Music slumps are serious business. Only the freshest, synth-tastic, moving and/or funkiest of sweet sounds can dig you out of the black pit of despair that comes with a lack of enthusiasm for any new music out there. Friends don’t let friends get stuck in music slumps. This is why I’m ever so grateful for friends (or lovers – Oooh la la) who’ve passed along the following gems that’ll cure the the most lonely, stagnant and discouranging of music slumps:
Mortar and Pestle is an “avant pop” trio from Oakland, California who exude funk and bring deliciously sweet synth and dark beats to life on stage. The near-and-dear to my heart musician/audio producer/engineer, Bryan Lovett was mixing Mortar & Pestle at San Francisco Magazine’s 2013 “Best of the Bay” party when he sent me their details and exclaimed, “Think you’d really dig ’em!” And just a few days later to our pleasant surprise, Mortar & Pestle opened for Prince Rama, the electrotastic, weird, wild & whacky sister duo from Brooklyn. Both bands put on ridiculously fun and energetic shows, and I danced harder than I have in a long time – Way to bring it! We snatched up Mortar & Pestle‘s recently released and self-titled debut which can easily and obsessively be repeated. Find Mortar & Pestle on Facebook, Bandcamp, and/or Soundcloud.
Prince Rama also debuted their musical masterpiece of a film (that was created thanks to Kickstarter) featuring songs from their album, Top Ten Hits of the End of the World – It’ll leave you thinking, “Am I on drugs right now, or are they?” Both bands are a must-see live, especially if you’re in the pits of musical apathy.
Mortar and Pestle – U.V.
Mortar and Pestle – Pristine Dream
Shortcircles is the electro-pop project of Oakland, California-based (way to represent East Bay) producer, Matt Tammariello. Lovely friends and music aficionados at Professional Fans recently held one of their up-and-coming new music showcases here in San Francisco featuring Shortcircles and I was instantly hooked. Luckily for us, Shortcircles released his sophomore album, Between Waves (via Plug Research Records) for our listening pleasure. Enjoy:
Shortcircles – All I Can Be for You
Hospital Ships is a Lawrence, Kansas-based indie-folk-pop group and “bedroom project” of Jordan Geiger. I heard Hospital Ship‘s hauntingly addictive jam, “Remaining Light” on friend, music writer and radio host, Anthony Carew’s weekly two hour Melbourne, Australia-based radio program, International Pop Underground – An amazing source of ecclectic music discovery. Their latest LP, Destruction in Yr Soul was released June 18th via Graveface Records. Have a listen for some all-Americana jams – perfect timing for USA’s Independence Day:
Hospital Ships – Remaining Light
Hospital Ships – If It Speaks
The anticipation and chaos for this year’s SXSW music fest in Austin, Texas (March 12th-17th) continues to grow at great lengths. The amount of parties, new bands added, RSVPs, lineups and showcases consistently flow in at alarming rates; and it certainly isn’t over yet. The increasing excitement is contagious and overwhelming, especially when you envision just how much amazing music (and people; 60K to be exact) will embark upon the Tejas capital, and all at once.
To contribute to the ever-growing hype, here is a compilation of (40+) absolute must-see acts/bands at this year’s SXSW. Granted, no one’s ever gonna see ’em all (one can only hope!), so these top 6 absolute must-sees are ones you should seriously kick yourself if missed:
p.s. coco stereo will be representin’ in full force at SXSW, March 7th-16th – Let’s get our dance on together!
I’ve discussed Prince Rama‘s bizarro but super cool new LP concept before, (Top Ten Hits of the End of the World is a compilation of jams by Prince Rama channelling fictitious mega superstars who’ve died in a supposed apocalypse). The Brooklynites’ LP is due 11/6 via Paw Tracks. The notion may be out there, but I can’t wait to hear the LP in its entirely ‘cus the jams released thus far have been apocalypse worthy. Here are two new tracks:
Prince Rama (Channeling Hyparxia) – Welcome to the Now Age
Prince Rama – Those Who Live for Love Will Live Forever
Orlando, Florida’s Marcel Everett, aka xxyyxx, is one of those producers who makes you feel like saying, in typical Wayne/Garth fashion, “We’re not worthy!” Why? ‘Cus the kid’s only 17! He produces these experimental, down tempo, chillwave beats out of his bedroom, in boredom, and they’re masterpieces. His full-length, self-titled LP was released in March of this year, and he continues to crank out new beats on a consistent basis. “Lay Down” is his latest creation:
xxyyxx – Lay Down
This is kind of a guilty pleasure, but damn, it’s GOOD. According to Pigeons & Planes, Jhameel, our Berkeley hailing pop-crooner asked fans to choose a song, and he’d cover it. Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You” was apparently the winner, and we’re all grateful, ‘cus it’s poppy, lustful and fun:
Jhameel – Thinking About You (Frank Ocean Cover)
Satin Jackets is smooth, electro-funk guru and German producer, Tim Bernhardt. He’s also making humble waves in the blogosphere with his self-proclaimed “glossy music” and new track, “You Make Me Feel Good.” Check him out on SoundCloud and Facebook.
Satin Jackets – You Make Me Feel Good
How did Diplo make it on my blog again? Regardless, this slower than typical Diplo jam featuring Jahan Lennon (of the now-defunct PO PO) has gotten some serious repeat action. “About That Life” is the first single from Diplo’s first full-length LP in 8 years (!), which is expected sometime in early 2013. Diplo and Lennon have also made an appropriately trippy, hippie video to accompany:
Diplo – About That Life feat. Jahan Lennon
Today is one of those days where you feel like saying, “Fuck this shit!” and thus commence to pretend you live in some crazy Twilight Zone world where everyone doesn’t annoy the shit out of you, oh, and you get paid really well. So since we’re on the topic of pretending, I present to you Prince Rama‘s latest project and soonish-to-be-released album: Top 10 Hits of the End of the World.
According to Stereogum, this album is a compilation of jams in which Prince Rama, the Brooklyn-based band is pretending to be the “ghosts of ten different pop bands that died during the apocalypse.” UMMM… Sure. Sounds like someone else was also having a “Fuck this shit!” kind of time too, however, it resulted into some seriously cool sounds. The band promises that the new album will include a plethora of music genres including: “cosmic disco, motorcycle rock, new-wave grunge, tribal goth, Arabic pop, and ghost-modern glam.” – Funky!
Their debut song from the album, “So Destroyed” is trippy and beyond addicting… you know, for a fictional dead band w/a fictional top hit and all:
Rage Peace (Channelled by Prince Rama) – So Destroyed
The album is due out in November. Here’s the tracklist including list of faux dead bands Prince Rama is/will/are channelling:
1 “Blade of Austerity” – Guns of Dubai
2 “Those Who Live For Love Will Live Forever” – I.M.M.O.R.T.A.L.I.F.E.
3 “No Way Back”- Nu Fighters
4 “So Destroyed” – Rage Peace
5 “Receive” – Taohaus
6 “Radhamadhava” – Goloka
7 “Fire Sacrifice” – Black Elk Speaks
8 “Welcome To The Now Age” – Hyparxia
9 “Exercise Ecstasy” – The Metaphysixxx
10 “We Will Fall In Love Again” – Motel Memory