On The Strength

Thanks to a modest windfall this winter, our tape buying frenzy has never been more ridiculous - Liz and I got each other a whole drawer full of the things. Among our haul was Justin Peroff's debut effort, Tape One, as Junior Pande (as opposed to Broken Social Scene, with whom he drums) and a receipt for (our preordered copy of) prolific Canadian underground producer Don Cash's latest album, Epic, courtesy of the newly launched Spring Break Tapes. Peroff's ambient beats and noise cocktails on Tape One are a powerful combination with Cash's eclectic repertoire, the one captivatingly elegant and the other unrepentantly experimental, careening across the range of contemporary and retro art rock and hip hop. Highly recommended.

Don Cash - On The Strength by springbreaktapes 

Junior Pande - Lisbon by springbreaktapes


Another Old Ugly Christmas

As my winter nostalgia for long lost West Virginia rises, Edmonton, Alberta's Old Ugly Records offers a Christmas themed mix from their amply forested hometown, following up on last year's much "beloved" first An Old Ugly Christmas mix. Of course, in Alberta I imagine everyone's far less enthused about all things wintery (their winter temperature averages in the Northern part of the province tend to be around about −11 °F), so take their (surely feigned) Christmas spirit with a grain of salt and just imagine the Santa above as if he were stealing the items he's loaded down with.


Brutus The Backup Reindeer

According to Phil Radiotes of Phil and the Osophers, It's Christmas Time with Phil and the Osophers was "an exercise in writing pop songs, in the tradition of Christmases I had growing up", so if you're not afraid of some God fearing pop with your Christmas and the stuff of less usual kilter isn't scratching the right kind of itch, give these tunes a try. Having said that, if you're smiling and having a good time driving, and your car looks like the one above, stop driving it immediately. That thickish brown line isn't even surrounding the entire ambiguous-gray-field-as-interior-bits sort of thing going on.

Download the entire EP for free here.

ISO50 Holiday Covers EP

Making music for Christmas can't be easy. People's "traditional listening" holidays seems to vary radically and the risk of sounding sappy seems to be something near the top of a lot of minds, so I've tended to find a lot of the really good Christmas mixes out there, are also tremendously short. Ages ago, Jheri made a five song Christmas mixtape that was pretty rad (in spite of it's grotesquely unseasonable cover). Last year, Jakub Alexander - the music curator for ISO50 and the man behind Moodgadget - put together such a mix for the former, composed of only six songs. Featuring the Beautiful Bells, Sun Hammer, Foxes in Fiction, the Depot-Tones, Weed, and Direwires, there are just enough nods to convention to keep it feeling wintery and plenty of avant-pop noise and craziness to make sure you'll be having weird Christmases as long as it lingers on your hard drive.

Download the entire mix here.


Video Premiere: Parentz - Back It Up

Parentz had a fun time with 2011 - with two editions of his debut cassette sold out, the later of the two from Chill Mega Chill Records, and rumors abounding that mainstay Jeremy Sullivan is getting a "real job" somewhere in the SF Bay, it has to seem like an important year and Sullivan's chosen to end it with a video. Shot on location in Oakland, featuring special guest appearances from "Claude at Sinema Girl, Yalls, James and Evander, Kia..." (Kia sings in the band) "... Dre..." (presumably Dr. Dre) "... and everybody else in the video and who smashed things" (probably means ever smashed things). Although filmed over last summer, I'm presuming that the seasonal climate in the Bay is just barely perceptible enough for the professionally-homemade video to look like a different time of year to anyone from the area, but it's just cold enough for me to not envy Jeremy when the water balloons let loose midway. 

Video: The Parallax View - Dark Wrath (feat. Doc Ra)

[created by: The Parallax View]


The animal kingdom is beginning to stir more and more these days. The knowledge of the world's end being but a year away seems to have its adverse effects on the world's fauna. Body Cheetah & Messed Up Coyote have begun to demonstrate their frustrations in their new EP release via Woozy Tribe, titled Clang. Five fairly short tracks merge zonked out beat crafting with somber blues to create a dark, based vibe like nothing we've heard from either party yet. This is certainly a duo I look forward to hearing work together more.

Body Cheetah & Messed Up Coyote - Animals
Body Cheetah & Messed Up Coyote - Emily Jane
You can grab Clang in full as a free download via Woozy Tribe.

Russian Girlfriends

The folks at French Express just dropped off Perseus' new EP, Russian Girlfriends, with some holiday cheer. Since The Magician's Magic Tape Twelve, Perseus has been wowing us with his soulful & tropical sample work. So much so that The Magician has continually gone back to Perseus for new tracks on various Magic Tapes, permitting us this short EP which collects his three most recent beauties. "Running Back To You" just dropped on yesterday's Magic Tape Eighteen and features some stellar sampling from Ashanti's "Foolish". The track is just brilliant enough to have me asking for an Ashanti comeback (though maybe with less Irv Gotti at her back.)

MP3: Perseus - Russian Girlfriends EP
01 Cool Runnings
02 Russian Girlfriends
03 Running Back To You
Head over to Soundcloud to check out Magic Tape Eighteen, as well as any of the previous Magic Tapes.

Video: Fear Of Men - Doldrums

[director: Natalie Gravy]

"Doldrums" is from the Alice Munroe Demos tape, which is unfortunately already sold out. Here's crossing our fingers for a re-issue.


Video Premiere: Zoos of Berlin - Kingston Gates (Color Controller Remix)

This is a prolific time for the East Bay, particularly Dan Casey of Yalls and his new guise with Man/Miracle's Dylan Travis, which will hopefully be a serious vehicle for that output in 2012. The addition of the two's new visual work, reflecting the texture of their new Zoos of Berlin remix in constantly fragmenting shards of light and complex patterns, makes the prospect of a live set and new material all the more captivating.

In related news, Zoos of Berlin's Pallister Chant EP, where "Kingston Gates" originally appeared, can be streamed for free on their bandcamp courtesy of Time No Place.