Friday, December 27, 2013

Top 30 Albums of 2013

sidenote: I have kept Burial's Rival Dealer EP (released in mid-December) from inclusion on this list due to obvious reasons of biased listening proximity (same goes for Beyonce').

30. Cults- Static
29. Washed Out- Paracosm
28. Blood Orange- Cupid Deluxe
27. Pure Bathing Culture- Moon Tides
26. Four Tet- Beautiful Rewind
25. Blouse- Imperium
24. The Field- Cupid's Head 
23. Lorde- Pure Heroine
22. Julia Holter- Julia Holter
21. Zomby- With Love
20. CHVRCHES- The Bones of What You Believe
19. Arctic Monkeys- AM
18. Chelsea Wolfe- Pain Is Beauty 
17. Forest Swords- Engravings
16. Deerhunter- Monomania
15. Haim- Days Are Gone
14. Oneohtrix Point Never- R Plus Seven
13. The National- Trouble Will Find Me
12. Boards of Canada- Tomorrow's Harvest
11. The Haxan Cloak- Excavation 

10. Arcade Fire- Reflektor
I'm still a little surprised at the polarizing reactions to Arcade Fire's fourth album. From my end of the spectrum, Reflektor is a revitalizing pulse for a band that had pretty thoroughly painted themselves into a corner.  Here, their ambition finally matches their grasp- which hasn't always been the case (see: The Suburbs).

9. Daft Punk- Random Access Memories
Speaking of "revitalizing pulse", Daft Punk were at the forefront of 2013's movement of Dormant Bands Suddenly Reappearing with Ease. Recorded live and harkening back to yacht rock, disco, and all points in between, Random Access Memories was unlike anything we've ever heard from Daft Punk. Don't be fooled by chart-topper "Get Lucky"- this is one hell of a sad, beautiful album.

8. Sigur Ros- Kveikur
The Icelandic post-rockers follow up last-years achingly languid Valtari with this semi-industrial powerhouse. Sigur Ros haven't sounded this vibrantly defined since Takk as Kveikur successfully cements the band's darker atmospherics.

7. Fuck Buttons- Slow Focus
Slow Focus is an auditory theme park ride and makes no illusions otherwise. It's also a crystallizing moment for Fuck Buttons- a group who, the 2012 Olympics aside, have remained criminally underexposed. This is one of the most unabashedly exciting records of the year.

6. Kanye West- Yeezus
Enough ink has been spilled about this album in the last six months- just indulge yourself further.
Listening to Yeezus is like rubbernecking a disturbed psyche. Unexplainably addictive. How the hell can this ever be followed up?

5. Atoms for Peace- Amok
Thom Yorke joining forces with Flea to form an electrofunk supergroup proved to be just as deliciously bizarre as one would hope.  Amok finds the happy medium between Radiohead's currently insulated ambiance and the beat-heavy sonic textures of Nigel Godrich. Flea sounds like he hasn't had this much in years.  

4. The Knife- Shaking the Habitual
The Knife returned this year from a seven-year hiatus with this ninety-eight minute concept epic- the fact that they pulled it off so elegantly is not only surprising, but also a little intimidating. Gender roles, social norms, etc all get their feet held to the flame- and that's just on the first two songs. Shaking the Habitual is, by all calculations, an absolute monster.

3. Deafheaven- Sunbather
Sunbather cannot be quantified. It also is inherently incapable of being experienced casually. It's one of the most grandiose and glorious metal albums I've ever heard and probably the release that I'm most likely to look back on in years to come and wonder how it only made it to number three.

2. My Bloody Valentine- m b v 
The volume of odds defied by My Bloody Valentine with m b v should be a required study in college statistics classes. It's not so much that their first record in twenty-two years doesn't suck- and it's not so much that, in many ways, m b v is superior to 1991's Loveless. What renders the  m b v experience so classic is how seamlessly it fits into the band's canon and how confidently it both expands and adapts what My Bloody Valentine are capable of to a new generation of listeners. This record is a dream we've all had before made reality.

1. Darkside- Psychic
Nicolas Jaar's partnership with guitarist Dave Harrington takes the listener on a journey that is as sonically tasteful as it is unapologetically psychedelic. Quite simply, Psychic is the best Pink Floyd album never made and my most memorable listening experience of the year.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Daft Punk- "Instant Crush" VIDEO

Daft Punk have released a new music video from this summer's Random Access Memories. Check out "Instant Crush" below featuring Julian Casablancas of the Strokes.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Blouse - A Feeling Like This

Blouse are back with their sophomore album titled Imperium and just released the second single "A Feeling Like This".

The director of the video is Angus Borsos and he has this to say about the video,
 "I wanted to bring about the feeling (more clearly recognizable when experiencing psychedelics), where, for one brief moment — everything seemingly makes perfect sense."

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sky Ferreira- "Night Time, My Time" Music Video

Sky Ferreira has released a music video for "Night Time, My Time"- the title track from her debut album.  Check it out below.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cut Copy Release "Free Your Mind”

The much anticipated followup to 2011's grammy nominated Zonoscope is finally here. That's right, Cut Copy has returned with their fourth LP Free Your Mind, released on November 5th. Recorded in their hometown of Melbourne, the 14 track album is off to a good start with their new released single of the same title, "Free Your Mind."

