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Album Review: Oh Sees – Smote Reverser

Stream Smote Reverser HereOh sees (aka: Thee Oh Sees, The Oh Sees, Orange
County Sound, ect. Ect.) have been at it for over 20 years now, garnering an
intense and incredibly loyal underground following. After finding their niche
blending elements of garage, punk, hardcore, and psych, Oh Sees have seen an
incredible amount of both critical and fan success, becoming one of the most
recognizable names in the garage scene alongside the likes of Ty Segall and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Almost every single one of
their past albums and EP’s released under the Oh Sees name have brought hard
hitting and abrasive track after blood-pumping and infectious track. Orc, A Weird Exits, Mutilator Defeated at
Last, Drop, and Floating Coffin have all been some of my favorite albums of
their respective years. Oh Sees have often maintained John Dwyer’s goblin-like
vocal quality, screeching and roaring guitar, heavier than lead base, and tense
drums (sometimes multiple sets of them) as the linchpin of their sound and have
continually put out one fantastic record after another.Needless to say, I was more than excited with the
announcement of their twenty second studio album, Smote Reverser. The first single to drop, “Overthrown” featuring
buzzing guitar, primordial drums, John Dwyer’s distorted lo-fi screamed vocals
that came together to… underwhelm. The drums are flat, the bass is almost impossible
to hear over the fuzzed-out guitar and Dwyer’s vocals sound completely out of
place in respect to the rest of his work. While I desperately wanted to like
it, I couldn’t get past the horrendous production on the track.The next single to drop gave me hope; “C” is totally
infectious, featuring bustling drums, buzzing synths and an incredibly groovy
guitar – it was something I could get behind and it renewed my hope for the
forthcoming release. To my disappointment, Smote
Reverser just doesn’t deliver. It certainly has its highlights; the opening
track, ”Sentient Oona” is a haunting and wonderfully grimy piece of perfectly
blended psych and garage rock featuring marching drums, smoky whispered vocals,
and a commanding guitar – legitimately one of my favorite Oh Sees tracks of all time. However, over its
hour runtime, Smote Reverser fails to
achieve the same level of quality after this first track and delivers a bland
mix of psych, garage, noise, occasionally with elements of prog metal poorly
mixed in.Smote Reverser is
laden with weird and unnecessary detours throughout much of its runtime. It is
a serious step down from the blistering, raw, and visceral tracks that run
throughout much of their discography. “Last Peace”, “Moon Bog”, “Anthemic
Aggressor”, “Flies Bump Against the Glass” and “Beast Quest” are all fairly
sleepy, slow, and redundant tracks that make up the majority of the album. Now
I’m not trying say that I don’t like artists taking their music in new
directions or utilizing their artistic ability to expand the sound that they
are trying to produce, but Smote Reverse
is laden with uninteresting and sloppy sonic turns that just destroy the
listening experience as whole. A prime example of this is in the second track, “Enrique
El Cobrador” which features poorly
executed and disjointed soloing and keyboard fills that feel like they could
have been pulled out of a Booker T. and
the M.G.’s album but, you know, worse. I’ll say again that I don’t
discourage bands from making an unconventional blend of genres, I just
discourage it being done poorly. The track “Anthemic Aggressor” is a twelve-minute monster accounting for over a fifth of the
overall runtime of the album. It’s a total slog which features the same tedious
bass and drum rhythm for nearly the entire twelve goddamn minutes. Oh Sees are
more than capable of making longer, slower tracks like this interesting (see “Sticky
Hulks” and “Drowned Beast”) but this is a massive waste of twelve minutes. The
track “Beast Quest” accumulate in a headache-inducing hammering of the same Booker
T.-esque synth chords over and over again for two solid minutes; which I
suppose makes it a fitting closing track because by the end of it I was ready
to take off my headphones and down half a bottle of Advil. There is some potential for Oh Sees to explore this avenue
further. They are more than capable of making these tracks so much more interesting
and listenable. The few tracks I actually like would be better severed with
tighter, cleaner instrumentation, and better production. Honestly, especially if you haven’t listened to Oh Sees before, listen to any of the better albums I listed above first, then come back to this if you really feel so inclined.5/10-Alex

