Track of the Day: Foxygen - "Cold Winter/Freedom"


Foxygen's ...And Star Power is a gigantic mess of an album. Weighing in at 22 songs and almost 1.5 hours of speaker time, Foxygen seems to be determined to break every rule of an album these days. Hardly anything seems well crafted. There's an ELO-esque 4 track suite in the middle of the damn thing. There's a song title "Matress Warehouse" followed by one named "666" for God's sake. Songs wonder off into the woods, get lost, set up camp, never get heard from again only to show at your sisters wedding with a beard and bird that they talk to in Portuguese. The retro sound is pure plagiarism at times. And, possibly worst of all, you get the feeling that Foxygen feels like they invented the 60s not just that they're referencing it. It's pretentious, annoying, and frankly I can't stop listening to it. 

If there were ever a more startling, well, shit guys I didn't know you had THAT in you, enjoy today's Track of the Day a 6+ min sonic shitstorm that I'm still not sure how Foxygen makes work except by getting the ghost of Lou Reed and having it try out for the band.

Music Alliance Pact (October 2014)




Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 21-track compilation through Dropbox here.

 UNITED STATESWe Listen For You The Fervor - Moment Of Truth Louisville, Kentucky's The Fervor mixes in lush orchestration with pounding vocals that conjure up thoughts of Neko Case. The music is filled with small moments of beauty that once heard as a complete piece results in a blissful listen.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie Ubika - Fahrenheit Hard rock guitars, solid bass and drums plus strong female vocals are the formula behind Ubika. Fahrenheit is the first single from their latest album, Amigos Del Bosque, and it's inspired by Ray Bradbury's novel. The song has a video directed by Diego Stickar, which you can watch here.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They? The Twoks - First Light The Twoks are a Melbourne two-piece comprising Xani Kolac on violin and vocals, and Mark Leahy on drums. Initially the solo instrumental project of Kolac, who studied jazz and improvisation at Victorian College of the Arts, the duo is now renowned on the local live circuit for their unpredictable sets which feature Kolac on loop station and a smorgasbord of effects. On The Twoks' latest release, First Light EP - which boasts crisp production from Tony Buchen (The Preatures) - Kolac's improvisations have been whittled down to concise retro-pop tunes in the vein of Pat Benatar or Kate Bush.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado Baleia - Breu Breu is one of the strongest songs from Baleia's debut album, released last year. They first caught the attention of the indie press in Brazil with a jazzy cover of Justin Timberlake but in their album they show a handful of influences, resulting in experimental indie-rock that dabbles in baroque pop and folk.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo Friends Forever - As Long As You Call Me The duo of Jordan Pearson (New Zebra Kid/Halcyon) and Sam McDougall don't have many songs yet under the moniker Friends Forever, but As Long As You Call Me shows off vintage 80s synth-pop inspiration with sparking melodies.

CHILE: Super 45 Magaly Fields - Love Scene Magaly Fields is a duo formed by Tomás Stewart (guitar) and Diego Cifuentes (drums) who rock fast and strongly. They released their debut album Chromatic Days in September through Algo Records. Their first single is Love Scene, a fictional tune about a rotten relationship that fantasies that the romance never really happened.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian Hit The Hay - Long Way Home One of my favorite Danish bands right now, Hit The Hay travel dusty American roads with bags packed with catchy Scandinavian melancholy. Here is my first meeting with them, Long Way Home, as a MAP exclusive download, but do also check out the great Never Wanted Out and Running.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera Doob - Put On Your Seat Belt (Brenda M Remix) True island vibes can be felt all over the work of Doob, a young producer from La Vega who spends his time remixing, and ranging between soul and progressive house on tracks of his own. The original Put On Your Seat Belt song can be heard here, but the one featuring on this MAP edition is a Nu-disco remix by Brenda M, a DJ and collaborator from the neighboring Santiago province.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria Estereo Humanzee - Insaciable In less than one year, Estereo Humanzee return to MAP with their new EP, 8min 20seg. This three-song EP, that came with their new live album Signaux Lumineux, is a real statement of the evolution of their electronic sound.

