This post should be subtitled, “Or, how I’ve become completely out of touch with the music world.” Surely you’ve noticed that I haven’t been showing my face much around here lately. This is due to some combination of apathy, home ownership, work and general summer merriment. I’ve completely abandoned my inbox and only scan it for any personal messages I might have gotten and I find myself missing blogging less and less but am still keeping this thing around for whenever the spirit moves me. I’m currently de-mp3ing the first several years of this site because I don’t really care enough to continue to pay for the hosting, and I almost exclusively post soundcloud embeds anyway. I’ve been trying to think up some new format that provides maximum impact with minimal posting, but until then you’ll just have to deal with whatever you get, which in most cases will be a whole lot of nothing. Anyway, yeah, I’m kinda over this, but might still put stuff up from time to time.

Before I talk about a song, I’d like to talk about last week’s Beach House show. Instead of writing a longform analysis like I really want to, I will just mention that the dimensional lighting was totally on point, and that when Victoria LeGrand sang “collecting silver coils” during “Silver Soul” (my favorite Beach House song), she belted out the loudest note completely out of the blue and held it for what seemed like an eternity, but was really just the last few seconds of that phrase. I can’t stop thinking about it, and have been scouring the internet daily for another glimpse but all those phone recorders who blocked my view by recording every song in its entirety seem too shy to post their works to youtube. I’ve watched a few other versions of that song live, so I know it’s not “one of those things she does whenever she sings that song.” It felt special and spontaneous, and I loved it. The band also mentioned that in their 500+ shows, their last show at The Crofoot will live in their minds forever because it’s the only time someone has crowdsurfed at a Beach House show. It’s weird how obsessed I am with them as a 29 year old person. But that’s the magic of music, right? Something that elicits these crazy emotions that you can’t explain or control. I’m about to say this. Beach House is my favorite band. And has been for at least a month. I feel like with 4 albums under their belts, I’m allowed to say that. Even though I really only listen to 2 of them regularly.

So anyway. That brings us to this song that I like a lot. It comes to us from everyone’s favorite on stage temper tantrum throwing lo-fi superstar, Ariel Pink (and his Haunted Graffiti). His upcoming album Mature Themes actually sort of sounds like he’s maybe finally matured. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy his previous albums, because I certainly did. But this just seems to be the most polished and least lo-fi of his endeavors. Sure there are still some way out there tunes, but the songs like “Only In My Dreams” have the mother effing catchiest little guitar melodies that you don’t even need the most out of fashion outfit in America and a shitty attitude towards others to enjoy. Pretty weird, right? Hopefully the name of this album is a testament to Pink maturing himself, primarily on stage, just as his music assuredly has. I kind of felt like Before Today was the most accessible Pink album we’d see, but Mature Themes does a pretty good job at debunking that theory.

But for real, I got all excited about this song yesterday only to learn that Pitchfork had BNMed it two weeks ago which means everyone has probably already swooned over it and forgotten about it. This wouldn’t have happened several months ago. But it’s really better this way, because I’ve been finding myself moving slightly away from bzzbnds and getting back to my roots with the artists I first loved before I found out about blahgs and myspace links. Not that there’s anything wrong with bzzbnds because everyone has to start out somewhere. But I am kinda feeling like it’s getting weirder how we go nuts over these bands that have literally one song total (and I am super guilty of this).

And while we’re on the topic of Mr. Pink, let’s talk about this photoset of images from some circus-themed show where he performed a while back. Mr. Erez Avissar, a super cool photographer, took some pretty neat pics of that show, and you should look at them. I clearly borrowed that image for his post, but I wrote a whole paragraph crediting him, so that’s got to count for something, right? I wish I could do double exposure bitch pics with a digital camera, because I would.

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It’s been quite some time since I put together one of these posts, but since I post MAYBE once every other week these days, due to some combination of home ownership, enjoying summer, and a generally blah attitude toward it, I figured a mini-mega post featuring everyone’s favorite internet music blog discovery game might make up for some of it. That’s right, we’re back with a brand new edition of Hype Machine Hunting (formerly known as Hypem Hunting), where I pick a random word, search for it on Hype Machine, and find a bunch of cool songs that I’ve never heard before to share with all of you. You can search to the right to find the first 16 volumes if the spirit moves you, and it should because there are some real hidden gems in those numerous posts.

