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Old 11-23-2014, 04:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
GuD
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Default WD's Hella Sick Journal of Undisputable Radness

Yep. So I'm makin a journal. A place to share my musical experiences with y'all because sometimes it's okay to take a break from FIDLARing and just talk. On the reals. So here goes, I'll start off with a review of "Heroes" by David Bowie as per the theme thing whatever it is that we're doing.

HEROES by DAVID BOWIE:

Bowie is one of the first artists I ever really got into. He was also one of the first artists I ever owned anything by. "Heroes" was my favorite song on the double-disc, 40-something song compilation. It's a great love song with easily Bowie's most impassioned vocals ever recorded. I always imagined it as the story of a lovers' one night stand. They were in some way doomed, or felt doomed, by the world around them. But perhaps under different circumstances they might have lived the rest of their lives together. Or perhaps their love has a fighting chance, should they succeed at defeating the chaos around them.

The rest of the album is definitely strange. You can hear Bowie's highly varied influences all over the place- his early fascinations with outer space in form of weird-as-hell reverberant synthesizers, gospel and r&b with those horns here and there, cabaret, and a bit of funky boogie-down rock and roll. But completely tweaked out boogie-down rock and roll. His signature yelping vocal style, slightly distorted, cut in here and there but if you really listen to it, the focus of this album is mostly instrumental. Robert Fripp plays guitar on most of the album and it's avant garde tones really work well with the synthesizers and just weird, smart, eclectic, fun vibes the album has.

"Sense of Doubt" breaks the album apart, it's kind of an odd break mid-way through but it's alternations between brooding lower register pianos and slightly more uplifting synthesizers would feel right at place in some 80s experimental scifi flick. It's a sort of segue from the first half of the album's more oddball rockin' edge to the second half's more tranquil, psychedelic, spacey side which experiments with world music fused with ethereal synthesizers. This part of the album starts of interesting for me but after a while I just start to tune it out. "The Secrets of Arabia" brings things back into more familiar territory. A very dancey tune that just kinda fades out abruptly. It's a good song, I just think it's a little out of place and is a sloppy ending to an otherwise intriguing album.
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Last edited by GuD; 11-24-2014 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Alright, so Ariel Pink dropped a new album recently. It's the first thing I've heard from him since the release of Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, an album I didn't pay much attention to. As I understand it the guy's made a name for himself drawing on goth/glam, lofi home recording, and strange avante gardeness. Onto the album, then.

PomPom by Ariel Pink

Damn this is a strange one. It goes in a lot of different directions, sometimes within tracks sometimes between tracks. It's on the longer side, just over an hour and I have to admit I had a hard time with that. It's silly, it's obnoxious, it's funny. It's somethin else. It'll throw you around from thinking of Sisters of Mercy, 70s porn soundtracks, 80s synthy cocainepop, Japanese gameshow music, Black Sabbath... It'll take more than a few listens to know what to expect next. Frankly I'm not sure I have the patience for that but the few pop gems here and there, mostly at the start of the album, like "Put Your Number in My Phone" (by far my favorite), "Picture Me Gone", "Lipstick", and the aptly titled closing track "Dayzed Inn Daydreams" kept me interested. Fans of eccentric pop will find things to like. Fans of perhaps inane experimental avant garde music will too. But if you're like me and have a hard time with one or the other the album's gonna be a difficult listen. All in all I'd say it's a 7/10. The songs I like I really like and fortunately that's a good portion of the album. I ended up wishing the album was just songs that had that cheery, spacey indie-pop vibe to them but I think his other side, the more experimental one, definitely is part of the draw for some listeners.

