I think I slept with Psychic Chasms under my pillow for the better part of 2009. Finally, Alan Palomo is hitting the 216 (Grog Shop, Tonight). Perhaps the glossiest of the the glow-fi movement of a couple of years ago, the music of Neon Indian has far more staying power than a majority of the johnny-come-lately acts that emerged in the same time frame. Since then, collaborations with The Flaming Lips and being covered by indie royalty have ben the result. For those who reside under rocks, check out my album review (to save a little writing time for me this afternoon) by clicking HERE. There are still tickets left, and plenty of time to get a babysitter and/or reschedule the plans. It's also a bonus that we get Neon Indian on a Saturday here. I think Clevelanders can roll out to hear a little 80's porn inspired, hazy electro-pop tonight, no? First beer's on me. Enjoy two things below. One, the track "Sleep Paralysist," which we've posted long ago. Additionally, we've got Palomo covering Cleveland's Darling, Cloud Nothings, and their track, "Local Joke."
Tag Archive: Cloud Nothings
I remember walking through campus in college constantly recognizing faces I couldn't put names to. Vague representations of parties I attended or acquaintances made at coffee shops or an occasional class period I managed to attend. There is a whole lot of this as the pace of the world quickens and most of our relationships are cursory and fleeting. In these sticky moments of awkward recognition (the head nod as we walk by familiar faces, the 'sup' we give to the dude in aisle nine we once met at an after hours, the embellished hellos we give without attaching a name), we become aware of the fickle nature of our relationships. Maybe not. Perhaps I'm just obsessive compulsive with a touch of social anxiety. Either way, whenever I ran into a vague acquaintance on campus, I felt all of these things, but also felt a sense of unity. We were in the same place. We shared the same pathways to class. We ate at the same shitty dining halls. Although we wander through our daily routines nodding to people we only "sorta" know, sometimes there is an unspoken camraderie that develops by simply being in the same spot. I'm a 32 year old English teacher that has lived in Cleveland over half as long as Dylan Baldi has been alive. Still, even though I can pretty much assure you that I'll never be on the same page socially with the brains behind Cloud Nothings, I still connect because of our geography. We both understand the harshness of Cleveland winters, the intensity and hope Clevelanders feel before a new football season, and the pride this town feels about its history, culture, and ethnicity. These aren't trivial musings. Cloud Nothings represents the town in which I live, and Dylan Baldi, while only being in this great city 19 years, is building an arsenal of musical material laced with the attitude and joys of the place he grew up in. It would be far too simple to label my review homerism; this guy is just repping the new record because it's the hometown kid. That certainly may have been initially true, at least for me, when it comes to his 2009 self-released, Turning On, but with this new, more proper and polished self-titled "debut," Cloud Nothings is distancing himself from his raucous and garage rock peers because he, quite simply, is talented and mult-faceted. This loose sense of unity and connectedness I have for Cloud Nothings is important for this city, but has zero to do with how killer and valuable this album will be to all listeners this year.
We loved Turning On for all that it is and was, a transitional album where listeners got to see the emergence of a talented kid with enough guitar chops to separate him from the cookie-cutting, power chord simplicity of his peers. Around these parts, Cloud Nothings is the little engine that could. His live shows are quick hitting masterpieces, far more mature than his age and experience should allow, but this town fills up venues for this kid and his axe. So many reviews will allude to the "bratty" nature of his music, or his "spunk" and "attitude." I heard similar (and still do) echoes when discussing surf-rock bad boy, Wavves, and his emergence. What reviewers and people SHOULD be noticing is how insanely frenetic and multi-faceted the guitar arrangements and progressions are, as the six-string is front and center in every track and, importantly, will set this record apart from the host of bratty punk/surf records that will garner hype this year. Word around the campfire is that Baldi wrote these songs on an acoustic guitar first, which really makes this album soar from top to bottom once my dude plugs everything in. "You're Not That Good at Anything" and "On the Radio" both combine the punky anthemic melodies and speed strumming, but lying underneath are beautifully arranged arpeggios and treble filled flourshes; the fills in "Understand at All" pound home this idea, as well; in other words, there's a whole shit ton of things going on in each track of the record. Some will focus on the catchy in-and-out nature of these quick hitting tunes, but underscoring Baldi's craftmanship in all 11 tracks is a mistake.