Concert Review: 4AD Presents- tUnE-yArDs and U.S. Girls at the Neptune Theater

Listen to U.S. Girls’ In a Poem Unlimited hereU.S. Girls are
the project of Meg Remy, someone who has been working under the U.S. Girls name
for nearly a decade but this latest album of hers, In a Poem Unlimited, finally caught and held my attention. Much of
U.S. Girls’ previous work has been difficult to digest, lo-fi, experimental
art-pop that honestly just never struck a chord with me. Poem is a completely different story; it’s catchy, jazzy, wickedly
smart, and packed with sticky hook after sticky hook which ultimately pushed me
over the edge and was the whole reason I purchased tickets to this show. With a
massive band, (eight people total including Meg, two guitars, drums,
percussion, backup singer, keys, and saxophone) the sound live is absolutely colossal.
Whenever I attend a concert that has a good vocalist as the center point of
their sound, I tame my expectations, vocals tend to get drowned out by the
instruments and often times the vocal quality doesn’t stack up to the studio
version. However, Meg does an exceptional job of making herself heard and her
smoky and breathy vocals sound excellent live. The rest of the band are all
excellent at their respective instruments, the lead guitarists buzzing, and squelching
tone was is an excellent complement to Meg’s vocals and totally overwhelming and
tangible on tracks like “Incidental Boogie.” Much of the set featured the
wailing and sassy saxophone of Dennis Passley – a sound so beautiful that he
could have come up after the show and stabbed me and I would have thanked him. The
drumming and percussion is tight, the backup vocals are just as smoky and breathy
as Meg’s and the base is dense and heavy. U.S. Girls, while embarking on the
new sound that they have curated on this latest album still hold much of their
lo-fi, experimental weirdness close to their heart. “Time,” the closing track
of their set embarked on a very post-modern tangent, like someone stuck a
classical modern composer in a room with a jazz band and a rock band, told them
to make music and they couldn’t come out until they did. Time felt like thick
elastic putty and that stretched and contracted as they played before finally
Meg and company walked off stage one at a time. My only disappointment was that
the set wasn’t longer.Listen to tUnE-yArDs’ Nikki Nack here After a short wait
and some set up, the lights in the venue went dark and tUnE-yArDs came on
stage. While on paper they are a duo consisting of Merrill Garbus and Nate
Brenner, drummer Hamir Atwal is playing with them on tour. While I have enjoyed
much of the groups work in the past, this latest album failed to really strike
a chord with me. It’s a much more stripped back, blander, and mainstream
sounding album that diverges from their off-kilter art/indie pop with an
incredible amount catchiness that ran throughout much of their last two albums.
Additionally, I was worried about their ability to perform the songs live,
granted that much of their sound relies on heavy and dense layering of vocals
and samples. I came in with tamed expectations that it might not sound as good
as I was hoping. Boy oh boy was I wrong, tUnE-yArDs honestly sounds so much
better live than they do on their studio albums. They have so much energy, the
layering is so much more intense, and the sound is incredibly full and
enveloping. I was totally blown away at Garbus’ ability to create these
beautiful harmonies with herself and then construct these complex, driving
beats over which they would play their instruments. Brenner’s base was amazing
to hear live, it was buzzing and heavy and perfectly contrasted the light
timbre of Garbus’ vocals and ukulele. While Atwal isn’t officially a part of tUnE-yArDs,
he was a pleasure to watch work, his technical ability was unreal and his
chemistry with Garbus and Brenner was excellent, making each track feel so
organic and clean. Paired with the excellently timed light performance that
seems like it could have been pulled out of an EDM show, it made the impact of
each note and beat resonate throughout my whole body. Even the tracks that I
was lukewarm on from their last album cycle sounded so much better live, and
tracks from what I think is their best album, Nikki Nack, were amazing. On top of the even more dense and full
sound that the band creates during their live shows, they did some incredible
blending of songs, my favorite was on “Water Fountain” when they played through
most of the track, switch into “Real Thing” for a verse and switch back to
“Water Fountain.” I was totally blown away with tUnE-yArDs’ sound live and I
highly recommend that anyone who is even lukewarm on their work see them live if
the opportunity presents itself, it is well worth the money. -Alex 

