Monday, May 1, 2017

Monthly Roundup-April 2017

Although some great albums came out this month, I feel that this was so far the worst month for new releases I have seen for 2017. I'm not sure why this is. Maybe it had something to do with Record Store Day. Whatever it may be, I had to scrape the barrel a little bit to find some good stuff.

Some highlights amongst the highlights:

Arca's third full length release in which he makes the jump to XL and more importantly he started singing, which turns out he has a nice lilting operatic voice. All the singing is in Spanish and this resulted in a more subdued sonically, yet more impactful of a release in the emotion department.

We also saw the 2nd installment of The Caretaker's series on Alzheimer's disease and the deterioration of the mind.

Father John Misty released his much anticipated follow-up to "I Love You, Honeybear". This time focusing much more on the words than the melodies for better and for worse.

Feedtime returned with a solid new album after a 21 year break!

Alexandra Savior teamed up with Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys fame to throw their hats into the ring that is the sound Lana Del Rey has carved out for herself. A very nice addition to this style of music.

Robyn Hitchcock returned with one of his best albums in recent memory

The supergroup BNQT(consisting of members of Midlake and the vocalists from Band Of Horses, Grandaddy and Franz Ferdinand) released a great indie rock album with a laid back classic rock feel, not unlike The Travelling Wilburys. Highly recommended, perfect for a backyard BBQ

And finally, Shugo Tokumaru teamed up with Greg Saunier(drummer of Deerhoof), an orchestra and blended it all together with his signature folk music. He also pulled from a vast library of found sounds he had been collecting to create his most freewheeling and adventurous album yet!

April 7th

Arca-Self Titled(XL)

Genre: Art Pop, Glitch Pop, Ambient Pop, Post-Industrial, IDM

The Caretaker-Everywhere At The End Of Time-Stage 2(History Always Favours The Winners)

Genre: Turntable Music, Ambient, British Dance Band

Karen Elson-Double Roses(1965/PIAS)

Genre: Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Folk, Dream Pop

Father John Misty-Pure Comedy(Sub Pop)

Genre: Piano Rock, Chamber Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk

Feature-Banishing Ritual(2670)

Genre: Alternative Rock, Indie Rock, Punk

Feedtime-Gas(In The Red)

Genre: Noise Rock, Punk Rock, Garage Rock

Kreidler-European Song(Bureau B)

Genre: Krautrock, Indietronica, Post-Rock

The New Pornographers-Whiteout Conditions(Concord)

Genre: Power Pop, Indie Rock, Synthpop

Alexandra Savior-Belladonna Of Sadness(Columbia)

Genre: Indie Pop, Art Pop, Dream Pop

Vex Ruffin-Conveyor(Stones Throw)

Genre: Post-Punk, Experimental

White Reaper-The World's Best American Band(Polyvinyl)

Genre: Glam Rock, Power Pop, Pop Rock, Garage Punk

April 14th

This was a particularly weak release day, I think something like 10 albums came out, they were all stinkers. Yes, I am aware that the new Kendrick came out that week. I can only recommend about 4 songs off it. Unfortunately for the first time in his career he has really given into the current pop trends and the album suffers immensely from the tame R&B beats and the overused trap beats. What a shame.

April 21st

Charly Bliss-Guppy(Barsuk)

Genre: Indie Rock, Noise Pop

Cotillon-The Afternoons(Burger)

Genre: Indie Pop

Mike Dillon-Life Is Not A Football(The Royal Potato Family)

Genre: Experimental Rock

Gas-Narkopop(Kompakt)

Genre: Ambient, Ambient Techno, Drone, Minimal Techno

Robyn Hitchcock-Self Titled(Yep Roc)

Genre: Psychedelic Pop, Pop Rock, Power Pop, Country Rock

The Relationship-Clara Obscura(Lolipop)

Genre: Alternative Rock, Neo Psychedelia

April 28th

BNQT-Volume 1(Dualtone)

Genre: Indie Rock

Los Angeles Police Department-Self Titled(2nd)(Anti-)

Genre: Indie Pop, Psychedelic Pop

Willie Nelson-God's Problem Child(Legacy)

Genre: Progressive Country

Shugo Tokumaru-Toss(Polyvinyl)

Genre: Art Pop, Singer/Songwriter

Wall-Untitled(Wharf Cat)

Genre: Post-Punk

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Best LO-FI(Influenced) Indie Rock Albums Of All Time

