Here in NYC we’re experiencing one of the coldest, snowiest winters in recent memory and the piles of white never seem to all melt before the next comes along. So it seemed like a good time let loose a new mix. All of this is new for 2014 and, as always, lots of good new music. It should go without saying, but these songs fade into one another so don’t ruin the mood by listening on shuffle. Enjoy.
1. Metronomy – I’m Aquarius
2. Warm Soda – Postcards
3. Eternal Summers – Gouge
4. *** **** ******* – ?????????? ??????????
5. CYMBALS – 5%
6. Hospitality – Going Out
7. Elephant – Shapeshifter
8. Juniore – Christine
9. Klaus Johann Grobe – Traumhaft
10. Warpaint – Biggy
11. Snowbird – I Heard the Owl Call My Name
12. Weeknight – Sound of My Voice
13. Breton – Got Well Soon
14. Dum Dum Girls – In the Wake of You
15. Let’s Wrestle – Rain Ruins Revolution
16. Habibi – I Got the Moves
17. Morgan Delt – Mr. Carbon Copy
18. Coconaut Groove – Colours
19. September Girls – Cursing the Sea
Well here we go, another fine year for records. It always is, and anyone who says different isn’t really trying to find the good stuff. I should say there were a lot other records from 2013 that I liked a lot too, but I guess these are the ones that stuck with me the most. (You may have seen my Top 20 already on BrooklynVegan, but here’s more and more blurbs.) My Top 3 are basically a three-way tie for 1st place — they’re all completely different — so feel free to take them as such. But I don’t believe in ties (Tys is a different story, see #38) so I pulled rank. No MP3s this year, but there are links to streams (Spotify, mostly) and where to buy a physical copy — there is a track from every one of these 50 albums on my year-end mixes. I also made a Spotify playlist of all of the albums on my list that are on the service.
Without any further ado, my Favorite Records of 2013:
1. Hookworms - Pearl Mystic (Gringo / Weird World) This group from Leeds, UK practice a visceral blend of noise, drone, motorik rhythms and impassioned vocals that basically demands to be listened to at top volume. The parts are old but Hookworms’ electrifying energy makes it feel like they came up with the idea. Seeing them live during CMJ, where singer Matt Johnson seemed to leave his body on stage, nudged this record ahead just enough for me to name is at my favorite of 2013. For that matter, their non-LP single, “Radio Tokyo,” was my favorite track of the year. Hookworms win.
2. Warm Soda – S/T (Castle Face) Matthew Melton formed Warm Soda immediately after his previous band, Bare Wires, imploded onstage at SXSW. He doesn’t really alter the power-pop formula with his new band but the change has definitely made his creative juices more effervescent. Keeping with those late ’70s vibes, Warm Soda’s debut actually kind of sounds like it is coming out of a transistor radio: tinny and compressed (in a good way), but with giant hooks and choruses packed into 27-minute running time. It’s hit after hit after hit.
3. La Femme - Psycho Tropical Berlin (Born Bad) The title of Parisian band La Femme’s debut album, Psycho Tropical Berlin, is a pretty good summation of what to expect: crazed psychedelic pop with a krautrock/coldwave backbone and an affinity for surf rock. Add to that the inherent French element (Ye-Ye enthusiasm and smoky Gainsbourg cool), you get an inventive, modern, highly entertaining album, unlike anything anything else I heard this year.
4. Outfit – Performance (Double Denim) After a few singles/EPs, UK group Outfit make their long-player bow and I wasn’t quite prepared for what a leap they made. This is sleek, elegant dancepop, endlessly inventive and a little nerdy/quirky — but not so much that it ever pulls you out of the groove. Comparisons to Hot Chip are pretty easy to make but Outfit have their own distinct style. This record remains a UK import. Somebody over here sign these guys!
5. John Hopkins – Immunity (Domino) Having helped create textural work with Imogen Heap, Brian Eno (and Coldplay), Jon Hopkins delves into dance music for the first time, with this concept album exploring, instrumentally, an epic night out. While it may not feature any Disclosure-style dancefloor bangers, Immunity is an absolute stunner, a record that needs to be heard as a whole, and one whose synthesizers throb like a beating heart. STREAM | BUY
6. Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum (Turnstile / Wichita) Written following the death of her maternal grandmother but recorded after moving from Wales to her new home of California, Cate Le Bon’s third album, Mug Museum, hits the happy/sad sweet spot like a ray of sunshine peaking through the grey. A little less skronky than last year’s CYRK, Cate Le Bon’s quirky Welsh charm, songwriting skills and bewitching voice remain.
