@PumpUpThaVolume: Episode019 - Apocalypse Dreams was recorded live on RevereRadio.net and features brand new #SongOfTheDay sounds from Angus Stone, Thenewno2, Two Gallants, Antibalas, Firewater, Tame Impala, John Mark Nelson, Kinky, Raveonettes, Fawn, Hot Chip, Dinosaur Jr., Cjell Cruze, Tomas Barfod and Helio Sequence... because it can't be news and politics all the time!
Previous: Episode018 - Liberty Bell
♬Liner Notes♬ from Nick: Well, the summer festival season is in full swing, with a number still to come, Lollapalooza was the highlight for many of the week just gone. Jack White’s set was stunning, and sometimes technology is a blessing as I was able to tune in live from Australia to see him perform. Of course, Jacob Webb from KEXP was there and I was thrilled when he tweeted me to let me know. Short intro this week though it's a huge show with Firewater, Dinosaur Jr., Hot Chip, Helio Sequence, Raveonettes and we kick it all off with Angus Stone's "Wooden Chair".
Note: Angus stone was considered a throw back to the nostalgic image of the Australian swag man when he and his sister Julia first appeared on the music scene back in 2010. He almost looked homeless along side actress/girlfriend Isabella Lucas. Although currently recording solo projects, both Angus and Julia maintain that they will collaborate again in the future. 'Broken Brights' is to some extent a symbolic expression of his journey as a solo artist – "A whole different trip."
"I Won't Go"
H.O.T. Records Ltd., 2012
Note: FOMO, or "the fear of missing out," was a concept first introduced to me by my good friend and music collaborator. He suggested that there were many fear of missings – fear of missing food, fear of missing a specific person. There is clearly no fear of missing great music here though, as Rolling Stone magazine listed TheNewNo2 along side Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Sabbath and Jack White as one of the top 10 acts of Lollapalooza!
"My Love Won't Wait"
'The Bloom and the Blight'
Note: There is almost an old school rock and roll, grindhouse feel to this record which sees San Francisco duo Adam Stephens and Tyson Vogel reunite after working on solo projects over the last 5 years. Just like many other artists pioneering the new paradigm of musical expression, the visual medium has become an increasing consideration (presumably to exploit YouTube as a platform for exposure) and Two Gallants have a short film to accompany the release of 'The Bloom and the Blight.' Vogel told NME: "[that] we went on different paths these past years, but I think we share a common feeling, a commitment to try and transcend what we’ve gone through... and build something stronger out of it."
Note: "All money is dirty. How we get it and what we do with it determines our own value in relationship to the global system of remuneration." Daptone's House of Soul Studios is in Bushwick, Brooklyn and this is where Antibalas filled two rooms to record their latest cut. "Dirty Money" kicks off this tight funk, kung fu infused, call and response, Afrobeat “instant classic”. The LP is a bilingual expression combining English (the first half) and Yoruba (the second half); Yoruba being the native tongue of lead singer Amayo and the official language of Nigera.
"A Little Revolution"
Note: The 11th anniversary of the 9/11 fiasco is a bold release date to select - as is the cover art, title and music of Firewater and 'International Orange'. The band began in 1997 after a hot summer (not dissimilar?) and the themes and concepts they have conveyed through their record titles have been less crazy punk rock notions and more in line with prophecies - 'Ponzi Scheme' for example! 'International Orange' is the 7th studio album for the ska/punk/world/gypsy band.
Note: "Tame Impala make psychedelic hypno-groove melodic rock music." Kevin Parker, Dom Simper and Jay Watson met in a music class in an Australian high school (words cannot begin to describe the bleak and cringe-worthy image that will resonate in Ausrtalian's heads when hearing that) and began self-recording. They list The Beatles, Turkish prog and homeless folk as their major influences. Perhaps overly pretentious, perhaps not pretentious enough! Parker revealed to Spin magazine: "I was more into melodies that beam at you rather than wash over you."
John Mark Nelson
'Waiting and Waiting'
Note: "A local composer, raised in the lake-laden land of the Common Loon" - J.M. Nelson. 'Waiting and Waiting' is the sophomore album from John Mark Nelson, mastered by Greg Reierson. Tagged as ambient indie folk, John Mark considers this effort, which will be released August 14th to be his proper debut; however, the experience he gained from his first two cuts has no doubt added to mixture of delicate lyricism and talent composition. ""Reminisce" puts every instrument and voice in its place. I mean, it really all fits." John Mark Nelson was previously featured on Episode009 – Old Mythologies.
