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Read Robot David B. elsewhere
The Robot Mark has a tumblr.
Perhaps this is the result of my listening habits for work, as this doesn’t seem like something I would normally post on here. Obviously there is a cultural shift to this sort of British-style, Sam Smith, James Blake, minimal r’n’b production. Crisp drums, clean vocals, all well produced and quiet and mostly about relationships and all that. I think this one does a better job than most of actually capturing some of the effortlessness necessary if you really want to nail this. It doesn’t really on some falsetto vocal constantly riding the breaking point. And the bridge is just one of the many, many reminders that Kanye’s 808s and heartbreaks is easily the most influential album of the last ten years. But that’s just a 15 second digression. Dude just wants some real talk with his lady who clearly is on the way out.
Point is, this one hit me today, so there it is. Episodes are from New York and that’s all I know about them.
There is a long history here with DFA 1979. They were on our first compilation, Music for Robots vol. 1 way back in 2005, almost ten years ago. And honestly, it doesn’t sound like either of us have changed all that much. The huge riffs are there. The piano driven chorus. The thumping, floor-rattling drums. The hoarse tired-from-the-party vocals are there. It makes me think of all-over-print hoodies, myspace, and late nights at Cinespace. This is all to say that this is great. Despite my initial feelings this is not about nostalgia. It’s about a sound. DFA 1979 have clearly mastered it, so why not keep at it. There is more gold in that vein and we’re all the better for it. Album’s out in September from our old friends at Warner Brothers.
2776, out on July 4, is a record whose sales benefit the OneKid OneWorld, a non-profit that provides education resources in Kenya and El Salvador. That’s a pretty serious mission, but you’d never know it from listening to the sublimely silly 2776, which features, among many others, Will Forte, Aubrey Plaza, Patton Oswalt, Aimee Mann, and k.d. lang. The liner notes are by George Saunders (and they were published in The New Yorker this week). It’s pretty great.
“These Aren’t The Droids” is by Neko Case and Kelly Hogan, and it imagines a future not determined by fanboys. What a crazy, mixed-up world that would be.
You can pre-order 2776 now.
La Sera’s Katy Goodman put out a new record called Hour of the Dawn, and it sounds like this: bang, crash, boom.
It also sounds like heartbreak and sweetness, and the fact that Goodman, late of the Vivian Girls, can put it all together so deftly and melodically is pretty great for all of us.
Hour of the Dawn is out now on Hardly Art.
Every once in a while something so quintessentially British comes along and we Americans fall head over heels for it. We listen, listen, listen over again. Listen hard. Listen to the accents, the beats, the references, the lifestyles, the ennui and anguish. We don’t have direct analogs for this, we just have this. And we’re not wrong about this one, “North Circular” by Real Lies. Here’s to another one.
It’s 5:30 a.m. as I write this, with a cup of coffee to my right and a wandering cat walking across my keyboard. I’m listening to the Gold-Bears’ second record, an exclamation point of an album called Dalliance, and it’s doing me more good than my caffeine.
“Yeah, Tonight” is like Dalliance‘s thesis statement, an opening salvo against the sleepers. Wake up, everybody. It’s Monday, and we have shit to do.
Dalliance is out June 3 on Slumberland Records.
“Bloodlines,” from singer-songwriter Nate Lacy and his bandmates Aaron Hanson and Adam Trachsel (collectively known as Mimicking Birds) reminds me of something, but I’ll be damned if I can remember what it is. Maybe it just reminds me of various musical memories.
Which isn’t to say Mimicking Birds and their excellent record Eons are derivative. I think they just have my number, and everyone’s numbers. They know what we sound like.
Eons is out May 13, on Isaac Brock’s Glacial Pace label.