August 15, 2013

Mixtape #26: Goodbye Space Ladies

This is it, folks. My final contribution to Everybody Taste. I started this site in February of 2009 and over the years I've written roughly 1,200 posts. Everybody Taste started as an outlet to share music and work on my writing while I worked at a general interest magazine. It was never about quantity of material but, hopefully, quality. This little one-person site has led to a handful of amazing opportunities: interviews with the best bands in the world, articles published in magazines, countless new friends, and even a little record company, Analog Edition. But in the words of the band Christmas Island—whose song is featured on this 26th installment of ET's mixtape series—"I'm already 29 and running out of time." Technically, I'm 28, but I'm ready to make a mark or two on this bat-shit-crazy world before it completely passes me by.

This summer I tied the knot with my best friend, and now I'm set to open a market and coffee shop in the Fall called Little Red Fox. It's going to take every moment of my waking life to make this endeavor work, so I'm going cold turkey on the endless search for new music for a stretch. But if you're ever in DC, please stop on by for coffee, a beer, fresh homemade grub, and of course, all your favorite music. And Analog Edition isn't going anywhere just yet, so if you can, please keep supporting the label and the fantastic bands on it. In my absence, please also proceed to get your musical kicks via these consistently inspiring, tasteful, and wonderfully passionate folks: Aquarium Drunkard, Rollo Grady, We Listen For You, Castle Face Records, Burger Records, Father / Daughter, Mississippi Records, Italians Do It Better, and Woodsist. Now, here it is, ET's final mixtape: Goodbye Space Ladies.

Side A
Vic Godard & The Subway Sect - "Stop That Girl"
Brenton Wood - "Baby You Got It"
Hunx & Hix Punx - "Dream On (Little Dreamer)"
The Jags - "Back of My Hand"
Richard Swift - "The Bully"
The Rock*A*Teens - "I'm Your Puppet"
Sonny & The Sunsets - "Dark Corners"
Alex Chilton - "Hey! Little Child"
The Who - "The Kids Are Alright"

Side B
Alex Bleeker & The Freaks - "Who Are You Seeing?"
Bodies of Water - "Like A Stranger"
Christmas Island - "Twenty Nine"
Beaut - "Goodbye Judy"
Wyatt Blair - "Girls!"
Tomorrows Tulips - "Casual Hopelessness"
Damien Jurado - "Mountains Still Asleep"
The Blue Rondos - "Little Baby"
Chris Bell - "You and Your Sister"


July 10, 2013

One Week, One Band: Tom Petty

I'm over at One Week One Band this week writing about Tom Petty. So far, I've touched on his gorgeous golden locks, nasally voice, antagonistic maneuvers against the record industry, and his excellent collaborations with Johnny Cash and Stevie Nicks (of which there are many). I can't post MP3s over there, so here's a few fun covers I've collected over the years.

Juston Stens & Seth Kauffman - "Don't Come Around Here No More"
My Morning Jacket feat. Neko Case - "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"
Kings of Convenience - "Free Fallin"
Dawn Landes - "I Won't Back Down"
Jeff Tweedy and Jay Bennett - "Listen To Her Heart"
Drive By Truckers - "Rebels"
Bright Eyes & The Felice Brothers - "Walls"

July 7, 2013

Shark Week - "Baby Maybe"

The first time I heard DC four-piece Shark Week was back in November of 2011 at a show inside of St. Stephens Church. I remember being floored by a rip-roaring cover of Johnny Thunders' epic anthem, "Born To Lose." Unfortunately, I took frontman Ryan Hunter Mitchell at his word when he jokingly riffed on the band's surf-rock sound, telling the crowd Shark Week was from "Long Beach, California." A quick Google search that night turned up squat. Then in August of 2012 the band released its debut EP and I connected the dots: a young hair stylist is fronting one of the best bands in DC, and they sound like a bluesy and modern spin on The Kinks and New York Dolls, punctuated by the kind of energetic fits and howls you only hear in church and great soul-stirring rock 'n' roll. Or apparently, sometimes both simultaneously. I was hooked.

Now I'm beyond pleased to be helping the band press and release their first 7" dubbed Santurce: a two-song double A-side single recorded in the Santurce neighborhood of San Juan, Puerto Rico this past January. The two tracks were cut in the studio of Puerto Rican psych-rock outfit Fantasmes and show off a more versatile and soulful side to Shark Week. On "Baby Maybe," the 'oohs' and 'aahs' are cranked to the max while the drumming carves out a deep and insistent hip-swaying groove, muscular guitar riffs swing and shimmy, and Mitchell's signature full-throated delivery sinks its teeth into all the indefinite "maybes" and unknowns of a relationship on the brink with devilish delight.

Santurce is out July 30th. Pre-order digitally on iTunes or on vinyl from Analog Edition

Shark Week - "Baby Maybe"

Dig into the other A-side, "Go West," below.

June 6, 2013

Sylvan Esso - "Hey Mami"

I think I just listened to this song 15 times in a row thanks to my buddy Nada, who included "Hey Mami" in the most recent installment of her monthly mix club. From a quick trip to Trekky Records, it appears Sylvan Esso is vocalist Amelia Meath of Mountain Man and multi-instrumentalist Nick Sanborn of Decibully and Megafaun and it's just about everything you could ask for in a collaboration: an ambitious and brilliant contrast of playfully natural and earthy vocal harmonies with crunchy snapping drums and dark pulsing synth grooves. One moment you're listening to the leaves rustle under the trees and the next you're being vaulted up into the stars by an extraterrestrial tractor beam.

