Fuzzworthy: NORTH ARM

Your eyes dart upward and your shoulders snap into proper posture. Occasionally, when searching for new music, a magic moment occurs. The first few notes and you’re hooked. It’s a very fleeting moment, and a culmination of two feelings. Curiosity and interest. The double-helix backbone of human discovery.

The musical DNA in Australia is astounding. And I’m not only saying that because I spent a time in traffic today with my windows rolled down blarring ‘Down Under’ by legendary Aussies Men At Work. Nay. Just take a listen at this effort from Sydney-Newcastle four-piece NORTH ARM.

From the first note I was hooked. You can hear those callouses. Rising intensity. Wall of sound. Psychedelia. On the same vein as fellow countrymen Tame Impala, NORTH ARM is channeling some vibes that seem to stand beyond the test of time. Incredible tune, and a band worthy of some more ears.

BONUS TRACK WOOP WOOP:

~ 80′s mellow B-side dreamvibe


Montevideo Mondays (XIV)

In previous posts, I mentioned the notorious amount of thematic parties emerging in the recent years in Montevideo. One sample of this big success is called Club Subtropical, a party where the tropical rythms of Latin America mix together in long, spiritual, chic and sometimes hypnotic sessions where the concept of south american folklore music gets twisted, dissolved and also vindicated while lots of nice people are having fun. Here´s a song of the previous days of Jaime Roots, a project created by Juan Chao mainly focused in the pursuit of a solid resignification of old sounds and concepts into a popular music more actual, full of soul and suitable for partying.

The task is not easy, and the possibilities of mixing everything into something without any form is big. However, Jaime Roots managed to have one of the most authentic approaches -a task not that easy in times where every old genre has its new versions, its vindications, its “electro” variants (remember electrotango?)- mainly based in experimenting with dub and hip hop as two of their most powerful weapons:

That kind of brand has a lot of satellite acts and even some playlists. However, some artists seem to have started from there to already evolve and play in bigger pastures. That may be the case of the former artist known as Jaime Roots, now called J.R. Here´s a funny story: the name was a homage to Jaime Roos, possibly the most popular and iconic uruguayan singer-songwriter who is a classic and sells out every venue where he goes. Jaime Roots -the name was referring to the roots of uruguayan music, personified in him- was banned as a name by Roos and his team of lawyers, so Jaime Roots had to abbreviate his name. The project didn´t stop, of course. Here´s another sample of what Jaime Roots could do sampling a great, iconic uruguayan sound:

That “Roots situation” didn’t seemed to be a problem for the project. Recently, they took their music to Senegal, after getting picked among more than 2.000 bands from all over the world to record songs in that country with local musicians, in a pretty un-clichéd effort, which means a lot for a project that is still searching its soul. In the meantime, you can try to see what happens with yours when you try to enter and dance tunes as these two.

Make sure to check the new J. R. Facebook page, here.


M.O.P. is back!

The legendary M.O.P. returns with a video for their first single: “187.” The single will appear on their upcoming EP this Halloween called Street Certified EP. It has been 3 years since we’ve seen a release from the Brownsville Brooklyn based duo and they get back to their old school roots by sampling a mid 80s track from Tears For Fears. The nostalgic piano sample mashes up quite nicely with the aggressive gun slinging lyrics of M.O.P. It’s what they would call “ironic” in merry old England.

Order “187″ on iTunes now.

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M.O.P. – 187


MPMF.14

MPMF.14 PREVIEW
Cincinnati, OH September 25-27

I NEED TO TELL YOU ABOUT OVER THE RHINE
Just as the city scape of New York plays a vital role in 1970′s Woody Allen films, so does Over the Rhine to the much anticipated cultural and musical experience of Midpoint Music Festival. For me, and to a lot of Cincinnatians, Midpoint is not only about the music but the venues in the ever growing neighborhood of OTR. This weekend, there will be 150 acts from 7 countries and 57 cities in OTR to play music. Here’s the short list of where I’m going to be and whom I’m going to see. I’m choosing to tell you about some but not all of what Ill see, because one has to leave room for adventure! Stay tuned for my review post this weekend’s festivities.

