Asymmetry and balance juxtapose nicely in “Monster” by Valise

Every once in a while I run into a band that appears to take two opposing designs and somehow makes it work. Valise is one of those bands. The Dallas-based indie group weaves together ethereal keyboards and with solid bass/guitar accompaniment against a backdrop of asymmetrical percussion, which is reminiscent of work by Danish indie rockers Mew.  “Monster” is available for download on iTunes.

Bring Me the Horizon headlining at House of Blues New Orleans Tonight

British metalcore band Bring Me the Horizon is headlining a three-band lineup tonight at House of Blues on 225 Decatur St. in New Orleans. Also on the bill will be Issues and letlive.

Doors: 05:00 PM
Show: 05:45 PM
Prices:
$23.00 – General Admission – Advance*
$25.00 – General Admission Day of Show*
$60.00 – Balcony Seating*
Ages: all

Charli XCX covers Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible”

British indie singer Charli XCX teams up with soul singer Janelle Monáe to create a bouncy, high-energy remake of the late Robert Palmer’s 1988 rocker “Simply Irresistible.”  Even though we’ve heard the song more times than was necessary during Palmer’s salad days, Charli XCX’s rendition is just manic enough to make it fun again.

Keep an eye out for this week’s Friday 5 Across the LIps when we explore five original songs with very imaginitive cover versions.

Tei Shi’s pleasant late-night psychotropic ride

I don’t know much about Tei Shi, which I found on Gorilla vs. Bear while randomly listening to posted songs, but I know I really like what she’s doing.  There’s very little about Brooklyn singer on the Web other than her rich, trippy electonica pop songs such as “Nevermind the End,” which puts me in mind of a tranquilizing moonlight ride through the snowy woods.  Nice way to spend a Friday night…

Kim & Thurston are divorced. It’s none of your business. Get over it.

Women’s issues blog Jezebel posted a rather inflammatory article about something that’s really no one’s business: the cause of divorce between Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, both of the now-defunct iconic indie band Sonic Youth.  Since then, it has spawned many “Team Kim” and “Team Thurston” responses.

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I’m a part of “Team Get Over It.”  I love Sonic Youth’s music and am sad that my favorite band is no more, but that doesn’t mean I get a say in the private lives of the band members.  Instead, I’m going to celebrate the incredible legacy they as Sonic Youth left behind.

FRIDAY 5 ACROSS THE LIPS: Awesome Sub-genres You Never Knew Exsisted

sanford The Friday 5 Across the Lips will showcase a different theme every week, and highlight five songs within that theme. This week: Awesome sub-genres you never knew existed…

1.  Kawaii Metal

Japan does weird much better than we do here in the United States.  For such a disciplined, repressed culture, they have an uncanny ability to take their pop culture to the outer limits.  Kawaii is an aspect of Japanese culture that celebrates the cute, cuddly, and adorable (Hello Kitty and Pikachu didn’t happen by accident).  So only in Japan does it make sense to combine cutesy and death metal.  The result is Babymetal, a band that features three teenage girls bouncing around the stage belting out pop lyrics to dark, grinding heavy metal, (such as the song above, “Gimme Chocolate,” which extols the yumminess of chocolate to pounding death metal riffs).

2.  Crazy Cat Lady Jazz

Some believe there is a place between brilliant and bonkers, and it’s apparently Karen Mantler.  Jazz musician and singer Mantler has built a whole career based on four albums completely dedicated to her cat Arnold, including 1988’s My Cat Arnold; 1990’s Karen Mantler and Her Cat Arnold Get the Flu; 1996’s Farewell (a tribute to Arnold’s death), and finally 1999’s Karen Mantler’s Pet Project. Despite the eccentricities filtered through her bizarre and pervasive sense of humor, Mantler has a keen sense of song structure, and a dark affinity for minor keys.  Regardless, Mantler single-handedly created a meaningful, deeply personal subgenre of music for a misunderstood demographic.

3.  Puppet Hip-Hop

Perhaps the most amazing of all hip hop.  Back in the ’80s, the hip-hop genre was relatively new and everyone was jumping on the bandwagon, including puppets.  Rapping is difficult enough when you have flesh and blood mouth, but puppets busting rhymes with their wooden lips are otherworldly. Biological science tells us flesh and muscles work best for rapping; however, these brilliant puppets must use soft, pliable wood such as pine or balsam.  Regardless, it’s freaking awesome. Many times I’ve tried to mimic Eminem and ended up sounding like Mushmouth from Fat Albert.  This makes Mr. Wood here from MC 900 Ft. Jesus all the more astounding.

4.  Cowpunk

Sometime in the late ’70s I heard a comedy bit about a new genre of music called Punk Country where a cheeky, twangy singer crooned “I wanna do your cow/Show me how/I wanna see her moo/So do you.”  Punk was relatively new at the time, and the prospect of angry music from the working class sections of cities making its way to the sounds of rural America seemed hilariously absurd.  Fast forward a few years when I discovered a psychobilly band calling themselves simply X who mashed up high-energy country music with deliciously ironic punk lyrics.  It wasn’t long before I found other bands blasting cowpunk/psychobilly, such as Mojo Nixon, The Beat Farmers, and The Blasters.  Punk was no longer confined to the industrial sections of major cities as angry, ironic working-class country kids now had a voice.

5.  Math Rock

Math Rock is truly a sub-genre for those who just think too damned much.  Most people believe Math Rock is something they watched on Saturday mornings back in the ’70s, but it’s actually an offshoot of progressive and hardcore music of the late ’80s.  Eschewing the traditional 4/4 meter, Math Rockers usually aim for more asymmetric time signatures such as  7/8, 11/8, or 13/8.  No, I’m not making that up.  I actually researched it and typed what I found.  Being as I’m not a musician, I have no idea what the hell any of that means, but I do know that Math Rock differs from most music in that it uses irregular rhythms, unusual guitar fragments, and exceptionally complex composition.  So nerd-up if you can handle the C8H18 + O2 —>CO2 + H2O, bro.