Friday Streams -- March 24, 2017

This week's streams feature 2 records dealing with life-changing events and new beats from Madlib.

New Releases

After the untimely passing of Geneviève Castrée, Phil Elverum returned to the room where Geneviève, his wife, had passed and began to record. A Crow Looked at Me is the result of this labor.

Before the release of Portland band Braveyoung's second record, founding member Isaac Young was seriously wounded in a motorcycle accident. He's since recovered and the band is releasing their first record since 2011's We are Lonely Animals.


Who can say no to 18 new tracks of Madlib beats?

One-hitters


I used to think that "Creep Folk" was the appropriate term for Timbre Timbre, then I clicked on this track and heard the synth.

Off the radar


In prep for Café Tacvba's first record since 2012, take a little ride back to 2001 with Tiempo transcurrido. It's a collection of tracks from the band's work prior to 2001 and features the only official releases of "La locomotura," "Dos niños," and "La muerte chiquita." Tracks from what would become the band's abandoned second album.



Friday Streams -- March 17, 2017


It's Saint Patrick's Day and I'm still digging out after a blizzard. Here's the albums that I'm streaming/downloading/buying this week.

New Releases:


It's their return to Matador after Telefono, the band's '96 debut, and first without Eric Harvey since '02's Kill the Moonlight.


The leaders of Galaxie 500's fan club drop their first LP post Matt Mondanile's Ducktails departure.

One Hitters:


Probably the music news of the week is Feist's return with Pleasure on April 28. One presumes that this is the title track, and is the first new music from her since 2011.


40 years after Pink Flag, Wire keeps it comin'

Off the Radar


Once upon a time, out of college, I thought that I could earn some cred by working at venerable (and now defunct) Louisville record store Ear X-Tacy. The man who took my application was Jason Lowenstein, legendary member of Sebadaoh, bandmate of the the Fiery Furnaces. 

I did not get hired.

Lowenstein is back with a proper record in 2017 ("Machinery" is our first taste). His 2002 debut is, still a great listen.

Friday Streams - March 10, 2017


It's a big musical world out there. And there are a lot of streaming options and sounds to fill your side face holes. So, from time to time, we'll try to offer you a map to what we're listening to, downloading, streaming, etc. with bite size responses based on things which (if I keep writing this at this hour) we probably haven't heard yet. Here's this week's edition.

New Releases:
The Magnetic Fields - 50 Song Memoir (Spotify isn't currently giving me a streaming link, will update when I get one)

The write-ups are already monumental and, in the first record in 5 years, Stephin Merrit returns to the giant scope that made 69 Love Songs so popular. This time, the subject matter is himself. Make some time for this, the album totals some 2.5 hours.


June's 2013 Pushin' Against a Stone is probably one of the most underrated records in an Americana-ssance that spawned a thousand insurance commercial jingles. June never played that way. Her bluesy vocals matched well with a minimal, rootsy instrumentation.

Besides The Magnetic Fields, odds are everyone will also be talking about Heartworms, The Shins first album in five years, too.

One hitters:

Speaking of bands that haven't released in a while, "And Boundless" is our first taste of DMST, cousin of Godspeed You! Black Emperor (GYBE), since You, You're a History in Rust


Shelley's Ginko is probably the best record you've never heard. Excited for the new one.

Re-releases:

For me, this was always the masterpiece. The expanded edition remasters the old and brings in a slew of live tracks and includes the whimsical (not always a word that you associate with Smith) "I Don't I'm Ever Gonna Figure It Out." For the fist-timer or for the old-timer, there's practically no better musical experience than hearing "Say Yes."

Off-the-radar:

The only soundtrack for your Saturday vibraphone retro party, Big John Patton's Let 'em Roll is cooler than we will ever be.

FIVE "MUST SEE" ACTS AT SXSW 2017


It's been a while since I've posted, so quick life update:  started a company last year with two buddies called Vectortone and we've been throwing concerts in the Louisville / Lexington area.  The downside has been finding time to write on WLFY -- the upside is I've been catching five-six live shows a week.

With all this recent concert experience, I wanted to share my "CAN'T MISS" acts at SXSW 2017:


5.
RON GALLO

You can't fake having a good time and Ron Gallo never has to.  They turn the stage into their own carnival funhouse, distorting the commonality of a rock show into a musical journey packed with catchy songs and inviting banter.  Ron Gallo isn't for lovers of rock or punk... Gallo is for anybody who loves music and connecting live with musicians who actually give a damn.



4.
JAMES LINDSEY

From the birthplace of the Greatest of All Time... I give you the Greatest Unknown.  A household name in Louisville, KY, James Lindsey (previously Jalin Roze) is all talent and no pretension. With his breezy melodies and a locked-in dedication to his art, Lindsey will be one of those sets you catch at SXSW that makes you feel the amazing power of discovery. An artist of Lindsey's caliber deserves ears and I hope you can make his set. 



3.
HAND HABITS

SXSW can be an exhausting week with a blur of bands being ushered on and off stages.  I always recommend taking a break and catching some singer/songwriters in an intimate setting.  If you have a chance to catch Hand Habits in such a venue... do it.  Meg Duffy's voice will wash away the long days in the sun, the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, and the hangovers.  If you need a mid-week therapy session, let Hand Habits put your mind at ease.  



2.
WHITE REAPER

Now that White Reaper let me go and moved on to better management, I can finally write about them on WLFY and let the world know what I really think about them: they're one of the best live bands going right now.  You don't describe a White Reaper concert... you go to one and become part of it. SXSW 2017 break out band... put it in the books.



1.
BOOGARINS

The best live band I saw in 2016.  Please.  Please.  Please go see the Boogarins.  No words or pitch needed... watch the video below.  


Track of the Day: Tara Jane O'Neil - "Ballad of El Goodo"


The "Ballad of El Goodo" is one of those songs that's a renewable resource. Each time I hear it, something new seems to rise to the surface. With nearly every cover, Big Star's signature track seems to bend to the strength of its interpreter, drawing out the best of the coverer & the covered. Tara Jane O'Neil's delicate rendition (Day 24 of the Our First 100 Days comp) plays to her ethereal soundscape in a way that you won't miss that drum fill for one moment.

The bonus is that for $30, you can purchase the entire comp which includes other luminaries like Angel Olsen, Ryle Walker, Califone, Bill Fay, & Toro Y Moi. The proceeds go to help a bevy of organizations who support causes like reproductive rights and immigration as we get through the first 100 days of the Tweet-in-Chief.


Music Video: The Magnetic Fields - "'83 Foxx and I"


Easily, one of the highlights of this coming music year will be the release of The Magnetic Fields 50 Song Memoir. In the tradition of 69 Love Songs, the album will be a mammoth, 5 disc undertaking, with each track chronicling a year (or moment in a year) from principle Field Stephin Merritt. The album drops March 10. As teasers, we got a taste, last year of 5 songs from the album, and now almost a month before the release, we get to see some visuals with "'83 Foxx and I." As Merritt describes, the song is a tribute to John Foxx, a synth pioneer, and leader of Ultravox. The video, directed by Alex Basco Koch, uses strings of archival footage to accompany Merritt's appropriately synthy score. Like memory, the video feels like a return to time before, highlighting Merritt's prodigious songwriting.