Delicate Steve was the opening act for Akron/Family when I caught them at The Blockley in Philly a few weeks ago, and they totally impressed me. More often than not you’re sort of hoping the openers will just shuffle along quickly and quietly so you can see the band you came to see, but Delicate Steve wound up not being one of those bands at all.
I hate to admit, but the name was making me think they were a jam band or something, and that wasn’t really thrilling me, but it took not more than a minute to realize that was incorrect, and even more so, they were one of the most unique and refreshing sounding bands I’d heard in a while, opener or not. After the show I immediately downloaded their full length Wondervisions, and I’d strongly suggest you do the same. I’ve been listening to this album pretty much non-stop all week, and I bet you’ll do the same.
The idea for this poster came from my favorite song on the album, Butterfly. The slide guitar on the song is so unbelievably good, that every time I listen to it, as soon as the song is over I just want to listen to it again. They have an amazing video for it, and it should be watched now.
I also found myself (like many of you, I’m sure) checking out the new album from The Strokes, Angles. I’ll be the first to admit I forgot The Strokes were a band, but there’s no doubt these guys are as cool as cool gets, and even though this album sounds different than some of their older stuff, it’s still good. However, the album art is pretty bad, which sucks because all of their other album covers have been great. This comes out tomorrow, so you have the rest of today to be a cool guy and get it a day early.
Still on a big Nirvana kick this week. I don’t know, the more I listen to them, the more I realize why such a big deal has been made over them for so long. It’s sort of hard to convey that though unless you actually just listen. This poster idea came from the shirt Kurt wore in the Smells Like Teen Spirit video. Shirt Cobain.
Had a chance to see Akron/Family and that was awesome despite a really trying crowd filled with some of the absolute oddest characters I’ve seen at one show. But nonetheless Akron/Family was still impressive.
Gave Destroyer’s new album a listen this week. It’s good but nothing beats Destroyer’s Rubies.
I was turned onto U.S. Royalty by one of my tumblr feeds most famous users, novh. He had talked about them enough that I figured I should give it a chance. It’s somewhere between some kind of dusty Americana and something like Rolling Stones meets Fleet Foxes meets The Cure. I’m not even sure that’s entirely accurate, and I’m sure you could piece together a few probable influences, but it’s all nonetheless impressive. They just self-released their first full length, Mirrors, and it’s no doubt worth giving it a shot. This is definitely a record I’ll be listening to throughout the year. You can sort of hear this music being set to panning shots of old mid western plains, which gave me the idea fore the tepee. Great album art too.
Well, it’s hard to believe, but this today marks a full year of me doing Music Mondays! I started January 25th of last year and have faithfully posted every Monday since. This has certainly kept me listening to new music and in turn forced me to design something accordingly. It’s been quite an exercise, and I cannot wait to see what happens through out this upcoming year. You can count on having something to look at and read every Monday.
I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this anniversary than to be talking about one of my favorite bands Akron/Family. A/F finally put out a new record with a name that’s as much of a mystery to me as it is their label, but why am I not surprised? Akron/Family covers a lot of bases, both on this record and previous, and while you might prefer some over the others, it’s hard to say that they aren’t pushing the limits to their own creativity. This is one of the most appealing aspects to the band. It’s almost always a surprise what you’ll get, but rarely a let down. This new record sounds much more controlled than previous efforts, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but in comparison to their last album which was for better or for worse all over the place, this is certainly a change of pace. And don’t get me wrong, this album still has it’s ups and downs, but in comparison, it’s being held on a tighter leash. All in all, this is another solid album from these dudes and I think it’ll grow on you given the chance.
I’ve been intrigued by the guys of OFWGKTA after seeing them take over all sorts of corners of the internet, and I finally had to get my ears on their album (which is offered for free on their tumblr), Radical. They are some young boys from LA who put together this hip hop collective that rivals just about any other hip hop collective, especially considering how young they are. This record features some verses that are honestly as good as any seasoned rapper. I can’t wait to watch these guys take over the rap game because it seems like that is the inevitable direction things are headed.
The youngest and probably nastiest of the group is the 16 year old Earl Sweatshirt. (Get his album EARL for free on their tumblr as well.) This dude has a flow so smooth and seamless you’re waiting for him to end each line and take a breath but you realize he’s still going and is going to rhyme something from 8 bars back. Again, only 16, cmon. Imagine what he’ll be doing in another 2 or 4 years. Still, for now he’s certainly the shining star of OFWGKTA. Probably not for the light at heart, but with lines like “Yo, I’m a hot and bothered astronaut crashin’ while Jackin’ off to bufferin’ vids of Asher Roth eatin’ apple sauce” anyone with a sense of humor and an appreciation for word play can get down to this kid.
