Rock My Indie Soul

Helloooooo and WELCOME to this week’s music review. We had a plethora of music news this previous week BUT our main course has to be our special guest today…. GRIZZLY BEAR.

Wow ROCK MY INDIE SOUL why don’t you Grizzly Bear, because this album is beautiful.

Now Grizzly Bear just released their 8th studio record and oh boi is it a grand SLAM. So aside from the fact that I might be incredibly biased, let’s check it all out:

 So automatically the first track opens up the album like a prolonged and very much so anticipated movie premier with fairly good trailers and advertisements. There is a slow build and then boom. Mixed with the simple yet poetic lyrics, “trust in your machine” this first track is a beautiful opener.

 

Other TOP songs have to be Mourning Sounds, which brings out poppy surf vibes and dreamy strings. Its mellow but at the same time has that flare. You kind of want to do the mash potato in slow motion, then you realize you gotta keep it cool so you tone it back and just do the two step….but then the chorus hits and you’re like WELL…. Can’t turn back now. Awesome awesome track..

 

Next favorite has to be Losing All Sense. Now this track reminds me of an 80’s indie love ballad “I keep looking for reasons to come round, to make sence of your internal router.” All these rad references of machines in this album contrast with the dreamy euphoric beats… makes me think of bubble gum pink robots dancing in the clouds. Awesome album.

 

So, if you haven’t check it out, I’d highly recommend.

 

With Bacon,

 

Maddie

 

 

Advertisements

Indie Rock Opera

Goooood morning my friends. Today we will be talking about long-term indie rock band, Guided By Voices and their new album. GBV has been around for some time now yet never failing to shell out some awesome indie rock hits. Well, their new album is yet another project to add to this rockin’ collection. Pushing out their 2nd album of the year, GBV’s album “How Do You Spell heaven”, will be there 25th album ever.

This album is full of funky electric pop rock riffs and textured melodies. Lead singer and group mastermind, Robert Pollard hits us all with his unbelievably ambiguous yet poetic lyrics. To be fair, I was really wrestling myself on breaking down some of these lyrics, but in the end the main appeal to this album is the eccentric fairy rock flares. I’m not positive how fairy rock got worked into that description, but regardless, the album is F.U.N.
Top tracks have to be The Birthday Democrats, Diver Dan, and Steppen Wolf Mosuleum. Also, the band has a four minute instrumental jam sesh titled “Pearly Gates Smoke Machine”, which pretty much shreds…. It almost acts like an intermission to this indie rock opera of an album. 
Birthday Democrats has to be one of their popiest songs on the album. You know, the one that makes you feel like you’re driving into the sunset but then stop at a red light only to get out of your car and boogey to the chorus? Personal story? Maybe… but regardless it’s a very fun song.
All in all, the album is rad and I’d highly recommend everyone check it out. I mean, who doesn’t need a good boogey sesh?

With Bacon,

Maddie 

Collections on Collections

Happy Music Monday Ya’ll.  I hope everyone is having an enjoyable Monday and slowly recovering from this weekends debauchery. Well, to all of my friends out there who are alive, thriving, and feeling particularly vitalized today, I have a freshly pressed Music Monday for you. A perfectly ripe record, hot off the vine, a fresh egg cooked sunny side up on a bed of crispy hash browns…  i’m talking about our special guest, the one and only Soccer Mommy.  And I don’t mean your mom with the 2003 mini van.  You know, the one you used to roll up to elementary school in with the sticker collection in the back seat and the lost lollipops stuck in the hole where the seat belt was permanently lost. No, I’m talking about Soccer Mommy, a local Tennessee artist who just recently released an album entitled “Collections.”

Collections is a project focused on the artists experience feeling the lacerations of love and vulnerability. Cringe… Ouch, I know. It is a simplistic album, with mellow acoustics and sincere yet deep lyrics. Soccer Mommy paints a relatable story of the heart aches of delving into a relationship and walks us through her experience of the good, the bad, and the ugly. We hear it all, and I mean it’s fairly enjoyable.  BUT I’ll leave that up to your discretion. As of now, let us get down to it and dissect some songs.

Allison:

This track primarily focuses on emotional restraint and hesitation. This is a great opener for the album because it starts off showing the beginning of the artist’s journey down the path of love and opening up.  Allison expresses “Don’t throw in your sword” Well the artist is clearly reluctant to fall and wants to hold on for as long as she can. Giving up your independence can be daunting, hence the symbolism of the sword. Well, resisting and being strong can only last so long…unfortunately your heart gives out whether you sometimes plan on it or not.  So in this case, the heart has given out and well…. I mean produced a fairly nice album. But in the midst of this track, we see the vulnerability start to unfold and the artist becomes open to her experience but also open to the listeners. Great first track.

