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Monday, Dec 1, 2014
With DIY venues falling like dominoes across Brooklyn, showing support for off the beaten path gig spaces has become a worthier act than ever.

The Chicago-based label Air Balloon Tapes has only two compilations to its name, but proceeds for each go to a venue in need. While Compilation #1 supported a Chicago locale, Young Camelot, Compilation #2 is throwing full support behind NYC’s Nola, Darling, the latest in many DIY ventures from scene creator and curator Winston Scarlett. Scarlett, who learned of Air Balloon through a mutual friend, is using this opportunity to also draw attention to some of Brooklyn’s most promising acts and the resulting scene, known as Slackgaze. Contrary to its name, Slackgaze encompasses some of the hardest working bands in the city, and much of it—like the bare bones anti-capitalist garage of Bodega Bay—isn’t exactly shoe gaze. What it is, however, is a good reminder that New York still has bands deserving of spots to play in, Nola, Darling of course being one of them.


Compilation #2 is released on 1 December 2014. A release show, featuring Chimes, Veda Rays, and other artists on the compilation, will be held 14 December at 3pm, at Nola, Darling.



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Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more creative way to celebrate the legacy of Maya Angelou than to put some slap bass behind her evocative spoken word poetry.

While the world lost a legendary writer and public figure when Maya Angelou passed earlier this May, fortunately many have found creative and heartwarming ways to celebrate her legacy. Perhaps most creative of all is the forthcoming album Caged Bird Songs, an album that pairs Angelou’s spoken word pieces with hip-hop musical backing. Below you can stream “On Aging”, a track where Angelou’s wise musings on getting older are met with a surprisingly well placed slap bass that could have been straight-ripped from a Rick James album.


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Monday, Aug 25, 2014
As it turns out, America's infatuation with sometimes kooky summer tunes is an old one.

With the summer nearing its end, people will undoubtedly soon begin making statements on what the song of the summer of 2014 was. While three months offers some degree of hindsight, it pales in comparison to our ability to see which songs defined the summers of decades previous. Fifty years ago, there wasn’t much media attention devoted to what songs ruled the charts during the warmest months, but thanks to the Billboard charts, we can look back and see what they were. So let’s take a listen to the songs of summers in the ‘60s.


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Monday, May 19, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
New York's Saul Conrad returns tomorrow with his third studio album of melodic indie pop.

Saul Conrad grew up in a musical family and was trained in classical music from a very early age, receiving formal training for some 20 years. That education informs his super melodic and harmonically complex songs, which feel like mini revelations in the age of cookie cutter top 40 pop music. You know that you’re dealing with a special artist when they reference Kierkegaard as an influence on their music.


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Monday, May 19, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
RBTS WIN's Palm Sunday is awash in pop-leaning psych and swirling electronics informed by classic hip-hop sampling techniques.

Asheville, North Carolina duo RBTS WIN, consisting of Javier Bolea and Cliff B. Worsham, formed in 2008 shortly after Bolea moved from his hometown of sun-drenched Miami to the mountain oasis of Worsham’s origins in Asheville. Their geographical backgrounds make sense when listening to Palm Sunday (Deluxe Edition), out Tuesday on their own Tidal Prism imprint. The album is awash in pop-leaning psych and swirling electronics informed by classic hip-hop sampling techniques, and etched with an imprint that is clearly informed by Since I Left You-era Avalanches. Today we are pleased to present the album stream in full.


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