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 1960’s saw the introduction of many gifts that are still popular today.
Milton Bradley Mystery Date Board Game: The original 1965 version costs over $100 online, but a 2005 version is more readily available. (I personally have the High School Musical version.)
While some music fans believe that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a great honor, others believe that it’s only a chance for self-important insiders to throw a party for their favorite acts. However, the nominations were announced weeks ago, with a surprising 15 acts up for the win. Ten nominees were snubbed, but here’s a look at who did get in and what this could mean for next year’s crop.
Alice Cooper: The most recognizable of the five honorees, he’s the father of “shock rock”, known for his dark style and highly theatrical concerts. His inclusion opens the door for modern goth-rock artists.
// Notes from the Road
"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.READ the article