LO-FI. Is it born out of necessity? Is it born out of a desire to create something that purposefully sounds homespun? Personally I think it can be both. What is LO-FI? On a technical level, it is using technology with limitation. Sometimes this technology is older and possibly outdated, sometimes it is modern technology that is purposefully run through filters that make it appear to be created in a bedroom. The most common form of LO-FI recording is the 4 track cassette method. It is done on the cheap using one mic and by recording directly to tape. This usually produces a hissing that is very distinctive of tape recording. A lot of these recordings were made with what the artist could afford vs. what they might actually want. Other albums on this list were given these kinds of limitations on purpose. It's hard to tell which is which. They all have a quality of being both very personal and close to the artists heart. I highly recommend diving into these if you have not already. I present to you what I feel are the best 55 albums in the LO-FI Indie Folk/Rock genre. ENJOY!!!

1. Ween-The Pod(Shimmy Disc)

Genre: LO-FI, Experimental Rock, Alternative Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Noise Rock

2. The Frogs-It's Only Right And Natural(Homestead)

Genre: LO-FI, Comedy Rock, Indie Folk, Freak Folk

3. Pavement-Slanted And Enchanted(Matador)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Rock, Noise Pop, Noise Rock

4. Guided By Voices-Bee Thousand(Scat)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Rock, Power Pop, Indie Pop

5. Beat Happening-Jamboree(K)

Genre: LO-FI, Twee Pop, Noise Pop, Garage Rock

6. Ween-God Ween Satan: The Oneness(Twin/Tone)

Genre: LO-FI, Experimental Rock, Alternative Rock, Noise Rock, Punk Rock, Comedy Rock, Psychedelic Rock

7. Sebadoh-3(Homestead)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Rock, Indie Folk

8. The Robot Ate Me-On Vacation(5 Rue Christine)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Pop

9. Olivia Tremor Control-Dusk At Cubist Castle(Flydaddy)

Genre: LO-FI, Neo Psychedelia, Psychedelic Pop, Indie Pop, Field Recordings, Sunshine Pop, Sound Collage, Experimental Rock

10. Ween-Pure Guava(Elektra)

Genre: LO-FI, Experimental Rock, Alternative Rock, Psychedelic Pop, Comedy Rock, Noise Rock

11. The Microphones-It Was Hot, We Stayed In The Water(K)

Genre: LO-FI, Psychedelic Folk, Noise Rock, Indie Rock, Avant Folk

12. 1/2 Japanese-1/2 Gentlemen 1/2 Beasts(Armageddon)

Genre: LO-FI, Noise Rock, Experimental Rock, Punk Rock, No Wave, Art Punk

13. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti-Scared Famous(Demonstration Bootleg)

Genre: LO-FI, Hypnagogic Pop, Psychedelic Pop

14. The Microphones-The Glow Pt. 2(K)

Genre: LO-FI, Psychedelic Folk, Indie Folk, Noise Rock, Avant Folk, Singer/Songwriter

15. Neutral Milk Hotel-On Avery Island(Merge)

Genre: LO-FI, Psychedelic Folk, Indie Rock, Indie Folk, Neo Psychedelia, Singer/Songwriter, Drone

16. They Might Be Giants-Lincoln(Bar/None/Restless)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Pop, Alternative Rock, Power Pop, Jangle Pop, Art Pop

17. Tall Dwarfs-Hello Cruel World(Flying Nun)

Genre: LO-FI, Dunedin Sound, Indie Pop, Experimental Rock, Indie Folk, Noise Pop, Psychedelic Folk

18. The Moldy Peaches-Self Titled(Rough Trade)

Genre: LO-FI, Anti-Folk, Indie Pop

19. The Hospitals-Hairdryer Peace(Self Released)

Genre: LO-FI, Noise Rock, Experimental Rock, Garage Punk, Noise Pop, Neo Psychedelia

20. Royal Trux-Twin Infinitives(Drag City)

Genre: LO-FI. Noise Rock, Experimental Rock, Tape Music, Garage Rock, Noise, No Wave, Psychedelic Rock

21. Beck-Mellow Gold/Stereopathetic Soul Manure(Bong Load/Flipside)

Genre: LO-FI, Anti-Folk, Experimental, Singer/Songwriter, Noise Rock, Alt Country, Noise, Indie Rock

22. The Grifters-Crappin' You Negative(Shangri-La)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Rock, Garage Rock

23. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti-The Doldrums(Paw Tracks)