And since the world is ending via crazy extreme weather of all kinds over the last year or two, including a non-existant winter that I didn’t really miss even though I know it was totally not OK for the circle of life in general, and since it has barely dipped below 90 degrees for a high temp for the past 1-2 months, today’s word is “heat”. Because we haven’t had enough of it lately and we all need a lot more of it in our lives. I bet you were hoping that the word was going to be “air conditioning”, which it was, but there weren’t too many Hype Machine search results for that one, so Heat it is. So let’s take a closer look and listen to some of the rad songs I found. Since I’m trying to go quasi-mp3 free on this site moving forward, I’ve included links to hear all of the songs on the very site that was the namesake for this music blogger game.

First up is a neat little instrumental track from German producer Sven Weisse who goes by the name EWOK FUR. “Vhs Sahara Heat” (and lots of his other tracks) have a pretty solid African influence, and he’s giving away all his tunes over at his Bandcamp page. If you dug this track, check out the rest of his tunes and show him some love over at his Facebook page as well.

Listen to the “Vhs Sahara Heat” on Hype Machine
[via Grufftrade]

Normally, the beauty of these posts is that there I end up with 4 or 5 songs that have nothing to do with each other and represent a crazy wide range of sounds. However, in this case, it just so happened that the first two tracks I found and liked both had some sort of tribal influence. “A.M. Heat” by Young Island is sort of the minimalist version of a tribal chant with the barely there music and is perfectly named because it sounds like it could be the soundtrack to one of those shots in a movie where the sun is rising over the African plainsand the heat waves are rising from the baking ground slightly distorting the larger than life bright red orb that is the sun as the silhouette of a gazelle darts across the screen. Pick up Young Island’s iii EP for whatever price you want.

Listen to “A.M. Heat” on Hype Machine
[via Believe In Sound]

Let’s now take a trip back in time to the wonderful decade that was the 80s courtesy of Japan’s :visited. “Touch Your Heat” features a nostalgic and funky groove that make me long for neon windbreakers and hairspray. Hit up their Bandcamp page for even more tunes inspired by the decade of my birth, which you can even buy on cassette, the official medium of the 80s.

Listen to “Touch Your Heat” on Hype Machine
[via No Modest Bear]

Last but certainly not least is a track from Sweden’s very own Heat And White, because as I’ve mentioned several zillion times over the past several years that this site has been in existence, Sweden (and Scandinavia in general) is by and by my favorite musical region. They just seem to kill it time and time again. And “Sea-Through” is no exception with its lo-fi vocals laid over those recurring notes that fall and rise again with each musical phrase. I’ll most definitely be checking out the rest of the group’s 4-song release on Zeon Light Tapes.

Listen to “Sea-Through” on Hype Machine
[via No Fear of Pop]

And as a very special bonus, a track that I (and probably you) have heard many times already and the song that instantly came to mind when I settled on the word “heat”. Yes, that’s right, I present to you a link to listen to a stream of a song you probably already own because you have such great musical taste. Of course I’m speaking of Little Dragon’s “Brush The Heat”. Dig it on Hype Machine.

When you can complete an entire Hype Machine Hunting post without even clicking onto the second page of search results, you know you’ve picked an amazing word. Until we meet again, which will hopefully be less than two weeks from now….

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One of the upcoming releases on the unbelievably consistent Cascine label is the self titled EP from Erika Spring, who you may know better as Erika Forster, who you may know better as one of those girls in Au Revoir Simone. I think the main one. Was there a main one? I guess we’ll never know for sure. The EP is pretty great on it’s own, especially on these nearly unbearably hot summer days. I will never call a day unbearably hot. Because summer is what this music was made for, and as long as I have a pool or a garden hose or a lake, I say bring on that heat. And that’s exactly what the Nashvillian duo of Austin Wilkinson and Elvis Craig bring us with their remix of “Hidden” that is anything but. Right around the one minute mark is when things get pretty serious for a nice stretch there. In honor of the NBA draft today, I’d like to go ahead and guaranSheed that this song will be on the next mix I make, no matter what the theme or occasion.

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Not sure if you noticed, but we’ve been skewing super heavily towards really dope, often sampled-based electronic tracks lately. These tracks come from all over, but more often than not there is some UK connection, and these sounds from Brighton’s Luvian Sound are no exception. You had me at vocal samples and quasi church bells and beats. Let’s hope this guy keeps making more sounds for us all to enjoy. Seems there may be an EP on its way in the near future.

