Category Archives: Indie

Wondrous Bughouse-Youth Lagoon || First Listen Thoughts

The one man band of Trevor Powers in Youth Lagoon sees the release of his new album “Wondrous Bughouse” after the amazing debut album “The Year of Hibernation” come on March 5th. Thanks to NPR we get a preview of the whole album, and needless to say, Powers isn’t playing here.
While I have to admit my first impressions were not matched, I have to be realistic. I expected YL to do something that is pretty much impossible, build on the 1st album and make it better. While the unreal expectations were not met, I came to another conclusion. It’s not that he didn’t meet my expectations, he just changed directions. “Wondrous Bughouse” has new sounds that doesn’t match much of the last album and are wonderful in their own way. Blending a mix of simple pop beats and fluent synths, YL creates an album that can only be expressed with a curious attitude and a quizzical look. The best way I can really describe the songs are: Uplifting-Moody-Mysterious. It really just hits you in different ways depending on what your mood is. NPR quoted Powers saying that he didn’t have any epiphanies or discoveries when making the album but rather just let the music control his busy mind.

“Wondrous Bughouse” has all its little quirks that just made it a blast to listen through all the way. Some parts confused me, others made me smile immediately, but that was just the first impression. I have a feeling this album will work the same magic that the last one did, its lyrics and sounds steadily growing onto me until everything just feels natural to listen to. But at this point, all there is to do is to keep listening and go along for the smooth ride. Overall this album is a great effort by Powers. There is some that is left to be yearned for, but I can’t complain, YL does what he wants and if he’s going to be exploring something new, hell, I don’t care what anyone says, I’ll be tagging along right behind him. Grade if you really want it: A (in this writer’s opinion)
NPR LINK (either just start from the beginning or scroll down and choose what you want to listen to)

http://www.npr.org/2013/02/24/172611335/first-listen-youth-lagoon-wondrous-bughouse?sc=tw&cc=twmp#playlist

Favorite songs off the album (so far):

  • Mute
  • Dropla
  • Third Dystopia
  • Raspberry Cane

Don’t ask what songs they sound like from past albums. They sound different to me as it might to you. Just give it all a shot!


Ra Ra Riot – New Album “Beta Love”


First full length album coming from Ra Ra Riot since the release of The Orchard about 2.5 years ago, and the departure of their cellist. This album sounds pretty damn good, although it’s definitely a change from their earlier, organized rock type of sound to a more of synthpop. It’s actually kinda interesting to listen to, and some of the songs just kind of blend in with others because unfortunately, the synths don’t distinguish every single song from one another. A couple solid ones on this album though, that comes out January 22nd, especially “Dance With Me”, the first song on the album. Definitely an upbeat song, with a damn catchy chorus. Give it a listen here and you can just go through the playlist (note, the playlist may be taken down soon, and if it is, I will replace it).


Call and Response – Bubba Fish, writer/director of YouTube smash “Workout Buddies”

It’s been a wild ride for Bubba Fish these past few weeks. Since the online premiere of his short film “Workout Buddies”, a sort-of sequel to an earlier film–“Day and Night“, which accumulated over 150,000 views on YouTube–with the same cast, crew and themes, the ‘bro love story’ has accumulated over 50,000 views on YouTube, been posted on TotalFratMove.com and even featured on Wesleying. So the reveal of the film’s humble beginnings came as a surprise to me.

“We shot this a while ago. In twenty-four hours,” said Fish, the co-star, editor, producer, co-writer and director of “Workout Buddies”, “right before break.” About to return home for a break from classes, Fish and his buddy Michael Steves, who co-wrote and co-stars in the short, decided to embark on a ridiculous 24-hour shooting spree. The entirety of the film was shot in that time period. Fish remarked, “I was thinking I should probably pack”. With a little help from their friends—Joe Snell, Melanie Avalon and Drew Sampson—they were able to finish and Bubba made his flight home.

