Sunday School 2
So, that TREE mixtape I’ve been hyping up finally dropped today. How is it? I tried to get Mr P to let me declare an official one-week moratorium on rap music. As in, no more hip-hop in the Chocolate Grinder section until May 22. He won’t let me do it, OFFICIALLY. That being said, I don’t care if Detox drops tomorrow — I won’t be listening to anything but Sunday School II for at least a week. A formal review will follow this informal moratorium.
Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk
The first single from the upcoming Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk full-length is called “Saturday,” but I’ve been enjoying it as a kind of after-work-on-Tuesday anthem. After the high-toned swells of their incredible 2008 album, Eek Shriek Beak, the band slowly slid into the lower end of towering noise with a handful of cassette releases and their second full-length effort, Skeletor & Me, released on Brooklyn’s Fire Talk in 2010. With “Saturday” from their upcoming second effort on Fire Talk, BBDDM has settled on a kind of middle ground between the substantially different sounds of those first two albums. The guitar and drum structure of their earlier material lie the groundwork from which the towering wall of effected noise from recent material can swell, and yet the space between the two different BBDDM eras is seamless. Only BBDDM can make such grandiose noise sound so calm and beautiful. It’s the sound of years and years of experience and experimentation in house-show basements throughout America reaching an answer.
Listen to “Saturday” below and look for the upcoming full-length, Think Tone, on Fire Talk on July 9 — although, you may want to get on top of the pre-order now, because only 300 copies are being released between vinyl and cassette.
“Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”
This nonsense is outta hand. I can’t take it. Maybe “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” is the first time I hate song-title allegorical ties to the popularity of a track. Insanely enough, I want to kill Kendrick Lamar’s vibe, just because it’s s’ohhhh October 22 of last year. Like when people were still listening to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy that next summer, but it only reminded everyone of the fall that year before, and it was just fucked and weird. And now that same depressive ghost lives through Lamar. It feels dense and unavoidable. Like flipping through the stations and it’s on three of them; two playing exactly at the same time, the other playing the Jay-Z cash-out remix version. Sometimes C likes to pee alone.
zcamp, kill my vibe:
Okay, okay. I know Kendrick Lamar’s videos have a tendency towards the melodramatic. That free-fall in the “Swimming Pools” video was pretty over-the-top (although the Dumbo-esque ear jiggling helped to break the tension a bit). And although there’s something dark to be enjoyed in the Romeo + Juliet theatrics of “Poetic Justice,” you can’t help but wish that the guy could cut off the smoke machines for a while. Thankfully, there are no smoke machines in the “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” video, no wistful glances offscreen, no high-strung histrionics. The proceedings may revolve around a funeral, but what a -FUN-eral it is! The self-referential jokes, the over-saturated palette, the exaggerated limousine party scenes: it all marks a goofy digression from Lamar’s typical sensibilities, one that almost appears too good to be true. But then we get that twist at the end, and you can’t help but feel unsettled, that all of the smiles and optimism were little more than an MDMA mask, covering the painful truth. And in that sense, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” works — a “gotcha” game lurking beneath the appealing aesthetics.
“Live Performance Amsterdam”
THEY ARE REAL!!!!! [video from their most recent European tease-tour]!!!!!
Intimacy is a grainy affair. Edinburgh’s Law pushes at the edges of comfort.
She shares a muffled, brooding production aesthetic with fellow Edinburgers Young Fathers, a band that has incidentally been getting really rather brilliant for a while now. As local tastemaker Song, By Toad points out, the two may also share a manager. That’s pretty much all we know.
With “Hustle,” Law gives us an astute manifestation of that now familiar first-song claustrophobia. The paradox of enshrining artistic potential in a deliberately limited initial “hook.” She seems at first to be the embodiment of the multiply situated, often relentlessly heavy scrutiny afforded to new female artists: all make up, wig, and perfect Instagram smile.
But the walls close in and the dark edges take precedent. A phone rings, emblazoned with the word “BITCH;” a man lies seemingly motionless, naked and hairy on the dirty bed. So much for your male gaze.
Law leaves us as the end, transformed, with nothing but the repeat button and its promise of even more disconcerting closeness.
Quite an entrance, quite an exit.
• Law: http://www.lawholt.com