And don’t hate cuz I don’t “write a lot on blog posts”, cuz I’m not a writer and I don’t want to be a writer. I’m just a guy who likes music a lot, and I respond to sounds more than words.

[via Gluttony Is The New Black]

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Oli Chang – Maaam

I’ve been holding off on posting for a while now for a couple of reasons. First off, my computer decided to go batshit to the point where it would randomly type/highlight/delete anything I was typing, even if I was not even touching the computer. I took this as a good excuse to treat myself to a brand new one. Shoutout to Apple store’s 12 months no interest financing. The second reason was because I’m still giddy over the Radiohead post and the fact that I got to shoot them, and I can now die a happy amateur photographer. I just couldn’t bear to see that post move down from it’s coveted number 1 position on the blog. But, enough is enough.

So then I did a quick glance through my inbox (which these days is used more to unsubscribe from emails than to read them) and saw an email from Oli Chang, who I remembered from his wonderful and beautiful Trippple Nippples remix a while back (accompanied by an equally beautiful video), and kinda digging his newest track “Maaam”, one of a few he’s been putting together as his other project, High Highs, is preparing to release their debut album. Also, it’s hot as balls today, and this song seems good for that kind of weather.

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Last night, I saw Radiohead for the fourth time. However, considering the first three were at Lollapalooza, Coachella, and from the lawn at Blossom Music Center in Ohio, I’ve never actually seen any members of Radiohead, up close at least. But that all changed last night in what was perhaps the highlight of my life as an amateur photographer as I got to take pictures right up close of one of my favorite bands in the history of bands.

It had been 15 years since the band had been to town for whatever reason, but better late than never I say, and it was definitely better with over 20 songs played over the course of 2+ hours and 2 encores. It’s always the most exciting to see a band in my hometown, especially the ones that come to town just after I’ve convinced myself that they never will. The show was phenomenal as expected, giving a pretty even mix of everything OK Computer and beyond (though skewed a bit towards the newer material of course) and Mr. Yorke did acknowledge that it had been a hell of a long time since they’d come to town. Because sometimes it’s nice just to hear it from the band itself.

Anyway, check out a bunch of shots below from what will likely go down as my happiest/proudest moment as a freestyle music blogger. It was funny chatting before the show with the professional photographers who shoot everyone and their brother trying to act like it was no big deal for me, all the while jumping up and down inside uncontrollably. If there was any downside to the night, it was the fact that I showed up just too late to shoot Caribou, and then heard from several people how insane their set was to start the night off. But it was all worth it in the end. Here’s a few rad Radiohead remixes to stew on as well. I hope it’s not another 15 years before the band comes back to town.

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In what could have been the best early summer Thursday night in memory (complete with a day off on Friday), Battles made their long awaited return to Detroit at one of my favorite venues in town, Saint Andrew’s Hall. The band said they hadn’t been to town since 2005 (which is still up for debate) but regardless, it had been a while. I just saw Battles live for the first time last fall at ATP and was very pleased with their unique breed of art rock and their energetic live show, centered (quite literally) around the crazy drumming of John Stanier and his way up high cymbal. And when I found out that my friend’s band Child Bite was opening, it capped things off quite nicely. Check out some pictures from the night below – none of which do justice to the energy of either band (and especially Child Bite, who was just too quick for my terrible camera). But hey, my theory is, the worse the pictures, the better the show. When you cap off a few awesome sets with a shawarma sandwich from Bucharest Grill and a cold and delicious Ghettoblaster on a hot summer night, you have yourself a pretty killer evening in Detroit.

Child Bite

Battles

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Just got this track from Cork, Ireland duo Young Wonder and I’m kinda feelin’ it. Producer Ian Ring lays down the beats for vocalist Rachel Koeman, whose vocals pleasantly remind me of Raphaelle Standell-Preston of Braids and are a great juxtaposition to the deep-voiced “Lucky One” sample that flows throughout the track. And perhaps it’s the whole male producer and female vocalist thing or that vocal sample, but I’m getting some subtle Purity Ring vibez, too. And references to Braids and Purity Ring are compliments of the highest degree. Check it out below and head over to We Are Hunted to download the track for keeps, perfect for this sunny Thursday afternoon.

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