The massive over saturation of data in today’s society is daunting. Present technology affords us the luxury of having any piece of knowledge, any semblance of history and antiquity be it the military strategy of the Phoenicians or the import and exportation of domesticated horse semen. This ease of acquisition has changed the way we live, developed a dissonance simply by being over informed, and helped develop new forms of expression to the ones who take advantage of its virtues. Balam Acab is a sterling example of the latter aspect of the phenomena.
Alec Koone, the plainclothes moniker of Balam Acab, is notable for a few reasons. He’s the baby face of TRI▼ANGLE Records (a label which should be commended for both its austerity and its artists’ ability to both shudder your spine and lovingly massage your ears with their work), just a spry 20 years old, yet his keen and often ethereal skill with reworking samples render his age irrelevant. As his previous effort, the sumptuous See Birds EP proved, Balam Acab has an uncompromised direction for his music, devising bright R&B vocal samples into dark and distant cries for help, as accompanied strings and bass laden drums trap you in places unknown, unfamiliar and at times both haunting and poignant. It’s hip-hop for the ketamine crowd, witch house for the downer-induced, dance music for the crowds utterly sick of high BPMs. And it’s gorgeous. Continue reading “Balam Acab – Wander/Wonder”→
Preface: Many of you might have wondered what had become of Lipstick Communism, it’s dormancy leaving a harsh cry in the ears of its several dozen readers, its absence a bitter aftertaste of those who reveled in the opinions of a small few. Never mind our MIA status, we’re back with sincere apologies and I myself have returned after a bitter bout of writer’s block which lead to the dark annals of alcoholism, only to emerge with a tragic and besmirched worldview. And that just makes for better reading.
New York based dance-punk trio The Rapture played a major role in the whole post punk revival that was oh so popular in the early “aughts,” a scene that took a raw propensity and married it to the more electronic and dance elements that took hold of the 80’s and early 90’s and nearly strangled them. Whether this is something to be admired or cursed, The Rapture helped form a sound that was ruthlessly beaten like a horse just out on to the tracks, barely even able to consider a suitable place to die. But The Rapture did it in absence of conviction and with a desire to hold every instrument hostage until they got as much fun as they wanted out of it, lest we forget the all-too-important free jazz sax solos. In the Grace of Your Love, the third LP release from the band and a heart-warming return to the James Murphy DFA Empire Inc. should mark a union of the scratchy, rambunctious scatter shots that Echoes made you swoon over with the almost-too-polished-shoe-shined-dance-floor romps of Pieces of the People We Love. What ends up coming from five years of work and a brutal cowbell neglection is a band in an identity crisis, an album that the late Annie Lennox, were she alive, would probably soil her knickers over (RIP Annie Lennox, who is definitely, indisputably no longer alive.)
For many considering themselves relevant in the art of music blogging, bro to bro discussion and pressing ‘like’ buttons as a form of communication, Fuck Yeah Fest has only recently streamed through the thousands of psyches that attended. While FYF is essentially a collective of bands pushing through performance glitches and playing good fucking music, individuals coping with rising temperatures and even a few displays of unnecessary physical violence, it has the potential to house an absolute emotional response, certain factors considered.
The notions of a “music festival” can be agreed, by the general populous, as a gathering; an outlet for a large mass of people to share an experience. This agreement, albeit positive, is inherently flawed. Sure, every thing would be all fine and dandy if we could slap five with every member of the human race because “Wavves may be a dick but he can totally kill it when he wants to.” but the reality is this is not possible. For reality is relative .
This is a hard concept to grasp, so I understand if this answer appears shocking to you. Let me show you how, through synchronicity of desirable sanctions in matter and place, one can attain a zen of festival proportions. I shall use Fuck Yeah Fest as my buffer. Consider this the ideal fest.
I. The Point of Insertion: Time Approximated at 1:53 pm
You must forget everything that you find necessary. You must not be bounded by tickets or sunblock. You must remove yourself from daily rationale. The wave of people and the high heat that occupy this realm are integral to the first step. You must wait, and if necessary, refer to the nearby ice cream truck for occasional grounding.
During your wait, start tempting your mind with the absolute IMPROBABLE.
This line is futile. In fact, even this being will call, those without tickets shall get in much faster.
Even more so, this line shall prove an exercise in futility, as staff will simply hand you a ticket with no information necessary.
The rift has begun.
