Posted by Todd Hamm
BeanOne is continually mentioned in the same breath as Seattle production giants JakeOne and Vitamin D by members of the press elite, and deservedly so. While his name might not ring as many bells as his Rhymesayers affiliated/Big Tune-founding counterparts (respectfully) for most of the scene's casual assemblage, the man they call Bean has been quietly cranking out classics for the better part of a decade (well, longer than that, but most notably the last ±five years, e.g. Framework's Hello World, Boom Bap Project's Reprogram and DymeDef's Panic EP).
Bean's most recent project is Short Circuit, a 32-track instrumental mix that ranges from feel good party hop to dub step fusion and quirky headphone grooves. While many of the tracks are built around samples you'll probably recognize--from the Eurythmics to Hendrix, Interpol to Chairmen of the Board--that recognition is soon followed by a 'well that's an interesting twist' feeling that comes from Bean's ever unique take on the sounds that surround him. With seamless transitions, and a decidedly uptempo pace, it's entirely possible to listen front to back roughly four times before you realize you've gone around the horn even once (as I just did). So do yourself a favor and DOWNLOAD THIS RIGHT HERE (for free!), then enjoy the next hour and six minutes of you life.
BeanOne - NeverBe4
Posted by Justin Hoyt
I so want to champion Brooklyn band Bear Hands as that next shit, if nothing else just to have it in print that I knew about it before you did (I am a music blogger now after-all). The problem for me is that they sound to much like one of their major influences, Modest Mouse, for me to buy the hype. They'll find success I'm sure, they're talented and make genuinely good, catchy, pop songs. I just can't help but feel by the time they release their forthcoming LP (no title or release date) they will have missed the window that was opened by MGMT, of whom they also sound familiar with.
What I will say though is that this danceable, indie-rock, gotta be from Brooklyn group makes music I would like to see live, which I'll have a chance to when they play The Doug Fir Lounge in Portland on March 3. Seattle residents can catch them on March 2 at Neumo's. From what I hear they kill live having been together for around three years and having 150 shows under their belt, however this is their first trip to the west coast so expect them to be especially eager to showcase their sound. Hopefully they'll change my mind, this is definitely not a band I would be upset hearing more of if they can find a way to define their sound.
What a Drag
Posted by Todd Hamm
There's Olympic hockey playing on the TV behind the bar. The one mounted just to the left of a set of kitchen knives that are painted red to look like murder weapons. While a handful of sharp uppers would have been a perfectly fitting prelude to a backstage meeting with a guy who named his first solo record Cocaine Rodeo, I opt instead for a cold High Life to conserve the quality of interview.
Looking around, it's hard to imagine why someone with pull like Nick Oliveri would want to play a show in a dark, carnival themed bar like the Funhouse, but in a way that is just as strange as an acoustic metal show, it's as fitting as any of the massive Ozzfest stages he's rocked.
Just after 7:30, a scraggly goateed Oliveri enters with a tall, dark haired woman who appears to be his girlfriend. The two look tired, but used to it. We shake hands and wander backstage where he sets up for the night. He's upbeat, outgoing, and seems pretty happy to be here. Oliveri's on the road in support of his latest release Death Acoustic, an unplugged record that features a mix of songs from various bands he's played with, outlaw folk covers, and new tracks.
This is a tour he began in October in Australia, then powered through Europe and the eastern U.S. before heading out west. As he settles in, he mentions that last night's show in Portland was a bit of an off night. "Every tour has a dog," he says, "and I'm glad I got it out of the way."
As we talk about music and his career, he focuses his pre-show anxiety on a piece of gum and the beer the dark haired woman has just brought us. She disappears to find a hotel to stay in for the night. "I kind of feel like I don't fit in," he says. "Right now there's really no place for somebody to go as far as a scene is concerned. One of the greatest things in my lifetime that's happened in music is the Subpop grunge thing; bands coming together on this label who cared about something enough to start something cool. Now there hasn't been anything for fifteen years. I don't think there really is anything as far as a world scene that's recognized by everybody, right now--and if I'm wrong, I hope somebody tells me so I can find out about it, because it'd be nice to have..." he pauses, "it'd be nice to have something to be a part of."
For now, he says his focus is in keeping the tradition of performance alive. "I think it's about trying to keep playing live, whether it be out here by myself, or with the three other bands I play in, as much as I can. There's a lot of things kids are missing out on," he says. "Going to see live bands is really important, and maybe they'll get influenced to go try something like that." He recalls going to see Cro-Mags and Motörhead when he was younger and "knowing what [he] had to do."
"I just go to the bands that'll have me, you know, and if there's music inside, it has to come out," he laughs. "And I love to get up on stage and be a jackass."
This would be the part of the conversation where I ask about Queens of the Stone Age: why he left; if there's any chance for reconciliation with his former band mates and a subsequent reunion tour. However, most interviews that venture into this territory seem to take on an air of bitterness, resentment, and overall tension that kind of jumps from the page. I had actually asked him about the matter several years ago before a Mondo Generator show at the Showbox. I remember him saying something like "It's Josh [Homme]'s band now," and leaving it at that.
It's been almost five years since Oliveri parted ways with Queens; a split that yielded very different results for both parties. While Oliveri has continued down the punk-metal wormhole, Queens have gone the greaser-rock route as of late, and been able to hang around the mainstream scene a bit more. Homme has also moved on to form a massive supergroup in Them Crooked Vultures. Oliveri however, seems to prefer the dark underbelly of death-everything rock.