The record allegedly pulls strong influences by "the two Summers of Love," birthed from burdening times, yet filled with the excitement from "unprecedented explosions of youth culture, communal elation and celebration," describing various eras that provided the band with a spirit to embrace. The band strived to tear down walls while creating a fantasy world showcasing "what the next youth revolution might sound like." "Free Your Mind," the first single describes a timeless and universally positive image of what it is to be "free," an open ended term if you ask me. Enjoy the new track below.

A new album means a new tour, visit Cut Copy's Web Site for dates and/or further information. This tour is one not to be missed, check back for our coverage of tomorrow's show in Madison, WI at the Majestic Theatre!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Kate Nash LIVE REVIEW (Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee)

Photo Credit: Melissa Miller

Formerly known for her quirky and dreamy pop songs, largely about relationships, heard on her debut album Made of Bricks, which skyrocketed to number one landing Kate Nash a BRIT Award for "Best Female Artist." Set out to inspire a new generation of female musicians, she soon returned with her followup album, My Best Friend is You, which was followed by a few years involving fashion, acting and writing.
Photo Credit: Melissa Miller
Fast forward to 2013 and she's back with her highly anticipated third full length LP, Girl Talk," which she describes as, "the best to date, an emotional purge and mission statement for women over the world." So, when I was approached with the opportunity to cover a Kate Nash show, I really had no idea of what to expect and to be perfectly honest, I hadn't listened to much of her work. I had a similar experience a few years ago when I was presented with the opportunity to cover City and Colour and I left in awe, feeling somewhat foolish that I had not listened to him prior to. 

Originally, what I expected was the exact opposite of what I got. Instead of a quirky female singer/songwriter acoustic guitar in hand, Kate pleasantly surprised me with a new style, edgy, aggressive and "riot-punk rock" like. Truthfully, as a 27 year old-male, I felt somewhat uncomfortable and out of place, at times having difficulty relating to the subject matter on topics such as, "bad friends that you just can't seem to shake." Strangely enough, I found myself remembering my early teens, filled with rebellion and bad decisions.

Photo Credit: Melissa Miller
Although at times I could't fully relate and without sounding like a complete hater, Kate Nash really does put on an energy filled unforgettable performance, making it easy to see why she has developed such a loyal following. The show started off with elegant intro music from the 50's, while her all female band took the stage wearing all black.

Shortly after, Nash stormed the stage in an extraordinary red dress to play a variety of songs such as, "Foundations" and "Dickhead" from her debut album Made of Bricks. She made a point to interact with the crowd in-between every couple of songs before continuing on to play others such as "Birds" or "Doo Wah Doo" from My Best Friend Is You.  "OHMYWOD!" and "Fri-End?" were amongst a few of the new tracks performed from Girl Talk. She returned for the encore to play what I thought was "Merry Happy," but if I'm wrong forgive me. Regardless, it was good. 

At times a bit elementary, but nonetheless fun to watch, Kate Nash has an easy, natural stage presence with the ability to let her beautiful voice shine over distorted guitars accompanied with constant dance. With female artists and groups becoming more popular, Nash continues to stay relevant, leading the female movement with her natural and effortless style which translates from album to her live show extremely well.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Blitzen Trapper LIVE REVIEW (Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee)

Photo Credit: Ben Wick

They have openly described themselves with the phrase, "Open Rocky Mountain Whoop Ass," which seems strangely fitting for the Portland based group Blitzen Trapper, as they pull from an array of genres ranging from folk, country to hard rock. It's almost like one minute you're listening to Bob Dylan, The Band or even Led Zeppelin until you snap out of it and realize it's Blitzen Trapper, which is a pretty bold statement but they literally write something for everyone and that's something I admire about the group.

Photo Credit: Ben Wick
Currently on tour in support of their seventh studio album titled VII, which largely reflects the term coined above (Rocky Mountain Whoop-Ass) by close associates to the band. Regardless, the album reflects memories of Oregon, which can be heard on the albums funk infused opener "Feel the Chill," where frontman Eric Earley describes an old shack they used to drink at, still capable of giving one a chill several years later. 

"Oregon Geography" continues to incorporate multiple genres and instruments into one with a banjo and harmonica prominent throughout, but also accompanied with a heavy bass line. "Ever Loved Once," one of the albums most promising songs, is another heart felt Blitzen Trapper love song that frontman Early seems to "keep writing," touching on the subject of regret and tragic lost love. Overall, the album seems to take you on a journey portraying how small ideas or memories, can be widened into something larger, such as a song.

It was about three years ago at the Newport Folk Festival where I first discovered myself captivated by Blitzen Trapper and then again at the Treefort Music Festival a few years later in Boise. It seemed as if both shows blew me away more than the last and this time around was no exception. The group have an indescribable ability to carry over there songs into a live performance, which those at Turner Hall in Milwaukee were lucky enough to witness. 

Photo Credit: Ben Wick
The group opened up with an explosive performance of "Sleepy Time in the Western World," from 2008's Furr, before playing "Thirsty Man," from VII, which Early describes as a song," where love like rain falls in the wasteland and slips through the finger for love is a thing that cannot be held but only felt and released." 

