by: Sam Farzin, KUCI Music Director
Why? - Eskimo Snow [Anticon]
This band is skilled and well-versed in seamlessly channelling depravity and joy thru an idiosyncratic lens not quite hip hop not quite "indie rock."
Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs [Matador]
This band is like "indie rock." If there was an entry in the encyclopedia for "Indie Rock," Figure 1 would be a picture of Yo La Tengo. What is neat is that they manage to attack the "genre" with every fathomable approach, never being pigeonholed by the "genre" but instead smashing it to pieces and being "indie rock" by their own terms.
Various Artists - "What Is Happening?" [Big Whup Industries]
A genre-spanning collection of artists currently shredding in and around Los Angeles, put together by KUCI friends from the bands Pizza! and Big Whup. Play and love.
Bird Names - Sings The Browns [Upset The Rhyhtm]
Ever pop-sperimental noisy fun folks from Chicago bust pretension-less moves. If you like your "Wavves" with a side of "compelling, dynamic, and fun" this might be your bag. JUST KIDDING! JUST KIDDING! :D
The Clean - Mister Pop [Merge]
Elder statesmen of post-punk with quirk from New Zealand (a quirky place, no doubt).
6. Polvo - In Prism [Merge]
Elder statesmen of math punk with serious from Chapel Hill (a less quirky place, probably).
The Fresh & Onlys - Grey-Eyed Girls [Woodsist]
The latest noise-garage from the city by the bay (San Francisco). Where Thee Oh Sees hinge on those harmonies and Sic Alps on distortion burning slow, these dudes are more overtly 80s. This feels like that "sound" thru a Joy Division filter. There are pretty good harmonies, too, though. And the Joy Division thing is just lazy writing, not a knock. This is good.
A Place To Bury Strangers - In Your Heart EP [Mute]
I saw this band at Coachella last year. They are incredibly loud, in the live environment. I have seen loud bands, blah blah, but they are certainly masters of not just a wall of sound but like a Whomp (from Mario) of sound. This is an EP with 2 new songs, a remix, and a B-side. Hell ya.
Soulsavers - Broken [Columbia]
Backwoods gospel trip-hop featuring a smattering of vocalists, predominantly Mark "Gravelthroat" Lanegan but also Mike "Greasy" Patton, and Jason "Astronaut" Pierce.
Various Artists - Blodeugerd: Song Of The Flowers, An Anthology Of Welsh Music And Song [Smithsonian Folkways]
Pretty much self-explanatory.
Dalmacio Von Diamond - The Other Side Of Darkness [Albino Crow]
Relatively dark-spirited baroque pop.
Bipolar Bear/Talbot Tagora - Abstract Distractions [olFactory]
Two sides of abrasive herky-jerky fun from LA and Seattle.
The Monolators - You Look Good On The Train [Ninjastar]
Super dancefun from LA husband and wife duo, plus some.