Archives For MM

Justin-Bieber-Music-Mondays1

Do you remember back in the day (and when I say back in the day I mean 2012, ahhhh good times, good times) when we used to do Music Mondays here at HipsterJew? It usually consisted of the Duckman or Chicky finding a new song, and every few weeks or so I would review a new album. It was a semi-regular feature that gave us consistent page views and built up goodwill in our audience (except for that one time I bashed the Strokes. Still, no regrets). And it kept me from feeling guilty about not writing anything, since I felt like a regular contributor.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. We’ll write about music every once in a while, and it won’t be me posting the article, and it won’t be on Mondays, and it will only be about shitty Jewish parody songs. Or Haim. The #MusicMonday tag goes unused, forgotten, discarded, lonely, weeping to itself in its room with Radiohead’s “Karma Police” on repeat.

We have made such a mistake. Our neglect of #MusicMonday means that it’s been hijacked by Justin Bieber who releases a new shitty song every Monday. I feel like this is somehow my fault. Music Mondays are now tainted. They now belong to a megadouche who has a full sleeve but in my mind’s eye still has the face of a 13 year old with a crooked Beatles hairdo. Taking them back seems like an appropriate way to handle this situation, so I’d just like to take this opportunity to apologize to all of my regular Monday readers (all three of you) and to announce that I’m getting back on the wagon. I pledge to listen to new records, drink until I need to place both hands on a keyboard for stability, and wordvomit my thoughts about said record all over the internet. Then I’ll puke for real, drink more, and try to find the submit button. Finally the editors will weep over my shitty spelling, inconsistent CSS formats, and sporadic updates (THIS IS HOW THE MAGIC HAPPENS).

Music Mondays, I’m coming to the rescue. You’ll never have to worry about that Miami Heat bandwagoning tool misappropriating you ever again. I’m so sorry I left.

Haim – The Wire

The Duckman —  07/29/2013 —  Comments

Haim just released a new track The Wire. This is their second single released so far this year. While we haven’t been getting much new music from these lovely ladies, they have been spending a lot of time touring and playing summer festivals. They also just released new North American tour dates today.

After Spiritualized’s last tour (where they played the entirety of 1997′s landmark Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space every show), Jason Pierce and Co. returned to the studio and decided to mine that goldmine again, hoping to strike it rich once more. As a big fan of that album I’ve got to say that it worked pretty much as intended.

huh?

If they had made Sweet Heart, Sweet Light right after Ladies and Gentlemen…, critics and maybe even fans would have said that there was no willingness to experiment, that there was stagnation in the band, that Spiritualized would just rehash Ladies and Gentlemen… with diminishing returns until eventually calling it quits. But by recording SH, SL after three very different albums, a return to the sound and the attitude of Ladies and Gentlemen… sounds fresh but more importantly, psychedelic and very good.

The choral arrangements, diverse instrumentation and big studio production combined with that aforementioned love of 60′s psychedelia might be covering familiar ground, but it’s ground so open and expansive that I would forgive Pierce for making album after album after EP after yet another album sounding just like this. Maybe it’s a double standard since I like to see bands unafraid of experimentation and change , but also there is something to be said for discovering and perfecting that “signature sound” that some bands find. Spiritualized found it back in 1997, and reusing it now feels a little bit like a homecoming.

This one is worth a listen for sure. Caution: it is a bit long in the tooth, at just over an hour. A band unafraid to use every instrument at their disposal (where else can you hear a string section playing nice with a banjo?), and executing their lead songwriter’s vision to near perfection, Spiritualized’s return to their top form is more the sure thing than the bold experiment. But we can all use a sure thing every once in a while. I give Sweet Heart, Sweet Light four Halls out of five Oates.

Watch the music video for the album’s first single, Hey Jane.

Drag City will be releasing a collection of early songs by the Hipster Jew God himself, David Berman. Yes! Lo-fi songs from early, out of print Silver Jews records Dime Map of the Reef and The Arizona Record, collected and lazily named Early Times. I feel like one of those old ladies on Antiques Roadshow, who found out the carpet her dog pissed on is worth a quarter million dollars.

The release date is June 18th. So, if you’re keeping track at home, it’s just two months and 3 days until the Messiah is resurrected; if only for a short time.

/via pitchfork

Warp Records tends to feature a certain kind of artist: the electronic solo musician (Aphex Twin, Flying Lotus) or duo (Boards of Canada, Autechre) that makes esoteric music that’s excellent for a soundtrack or a playlist for smoking weed or even an Adult Swim commercial bump (Seriously, AS has a huge love of Warp’s artists). Chris Clark has been one of the most frenetically busy artist on their label since his debut. On  the latest, Iradelphic, it’s not how densely layered the tracks are, but rather what makes those layers up.

clark

For the first time, he features himself playing guitar on his songs, teaching himself to play in the six months he took to work on this album. Adding this instrument to his swirling riot of electronic sounds and arpeggios with success, he’s also added in some distinctly lyrical vocals as opposed to leaving a vocal track as a sampled sound. All of this is new territory for Clark, and he’s nailed it consistently throughout the album.

Probably the best part of the album is the three-part cycle of songs called The Pining. With a common theme running through each track, he can bring it back in a new, differing way each time and does this often. You don’t want to compare a modern electronic artist to a classical composer nonironically for fear of a classical music fan taking your head off, but The Pining Parts I, II, and III show that this skill isn’t limited to composers, or to one genre of music.

