Whim is a collection of media focused on rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. Mellowing things out with recent Domino signee Ducktails and the unpredictably satisfying Levek. SEE: FULL POST + ALL WHIM POSTS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

 

Ducktails

It's still early, but you can now hear a teaser track from Ducktails' The Flower Lane, which comes out January 29th, 2013 via the band's new label, Domino Records. Frontman and main man Matt Mondanile has taken the downtime from his involvement with lo-fi rockers Real Estate to mix a new record with Al Carlson (Peaking Lights, Oneohtrix Point Never). And as is often the case with Ducktails' music, it may take repeat listens before "The Flower Lane" makes a lasting impression, but rest assured that there is emotional comfort to be found in these familiar easy-going sounds, and "The Flower Lane" is but one mellow indicator of the record's lusher and more robust sound. Catch a review of Mondanile's formerly more lo-fi sounds via our review of Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics. DUCKTAILS - THE FLOWER LANE TRACKLISTING 1. Ivy Covered House 2. The Flower Lane 3. Under Cover 4. Timothy Shy 5. Planet Phrom 6. Assistant Director 7. Sedan Magic 8. International Date Line 9. Letter Of Intent 10. Academy Avenue

 

In this back-to-back exploration of animal portraiture, the bleak reality of unwanted shelter dogs contrasts sharply against the vividness of exotic animals set against brilliant backdrops. Ultimately, both celebrate life and humanity's relationship to the animal kingdom, though in vastly different ways. The full post includes personal summaries on what each artist hopes to accomplish with the series. (12 IMAGES TOTAL)

 

Karen Knorr

In Karen Knorr's India Song series, she digitally inserts rare and wild animals, from cranes and tigers to elephants, in ornate north Indian buildings. Where Yun-Fei Tou's appeal to human nature is more obvious (below), Knorr's is more veiled and steeped in cultural knowledge. According to her website, "The photographic series considers men's space (mardana) and women's space (zanana) in Mughal and Rajput palace architecture, havelis and mausoleums through large format digital photography."
The Queen's Room, Zanana, Udaipur City Palace

Yun-Fei Tou

For his Memento Mori series, Taiwanese photographer Yun-Fei Tou has taken over 40,000 portraits of dogs just hours away from euthanization. By seating the dogs in upright, human-like positions, they become almost human-like, giving viewers more to relate to. "I believe something should not be told but should be felt," says Tou, in an interview with Huffington Post. "And I hope these images will arouse the viewers to contemplate and feel for these unfortunate lives, and understand the inhumanity we the society are putting them through."
12:09PM, 10/24/2011, Taiwanese Public Animal Shelter, Time until Euthanized: 1.9 Hours

 

IN SHORT: "It's not your average Black Moth Super Rainbow Album."

 

In discussing early album reviews for Cobra Juicy, Black Moth Super Rainbow's de facto leader Tobacco called the album "the 1st bmsr I really got right." It's an interesting comment, especially for a band who pride themselves on the reckless nature of their sound and their presence on stage. And then there's the fact that Cobra Juicy simply wouldn't exist in its current state if it wasn't for crowd-funding the project on Kickstarter. Especially considering the latter, there are certainly extraneous expectations surrounding the long awaited release. See full album review

 

Attending Culture Collide is the easiest and cheapest way to feel like you have been around the world in just four days. When you watch two US bands open a show where groups from Singapore, Argentina and the Netherlands are also on the bill, you start to feel like the most worldly person on the planet. And night after night, numerous different countries were represented under one roof, giving people the opportunity to discover bands that maybe otherwise they would have not come across. Culture Collide deserves praise for making diversity the rule and not the exception. But if I had one suggestion for this young festival, it is to go beyond the comforts of the indie rock and electronic genres a bit. With bands flying in from countries like Peru and Estonia, it'd be nice to take the cultural schooling up a notch and invite bands who are giving new life to traditional sounds from their native countries. It didn't take long for American rock n' roll to start influencing music in other countries, but hopefully a festival like this will help more international sounds infiltrate the US. SEE FULL FESTIVAL RECAP
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jasmine Safaeian, FILTER

 

Poolside

When Brazil's Bonde do Rolê had to cancel because of visa issues, Los Angeles' Poolside stepped in to provide some tropical tunes and funky beats. While not as wild as Bonde do Rolê, Poolside were a pleasant addition to the outdoor portion of the festival. With the sun shining, the duo was accompanied by a drummer and second keyboardist, and provided a nice warm up for a full night of dancing. The main stage would later see Niki & The Dove and of Montreal. Instead of taking an aggressive approach to dance music, Poolside provided a relaxed atmosphere with mid-tempo melodies and calming synth lines. Still, you couldn't help but feel like you were whisked away to some exotic island.