FRANCE: Your Own Radio Singapour - Paris SA Singapour is the new project from the duo Mondrian, who are composed of Roman Oswald and Lee Gordon. On their track Paris SA (Paris Société Anonyme) they present the Paris you don't really want to know: €10,000 per square meter, €3 coffee, stressful life. It's the storytelling of a complicated relationship between Parisians and their city, a kind of "I love you… me neither".

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda Dead Gum - Float Panagiotis Spoulos, as Dead Gum, mainly uses guitar and vocals through minimal effects to create instant songs, psychedelic collages and direct, stripped-down bursts. The music itself - partially improvised but fully psychographic - has anthropocentric characteristics and lo-fi character and flirts with punk, bedroom pop and analog noise. Float is the gripping opening track off his upcoming album, GAINER.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar Megatruh - Annelies Megatruh come from Malang, a small city in the eastern part of Java with plenty of music talent, and Megatruh is one of the latest breed. After a series of painful things happened to frontman Kidung, he started a project influenced by post-punk, psychedelia and noise-rock with 90s sensibilities.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing Conor Walsh - The Front West coast modern-classical pianist Conor Walsh has one foot in Ireland's contemporary scene through his toned-down samples and nuanced electronics. In the most part, though, his music exudes a mellow timelessness, taking the gorgeous throwback farmland of rural Mayo and converting it into a sound that's part film score, part desolate romance. At first listen this sounds like simple piano music; let it sit and The Front's gentle flow whisks you away.

ITALY: Polaroid Niagara - Vanillacola Niagara are a Turin-based experimental pop duo. They say their sound incorporates elements of electronic, psychedelic, Eastern and dance music, but I think it's more surprising than this. The track Vanillacola, from their second album Don't Take It Personally (out now on the UK label Monotreme), is a wonderful example of Niagara's elusive idea of music: Boards Of Canada synths that destroy a catchy pop structure, while the vocals become more obsessive as the melody gets hypnotic.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies The Somedays - Remember Me There is no shortage of indie-pop music in Japan. There has never been a lack of twee-leaning, ennui-dunked groups in this country. Osaka group The Somedays have found a smart way to stand out from the pack. Remember Me is anchored by all the regular trappings of the style - guitar, drums, melancholy vocals - but is given a buzzy edge thanks to the presence of synthesizers, lending a futuristic vibe to their sound.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika Pájaro Sin Alas - Alfombra Mágica Mental Rodolfo Ramos Castro aka Pájaro Sin Alas ("Bird With No Wings") not only penned one of the most heartbreaking songs of the first half of this decade, but also became a figure whose slow output is worth the wait. Alfombra Mágica Mental functions as bitter sips of shared realities that strangely link the mystery of the Arabian Nights with the barren landscapes of his home state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico.

PERU: SoTB Las Amigas De Nadie - Should Not Let It Go Human Dress is the new album of Las Amigas De Nadie, released two years after Sincronia, a record that created great interest in the Latin American music scene thanks to its originality. Human Dress gives us a much deeper insight into the experimental melodies that the band introduced in their previous album. Should Not Let It Go is their first single, an addictive and remarkable mix of electronic textures and distorted vocals.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco? Pernas De Alicate - Pássaros (Casa Para Pássaros, Parte I) Pernas De Alicate is not really a band but a project started by drummer Carlos BB, who is also a recording studio owner, and Sara Feio, an illustrator. They invited some of their friends and acquaintances to contribute their art, music, illustrations, photography and film for Pernas De Alicate. The music was recorded over Carlos BB's drums, with every musician invited on a one-by-one basis. The video for Pássaros (Casa Para Pássaros, Parte I) was directed by Sara.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie Samalot - Valle De Luz After two intense albums as part of experimental rock group Tachdé, Fernando Samalot has created his own niche in the prolific Puerto Rican music scene with his introspective and meditative songs. With the steady hand of engineer and producer Héctor "Stontape" Hernández, Fernando has created musical landscapes filled with desire, hope and wisdom that seem to travel like wind from our lush Caribbean mountains down to the intricate river channels of the island. Samalot's most recent EP - available through Bandcamp - features two "sister" songs, Rayo De Luz and Valle De Luz. Both are definitely faces of the same coin.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop The Xcerts - Pop Song The Xcerts have been my favourite Scottish rock band since their debut album In The Cold Wind We Smile was released in 2009, with its impassioned choruses and gripping moments of melancholy. It wasn't difficult to fall under its spell. While the follow-up record was deliberately rougher around the edges, their imminent third album, There Is Only You, out on November 3, is an exhibition of The Xcerts' songwriting strength. The melodic explosion of the aptly-named Pop Song, a MAP exclusive download, is a case in point. Check out the video for it here.

