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Underground Mondays: Different Days EP

Nothing makes me more upset than when someone claims to enjoy “everything”, but can’t enjoy the simple things in music. I mean, pop and radio rock is the least challenging form of music to listen to. I understand there are many acts that are pretty bad (Nickelback, Finger Eleven), but claim bands that garner a large amount of success or airplay as not worth listening to is the prime example of pretentiousness. 2013 is nearing the end of it’s spectacular run, and it’s coming down to crunch time when picks are made, and time and time again my most listened too seem to be everyone else’s as well. It goes to show the popularity of an artist.

Now as I type this, I have a certain sound in my head when I think of constant radio airplay. It’s one of three categories. First is the club bangers, think big name rap artist featured on some pop stars track. Second category is the new, popular indie artist that everyone pretends they only like, (Mumford and Sons, The 1975, Capital Cities), and my final category is the tried and true rock. Since the 70′s, rock has been the only form of popular music that still receives radio airplay, even if it has fluctuated throughout the years. Different Days is a Montreal based band that grows from that popularized rock sound we all know. Strong, steady drumming, prideful vocals, and the one of a kind guitar tone. Oddly enough, throwing on the EP I received from them the first thing I thought was, “Is this PJ Harvey in 2000?”. It’s a spot-on comparison I’ve been told, and I guarantee if you listen to “A Place Called Home” and  compare it to the band’s “Inconspicuous”, you’ll agree.

The group takes pride in their self-sufficient way of doing things. Having multi-talented members who can design artwork, master albums, and brag about a degree in classical production(?), they seem to have everything set. “Different Days” is not only the closer to the same-titled EP, it IS the epitome of their whole band. Feedback that salutes Sonic Youth, incredibly strong fills, and even the opening  finger picking foreshadows the ultimate climax. There are so many different sounds on one EP. There’s a heavy metal sound, followed by a top 40 rock vibe, but it doesn’t feel forced with the exception of the opener, “Breathless”. It came across as tinny and lifeless. The upside is that the vocals are incredibly catchy, so it would be a different experience live.

Different Days is a band with a bright future. From PJ Harvey to Bikini Kill, the band knows their roots. They pick and choose only the most engaging parts from each artist to combine it into one unique, colorful blend of music. Different Days EP is a solid showcase into what the group has to offer. When experience and experimenting comes, they should be a band that brings a lot to the table for record labels. I guarantee them as the next indie sweethearts. Listen to “Static” and attempt to put a frown on, which is only acceptable when headbanging.

 

Listen to the entire EP below, and download! 

Be to check out their facebook page here

 

 

Underground Mondays: Alea Rae

The folk revival is stronger than ever, and it’s fitting that musicians can release music with ease considering social media is only growing. It’s quite ironic to hear something so condensed and close knit be released on this massive universe of the web. Folk music always has a sense of community whenever I listen to it. The personal experiences related to the themes of the songs grasp my attention in such a way, it’s hard to imagine that millions of others can feel the same way with a click of a button. Gladly I can say that Alea Rae isn’t at the million listener mark, but her music should be.

From my hometown of Vancouver, BC, I came into contact with Rae with her debut EP, Offerings. The 4 song, 13 minute long EP covers a lot of ground, but also holds true to the emotional side of folk music. From the beginning of “An Honest Man”, Rae harmonizes with the melody of the guitar, leading into a smooth roll of the drums that vaguely reminisces a band I’ve been really enjoying lately named Typhoon. The instrumentation on this track contrasts the close-hearted opening with a string section that builds until the ultimate climax. Very calming, accessible, and a solid opener for this record. “Teal” takes a different direction, as it’s not as uplifting, but more accepting. The song is raw, real, and fitting to the experiences we have compared to a happy-go-lucky track.

Rae, who’s radical voice is an abstract mix of folk Karen O and Veronica Falls, shines through these cherished songs. Her ability to start in a deep, almost spoken-word croon that grows into a swooning melody is comparable to Marcus Mumford, who I’m not a huge fan of but it’s one of the few things that I enjoy from his music. “Offerings” is a perfect example of Rae’s ability to dynamically shift a song with her voice alone. It’s what makes the song stand out on these tracks. Not to mention the full band provides excitement to the music.

