With the release of their earliest singles and their debut EP Anonymous, the Brisbane, Australia-based sibling duo Niterunner — comprised of Daniel and Andrea Suesskow — received quite a bit of attention nationally for the sort of soulful yet dreamy electro pop production and anthemic hooks that’s been compared favorably to the likes of M83, Phoenix, Moonbabies, Cut Copy, and others. Interestingly, the Suesskows’ latest single “Out of Your Hands” is reportedly a reworking of a single the duo released earlier that received some 16,000 streams upon its release and was recorded and reworked in their family’s home studio — and was produced by Daniel Suesskow.  And sonically speaking, the single will further cement their burgeoning reputation across Australia and elsewhere, for crafting summery and dreamy pop that’s both wistfully nostalgic and achingly earnest paired with a soaring hook and shimmering synths.

As the Suesskows explained in press notes the song’s lyrics reflect on moments of symmetry, a singular way of thought and reaction, a cycle of repetition and a struggle to cope but offering a moment of self-realization and reprieve, in which one learns how to counterbalance their internal process of self-doubt and self-flagellation with the realization that there’s only so much you can control. And as a result, all anyone can do is let go of the things that are completely out of their hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: The Bold and Playful Visuals for El Dusty’s “La Chusa”

Olivera’s latest single “La Chusa” is a collaboration featuring Camilo Lara and Toy Selectah, which as Olivera explained to Univision in a recent interview, derives its title “from a South Texas Chicano folk story about this owl [in some Spanish speaking countries lechuza means owl] with the with the face of an old lady that stands on top of your house and scares kids into acting good. When I was a kid I was petrified of it!” Sonically though the song is comprised of a classic and beloved Columbian cumbia track, Los Hermanos Tuirán’s “La cumbia de la cordillera,” a track that’s not only about a bird on a mountain, and not even remotely related to El Dusty’s title, but it has also been used by sound systems and global bass DJs in Columbia and elsewhere. Interestingly, the track is a buoyant and swaggering track, full of tweeter and woofer rocking beats and bass paired with a joyous and mischievously anthemic hook that will make you get off your ass and move.

The recently released music video continues to cement Olivera’s burgeoning reputation for pairing his music with vivid and wild animation that takes after horror movies, cartoons and shows vatos hanging out and driving around town while blasting music before hitting up the club, dancing and trying to pick up some beautiful ladies — before discovering that the object of one’s desire is actually an anthropomorphic version of la chusa.

Live Footage: See Roger Waters Savage Donald Trump During a Live Performance of “Pigs (Three Different Ones)”

Interestingly enough, Roger Waters posted the live official video of a performance of “Pigs (Three Different Ones),” recorded when Donald Trump was the Republican presidential nominee and while Waters was in Mexico City for a series of gigs playing his classic and beloved material — and it’s an incendiary performance with artist-made images of Trump toting a machine gun outside the White House, giving the Nazi salute and surrounding himself with Ku Klux Klan members. And the performance ended with Waters co-opting the phrase that went viral among Mexicans and other Latinos across the world “Trump Eres Un Pendejo,” which translates to “Trump, you’re an asshole.” It’s a witheringly savage takedown of someone, who needs to be taken down as much as humanly possible and as often as possible.

Comprised of founding members  Ousmane Ag Mossa and Cheick Ag Biglia along with Aghaly Ag Mohamedine,  Ibrahim Ag Ahmed Salam, Mahmoud Ag Ahmouden, Mossa Ag Borreiba, Fatma Wallet Cheick, Bassa Wallet Abdamou and Wannou Wallet Sidaty, the members of Tamikrest hail from the region around the city of Kidal in Northeastern Mali; in fact, all of the members of band attended the Les enfants de l’aurar school in Tinzawaren where they met and received basic music training. And with the members of the band being in their late 20s and early-to-mid 30s, their youths were shaped by the Tuareg Rebellion of 1990-1995 as each of the bandmembers had family, friends and others fought and died in their people’s fight for autonomy. Much like the members of the internationally acclaimed Tuareg collective Tinariwen, the members of Tamikrest began playing their people’s traditional music, as well as the music of Tinariwen — and thanks in part to the intent, the members of the band got a chance to listen to and be influenced but he work of Western artists like Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd and Mark Knopfler.