Death By Chocolate

This track expresses the pitfalls of wanting so badly to impress the one you are falling for that you sometimes lose site of yourself. “Wish I was as cool as you.” This expresses how we all want the object of our affection to like us and think we are cooler than we really are…and we often get carried away with is this facade.  All the games and the tricks can eventually lead us astray from who we are and who we really want to be loved for.  This seems contradictory but we do it all the time. At this time, the album starts to shift into a dark mode.  Then the track Worn Out shortly follows.

Worn Out:

Piggy backing off of Death By Chocolate, this track shows how our artist is essentially drained and worn out from her experience wearing a mask, “I want to feel like I’ve been admired, you’ve only taught me how to be out worn” The artist wants to be loved for who she is, but instead she is faced with being loved for the mask, and evidentially gets exhausted.  Sad yet again, this is one of those realities we face in our daily lives with friends, loved ones, roommates etc. We. Get. Tiered. of the mask. We are sometimes even left lonelier than ever when the point was to try and authentically be close with someone, right? Also, “You don’t love me now. And you don’t know how” shows a sad truth of what we have all felt with a significant other at some point in a relationship. If you can’t love yourself, how can you love another?

All in all, the album is light with many deeper points of love and the reality we face with intimacy and vulnerability.  I would have to say overall, keeping it real is the best way to avoid any of these issues but then again, you can’t win all the time. So thank you for joining me this music Monday! Stay tuned for another post coming up soon. I’ve got a new age band I’m reporting on that played at a rad venue in the city.

 

With Bacon,

Maddie

 

Fresh Nikobeats

Normally, Wednesdays are lame and I’m pretty sure we can all agree on this universal truth.  So aside from this fact, we have a local hero that has saved us all from this mundane day, that retched hump, the lamest of days….  And that hero would have to be The Low End Theory. Yes Low End Theory, we are talking to you.  Thank you for saving us Los Angeles punk kids and delivering us some fresh hip hop to get down with on a Wednesday night. Now if ya’ll don’t know, the Low End Theory organizes a line up at the Airliner in Lincoln Heights every Wednesday with resident DJ’s and raw local hip hop talent.  It is arguably one of the most raw music venues in L.A
Well, this last Wednesday definitely did not disappoint with the line up either. There were many talented artist on the scene, but one in particular had the crowd groovin’. I have to tip my hat off to young DJ, Nikobeats for bringing in the doppest style last night.  He killed it.
Introduced by the old school hip hop group the Beat Junkies, Nikobeats performed his unique and eclectic music style effortlessly on stage. Performance wise, Nikobeats had a cool demeanor, with a laid back and relaxed attitude during his set. He took over the room and had everyone swaying and jamin’.
After dissecting his self titled instrumental album, Nikobeats produces tracks that pull from a wide range of genres and influences such as old school hip-hop, jazz, and worldly music. His track “All Grown Up” in particular pulls from what sounds like middle eastern or even indian records.  The contrast is methodic and groovy. The only problem is some of the tracks just AREN’T LONG ENOUGH.  Is it so bad to wanna groove more? Hey yo Nikobeats, hook a sistah up and let us hear that for days.
All in all, I am only looking forward to hearing more of what this artists is working with and as far as I can see, he’s got it goin’ on.  So stay tuned for more.
AND do yourself a favor and go check him out.  He’s dope.
With Bacon,
Maddie

The Autobiography

Happy Music Monday everyone and what a special one it is. Today, I hear by resurrect this music blog and bring ABOUT the revival of groovy tunes and funky fresh posts. It has been a while since I’ve posted, but I promise I’m back and will only adhere to the dopest of musical posting standards from here on out. The bad dad jokes are here to stay SO let’s get jiggy with it.

Today, we will be reviewing Chicago’s very best, Vic Mensa and his new album entitled: “The Autobiography.” If you don’t know Mensa, he is primarily known for his rock star leather jacket/tattoo aesthetic with a troubled teenage rebel like persona as well as a decently aggressive rap style.

With that being said, this album smoothens out Mensa’s rougher edges (at times) and hones in on some of the more intimate experiences in his life. Of course you have exceptions to this I.e. Down For Some Ignorance, BUT for the most part you experience a more personable side. Heavy on the self-reflection, this fifteen piece project was also worked on by the famous, No I.D. the same producer who just freshly worked on Jay Z’s recent hitter 4:44. You can definitely feel No I.D. ‘s influence in this album, which in part is what gives it the more rounded vibe. But before I give too much away, let’s dissect some tracks.

