This week Andre and Kevin hang around Maraqopa a little longer to sit down with Damien Jurado before his show in DC to talk about the cosmic themes of his new album Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son, Wim Wenders, sax solos and so much more. PLUS! Kevin and Paul review the new and excellent album from HOSPITALITY!
Hospitality - Hospitality
Standout Tracks: “Friends” “Betty Wang”
By channeling everything that was right about the new-wave/punk scene hanging around CBGB’s in the late 70’s and putting a borderline twee pop sheen on it, Hospitality turned out one of the most listenable albums of 2012. More importantly though, it was also one of the most smartly satisfying records in recent memory. By simply having not only great taste in music, but the ability to execute on it with great songwriting, Amber Papini and crew set the bar just a little higher for all the aspiring indie-popsters out there this year.
Oddisee - People Hear What People Say
Standout Tracks: “Let It Go” “Anothers Grind”
Hip hop these days tends to either aim to either invigorate social awareness or lean towards a celebration of the more bacchanalian pursuits in life, but seldom does it more successfully meld the two more sweetly than on People Hear What People Say. Oddisee, originally a DC native, laid down twelve tracks of old school rhymes mashed against late 60’s universal soul and the result was an album that transcended the genre as much as it celebrated it. A wild ride that veers from West Coast to East Coast, KRS-One to Posdunus and back , People doesn’t just revel in the history of hip hop, it exalts the history of popular music PERIOD, and isn’t just a record that you shouldn’t miss, if you have ears, you practically can’t.
What happens when you put a bunch of music nerds in a room and ask them to talk about their favorite music of the year so far? Why you get a Top Ten List of course! There's been a metric sh@# ton of great music this year, with new releases from the likes of Punch Brothers, Leonard Cohen, Alabama Shakes and more, but ultimately there can be only TEN that make the cut.
With over sixty albums mentioned the whittling down process was arduous and sometimes painful, but in the end we came together and saw our way through the adversity/diversity to deliver unto you this list of the best that 2012 to date has to offer.
#10 Hospitality - Hospitality
KEVIN - New York hasn’t sounded this cool since the glorious heyday of CBGB’s, Blondie and The Talking Heads. Complex, confident, and unabashedly poppy, this is easily the most memorable debut record from any band on a long, LONG while.
ANDRE - I recommend talking to Kevin on this one. Just remind him that the first step is accepting you have a problem. I dig it as well, just not as much as Kevin...because that's impossible.
As the midway point of 2012 rapidly approaches, it becomes more and more clear which bands stand out and are going to be the ones remembered in this, the final year of everything, and which ones are simply going to fall by the wayside…much like the totality of humanity. For me, one band that not only easily stands out, but sits at the top of the list is Hospitality. Given shape in the forge of intelligent, witty songwriting and an ancient miasma of old school NYC punk/new wave truth, Hospitality has taken the lessons that bands like Television, Blondie and Talking Heads laid down, and brought the gospel back to the masses - surely a sign that the end times are upon us.
I kid but marginally so. It’s true that Hospitality is by far my favorite of the crop of bands that have “debuted” (they actually have been around since 2008) or released new records in 2012, but after their performance at The Black Cat last Thursday, which was the second time I’ve seen them in as many months, I have to say – it’s getting a little frustrating to be a Hospitality fan. To be clear, they delivered a GREAT performance, there just seems to be something…missing.
Earlier this year, the New York band Hospitality released what is shaping up to be one of the years best records. With songs like "Friends", "Betty Wang" and our personal favorite, "The Birthday", the band is on the fast track to indie superstardom, and shows no time of slowing up anytime soon. Tonight they'll make a stop at DC's The Black Cat opening for label mate Eleanor Friedberger and as great as their songs are on record, we're pretty comfortable with letting you know that you ain't seen nothing yet.
A few months ago we had the chance to chat with singer/guitarist/songwriter Amber Papini a few months ago and she let us in on some of the history of the band, band crushes how making a their debut record took a mighty, mighty long time. Here's what she had to say.
