Halloween, baby! This is reliably the best time of year for music videos. It doesn’t take too much of a budget to make your video into a mini-horror movie, and it’s persistently more entertaining to do that than to do the sort of blurry montage that most indie rock bands like to pass off as … More »
The record industry, like any industry, is a tough business. In ten short years, Mexican Summer has become a veritable tour de force, specializing in world-beating new act signings, issuing ace archival relics and publishing killer books (Anthology Recordings), and curating one of the most eclectic festivals on either side of the Pecos (Marfa Myths); all while navigating the murky waters of, and changes to the music biz over the past decade. Not content to celebrate its tenth anniversary with trinkets of tin, Mexican Summer will continue to play generous gift giver rather than appreciative kudos recipient when it releases a special curio compilation in October and hosts a day-long birthday bash exactly one month later.
A Decade Deeper features label stars Ariel Pink, Dungen, Pill, Drugdealer, Connan Mockasin (Jassbusters), and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma among others. The comp is out October 17 and details the label’s historical significance and current vitality in grand style: every track is previously unreleased. Pre-order A Decade Deeper here.
Then, on November 17 comes “Mexican Summer Presents a Celebration in Support of Pioneer Works” in Red Hook, NYC. Many of the compilation acts will appear live, in addition to cosmic winker Jess Williamson and far-from-forgotten folkie F.J. McMahon with Boston psych-pop quartet Quilt (first ever NY performance) and DJ sets by electro-chameleon Photay and the true Welsh wonder Cate Le Bon. There is also mention of a very special (Swedish) guest to be playing that day (Dungen? Träd, Gräs och Stenar? ABBA in holograms?). Tickets for the November 17 extravaganza can be purchased here.
Feels kinda like heaven, doesn’t it? Well then, here’s “Feels Like Heaven” by everyone’s favorite choirboy Ariel Pink.
A Decade Deepercompilation:
01. Arp – II Sogno Di Monica
02. Part Time – Saturday Night
03. Ariel Pink – Nonsequiter Seques
04. Drugdealer – Be Thou by My Side
05. Robert Lester Folsom – Strolling Along
06. Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – Crescent
07. Dungen – Puerto Vantör
08. Pill – Naked Muse
09. Allah-Las – Marionberry Jam
10. PAINT – Land Man
11. Jassbusters – B’nD (NY)
12. Gregg Kowalsky – Limon Limon
13. Tonstartssbandht – Livin’ In Hope
Mexican Summer Presents A Celebration in Support of Pioneer Works, November 17 at Pioneer Works, Red Hook, NYC:
F.J. McMahon w/ Quilt (1st ever NY performance)
Part Time (performing music from What Would You Say? and PDA)
+ Very special guest!
Cate Le Bon
The Brooklyn post-punk band Pill are back today with the announcement of a second full-length album titled Soft Hell that’s due out this October. The LP follows the band’s excellent first album and Mexican Summer debut, Convenience. Along with the news of a new release in the works, the four-piece are also sharing … More »
In 2015, Mike Posner released his hit single “I Took a Pill in Ibiza.” The lyrics say “I took a pill in Ibiza/ To show Avicii I was cool/ And when I finally got sober, felt 10 years older/ But fuck it, it was something to do.” While many believed that the song was about
The post Mike Posner Reveals Who Gave Him The Pill In Ibiza appeared first on EDM Sauce.
Over the last couple years, we’ve seen the rise of the “mini-album,” an inexplicable term that is, I guess, supposed to signify some kind of intentionality and artistic vision that an EP simply cannot capture. It’s a designation that’s been rightfully met with ribbing derision, but it’s an interesting development that speaks to some larger … More »
We listen to a lot of music here at Stereogum — it’s sort of our job! — and every year, we attempt to codify all of that listening through lists that take stock of what’s kept us engaged throughout. There are still a few weeks until the hectic year-end list season descends, but we’ve made … More »
Pill dropped their excellent album Convenience a couple months ago. It’s an artfully angry and astute collection of avant garde punk, frontwoman Veronica Torres tackling any social issue you can imagine as the soundscapes morph with her every move. Today, they give one of the more subdued, jazz-tinged tracks, “Dead Boys,” the visual treatment. More »
[Mexican Summer; 2016]
When it gets better. That’s the best part. When the detuned guitars and splashing rhythms and wan politics hit a transcendent point of flow, and I feel a new kind of safety in the angry songs, a makeshift new confidence in a world that ever encroaches on the idea of the individual. Convenience is Brooklyn-based Pill’s debut full-length album, an anxious stir of no-wave, post-punk, noise rock, and moody sax wound tight with an irascible sociopolitical bent. As a debut, this album is unassailable, distinctive new patterns of deconstructed rock buoying a sharply original lyrical voice, a wry analysis of the modern problematic.
