July 27, 2008

Quick Pitchfork recap

I will have some pictures to post but they're nowhere near ready yet. It may be a while before I have them so I want to get down some quick thoughts about a few of the bands that I saw.


I've not heard much Boris before this, and I haven't listened to very much metal of any kind, but this was really entertaining show. The drummer would hop out from behind his kit and yell at the crowd ("wooooooooaaaaaa!") with this crazed look on his face, like we were all on a roller coaster or something.


Saw these guys by accident because we thought it was time for King Khan. After Boris' polished rock attack, it was pretty disappointing to see these LA boys jump around stage and try to act hard. When the dust settles on all this new noise music people will see how wide the influence of Liars will have been - but they've moved on to chase other sounds of course. Health sound (and act) like they wish they had thought of They Were Wrong So We Drowned... but they didn't. Read on for more on their general lameness.

King Khan and the Shrines

A good performance, the highlight was King Khan asking the crowd to wave dollar bills in the air for "Welfare Bread." I'll have a picture or two of that, KK jumped into the front and started throwing/ripping/eating bills. I saw the bassist later and he commented, fairly, that KK + Shrines are "not a festival band," but even performing at 3pm it was still a great time.


This was a totally epic performance. I wish that Spiritualized was the headliner so they could have played at night with a real light show, but it was still beyond great, and there was pale twilight on them. I was way up front, it was SO LOUD but I didn't mind. They played "Shine a Light" and it was beautiful. At the end of the show Jason knocked over the mics with his guitar, destroyed an amp and threw his guitar at the drumset before stamping off stage. I think he was pissed off about the sound, at one point the whole PA cut out and at the end something went wrong with the guitar I guess. This was by far my favorite show though, well worth the price of admission by itself, and Jason came out after the band finished up the song to thank the crowd. Watching Spiritualized live is *actually* like being on a roller coaster. From the beginning, the sound they create is so powerful, but it seems so effortless to create on stage that when they really start to hit the next gear, you're really taken along with it. My stomach was in my mouth for all "Come Together," although maybe that was also because it was one of the loudest things I've heard in my life...

Dinosaur Jr.

I enjoy Dino Jr. quite a lot. They're super old by now but they sounded great.

Bradford Cox + King Khan

I guess Cut Copy were late for their gig or something, but as I was on my way out of the festival I noticed that these guys were up on stage playing random punk songs. It was pretty great, but there must have been a bunch of Cut Copy fans who were not amused, because at one point Bradford Cox said something like "hey, I wish Cut Copy were here too, you didn't choose us and we didn't choose you either, so let's just make the best of it." I think someone backstage must have just asked them to play some music to entertain people during the delay. Jay Reatard came on and played a song with them, the keyboardist from the Shrines got on the bongos, and someone else was on drums. At one point the lead singer from Health wandered on stage (to give B Cox a bottle of water or something?) and King Khan turned to him with a microphone and said 'hey man you want to sing a punk song?' It was pretty clear that he was giving him a challenge, but the dude walked off as if he hadn't heard him. REALLY LAME.

July 24, 2008

Sludge Rawk [Part Chimp]

Part Chimp:

  • Used to be on Mogwai's label, Rock Action
  • Titled one of their albums Chart Pimp
  • Play really loud rock that sounds kind of like Mogwai
  • Are way more punk rock than Mogwai
  • Are one of those bands that it takes shuffle for me to listen to actively
  • Rock really hard

End of post!

Part Chimp - 30 Billion People [Chart Pimp, 2003]

July 23, 2008

Artist: [Spank Rock]

So, Spank Rock. These guys are the best bunch of music-makers to come out of Baltimore maybe ever. Wonderfully danceable, cut-up rap over huge, enormously huge electro beats. In short, a really really really good time.

Before I dispense with the music, however, I want to discuss something. These guys taken some flack from some quarters for their, er, fairly sex-obsessed, lady-insensitive lyrics, and if possible, I'd like to take a moment to address this point. For one, the only reason Pitchfork gave them a 6.5 and not a 9.9 was due to reservations about this very issue:

Moving bodies is as worthy a goal now as it was when Little Richard sang, "Good booty, if it don't fit, don't force it". But Spank Rock's unspoken nihilism-- or, more pointedly, chauvinism-- has been getting a pass.

Here, friends, is where I must contest: It's (very likely) high-octane satire! Yes: I may just be rationalizing here, but I can't help but find myself in the 'its ironic so just enjoy the party!' camp. Just look at the Bangers & Cash album cover and say it ain't so! To be fair, the Pitchfork critic accounted for this outlook in his review:

You may be thinking, "Rap writer comes down on innocuous, possibly ironic good-time MC for sexism, continues ignoring Interscope artist's crimes." Fair point.

Fair point indeed. So: I say: when you hear them using the b-word, and the h-word, and various other generally objectifying terms, I ask you: take these folks with a few grains of salt, and try to realize: the songs are too smart to have been composed by a bunch of idiots.

