WhatSlaggLikes

My Favorite Songs of 2013

Cakes da Killa - Goodie Goodies

Best hip-hop song of the year. Best music video of the year. If the Earth is ever destroyed, I hope ‘Goodie Goodies’ survives and future space-archaeologists get the impression that all human beings were like this.

HAIM - Honey & I

Yeah, it’s basically a Fleetwood Mac song, but it might be the best Fleetwood Mac song. A thing of beauty.

Lori McKenna - Shake

The type of deceptively simple folk song that stops you in your tracks the first time you hear it. Hard, beautiful, dangerous, takes no prisoners.

Tye Tribbett - He Turned It

What is this. What am I hearing. I have never heard anything like this. A worship leader from Camden, New Jersey is shattering musical boundaries and selling lots and lots of records and only people who listen to modern gospel music know about it. You should check him out. ‘He Turned It’ is his glammy, joyful, 9-minute-long Magnificat.

Vienna Teng - The Hymn of Axciom

This is far and away my favorite song of 2013. Vienna Teng is an indie-pop outsider who’s composed a choral piece—sung from the perspective of the biggest marketing database you’ve never heard of—about big data, social media, our desires, and the gods we worship (or the ones who worship us). Eerie, beautiful, prophetic, convicting. I cannot get over this song!

And here are the rest of my favorites, without comment:

2 Chainz - Feds Watching
Alela Diane - The Way We Fall
Andrew Cedermark - On Me
Anna Calvi - Suddenly
Ariana Grande - Honeymoon Ave
Ashley Monroe - Used
Bill Callahan - Seagull
Brandy Clark - Take a Little Pill
Caitlin Rose - Dallas
Chance the Rapper - Cocoa Butter Kisses
Chvrches - Lies
Courtney Barnett - Avant Gardener
Erin McKeown - Proof
Hezekiah Walker - Every Praise
James Blake - Retrograde
Jason Isbell - Elephant
Jessica Pratt - Night Faces
John Grant - GMF
John Moreland - I Need You to Tell Me Who I Am
Julia Holter - In the Green Wild
Kanye West - New Slaves
Kasey Musgraves - Merry Go Round
Kiran Leonard - Dear Lincoln
Kirin J. Callinan - Landslide
Kurt Vile - Wakin’ on a Pretty Day
Laura Marling - Master Hunter
Laura Mvula - Like the Morning Dew
Laura Veirs - White Cherry
Lily & Madeleine - Devil We Know
The National - Demons
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Higgs Boson Blues
Over the Rhine - All Over Ohio
Overmountain Men - The Next Best Thing
Patty Griffin - Wild Old Dog
Robbie Fulks - That’s Where I’m From
Run the Jewels - Sea Legs
Sam Amidon - As I Roved Out
Sam Phillips - No Time Like Now
Son Lux - Lost it To Trying
Valerie June - You Can’t Be Told
Vampire Weekend - Worship You
Wade Bowen - Songs About Trucks

roadtripoh12:

Just like Meredith and her continuing journeys, may I continue to use this tumblr to chronicle LA adventure?

YES

roadtripoh12:

Just like Meredith and her continuing journeys, may I continue to use this tumblr to chronicle LA adventure?

YES

indiemonday:



 

