Saturday, May 28, 2011
In remembrance of the '90s and playing SEGA Genesis, I decided to bust out my old SEGA and play some classics. My hands down favorite is Shining Force 2, which is one of the first real good RPGs of its time.
Shining Force has a pretty typical storyline: An ancient devil is released and kidnaps the princess of your city. So you assemble your team of knights, mages, and whatnot to rescue her. You travel a continent and have countless battles, which actually involve some thinking and strategy on your part.
Overall, it is just pretty awesome.
2. Growing a Mustache
There was once a time when the mustache was thought of as stylish and classy, but those days are long gone. Now, the mustache has bears a stigma. A man with a mustache these days is considered a sleezeball, and gets looked down upon.
I have a dream, that one day the mustache will return to prominence and lose the bad reputation. So grow one, everybody is doing it.
3. River Monsters: Unhooked
I know many people were big Steve Irwin (R.I.P.) fans like I was, and I don't think anything will ever be like the Crocodile Hunter, but River Monsters: Unhooked comes as close as it gets.
Jeremy Wade is a British marine biologist with an affinity for huge, man-eating freshwater fish. He travels all over the planet looking for the monsters and catches them. He has an episode dedicated to a fish in New Guinea that eats men's genital. It doesn't get much better than that. Not mention, he does sweet commentary.
Yup, I even used Exec Recs as a shameless ploy to promote Lobsterfest. There is going to be a ton of good bands, and cool dudes such as myself there. Not to mention, it is all free except for the Dave Rave. So take a break from studying and stressing out to enjoy some awesome music. It's going to be off the chain.
One of my favorite sports. It doesn't take much. You don't need to be athletic, it's usually not super competitive, and you can just chill with your friends and drink some brews. You can't really ask for much than that.
--Dan Lesiczka, Music Director
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
1. "Summer Dreams" - Skream
This is one of Skream's more mellow tracks and is sure to make you feel like summer is in full swing.
2. "Archangel" - Burial
Absolute CLASSIC. A little on the darker side, but still pretty chill.
3. "Plastic World ft. Fats & TC" - Pendulum
More upbeat and faster tempo, sure to speed you up, yet calm you down.
4. "Snoopy's Search" - Billy Cobham
Get funky and fresh with this slowwww dowwwwnn tune from Billy Cobham.
5. "Kaleid-Bass" - Boxcutter
This one's been on repeat in my head for a while now. Very cool tune, wide open.
--Tate Galbraith, Production Director
Sunday, May 15, 2011
In celebration of four years of my dumb poopy radio show Kill Ugly Radio, ACRN is bringing through Providence, Rhode Island, sludge metal outfit The Body, whose latest album All The Waters Of The Earth Shall Turn To Blood made its mark on the metal community for the incredibly lush sound brought forth by just two members. The Body's music is sick, noisy sludge rock blended with elements of shoegaze and hardcore and strung together by a bevy of samples and imagery recalling the heyday of '90s doomsday cult obsession.
Opening the show is Bridesmaid, who bring forth an instrumental dueling-bass guitar blend of doom metal; Vit, whose blend of post rock, black metal and funeral doom has been lighting up the blogosphere; and Nyodene D, who sucks and is a big turd.
The show is at The Union Bar and Grill (18 W. Union) on Wednesday, May 18th and starts at 10 p.m.. It costs $5
2. The Goodbye Goats CD Release Party with Prosanctus Inferi and more at The Union on Friday, May 20th
Think Gwar mashed up with King Diamond and you've got the Goodbye Goats. Over-the-top stage antics meets over-the-top black metal. Tons of costumes, nudity, luchadores, pudding and more.
Columbus grim-as-shit, raw black metal act Prosanctus Inferi is also playing, which is EXTREMELY RARE. The Revulvas are playing too. Think EyeHateGod mixed with Bratmobile. Oh and Boxcare Burlesque will be showing off their tits. Show costs $3.
3. Forward Ohio Fest at The Union - Saturday, May 21st - 3 p.m.
Last show recommendation, but this one deserves it too. From the ashes of For Real Fest rises Forward Ohio, a new DIY fest that features everything you loved about the old FRF gatherings (including most of the same bands and Hardcore scene teddybear Ray Houska.)
Show starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday and costs $10. Tons of bands are playing including Masakari, Instinct Of Survival, Black Dove, In Defence and many more. Come get hit.
4. Archer on FX
FX's animated spy comedy Archer is streaming its first season on Netflix. Now in it's second season, this show is James Bond-meets-arrested development in it's humor, dialogue and plot, and uses the voice talent of heavyweights such as H. Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Chris Parnell and--almost reprising her role as Lucille Bluth--Jessica Walter.