Thursday:
WASHINGTON PARK Chromeo- 8:30PM
6 years ago Washington Park was an abandoned old cementary. Now, it’s the center of the modern cutural rennaisance in Cincinnati Ohio. At Midpoint 2014, its the perfect place to make a statement with an Arab and a Jew partnership, aka Chromeo. Hailing from Toronto,  Canada Chromeo just released their fourth Album, WHITE WOMEN

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CHRISTIAN MOERLEIN BREWING COMPANY- Satturn Batteries ( indoor stage)
This is the new stage replacing Grammars, but I welcome the switch. I will be cheersing to the German heritage in Cincinnati in this building which stands as a now functioning brewery in a neighborhood of many newly claimed buildings converted into other breweries like it. Beer will not be my main focus, for once, because I will go there to hear the acoustics through the awesome vaulted ceiling. It would definitely make a stellar bat cave, and I’m contemplating putting on my costume for Cincinnati’s local band The Satturn Batteries. Led by front man Brad Gibson, these guys are doing it right, after their latest release, REAL FAR EAST, they are killing it in the local scene and beyond. Check them out.
TAFT THEATER-St Paul in the Broken Bones 12:00AM
Yes please, and so should you. I’m a sucker for brass and soul, and they’ve got both. Let’s Dance to the end of the night at the The Taft Theater Ballroom where you can still feel the decades of legends that have played in this theater… saw my first show here as a child. It was The Doobie Brothers, and my dad brought me. No. Big. Deal.

Friday:
Oh yea, here is another cool thing about MPMF.14. REAL ESTATE is playing for free at the Midpoint Midway on Friday at 5PM. Thanks P&G (corporate sponsor plug). Real Estate, out of Brooklyn and New Jersey, has been described as hazy indie rock. I’m about their album “Days” released in 2011. Their newest release, Atlas, came out this year, and I’m interested to see them at a  day show at the Midway. I think it’ll be a good way to start the day.

KNOW THEATER- Sol Cat- 8:00PM/ Rubblebucket-11:45PM
The Know makes my inner theater girl happy, and when you mix it with Midpoint I straight giggle. Know is one of Cincy’s independent theaters that brings original and alternative plays to the city. It is also home to the OTR Improv group and just generally puts on some bad ass events over all. I’m going there on Friday to see Sol Cat, a sweet indie rock band out of Nashville, and I’m going to bust my butt to get back later that night to see Rubblebuket from NYC. It’ll be my first time seeing this soul influenced band, stay tuned for my review. Again, I gotta love the brass, and I hear they bring it.

MOTR PUB- Landlady 12:00am
On a regular night, I think of MOTR (mostly in my head) as my headquarters. There are very few cities where you can go to a bar any night of the week and see good music from all over the country with no cover. This place is it, and it only gets better for MPMF.14. On Friday night, I’ll be there to see Landlady. For those of you familiar with Adam Schatz of Man Man, this is him, solo. Check it out. The music is loud there. It always is, and you will be brushin’ up against strangers. Totally worth it.

Saturday:
There are a lot of new bands I’ll be checking out with a few familiars. As always I like to keep one day at a music festival for adventure, and this year that is my Saturday at Midpoint. I’ll be starting the evening early in Washington Park for OKGO at 6:30PM,  and  some bands I’m checking out are The Coves and Raveonettes at Christian Moerlein starting at 8:30PM. I’ll let you know how I felt about them later.

MEMORIAL HALL Saintsennaca- 10:30PM
Another wonderful sound out of Columbus, OH! Though I’m leaving room for exploration, I’ll be at Memorial Hall to see this show for sure. Saintsenaca was one of my highlights to see during Bunbury Music Festival in August, and I’m glad to see them back in Cincy at one of the most beautiful venues Cincinnati has to offer. I don’t care. I’ll say it. This band moves me. Their folk crescendos lift my soul and I want to give them all hugs after the performance. I’ll try not to be too creepy about it, but we shall see what happens when I see them.

-katieohio


Chillwave Wednesday XLIX

Chillwave Wednesday: a semi-weekly shortlist of chill music around the internet.

I want to thank our buddy Grant for suggesting we create Chillwave Wednesday playlists each week so that you don’t have to listen to each track individually. Grant…I’m not sure who you are, but thanks for listening, and thank you for the suggestion. From now on, Chillwave Wednesday will forever be in playlist form. Who knows, maybe it will even be a YouTube channel one day.

For now, dive into the 49th installment of chill starting with another track off of Odesza’s new album In Return called “Bloom.”


Games For Girls (Alex Metric Remix)

Time to get you through Tuesday with some Alex Metric remix action. The prescription for today: a remix of Say Lou Lou’s “Game For Girls.”

As if that wasn’t enough to brighten up your day the beautiful Swedish duo behind Say Lou Lou just announced that they will be releasing their new album ‘Luicid Dreaming’ early next year on Febuary 2nd 2015. Everyone is winning! Tiger blood all around!

