San Diego Radio Sucks Quite A Bit

Sunday, March 24, 2013

19 Days 'til Coachella - Danny Avila

Wasn't this guy in that movie about the naked vampire?

Enjoy your 15 minutes, buddy.  You're the personification of everything that sucks about "EDM."

God, just listen to this musical sewage spewing from the speakers in this clip.  It's like he wants to turn the dancefloor into a waste treatment plant.  I'm pretty sure all the cheering at the end is because he's leaving.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

20 Days 'itl Coachella - The 2 Bears

The first time I heard of The 2 Bears was from NPR's best list for 2012.  I also heard of a ton of other artists from that list that won't be playing Coachella.  It's really too bad that Cody Chestnutt, Andy Stott, and any other really amazing artists with a double consonant thing going on didn't make the lineup, but at least we got the Hot Chip spinoff that are the best at what they do, The 2 Bears.

If you saw John Waters speak at the festy a few years back, you'd know what a "bear" is.

If you didn't, or you don't know what a "bear" is, don't concern yourself with it.

I snagged a copy of this late last year, and while it was already eight months old, it was a shining example of what good dance music should be.

If you don't shake your ass when you hear Be Strong, you probably haven't got one, and don't deserve the right to vote.

No matter what, this act could be the most under-appreciated at Coachella since Infusion.

If this isn't catchy like Hep-C, I don't want to live in this world.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

22 Days 'til Coachella - Purity Ring

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Purity Ring is the first band I've discovered as a result of this Coachella that I truly love.  I picked up their latest, Shrines, when I was at Amoeba a few weeks ago.  We were up in Los Angeles to catch what's surely going to go down in history as The Morrissey Show At Hollywood High School.

I think it was a staff pick, if I remember correctly, and the little 3x5" card taped to the CD mentioned something about the fact that they were pioneers of the "witch house" scene (think The Knife).  I wasn't at all disappointed to find out that this album didn't remind me of that vibe at all.  There's some great production on here, but moreover, great percussion and balance of elements.  The vocals may nod to the Dreijer siblings at times, but Shrines has a sound that's all at once retarded (from - to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.) drum and bass and ethereal all at once.  There's an overall sense of peace when listening to this sometimes frenetic music, and while there's never a real need for panic, there's definitely something bubbling under the surface that keeps you... well, not on the edge of your seat, but attentive.

Oh, fucking great.  I just realized they're on Friday.  Friday is the absolute DO NOT MISS day of the festival.  Hearts will be broken, pants will be shat, and minds will be blown.

That's the problem with a really, really good year.  Choices will be made that will be hard to live with before, during and after.  It's a lot like college.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

30 Days 'til Coachella - Beardyman

I remember a few years ago when I saw Beardyman on the schedule for Coachella.  I said to myself, well, that's a stupid name, and I pretty much wrote him off.

When I was walking through the festival, I overheard someone declare, "Beardyman was AWESOME!"  I didn't pay too much (positive) attention to it, because no matter how bad a band is, there will always be the faithful who love them.  In fact, I have been a member of at least one of those bands.

However, when I was visiting my friends in Italy this past year, I learned that they were YouTube fanatics.  No matter what I tried to show them, they'd already seen it.  IT was a little frustrating, but they were able to show me so much cool stuff, I really didn't care.

One of the things they pulled up was Beardyman's 2009 Edinburgh appearance.  Part stand-up comedy, part beatbox, and all genius, Beardyman is a one-man fucking fireball like a comet hurdling toward your dancin' shoes.  This dude seems to be able to do things out of both sides of his mouth at the same time.  This is apparent in the first few minutes of the video, all of which is available below.

One of the crazy things he does is request genres, themes and yes, even colors from the audience, around which he creates a (very cool) song from scratch.  He does use some looping and drum machines, but he honestly doesn't have to.

Even if you don't appreciate the music, you have to respect the talent of this guy.  Make room for Beardyman if you can.

Monday, March 11, 2013

32 Days 'til Coachella - TNGHT

This track is a little gratuitous on the "baby from Prince / Delirious" sample, but it's still intriguing.

As a responsible festivalgoer, I always try to evaluate the undercard to the greatest extent possible.  It's the foreplay of the festival.  And as any successful lover will tell you, if you can't warm up, you're not going to give (or get) much bang for your buck.

I knew there was something I liked immediately about TNGHT.  It was quirky, almost what I'd refer to as "ambient hip-hop" (see Dragonfly), but there was another element I was drawn to.

When I researched it a little bit more, I found out that these guys were on Warp, the label that has hosted such mindblowing acts as Boards Of Canada, Flying Lotus, Gonjasufi, Bibio, Aphex Twin, Grizzly Bear, and Our Lord And Savior Of Ambient Music, Brian Eno.

I am in no way putting TNGHT on the same level as all or even any of these artists.  These guys have a great thing going, very glitchy, awkward rhythms and melodies that catch the attention of the most jaded (me), and like a good storyteller, make you wonder what's coming next.

In this age of disposable everything, this is an act you might want to pay a little bit of attention to.

Yeah, I ended that sentence with a preposition.  You don't like it?  Suck it.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

40 Days 'til Coachella - Bat For Lashes


I finally got the chance to start checking out some of the bands that will be playing at Coachella 2013 that I'm unfamiliar with. This weekend, I had the pleasure of discovering Bat For Lashes, aka Natasha Khan. Bat For Lashes was the first act we knew of that was "unofficially" booked for the festy, due to a combination of verifiable rumors and the band's own Web site.

While I still haven't familiarized myself with her entire body of work, I can say that what I have heard has haunted my head since I first listened to Laura, the first single from 2012's The Haunted Man. While the comparisons to other artists like Sarah McLachlan and Imogen Heap are inevitable, Bat For Lashes brings something unique to the table. It's hard to put a finger on, but her songs are perfectly-crafted somber vignettes. These songs would sound amazing with standard instrumentation, but between the swelling orchestral movements and the well-placed glitchiness of the rhythms, Khan successfully molds the hopeless with the hopeful.

Also, it never hurts when an artist looks good sans clothing.