5. Getting a cut on the inside corner of your lips that re-opens every time you open your mouth.
--Aaron Vilk, Promo Director
Friday, May 13, 2011
'Ti (Dežuje 7" EP, 1986)' - Tožibabe
Yugoslavia, a long dismantled country spread across a region the size of the state of Oregon, was home to a broad spectrum of cultures and corresponding countercultures, including very active punk and metal scenes. Slovenia, the most western (both geographically and culturally) of all the former Yugoslav republics, was home to a burgeoning scene that benefited strongly from nearby influences.
Amongst the most striking of its bands was the all-female band Tožibabe who brought a strikingly dark and nearly goth rock atmosphere to their brand of hardcore. They were included on the essential compilation Hardcore Ljubljana which demonstrated a number of bands from the Slovenian capital.
2. Croatia -- Hrvatska
'Povedi me (Sudbina, 1987)' - Crna Udovica
There's no doubt the degree of influence seminal bands like Judas Priest had on metal in general and this influence is certainly heard in many heavy metal bands from former Yugoslavia, including the hard-rockin' Crna Udovica from the coastal Croatian city Dubrovnik.
I have always felt that the southern Slavic languages aren't very well suited to this style of metal singing, which involves sustained notes, but in this case the vocalist does an exemplary job of flawless metal yowling on top of headbang-inducing riffs.
3. Bosnia and Herzegovina -- Bosna i Hercegovina
'Speed metal manijak (Bez Milosti, 1991)' - Bombarder
Ja živim svoj život, za sve ostalo nije me briga
Ne vjerujem u Satanu, ne vjerujem u Boga
Moja ljubav je buka i brzina
U mojim venama teče krv metalna
U mom tjelu je snaga nebeska
JA POSTAJEM — SPIIIID METALLLL MANIJAAAAK!!!!
I live my life, I don't care for anything else
I don't believe in Satan, nor in God
My love is noise and speed
In my veins flows blood of metal
In my body is power from heaven
I am becoming -- SPEEEED METALLLL MANIAAAAC!!
In the late '80s and early '90s, the Motörhead-inspired thrashy speed metal scene had spread to former Yugoslavia and the Big Three of this style were indisputably Evil Blood (from Croatia), Heller (from Serbia), and Bombarder (from Bosnia). My personal favorite of the three are the Bosnian speed metal maniacs Bombarder from Sarajevo. Their crowning appeal, on top of metal-devoted lyrics, is for maintaining an enduring feeling of urgency and chaos in the riffs, making you expect everything to fly off the rails and collapse entirely at any moment.
4. Montenegro -- Crna Gora
'Rotten Town (Street, Rotten, Thrash Derby, 2008)' - KK Street Bangers
As it turns out, the '90s were a dark decade for the region as a whole and left the punk and metal scenes especially crippled, with many members either dying during the conflicts, getting caught up in extreme nationalism, or otherwise dropping off the radar.
Fortunately, thrash metal is still alive in the region, as evidenced by Montenegrin thrashers KK Street Bangers from Podgorica. Their style reminds me immediately of East Coast thrash legends Overkill and I’m very pleased to see a post-millenial band from the region largely side-stepping the current fad of retreading turf American Bay Area bands have long since ground into dust.
5. Serbia -- Srbija
'Terorizam protiv dosade (Došao je kraj 7”, 1984)' - 2 Minuta Mržnje
I have often lamented the fact that I experienced the gr-80s for only a few months of my life and have no remembrance of them. These lamentations have intensified over the years as research and investigation into punk from former Yugoslav helped me discover that there was a flourishing punk scene in my hometown Novi Sad that was the subject of a documentary called Bilo jednom and a book called Novosadska punk verzija (text available only in serbian). One of the more intriguing bands of the scene was the band 2 Minuta Mržnje, a Serbian band that took it’s name from George Orwell’s dystopian classic Nineteen Eighty-Four and, very appropriately, recorded their demo in the year 1984.
6. Macedonia -- Makedonija
'Anarchy Loves to Sleep on the Floor of my Room' - FxPxOx
The Balkans, like much of the rest of eastern Europe, have long been afflicted with the nearly ubiquitous socially-acceptable vices of drinking and smoking--these activities are woven into the fabric of society and it’s almost impossible to imagine draconian Western measures against them being implemented in this region.
However, even in such a place, straightedge hardcore has made inroads and planted its pissed off XXX doctrine as best represented by the Skopje natives, Macedonian band FxPxOx--standing for ‘Forever Positively Obsessed’. Personal life choices aside, it’s gratifying to see a zest for ‘posi’ spirit in a former Yugoslav republic.
--Branka Šormaz, Web Director
Monday, May 9, 2011
The Fest is an annual punk music fest held in Gainesville, Florida over Halloween weekend. I’ve always wanted to go, but having classes and it being in Florida, about 800 miles away, it’s never been a possibility.
