The Social Blog
Quasimoto, the cartoon alter-ego of hip-hop producer Madlib, is prepping an upcoming release titled Yessir Whatever. The album will be a compilation of b-sides and rarities, including 12 tracks recorded over a roughly 12-year period. The LP & CD will “come with a peel-off cover sticker revealing Quasimoto’s guts,” while the LP will release with a bonus 7-inch single. Details on the album and pre-order goods can be found here, via Stones Throw‘s official website.
According to the press release, the album’s title might’ve spawned from this:
…As for Quasimoto – usually represented by pen & ink with brick in hand – he has been many things over the years: rapper, cartoon, the poor-man’s Gorillaz, a toy, bad tattoo, internet meme. To all this Lord Quas might say, yessir … whatever. It’s all about the music.
The first track released from the upcoming compilation is titled “Planned Attack,” and can be heard here, via Stones Throw’s Soundcloud page.
I was first introduced to Deerhunter with their 2008 release, Microcastle, which was a deliciously fun, noisy record full of dreamy guitars and a cohesive amount of pop. It was a grand album that gradually got dreamier with each track it threw out, echoing its strings and sometimes whispering vocals that seemed to get lost within the dreamlike presentation. This band was something of its own category, blending shoegaze and indie rock into a perfectly concise sound.
Flash forward five years later, Deerhunter and frontman Bradford Cox have created a significantly solid discography. As a group, Deerhunter has released five studio albums and four EPs, with Monomania being the sixth staple in the collection — most all being critically acclaimed. Frontman Bradford Cox has released three albums as a semi-solo artist called Atlas Sound, as well as four volumes of music that are up for grabs and completely free via his blog, and a couple of other “virtual 7-inch,” downloads. While bandmate Lockett Pundt has released two albums as Lotus Plaza, it’s very clear what this album title is strictly referring to: Bradford Cox’ absolute need to create music.
Monomania is defined as a form of partial insanity with a single phenomena or preoccupation, or just heavy concentration on one subject. In this case, it’s either Bradford’s obsession with making music or some of them themes brought to the album itself. It’s also been stated by Cox himself in a Rolling Stone interview back in 2011 to promote Atlas Sound’s Parallax.
…And I guess my time as a musician has gone by so fast that I realized that I have no personal life. The other guys in Deerhunter, they all found things. And I just have monomania. I always will. I’m obsessive about one thing, that there’s one thing that’s going to make me happy and it’s making music, or there’s one thing that’s going to make me happy and it’s this person.
Monomania‘s Deerhunter’s sixth full-length effort to date, and more the reason to naming the appropriate album title.
The album opens up with “Neon Junkyard,” a track where Cox delivers Bowie-esque vocals with a freak-folk vibe. The song’s lyrics deal with neon and I’m guessing an obsession with neon lights all around Cox (neon’s even on the album cover). The vocals are very rough and blaring, with a heavy emphasis on distortion and fuzz all around the background atmosphere. Things get even louder on the next track, “Leather Jacket II,” which is a blend of sounds featuring a ton of scribbling guitar fuzz, clambering cymbals, and screaming vocals which literally sound as if they were coming through a megaphone that was connected to alarm clock radio speakers.
Instantly, the clammering is toned down with the next lineup of tracks “Pensicola,” and “The Missing,” and “Dream Captain.” Deerhunter is definitely pulling from early inspirations such as T. Rex, David Bowie, and Sonic Youth, giving listeners a boom of noise while coinciding confident growling vocals and smooth garage-rock electric guitar. These songs bleed 70′s influence with hints of modern ties — it’s wonderful and a great blend. On “Dream Captain,” Cox sings the lyrics, “I’m a poor boy from a poor family,” helping reinforce that early rock n’ roll sound by use of Queen lyrics. “Pensicola,” and “The Missing,” are two tracks that sonically sound like every band that has influenced American rock n’ roll. It’s a bit unexpected from Deerhunter, but it’s welcomed with open arms as the band seems comfortable with their direction.
“T.H.M.,” features Cox panting in a manner a dog would, breathing over a microphone manically with every measure. “Sleepwalking,” take the old vibes they pull influence from and splice a little bit of The Strokes and modern-indie rock sounds into the mix. The title track, “Monomania,” comes back to the initial sound of the record, bringing back the moderately sexy blaring guitars and fuzz, as well as the words “mono monomania,” being repeated at around two minutes straight with non-stop guitar noise and banging cymbals in the background. It’s loud and I dig that.
