For this month’s episode, I record on the road. Amidst my summer road trip, I take a moment to check out new tracks from The Pains of Being Pure at Heat, Afghan Whigs, Marissa Nadler, Death Grips, and Angel Olsen. I also discuss a documentary about A Tribe Called Quest and continue my look into the life of Bob Dylan. Check it out HERE or subscribe to the podcast at iTunes (search: BDWPS).
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart “Kelly”
Afghan Whigs “Matamoros”
Marissa Nadler “Drive”
Death Grips “Have a Sad Cum”
Angel Olsen “Forgiveness/Forgotten”
A Tribe Called Quest “Can I Kick It?”
Bob Dylan “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”
I’m not sure if it’s a known fact here on BDWPS, but I’m a huge San Antonio Spurs fan. My obsession with Spurs basketball rivals my enthusiasm with indie music. Needless to say, I’ve been in full celebration mode since the Spur dismantled the Miami Heat a few weeks ago. After the Spur’s game 3 victory, I was checking my twitter for news updates and snarky comments from fellow fans. Amidst my state of bliss, I came upon the following tweet from indie rocker Mikal Cronin.
We are almost to the mid-point of 2014, and there have already been some outstanding releases. With a promising second half of the year ahead of us, I’d like to take a moment to spotlight some of my favorite albums from the year so far. To try to keep some semblance of control, I’ve limited my list to albums released prior to June 1st.
In this episode we look at up-and-coming bands like Ausmuteants, Perfect Pussy, Antwon, Woods of Desolation, and Ought. We also check out new tracks from St. Vincent and Damon Albarn. And as always, the episode closes with a Bob Dylan song recorded at the legendary Muscle Shoals studio.
Listen HERE or subscribe on iTunes (search: BDWPS)
St. Vincent “I Prefer Your Love”
Perfect Pussy “Interference Fits”
Damon Albarn “Everyday Robots”
Antwon “Heavy Hearted Doldrums”
Woods of Desolation “This Autumn Light”
Bob Dylan “Pressing On”
Chad VanGaalen should probably be one of the biggest indie music artists out there today. Over the past ten years he has released five solid albums of his signature psychedelic, folk-scapes. Van Gaalen isn’t some little artist hidden on an obscure record label; all of his work has been released by SubPop, the same label that carries indie heavyweights like Fleet Foxes, Beach House, and The Shins.
Yet when I bring his name up to other fans of underground music, it often results in quizzical looks. Yes, his songs are filled with grotesque imagery and off-kilter story-lines that may appall the masses, but that same recipe once gave Jeff Mangum and his band Neutral Milk Hotel legendary status.
VanGaalen’s talent as a songwriter is matched by his artistic integrity. All of his albums have been recorded in his garage with VanGaalen doing most of the production and instrumentation. He does all the artwork on his album covers, and he even goes so far as to create all of his music videos as well. Obviously SubPop recognizes this genius amongst us by allowing him to do pretty much whatever he wants with his music, but why hasn’t the rest of the music world wisened up to this brilliance?
Last Saturday night I found myself caught up in one of those time-wasting YouTube loops that usually spiral into another wasted evening. It all started with me searching out the 90s MTV show “Squirt TV,” a late night talk show that was filmed in the bedroom of teenager Jake Fogelnest. What originally started as a cable access show was turned into an interview show that brought the likes of GZA, Liz Phair, and Sean Lennon into Fogelnest’s bedroom. I thoroughly enjoyed this shortly run program. Maybe it was because I was around the same age or maybe it was because I liked the idea of having my music heroes visit my bedroom. Whatever the case, that strange little show has stuck with me after all these years (as a side-note, Fogelnest is a great follow on Twitter: @JakeFogelnest).
With Light and With Love
Five albums in and not much has changed with Wood’s music, at least on the surface. The band still has that lo-fi Americana, stoner groove that people (including myself) first fell in love with five years ago with Songs of Shame, but upon closer inspection, their latest release With Light and With Love reveals the band’s immense growth as both musicians and songwriters.
Back in the beginning, the band was best known and appreciated for its lo-fi production and ramshackle performances. Wood’s sloppiness also served as its strength – a band whose recordings often sounded like live performances captured on an old, dusty tape recorder buried in the couch cushions next to a long forgotten joint.