Pill proudly, angrily carries on the traditions of New York music, punk rock, no-wave, feminist art rock — take your pick. But what makes Convenience unique and impressive for a debut is how the songs evolve as a singular and critical personality over the record, taking a stylistic and narrative tour through different anxieties and simulated scenes before arriving at a fortifying conclusion, a body with renewed strength. At its head, the bitter, suffocating “60 Sec” splays out identity politics, consumer anxiety, and just general awful feelings too fast for function over a maelstrom of hardcore nonsense, no foothold, no understanding, firing out in all directions grasping for a path that might make sense. As an opener, it’s stilted, awkward, and against itself, not even approaching any big ideas when self-care has to come first. This, however, begins a strange and gradual change with delayed positive effects, a transformation over the course of Convenience that eventually culminates in a rare moment of total clarity on “Medicine.”
I didn’t notice any of this at first, as I was too distracted by the acidic growl of lead singer Veronica Torres. As a lead singer, her voice lands immediately in striking contrast to the softer mix of the band, all punk invective and artful protest with an occasional searing scream. To disperse the growing tension, Benjamin Jaffe balances it out with saxophone, a key pairing alongside the surfy tones of guitarist Jon Campolo and Andrew Spaulding’s driving beat. But behind each one of Torres’s cutting lyrics, there lay a buried optimism, waiting for a lyric to resonate with, in softly inlaid guitar chords or a plaintive sax waiting to emerge, a small feeling that grows as the band finds their footing in steady sequence, leaving the slightest possible opening at the end of the record where some trapped people might get outside their heads for a second.
Both the music and Torres’s lyrics evolve like this over the album, growing and spreading out in style and approach. “Which is True” is introverted and abstract, subtle themes of dominance and cognitive dissonance railing against an extremely unforgiving low rhythm section that seems to end mid-idea. “My Rights” adds a bit of soul, opens up a little of the beat, Torres’s voice exiting the safety of speak-sing a little piece at a time while articulating a more specific and severe line of feminist critique against congressmen who “want to steal all of [her] rights.” “Speaking Up,” meanwhile, takes a detached, sickly grunge sound to a perverse new level of affect, its groaned juvenile chorus and workplace harassment story quickly sketching a cruel and all-too-common power dynamic. Only “J-E-N-O-V-A” (Sephiroth’s mom) ends up feeling like a misstep, taking a startling left turn into droning, industrial disquiet, where a custom noise rig makes a single piercing statement as Torres murmurs out a dark and sticky scenario.
“Sex With Santa” repurposes some vaguely symbolic, jingling bell-like guitars into a vignette of lost innocence, while “Vagabond” cascades rough love down from Torres’s unforgiving shouts of “Foreign body! Turn me on!” that never get as kind and as welcoming as they seem to want to be. Meanwhile, “Love And Other Liquids”’ expands out into a reverent room, a squashed several styles colliding in a collective lounge stage, Torres squaring off with a big revelation in the distance. Everything goes quiet but the sax, for a few seconds, Benjamin Jaffe speaking alone for the first time in a long slow emotive turn, before Torres returns with a piece of modern wisdom: “Olvida estar perdido.”
From here, the counterpoint of “Medicine” begins to make sense in a larger frame of reference. From an initial place of total confusion, this record transforms the outer forces exerted on it into inner strength and resilience, allows it to preempt the contrived, corrupt ways others will try to control it, and cuts them down with experience. No longer in fear of feeling lost or helpless but by embracing it, they deliver a powerful pop bomb that explodes in a perfect unison of groove and lyric: “medicine, take it tomorrow.” I repeat it to myself, and it means many things.
Brooklyn art-punk quartet Pill are set to drop their debut album, Convenience, tomorrow. They’ve already shared a third of the 12-track album, and each single has hinted at a comfort and audacity that belies this being their first full-length effort. More »