Chad VanGaalen Artist Interview (2014): Sci-Fi Visions of Sight & Sound

2014′s Shrink Dust is VanGaalen’s first album in almost exactly three years. Described by its creator as a “sci-fi folk record”, it takes the sound of its predecessor from 2011, Diaper Island, and, through the introduction of a pedal steel guitar, amplifies a certain country element that’s been rumbling around in the background for a while.

MORE »

Music Festivals 2014 Preview Guide & Top Picks

Top picks for music festivals in 2014, with a focus on the Pacific Northwest festivals, New York City festivals, national music festivals, and transformational festivals that are worth a damn.

MORE »

Swans – To Be Kind Album Review (Young God Records)

2010 didn’t offer up much to rejoice over, what with earthquakes, oil spills and other such tragedies dominating headlines and generally fucking over the world. Yet in the wake of those disasters the good Lord did deem it fit to bestow one blessing upon his faithful (or at least the record collecting nerds among them): the return of Swans.

MORE »

tUnE-yArDs – Water Fountain Music Video (Interview w/ Director Joel Kefali)

An appropriate follow-up to our feature on Experimental Music on Children’s TV, Nor-Cal powerhouse Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs leads listeners into similar notalgic territories with the music video for “Water Fountain”. With the aid of director Joel Kefali, the group explores nostalgic backdrops of children’s television shows, incorporating everything from dance routines and 8-bit animations to Peewee’s Playhouse-style puppetry and hoaky scientists. In the Q&A below, Kefali speaks to the ease of working with Garbus and company as well as the benefits of mixing media.

MORE »

Top Pops! April 2014: Mirah, Wild Ones, Eyelid Kid, Tourist ft. Will Heard, Lianne La Havas

Mirah returns with Changing Light, Portland’s Wild Ones pump out their debut album, California’s Eyelid Kid is a grower, and Tourist guest-stars Will Heard and Lianne La Havas.

MORE »

Orcas – Yearling Album Review (Morr Music)

Yearling, the second album from Orcas — the collaboration of Thomas Meluch, better known as Benoît Pioulard, and Rafael Anton Irissari, who also makes graceful ambient shoegaze under the name The Sight Below — seems very intent on a time and a place. In this case, a summer in Germany, where most of these songs were written. To shift between subject and setting, Yearling switches between ambient drift and yearning ambient pop, with plaintive vocals courtesy of Pioulard. This can be seen most evidently in the one-two punch of album openers “Petrichor” and “Infinite Stillness”, the former being a glowing nimbus of field recordings and swelling organs that sound like the backlit tree on the album cover, and “Infinite Stillness”

MORE »