Unfortunately, this cycle comes after an uneven album that really clicks when it chooses to, and then will stop for a track that doesn’t quite fit in with the other songs. It’s hard to reconcile the noisy chaos at the apex of “Com Touch” with the melancholic piano of “Black Stone” that sounds more like a piece you’d hear in some forgettable, Oscar-bait drama movie.

Still, when Clark decides he still wants to make that particular kind of Warp-sounding song, he’s really damn good at it. I give Iradelphic four Halls out of five Oates.

 

I’m not sure what it is about Jewish frat boys wanting to get into the college rap game. College rap always confused me. What do rich kids have to rap about? I guess you could make the same argument for the plethora of indie bands out there. Or you could argue that the human condition doesn’t change from one person to the next, and that if college kids could somehow relate to Wu Tang and Biggie Smalls, then the majority of this country (high school graduates) could relate to the likes of Hoodie Allen, Asher Roth, and Mac Miller, to name a few.

Call me old fashioned. I like my hip-hop sampled heavily from jazz and soul. When I think Jewish hip-hop, of course I think The Beastie Boys. Their early hardcore influences definitely helped me appreciate them. But more importantly 2 of the 3 dropped out of college. They understood the ‘fake, surreal life’ of college, and yet steered clear of the traditional path of high school-college-grad school/job that most Jews today take. Having a foot in both worlds, they were able to find broad appeal and mainstream success.

What I find most interesting about this new wave of ‘frat boy’ rappers is how alt/indie-pop-culture heavy their songs are. It comes in many forms; Asher Roth parodying The Big Lebowski (and sampling an amazing Harry Nilsson song), or Hoodie Allen’s song about James Franco (which mentions the Hipsterness of Vimeo).

Today Heavy adds to this cannon by deftly sampling Florence & the Machine’s Heavy in Your Arms. The sample adds an emotional urgency which work well with the juxtaposition of the military scenes spliced throughout the video.

Bam
, friend of Hoodie Allen (and also an AEPi alumnus), has recently entered the rap game. He’s entered on the heels of several other successful college ‘frat boy’ rappers (see: Hoodie Allen, Asher Roth, Mac Miller). Self-funding his first music video, expect to see Bam hitting up the college circuit in the near future. Big things from this guy.

Now if only someone can explain why Jewish frat boys from NYC are dominating the college rap scene?

If you liked what you heard, download the song for free here.

Are you a DIY Jewish and/or Hipster musician who thinks we should review whatever ear noise you’re creating? Email us music [at] hipsterjew [dot] com.

The other day I was browsing the internets and saw a conversation unfolding about a new synthpop album that had just leaked. So I did what I always do when confronted with music that is totally strange and unfamiliar: I downloaded it with no questions asked and listened to it right away.

Fans of Crystal Castles’ 2010 album Crystal Castles II will dig this record. It’s a very haunted type sound of synthpop that is less abrasive than CC, but darker and almost gothic in some respects (the OG 80′s goths, not the Hot Topic types). Trading off between male and female vocals allows Trust to get into some territory that is off limits to CC, who would much rather explore what putting Alice Glass through five Big Muffs and a TS-9 will sound like instead of having Ethan try a vocal track or two. Not that that’s a bad thing…

TRST is limited emotionally as an album, as the predominant and only mood here would be best described with the word gloomy. Even the faster and more uptempo tracks have a slow and dreary vocal delivery. I wouldn’t listen to this one on the way to a party. The best track is probably Gloryhole, as nasty as that sounds. Great track, filthy and disgusting name for it. This encapsulates the entire experience: Not all music goes for making the listener happy, and this album is effective at provoking negative emotions, all while having the listener recognize that this is, in fact, quality electronica. Also, the less said about the album cover, the better.

Three Halls out of five Oates, and a caveat: don’t drink and listen. Bad things might happen.

It’s like the alt/indie tastemakers get younger and younger each year. Not only does Tavi Gevinson star in this video, but Jeff Tweedy’s teenage son is also shooting this video with some friends. Sure, having a famous alt-dad definitely garners you some easy teenage alt points. Your dad wont want you to be the next college quarterback. He’ll want you to be the next…Jeff Tweedy.

So, seems like 30 is the new 20. And 13 is also now the new 20. Which, by the transitive property, means that 13 is the new 30?

// Conclusion? I’m too old for this shit. Let the ‘young people’ do this whole blogging thing.

//// I smell a new Jewish indie power couple?

The Black Keys din’t even wait a year before recording and releasing their next album. No surprise it feels half baked, then.

Continue Reading...

Last time I talked about Hoodie, I acknowledged that not only are we the reason for his meteoric rise, but that he was too big for us to talk about any longer. It’s still true- he is too popular/well-known for us at this point. He’s attracted a huge college/frat following. And he’s moved to Hollywood/LA area, the Jewish mecca of the West. But sometimes you gotta help a friend of Hipsterjew. Here are my two favorite lines, including a shout out to (presumably) us.

“Ms. Rapunzel with the cleavage, I believe ’cause I’m a genious/ I get girls Adam Levine did.”

Classic inter-cultural rip from one Jewish musician to another. And,

“People didn’t believe it when they saw my first video/ Yeah if I was hipster I would put it on Vimeo.”

Touche Hoodie. Hipster sure love us our Vimeo. Youtube is to Vimeo as Myspace is to Facebook. Or in math terms, Youtube:Vimeo as Mypsace:Facebook.

Feel free to download his album Leap Year here.