This year, I’m hoping to change that.
It will be my senior year, and it can’t hurt to miss a day or two of class right? I’ll also be missing my last Athens’ Halloween, but I think it will be worth it to see some of my very favorite bands like Against Me!, Bomb the Music Industry!, Paul Baribeau, Bouncing Souls, Cheap Girls and many, many more all in one place!
2. Laura Stevenson and the Cans
I’m pretty sure I wrote about LS & the Cans in my last Exec Recs post, but they just released an album, Sit Resist, and “The Healthy One” is one of my favorite tracks off of it. This video was recorded for Nervous Energies, which is a series run by Ryan Russell featuring stripped down tracks from punk/ folk artists (much like Dave Garwacke’s Pink Couch series). Nervous Energies also features videos from Against Me!, Andy Hull, Kevin Devine, Cheap Girls and Lemuria. The Cans’ Nervous Energies session also includes songs “I See Dark” off Sit, Resist and “Baby Bones” off their first album A Record.
3. Pink Couch Sessions
Speaking of Pink Couch sessions, if you haven’t checked these out, you must. The concept is simple, like the Nervous Energy sessions, artists come in and play stripped down or acoustic versions of their songs on a pink couch. I’ve included a two of my favorites here, but there are so many others that are just as good—its hard for me to pick two!! The first is The Sidekicks “A Healthy Time.” The second is American War “Bricks” (make sure you watch until the end!). Both are funny videos and great songs.
4. Cheap Girls
Cheap Girls is awesome. I recently (and finally!) downloaded their album Find Me a Drink Home free from Quote Unquote Records and can’t believe it took me this long to do so! I saw them a few months ago with Laura Stevenson & the Cans and I wish I hadn’t left during their set. The above video is a Nervous Energies session of their song “Sleeping Weather” from their album My Roaring 20s. Funny how these recs are all connecting.
5. “Whatever You Like” - Anya Marina
I love this acoustic cover of T.I.’s “Whatever You Like” by Anya Marina. Even in spite of T.I.’s brilliant lyricism (“Brains so good coulda swore she went to college”), Marina transforms T.I.’s song into a creepy, sultry and danceable track. The track was also played in the background during a threesome featuring Hilary Duff on Gossip Girl. So that’s something…
--Melissa Burant, Public Relations Director
Friday, May 6, 2011
This record came out Tuesday. These guys are 44. That’s all.
2. Dancer Equired - Times New Viking
This trio of Columbus fire-starters just came out with their fifth album, and it’s consciously cleaner than the previous four. Some people think that, without the metallic grind and ear-splitting fuzz, the songs sound a lot weaker or emptier this time.
Those people are wrong.
I like that, far from being just another fuzz pop record, this is still music made to sound a little lazy, a little off-kilter. No one in the band can sing, which makes me laugh because it’s just another obstacle replacing the fuzz. Hopefully this time, people can get past it to the song craft. The song above is a great example of it, but really, it sits aside thirteen other cuts I could have chosen.
Do yourself a favor and pick this up.
3. "The Remake of a Remake (All I Need) feat. Tawiah" - Wale
This is from his 2008 mixtape and, all home-team rooting aside (DC chillin’, P.G. chillin’), I actually picked this song because of the feature, which is a cover of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “You’re All I Need (To Get By).”
Tawiah, whoever she is, absolutely slays it. Jump to 1:23 on this video and tell me I’m wrong. I don’t know anything else by her, but I came back to this track randomly a few weeks ago after putting this record up on the shelf, and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
It’s obviously sacrilege to say that she sings it better than Tammi, but the vocals soar more than I remember in the original. Enchanting.
4. “The Race” - Wiz Khalifa
The first I heard of Wiz Khalifa was when he re-appropriated a Demi Lovato song to make “We’re Done” from “Kush & OJ,” his millionth mixtape, and the one that cemented his playful stoner sensibilities in hip-hop.
I don’t know that I was expecting “The Race,” from his newest record, which re-appropriates a sound pioneered by J Dilla and that came to fruition last year with acts like Neon Indian, Washed Out, and Toro y Moi.
The thing is, this isn’t a sound usually taken up by acts like Wiz Khalifa, whose popularity in the mainstream gave him a second career renaissance. Either way, the song rules, the album is the best thing I’ve put in my car in weeks, and I hope he keeps surprising me.
5. Prince on “Lopez Tonight”
Better watch this quickly before Prince gets it taken down.
It probably doesn’t surprise anyone who knows me that I have Prince on this list, but those who don’t know of my fandom are probably scratching their heads. My advice is to not think too much about it and just watch this video.
