Hot on the heels of their latest release, The End Of Everything, DC's very own TYPEFIGHTER stops by the basement to talk about the new album, offer up some choice ideas for band names and the pros and cons of metal gods, Extreme. PLUS! Quinn joins Paul and Kevin in reviewing Shriek, the fourth album from Baltimore's Wye Oak, and Wasted Years, the latest 24 minutes of fury from hardcore super-group, OFF!
I’ve got a confession to make: sometimes when I get out of my car, come inside the apartment, I turn on Grand Theft Auto V and hijack an innocents car for the sole purpose of listening to one of the game’s 15 radio stations. The sad part? I’m not alone.
Grand Theft Auto V is now the fastest selling entertainment product in history, undoubtedly a triumph in video gaming. However as any music nerd will tell you, one of the standout features of the video game series is its in-game radio stations. These fictional radio stations feature a playlist, commercials and DJ personalities, the catch? Grand Theft Auto’s developer, Rockstar Games, does the ingredients to radio better than radio does.
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.
Hundred Visions – Permanent Basement
Good morning class, my name is Dr. Jim Sullivan and I’ll be your instructor for this semester’s class; Introduction on How to Rock Face 101. Here is your first assignment. I want you to go home, put on Hundred Visions Permanent Basement and loosen up your rock maneuvers along with some serious rock face. Although, there is one condition, you cannot, and I repeat, do not, at any point in this exercise rock face to this album into or near a mirror or any other reflective surfaces. I’ll see you all tomorrow for our discussion.
Welcome back class. Well, based upon the look on all of your melted faces, you probably think that I’m disappointed to see that you all have failed to follow the instructions. Billy, what was the last instruction I gave? Uhhhmmm, don’t look into a mirror or reflective surface while rocking face to Hundred Visions? Correct Billy, and based on your experience, why would I give you that instruction? Uhhhmmm, because even the reflection alone of how hard this album makes us rock face would cause us to melt our own faces off? Correct Billy, but sometimes the best education is experiencing the true power of rocking face first hand. You can thank Hundred Visions for that one. Good job class, now let me tell you about an album I like to call U.F.O.
Damien Jurado - Maraqopa
Similar to Jim Sullivan’s 1969 masterpiece U.F.O., Maraqopa is a lush, multi-layered and mysterious sounding folk album that may not get the credit it deserves in its day and age. This album is also one of the few examples of how to tastefully use strings and choirs in modern music. But, like a fine wine, this one will definitely age well and stand the test of time so that it can be lauded when the Space Jesus returns (listen to podcast 17, time stamp 52 minutes for further explanation on that front.) I just hope Damien doesn’t mimic Sullivan and decide to walk into the desert and get summoned back to another planet where the general public appreciates his music in the time when it is actually happening. So, as Carrie would say, sometimes you have to ask yourself What Would Alien Jesus Do? Well, apparently he would listen to Damien Jurado.
While walking all sweaty and broken out of the OFF! show at the Black Cat Thursday night, I was already thinking, this is going to be one of those situations where attempting to recount the show will ultimately end with “you just had to be there.” Listening to OFF!’s first 4 EP’s and album will give anyone a primer on what is so great about this band. OFF! is bold, unabashed classic hardcore punk rock that melts faces within a time frame that leaves you stunned. Then, by the time you fully realize what has just happened, the band has already packed up and left the building - or been hauled off by the cops.
So, when OFF! took the stage and launched into “Poison City” the crowd erupted into a flurry of mosh-pits, fist pumping, and unified head-banging, immediately sparking the tenet of punk music that makes these shows so enjoyable. The idea that you must make the choice to always live in the moment, to come with an open mind and leave your presuppositions about what this is all about at the door - or at least at the bottom of your half empty beer can you are about to throw across the room in youthful discontent.
To truly understand and appreciate what is so great about OFF! is to realize a.) that they are not fucking around, and that b.) they put a lot of, if not all of the, soul into what they are doing – soul that isn’t found in most of the over-processed, digitalized music being made today. So, if you know anyone who may be at a point in their life where they are questioning the emotional and soulful effect of music on the human psyche in today’s day and age, then throw them into the pit at an OFF! show to wake them the fuck up.