Monthly Archives: April 2012

Beat Culture – “Useless”

Beat Culture is the name of 17 year old Sunik Kim, from Hong Kong. According to his bio, he only started making music as of February 2011, creating post dub / experimental pop while drawing influence from artists like Balam Acab, Gold Panda, and SBTRKT. There’s a wonderful build up that starts with the metallic ticks and glitchy female vocals and ultimately progresses into a dreamy cascade of synths that are guaranteed to make you shake in wonder at the talent. The last 30 seconds are an absolute thrill, as the build up cited earlier finally releases into a rush of pulsing bassline and the splashing of previously mentioned synths before suddenly ending with a flourish. A lovely song to listen to early in the morning.

I feel that this following image best describes the song:

Listen: Beat Culture - 'Useless'

Beat Culture – Facebook
Beat Culture – Bandcamp

Beat Culture Soundcloud


Blackbird Blackbird “Waikiki”

Waikiki cover art

When you title your song “Waikiki”, there are certain expectations that must be satisfied to justify the name. The reference to the Hawaiian land must evoke some warm feelings at the beach, and this brief track does not disappoint. Mikey Maramag, the person behind Blackbird Blackbird drops one of the most upbeat chillwave tracks I have ever heard. Beautiful sequencing and uplifting synths are a trademark of Blackbird Blarkbird, and the vocals were a nice touch from what I previously heard from the artist. If you see the sun peeking out of the clouds, put on this track to to really lift those rain clouds from your day. When the only complaint is the briefness of it all, that isn’t too much of a slight is it?

Blackbird Blackbird will be releasing a new EP Boracay Planet sometime in the middle of this year. “Waikiki” will not be one of the new songs, but it would be a pleasure to hear the songs along this kind of sound.

Connect with Blackbird Blackbird – Facebook | Twitter | Website | Bandcamp | Soundcloud


Call and Response- The Record Company

Blues music simply does not come from the West Coast. It just doesn’t make sense…does it? Let’s check in on an up-and-coming band by the name of The Record Company and find out how they are producing music that challenge assumptions and still retain that timeless sound. Big ups to the band for doing this, even though they are really busy right now preparing for the may residency gigs, and recording (very exciting news for fans).
1. What’s a band in LA making music like this? Given the traditional representation of California, this is actually the last thing I expected from you guys. Can you explain how the band formed and how this sound formulated? The band formed because I (Chris) ended up meeting Alex (bass) when I was looking for a bass player for a different group.  We didn’t end up playing music at that time but we started hanging out and listening to records on the weekends. Marc (drums) and Alex had played together in a bunch of different bands, we all became good buddies so after about a year of hanging out we just decided we should play some music together.   The sound we came up with by just loving old records especially of the early Chess Records era.  I grew up in rural Wisconsin on a farm in the southeastern corner of the state so I always love music that reflected a certain honesty.  I’ve only been in LA a couple of years, otherwise I was playing and living in and around Milwaukee and the midwest.  I’ve loved soul and blues music from as far back as I can remember liking music.  When I started hanging out with Alex and Marc I realized that those two guys both had the same love of that music that I did.  In the end we just wanted to make music that we felt reflected in some way what we all felt, and the music we love to listen too….
2. Can you describe to us the your songwriting process? Who writes first?  Ideas can come from every and anywhere.  Mostly they come out of a desire to do something new.  Our process is never the same way twice, but I feel like we are all important in that process.  We do all our own writing, recording, mixing, and mastering so we get to really take something from idea all the way to the finish in our own place… In the end, we all need to be there to make the band work.
3. When looking through your guys’ own music libraries, do you mostly have music that resembles what you produce yourself?
Absolutely, for sure.  I am obsessed with Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, etc…. However, our collections don’t stay to just one genre. We all love music, and we all listen to as much of it as we can across a very wide variety of genres and eras…
4. Based on what you guys have released so far, “Don’t Let Me Get Lonely” and the cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, what kind of musical direction can your fans expect from an eventual release of an EP?  It will definitley continue to be a raw sound, something that reflects who we are as people I think.  We can’t help but have a blues sound, and as far as that sound goes we tend to lean on the early electric stuff.  It will hopefully just be a good record to put on at a party and drink some beers too.. 
5. One year from now, what do you guys want to get out of this band? How have your current commitments reflected this desire? We all would love to be playing as often as possible.  So far we have been fortunate enough to be getting some great opporntunities to play often, so I am hoping that will continue.   We just had a great time playing at SXSW and we are going to be doing a month of shows in May at Harvard and Stone in LA to celebrate the release of our new 45 “Don’t Let Me Get Lonely”.  After that we will be going and playing in Montreal at the Montreal Jazz Festival, we are looking to busy this fall and releasing an EP in the very near future.  We have all the songs recorded so we want to start getting them out especially because we are always recording more.  We all love the band, and our collective mission is just to give ourselves the chance to be heard by people and do what we love. Simple and true.
There you have it. Read it and get excited for their future works!

