Aaron has already written up Montreal’s TOPS a few times, and far be it from me to step on his toes. Still, I can’t let a band release a song as good as “Way to Be Loved” and not talk about it. The opener and early highlight of the newly-released Picture You Staring, “Way to Be Loved” a mid-tempo marvel, with every detail perfectly calibrated to conjure AM radio memories. I’m not sure if it’s the synth tones, the Steely Dan slink of the guitar, or singer Jane Penny’s exquisite breathiness that pushes the track over the top, but whatever it is, it works.
For the past couple years we’ve seen Tim & Eric bringing us some of the funniest, off-beat shows on TV from Nathan For You, to Comedy Bang! Bang!, to Review, and it’s with some restraint that I stop there. But it’s been awhile since we saw them at the helm of a show centered around them as creators. With Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories they return to that position with a style that is absent the sensory overload they are so well known for and heavier on the silliness.
“Haunted House” comes off as a kind of mixture of The Three Stooges and Scooby Doo, particularly in the first half of the episode. But it takes a slight turn and gets a bit meta when Zach Galifinakis’s shatters the illusion that there is not huge crew filming a show by throwing an actor’s tantrum. Most of the time I’m not a fan of this trope because typically the story will cut straight back to the reality that was just intentionally shattered, but Tim & Eric do something really interesting in simply forge on, incorporating that into the reality of the story and making it all the more strange and uncomfortable. I laughed out loud a few times before this turn but it was after it that I felt truly hooked. If there is a modern analog to the Three Stooges it is Tim, Eric, and Zach and coupled with the sophistication of Tim & Eric as film makers it’s really something fantastic.
Now, from what I’ve read elsewhere, this interview they gave with Vice for example, this pilot is not terribly representative of what we should expect from the series. As we move through to the first episode in ernest (“Haunted House” being the pilot) we ought to see something rather darker and cinematic. I for one can’t wait.
Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories premieres Thursday, September 18th at 12:15am on Adult Swim.
Slow Skies is one of those bands that just nailed it with their name, it really embodies the core of their music perfectly. Karen Sheridan voice floats wispily through atmospherics, and in “Bodies” it erupts into the heavy, worrisome feeling you get when you look up and see deep black clouds quickly rolling in.
Dorian Wood‘s new video for “Down, The Dirty Roof” is like a tidal surge of keys and drum skins being mercilessly pounded, pushed from behind by driving vocals and rolling over the top of you.
“But then, like truth don’t like to bend, the fucking truth hit me in the head when
Jesus said my name, yes, Jesus said my name, like a poet…”
It’s intense and smothering in its power. Dorian Wood and Leah Harmon grab hold of you and drag you along with them – and I was pulled along quite happily. Be sure to check out the lyrics to “Down, The Dirty Roof”, which are included in the info section of the videos on YouTube.
Tour Dates Below
Morgan Greenwood is a good friend of mine but before I knew him I knew his music via early releases from the sadly defunct Azeda Booth. And I’ll tell you, when you’ve got a friend who makes art that is so emotionally powerful – it’s really hard to reconcile the mere moral person you know with such transcendent creations.
Morgan has been relatively quiet for a little bit now, though he has begun playing with Baths and those guys are doing some really great stuff. So it’s a really wonderful surprise to find something new quietly slipped onto his Soundcloud profile. I’ll leave you with one more.
Orion Rigel Dommisse makes a tidy business of making the fantastical feel natural. An easy blend of darkness and light, a crossrods where some other realm begins to spill over into our own. “Nightgaunt” is almost a recounting of crossing this threshold, and if you dig deep enough into the subtext, it may be an instructional for passage.
Orion Rigel Dommisse‘s third studio record “Omicron” is available now for pre-order from What a Mess! Records.
Creature carry me in your claws
I am your prey
out of this universe fly me away
Judging from the three tracks on their Soundcloud, Oakland’s St. Tropez are still trying to pin down their sound. The first two tracks, “In Pictures” and “Maybe Nothing”, aim for something a little slinkier, at least in their earlier moments.
Embracing its pastel-hued psychedelia right from the start, “Let Go” seems like a better fit for the band’s talents. The arpeggios of the bass echo the song structure in miniature, waxing and waning while guitars materialize from the ether and eddies of distortion swirl around the vocal melody. Like a lot of slow-builds, it’s at its best in the quieter moments—the dual climaxes can’t live up to the reverb-drenched harmonies in between—but the destination doesn’t detract any from the journey, and if “Let Go” is any reflection of St. Tropez‘s overall direction, they’ll definitely be worth following.
The second installment of our new session series is with Liphemra, a band we’ve been big fans of since we came across the track “Band Aid” a few months back. We were really pleased to get them into the studio for their first session and they lived up to every bit of any excitement we managed to work up. Enjoy a few songs from some dark corner of the internet courtesy of Liphemra.
Chad VanGaalen is the kind of artist that operates in his own universe. It’s a universe of horrors and fantastical landscapes populated by tiny gelatinous creatures that crawl, wiggle, stride, and seamlessly combine and divide in an ever-changing and uncertain world. Not to say his existence in our own universe isn’t without magic, but with every song and animation he puts out we get to see just a little bit more of that world and I’m always thrilled by it.