MIND OF MOUSE

Sunday, August 31
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Tags: Tropic of Cancer Camella Lobo
Saturday, August 30
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"Go" by Grimes (ft. Blood Diamonds) [Single; 2014]

Last weekend at FYF Fest, Grimes introduced Blood Diamonds on stage towards the end of her set, and I immediately knew what was coming. Of course what came after were series of steel drums hits, setting up the melody for the two’s collaboration single “Phone Sex.” Though this was the second time I’ve seen Grimes and her bringing out and performing with Blood Diamonds, it still felt like an exciting surprise. Not to say Grimes’ own songs aren’t danceable, but “Phone Sex” has an extra “dance” edge to it for me, at least when played live, so my excitement went up even more, and I started moving (dancing, I guess) about with even more glee.

Being that Blood Diamonds was already up on stage, the song after “Phone Sex” was obvious though nonetheless exciting: the harpsichord-like loop for “Go” began playing and I went nuts. I half-shouted, half-mumbled unintelligible lyrics along with Grimes, and shamelessly did some weird falsetto thing for the pre-chorus (the point is, I can’t sing well to save my life). And when the beat dropped, all hell broke loose in my head and I started jumping without a care, because I mean what else are you supposed to do? It’s cheesy and dumb as hell but it’s also really fun losing it to the stupid drop.

Well, all was good until I looked around the crowd around me, and the only person reacting the same way was my friend, who also jumped up and down with me. I’ve experienced this “only person going crazy” role more than a few times at this point to really care about how I’m acting, but no matter how many times I live through that situation, it just kills my vibe. I basically felt like the obnoxious dude getting way too wild for his own good, perhaps under too much influence — for the record, all I had was a beer in me, one cup of beer!

Is everyone really that shy? I mean, I consider myself a very reserved person, but when it comes to live music, especially at music festivals, I try to get rid of most of my inhibition that holds me back. Because I’m seeing my favorite band who are playing some songs I’m personally attached to, the ones I sing like an idiot to in the car alone, so I want to feel that 100% in a situation where it’s meant to thrives at its fullest. I just can’t bare to just stand there still and stare at the stage. I don’t think I can even stand still to good music even in the car; I have to sing along in a whisper or nod my head or something.

"Go" came on when I was driving back home today, and I felt a slight bit of embarrassment because it brought me back the memory from last weekend where I was the only one jumping to the drop. I shouldn’t feel any of that, but I can’t help but to feel a little bit of judgment even when it’s from days past.

Tags: Grimes
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Tags: Yo La Tengo
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For the August edition of What We Missed, I wrote a bit about the new solid album Directors of Photography by Dilated Peoples. It’s a 2014 Dilated Peoples album, but when were Dilated Peoples albums ever a bad thing? I’m also stoked the new Cymbals Eat Guitars album got some shine here since it’s frickin’ good (and Ariana Grande’s, though Robert wasn’t that big of a fan). You can read about more albums here.

For the August edition of What We Missed, I wrote a bit about the new solid album Directors of Photography by Dilated Peoples. It’s a 2014 Dilated Peoples album, but when were Dilated Peoples albums ever a bad thing? I’m also stoked the new Cymbals Eat Guitars album got some shine here since it’s frickin’ good (and Ariana Grande’s, though Robert wasn’t that big of a fan). You can read about more albums here.

Tags: Unrecorded Dilated Peoples
Thursday, August 28
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Tags: Fennesz
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"Ribs" by Lorde [Pure Heroine; 2013]

Lorde’s one jaded musician and person, which I don’t really blame her. I was tired of people thinking they know all about me and telling me what I should just based on how look or my age, too. Hell, I still am. But her early singles from Pure Heroine sounded perhaps she’s a bit too bitter for own good. “Royals” side-eyes unattainable life shown on the TV; “Team” yearns for an alternative for thrill and satisfaction other than what’s provided and suggested. They’re both well-intentioned but it subtly becomes the very thing she’s complaining about — a big force telling people to live a certain lifestyle.

