That’s All Folks!

I regretfully announce that ‘Daughters Of Wealthy Fathers’ will not be returning from its maternity sabbatical. Head-honcho Matt Main has endeavoured to continue music journalism, and is now writing for a sterling competitor in a new job in which we wish him the best of luck. Meanwhile, Matt Nelms has left England behind; trading in his lucrative soap company in exchange for a fresh start in South-East Asia. In an irregular career change the capricious Nelms has vowed ‘To live forever or die in the attempt’. Again, we wish him the best of luck.

‘Thank you for reading, one and all’

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site news: Maternity Leave

A precious knowledge baby is in the crucial stages of gestation, one month till this bitch is born and we’re back with a vengeance. Listen to some Fats Domino and Beastie Boys in the mean time.

list: Record Store Day 2011 Top 3 Releases

Of Montreal/ Casiokids 7”- With the release of thecontrollersphere anticipated within the next fortnightan EP containing the final residual droplets of last year’s False Priest– it was of some surprise to see of Montreal in action again so soon. Refreshingly, their cover of Buffalo Springfield’s ‘Expecting To Fly’ is far from the raucous psychedelia of ‘Black Lion Massacre’, the lead track from the above mentioned EP. Meanwhile Casiokids‘ B-side ‘London Zoo’ is a real slow burner, developing into a brooding and soulful dance track. The 7” comes courtesy of Norway’s Splendour records, who also release a split 12” from their remaining scandinavian clientele, Brad Laner and Joensuu 1685.

Lower Dens/ Deer Knives 7”– The success of Twin Hand Movement far outgrew anything Gnomonsong has seen before, in which case an emigration to Sub Pop a natural progression?  This small foray would certainly suggest that at least some activity is occurring between Lower Dens and the label, ever willing to endorse Baltimore dream pop. Strictly in this mould comes ‘Deer Knives’, a nicely structured effort, containing a gorgeous whale song Esc guitar play off mid track.

Cults Abducted b/w Go Outside (remix)– Another tantalising snippet from Cults’ first full length expected in May. ‘Abducted’ continues to channel the post lo-fi pop duets that have catapulted the duo into recent fashion photoshoots with Vogue and The New York Times, whilst singer Follin is given a better chance to stretch her considerable vocal chords. Listen Below.  

cover: La Sera- ‘Watch Me Jumpstart’ (Guided By Voices)

Since 2007, ‘Record Store Day’ has been growing and growing in endorsements, and it looks as though this year is going to be its most bumper harvest to date. One way bands have shown their support for the event is through covers, as we featured last week with Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing commemorative 7” split. Sing For Your Meat: A Tribute To Guided By Voices is as its name suggests- a collection of GVB covers, reworked by artists inspired by Robert Pollard and his Daytonian gang. Fresh from Share The Joy, out last week on Polyvinyl, Vivian Girls’ Katy Goodman has contributed a pretty organ based version of the melancholy ‘Watch Me Jumpstart’. Recording under her solo title, La Sera, Goodman appears amongst numerous other patrons, most notably The Flaming Lips and Blitzen Trapper.

artist profile: Youth Lagoon

Trevor Powers is channelling every young man’s frustrations into what can only be described as some mesmeric music. Having burst onto the scene 14 days ago, leaked tracks ‘July’ and ‘Cannons’ have already done the rounds, snowballing into somewhat of a internet monster. Amongst the usual hype a lot has been said about the hazy nature of Youth Lagoon‘s production- a point I feel may have been unfairly levelled. Yes, every layer is reverb dressed, but the punchy kick drum loops and fuzzed melodies that infiltrate each mix really lift YL above any chillwave malaise. Meanwhile, memorable vocal refrains are delivered with a brutal reality as to rival the most sincere of lo-fi hearts producing right now.

Powers bills the forthcoming full length The Year Of Hibernation as ‘a journal that I’m letting other people read’, a sentiment fitting his ramshackle approach to production. The vocals for example were recorded in a relative’s garage, blasted from one small speaker and recorded by two distant microphones. Time to fiddle with production is not something that the over worked Powers has in abundance (studying for an English degree with a full time job on the side doesn’t provide the most forgiving schedule).  However, having the enthusiasm to write and record in the short amount of time you have free is the mark of a true musician, someone doing what they’re doing purely for the love of their art. The record will be available sometime in the summer on the new Juno Beach Records, a company co-founded in part by Pandit’s Lance Smith and the man behind BIRP!.

Popular Songs: Volume I – Occasions

The air is mighty thick in here and blackness is all to see. Soon the worms will have had their fill and all you’ll be is bones for ever more. Is this heaven? Is this hell? Is anyone listening? This is a time to reflect on what was; a time to repent on what might have been had you not missed that train all those years ago. The question is, what would you do if you could start it all over again?

