Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"Two" Mixtape Review

I've never done a review of a mixtape, but there's a first for everything. It's only fitting that I'm listening and reviewing, right? After listening to the mix over a dozen times, in order and on shuffle- I think I've had sufficient time to develop an opinion about it.

Will, you and I have very different and very similar music tastes. You pointed out the other day that they're complementary, it's true! You fill the gaps of music knowledge that I miss like "dad music." Or MOPEY ROCK (you listen to a lot of mopey rock Will). Okay, okay, okay back to reviewing.

Overall, I thought it did open a door to number of artists and a genre that I frankly wouldn't listen to otherwise. Listening to Pavement makes me feel like I'm driving in my car to West Texas. If you haven't noticed, I'm not very good at critiquing music...musically. I do it by how it makes me feel when I hear it. I couldn't get into "Bed." It's just so dark, dirty, and not me. Native America would probably my highlight. And for whatever reason, I've listened to this a ton, but I still get thrown off by "My Second Hand Heart" by Lay Low. In a good way, it's soothing in a mixtape that I found to be alt-rock driven. And most of the vocals sounded the same to me, they all had this same quality, but I don't have a word for it.

You know, I feel like I would see a lot of these bands at something like 'backyard togetherness.' Maybe that's just me.
  • Not-so-good vibes: Sparklehorse, Grandaddy and Brand New
  • Good vibes: Pavement, Built To Spill 
  • Great vibes: Native America, Vetiver, Chris Rehm and Pains

Monday, March 24, 2014

SXSW 2014: Recap aka SXSuccess

(Wet, Slow Magic, Sylvan Esso, & Bent Denim)
Going into SX this year, I had 4 bands on my list to see: Wet (check), Slow Magic (check), Sylvan Esso (check), and my friends Bent Denim (check check).

Across the board, I was floored after every performance. If you're not already listening to these bands, you are doing life wrong.

Wet. It was an early performance, but I was determined to see them at Spotify because I knew I wouldn't be able to see them otherwise. One of my favorite things about this performance along with the others that I saw- the intimacy of each performance. They weren't at a huge venue and there weren't too many people. I had room to dance with the music (and silently sing because I knew the words to the songs on their EP). All of the feels.

Here's something weird: I saw the members of Wet at East Tamale House and geeked out so hard. I couldn't find enough courage to say anything and instead, I gawked at y'all from afar. Hi.

Slow Magic. Once upon a time, I had the opportunity to see him a year ago,for free at The Mohawk. What did I do? I ditched the tickets...because of school. I regret it. So don't make this mistake kids, if school gets in the way of Slow Magic...well don't let it. A year later, I finally get to see this masked artist play. Percussion out the wazoo and I was in complete bliss the whole time. How do you hit those drums so fast? And how you see all of the buttons with that mask is a complete mystery to me. I'm okay with it. I'll believe in the magic.

Sylvan Esso. I told Ben that if I only saw them (Bent Denim) play, I would be completely be okay. I LIED. (Sorry Ben) If I didn't see Sylvan Esso play, I would have cried. Really. I've been listening to the same 4 songs by this super-duo for months and if I missed an opportunity to see them play those 4 songs along with new tracks on their upcoming debut album- this girl was not going to be okay. I keep saying this, but wow, floored. Amelia is amazing, I love her dance moves. Nick is amazing and just looks like a cool dude. I cannot wait until May. pls come sooner

Bent Denim. Lastly, my friends from Nashville and New Orleans. They're babies (as a band), but they have an established sound that yeah, I still can't describe. They've been told to have Youth Lagoon-y sounds. And if I had to, I would say dreamy layers, groove-inducing beats, and ghostly vocals. They tag their music as "nightmare pop," does that give you any idea of what they sound like? No? Just go listen to them. I'm so glad I got to see them at their first SX. Cheers to more!

Friday, January 31, 2014

January 2014 : Music Haul

I've been reading about some of the upcoming albums that will be released in the next year...and I am stoked. From Broken Bells to Lykke Li to Mø and a string of others, it's going to be good.
In addition to album releases, the annual event of drunken debauchery and music discovery is on the horizon: SXSW. 

Conveniently, SXSW runs through our Spring Break. It is my suggestion if you are looking for an affordable way to see shows, drink, party, and see cool stuff (I saw a replica of a space telescope). It's also good being 21 during this time, and I recommend commuting around the city via bicycle.
Forewarning though: I got a black eye last SX from a show, so watch yourselves.

This music haul will be a little blurb about Misterwives + people I plan on catching come South by. March will be here before I know it, my ears need to be ready. You can follow my Spotify "SXSW 2014" playlist by clicking this.

In January, I've been listening to:

  • Misterwives. I get Alex Winston vibes, Mandy Lee has a strong voice. The tambourine and percussion in "Coffins" made an impression on me, but I've come to love "Vagabond." 
  • Wildcat! Wildcat! They finally released an EP. Listen to "The Chief," and "Please & Thank You." But if you listen to both, that's practically half the EP, might as well go all in. 
  • Lily & Madeleine. From a suggestion via Twitter, I started listening to these sisters a couple months back. Only recently I found that they released a full-length album. Young and harmonious, Lily & Madeleine remind me a lot of First Aid Kit but think less folksy, more dreamy. 
  • Sylvan Esso. SXSW-attendees. It's almost obsessive how many times I've listened to them.
  • Haerts. SXSW-attendees. Some serious 80's-vibes. If that's what you're into, go and give their EP a listen. Shake your shoulders, groove, etc etc etc. 
Links are to YT videos. That's all, follow my SXSpotify playlist, listen to Sylvan Esso. End. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 2013 : Music Haul

I'm posting this early because I'm not sure if I will have internet access on the 31st. I'll be somewhere in the woods, listening to Lord Huron, probably drinking.

From November to December: 

  • Wet. Can't get enough of their EP. Please give me more, there are only 4 tracks + that video from Fader Fort. 
And that's pretty much it...if I was choosing from last month's options. I'm trying to refrain myself from documenting giant lists. 

In December, I've been listening to:

  • Mutual Benefit. I wrote a whole blog post devoted to Mutual Benefit below if you want to read it. Trust me, this album is perfect and you have to listen to it. It's probably one of the best albums of 2013. 
  • Andrew Belle. So many Chris Martin vibes. "Pieces." 
  • Ski Lodge. This band is so The Smiths-esque. The song "I Can't Tell" is when I saw parallels and it's my favorite track. But they're pretty pop-y  
  • Childish Gambino. Whilst trying to expand my running playlist, my friend sent me Childish Gambino's new album because of the internet. "II. WORLDSTAR" has a good running tempo. 
  • Odesza. Speaking of good running tempo, Odesza. That's all. Have you heard "Don't Stop" or "IPlayYouListen"? You haven't? You're running wrong probably. 

Revisited arists: 

  • Bastille. Love
  • Lucius. LOVE
  • Little Daylight. Also, love
  • Lord Huron. Love, love, love. This is perfect road trip music BTW. 
If you get a chance to see any of these artists live, you should. 


These tracks are really catchy...and I will always post about Bent Denim, I have a soft spot for them. 

Shit, can you believe it's the end of 2013?