Rather than further expand the “basement soul” sound they’ve established in other rocking recent releases such as “A Deeper Blue” and “Press Play”, Philadelphia’s the Dull Blue Lights let reggae and Motown undertones pervade their grooving new single. As described by bassist Ben Parry, “‘All Or Nothing’ is what happens when you make the mistake of thinking that one break-up will dismantle your identity and destroy whatever purpose you were carving out for yourself. Then you get extra sad because, on top of it all, you can’t sing like Curtis Mayfield, but damned if you’re not gonna try.”
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Brooklyn-based roots musician Anthony D’Amato and his band recently performed an acoustic set at the Rubin Museum to celebrate the release of his latest EP, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a set of seven original and cover songs (proceeds from sales will support the International Rescue Committee). It was inspired, of course, by the current President.
Tristan Kneschke: Increasingly, directors are placing a layer of noise or grain over the top of their videos to simulate vintage film stocks. The absurd thing is that video hosting services will then compensate for the added noise when compressing the signal, often eliminating it. It’s unclear if that’s what’s happening on Ariel Pink’s “Another Weekend”, or if the director has inverted the stylistic cue by intentionally blurring the entire frame. The result emphasizes Pink’s latest bizarro creation, placing him inside a seedy Mexican lounge complete with his own backing band, the edges of objects frustratingly unclarified and murky. Believe it or not, it services the lyrics that pine about lost time on the weekends, which can ring true for many of us during the bacchanalian summer days. [7/10]
Kevin Korber: I can understand why Radiohead left this off of OK Computer when it came out; while it shares the album’s sense of techno-paranoia, it’s far closer to a straightforward rock song than Radiohead probably would’ve liked. The song also has a dramatic ebb and flow that fits right in with the “saviors of rock” tag slapped onto the band in 1997. Despite this, “Man of War” is still excellent; it’s the sort of straightforward rock song that only Radiohead could pull off convincingly. Moreover, it has a decidedly organic element to its arrangement and to Thom Yorke’s vocal performance, as if it were the hint of a beating heart inside the computer. [8/10]
Terror Pigeon! (formerly The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt!) is Nashvillian Neil Fridd’s vehicle for spilling his heart all over the place, in the style of “funcore” or “affirmationcore”.
Funcore is defined by dense and danceable synth music that underpins mantras of undying positivity, often echoed by the audience during performances. These dynamic live shows heavily involve fans in the form of games and props—designed to foster an inclusive and, well, fun environment. (Dan Deacon is a good reference point.)