Archive for September, 2011

September 30, 2011

Fleet Foxes Continue To Be Perfect And The Walkmen Rule While Amber Sucks At Life

The other night, Fleet Foxes played a concert a few blocks away from my house and naturally I was supposed to be there. I totally spaced about it though until my friend messaged me on Facebook, lamenting the fact that he wasn’t there and suddenly, I realized that I wasn’t there either! Shoot! But, I mean, it worked out okay because instead, I got to sit in my basement and listen to Helplessness Blues, Fleet Foxes’s latest revelation of a record. Oh, wait. I guess it didn’t really work out okay, did it?

Fleet Foxes – It Ain’t Me Babe (Bob Dylan Cover)

For me, Fleet Foxes were the only band worth catching at the giant shit-fest that was 2010’s Lollapalooza. Live, this band is truly magical, recreating their lush album sound near perfectly. I don’t know if you’ve listened to Helplessness Blues yet. I didn’t listen to it too much until recently which was a shame because it’s such a beautiful album. If you haven’t given it your attention, I highly recommend that you do. And you should probably do so right now.

Helplessness Blues sort of seems like the audible equivalent of an epic fantasy novel but maybe I just think that because Fleet Foxes remind me of music that would totally be playing in the Shire if, you know, real-sized men could play a rock and roll concert there. And also if the Shire were real. Basically, the band’s latest has me convinced that Robin Pecknold is not only quite possibly the perfect man but also is the male version of Joanna Newsom, only with a beanie instead of “dat ass”. Helplessness Blues is the masterpiece that I desperately wanted Newsom’s triple-disc album Have One On Me to be. Only instead of drowning in its ambition, Pecknold and his foxy friends flourish. The results are one of the most beautiful albums of the year, for sure.

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September 29, 2011

Archie Powell & the Exports have made an album and now are hungry

The first thing I’m going to do when I get Archie Powell & the Exports‘ new album is buy it dinner. Then I’m gonna take it home and rub it all over my naked body. Then I will gently insert it into my CD slot and lay back as it penetrates me hard … in my ears.

I’ve heard little tidbits of what’s in store on the band’s second record and suffice it to say my band crush on them is beyond justified. It’s good. Listen to “Skip Work” first, but know that the Archie Powell & the Exports that you’ll be hearing next will make your ovaries go pitter-pat like they never have before. EVEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE OVARIES.

But this isn’t about that, because that’s still a ways off. What THIS is about is that through the process of creating this album — this thing whose babies I’d have were that even possible (is it possible?) — the boys have spent all their funds and have NO MONEY for burritos. If you can find it in your heart to help these poor rock stars out, they may even live to make a THIRD RECORD, and you will be glad you helped out this fine cause.

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September 27, 2011

Take A Drag Of The Cigarette Bums

Below the tracklist for the Cigarette Bums‘ “Silverlake Garage” Bandcamp page read the words “recorded in garage on a hot day.” That much is obvious — the garage part anyway. The “hot” part comes across more in the sense that it’s the perfect music for a hot summer day. Grainy and raucous, the band’s sound is reminiscent of late-’60s protopunk; the kind of music you’d hear soundtracking a bikini-clad hottie cracking the cap off a perspiring bottle of cola.

“Silverlake Garage” opens with frantic drum repetition on “D-Train,” swiftly jumping into fuzzy electric guitar licks, lingering bass notes and finally some balls-to-the-wall shouting. The album’s sweetest surprise is the recurring role of the saxophone, an instrument that desperately needs to be heard more in this context. It sounds best on “Goin’ Nowhere,” a cacophony in the best sense of the word. On final track, “The Odyssey,” the band breaks down into some Hendrix-esque riffing near the three-and-a-half minute mark. But by that time they’ve already won you over, so it’s more like just the cherry on top.

September 26, 2011

Amber’s Lust For Life, Orchestrated By Girls

Hi, Hearingade-rs! My name’s Amber Valentine. You may know me as Radio Free Chicago‘s missing in action editor in chief, Mezzic‘s most long winded reviewer, the professor of Okkervil River-ology at Indie College, or as Awe Chasm‘s resident expert on all things indie. Perhaps you ventured to the great Midwest during one of Daytrotter‘s many great Barnstormer tours and you encountered me while I did time as the world’s least sober intern. Or maybe you just read Abby’s twitter and you see her many tweets mentioning @amberaudra. Those, amongst many other things, are my claims to fame.

