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Musical Pairings: Painted Palms – Forever

January 14th, 2014 Painted Palms - Forever

Blending 60′s psych-pop (think The Beatles or The Beach Boys) with the the aesthetics of contemporary psych-experimentalism (i.e. Animal Collective or of Montreal), San Francisco-based Painted Palms weave a blissed-out tapestry of rainbow-colored melodies, catchy pop hooks, and heavily textured production on their debut Forever. In fact, the album’s first official single “Spinning Signs” is likely […]

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Musical Pairings: The Casket Girls – True Love Kills The Fairy Tale

January 7th, 2014 GRAVE107CasketGirlsCover_1400_zpse35d90cd

One of my favorite music investments of 2013 was my membership in the Graveface Records Club. It’s criminally cheap and has delivered a collection of great records to my home for the past few months. For example, the next shipment (which I should be shipping soon) will include the sophomore LP by The Casket Girls. The […]

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Musical Pairings: Lucius – Wildewoman

December 17th, 2013 wildewoman

Brooklyn-based Lucius found it’s beginning when co-vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig met as voice majors at Berklee College of Music. That fact alone says a lot about what you can expect from the band. For example, both Wolfe and Laessig are incredibly talented vocalists capable of bouncing from a soft, smoky croon to a snapping yelp at […]

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Musical Pairings: Cuushe – Butterfly Case

December 10th, 2013 CUUSHE-BUTTERFLY-CASE

The lead single “I Love You” from Berlin-by-way-of-Kyoto dream pop songstress Cuushe‘s latest album makes a great first impression. At least it did for me. The mesmerizing groove slowly simmers with bubbling disco synths and a pulsating rhythm to accompany Cuushe’s flowing, effervescent vocals as she sweetly murmurs “I love you” over and over again. When […]

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Musical Pairings: DARKSIDE – Psychic

November 27th, 2013 DARKSIDE-PSYCHIC

DARKSIDE is the project of minimalist producer Nicolas Jaar and multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington. Before they formed DARKSIDE, Jaar was already critically acclaimed for his minimalist, thoughtfully paced house-inspired grooves. Meanwhile, Harrington was a student of experimental jazz with experience directing a rendition of John Zorn’s COBRA and producing commissioned works for theater and film. However […]

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Musical Pairings: White Denim – Corsicana Lemonade


If I could level a complaint against Texas-based garage-rockers White Denim, it’d be that their recordings have rarely matched the high-voltage energy of their exuberant and fiery live shows. It’s worth noting, as a mitigating factor, the fact that their live shows are amongst the best in contemporary rock ‘n roll and it’d be hard […]

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Musical Pairings: Widowspeak – The Swamps

November 6th, 2013 Widowspeak - The Swamps

Languorous and sultry, at its heart all of Widowspeak‘s output to date can be characterized as warm, sensual and comforting. That’s why their choice to tackle the oft-covered Chris Isaak track “Wicked Game” was perfect. On a conceptual level, it served as a concise thesis statement for their music. And although their sound has evolved over […]

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Musical Pairings: Mutual Benefit – Love’s Crushing Diamond

October 30th, 2013 Mutual Benefit

It’s no exaggeration to say that Love’s Crushing Diamond by Jordan Lee, who records as Mutual Benefit, may be the most beautiful record you’ll hear all year. Lee’s lyrics are intimate, poetic, and heart-warming; often filled with Buddhist-like musings on life and relationships: “I clear my mind of joy and sorrow / river doesn’t know tomorrow / […]

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Musical Pairings: Willis Earl Beal – Nobody Knows.

October 15th, 2013 Willis Earl Beal - Nobody Knows

Willis Earl Beal is one of those entertainers who you could obsess over just because of his personality. Put bluntly, he’s a little “off.” He’s stated in interviews that he joined the military because he thought it’d help him be more like Batman. Partially inspired by Jack Kerouac, he spent several months sleeping homeless on […]

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Musical Pairings: Zachary Cale – Blue Rider

October 9th, 2013 Zachary Cale

Let’s be honest, there are a LOT of derivative singer-songwriters out there that compose boring, insipid 60′s folk-inspired riffs on worn out acoustic guitars. Indeed, for many music fans the label “singer-songwriter” alone is a cue to prep a snarky, derisive sneer. Nonetheless, despite a glut of less talented songwriters, artists like Justin Vernon, Sam […]

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