By Nick Darbonne, Assistant Music Director
(Nick Tunes, Wed. 1-3 AM)
Here’s what I’ve been digging (and not digging) in March! I’ll keep this list updated as the month goes on.
Adult Books: Running From the Blows
This is some solid garage punk. Very Burger Records. It’s fun music, and though it’s not particularly profound, it’s got… I won’t say energy, because it’s totally punk for stoners, but… attitude? Or something. If you play alt. rock or punk, look into some of the tracks I marked on this one. This is the kinda thing you’d buy on cassette. Cassettes are hip.
Choir of Young Believers: Grasque
I don’t think this is getting enough attention. It’s a weird album with lyrics in English, Greek, and Danish, and an ethereal sound that sits somewhere in an alternate version of the 1980s. They’re using a synthesizer that was employed for a lot of popular music (the Yamaha DX-7!) but the rest of the instrumentation wouldn’t have happened at the time: Grasque doesn’t sit tightly in any genre. It’s the result of a culture of music creation that’s turning away from irony and tongue-in-cheek renditions of past musical forms: whatever they’re doing here is overwrought and sincere. It’s amazing and it will take you somewhere. Songs are long and flow into one another: the album is made up of a few suites. You wouldn’t know it on the radio, though… Honestly, this one is worth listening to off-air as well. But play “Serious Lover” on air. I seriously love it. I would call it “post-chillwave,” if that means anything to you.
Guerilla Toss: Eraser Stargazer
You probably won’t care for this, but whatever. It’s different and it’s filled with enough “fuck you” punk energy to make up for the fact that it was a studio recording. Noisy and dance-ready, these post-post punks put out a super entertaining record that’s just as fun as it is exhausting (No, I can’t get through the whole thing in one sitting). The promo materials from DFA mention the music as a cathartic experience, and I totally understand. Recommended if you like furious, female-fronted punk.
We have hip hop. Sometimes. This is good and I think it’ll have some crossover appeal with indie kids. It’s a fun album that remains about as introspective as fun rap music can get, but the production is solid and the energy is good.
M. Ward: More Rain
Hey, this is really good. (P4K didn’t like it, though, so expect it to do poorly). I’ve always dug M. Ward; his stuff is very low-key and folksy. I figure it’s rainy day music (haha) but it works when you want something laid back and fairly quiet that’s drawing heavily from American musical traditions. By the way, he’s the other half of She & Him. I didn’t even know that until recently.
Prince Rama: Xtreme Now
Absolutely bizarre dance music. A far cry from their earlier, almost ritualistic psychedelic music. It’s not special as far as dance music goes, and it won’t win any EDM bro converts, but it’s worth playing a few songs off this if your show veers into the dance-y or the weird.
Pretty mainstream friendly electronic album. Some pretty stuff, some trap. (I think I marked which tracks were which). But for what it is, it’s pretty good. If you like R&B-inflected West Coast EDM, you’ll dig it. Less interesting than some of her previous albums, I think.
Unloved: Guilty of Love
I’m not big on the vocals here. But if you’re into mutated soundtrack music (or if you dug Adrian Younge’s Something About April II) I would recommend you give it a try. It’s dark and has a unique sound that draws from old film soundtracks (particularly the Italian ones) and old girl-group kinda stuff. Oh, but Younge recently released an instrumental version of April II; maybe you should listen to that instead.