'Sueno De La Maquina'
Nacional Records, 2012
Note: Music, and to some extent all art, is the international language and "Tripolar" is a perfect example of that. However, the visual imagery that Kinky use reminds me of the tazo designs from my childhood and the comic books that didn't feature the usual crew of DC and Marvel. Kinky are currently touring across America with a gig at the Staples Center August 10th, followed by a performance in Ecudaor at Quito Fest before rounding out the year with gigs in Mexico! The title, "Sueno De La Maquina", translates to "Dream Of The Machine".
"She Owns The Streets"
Note: "The spark responsible for the American Pop Renaissance" such as The Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls, Best Coast and other bands who have been featured on Pump Up Tha Volume previously. The Raveonettes described the recording process for 'Observator' as being their Los Angeles album, but conceded that it's hard to talk about music that doesn’t exist! "The fact that I was listening to The Doors constantly only added to the seductive draw of the drowning sun. I wanted to get back to that classic verse-chorus-verse style of song writing that The Doors managed so well on their best singles. It's a very specific and evocative feel that I wanted to achieve, and going out West seemed the best way to capture it."
Quite Scientific, 2012
Note: 'Coastlines' is the debut album from Fawn who have already enjoyed some success, including two weeks in the CMJ Top 20 alongside bands like Metro and the Smashing Pumpkins. Although listed as Alternative Indie Rock, the band has a sense of 90s alt-rock about their music, and it's axiomatic that the chemistry between the four is conducive to creativity. The band is on tour and recently played with Secret Twins and Team Ethic at Woodruff's in their home state of Wisconsin.
"How Do You Do?"
'In Our Heads'
Note: Only sold at McDonald's unless with Fish during the Olympics. Wait, that isn't right... Like, John Mark Nelson, we also spun Hot Chip back on Episode009 - Old Mythologies and we suggested that Hot Chip have been kicking butts and taking names since the start of the century and they will continue do so as the headliner of KCRW's Music Of The World Festival (which explains their focus on international acts). KCRW have deemed 'In Our Heads' as the soundtrack of the summer, and whilst the claim may be ambitious the album has the accolades to support it. "There's unguarded joy in the British quintet's mix of synthed-up grooves and pop songfulness... Their communal vocals are always warm and nuanced, with leader Alexis Taylor merging Davy Jones' innocence with the mirror-ball yearning of Erasure's Andy Bell."
"Watch The Corners"
'I Bet On The Sky'
Note: Candace (Fred Armisen on IFC's 'Portlandia'), the proprietor of Women and Women bookstore, recently interviewed J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. and her main question was whether the record would be sold in a bookstore! "Watch The Corners" has been described as classic Dinosaur Jr. and is the lead single off the group's third album since the original lineup reformed in 2005. 'I Bet On The Sky' will be released on the 18th of September and is the 10th release overall for the group. They will be playing Musicfest NW festival in Portland next month before heading north to play in Seattle's Neptune Theatre.
Note: 'The Ropes' is the debut release from Cjell Cruze who has been quietly going about his business as his name slowly makes its way to the headline position of the Pacific Northwest gigs. The much anticipated lo-fi release has pleased critics and we'll no doubt see more from Cruze as his career develops.
"November Skies" (w/ Nina Kinert)
FoF Music, 2012
Note: "November Skies" is the 8th track on the album and is the second appearance for Nina Kinert, the first being "Till We Die." Barford has been a drummer since he was 10 years old, and currently splits his time between LA and Copenhagen. He is most well known as half of Filur, a Danish house group, and has suggested that his DJ talents were sparked in his adolescence after significant exposure to Atari, a record player and a Akai mono-sampler. Barford's career has since seen some impressive collaborations and undoubtedly his work with Nina Kinert is yet another successful one.
The Helio Sequence
Sub Pop, 2012
Note: "It’s been four years (!) since we got a new album from Portland, OR’s the Helio Sequence, but the duo is set to release their fifth album, Negotiations, in September. To whet appetites, the band has released “October,” which will be included on the new album. It’s lush and delicate and dreamy," says Stereogum. Like Dinosaur Jr., The Helio Sequence are also playing next month's Musicfest NW in Portland.
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(Thanks again to @TheUdog, @KEXP, @KCRW, @TheCurrent and you!)