In the end, Like the Pitchfork reviewer, I realize I may be wrong to take this stance, and I am open to differing opinions on this issue (i.e., satire perpetuates the beliefs it purports to skewer by giving them more oxygen). Please let me know if you feel I am a dum-dum. In the meantime, however, pleasepleaseplease enjoy the party.

Spank Rock - Put That Pussy On Me (Diplo Tonite Remix) [2008]

Spank Rock - Put That Pussy On Me [Spank Rock EP, 2006]

Spank Rock - Backyard Betty [YoYoYoYoYo, 2007]

July 19, 2008

Moderately good Argentine rock [NerdKids]

Hey, expectations need to be set low here from the nation that gave us Los Ratones Paranoicos. Although I will say that 'Sigue Girando' can sometimes enter my head when I least expect it. Look at that totally gratuitious mp3 link! I will DEFINITELY be monitoring the stats on that one to see how many people it infects.

Down to the business of NerdKids. I know some of this audience lives in or around Silicon Valley, so let's take a quick step back and say: in a lot of places in the world, such as Argentina, people don't go around calling themselves 'nerds.' So major props to the band for naming themselves NerdKids, and for naming first track off of their album "Este es el tiempo de los chicos raros," or "This Is The Time of Strange Boys." (It's worth pointing out that there are 2 girls in the band but chicos refers to them all)

According to this press clipping, they say:

"We're strange boys. We have to do with what makes up the nerd part of society: comics, movies and books. We're neither heterosexual nor homosexual: we're sexual. We're in the future and we have to leave aside a whole bunch of primitive ideas.

This is a breath of fresh air in the almost universally stale world of Argentine rock: at last, an idea! So does the music live up to this rhetoric? Yeah! This rock is really good at sounding like it's from the 1990s. It's nothing ambitious, and I can totally tell that this band idolizes the Smashing Pumpkins, but I did too so that's not a problem. This is 'emotional' rock in the way that Dinosaur Jr. is... the singer's lyrics are pretty pathetic, although there's more hope here than with Dinosaur Jr. I don't know of any other frontman of an Argentine rock band who is willing to suffering without sounding fake.

NerdKids - Videos+Discos [Bubbleglam, 2006 <--start here]

NerdKids - Este es el tiempo de los chicos raros [Bubbleglam, 2006]

NerdKids - Estaciones [Bubbleglam, 2006 <-- 'epic' rocker]

July 18, 2008

Yet another musical piece to accompany your summer [Aaron Robinson]

During my younger, more freewheelin' days at college, when "responsibility" was more of an idea than actual practice, a friend of mine passed along this great electronic music DJ mix by a man named Aaron Robinson. Smooth transitions abound and filled with killer electronic tunes, this mix is another perfect complement to a hot summer day. Full mix below!

Aaron Robinson - March 2006 DJ set [don't let the title fool you - it's pure summer!]

July 16, 2008

Sorta old school stuff that came up for me on shuffle

One day I'm hearing Naughty by Nature on shuffle, the next I'm again pleasantly surprised by how much I like Treach:

How dumb is it that I had to convert this Naughty by Nature song from a WAV into an MP3?

Naughty by Nature - Let the Ho's Go

Rakim - The Punisher

Showbiz and A.G. - Party Groove (Bass Mix) [Runaway Slave, 1992 - i want to reward people searching for this, if you want the album just ask]

July 15, 2008

King Khan and the Shrines at The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, 7/11/08

Fair warning: this post is kind of NSFW

kk + four shrines

This is the summer of King Khan and the Shrines for me, as I'll be seeing them three times over the course of a month and a half. At a certain point of this show, I had to put my camera away because I was having too much fun. I don't have anything to say about this concert, hopefully the pictures explain why. I'm gonna shoot more at the next two shows - Pitchfork this weekend, and the free Black Lips/Deerhunter/King Khan concert in August. (in nyc, duh)

The first three tracks from King Khan's album What Is?! follow.

King Khan and the Shrines - (How Can I Keep You) Outta Harms Way [What Is?!, 2007]

King Khan and the Shrines - I Wanna Be A Girl [What Is?!, 2007]

King Khan and the Shrines - Welfare Bread [What Is?!, 2007]

July 14, 2008

Guilty pleasure #178 [Cicada]


I don't know how this got to the bargain bin, but it's a crime it did. July 4 weekend I was out In San Francisco with Dan, and as is customary with a trip out to California, I went to Amoeba Records. When skimming through the electronic music section, I came across a little gem of a group called Cicada, which produces some poptastic electronic similar to contemporaries Mylo and Spektrum.

Now, when I first moved to NYC I constantly hit up this great dance music store called Satellite Records, which tragically shut down this passed Winter (vinyl is even less profitable than CDs these days). While shopping there, I came across this record by Cicada called "Cut Right Through", which though was pretty standard fare, had a phenomenal remix that I would constantly spin on my tables at home.

Flash forward to this past Sunday. Cicada's debut album, which includes "Cut Right Through", is sitting in the electronic music section at Amoeba for a mere $5 (markdown from $18, and this is an import, for crying out loud!). I had to buy it, and so I did. While there are some duds, there are fair amount of absolute electronic pop screamers, including "Electric Blue", and a track with moderate fame, "The Things You Say", which are posted below for your listening pleasure.

