About four years ago I was sitting in the All Star Sandwich Bar in Cambridge, MA eating an Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown and drinking a Harpoon Ale. I was alone so I picked up a local music trade paper and was leafing through it when I stumbled upon a review for the album “i” by MMOSS a psychedelic jam band from New Hampshire. I was intrigued. After finishing my meal I went out an bought the CD somewhere near Harvard Square and I’ve been a fan ever since.
I’m pretty sure they have only recently been available on Spotify and it looks like a re-issue of “i” is available. My pick for the week is “Hedge Creeper”. It’s a short fun jam full of late 60s AM radio tropes. I think Ron Burgundy is playing lead jazz flute on this one. Enjoy this track while driving with the top down.
Black Moth Super Rainbow member, Tobacco dropped a new album “Ultima II Massage” a few weeks ago and my pick for the week is “Eruption (Gonna Get My Hair Cut at the End of The Summer)”. I really like BMSR and Tobacco seems like he’s a major component of their sound. I especially dig some of the more throbbing-spacy-wavy tracks. The video for “Streaker”, directed by Eric Wareheim, is NSFW and pretty disturbing. Watch it with the lights on.
I’m just getting around to listening to Woods April release “With Light and With Love”. I like what I hear. My pick for the week is the title track. It kicks off with a McGuinn-esque guitar riff that weaves it’s way through the various structures the band has erected in this song. I’ll ask for forgiveness in advance. It’s a bit long but it is complex enough to hold my interest through the full 9:07. Another less lengthy track which I also dig is “Moving to the Left”. I can’t wait to hear more from the band. I’ve been a fan since their 2011 release “Sun and Shade”. Enjoy!
I’ve been trying to make sense of Apple’s acquisition of Beats by Dre. This Verge article made me understand that the Beats hardware business is very similar to Apple’s. They sell well designed hardware at high margins. That makes perfect sense. Then I started thinking about how do you deal with two iconic brands merging together like that? Will iPhones suddenly be packaged with a little sticker or stenciling on the back of the phone itself that says “Audio Powered by Beats”? I don’t think so. But you can’t just buy Beats and toss the brand. Then it hit me. What if Beats becomes the core of a new iTunes? What if Beats (the brand, the headphones, the music service, the execs, their relationships, everything) becomes the new music eco-system for Apple? .
The Beats acquisition is the beginning of the end of iTunes. iTunes is a bloated desktop app which is overloaded with functions. It’s how we buy music, movies, etc. It’s how we used to buy books and apps before the iBooks and App stores. iTunes needs to be broken up. It is being broken up and this move by Apple is how they handle the music aspect of this transition.
If this is Apples intent are there other media related companies Apple could buy in TV or the movie industry? Do the try to build as in iBooks or buy as in Beats for the rest of what’s left of iTunes? This will be fun to watch. Maybe as fun as hearing Dr. Dre say a few words at a WWDC keynote.
I’m not a big fan of country and western music. But when I came across Sturgill Simpson’s “Turtles all the Way Down” I couldn’t just toss it onto that heap of music reserved for cowboys crying in their beer. I mean how can you ignore a song with lyrics like:
There’s a gateway in our mind that leads somewhere
far beyond this plane,
Where reptile aliens made of light open you up
take out all your pain
Jesus, Buddha, the Devil, and a whole host of hallucinogens have been put in a blender, mixed with Jack, whipped into a froth and served up in a frosty mug in this song. Take a gulp and you’ll get that hippy love aftertaste. I’ll be waiting for the rest of the tracks from this album to hit Spotify. I hope y’all like it.
New Parquet Courts just hit Spotify this week. “Sunbathing Animal” is a rollicking punk punch in the nose. It’s also the title track from their new release due soon. Can’t wait. These guys are one of my favorite new bands of 2013. “Master Of My Craft” into “Borrowed Time” on Light Up Gold is my new “Scarlet-Fire” and it’s only 5 minutes 32 seconds!
The Coathangers (Minnie, Crook Kid, and Rusty) are an all female punk rock band out of Atlanta, GA. Their third album, Suck My Shirt, is chock full of bite sized, fast hitting tracks. The songs aren’t that complex (hey, it’s punk) but what draws me in are their voices. Rusty and Minnie sing in two very distinct styles: one rough gravely, the other softer and more controlled. Individually or together it works for me. “Adderall” has that raw sound that makes me wince. I can only imagine what her throat feels after belting that one out. The vocal style on “Merry Go Round” does a 180. It reminds me so much of a young Kate Pierson. Maybe it’s a tip of the hat towards Athens? The Coathangers are a blast and my pick for the week is the track “Smother”. Turn it up loud, give it a listen, and let me know what you think.