Monday, April 25, 2011

James Pants - Self-titled Album Review

James Pants - Self-titled album


I had not heard of James Pants prior to hearing his latest third self-titled album. When I saw his promo CD, the strange name intrigued me to investigate further. On the back tray card is a black and white picture of an Indian motorcycle and a listing of songs in typewriter script. It was when I saw that this album was put out by Stones Throw Records, that I had to give it a chance as they always seem to put out some interesting music with a funky edge. 

Stones Throw Record Label

From the opening song "Beta", I instantly found my head bopping along with a driving bass line and bleepy, sparse keyboards. The vocals seem inaudible, monotoned, and reverbed, and that's not necessarily bad. The second song "Every Night" sold this album to me right away. The pulsating bass line and synths mixed with the faint, monotoned vocals and sparse guitar lines created images of strobe lights dancing in my head. "A Little Bit Closer" continues the bass-centric songwriting style with a  bouncy twist and 80s romantic style vocals and synth leads, but in the middle of the song, it changes gears into a new wave spy party theme. 

X-ray glasses: A must accessory for any spy party

"Strange Girl" evokes a darker, two chord approach with a Casio drum machine preset and tinny, fuzzed out guitars. I'm reminded of bands like Love and Rockets, and Jesus and Mary Chain, if either of those bands had a funkier bass player. "Incantation" would fit along side the current witch house movement of musical classification with it's sweeping synths and spooky theremin renderings. "Kathleen" is probably my least favorite song on the album with it's slap bass influence and as a sometime bass player myself, I have gotten over the whole slap bass technique and whenever I hear slap bass, I think of Seinfeld. 

When you play slap bass, people think of me!

"Darlin" explores the 50s greaser hop style, while songs like "Screams Of Passion" and "Dreamboat" explore a more chillwave vibe similar to contemporary artists like Washed Out or Blackbird Blackbird. Choice guitar licks and horn melodies make appearances in several sections of the songs. Overall, this album is really cool and I found myself wanting to hear it in it's entirety a few times before I started writing about it. James Pants, with his "fresh beat" style should be able to gain a bigger following with music fans that are into 80s soul, electroboogie, post-punk disco, and new wave. 

- Mike

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Playboy Psychonauts Get the Cartoon Treatment in NUVO's Barfly Comic Strip!

The Playboy Psychonauts. Photo by Michelle Pemberton

It's been a few years since the Playboy Psychonauts first played Indianapolis and they are now immortalised in NUVO newsweekly's weekly Barfly comic strip, drawn by Wayne Bertsch. Here's the link:

Thank You, Wayne!

- Mike

Dronelands reviewed in The Needle & The Groove!

Dronelands gets a very positive and well researched review from the talented and fine folks at The Needle & The Groove music blog:
Thank you Guys!
- Mike

EXCLUSIVE: The Black Lip$/Ke$ha Collaboration!

   Ke$ha at the Beach!
The Black Lip$ getting ready for Easter!

A few days ago, while browsing my Twitter feed, the very popular buzz-blog, Pitchfork revealed that the garage-punk band, the Black Lip$ planned on making a "punk" song with the very popular teen idol, Ke$ha. This greatly hurt my feelings and I thought this had to be a joke and tweeted my disdain to my humble sized audience of followers. The Black Lip$ responded to my tweet and promised that the new collaboration will be "fucking epic". 

An actual tweet from the Black Lip$

I remain skeptical even after receiving an anonymous email containing a very exclusive mp3 of the collaboration. I DO NOT know who made this recording, but their brave efforts should be crowned and glorified pending the wrath of some "major label" non-punk record company threatening litigation. I'm not sure if I like this or not, you be the judge. Here is the exclusive track I converted to the Cat Like Records soundcloud page:

Black Lips vs Kesha by Cat Like Records

Is the Black Lip$/Ke$ha collaboration a "huge joke"? Do you think that this unusual musical marriage will unite the commonality of the underground and the mainstream? Will the Black Lip$ and Ke$ha brush their teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniels together? Will The Black Lip$ and Ke$ha "party" a lot? Do you believe Ke$ha still wakes up feeling like P. Diddy? Will all the boys still want to touch Ke$ha's "junk"? What other teen slut waver's career should the Black Lip$ try and give alt-cred to next?