Cicada - The Things You Say [Cicada LP, 2006]

Cicada - Electric Blue [Cicada LP, 2006]

July 11, 2008

Serge x Herbert


I got in to "Bonnie and Clyde" after downloading some Gainsbourg comp. I'm pretty sure I've heard it somewhere before, but I'm very much more in to it now. This Matthew Herbert remix of the song is excellent.

Serge Gainsbourg - Bonnie and Clyde (Herbert's Fred and Ginger mix)

Serge Gainsbourg - Bonnie and Clyde [this is an m4a, sorry]

July 10, 2008

Balearic bounce [Studio]

"Life's a beach"

Summer grooves continue here at Hey! Student with the positively fluid sounds of Studio. Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, Studio churn out intricately composed space disco grooves with percolated guitar work, a variety of airy synthesizers, big piano sounds, and [gasp!] steel drums, all of which perfectly accompany a summer sundown or ride home from a raging party at 5 AM.

West Coast, the group's proper full-length, is well-paced with only six tracks, though each one is epic in sound and production, ebbing and flowing so beautifully that you feel as though you're living in slo-motion. In particular, the album's first track, "Out There", is a 16-minute magnum opus that twists and turns and is filled with so many differing musical themes that keep you guessing all along the way.

In many ways, West Coast is very similar to a Hey! Student stalwart, Out Hud, and there debut album, S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D., which also has few tracks, but each one is an elaborately composed instrumental work with unique musical story arches. However, while Out Hud recall the No Wave movement of the late 1970s/early 1980s, Studio is steeped in Italo-Disco sounds and the Balearic dance movement of the 1980s. Either way, both are engaging listens, and for your listening pleasure (and next summer freakout), check out "Out There", posted below and sure to get you all in a twist.

Studio - Out There [West Coast LP, 2007]

July 9, 2008

Letting commenters inspire posts

ryan has left a new comment on your post "AFX Coachella set [Aphex Twin]":

I never seen Aphex live, but this image reminds me of a CMJ show I heard about in 1998: Merzbow vs. Alec Empire. I was actually in town seeing the Grand Royal showcase (bis, buffalo daughter), but I can't imagine the pain that must have gone on for those that were there (at CBGBs)

I've been meaning to post this Buffalo Daughter song for so long, because I love it. Back at WNUR I used to enjoy pulling it from the stacks because it was pressed on yellow vinyl. Wild! Anyway it it's finally the right time to post it, Justin can bear witness to this. I like how I've managed to incorporate my two most lame topics into this post, namely the weather in San Francisco and the halcyon days of college radio.

As for the Atari Teenage Riot song, I was really in to this in the seventh grade or something like that. Not that I was into anarchy, I just liked the song.

How will other Hey! Student readers inspire future posts?

Buffalo Daughter - Cold Summer [a 7" on yellow vinyl, sometime in the 90s]

Atari Teenage Riot - Atari Teenage Riot [who knows/cares anyway]

July 8, 2008

Mad decent [Diplo]

"I like turtles"

In keeping with fresh sounds for the summer, feast your ears on Diplo's hot I Like Turtles mix. While Jackie Mittoo's warm reverberated keyboard work is a perfect complement to a relaxing summer day, I Like Turtles will surely get your booty shaking and your body perspiring during those endless summer nights. Filled with tongue-twisting reggae, baile funk, crunktastic hip hop, smooth electronic and lots of tracks from Diplo's former muse, MIA, this mix slowburns and blazes all at once.

My advice: throw on some Jackie Mittoo at your next BBQ. Then, as the day becomes night, and a steady stream of alcohol is coursing through your fellow party cohorts' veins, do a 180 and kick things into high gear with the two tracks below. People need to sweat during the summer, and what better way to do so then to get people dancing and crazy? This shit is mad decent!

Diplo - I Like Turtles, Track I [I Like Turtles (A Diplo Mix) LP, 2007]
Diplo - I Like Turtles, Track II [I Like Turtles (A Diplo Mix) LP, 2007]

July 7, 2008

How to enjoy your summer [Jackie Mittoo]

The "keyboard king"

This weekend I made myself feel like a functional member of society by walking into a record store and buying a bunch of CDs. Now I can be more OK with distributing mp3s on my blogspot. (SEO yall!!)

Here are two songs off of the Jackie Mittoo album "Featuring Winston Wright at King Tubbys." Honestly I've picked them randomly, they all pretty much sound the same, i.e. great. I recommend this for summer, if you have that, i.e. if you live somewhere in this hemisphere outside of San Francisco. Jackie Mittoo is a great keyboard player, and although King Tubby didn't actually produce this album, it was recorded at his famous dub studio. This is all instrumental, so just put it on at your BBQ or something and enjoy. We'll have those in October out here.

Jackie Mittoo - MPLA Rock [Featuring Winston Wright at King Tubbys, 1970X]

Jackie Mittoo - King Girls [Featuring Winston Wright at King Tubbys, 1970X]