our generation’s rockstar; our homie

Ever had that one good old homie you made in middle school that you’ve lost contact with throughout the years with but still cherish the friendship that was created then you hear bad news about them and all you can do is just simp? Mac Miller felt like that with his music. Man, it’s still crazy to this very day. It’s even more crazy with all the lives that he has touched, influencing the music of the likes of SZA, Vince Staples, Ab-Soul and much, much more. If you keep up to date with today’s music of any sort, which I really… hope you do??, and don’t live under the depths of a boulder, Malcolm James McCormick or simply Mac Miller died on September 7th, 2018. A suspected drug overdose at his Studio City casa in California. Still simpin, however I’m not here to spew all the feels and sulk over his death, no. This is an appreciation reflection piece and how influential and how inspirational this man really was as an artist, musician, but more importantly as a person to my respective generation. Yeah, I never knew him personally but the thing that separates the great artists from the good is that they make you feel like you’ve known them forever thru their music. That sense of muse, of comfort, of good shit, whenever you hear their voice.From his beginning days of frat rap mixtapes and albums like Best Day Ever and Blue Slide Park to his more matured ensembles later on like Divine Feminine and recently Swimming, and from everything in between like Macadelic and Faces, we really got to see this bro grow up as we grew up with him. No political affiliation whatsoever but you can’t tell me you weren’t bumpin “Donald Trump” thru your now old ass, wired apple earbuds with the iPod nano in pocket roaming thru the halls like the lil’ G you were. You wanted to rock snapbacks like him so bad after watching his “Snapback” music video huh? Blaring “Kool-Aid and Frozen Pizza” in the back while you were playing Black Ops with the boys. I think in all our innocence Mac Miller sparked our independent nature, back when we wanted to be independent sooo bad because we weren’t 6th graders no more mom! D:<.Our fluidity to dress freely, fresh freely, and be freely was at its inception. I know my time in middle school that was the time to kind of stunt and make stuntin’ your occupation. We really thought that some khaki cargo shorts, a Chicago Bulls/LA Lakers snapback, Sea-town/Nike Elite socks, low-top converse, and a graphic tee with the big ass stars on it was a FIT. Nah but in all seriousness, I think the underlying reason why the fashion sense, the swag, the demeanor was like that back at my middle school was because of the influence of Mac Miller. Those were the days when Mac, Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Lil B reigned supreme (pun intended, or I guess that was pre-supreme era). Back when the letters L R G and D C were still relevant. Back when the words Fantasy Factory twinkled your plums. Clownin’ on those days brings back nostalgia.There is this thing called music nostalgia that I’m doing research on for a nonprofit that I’m interning at. Nostalgia is defined as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.” Music nostalgia is the association of a particular song/tune/genre of music that is linked to particularly good times for you. Listening to Mac Miller now brings me music nostalgia, even more now than ever. Mac Millers music makes me reminisce on the days when our biggest worries were to get Mrs. Stansberry for advisory and hearing the word WEDGE screamed thru out the halls. It saddens me most that this man-child turned hopeless romantic badass had a smile on his face, but underneath was the entire opposite, and for all these years too. His struggle was real.  **If you are struggling, if you need help WE GOTCHU. We’re on a team called life. Don’t let that shit slide. Ever. Your mental health is important. The stigma of not caring needs to be canceled asap. WE GOTCHU, don’t ever feel like you’re alone… We gotchu. Thank you for your free spirit. Thank you for “Divine Feminine” for being my coping mechanism when an important person at the time left my life. Thank you, Larry Fisherman. Thank you, Rap Diablo. Thank you for being who you are. “Self-Care,” we’re gonna be alright. Rest easy.++(“Planet God Damn” is a helluva song btw, same with “Thoughts from a Balcony”)-Lyle Lasala