Too many folk musicians can bore listeners with their music. Especially when they begin the long-winded journey of becoming a musician, sometimes a guitar and sad lyrics aren’t enough to capture their future fans. Rae made the right choice in having a backing band grow these ideas into songs. Her lyricism is strong as well, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Isolation, distance, longing of home, love, it’s all here in these songs, but “Stunning Silence” proves yet again that instrumentation done right in folk can be a game changer that’s hard to compete with. I’m somebody who pushes musicians to try new things, but Alea Rae does indie-folk a favour with Offerings.

 

Be sure to check out her bandcamp below and listen to her amazing 4 song EP:

Why Pacific Rim is more geek friendly than most geek friendly films

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Most of you already know about my love for Pacific Rim. I found it to be highly inventive and fun, but I found this article on Tumblr today that digs deeper into why this film forges new territory while others continue to tread water.

WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN” is a blog on Tumblr owned by a Pac-head (I just made that up), but it’s someone whose a tumblr_ms4edeg07B1saapdjo1_1280serious Pacific Rim fan. This guy cosplay’s and does write-ups on the complexity of the film all the time. This recent post went into the nerdy characters on Pacific Rim Herman Gottlieb played by Burn Gorman and Dr. Newton Geiszler played by Charlie Day. His post shines light on some very interesting points regarding these, would be outsiders, had it not been for Guillermo Del Toro‘s forward thinking.

Here’s an excerpt from his post.

2) Not marginalized for being geeks.

Here’s a biggie: Newt & Hermann, despite being geeks, are not defined by their relationship as it compares to the non-geek cast. There is no “nerds vs jocks” thing going on.

They are not marginalized as “The Other”. Their comedic role comes from their relationship with each other, not from being nerdy. (Note when Hermann goes into his “handwriting of God” spiel, Newton – a fellow nerd – is the one that laughs at him. Other movies would have Herc or Pentecost be the ones to be all “yo, dude, tone down the math feels for us normal peeps”) The people most likely to suffer from their character flaws are, really, just Newt and Hermann. Pentecost gets mad at them for arguing, but he gets mad at a *lot* of people in the movie for arguing.

Back to the concept of “Othering” geeks: Take a look at all the scenes in the lab. Consider all the other movies where the mere presence of a non-geek character in a geek’s “lair” is a source of discomfort or comedy. None of that here. It’s very refreshing.

Interesting stuff huh? Just one of those things that kind of floats past you as the robots and kaiju go at it, but subconsciously you absorb, ultimately forming your opinion about the film. I guess looking back, I should’ve noticed it, but being a Del Toro fan, I wouldn’t expect anything less. He’s always thinking outside the box…well except for the Russian’s and Chinese in the film, but hopefully we will get their stories in the sequel.

WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN

New No Age album to be released August 20

 

Three years have passed since the noise-rock band, No Age, has released an album. It’s a known fact that No Age are also ass-kickers and Everything In Between (2010) is a great album. Even before, Nouns (2008) is constantly on my playlist. The band has yet to release a mediocre album, and the critical acclaim doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. An Object is set to release August 20 in North America and August 19 in the UK. What’s even more promising is the press release for the upcoming album;

“This new LP finds drummer/vocalist Dean Spunt exploding from behind his kit, landing percussive blows with amplified contact mics, 4-string bass guitars, and prepared speakers, as well as traditional forms of lumber and metal. Meanwhile, guitarist Randy Randall corrals his previously lush, spastic, sprawling arrangements into taught, refined, rats’ nests.”

Here’s the setlist for this anticipated album, and another reason why 2013 has been killing it so far. Be sure to listen to the amazing track, “Glitter”, off of the 2010 album below:

 

01 No Ground

02 I won’t Be Your Generator

03 C’mon Stimmung

04 Defector/ed

05 An Impression06 Lock Box

07 Running From A-Go-Go

08 My Hands, Birch and Steel

09 Circling With Dizzy

10 A Ceiling Dreams of a Floor

11 Commerce, Comment, Commence

 

 

 

Underground Mondays: Mariko shows her skills with “On With The Show”

I opened up my email to find a song in there that catches my ear. I listen to everything I receive thoroughly, just in case it I can find use to it. Some I listen more than others. “On With The Show”, by Singer-Songwriter, Mariko, is a fresh track that has been slowly picking up speed over the time it’s been released. Mariko is a Japanese-born, Boston-raised, and currently resides in New York. From the beginning, she knew music was her passion and continues to pursue it. She has even performed at multiple festivals such as Vans Warped Tour, Yellow Phone Music Conference, and has recently been asked to play at Summerfest 2013 in Milwaukee, WI.

