Browsing Tag

ROCK

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Indie Rock Is Too White; Meanwhile Two Black Dudes Are Behind the Baddest Punk Rock Records of 2015

We, as Americans, have a long, proud history of segregating music. Rock and country are white. Rap, hip-hop, soul, and R'N'B are black. Go further back, and jazz music was off limits to those of fair skin with and over-protective parents. Removing one word, "indie rock," from the history of music segregation will do little to change the musical landscape. No "indie rock" simply means people will need another phrase to describe music outside of the top 40, ideally, something less wordy than, "Underground rock music, and some electronic music, and a metal band or two, and every once in a while something popular like Kanye." Yet, what grates me the most about the whiteness of indie rock think piece in 2015 is that these writers are missing the big picture. On this very day, in the year 2015 of our lord, the two most exciting bands in indie rock/underground rock/punk rock/not top 40 rock, are lead by black men: MC Ride of Death Grips and Lamont "Bim" Thomas of Obnox.
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Watch Me: “Blessed” by KEN Mode

In the spirit of full disclosure, the album cover you see above for KEN Mode's forthcoming Success (6.15 on Seasons of Mist), looks an awful lot like my couch. Shit, I look an awful lot alike the man on the couch. My couch is covered with blankets and pillows and there's a work laptop sitting on my couch this very morning, and there are loose papers scattered on the couch, too. At one point this morning, I was bent over in the fuck my life pose. Better living through technology, yo! I can have a shit day at work from the comfort of my own home and it's only 9:30 in the morning.
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Play Me: “Spit You Out” by Metz

As the old saying goes, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mellow and a time to get stoked."
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6 Score

The Rockometer: The Powers That B by Death Grips

Death Grips' double album, The Powers That B, features both the best and worst of these Sacramento noise-rap agitators. On the first album, subtitled, Niggas on the Moon, we get principals MC Ride and Zach Hill indulging their worst impulses. I'll be damned if there's a song here, but there's a lot of busted up beats and slobbering spit takes from MC Ride. Believe it or not, Icelandic national treasure, Bjork is on here, too. Unfortunately, her vocals and pitched, cut up and wrecked to the point where she's no more than another source of irritation, perhaps the primary irritation.
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9 Score

The Rockometer: Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett

Much like the beloved American sitcom, Seinfeld, a show about nothing, Courtney Barnett's debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit, managers to be highly entertaining while working with the most banal source material. Man plays hooky from work. Couple goes house hunting. Courtney swims. Courtney buys groceries. These are but a sampling of the seemingly ordinary scenes recreated over the course of eleven songs. There's even a track, "Small Poppies," where Barnett thinks about moving the lawn. She doesn't actually cut the grass, mind you, she just thinks about it.
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Play Me: “Lonesome Street” and “There Are Too Many of Us” by Blur

One of these two new Blur tracks released over the past week made me add the April 28th release date of Magic Whip to my calendar within seconds. The other did a shit job of generating any real excitement beyond the usual promotions cycle of read, re-post, and maybe listen, and in the process you get your name all over the web for a day.
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Should You Buy the New Blues Explosion Album? Take the Quiz

'90s alt-rock innovators, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, have a new album out. Should you buy it? Take the quiz and find out.
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A Fistful of Jams: New Jams by Liturgy, Death Grips, and Thee Oh Sees

The tech world loves its disrupters, those whose ideas and products shake up the status quo. The music world has a much more troubled relationship with those who dare challenge convention. Acting out in public is disruptive and accepted. Flamboyance and egos can be accepted form of disruption, too. Can you say Kanye? Live hard and live fast, destroy your shit and destroy yourself and you'll be admired for your edge. But try to change the way people engage with music through philosophy? No, no, no, now you're being a conceited asshole.
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