He’s in his 50s, and he’s still bombastic enough to pull of multiple costume changes (like this gold Mao Zedong number) in a nightly talk show on cable. He was just born a performer. I actually really dig his performance of “Laydown” from his last record, the nearly-intolerable 20Ten, but damn damn damn do I still hate hate hate the part where he refers to himself as “The Purple Yoda.”
Also, his interview with Lopez is not only coherent, but I agree with a lot of what he says, which has become more unusual over time. He’s a strange dude, but it’s hard to look away from this. Plus, watch how long the women clap for him when he comes out. It’s just absurd.
6. “Tally Ho” - The Clean
I found out about this band through a friend, who also suggested a slew of other Kiwi Pop bands. This sounds to me like the connection between the Velvet Underground and Guided by Voices, or something like that.
I like that I can hear all the elements that went into this, but somewhere in the middle, they mixed to create something greater than the sum of its parts. This is their first single, and it feels like maybe the reason they got together was to put this down on tape.
P.S. I have no idea who made this video. Sorry it’s so horrifying.
7. "Journey in Satchidananda" - Alice Coltrane
I had been putting off getting into her, because I imagined some intolerable new age based on the cover alone, but I’m sorry I waited so long.
This is jazz from another planet, and her harp-playing makes feelings into music notes. Pharaoh Sanders helps to complete the ensemble. These songs are both familiar and unfamiliar, but I actually think this is probably a good entry point for someone with little knowledge of jazz—it’s not beholden to anything I can think of, and it’s always easy to get into something when you don’t feel like you’re starting in the middle.
This sounds like the beginning of something.
8. In the Jungle Groove - James Brown
I’m pretty sure everyone knows James Brown from his singles, but most of those were meticulously cut down from jams like those that appear on In the Jungle Groove. I think it was put out to catch the growing segment of people who first heard his songs as samples in hip-hop songs, but it stands just fine on its own.
Someone told me once that he used to charge money to his musicians for getting off the beat even once, which makes this an even more incredible feat. It’s tight as can be, and if you put it in your car, you’ll be bobbing in no time.
9. Amoeba’s “What’s In My Bag” Series
I’m a sucker for hearing about what artists I like are listening to. I also like buying things. This web series pretty much caters to both of those, and it features artists going into Amoeba Music, the famously gargantuan independent record stores in California, and being given some amount of money to pick out records and share what they bought.
I can’t explain why I like these so much, but I think part of it is I’m attracted to the idea of having a huge sum of money and just getting to buy whatever I think I might like, which is pretty much what happens here—most of them don’t have a list, so it’s just wherever their brain leads them that day. Hopefully someone else gets as addicted as I do, so I feel less lame.
10. Freaks and Geeks – The Homecoming Scene
This is where I get lame and tell everyone how much I dig this scene. The Styx song. Sam’s face when he realizes it’s speeding up. Goldberg the Goalie. Lindsey’s dance with Eli. This is probably my all-time favorite use of music in anything ever.
I don’t even think I’ve seen the rest of the series in a few years, but I always find myself watching the pilot so that it all leads up to this scene. I think the reason so many people connect with this show now has to do with things like this scene—you’ve probably never had this happen to you, but it feels familiar enough that you swear you have.
--Jake Derr, General Manager
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Ryuichi Sakamoto is one of my favorite modern composers, and with all my mid-terms in the past week, I’ve been listening to a lot of classical music to relax. "Rain" is off his album 1996, which contains many of his most famous compositions.
2. "Circus" - STS9
Summer is approaching, and that means music festivals. STS9's "Circus" always sticks out among my festival memories from my being at the front of their crowd at Rothbury. This opening is definitely one of my favorite memories from it.
Fun fact: You can see me around the fifteen second mark hoisting a large inflatable dolphin into the air.
3. "Bridges and Balloons"- Joanna Newsom
Joanna Newsom has one of the most unique voices I’ve ever heard. Her lyrics are whimsical and childish but fit perfectly with her style.
4. "Engwish Bwudd" - Man Man
Man Man is hard to fit into a single category of music. Their website describes them as “viking-vaudeville, manic gypsy jazz”. However you want to describe them, it’s hard to deny that they are a lot of fun to listen to.
5. "I Lived on the Moon" - Kwoon
Kwoon is an experimental French group that my neighbor recommended to me a few years ago when I told him that I was a huge Sigur Rós fan. This song is the beginning of their first album Tales and Dreams, which I highly recommend to any fans of ethereal music like Cocteau Twins and Sigur Rós.
6. "Hazey Jane II" - Nick Drake
One of my favorite albums is Bryter Layter by Nick Drake. It’s perfect for relaxing during the lazy days of summer.
7. "M.E.T.H.O.D Man" - Wu-Tang Clan
Torture. Straight torture.
--Billy Bracken, Sales Director