You never seem to know what you will get with a Blitzen Trapper set, showing that they really know their songs. With seven albums out they tastefully bounced around playing a few more from Furr, such as "God and Suicide" and "Black River Killer," one of their most well known songs for good reason. "Valley of Death" and "Shine On" were among the set of new songs performed. One of the nights many highlights was when the guys decided to let their folk side show, temporarily slowing things down to perform a handful of acoustic songs, such as "Lady on the Water" and "Furr."

Overall, Blitzen Trapper never ceases to amaze me not only with the diverse, energetic and positive set they continually bring, but also with the quality of the performance. Capable of hitting every note the sound couldn't have been more in sync, which is constantly the case with the Oregon based group. I read a quote in reference to VII, as stated by Early, "May these songs minister in ways mysterious and eternal, or at least maybe make you shake a hip," which is precisely the all around end result. Do yourself a favor and attend a Blitzen Trapper show.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Fake Plastic's Fr. Jones and Bobby Markle shoot the breeze with Sarah Barthel of Phantogram on the band's new EP, their upcoming album, collaborating with Big Boi, and the government shutdown.

Click here for FPT's previous interview with Phantogram.

FPT: You guys were a two-piece when we originally saw Phantogram but the band has filled out a bit lately. Can you tell me a little bit about the additions?

SB:Yeah, we’ve got a new drummer and another player onstage with us now helping fill in the sounds. We also have someone new running lights, sound, and monitors. There’s a whole bunch of people on the crew so we’re moving forward with that.

FPT: That speaks to something you’ve mentioned before that it’s not always easy recreating your music in a live setting. Is that something you take into account when you record new music?

SB: Yeah, for sure. At first it did because we knew it was just the two of us and we wanted to make sure we could do the same thing live. We kind of limited ourselves for that purpose. But this time around we decided to not worry about it too much and instead just do what we wanted to do. We wanted to add more people live anyway- we kind of had that in mind so we decided to just add as much as we wanted to and figure it out after.

FPT: Your new EP is your second EP in a row. Releasing consecutive EPs is an interesting thing that not a lot of bands do. Is there a strategy to that?

SB: I don’t think so. We just wanted to get new music out. Full-length records take longer than EPs and we just wanted to get new stuff out. And we did.

FPT: One of our other favorite musical duos is Outkast and you guys had the pleasure of collaborating with Big Boi on his album. What was that collaboration like and how did you end up working with him?

SB: He found us online somehow. A couple of years ago when we were touring for Nightlife, he discovered “Mouthful of Diamonds” and posted it on his blog. We found out about it and freaked out because, likewise, Outkast is one of our favorite duos. We grew up listening to them and have been huge fans. So we Facebooked him, he replied, we stayed in touch, and we met him during a time when we were both touring festivals. We kind of connected and we sent him some of Josh’s beats and he loved it. We kind of just went from there. He asked us to come down to Atlanta for a week. So we went down, hung out, and wrote music with him.

FPT: A week in Atlanta with Outkast. I’m sure that’s something that will be remembered. Did you get to meet Andre at all?

SB: Yeah, he stopped by too. We got to hang out with him for a night- I don’t know where. Apparently, that doesn’t really happen- he doesn’t stop by very often. The last time he had stopped by was six months prior. They were really surprised. All of a sudden the door opened and Andre walked in and everyone flipped out. But yea, it was a moment to remember for sure.

FPT: So you have a new full-length on the way. Can you tell us a little bit about it and how it compares to Eyelid Movies?

SB: Yeah, it’s coming out soon. I’m not sure what the date is. It’s definitely a step up for us- we’ve evolved a bit but we still sound like Phantogram of course. We didn’t want to change too much. We wanted to maintain the same fanbase but add more and have more people able to be hear it. We worked with the producer who helped us co-produce the record adding different sounds, tones, and elements to the previous sound so it’s more evolved. We’re very proud of it.

FPT: Can we expect any music videos for the new EP or LP?

SB: Yeah. We’re supposed to shoot one for “Black Out Days” in a couple weeks. That will be our first. Then we’re shooting one for “The Day You Died” and one for our first big single off the new album at some point too. So yeah- we’ll have videos for sure.

FPT: Speaking of “Black Out Days” – we saw you perform on Fallon recently. What was that experience like?

SB: Oh, it was fun to stop by and play. Fallon has a really good taste in music and is a super-nice guy too.

FPT: Fallon may have been one of the first talk show hosts to really expand the variety of music that comes on.

SB: Yeah.

FPT: So you and Josh have known each other since junior high. Does that enhance your creative and performing process?

SB: I think so. I don’t really know what it’s like to work with someone who I’m not really good friends with- so it’s hard to compare but, from my experience, I think that the closer you are to somebody, the better. We’ve known each other forever and we’ve been through everything together. We’re practically the same person in one way or another. It makes the process enjoyable. We’re able to communicate correctly because we really know each other in-and-out and how one another’s brains work so there’s no walking on eggshells if one of us has something to say. If things go down on tour, it’s very open in our relationship. That definitely helps with anything.

FPT: If you weren’t in Phantogram, what would you be doing?

SB: Ummmmmmmmm, I don’t know. I’d probably be writing for a TV show- a comedy show maybe.

FPT: Out of all the ways your music has been featured in television and film, what is your favorite way one of your songs has been used?

