MIND OF MOUSE

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
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themusicwriterscollective:

SHOW REPORT
FYF Fest @ Los Angeles Sports Area/Expo Park
Show date: August 23 & 24, 2014Supported by: Check out the full line-up here
FYF Fest went through major (and hopefully temporary) changes this year. Instead of returning to Los Angeles Historic Park, this year’s festival took place at LA Sports Arena and Expo Park due to the park’s undergoing renovations. The new venue seemed about double the size of the previous spot. And with a very populist-leaning lineup — The Strokes! Phoenix! Interpol! — the event attracted an even broader audience this time around. With a new venue and a new crowd of people, it brought a new set of additions not even the organizers in charge could fully handle.
When I first got to the festival grounds on Saturday, an enormous single-file crowd already snaked around and around the venue. The ridiculous line sluggishly dragged forward every 15 minutes or so. About 45 minutes in with little progress, I started to come to terms the fact I was most likely going to miss my first act of the day, Joyce Manor. Luckily, I stood near the VIP entrance where an organizer opened a new entry point to speed up the process.
Four stages stretched across the parking lot and lawns outside the sports arena. The Lawn stage sat right by the entrance, while the other three stages — The Trees, The Arena, Main Stage — were separated by a good walk away. Good luck getting to the Main Stage from the Lawn on time, especially with the constant rush of people going against where you’re heading out. It was not convenient to say the least. Once plopped on The Lawn, I had to think through whether I actually wanted to commit to the walk ahead — and this was me wondering if I should go see Haim.
The biggest letdown on the first day was definitely the closing of The Arena stage, the coliseum area where the festival housed all the dance acts. The arena quickly reached maximum capacity, and security shut the entrance by 6 p.m. That was the same time when The Arena began its triple-stacked lineup of Todd Terje, Caribou and Four Tet back to back in that order. Sad to say, I missed all of them due to the stage filling up way quicker than I predicted.
But overnight, FYF fixed those critical issues. More entry points opened. More seats became available for The Arena. The crowd of people never got smoother to navigate, but I got inside early enough to get my ID check with some time to chill before seeing Joanna Gruesome; I got to enjoy Kelela at The Arena without anxiety attacks, and I even got near the front!
And how can I complain with a lineup like FYF’s? Although I was hugely disappointed I didn’t get to dance to Todd Terje, right outside at The Trees were Killer Mike and El-P performing rap songs together as Run the Jewels. While my friend and I waited in line to get beer, Slowdive serenaded the field nearby at The Lawn. Throughout the weekend, I stood through only one full set (for Grimes), and that’s because I went in and out of many amazing sets by countless bands playing around the same time slot. Another fantastic act is just another walk away for the entire day. What more can I ask for?
Below is a more extensive overview of the weekend set by set, along with photos taken on my iPhone.
Read More

Here’s my FYF report for anyone interested. Some thoughts that didn’t make the cut:
"So, so many The Strokes shirts!"
"God, I wish I heard what people hear in The Strokes that makes them want to see them so bad."
Same above thought, but for Interpol.
"Do people really like Chet Faker that much?”
"Oh, Thundercat’s playing ‘For Love I Come.’ RIP George Duke."
"Dev Hynes and Samantha Urbani are such a power couple."

themusicwriterscollective:

SHOW REPORT

FYF Fest @ Los Angeles Sports Area/Expo Park

Show date: August 23 & 24, 2014
Supported by: Check out the full line-up here

FYF Fest went through major (and hopefully temporary) changes this year. Instead of returning to Los Angeles Historic Park, this year’s festival took place at LA Sports Arena and Expo Park due to the park’s undergoing renovations. The new venue seemed about double the size of the previous spot. And with a very populist-leaning lineup — The Strokes! Phoenix! Interpol! — the event attracted an even broader audience this time around. With a new venue and a new crowd of people, it brought a new set of additions not even the organizers in charge could fully handle.

When I first got to the festival grounds on Saturday, an enormous single-file crowd already snaked around and around the venue. The ridiculous line sluggishly dragged forward every 15 minutes or so. About 45 minutes in with little progress, I started to come to terms the fact I was most likely going to miss my first act of the day, Joyce Manor. Luckily, I stood near the VIP entrance where an organizer opened a new entry point to speed up the process.

Four stages stretched across the parking lot and lawns outside the sports arena. The Lawn stage sat right by the entrance, while the other three stages — The Trees, The Arena, Main Stage — were separated by a good walk away. Good luck getting to the Main Stage from the Lawn on time, especially with the constant rush of people going against where you’re heading out. It was not convenient to say the least. Once plopped on The Lawn, I had to think through whether I actually wanted to commit to the walk ahead — and this was me wondering if I should go see Haim.

The biggest letdown on the first day was definitely the closing of The Arena stage, the coliseum area where the festival housed all the dance acts. The arena quickly reached maximum capacity, and security shut the entrance by 6 p.m. That was the same time when The Arena began its triple-stacked lineup of Todd Terje, Caribou and Four Tet back to back in that order. Sad to say, I missed all of them due to the stage filling up way quicker than I predicted.

But overnight, FYF fixed those critical issues. More entry points opened. More seats became available for The Arena. The crowd of people never got smoother to navigate, but I got inside early enough to get my ID check with some time to chill before seeing Joanna Gruesome; I got to enjoy Kelela at The Arena without anxiety attacks, and I even got near the front!

And how can I complain with a lineup like FYF’s? Although I was hugely disappointed I didn’t get to dance to Todd Terje, right outside at The Trees were Killer Mike and El-P performing rap songs together as Run the Jewels. While my friend and I waited in line to get beer, Slowdive serenaded the field nearby at The Lawn. Throughout the weekend, I stood through only one full set (for Grimes), and that’s because I went in and out of many amazing sets by countless bands playing around the same time slot. Another fantastic act is just another walk away for the entire day. What more can I ask for?

Below is a more extensive overview of the weekend set by set, along with photos taken on my iPhone.

Read More

Here’s my FYF report for anyone interested. Some thoughts that didn’t make the cut:

  • "So, so many The Strokes shirts!"
  • "God, I wish I heard what people hear in The Strokes that makes them want to see them so bad."
  • Same above thought, but for Interpol.
  • "Do people really like Chet Faker that much?”
  • "Oh, Thundercat’s playing ‘For Love I Come.’ RIP George Duke."
  • "Dev Hynes and Samantha Urbani are such a power couple."
Tags: FYF TMWC
8 notes
reblogged via themusicwriterscollective
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Top 5: FYF Fest 2014

A full report will be up on The MWC tomorrow, but here’s a quick rundown of my top 5 performances (moments/songs) at FYF this past weekend:

5. Real Estate (“Talking Backwards”)
4. Kelela (“Floor Show”/Young Thug’s “Danny Glover”)
3. Flying Lotus (Rustie’s “Raptor”)
2. Grimes (“Go”)
1. Against Me! (“Black Me Out”)


2 notes
Monday, August 25
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Way too tired to function, but this weekend was awesome!

Way too tired to function, but this weekend was awesome!

Tags: Blood Orange FYF
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Sunday, August 24
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Day 1 was splendid. Time for Day 2!

Day 1 was splendid. Time for Day 2!

Tags: Grimes FYF
2 notes