SPAIN: Musikorner YDVST - 2044 YDVST breathes mysticism and irrealities. His first EP, DVST / CUTS was written during silent and uncertain nights. It was released by the Sweat Taste label and contains experimental essences of ambient, downtempo and vaporware. This mysterious yet captivating artist from Madrid will certainly develop his projects at his own pace.

Track Of The Day: Terrors - "Two Words"


The music on Terrors' "Two Words" acts as the sonic presentation of life opening and closing. "Two Words" is a slow walk through the mind of Elijah Forrest who presents melancholiac dreams under the name Terrors for his newest Bathetic Records release.  Forrest is in the middle grounds of singing and speaking; his voice a gentle matching tide with the backing melody...both wash up to shore...where the music goes back to sea, his voice flutters forward to land.   



Terrors
"Two Words"
from Ensorcell Qori
Bathetic Records

Track of the Day: El Malito and the 33rd Century - "Safari"


A few weeks ago while hitting up the Philadelphia Fringe, I happened upon an after party with two pretty phenomenal Philly-based acts: Red 40 and the Last Groovement (a blue-eyed soul, big-wigged outfit that managed to make Hall & Oates's "Rich Girl" listenable) and El Malito and the 33rd Century.  Like any act that plays a late night fringe show should be, El Malito was appropriately high concept. Their motto -- traveling through wormholes to bring you dance music -- was accompanied by some space suits and then El Malito himself, a Puerto Rican rapper with a conscious who can mix Cubia and Radiohead's "Creep." The 33rd century, the band, was an incredibly tight three piece accented by two fly girls (when was the last time you saw those?) whose retro-futuristic style and dance moves were exactly what you need when you've only got that one person to get the crowd going. The standout track of the night was "Safari," a celebration of the cougar, taking a trope from a Courtney Cox sitcom to actually give respect back to women. It's not only a danceable and exciting track, it's also a reminder of the power that music actually have and how it can give back for positive forces not negative. After the show, I asked El Malito if his group was signed. He said no. Hopefully this post and you guys can change that. This is just the sort of thing that music needs--cross-cultural fiesta making music.

The Best Song You Didn't Hear This Year


If you've read WLFY with any regularity over the last five years, you've certainly heard me sing the praises of Louisville's Nerves Junior.  They're debut LP, As Bright As Your Night Light, was and will always be one of the most important albums to ever come out of Louisville.  It was pure evil and even as a small indie release was named the #1 album of 2011 on Pretty Much Amazing.

For all the talent Nerves Junior displays, they might be the most unlucky bands I've ever admired. From their changing lineup due to problems that would make one hell of a "tell all biography" to their van breaking down and being sold for scraps on the way down to SXSW...Nerves Junior has never been dealt a fair hand.  Somehow the band regrouped and were better than ever with a fantastic new drummer and bass player for their near-perfect Craters EP.  Those three songs seemed to be a signal that the band was ready for a big comeback, but fans waited and nothing followed.  

Leave it to the mysterious Nerves Junior to pop out of nowhere and quietly release one of the best tracks of 2014 on a steamboat compilation.  The fantastically creepy "Last Ones In" finds Nerves Junior taking their evil electronics down to the bayou and digging up swampy melodies that drag along with perfect confidence in its slow pace.  I'm not going to spoil too much of the brilliance of this song, but the magic of Nerves Junior shows itself once again right in the middle as the music takes a sharp turn and almost brought me to tears on the first listen.  