 

Say I Didn’t:

In this track, Mensa does a lot of heavy self-reflection and the growth he has experienced with his different relationships. The last verse in particular focuses on the relationship he shares with his father. He discuses their growth by stating, “you used to hate to hear the phone ring. Now you can’t wait to hear the phone ring ain’t that a beautiful thing.” This shows the development in their relationship and how it has changed over time. ALSO the track starts off with a recording of Mensa’s father calling out to him to cut the music off as he is listening to old school R&B. This not only introduces the beautiful soul that is incorporated into the tracks rhythm, but also subtly expresses the different musical influences Mensa has had growing up. This is a small glimpse into the window of Mensa’s creative mind and his inspirations. Overall, this is a great first track and intro to this reflective album.

 

Memories on 47th:

In this track, Mensa expresses feelings of being misunderstood but not giving in and still pushing towards his goals. He is misunderstood when the “teachers didn’t see my vision, had me in EIP.” SO just to give everyone some back ground info if you didn’t know, what that stands for is Individualized Education Programs. So he was most definitely misunderstood, at least for his creative streak. Also, Mensa raps about his goals and how his brushes with death have not slowed him down. For example, his experience at Lollapalooza jumping the fence and then taking 15,000 volts of electricity to the elbow. Like, Holy F*#^. Mensa raps “the doctor said I should be dead, still alive and still ain’t scared. In the hospital bed, writin’ these rhymes in my head.” These moments clearly had a strong impact on Mensa and have most definitely NOT slowed him down in his drive for success. Bravissimo my friend.

 

Down for Some Ignorance:

SOOO on this track we get more of the older Vic. This track throws us back to the older Vic style with a little more aggression and a lot more of imma bout tah roll up on your block and dot dot dot…. i.e. “Grab your gun, and pop a pill, and put your middle finger up in the sky.” Man CALLING ALL TO RUN. OR COME THE F&^% OUT. Either or, Vic is throwing down. So like I said before, this track definitely touches on his older style with reporting on his more violent experiences. You also have Chief Kief on this track which if you’re trynna round everyone up…. I mean the man isn’t allowed in a handful of states so you get the picture. I rest my case. Regardless, this track reflects on the darker and more aggressive experiences Vic has had growing up. It contrasts with tracks like “Say I Didn’t” but there wouldn’t be “Say I Didn’t” if you didn’t have the darker times. With ups there are downs and with the dark there is always the light. Over all, this is a great track that shows another side of Vic.

 

So in the end, this is a great first start to Mensa’s individual career as an artist. I would definitely recommend checking it out. Full of self-reflection, it is an insightful listen.

 

CHECK IT OUT.

 

Until next week,

 

With Bacon,

Maddie

FYF 2017

So if you read my previous blog post on Agenda Fest last weekend, you might remember I mentioned I’d be heading to FYF fest for the following weekend. Well, I went and Fuck Yeah it was B.O.M.B. I have to say; the line up had to be one of my personal favorites this festival season thus far, with Coachella coming in second.

The schedule was Puuurfect with very minimal scheduling conflicts. This is always an unfortunate hit when you have a conflict because let’s be real, we’ve all been there, and ain’t nobody got time for that. SO we fortunately did not have to go down that dark path and had a pretty solid experience. I attended Friday and Saturday but skipped on Sunday. There were some very very rad performers playing BUT I had to pass. The performers I did see on Friday and Saturday where UNREAL though and killed it during their sets. Top performances had to be:

  • Missy Elliot
  • Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals
  • MGMT
  • A Tribe Called Quest
  • Frank Ocean

And alright, I know that’s kind of a lot, but to be fair, I DID mention the line up was dope. So we proceed:

Missy Elliott:

One word for her performance…LIT. But that is to be expected as Missy Elliot is a sure bet for a very L.I.T. time. I mean, the original queen of hip-hop has no shortage of top hits to pull out of her back pocket and simply just lay out on the floor. And ohhh she did. The crowd got down to hits such as Get your Freak On, Lose Control, Bomb Intro/Pass That Dutch, Work It and more. She also performed some of her more recent hits like I’m Better and WTF, which naturally got the crowd amped. Missy is NO LIE, homies, and she ain’t goin’ NO WHERE.

 

Anderson .Paak

So I’m normally not a huge fan of being in the FRONT of shows, but I saw an opening in the crowd while watching .Paak and figured sure, why not. Well, I’m glad I did because seeing him groove and play the drums up close was a freaking treat.

Now this was my third time seeing .Paak with the first time being at the Hollywood Palladium, the second at the House of Blues Anaheim, and then shortly after he toured in Europe. Well, he just recently came BACK from Europe and then performed FYF and WOW, his performance was ohhhh soooo clean. The music organically flows through this artist already but after touring, it is evident that he’s only honed in on his skills as a performer. His set was spotless and absolutely polished. Maybe be the best performance of the weekend for me. Incredible. I mean also good god you just simply cannot go wrong with live instruments.