Her sound blends the likes of pop duo, Tegan & Sara, with more credible artists like Lykke Li. She also performs with a backing band, giving her sounds that big, rounded sound. “On With The Show” starts with Mariko showing off her vocal range, which is quite amazing. After the drums kick in, the pre-chorus provides another reason why Mariko is an artist to watch. Her shift of sound to the ‘four on the floor’ drums backs of her sharp singing. Even the chorus breaks into a singable adventure.

Another great reason why “On With The Show” is great is because of the simplicity of the song. It’s lyrics aren’t overly complicated, and are great for screaming at her live shows, and the instrumentation is forward and to the point. Even the solo at the end is simple, but still kicks ass. Mariko’s vocals are the center-piece to this song, and are what carry this track the whole way through.

I really enjoy what I hear. “On With The Show” has that hit single charm that cannot be missed. Her vocals are outstanding, and Mariko is a musician who will shine this summer when her festival dates arrive. Be sure to check out the song below, and catch any of her upcoming dates at http://marikosmusic.com

 

As per her contract with Sony for bailing her out, here is a new Lauryn Hill Song “Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)”

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Who wouldn’t take a “sell your soul” deal from a record label, if it meant keeping your ass out of jail? I wouldn’t, but when your as broke as the mis-educated Lauryn Hill, you gotta do what you gotta do and she’s doing it in the form of some rushed out rhymes. This sneak listen has Lauryn spittin crazy rhymes over this blissed out sample. What she’s saying is going to take a few listens to absorb, but I’m assuming a lot of it has to do with everything she’s been going through in the last ten years. Anyway…

Via Pitchfork
The deal will help her launch a new label, Observe Creation Music, and stipulates that she record five new songs, followed by a new album– which would be her first since 2001′s MTV Unplugged No. 2.0.

Below Lauryn explains about the track via her Tumblr site.

Here is a link to a piece that I was ‘required’ to release immediately, by virtue of the impending legal deadline. I love being able to reach people directly, but in an ideal scenario, I would not have to rush the release of new music… but the message is still there. In light of Wednesday’s tragic loss (of former label mate Chris Kelly), I am even more pressed to YELL this to a multitude that may not understand the cost of allowing today’s unhealthy paradigms to remain unchecked!

No word yet on a release date, but we will keep a close watch for ya.

 

MITNG’s Videos of the Week

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This is what happens when you don’t have a tv. You miss out on some really good videos and wind up posting them after all the life has been sucked out of them. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself, some of these videos may still be rather new, but just so I can sound cool I’ll say their old. This week we are featuring some strange avante-garde but highly imaginative and beautiful joints from…

Thirty Seconds to Mars-Up in the air
Empire of the Sun-Alive
Dan Deacon-Konono Ripoff No.1
MNDR-Faster Horses
Coco Rosie-After the Afterlife
Andrew Bayer-Lose Sight

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPKAwJKGSDc&w=580&h=315%5D




Andrew Bayer – Lose Sight from Czlowiek Kamera on Vimeo.

 

MITNG’s music videos of the week

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Ian Isiah-MINDFUCK
Mykki Blanco-Feelin Special
The Pastels-Check My Heart
Miguel-How Many Drinks featuring Kendrick Lamar
G-Dragon





MITNG’S videos of the week

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I realize I’m getting this out to you guys later than I normally do. This week was chocked full of plugging for our new Youtube series, so things kinda got put on the back burner. Do you forgive me? The following videos are both cerebral and fun especially the little throwback one we threw in there for good measure. We hope you enjoy!




Listen to the omitted Django Unchained song Wiseman by Frank Ocean

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