When another series of riots exploded across Kidal and elsewhere in 2006, the band’s founding members decided the it would be best for them to fight with their instruments and songs — with songs that called attention to their people’s cause. Interestingly, a chance meeting with American-Australian band Dirtmusic at 2008 Festival Au Desert led to both friendship and to a lengthy collaboration in which the members of Tamikrest were invited to play on Dirtmusic’s 2010 sophomore effort BKO, which was recorded in Bamako, Mali. Chris Eckman, a member of Dirtmusic and The Walkabouts produced Tamikrest’s 2010 full-length debut Adagh and the band’s 2011 sophomore effort Toumastin

Kidal, the band’s fourth, full-length effort pays homage to the town in which the band was formed, as well as the town that’s one of their people’s main cultural centers. Historically, Kidal has been fought over, conquered and re-conquered many times over — and as a result, the town is a long-held symbol of the Taureg people’s defiance, resistance and hope. As the band’s co-founder explains of the album, “Kidal talks about dignity. We consider the desert as an area of freedom to live in. But many people consider it as just a market to sell to multinational companies, and for me, that is a major threat to the survival of our nomadic people.”

 

And although the Tuareg have traditionally been a nomadic people, there was a brief moment in which they actually had a homeland when the Tuaregs collectively rose up in 2017 and declared the Azawad region of Mali, an independent state. Sadly, it lasted less than a year as Al-Qaeda militants came in from the north and imposed strict Islamist rule and was followed by the French military, who arrived to liberate the area. And as a result, the Tuareg people were left with little or no chance for immediate self-determination; however, the dream remains for the Tuareg people, even if it seems trapped between several different governments, religious terrorists groups, and greedy, global corporations. As the band’s associate Rhissa Ag Mohamed mentions in press notes, “Kidal, the cradle of all of these uprisings, continues to resist the many acts perpetrated by obscure hands against our people. The album evokes all the suffering and manipulations of our populations caught in pincers on all sides.” And much like the aforementioned the members of Tamikrest feel an obligation to preserve and protect their people’s culture, while informing the world of their people’s plight — and unsurprisingly, Kidal‘s first single “Wainan Adobat” possesses a forceful urgency that belies its gorgeous yet cool self-assuredness. Interestingly, while the track nods at Tinariwen, the track also is reminiscent of Brothers in Arms-era Dire Straights. But perhaps most important, this song should be a reminder that in the difficult times that seem to be coming up ahead, that music and art should be used both as spiritual sustenance and as one of the most powerful political weapons known to man.

 

 

Comprised of songwriting and production duo of Amber Lane-Mcivor and Jake Blythe, the Manchester, UK-based indie electro pop act Ambiere have been compared to the likes of blogosphere darlings The xx — while crafting a sound that the duo have described as “fairytale grunge, with a jellybean peanut butter finish.” The Manchester, UK-based duo’s latest single “Tree of Life” is a dreamy and atmospheric song in which Lane-Mcivor’s soulful vocals is paired with a spacious production featuring layers of shimmering guitars, dramatic percussion to create a song that possesses a vulnerability and longing at its core.

 

Comprised of Brian Purington (guitar), Chris Hackstie (electric and pedal steel guitar), Earl Bowers (drums), James Alexander (viola), Kirk Latkas (keys) and Scott Telles (bass), the Austin TX-based prog rock sextet my education have four previously released albums — 5 PopesItalianMoody DipperBad Vibrations, Sunrise, and A Drink for All My Friends with material off those albums being remixed by  members of Kinski, Pelican, Red Sparowes and Dalek — and the members of the band released a remastered editor of their full-length debut back in 2013. And adding to a growing profile, the band has played with a number of national and internationally recognized bands including A Place to Bury Strangers, Kinski, Bardo Pond, Dalek, The Black Angels, The Sea and Cake, Warpaint, Alexander Hacke and Algis Kizys, The Psychedelic Furs, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, This Will Destroy You, Sleepy Sun, White Denim, Radar Bros., Eluvium, Sian Alice Group, Don Caballero, Trans AmMaserati and The Red Sparowes among others.