Explosions In The Sky – “Your Hand In Mine”
Maybe playing post-rock at a birth is a bit indulgent, but then again, little can rival the epochal grandeur of the genre. To my mind, the rises and falls of ‘Your Hand In Mine’ mirror the majesty of new life from old. MN
My Bloody Valentine – “Soon”
“Soon” just might be my favourite song of all time. It’s the closing track from one of my favourite albums, and it’s the best kind of closure; a succinct summation of everything that came before it, and yet so much more than just the sum of its parts. In that sense, it probably isn’t the most fitting choice, but paradoxically, it would be the perfect way to herald a new life. Towering, powerful, grand; full of choice, understanding that anything could follow from this event, aware of the endless possibilities a clean slate/new birth provides, and will in the near future live out. Soon. MM

Mystery Jets– “Young Love”
I think a good running song should be much like a good driving song, it should give you somewhere to go. ‘Young Love’ presents the sad story of a chance meeting with a wondrous woman and the ensuing despair of totally forgetting who she was-  ‘if i only knew your name i’d go from door to door’. Pull on your trainers, because you’ve got a lot of houses to check. MN
DJ Shadow – “Building Steam With a Grain of Salt”
There’s an inherent rhythm to walking, to steps, to putting one foot in front of the other and moving forwards. But it doesn’t have to be a soulless, inane activity, quite the contrary; it can be empowering, and master of percussive sampling Joshua Davis knows this. The birth of instrumental hip-hop can largely be attributed to Entroducing…, and the foundation of that album is purely metronomic drum sampling. Walking will never again feel so endearing. MM

Spin Doctors – “Two Princes”
I could stroll through Helmand beaming ear to ear were ‘Two Princes’ on blast. Its just that kind of song. An unadulterated guilty pleasure admittedly, but who could possibly resist these joyous thrashings. Its this blissful unawareness that I’d wish to replicate walking into the classroom for the first time and finding yourself very small. MN
Summer Camp – “Round The Moon”
As the bell tolls on education, a nostalgic door opens. What was once hated is hated slightly less in hindsight; its always the way. For all the good memories there is Summer Camp and some samples so transportive, even the most callous soul could not feel reflective. MN
Perfume Genius – “Mr. Peterson”
Fitting, really, that the song in question comes from an album named and thematically weighted around Learning. Its youthful author doesn’t let age obstruct a mature, patient delivery, and though the album can feel repetitive at places, certain tracks carry fantastic stand-alone weight. “Mr Peterson” is such a track, a vivid portrait of an eccentric arts teacher who shaped the life of his student, and later commits suicide. I’ll leave the moral behind such a tale open-ended for this one.

The Cure – “Just Like Heaven”
Step outside your body for a moment and picture yourself the protagonist who’s every close up is accompanied by a different musical movement- who’s every monumental moment is matched by a song its exact equal in tone and weight. That feeling that something special can always happen should never be without its instrumental counterpart, a notion never more true than in ‘Just Like Heaven’, perfect for the start of something new. MN

Wilco – “Jesus, Etc.” / Blur – “To The End”
Although the lyrics don’t fit, I feel the aesthetics of ‘Jesus, Etc.’ provide the archetypal 21st century slow dance. The chorus of ‘To The End’ is so ridiculously cathartic, it actually sounds (what I can only assume) finishing a marathon sounds like. MN
David Bowie – “Modern Love”
Lyrics don’t have to ‘fit’ at a wedding. The act is a passionate display of romance, a free-flowing exposure of jubilance and rapturous happiness; eternal affection trapped in a day of celebration, the concepts of embracing and escaping co-existing beatifically. Escaping, in the context of this song, from all limits social and psychological, that subvert us into self-denying the abundantly wild emotion that love is. “No confessions / and no religion /  God and man don’t believe in modern love.” MM

John Lee Hooker – “Dimples”
For a long time I’ve had a minor obsession with Delta Blues. I love the characters, the stories and what each of their works truly meant for the next 100 years of music. Were their invaluable input into the world of music as we know it to ever be forgotten, it would be an unimaginable travesty. As long as I’m still still smiling, i’ll still have ‘Dimples’. MN

Simon And Garfunkel – “Cecilia”
Such is the majesty of Paul Simon, I will happily dance into my grave with ‘Cecilia’ in my ears. People usually say that their funeral will be a ‘celebration of life’, but there has been no jubilant singing and dancing at any funeral I’ve witnessed. What I hope for is that the remaining image of myself is one of contentment and joy, sitting in my favourite chair- because knowing the world, someone else will have taken my place before too long. MN
The Antlers – “Epilogue”
That falsetto, that broken voice, that extinguished passion, that finality of tone, that acceptance of fate, the greatest denouement, the finest of exits, that unstoppable grasp of time upon life. That final forlorn guitar melody, fading into the past. MM

artist profile: Jay Cue

Hip-hop lives in a post-Odd Future world. As pretentious, overtly assuming and presumptuous as that statement is about the career trajectory Odd Future are undergoing, it is one difficult to deny – the gritty hyperbole of Wolf Gang’s menacing brand of rap is only as powerful as it is powerless to stop thousands of pale imitations; it is impossible to listen to some of their output without simultaneously wondering about/dreading the undeniable influence the collective wields through its lyrical themes. Still, this can work both ways, and hopefully OF will prove to be just the tip of the iceberg in forward, teenage hip-hop.
Plenty of evidence points to this being exactly the case. Allow me to introduce to you Jay Cue, central pillar of Nobody Really Knows, another youthful hip-hop collective, with a decidedly different interpretation of the Odd Future aesthetic. On his enthralling debut album, Pyramid Life runs the full gamut of unabashedly childlike emotions; you have your stereotypical hip-hop bravado and condescension; but equally, mundane feelings are held in the same regard“Sore Loser” is exactly the type of track its title would suggest in its bemoaning of just how flipping frustrating it is to watch others reap the benefits for something you think you deserve.
Maybe that isn’t mundane, and maybe my circular analysis has just led me round to condescension of the modern kind; sitting behind a computer screen and berating other people for not thinking the same way you do, or at least not articulating their thoughts in a way you find satisfying. And I’m supposed to be suggesting you listen to this guy. Do that.