7. No Joy – Wait to Pleasure (Mexican Summer) Working with Violens’ Jorge Elbrecht, Wait to Pleasure goes beyond the No Joy’s pummeling shoegaze start, showing off previously unheard textures, melody and beauty. They can still attain tinitus-level volume (just see them live), but they’ve now got other cards too and the ebbs, flows and crashing waves make for a great listen start-to-finish. One of the most pleasant surprises of 2013.
8. Factory Floor – S/T (DFA) 25 years since it’s Detroit birth, the sounds of techno and acid house are still inspiring new artists. UK trio Factory Floor take those squelchy 303s and filter them through krautrock and post-punk sensibilities for a near-relentless hour on their long-awaited-but-worth-it full-length debut. While using some of the same equipment Juan Atkins tinkered with in his bedroom in 1987, in Factory Floor’s hands, it still sounds like the phuture.
9. Girls Names – The New Life (Slumberland) For their second album, Girls Names dropped much of the murky gloom prevalent on their debut, instead opting for more crystalline production, driving basslines, propulsive drumming, prominent keyboards and markedly improved songwriting. It’s all a little early-’80s Bunnymen, but Girls Names bring their own style to the proceedings, and every little atmospheric detail works. You still wouldn’t call it happy, but you can dance to it.
10. Ooga Boogas – S/T (Aarght) Australian musician Mikey Young stays busy with a bunch of bands (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Total Control, Lace Curtain), all of them excellent. And here’s another as part of Ooga Boogas. Their self-titled album genre hops from Fall-influenced indie rock to Stranglers-y new wave to the vaguely Talking Heads-ish groovers. (Also “Studio of My Mind” is the best LCD Soundsystem song they never wrote.) But damn if they aren’t all great.
11. Joanna Gruesome – Weird Sister (Slumberland) Somewhere between Veronica Falls and Los Campesinos, Weird Sister takes great fantastic indiepop tunes and throws them in the mosh pit. One of the best album covers of the year too.
13. King Krule – 10 Feet Beneath the Moon (True Panther Sounds) An old soul trapped in a teenager’s body, Archy Marshall really stepped up to the plate on his debut full-length, a pidgeonhole-defying record that melds the sounds he hears around him now (and a few from his mom’s record collection) for something truly modern.
15. Suede – Bloodsports (Suede LTD) Suede return (with second guitarist Richard Oakes) to make a great new album, no “comeback” signifier needed. If Coming Up is your favorite Suede album, buy Bloodsports immediately.
16. Weekend – Jinx (Slumberland) Reigning in the dissonance for gothy — and danceable — pop hooks, Weekend reimagine themselves just enough and show that they’ve got way more to offer than just sheer sonic blast.
17. Wax Idols – Discipline + Desire (Slumberland) Savages (who I like, mind you) may have the image and super-intense live show, Wax Idols’ new album has something they don’t — the tunes. In the ’90s, you could put Weekend’s album on one side of a Maxell XLII C100 cassette and this album on the other.
18. Heaven’s Gate – Transmuting (Inflated Records) Out of the ashes of Sweet Bulbs, Heaven’s Gate took some of their old band’s dreamy noise, but took it in a significantly different direction, playing to singer strengths and became more of punky rock band… while still using a lot of effects pedals. Their debut is a terrific representation of what Heaven’s Gate have become — confident, hooky, and pretty damn kick-ass.
19. Kurt Vile – Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze (Matador) Olivia Newton John once asked, “Have You Ever Been Mellow?” Kurt is probably more like “Have you ever NOT been mellow” but has honed that vibe to perfection here while still letting it all hang out.
20. Heavenly Beat – Prominence (Captured Tracks) Onetime Beach Fossils bassist Jon Pena works with a small palette — lightly plucked classical guitar, synth steel drums, skittering beats, whispered vocals, the occasional pizzicato strings — but make the absolute most of it, with lots of great little touches in the arrangements. Meticulous, yet has a shrugged off, sexy charm. STREAM | BUY
Another year, another attempt to sum it up over the course of a bunch of mixes. I should clarify: an attempt to sum up my year in music. Hence, no Arcade Fire, David Bowie, Yeezus, Vampire Weekend or a lot of the other mainstays on most year-end lists. (Not that there’s anything wrong with any of those records, per se.) Anyway, I know I left stuff off I meant to include (Eagulls come to mind) but it’s a pretty good representation of what I liked this year. As for my lists, my Top 20 of 2013 is up over at BrooklynVegan, and I’ll have a Top 50 up here at some point. I’ve also got some Summer Fridays artwork regulars (and a couple newbies) to do art for these. Enjoy!
