“Why Should I”

Maximize your mood and ‘tude. Three days straight of “Why Should I” on repeat in the car, at work, and around. Monalisa and heavy rain stop rain heavy rain stop, stop. To benefit from stupid is coy. Evil rises in the slightest bit of all people via “hi” and neglect to notice. First it’s this, and then wherever you’ve ended up from that. Open now, /please/, and through it all, through it all. Confusion between nerves and cold: a shaking leg loses more weight than stagnant arms. Simple moments exist as a seagull eats trash off an inaccessible roof near the window. But “Why Should I,” right-right. Stacks of boxes of Kleenex of snot and nose and “Hi, my brother.” It’s all genuinely illegitimate. Breathing and seeing through venom has always been a combination. Everything now has that summertime haze/glow. Smoke on the horizon blends into the clouds from the land and. And staring through leafless trees is natural abstraction. Brittney’s head and nonprofits. Instinct is internal lying. Whistling in the elevator and watching “Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb” with Grams. .2., oh /please/ is so Sewage Tapes.

• /please/: http://slashpleaseslash.bigcartel.com/product/please-2-tape
• Sewage Tapes: http://sewagetapes.bandcamp.com

The Blue Rider

Way Out West [7-inch]

A little over a decade ago, tons of bands were co-opting the Bo Diddley beat for some reason and made it all “hip” and “cool.” Fast-forward to now, and the Blue Rider is thankfully bringing that groove back to its original awesomeness. “THTD” stands for “To hip to dance,” meaning if you’re a hipster asshole, then get the fuck out of here; this ain’t your kinda party. For the rest of you who knows the real meaning of the word “boogie,” you’re invited to jump out of your skin and let your bones shimmy around for a minute.

Blue Rider’s debut 7-inch comes to us via the Hot Congress imprint out of Denver.

• The Blue Rider: http://www.facebook.com/theblueriderband
• Hot Congress: http://hotcongressrecords.com

Freelove Fenner

“Vicky’s Day”

Dear Freelove Fenner,

I know I just met you, and this is crazy, but I feel like I have to tell you something pretty big and important.

I’m in like with you.

Don’t let that freak you out or anything… I’m a nice guy. I love pop, pep, sweetness, things like that. I just think it’d be a cool fit. I dig your hair. I like how you don’t really strum chords on your guitar. I like how dry and snappy your snare drum sounds. I like how your bass line slithers around the melody. I also like how you’re a little sad. And I really like the way that whammy bar looks. It’s cute. You’re cute.

Anyway, you can take this note however you want. This doesn’t have to be serious, but maybe it could be? Give me a call sometime.

“Vicky’s Day” is off Freelove Fenner’s Pineapple Hair EP, out now on Fixture Records.

• Freelove Fenner: http://www.freelovefenner.com
• Fixture Records: http://www.fixture-records.com



Over the past couple of years, Astro Nautico has really established its motif. Focusing more on sounds and atmosphere, the label has taken some of the best bedroom beatmakers and shown us that beat tapes can be called albums too, dammit! Taking artists relying on lesser-known and lesser-heard noises to comprise their beats, each release has a distinct non-studio sound to it. Nothing is over-produced, all of it sounds hand-crafted.

The new single “Over” from Dreams grabs those noises from Astro Nautico’s VHS-warped sound and chucks them into outer space, where every noise can echo outward infinitely. Humans have launched a number of probes into outer space filled with examples of Earth music from varying genres and time periods in hopes of communicating it to other potential lifeforms in the universe. I imagine this track is what it would sound like if those aliens had a chance to listen to it all and send us a response. It’s a fitting release for a label called Astro Nautico.

Check it out below, and buy the Lost Kingdom album over at Astro Nautico.

• Astro Nautico: http://astronautico.com

Gem Jones


Iowa City’s Gem Jones has been reconfiguring and repurposing pop music throughout a number of different CGIFriday and home-recorded cassette tape releases in the past few years. But it makes complete sense that he’s now landed a Night People release, considering he’s been tearing down the same pop walls as Shawn Reed (of Wet Hair), Night People founder and fellow Iowa City resident. Mr. Jones, welcome to the family.

“Starsquisha” begins like a 1990s daytime sitcom, before falling into a kind of Joe Strummer-filtered take on Gem Jones’ specific style of New No Wave, explored previously on his Symphony in P release on Portland’s CGIFriday label. It’s catchy, trashy, and comes as close to falling apart halfway through as a song built from a drum machine loop can manage to do. Listen to it below, and buy the full tape, Exhaust, from Night People.

• Gem Jones: http://gemjonesia.bandcamp.com
• Night People: http://www.night-people.org
• CGIFriday: http://cgifriday.blogspot.com

Better Psychics (Chris Weisman & Zach Phillips)


Chris Weisman gettin’ all kinds of creepy with this Better Psychics stuff. Wait, wait, wait… back up. First indication this is great: new material from Chris Weisman. Second indication: Zach Phillips of Blanche Blanche Blanche is in the band. In fact, it’s just the two of them, the Brattleboro super-duo here coming up with an album of 20 tracks for ZP’s freshly minted OSR label, home to a couple of BBB releases and one of Weisman’s crazier albums to date with Beatleboro earlier this year. So, like I was saying, fairly creepy for Weisman and surprisingly simple, harmonically speaking. A single chord with some light poetry and unsettling atmospheres sprinkling themselves about, all of it sure to roll your pupils as far back as physically possible. Elsewhere on the album is some of the wilder stuff coming from either of these gents (or anyone else, for that matter), and some of the prettiest too. Ballads, neo-jazz, atonalism, noise, guitars, synths, helium’d voices, Phillips going “brrrrr-r-rrr-rrr” at one point… some rapping from Weisman(???). Completely across and all the way off the damn board, but also somehow a perfect hybrid of what each brings to the table.

Watch for the tape to drop in about a month’s time, and word on the street is album #2 from the two is already in the works. If you just can’t wait for all this? Visit OSR’s new site and see if you can’t find a download thereabouts. And bloggers out there, dig this: OSR has a special price on tapes just for you. $4.02 — that’s be $4 for the tape, and .02 ¢ents in a review — gets a copy into your deck. And shit, I’ll write your review for you: this is weird and awesome.

• OSR Tapes: http://osr-tapes.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.