- Mike

Friday, April 22, 2011

Prefuse 73 - "The Only She Chapters" Album Review

Prefuse 73 - The Only She Chapters

I didn't know what I was getting into when I started listening to the new Prefuse 73 album, 'The Only She Chapters', written and produced by Guillermo S. Herron. I do not know why, but all of the 18 songs start with "The Only..." in their titles. It's very dark, ambient, and at times completely spooky. An old school, music aficionado could easily describe this album as goth, whereas an alternative, 21st century hipster could classify this album as witch house. Labeling aside, a track like "The Only Contact She's Willing To Give" featuring Faidherbe, sounds like it would not be out of place in the intro of a horror film that dealt with supernatural apparitions. 

Supernatural apparitions or smoke from my bong?

The rest of the songs follow this similar dark theme with female voices wailing in subtle mournful echoes while haunted keyboards sustain themselves in the background like spirits trying to manifest themselves in the material world. "The Only Trial Of 9000 Suns" features the late Trish Keenan of the band Broadcast, who died earlier this year from swine-flu related pneumonia. This track eerily sounds like her ghost is still hovering among the living. 

RIP Trish Keenan 

The song "The Only Way To Find" featuring Nico Turner, shows us a trip-hop sound that would be fashionable in the darkest corners of forgotten chill rooms at an underground rave. "The Only Direction In Concrete" featuring Zola Jesus, takes us straight to ambient demonic possession. Halfway through the album, I imagine that this would be an awesome make-out soundtrack for make believe vampires. 

Make believe vampire girls about to make out.

"The Only Serenidad" sung by Claudia and Alejandra Deheza of the band, School Of Seven Bells, brings a noisier, beat less, shoegaze sound similar to My Bloody Valentine's "To Here Knows When". "The Only Repeat" sung by Angel Deradoorian of Dirty Projectors, and "The Only Recycled Intro" close the album out in a climax of aural ectoplasm. If you are the type of music fan that only likes songs with audible and sing-a-long words, then this album may not be for you and you should stick to commercial music. 'The Only She Chapters' is not only haunting, but beautiful in it's presentation of the female voice much like the mythological sirens that lead sailors to their ultimate doom.

- Mike

Psychedelic Horseshit "Laced" Album Review

Psychedelic Horseshit - "Laced" album

If you can get past the awesomely uncommercial and punk rock band name of Psychedelic Horseshit, then you're half way to discovering some real lo-fi recorded treasure. The album starts with some delayed, bleepy keyboards and scraping guitar noises over what sounds like electronic tablas. As the album progresses, I'm reminded of The Elephant Six Collective and how this could have been a lost Olivia Tremor Control release, if the OTC burned all their Beatles and Beach Boys records and just hit all their delay pedals and started jamming.

Burn those Beatle records!

Old scratchy vinyl, jungle conga sounds, backwards & tremolo effected guitars, coughing, and distorted loops are spread across the album, along with vocals that seem to stay subdued and are not too dissimilar to Charles Manson in his most tranced out, crazed state of mind. "Tropical Vision" comes across like an inhabited fantasy island of shitgazed Kevin Shields clones, while "I Hate The Beach" is a 7:32 minute epic shamanic track that sounds ironically like they are playing the song at the beach and beckoning the gods to wash it all away. I do not know why, but I imagine someone playing a keytar on this song.

Imagine this girl playing keytar on the album!

"Another Side" features a pop acoustic approach accented with a harmonica, while "Revolution Wavers" reveals a more shoegaze side with a hip hop beat that grows into a full-blown mind fuck similar to My Bloody Valentine's "Soon". Towards the end of the album, I noticed a female voice singing among the melodies and had to question myself if she was singing in the earlier songs the entire time. Overall, this will be one of my favorite albums to come out in 2011 that keeps me wanting to hear it over and over. It will definitely not be for people whose musical diets consist of slick productions and for that reason, I end this album review with an unseen smirk.

- Mike

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Rise and Climb of Animalwave!

