Chillwave in the winter


photo andrew franciosa

The other night, my friend was browsing iTunes for quite some time, in typical music-browsing fashion: some comments were made, some nods of approval, some smirks, some groans, some “oh well, if you like ________ you should check out ________,” some more comments were made, etc. After about 10 minutes, a bit defeated that nothing really caught his eye, he loaded up my Internet browser and searched for Toro Y Moi’s Myspace. I was familiar with the music but just on a name basis, like so many others. I fell asleep to Toro that night and woke up the next morning to hit play again first thing.

Three days later and I’ve probably accounted for about 116 plays out of the 53,963 plays he has for the song, “Leave Everywhere.” I literally just kept hitting refresh on this song, and am listening even as I type this. Toro Y Moi is considered part of the “chillwave” movement, a genre of music that I was never that heavily invested in, but my friends have been listening to associated bands, such Neon Indian or Washed Out for awhile now. So I’ve dabbled and been exposed to some of these bands by association.  You know.

But as I’m listening to Toro Y Moi, (the stage name of recording artist Chazwick Bundick) I’m really enjoying it– the songs are fairly simple rhythmically but in a good way; it’s catchy, it’s subtle, I’m into it. I guess “chillwave” could be best described as an innovative combination of pop and electronic music, featuring smooth, soft tempos and samplings. Easy listening that I don’t find to be boring listening.

Pitchfork has been reviewing bands that fall under this category for quite some time now in covering the independent music scene and Hipsterunoff has been riffing on chillwave as well. It’s still a relatively new trend in music but I find myself just skimming blog posts about bands in these genres because I find the whole thing annoying. Here’s what I mean: for example, Best Coast is considered “neo-surf pop” or “lo-fi”, Wavves is “noise pop,” Washed Out is “chillwave” and Neon Indian is “psychedelic indie dance.” Isn’t it all the same? Answer queue revolves somewhere around indie roots and the Internet.  And I find it all really fucking annoying.

Here’s part of the problem I have: chillwave (as all music genres are) is associated not only by sound but by production, distribution and circulation of music on a small, independent scale, as well as with the branding of “new wave” or even more broad, “indie.” And this is where all these bands have the same cultural roots: in the small-scale DIY universe made easier by the Internet, fueled by blogs, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth, Pitchfork, Tumblr, whatever.

How is this new? As early punk is associated with basement shows and zines, “chillwave” is associated with the Internet, etc. — This is simply how music genres are formed in our culture: pairing bands with similiar characteristics. And I don’t understand why chillwave has to have so many other annoying branches of classification. Hipsterrunoff has a really great post featuring the “genre shirt”: a shirt that lists all the different names associated with the “chillwave” movement. And looking at the shirt, I think you’ll agree — it all seems a bit excessive to me.

Another part of the problem I have with this genre is also the case with music in general in its Internet distribution and presence. I feel as though when I stumble across music unexpectedly from friends, I often just nod along, save their links to my bookmarks folder and stick to the music phase I’m in midst of at the time. It’s bittersweet, isn’t it? I love checking out new music (and appreciate when friends link me) but sometimes I just feel overwhelmed by just how much is out there, and how accessible it is via the Internet, that I stick to what I already know I like. I’m working on this, because I absolutely will say I’ve found a new favorite in Toro Y Moi, and might even trek to Boston to catch a show in April.

And lastly my main issue. How many people out there are bitching about chillwave and the image a person gains behind their musical tastes. There’s a lot of talk out there, even just stemming from what I found from a brief sesh with Google today. Can’t I just listen to music like Toro Y Moi without thinking about what genre they belong to and without being grouped into some sort of noob hipster category because I’m “late” to catching onto this “wave” and getting excited about this lo-fi/high synth music? People have been saying (in a general sense) the whole indie/chillwave movement has been overplayed or washed out as bands are becoming more well known, and the Internet results in quick yet short term success.

Who’s to say? Maybe this genre roots are tied to some of the pioneer bands who started “doing it differently” such as Animal Collective, or Panda Bear, or hell, maybe even loosely the Flaming Lips. Who really cares about the origin of this new genre and music movement?  It all depends on what you value and your own introduction to the music itself.  Like my friend Nick said, someone who is just learning about a band and gets excited about it, regardless of how long the bands been around, it’s cool to the person because it’s new to them.  Re-discovery can be just as pleasurable as discovery.