The Austin, TX-based septet’s forthcoming full-length effort Schiphol is reportedly influenced by the band’s relentless North American touring schedule, which they began back in 1999 and by a grueling tour across Europe in which they played 20 shows in 21 days. And as the band, along with producer Mike McCarthy, who’s best known for his work with Spoon, . . . And Know You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead and Patty Griffin, began working on the material that would comprisgggge Schiphol, the band began recognizing that a series of themes would seem to repeatedly come up with their latest mat rial — expressing feelings of paranoia, longing, fear, the desperate desire to escape and an overwhelming sense of statelessness, of being on the road and forgetting where you were from or what home was like. Schiphol‘s latest single “Open Marriages” is a moody and cinematic track in which shimmering guitar chords, an angular and propulsive bass and an expansive sound structure familiar to Remember Remember,  Mogwai and others.

 

 

Over the years that I’ve run this site, you’ve likely have been made familiar with John Dwyer, the cofounder of renowned indie label, Castle Face Records and the creative mastermind behind the equally renowned, JOVM mainstay act Thee Oh Sees — and if there’s one thing Dwyer has a reputation for it’s for this: being incredibly prolific. Last year saw the release of The Oh Sees‘ live album, Live in San Francisco and another full-length effort Weird Exit, both of which were supported with some rather busy touring. And yet somehow, Dwyer found time to write and record material with his synth-based, noise rock-based solo recording project, Damaged Bug, which interestingly enough Dwyer has described as a welcome respite from the power chord-based, scuzzy, garage psych he’s known for.

Bunker Funk, Dwyer’s forthcoming Damaged Bug effort reportedly continues where the preceding effort Cold Hot Plumbs left off while expanding upon its sound; in fact, as you’ll hear on “Bog Dash,” the album’s first single, you’ll hear sputtering and noisy squalls of squiggling synths, a funky bass line, propulsive almost tribal-like drumming and explosive blasts of guitar paired with Dwyer’s famed falsetto singing lyrics about traveling across spacetime with a surrealistic and psychedelic feel. Interestingly, Dwyer manages to do this while maintaining a bit of funk to the proceedings. Yeah, seriously.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are bands, whose sound and aesthetic make such a forceful and immediate impression that you can instantly recall the first time you had come across them; in fact the first time I had ever heard Soundgarden, I was watching MTV‘s Headbanger’s Ball.  And what I can still remember more than 25 years later was how the show’s host at the time, Rikki Rachtman told viewers that they needed to be on the lookout for Soundgarden — mainly because of Chris Cornell, who Rachtman had described as being a little guy with an enormous voice. They promptly followed that with the music video for “Outshined” off Badmotorfinger — and I can remember being blown away.

Strangely, as the years have passed what’s been forgotten is that the members of Soundgarden had initially started their career with Sub Pop Records; in fact, the now long-renowned grunge label had released the Seattle-based band’s first two EP’s Screaming Life and Fopp, which Sub Pop re-issued a few years ago, marking the first time that both of those early efforts would be availably digitally, as well as through vinyl. But interestingly enough, the renowned Seattle-based label also help distribute  Soundgarden’s full-length debut, Ultramega OK.

On March 10, 2017, Sub Pop Records will be releasing a remixed and expanded reissue of Soundgarden’s full-lengtht debut, as a long-planned “correction” of their debut. Ultramega OK was originally recorded and released through SST Records in 1988 — and while the members of the band enjoyed working with the album’s original producer, Drew Canulette, they were dissatisfied with the album’s final mix. And as the story goes, the band had intended to remix the album for subsequent pressings; however, the band quickly had major label success and were signed to A&M Records and the band went into the studio to work on their major-label debut effort, Louder Than Love. And as a result, the Ultramega OK remix had fallen off to the wayside.

