Tag: Beck

 

Earlier this month, I wrote about the  Savannah, GA-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, David Brady Lynch. And as you may recall, Lynch began writing and recording his own original music at a very early age; however, over the past few years, Lynch has developed a number of musical projects that showcase a wide array of dynamic and forward-looking sounds, including including the groove-based, electro rock/electro pop act Sunglow, the grittier projects Cray Bags and Greta O. and the Toxic Shock, and the garage rock act The Lipschitz. And with each project Lynch explores different sounds and songwriting approaches while maintaining a thin thread throughout.

Interestingly, Lynch’s latest project found Lynch writing and recording in a spontaneous fashion and according to the Savannah, GA-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, moving quickly when he’s long been used to writing within the specific context of different projects with their own personas offered a fresh perspective — and perhaps a bit of a reprieve from strictly structured writing. Lynch’s Bummerville debut, Bottom Feeder is slated for release next week through Graveface Records, and the album’s first single “That Time It Takes” was a gritty, power chord-based rock single that was an amalgamation of 90s grunge and 70s power pop, complete with anthemic hooks. “C U Gone,” Bottom Feeder‘s latest single however, is a wild sonic left turn from its predecessor as it draws directly from scuzzy garage rock and bubblegum pop in a way that oddly enough reminds me of Odelay-era Beck — in particular, “Devil’s Haircut” while retaining a “first-thought-best-thought” improvised vibe.

Lynch will be embarking on a tour to support Bottom Feeder with a backing band featuring his brother Derek (bass), Joshua Sterno (rhythm guitar) and Jonathan Graham (drums) and the tour will feature a February 1, 2018 stop at Max Fish. Check out the tour dates below.
Tour Dates
Fri 1/19 – Chicago, IL @ Cole’s
Sat 1/20 – Indianapolis, IN @ TBA
Sun 1/21 – Lexington, KY @ Liberty House
Mon 1/22 – Nashville, TN @ Found Object
Tues 1/23 – Memphis, TN @ Lamplighter
Wed 1/24 – Birmingham, AL @ TBA
Thu 1/25 – Atlanta, GA @ 529
Fri 1/26 – Savannah, Ga @ The Jinx
Sat 1/27 – Orlando, FL @ Uncle Lou’s
Sun 1/28 – Charleston, SC @ Makeout Reef
Mon 1/29 – Chapel Hill, NC @ The Cave
Tues 1/30 – Charlottesville, VA @ Magnolia House
Wed 1/31 – Baltimore, MD @ True Vine
Thu 2/01 – NYC, NY @ Max Fish w/ Foster Care
Fri 2/02 – Syracuse, NY @ Spithaus
Sat 2/03 – Buffalo, NY @ Deep Space 8
Sun 2/04 – Columbus, OH @ Legion of Doom

New Video: The Psychedelic Visuals for Hebdo’s 70s Rock Channeling “Go Back Home”

Joseph Hebdo is a Columbus OH-born and based singer/songwriter and producer, known by mononym Hebdo, who with the release of four EPs and two full-length albums has developed a reputation for an adventurous defiance of easy categorization although sonically, he has generally specialized in a rather anachronistic sound, influenced by Paul McCartney, Dr. Dog, Beck, Andrew Bird and others, complete with layered vocals, incredibly catchy choruses and a deliberate attention to craft. Unsurprisingly, his songwriting process initially begins in solitude, building songs in the studio and experimenting endlessly before brining in backing musicians to flesh out the material and add finishing touches — i.e., overdubs, additional tracking and the like. However, his latest single “Go Back Home” was recorded with a full-band in a single session at 3 Elliot Studio and the single finds the Columbus, OH-based singer/songwriter and his backing band sounding as though they were taking cues from Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, The Band and Neil Young with the material walking a tightrope between folk, AM rock, southern rock, complete with a loose, jam-band like vibe and an impressive guitar solo.

Adding to the anachronistic vibes, the recently released video pairs 70s-inspired animation with slickly, shot live footage evoking travel in a variety of forms that’s adds a trippy sensibility to the proceedings. 
 
 

Founded by its creative mastermind Chris Karman, the Los Angeles, CA-based psych folk act Historian derive their name from an long-held inside joke for the members of the band had developed, based around Karman’s encyclopedic knowledge of music. And as Karman asserts in press notes, his fanatical and obsessive nature spilled into the band’s songwriting process. We like to put down tons of ideas. And then meticulously pull back the layers, pouring over every detail.”

The band’s 2013 debut Shelf Life was supported with a West Coast tour, while Karman moonlighted as a music supervisor. 2015’s sophomore full-length effort, Current was released by The Record Machine to critical praise from Buzzbands L.A., Impose and Austin Town Hall, and as a result of their growing profile, the band opened for the likes of Haunted Summer and Globelamp. Not bad for a songwriter and band that have openly mentioned that they’ve felt “more comfortable when our music is a little out of step with its surroundings.”