Spoiler for traxxx:




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Last edited by GuD; 11-23-2014 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Good reviews, WD. Welcome to Journal Land! Great to see you took the step and are writing a journal. Look forward to reading your (sobre) thoughts...
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Old 11-24-2014, 07:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So I do have to owe my dues and write a review for FIDLAR. Their discography is small and most of their best tracks are actually unreleased and only available on their youtube channel. If you were lucky enough to be in LA around 2010-2011, owned a skateboard, ever wrote your name on a building, or just happened to be hip, you might've seen FIDLAR play one of their epic basement/house shows. Sadly I don't remember my evening with FIDLAR. But it had to have been fun. Anyways,

ASSORTED RELEASES by FIDLAR

Fuck it dog, life's a risk. It's what you say when you smoke meth for the first time. Or are about to try and hop a no-comply up a couple stairs, manual around a corner, and slap a boneless off the same stairs. It's what you say when you hit the liquor store for a Fifth after taking bonghits in the back seat. And a band once called Fuck the Clock took that ethos for their namesake. Their sound is hardly original- loud, trebly, surfy garage rock/punk with some indie rock and pop sensibilities. What sets them apart is their otherwise indescribable craziness. Youtube links are below and if you pay attention their lyrics are fun, maniacal tales of drug and alcohol induced-shenanigans. But they've also got a sweet, or bittersweet, side to them. Max and Elvis, brothers if you could believe it from looking at them, are sons of TSOL's keyboardist and grew up listening to punk rock. Max, a surfer transplant from Hawaii, is all of 5'5 tall and the most laid back dude you ever met. After Brandon, their bassist. Rumors have it that Brandon is really into corny 80s R&B, vegan cooking, and sweaters... in LA. 'Nuff chatter, then. Onto the songs, my favorite songs, by one of my favorite bands:



That chugging in the beginning. The maniacal bleeting. That scream... yes. 10 seconds in and you know shit's going down. I dare you to listen to this song with any kind of liquor around and not be tempted to shotgun that ****. The lyrics? In the first verse?

"ME AND MY FRIENDS IN A HUNDRED DOLLAR VOLVO
BUSTING DOWN THE STREET CRUISING DOWN THE ROAD
GETTING ****ED UP ON THE 101
SHOOTING OUR GUNS AND HAVING FUN
40 BEERS LATER AND A LINE OF SPEED
8 BALL BLOW AND A HALF A POUND OF WEED
HEADING DOWN THE TRACKS TO MEXICO
FUCKED ON BEER NOT STAYING HOME"

We don't know why they're going to Mexico but it's safe to assume they're running from somebody. This song is crazy. It gets you pumped. The video for it is awesome. Though as a fan of both cheap and fancy beer, I do feel alienated just the tinsiest. I recall having a FIDLAR night, blasting this song on the bus while drinking a 12$ bottle because poshboyoverhere and feeling a little disingenuous. But, this is not really their craziest song. It's kind of a tie between this one, Crackhead Ted, and WAKE BAKE SKATE. Similarly themed lyrically, they tell the story of being broke as fvck, wasted as fvck, high as fvck, skating as fvck, fvcking as fvck, fvcking as fvcking fvck. Yes. For a more prudent mind they might be too much to tolerate...



DO A BUNCH OF DRUGS IM A FIEND AND AND ADDICT
ALL FUCKED UP WATCHING TELEVISION STATIC
AND I'M GONNA TRY AND MAKE IT
FOR ANOTHER YEAR
JUST TO HANG OUT WITH MY BEST FRIENDS AND DRINK A LOT OF BEER.

Why aren't you partying right now?



IM SO FUCKED UP ON BEER AND WEED
MY STOMACH OVERFLOWS AND MY LUNGS FVCKING BLEED

Still not partying? You might like their other side, then:



Corny teenpop. I'LL PROBABLY END UP ****ING UP AND MAKE IT SUPER AWKWARDDDDDDDDDDD. It's those awkward, creepy-romantic, drunken high school days wrapped up in a delightful 3 minute early Weezer-esque pop song with the most loveable chorus FIDLAR ever did wrote. Yes, wrote. Fuck you. I drink cheap beer.



Ah, yes. This song has to be the epitome of self-pity, she-dumped-me, I-suck songs. But it's utterly relateable, can't count how many times this song sang my life. Screw something up with a special someone? Drank a bit too much? This song'll get you through it and have you laughing about it later.



This bit gets quite dark. Max, the main vocalist, has been in and out of rehab for meth and heroin use for the passed few years. We see a much more serious, scary side of drug use on this track. S'why you don't mess with meth if you ain't cut for it.