The first mix’s artwork is by Erica Recto, who made the cover for this year’s Bastille Day mix. I think I spy her dog, Betty, in there somewhere.
1. Shine 2009 – Eurozone
2. AlunaGeorge – Attracting Flies
3. Outfit – House on Fire
4. Classixx – All You’re Waiting for*
5. Neon Neon – Hammer & Sickle
6. Todd Terje – Strandbar (samba)
7. King Krule – Border Line
8. Heavenly Beat – Complete
9. Foals – My Number
10. Annie – Ralph Macchio
11. Metronomy – I’m Aquarius
12. Phoenix - Trying to Be Cool
13. Public Service Broadcasting – Inform, Educate, Entertain
14. Blood Orange – You’re Not Good Enough
15. Kisses – Hardest Part
16. Gap Dream – Chill Spot
17. World’s End Press – Deadbeat Sweetheart
I realized after I published that in the actual uploaded, track #4 is by Classix, not Outfit. Feel free to change in your iTunes. Sorry about that.
Mix 2 has artwork from Jeffrey Bergstrom who is doing his first-ever artwork for me. He likes metal! (Also, Coldplay.) He also writes about laffs on BrooklynVegan under the Klaus Kinski pseudonym. I don’t have any metal on my list, but I put the “darker” stuff on this one to fit with the moody cover art.
1. Jon Hopkins – Open Eye Signal
2. Disclosure – White Noise (feat AlunaGeorge)
3. Daniel Avery – Free Floating
4. Gramme – Fascination
5. Lady – Money
6. Jungle – The Heat
7. Pulp – After You (Pulp Vs Soulwax)
8. Hot Chip – Dark & Stormy
9. Xeno & Oaklander – Sheen
10. Ooga Boogas – Studio of My Mind
11. Lace Curtain – Good Intentions
12. Factory Floor – Fall Back
13. Jagwar Ma – Man I Need
14. Lindstrom & Todd Terje – Lanzarote
The artwork to Mix 4 is done by Katie Harkin who fronts the terrific UK rock trio Sky Larkin, and she also sometimes plays keyboards with Wild Beasts. Of it, she says “It’s a multiple exposure I took in a crazy berlin music shop.” Crazy indeed:
1. La Femme – Nous Etions Deux
2. Big Deal – Swappin’ Spit
3. Beaches – Out of Mind
4. MINKS – Margot
5. Wild Nothing – A Dancing Shell
6. The Phoenix Foundation – Black Mold
7. Kelley Stoltz – Kimchee Taco Man
8. Mood Rings – The Line
9. Ariel Pink & Jorge Elbrecht – Hang on to Life
10. Still Corners – Beginning to Blue
11. Serafina Steer – Night Before Mutiny
12. Love Inks – Solar Diary
13. No Joy – Hare Tarot Lies
14. Fiction – Careful
15. Future Wife – I’m Gonna Die
16. Midlake – Antiphon
17. Doldrums – Anomaly
18. No Bra – Minger
19. Colleen Green – Time in the World
20. Future Punx – Livin’ in a Movie
Another longtime Sound Bites mix art designer, Kate Bryant delivers up this trippy prismatic cover that would be worthy of Tame Impala. She made it entirely on her iPhone, btw.
1. Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardner
2. La Luz – Sure as Spring
3. Sapphire Mansions – Too Shiny
4. Dream Boys – Sworn
5. The Mantles – Hello
6. Thee Oh Sees – No Spell
7. The Liminanas – Black Sabbath
8. Magic Trick – Crazy Teeth
9. Mikal Cronin – See it My Way
10. Warm Soda – Strange as it Seems
11. Corey Cunningham – Is it Really Really Real?
12. Joanna Gruesome – Secret Surprise
13. Heavy Times – Might Not
14. King Khan & the Shrines – Darkness
15. Ty Segall – The Man Man
16. Kurt Vile – Was All Talk
17. Legs – Thirteen Stories
18. The Proper Ornaments – Drop Off
19. Pampers – Head Bag
20. Fuzz – What’s in My Head?
And lastly, artwork for Mix 6 was done by enigmatic virtual graffiti artist King of the Streets who chooses to do all his tagging digitally. Usually he defaces property or signs or turtles, but here he dreams big, by graffiti-ing the SKY. Deep!