Rodrigo y Gabriela are, according to Wikipedia, a Mexican musical duo who specialize in playing fast, rhythmic acoustic guitars; and I would say that’s pretty accurate. My dad had told me about these guys a while back when he heard them on the radio playing covers of Metallica songs. I sort of forgot all about them until this past week, when their name entered into my head and I downloaded their album 11:11, which I immediately got into. While some of it reminds you of classic Mexican guitar finger picking, their speed alone sets them apart from what you might be used to hearing. There’s also something a bit more interesting about them. They’re putting a spin on the familiar and making something really quite original. I would definitely give this a shot if for no other reason but to expand your library.
I really hate going Monday to Monday with no updates in between, but this week has been busy. I moved into my new apartment, and had a pretty eventful weekend which (thankfully) kept me away from the computer. Photos from my trip to the beach will be coming soon.
I got my ears on Frightened Rabbit‘s The Winter Of Mixed Drinks and had a field day with it. I really wound up liking The Midnight Organ Fight and in turn had high hopes for this new record. I read that they were being conscious about clearly making this a studio album, and taking advantage of what that could offer, and I think that shows through. The production on it is great and the songs are just simply good songs. Definitely check this one out.
The Strange Boys also released a new record with Be Brave. They are sloppy, they are raw, and they are fun. His voice is so unique that for me it’s hard not to like, even it’s only because you haven’t heard anything like it.
So glad I’m getting to talk about Secret Mountains. I’ve been chipping away at their awesome EP Kaddish since the summer, and pretty much since then have been looking for more tunes to satisfy my interests. Well, I’ve finally got some more ammo to work with. As they seem to keep on doing, they are cementing themselves as Baltimore’s most promising up and comers. However it won’t be long before they’ve outgrown that title. This past week they recorded a microshow at Mobtown Studios. SO good. I almost have to insist you head over and download the session, FREE. We’re talking about a Smokey Robinson cover of “I Second That Emotion”. Yeah, do yourself a favor this week, and let this be your soundtrack. Jeff is a great friend of mine and I’m so happy for him that this is going in great directions. If you’re in Baltimore at all, be sure to check them out. They’re playing at the Ottobar on the 12th with Hop Along. Decent, Decent.
The Beach Boys. So nice. I really think everyone should listen to The Beach Boys. It’s so much fun, and there’s so much to enjoy. If you don’t know where to start, Endless Summer is a great compilation of their best and brightest. Also, I got Love You on vinyl this week, mainly because I was loving the cover, but it proved to have some nice jams on it as well.
I got to see Algernon Cadwallader this week at a Haiti benefit show they played at Rowan University. Which got me back into their albums a few times through. I know I’ve said this before, but Algernon is doing Kinsella better than the Kinsellas are. It’s pretty impossible to not have a good time while listening to these guys, and even harder while watching them. If you have the chance to see them, just give it a shot, especially if you can catch them in Philly.
Akron/Family is a great band who I haven’t had a chance to talk about since I’ve been doing these things, but I had a few moments this week where they were hitting the spot so well. I was listening to their self titled a bit and really appreciating some of the great moments on there especially the three song span of I’ll Be On The Water into Running, Returning into Afford. That’s like you’re three best batters up with the no outs and the bases loaded. For anyone completely unfamiliar, go ahead and watch any video they’ve got on YouTube, and I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the stuff they’re doing live.
The Consecos is my band, which is a bit embarassing, but hey, I was listening. It’s a two piece band I have with Biff. At this point in my life, I can’t commit to anything more serious than this, but I still love playing live music, and this is feeding that desire because it happens when it can, and there’s absolutely no expectations. Except for crowd surfing. We expect that you do that.
River City Extension. Have I shot this one dead yet? Listen to them! Honestly one of my favorite bands ever. The live show is amazing, the record is amazing, the people in the band are amazing… I can’t stress this enough. You all know I’m a huge advocate for these guys and I hope to bring you all over to their side with me.
You know the drill, let’s get groovy on last.fm, add me and we can monitor each other’s weekly mp3 intake. Sound good?