Category Archives: Instrumental

Open Windows 2: Nice dreams, coathangers and shoegaze/metal fire

Atlanta garage punk group The Coathangers paid a visit to Paste’s studios recently. The band members all have stage names ending in Coathanger — Rusty Coathanger, Crook Kid Coathanger and Minnie Coathanger. They’re already seasoned punk veterans, with their fifth album, Nosebleed Weekend, out April 15 on Suicide Squeeze Records.

With the constant tick-ticking of the rim and two acoustic guitars, the three of them play a stripped-down version of their song “Make It Right” for Paste, but to hear them in their full punk-rock glory, watch them do the cutting in their video for “Hurricane” from 2011:

 

The debut from Boston-based thrash-metal-shoegaze group Astronoid is out June 10 on Blood Music, and Metal Injection has posted the lyric video for “Up and Atom.” One listen to that song will hook you– their vocal harmonies simply float in the heavens, while waves of guitars perform their own shredded masterpiece below. Their debut is going to be huge.

 

Almost everyone’s reviewing Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool, including an 8-year-old who’s broken the songs down in very simple terms. Radiohead’s music is extremely dense and layered with different meanings, so it’s refreshing to see a child tackle the album, track by track. And to be honest, every music critic has to start somewhere, and my early reviews started like this, so kudos to him for getting an early jump.

Read it for yourself:

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Jazz/classical/synth and sonic mastermind Floating Points (Sam Shepherd) has released the studio version of an 18-minute song called “Kuiper,” part of his upcoming Kuiper EP out July 22 on Luaka Bop/PLUTO. Shepherd had earlier released the live version on video. His instrumental works are pieces of electronic art. Kuiper will be available to download May 20.

Actor and MC Daveed Diggs can rap 19 words in 3 seconds — the fastest rapper on Broadway. While there’s not many rappers on Broadway, that’s pretty damn impressive. Diggs shows off his skills in the song “Guns and Ships” which he performs on the massive Broadway hit “Hamilton.”

Don’t blink as he slams a few verses from his hip-hop group, clipping., on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon:

 

EL VY, a project created by The National’s Matt Berninger and Brent Knopf of Menomena, have mixed and released Wye Oak’s song “Need A Friend.”

Wye Oak’s Andy Stack said this about the remix:

I spent the last quarter of 2015 playing drums on tour with EL VY. “Need a Friend” was consistently our closer, and arguably the most high-energy song of the set. By contrast, when I went to remix it, I imagined it as a Sade-style slow jam (complete with horn solo), a genuine reading of the angst, “love” and “heartbreak” which the original presents as more tongue-in-cheek. 

Wye Oak has been hinting at new music and will head out on tour this summer.

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Filed under Electronic, Garage Punk, Hardcore punk, Instrumental, Jazz, Metal, Noise Punk, Open Windows New Music, Rap, Shoegaze, Synth, Thrash, Uncategorized

A former K-Mart employee saved every last bit of music crap the store played from 1989-1999

Whenever vintage shopping-mall music is vomited onto the web, I’m drawn to it like half-off Christmas supplies in April.

Someone who’s either malicious or crazy — I can’t tell which — has digitized his collection of K-Mart music tapes and uploaded online for anyone brave enough to listen. Muzak, easy listening and in-store product ads that ran end to end were put on cassette and then eventually thrown out, but this guy saved them. Thank god, because where would we be without a constant reminder that “Major Dad” used to be on CBS on Sunday nights?

It does bring me back to the late ’80s — when you found that argyle sweater and slacks you required for the first day of school. As soon as you shut the door to the plastic prison known as the dressing room, the Muzak was finally muffled, so you could more easily ponder how you could slowly kill yourself.

I’ve chosen “K-Mart 1989” for my listening pleasure/torture.

I have some questions.

Are Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Johnny Mathis, et al, going to sue for their staticky likeness being plopped on the internet?

The Mad Men-era announcer guy who gladly interrupts between every song — is he dead now? It’s a valid question.

Related question: If he’s not dead, can we search him out and berate him for implying that only Martha Stewart knows how to bake? (I don’t know how to bake but that’s beside the point.)

When K-Mart employees were told to throw out these tapes to make room for hot new music, how did the employee restrain him or herself from smashing the cassette with his price gun?

This guy — named Tape-A-Thon — worked at the retail giant from 1989-1999, so until you or I walk in his loafers, we’ll never be able to taste the mind-numbing horror that he endured over a decade.

We salute you. Also, I kind of want a Presto FryDaddy now.

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Filed under '80s, cassettes, Instrumental, Muzak, Retro, Tapes, Vaporwave

Jenny Hval’s “Apocalypse, girl” streaming at New York Times

Multimedia artist Jenny Hval’s new album, “Apocalypse, girl” is unlike most you may hear in 2015. It’s streaming now at New York Times‘ “Press Play.”

It’s built of equal parts spoken-word, instrumental, incendiary, and well aware of social Jenny-Hval-The-Battle-Is-Over-Vidand feminist issues. It’s pointedly incendiary, but also contains a lot of soul in the form of Hval’s pained lyrics and thin, clear vocals.

Watch the video, below, for her eye-opening single “That Battle Is Over.” In it she declares, “Newspaper statistics tell me I am unhappy and dying.” She continues, “It’s biology, it’s my own fault, it’s divine punishment,” as she crucifies the prison she calls woman’s place in the world.

It’s disturbing to hear, and it’s supposed to knock you off-level, because her music is appropriately weighty, transgressive dream-pop.

It’s worth a listen.

“Apocalypse, girl” is out June 9 on Sacred Bones.

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Filed under Experimental, Instrumental, New Music