 

"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. Here's a cheerful post with Sub Pop Records' Still Corners, Born Gold's Teenage Sweater, and UK musician Chad Valley, of Jonquil, featuring Glasser's Cameron Mesirow. SEE ALSO +++ FULL POST + ALL TOP POP COLUMNS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

 

Chad Valley

Glasser's Cameron Mesirow turns everything to gold with her New Age delicacy, and Twin Shadow's George Lewis Jr. churns out fanatic fans like none other. So it is that both musicians take the '80s pop-inspired tracks of Hugo Manuel (aka Chad Valley) to the next level. The comparison to "'80s pop" is not used lightly here; Chad Valley pretty much epitomizes the genre, complete with the most straight-forward pop vocals you've probably heard in a while. "Fall 4 U" and "I Owe You This" come from Young Hunger, out on Cascine, and the whole record boasts additional contributions from similarly-minded guest stars include El Perro Del Mar, Active Child, and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. Full tracklisting to follow, along with an upbeat remix by Lissvik. Chad Valley Ft. Twin Shadow - "I Owe You This" Chad Valley Ft. Glasser - "Fall 4 U" (Original)

 

SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS is a recurring series, featuring mesmerizing songs for one to lose sense of time and space, mind and body. This post highlights the exciting new project from Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin and a track from Seattle's relatively unknown Stenskogen.
SEE ALSO: FULL POST + ALL SPECTRAL HYPNOSIS POSTS + ALL COLUMNS

Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin

Opening track "Instrumental Tourist" comes from Tim Hecker's collaboration with Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never for the ambient electronic collaboration of the year! It is the first project under SSTUDIOS (Software Studio Series), where Software Recording Co. will be inviting electronic musicians to collaborate with one another. In this case, most of the works were spontaneous creations with little forethought. Get ready to take a tour around, where analog and digital sounds are thrown into a confusing and inseparable mix. More details on the release in the full post, along with full tracklisting.

 

AURAL DEVASTATION is a regular column about heavy music. Today, Converge reasserts their importance, and Pig Destroyer get covertly political, arguably. +++ FULL POST + AURAL DEVASTATION COLUMNS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

Converge

Few bands have remained as relevant and impossible to duplicate as the Massachusetts based metalcore kings Converge. Ignoring the insane impact that each member of the band has had in all aspects of the music industry -- from record label owning and producing to cover designing and playing in every band possible -- it isn't a very far stretch to call Converge one of the more important heavy bands to exist in the past 20 years. All We Love We Leave is the perfect example of Converge's ability to develop something new while still maintaining the familiarity of the whole assault of sound. See full post for tour dates.

 

At first look, anything that is described as minimal, whether it be architecture, music, art, or even a way of living, is often also characterized as simple. However, a deeper examination can actually reveal a more complicated and challenging story, which proves that minimal does not always have a direct relation to simplicity, and that minimal can mean different things to different people. Such is the case for Austin duo Deep Time, who on their Facebook page describes themselves as "minimal weirdo pop."
When the two members of the band, Adam Jones and Jennifer Moore, talk about being "minimal," they refer more to the literal meaning of using limited resources, as opposed to the more known term of "minimalist music," which is defined by the use of repetition, ambiance, and often, electronics. Unlike the latter, Deep Time's music is considered minimal because they play the game of figuring out how to give life to their complex ideas knowing that they are limited to what they can do between two members.

 

The first annual CounterPoint Music and Arts Festival was held about 20 miles South of Atlanta, GA on a well-established horse farm along the Chattahoochee river. The venue was nestled upon green-topped pastures and surrounded by woodlands and a scenic waterfront, altogether under a spacious sky. In the festival foreground stood a monstrous dual main stage for quick back-to-back set transitions. The mid-ground had carnival rides, live art installations, event sponsored amenities, and local goods and food vendors galore! (The jumbo turkey legs and lamb crepes were delicious!) Lastly, two whopping tents were situated in the background, along with a water-filling station that constantly had a line that seemed comparable to one for the latest iPhone release.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY IWALLY PHOTOGRAPHY
It seemed very appropriate for me, as a first-time festival camper, to attend the first ever CounterPoint! Festival goers not only brought their camping essentials, but more importantly, they brought an electrifying energy and all the feel-good vibes the east coast had to offer. Some even made the trek from California! I admired their dedication and gave them some well-earned candy bracelets. There was an undeniable multi-dimensional sense of community that was brought on by the shared love for connections with like-minded people, an escape from our daily realities, and above all, the love of music. I went in with no intentions of reviewing any specific acts, but instead I was going to attend as many sets as I could, well-known or otherwise, and would cover those that left a lasting impression. Those include Crystal Castles, Beats Antique, Skrillex, Zoogma, Adventure Club, and Abakus.

Multi-faceted director Ryan Staake of Pomp&Clout has created a music video this year that arguably blows his previous ones out of the water. Using dance as its centerpiece, Staake's video for Diplo's "Set It Off" focuses on the glam element in the art of striptease. Hyperreal, high-resolution camera footage blends with fantastical, over-the-top elements to create a vertically unraveling video that recalls space travel as much as it does a dingy club. In the conversational back-and-forth between Staake and his producers T.S. Pfeffer and Robert McHugh, readers will gain an understanding of the physical, technological, and artistic scale of this project, along with the process behind its shiny, mirrored infinitude. And before you jump in, keep "cocaine-Vegas" and "infinite stripper pole" in mind as buzz words, for they are perhaps the most accurate descriptions possible.
"I've always been into creating videos which appear seamless, with little to no sense of edits... Several months before the request to make a video for “Set It Off” came through, I’d shot some test footage of a friend pole dancing, and loved the look of it... there was definite sexiness to it, but the potential to add a bit of class to the depiction of beautiful, strong women showing off their skills." -- Ryan Staake, Director