Beachwood Sparks
“Forget The Song”

“Warmth of the spring melts the winter in my heart…” I’ve got a lot that needs-be-melting, dear Sparks of the Beachwood, my heart left freezer-burnt by now, still and chilled beneath a hard shell of a 10-year blizzard in InternetWorld having wrought cynical scoffs and disoriented blog-drifters, spotified eyes and worn out ears, with glossy magazines getting gaga over the new ostensibly-sellable-breed of neo-country co-opters who get to give acceptance speeches on television.

I’ve missed you, your purity, your preservation of that Byrdsian beautification of nature’s glorious grime and verdant soils seeping and swirling into the enlightening frolics of incense-swathed daydreams and evocative drifts into the “cosmic”-tinged realms of surf-toned guitars, pedal-steel purrs, sweet organ thrums, and ambling rhythms. The harmonies, my word, the harmonies.

Wherever you’ve been, if busking on the third ring of Saturn or hitchhiking off on some Easy Rider trip, under the radar, slipping through and past the stiff-folded arms of those prejudice to pure country-psyche pop, or the jaded, or the uneducated internet-stumblers, wherever or however long its taken, I’m glad you’re back.

Beachwood Sparks, California’s cosmic-country elite, have released “Forget The Song” on SubPop, with a full album, Tarnished Gold, due June 26.

• Beachwood Sparks: http://www.thecalmingseas.com
• Sub Pop: http://www.subpop.com

BODYGUARD

“Rain”

It’s lime-green Kawasaki time! James Ferraro, the most beloved musician on Earth, took to SoundCloud minutes ago to release Rain, a two-track, 23-minute mix/EP/something-or-another by his new band, BODYGUARD (I think they prefer caps, right?), featuring ambient thuds, sampled shouting, deep-deep bass, fleeting beats, and mountainous guitar soloing. “Rain 1” actually sounds like an elongated version of “Sex With AXE™ On,” except without the sexy R&B vocals. “Rain 2,” in turn, sounds like a shortened version of “Rain 1,” which makes the track also share similarities with “Sex With AXE™ On.” Hear both “Rain” tracks here, and feel free to note whatever similarities you want:

• BODYGUARD: https://twitter.com/#!/BODY_GUARD_
• BODYGUARD: http://hipposintanks.net/bodyguard
• James Ferraro: https://twitter.com/#!/JFerraro_zip
• James Ferraro: http://tinyurl.com/6v4stfb
• James Ferraro: http://hipposintanks.net/artists/james-ferraro
• Hippos In Tanks: http://hipposintanks.net

Lil B

Trapped in BasedWorld [mixtape]

Lil B’s at 96 tracks in roughly 2 months + an NYU lecture. We are definitely Trapped in BasedWorld. THANK YOU BASED GOD.

• Basedworld: http://www.basedworld.com

Can

“Deadly Doris”

Last month, Mute released “Millionenspiel,” a track from Can’s The Lost Tapes, a 3-CD set that collects unreleased/rediscovered jams from 1968-1977 (a.k.a. the great years, and then some). This month, we’ve got “Deadly Doris,” another track from The Lost Tapes. Check it out here:

The Lost Tapes is due June 19 via Mute. Keep it up, readers. We must be doing something right to get these sweet Can tracks.

• Can: http://www.spoonrecords.com
• Mute: http://mute.com

Andrew Weathers

“Taking Names Blues”

The electric guitar is no stranger to the worlds of ambient and drone. Often we hear guitars drenched in layers of reverb and echo, serving as a melodic fixture within a bold ambient landscape. The guitar also frequently functions as the motor behind drone music and is probably too often mistaken as being analog synthesizers. Andrew Weathers makes music that certainly has ambient tendencies, but it stars the acoustic guitar in a drone-like setting. While modern drone music can often be witnessed mingling with shades of folk and Americana styles, Weathers makes modern Americana music while mingling with drone characters.

The sepia-toned-out video for “Taking Names Blues” does a very fine job of depicting the auditory happenings within the lead-off track of Andrew Weathers’ split cassette with Ancient Ocean — out on Rubber City Noise. The video features four separate quadrants of film. The first and fourth quadrants show visions of driving past leafless trees, icy bodies of water, and telephone wires; while the second and third quadrants feature spinning footage of these winter trees. The changing landscape follows Weathers’ aimless yet steady finger-plucking journey on his acoustic guitar through classic American raga themes, while the constant yet dizzying images imitate the rotating undertone of drone that sticks with the recording throughout. Ancient Ocean’s side of the tape also features mesmerizing guitar motifs, but they play a bit more of a supporting role.

• Rubber City Noise: http://rubbercitynoise.bandcamp.com
• Andrew Weathers: http://www.andrewweathers.com

Julia Holter & Jib Kidder

“My Baby”

It’s been roughly a year since Jib Kidder made his debut in our Chocolate Grinder section (congrats again, Jib!). To mark this momentous occasion (aside from the balloons I blew up this morning), we’d like to share with you his most recent video for “My Baby.” The track is actually written by Julia Holter, who used Jib Kidder’s “Ringtone Cowboy” as source material. You can find the original on his forthcoming full-length Steal Guitars, an album that re-envisions country music in a similar manner to how Kidder’s All On Yall played with Southern rap. It’s out June 19 on States Rights. “My Baby” isn’t on it, but don’t fret Holter fanboy/fangirl: there will be a “remix companion” called Steal Guitars: Fencing Partners, too.

• Jib Kidder: http://jibkidder.bandcamp.com
• Julia Holter: http://juliashammasholter.com
• States Rights: http://www.statesrightsrecords.com

  

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.