“Gold Standard”

Hello, and welcome to a great music video by a great band. Minden comes from Portland, although the group has some ties to Kansas City, where I believe this brilliant clip was created and the band was originally formed by the very talented songwriter Casey Burge. Decoder just excellently premiered the excellent lead cut from the band’s excellent forthcoming debut recording, Exotic Cakes. Further research (i.e., going to the band’s website) revealed this gem of a video, which… well, it sort of speaks for itself, and loudly — as in the obnoxiously loud, hot pink spandex’d booties shakin’ it in the yarn store here. Everything about Minden is everything that I love about life. And ultimately what I’m trying to say is that Minden is a band that is all about sex. It seethes from this music’s deep pockets of rhythm, effervesces from the smokey vocal harmonies, then kicks you where it hurts when the genius turns of lyrical phrase and sizzling one-liners make you realize it doesn’t all necessarily have to be about sex. But the bass playing? Sheer, unadulterated sex, people.

The self-released Exotic Cakes hits vinyl this Fall. Sex.

• Minden: http://www.mindenband.com



Darren Cunningham, known best as Actress, has once again nonchalantly dropped a new track via Twitter. “ShockTherapy101,” which follows one of the year’s strongest releases, features cyclical beats and stuttering electronic chords searching for a center, a sort of outside-the-club quest for home. And the best part is that home’s never found, mirroring both the fleeting nature of this song’s release and our own never-ending search for purpose. Check out the track here:

• Actress: https://twitter.com/ctress_a
• Werk Discs: http://www.werkdiscs.com
• Honest Jon’s: http://www.honestjons.com


“Self Defense”

After having released the scariest video of the year (for “Ass Swung Low”) and collaborated with the likes of Mykki Blanco and $hayne, Arca is back with a new track called “Self Defense.” The song features stuttering beats and claustrophobic electronics, all tightly wound up with mutated vocals rapping “Dumb luck, numb fuck/ Come out with your motherfucking hands up.” It’s freaky and suffocating and I love it.

Look for Stretch 2, his excellent debut release for UNO NYC, on August 6.

• Arca: http://soundcloud.com/arca-2
• UNO NYC: http://www.unonyc.com


Idle [album stream]

From the hot, fresh, and juicy California cassette label Constellation Tatsu comes a new record from psyched-out rockers Cankun, called Idle. As reverberating, echoing guitars mingle with gentle, steady drum machines, a perfect summertime stoner album is conceived. A glittering guitar haze resonates throughout the record, helping you find Zion, express your love to dance, swim fast with dolphins, and perform several other aquatic activities. Joyful howls and hollers bounce off the jumpy power chords driving the trip, and backseat beats keep the journey structured enough to keep us on the road. Grab your noodles and innertubes, pack a bowl, cruise to the beach/lake, and bump Idle the entire time — it’s a great combination, I swear.

Order the cassette from Constellation Tatsu and get a free download, or bump it all on the Bandcamp for a limited time.

• Cankun: http://soundcloud.com/cankun
• Constellation Tatsu: http://ctatsu.com

Kevin Greenspon

“Maroon Bells”

“Maroon Bells” may be recognized as the title track from Kevin Greenspon’s recent cassette contribution to Bridgetown Records’ impressive and ever-growing catalog. But it appears we must also recognize “Maroon Bells” for the lovely video presentation it also is, the first of a 10-track DVD called Folding Focus that Greenspon will have for his late-summer tour. The split-screen, pastel visuals were created by labelmate Paul Skomsvold (a.k.a. Former Selves), and they give new meaning to a term like “watercolor,” truly painting the frame with soft strokes of vivid shades while keeping the overall image in a decidedly aqua state. Greenspon’s guitar, meanwhile, is at its most fluttery and falsetto with this number, the melody softly gliding to the forefront before unabashedly chiming out its saccharine message, swimming through a gentle pond of tone before the entire thing crumbles as the beauty is rudely devoured in crinkling static — a tragic end to what was so angelic and pure.

Grab Greenspon’s latest tape over at Bridgetown, and check the site for upcoming dates in a city near you throughout August, September, and October.

• Kevin Greenspon: http://kevingreenspon.info
• Bridgetown Records: http://bridgetownrecords.info


VΞRACOM [album stream]

VΞRACOM (NYSE: VΞR), run by CEO Ryan Croch, is a Dallax-based corporation, in the business of producing chopped-up 80s/90s pop songs, reincorporated commodities for an alternate plane of surreality. VΞRACOM doesn’t choose just any old song; these songs are particularly grating, making this corporate experience a lush nightmare too sensual to pass on.

Check out VΞRACOM’s self-titled debut on AMDISCS below, and expect the THUG HUG mixtape soon.

• VΞRACOM: http://soundcloud.com/veracomcorp
• AMDISCS: http://www.amdiscs.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.