Mount Wittenberg Orca

Dirty Projectors + Björk - Mount Wittenberg Orca

Last year, Dirty Projectors and enigmatic avant-pop singer Björk collaborated on Mount Wittenberg Orca, a seven song suite that was performed live at a benefit for the AIDS/Homeless service organization Housing Works. To the surprise and delight of many, they also found time to put the composition to tape last month at Brooklyn’s Rare Book Room Studio as a very “live” recording, only overdubbing “lead vocals and a guitar solo”. It’s now been made available for download to benefit another worthy cause — the creation of marine protected areas through the National Geographic Society.

This piece, written by Dirty Projectors’ frontman and guiding creative force Dave Longstreth, was inspired by an experience bandmate and co-vocalist Amber Coffman had on a hiking trip on Mount Wittenberg in Northern California. Looking out into the Pacific Ocean, Amber saw a small family of whales swimming across the top of of the water. Longstreth crafted his suite as an imagined dialogue between the mother whale (parts sung by Björk), the baby whales (parts sung by Dirty Projector sirens Amber Coffman, Angel Deradoorian, and Haley Dekle), and Amber (parts sung by Dave Longstreth). And it’s as beautiful as one might imagine. With playful, pretty guitar plucks and strums, a few slow drones, soft and sweet lead vocals, and some dense, complexly interlocked harmonies, these songs come together in a way that belies their relatively hasty composition and recording.

Take a listen to one of the Björk-led tracks down below, then go donate to a good cause and download your copy. A minimum donation of $1 per song ($7) is a superb deal, but give more if you can!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download: Dirty Projectors + Björk – On and Ever Onward
Buy: You can donate and then download this album right here.

Wallpaper’s West Coast Tour

Wallpaper

It’s that time again. Time to get drip like a fish and straight-up lose your mind on the dance floor wit ya boys Ricky Reed and Arjun Singh, aka Wallpaper, Oaktown’s #1 in auto-tune electro-funk goodness.

YOU. ARE. NOT. READY. F’real.

These guys simply do not disappoint. And there should be some new jams in the mix for this tour, which starts tomorrow night (June 25th) in Sacramento, so get excited. Here in San Diego, our resident master of funked-out, talk box pop-genius Rafter is opening, which means I expect you locals to get extra excited. Hit me up if you wanna pre-party!

Flyer and tour dates available after the jump.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download: Wallpaper – I Got Soul, I’m So Wasted

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download: Donwill – Love Junkie (Feat. The Park) (Wallpaper Remix)
Buy: Never a bad time to pick up Wallpaper’s debut full-length Doo Doo Face on CD or LP.

Continue reading

New Tera Melos: “Frozen Zoo”

Tera Melos - Patagonian Rats

The new Tera Melos full-length, their first since their intense untitled 2005 debut, comes out on September 7th, 2010. After the initial taste of “Frozen Zoo”, it sounds like Patagonian Rats might be a more subdued, melodic, and mature endeavor than past works. However, the band has promised us both “weird music videos” and “extremely fast songs” — plus these two album teasers are a bit more manic — so those enthralled with Melos’ more off-kilter charms shouldn’t be too worried.

Stream and download “Frozen Zoo” as an mp3 below or at the Tera Melos bandcamp page in an array of formats.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download: Tera Melos – Frozen Zoo
Buy: Look for pre-orders soon, including one for a 2xLP with 3 bonus tracks.

Youth Rock Summer

Japandroids by Ilan Schraer

Above artwork by the talented Ilan Schraer. If you sign up to follow his blog right now, he’ll sketch you for free! More details here.

