Song of the Day: KMD – “Peach Fuzz”

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.

Song of the Day: Royal Trux – “Granny Grunt”

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.

SONG OF THE DAY: Jay Som –– I Think You’re Alright

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).

 

Concert Review: Thoughts on Lollapalooza

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.

Song Review: Black Lips- “Can’t Hold On”


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.

Black Flag – “My War”

 

“My War” is so much more genuine than the Green Day/Blink 182 teenage bullshit you listened to when you were crying in your room in middle school (not speaking from experience). It transcends basic teenage angst with raw, unthrottled emotion. Henry Rollins’ voice is haunting and the straightforward lyrics cut to the bone. Rollins sings, “I might not know what a friend is / All I know is what you’re not / ‘Cause you’re one of them.” The feelings of betrayal, alienation and rage are all palpable.  I’ll admit that I am a relative neophyte in the world of Black Flag fandom so I cannot appreciate this song as a part of Black Flag’s entire body of work. However, the raw emotion of  “My War” speaks for itself.

– Jake Golbus

SONG OF THE DAY: Grimes- Weregild

Although I love Grimes, I think I’ve listened to Art Angels and Visions a bit too much. As a result, I’ve been  listening to Grimes’ older music recently. “Weregild” is off of her 2010 release Halfaxa. Pieces of Art Angels, however, are reminiscent in this song especially in her sound looping throughout the track, a technique she has kept consistent throughout her work. The song as a whole seems a bit darker than her newer releases. In addition, the song is much more experimental, something I hope she doesn’t’ lose with her rise to fame.

SONG OF THE DAY: JOHN LENNON – HOLD ON

This song has been coming on my shuffle lately. Its funky beats and simple lyrics keep me listening and its a love song for Yoko so what more could you ask for? But I think this track off of Plastic Ono (1970) also appeals to me as fourth week in my impossible math class and spring break approach. It’s not too much of an commitment, over in less than 2 minutes, so go ahead and give it a listen. John also gets away with growling “cookie” halfway through.

SONG OF THE DAY: Neil Young- “Only Love Can Break Your Heart”

For some reason Neil Young’s piano riffs are often a kind of muted cornflower blue. That, combined with the rhythm and his cream-colored voice, makes this song wonderfully soothing (and, since it’s Neil Young, melancholic). It makes me feel like I’m rocking back and forth in a hammock. Listen before you go to bed for peaceful, restorative, Neil Young-filled sleep.

SONG OF THE DAY: Future Islands – Ran

 

Future Islands’ new single, “Ran”, off their upcoming album, “The Far Field”, is pretty sweet. In standard Future Islands form the song revolves around lead singer Sam Herring’s rather unique voice. Backed by a hazy synth and bass but rather crisp drum beats, this song fits in with previous albums of Future Islands. I’m fairly confident that this new album will seem more like a continuation of their progression as a band rather than an evolution of their sound and I’m perfectly happy with that. I’ve come to love Future Islands, especially their last album, “Singles”, and I’d be bummed to see that sound go. They’re a distinctive sound in a sea of indistinct indie bands (due in part to Sam Herring’s voice) and for that I’m thankful.