Wooooooo. The downs are downnnnnnnnnnn, but the ups are up up up up. And for some, it's a fair trade. I woke up, cuz life's a risk.

Ahhh, humor. You know a band is great when they know the love as well as they do the evil.



More to come.
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Last edited by GuD; 11-25-2014 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Glad you've started a journal! Now that you've cut down on the drinking, I can see that you're actually a very good writer.
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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FIDLAR sounds pretty nice. I can see how they'd tear up a basement. I can already tell I'm going to wear out "Cheap Beer". Love me some cheap beer too. Expensive beer is good to taste, but if I'm getting ****ed up, I don't want to feel like I should be paying attention to the taste. Give me some good pisswater that goes down smooth. PBR and Miller High Life are my go-to booze.
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Old 11-28-2014, 04:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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RECOVERY by NEIGHBORHOOD BRATS

This band has been tearing **** up in my hometown for only a couple years. They've had something like 4-5 releases in 2 years. It is punk so it's not like it's super complicated music to release but damn, still pretty active. Anyways... the album skirts through Hardcore, Agent Orange-esque Surfpunk, and post-punk in about 30 minutes of what truly is a very fun, exciting album. It's (mostly) hard hitting stuff. Not quite as heavy as some hardcore bands from the area. But there's aggression. The riffs. The dirty, buzzing basslines. The drums hit a little weak.

I feel like this album could've been a lot better with a better mix and a bit more production. There are moments when the band flirts with more post-punk territory where I could see more use of synthesizers really adding to the mood. Overall the album is kinda muddy sounding. In some cases that's a good thing but here it just sounds like whoever was behind the boards was lazy or didn't know how to do the band justice.

The songs are there, they're mostly perfect as they are, but they don't hit quite as hard as they could. At times it's because of the mix, but sometimes it feels like the band is holding back. Kinda disappointing. On the occasion the lyrics come through Jenny Angelillo chews out ****ty former boyfriends, sexists, local politics.

"We Lost Control" is my favorite track lyrically. It's basically about some of the same things I've been bitching about happening in San Francisco. Gentrification, superficial self-obsessed transplants turning a city of artists into... some unholy mutant hybrid of LA and Silicon Valley. Musically it falls behind some of the other tracks. Still, it's nice to hear someone speaking out about things happening where you live.

All in all I'd rate the album 7.5/10. It really needed a better mix and on the last few tracks they kinda slack off. And maybe it's not their thing but I would like to see them get a little crazier. The band is young, though, and I can only see them getting better. Looking forward to catching one of their shows.
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Last edited by GuD; 11-29-2014 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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They Don't Have to Believe by Punch

Punch are back. This is their best release yet. Meghan's screams are vicious, cathartic, inspiring... Guitars, bass, drums... all there. You're not gonna find anything particularly new. About 20 minutes of pure, propulsive, agreeable rage. I kinda weened off of hardcore for a while but have been coming back around to it here and there. This album's definitely a favorite from 2014. It's mostly set to a blistering pace but there are moments of slower, heavier, sludginess. I can't recommend this enough, check it out:

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Old 01-08-2015, 09:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Strange Cacti by Angel Olsen

What a voice. And a great guitarist, too. But her voice is what really sells me on her. It's got a very emotional, desperate, crackling tone to it. I find myself not paying much attention to the lyrics because so much is conveyed with just her voice. It's just captivating and unique. And the way it's recorded, very amazing and very vintage-sounding with just a touch of reverb/echo. The guitars drift in and out of tune creating a sort of unsettling effect. The feel of this album is melodramatic. She comes across as a very sensitive romantic. Normally I'd be weary of being put-on but it comes across as genuine in a self-aware kind of way. My favorite track is Drunk and With Dreams, her voice is just at it's best on that track. Gives me goosebumps. And it's followed up with another favorite with such a surprisingly smooth transition. This is a great album. Fans of vocal-oriented music should really pick it up, put it on when they have time to themselves to just sit back and appreciate what she brings to the table.

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And still people want me dead
~msc

Last edited by GuD; 01-08-2015 at 11:34 PM.
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