Looking at 2012’s musical makings
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Finding your Spotify or iTunes playlists a little on the empty side lately, or perhaps just looking for some news sounds? Take a look at some recent releases from this year that are populating this A+E writer’s playlist
Tame Impala – Lonerism
Lonerism can be classified as some kind of musical departure for Tame Impala. Following up on 2010’s Innerspeaker, the psychedelic Australian quartet bring back a more sonically compatible record for their kaleidescopic fans. The echoing opener “Gotta Be Above It” is a great segway to the rest of the album; it offers the same Tame Impala sound (Same Impala … anyone?) but heavily garnered with more feedback, synth, and puddling reiterations. Fans familiar with the band’s sound can appreciate the optimistic vibes of “Apocalypse Dreams” to the Lennon-induced rays of “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” all the way back to the marching emotions of “Elephant.” Heralded by many, Lonerism is a very illuminate album and caters to many with eager ears.
Frankie Rose – Interstellar
The only Black Friday shopping I did this past week was at Urban Outfitters where they offered a decent catalog of vinyls on sale for half the price. Among the choices were Hot Sauce Committee by The Beastie Boys (R.I.P. M.C.A.), that debut Diamond Rings LP, the new Dinosaur Jr. release, Hurley by Weezer (lol) and alas, Interstellar. Frankie Rose has been around the block, building a substantial répertoire as the well-known, primitive member of Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, and Vivian Girls; her drumming experience for the indie pop revival scene demonstrates a vision only she can engender. The title track “Interstellar” abandons old impressions and habitually breeds a new species. It explores voids that need filling and dives headfirst into the celestial odyssey of fascination. Synth-induced harmonies flood every second until the final hook is played and fades into an abyss of silence. Frankie Rose delivers a new, panoramic experience and paints a distinct portrait for those to see and hear. Soloism at its finest.
Sonic Youth – Smart Bar – Chicago 1985
I once talked to a guy who mentioned his love for Daydream Nation and how Dirty, and The Eternal were milestones for the alternative rock movement. He even mentioned how 2004’s Sonic Nurse proved to be a comeback for the group’s image. Though I shook my head in approval (I didn’t necessarily agree with him), I noticed the entire conversation was revolved around studio recordings. It’s already kind of a given to mention that Sonic Youth’s studio discography left a formidable imprint in the 90’s alt-rock arena; bands like Pavement, Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Guided By Voices and so many more all followed suit with memorable studio releases. However, recordings outside the studio, such as bootlegs, b-sides and live recordings, really set the tone for a band’s appearance, sonically and experimentally. Guitarist Lee Ranaldo stated that Smart Bar – Chicago 1985 will be part of several archival projects the group sets to release in light of their indefinite hiatus beginning in 2011. The 14-track set was recorded on Aug. 11, 1985 in support of their sophomore album Bad Moon Rising. “Ghost Bitch” through “Kill Yr Idols” demonstrate the quintessential Sonic Youth live feel, while at the same time integrating awesome improvisational skills that light the crowd on fire (don’t take that literally). The entire setlist flows from one track to another and, as a whole, really stands out as a prototypical live performance.
Ty Segall Band – Slaughterhouse
The garage-punk scene has definitely taken its toll on the modernity of blossoming buzz bands. Outfits such as Black Lips, Thee Oh Sees, The King Khan & BBQ Show, and even The White Stripes have taken lessons from the dawn of The Stooges all the way to Iggy Pop. Slaughterhouse by Ty Segall Band ties these influences from classic onsets to their garage-reared peers and actually make something out of it in less than forty minutes. All the way from “Death” to “Fuzz War,” you can really hear the nuances of a degenerative blues-rock ensemble. The constant sluggish and lethargic illustration of “Wave Goodbye” displays the classic Ty Segall sound while songs like “I Bought My Eyes” and “Oh Mary” convey a more subliminal outlook on the stimulating side of things. Remarkably, Slaughterhouse is coherent enough to enjoy as an entity: through all of the unapologetic griminess and scorching meltdowns, at the end of the day you can reassure yourself that what you just went through wasn’t all that bad.