A Ghost History

Halifax trio Kestrels released their second album A Ghost History earlier this year, and it’s every bit the pleaser debut Primary Colours was — that is, if you’re into the sound of punk-turning-into-indie pop caught in transition while bursting at the seams with loud, boisterous shoegaze-inspired guitars. The band cites Creation records and early Merge releases as influences, but it’s likely every listener will find traces of whatever indie/college rock they may have inadvertently stumbled upon from the mid-80s to the early 90s.

Head on over to the band’s Bandcamp site to hear A Ghost History in its entirety.

• Kestrels:
• Sonic Unyon:

James Ferraro

No Regrets [mixtape]

Oh, boy. I lovvvvve how James Ferraro just can’t accept himself as a musician. I don’t mean that in a negative way. But as soon as Far Side Virtual finished, it was BEBETUNE$ harsh’oft nasty, then BODYGUARD, then Sushi. Now all of a sudden we’re in choral territory with No Regrets (thanks to KCRW), which is actually super similar to Lieven Martens’ island choral mixtape for Underwater Peoples. Sidenote: It’s truly a pleasure to write about Ferraro, Spencer Clark, and Lieven Martens as sacrifice for the void/internet. Thank y’all. But to follow-up with my opening comments: Ferraro is more of an adventurer than a musician. Completely someone always expanding himself in humanity vs. exploration. Hit this and take the journey; No Regrets.

• James Ferraro:


“Ballad of the Golden Hour”

Widowspeak’s 2011 self-titled debut was one of the best guitar pop albums of recent memory: a never-ending barrage of woozy pop hooks wrapped in ragged guitar and Molly Hamilton’s silky-smooth soprano. Now, the Brooklyn band is preparing to release its sophomore effort, Almanac, January 22 on Captured Tracks. “Ballad of the Golden Hour” is the first track to be released off that album, and while it retains the band’s characteristic beachy/folky sound, the cut also hints at a more anthemic direction for the band. “Ballad” starts off with a mix of surf and steel guitar (is that the musical equivalent of surf and turf?), but the real joy comes around the halfway mark, when the band snaps out of its daydream and amps up the guitarplay. Think the muddled harmonies of Baltimore contemporaries Beach House, spiked with a bit of Kurt Vile.

• Widowspeak:
• Captured Tracks:



Lil B has not only been the “voice” of hip-hop for 2012, but he has been the voice of himself as the best artist of 2012. No explanation is necessary on how he transcends self-deprivation through flaw/less character and satirical nonsense. If you haven’t been following, shame on you. But to catch Lil B at THIS moment: KeKe. So enough about Lil B surviving the apocalypse and resurrecting everyone on Earth. Who’s this KeKe?

Prior to KeKe, the cat’s birth name is Tabby. Tabby was born of the clouds and fell to the muck of Earth, finding a home underneath some apartment stairs on the outskirts of California’s Bay Area. While living on the streets for seven years, Tabby made a lot of dreams come true by being a hero to many: licking fire from burn victims, catching dropped babies, practicing human/animal facial reconstruction, [the list continues]. On September 27 this year, BasedGod heard how Tabby saved millions from fatal doom during the quake and adopted the cat as KeKe. Tabby allowed the name and decided to cut Lil B a break between the human and animal worlds by featuring him on the track “KeKe The Adopted Tabby Cat MAKES HISTORY! FIRST ANIMAL IN HIP HOP! FEAT LIL B !!!” #felineswagjuiceismilkkidpleaseareyoustillreadingthishashtagwow

• Lil B:

Free Weed


When I saw Free Weed play “Rainier Beer” from their Lillerne Tapes release Free a few weeks ago in Portland, main man Erik Gage and his on-stage dance support, Unkle Funkle, pantomimed (because the bar didn’t have it) shaking, opening, and spraying tall boys of Rainier all over each other. It was like a scene from some early-90s teenage movie celebrating beer, drugs, and summer break. In fact, Free in its entirety is just pop-punk and fun enough to soundtrack an entire film from the irresponsible-teenagers-making-bad-decisions genre.

Listen to it below, buy the album from Lillerne Tapes, and prepare yourself for some serious bro-ing down.

• Free Weed:
• Lillerne Tapes:

The Game

“Black Jesus”

Before I get to the track review let me just share a little story: on Election Day, I ran into the Game outside of a TGI Friday’s restaurant near Madison Square Garden. I had assumed the mob was because the TGI Friday’s had been designated as a polling place, but then I saw him standing there, taking pictures with fans and just in general being a very nice dude – so I’m gonna just go and declare him the king of that TGI Friday’s.

Anyway, “Black Jesus” is a Sap-produced track that didn’t make Jesus Piece, the California rapper’s upcoming album (it’s set to drop December 11). It’s a very chill track, with a repetitive hook, some zen instrumentals, and a convenient list of luxury items available in the color black. Check it out.

• The Game:
• Interscope:


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.