SB: We kind of just started with being featured more than normal. We haven’t had that many placements for our songs. We’re still really interested in having our music in a movie- that’s the most exciting for us. One of our songs was in like a football/Gillette commericial so that was pretty crazy. I’m not sure what’s the most exciting but I do know that once our songs are in films, we are going to freak out a lot because we’ve always wanted our songs in movies.

FPT: What are your thoughts on the government shutdown? It’s over now but did the past three weeks affect you as an artist?

SB: It only affects me if I spend the time to freak out about it. But I choose not to involve myself in those aspects that go on. There’s only so much control I can have anyway. So something like that, I can become really paranoid and nervous if I do wrap my head around what’s going on with the government. Someone told me what happened and I was like “Ohhhh, fuck” and I just had to disconnect myself. So no- it doesn’t really affect me.

Blessed Feathers "Order of the Arrow"

In 2009 Jacquelyn Beaupre and Donivan Breube make Blessed Feathers a "thing." Shortly after in the summer of 2010 they book a few shows in small Wisconsin clubs with bands like Youth Lagoon and Phosphorescent before releasing a a limited vinyl release of bedroom laptop recordings on a small Wisconsin boutique label. Soon after they quit their jobs to take on a four-week tour with Mount Moriah and the Cave Singers.  

In the summer of 2013 the duo regrouped in upstate New York to record their first full length studio LP with producer Kevin McMahon who has worked with the likes of the Walkmen and Real Estate. Doug Keith (Sharon Van Etten) also makes his way onto the album. Drawing from "polyhythmic influences of 1960's" along with funk/blues and two weeks of recording, the album was done and they were back on the road for a six-week national tour. With all the immediate praise it's not hard to see why they landed as number one on lists such as Paste Magazines "10 Wisconsin Bands You Should Listen To Now."

Order of the Arrow, their latest release is available for purchase now, along with tour dates on their site Blessed

Blessed Feathers // Peaceful Beasts in an Ocean of Weeds from Wooden Lens on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Yeasayer Premiere Video for "Glass of the Microscope"

Last year Yeasayer dropped another unique album, Fragrant World, with sounds ranging from experimental rock to "neo-psychella." Last spring while I was getting ready to cover the Electric Forest Festival in Michigan, I stumbled upon a quote best describing the new album. It eloquently went on to say,"Couched in healthy fear, yet unafraid to move forward and expand, pulling in new influences just as frequently as new worries, Yeasayer have created a difficult, dense and beautiful record. It's as much a synthesis of the last three decades of pop music as it is a new way of grappling with the end of time." "Glass of the Microscope" is no exception to the theme above, heavy with synths and a post-apolocalyptic vibe and in my opinion it's one of the strongest tracks on the album. Enjoy "Glass of the Microscope Below."

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lucy Rose "Like I Used To"

It's been nearly one year since the release of her debut album Like I Used To and she's been busy catching the eye of many respectable publications such as Nylon Magazine who described her as "The belle of London's indie-folk scene" and BBC who went on to say," Lucy Rose is absolutely outstanding. A Brilliant Brilliant voice."

Rose began recording her debut album in 2012 at her parents house in Warwickshire, England, signing to Columbia Records shortly after, which lead her to a tour with the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club and Noah and the Whale. It's not hard to see why she has been consistently turning heads with her unique and impressive vocals heard throughout the 11 track album. Starting with the opener, "Red Face," features her gentle vocals with an array of tempo changes that keep the song interesting. Her fragile vocals are also accompanied with the perfect amount of percussion and guitar, heard on the albums first single "Middle of the Bed," which can be heard below. The beautifully composed "Shiver," is another standout track featuring straight forward subject matter, again highlighting her smokey and delicate vocals, while "Bikes" showcases a more fun, upbeat and rebellious side. Overall Like I Used To is a captivating debut album that showcases the young and upcoming artists impressive vocal abilities that are accompanied by the perfect amount of instrumentation.

Lucy Rose is currently on an extensive fall tour supporting City and Colour along with a considerable amount of headlining shows. She's been known to put on a mesmerizing unforgettable performance so be sure to check out dates near you at


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Atoms For Peace Performs on "The Daily Show"

Thom Yorke and Flea showed up on last night's "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart. After a brief interview, Atoms for Peace went on to perform "Default" off their 2013 album, Amok- as well as "Harrowdown Hill" off Thom Yorke's 2006 solo record, The Eraser. You can watch it all below.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Listen: Phantogram releases new single - "Black Out Days."

Besides random appearances (such as appearing on the new Flaming Lips album "The Terror") the last time we caught original material from Phantogram was the highly successful release of "Nightlife:EP" in November of 2011. Hopefully this new track is a precursor to a new album in the works. "Black Out Days" is a reminder to all the reasons we know and love Phantogram so. The vocals are chillingly beautiful, the electronics are dark, yet still make you want to move your feet. The production on this song is tight and methodical and shows creative elements of emotional and musical growth. Check it out on the SoundCloud widget below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cody Chesnutt: Live Review (Salt Lake City)

Cody Chesnutt Performs at The State Room, in Salt Lake City
Cody Chesnutt's return clearly proves his decade-long hiatus from recording (largely performance as well) was a period of musical and personal growth. In 2002 Chesnutt released his first full length EP "The Headphone Masterpiece," a true work of art crafted in his bedroom on a 4-track cassette recorder. Shortly after, Cody had a brush with stardom when The Roots remade one of his songs into "The Seed (2.0)," (featuring him on guitar and vocals) which has aired heavily on mainstream channels to this day. Cody spent the majority of his time since focusing on his family and, apparently, building up a surplus of creative power.

