Doe Paoro’s ‘Ink on the Walls’ EP

My good friend Doe Paoro returned with a new EP, Ink on the Walls, this week, marking a vast departure in production from her previous works. She collaborated with S. Carey of Bon Iver fame, and he added necessary tightness to her raw sound. Justin Vernon – surprise! – is featured as well. The soul […]

Arcade Fire’s ‘Reflektor’ Lyric Video is Live!


There you have it, it’s live. We don’t usually post newsy news, but this one is…uniquely grand. After months of teaser videos and guerrilla marketing maneuvers that annoyed even their most die-hard fans; Arcade Fire’s fourth full-length studio album Reflektor is streaming on YouTube. It’s live, and well, it’s a lyric video of epic proportions.

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This is all happening five days ahead of release, and the entire record (85-minutes in length) is streaming on YouTube to the a classic Brazilian movie “Black Orpheus.”  Watching this reminds me of the classic Wizard of Oz film to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. And yes, there are occasional moments of synchronicity in “Black Orpheus” that seem to match the music in Reflekor. It’s a trip man, and worth spending 85-minutes watching a Brazilian film you probably haven’t heard of.

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Nothing Romantic About UK’s Savages


“The world used to be silent / Now it has too many voices.”

– Savages (Silence Yourself Manifesto)

As I prepare to see Savages at the Fonda Theatre in L.A. tonight, I look back at my first experience seeing this band earlier this year.

Jerking her head back-and-forth, with sudden and purposeful movements, Jehnny Beth’s dark, piercing black pupils slice through the crowd’s veneer of hipster-euphoria like a Katana sword through a watermelon. Her stage presence is as impressive as Ian Curtis during the genesis of Joy Division, and one day, we’ll all be talking about her ability to own a crowd. So if you weren’t already aware, Beth, the vocalist and lyricist of UK-based quartet Savages, is driven to be taken quite seriously. For her, Savages is fine art; a gallery showcase of her soul, and to be taken seriously as a proper artist is expected.

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The Hipster Gestapo at the El Rey, with their heads spinning as they text their fellow KCRW-listening groupies about the “Next Joy Division,” seem dumbfounded at the monochromatic intensity in the French-born singer’s eyes. As the white lights reveal the wrinkles in their all-black outfits; bass player Ayse Hassan quickly stands out sonically with the pummeling bass line for “City’s Full,” which has the bassist bouncing behind her pearl white P Bass like a possessed beatnik on a pogo stick. The ferocious rhythm section of Savages is the byproduct of Hassan’s experimental punk plucking; smashed together with the outright hydrogen explosion of crashing cymbals and frenetic hi-hat bravado of their drummer, Fay Milton, who is known to have an unconventional warm-up routine that requires isolation and focus. Milton’s virtuosity behind the kit is one of the pillars that will hold this band above their peers, in a different stratosphere, for as long as they wish to occupy the space.

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The Kate Boy Collective


The sheer scope of vision involved in creating and executing concept art requires an incubation process that in today’s music industry, is almost impossible to accomplish. While concept albums are churned out at a feverish pace (even John Mayer dabbles in the space; which should annoy you), a group or a solo artist that symbolizes an idea (a clear artistic vision), isn’t very common in an industry that continues to value marketability over artistic merit. But every now and again, a ‘scene’ emerges in a part of the world, like grunge in Seattle or techno in Detroit, that offers the proper environment for art to develop without the controlling arms of industry, or worse, a Svengali manager in the mold of Kim Fowley. Right now, actually for the past few years, Sweden and Australia seem to be hotbeds for giving birth to synth-based electronic masters that have taken the states by storm. The Knife might have opened the floodgates in 2006 with Deep Cuts and Silent Shout, but today’s scene seems to be electrified with a diverse range of artists that include NONONO and Lykke Li (both from Sweden), Flume (from Australia), and Crystal Castles (also from Australia). So when I heard about the magnetic blend of Swedish and Australian musicians into one electro-pop ‘concept band,’ titled androgynously as KATE BOY, I knew I had to explore their sound during the incubation phase.

Having been notified the group would be coming to Los Angeles to play an under-the-radar gig at the Echoplex over the weekend, I thought I’d check them out during the genesis of their live act (which is still developing). In 2012, KATE BOY caused a bit of stir in the indie scene with singles “Northern Lights” and “In Your Eyes,” which are included in their EP Northern Lights. Not on the EP, but worth mentioning, is the tribal drum-driven ’80s-sounding, a-little-bit Peter Gabriel (on the more bouncy-side of 1982’s Security), “The Way We Are,” which happens to be my favorite track from KATE BOY. The pummeling robotic synth-bass and electric drums on the track hooked me from the start, but once I deciphered the message, “The Way We Are” stood out as KATE BOY’S breakthrough cut. “There’s been too much poison in the system / festering toxins I am in round / got to get this out of my head / out in the air” melodically whispers vocalist Kate Akhurst, who lyrically builds upon the emancipation theme of their music  over a hodgepodge of electro-pop perfection brought to life during the climatic group drumming piece (killer live, seriously), when all four members attack the drums into a climax that sends the track soaring right into the stratosphere.

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Black Light Dinner Party: “We Are Golden”

Well, I held back on this for a bit so there wouldn’t be much bias in posting, but now it’s time for show and tell. Consider it a special Sunday night post. Black Light Dinner Party, whom I’ve previously written about in a mysterious way, recently released their new song “We Are Golden.” And […]

Daphne Lee Martin breaks the video mold with “Belly”

It’s probably easy for a director to come up with a video for a song like Daphne Lee Martin’s “Belly.” Put the band in, I don’t know, some period clothing? Have them walk slow motion through, what, a saloon? Maybe cut in some shots of them in a field of wildflowers, Daphne picking one […]

Me And My Drummer

I apologize for not picking up on this duo sooner. After hearing them off the recently released music video for their single, “Don’t Be So Hot,” I’m ready for a much heavier dose of Berlin’s Me And My Drummer. The climactic ending is staggering, as are Charlotte Brandi’s vocals.

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Lucy Schwartz goes underwater for Life in Letters video

*The video is to help promote Lucy’s clean water campaign.

BTW, if you want a great CMJ recap from one of my true compadres during the festival, check out Andriana’s rad post on Gluttony Is The New Black.

[Video + MP3] Deaf Joe: “The Softest Touch”

Video directed by Neil O’Driscoll. When sights and sounds collide.

Deaf Joe – “The Softest Touch” [MP3]

Download Deaf Joe’s free The Softest Touch EP on Bandcamp. From Dublin’s Delphi Records.

Also check out Deaf Joe on Facebook and Twitter.


I love this. Mausi is a sibling-led foursome based out of Newcastle who make undeniably fun and catchy indie pop. I’ll let the video do the rest of the talking.

Stream and Download “sol.” below.

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