Following the sprint, however, the footage languished on Fish’s digital shelves as he focused on classwork and other projects. After a few months, Fish contacted his friend Eric Radloff, lead singer of the USC band Bear Attack (recently featured multiple times on the ABC Family hit “Pretty Little Liars”, and right here on LifeAfterNirvana), who had composed the song for the short’s sort-of prequel. Fish gave Radloff instructions to “make something poppy”. Radloff willfully disobeyed, and Fish now credits the acoustic, falsetto-filled song for creating the wonderfully bromantic atmosphere of the film. (You can download it here.)

The creative process on “Workout Buddies” was unique, in that Fish and Radloff collaborated throughout the editing process. “We sent it back and forth. I’d do an edit of the film, then he’d edit the song, I’d do another edit, he’d do another edit…” Fish recalls.

Fish is quick to credit the bromantic nature of the film for its success. “A lot of the recommended videos on the side [of the YouTube page] are gay videos,” Fish says. The top comment on the six-minute video at the moment is: “Hot makeout scene starts at 6:01”. It has 32 likes.

According to Fish, the film was inspired by “traditional romantic comedy structure”, subverting the tropes by focusing on bros who work out together. The over-dramatic nature of the execution of these emotional beats creates a comedy worth watching, and, according to Fish, “universally relatable”.

From personal experience, I’d say he ain’t lyin’. Check out Workout Buddies here, and revel in all its bromantic glory.


STRFKR-“Say To You”

So new Starfucker track, “Say To You” just out, the third single on the upcoming album Miracle Mile and so far this album looks to shape up real nicely. This track is a bit more on the chill side and pretty relaxing to kick back and give a listen. Compare it to some of their other songs like “Born”, “Rawnald Gregory Erickson The Second”, or “Biggie Smalls” and you’ll hear a noticeable difference, a lot quieter, but kind of endearing in a strange way. Fairly simple meaning too I guess, just a little love song. Give it listen and see what you make of it:

LYRICS:

In the night when I come
crawling home
I want to say to you
curse the daylight when I come
crawling home
I want to say to you
Sleep, set me free
In a dream
I am born
apathetic, finally
I’m not sure anymore
We just take what we need
If I was stronger
I would play the fool
I would say to you
Mock the day, when
I come crawling home
I would say to you

ALSO, they’re coming to the Seattle on February 26th, so if that interests you, go for it.

http://stgpresents.org/neptune/calendar/eventdetail/485/-/strfkr


Introducing-Joshua Baez

Hey you know that feeling you get when you listen to something and within 10 seconds, you just know that you want it downloaded into your music library for safekeeping? Then the next thing you know, it turns into some binge downloading, from one song to another, not even needing to listen to something through the whole way to know that it’s some damn good stuff? Reminiscent of some youtube adventures, this exact thing has just happened to me. I’d like to present y’all with this talented musician from Bellevue (whoop whoop, Washington!) named Joshua Baez.

This guy right here. He is good. Flat out. I don’t even really know what to say about him to be honest. His music is absolutely astounding. He calls his style a mixture of Alternative Rock and Indie Pop, but before we get into that aspect of his music, I really want to shed some light on the “Scores” part of his band camp. I don’t know where he got the inspiration for this or how he made it, but holy hell. I stopped writing this post for a while and I just looped all 7 songs over and over. I cannot describe what it is and why it’s so good, but I can just say it fit my mood exactly. So in a weird way, I guess the only way to describe these tracks are to describe how I was feeling. You know, sitting there and not really doing anything, but staring off into space. Not empty, pointless kind of space but where you’re actually thinking. Listening to it for a while, I knew that I had to look at some porn while I was at it. No not the kind of porn you’re probably thinking of, but some damn good earth porn. Yup, check some out right here if you want (Earth Porn!) It just made me feel like I wanted to pick myself up and place myself directly in those pictures to just sit and gaze for hours. Listening to these tracks just gave me some nostalgic feel, to what memories/feelings? I have no idea of, but it felt good. Just this warm feeling in the pit of my belly, kind of like you know things are going to be alright whatever happens and you can be content. Or you know, since it is winter time, it just gave me this feeling like I wanted to be outside, and the scene would be set perfect if I was chilling underneath a streetlight, snow falling around me and I was just feeling like I was good. As you can probably tell, I’m kind of rambling now, and it might not make sense, but those were the feels I got from these indescribable tracks. I will not single out any track. They are all fantastic. Choose one, play it and just go with the flow. Also, if you’re not in a calm mood or have no intentions to be, skip this for now. This is something to be appreciated and to be taken in completely.

