Ignore the ridonc name. Members of Holy Fuck, North of America and Long Weekends got together with a ‘celebrity barber’ to start badass rock outfit Cryptorips in Dartmouth, NS. They just put out two tracks recently and are hitting up T-dot and Montreal in a couple days to play with the Swirlies (who I saw the other day here in Washington, and they were soooo good).
Joanne Pollock, an old, friendly acquaintance from Toronto, puts out some weird sounds every now and then. I’ve written about her stuff before, but if you missed that, think the eerie vibe of Laurel Halo or, like I said last time, pre-Austra Katie Stelmanis, with airy vocals over otherwordly synths and complicated programmed beats – you get the idea. She just put out a new EP called Optimist. Here’s the opening track, “I Might Be Wrong”.
Sometimes something just hits you with its vibe. Hailing from Bashaw, Alberta, a town with a population of less than 1000, Prairie Fang is apparently a dude with a guitar who makes music that sounds like the soundtrack of a haunted First Nations funeral. His Flux/Dust EP is the kind of thing you might expect to hear on a tape you found in the middle of the desert. You don’t know who made it or why it’s there, but for some reason it exists and it’s beautiful in its stark, pure minimalism. (via Weird Canada of course).
p.s. btw, Mr. Prairie Fang, would LOVE a tape of this if you wanna let me know how one can be obtained.
A while ago, someone asked me if serving in the Israeli army radicalized me. I said that, if anything, it de-radicalized me, because I saw how ideas we have about sides being ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are largely constructs that help average people just digest what comes to perceived as ‘the story’. In reality, a situation like the Arab-Israeli conflict is so insanely complex. What we see as ‘sides’ of the conflict are each made up of millions of individuals, each with their own different ideas, goals and behaviours. Things aren’t so black and white.
However, living in New York over the last year and now Washington, D.C. for the summer, has made me a lot more political, perhaps even a little radical. Both are such vibrant, intellectually stimulating environments where people of all walks of life converge and battle out how the world should work via work, debate, etc. And what I learned in the IDF applies to a certain extent here as well: everyone is different and things aren’t black and white. Those on the left or the right, Democrat or Republican, can be good, bad, right, wrong, kind-hearted or seemingly downright evil (though perhaps there are certain trends…).
I thought a political mix or playlist would be appropriate. The bands included are from USA, Canada and the UK, and their songs cover a range of subjects, from racism and sexism to deregulation and urban sprawl. If you like a song, please do look into the lyrics.
I saw the Chicago-based Advance Base (Owen Ashworth, formerly Casiotone For The Painfully Alone) play Silent Barn in Brooklyn a couple months ago. He hooked up some synths and a drum machine and it was so cool and intimate and Silent Barn was just beyond perfect for it. That’s when I first heard some of the new songs on his latest album Nephew In The Wild. They were pretty solid. Unsurprisingly, they weren’t all that unlike what he’s done before, but I guess if it’s not broken and it’s kind of your thing, don’t change it.
The album comes out August 21st on Ashworth’s label Orindal.