VOTD: Twin Peaks - “Making Breakfast”

I’m convinced that the guys of Twin Peaks are the playful, younger brothers I wish I had. “Making Breakfast” is a catchy track off of Twin Peaks’ most recent album, Wild Onion. I love how Clay steals the show in this music video. With everything from the vintage coffee mug, black and white scenes, and old headphones (remember those days before ear buds?), Twin Peaks hit the perfect note in this video. Nostalgia for the simple things in the morning are captured in typical, foolish, Twin Peaks fashion. The screen to screen switch between a variety of settings is great, but my favorite is seeing Clay dance around outside with a coffee cup and cigarette in hand while “grilling” his breakfast. Clay adds the perfect, adolescent touch by smearing raw eggs across the camera screen to end the video. Leave it to Twin Peaks to make the most mundane part of one’s day become a little more interesting and fun.

-Lauren Rosalanko

I.M.P. presents First Aid Kit this Saturday, October 25 at Lisner Auditorium!
Think your love is strong? Submit a photo of your letter (like the one above) to contests@930.com. If we pick yours to post, we’ll even throw in tickets to the show!

I.M.P. presents First Aid Kit this Saturday, October 25 at Lisner Auditorium!

Think your love is strong? Submit a photo of your letter (like the one above) to contests@930.com. If we pick yours to post, we’ll even throw in tickets to the show!

NEW TRACKS: Cold War Kids - “Hot Coals”

Cold War Kids know how to craft a seriously good rock song. For the past 8 years, the group has been making distinct rock music with blues influences. The band has created four insanely successful indie-rock albums, and just 18 months after the release of Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, another record is on the way. The latest single released from the upcoming Hold My Home is the raucous rock track “Hot Coals.”

The track is raw and edgy, but still retains the band’s signature crispness. Dan Gallluci’s guitar is unexpected and slightly reminiscent of late Modest Mouse. A meticulous drumbeat from new drummer Joe Plummer punctuates the clean beat of the song. Most notable, however, is Nathan Willett’s unique, incredible voice. His unmistakable yelp is front and center on “Hot Coals” and provides the song with a distinctive energy.

-Janice Freeman

NEW TRACKS: Chvrches - “Richard Pryor”

For me, every song that Chvrches releases is the definition of perfect electronic music. Whether it’s the Scottish band’s huge hit “The Mother We Share” or a lesser-known tune, each song is impossibly catchy and is guaranteed to lift your spirits. The group’s  newest song is no exception. Tentatively titled “Richard Pryor,” the new track is one that could appear on the trio’s next album. The band has said that “nothing is finished” on the upcoming release, but if this song is any indication of what’s to come, I am definitely excited.

Recently played at Austin City Limits, “Richard Pryor” combines all of Chvrches’ musical strengths. Lauren Mayberry’s clear vocals shine and she shows off her impressive range throughout the song. Iain Cook and Martin Doherty utilize synthesizers and samplers in unique and unexpected ways. The chorus and verses are also incredibly distinctive; the beat of the verses is uneven and surprising compared to the smooth feel of the chorus. This opposition makes the song a complex and exciting discovery. Unmistakably Chvrches while still feeling new, “Richard Pryor” is a wonderful preview of the band’s musical future.

-Janice Freeman

MUSIC MONDAY: Emily’s Picks

This week’s playlist is just a small collection of artists I’m psyched to see, along with those I’ve been listening to on repeat for the sake of keeping my sanity in tact. Happy Monday!