A song written for our very own blogger, Dylan, for his short film “Titles Are Too Mainstream”. Here’s where I can heap on the praise for Joshua’s talent. If you’ve had the chance, you know “Scores” is already damn good, but for his songwriting/singing, he’s not one to pass over either, with this great track in “I Lost You”. Reminiscent of a young Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie’s lead singer), Joshua’s music just gives off the same feels as those of Gibbard’s. No it’s not because Joshua is from the Seattle area like Gibbard or that he has some damn cool covers of DCFC in the “Covers” section of his bandcamp, but rather because of Joshua’s lyrics and voice. With touches of vibes via lyrics from the D-Cab song “What Sarah Said” in a more upbeat tune, along with the uncanny familiarity of his voice that matches Gibbard’s in many aspects, I couldn’t help but immediately think of Gibbard when listening to this song. I always dig it when artists put little details into songs that aren’t the traditional guitar, bass, or drums etc, like the xylophone (correct me if I’m wrong?) in this track. This really made the song for me as it put that upbeat, hopeful feel into the song.


Here we go. Uke time. Seeing on his Facebook that he was part of a uke-piano duet, I went seeking for a track like that and “Please, Don’t Go Away” fits the bill. I haven’t really touched upon any songs that are uke and piano heavy, but a song that is just both those? wut. I was taken-aback by how much I appreciated the slow pace and chillness of this track. Once again, I’m sorry, I can’t describe the song. But I can give you one of the random thoughts that popped into my head. “Wouldn’t it be nice to just hop on a train and just leave somewhere with a significant other and just be carefree while the train bounces up and down?” + A random gif: 

Pretty weird, I know, but that’s the way my mind works when I can get some good songs to trigger these thoughts.

It only took me a few tracks to realize how chillax all of Joshua’s music is and I really dig that. If he isn’t a chill guy in real life, I’d be shocked. “White Wave”, one of his singles released online from his “Little Bird” album is just perfect. Why? Because for once I don’t have to describe what the song feels like to me because it’s all in the lyrics. Every aspect of this song just seems to fall into place perfectly and it’s awesome to single out different parts of the track and then smack them together again to hear the whole song. Best part of the song for me was the transition into a louder, more forceful sound around the 3 minute mark (you have to hear the transition).

Seeing as it is Christmas now, I think it’s fitting to leave you with Joshua’s little project called “25 Days of Christmas Cheer” where he leaves his own rendition of some good ol’ Christmas tunes. The cool thing about this specific one is that this is the slowest I have ever heard “Jingle Bells” ever sung. It’s distinctive and a bold presentation of the song, and for that, it deserves to be listened to with an open mind and a keen ear that tries to block out the traditional type of sound. It’s pretty damn cool actually, and if you dig it, listen to the rest of his songs all displayed up on his youtube page.

“I’m very passionate about music because I believe that music is a language that everyone speaks. We’ve all felt weak, helpless, alone, but with music, you suddenly don’t feel so alone. I want people to be able to connect with my music, to be able to relate to it. I want them to know that even when life is hard, it will get better. All you have to do is step back and breathe.” -Joshua Baez

Some damn good words there and I wished everyone could know the power that music can have on people. It’s more than just some sounds mashed together, but something magical that can make you feel anything ever. I don’t play any instruments, nor do I have anything to contribute to the music world besides an opinion and an opportunity to perhaps shine some light on some undiscovered music, but that doesn’t matter. We have people like Joshua to create what we cannot express with words sometimes and to feel like we’re not the only ones in this world ya know? His entire bandcamp is gold and it came at a perfect time for me. I downloaded a whole bunch (free music! Errone loves free music, Thanks Joshua!) and I let it just sit and play, which is why this post took so long (I started at 10:30 last night and it’s damn near 5 AM now).