II. A Push Beyond Boundaries: Time Approximated at 4:15
You have entered the festival and, without knowing, begun to slip through dimensions. You reconvene with your small collective of like minded brethren. While you witness AA Bondy, they know something is adrift, but what it is they know not.
III. A Seam Unsealed: Time Approximated at 6:30
THINGS ARE DIFFERENT. You are beginning to see. You are no longer bounded by the effects of others and you must prove it. YOU NEED BEER.
This may seem like an insignificant detour, but rest assured this is necessary. This beer will be god’s elixer running through you, a wake up call to your mind’s eye, it’s a god damn golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory, the untouchable entity, every 36 spices in Dr. Pepper, it’s your happiness SkyNet, threatening to eradicate any bummer technology. Sure, you’re going to miss Dead Man’s Bones for this, but your mind has expanded beyond the concept of missing or witnessing. In this state Unbroken is the end all, be all because any sound is good if you make it so.
If all of this has been successful, your day should look like this:
Congratulations on incepting yourself the perfect fest. For every future festival, please repeat steps accordingly.
PS: Be safe out there, guys. Always remember to drink an abundance of water, bring your totem, and never faint, despite how tingly Delorean may make you. Also, be aware of your surroundings. If FYF has shown me anything it’s that, at any moment, you can be tackled or severely stomach slapped for dancing/walking/observing.
*Pictures sniped from varying sources, band pics by P-fork, other pics by beautiful individuals.
Energetic Amanda Palmer, of Dresden Doll’s fame, is a free agent after being released from Roadrunner Records early this year. She’s celebrating this how? Well, by releasing what ever the fuck she wants and whenever she sees fit. That has lead to her new pet project, Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele, a short but relatively sweet collection of pre-Amnesiac covers of songs you’ve all heard covered so many times before. Even still, her cover of Idioteque is worth mentioning. It’s sparse but still holds some of that uneasy feel of the original. Purchase Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele here, at the low price of $.84 (or more if you’re feeling generous)
Waves. We’re rapidly becoming a world enveloped in them. Google has one. The ocean has a few. Music has way too many. It’s a fact, computers are not the most rapidly developing phenomena, it is Waves. Yes, friends, some day we’ll all be bouncing our ever curious grand children on our knees and proclaiming that “I remember a simpler time, when waves were either radio or tasty, and we didn’t even have to worry if either of those were chill or dreamy!” Pssh, whatever you say, Gramps.
Blackbird Blackbird embraces his waves like a man of the future. Hailing from the creative hub of San Francisco CA, Blackbird Blackbird, aka Mikey S, is a bedroom Bach that makes bright, shimmering psychedelic-pop, but you can call it Dreamwave if you really want (urghhh) It’s great headphone fodder and unique enough to keep its head above all the other waves out there. The newly released Summer Heart LP is a slice of ethereal bliss that’s sure to fill out your summer days nicely, as its filled with pulsing synths, airy vocals and much appropriate percussion with audible clashes and crashes. If not convinced by my wily words, check out the tracks below and go for a swim. You can purchase Summer Heart at Blackbird Blackbird’s Bandcamp page, along with further samples for those on the fence.
Of course, if rent was just due and you are deftly afraid of monetary transactions, you can find Blackbird’s Happy Here EP for free download here. Believe me, while we here at Lipstick Communism are a little weary of deeming music by a “Wave” genre (a wave implies something passing, why would you want to associate your music with something that fades away?) Blackbird Blackbird is definitely worth the ride.
Cut past a brown bag lunch consumed and an overload on This American Life and The Moth, Northern New Mexico has welcomed me with slightly cooler weather and a whole lot less Juggalo windshield decals. I got in at about 5:30 with an hour and a half to kill so I took ample time to check out the venue. The Brewing Co has pretty nice set up. It’s slightly off the beaten path and equipped with a stage that the Swiss Family Robinson might have built had they decided to challenge the Partridge Family for most adorable family band. After grabbing an obligatory beer (the nut brown and pale ale are fine choices, trust) I ended up befriending a few people that made the same trip I did. They were hopped up and super excited for opening band Dawes and being completely oblivious to who they were, I felt it wise to heed their words and secure a front row spot for their set.