Of course, ultimately, the album is a rock record, representative of the blue-collar attitudes Clevelanders so stoicly cling to and emit; it's here where the album hits an air of sincerity and intensity that many folks won't truly understand unless they've been here; until they've seen the musty Beachland Tavern, the downtrodden near east side, or the remnants of a dying steel industry peppering the landscape of our night sky. Baldi has a better record collection than most people twice his age, but totally displacing a musician from his geography is impossible; in this case, it's a boon to the sound that anyone with a pair of ears should get behind. "Should Have" is an impressive road jam that not only show's Baldi's range, but is surrounded in a naive and sullen envelope of melody, perfect for our impending thaw on the horizon; Baldi pines of hopeful moments birthed from stumbles and the nostalgic notions of a wide-open future. "I always knew, I'd follow you, and now we know that it's much better." Clevelanders are a loyal lot, proud of its heritage, and many songs allude lyrically to this city. Other tracks, like "Been Through," pummel listeners with a barrage of gutsy arrogance that fits so perfectly in the northeast regions of Ohio, melting three different riffs and throttled percussion into the headphones. The chrous of the track shifts off-kilter into fragmented and jabbing vocals that exemplify what Cloud Nothings is all about – memorable and aggressive athems with enough melody and uniqueness to stand up on their own. Lastly, the album is not without it's warmer moments of clarity, signifying the band's growth and promise. "Forget You All the Time" is quite a left turn from his previous work but works as an endearing ballad; range is never a bad thing.
This record is triumphantly different from Turning On, and it really doesn't matter for the hometown crowd. It's crucially important for a reviving scene here in Cleveland, and the album is excellent, which will get it out of here and in the hands of many non-Clevelanders this time. The gritty collection of tunes that launched this act haven't been left for dead, but the new release moves into more mature territory. Vocally and musically, the move to Carpark has proven extremely beneficial. The scary thing is what the minimal adjustments have done to ferment Baldi's talents. This potency has limitless boundaries and we're excited for the future. This city has a rock star on the horizon and once the snow and ice melts, it will also have an album on repeat, awaiting Baldi's next ambitious effort. I've included "Understand it All" for a taste, including a photo from last night's rare unplugged performance at Music Saves in honor of the release. Around these parts, last night we nodded to people we vaguely remembered, but joined in that sense of unity that only great music brings.
Welcome to our first Guest Lecture. It's a new feature, wherein we'll hand over the reins of the blog to an artist we love, giving them our forum to write about a topic of their choosing. (Yes, we ripped this idea off from another music blog; to our credit, we did come up with a cooler name for it.) In the future, expect the occasional Guest Lecture from popular independent artists on a diverse range of topics. In related news, if you represent and/or are Stephen Malkmus, we'd love to hear your thoughts on immigration policy or whatever.
Our inaugural guest lecture comes from Cleveland's own Dylan Baldi, the man behind Cloud Nothings. We asked him to write about whatever tipped his canoe and he hit us wtih "5 records that I love/have influenced me that I don't see talked about enough." We're going to guess that most of these records are new to you, so we've got links after Dylan's musings to the relevant websites for more tunes and deets. With that, I'll cede the podium to Dylan Baldi. Enjoy.
Departmentstore Santas – At The Medieval Castle Nineteen 100-Year Lifetimes Since, D.S.
This is a fascinating little record. Hilarious anti-hipster lyrics, super lo-fi production with Everly Brothers harmonies, repetitive song structures…it should be horrible. And it kind of is. But it’s horrible in the best way. It works the way a Beat Happening record works, with a sense of innocence that makes it really difficult to dislike. (Good luck hunting this one down; fork over a couple hundred bucks on the ebay and you're there. Potentially.)
The Scrotum Poles – Auchmithie Forever
The Scrotum Poles were a Scottish post-punk band – they sound a lot like Wire to me. But there’s something here that puts them in a different league. At first glance they’re just working-class punks, but they really had a handle on beauty in their songwriting…the song “Pick The Cat’s Eyes Out” exemplifies that, despite the title. Absolutely one of my favorite songs ever. (Dude is spot on on this one; what I've heard, I love. "Helicopter Honeymoon" is the bomb. You can buy it here if you have a turntable and act fast; looks like the re-print is only 700 pressings.)
