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Aquarium Drunkard‘s Lagniappe Sessions is a pretty spectacular series that shows some of the influences of bands, with the bonus of giving us some oddball covers/b-sides, in an era where b-sides and compilations — that would otherwise be venues for such tracks — are just about extinct.
Dan Boeckner‘s re-establishment of himself as “Operators” post-Handsome Furs (and Divine Fits) follows the same trend. In Operators, he’s joined by Divine Fits (and New Bomb Turks) drummer, Sam Brown, plus singer/producer Devojka. This EP came out a year a half ago?! Fuck, I wish someone would have told me.
For as heartfelt (and heartbreaking) as Tica Douglas’ Joey is, it remains an upbeat and optimistic album. It has the quaintness of bedroom rock, but fleshed out with the backing of a full band and amplified guitars. Like Tica’s own non-binary identity, the album can’t be reduced through a label.
Over the years my tastes have diverged more and more from Gorilla vs. Bear, a blog that I followed religiously when I first started this for this site. But Chris Cantalini still finds and spotlights some great music, especially on the electronica end of my tastes. He premiered this track by Negative Gemini in October. It’s set to be released this year on her debut LP, Body Work on 100% Electronica.
This collaboration between Minneapolis producer Andrew Broder (Fog) and rapper Crescent Moon (Oddjobs) was a welcome surprise. I think it’s the soulful beat, which contrasts with the IDM synthesized drums. Sure drum machines have no soul, but does it matter when the rest of the track is all soul?
I wish you, my dear and faithful reader, could see the 8-year-old-child-like dance moves that overtook me the first time I heard, “Warmspot,” by Brooklyn’s George Clanton (FKA Mirror Kisses). The track is from his debut last year, 100% Electronica. The beat has an atmospheric Moss of Aura-feel to it, and yet is even more driven by the beat and danceable. Then there’s the vocals, which has a sing-songy rapping style that screams of Roland Orzabal/Tears For Fears, until you get that Michael McDonald “baby” exclamation thrown in.
Browsing through some short films over at Monster Children, I stumbled upon this live recording by Imperial Tiger Orchestra of Mulatu Astatke’s 1970 Ethiopian jazz classic, “Emnete.” Imperial Tiger Orchestra is a modern jazz band from Switzerland formed with inspiration from Ethiopia’s golden age of jazz, and specifically with Francis Falceto‘s Éthiopiques series of compilations (one of my absolute favorites). “Emnete” translates to “My Belief.”
Over the holidays Gary Sullivan of Bodega Pop‘s year end “Give The Drummer Some Radio” show on WFMU introduced me to an amazing treasure trove of modern french pop & indie rock, La Souterraine.
There’s a lot of love in this mix. Almost entirely new music, sort of to offset the retro-heavy warble mix of last month.