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I’m starting the day with a great song from Yolke, a cool Australian electronic group. Check out this track from the album Syrup:

I got an email today from a band out of San Antonio Texas called The Mites. Check out this track from their 2012 release:

Often when you’re about to see one of your favorite bands, they are touring to support a new album. You’ve had time to get it and listen a bunch, and when you see them live there’s a real excitement hearing the new songs live. Maybe it’s the fact that you know the songs that makes it so cool?

A few months ago I got to see Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at Slims in San Francisco, and they played a ton of new songs, from an album that wasn’t released yet. I learned that because the band used to call SF home, they have sort of a tradition of debuting new album songs here. They are one of those bands that got big and then moved to LA.

Instantly I was really starting to dig their new material. It seemed like they had been caved into their practice space for a year, and the show was their first time getting out. Every song was incredibly tight, and they looked like they were having a ton of fun. From the slower paced but building Fire Walker, to the fast moving and exciting Rival, this new album seems to put all of my favorite Black Rebel elements together. It’s not necessarily that there are new sounds, but that’s okay. They are doing what they do best, and it’s really awesome.

To build up the new album, they released a number of cool short films. Here’s one of them:

 

 

One of my favorite songs from the album:

 

It has been awhile since I posted anything here, so I thought I would return with something absolutely amazing. This is the type of record that brings a man back to his semi-abandoned music blog. This is the type of record that’s so good you want to tell everyone about it. This is thew new Atoms For Peace record, called AMOK.

I first heard about this new band the way that many others probably did, by stumbling upon a live video of Thom Yorke jamming with Flea. The show was a cell phone video from one of the first Atoms For Peace gigs, and they were playing songs from Thom Yorke’s solo album, The Eraser. Having been a huge fan of that album, I was way into it.

On The Eraser, Yorke used cool eletctonic blips and bleeps, a static-y piano recording, and other great sound things. The songs are all amazing, and from start to finish you get more and more sucked in. Watching those first Atoms For Peace videos, you see him playing the same songs, but with a live band. It was really different from the album, yet really cool in another way completely.

I was expecting the new AMOK to be sort of a live album for The Eraser. I was wrong.

AMOK is, sort of an extension of The Eraser. There’s moments that feel like The Eraser, but at the same time new things, like bitching bass lines and crazy rhythms. Each time I’ve listened to this album, fallen in love with a different part.

I know that many of you might be familiar with Ray LaMontagne, but I wanted to post about him for the handful of you that aren’t. I’ve been listening to him more and more, and thinking about what it is about his music that makes him so good. Sure, he has a voice that I’ve never heard anyone similar to. His breathy yet powerful vocals seem to come from a place that I don’t have. Yes, his lyrics are the kind of poetry that we all wish came from us. His simple guitar accompaniment works well, and never needs more. There’s something else going on though when you watch him.

Check out this video of him performing at Abbey Road:

“The music industry becomes interested with you because you do your own thing, but then you have to fight to do your own thing”

There seems to be this level of truth in everything he does. You get the sense that he is making music on a level far beyond everyone else in terms of purity. I love it. I’m going to go get more of his stuff.

Today I’ve got something really good for you all. A band from NY called Hunters.

Noisy, power, fun, rock, a little punk. Crunchy guitar riffs with pure and simple vocals sounds common, but these guys somehow are doing it better than anyone else I’ve heard in awhile.

It looks like they are new with only a 5 song EP out at this point, so it will be fun to watch them develop.
This video for the single Acid Head is actually how I found them, and it’s a great place to start:

 

 

Here’s the EP, which you can stream:

Late last night I stumbled across this amazing performance from Tan Vampires, an indie band from New Hampshire. The stripped down version from this performance was a nice introduction to their debut album which I found later, called For Physical Fitness. They remind me a little but of Local Natives. Check them out:

Old and Gray is the project of Berkeley, CA musician Buddy Hale, whose new album picturesque moments is the fuzziest album you have ever heard. Your probably wondering what that means.

Does it make you feel warm and fuzzy inside to listen to?

Does it feel fuzzy to the touch?

Is there a fuzz pedal used somewhere, or everywhere?

I’m not telling. Listen to it and find out. Here’s one of the songs on it:

I’ve always loved listening to an album and thinking about what it must have been like to be in the studio with the band. I like the mystery of how the songs came together, how they were recorded, and what it felt like to be there in the moment. This is especially fun when an album is the result of an unusual collaboration, as is the case on the new Dr. John album “Locked Down”.

The new record by the blues/funk icon pairs the classic Dr. John sound with the blues/rock revival sound of a musical hero of mine: Dan Aurbach. Dan apparently produced the album, and while his influence isn’t overbearing, his voice is there on every song. All of the songs are wonderful, but my favorite is Ice Age. Here’s a cool teaser video that they posted. Must have been really fun to be in this studio with such inspiring musicians:

Deep Dark Robot, self-described as a “dirty French garage pop” band makes a very strong showing with their debut album “8 Songs About A Girl.” Deep Dark Robot is a duo consisting of Linda Perry, from 4 Non Blondes, and Tony Tornay, from Fatso Jefferson. The experience these two artists bring to the album is immediately evident on each and every track. There is a reason so many artists hire Linda Perry to produce their albums and it shows.

“8 Songs About A Girl” is a concept album about a troubled relationship and heartbreak. However, don’t go breaking out the tissues too soon. There are only two songs with the slow, melancholy feel that you normally would associate with those two topics. Most of the album shows a fairly high amount of energy. In fact, the diversity of the album is one of the strongest points about it.

It is hard to really peg down any of the songs really standing out due to the diversity of the album. All of the songs are excellent, but people are most likely going to gravitate towards whichever song fits their tastes the best. “I’m Coming For You” starts the album with a psychedelic rock groove that is reminiscent of Janis Joplin. “Speck” with Linda accompanied by a slow, somber pianist marks a much more introspective part of the album. Even then, “Speck” leads into a more Prince like finale that closes out the album and gives a surprising amount of closure to the whole experience.

In and of itself, “8 Songs About A Girl” is just as much a work of art as any of the songs on it. Normally, when artists do about songs about heartbreak, it is the soft, introspective, melancholy aspect of it. “8 Songs About A Girl” takes you through the whole twisted ride of a bad breakup. At times the album is sad, but it is also angry and optimistic and frustrated and nostalgic and ultimately accepting, albeit with a hint of contempt. It paints a vivid picture of all the highs and lows someone goes through in a doomed relationship.

Deep Dark Robot isn’t a band you want to listen to psych yourself up. “8 Songs About A Girl” is a dark album that deals with one of the most emotionally straining aspects of relationships. However, it is an album that is well worth listening to because it presents it so well. The album doesn’t hold anything back. If you have the time, it definitely is worth listening to from start to finish just to get the full impact of the album and the wave of emotions it carries.

REVIEW BY MATTHEW A.