A venue with unsurpassed charm
There is certainly not a lack of musical talent amidst the airwaves these days. However, it is seldom that one comes across an artist with the raw, innate soul like that of Cody Chesnutt. Every fiber of his being drips with a musical prowess reminiscent of icons like Mayfield, Rawls and Junior Marvin. Born in 1968, Cody is not new to the scene. However, after a long history of being too oft overlooked, he never became the household name his musicianship has long deserved.

Chesnutt is touring on his second full-length album "Landing on a Hundred," which was released in 2012 after being recorded at the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis. His new material is raw, sincere and beautiful. His subject matter has matured, and "Landing on a Hundred" speaks of struggles with everything from honesty to crack addiction.

Last night at The State Room in Salt Lake City, Chesnutt was getting over a cold and not once did the sanctity of the music suffer. "Sorry for the vocal chords, it's a human thing I hope you understand," he sang in his encore before exiting the stage. From the moment he walked onto the stage, the energy was palpable. Each song, a truly visceral experience. Chesnutt engaged from start to finish, spending much time singing from within the audience. At one point he was serenading an enthusiastic fan while she tap-danced the rhythm to his soul fueled melody. Backing him all night was an impressive four-piece band made up of true southern rock n' soul veterans.

The energy never ceases
On tour with Cody Chesnutt is the young and impressively talented Jarell Perry. Preceding Cody's set, Perry set the atmosphere with a diverse repertoire of rhythm and blues. On his first tour, and spending his first bit of time in Salt Lake City, he genuinely enjoyed himself from start to finish. I underestimated his vocal control and range. He brought true talent to the onset of the show, and was a pleasure to witness. Sitting on the side of the stage, slowing things down he shared some never before performed songs that instilled in me hope for the genre. I'm rarely as impressed with opening acts, and was delightfully surprised.

If you're not familiar with Cody Chesnutt, do yourself a favor and follow some of the links below. I assure you, any fan of music will appreciate that which he has created. In talking to him after the show, I realized his passion truly is relentless. As he greeted fans, everything signed was kissed by him and he was sure to try and remember everyones name. These are things that may seem inconsequential, yet are testaments to the beauty of Cody Chesnutt's true character.

Please check out more photos from my Flickr set here.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Local Music Happy Hour: The Fatty Acids

Here at Fake Plastic Tunes, we have a couple of favorite things: talking about music, and day drinking. Thus, in an effort to combine these things, we give you this installment of our semi-regular segment, Local Music Happy Hour, where we talk to some local (primarily Milwaukee) bands, drink beer, and then introduce them to you, the internet.

This round of Happy Hour, we met up with the Fatty Acids before their music video premiere to talk about their new album, upcoming show at the Pabst Theater, and the severity of the blood and mucus agreement. [Spoiler: We all agree it is potentially the heaviest of agreements.] The guys drank beer, FPT drank tequila, all were merry.

The Riverwest neighborhood-based Fatty Acids are a staple in the Milwaukee music scene, and they remind us why with the release of their third album, BolĂ©ro. The album brings together the energy and electronic scramble of the band's scramble-pop style with the development and maturity in the arrangements. The band worked on the album for around two years, and you can tell in the final product, which you can listen to here

Recently back in town from a short tour, the band is playing the historic Pabst Theater in Downtown Milwaukee tonight (9/6), a big venue and a bigger accomplishment. Opening for the Fatty Acids are friends of the band Faux Fir and Sat. Night Duets. Singer Josh Evert explained the weight of getting to play the Pabst with the guys from Sat. Night Duets: "We basically made a blood and mucus pact at the time, just kind of mixed it all together, and said, 'We're gonna do this at the Pabst Theater or we're gonna, ya know...'" The statement was never finished, so here at FPT we are assuming it's some sort of suicide pact, without reading into it too much.

Tonight's Pabst show is intended to be a spectacle of epic proportions, with a ton of visuals. "There will be a lot of distractions for in case we fuck up." The Fatty Acids are a group of men prepared.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Listen: Cults Share Brand New Single - "High Road"

Indie pop darlings Cults have been releasing tidbits about their new album for a couple weeks now, but we finally have their first single off the record. Entitled "High Road" the song picks up right where the duo left off on their self-titled debut.

The new album, Static, will be released on October 15 via Columbia Records, and based off of the latest single, shows a high ceiling of musical promise.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Listen: Willis Earl Beal - Coming Through (feat Cat Power)

'Coming Through' is the second track from Willis Earl Beal's new album Nobody knows.  The new song features Cat Power and is very touching and catchy, showing off Willis' incredible voice and songwriting skills.

Nobody knows will be released on September 10th via XL Recordings.

