Math Rock, Emo, and everything else

Monday, March 22, 2010

Menomena - Friend and Foe

This album is known for its ridiculous album artwork and interesting recording software (read about both here), but overall I feel as though it is relatively under appreciated.

With tracks ranging from soft and stylish to driving and belligerent there is something on Friend and Foe for everyone.  This is a must listen if you haven't gotten to it already.

Buy It

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Y'all better get on this quick-like.

Friends, today I present to you a little album by a band named Fang Island. The title....well, it's also named Fang Island, BUT ANYWAY, if you're a fan of bands like Marnie Stern or anything Zach Hill has touched in his lifetime, then download this immediately. Up until I first listened to it, it had been a lackluster year in terms of good 2010 releases, but this is what hopefully opens up the floodgates to some good tunes.

I haven't heard math rock this refreshing since I first lent an ear to Battles.

Hey man, have ya heard this?


Well get to it.


- Gio

Monday, March 8, 2010

Zola Jesus - The Spoils

Zola Jesus is a beautiful woman from Madison, Wisconsin making beautiful music.  The Spoils is an exercise of texture and mood creating an unsettling beautiful sound out of fuzzy synths, a hammering piano, and a drum machine.  Her classically trained voice floats angelically over the comparably uglier, more industrial noise her band creates.  Her songs build slowly adding layers of noise and wailing vocals until they reach an urgent apex, making the album an adventure you want to re-experience as soon as you are done.

As usual I am struggling to properly describe how amazing the work actually is.  So check it out now, as Zola Jesus is sure to take off soon.  With her internet hype building and a favorable score from Pitchforks you will most certainly be hearing more from this Madison artist.  She's currently touring the midwest, with more American dates to follow this spring (including SXSW).  So get out and see her live.  I'm willing to bet you won't be disappointed.


Doing my part in the viral marketing process.

So here's a quick run down.  Apparently for the last month a subscriber on youtube known only as Iamamiwhoami has been releasing mysterious videos containing music with female vocals and dreamy synths.  Check out their channel here.  A writer for MTV news took to the story early on tossing around ideas and theories about who Iamamiwhoami is, check the theories out here and here.  He then wrote an open letter to the band/artist asking them for any information they could offer.  Iamamiwhoami proceeded to pull the classic move of sending locks of hair and a creepy riddle, check pictures of that out here.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions, leave a comment and let me know your crazy theories.

update:  This is starting to look like lykke li.  She's Swedish and the character portrayed in the videos is a Huldra a character in Swedish folklore.  Plus that bottom row of teeth looks pretty similar
From the video:
Lykke Li


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mark Linkous aka Sparklehorse died yesterday.

The celebrated musician Mark Linkous took his life with a gun on Saturday.  He was 47.
Linkous worked with well known acts such as Danger Mouse and The Flaming Lips under the guise Sparklehorse.  I've provided a link to his first album Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot.  Read more on his troubled life here


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Carissa's Wierd - Songs About Leaving

 Carissa's Wierd (yes it's spelled incorrectly) is a now defunct Seattle area "slowcore" band who unexpectedly called it quits in 2003.  Once the band split Ben and Brian formed well known Band of Horses and more recently the beautiful band Grand Archives.  Jenn went on to work solo under the name "S".  Apparently they are getting back together for a show (rumored tour) this summer.  Expect it to be limited to  a Northwestern regional affair.

Leave it to a band from rainy Seattle to create some of the saddest, most depressingly beautiful music from last decade.  Songs About Leaving is no exception to their gloomy discography, with lyrical content dealing with death, breakups, and relocation.  The lyrics are sung in a "call and response manner" much of the time, with Jenn whispering softly and Ben doing his best Connor Oberst impression.  Musically don't expect much percussion save for a few light beats and a few tinkles on the cymbals.  Do expect a doleful violin, twinkling piano, and plucking guitars all played slowly and somberly.

I'm not going to lie it's depressing, like capable of completely changing your mood depressing.  So keep that in mind when you check it out, I wouldn't want to accidently ruin your day.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Chalk Talk - Killing Spree

Normally I wouldn't be so quick to suggest a band whose lyrical content ranges from waxing poetic about the smell of their urine to singing passionately about slamming beers, but this band is impossible to dislike.

Once you lighten up a bit and get over the somewhat concerning lyrics about young girls you will be treating yourself to some amazing pop punk with bouncy music and harmonies that are almost impossible not to sing along with.  They are all about the fun, and it definitely shows.

So check out their Killing Spree EP, the sweet merchandise on their Myspace, and their collective Cake Life. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. They're going on an extensive tour this summer so keep an eye out for that, just don't bring your little sister.

Mad props for the guys from Something About Music for introducing me to their music.  You can snag the download link from them.