Track List:

1. “Like Real People Do” - Hozier

2. “NEW DORP. NEW YORK” - SBTRKT (feat. Ezra Koenig)

3. “The Perfect Parts” - Shakey Graves

4. “My Silver Lining” - First Aid Kit

5. “My Kind of Man” - Vance Joy

6. “Two of Us on the Run” - Lucius

7. “Turn Up the Radio” - OK Go

8. “Back to the Shack” - Weezer

9. “Memphis” - Milk Carton Kids

10. “Head Underwater” - Jenny Lewis

-Emily Hirsch

<5K: Volume 13

THE OLD STORY OF THE NAMESAKE//JUST WHAT’S GOING ON HERE There’s an xkcd comic that exposes the secret coalition to make certain YouTube videos go viral: they have to get exactly “300+” likes from the committee, and are then certified to spread like the plague onto innocent newsfeeds worldwide. In that vein, I present you with <5K: exposition on bands that have less than 5,000 likes online. Perhaps one of them will be the next to pass that mysterious threshold into the world of fame and fortune… after all, once you get 5,000 likes, you sell out every show and your records go gold. That’s how it works, right?

I don’t usually write up bands that aren’t currently active, but I’m making an exception for Free Moral Agents (4,555 likes). They were the jazz-electronica-slowmotion-dub-project of master keyboardist Ikey Owens, who played for Jack White, Mastodon, The Mars Volta, Reel Big Fish, Sublime, and many others. Owens acted as bandleader and arranger for Free Moral Agents, encircled by a revolving cast of friends and guests. Everybody’s Favorite Weapon is standard-setting dub, swirled with electronic smoothness. It’s not easy to find their music online, but it’s worth the search.

  • You can watch a nine-minute mini-documentary about the band here.
  • FFO: Gorillaz, BadBadNotGood

Atlas At Last (608 likes) are a DC band making some damn good post-hardcore. Their latest EP, A Composition of Functions, fits a full album’s worth of crushing sound into its 18 minutes. Atlas At Last have been gigging hard, pummeling the crowd with screaming enthusiasm that leaves listeners sweaty, bruised, and nodding. It’s damn good post-hardcore. Catch them at The Dougout and around the dark parts of DC, plowing through the pain of existence wherever you can still mosh. A Composition of Functions is out October 31st.

  • Listen to Atlas At Last here.
  • FFO: Nouns, Snowing

Seaknuckle (337 likes) are doing it, man. Nailed It, their only release as of yet, contains just four songs of such bombastic energy that you’d swear they were field recordings taken during a band practice in the middle of a raging party. The overlapping vocal melodies, fierce riffs, and relentless drumming make up tracks that are both catchy and innovative. It’s vibrant and full of details. It’ll make you want to see Seaknuckle live, and it’ll put you in front row.

  • Listen to Nailed It here.
  • Fun., Foxy Shazam

Frederick, MD’s Signs Point East (1,030 likes) are a tough act to pigeonhole. Instead of being limited by style, their music is threaded by earnest delivery and fullness of intent. Whichever particular genre they’re channeling on any given song, they do it completely, and that’s what makes you pay attention. They combine funk danceability with jam-band rock ethics, making it easy to imagine them keeping heads grooving this summer at campouts like Domefest. Put their moxious EP on at a party and watch people get down.

  • Listen to Back to the Start here.
  • FFO: Dale and the ZDubs, Big Something

-Asher Meerovich is a writer and musician in College Park. He likes to be near water. Read more of his musical explorations at hire-me-rolling-stone.tumblr.com.

*Submissions* If you’re in a band, your friend is in a band, or you just know a band with less than 5,000 likes that deserves to be heard, send a link to asher.meerovich@gmail.com. If I like it, I’ll put them in an upcoming edition of <5K No inquiries about Tomato Dodgers, please.