Watch: The Vaccines - Melody Calling

After two albums to their name The Vaccines are back with a 4-song EP titled 'Melody Calling'.  The single from the EP goes by the same name and has a new video that goes along with it.  The video has Justin, Freddie and Pete offering relationship advice to Arni, that happens to be of little help.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Watch: The National - Graceless

The National are having a strong 2013 thanks to their successful Trouble Will Find Me album along with a national tour.  In their newest video "Graceless" you get to see a fun visual as it describes the bands success and how much they enjoy what they do for a living.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Local Music Happy Hour: Kane Place Record Club

Here at Fake Plastic Tunes, we have a couple of favorite things: talking about music, and day drinking. Thus, in an effort to combine these things, we give you the second installment of our semi-regular segment, Local Music Happy Hour, where we talk to some local (primarily Milwaukee) bands, drink beer, and then introduce them to you, the internet.

For this edition of Local Music Happy Hour, FPT was lucky enough to sit down with 5/6 of the strapping young men of Milwaukee band Kane Place Record Club over Bloody Mary's to discuss their upcoming self-titled album, performing live, and who has the most expensive shirt (stay tuned for reveal!).

The six-piece outfit has existed for roughly two years, with its current lineup for about one. The band brings together high school friends Jon Scott (vocals/keys) and Francis Sullivan (guitar) with Eris Campbell (bass), Nick Tovarek (guitar), Chad Alsteen (violin/saxophone), and Maurice Liddell (drums). Sullivan simplified the bands creation as, "Two homies walked into a bar, and picked up four other homies...and they had a slumber party." FPT was unable to confirm this particular origin story, but will publish any quotes mentioning slumber parties exclusively on principle. 

Prior to listening to their album, it wouldn't be difficult to dismiss Korn Palace Rickshaw Company Kane Place Record Club as just a fun live band. This is far from a negative trait; the band's live performances are easily some of the most enigmatic and high-energy around. With the release of their first album, however, Korn KPRC has successfully solidified themselves musically, in addition to their live presence. Their self-titled release brings together a huge variety of influences and contributions from individual band members--from soul and pop to electronic and hip hop--in an extremely enjoyable, cohesive manner, an accomplishment for any band. 

That being said, those already familiar with Kane Place Record Club's live performances will be able to hear both new tracks as well as more polished studio versions of songs they are already familiar with from seeing the band live. You can listen to or purchase the album here via the band's bandcamp page, and/or attend the album release show on August 31 at Linnemann's and receive a copy of the vinyl.

As promised, the reveal of the owner of the most expensive shirt: frontman Jon Scott.

Catch Kane Place Record Club in Milwaukee:
August 24th - Milwaukee Carnival - Horny Goat Hideaway
August 30th - UWM Band Shell
August 31st - Album Release Show - Linnemann's Riverwest Inn
September 12th - Underwear Bike Ride After Party

Previously on Local Music Happy Hour: Calliope

Listen: Jonathan Rado - Seven Horses

Jonathan Rado of Foxygen is on the verge of releasing his debut solo album titled 'Law and Order' on September 3rd via Woodsist Records.  He is now sharing the song 'Seven Horses' for the third listen in on the new album.  The song is a clear cut psychedelic dance jam that has no bass line, Rado states "If you feel it all, clap your hands."

Law and Order Tracklist:
01 Seven Horses
02. Hand in Mine
03. Looking 4a Girl Like U
04. Dance Away Your Ego
05. I Wood
06. Faces
07. Oh, Suzanna!
08. All The Lights Went Out In Georgia
09. I Wanna Feel It Now!!!
10. Would You Always Be At Home
11. Law & Order
12. Pot of Gold

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Listen: RAC Releases Original Track, "Let Go"

One of indie music's best remix artists, RAC, released an original track yesterday. The song is called "Let Go" and features Bloc Party's Kele on vocals as well as electronic duo MNDR.

RAC's remixes are always incredibly contagious, and his original track takes catchy to another level. It truly is never too late for a favorite summer track.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Watch: Youth Lagoon - Raspberry Cane

Earlier this week Youth Lagoon premiered their newest video for "Raspberry Cane" from the sophomore album Wondrous Bughouse. The song and video go hand in hand and the visuals that are added to the vocals continue to tell a story in Trevor Powers life.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Moby: Sound Check INTERVIEW

 FPT shoots the breeze with Moby on his new album- Innocents, post-modern collaboration, the hindsight of Play, Christmas on steroids, and the tyranny of the physical product.

 FR: So, do I call you Moby or Richard?

MOBY: Well, I've been called Moby since I was born.  The story I've been told by my parents was that- before I was born- they decided I was going to be Richard Melville Hall if I was a boy. Then they looked at me after I was born and decided that was too big of a name for a little baby.  So, as a joke, they nicknamed me Moby- and for my entire life, I've been called by my innocent-joke nickname.


FR: Alright.  Moby it is.  Innocents is out October 1 and the entire worldwide tour will comprise the weekend of October 2-4.  Why such a consolidated set of shows?

MOBY: For a few reasons.  First and foremost, I've realized as I've gotten older that life is fairly short.  My favorite thing is to be in my studio working on music.  And the problem when I go on tour is that I'm not able to be in my studio working on music.  I'll never complain about touring because there's certainly nothing wrong about traveling around the world playing music- but when I go on tour, I sort of stop being creative.  And given the choice between sitting in airports and hotels and not being creative or sitting at home and being creative... I'd rather work on music.  So that's honestly one of the main reasons.  There's also another slight reason.  When I first started touring in 1990 and 1991, I had this experience where I was in London Heathrow Airport and I saw this band- I don't remember who they were- but they were middle-aged and tired and kind of dumpy.  You could tell they'd been on the road forever.  They looked just kind of sick and unhealthy- so I vowed to myself that I would never become that.  But then I found myself years later at London Heathrow... looking middle-aged, tired, and dumpy.  I realized that I had become what I had vowed to never become.  Maybe in the future I'll tour again but life is too short to keep doing the same thing over and over and over again. 