 
Download “Tarrega!”
/ andreabustin.com /

Andrea Bustin
I have not met Andrea Bustin, but I imagine her to be the type of person who you expect to be quiet and shy until you get to know her and discover an encyclopedic brain and a killer sense of humor. Then you think she’s that quiet person with the encyclopedic brain and killer sense of humor, until you really get to know her and discover, on top of everything else, a probing sensitivity and deep wisdom. Usually that’s the type of friend you want to keep around for a long time. Bustin may be nothing like the person I’ve described, but her debut album, Disappoint the Elements, is that type of album.
Disappoint the Elements
On first listen, it’s an album of pleasant, often sleepy, down- and mid-tempo bluegrass and folk tunes. Since it is pleasant, though—exceptionally pleasant—you spin it a few extra times. Maybe you play it softly in the background during a gathering of friends. Then, out of nowhere, like that quiet person muttering an unexpected joke under her breath, the album spits a couple of its feistier lines at you, like this one from “Spend My Time”:
If my wailing wall comes down
You can take my prayers to town
Or mail them off to China
There’s plenty of wall there
Where did that come from? You listen more closely:
You got me thinkin’ it’s alright to spend my time with you
Fair enough. So you sit down with headphones and spend some time with the album and its lyrics.
The Lyrics
They’re killer. Bustin’s greatest strength as a lyricist is her sense of humor. She uses wit like Kathleen Edwards uses wit, dressing up her sentiments in clever turns of phrase that often have a sharp edge to them—I’m not sure I’d want to be on the receiving end of some of those lyrics. She’s also not afraid to make references, again like Edwards, in a way that draws lines; you’re either clever enough (or good enough with Google) to get them, or you’re not. I’m still trying to figure out all the baseball jokes (oh man, I hope they’re baseball jokes and not football jokes) in “Child Please”, and I felt a thrill when it dawned on me who “Rosa” was about, or who “Poulenc” and “Tarrega” are.
Unlike Edwards, however, Bustin’s wit invites you in, because she’s getting at something deeper. “Child Please” turns the experience of following a down-on-its-luck sports team into a commentary on hope. Even the more barbed lines on the album are more than simple one-liners. “Clutch” alternates moments of biting suspicion with moments of trust and surrender, seeming to imply the difficulty of commitment.
The Guitar
The musicianship is top-notch, though never flashy. Andrea, who teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music, has a guitar style that reminds me of Dave Rawlings and Sean Watkins, both workhorse guitarists whose ease of playing belies their skill. Her band, including husband Devin Bustin, is tight yet loose, leaving plenty of room to breathe. They wear their influences on their sleeves but mix them up well, and much of the album falls somewhere between the easy listening of Union Station and the experimentalism of Punch Brothers—except ‘Standing By the Wall’, which kind of sounds like Nickel Creek covering Beck.
The most striking element of Andrea’s style is her classical training, which came from spending her teenage years in Belarus. “Poulenc” and “Tarrega” both beautifully blend European guitar music with American folk. Her fusion is gentle, though: she’s not forcing a connection between the two cultures, but discovering one that’s already there. 
Tarrega
Today’s track delivers all the essential Andrea Bustin elements in one song. Named after the Spanish guitarist who composed the prelude that makes up the song’s bridge, “Tarrega” delivers its doubtful, self-deprecating lyrics at lullaby pace. In the chorus, the see-saw rhythm of the guitar matches the lyrics’ uncertainty: 
And I know what I need
I don’t know what I need
But the real beauty comes during the calm of the instrumental prelude which follows the chorus, issuing a hush to the troubled internal monologue and taking the listener somewhere peaceful and new. Bustin understands that that’s what music does, and sometimes it takes two continents to do it. To hear her effortlessly shift from one continent to the other and back again is a beautiful thing.
So download “Tarrega” and spend three and a half minutes with Andrea Bustin. Then, if you like it, buy the album. Pretty soon you’ll have a new friend.
.Steve Slagg
More on Steve: http://whatslagglikes.wordpress.com
More on Steve’s Music: http://youngestsonmusic.com/

My review of Andrea Bustin’s record over at IndieMonday

indiemonday:

   

Download “Tarrega!”

/ andreabustin.com /


Andrea Bustin

I have not met Andrea Bustin, but I imagine her to be the type of person who you expect to be quiet and shy until you get to know her and discover an encyclopedic brain and a killer sense of humor. Then you think she’s that quiet person with the encyclopedic brain and killer sense of humor, until you really get to know her and discover, on top of everything else, a probing sensitivity and deep wisdom. Usually that’s the type of friend you want to keep around for a long time. Bustin may be nothing like the person I’ve described, but her debut album, Disappoint the Elements, is that type of album.

Disappoint the Elements

On first listen, it’s an album of pleasant, often sleepy, down- and mid-tempo bluegrass and folk tunes. Since it is pleasant, though—exceptionally pleasant—you spin it a few extra times. Maybe you play it softly in the background during a gathering of friends. Then, out of nowhere, like that quiet person muttering an unexpected joke under her breath, the album spits a couple of its feistier lines at you, like this one from “Spend My Time”:

If my wailing wall comes down

You can take my prayers to town

Or mail them off to China

There’s plenty of wall there

Where did that come from? You listen more closely:

You got me thinkin’ it’s alright to spend my time with you

Fair enough. So you sit down with headphones and spend some time with the album and its lyrics.