Audacity – Power Drowning
I don’t think these kids are too big outside of California, which is pretty stupid. This record is head and shoulders above almost every other garage-punk record I’ve heard. Like a more complex Ty Segall, they really just write fantastic, super catchy pop punk songs covered in fuzz…that’s a description you can use for plenty of bands, but these guys do it the best. I think they’re all still in high school or something, too, which is great. (This band has an "internet myspace page" which you can examine.)
Big Blood – Space Gallery Jan. 27, 2007
This is a live recording of a Big Blood show…they have tons and tons of albums but this is the one that resonates with me the most out of what I’ve heard. They’re from Maine, which I think is fairly well-represented in their music. It’s the kind of record that you really do just have to hear to know how powerful it is. They play simple folk music with some interesting instruments, and the result is often really heartbreaking and always entirely sincere. (I'd worry about seeing this band live, in that it sounds like they're (possibly) an actual New England based cult. More information here.)
Paavoharju – Laulu Laakson Kukista
I’ll end with one of my favorite albums of all time. This album defies genre and description, which apparently means it also escaped a lot of listeners – I don’t see it talked about nearly as much as it should be. Gorgeous ambient soundscapes are followed by twisted Finnish approximations of Britney Spears, which are then followed up by digitally altered chamber music, and a couple traditional-leaning folk songs are thrown in for good measure, too. It blows my mind every time I listen to it, and I’ve listened to it a lot. (We're going to guess that Finns are already on this one. For folks outside of Greater Scandanavia, more information is available here.)
Big ups to Dylan and Cloud Nothings for breaking the seal on the Guest Lecture Series. If you've been in a cave for the last six months and haven't heard "Hey Cool Kid," take the time to click play now.
Things I learned at the Blitzen Trapper show (an incomplete list):
1.) There are some really good songs on Destroyer of the Void. I've been struggling to get into the new record (probably because of how much I love the previous two), but Blitzen Trapper's live treatment of the new material sold me on much of it. "Love and Hate" is an explosion of glam rock histrionics live, pulsing off the stage in a fiery ball of T-Rex-esque power chords and drama. I now enjoy listening to it on the record; I get it now. "Sadie," buried at the end of the record (and the end of the set, coincidentally) comes across as a slow-burning Elton John song, essentially, live. Pair that with one of the most time worn themes in popular music (I can't change; you can't change me) and it's a winner. It's another cut that I was lukewarm on before the gig, but now have on repeat. The guitar riff on "Laughing Lover" is one for the ages.The stuff that I liked about Destroyer of the Void before the show, I like more after the show. The title track is awesome; live that second bit (starting right around the 3:30 mark on the record) is mind-numbingly good. "The Man Who Would Speak True" is (to a certain degree) Earley plagiarizing Earley, but easy to love. When he gives it the live treatment, it packs a big emotional punch. All this to say that I'm glad we didn't review this record when it came out. I'm not making the reductive argument that Blitzen Trapper is better live (as a drunken reveler did on the way out of the Beachland), but rather that the live material and the recorded material are essential parts of a singular whole. The ear needs some time to dig into this material; you need to see it live; Iyou need to approach it with a fresh mental palette, which leads us nicely to the second thing I learned at the Blitzen Trapper show.
2.) It's (mostly) good that the set is mostly new stuff. I love the old stuff. There were six songs from Furr in the set proper and one song from EP3 ("Silver Moon," although I (greedily) would have preferred "Big Black Bird." Such is life). The encore was all old material ("Not Your Lover." with Earley singing alone at first, accompanied only by his keyboard, then joined by Cousin Marty (super talented multi-instrumentalist Marty Marquis, who will always be Cousin Marty in my mind, give his gingerness) and Brian Adrian Koch for the soaring three part harmony, a blistering version of "Gold for Bread," and (after a brief conference between Earley and Marquis) a triumphant rendition of "Wild Mountain Nation," which Kevin captured on video using his "internet smart telephone.") At the show, I'll admit to being a touch bummed that the band didn't play more pre-Destroyer songs (to my eye, they played every track save two from the new record, which is a ton, that accounted for more than half the set). After I chewed on it for a bit, I'm glad they went heavy on the new material. Those are the songs that I needed to hear to keep loving the band. Arguably, it would have been easier for the band to bang through 90% of Wild Mountain Nation and Furr; Cleveland was ready to hear those songs. From the dude in the back yelling "Sci-Fi Kid" at every chance to the entire crowd's roar of approval at the opening strains of "Black River Killer," it was clear that Blitzen Trapper could have trotted out only the old chestnuts and left everybody smiling. They took the harder path and did the work of selling the new songs. Good call.
