Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Flying Lotus Review

My review of Flying Lotus's Los Angeles is up at RapReviews here. Glitchy futuristic electronica. I was under the impression it was hip hop, but really it has more to do with Tosca than Dilla. Only a lot more fucked up.

You can find an R-rated video for one of his songs here,

and a video for my favorite track, "GNG BNG" featuring footage from RAD below.

Flying Lotus - GNG BNG from Ryan Paterson on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bon Iver at the Fox Theater, 9/24/09

I just got back from seeing Bon Iver at the Fox theater in beautiful downtown Oakland. Megafaun opened for them. I've just downloaded their CD, which sounds pretty good. Watching them do their folky hippy beardy thing, I suddenly wondered if all these indie bands are really just as hippy and boring as the Grateful Dead. Between Animal Collective, Megafaun, and Fleet Foxes, you could keep the folks at Bonaroo tripping balls and hacky sacking for hours. Just a thought.

Bon Iver had four members and two drum sets. That's a lot of people to rock so lightly. it's an odd band, in that Justin Vernon essentially wrote the songs himself while he was holed up in some cabin, so they were never meant to be played in front of a packed house. The songs are delicate, quite, and there was a whole lotta shushing to keep the chatty tipplers from yapping during the set. But you know what? It may not have rocked, but it worked. He opened with "Flume," and it was gorgeous. "Blood Bank" was fairly rockin', and for "Wolves" he had the crowd chant along and then scream. They did two songs for their encore, finishing up with a folky sing along with Megafaun. it may have been mellow as hell, but it was still a good show.

Some random observations:

Bon Iver has a small but vocal Bro fan base.

9/10s of the people there seemed to be couples. And white. and between the ages of 26 and 35. They should have been marketing cars and appliances to us.

Number of African Americans in the audience that didn't work at the Fox: 0.

The guy behind me was on a date. His date loves Bon Iver. He whistled along. Thanks, dude!

The people that own the Curiosity Shop were standing next to us. They seem super hip.

Justin Vernon needs a damn haircut.

For a dude that wrote a sad album in the woods or whatever, he is a remarkably personable and nice guy. I kinda wanted to go get a beer with him after the show. If he were a mopey fuck, his music wouldn't be half as interesting to me.

It took me less time to get from Oakland to my apartment than it does to get across SF on some days.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

John Forte and Nosaj Thing Review

I reviewed John Forte's new seven-song EP StyleFREE on RapReviews this week. It's soulful hip hop or (hip hopful soul) that deals with love, loss, and getting out of prison after an 8 year stint from drug trafficking. And you thought your life sucked. I wasn't into the alt-rock feel of some of the tracks, and I found the somber mood a downer, but dude's got a great voice, and the songs sound really, really good.
Here's my favorite track, "Nervous."

I also reviewed Nosaj Thing's Drift.

If you are a fan of electronica or instrumental hip hop, you gotta check this out. It's Danny Elfman doing a hip hop video game soundtrack. Glitchy as hell but kind of beautiful.

Here's the whole album. You should buy it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mariachi El Bronx Review

My review of Mariachi El Bronx is up at Blogcritics.org.

I'm not totally sure if it's "Mariachi El Bronx" by the Bronx, or if the project is called Mariachi El Bronx, or what. Whatever. It's the mariachi version of the punk band the Bronx. I was really into this album. I like Mexican music but never really listened to it, so maybe I appreciated this more accessible version. Or maybe it's really good. Or maybe I'm a jackass. Take your pick. Basically, it's like a Mexican Pogues. How could you not love that?

Here's a video of them playing "Cell Mates" live.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I've been listening to Charles Mingus lately. I got a bunch of free credits at Emusic, so downloaded Ah Um, and was inspired reading Lester Bangs' biography to give Black Saint and the Sinner Lady another spin. This at the same time I've been listening to more abstract electronica, and the two genres seem kind of related. I'm also not smart enough to really get either, but since when do you need a degree to appreciate music? An ex once read me an essay some academic had done about why Satie's music was so joyous. It seemed to defeat the purpose to me to write a dry academic article on why music was so good. Bah. Says the guy whose hobby is writing about music.

I swear I'll write a longer piece about how I feel about Mingus later, but for now I just wanted to post "Black Saint." I don't quite get it, but I'm enjoying trying to figure it out. What do you think?

Teleseen Review

I reviewed Teleseen's Fear of the Forest this week on RapReviews.com. It's sort of dubstep, or minimalist techno dub, or I don't know what. My complaint in the review was that it lacked bottom and was hard to grab on to. That doesn't mean I didn't like it. It was a nice change of pace, and one of those records that rewards repeated listenings. It is also an example of how expensive getting free albums is, because I then went out and bought Flying Lotus's last album, and the new Nosaj Thing, inspired by Teleseen. So that free CD has now cost me ten bucks and twelve Emusic credits. It's worth it, though.

Here's "Black Monday"

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Adam Arcuragi Review

I reviewed Adam Arcuragi's new album, I Am Become Joy, for Blogcritics this week.

He's a singer songwriter from Pennsylvania who sounds a little like a countrified Andrew Bird. I liked it. Here's a video of him playing "Bottom of the River" live in NY:

He also has some songs you can check out on Daytrotter.com That's a site worth investigating - they do a lot of sessions with indie musicians.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Jae P Review - Unsigned and Hungry

I reviewed Unsigned and Hungry by Jae P/Kobi Onyame for Rapreviews last week.

I was into it. He sounds like Dizzee Rascal, only smoother and less agro. You can check out his blog at greengreengrasses.wordpress.com. The album was done under the moniker Jae P, but he changed his stage name to Kobi Onyame because there were already other rappers named Jae P. There you go.

Book Review - I Have Fun Everywhere I Go

My review of gonzo journalist Mike Edison's memoir,Book Review: I Have Fun Everywhere I Go is up at Blogcritics. He's a current writer for Spin who got his start writing about wrestling, porn, and pot. He was also in the Pleasure Fuckers, a Spanish garage punk band from the 90s. It's a highly entertaining read.

I know of the Pleasure Fuckers only from this incredibly gross album cover.

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