Music

Briana Marela All Around Us

Samantha Gilweit, contributor Saddle up the reindeer, because Briana Marela’s latest album has a vibe so Nordic, playing it aloud might just keep the polar ice caps from melting. The experience is purposeful, as All Around Us was recorded in Iceland with Sigur Rós producer Alex Somers, and the result is as rich as lingonberry strudel, but imperfect like a …

Read More »

Ben’s 10 Volume LXVII: Gambling Commercially and Artistically on Albums

Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music (1975) A double album of layered guitar feedback and noise which came out at the height of The Velvet Underground leader’s commercial success. Stevie Wonder – Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants (1979) Arguably the greatest two-disc concept album about photosynthesis. Neil Young – Trans (1983) Young thoroughly pissed off his …

Read More »

The Good Life – Everybody’s Coming Down

Adam Jacobs, contributor I guess some scientists were getting stoned and wanted to see a Weezer and Dinosaur Jr. crossover. The Good Life should add “Missing” to their name, as singer Tim Kasher’s lyrics portray him as an old rocker who misses the limelight. Sorry homie, the light fades, you get a job at Home Depot and just waste away, …

Read More »

Birthmark – How You Look When You’re Falling Down

Tommy Lucero, contributor The driving force behind Birthmark is a man by the name of Nate Kinsella. His voice is a reminder of what it was like when Ben Gibbard still had a soul. The title How You Look Falling Down could also be the name of my Snapchat story after going above and beyond with my extracurricular activities while …

Read More »

Campfire Cassettes – Raised Wrong

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Campfire Cassettes’ new album, Raised Wrong, is flummery at a most indisputable level. Just a few seconds into the album opener “Mabel,” a song about a woman whose fellatio skill is beyond reproach, it’s clear that songwriter Jonathan Buchanan is well-versed in the Kinks discography. The Kinks comparison becomes even more …

Read More »

Ben’s 10 Volume XCVI: Throwing Bags of Grass at Musicians

If you’re Snoop Lion, Willie Nelson or Tom Petty, chances are all sorts of ganja is coming your way when you’re performing live. Well known musician/stoners receive an abundance of smoking supplies tossed in their direction as a sign of appreciation from their adoring fans. However, I’m more interested in artists who should have bags of grass thrown at them. …

Read More »

Shunt McGuppin – Bad Honky

America. Whiskey. Tumbleweeds. Moustache. These are the feelings I had while listening to Bad Honky, the new EP from Shunt McGuppin (AKA Superego’s Jeremy Carter). In just five songs, McGuppin encapsulates what it is to be a human animal in this wild world. The opener, “Yesterday’s Porn,” reminds us that sometimes looking back on the past can be the saddest …

Read More »

Mail the Horse – Planet Gates

Adam Jacobs, contributor Hipsters love trying to sound like their grandfather’s friends from the ‘30s.  Mail the Horse? Oh, I get it; you’re like the Pony Express . . . completely useless and happily extinct. Have you ever thought about the guy from Mumford and Sons falling ass first onto a steel guitar, basically eating a guitar neck with his …

Read More »

Blackheart Honeymoon – Mountains Speak

Samantha Gilweit, contributor I feel like if you told alt-folk bands that they could no longer use the words, “home,” “road,” and “alone” in their lyrics, most would be totally fucked. I am happy to say that Blackheart Honeymoon is a refreshing exception. Finally a country/rock/folk indie band that I can listen to without feeling the need to take a …

Read More »

Dam-Funk Invite the Light

Samantha Gilweit, contributor Have you lost the funk? Yeah, you have because we’ve all lost the funk. Look at us, in our business casual wear, drinking five dollar coffees, and saying terrible words like “infotainment.” We are FUNKLESS. But LA based electro/disco/funk artist Dâm-Funk is here to help. Dâm-Funk has been described as “Roller Disco.” I personally hate this term …

Read More »