“Delta Spirit” by Delta Spirit

boyzz being boyzz

Where to begin. It’s been over a year since I’ve blogged on this. Since then, I’ve been exploring the life of being in the “real world” and working full-time and not having enough time to dedicate to simply listening to music and writing about it! I’ve been trying my best to keep up my listening habits and dabble in every online music streaming platform out there and thanks to turntable.fm, I’ve been somewhat keeping up with the indie muzak scene. And since I’m venturing into a new job/new point in life soon, I thought I’d try this long-form blogging thing another try!

So Delta Spirit. Love ’em to death. Ever since I saw a tweet from @NPR announcing that they were streaming Delta Spirit’s new self-titled album, I immediately turned off whatever the hell I was listening to (probably my “Mariah Carey Station” on Pandora), and went straight for the stream. I’ve actually heard some of their new stuff while watching them live at Holiday Hootenanny this past year and was ecstatic that the fun, gritty sound that I love about Delta Spirit was still there. I’m partial to bands that are loyal to their original sounds. (Side note: Matt Vasquez is a total charmer!) This album is a perfect intro into the imminent San Diego summer by a San Diego-based band.

My favorite track is “California.” Not just ’cause it has the title “California,” but because of all the background discords that are blended so perfectly with the main melody. And the lyrics are just so encouraging to find someone who makes you happy, even it isn’t even him… and of course all about California-loving! And I love the “oohs” throughout it. Can’t hate on a good sing-along “ooh.”

Delta Spirit is graciously streaming the entire album on their website, so take a listen! It’s also on Spotify.

If you’re in San Diego in the next few months, Delta Spirit is performing at one of my favorite SD venues, Belly Up, on May 12. Tickets are only $18! Do yourself a favor and go see them live!!!!

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“Tourist History” by Two Door Cinema Club

Two Door Cinema Club

aren't they cute and hairy-legged.

Released in March 2010, Tourist History provides a fresh look at pure indie pop, with a mix of electro-synthy goodness. This Irish band makes sing-along ready indie pop that is far from cheesy. The complicated guitar work and interlacing of different instruments still provide some sophistication, especially on the track, “Do You Want it All.” They don’t have a permanent drummer in their band, which is pretty apparent when the guitars are so highlighted in each song. I’m a big fan of mixing rock with some electronic elements — particularly when the electronics DON’T take over the track. Especially during this time where everything that is being released is electronica-heavy, it’s nice to hear some fun pop rock music that is actually not embarrassing to listen to in public.

Anywho, they’re a fun quirky band who are getting pretty popular in the indie blog world. They recently performed in South Korea with Kanye and Calvin Harris. I’m sad I missed out on that.

My favorite track is “Something Good Can Work.” It’s super fun and super catchy. Alex’s tongue-twisting singing is amazing. The track has a little funk to it. And red heads are adorbs.

Rating: I imagine them at an outdoor stage during the day. They’re just so fun and summery. And I also imagine them all wearing straw hats and cuffed jeans with Toms. So hipster. But it’s okay ’cause they’re foreign.

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“Power” by Kanye West ft. Dwele

Kanye’s new song just leaked online. Stream it here. The beat is pretty sick and reminds me of Yeasayer. And I know ‘ye listens to Yeasayer because he posted their video on his blog. Once again, we see hip hop and indie music collide. And it actually works.

Okay, back to studying.

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“This Is Happening” by LCD Soundsystem

LCD SS

sip sip sip

So I’ve listened to This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem about 4 times in its entirety. And it’s definitely better than the last record. It’s more calculated and thought out. I just read that it took 2 years to make it, and it shows. I saw them perform at Coachella from about 100 yards away and they were fun as hell. I was apprehensive at first of their lives shows because their previous albums weren’t amazing or anything, good but not something I’d want to see live. But it was surprising. I danced my ass off. And when they performed their new stuff, especially “Drunk Girls,” I went pretty wild. Their mellower stuff like, “I Can Change,” is great too. They still have the droning electronic beats with James Murphy’s mesmerizing voice that always has a tinge of irony and quirk. “One Touch” especially reminds me of their older stuff, which makes me happy. I think LCD is the first band which I don’t mind the 7 minute long songs. The commentary in between sets was funn-ay too. Anyway, as a final album for LCD, I say bravo. It was a good run and they definitely left it at a high note. And make sure to check out the video for “Drunk Girls” — hilar. LCD Soundsystem is performing at the Fox Pomona Theatre on June 5th. They’re labeled, “Dance Rock.” Haha.

