Top 5 Albums That Will Make You Want to Go Outside

Enjoy great music in the great outdoors!

March 27th, 2015
Winnie Fan
Category: News, Staff Pick
the avalanches

It’s only been spring for a week, but temperatures have been going up. Way up. Surely that’s a sign that it’s time to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors.
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Play This Playlist: The Best David Bowie Covers

Ten contemporary takes on the ever-evolving artist

March 24th, 2015
Jillian Goldfluss
Category: Staff Pick, Video
Photo credit: Jimmy King

David Bowie’s career, which spans from 1962 to the present day, has had its highs and lows, but no one can deny that he has been instrumental in influencing today’s music. He introduced the world to his eclectic brand of art/glam/experimental rock, transcending any previous limitations to music and forever changing the rock genre.
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Play This Playlist: Noided – Death Grips’ Top 8

Prepare for the powers that b

March 23rd, 2015
David Fisch
Category: Staff Pick, Video
death-grips-on-gp

I feel like Death Grips collectively died when they released Government Plates in late-2013. The Sacramento-based experimental hip-hop group art piece enigma had a tumultuous run from late-2010 until 2014 when they announced a new double album, released the first half, and then broke up.
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Play This Playlist: St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Guinness, corned beef, and redheads!!

March 16th, 2015
Gerry Doot
Category: Staff Pick, Video
glenhansardbyconormasterson_wide-0b34da51f9f14a0873b05e3aa17bd783ee780408-s6-c30

Due in part to the casually abusive evolved nature of St. Patrick’s Day, we tend to forget what we are actually celebrating with this very special holiday. St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. He was British. When he was young, he was actually captured by Irish pirates, escaping six years later only to eventually move back to Ireland as a missionary. We celebrate him on the estimated day of his death.
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Top Five PC Music Songs

Five bangers from the love-em-or-hate-em crew

March 13th, 2015
Jay Chirinos
Category: News, Staff Pick
PC Music

PC Music is a collective/label/website/whatever you want to call it that has become one of the most divisive crews in music over the last couple of years. Their ethos of twisting bubblegum pop and dance music into all sorts of odd shapes has been both praised as utterly original and dismissed as complete garbage. To me, it’s kind of thrilling to hear music that toes the line so brazenly between those two extremes, and Los Angeles will get a taste of PC Music in a rare appearance for AG Cook, SOPHIE, and QT at The Echoplex on Friday, March 27th.

In advance of that show, I’ve picked out five of the label’s best tracks to help you decide whether you want to explore further.

GFOTY – “Don’t Wanna/Let’s Do It”

Probably the strangest of all of PC Music’s players, GFOTY warps inane lyrics and melodies into something far more menacing and interesting. This track is a short, sharp example of GFOTY’s imagination and efficiency (her mixes tend to last around the 10-minute mark), and considering how many of her peers operate at the brighter end of the melodic range, it’s nice to hear such a hefty bottom in “Don’t Wanna/Let’s Do It.” For a song without percussion, it sure packs a punch.

AG Cook – “Beautiful”

The label head’s signature tune is this little beauty. A throwback to ’90s UK chart music, it manages to sound like much more than a pastiche, mainly due to the fact that it’s got such a strong melody at its core. The track also loops around what seems like a fairly rote declaration of endless love, except the more you hear it, the less convincing it sounds. By the time the song reaches its wistful final moments, the line adds an odd air of melancholia to the track, sounding more like self-denial than ecstatic realization.

QT – “Hey QT”

When we inadvertently attended the launch of QT at the Boiler Room last year, I was unaware of what was going on. Apparently, QT is both a bright, shiny new pop star and a fictional energy drink, adding an extra layer of surreal humor to PC Music’s aesthetic. QT was, in fact, a collaboration between AG Cook and SOPHIE (who did not make this list due to being an associate rather than an affiliate of PC Music), and regardless of the obfuscation involved in its creation, what is left with this debut single is enough to make even grown men want to bounce around on their mattresses while singing along into their hairdryers.

Danny L Harle – “In My Dreams”

This mid-tempo song from one of the lesser known PC Music guys is dancefloor ready and built around a simple melody that nevertheless gets twisted out of shape through several key changes that slowly but surely disorient the listener even as the beat holds steady. It’s another prime example of the label’s ability to produce pop music that pushes seemingly simplistic music into more sinister territory, and it is this exploratory level that keeps bringing me back to PC Music in the first place.

Thy Slaughter – “Bronze”

This is all about the build. Literally. The song is a two-minute tease that builds up to a huge crescendo that never comes. Its second half sees the song simultaneously building and collapsing in on itself as the melody gets stretched insanely into the high end of the mix before ceasing abruptly in its final two or three seconds, coughing out Aphex Twin-style distortion where the beat should kick in. And then it’s all over. It covers a whole bunch of ideas in its brief running time, and I’ll definitely be wanting to hear more from Thy Slaughter.

Tickets to AG Cook/SOPHIE/QT at The Echoplex on March 27th are still available.

Top Five Awesome Rap Sophomore Albums

Sophomore jinx? Please.

Sean Kramer
Category: Staff Pick, Video
Public Enemy

After several months of speculation fueled by bombastic televised performances and (GRAMMY-winning) single releases, Kendrick Lamar threw down the gauntlet this week by announcing a release date (March 23rd) for his yet-to-be-titled follow-up to 2012’s good kid, m.a.a.d. city.
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Throwback Thursday: Recalling Of Montreal Live

Crazy costumes and even crazier songs

March 12th, 2015
Anthony Marks
Category: News, Staff Pick
Of Montreal

Tired of the same old pop-rock tunes? Have Moogs and synths backed by a steady beat become mundane and predictable? Sometimes, it’s hard to listen to easy music.
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Play This Playlist: Remixing It Up

Discovering and re-discovering the music you love

March 9th, 2015
Winnie Fan
Category: Staff Pick, Video
Kaytranada

I, admittedly, am a sucker for remixes. They can make mediocre tracks stellar, heighten the truly great aspects of already good songs, or just make you think about the multitude of ways a song can be deconstructed and/or reconstructed. At their best, remixes breed a type of innovation that can be a breath of fresh air as trends and music come and go. They are a reminder that even the best can be improved upon.
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Throwback Thursday: Oasis’ Dig Out Your Soul

It’s time to look back on the last Oasis album

March 5th, 2015
Melissa Karlin
Category: News, Staff Pick
OASISCrop

This week, Noel Gallagher (and his High Flying Birds) released his second solo album, Chasing Yesterday (read my album review for more info on that). It got me thinking about his band Oasis and how much the group has inspired and influenced my love of rock music, and thus I took it upon myself to really dig deep and figure out which Oasis album would be the best to throwback on this Thursday morning.
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Play This Playlist: Rainy Day Comfort Songs

You might be at work, but you should be at home

March 2nd, 2015
Gerry Doot
Category: Staff Pick, Video
Rain by george hodan

LA natives are incessantly complaining about the rain right now, but we need it. Desperately. And as a Bay Area native, it’s kind of comforting to hear that familiar tapping on the concrete outside, not to mention it gave us a good reason to stay indoors and binge watch House Of Cards this weekend.
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