The Lyrics

They’re killer. Bustin’s greatest strength as a lyricist is her sense of humor. She uses wit like Kathleen Edwards uses wit, dressing up her sentiments in clever turns of phrase that often have a sharp edge to them—I’m not sure I’d want to be on the receiving end of some of those lyrics. She’s also not afraid to make references, again like Edwards, in a way that draws lines; you’re either clever enough (or good enough with Google) to get them, or you’re not. I’m still trying to figure out all the baseball jokes (oh man, I hope they’re baseball jokes and not football jokes) in “Child Please”, and I felt a thrill when it dawned on me who “Rosa” was about, or who “Poulenc” and “Tarrega” are.

Unlike Edwards, however, Bustin’s wit invites you in, because she’s getting at something deeper. “Child Please” turns the experience of following a down-on-its-luck sports team into a commentary on hope. Even the more barbed lines on the album are more than simple one-liners. “Clutch” alternates moments of biting suspicion with moments of trust and surrender, seeming to imply the difficulty of commitment.

The Guitar

The musicianship is top-notch, though never flashy. Andrea, who teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music, has a guitar style that reminds me of Dave Rawlings and Sean Watkins, both workhorse guitarists whose ease of playing belies their skill. Her band, including husband Devin Bustin, is tight yet loose, leaving plenty of room to breathe. They wear their influences on their sleeves but mix them up well, and much of the album falls somewhere between the easy listening of Union Station and the experimentalism of Punch Brothers—except ‘Standing By the Wall’, which kind of sounds like Nickel Creek covering Beck.

The most striking element of Andrea’s style is her classical training, which came from spending her teenage years in Belarus. “Poulenc” and “Tarrega” both beautifully blend European guitar music with American folk. Her fusion is gentle, though: she’s not forcing a connection between the two cultures, but discovering one that’s already there. 

Tarrega

Today’s track delivers all the essential Andrea Bustin elements in one song. Named after the Spanish guitarist who composed the prelude that makes up the song’s bridge, “Tarrega” delivers its doubtful, self-deprecating lyrics at lullaby pace. In the chorus, the see-saw rhythm of the guitar matches the lyrics’ uncertainty: 

And I know what I need

I don’t know what I need

But the real beauty comes during the calm of the instrumental prelude which follows the chorus, issuing a hush to the troubled internal monologue and taking the listener somewhere peaceful and new. Bustin understands that that’s what music does, and sometimes it takes two continents to do it. To hear her effortlessly shift from one continent to the other and back again is a beautiful thing.

So download “Tarrega” and spend three and a half minutes with Andrea Bustin. Then, if you like it, buy the album. Pretty soon you’ll have a new friend.

.Steve Slagg

More on Steve: http://whatslagglikes.wordpress.com

More on Steve’s Music: http://youngestsonmusic.com/

My review of Andrea Bustin’s record over at IndieMonday

One half of Tiger Waves is a friend of mine from college. I had no idea Reid was still making music; even better that it’s completely awesome.

jeffpersonified:

Reid = Boss.

yvynyl:

Tiger Waves - Fireworks

This duo - Reid Comstock and James Marshall - emailed me about their long-distance collaboration project that has birthed what they deem “cosmic surf-rock.”  They add that they’re “sort of a bizarre combination of Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys and anything from the Elephant 6 collective” which, duh, are as irresistable as influences to me as honey to a fly. I love the segue into “Ghost” on this set of new demos, so if you listen there let it ride.

Also worth a listen, “Down, Down, Down“ a pop tune I was particularly infatuated with from their earlier(?) set of tunes call Only Good Bands Have Animal NamesGet ‘em all free on Sndcld.

Tiger Water Cat

(via jeffpersonified-deactivated2012)

Merrill Garbus and Joanna Newsom: Media Narratives on Feminism

allthebirds:

Recently, one of my favorite bands, tUnE-yArDs, the solo project of Merrill Garbus, has been getting a deserved and increased amount of media attention because of the ridiculously amazing and sonically innovative album, w h o k i l l. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised that a fair amount of mainstream music journalists are recognizing the album’s feminism, even Pitchfork (see other articles/reviews from The Guardian, The Village Voice, and cokemachineglow). w h o k i l l broadly deals with sex, violence, slut-shaming, self-loathing, prejudice, privilege, and more sex, all from a singularly and loud female perspective. But even with all the good feminist press about this album, I cannot help but think how little feminist press Joanna Newsom received for Have One on Me, one of the most feminist albums I have ever heard outside of the riot-grrrl movement.

Read More