CONTEST: RAC Tickets + Shirts
RAC&#8217;s career is a unique one. What originally started as an international collective of remixers has since essentially become the solo project of André Allen Anjos. Anjos, who founded RAC in 2007, began infiltrating the music world by directly emailing artists and their agents, asking to do remixes of their material. His big break came when he was given the go-ahead to remix The Shins&#8217; &#8220;Sleeping Lessons.&#8221; That remix inevitably caught the attention of indie royalty like Tokyo Police Club and Ra Ra Riot, and paved the way for what RAC now is 7 years, 200 remixes, and 1&#160;original album later.
On the heels of releasing Strangers (the aforementioned album of originals that features vocals from the likes of Tegan &amp; Sara and St. Lucia)earlier this year, RAC is embarking on the &#8220;Something Classic&#8221; tour. In addition to carrying Penguin Prison and Speak (both of whom were guests on Strangers) as support, the tour also features live vocals by RAC collaborators Karl Kling and Pink Feathers. 
For your chance to win a pair of tickets to the Club date of the &#8220;Something Classic&#8221; tour and a sweet RAC shirt, email contests@930.com with the subject line &#8220;RAC Classic&#8221; to tell us your favorite remix RAC&#8217;s ever done. Two lucky winners will be chosen Wednesday, October 22 at 5pm. 
Don&#8217;t want to wait to get tickets? They&#8217;re on sale now through Ticketfly.

CONTEST: RAC Tickets + Shirts

RAC’s career is a unique one. What originally started as an international collective of remixers has since essentially become the solo project of André Allen Anjos. Anjos, who founded RAC in 2007, began infiltrating the music world by directly emailing artists and their agents, asking to do remixes of their material. His big break came when he was given the go-ahead to remix The Shins’ “Sleeping Lessons.” That remix inevitably caught the attention of indie royalty like Tokyo Police Club and Ra Ra Riot, and paved the way for what RAC now is 7 years, 200 remixes, and 1 original album later.

On the heels of releasing Strangers (the aforementioned album of originals that features vocals from the likes of Tegan & Sara and St. Lucia)earlier this year, RAC is embarking on the “Something Classic” tour. In addition to carrying Penguin Prison and Speak (both of whom were guests on Strangers) as support, the tour also features live vocals by RAC collaborators Karl Kling and Pink Feathers

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to the Club date of the “Something Classic” tour and a sweet RAC shirt, email contests@930.com with the subject line “RAC Classic” to tell us your favorite remix RAC’s ever done. Two lucky winners will be chosen Wednesday, October 22 at 5pm. 

Don’t want to wait to get tickets? They’re on sale now through Ticketfly.

ART BLANCHE: GEMS

It’s not everyday that you see a band as interested in visuals as much as GEMS. In fact, a lot of the early press about the band noted their striking visual aesthetic.

That’s no accident.

Back when Lindsay Pitts and Clifford Usher started GEMS, they had a pretty good idea about how they wanted to do things this time around: differently. You see, they’d been in bands before - together, in fact - but with GEMS, they felt like they had an opportunity to head in a more personal direction. As it turns out, one thing they felt pretty strongly about was that “people generally under-appreciate how important visuals are,” and so, part of their new direction was to use visuals as much as they could, but also in a way that complemented the music.

“We wanted to try to do something very specific where the visuals and sound go together,” Lindsay explained. If you’ve never heard the band (then you haven’t been paying nearly enough attention to my columns around these parts), they have a dark, dreamy, dramatic sound. So, if you are GEMS, how do you create a look that evokes just that? You go with dark, dreamy, and dramatic imagery. In this case, going black-and-white is the key because the absence of color helps amplify the already existing drama in the photo. Plus, as Lindsay has been quoted saying before, “black-and-white adds glamour,” plain and simple.

So how did their dreamy style come to fruition? Was it through a middle-of-the-night eureka moment that left the band so excited by their creative epiphany that they were then unable to fall back asleep? Or maybe, they came up with a whole series of ideas and then had a The Bachelor-esque elimination tournament between all the options until only the winner was left?

Nope, it was neither of those. (Although, I was seriously pulling for choice two.)

Instead, like all great creative discoveries, it started with a shopping trip. “Around the time we were starting GEMS we were at this antique shop and bought this old accordion-style Polaroid camera,” Clifford said. After picking up some black-and-white film and ordering a battery for it they started taking pictures, and then – like any good artist – they got creative and a little silly with it by taking double exposures. In photography this is a process where you end up taking two exposures on the same piece of film. Nowadays this can be done with two separate photos in Photoshop, but in GEMS’ case, it was all done on film with their Polaroid camera. “I would take a picture of Cliff and be like, ‘you’re on the left side,’ and then I’d be like take a picture of me on the right.”