"I've done death metal, death punk, and this was like death acoustic," he says of his most recent venture. "As a singer/songwriter or a folk singer, I strum hard, and sing as loud as I would in a band." His songwriting has also recently been contracted by on-the-rise hardcore group The Knives, as well as an untitled project with members of Norway's Turbonegro, and on going projects The Dwarves and Moistboyz.
The dark haired woman returns from her search and reminds Oliveri they are going to have to drive all night in order to make tomorrow's show in Boise, and will have to sleep in the car. We quickly discuss the finer points of touring with Ween, and seeing Tad Doyle vomit on stage before I leave to join the growing crowd outside. He is all smiles as I thank him for the interview and beer, and he thanks me for coming to the show.
The next few hours consist of suffering through the dreadful opening bands and general milling around until Oliveri climbs on stage to soundcheck. After stepping out to smoke a cigarette, he takes time to mingle with the openers, before he gets back on stage. Finally, he strums his acoustic guitar like it was plugged into a monstrous generator-powered amplifier in the southern California desert. Veins bulge from his forehead and around his temple, his eyes are closed. He breathes deeply and screams "I want you to die!"
Thanks to rutlandl off youtube for the acoustic footage, and salutetokareem for the QOTSA clip. The picture at the top of the write up was taken by yours truly.
Posted by Justin Hoyt
With the Release of their third album Baltimore duo Beach House have created one of the most awe-inspiring musical balancing acts in recent memory. 2008's Devotion, which was one of the years best albums turns out to be nothing but an appetizer to this melodic feast. Alex Scally's guitar provides the backdrop for this opus, while singer/keyboardist Victoria Legrand's vocals prove as powerful as any singer's in the business. What is most noticeable about this band is they have mastered a level of constraint with their music. Scally's guitars could easily could have been pushed to the forefront showcasing his brilliant chord progression's but overtaking the organ's hum or Legrand's voice. Legrand has proven she has the pipes to hit any note but does not feel the need to. Rather, her voice accompanies the instrumentation leaving the album truly sounding like a group effort instead of a Victoria Legrand solo album (which far too many female vocalists do).
The tempo on Teen Dream will be surprising to Beach House listeners. I was floored to hear the drums kick in with the fervor they did on the albums opening track "Zebra", and while I expected the tempo to drop the intensity remains throughout the album. The group has mastered the art of making high tempo slow jams, sexy and sultry without becoming monotonous. There is a duality that lies in this album and even track by track. I could see myself listening to this after a bad breakup but just as well during a new romance. I could drive fast as hell or at a slow motion creep to this album, in fact I think a dark highway drive might just be in order with this one. Let this album creep into your head, it is not background music as much as the band might fool you into believing it is.
Posted by Todd Hamm
Ohio's dynamic Ramble John "Rjd2" Krohn has been effectively bridging the gap between background music and freestanding instrumentals, beat-making and complex songwriting for a good four albums now. His arrangements have been galaxies of sampled sounds, lassoed with his MPC then dropped squeaky clean into place in his vision.
For many RJ traditionalists, however, The Third Hand marked the death of their lauded beatsmith, the heir apparent to DJ Shadow's forward thinking art-production, lost forever in the crossover jungle. While 2010's The Colussus still occasionally hovers on the fringes of soft rock and funk, it sounds far more Since We Last Spoke than it's predecessor.
The opening track "Let There Be Horns" is a spy thriller in the vein of "The Horror"--the song that kicked off his eye-popping debut Deadringer--and the video (below) is packed with bull-in-a-china-shop hilarity. There is actually a fair amount of humor on the disk, though it's mostly the kind of fun an over accomplished musician has in the studio, like making an intentionally cheesy song with tinny drums (see "The Glow"), an epic harpsichord solo ("The Glow"), or spot-on Beatles emulation ("Gypsy Caravan"). At the same time, the album also contains bangers like "A Spaceship For Now" and "A Son's Cycle" to keep the beatheads happy (the latter of which has dope guest spots from The Catalyst, Illogic and NP).
What The Colossus really sounds like is that RJ locked himself in the studio with himself from five years ago and the two cranked out a brilliant record--which is not quite a Deadringer, but it's really not supposed to be...and it's pretty fucking rad.
Posted by Justin Hoyt
I heard this song a while ago courtesy of Raindrop Hustla and was curious to see if the boys of Dyme Def were going to drop a video with it. The sexuality of the lyrics, quick to sing-along hook, and another banger from Bean One seemed tailor made for a video especially considering the groups recent collaborations with TITS Clothing. So I was pretty damn excited to hear this video was being released, not to mention that it was going to have a cameo from Gianna Michaels and her big ol' milky titties. Seems like a perfect fit right? A dope song, cross promotion with a local company, and Gianna's big boobies flying around? Well, turns out some things are better on paper. It's not that I think the video sucks, or that there isn't any creativity, its just that it's boring. For what should be a fast moving video with examples being shown of what the songs themes are we get what seems to be predetermined and staged examples of pimpin. The video lacks authenticity, primarily shown by the girls dancing looking like their watching Finding Nemo on a big screen while being told to dance. The members of Dyme Def do their job well, I guess, but I still felt like they were being over-directed throughout the shoot. The video's okay but I've come to expect more from Dyme Def. They have polished rawness combined with skill and charm to spare, all of which can be heard in the song, but disappear in the video.