"Ribs" hits me different. It feels uncomfortably personal, like the events outlined inside don’t pertain to anyone’s life but her own. She seems to be talking to perhaps a friend who she’s drifted away from, and how she misses the way things used to be. She pulls a simple, innocent memory to write out a broad yet vivid setup of that life she misses: spilled drinks, music stuck on repeat, and laughter until ribs start to hurt.

And then there’s a line about fear of getting old, which seems like a slice of skepticism that’s a very Lorde thing to feel. But she mentions it differently than she would have in “Royals” or “Team.” It could have meant turning away from the inevitable of growing up and facing reality on another song, maybe. But in “Ribs,” she vulnerably speaks on how disappointing and sometimes painful it is to go through those bitter changes in your relationships as you age. It sounds like a genuine worry.

Sorry to be cynical, but the bigger worry here is this life situation never stops. A lot of relationships — some you think would last a lifetime — unfortunately fade away and it’s all natural; in a more scary way, they often fade slowly (which reminds me of Fiona Apple’s “Love Ridden.”). And it’s bittersweet to partly realize that so early in your life, early as the age or Lorde. I guess I’m jaded as Lorde after all.

"Ribs" also appreciate the value of "now." That scene set up in the chorus feels so in-the-moment, and it’s one of those times where you’re not thinking about a damn thing — not a worry about "am I going to see this person again?" or the thought of forever. And it’s also a moment when you look back later on in retrospect and think, "damn that was the peak in our relationship," or something along those lines. You don’t know how much that second in time means until it’s all gone.

Though the experience is Lorde’s and hers only, the song’s written vague and sparse enough to where I can project all these thoughts. It feels infinitely closer to home than “Royals” or “Team” for me. Her point is more implicit and naturally reached, while she goes on about something that’s not necessarily all that big of a deal to anyone that’s not her. It’s not delivered dramatic either; she sings her final word, “it drives me crazy getting old,” as a matter of fact. And that’s how epiphanies come, right?: shit happens and it sucks but what can you do.

Tags: Lorde
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Tags: Kacey Musgraves
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Sorry, not loaded enough to drop $75 for this but partying with Best Coast sounds very awesome.

Sorry, not loaded enough to drop $75 for this but partying with Best Coast sounds very awesome.

Tags: Best Coast
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Wednesday, August 27
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"Rival Dealer" by Burial [Rival Dealer EP; 2013]

For some people, electronic music is just fancy beeps and bloops and cool drums and stuff. But explain to me how you can deny something so precious and affirming as this song or the entire EP where this is from. Of course Burial doesn’t sing the vocals himself, which makes it more compelling it for me. One of his greatest asset as a producer always has been his surreal ability to recontextualize his source and amplify its emotional value tenfold — “Archangel” being that masterful showcase. And the fact he can transform an easy-listening cheese from the ’70s into something basically resembling a guardian angel is so beautiful and powerful to me.

A good chunk of electronic music is physical music with its main direct goal being making the body react through organized sounds and just that. Not that it’s bad. Sometimes dance music is ephemeral by nature and many interact with it purely on a surface level. And that’s fine. But “Rival Dealer” taps somewhere deeper and more spiritual, and even far out as Burial’s music is concerned — Rival Dealer is the most urgent, assertive, and political record he has made thus far. Electronic music can sometimes speak directly. Succinctly, vividly, and powerfully. Those words distorted inside the machine shouts only a few words, but that’s all it takes to hit where it needs to hit.

I’m just glad this piece of music exists right now.

Tags: Burial
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Tuesday, August 26
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I did the right thing and reviewed the new Rustie album, Green Language. A very mature follow-up to an incredible grab-bag of a debut. Editors let me bump it and put it On the Record. You can read what I thought here.

I did the right thing and reviewed the new Rustie album, Green Language. A very mature follow-up to an incredible grab-bag of a debut. Editors let me bump it and put it On the Record. You can read what I thought here.

Tags: Rustie Unrecorded