3.) Cleveland loves Blitzen Trapper. The show was on a Thursday; Blitzen Trapper took the stage at 11:00. The Beachland was packed. People were invested in the tunes, singing along, being a good crowd in general. For an act that hasn't been in town for something like three years, Blitzen Trapper was welcomed like conquering heroes. This makes me happy.
4.) (We've said this one before.) If Blitzen Trapper are within 100 miles of your house, go see them. They've got a ton more dates. You're a sucker if you don't make it to one.
5.) Cloud Nothings are as talented as advertised. Wow. Dudes blew the roof off. It was loud and fast and smart and awesome. There was a solid turnout, even though Cloud Nothings hit the stage two hours before Blitzen Trapper. Cleveland crowds (in my general experience) don't dance too much as a rule, but Cloud Nothings invite the pogo. My left toe was certainly tapping. "Hey Cool Kid" is, perhaps, the best song that Rivers Cuomo never wrote. Much like fellow Clevelanders The Modern Electric, I'm glad that Cloud Nothings are around. I'll not miss them in town again.
We've got videos, songs from the new record and a slew of photos. Enjoy. And, in related news, we get the setlist. Word.
Kevin and I have criss-crossed the midwest to see Blitzen Trapper. We hoofed it to a snowy Buffalo to see them open up for Iron and Wine in Ani DiFranco's converted church (and ran over a deer carcass on the way home) and hauled our asses to Detroit to see them at the Magic Stick (stopping in Bowling Green for Pollyeyes). Each time it's been worth the gas money and effort; dudes slay live. In the time that we've been blogging, however, Blitzen Trapper have bypassed our fair city here on America's north coast. Tomorrow, instead of a caffeine-fueled roadtrip, we get to see Oregon's favorite progenitors of death ballads on our home turf. Blitzen Trapper are headlining a killer bill at the Beachland Ballroom. We'll be there early to catch Cincinnati popsters Pomegranates and (perhaps more excitingly for me personally) our first glimpse of Cleveland up and comers Cloud Nothings (the other Dicks have caught these cats and said glowing things, but I have a kid, so lay off me).
To sum up: you, me, Kevin, and all of your friends will be seeing a triple bill of indie goodness tomorrow at the Beachland. First beer (per usual) is on Petkovic.
We've got a taste of what to expect below. We're reserving judgment on the new Blitzen Trapper record until we hear it live. I like it, but I'm ready to love it (and get it more, if you can dig) after seeing Eric Earley, Cousin Marty and the rest of the boys take it to the stage. Judging from the tracks below (one old and one new), BT has been honing their already impressive live chops. To say that I'm stoked is an understatement. We've also got a Pomegranates single to chew on and (again, really exctiingly) some Cloud Nothings audio (courtesy of the always on time NYC Taper). Enjoy and get your tukas to the Beachland on Thursday. For non-Clevelanders and homebodies, expect a full show dissection in the coming days.
Thanks to the folks at I Guess I'm Floating, we've been keeping a close eye on DIY'er, Dustin Payseur's Beach Fossils for nearly a year. IGIF introduced us to the band, what seems like ages ago, and we've been helping lob the tracks out there as they've been dropped. As our rolling theme of getting back on track this week continues, the highly anticipated (at least for us) album details and a fresh new track have been released, as of the latter part of last week. The self-titled debut is all set to hit the store shelves on May 25th via Captured Tracks. I posted earlier this week about Cleveland's own Cloud Nothings, and there's a lot in common here. Beach Fossils wanders into more varietal modes, however, and manages to do quite a few things consistently. Everything they've released thus far has repeat playback value. Probably of more importance is the unique spin on garage-centered solo creative philosophy. Tracks are fuzzed out, but never totter too far into the same monotone drivel we get from band after band lately. There's a raw edge, but a super calming gleam to the sound. Payseur's the real deal, and "Youth," the first track offered off the new release, is a bit more polished, but follows in the same mode as the sporadically released songs we've been enjoying for the better part of a year. Echoed vocals and chilled reverb on the surf-inspired guitar wrap this track tightly into a gorgeously understated quick hitter. I'm eager to get my hands on this in May.