1. Prefab Sprout – The Best Jewel Thief in the World
2. Spires – Candy Floss
3. Foxygen – No Destruction
4. Cate Le Bon – Are You with Me Now?
5. Foret – Corps Maquilles
6. Goldfrapp – Drew
7. Temples – Colours to Life
8. Jacco Gardner – Chameleon
9. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)
10. Ex Cops – James
11. The House Of Love – Money Man
12. Suede – Hit Me
13. French Films – Latter Days
14. Ski Lodge – Boy
15. Pretty & Nice – Q_Q
16. Elephant Stone – Masters of War
17. Yuck – Lose My Breath
18. John Grant – GMF
19. Julian Cope – They Were on Hard Drugs
These mixes, like all I do, are actually mixed together so the songs meld into each other. No shuffle!
Oh man, this is late. But up in time for New Year’sChinese New YearRussian New YearTax DayMemorial DayFourth of JulyLabor DayHalloweenThanksgivingHanukkah Christmas so there’s that. This sat in “draft” for most of this year, mostly finished. So I decided to finally wrap this up. There are only streams and buy links for the top 20 album, but I’ve got at Spotify playlist with everything (that was available on Spotify). Dig into that.
Anyway, hope you find something in here you haven’t heard before. Let’s hope my act is a little more together for the 2013 list.
1. Saint Etienne – Words And Music By Saint Etienne (Heavenly)
An album about one’s relationship with music through the years — from nights as a child spent watching Top of the Pops to, as an adult, geeking out on music message boards about strange #1 singles — is the kind of stuff bound to excite music nerds. Add to that insanely catchy songs (co-produced by the Xenomania hit factory) makes for Saint Etienne’s best record in ages, maybe ever. Not bad for 20 years into their career.
2. Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold (Dull Tools)
Parquet Courts aren’t the first band to get compared to the Minutemen and Pavement, but they are one of the few who live up to it. It’s the attitude, man, and they got it. Formed from Texas transplants in NYC (including Andrew Savage of the recently-departed Fergus & Geronimo), the band were clearly inspired by their new surroundings, making music that is nervy, danceable, catchy as hell… and has way more to say than almost any other band of their ilk. A genius debut.
3. Cate Le Bon – Cyrk (The Control Group)
Unlike her relatively normal singer-songwriter debut album, Cate Le Bon lets her Welsh freak flag fly on the wonderful CYRK. Pastoral psych, dreamy ballads, skronky guitar blasts and great great songs meld into a distinct, original musical vision. Also one of the best live shows of the year.
4. Eternal Summers – Correct Behavior (Kanine)
Roanoke, VA’s Eternal Summers made a giant leap sonically and with songcraft on their second album, which is absolutely brimming with terrific songs. This is the kind of indie rock you don’t hear so much these days, but pop this good never goes out of style.
5. Hospitality – Hospitality (Merge)
For a while there, it felt like we were never going to get a Hospitality album but their self-titled debut was more than worth the wait. Erudite and hook-filled; prim but not afraid to rock when necessary and serious musicianship powering the whole thing, Hospitality was 2012′s first great album and has stayed in rotation since January.
6. Shrag – Canines (Fortuna Pop)
Easily the band’s best record to date, retaining the band’s scratchy snarl but letting a few rays of sunshine (and mid-fi production) to lighten the proceedings and up their pop side just a bit. You still get those big Fall-like basslines and shouty choruses, just just cleaned up a little. There’s no dulling the lyrics, though, that still aim for the jugular. This is an album with big hooks and a bigger bite. How do they follow this up? They don’t — they’re breaking up in March. BOOOO.
7. Django Django – Django Django (Because/Ribbon Music)
These guys really took their time making their debut record, to the point where I thought they’d broken up a couple times. But no, Django Django were just making sure everything was right in their kitchen sink world of sound. Nearly half of the record had been previously released, usually a dealbreaker for me, but the new songs fit seamlessly with early singles “Love’s Dart” and “WOR” that it all just works. Endlessly inventive and just plain fun.
8. Melody’s Echo Chamber – Melody’s Echo Chamber (Fat Possum)
I liked Tame Impala’s Lonerism just fine, but this was the best thing Kevin Parker was involved with in 2012. Pairing his psychedelic aural experiments (and amazing drumming) with girlfriend Melody Prochet’s icy Francophone stylings was a match made in heaven.