Last year, the members of the band finally acquitted the original multi-track tapes from the Ultramega OK sessions and they all decided to set some time aside to work on the remix. Naturally, the band enlisted the assistance of renowned producer and engineer Jack Endino, a long-time friend and former collaborator, who has worked with Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard, The Black Clouds and others to create a new mix of the album that would tie up some persistent loose ends and fixes the album’s overall sound. Interestingly, the members of the band also found six early versions of songs that eventually wound up on the full-length album, which they initially recorded in 1987 with Jack Endino and Chris Hanszek at Reciprocal Recording — and mixed by Endino last year. Reportedly, those early versions of songs, which were later staples of the band’s live sets, capture the band in a much rawer form — and much closer to the Screaming Life EP. Naturally for die-hard fans and completists, the rediscovered material will serve as a window into the development of the band’s songwriting approach and sound. The forthcoming re-issue’s first single is a crisper, tighter and much more forceful version of “Beyond The Wheel” which better displays Kim Thayill’s guitar work and its interplay between Matt Cameron’s Bonham-like drumming and Cornell’s vocals. And compared to the original, the re-mixed alternate version almost sounds like a completely different song.

As you may know, I was in Dordrecht, The Netherlands for business related to my day job and am currently in Amsterdam, The Netherlands for a couple of days to just check things out, maybe catch some live music, and whatever else comes to mind. And from being here a few hours last Sunday morning and returning this afternoon, I can see how easy it could be to fall deeply in love with Amsterdam and this entire country.  So far, the Dutch have proven to be a kind and friendly people. But there’s work to be done so let’s get to it right?

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for a while, you may recall that I wrote about the  Toronto, ON-based DJ, violinist and singer/songwriter Maya Killtron. Killtron first came to attention across both her native Canada and across the States with the release of her 2012 debut EP Hipster/Gangsta — and as a result, Killtron wound up touring the festival circuit across North America with stops at Miami’s Winter Music ConferencePride TorontoThe Halifax Jazz Festival and CMJ. Adding to a growing profile, Killtron’s collaboration with NYC-based production duo Love Taps “Back For More” received attention from the likes of Stereogum and Huffington Post for a sound that meshed moomba and R&B – and for a video that showcased a sadly bygone NYC. Additionally, Smalltown DJs, The Slow WavesEyes Everywhere, Brothers In Arms and City Kid Soul have all have remixed the song — with the City Kid Soul remix being named in the Top 5 at Toronto’s Bestival.

Killtron’s latest single “Bad Decisions” as she explained to me via email “is a review of some of my best romances and worst choices in the field of love. It’s honest but light, real but unapologetic, and always dancy.” But interestingly enough, the single is an expansion of the sound that first caught her attention — you’ll hear a sinuous bass line, Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar, squiggling synths and soaring strings paired with Killtron’s sultry vocals in a song that nods both at 80s synth funk, early 80s disco and EDM and the sound of blogosphere darlings Escort.  And that shouldn’t be terribly surprising as Killtron explains in an email “With ‘Bad Decisions,’ as well as my first single ‘Never Dance Alone,’ I wanted to pay tribute to; but not copy my heroes — Teena Marie, Prince, and The Gap Band.”

 

 

 

 

New Audio: Dallas, TX’s Power Trip Returns with More Blistering, Hook-Laden Metal

Now, if you had stumbled on to this site towards the end of last year, you may recall that I wrote about Dallas, TX-based metal quintet Power Trip. Comprised of Riley Gale, Blake Ibanez, Chris Ulsh, Nick Stewart and Chris Whetzel, the Dallas-based quintet have developed a reputation for a sound that draws heavily from 80s metal, complete with similiar guitar pyrotechnics and thundering drumming. “Firing Squad,” off the quintet’s forthcoming album Nightmare Logic was a mosh pit worthy song that’s reminiscent of Slayer, Metallica and Iron Maiden; but with a modern production sheen. The album’s latest single “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)” continues on a similar vein as blistering cascades of power chords, propulsive and thundering drumming and howled lyrics while possessing a subtly modern production sheen –with what sounds like a bit of twinkling piano, just under the surface; but perhaps more important, both singles off the band’s forthcoming album reveal an emphasis on crafting incredibly tight and anthemic hooks while expressing a contemporary sense of complete hopelessness in everything. After all, things do seem increasingly bleak.