The married musical couple Ben + Vesper offer up their second LP of pop adventurousness this month with the release of Honors coming on the uber-packed released day of January 25th via Sounds Familyre Records. The group has taken its time over the past few years to compose these new pop gems in the four years since the lauded debut, All This Could Kill You. Despite the time Ben Stamper spent writing the new songs, the couple opted for a five-day recording session to lend immediacy to the performances. Ben + Vesper’s is filled out with John Mosloskie on bass and Steve Oyola on drums, as well as the incomparable Sufjan Stevens lending vital keyboard work throughout the record.
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Now that the Christmas season has passed and the gifts have already been received, let’s take a nostalgic look at popular gifts through the years. During the 1990s, technology created all sorts of new gifts, but the most sought after toys were often refreshingly simple.
Tickle Me Elmo: It was the hot toy of the 1996 Christmas season. Squeeze Elmo’s stomach and he would vibrate and laugh. “Tickle Me Elmo Xtreme”, which also lies down and rolls around all on its own, was released ten years later.
Composed of grimy 16 mm splatterhouse reels, minimalist/hauntology outfit Demdike Stare actually tell a story with “Hashshashin Chant” rather than pastiche their way through the post-Argento abstract as innumerable witch-house clips do. It’s still delectably dark eye candy, particularly the way the track’s Cthulhu incantations are given life by the weird sand people shamen what-have-you.
Now that the Christmas season has passed and the gifts have already been received, let’s take a nostalgic look at popular gifts through the years. The 1980s…
Cabbage Patch Dolls: It may be hard to imagine now, but these cloth-bodied dolls with plastic heads were the must-have toy of 1983. Fights broke out among crowds of angry Christmas shoppers who were looking for the nearly-sold out dolls.
Now that the Christmas season has passed and the gifts have already been received, let’s take a nostalgic look at popular gifts through the years. The 1970s saw a boom in electronic technology, but many presents were still pretty old school.
Atari Pong: Before Xbox, Nintendo 64, or Sega Genesis: there was Pong. While you can probably play it on your cellphone today, it was a huge gift in the 1970s. In 1976, they sold for about $55.