MGMT

This made the top list because it was an absolute throw back for everyone. These guys have great vibes and are fairly consistent performers. I mean, I can’t say I’ve ever heard of someone coming back from an MGMT concert disappointed because the artists didn’t put on a good show. The music is basically modern day psychedelic rock so I mean trippy is trippy and that’s not gunna change. So on that note, FREAKING GOOD VIBES ALL THROUGH OUT THE SHOW. If I could buy everyone at the bar a round of this every time I go out, yeah I’d do it. JUST SOLID. Fun Funky and absolutely FRESH. The sun was shining high in the sky when they performed as well, so it was basically like we were all living in a bubbly music video. Awesome.

A Tribe Called Quest

Now if you think you’ve been to a hip hop show…. Think again because I thought I had been to my fair share until I saw Tribe. Maybe it’s the reputation or the deep roots they have, but nothing beats the authenticity of seeing true hip hop legends like A Tribe Called Quest. And hey, maybe I am biased, (Insert hyper link), but you just can’t beat ‘em. To all my hip hop fans, you feel me. Organic, raw, and real to the core, this show was where it’s at. At first, I was slightly bothered because there was some sound issues, BUT that eased up toward the second half of their performance. No lie, they have aged and they are in fact missing one of their main boys, (RIP Phiff) but they still came strong and their energy hasn’t faded. Absolutely classic hip hop performance. Can’t ask for anything better.

Frank Ocean

Then you had Frank. Now when you invest in Frank, you know you’re investing in a very low key and mellow show. One with a lot of feels too, if ya feel me. So this show was no different then what you’d expect. A lot of sways and groovessss. This was also a special performance because Frank seldom performs. I mean word has it our friend has some serious stage fright. With that being said, his performance was chill and well, beautiful. It was at the end of the night so we were all pretty beat, but still, it didn’t change the fact that Frank has a voice of an angel. Also, damn the man sure had some serious hunnies screaming for him in the pit. Damn.

All in all the festival was rad and well organized. The crowd was cool, the sets were awesome, and the line up was perfect. Next year will be AWESOME and I can’t wait to be back.

 

With Bacon,

Maddie

 

Who’s on the Agenda?

This last weekend I checked out Agenda Festival in long beach, an event put on primarily for over 500 independent street artist and clothing brands. This year the event expanded and incorporated live performers and a variety of food trucks.

The street brands showcased at the convention center were to no surprise unique and showed unbelievable creativity. What was more impressive was the merchandising of all the product lines. You had vendors transforming their booths into an outdoor shopping experiences with trees and soil all the way to vintage cars showing off product. The shopping experience was definitely taken to another level at this years event.

Live Performance:

SO, I mean I was already down for this festival to begin with but then when I heard Ludacris himself was performing, I kind of lost it. We all know Luda knows how to get down. Shout out to all my hip-hop lovers who KNOW that watching Blueberry Yum Yum and Act A Fool live ain’t NOTHING BUT LIT.

So naturally Luda got down and so did we. He gave the crowd what they wanted and that was performing ALL HIS HITS. But out of all, some notable mentions have to be:

  • Act A Fool
  • My Chick Bad
  • Blueberry Yum Yum
  • How Low

He was unreal.

 

So after Luda went on, our boy Tyler was up. This was a unique performance because it was Tyler’s first time performing his new album“ Flower Boy”

The show opened up with Who Dat Boy, a new track from his album. The intro was slightly anti climatic because Tyler started, stopped, and then re-did the intro. But it was ok…. because he then brought out A$AP ROCKY. This performance had to be one of the best out of his set.

So other then that, the crowd was semi tamed. Now this is my second time seeing Tyler and normally the crowd is HYPE but this performance was slightly slower. We noticed the energy just in time and decided to head into the pit. Word of advice for a Tyler show, if you’re gunna do the show right you gotta get yourself into the pit. I mean, I’m not gunna lie at one point I thought I was gunna get stabbed but I mean, that’s the pit.

So some other notable performances have to be:

  • Domo 23
  • Fucking Young/Perfect
  • Yonkers

When he performed Yonkers I lost it.

 

So all around, the festival was cool. This was the very first Agenda Festival yet so there is much room to grow. It will be interesting to see how next year will turn out if they do in fact decide to do another year.

So in future news… this weekend I’m checking out FYF fest and THAT will be UN-F^&*ing-REAL. Yo girl is DEFINTIELY getting down to hip-hop queen Missy Elliot as well as Anderson .Paak and Frank Ocean. But let’s be real… I’m really checking myself in for A TRIBE CALLED QUEST. I already know I’m in for a spiritual experience with that one. RIP Phife Dawg, we celebrating you this weekend!

Stay TUNED my friends.

 

With Bacon,

Maddie

https://soundcloud.com/user-368133883/scum-fuck-flower-boy-full-album