The thing is, Monomania, seems to be one-fourth loud and blaring noise and three-quarters toned-down noise-rock, similar to Yuck or Kurt Vile. The entire thing is almost an ode to rock n’ roll music. That’s not a bad thing, but for Deerhunter, it’s a bit of a change in direction most wouldn’t expect. Cox is heavily influenced by Bowie and the glam-rock scene and older psychedelic bands, so this album definitely bleeds with the same noise and fuzz the 70′s and 80′s helped produce. It’s a great mixup, almost perfectly executed with their own style.4/5
Stream the album here in its entirety, via NPR.
Last week at Coachella, Modest Mouse busted out this new song called “Be Brave.” The very great performance can be seen live below.
This weekend during a show in Pomona, California, the band premiered two new track called “Shit in Your Cut,” and “Sugar Boats.” No word on a new album as of yet, but it definitely seems likely.
In honor of Record Store Day, Pitchfork.tv just released this short documentary on the vinyl culture in New York, taking a look at labels, pressing plants, and record stores. The short, “Revolutions Per Minute,” puts focus on Brooklyn labels Sacred Bones, Captured Tracks, and Mexican Summer, Williamsburg’s record shop, Co-Op 87 (downstairs from Mexican Summer), and East Village shop Other Music.
This song is absolutely crazy. First off, this track sounds like Kanye West actually cares about putting Pusha on the map now, as the beat (Kanye produced) sounds much like his Pete Rock inspiration. Second, Pusha T is extremely comfortable on this track, flowing over the minimal clanking and bassline Kanye provided, and sounding a bit reminiscent to a rugged Jay-Z. Really excited to hear what Pusha can cook up for his album!
Two rappers who became best friends in the past year and topped a lot of album lists for 2012, Killer Mike and El-P, are now teaming up once again to drop a full-length collaborative album. Rather than just rapping on each other’s features, El-P and Killer Mike will produce and record the entire album, called Run the Jewels, as a duo.
Today, they teased a track called “Banana Clipper,” via Soundcloud. Take a listen here.
The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends album showed the potential of Ke$ha and the group working together, with Ke$ha singing a type of magic spell and lead singer Wanye Coyne basically chanting under it, on the song “You Must Be Upgraded.” In weirder recent news regarding the two, Coyne revealed in a Reddit AMA session that The Flaming Lips are actually working on a full-length collaboration album. “She’s funny, she’s humble. She’s badass. She’s everything. She’s awesome,” Coyne wrote.
The album will apparently be called Lip$ha.
The Flaming Lips have been drastically getting more and more disturbing with each music video they release. This new single featuring Bon Iver called “Ashes in the Air,” features a spaceman carrying a baby with the head of a bearded-man, walking over to a nude couple holding the brains of a naked dead man (shlong shown, so this video is obviously NSFW), and then sacrificing the baby to said group. Lots of blood, glitter, and weird effects. Might be a bit unsettling for some. The Flaming Lips’ new album, The Terror, drops April 14.
Somewhere in between Tyler, the Creator’s debut album Goblin and his crew’s collective release, The OF Tape Vol. 2, I stopped caring for most of Odd Future – specifically Tyler. At the beginning of his career, Tyler’s voice seemed cool and disctinct, while his rapping was certainly entertaining to hear. Yet, his lyrics were unmemorable past his first mixtape, Bastard, and ran purely on shock value tactics. Over these last three years, the more and more I heard Tyler rap, the more I understood that without his collective dropping mixtapes and albums every month or so, Tyler by himself doesn’t shine as he used to in his Bastard and Goblin days. His Odd Future collective do a great job of aiding in overshadowing each other’s mistakes and sometimes sloppy deliveries to the point where everything the crew does together or individually is deemed as “charming,” since they’re all relatively still young and fresh on the scene.
Sadly, a lot of Tyler’s charm is lost on Wolf, and the once proud Satan-spawn of Eminem and 90’s hardcore hip-hop is losing momentum, as Tyler constantly recycles rhymes and proves just how much angst he’s still got leftover from Goblin. With his first release, Bastard, Tyler showcased a misunderstood teenager, speaking for the underdogs who didn’t have fathers growing up and rapped as a young violent killer with teenage love and confusion on his mind. On Goblin, Tyler learned what fame and money could do to that young bastard, churning out angst into chant-worthy rap-alongs and hype ballads, similar to punk rock anthems. Now, with Wolf, it really just seems like Tyler has a leftover surplus of angst and annoyance with fame he already touched on with Goblin.