Pre-Order Beach Fossils HERE
Thanks to James over at Shock Mountain, the entire streetside set of Cloud Nothings' Record Store Day show at Music Saves got the 9mm treatment. The sound is good. The video is grand. The energy sledding off this Cleveland outfit is worth writing home about. I've mentioned in quite a few earlier posts about how Cloud Nothings is working within well traveled perameters, but doing so with a cutting edge coolness that launches it well above the spastic garage DIY stuff that's been permeating the blogosphere. This kid's got something special, and if you haven't yet, grab Turning On at Insound by clicking HERE. I've only posted two of the vids here (along with the Memoryhouse Remix of "Hey Cool Kid") but check out Shock Mountain for the rest of the set. At this point in the evening, I had a belly full of PBR and Cafe Americano. Shortly after the show, I was out like a light. MP3 below the vids.
It's been weeks since I've logged on to post daily content on my beloved blog. We've left our readership high and dry. Not only that, but anyone visiting our site has had to look at a dead page for well over a week. We've been busy folks, and we saw this coming. Luckily, things have officially eased up and we're throwing our hat back in the ring. We've missed you, and we certainly hope you've missed us. We're not going to belabor you with excuses and explanations of our whereabouts. Just let it be something along the lines of, "we've all had shit to do," and leave it at that. In a nutshell, we're stoked to get back into the swing of things.
Sometimes it takes a catalyst to get movement going, and this year's Record Store Day probably served as the primary nudge we needed to finally launch back up. As the temperatures dove to just above 40 yesterday in Cleveland, the warmth of this damn-near holiday spread over anyone that took a short drive up to Waterloo just before noon. The fine folks at Music Saves and Blue Arrow (along with all of the galleries, shops, and eateries) do a hella job of making Collinwood the best place to be each RSD. The line of eager music consumers was well over 35 people when I arrived nearly an hour early, and when I saw fellow Citizen Dick writer, Justin, walking up and down the line filling cups of coffee, I knew it was going to be an excellent day. All of the businesses on Waterloo band together to put on a whole host of events. Whether it was the short DJ set by White Hinterland, the raucous garage jams of Cloud Nothings or Prisoners, the edgy art gallery exhibits, or the sweet nectar being served at Beachland Tavern, folks that aren't informed really need to head up to Waterloo, not only on Record Store Day, but as much as possible. The gentrifying nature of the old-school neighborhood is on the up and up.
I got out of there with a pretty good haul, as well. Music Saves isn't exactly set up for a 200 person onslaught, but Melanie and Kevin did an excellent job labeling everything and making it easy to find. It was a mad dash for some of the good stuff, but I ducked and weaved and got (just about) everything I was looking for.
1. Pavement's Quarantine The Past special edition LP (This one's going to Brian)
2. Ramones Mania compilation 2LP on this wicked half and half blue/green vinyl.
3. The Flaming Lips Dark Side LP
4. Antlers/White Rabbits split 7"
5. Fanfarlo 7"
6. Soundgarden 7" (This one's going to Brian)
7. Beach House – Zebra 12"
8. Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros – Streetcore LP
9. Roky Erickson/Okkervil River LP
10. Surfer Blood with Marnie Stern/Holiday Shores split 7"
11. Built to Spill 7"
The nugget I wanted most, however, evaded my grasp. I really wanted the Rolling Stones 7" and scoured Cleveland to try and snag it. I obviously had a successful RSD, but there's a bittersweet caveat added without this one in the mix. If anyone knows where one is lurking quietly, shoot me an email.