If you like inexplicable collaborations between masked MCs and fictional characters well, dear friends, I have a treat for you. Please welcome MF Borat, the surprisingly slick duo comprised of MF Doom and Sascha Baron Cohen as everyone’s favorite Kazakhstan superstar. According to their inter-tube domicile:
In 2006, during a stint out west to promote his then new movie, Sacha Cohen, (aka Borat) met Daniel Dumile, better known as Zev Love X, or MF DOOM. Their blazing freestyle ciphers and mutual love of Purple Kush led to an impromptu recording of Doom’s ‘My Favorite Ladies’ verses (see Herbalisers’ Something Wicked…album) over a beat Borat had made back in ’05 with Kulki Boolchek, a Khazak producer. Later that year Doom ventured east, and recorded three more gems with Cohen at the castle of Rudolf II in Prague, renowned for its stone acoustics. DigDug bought the master off a based-out gypsy in East Oakland and the rest is history! **Please FREELY DOWNLOAD THESE GEMS**, as they have been labeled ‘Degenerate Music’ by the Putin administration and the whole album is banned in the greater East. Censorship will never extinguish true heat!
I don’t understand it, I don’t care. While Doom can sometimes stretch himself a little too thin on some of his releases, he’s on point here. The beats represent just as well, filled with slick quality funk and soul samples you expect from a Stones Throw affiliate, and some very nice vocal samps from Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross to seal the deal. So, thank god you live in the Land of the Free, and pick up the free EP The Mask and the Mustache below.
Pop music is a funny thing, right guys? It’s a term that can mean anything and nothing depending on its usage, which is always a notable feat in linguistic terms. I like to think of Pop music defined as “Hey That’s Catchy!: The Genre.” It’s, for good or worse, something accessible enough to get lodged in your temporal lobe for an extended period time. Now that we’ve gotten over the Webster confrontations, let’s get to Oberhofer.
Brad Oberhofer, a former resident of the greater Seattle/Tacoma, WA area, has a pretty stellar grasp of “Hey, That’s Catchy!: The Genre” and at just 19 years old, he’s primed to make you smile with bitter envy for years to come. His songs are pure, sunny-side-up pop with an infectious cacophony of fluid harmonies, pounding drums, rollicking synths and odd ball vocal melodies with the secure knowledge that full on freakouts sound a whole lot sweeter when backed by sturdy songwriting. You’re sure to find some similarities with your favorite, most blogged about indie darlings, but Oberhofer has charming personality all his own. Faux exotic drink companies agree.
Mr. Oberhofer is just starting to get some serious coverage and, for the time being, is unsigned. That won’t last for long but until then he has graciously provided his o0Oo0Oo EP free for download here. He was lovingly making copies and mailing to all who requested it but, due to increased exposure, you’ll have to catch a flight to NY to grab a copy at one of his shows.
Hey guys, my name is Andrew. Michelle has graciously allowed me to guest blog this fine establishment and I’ve come to blog to the best of my abilities. So please, let me blog for you.
I’m a man of varied tastes. I enjoy a wide array of music, but I have a real soft spot for musicians that go to great creative lengths for their craft, and Pogo (in some instances prefaced by the title of DJ) is one of those musicians.
Hailing from the land of Perth in Western Australia, Pogo, aka Nick Bertke, can be deemed as more of a musical engineer than your average musician. Skirting the lines between hip and trip-hop, the majority of Pogo’s music is comprised of snippets and sound bites from classic films of the last several decades. From Hook, Mary Poppins, The King and I, and many more, young Pogo has a serious knack for creating infectious beats that, sans a synth or two and a slick bass line, are comprised entirely from sounds of classic films many of us know and love.
Pogo’s most notable work, Wonderland is a collection of songs created from Alice in Wonderland. These tracks are the best examples of young Nick’s handiwork and are easy to get lost in.
More recently, Pogo has aimed his steady beat scalpel to more recent films such as Up, Harry Potter and a hyperactive ode to robo-assassins ala Terminator 2: Judgement Day but he continues to spread his arms in other directions. His most recent work, Gardyn is made almost entirely of sounds from his mother’s garden (mother included):
So, long story short, the tracks are fun, easy to get lost in, and even work up a little nostalgia and childhood memories from time to time. To crawl further into the rabbit hole, head to Pogo’s website. There you’ll find his entire discography generously available free to download, neatly packaged and ready for you aural consumption. Also Pogo’s youtube page has his most recent work, available in fun visual forms. For convenience I’ve provided a few tastes: