genre, or is it more like whatever you guys are jamming on is what you perform? Or do you guys focus on something that you're trying to accomplish?

SL: Well, we're a pop band, we make pop music, and rock and roll music. And at the heart of it all, it's love. We call our music "Tales of Ordinary Life, in Glorious Technicolor," so everything has to come from the heart, and has to be very very real. The words have to be instantly catchy, they would turn me on if I heard them for the first time. But then if people want to look deeper, there has to be more substance to it also.

Like with that song you performed … "Black Tears" … or "Tears in Night" was it?

SL: "Tears in the Dark."

"Tears in the Dark," that's right.

SL: Ohh, you remembered it though. That's the first time we ever really played that song.

Oh yeah, I really enjoyed your set, but that one was really good.

SL: Thank you. That [song] was very very really. I wrote those words in two hours because it really happened. It came from the heart, and I'm so glad you said that, because it means that people do notice if it's real or if you're full of it.

Well you guys seem very genuine, which a very nice thing.

SL: Thank you

You guys are, right?


SL: No we're completely full of it.

(more laughter. Ross pretends to rip his face off to reveal some sort of hideous monster, making the best face I've ever seen in my life)

That is the greatest face I have ever seen. It's always going to be with me

(laughs all around)
Pictureplane - Dark Rift
My Thoughts: Love More (<3)

Travis Egedy, mastermind behind Pictureplane, will be getting more press than he knows what to do with here pretty soon. This is, simply, because his new record, Dark Rift, breaks worlds apart. Compared to his previous records, Slit Red Bird Throat and Turquoise Trail (on which the pop sensation Day Glowwed appeared), Travis' sound has been cleaned up around the edges, taking out some of the fuzz, and is a little more focused on a steady beat. I have to say, though, that there isn't anything that Travis has touched that doesn't have his signature style, be it a remix, a B-side, or the material on Dark Rift.

Dark Rift showcase's Travis understanding of where electronic music has been, taking and shaping the good, the bad, and the weird into what will eventually be the future of dance music. DR has inviting trance rhythms juxtaposed with single-syllable samples and the signature Pictureplane obsession with heavily delayed bells and synth notes. Travis expresses his love for awkward yet engaging rhythms and sounds on each track, frequently placing the the focus on the off beat, even going so far as to place the bass beat on the off beat on Trance Doll, a fairly bold step in dance music. Because of Travis's experience, he knows how to mold seemingly inelegant songs into infectious dance madness (New Mind is one that fits well into the "very awkward rhythm, but still very dancy" category). Maybe not your average club, but expect to hear a few tracks banging from the speakers at a few of your friend's parties from here on in.

One thing that struck me about the album was that a few of the tracks, despite their clear dance structure, came off as almost ambient, possibly chill out music. I'm assuming the trance and house style tones from the synthesizers are causing my reaction. That said, I have to say that the record really works as a chill out, IDM sort of record, or as a club banger, depending on how you feel. That is really one of the more impressive things about the record, really. I mean, how many albums out there are essentially giving you what you, depending on your mood, want to hear? Only the very skillfully composed, that's for damn sure.

As a side note, I loved 5th Sun and Dimensional Rip III more than I probably should be allowd too. This is probably because of the delayed piano tones going on in them. They remind me a lot of The Prodigy's Experience LP, which will never get old.

Pictureplane - 5th Sun
Pictureplane - Cyclical Cyclical (Atlantis)
Pictureplane - Dark Rift

Trance Doll video:

Mile High Music Festival 2009 Wrap-Up: Misquoted: w/ HoneyHoney

Misquoted: w/ HoneyHoney

Suzanne Santo & Ben Jaffe, the duo that is Honeyhoney, let me sit down with them for a few minutes during the Mile High Music Festival. And yes, they are as beautiful and playful as that picture would make you think:

Have you guys noticed any current trends in popular, or even unpopular, music in the last few years, and, if so, how do you feel you fit into these trends?

Suzanne Santo: I feel like there's a surge of lots of people "doing it themselves." I keep seeing crazy loop stations, pretty much like what we're doing, trying to over compensate for a full band, like Ben who's using octave pedals and drumming with his feet. I feel like I'm seeing a lot more people doing that, not like we started it or anything, because we definitely didn't.


Ben Jaffe: A lot of bands are definitely shrinking that's for sure. I mean, as it becomes a more financially difficult thing to go on the road, bands shrink to become more sustainable. But I also think we're at such an interesting point in music because, basically, 10 years ago, there were maybe 5% of the bands now that had recorded music. You can go into any town or city, and find a least a few people with recorded music, which is something that's incredibly rare until pretty recently. That trend is really changing music and everything. I think music is expanding. There are definitely categories that are trending, like Indie Rock, and things like this that will embrace certain studio techniques on their records. But, in general, I think the trend is just exponential growth.

What kind of records that have come out recently have really changed the way you think about music?

SS: Hmm, well I gotta think about that, because we keep going to record stores and buying old records.

Well then how about old records?

SS: I just bought Odetta, greatest hits. It's funny, I had to be in the right state of mind for it. I could only listen to four or five songs, because I was driving. Are you familiar with Odetta's music?

Oh, yeah.

SS: Yeah. She's one of the first African American female folk artists, and it's almost like she's putting on a whole show by herself. She does all these different vocals, accents …

Wasn't she [popular in the] 40's?

SS: No, no, she was like Dylan. She was sort of around when Dylan was doing the folk clubs in New York. Maybe it's just this particular record I bought, but it's like she had vocal Tourette's, it's amazing. She would put these accents in … she'd be telling a folk story, like the story about the duck and fox or something, and she'd give them these voices, and it was just really crazy. It was so unique.

BJ: It, like, introduces a theater vibe to it

SS: Yeah, yeah.

BJ: It takes it into more than just "here, I'm going to go and play this song on the guitar." It incorporates a lot of elements.