I'll conclude this post with a few MP3's related to this year's Record Store Day, and give my added commentary on the event as a whole. As the event grows larger each and every year, my only hope is that its success does what it's supposed to do – bring people into the store for the remainder of the year. I sat and chatted with Justin about this a bit yesterday. While hordes of folks come out to the record store and make huge ticket purchases, the entire event becomes pointless if these same consumers don't end up supporting local independent record stores as a general philosophical rule for the long haul. As a blogger, I get albums for free, primarily, but whenever I get behind an album 100 percent, I always buy the vinyl to help the industry. Hopefully, as more and more people get involved with this "holiday," we begin to see a thriving vinyl market. If we don't, then this turns into a Black Friday kind of thing, where people go back into their caves and don't continue to support the movement until the following year arrives. Truth be told, these record stores are probably not turning over a large profit annually, and if you know store owners, then you know that they're in it for the love of music generally. We should continue to support, but the frenzied nature of the Record Store Day energy shouldn't dissipate. If it does, it's lost its ultimate purpose. Get out to Music Saves and Blue Arrow, or any local store in your own neck of the woods. Do it weekly. Do it monthly. Set up a layaway plan. If you're consuming music for free, you should absolutely be throwing money back into the industry to keep it alive.
Enjoy the tunes, folks. I've included two tracks from Cleveland's very own Cloud Nothings. He absolutely killed a quick set outside Music Saves late in the evening. I've also got an Arthur Russell cover from White Hinterland, who DJ'd at the store and then opened for Dosh at Beachland later in the night. Last, I've included two featured MP3's from split 7" albums that flew off the shelves today. The newest from The Mary Onettes, The Love Language, CocoRosie. Great day had by all. And, damn, it feels good to be back.
This week’s been at least a touch calmer over at Citizen Dick headquarters and while I’m probably not in any shape to have an excellent brunch, this week’s tracklist is pretty stout. The forecast for the next three months looks promising, and we’ll do our best to keep you updated. As we usually advertise, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter HERE and on Facebook HERE. Enjoy this Sunday’s list and kick your feet up, folks. You deserve it.
Woven Bones – If It Feels Alright – Woven Bones does a whole lot of things right. The fuzzy and gritty garage clanging rock of this Austin band looks good in your headphones and even better on the turntable. They’ve been slowly garnering buzz over the last year or so with slowly leaked tracks and a killer EP that hit quietly last year. On May 18th, the proper debut from the trio hits the shelves and we’re excited to put our ears to it. Enjoy the first released song, “If it Feels Alright,” and hit the back catalog by going to their myspace page HERE.
Sleep Over – Fog Juice – I’ll first admit I know very little about this trio, other than the fact that I love their sound. I was an internet troll whenever I found a few seconds this week and I stumbled upon this incredibly eye-opening track over at Chocolate Bobka. This is 1/3 post rock breakdown, 1/3 electronic ambiance, and the remainder is probably best left to listeners. In the headphones, this song comes alive, shrieking and delicately haunting all the way to its close. Don’t expect this to appeal to the pop starlet in you. Let’s provide that disclaimer front and center.
Bear in Heaven – Lovesick Teenagers (Twin Shadow’s Twins in Heaven Remix) – There are a couple of reasons to include this track. First of all we’d like to congratulate this Brooklyn quartet on getting the nod for Pitchfork Festival 2010. Just recently named to the bill, this band is one of the more underrated players in the Brooklyn music scene right now. Beast Rest Forth Mouth is easily one of the best albums of 2009, and their recent string of relentless tour dates should have them primed and ready for an excellent showing at P4K. “Lovesick Teenagers” is redone well here. However, if you’re not hip to BIH, we highly recommend snagging the entire album HERE.
Horse Feathers – Belly of June – The calming and soothing sounds of Horse Feathers is just what the doctor ordered for me this winter. The last couple of days have broken the monotony here in Cleveland and the sun has peeked its hesitant head out of the opaque gray of our winter skies. One of the things I loved about their last album, House Without A Home, is that the tracks take their time to get embedded into your head. Sure, it’s a folk-based sound, but there’s an awful lot of talented musicianship here. It’s lulling and intriguing at the same time. We’re stoked for Thistled Spring to hit the shelves via Kill Rock Stars on the 20th of this month.
Julian Lynch – In New Jersey – We caught this track over at Pitchfork’s forkcast and loved it immediately. Julian Lynch’s upcoming album, tentatively titled Mare is expected soon and this leaked track is stellar. As if finding a unique balance between the progressive/jazz model and straight forward indie rock, this track belts out plenty of positive omens of things to come. Keep an eye on this one.
