Over this past block, I made an episode of a podcast. It’s not completely about music, but it’s on how sound makes meaning, so I figured I would post it on here. In it, I interview two really wonderful members of the CC community, Jake Sabetta and Jane Hilberry (and if you’re on this website, you will likely at least know of Jake).
Hope you enjoy!
“Witness” is an awesome gospel tune featuring the great Mavis Staples. Her voice combined with the soulful raspiness of Benjamin Booker makes for an awesome song.
Chance the Rapper has been a collaborator since the start of his career. Kids These Days, an indie hip hop group from Chicago, includes among its members Nico Segal (later known as Donnie Trumpet) and Vic Mensa, both of whom frequently collaborated with Chance after the band split in 2013. “Wasting Time” features Chance crooning between horn interludes with typical emotional eloquence, “Damn I love you/ Don’t know what the means now/ but I love you.” The sobering lyrics and rich variety of sound and tempo make the track incredibly potent.
Get your daily punk fix. You know you need it.
Spring brings a huge influx of new music. Below is a -mini- playlist of five new spring 2017 releases. Enjoy!
123 by Girlpool
Listen to this when you’re getting up Saturday or Sunday morning
Flowing Over by Palehound
Listen to this en route to 7/11
Full Screen by Adult Mom
Listen to this song when you are waiting for your friends to meet you in Worner for Rastall brunch
Baybee by Jay Som
Listen to this when you are sitting on a quad not doing your homework
Caught in a Lie by Chastity Belt
Listen to this when you’re waiting in line to get your mail
Before there was MF Doom or King Geedorah, there was Zev Love X. Rapper Daniel Dumile got his start as a part of the group KMD, which he formed with his brother in 1988. The group released their first studio album in 1991, when Dumile was only 17 years old. For longtime Doom fans, the rest is basically history.
Hearing a young Dumile spit on a track like “Peach Fuzz” is one helluva trip. Zev Love X’s raps have the same unique timbre of a typical Doom song, but the high-pitched pubescence makes it something entirely unique. You can hear the same savvy rhyme schemes, wacky references, and vintage samples on KMD’s music as you would on any of Dumile’s recent work, but with a distinctly old-school vibe. So kick back, revel in the ’90s slang and bump this blast from the past on repeat.
Over spring break I went back home to Austin for the SXSW, a week-long music festival where hordes descend upon the city while locals bitch about all the fucking people. One of the highlights of SXSW was catching Royal Trux at Hotel Vegas on Friday. Royal Trux is an experimental noise rock band that was active during the late 80s through the 90s, but until recently hadn’t played a show since 2001. They closed out the LEVITATION day party, where Wand, Merchandise, Cherry Glazerr and some other great bands also played, but seeing Royal Trux killed, and it made me listen through some of their records I was less acquainted with. One of those records was 1995’s Thank You, which features some of their most straight-up alt rock material. “Granny Grunt” is a fantastic punk-blues tune, with some sick, fuzzy guitar riffs and sharp lyrics. Dave Berman of Silver Jews also has a writing credit and is featured on the track, and his witty, poignant lyrical chops add a lot to the track. Dig it.
This little gem of a song popped up on my Discover Weekly this week, and the vocals instantly charmed me with their Frankie Cosmos-like easiness; if I were to describe Melina Duterte’s (the mastermind behind Jay Som) voice with a motion, that motion would definitely be floating, softly and lightly just above the melody. The guitar, especially in the solo near the end of the song, seems very reminiscent of Mitski, and since her and Frankie Cosmos are two of my favourite artists, it’s no surprise that this song caught my eye (or, I guess, ear). Plus, the self-proclaimed “most trusted voice in music” and our overall most favourite website, Pitchfork, gave Jay Som’s new album an 8.6 and oh-so-highly coveted Best New Music title, so she must be great. (But, seriously, give this song a listen).
Lollapalooza’s experiment as a four day festival needs to end. Aside from the obvious burden the festival puts on Grant Park and the residents of Chicago, the addition of a fourth day compounds the issue that all festival-goers know very well… the bands we want to see are now spread out even more than they were before. Fuck you Perry Farrell. I don’t know if you are responsible for this but as the creator of Lollapalooza, you deserve the blame. Do you think I want to drag myself through hordes of drunken teenagers in 90 degree heat for another day just to see one good band at 3pm and another at 8pm? No. There is only so much of that any sane human can handle.
This issue is trivial compared to the affliction that “rock festivals” everywhere are suffering from. Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza. All of their rock lineups are garbage. Rock music is not dead but festivals like these are accomplices in murdering it. Lollapalooza’s 2017 lineup has marginally improved from last year’s disgrace but all three festivals are trending in the wrong direction. I have attended Lollapalooza five out of the last six years but I have little intention of going this year. Sure, I like Arcade Fire and the Shins and even Cage the Elephant (even though they’ve sold out) but they are not worth spending roughly $400 to see. I’ll preserve what hope I have for Lollapalooza and wait for another year.
I truly hope that the Black Lips’ recently released single, Can’t Hold On, is not an accurate representation of what the rest of their upcoming album will sound like. Their last album, Underneath the Rainbow was mediocre at best and a huge disappointment following their awesome 2011 release, Arabia Mountain. There is not a distinctly good or bad feature of this new single. It simple sounds substanceless. It is as though it may have been a recording the Black Lips disregarded from one of their previous sessions. Can’t Hold On is five minutes of unremarkable noise and will likely let down any Black Lips fans.