I read that you guys actually wrote a lot of material for this record a while ago, and didn't quite get into the full-time band business until recently. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Yeah, sure. I wrote the songs over, I guess 2008 to 2009, and then we recorded in 2010. We started out…we recorded this EP in 2008 with [producer] Karl Blau, and wegot things going with that. And then in 2009 Brian got this opportunity to tour with White Rabbits, so he took that and it basically turned into like 2 years of him touring. So we were actually ready to be in the studio and record in 2009 but we just couldn't. It was between Brian's schedule, and then the studio’s that we wanted to work with schedule, and it just never happened so we just had to wait. And then when we did finally get in the studio, we were working with a guy who was sort of really busy. The same time he was recording us he was recording Sleigh Bells I think, so we were paying him discount prices and we were getting like… we had to do this very quickly and we really had to wait for the mixes.
All words/pictures by ace contributor Suzanne Wnek
I just attended my first SXSW and I got everything wrong. But even if you get everything wrong at SXSW, it’s an experience you cant’ help but love, and hey, there’s always next year.
First things first: if you’ve never been to SXSW, it’s not like a huge park with 2 or 3 stages and the acts rotate through while you decide in which field you’re going to sit. Instead, it’s as if all your favorite bars and music venues in the world relocated within a one-mile radius (give or take…someone out there was probably wearing a pedometer). In those 100s of venues, 1000s of bands can play 40-minute sets over the course of 5 days, and they will.
Well now we gone and done it. Yes folks, it's official! Today we're proud to announce the ChunkyGlasses podcast, available now in a variety of formats for you to shove into your earholes.
To say that you can expect the same intelligent and informative discourse that you've come to expect from the site (you have, right?), would, to put it mildly be an outright lie. No people, this podcast is for fans of music, beer, and smoked meat products - in that order. There's nothing to see here except the raw unedited opinions of a bunch of guys who were stupid enoght to start a music site and then failed to get off the stupid train until it reached it's logical end: This podcast.
So, if you've got some time and want to be (mildly) entertained by our musings/rantings/what have you, then tune in below or subscribe to us via iTunes/or your favorite podcast catcher. We're shooting to release a new edition every two weeks for now, and have plans for special guests on upcoming episodes that we think you're gonna like. So strap in, make sure your beer is full, and join us as we continue our magestic journey through the world of music as we know it.
This station is officially ON!!!
Sounds Like: Blondie, Talking Heads, the year 1974, futurediscorollerskatejam
Why You Should Care: With a killer debut set to drop at the end of the month, this is one of the bands you'll be hearing about most in 2012.
If your were awake and your ears were working at all in 2011, you'd know that NYC newbies Hospitality were one of the most hyped bands of the year...without even having a record out.
Well now it's 2012, and that problem is about to be corrected when they release their self-titled debut on January 31st. To say that the record more than lives up to the hype may be putting it mildly.With insanely catchy, slightly off kilter songs that play nicely with some of those other New York art/punk/pop bands (Talking Heads, Blondie, etc.) you might have heard of, Hospitality seems to have knocked this one out of the park.
The track "Friends of Friends" is just one of the many reasons to love this record, and we've got it here for you to stream, download, and generally have your way with until Hospitality gets its release proper at the end of the month.
When you're talking about live music, it really comes down to one thing, the energy that a band and the crowd create in the moment. You’ve either got or ya don’t. So this is an opportunity for other bands to take notice, because everyone walked out of the Rosebuds/Hospitality/Moderate show with a yearning for when that will happen again.
I’m a newbie to the Rosebuds and their music, having only seen them as the opener for Bon Iver earlier this year, where the venue was filled mainly with his fans, not theirs. So it was great to walk into the Rock and Roll Hotel for their show where the North Carolina to DC-based band The Moderate was already rolling through their set. Utilizing a guitar heavy sound that nods to Built to Spill and Modest Mouse, this group has also really focused on their skills as a tight melodic pop unit. And one of the most exciting parts of their driving set was when they would let the songs open up and breathe with an occasional jam, leaving the audience wondering where they might go, by which they guided us all in for a chaotic, but controlled landing. This really set the tone for a fun night.