I'm so sorry!

But a new Cloudkicker song "It's inside me, and I'm inside it." came out via his Tumblr, and this unexpected slow jam from Ben Sharp flew totally under my radar. Mr. Sharp claims that there isn't going to be a new EP or album anytime soon, so in the meantime I can only hope for more one offs like this. It's nice to see Cloudkicker broadening it's palate.


Anticon Expansion and fresh videos.

Raleigh Moncrief recently debuted his woozy stomp "Lament for Morning" from his twitter account, followed close behind by this video that I've been staring at in a daze since I came across it. Moncrief, known previously for some production and other behind the scenes work and a for string of EPs, is bringing his debut full-length Watered Lawn out into the world on October 25 via Anticon Records. Sounds dope, hot shit, can't wait.


Don't Sleep: Emo's August 23, DNTEL w/ Geotic

This Tuesday, Emo's welcomes electronic mainstay Dntel to the inside stage, bringing along with him The One AM Radio and Geotic, another of Will Wiesenfeld's alter-egos. Expect a lot of the best kind of staring and swaying, and probably a heat induced vision quest or two. To tide me over until then, Geotic's gorgeous ambient albums are posted for free on Weisenfeld's Angelfire page. Trust on this, see you next week.


The Poor Man's Music Review.

We all have our excuses. One thing or another always gets put off, for reasons we convince ourselves make perfect sense. We either wait until these issues resolve themselves (at which point another convenient roadblock always pops up) or we make these excuses no longer applicable, screwing ourselves into doing what needs doing. So here I am trying to eliminate some of my shittier excuses. It's easy for me to put off writing by saying I don't have anything to talk about, and I'm tired of that. Maybe nothing new and interesting has come out (bullshit) or I'm too poor to make it out to noteworthy shows (more true, but similarly weak).

Something something economy, something something tough times. Whatever.

So all this brings me to my newest column, the Poor Man's Music Review, with the simple premise that I put my 8000+ songs on random, and brilliantly muse on whatever happens to come up, in real time, off the fucking DOME, suckers. This guarantees both some awful songs, and some great music that I haven't talked about, because who reviews old music? I do now, and those opposed can suck an object of their choice. I hope this is fun for you, and I know it will be fun for me. End of intro, let's go.

#1: Genghis Tron- City on a Hill, from Board Up the House
The best metal band I've found in the past few years, from their last album before their unfortunate hiatus. City is typical of the juxtaposition Genghis Tron has mastered, swerving between breakneck thrash and heavy electronic beats. another one of those bands that disappeared after showing me how brilliant they can get, this shit is the jam.

#2: El-P- No Kings, from I'll Sleep When You're Dead
One of the bosses of early '00s indipendent hip-hop, spitting his usual shit about being the underground boss that's cooler and doper than his mainstream peers. El-P brings some of the heavier beats in the underground, but he's always been one of those guys who has individual songs I dig more than his whole albums. I gotta find some El-P instrumentals.

#3: Thom Yorke- Harrowdown Hill, from The Eraser
From the album that everyone accuses The King of Limbs of sounding like. Comparisons aside, Yorke has a way with his minimal arrangements and shifty beats, creating the same uncomfortable vibe that he does with Radiohead. I came to the Radiohead party shortly before this came out, and it played nonstop in my early 20s, right when I realized I thought Thom Yorke and co were brilliant. Maybe this is why I don't buy into any unfavorable comparisons of new Radiohead.

#4: Pedestrian- The Toss & Turn (A Capella Revision), From The Toss & Turn.
Noise remix from anticon. founder The Pedestrian's first 12", circa 2004. Vocals obscured in favor of glitches and washes of mangled sound, letting phrases slip in with no context and echo into the distance. Way to be weird, hip hop, I'm so into you. Fades into squelched beat.

#5: Animals as Leaders- Behaving Badly, from Animals as Leaders.
My favorite kind of metal. Emotionally intelligent, musically brilliant without being masturbatory, and just fucking different, with a depth that metal often gets away with overlooking. Can't wait for a new album from these fools. If you're not into it I'm sorry, because this guy speaks to me in a way that I just want to share with people.

Wow that went surprisingly well. Umm I mean I have nothing but amazing songs on my computer, so how would anything less than great come up? Duh.


13&God- Own Your Ghost

If you thought you'd live forever, 13&God would like to remind you otherwise. On their second record together, and their first as 13&God in six years, the first thing you notice is how much Own Your Ghost dwells on the ticking clock. The whole album (which is still streaming for free here) covers a wide stance sonically, owing equally to The Notwist's multi-intrumentalism and Themselves' gritty sampling, but these sounds all revolve around recurrent tropes on death and old age that read like proverbs, from Marcus Acher's "These are troubled times, and so dip your scarves in armor.", to Adam 'Doseone" Drucker's "Fools like us will go nameless to death, bet.". But if Own Your Ghost is a reminder that we're all bound to a short timeline, it also shows us a group of people who recognize this, and answer it by living, exploring shamelessly while they are here.

Both bands can still sound familiar, but they benefit from each others' influence, and it's when their styles meet in the middle that makes this collaboration more than it's parts' sum. The Notwist can lean a little darker in front of Jel's MPC work and Doseone's nervous rapping, and Dose gets to stretch his singing voice out more in the context of a full band. "Armored Scarves" shows off the range afforded by this personnel bump, but Own Your Ghost constantly reaches into odd new places, shifting momentum and mood both between and within songs like fast standout tracks "Sure As Debt" and "Beat On Us".

Since 13&God's self-titled debut, Themselves released a fantastic mixtape, LP, and remix album. The Notwist has kept busy too, with their own LP The Devil, You + Me, a film soundtrack, and other side projects' releases. Despite this considerable output of energy from all it's component members, Own Your Ghost shows that there's plenty left. To call 13&God anyone's side project betrays how unique it is.

Own Your Ghost is out May 17th on Anticon records.


Yoni and Josiah Wolf (of Why?) at St. David's Episcopal Church

So Yoni Wolf sits at a grand piano and starts dryly rapping, his brother Josiah backing him up on a bass drum made of a guitar case with a tambourine taped to it. They start things out with a verse from their yet-to-be-recorded Why? album.

"Oh, to be born as anything but this...
...fruitless in the holster...
...it's scary how we always end up...
...it yields only drops like an unripe lemon...
...is your love but a ploy, like Bugs Bunny in drag?"

Soon the song veers from kick and rhyme into piano and croon, and a cozy group of a couple hundred people settled in for the last show from the Wolf brothers before they and the rest of the band that's a question go into the studio to record the follow up to 2009's Eskimo Snow.

"And he will always thirst like that. Yeah, he will thirst like that always."

New material was all over the hour-long set, but songs showed up from as early as 2005's Sanddollars EP, all performed in stripped down piano and homemade percussion arrangements, with Josiah picking up bass or guitar from song to song. The new stuff sounds new, but still fits into the Why? canon, equal parts dry wit and personal revelation (or narrative fiction), hip-hop cadence over acoustic guitar and beatboxing over piano making strange but intimate bedfellows.

It's got to be mentioned that the space at St. David's was visually and acoustically gorgeous, so definite thanks go to them for offering up their room for the evening. Also, the biggest ups to Transmission Austin, for putting the whole thing together. And of course thanks to the brothers Wolf, and the rest of the Why? clan. Thanks for a beautiful evening, and best of luck in the studio. Now I can't wait.