Pre-order the Hey Mami / Play It Right 12″ from Trekky Records.

May 29, 2013

Wyatt Blair :: Banana Cream Dream

The time I devote to Everybody Taste these days is negatively impacting the forthcoming brick 'n' mortar retail food market I plan to open in the Fall. So if I'm writing here—instead of working on something far more important to my future well-being—it's because I can't fucking control myself: I've been moved by the power of rock 'n' roll, and my music nerd instincts are compelling me to immediately share it with you. The power-pop currently racing out of the brain of Los Angeles-based and Orange Country-bred musician Wyatt Blair is that inspiring force and it's all sugary excitement, throaty Marc Bolan swagger, and thunderous hip-twisting foot-stomping power-chord fun. Blair, who's toured alongside the likes of The Lovely Bad Things and Peach Kelli Pop and released an EP called Peach Colored Pussy, works equal parts humor and melody into each of his charmingly simple and infectiously malted pop confections. Blair's newest release, Banana Cream Dream, is out now on cassette from (who else) Burger Records with a forthcoming vinyl release due out on Resurrection Records. From the uproarious muted-guitar hum of "Girls!" to the swinging blues and stutter on "Sweet Operator (Talkin' On The Telephone)", the songs on Banana Cream Dream are so instantaneously uplifting and savagely simple that it's nearly impossible to escape the fun. This summer, whether you're cruising a dark highway, swatting away mosquitoes and crushing beer cans on a back porch somewhere, or simply doing the dishes alone in the kitchen, please pop in this record and proceed to shimmy, head bang, and pogo forth all that is wonderful, sweet, and forever satisfying about a fresh new slab of boogie-friendly rock 'n' roll.

Buy Banana Cream Dream digitally from the band. Get the tape from Burger

May 20, 2013

The Everywheres :: The Everywheres

What the Allah-Las dished out in 2012, The Everywheres appear set to lay on thick in 2013: swagger-glazed guitar licks and hip-shimmying rhythms informed by the most discerning of musical tastes. While the Los Angeles-based Allah-Las radiate a decidedly sunny Southern California outlook, the Nova Scotia-set Everywheres exist in a state more mysterious, psychedelic, and meditative. The songs here play less like populist bar jukebox crowd pleasers and more like intimate found postcards and messages in bottles—personal stories and reflections caught in the raw and naked moments of creation. Halifax native Samuel Hill, The Everywheres' everything-man, recorded the album in his folk's basement, and perhaps because of that setting there's a but of an eerie and creeping sense of isolation and claustrophobia that bleeds into each song. The album cover—a photograph that captures the top of a couch hit by patchy sunlight, as shaped by leafy branches and a window pane—can at a quick glance look like a pastoral landscape. And that simple yet transportive illusion creates a fitting visual companion to The Everywheres' music, which feels simultaneously at home roaring out of car speakers on winding open country roads and trapped inside the confines of a pair of headphones on a darkened rainy day.

Pre-order The Everywheres' self-titled debut, out June 25th, from Father Daughter Records.

May 2, 2013

Mixtape #25: Don't Let This Summer Be A Bummer

Side A
Chairlift - "I Belong In Your Arms [Japanese Version]"
Dirk Diggler & Reed Rothchild - "Feel The Heat"
Generationals - "Durga II"
Don Covay - "You're Good For Me"
Woods - "Impossible Sky"
Dusty Springfield - "When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes"
Richard Swift - "Drakula (Hey Man!)"
Warm Soda - "Jeanie Loves Pop"
Martha Wainwright - "Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole"

Side B
Radiation City - "Foreign Bodies"
Benjy Ferree - "Fear"
Arthur Lee - "Everybody's Gotta Live"
Tangiers - "I Wanna Go Out"
Miyazaki - "Sequence"
Those Darlins - "Let You Down"
Heron - "Goodbye"
Karen Dalton - "Something On Your Mind"


Mikal Cronin

April 9, 2013

I Don't Like Radiohead: The Problem with Consensus & Independent Taste

If you're a true music fan, someone who cares and really gets it, you love Radiohead; you think Deerhunter and everything Bradford Cox touches is gold; and you worship at the altar of indie heavyweights like Sonic Youth, Pavement, and My Bloody Valentine. For music nerds and the most respected music journalists, these bands are typically treated with an almost religious-like respect and sometimes even worshipped. I, of course, have a deep respect and admiration for all those groups. But do I consider myself a fan or personally enjoy their music? No, not really. Sure, I've probably put a Pavement song on a playlist once or twice. When I was younger, I'm sure I played Radiohead in the car a few times to establish my music credibility to a new friend (probably a girl). But do I ever actively seek out these band's music? Do I—a music-obsessed, band t-shirt wearing, vinyl hoarder—own a single one of their records? Do I ever listen to their music for fun or enjoyment? No, no, and nope.

So, now you're thinking, "This guy has shitty taste. He wouldn't know a good song if it hit him in the fucking face." Well, please read on.