Javelin – Oh! Centra – I don’t think I take myself too seriously, and any Javelin album always reminds me of this. Not only is the Brooklyn duo incredibly adept at dredging up conglomerate sounds that remind me of my youth, but they do it with enough color and flavor to bring a smile and plenty of enjoyment. Their upcoming album, No Mas is dropping on March 20th, and “Oh! Centra” is a teaser. Electronic sampling may not be your thing, or possibly it is. Those in either camp can’t deny these dudes are excellent at what they do.
Mumford and Sons – Cousins (Vampire Weekend Cover) – When I first heard Mumford and Sons, I got excited. Then I saw the entire blogosphere in America sort of apprehensively sigh in contempt. Nonetheless, their most recent album is an ass-shaker. Fittingly, they opted to cover fellow indie darlings, Vampire Weekend. The track suits their strengths well. I sort of envision Ezra Koenig riding a four-wheeler through mounds of cow shit in the lush English countryside. If that’s not an image worth listening to at least once, I’m not sure what is.
Drake – Over - A girl that I have been spending a lot of time with lately loves Drake. I don’t particularly love Drake. I don’t particularly dive to deeply into the hip hop scene unless there are perks to be gained in the process. Did I mention that she likes Drake? She’s also gorgeous. Here is the new Drake track. If I could smash everyone’s auto-tune machine with a sledgehammer I would be the first to do just that. However, I can actually stomach this one. You be the judge.
Titus Andronicus – A More Perfect Union – The newest TA effort, The Monitor, hits full throttle from the jump and the Civil War inspired concept album is well worth the purchase. It just hit on Tuesday, and the recently released “A More Perfect Union” is an excellent taste of what’s to hear on record. For the record, this latest album jumps above previous work, and the conceptual tilt is something that works well. I suppose it’s a bit presumptuous to just lay one track of the album out there for you. This is a track full of loud color and intensity. It’s probably best to listen to the entire album here. Contrary to what the opening dialogue suggests, we warn you not to “Take a drink from the Ohio River.” Ill-advised, folks.
Cloud Nothings – Hey Cool Kid (Memoryhouse Remix) – Cheers to the hometown boys getting a little national exposure. I just snagged Turning On, Cleveland based, Cloud Nothings’ debut effort on vinyl last week at Music Saves. Let’s be honest. There’s not a lot of exposure of Cleveland bands, and the DIY ethos of our very own Dylan Baldi is well worth all the attention it’s receiving. The entire record is a ball of fuzzy melody that perfectly balances the gritty underbelly of Cleveland with bouncing energy. If getting remixed is a sign you’ve made it, then welcome to the discussion Dylan. For the record, I’ll take the album’s original cut of “Hey Cool Kid” any day of the week.
Phosphorescent – It’s Hard to be Humble (When You’re From Alabama) – Here’s To Taking it Easy will be released on May 11th to (at least we’re expecting) quite a bit of fanfare around the blogosphere. If you were situated underneath a rock last year, you missed the Willie Nelson tribute album that allowed Matthew Houck to tour a good portion of the US and gain a larger audience. This year’s album should be the litmus test, for me at least, to see if this is as good as advertised. I’ll have to say that this first track is excellent, and in rotation with that Horse Feathers track above, has helped me through the week. For more, hit the myspace page HERE.
Those dudes up there attended Yale. They’re ambitious and reliable. If I were forced to hop in a boat with 9 other dudes for my own safety, I’d be pleased to have these young lads at the helm. We’re not as reliable at Citizen Dick, or at least we haven’t been over the last three days. As such, our usual Sunday Radio Dick is being hit a bit early this week. We’ll hit you five tracks today and five tracks tomorrow. Big things have been going on around our Eastern Campus this week that have forced to go idle for a bit. Our apologies! Our writer, Brian, just became a proud papa. His son, Avi, was born this week, and our sincere congratulations go out to Brian and Mrs. Citizen. He usually hits you with his weekly Lazy Saturday posts, but he’s a bit busy at the moment introducing little Avi to the world of Megafaun and Phish. Look out world. At age 12, we’ll have another writer on the site.