The alternative title to this blog post could also be "If your monkey-ass band member keeps monkeying around, he'll get replaced by a monkey!" Sometimes this sentiment can be a common occurrence with anybody starting a band or currently playing in a band. Who hasn't been frustrated at a band practice and thought "If only we could replace our idiot guitar player with a Monkey?" Here's an audition video I would consider:

I imagine Thailand has been ahead of the trend curve and has been training monkeys to play in bands to take over the Western airwaves. How could these monkeys not be considered teen heart throbs:


What a fully trained Thailand monkey band looks like.

Sometimes, the lead singer in your band is so full of himself that you want to kick his pansy ass out of the group and just become an instrumental band or replace his feathered hair ego with a real feathered screamer. Well, consider the brutal sounds of Hatebeak, a grindcore band fronted by Waldo, a 19 year old Congo African Grey Parrot.

Or how about you audition your dog to step in the front man role like the band members of Caninus did:

If the dogs and parrot screamo is not your cup of tea, how about the avant garde sounds of the Rock Cats:

If the Rock Cats are too left field for your tastes, there's always the best modern piano composer of our times, Nora the Piano Cat backed by the Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra:

Do you think the future of music will include more animal collaborations? What modern day buzz band could be better with an animal band member? Should Bethany Cosentino do an album with Snacks the Cat meowing and purring? Should all the members of Animal Collective replace themselves with monkeys? Does Win Butler of Arcade Fire look like a Ferret?
Win Butler


Friday, April 8, 2011

Coachella: Separating the Coolstream from the Lamestream

I will not be going to Coachella this year. Instead, I will be back at home sadly missing all my favorite bands performing in one location. My hip friends will all come back and smugly state "I was there!"and "It was Amazing!" as we share PBR tall boys. I was never a big fan of colossal music festivals to begin with and there's so many lame rules that go along with these events. Here are a few "NOs!" straight from the Coachella website:

NO Blankets! *Great! Now there's nothing between my tired ass and a ground marinated in mud/piss/cum/shit/blood/etc.

NO Outside Food & Bev! *This occurs at every festival everywhere. They want you to buy $2 bottled water. The beer will probably cost $8-$10. 

NO Flags! *This is a bizarre rule! What if I want to wave my freak flag? Fuck You Coachella Fascists! 

NO Tailgating in Parking Lots! *This is where the REAL partying occurs and where you can get drugs!

NO Stuffed Animals! *This is another weird rule. what if I want to toss a stuffed cat at Bethany Cosentino?

Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast and Snacks the Cat

NO Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia! *I don't want to live in a world where music festivals and drugs cannot meet and greet. Call me old-fashioned! 

Here's a breakdown of artists/bands that I would try to catch:

Animal Collective
Arcade Fire
Big Audio Dynamite
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Delta Spirit
Duran Duran
Here We Go Magic
Jenny and Johnny
PJ Harvey
Raphael Saadiq
Scissor Sisters
Sleigh Bells
The Chemical Brothers
The Joy Formidable
The Kills
The New Pornographers
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
The Radio Dept.
The Strokes
Twin Shadow

If I didn't mention your favorite band, try me why they are relevant. Have a Great Time and don't take the brown acid! 


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cut Copy Lives Up To Their Name By Copying Fleetwood Mac

Since the February 8th release date for Cut/Copy's latest album, Zonoscope, I have noticed a startling similarity between one of the album tracks, "Take Me Over" and Fleetwood Mac's "Everywhere". I believe that these types of things keep me up at night and is partially reason for me to start a music blog. For weeks this similarity bugged me enough that I will present the video evidence for you here on Temporary Rough Venom. Pay attention to the bass and rhythm sections and the sustained single note choruses.

Cut/Copy - "Take Me Over"

Fleetwood Mac - "Everywhere"

Do you think this is a good direction for Cut/Copy? Do you think they are trying to indoctrinate new music fans to Fleetwood Mac? Which song would you chose if your life was being threatened and you could only have ONE song to hear? Would you still be in a dancey mood if your life was threatened? Would hipsters admit to liking Fleetwood Mac? Should Cut/Copy and Stevie Nicks record a collab?