An Ode to America

Les McCann & Eddie Harris, circa 1969The 1969 jazz-soul piece “Compared to What” performed by Les McCann and Eddie Harris is a keystone song in political music. Originally written for Roberta Flack, the song was popularized by McCann and Harris, with subsequent covers by countless artists, including Ray Charles and The Roots, “Compared to What” brutally evokes the warping of America’s shining image, into one of voracious consumption, closed-door governments, and unapologetic apathy. America was once the success story where honest people with enough elbow grease and grit, could attain prosperity. This aura, the ‘American Dream’, glistened afar to those of war-torn and persecuted countries, and appeared as a chance to wash away the past, and start fresh again. Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…But “Compared to What” calls bullshit on that.To begin the song, McCann decries “Possession is the motivation, that is hangin’ up the God-damn nation.” Noting how idealized capitalism has relegated into making a quick buck, McCann realizes the notion that capitalism fundamentally targets our extrinsic motivations as a means of fulfillment, and that this mentality is not getting us anywhere as we consume more and more in this hedonic treadmill. McCann turns to Nixon and the Vietnam War, saying “The President, he’s got his war. Folks don’t know just what it’s for… Have one doubt, they call it treason.” While the war was a proxy battle between capitalist US and communist USSR, the blood was shed in Vietnamese soil, and blurred what this war was really being fought for. McCann highlights the confusion and the lack of government transparency in a time when citizens questioned why their children were stationed East, and why those who enacted their free speech against such a conflicted war were treated like spies or cowards.Going for the hat-trick, McCann continues with “Church on Sunday, sleep and nod. Tryin’ to duck the wrath of God. Preacher’s fillin’ us with fright. They all tryin’ to teach us what they think is right.” McCann mocks the church’s sensationalization of eternal damnation, rather than promoting its foundational purpose of enlightenment and moral guidance. In a behavioral sense, McCann approaches Skinnerian topics of negative punishment–Hell, as the sole motivator for attending to church in America. You can be a greedy, gluttonous pig 6 days of the week (7 deadly sins anyone?), but when Sunday rolls by, put on your church suit, drive to church, put money in the basket, and you’re magically absolved of all wrongdoing. Relating back to rewards and punishment, we commit to religion on an interval basis, wherein people only behave on a certain time (ie: Sunday) to avoid something punishment in the future. It’s as if we’ve put religion on the same pedestal as going to the dentist.Even half a century later, “Compared to What” still resonates in today’s political landscape. The prejudice and persecution in America today continues to add fuel to the political music blaze, as artists–even mainstream ones like Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar, continue to release music turning away from the façade of the prosperous America, towards a cynicism of the seedy, hedonistic America.Stream the song here-Clem Mooc

Fratellis 4/27 @ The Showbox

Friday, April 27 The Fratellis took The Shoxbox’s stage showcasing a compilation of decade-old classics and new releases. UK band and tour partner, Blood Red Shoes opened for the band, sharing a similar rock and roll sound. The duo, established in 2004, made up of Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell previously founded their own label, Jazz Life. Having released four full length albums of their own, the band warmed up the crowd with a full set, showcasing their alt-rock sound. The Fratellis took to the stage with a casual ambience, their performance felt focused on the music itself. Without the distractions of extensive light shows or visual aid, the audience had the chance to connect more directly with the performance itself. Made up of a variety of characters- the crowd was diverse in every aspect. On one side, I was neighbors with a gaggle of teens taking sips from a mysterious Gatorade bottle. On the other I shared the show with a collection of old men, rocking their band t-shirts, enjoying what they told me was “boys night out.” The Fratellis have been known for their signature sound, classics being Chelsea Dagger and Whistle for the Choir. This show introduced newfound fan favorites- Sugar Town and Star Crossed Losers. In all honesty, as I watched the show, I didn’t recognize the band in front of me. It didn’t feel like the pop-rock pin up tracks I was so loyal to in my junior high Pandora playlist days. It took me a few songs to come to terms with the fact that while I had refined my taste, they too had refined their sound. While the new tracks veer away from Chelsea Dagger’s upbeat spunk, they hold value of their own. Although I don’t plan on returning to Pandora anytime soon- The Fratelli’s latest releases will surely find themselves on my Spotify playlists. Unfortunately, the night was continuously stopped and started at the hand of technical difficulties. While Jon Fratelli expressed genuine empathy for the audience in making light of the situation, the crowd became notably less engaged the longer the band abandoned the stage. Being the second stop on their tour, a glitch here and there is outweighed by understanding and excitement.“Everytime we go out there we give our best effort, that’s all we can give- effort,” Jon Fratelli said. Tried and true fans stayed to watch the night come to a close, cheering until the house lights returned. Missed their Seattle stop? Follow The Fratellis and Blood Red Shoes as they continue their In Your Own Sweet Time Tour.Sarah ArcherIG: @archer_sarah T: @saraharcher99Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @!