Additionally, with tomorrow being the Super Bowl, we’re guessing that everyone’s going to slow down a bit musically and roll to the party circuit. As we hang back a bit and look at the last seven days, quite a bit of tracks have been flying through our emails. This week’s list is divided into two days and includes some just-leaked tracks from upcoming releases. Check out Radio Dick Part Deux tomorrow morning for five more.
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This Week’s List
Ariana Delawari – San Francisco – The situationally unique issues surrounding the recording of Delawari’s Lion of Panjshir are cool enough to hang your hat on. The album was recorded partially in Delawari’s homeland in Afghanistan while armed guards stood outside the door of the family home. It’s produced by David Lynch, as well. “San Francisco” was a track just cleared for blogger-posting so it’s a no brainer to get it on the site. Delawari sprinkles this album with a myriad of styles but this track is the one I continually go to on the album. It’s bluesy and emits a heavy dose of warbly southern growling. Repeat value written all over it. Certainly snag the entire album and read our late 2009 review HERE. Let this track give you a taste if you’ve not gotten the chance.
Yeasayer – O.N.E. (XXXChange Remix) – This week, Yeasayer’s all set to drop Oddblood to the universe with as much fanfare as tomorrow’s Super Bowl. As bloggers, we’ve received the heavy onslaught of PR emails, tweets, and have run the hype gamut. The positive thing is that Oddblood holds up to the media frenzy with an incredibly consistent and sonorous collection of 12 tracks. “O.N.E” was recently shelled out as a download to folks signing up at the band’s website. This remix wanders into interesting blipped out controlled-chaos territory, and since we’ve got a full abum review on tap for this week, the remix should hold you over. If you’ve not pre-ordered the album, you can do so HERE and get some cool goodies, to boot.
Esben and The Witch – Marching Song – We snagged this from Pitchfork on their daily Forkcast section, and we’re glad we tooled around over there this week. This English band has leaked out two tracks recently, including this one. They’re soon to be releasing a limited pressing 7” that includes the other track, “Lucia” which can be streamed at Pitchfork right now. We’re digging “Marching Song” for several reasons. First, it’s got all the brooding spirit of a hollow dirge, and the strikingly varietal percussion drops this somewhere into the realm of ethereal gloom. Super wicked double crooning erupts about midway through, leaving listeners both creeped out and oddly inspired. Sign us up for releases in the future. This isn’t primed to wake you up this morning, but may do an excellent job scaring the shit out of you.
Cloud Nothings – Old Street – Our very own Cloud Nothings has a blossoming interest in the blogosphere of late and we’re absolutely stoked over here. The band’s got quite a heavy following here in the rust belt, and it’s always promising to see our home team get some notice. The band’s SXSW shows are all lined up and we’re giving our ringing endorsement to check them out in Austin. The vinyl release of Turning On hits shelves on February 23rd, and this track, “Old Street,” is a slice of a stylistically slippery (yet all fabulous) sound you’ll get with the album’s purchase. The fuzzy undertones slides back a few decades into harmonious hook-driven rock n’ roll. Big bass lines and addictive distortion make this a track I’ve been blasting in my car for days, attempting to add a jolt of color into this grey Cleveland Winter. For those of you reading in the Cleveland area, you can check out the vinyl release party at Believeland on 2/13. Catch that show, because it’ll be the last time they hit Cleveland, presumably, before the SXSW madness wraps up. Cleveland Rocks, yo. So does Cloud Nothings.
Twin Shadow – Castles in the Snow – Brooklyn-based Twin Shadow, AKA George Lewis, Jr. is set to release his debut EP later this year. Produced by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor (which seems to be a recurring news story of late) via his own Terrible Records, the EP promises excellently produced sound. The taste here in “Castles in The Snow” launches listeners through plenty of the aforementioned sound. Driving synthesizers and a killer chillwave aura, for some reason, seems louder than some of the other bands dropping this sort of thing recently. Neon Indian has been touring of late, and I’d think this would be an excellent pairing. Lewis’ vocals are better. Catchy in all the right ways and epic in scope, Twin Shadow is certainly an outfit to keep an eye on as 2010 rambles onward. If you’re not hitting repeat on this track, check your pulse.