9. Terry Malts – Killing Time (Slumberland)
It’s pop. It’s punk. But it’s NOT pop-punk. (Even though it is). Pierced with feedback squalls and boundless energy, Killing Time is hardcore for listeners who prefer their lyrics crooned than screamed.
10. The Babies - Our House On The Hill (Woodsist)
Ridiculously good Americana indie rock from members of Woods and Vivian Girls (and others). I think I like the Babies more than either of those bands. There is chemistry here that is undeniable. Great album.
11. Stealing Sheep – Into The Diamond Sun (The Control Group)
I think I am the only person who likes this album, but I find this Liverpool trio utterly bewitching. Somewhere between faery folk and early-’80s post punk, nobody else sounds like Stealing Sheep. Terrific songs, beguiling harmonies, inventive arrangements. Give this one a chance.
12. The Intelligence – Everybodys Got It Easy But Me (In the Red)
Lars Finberg moves to Los Angeles and…remains the brilliantly snarky crank we’ve come to love. The songs are as catchy as ever, and finds him stepping out of his tightly-wound garage and into the sunshine just a scootch. The record opens with him counting to 44 and, personally, I’d be entertained hearing him count to 4400.
13. Bertrand Burgalat – Toutes Directions (Tricatel)
Still making the regal French pop that got him noticed in the late ’90s, Bertrand Burgalat does it so well that you don’t really want him doing anything else. This is easily his best record in ages, classy bachelor pad disco with élan.
14. Toy – Toy (Heavenly)
Who would have thought that a couple guys from Joe Lean & the Jing Jang Jong would go on to make awesomely gothy motorik guitar rock? Not, I, but here we are. Sort of like The Horrors if Faris didn’t sound like he was always auditioning for Bauhaus.
16. Grass Widow – Internal Logic (HLR)
One of the more obtuse indie rock bands of the last few years, Grass Widow tried to go pop on Internal Logic which means it’s still pretty odd but hooks are definitely more plentiful. That’s good news for everyone.
17. Erik Blood – Touch Screens (Self Released)
A concept album about pornography written from all possible angles (hello!), Erik Blood makes shoegaze that doesn’t sound stuck in the ’90s. It’s about porn, not actually porn which is why Touch Screens is pretty sexy stuff.
18. Ty Segall – Twins (Drag City)
Ty Segal released like 27 albums this year and they are all pretty good, but Twins seems to be the one he saved all the best tunes for. Ever-expanding from his garage rock roots, Twins adds a sprinkling of glittery glam to the proceedings making for his most polished set yet. Mind you, “polished” is a relative term for Segall and definitely a good thing. Twins rocks like crazy.
19. El Perro Del Mar – Pale Fire (The Control Group)
Continuing her partnership with Studio’s Rasmus Hägg, El Perro Del Mar drifts even further from the dour folk of her early albums into full-on dancefloor chantuesse territory on her fifth album. Hägg’s interest in ’90s balearic sounds and Sarah Assbring’s soulful vocals make for slinky grooves, not that far removed from Sade, especially on the terrific single “Walk on By,” but the whole record is excellent.
I made this mix of goth favorites for this bar near my house, Snacky, ten years ago (!) and it still gets played there around this time (and at other bars, actually). I posted it on this blog five years ago and figured I’d repost again. It really is pretty good, hard to go wrong with a bunch of stone-cold classics. Perfect for your Halloween party or any time of the year really.
1. Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi’s Dead
2. Clan of Xymox – Muscovite Mosquito
3. Sisters of Mercy – Lucretia My Reflection
4. The Birthday Party – Release the Bats
5. Death Cult – God’s Zoo
6. The Damned – Wait for the Blackout
7. Siouxsie & the Banshees – Spellbound
8. The March Violets – Snake Dance
9. The Bolshoi – Away
10. Echo & the Bunnymen – Pictures on My Wall
11. The Cramps – Human Fly
12. The Cure – The Hanging Garden
13. Xmal Deutschland – Incubus Succubus
14. Lords of the New Church – Dance With Me
15. Southern Death Cult - Fat Man
16. Joy Division - Heart and Soul
17. Tones on Tails – Christian Says
18. Red Lorry Yellow Lorry – Temptation
19. Sex Gang Children – Beasts
This is the last Friday of Summer 2013 (fall starts on Sunday) and I’m wrapping things up with two mixes. The first is of the electronic variety with cover art by me. The second is a rocker, with cover art by our old pal and digital grafiti artist King of the Streets (KotS) who defaces an old picture of his dad, who used to be a “local model.” Quick, some new band, take that name. KotS also requested the aMiniature song you’ll hit about halfway through the mix.
