Sunday, July 27, 2014

Listening Habits 05-07.14: The Summer Collection

With our summer vacation finally in sight, it's time to collect our favorite albums and tracks of the last couple of months and start packing!

Swans' thirteenth studio album "To Be Kind" is at the top of our album list, an epic two-hour listening experience that manages to take the band's sound even further, in their most satisfying release since their reformation four years ago.

Another, more recent, reformation has also delivered the goods and yielded one of our Top 3 albums of this summer. The Afghan Whigs started their reunion with some mind-blowing shows a couple of years ago, and now, with "Do To The Beast", they have proven they still have that special chemistry that gave us some of the best rock records of the '90s.

Parquet Courts are still quite a new band but their sound is channeling some of our favorite memories from the '80s and '90s. "Sunbathing Animal" brings together the influences of The Fall, Pavement, the Ramones and many others, but the blend they're creating has their own signature and proves to be quite addictive. Give it some time and you won't be able to shake it off.

Our Top 5 also includes the eccentric rhymes of Sleaford Mods in their punk-hop opus "Divide And Exit" as well as the third and perhaps the best full-length by Tune-Yards, "Nikki Nack", another unique patchwork where Merrill Garbus brings together exotic sounds and rhythms to create refreshingly original, soulful songs, unlike anything else you're going to hear in 2014.

And that's not all... check out below our 20 favorite records for the first half of the summer as well as a playlist with some of the best tunes from them. Enjoy the sound waves:

Top 20 Albums

1.   To Be Kind - SWANS
2.   Nikki Nack - TUNE-YARDS
3.   Do To The Beast - THE AFGHAN WHIGS
4.   Sunbathing Animal - PARQUET COURTS
5.   Divide And Exit - SLEAFORD MODS
6.   With Light And With Love - WOODS
7.   Mess - LIARS
8.   Lazaretto - JACK WHITE
9.   Are We There - SHARON VAN ETTEN
10. Lost In The Dream - THE WAR ON DRUGS
11. Held In Splendor - QUILT
12. Days Of Abandon - THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART
13. Wild Crush - ARCHIE BRONSON OUTFIT
14. Indie Cindy - PIXIES
15. Darlings - KEVIN DREW
16. Diploid Love - BRODY DALLE
17. Turn Blue - THE BLACK KEYS
18. Teeth Dreams - THE HOLD STEADY
19. Love Letters - METRONOMY
20. Psychic 9 - 5 Club - HTRK

Top 20 Tracks

1.   The Lottery - THE AFGHAN WHIGS
2.   Screen Shot - SWANS
3.   With Light And With Love - WOODS
4.   Sunbathing Animal - PARQUET COURTS
5.   Water Fountain - TUNE-YARDS
6.   Pro Anti Anti - LIARS
7.   Tied Up In Nottz - SLEAFORD MODS
8.   Lazaretto - JACK WHITE
9.   We Are Floating - ARCHIE BRONSON OUTFIT
10. Taking Chances - SHARON VAN ETTEN
11. Under The Pressure - THE WAR ON DRUGS
12. I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You - THE HOLD STEADY
13. Don’t Mess With Me - BRODY DALLE
14. Indie Cindy - PIXIES
15. Fever - THE BLACK KEYS
16. I’m Aquarius - METRONOMY
17. Eurydice - THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART
18. Good Sex - KEVIN DREW
19. Tired & Buttered - QUILT
20. Blue Sunshine - HTRK



Bonus track: Here's the latest Afghan Whigs video for another "Do To The Beast" highlight, the super funky "Metamoros":



Friday, July 18, 2014

The Brian Jonestown Massacre, live @ Fuzz Club (Athens, July 14, 2014)

 

It’s been two decades since The Brian Jonestown Massacre started their meandering psychedelic music journey in San Francisco and finally, after many twists and turns, the road has brought them to Athens for their very first gig in Greece, a true psych-rock master class.


Happily for us, this visit happened in a period where the band has returned to great form, having just released the fine "Revelation", their 14th album, which sounds as good as anything they’ve released in their '90s heyday. Several of Anton Newcombe’s old comrades are back into the fold and their contribution to the band’s live sound has helped to achieve just the right chemistry for an excellent psych-rock trip.