Favorite track: I think it’s a tie between “Drunk Girls” and “All I Want”. The former because the video is just so damn funny. Come on…. violent pandas? How could I NOT like this song. And “All I Want” is just fun to listen to and rock-y.

Rating: Ahhhhh totally see them performing at a dance/performance hall. I’m so sad I’m missing out on their Pomona performance, but alas, jenkim must save money. They were great at Coachella, but I think a closed venue would work wonders on their sounds.

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Reviews coming soon!

lcd soundsystem

This is Happening

hot chip

One Life Stand

Life has been way too busy lately. School, friends, birthdays, and just… LIFE! And I’m not complaining. But I will try my best to post up reviews on LCD and Hot Chip’s new albums as soon as possible. In the meantime, I regularly update my tumblr blog: startyourenjens.tumblr.com, so ch-ch-ch-check it out to see what I’m into lately and forever.

“Crystal Castles (2010)” by Crystal Castles

crystal castles

shnoz.

I’ve never given Crystal Castles an honest listen before. I’ve listened to maybe a minute into a track from their first album and I immediately moved on. But Jonathan has been raving about their second self-titled album, Crystal Castles, ever since he’s taken a listen — so I thought I’d try it out. And listening to the album as a whole, I can see the appeal. Their experimental, gothy vibe works because it’s consistent throughout the entire album. They don’t let down their listeners and give in to conventional trance beats. They give us reverbs, uneven musical glitches, yells, rippling voices, distortion, and lots of postmodern musical shit (in the good sense). I’m sure by self-titling their album again, they are making a statement and declaring that this is THEIR genre of music and this second album is just a continuation of their first one. How uppity of them — I heard they’re bitches in interviews and on stage — but I suppose that’s their appeal. Not sure if I’m yet a fan, but I can imagine listening to this album while I’m studying… intensely. If I had to make a comparison of a DJ/group that I am still on the fan-borderline, they def remind me of Flying Lotus — or of what I remember during his set at Coachella this year. This isn’t much of a review, as much as it is a casual observation. Crystal Castles isn’t exactly my type of music, but I thought I’d write something about them anyway.

Crystal Castles (2010) has already been digitally released (April 23, 2010) but the physical copy is due out May 24, 2010.

Favorite song: No favorite song yet, but the title “Pap Smear” makes me giggle. And reminds me of my friend Martha during senior year of high school — but that story is for another blog.

Rating: Nighttime club scene with lots and lots of lasers, fogs, and heavy eyeliner on both genders. And people solo-dancing, high off of E. That scene.

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“Subiza” by Delorean

delorean

sparkly

I know it’s the night before my 22nd birthday, but instead of waiting restlessly for midnight to strike, I decided to write a review on one of my favorite bands at the moment, Delorean. Upon discovery, I liked them instantly for their ethereal style and electropop goodness. I’m a sucker for synth-y music (all starting with Hellogoodbye back in the day).

Subiza, released in March of this year, was recently reviewed as best new music by Pitchfork. And rightfully so. I’ve never really heard anything like this before and the music just seems to float above everything else — it takes you on some sort of space, star-filled adventure. Subiza is filled with soft club dance tunes that remind you of the hazy 90s videos — but with much better music (not that the 90s had awful music.. but come on.. there were some terrible music during that time). I love the echo-y chipmunk voices blurred in with the continuous airy beats — interrupted by actual “singing” by the band. This album makes me want to visit Spain even more.

Favorite song: All of their songs are good but “Stay Close” sticks out to me. I guess you can call it their single since they released a MV for it. It’s a total aimlessly-driving-through town-during-summer-nights tune. The whole album is actually.

Rating: Indoor, club scene with lots of lasers and lights (like Voyeur in SD). Their DJ set must be awesome.

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“Gorilla Manor” by Local Natives

local natives

friendzzzz

I was going to do a review on Yeasayer’s Odd Blood and on Delorean, but I’ve just discovered this LA-based indie GEM, Local Natives, who blew my mind with their live performance on Day 3 of Coachella. Having only released one album, Local Natives definitely made a name for themselves in the indie rock world, seamlessly producing an album that fits right into the Pitchfork arena. They have harmonies that have a tinge of Band of Horses and have the folksy vibe of Fleet Foxes, yet more upbeat. Gorilla Manor has strings, piano, choral tones, a badass drummer, clapping, and group shouting. And it’s all done without it being completely muddled. What makes this band unique is their lack of an actual frontman, and instead group sing and make harmonies that reminds me of a perfectly in tune boys choir at times, but with a much maturer sound. After a quick wiki search, apparently their album took a completely collaborative approach — amazing. And don’t let the slow pace fool you, their live show has so much energy and encourages sing-alongs. This album has been on repeat since the day I came back to San Diego from Coachella. Big thanks to Evan for showing me this band. And I love that they are unafraid to make pop culture references. LA love for sureeee.

