Monday, February 02, 2015

Radar 2k14 Reflectozoid


Andrew Bird: I Want To See Pulaski At Night [Grimsey] 
Bill Callahan: Have Fun With God [Drag City]
Nick Drake: Tuck Box [Island]
Olivia Tremor Control: John Peel Sessions [Chunklet]
The Velvet Underground: Foggy Nation [Sundazed]
The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground [Sundazed]
Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra: Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything [Constellation]

Lambchop: Nixon [Merge] [reissue]
Quilt: Held in Splendor [Mexican Summer]

Breton: War Room Stories [Cut Tooth]

Broken Bells: After the Disco [Columbia]

Sun Kil Moon: Benji [Caldo Verde]


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Elliott Smith Unreleased Compilations:: A Shot of White Noise & Violent Girl

A Shot of White Noise

Violent Girl

I recently re-curated my Elliott Smith rarities into two collections. The idea behind these two compilations was to try to create two albums that could feasibly be like actual Elliott Smith releases. The first record, A Shot of White Noise, is more acoustic and the second, Violent Girl, features compositions with more instruments and usually electric guitar.

"A shot of white noise" is a lyric from "Crazy Fucker" (also called "Another Standard Folk Song"). "Crazy Fucker" starts off in the middle of a recording session where a disappointed Smith has already finished a song and says, "That wasn't such a good version of that..." The lyrics that follow capture an unique autobiographical portrait of the Elliott Smith in accounts from people that were close to him like photographer Autumn De Wilde (check out her excellent Elliott Smith photo and interview book here). It's a perspective of his music, flirtations with drugs, his juxtaposing character that sings sensitive songs and also gets into bar fights, as well as subtle hints of his past. Arrow also happens to be the name of Autumn De Wilde's daughter that had him singing "Arrow, come pick me out."

"Violent girl" captures the more aggressive (and more upbeat poppy) songs and the title comes from "Some (Rock) Song." The lyric is "I want a violent girl who's not afraid of anything." It's an interesting song, because there's another version of it present on A Shot of White Noise. One of the most striking differences is that the lyrics are changed from "Charlie beat you up week after week" in "Some (Rock) Song." Charlie was Elliott's step-father and, as one could gather from the lyric, he may have been quite abusive. The name comes up in a couple other of Elliott's songs, particularly "Flowers for Charlie."


Friday, October 03, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

Navigate Paris with Balades Sonores

Originally published on
Paris can be an intimidating city when it comes to navigating independent music, especially since there’s really no other city like it in France and “electro” tends to drown everything out. Wandering into the small boutique called Balades Sonores can be like opening the door into another hidden Paris. For one of the biggest cities in the world, it offers an unmatched intimacy and not just because the place is really tiny (in the typical Parisian style of ultra-small shops and elevators). Located in the area called Pigalle in the 9th district of Paris, it’s crammed full of music and oddities like crocheted pillows that look like vinyl records and T-shirts custom made by the shop’s house designer and artist, Chicamancha.


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

New Emperor X: The Orlando Sentinel

Emperor X has a new EP/album coming out on June 27th called The Orlando Sentinel.  You can listen to the first track "Fierce Resource Allocation" above. Not too many details have come out about the album yet, except that it will be awesome. Emperor X is touring around the US in June and Europe in July.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sleep-Hiking Bastard Mountain

Farewell, Bastard Mountain cover
Originally published on

Traveling to Edinburgh for just a few days, it was hard to imagine that the namesake for the group Bastard Mountain wasn’t in fact Arthur’s Seat, the city’s highest crag with a patchwork of yellow wild flowers and spotted with bunnies darting from stone staircases, behind broken fences and into the bushes. Or to imagine that the grassy field of spirits from “Meadow Ghosts” wasn’t actually hidden around the overgrown river walkway along the banks of the Water of Leith. The music’s lingering, winding guitar parts, the rumbling, hum of the accordion and the subdued voices and harmonies are a perfect companion to the moist green city with black-stained castles and cathedrals.


Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Spanish bands to watch from Primavera Sound 2014

Every year Primavera Sound in Barcelona hosts some of the best indie bands out there, but did you also know that Spanish bands play the festival? And no, not just John Talabot. Spanish groups usually play during the 5PM time slot when everyone is either just waking up from their 7AM bedtime or going back to sleep for that sweet, sweet siesta so you’re sure to see Arcade Fire or Kendrick Lamar. So, it’s easy to miss them. Here’s a list of some of the Spanish acts that played the festival that are worth keeping an eye on.

Univers, from Barcelona

The epitome of Spanish shoegaze, Univers have been our friends since we interviewed Mujeres a while back, as both groups share a member. We also wrote about their last EP La Pedregada, and this year they came out with their first full length L’Estat Natural. It’s lovely dimension bending guitar riffs and voices drenched in reverb.

Pional, from Madrid

A good buddy of John Talabot and featured on 2012's Fin, Pional makes house and electro music. Constantly releasing remixes on his soundcloud page, his DJ set is one of the best at Primavera Sound. And his original electronic compositions aren't too shabby either.

Oso Leone, from Mallorca

Oso Leone make some minimalist electronic music that is as entrancing as it is poppy at times. With reverb drenched vocals as the songs wind deep into their meditations, you might not even realize what language the band is singing in, but it doesn’t even matter.


Wednesday, April 02, 2014