I only managed to make 10 mixes this summer, the least I’ve ever done. I will aim to do better next summer. Until then…
Tracklist: 1. Eagulls – Nerve Endings
2. The Blind Shake – Porto Alegre
3. Pampers – Purple Brain
4. Night Beats – Playing Dead
5. U.S. Girls – Overtime
6. The Herms – Power Joystick
7. Shinies – Salt
8. aMiniature – Towner on the B-Side
9. Rose Elinor Dougal – Strange Warnings
10. Spires – Candy Flip
11. Teleman – Steam Train Girl
12. Dream Boys – Citrus Girls
13. Cate Le Bon – Are You With Me Now?
14. ??? ????????? – ?? ????? ?????
15. Ash – Girl from Mars
16. The Dirtbombs – We Come in the Sunshine
17. Menswe@r – Daydreamer
18. of Montreal – Fugitive Air
19. The Fall – No Bulbs
After taking a week of, we’re back with a new Summer Fridays mix and there’s a lot of music I’m excited about, a couple of which I maybe shouldn’t be including, hence the question marks. But there’s new Kelley Stoltz (a song about a food cart!), new Yuck, new Superchunk, my favorite new band of the week, Temples, some ’90s era oldies (TFC, Pavement, and Oasis), an old Fall song, a song the Fall covered, and more. Trust me, it’s good stuff!
Cover art is by frequent Summer Fridays contributor Kelly Hitzing who used to live here in Brooklyn but is now living the fly life in Miami. By that I mean there are a lot of bugs down there. Also alligators. Albino alligators! They will snap you in two, but burn easily.
1) Temples – Colours to Life
2) Love Inks – Solar Diary
3) Kelley Stoltz – Kim Chee Taco Man
4) ??? ??????? ?????? – ????? ??? ?????
5) Oasis – Cigarettes & Alchohol
6) Teenage Fanclub – Starsign
7) Yuck – Middle Sea
8) Superchunk – Me & You & Jackie Mittoo
9) Bizarros – Young Girls at Market
10) The Fall – I’m Frank
11) The Other Half – Mr. Pharmacist
12) Terry Malts – I Was Not There
13) Obits – Spun Out
14) Crystal Stilts – Future Folklore
15) Pavement – Summer Babe
16) ????? ???? – ?????? ????? – Avenue Girls
17) Tropical Popsicle – Havana
18) Frankie Rose – Sorrow
19) The Monkees – Porpoise Song
As I’m legally bound to say, please don’t listen to this on shuffle. It’ll sound weird, ok? Have a swell weekend!
Summer’s almost over and this weekend is the last show of this year’s Sound Bites Series at South Street Seaport. The final band was supposed to be Leapling but had to pull out, unfortunately. While I’m sad they can’t play, I’m very very happy to have Boston’s Bent Shapes fill in at the last minute. It’s kind of appropriate, actually, as both bands are on Father/Daughter records. Bent Shapes’ new album, Feels Weird, just came out this week and is full of the kind of smart, hooky, highly-quotable songs that gives indiepop a good name. You can stream the whole thing via Spotify (or P4k for the time being) and a few songs right here:
Alright here are the details of Sunday’s show. (August 25.) It’s at the Front/Row stage at South Street Seaport on the corner of Front and Fulton. (It’s where Smorgasbar is.) I’ll be DJing from around 3PM and Bent Shapes will be on at 4PM sharp! It’s free, there’s a giant astroturf field you can stretch out on, the weather will be sunny and beautiful Why wouldn’t you come down?
I should say that Bent Shapes are also playing Cake Shop on Saturday as part of a crazy-good show that also has Gross Relations, Butter the Children and Two Inch Astronaut. You should go to that AND come to Sound Bites.
Bent Shapes’ Andy, Supriya and Ben indulged my questions about food and their answers are below. Food tubes will be available at Smorgasbar, btw.
Summer is prime farmer’s market time. What’s your favorite vegetable? And why.
B: I like zucchini, because it’s so versatile. It’s good grilled, cooked into ratatouille or jagacida, or baked into muffins with chocolate chips. Can’t go wrong.