Back in 2011, Tyler had an interview with SPIN in which he revealed: “Talking about rape and cutting bodies up, it just doesn’t interest me anymore… What interests me is making weird hippie music for people to get high to. With Wolf, I’ll brag a little more, talk about money and buying shit. But not like any other rapper, I’ll be a smart-ass about it.” It’s 2013 and we’re now given an album that decides to replace the content of “rape and cutting bodies up,” with saying different variations of “faggot,” simultaneously using Frank Ocean as defense for the rapper not being homophobic. Recycle that reference a few times through the album, add that with a few raunchy lines like “Address my little dick as Ike / Twenty says I hit your wife,” “Ain’t been this fucking sick since brain cancer ate my granny up,” and sprinkle a little fame-angst in the mix such as “I wanna quit, but I can’t / Because mother and sister can’t pay the rent,” and you’ve got all the lyrical content of Wolf. Tyler will tell you how his fans are faggots, how much he doesn’t enjoy fame, how rich he is from doing petty things such as rapping and selling socks, and how everyone will continually eat it up and give him more cash – especially those already into the Odd Future scene.
Might’ve expected too much from Wolf lyrically, but it has been previously stated by Tyler himself that Wolf’s main focus would be the record’s production. That bit of charm that Tyler has left shines throughout the album’s beats, definitely. The Neptunes have been a tremendous obsession for Tyler, the Creator and his production method, and the album demonstrates the impact the beat-makers had on the young rapper thoroughly. “Awkward,” provides a feel-good love song, similar to the feeling of a track on his previous album, “Analog,” showing affection but still keeping it juvenile enough to say “fuck,” whenever it gets too sappy. The short Frank Ocean-backed “Bimmer,” showcases a catchy, multi-layered track that shows Tyler rapping about a girl he’s infatuated with, with Ocean cooing in the background under lazy kick-drums and pitch-crazy synths.
Serenading also happens with Erykah Badu and Pharrell appearing on two of the album’s songs, “Treehome95,” and “IFHY.” Badu sings about a treehouse in the most sensual way she possibly can over a smooth piano-laden beat, backed with silky bells and a plinky-keyboard. “IFHY,” brought out the early-2000’s Pharrell that nearly sounds like the track could be a Jay-Z feature. “Trashwang,” the bass-heavy posse-cut for the album, gives Trash Talk’s Lee Spielman something to shriek along to, with Left Brain, Lucas, L-Boy, Na-kel and Taco yelling ignorant verses for a maximum hype effect.
Just as previous efforts from Tyler, Wolf is a concept album involving a few of Tyler’s alter egos. This album, from what I’ve gathered via multiple listens, involves Wolf Haley and new character, Samuel, attending the same summer camp, “Flog Gnaw (Golf Wang backwards, folks),” together. Dr. TC introduces Wolf and Samuel, and off the bat the two hate each other. Wolf has Tyler balancing the roles of Samuel, Wolf Haley, and himself, with Wolf and Samuel going back and forth about a girl named Salem, and leaving Tyler alone to rap about being too famous. Other Odd Future members appear on songs that serve as fight-anthems when Samuel and Wolf Haley really get into it, on later tracks on the album.
Now, Wolf isn’t a terrible album, but it’s also nothing spectacular. The instrumentals are what really drive this record, though production quality and mixing may be a tad rough for some to enjoy. If you’re looking for something of quality and substance, Wolf doesn’t have much to offer. Production is heavily reminiscent of early 2000’s Neptunes, with a touch of 90’s booming hip-hop, so the beats will give you an impressive force. As for lyrics and subject matter, I don’t think you can expect much from Tyler aside from a few teenage-love songs, “my fans are fags,” and angsty fame jokes. Not the strongest staple in the OF discography, but a notch under the belt for the potty-mouthed artist, nonetheless.3/5
Finally, after six long years of waiting, Queens of the Stone Age have announced their newest album will be released this June. This album, titled …Like Clockwork, is dropping this summer and features guest spots from Trent Reznor, Elton John, and Scissor Sister’s Jake Shears. Dave Grohl may also be returning to provide drums. Nick Oliveri and Mark Lanegan, who provided work on previous albums, will also make a return.
You can go to the band’s official website and continuously refresh the webpage for samples from the new album.