Genre: LO-FI, Hypnagogic Pop, Psychedelic Pop

24. CocoRosie-La Maison De Mon Reve(Touch And Go)

Genre: LO-FI, Art Pop, Freak Folk, Folktronica, Avant Folk, Experimental, Psychedelic Folk, Chamber Folk

25. Scout Niblett-Kidnapped By Neptune(Too Pure)

Genre: LO-FI, Singer/Songwriter, Indie Rock\

26. Guided By Voices-Alien Lanes(Matador)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Rock, Power Pop, Noise Pop

27. Trumans Water-Spasm Smash XXXOXoX Ox & Ass(Elemental)

Genre: LO-FI, Noise Rock, Post-Hardcore

28. Beck-One Foot In The Grave(K)

Genre: LO-FI, Contemporary Folk, Acoustic Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Anti-Folk

29. Bright Eyes-Letting Off The Happiness/Fevers And Mirrors(Saddle Creek)

Genre: LO-FI, Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk, Midwest Emo, Contemporary Folk

30. Jandek-Entire Catalog(Corwood Industries)

Genre: LO-FI, Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Folk, Avant-Folk, Experimental Rock, Spoken Word, Free Improvisation

31. Dump-That Skinny Motherfucker With The High Voice(Shrimper)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Pop, Noise Pop, Prince

32. Sebadoh-The Freed Man(Homestead)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Folk, Indie Rock

33. They Might Be Giants-Self Titled(Bar/None)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Pop, Alternative Rock, Post-Punk

34. The Mountain Goats-All Hail West Texas(Emperor Jones)

Genre: LO-FI, Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk

35. Daniel Johnston-Yip/Jump Music(Self Released)

Genre: LO-FI, Singer/Songwriter, A Cappella, Twee Pop

36. R. Stevie Moore-Delicate Tension(HP Music)

Genre: LO-FI, Art Rock, Art Punk, Jangle Pop, New Wave

37. Smog-Julius Caeser(Drag City)

Genre: LO-FI, Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Folk

38. Elliott Smith-Self Titled(Kill Rock Stars)

Genre: LO-FI, Singer/Songwriter, Indie Folk, Contemporary Folk

39. Chris Knox-Songs Of You And Me(Flying Nun/Festival)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Rock, Dunedin Sound

40. Beat Happening-Self Titled(K)

Genre: LO-FI, Twee Pop, Punk Rock

41. Supreme Dicks-The Unexamined Life(Homestead)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Slowcore, Psychedelic Folk, Freak Folk

42. Daniel Johnston-1990(Shimmy Disc)

Genre: LO-FI, Singer/Songwriter, Gospel, A Cappella, Hymns, Indie Folk

43. Tony Molina-Dissed And Dismissed(Melters)

Genre: LO-FI, Power Pop, Noise Pop

44. Karen O-Crush Songs(Cult)

Genre: LO-FI, Singer/Songwriter, Anti-Folk

45. Car Seat Headrest-Teens Of Style(Matador)

Genre: LO-FI, Noise Pop, Power Pop

46. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti-House Arrest/Loverboy(Ballbearings Pinatas)

Genre: LO-FI, Hypnagogic Pop, Psychedelic Pop

47. PJ Harvey-4 Track Demos(Island)

Genre: LO-FI, Alternative Rock, Punk Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Punk Blues

48. Alex G-DSU(Orchid Tapes)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Rock

49. The Folk Implosion-Take A Look Inside(Communion)

Genre: LO-FI, Indie Rock

50. Tune Yards-Bird Brains(4AD)

Genre: LO-FI, Freak Folk, Art Pop, Indie Pop, Psychedelic Pop

51. John Frusciante-Niandra LaDes And Usually Just A T-Shirt(American)

Genre: LO-FI, Singer/Songwriter, Avant-Folk, Psychedelic Folk

52. Julie Ruin-Self Titled(Kill Rock Stars)

Genre: LO-FI, Punk Rock

53. Ty Segall And Mikal Cronin-Reverse Shark Attack(Kill Shamen)

Genre: LO-FI, Garage Punk, Psychedelic Rock, Noise Rock

54. Minus Story-The Captain Is Dead, Let The Drum Corpse Dance(Jagjaguwar)

Genre: LO-FI, Psychedelic Rock, Noise Pop, Neo Psychedelia

55. Peter Jefferies-Electricity(Raffmond)

Genre: LO-FI, Singer/Songwriter