For more than two hours, The Brian Jonestown Massacre performed songs from almost all of their records, to the delight of their numerous Greek fans who left the beaches and filled the sweat-soaked Fuzz Club on Monday night. Among the band’s older tracks, the opening "Whoever You Are", "Got My Eye On You", "That Girl Suicide", "Wisdom" and "When Jokers Attack" were some of those that stood out, while new tracks included "What You Isn't", "Food For Clouds" (my personal favorite off "Revelation"), "Goodbye (Butterfly)", "Days, Weeks & Months" and "Vad Hände Med Dem?".


All eight members of the band exude an effortless cool on stage as they go about their business, playing the laid-back, melodic grooves that make up the majority of their set, but what was most impressive was watching them switch gears towards the end of the show and taking off in a creative crescendo of psychedelic noise, equally indebted to the spirit of The Rolling Stones and The Velvet Underground as well as to the more recent sound waves of shoegaze. 


The dark period for Anton Newcombe and his band depicted in the decade-old documentary "Dig!", is now well into the past. The Brian Jonestown Massacre of 2014 is creating great music once again and proves why it is rightfully considered one of the most influential bands of the neo-psychedelic rock scene which in recent years has risen once again, with the likes of Tame Impala or Temples.  Get on board, this trip is about to start again…

The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Goodbye (Butterfly), live in Athens

 The Brian Jonestown Massacre - That Girl Suicide, live in Athens

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

New Releases: June 2014

It took a little longer than usual to compile as the unveiling of our 2014 half-time list took precedence, but it's finally ready: check out below the round up of June's most interesting new releases featuring albums by Parquet Courts, Jack White, Bob Mould and the latest singles & EPs:

Albums

PARQUET COURTS - Sunbathing Animal
JACK WHITE - Lazaretto
BOB MOULD - Beauty & Ruin
THE PROPER ORNAMENTS - Wooden Head
HAPPYNESS - Weird Little Birthday
HOWLING BELLS - Heartstrings
FUCKED UP - Glass Boys
CEREBRAL BALLZY - Jaded and Faded
CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH - Only Run
DAVE SITEK - God Damn Beauty
HAMILTON LEITHAUSER - Black Hours
THE ANTLERS - Familiars
FIRST AID KIT - Stay Gold
THE FRESH AND ONLYS - House of Spirits
THE VACANT LOTS - Departure
ED SCHRADER'S MUSIC BEAT - Party Jail
HOW TO DRESS WELL - What Is This Heart?
BEVERLY - Careers
BLACK BANANAS - Electric Brick Wall
THE DRONES - I See Seaweed
THE PHANTOM BAND - Strange Friend
CRAFT SPELLS - Nausea
KASABIAN - 48:13
KLAXONS - Love Frequency
TOM VEK - Luck
LUST FOR YOUTH - International
XENO AND OAKLANDER - Par Avion
SIINAI - Shopping Trance
CLIPPING - CLPPNG
DEATH GRIPS - Niggas On The Moon

Singles & EPs

JACK WHITE - Lazaretto / Power of my Love
ANNA CALVI - Strange Weather EP
WARPAINT - Keep It Healthy / Disco//Very Remix
POLIÇA - Raw Exit EP
TV ON THE RADIO - Mercy
LIARS - Pro Anti Anti
TELEPATHE - Drown Around Me
WHITE REAPER - White Reaper EP
HAPPYNESS - Great Minds Think Alike, All Brains Taste the Same
HOWLING BELLS - Your Love
BLOOD ORANGE - Uncle Ace (Remixes)
METRONOMY - Reservoir
JON HOPKINS - We Disappear (featuring Lulu James)
AUSTRA - Habitat EP
TOY - As We Turn
MAXIMO PARK - Midnight On The Hill
CEREBRAL BALLZY - City's Girl
NICK OLIVERI - Human Cannonball Explodes
ZIG ZAGS - Brainded Warrior / So Stoned
LOOM - Yosoko
SHUTTLEWORTH feat. MARK E SMITH - England's Heartbeat (Brazilian Ambush)
MISTY MILLER - Taxi Cab
STRAIGHT ARROWS - Make Up Your Mind / Two Timer
MEN OH PAUSE - Pulse Check EP
NEIL MICHAEL HAGERTY AND THE HOWLING HEX - Fool's Watch / Lord Gloves

Poliça - Raw Exit

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