The Menzingers

 

I’m going to be quick, seeing as my next class starts in 9 minutes and counting. Just had to pass along this band. The Menzingers, from Scranton, Pennsylvania, are a four piece punk band who signed to Epitaph Records a while back. They released their third full length and Epitaph debut in February. I totally missed it, but it’s awesome. Honest and raw songwriting, these guys are a real rock band. Give em a listen, I’ll probably post more on them later after I’ve listened to the album a few times.


All the Best Sixties Bands Were “The Somethings”

A couple of years back on St. Patrick’s Day I was hanging out at home with my family. Naturally, at the ripe young age of 14 I was drinking myself into a stupor with cans of 7-up and Sprite (the cans are green, and that’s really what counts right?). So as my caffeinated self began to trudge up the stairs back to the solace of my room, my mother informed me that we would be watching a family movie tonight. Ugh mom, anything, ANYTHING, but a family movie.

Spoiler alert, the movie was awesome. In lieu of Kevin’s post on my friend Mr. Wolfy Bauer, I present to you, the creators of Dublin Soul, The Commitments. Both a movie and a band, The Commitments is/are amazing. To keep the summary short, Jimmy Rabbitte sets himself on a quest to bring soul to Dublin and to create the “World’s Hardest Working Band”. You might be a bit hard-pressed to find a whole lot of symbolism or deep meaning in the plot, but I have yet to see a more honest movie. You get this awesome mixture of the whole Irish lifestyle, with the passion and energy behind the soul music scene. Mr. Rabbitte describes it perfectly in this quote: “The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the Northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin. So say it once, say it loud: I’m black and I’m proud.”

The film itself is riddled with great music redone by the Commitments such as Take Me to the River and Destination Anywhere. The great music working with the constant humor ranging from subtle satire to the quick-witted jibes the band members fling at each other at all times of the movie (I believe its customary for every Irish conversation to include one “Piss off”).

What really makes the movie is the amazing music. It’s amazing how well the transition of Black American soul to Dublin soul goes. The Irish spin adds this raw and rowdy feel to the music that’s already a direct result of binge drinking. The movie’s a bit long but feels great in the end. If you’re looking for a feel-good with tons of great music definitely check this movie out.


Shia LaBeouf, Mass murdering Superstar? Inside the outrageous mind of Rob Cantor

The internet brings about some of the most fantastic things. This cautionary tale about the dangers of being near Shia LaBeouf in the middle of the night. One part comedy, two parts spooky, and everything violent, this ain’t about Shia LaBeouf from the Even Stevens Disney era. Turns out he took his murdering status from movies to real life. This song is glorious in how absurd it is. Repeat status.


Rebecca Black’s Competition? – Double Take

Hot Problems by Double Take is the BEST SO….no. This is absolute trash. I can’t even tell if they are just flat out stupid for producing some mangled cat vomit or brilliant for producing a terrible video that will get so much feed from the internet. I think I am going to stick with with the first one. Seriously? These girls are so damn superficial. Their chorus line is:

Hot girls we have problems too

We’re just like you, except we’re hot

Seriously the dumbest shit I’ve ever listened to. I do have to give props to Rebecca Black. At least she tried to cover up her terrible voice. These girls didn’t do anything at all. And Friday got catchy at times haha. Friday has Hot Problems beat for closest thing to an actual song. Let’s see how long it takes before these two girls rack up more dislikes than Rebecca Black…