Marian Hill just shook the Showbox

Marian Hill took the stage, April 20, as a stop between Coachella sets, continuing on their “Unusual Tour.” The Philadelphia duo, consisting of production artist Jeremy Lloyd and vocalist Samantha Gongol, featured a new edition on saxophone, “Steve.”With electronic opener Michl (literally pronounced, Michael) the crowd warmed up awaiting the iconic duo. While I’ve been a Marian Hill fan for awhile, I had only ever seen the duo from a music video screen grab and had somehow formulated this idea of 1) “Marian Hill” being a literal person… not true and 2) being an average brunette, sultry, electro lover type. So when arguably the cutest blonde pixie skipped on stage I was surprised to say the least. Samantha Gongol might just be the cutest “tiny queen” as the barricade coined her I’ve ever seen. Her short stature paired with her extreme energy and perfect precision made it easy for a crowd to fall in love. Gongol new every beat of her music, and danced accordingly. She truly delivered a performance. Marian Hill gave us all the electro feels last week, known for their sensual sound, the experience was only enhanced by the passion presented on stage. The crowd, made up of a mix of ages, and loyal fans, adopted Marian Hill’s “Steve” as their own, cheering him on (almost) louder than Lloyd and Gongol. Playing tracks new and old- the energy was kept up through the entirety of the performance. To close, the group thanked their fans, and excited only to return for a final encore, yet still leaving their audience wanting more.Sarah ArcherIG: @archer_sarah T: @saraharcher99Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @!

Skizzy Mars 4/29 @ Neumos

April 29, Skizzy Mars, and tour partner Oliver Tree, packed Neumos for their Seattle stop on Mars’s Are You Ok? Tour.The sold out show made for a full house and overwhelming enthusiasm for both sets. You can always tell when an artist draws their crowd- each and every attendee looked uniform in their crop tops and oversized sweatshirts (which were soon ditched to reveal street style esq t-shirts of a similar degree). Kicking off the night Oliver Tree took the stage, greeted by a warm welcome compiled of loyal fans. Countless couples surrounded me, singing every word to Tree’s set. Tree’s stage presence was undeniable- let’s just say lots of kicks, leaps, bounds, and spins, all done in a bowl cut and 90s inspired wardrobe. For it being his first tour, he certainly held his own, capturing the attention of the audience and racking up fans through the night.Mars came on soon after engaging the crowd, singing back lyrics, and taking time to provide personal narrative behind his new releases. The Are You Ok? Tour came as result from Mars’s brief musical hiatus during which he took time for himself to recenter. After a full set and encore, fans left with a taste of what to expect from Mars’s future releases.Sarah ArcherIG: @archer_sarah T: @saraharcher99Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @!

Oh Sh*t!!! If you didn’t get kicked out of Injury Reserve did you even go to Injury Reserve?