Unsurprisingly the members of Historian had gone into the studio during the Current sessions with a number of songs that just didn’t make the cut for the album; however, a number of those songs signaled an interesting new direction that the band felt compelled to pursue towards their natural conclusion — with the end result being the band’s third full-length effort, Expanse. And as you’ll hear off album single “Thrown on the Road,” the band has gone on a decided sonic left turn, with the band pairing  pastoral-like folk music with the sort of lush string arrangements (played by renowned renowned string quartet Quartetto Fantastico) reminiscent of Beck‘s Sea ChangeR.E.M.’s Automatic for the People and the early work of the under-appreciated Scott Walker.

But what sets “Thrown on the Road” apart is that the song is a brooding and melancholy meditation on the passage of time that evokes a lonely man sitting in front of a glass of 12 year old, single malt scotch, contemplating the messiness of human life and relationships, of lingering ghosts that alternately haunt and taunt at the strangest times, of family, friends and lovers departed. Simply put, it’s music meant for those occasions when you’re feeling lost and alone and can’t seem to figure out the meaning of anything anymore.

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve frequenting this site over the past four years or so, you’ve come across a number of posts featuring the Seattle, WA-based JOVM mainstays Shabazz Palaces. Comprised of Digable Planets‘ Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler and multi-instrumentalist Tendai “Baba” Maraire, the son of Dumisani Maraire, the project continues Butler’s long-held reputation for being uncompromisingly different and for crafting material with pro-Black messages.

The duo of Butler and Maraire quietly released two albums in 2009 — their self-titled debut and Of Light, which caught the attention of renowned indie label Sub Pop Records, who signed the act, and released 2011’s Black Up, an effort released to critical applause for its kaleidoscopic and hallucinogenic production paired with Butler’s witty and incredibly dexterous flow. While continuing to cement Butler’s and Mariare’s reputation for crafting incredibly weird, psychedelic hip hop, 2014’s Lese Majesty was a decided change in sonic direction with much of the material possessing an eerie cosmic glow with even heavier low end — intergalactic trap, perhaps? Along with the decided change of direction, the duo offered a bold challenge to contemporary hip-hop artists. As Butler told NPR during an interview about Lese Majesty, “This endeavor that I pursue, that we all pursue in Shabazz Palaces, make no mistake, this is an attack. We’re trying to show off and really stunt on all other rappers and let them know that this is our style, this is what we do and we’re ready to put it up against anybody else’s stuff.”

Some time had passed since I had last written about Shabazz Palaces; after all, both Maraire and Butler had been busy with their own separate creative pursuits — in 2015 Maraire and a group of collaborators wrote and released material with his side project,  Chimurenga Renaissance and Butler has been on a reunion run with the members of Digable Planets, which has continued through this year with several stops in NYC. (Digable Planets played a free show at Greenpoint Brooklyn’s House of Vans earlier this month and they’ll be playing a SummerStage later this summer.)  Somehow, Butler and Maraire managed to set aside some time to write new material and record material for two albums —  Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star and Quarzarz vs. The Jealous Machines, which will see a simultaneous release on July 14, 2017 through Sub Pop Records.

Earlier this year, I wrote about “Shine A Light,” the first single off Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star, and while continuing the duo’s long-running collaboration with soul outfit Thadillac, who contribute a lush, dusty, old-school soul-leaning arrangement featuring shimmering strings, a strutting bass line, warm psychedelic guitar blasts, shuffling drum beats, and a retro-futuristic-like hook consisting of distorted, vocoder-filtered vocals, the single thematically is part of a surreal yet politically-charged concept album that introduces the listener to and then tells the tale of Quazarz, a sentient being from far away, who’s sent to be an observer and musical emissary with a mission to explore and chronicle the things he sees and experiences,subtly echoing the  cult-classic film The Brother From Another Planet and Alexis De Tocqueville‘s Democracy in America; however, what our otherworldly emissary finds is a bizarre, cutthroat landscape of brutality, conformity, alternative facts, hypocrisy, greed, suffering, selfishness and death masquerading as patriotism and connectivity. And as result, Quazarz finds himself feeling increasingly horrified and out of place and within a world that is unfathomably hellish and unfair.

Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines is for all intents and purposes, a spiritual and thematic twin of sorts. Produced by Butler and Sunny Levine and recorded at Seattle’s Protect and Exalt Labs: A Black Space and Dror Lord Studios in Marina Del Rey, CA and featuring guest spots from Chimuregna Renaissance’s Fly Guy Dai, Amir Yaghamai, John Carroll Kirby, Thaddillac, Morgan Henderson, The Shogun Shot, Laz, and Purple Tape Nate, the album continues with the tell of our otherworldly musical emissary Quarzarz and in his further explorations of modern life, he discovers a world in which humankind’s relationship with technology has become both co-dependent and strangely sensual, as it seduces people to be sedentary, thoughtless, uninspired to do anything to change their individual plight, let alone change the world, and having their creativity and life stolen from them. Along with a bunch of misfit cohorts, the protagonist leads a rising collective “hell no,” to the device and the guilds that proliferate them. The album’s first single “30 Clip Extension” was arguably one of the strangest songs that Butler and Maraire as the song featured a minimalist producing consisting wobbling and tumbling low end, stuttering drum programming, enormous beats and shimmering synths paired with Butler’s imitable flow alternating between surrealistic poetry and rhyming — while describing an arrogant, vain, ostentatious, drug addled rapper, who’s controlled by an unseen conspiracy of exterior and interior forces.

“Since C.A.Y.A.,” Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star‘s latest single continues on a similar vein as the preceding singles, in the sense that it’s trippy and odd as hell but with an elastic-like looseness that nods at the Oompa Loompas in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory — although just under the surface is a subtle sense of menace. Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner contributes wobbling hyper-futuristic bass lines to the sparsely minimalist production that allows Butler enough room to rhyme both about his narrator’s  legendary and surreal past and present, but in which he sees himself as a black person in a dangerous and weird world that fetishes and abhors him.  And they manage to do so while nodding at the weirdness of Beck and The Flaming Lips.

Featuring core members, founder and creative mastermind Isaac Flynn (vocals), who comes from a family of musicians and whose parents own Lawrence, KS‘ well-regarded guitar store, Mass Street Music; Eric Davis (keys, synths) and Garrett Childers (guitar, vocals), the Kansas City-based indie rock act Hembree received regional and national attention with the release of “Can’t Run Forever,” a shimmering and slickly produced, dance-floor friendly track that simultaneously nods at 80s New Wave, St. Lucia, and Interpol simultaneously.

Building upon the success of “Can’t Run Forever,” a track that has seen as of this post, over 500,000 Spotify and YouTube streams, the members of the Kansas City-based band went to record new material at Los Angeles-based Sunset Sound Studios with Chris Coady, who has worked with Beach House, Future Islands and Yeah Yeah Yeahs; but when Flynn returned home to Kansas City, he decided that those sessions should be tabled, and that it was time for the band to take a much different approach. “After ‘Can’t Run Forever’ came out, I was feeling the pressure to make our second single bigger and better, and found myself putting limitations on my writing,” Flynn explained in press notes.. “After being frustrated for several months, I decided to record whatever I want; just let it all pour out.” And with that mindset, Flynn, his bandmates Davis and Childers recorded their latest single “Holy Water,” with Foreign Fields’ Eric Hillman contributing additional production and Joe Visciano, who has worked with The Kills, Jamie xx and Beck mixing the proceedings.

“Holy Water” is a decided change in sound, as the swaggering and propulsive track nods at Kasabian and Primal Scream as the band pairs an an arena rock and dance floor-friendly hook with a slick production featuring layers of undulating synths, twinkling keys, enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking beats with a “we’re ready to take over the world right this fucking moment” feel. Interestingly, part of the song’s anthemic nature stems from the song’s overwhelmingly positive message. As Flynn says of the song, “The song started with me making a conscious decision to stop letting the bad win. It was time to start embracing the obstacles and then doing my best to overcome them. I really just want to be true to myself and good to others, and I want the same for other people. Perhaps that’s the message from this song.” Certainly, considering how maddening and dire everything seems on a daily basis, any positive message seems desperately necessary.  Unsurprisingly, since the single’s release at the end of last year, the song has seen regular rotation on 10 Midwestern radio markets including Columbus, OH; St. Louis, MO; and the Kansas City area — and the track has seen over 250,000 Spotify steams as of this writing.

 

 

The band will be going on a run of tour dates in the Midwest, with the first show of the tour, finding the band opening for Cold War Kids. Check out the tour dates below.

TOUR DATES
3/25 Columbus, Express Live
3/27 Omaha, Reverb
3/28 Iowa City, The Mill
3/29 Des Moines, Vaudeville Mews
3/30 St. Louis, Blueberry Hill
4/24 Omaha, Reverb
4/25 Davenport IA, Raccoon Motel
4/26 Des Moines, Vaudeville Mews
4/27 St. Louis, Blueberry Hill
4/28 Kansas City, Record Bar
4/29 Columbia MO, Rose Music Hall

Ginger Snaps is a British psych rock/psych pop artist, who has received quite a bit of attention across the UK for a mischievously genre-defying as you’ll hear on the Odelay-era Beck channeling new single “Phat Kids,” which features shimmering guitar chords, tweeter and woofer rocking 808-like beats, swirling electronics, bleeps, bloops and cosmic-sounding effects, and a rousingly anthemic, Brit pop-like hook in a swaggering, breezy and mischievous track.