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By Ben Rayner

Watch Me: “Berlin Got Blurry” by Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts' newest single from Human Performance (out 4.8 on Rough Trade) may be called "Berlin Got Blurry," but I can't help but to think back to that time in music history when England got blurry, when white rockers began to integrate the island sounds of ska, dub, and reggae into punk rock and power pop.
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IRC_LOGO2250

Rad Jam Wednesday with Car Seat Headrest, Nothing, White Lung, and The Liminanas

Why didn't anyone tell me Car Seat Headrest shreds? Fans of the Cloud Nothings' heavy era and Built to Spill will be asking themselves the same question once they play, "Vincent," the first single from the band's upcoming, second album on Matador Records.
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CatsEyes

Jam On It! New Jams by Cat’s Eyes, Yuck, and Purling Hiss

Why doesn't anyone make lists on the internet any more? Here's a list, a list of some of my favorite downers in rock: Nick Cave, Elliot Smith, Robert Smith of The Cure, Spiritualized's J Spaceman, Faris Badwan of The Horrors and Cat's Eyes. Faris who? I feel like I say this every time I write about the Horrors, but Badwan's post-punk downer band, The Horrors, have been criminally overlooked here in the States release after release. 2009's Primary Colors should have been album of the year, everyone's album of the year. Hell, I don't know if it was even my album of the year. Someone google that. What I'm getting at, is that this man, here paired with the classically trained Rachel Zeffira, is capable of stop your heart and drop moments.
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BlackMountain

Watch Me: “Mothers of the Sun” by Black Mountain

Sure, this video is all kinds of hammy, like every metal cliche on a whiteboard made it into the final cut of the video: Occult rituals. Two-headed guitar. Creepy people doing creepy things. Bleak landscapes and horror film landscapes. Lava lamp visuals laid on top of the video footage. Lead guitarist/vocalist Stephen McBean in a Sunn 0))) robe. Shit, there may have been some demons and devils in there, too, and maybe a young lass lost in the woods, but I stopped watching. Still, I'm gonna give Black Mountain some slack because when I'm not watching "Summer of the Sun," I'm hearing the epic acid metal of their more epic than epic 2008 album, In the Future.
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Parquet Courts Human Performance Album Cover

Watch Me: “Dust” by Parquet Courts

Parquet Courts released an EP at the tail end of last year. I know this because it's filed away with all of my other albums. I can't remember much about this particular EP aside from the fact that there was one song and a lot of four dudes fucking around with keyboards and synthesizers. It was like one of those contractual obligation releases except for the fact Parquet Courts have been on a continual rise since 2011. I'd rather not talk about that last EP. I'd rather talk about this new video, "Dust," from their forthcoming album, a proper album, called Human Performance (out 4.8 on Rough Trade). Just one problem. I'm not sure we get to "Dust" without first having to go through four dudes fuck with keyboards and synthesizers.
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by Sarah Cass

Watch Me: “Holding The Void/The Sickness” by So Pitted

I admire Sub Pop Records. I really do mean this, sincerely even. Every year they release a record or two by a new noisy band in the spirit of Nirvana and I inevitably buy those because I've never outgrown grungy punk rock records. Most of these bands are fade shortly after their release. Some, like Toronto punks, Metz, and California noisemaers, No Age, have shown real staying power. Now, while I can't predict the future, hell, I can barely predict which rock records people will rock these days, I want to think the career trajectory of So Pitted will be closer to that of No Age and Metz, as opposed to His Electro Blue Voice, for example. Just listen to these ragers!
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by Maria Mochnacz

Watch Me: The Wheel by PJ Harvey

"The Wheel" isn't the most challenging song in PJ Harvey's illustrious discography. The firm drum beats and hand claps accompanying this seemingly upbeat guitar strummer recalls the work of Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders. You can shake your hips to "The Wheel." Yet, like Hynde was fond to do with The Pretenders, Harvey has embedded a deeper meaning within a simple pop structure. The narrative of "The Wheel" is a plea for awareness of the thousands of children who go missing across the globe every year. A video shot in Kosovo, once a hot spot for human cruelty, further drives the point home: this wheel has a heavy burden.
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