Not to be deterred from providing loud, enthusiastic soundtracks to summer, Japandroids are back again with their second of five singles due this year, “Younger Us” b/w a cover of X‘s “Sex and Dying in High Society”. This A-side may sound a little cleaner than much of the fare from Post-Nothing, but with characteristic nostalgic patter like “Remember sayin’ things like ‘We’ll sleep when we’re dead’ / and thinkin’ this feelin’ was never gonna end / Remember that night you were already in bed, said ‘fuck it’, got up to drink with me instead”, it’s apparent they’re still covering the same emotional ground. That’s not to say there isn’t something new here beyond a slight cleanup; regardless of subject matter or their virtually exclusive use of power chords, this song comes together in a way that, strangely enough, feels more mature than their past works. Considering that “Younger Us” was actually recorded during the Post-Nothing sessions, this is an odd and subtle fact — perhaps the one subtle fact in this towering powerhouse of distorted guitars and shout-singing — but a fact nonetheless.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download: Japandroids – Younger Us
Buy: You can pre-order the Younger Us 7-inch (limited to 2500 copies) from Polyvinyl Records for $5.

————————————————————————————————————

Wavves - King of the Beach

Meanwhile, San Diego’s hometown hero (?) of lo-fi hype Nathan Williams is making a much more significant move away from his trademark sound on King of the Beach. Recorded with the former rhythm section for Jay Reatard (RIP) at Sweet Tea in Mississippi — yes, that’s the same studio where Merriweather Post Pavilion was recorded — this third Wavves album promises to live up to Williams’ early characterizations (ie: “clean as a whistle” and “able to hear everything”).

Our first tangible glimpse into how this will actually play out came in the form of the leaked title-track and album opener “King of the Beach”. While not mired in the peaked-out production that has typified his music thus far, I certainly wouldn’t call this hi-fidelity audio. But Williams wasn’t lying about being able to hear things either — a bold choice for someone who’s been accused of masking bad songs with oppressive noise. Skirting overproduction and adopting a kind of classic California punk sound, Wavves is particularly interested in silencing those haters with this one (“You’re never gonna stop me / You’re never gonna stop… King of the Beach!”). It seems as mindlessly fun as it ever was, though I wonder if he can pull it off for a whole record.

The first official single, “Post Acid”, also came out today (via awkward corporate sponsorship that will remain nameless) and suggests that, in fact, he might just be able to. Check both tracks out down below.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download: Wavves – King of the Beach (removed on request)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download: Wavves – Post Acid (removed on request)
Buy: King of the Beach comes out August 6th on Fat Possum.

Margaret Noble: Frakture

Margaret Noble

Margaret Noble made her start as a DJ in Chicago, the vibrant birthplace of house music, but has since moved beyond the hypnotic four-on-the-floor scene and evolved into a talented conceptual sound artist based here in San Diego. Her compositions thus far have primarily been installations and performance pieces, often featuring accompanying visuals from a collaborating artist, but I’m pleased to announce that she is currently preparing to complete a studio recorded “soundscape remix” of George Orwell’s indelible political novel 1984.

Building from her original live performance of this work and inspired by Orwell’s seemingly endless relevance in regard to the State in the era of terrorism and our broader society, Noble has constructed Frakture by taking fragments from an original 1950s vinyl recording of a radio broadcast reading of the novel and melding them with a dense sound design of programmed electronics, vintage analogue synth, spoken word passages, and a myriad of field recordings. You can stream an excellent selection from this album, opening track “Safer is Better”, down below. Foreboding synthesized melodies, pulsating noise, percussive gallops, the distressing sounds of alarm sirens, stock exchange bells, protest mobs, and the subtle discomfort of looping camera flash charges come together with impressive effect as Noble sets the ominous tone of Frakture right at the outset.

However, in order to complete this piece, Margaret needs some additional funding. If you’d like to pledge your support — and I hope you would — you can head over to the Kickstarter page and donate at a level of your choosing. Your money will be used to help with the cost of mixing and mastering, pressing vinyl, art book publication, and more. Plus, all net proceeds from this project will be donated to Amnesty International, so you’ll be supporting two good causes here.

Look for Frakture to come out soon… sooner with your donation.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Buy: Donate to this project over at its Kickstarter page (at least $10 gets you a digital copy of the album).