But the innovation didn’t stop there. The band truly took to heart their merging of art and music while recording their song “Pegasus.” As they were sitting in a room looping some beats and chords they had written and recorded, they saw this light that was coming through the window in just the right way. So they pulled out their phone and started filming it. Inspired by this they went back to the looping and recording more pieces from the song. Then they went back to filming. Then recording. Back-and-forth they went, writing the song as they recorded the video. In the end, “Pegasus” the song is truly inseparable from “Pegasus” the video.

“It all kind of connects to me,” Clifford explained. “You can’t separate [listening and seeing]. Our senses are not separate, we talk about them as separate, but that’s just a mental construct. They happen all at the same time.”

-Dylan Singleton

P.S. If you have any ideas for my column, tell me! artblanche930@gmail.com

NOSTALGIA MY MUSE: My Bloody Valentine - You Made Me Realise 

Before Loveless, My Bloody Valentine released a five-song EP by the name You Made Me Realise. Listening to this album is a spiritual experience. It inflicts a sense of uncertainty that is rare to find, but when it’s finally found, it’s almost impossible to decipher whether it’s an overwhelming feeling of joy or an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and longing. Regardless, it’s a compelling piece of art that has the capacity to stretch the minds of listeners.

Since it was released in the late ’80s, You Made Me Realise is no longer being pressed on vinyl. Any copy currently being sold is priced at well over $100, meaning you’d basically be paying $25 per track, at the very least. This being said, it would be well worth every cent.

When listening to the release, it is necessary to take a deep breath before hitting the play button. As soon as you do, the pulsing guitar lines of the title track come bellowing through the speakers. It is the only way to start the album: with catastrophic and eardrum-destroying melodies that are so pertinent to My Bloody Valentine’s music. The track has been described as walking a fine line between experiencing “bliss and terror” - this goes without discrepancy. After Belinda Butcher and Kevin Shields simultaneously sing, “Wait for me because I waited for you / No that’s not what you should do / Don’t hate me ‘cause I don’t hate you,” they lead into the fuzz of the guitars cutting out, leaving them to sing the title of the track. This moment in the first chorus defines both bliss and terror flawlessly.

The second track is a change of pace, with the appropriate title of “Slow.” It offers relief after the opening track with simplistic vocals and a deep, low droning of the bass and guitars. By repeating the words “slow” and “smile” consistently after every phrase, MBV pretends that they can write an optimistic song.

My Bloody Valentine is an influential band within the genre of shoegaze; they prove why in every song they release through intricacies that are difficult to mimic. This is evident through the shrieking guitar that is distorted in just the right way during the halfway point of the album, “Thorn.” Also evident from this track, as well as in it’s precursor, is how MBV’s melodies sometimes suggest that a song is “happy.” However, once you focus on the lyrics, you realize it’s all a flawed perception.

“Cigarette In Your Bed” is one of the most underrated tracks within My Bloody Valentine’s discography; it is quintessential to defining the band. It’s hard to express how the song is perceived; it can only be felt. One afternoon when you are in a contemplative state and have some time to yourself (and access to a window), listen to this song. As you are sitting there looking out at the world, it will give you a whole new way of examining it and may even alter the perspective of yourself. It’s sheer brilliance.

After an exhausting journey of four, insightful tracks, “Drive It All Over Me” serves as an effortless conclusion: “Run run away run run away / ‘Cause there’s nothing left to say / Oh, the travel always gets me / Get in the car and drive it all over me.” The chorus aggregates the atmosphere of the entire album. Free your mind and find an escape; it is essential to devise a meaning. You Made Me Realise is sublime.

-Katie Cheyne