October 31, 2013
In case you’re out of the music loop, 2013 has been a great year of music for your latest Halloween mixes. And sometimes, even if the song doesn’t quite fit, the artists manage to put together a music video that sets the tone just right. There are werewolves, vampires, zombies, graveyards, murder, sundry weird shit, and even a little apocalypse action. Here’s a round-up of some very appropriate videos to help put you in the Halloween mood:
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June 6, 2013
Oh damn, Archie Powell and his trusty Exports have done gone and quaked my heart again. Their new music video for “Only So Much You Can Do,” by Rhapsody Productions, premiered yesterday at Diffuser.fm, and it’s a horror lover’s dream! The sequences are akin to those creepy found tapes in “V/H/S,” full of darkness, fear and gore, as the boys rush through hallways trying to escape some unseen threat. All we know is that it’s oozing some gross gooey gunk and it’s super sneaky. As much as I love those guys, I can’t deny how much I’ve enjoyed watching their blood splattering all over the place.
On the same day, Archie Powell & the Exports released the song as a single on Bandcamp with previously unreleased b-side “Screening Calls.” Snag it for just $1!
December 28, 2012
Holy cramoley, Hearingade-ers. Amber V. here and it has been a while. 2012 has been quite the year. For one, I am Dany T. blonde now (Quite the change from the Winehousian beehive I rocked in my last Gravatar) and for another, I’m kind of a musician now so that’s neat! But enough about me. And more about how I listened to like NO new music in 2012. I’ll tell you what I did listen to: A lot of The Shangri-Las. Tons of Elvis Costello. Oh, and so many Lana Del Rey rarities. I mean, have you heard “Methamphetamines“? What a morbid bitch! Anyhow, I managed to cobble together 10 records that I WAS obsessed with this year for your enjoyment and sure, half of them might be them same as Abby’s but if you’ve been following us for the past three or four years, this won’t come as a shock!
Lightning Love – The Blonde Album
I’ve been lovers of these Lightning youngsters for years now and since the release of their long awaited second LP, The Blonde Album, my adoration has not waned one bit. If anything, it’s only grown. And with my adoration, the Ypsi based trio (Hey! Ypsilanti, Michigan? That’s where I’m from!) has grown in maturity alongside me as well. Whereas both lead singer Leah Diehl and I used to go out and raise hell about town (“Friends” from debut November Birthday) now we both seem to spend our days losing our place despite ourselves and lamenting problems we can’t seem to put into words (“I Know”) or pleading for company just to keep the loneliness at bay (“Bobby Thompson”). Record of the year, hands down.
Lana Del Rey – Paradise
This isn’t an album, so much as it is an EP, or really an “afterthought” to Born To Die, though this mini-album puts last year’s Born to Die to shame. As I mentioned before, Del Rey can be a “morbid bitch” and that is showcased here to prime effect on songs like “Body Electric” where “Mary prays the rosary for (Lana’s) broken mind” and on the beautiful “Yayo,” a recycled tune from Del Rey’s “Nevada” days. “Yayo” has always been a fave Del Rey tune of mine and hearing its progression from five chord acoustic guitar ballad to six minutes of string soaked decadence is quite lovely. I could wax on, but instead, I’ll just leave you with these parting words: My pussy tastes like Pepsi Cola.
December 24, 2012
Making a best-of list at the end of every year is both a fun and frustrating endeavor. Fun because it’s my one last swing at promoting some of my favorite music, music many people may not even have heard of. Frustrating because I know there’s a lot I haven’t heard that could very well belong on my list. My wish lists are full of albums I just simply haven’t had the opportunity to buy yet; as it is, I already spend more money on music than I should. And what I buy at any given time relies simply on that moment’s whims.
So some things that may be just as deserving of a place on this list end up left off, and as someone with great passion for music, it does hurt me a little that I don’t have the opportunity to represent everything great, or even just good, because, like my wallet, year-end lists have limits. One thing I can say for sure, however, is that everything I have managed to include on this list I hold in the highest regard and hope you can take a chance to hear. They are the albums from which I derived the most enjoyment this year. It won’t be like what you see in the major publications. For the most part, these are releases that you probably haven’t heard, so this list is an opportunity to discover a lot of new music that you won’t be able to find on other lists. And that’s precisely why I keep doing this year after year. (P.S. These are only loosely in order.)
1. Mia Pharaoh by Miniature Tigers
Nothing has delighted me quite as thoroughly this year as Miniature Tigers’ third full-length album, Mia Pharaoh. The band’s pop sensibilities have always been strong but they’ve taken a significantly synthy turn on their latest, with sexually suggestive overtones in the lyrics (“Flower Door”) and special appearances by some slow jam beats (“Cleopatra”). Jeremy Malvin, aka Chrome Sparks, contributed some of his expertise on this album, which turns out to be a very smart pairing with Charlie Brand’s style of musical preciousness.
2. Blonde Album by Lightning Love
After a few years of waiting, we finally got our wish of a sophomore release from Michigan’s golden-tressed trio and, boy, did they ever deliver. It’s always seemed like bandleader Leah Diehl can do no wrong in her music; every song she creates is just as perfect as can be, with melodies that are impossible not to sing along with and lyrics that are as self-aware as they are sassy. There’s much pain and much surrender in Diehl’s words, and whether she pairs them with punchy beats (“Awkward”) or sparse minor chords (“I’ll Never Love No One Else”), they resonate on a level so deep, you’ll think you’re feeling it all yourself.
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August 1, 2012
Maybe you’ve already heard the excellent new album by Archie Powell & the Exports, as it came out back at the beginning of May, and they’ve been getting astounding press and done some touring. However, if you haven’t, allow me to fill you in.
Great Ideas in Action is the sophomore full-length from Chicago’s coolest party animals. These boys caught my attention early on for issuing some of the smartest pop-rock concoctions I’d ever had the pleasure of hearing. Lead singer/guitarist Archie Powell was blessed with a voice perfect for crooning out snarky pop lyrics — his nasal tone delivers the words with an audible sneer and when he belts, he belts with reckless abandon. With his band of Exports — bassist Adam, keyboardist Ryan and drummer RJ — Archie taps into a magic formula that is not being matched much in today’s indie rock.
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February 21, 2012
So I’m not sure if you guys have heard, but my favorite boys Archie Powell & the Exports recently announced the release date of their sophomore album. Along with a super-slick new website, the guys revealed that Great Ideas In Action will be available in all its power pop glory on May 1. Best of all, you can get the first song for free on Bandcamp — now!
“Metronome” is classic AP&E, with a hook you can’t resist and some sassy lyrics to boot. It fulfills the one thing that you always can count on from this Chicago quartet: Instant party in your earholes. Even though we still have to wait in stitches for the new album, which is sure to be a stunner (don’t even pretend like you don’t know it will), you can just throw this baby on repeat in the meantime.