[LP] tUnE-YarDs – W H O K I L L (w/ “Gangsta”)

bang-bang, oi, never move to my hood, cause danger is crawlin’ out the wood

♫ tUnE-YarDs – Gangsta

  • Who: Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner, “plus other rad musicians that join us at times”
  • What:  like Danny Dance, Jens Lindahl
  • Where: Oakland, CA + Facebook / Amazon
  • When:  2nd LP, W H O K I L L, came out last April.
  • Why: Because if you wrote them off after hearing tracks from much-less catchy debut Bird-Brains then you need to reconsider. After reading so much praise for W H O K I L L on so many best-of lists I finally investigated. “Gangsta” immediately grabbed my ear and slapped it around like a drugged rodent. “WTF is happening here and where do I get more?” said both me and the rodent. The answer is that tUnE-YarDs is happening and “Gangsta” is a perfect introduction. From the bang-on-pots rhythm to the echo effects to the crazy vocals, music doesn’t get much more epic and creative at the same time.
  • Spastic teenager capitalization aside, these are the songs of a band finding their footing and stating a case for their music. Sing-song hooks, herky-jerky beats, lyrics about all kinds of stuff, and a general sense that there is nothing else quite like this going on pervade W H O K I L L. Oh, plus horns. Great horns.
  • The whole LP runs strong and solid but “Bizness” is the other single and standout. Other songs range from stomping to tender but Garbus holds them all together with an Read more

[EP] Joe Goddard – “Gabriel” (feat. Valentina)

the sum of all the parts that you have taken are a fraction of the parts that make me whole

Joe Goddard’s Gabriel EP is only three tracks but when you are dealing with one of the Hot Chip frontmen that’s all that’s needed to lay down some serious song. The guy’s last solo album, Harvest Festival, meandered a bit and didn’t really sink in but this leaner and meaner release is all bite. The title track (above) packs serious punch, weaving Valentina’s epic vocals over an unstoppable beat that steamrolls through my speakers. “All I Know” takes nearly 10 minutes to run it’s course but with Goddard doing his signature love-song crooning over minimalist production that slowly evolves to be maximally transfixing, it is really OK. Meditative, even. “Jump” lives up to it’s name and gets a bit bonkers but at that point I’m so blissed out I don’t even care. Then the dub mix of “Gabriel” is just a victory lap for the short loop of great sounds.

Artist Links: Amazon

[LP] Penguin Prison – PENGUIN PRISON (w/ every Penguin Prison track TBE has ever posted)

i got a car that i call jenny, i take her out when there’s too much noise in my head

♫ Penguin Prison – A Funny Thing [from 2009]

♫ Penguin Prison – The Worse It Gets [from 2010]

The October 18th release of Penguin Prison’s self-titled debut is interesting for a couple reasons. The first thing is that I didn’t know it came out until 6 weeks late. And I think the second thing is directly tied to the 1st. Penguin Prison has been around so long that it seems hard to believe that his album hasn’t been out for years! TBE has been posting singles from the album since 2009 (above) and that doesn’t even include “Something I’m Not” and “Fair Warning” which also came out as singles before the album came out. Add on the heavily remixed “Multimillionaire” and new single “Don’t Fuck With My Money” and Read more

[LP] Yalls – YALLS (w/ “Please”)

oh no, i can’t think

♫ Yalls – Please

Not enough people are talking about Yalls and since the year is closing out it’s time to get one last endorsement in the ring for this Berkley beat-fruit tree. “Germs” is one of the years top tracks and the rest of Dan Casey’s name-your-price debut LP is more of the same weirdo magic. Although the phrase “more of the same” can’t really be applied here as Yalls’ music is pretty outside the box. Altered Zones called Yalls “zonked-ou beat-folk” and I think thats the best we are ging to get. So the next time you need an 18 part soundtrack for a coyote-drawn carriage ride through murmuring space-scapes turn to Yalls. And keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle.

Artist links: Facebook / Bandcamp / Amazon

[EP] Caught A Ghost – CAG Mixtape (w/ “Time Go”)

i gotta say its good to be home, sometimes i miss you when i’m out there alone

♫ Caught A Ghost – Time Go

Caught A Ghost caught me a few weeks back when their live show shook me from the distractions of tricked out Hyundai’s and free drinks, instantly pricking an ear and sparking a flurry of “Who is this playing?” sputtered to various standers-by. With their name noted in my iPhone I instantly looked them up the next day and was pleased to find that their recording are just as polished and fantastic as their stage show. Rock with soul. And horns. They cut the mustard in the slow lane as the gorgeous “Time Go” (above) shows so well. For those who like a little dub in their piano-and-horns-rock will also appreciate their fater higher paced jam  “Sleeping At Night.” The CAG Mixtape is out now with one more great tracks rounding out the trifecta but with this kind of taste just makes me hungry for more. Hmm, look at this stash I just found at their management’s Soundcloud.

Artist links: Facebook / Amazon / iTunes

[EP] Heffay – AT NIGHT (w/ “Flight of the Bears” & “Rockin With Me”)

and when they bang this in the club you got to get up

♫ Heffay – Flight of the Bears

Last we heard from Heffay we was holding down my Summer Mega-Mix with his feel good sunshine jam “Just You And Me.” Well, the guy is back and bringing a new palette of sounds to the table. Heffay trades a day at the beach for a night on the dance-floor with the appropriately titled At Night EP. The title track dips its feet in dubstep in a way that I can even get down with but the highlight for me is “Flight Of The Bears” (above) which builds and surges with synthy beats before breaking out into a clean dance number for sounds-tracking hooligan activity.

♫ Heffay – Rockin With Me

Closing out the brisk 3-track EP is Heffay’s fantastic “Rockin With Me” and its deft sampling of a classic Snoop Dogg jam. Just listen and enjoy. And party.

Artist links: Facebook / Soundcloud / Amazon

[LP] The Lisps – ARE WE AT THE MOVIES? (w/ “Try”)

go to mexico, make a rabbit out of wood

♫ The Lisps – Try

The Lisps spin delicate boy/girl indie folk that makes for perfect holiday listening with the family. The Lisps also wrote an elaborate musical called FUTURITY “about a Civil War soldier who, along with the meta-physician Ada Lovelace, invents a steam-powered artificial intelligence that he hopes will end war.” So basically The Lisps are the bee knees. What is even cooler is that they funded the creation of both the Futurity musical and the album on Kickstarter. There are still 2 more days left on the album’s campaign so head over there and get some premium goodies for funding the project! Then book tickets to the Futurity musical premiere at The American Repertory Theater in Boston from March 16th to April 15th, 2012. Or just head here and grab a few more tracks from the band’s solid 2010 album Are We At The Movies? (or just stream it below) “Pepper Spray” is particularly brilliant, “Try” makes me laugh, and songs like “Singularity” click and slide underneath the vocals deulings of Cesar Alvarez and Sammy Tunis, building to a swirl of bounce and twang. Read more


OK Drake has grown on me. Im a fan. Take Care is not album of the year but it IS a great testamant to the man’s talents. Ill keep listening.

[Quickies are mini-reviews that can fit into a 140 character tweet. They are of albums that people already know of but perhaps are curious about our take on it. What did you think of the disc?]

Artist links: Facebook / Amazon