When a musician is tied to a band with a distinct sound and reputation, side projects tend to be the quickest reprieve from expectations. They are chances to experiment and collaborate in low profile, low pressure environments. When long-time Wilco and former Uncle Tupelo bassist John Stirratt approached Pat Sansone with a collection of his own songs in the late 90s, the resulting album, 2001’s The Green Hour, could have been the end of the road—a quick outlet for Stirratt’s own musical vision. However, nearly a decade and four albums later, their project, The Autumn Defense, has grown into its own sound and out of the scope of a standard, short-term side project, pairing a relaxed and intimate approach with the continued growth and focus of a full-time project.
The guardian called them “Fantastic, if bemusing,” Pitchfork compared them to the insanity of MTV’s pop phenomenon Jersey Shore, and their front man has a Lady Gaga-esque drive to take over the world. You might be asking yourself who the hell Die Antwoord is.
I was asking myself the same question as I stood on New York City’s Governor’s Island this summer, in a crowd of ten to twenty thousand hipsters waiting between sets by Sleigh Bells and M.I.A., when a tiny woman in a sliver dress and a man in a white robe took to the stage. At first I thought it might be a couple of high schoolers about to go streaking, but was soon corrected when a heavy synth beat dropped and Watkin “Waddy” Jones (the scrawny white lead) began to sing his anthem “Enter the Ninja”.
Straight from the heart of Oakland, California comes Zion I’s new EP, Atomic Clock, a ticking timebomb just waiting to burst onto the Rap scene. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing Zion I, a duo of producer/DJ AmpLive and MC Zumbi, they might be described as a more Rap-based Black Eyed Peas, employing heavy keyboard beats and socially conscious lyrics which promote good intentions, such as love and unity. If you’re already a fan, just kick back and enjoy Zion I’s best piece of work to date. Read More »
It’s hard not to feel guilty when, after reading a news story or listening to a class professor rehash the Illegal Downloading Debate, you sit down at your iTunes library (or whatever Zune equivalent you’ve got going on) and try to determine how much of your music you legitimately purchased. If you’re like most kids I know, the answer is pretty close to zero.* There are some bands you really love and want to support, but according to your library, you have all seven of their albums but didn’t shell out a cent for any one of them. It’s kind of a problem. The thing is, at about a dollar-per-song, your library would be worth three or four grand by this point and you never, ever could’ve paid for all that.
With LimeWire shut down and the Beatles’ entire catalog now available on iTunes, it’s never been a more appropriate time to take a look at your options. We’re here to counsel you through your ethical impasse and help you sort out all the pros and cons of getting music illegally or taking the high road—and the hit to your bank account.
Tryptophan sounds like either a date rape drug or a diet pill. It’s neither. It’s the stuff that makes you sleepy after stuffing your gullet with the makings of an all-American Thanksgiving Feast. Personally, I find repelling the barrage of questions from relatives a lot more tiring: “What year are you in school now?” “Are you going to Law school?” “Why don’t you have a girlfriend? What are you, Gay?” “Where are my grandchildren?” “Why did you dye your hair pink?” “How many tattoos is enough for you?” “In Soviet Russia, Leonid Brezhnev himself would shoot us personally for rebelling.”
Yeah, whatever, old people. You’re questions have made me sleepy, and the GHB substitute isn’t helping. Here’s a lullaby of sorts to help you take the edge off the holiday frenzy and recuperate before another round of interrogations. Click Through for Tunes. Read More »
Now I know why they always say, “Never judge a book by its cover.” I know I have a tendency, not necessarily to choose CDs based on the album artwork, but to let the pretty pictures on the case affect the way I hear the music. I really like the skewed shot of the sun setting through tall, California palm trees on the cover of the Wallburds’ EP, (With A U); it led me to think I was about to hear seven awesome, laid-back tracks about the beach, romance, and/or summertime. While that happened to be the case with a few of the songs, the great photography set me up for some disappointment with the Wallburds’ actual music.
Simply put, Nothing Fits is pure amped-up mayhem. It’s an album that demands being played loud… very loud. Tyvek has released a collection of twelve don’t-give-a-fuck raw, fast songs. The heavily distorted, frenetic sound each track gives us the impression that they raged hard with some Four Lokos, and got really pissed off and destructive after the wonderful beverage summoned the aggressive wolf that lives inside us all. Read More »