FR: With each show divided into two performances of greatest hits and newer material, I'm reminded of my own two Moby experiences.  The 9:30 Club in support of 2009's Wait For Me featuring new material prominently and two years later at 2011's Moogfest which focused on the familiar hits.  Why is it important to shift focus with two different shows?  And do you think this is a model more long-lasting performers may possibly adapt to?

MOBY: I guess it's trying to figure out how to play new music that might not be that interested as well as older music that- as far as I can tell- is the reason people would pay money to buy a ticket.  Some bands just refuse to play older songs and then some bands only play older songs- so I saw this as a way to pay honor to the new music on a new record without irritating people in the audience too much. I'm sure we've all had the experience where we've gone to see our favorite band and you're there to hear your favorite band playing your favorite songs and- for whatever reason- they only choose to play the music from the new record.  When I go see bands and they do that- honestly, I'm kind of disappointed. 

FR: Innocents is being described as your most collaborative record yet.  That's a bold statement as you are indeed no stranger to collaboration.  How do you feel the idea of collaboration in music has evolved since your earlier days?

MOBY: First off, it's become a lot easier because in the "ye olden days" of the late 80s and the early 90s, records were made on tape.  In order to collaborate with someone, you had to ship tapes around- they were heavy and you had to rent a big studio with a 2" tape machine and now you can just send ProTools files or Logic files back and forth so now it's just easier logistically.  And also, my belief is that we live in this age of expanding eclecticism and I think that one of the reasons why people are so eclectic now is because music doesn't always cost anything.  In the 70s, 80s, 90s, listening to music meant going out and buying a $20 CD or an expensive record.  People had to be almost confined in their taste because music cost a lot but now with Pandora, Spotify, these streaming services, people can be very eclectic and it doesn't cost them anything.  I think that's made a lot of musicians more open to collaboration than they would have been twenty years ago.

FR: For example, I saw earlier this week that Alt-J had taken a stab at remixing the first single from Innocents "A Case for Shame".

MOBY: Yeah, I asked them to do it.  One of the most wonderful things about remixing is that you can get someone to do a remix and- especially now- it doesn't really cost anything to make a remix so they can be completely experimental doing whatever they want and it doesn't affect the original song.  It's not like other art forms where if someone wanted to remix a painting, the painting would be destroyed.  With music, the original recording isn't affected in the slightest.

FR: Speaking of "A Case for Shame", was this your first experience directing a music video?  Have you ever thought about directing a movie?  After all, a lot of your catalogue feels like the soundtrack to a movie only the listener can see.

MOBY: To be honest, I had actually directed one music video before-- for Mercury Rev.

FR: Wow.  I didn't know that.
MOBY: It was 1996 or 1997.  But this last one was the first time I had ever directed any of my videos.  With the Mercury Rev video- it's called "Young Man Stride"- I don't even know if anyone ever saw it.  So with this video- honestly, I just felt that I had some cameras at my house and I invited a bunch of friends over and it was this open, relaxed, fun, creative afternoon where I dressed up my friends in masks and sheets and then shot them.  It's kind of the exact opposite how we made music videos in the late 90s where you had like a four-day shoot that would cost as much as a house in suburban New York.

FR: On the same note, I remember that you provided the score for that batshit crazy Richard Kelley movie, Southland Tales, some years back and I found myself wondering when/if you would be doing any more musical work for film? 

MOBY: I've contributed songs to lots of people's movies.  I've worked with Danny Boyle, Paul Haggis, Michael Mann, Oliver Stone, but usually that's just giving a director a song or two.  As far as doing a whole score for a movie, I don't know.  The only thing that really interests me is writing a film score for a more experimental, unconventional movie which is one of the reasons I loved working with Richard Kelley.  Southland Tales is certainly unconventional.  It's interesting because that movie was almost universally loathed when it came out.  I think the only positive review it got was in New York magazine and the review consisted of the journalist saying "this movie is batshit crazy and we don't know if it's good or bad but it's certainly worth watching".

FR: That's exactly how I feel about it. It exists unto itself.

MOBY: Yep.  It's developed a cult following over time.  But I'd much rather do a weird, idiosyncratic music score for a weird, idiosyncratic movie that might never be seen instead of doing a generic score for Madagascar 3 or something.

FR: What licensing use of your music do you find most evocative?  Which one has best reflected your original emotion?  Has any licensing adaption surprised you in its interpretation?
MOBY: When Michael Mann used the song "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters" at the end of Heat, that one was the one I was most surprised by.  It felt like such a perfect marriage of music and film.  At that point, I hadn't really licensed that much music so I hadn't been as involved.  So I went to the theater and had no idea if I was going to be hearing five seconds of the song or ten seconds and the fact that the song ran for five-and-a half minutes... it was one of those personal and professional moments that felt like Christmas on steroids.  It was just so exciting.  As a musician growing up, I never expected anyone to listen to the music that I made.  I never expected to have a record contract.  I never expected to have a career as a musician.  So when things like Heat happen, it's so exciting because it's contrary to anything I ever expected for myself.  I really thought that my life was going to be spent teaching community college and making music that no one would ever listen to.