May 3, Injury Reserve, with support from Jpegmafia, played Fremont’s Nectar Lounge, delivering one of the sickest performances I’ve been to, to date.I’ve always coupled artists like Injury Reserve with BROCKHAMPTON, Jaden Smith, and Amine. This is arguably my favorite kind of music and would go as far to say, Injury Reserve is one of my favorite artists. They have a very particular sound, and audience demographic, one that I do not typically fall into. Still reeling from the trauma of BROCKHAMPTON’s Seattle mosh pit, aka the night I looked death in the eye surrounded by arguably the tallest, lankiest, boys I had ever seen, I was coNceRneD for my life as I walked in and realized this was the exact same crowd. Being 5’5” isn’t bad… until you’re swept up into a sea of sweaty kids at least a head taller. Convienietly, as we were walking in, one of the aforementioned “sweaty kids” was being escorted out by security accused of “moshing too hard,” a claim the culprit deemed ridiculous, and one I saw to be the potential explanation of my death. Security offered him the option to A) move to the balcony or B) get out. So, we found ourselves following our new delinquent friend up to the safety of the balcony from which we were able to enjoy the extremities of the crowd from the comfort of our newfound bench.Throughout the night more and more sweaty thrashers joined us as security shoveled them up the stairs. Jpegmafia opened the night, performing an intense (and shirtless) set. Soon to follow Injury Reserve was called onto stage by an excited crowd, performing fan favorites. Each song was paired with a new set of visuals that only enhanced the experience. The trio took time to not only thank their audience, but fight for them. They quite literally called out security guards kicking fans out. Closing out the night they returned to the stage under one condition: the crowd go so crazy security will have to kick them all out. Sarah ArcherIG: @archer_sarah T: @saraharcher99Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @!

Time Capsule

Spotify recently blessed me with a personalized playlist compiled of “throwback” songs that I robustly consumed at a previous time. I will admit my preferred choice of music has become more refined and a bit snooty over the years – and I would be hard pressed to claim I’ve ever enjoyed the songs on the playlist. However, I can’t deny that initial thrill I felt when pressing play on this compilation, and so: here’s a link for you, my dear reader, to click on and listen along while you read! Note: I won’t put you through the struggle of listening to and reading shallow analysis of 25+ songs – I’ll give you a few highlights. Death Cab for Cutie: “I Will Follow You into the Dark” Plans: Undeniably one of THE most depressing songs that I have ever had the pleasure – or perhaps displeasure – of listening to. Sometimes your go-to emo song is a little too loud, a little too cluttered, and you need something cleaner. Enter: this song. “I Will Follow You…” is beautifully presented – only guitar and vocals, and the guitar strumming pattern never changes, either. At face value, this repetition may seem a little, for lack of a better word, repetitive. However, this song is too outwardly bleak for any extravagance in any part of the song, instrumental or vocal. DCfC’s singer, Ben Gibbard, has a ridiculously calming voice, and his peaceful intonation creates an even starker contrast between his rich sound and the emptiness of his words. Miley Cyrus: “East Northumberland High:” Hannah Montana 2: In my highly unprofessional opinion, early Miley Cyrus music showcases her best work. “East Northumberland High” is the epitome of bubblegum pop: the first few bars of guitar intro envelops you in a sugary rush of pubescent excitement. The squareness of the entire song is incredibly satisfying – from quarter note background rhythms to cutesy dotted half note syncopations. To top it all off, the lyrics are perfectly cliche! There is nothing better or more wholesome than singing about a boy you were once into, but you’ve since moved on to bigger and better things! (or boys!). The Killers: “Mr. Brightside:” Hot Fuss: One excellent evening, I was exiting a local U-District Thai restaurant (Little Thai, in case anyone was wondering) with a warm box of takeout salmon curry, and I happened to hear a girl ask her friend an important question about “Mr. Brightside.” If I remember correctly, she queried: “Do they even say ‘Mr. Brightside’ in “Mr. Brightside?” The answer, my fellow Thai food lover, is a resounding yes. Brandon Flowers sings it in the first iteration of the chorus, or perhaps more (maybe less?) accurately: the 46th measure. “Mr. Brightside” has become a modern-day legend – almost everyone knows the song, and its ubiquitousness is not undeserved. It’s angsty, it’s raw, and it’s realistic; oftentimes, angsty pop-rock songs give off an artificial vibe, but The Killers dish things out real and unfiltered. Lupe Fiasco: “The Show Goes On:” Lasers: Lupe Fiasco is a gifted rapper, not that I know anything about rap, per se. But, he’s a rapper with a real way with words; he doesn’t put forth random rhymes about nothing with substance (at least not on “The Show Goes On.” This song is honestly quite uplifting, if the title didn’t already give it away; listening to this song feels as though Lupe Fiasco is telling you directly to keep on going. I will say, though, that this song has more to it than just surface-level motivation – he refers to young black women and men and how he does what he does for them. He raps about supporting these young kids living in ghettos, and he encourages a positive outlook in a rather bleak moment of the song, telling listeners to keep going even if they see “brown grass or green grass…[or] picket fence[s] [or] barbed wire[s]…” The metaphorical applications of this song are just part of what makes Lupe Fiasco an incredible artist. Another piece of trivia to this song: the melody is not original! Although I’m not sure if he bought rights to use the melody, “The Show Goes On” is melodically based off “Float On” by the band Modest Mouse (and its bass line is based off Pachelbel’s Canon in D). As an additional note not relevant to any of my Time Capsule songs, I’d like to briefly discuss the recent release of Taylor Swift’s cover of the timeless Earth, Wind & Fire song “September.” I am appalled! She took a beautiful piece of funky and traditionally black music and desecrated it. Taylor Swift is talented in her own right, and she has released some excellent albums, but why did she have to pick “September?” To reference my personal favorite interpretation of TSwift’s cover: “It sounds like housing discrimination.” In any case, I hope my Time Capsule brought to light some of your favorite songs from the recent past. Perhaps you will be even motivated to cultivate your own list!- Elizabeth Abel (feel free to send me your playlists through Twitter! click on my name for a direct “line” to me).  Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @!