You don’t have to read all my words or take them into account, but I just wanted to let Joshua know that his music has what it takes to make it big (especially on the internet) and thrive, so I’m doing my part to support him. I appreciate your music man and your approach to it is inspiring. Please take the time to visit these important links and follow up on Joshua. He’s good and it doesn’t hurt to let someone know that their efforts are not unnoticed. You can find all his music up on his bandcamp, except for a couple (C’mon Joshua, link ALL your songs to the bandcamp main page like “I Lost You”). Give yourself some time with this stuff, it’s not to be tossed around lightly. Happy Holidays!

Official: http://joshbaezmusic.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joshbaezofficial
Music: http://joshbaezmusic.bandcamp.com/
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/joshbaezmusic
Tumblr: http://joshbaezmusic.tumblr.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/joshbaezmusic


Like Passion Pit, if it Were 1983: Breakbot

Hey, remember when I talked about seeing Justice live? Or when I posted about Jamiroquai? You do?!?! Awesome, because this post is loosely related to both of those!

When I saw Justice live at the Paramount this past April another French electro artist opened up for them: Breakbot. Had I heard of him before? No. Was he amazing? I think so. It’s hard to remember to be frank. But that is probably more of an indication that yes, yes he was. After the concert, at some point I hopped on my handy-dandy laptop and scoured the internetz for more Breakbot. And I found this: 

A beautifully groovy song, Baby I’m Yours takes on a distinct 80s personality but still reminds you that it’s modern and most importantly, hip. Aside from this one song though, I couldn’t find a whole lot of other good Breakbot music. There were some 40+ minute long mixes on youtube but none of them really got me tapping my feet if you will. So, lo and behold here a mere 7 months or so later, I found myself googling “Breakbot” to find the song and listen to it (for the 200th time), only to find that he has in fact released a new album.

Absurd levels of excitement

By Your Side is all very similar to “Baby I’m Yours” but in a very non-repetitive way. Everything song has it’s own story to it, but they all revolve around sort of 80s pop meets electro meets romance. Romance is the key theme in this whole album. I can’t attest to it just yet, but I’d bet money that this album would be great to have sex to. Just sayin. As was referenced in the title, it sounds a bit like Passion Pit, with light synths and some mildly modified vocals. 

Here you can see a bit of the difference between the songs. Like I said, each song has a story told through the melody and lyrics. The whole album features some really interesting production and layering of sounds that’s very pleasing to the ear. Overall it’s just a great album that I highly recommend. Each song leaves you with a positive feeling and easily 75% of them make you want to dance in some way (the other 25% would be perfect for slow dancing). Breakbot’s really come out in an impressive way here and I’m incredibly pleased with the results. I’m looking forward to hearing more of his music and hopefully seeing him in tours to come.

Check out Breakbot on facebook
Buy and listen to By Your Side on beatport

 


West Coast Represent! HAIM’s “Don’t Save Me”

These three sisters, Danielle, Alana and Este Haim out of Los Angeles make up the nifty lil band that goes by their last name. And woo buddy do they sound gooood. Rocking a little bit of everything, sounding like some kind of nu-folk blended with some 90’s R& B, they bear a lot of resemblance to the former girl band, Those Dancing Days, but a bit different in the sense that the sounds of their songs change it up quite a bit. Releasing their EP “Forever” back in February, they’ve picked up quite some steam and are started to get pretty popular. I mean they got a Vevo and all…but in actuality, they have ties to artists like Julian Casablancas, Ke$ha, Florence + The Machine and some more, so it probably won’t be long until they’ll be established their own name in the music culture.

I want to give focus especially to their infectiously catchy pop tune “Don’t Save Me” and a fitting video for the song and its lyrics. Talking about not being saved and going up hard against some boys in B-ball? Pretty cool stuff. But the song is damn good. The chorus just croons and begs to be sung along with. I mean it’s just fun to say “Baby, don’t save me now” and dragging out the ‘now’. I’m glad they’re from the West Coast and bringing in another upbeat, catchy tune with this one. The thing that sets this song apart from their other ones is it seems to be the only fast paced one they have so far, but it’s damn cool and a perfect summer jam to look forward to being able to sing along with. Yo, ain’t no shame in singing along with girls. Keep an eye out for Haim. They’re gonna be something good.