FR: Heat was like Christmas on steroids for people in the audience who obviously didn't write the music so I imagine it had to be pretty elating. 

MOBY: Yeah. It's this quantifiable feeling.  At that moment, I knew that other people were actually listening to my music and I'd never expected it.  It was a really wonderful moment.

FR: There seems to be a continuum of sampling styles, from going over-the-top like Girl Talk to the subtleties of Burial.  Where do you see your own work on this spectrum? Do you build songs around samples, or find the sample for the song?

MOBY: As a musician, my goal is- to be reductionist about it- is really quite simple. I'm trying to make music that I love and I'm never too concerned about what the compositional elements are.  I'm not concerned what genre I'm working in.  I'm not concerned who's singing.  So I guess I'm very- in a weird way- emotionally utilitarian.  I'm trying to write music that affects me emotionally without being too concerned with how it's written or what it's comprised of.  I started using samples simply because I'm not such a good singer and I realized that, if I wanted to have interesting vocals on my record, I had to work with other singers and work with vocal samples.  Also, samplers really came to prominence in the late 80s.  At the time, it seemed like the most exciting records I was hearing were made with samplers so it just made me want to jump in.  But Girl Talk and Burial?  Aesthetically, my sensibilities are more in line with something like Burial but- at the same time- if it was Friday night and I was on a date, I'd rather go to a Girl Talk show.

FR:A Burial show would be pretty cool too.

MOBY: A Burial show would be great on a Monday night by myself.  But... Friday night, on a date... I guess the only danger at a Girl Talk show would be your date ending up on stage and you never seeing them again.

FR: Myself- as well as many others- have often directly cited Play as the album that held hands across the bridge as the idea of what one's relationship with music could be shifted into the new millennium.  How do you remember the Play experience? Did it seem that pivotal a moment as it was happening as it does in hindsight?
MOBY: When I was making Play, I was convinced it was going to be a complete failure- and I'm not just saying that in a self-deprecating way.  The album before that- which was Animal Rights and I loved- had been a complete failure.  So I was making Play and hoping Daniel Miller would release it almost as a favor to me.  But I didn't expect it to be successful at all.  The first show we did for the release of Play was in a record store in Union Square and I think like eighty-five people came and I thought that the fact that I could get eighty-five people to come to the basement of a record store and listen to me play was pretty impressive.  When it went on to become so weirdly successful, every aspect of it was surprising to me.

FR: One of my favorite aspects of your discography are the diverse influences in your work- from punk to gospel to funk to ravecore- is there a current artist you find yourself drawn to?

MOBY: I guess probably James Blake.  I don't know that much about him.  As far as I can remember, I first heard about him when he signed to Warp Records.  I thought of him as an electronic musician but when I heard his version of the Joni Mitchell song, "A Case of You", I just loved the weirdness and the diversity and eclecticism of his approach to music.  With the most recent album he made, I love that he's made this soulful music using a lot of unconventional but traditional elements.

FR: The music industry has really gone sideways in the past fifteen years from Napster to iTunes to Pandora to Spotify and beyond.  The way people are encouraged to listen as well as experience music has changed and you've had a front row seat to much of this evolution- we touched on that a bit already.  But where do you see the music scene going in the next fifteen years?

MOBY: That's a really good question.  I don't know if I have an equally good answer.  It does seem- and I'm hesitant to say this because I love buying vinyl and I love listening to albums- but all indicators point to a future based around music streaming which certainly doesn't mean the end of the album.  But it does mean that there may be a time in the near future where it seems anachronistic for people to own music.  Friends of mine are already experiencing that.  They'll get Spotify or Pandora and suddenly they'll get so excited to have way more music at their fingertips than they could ever consider owning.  It's certainly not the most insightful thought because everyone else in the music business recognizes that streaming is the future.  The fact that music production is less expensive as well- for the longest time, music production was expensive- now though it costs nothing to make music.  Pretty much all you need is software on your laptop and I only see music production getting more egalitarian.


FR: Is it difficult producing an album knowing that so many people have instantaneous access to thousands of songs as opposed to when you were producing Animal Rights or even Play where you knew that people would buy the CD and that CD would be the music they had for that hypothetical day? 

MOBY: There is a part of me that loved the tyranny of physical product- cassettes, vinyl, CDs.  It was nice because if someone bought your CD, there was a good chance they would listen to the whole album. But, at the same time, everything has changed and it would be a futile effort to complain.  I read some interview with Thom Yorke- and of course I love Thom Yorke and I love Radiohead- where he was complaining about Spotify and to me that just seems like you're complaining about aging or bad weather.  There's literally nothing you can do about it.  And with bad weather and aging, the best thing you can do is just accept it and make the most best out of it and see the positive in it.  So when I think about how easy it is to make music and how easy it is to listen to music- on one hand, I think it's wonderful because it means that music has become such a ubiquitous art in so many people's lives.  Of course though- when I make an album- I do have that presumptuous hope that at least a few people may listen to the album from start to finish. 

- Fr. Jones

Innocents will be made available October 1 via Mute