S: I like broccoli because it tastes so nice in pizzas, soups, as a stand-alone item, oh jesus christ just everything! I might mention avocado but note that it is a fruit or a nut or something, I dunno.
A: My favorite food in the world in salad, so I will go with “mixed greens” as my favorite.
What’s your least favorite and why?
B: Never met a vegetable I didn’t like.
S: Celery because it is fucking awful, although I like it pureed to oblivion in soup context etc., etc.
A: I think “wedge of iceberg lettuce” is the most depressing sounding thing on the menu.
Bent Shapes just released their debut album. Did any particular food fuel the making of it?
B: We ate at Shanghai Village in Arlington, MA quite a bit before sessions, but the $5 Suffering Bastards had a lot more to do with it than the food, I think.
S: Yes, anything distillable and always fresh greens.
A: Also, we ate a lot of barbecue, which sounds pretty awful. Can you imagine eating ribs and then doing vocal takes? I can.
Has food ever influenced your songwriting?
B: Sure. You are what you eat. I was ingesting too much caffeine during the writing of this one, but I just quit coffee, so maybe my contributions will be mellower in the future.
S: We’ve brushed against burrito metal and pizza-tween twee.
A: We used a lot of food props in the Panel Of Experts video, does that count?
Any good food-related band anecdotes?
B: We used to go for ice cream after almost every practice, but we’re getting too old for that shit now.
S: I never fucked with that shit.
Who is the best cook in the band?
B: We all have our specialties, I think. Andy makes a mean brunch.
S: I make a mean weettucini weefredo (is that ok?).
A: I make a mean brunch.
What can you tell us about eating in Boston?
B: We’ve got some great restaurants. I think the diversity in the neighborhoods we call home guarantee variety, too, which is cool.
S: It is one of the destinations of our greatish country in which the winter food makes you fat AND the summer food makes you fat.
A: God Bless America.
What’s your favorite local restaurants?
B: Top 5 on my side of the river are probably Cantina La Mexicana, Dosa Factory, Sound Bites, Veggie Galaxy, and Chilli Garden.
S: Go to the Publick House in Brookline, order the macaroni and cheese, add broccoli, accompany the aforementioned with an Houblon Chouffe Belgian IPA, go on with your life knowing you’ve felt the pinnacle of satisfaction and nothing else matters now.
A: There is a diner in Watertown called the Deluxe Town Diner. Very very delicious. Le’s is a Vietnamese chain here in Boston and it’s also quite niiiiiiiiice.
What’s your go-to hangover food?
B: I’ve only been hungover once or twice, but I mostly just moaned a lot and ate dry toast in bed.
S: The snooze bar on the alarm clock. Cuz, yunno, “Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes the bar eats you.”
What food would you imagine Bent Shapes music being paired with?
B: Some sort of food tube (burrito, dosa, calzone)?
S: Yeah, probably Indian-fusion, which is my fault entirely. Something authentically inauthentic.
A: Def a food toob.
The Sound Bites Series continues this Sunday (8/18) at the Front/Row stage which is located at the corner of Fulton and Front streets at South Street Seaport. It’s right by Smorgasbar which has beer, wine and some great food. I DJ at 3PM with the band on at 4PM sharp! I am super-psyched for this week’s band: Radical Dads.
Brooklyn trio Radical Dads (make indie rock the old fashioned way, recalling the glory days of ‘90s college radio. But they’re no slackers, gigging constantly locally and around the country. The world even: they just got back from a tour of Japan. Their hook-filled new album, Rapid Reality, came out in the spring and I asked them a few food related questions…
Summer is prime farmer’s market time. What’s your favorite vegetable? And why.
Kohlrabi for sure. Because sometimes we say to Robbie, “Hey Kohlrabi!” and he responds. I am not sure if there is any kinship between their tastes.
What’s your least favorite and why?
The “Cleft Butt” heirloom tomato. Because it looks like a butt.
Radical Dads released their second album this year. Did any particular food fuel the making of it?
But of course! The making of Rapid Reality was fueled by gummy snacks, ginger brews, cucumber fizz concoctions, bahn mi, ‘za slices, and those massive jawbreakers, eaten Lady and the Tramp-style.
Has food ever influenced your songwriting?
Yes. Sometimes you (well, we) eat some seitan or broccoli and it’s hard to sing a particular melody because of particular things that food does to your (well, our) G.I. tract. So you change the melody.
Any good food-related band anecdotes?