Skelevision at Hot Yoga… a WaveVision tour

Between PA equipment, cords, and instruments atop a shaggy rug in front of a dim string of lights – stands a silhouette with lanky stature and mangled hair. With the help of its guitar and abrasive vocals, the silhouette exudes an energy that I can see in feet shuffling on the floor, I can feel in the hands and hair that press against my back, and I can hear reverberate around the dimly lit, sparsely furnished, and probably asbestos-laden basement. Behind the goonish-looking silhouette sits drummer Philip ‘Rocko’ Zevenbergen — who is  and beside him stands bassist Gavin Houck. The trio make up the Portland-based, punk-psych band, Skelevision.Skelevision and friends, Wave Action, made a quick stop in the humble U last Friday night to on a short northwest tour celebrating the release of their collaborative EP, WaveVision: The Oneness. Spanning only 12 minutes, the EP is a showcase of some of Skelevision’s cleanest and cohesive songs to date.Listen or buy the album here: first track— a forty-two second jam with dissonant guitar and fast drums—has the brief, in-your-face kind of qualities reminiscent of classic hardcore punk bands like Descendents or Bad Brains. The abrupt stop from “Chemical X” transitions smoothly into one of Skelevision’s smoother tracks, “I Should”. This track, to me, is torn between a slower, ballad-like verse and an abrasive chorus. This song has one of Skelevision’s most ambitious structures, meandering between verse to verse, maintaining cohesiveness in auditory limbo with variants of a catchy riff.“Baby Jelly” is the poppiest track they put out, and probably my favorite. Gage’s bouncy verse, punctuated by a playful riff is driven by Phillip’s fast-paced drums and Gavin’s energetic bass. Gage’s vocals give the track Skelevision’s interesting vibe, but it’s taken to a new level of excitement and fun with the accompanying instruments. It also features this sweet music vid…The final track, “Exhaust Pipe,” takes a significantly darker turn.  This track reminds me of more of tracks from the debut, Inside the Horror, featuring Gage’s roughest vocals, ominous guitar riffs, and hard-hitting bass. The track is fast, hard and thoroughly terrifying as the sounds of exhaust weave in and out of tumultuous verse. As the instrumentals regress into total disarray, ocean sounds slowly creep into audibility and continue until the final seconds, signaling a final nod to their Wave Action compadres as Skelevision signs off.Check out more music and news from Rainy Dawg Radio @!