Say Lou Lou – Games For Girls (Alex Metric Remix)


SALES EP

Occupying the space on a small cassette player or the idle thoughts of a sunlit afternoon staring at the ceiling, the SALES EP plays like a short series of emotions only partially explored. Perhaps it’s the general grog from a week undoubtedly filled with deadlines and half-eaten sandwiches. Maybe it’s the listless nights of Netflix and take-out. Whatever mental circumstance SALES occupies, it seems destined for the privacy of our own homes. Which is only appropriate for a band that sounds like they recorded their album in a closet. But within the perceived size of the EP, emotional connotations and all, there lies an inextricably beautiful complexity.

Under the microscope, the SALES EP as an expertly crafted effort in minimalist bedroom pop. Opener ‘Renee’ is a hypnotic swing on a backyard hammock, both serene and disorienting, with lead singer Lauren Morgan’s effortless wobble only adding to the feeling of perpetual motion. The ‘heaviest’ song on the album ‘Vow’ drives home the hopeless romanticism and serves as a testament to Jordan Shih’s masterful atmospheric ability. The chorus a slow-coaster of intensity, effortlessly crashing against the shore, and approaching levels of garage rock, a genre that never seems to echo too far from the coast. The tone takes a sharp left with ‘Chinese New Year’, a chippy inspiration piece paired with all the exuberant optimism you’d expect from a ukelele-driven piece. But don’t be fooled, despite the surface-level enthusiasm, Morgan’s lyricism reflects a rather charming escapism. Only furthering the theme of emotional isolation. For those of us who feel far more comfortable sleeping until noon and saving all our deep thoughts for twilight brainstorms, ‘Chinese New Year’ slots quite perfectly into an afternoon of daydreaming while mindlessly grocery shopping.

Not to say the emotions of the EP are lacking in depth, ‘Gettin It On’ represents the most passionate confession of the entire EP. A melancholy inner monologue that seems to play over a harmless cup of coffee with a lost love. The song swims along into an instrumental dreamscape, a rather deep reflection of mixed metaphors and subtle regret. By the time we reach the closing track, the waves turn delta, and we’re sent into faded floral fantasy. ‘Toto’ is a near perfect representation of the EP as a whole; soft, short, and emotional. A dream within a dream. The album closes with a sopping wet remix of the final track by XXYYXX, but it seems mostly included just to acknowledge the fact that someone ‘super-indie-famous’ saw their work and spent a few hours fiddling around in ableton with the ambient/experimental instrument rack.

In full, the album is a phenomenal effort, and perhaps the deepest 17 minutes of your day. SALES is insomnia-romanticism at its finest, and should you choose to drift away I might suggest setting an alarm, because this is one EP where you might find yourself lost.

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Stream the album in full below, and head on over to their bandcamp page and show them some love for a paltry sum.


Montevideo Mondays (XXIII)

Spring is in Montevideo. This is the moment when people flock to the bars, where the pleasant air of the city starts to change the vibe of the people. New theme parties emerge from lots of places and bands come up to showcase their new music in those events or tiny festivals. In this scenario, “feel good music” always seem to be right, and Croupier Funk -a regular presence in neighbourhood stages in the city- have some credentials to be a top player because they move in a genre not very common in the scene.

From the name to the tracks, the soul of this band is eminently funk, from some James Brown-ish vocals and some Parliament Funkadelic hooks to sounds that sometimes reminisce those blaxploitation movies of the 70′s but are mainly disco, Hammond trips, spicy bass lines and of course, classy guitars that do their job:

Listened as a whole beacuase they sound as an ensemble and that is precisely the effect when you liten to them, that you are watching a big, numerous band, Croupier Funk’s eponymous album presents itself like a big pure classic funk cake where those instruments get mixed with female soft voices, some french lyrics that give some songs even a good vibe and a dancing approach that seems mainly unpretentious:

It may be weird, but Croupier Funk´s sort of naive, non-academic but very skilled approach to this soulful style contributes to that relaxed atmosphere that makes you want to go to hear them live immediately for dancing purposes or maybe remix some of their songs. Speaking about that, I wonder how many great things would happen with these songs if the guys of Yasumo put their hands on them.

The record also flirts with other genres such as reggae or our local candombe in songs that still are not on the internet. However, you can have a taste of one of the bands that will be part of the party soundtrack of this tiny city, here:

Also make sure you say “hi” to them in their Facebook page.