A band like Nerves Junior is just a baffling case.  Their talent is nearly unmatched in the contemporary music scene, but they seem to have been through the ringer and now just satisfied writing music in the shadows.  I've heard rumors that they have an entire LP recorded and just keeping it to themselves. I hope the karma of the music world turns in their favor at one point in their career; until then I'll enjoy peeling back the mysterious layers that make up Nerves Junior...and if nothing else, enjoy their life changing music.


Last Ones In appears on the BELLE 100 Comp

All profits from CD sales will benefit the Belle of Louisville’s endowment fund. Taxpayers presently subsidize the Belle yearly to the calliope tune of over $100,000 so any donations to the endowment are truly a gift to the community.

SEVEN THINGS I HOPE MUSIC BLOGS WILL CHANGE


As of a few seconds ago...Hank and I started this blog seven years ago.  We've been good and bad. We've had very few readers and at times a lot of them (that one time Hank posted about Lady Gaga). The world of music blogging has changed over these seven years, but I still remember why I started WLFY in the first place.  I admired and wanted to be like the music blogs I read for years. My Old Kentucky Blog, Aquarium Drunkard, You Ain't No Picasso, I Guess I'm Floating, Pitchfork, and others...these were the "celebrities" I looked up to.  They shaped my life and appeared to be the gatekeepers of undiscovered sounds. I wanted to know how they did it and more importantly, I wanted to do it. A lot has changed and to celebrate seven years I wanted to list the SEVEN THINGS I HOPE MUSIC BLOGS WILL CHANGE.

1.) More emphasis on helping bands/artists.  Instead of generating as much content as possible to pad the old page views, I would love to see music blogs (specifically the ones that aren't businesses...hits are irrelevant my friends) rally around bands/artists and go beyond just posting to help out the talents you believe in.  

2.) Stop the fake news...it's making it hard to focus on what's important.  An example of fake news would be "Drake lint rolls his pants at Raptor's game".  Let the gossip and individual big celebrity fan sites cover this junk.  Once again, this is for non-business music blogs...the big ones need these TMZ-esq posts to stay functional.  For those interested in curating a music blog, do it to highlight the art and not the gossip.

3.) Bring back the Twitter love.  Everybody talks about the epic "twitter fights" back in the day...but right when twitter was kicking off, music bloggers used to actively engage with each other about their writing.  We're too lazy these days...a "favorite star" will do just fine as a pat on the back.  I know all of our twitter feeds fly by second to second these days, but I do miss the long back and forth conversations and actual praise we used to pass on when a fellow writer really went above and beyond with their craft.

4.) Reading blogs.  I'm saying "back in the day" a lot to refer to 2004-2008...but back in the day all the music bloggers used to read each others' writing.  This was important because as a writer doing this for free, I felt like I was connected to something bigger than my own small site.  The community seems fractured and disinterested.  Maybe we should all pack it in...but I'm going the other way and trying to read more and more music blogs like I used to.

5.) Be less dependent on lists.  *I know...I know.

6.) Time doesn't matter.  Music news and reviews are moving so fast these days that posting first doesn't matter anymore.  Once again, if you're doing this for monetary purposes then rush, rush, rush...but if you're not...take your time.  Really let the album or song sit with you in life for a while. You'll never compete with the bigger sites when it comes to churning out content at lightening fast speeds...so why try?  You can gain ground by making sure your content is smarter than the rushed posting of others.

7.) Can we have fun again?  I'm not sure why music blogging has entered this current "down in the mouth" state.  Even the high scoring album reviews these days spend excessive amounts of time condemning the rest of the music industry or the current state of music in general.  This is coming from one of biggest sore sports of music blogging back in the 2007-2008 days...but I'm getting old and tired of us forgetting why we all do this time consuming endeavor in the first place...WE LOVE MUSIC. That music writer you hate LOVES MUSIC.  That blog you think sold out LOVES MUSIC. Let's continue to debate and criticize (that's how we all get better), but let's remember that other half that seems to becoming neglected: have fun and show how fun music is with our passionate writing.  

*NOTE:  Hank and I are not claiming to have mastered these seven changes...in fact (I'll leave Hank out of this) I've probably shot off at the mouth and made more mistakes than any music blogger from 2007-2014.  

We have to believe we can get better and the day I don't...this blog is over.

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If you live near or in Louisville...come celebrate seven years of WLFY with us: