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For Your Eyes and Ears

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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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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IMAG0762

New Jam City: New Jams by Savages, Pop. 1280, Metz, So Pitted and Spacin’

While it was never my intention to take such a long break at the end of the year, it happened. I had this broken arm from a gnarly cycling crash in November. Hey, at least I ended up sprawled across a driveway and not splattered on the street! Prior to the bike crash I had a painful arse condition. We won't talk about the arse condition except to say it wasn't the most common of painful arse conditions and it hurt like hell. Now, after five weeks in a cast I can type sometimes and not feel pain. My arse doesn't hurt every day. Things are looking up! Best of all, I'm slowly regaining my love of music. You see, when you feel pain every day every other sense is dulled. I listened to the new Sunn 0))) album but it might as well been the Starland Vocal Band. Get it? Now let's get to the jams.
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Savages

Watch Me: “The Answer” by Savages

The gym may look like a replica from Nirvana's mega-hit video, "Smells Like Teen Spirit." but, something is different here, as UK post-punk Savages, attack the ears with an aggressive, trance-like guitar riff in their video for "The Answer."
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unnamed

Watch Me: “Life Like This” by Kurt Vile

Kurt Vile, has long been known as a rambling blues man whose complex, dreamlike melodies fuck with long-standing norms of the genre. But, did you know Kurt Vile is also a piano man? On "Like Like This," the latest preview from his forthcoming Matador album, Vile augments that wandering guitar style of his, not with more guitar and more feedback, but with a persistent piano loop giving, this otherwise rootsy track a sly modern feel.
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RoyalHeadacheCarolina

Top Jam: “Carolina” by Royal Headache

From the first time I heard Royal Headache's lead singer, Shogun, open his mighty pipes I've contended he's a star, as in network TV performances, gossip mags and paparazzi, trapped in an indie-rockers body. Dude has a classic, soulful and scruffy voice like Rod Stewart, and in the right setting, like, say this video for the mid-tempo strummer, "Carolina," from the band's new album, High, out this Friday, it positively stuns.
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Deafheaven

New Jam City: Hear New Jams by Deafheaven, Destruction Unit, My Disco, Blank Realm, and Deerhunter

Deafheaven's "Brought to the Water," isn't a total reinvention of modern heavy into some overwrought philosophical work, like that of that other heavy-as-holy-hell, but totally not a black metal band, Liturgy. Rather, it's a refinement of the visceral thrills which made Deafheaven's debut so compelling.
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