My life consists of rocking and rolling, drinking and smoking, and sending Hearingade’s fearless showrunner some drunk texts that may or may not end up on the internet for you to chuckle at. When I’m not slutting it up with the cutest musician in the room, however, I’m sitting in my basement, listening to music loud enough to make my neighbors shut their windows, singing along at the top of my lungs, and thinking “Oh my god, this song describes my life perfectly!” In a series of articles here on Hearingade, I’ll share some of these songs with you and then tell you just why it’s so apt for my life, thus combining my two favorite things to write about: Music and myself.

2011 has been a weird year for me. After some serious heartbreaks, I got so sad that I couldn’t possibly get any sadder but instead of giving up and dying, I managed to realize that life, for all of it’s supreme shitiness, can really rule. Since that moment of realization, I’ve been living it up with a lust for life that can only be orchestrated by the Girls song of the same name.

Girls – Lust For Life

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September 25, 2011

September Mix: Let’s Just Get To The Part Where We Bang

It’s not uncommon to hear a dude complain that girls always go for “assholes,” and the nice guys never get a chance. I’m here to put that stupid idea to rest.

Because I can tell you with near-certainty that most girls do not like “assholes.” Not usually even “bad boys.” Most girls DO like nice guys. Most girls like being with boys who say nice things to them and have things in common with them and like to do fun things together. If a girl ends up with an “asshole” or “bad boy,” it’s either because a) she’s a shallow bitch who you probably don’t want anything to do with anyway; or b) he tricked her into thinking he was a nice guy by acting like one during the courting process.

See, the fact is, most girls also like being with boys who touch their boobs, et al. And unfortunately, most “nice guys” aren’t well-known for making their feelings known and putting the moves on a girl. Nice guys take note: If you want a girl to be with you, she has to know you intend to bone her.

Now, there’s of course a right and wrong way to do this. First you flirt, establish connection, make sure she likes you back. If a girl doesn’t like you back, then she’s going to be creeped out when you get to the part about your penis intentions. If she likes you back, then you’re golden. If she likes you back, she’s going to damn well expect that some naked hugging is on the horizon. (Some signs a girl may like you: She says “I like you”; she kisses you; she puts your hand on her boob; she puts her hand in your pants.)

I like talking and getting to know somebody as much as the next person, but what I don’t like is when there’s a really nice boy who I want to get sexy with and he can’t seem to get past the part where we tell each other how much we love our cats. We can ruminate on the adorableness of Mr. Flufflebuttons later, but right now it’s time to give our private parts a word in edgewise. What I’m saying is, let’s just get to the part where we bang.

Love Me Sexy – Jackie Moon
“Let’s get real sweaty/ I’m talkin’ rain forest sweaty/ I’m talkin’ swamp sweaty/ Let’s fill the bathtub full of sweat.”

Harder You Get – Scissor Sisters
“Don’t point that thing at me/ unless you plan to shoot.”

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September 22, 2011

‘Nevermind’ the hype — it’s all in your heart

So it’s the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” this week and everyone is reminiscing about this music that changed the industry — this grunge.

I think Seattle blogger Chris Burlingame is right from the numbers standpoint when he says, “Nirvana was hardly as ubiquitous in 1992 or 1993 as we like to remember.” Afterall, the majority of people still were buying “pop” records.

Nirvana was a big deal — a HUGE deal — to the sorts of people inclined to listen to that which went against the grain and/or teenage girls who had a jones on for Kurt Cobain’s sexy anti-swagger. I mean, honestly, if you were living in the Northwest in the early ’90s, you couldn’t really escape Nirvana-mania. Flip on one of the local rock radio stations and you were bound to hear one of the band’s tunes at any moment.

When the general populace discusses “grunge,” Nirvana is usually the first thing they bring up. Nirvana didn’t create grunge, but I suppose to some degree did make it culturally accessible. It’s a fashion as much as it is a sound. Even people who didn’t listen to Nirvana could be seen sporting roughed-up jeans, cardigan sweaters and/or plaid (often flannel) shirts. Grunge, it seemed, was bigger than Nirvana, but it probably wouldn’t have been if it wasn’t FOR Nirvana.

Pretty sure Kurt had this same sweater in red.

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