One time Robbie threw a gummy bear across the practice space and it caromed off my tooth and into my mouth and I swear I heard that sweet little ursa emit a yelp.
Who is the best cook in the band?
You folks recently toured Japan. Please list in exhaustive detail all the most delicious/weird things you ate while there.
Basashi, a.k.a. horsemeat
Gyutan, a.k.a. beef tongue
Sashimi, a.k.a. cool fish
Sake juice boxes, a.k.a. drunk on the train
Gummy fruit of every variety, a.k.a. a gummy apple a day keeps the doctor away but brings the dentist very near indeed
Soba noodles, a.k.a. it’s ok to slurp
Soda, a.k.a. soda
Onigiri, a.k.a. triangles
What’s your favorite local restaurants?
We live in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, and some of our favorite restaurants are Nam Nam, Williamsburg Pizza, Post Office, Taco Chulo, and a secret speakeasy spot called Robbie’s Roof Deck.
What’s your go-to hangover food?
As straight-edge gutter punks, we don’t get hungover.
What food would you imagine Radical Dads’ music being paired with?
Our songs go great with soda. Especially artisinal types sold in throwback bottles with sexy-ass graphic design or illustrations redolent of a simpler era when Eisenhower ruled with his hidden hand and we all commuted from the suburbs.
I manage one to make a mix like this one about once a season, that starts one way and then goes another. Like how do you get from the throb of Outfit to the soaring strains of “Tonight We Fly” and make room for Yello, The Dentists and Honey LTD? You just have to download this puppy to find out.
This mix is going up a day late, but it allowed for this week’s cover, the picture of which I took last night a few blocks from my apartment. We’ve been blessed with a spectacular season of sunsets this summer in New York. Add to that the bridge (Williamsburg) and the picture almost shot itself.
1) Outfit – House on Fire
2) Wild Nothing – A Dancing Shell
3) Destroyer – Suicide Demo for Kara Walker
4) Yello – Desire
5) Mood Rings – The Line
6) Shriekback – Faded Flowers
7) No Joy – Hare Tarot Lies
8) Scars – All About You
9) Sapphire Mansions – Too Shiny
10) The Dentists – I’m Not the Devil
11) Joanna Gruesome – Sugarcrush
12) Honey LTD – Eli’s Coming
13) The Cleaners from Venus – Summer in a Small Town
14) MINKS – Margot
15) The Pale Fountains – (There’s Always) Something on My Mind
16) Would-Be-Goods – Last of the Pinstriped Rebels
17) Fantastic Something – If She Doesn’t Smile (It’ll Rain)
18) The Divine Comedy – Tonight We Fly
Hope you’re have a good weekend. Enjoy this one, and no shuffling!
P.S. if that font on the cover looks familiar, it’s the one Peter Saville designed for New Order’s Republic. He used to give all his fonts away on his website… but not anymore.
Kevin Morby (Babies, Woods) at @mercuryloungeny. Love his voice. (at Mercury Lounge)
The scene at Momofuku for the debut of “Cinnamon & Lesbians” ice cream which was inspired by a tune on new Malkmus album. They were there signing posters. 9 degrees is perfect ice cream weather. (at Momofuku Milk Bar)
Not that we had a winter this year on the East Coast, but Spring is in full bloom here in Brooklyn. Post-bloom actually, which is a good thing for you allergy sufferers. And so thaws my blog which has been on deep freeze since February. So here we are with this year’s Spring Fever mix […]
I’ve been mostly cut-off from the internet this week thanks to living in a pre-War building that has cable installed in ways McGuyver never would’ve attempted. (A vision of a SOPA future, perhaps.) But we’re back on now and I managed to put this one together while unplugged. Last week we got mostly dancey songs, […]
There were a few snowflakes in the air today here in Brooklyn, the first of the season, so it’s good timing for the first Wintry Mix of 2012. Unlike the Summer Fridays mixes, these will be almost entirely new music… though I’m allowing myself one oldie per week. Lots of great stuff here: new singles […]
We’re in it now. It’s July and it’s HOT and I’ve blown my fuses twice already. That’s what I get for making toast with the A/C on. Try not to lose power when cranking this one, though volume should definitely be set to Very Loud. Cover art this week is by Mazing Vids co-conspirator and […]
Did you know there’s an animal park in Florida that develops bonds between tigers and humans by having them swim together? You probably did, it’s been around for three years. I just found out via this week’s cover art done by my friend and frequent art contributor Kelly Hitzing. If you didn’t, there is such […]