Favorite track: “Who Knows Who Cares” is so smooth and seamless. I’m a sucker for slow jams. The intense drumming during the extended harmonies is perfect. Also, love how the singer (not sure who exactly) pronounces “Colorado.”

Rating: Side stage at a festival cast against the setting sun. That Gobi tent at Coachella was nice and intimate but their sound would have exuded so well in the open air. And of course, a tiny tiny venue with the capacity of 150 would be shooper ideal. But I can’t see that happening since they’re getting so much praise.

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“Congratulations” by MGMT

fuuuur-tastic.

After visiting Brooklyn for a brief night over Spring Break, I can understand why great music comes from there. I might be swayed by Zaytoons, this AMAZING and AFFORDABLE Middle Eastern restaurant on Myrtle Ave. If you live in the area or are planning to visit Manhattan/NY, please make your way over there and try their menu. As much as I love music, that’s how much I love food.

Anyway, back to the album. This sophomore album (as MGMT and not The Management) by this Brooklyn-based band can be described in one word: surrealism. But of course, I am not one to be so trite. SO, here continues my review.

We got a taste of what’s in store when they released their wildly odd track, “Flash Delirium,” attached to an even weirder video. They apologized for any confusion arising from the track — which I found pretty funny and charming. Apologizing for their weirdness? Okay. You guys are legit. I’m glad their Grammy nominations didn’t blow their heads up.  But it definitely influenced the direction of their album. After their sudden popularity and nomination bill appearance, MGMT responded with Congratulations. The “Flash Delirium” video says it all: apathy for the congratulations from the “elite” white folks of the Grammy committee. I’m sure the guys of MGMT are completely grateful but there was definitely a reason why these guys decided to not release a new album until this year: count three years. Each track is tinged with a circus-like quality with several melodies tied into a singular track. They do a much better job of that than the ghastly Black Eyed Peas crew. *Will I Am, I despise you as a producer*  Watch out for any imagery of “Monster Mash” or Halloween that pops up into your head as you listen, they packed in lots of eerie keyboard synths and frontman Andrew VanWyngarden’s signature echo-reverbs. I totally imagine this being the soundtrack to a Halloween party. Maybe they should have had an October release. Though slightly inconsistent with what they’re trying to achieve in this album, it keeps me interested even past their instrumental track, “Lady Dada’s Nightmare,” Dada (or Dadaism) most definitely referring to the anti-art movement during the mid 1910s to 1920s. And I like that the album ends with a track like “Congratulations.” It is stripped of all the chaotic electronics and flutes and animal noises. Acoustic guitar, simple bass line, repetitive drum beat, and a simple harp-like line: it’s as if it’s time for the listener to wake up and recollect themselves from what they have experienced from their surreal adventure. And the applause is spectacular. Congratulations will be officially released April 13, but you can preview it on their website.

Favorite track: “Song for Dan Tracy” is one of the two songs on the album with names in them. Many people don’t know this, but I have a weird attraction to songs with names in them. No idea who Dan Tracy is, but we learn about him in this song and his funny antics. The track is completely danceable and upbeat and the lyrics are quite funny.

Rating: They’re performing at Coachella this year. I don’t know if all these electronics and soft voices will work well with the festival setting. I imagine them performing in a smaller cafe setting — this album just feels too studio-heavy to me. I’ve seen them perform on campus a few years ago and their stage presence wasn’t really there. But then this was before they decided to wear capes on stage. Maybe I’ll be surprised at Coachella and they’ll blow my mind.

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Reviews coming soon!

I’ve been way too busy with spring break and the fun from the beginning of spring quarter that I haven’t been able to write down my thoughts on all the new music I’ve been listening to. Quite sad, but I will get to it ASAP. Soon to post: MGMT’s new album, “Congratulations”; my discovery of Barcelona-based band, Delorean, and their new single, “Stay Close”; Yeasayer’s “Odd Blood”; and much more!