After my recent music slump, I’m simply happy to have found a new band (and a reason to be more open minded about what’s out there), and am straight-up disgruntled by the critical, nit-picky thinking that surrounds it online.  Who the fuck cares?  Granted, there’s clearly the chance you may think I have no absolutely no insight or clue into what I’m talking about with this topic, but again, who the fuck cares?  I say just listen to Toro Y Moi, and chill.

Andrew’s Music Monday: Whatever

So I listen to all sorts of shit and don’t particularly think I know much about any of it. Here’s some things I’ve got in the last week (thank you iTunes date added sort function) that I particularly enjoy or think people should listen to. Onward,

Here’s a mix done by the lovely folks at Ego Theives. Since I got into dubstep, I found a lot of their stuff always coming up around the internet, for a good reason, they are providing a lot of good content. This mix isn’t earth shattering but is still good and especially for those who are getting into this new fangled dubstep thing, it’s a good, safe, mix.

Tracklist:
Pianorama – Habstrakt
Screw Up – Subscape
Lights On feat. Ms Dynamite (Skream Remix) – Katy B
Just Jokes [EXCLUSIVE] – Roksonix
Star Feat Camila Marie (Doctor P No Rap Remix) – Blame
Spaceship (Trolley Snatcha Remix) – Kano
Champion Sound – Aquadrop
Lonely (Stinkahbell Remix) – Effie
Done Me Wrong feat. Lauren & Shide – Mikey B
Forgive Me – Document One
Bats – Crissy Criss & Youngman
Drop a Gem on Em (The Killabits VIP) [EXCLUSIVE] – Mobb Deep
Out For Blood – Zeds Dead & Omar LinX
Butterflies feat. Borgore [EXCLUSIVE] – Yael
Left The Room (Skream Remix) – P Money
How Long Ft. Dorrie (Filth Collins Remix) [EXCLUSIVE] – Pasteman
Slang Like This Remix feat. P Money, Newham Generals, Blacks – Sukh Knight
Aint Nobody (Breakage Remix) – Clare Maguire
Something In Your Eyes [EXCLUSIVE] – Stinkahbell
World Dominance feat. Farisha [EXCLUSIVE] – Mojo

Interested? Get at the download. The exclusives are worth it.

Onward,

This video, for so many reasons. Looney showed me this when we were searching for hysterical brostep, and I can’t stop watching it. Also, that first song, Typhoon by Foreign Beggars ft Chasing Shadows, rules. Even more so when those English dudes are wylin’ to new levels of hyphy to it.

Onward,

I love Katy B. End of story. Judge accordingly, but know I don’t care.

Onward,

Magnetic Man ft. Katy B playing Perfect Stranger live on BBC Radio 1. This is amazing. String section, Benga/Skream/Artwork make this nutty. American radio is such horse shit. I steal things off UK radio through the internet because it’s so good. Good job America. Also Katy B looks like enough of a chav that she could shred and roll with the real dudes.

Onward,

I like this song because I won a contest on Roska’s twitter and they sent me this vinyl, signed by Jamie George, JKenzo and Roska. I’m so pumped on it, but don’t have anything that can play vinyl (I don’t know if I lose hipster points, or gain them) so I will frame it and listen to it on YouTube.

Scotty’s Music Monday: Lil Silva, Looney, Murder Mark

Late last year Zecheriah Sitchin died of old age..for those not in the know, he was a super-genius scholar and author who founded what most people know as the ‘ancient astronaut’ theory, which is that ETs modified our DNA to get us to mine gold for them…long time C2C listener here

Anyway whether or not any of that is true I vibe out hard to music that has that same future-forward disregard for conventional thought and wisdom.   I’m saying GRAVITY DISPLACEMENT rhythms powered by ELEMENT 115.  Maybe it’s because I don’t do drugs, or more specifically that my ADD continues to go untreated.

So check out this Lil Silva mixtape that came in December a bit after Sitchin passed…getting old now but more than a few still-unreleased joints on it.  Silva helped take UK Funky in a direction that brings in the grime and low-end futurism, but his mixes always add in bashment and dancehall Roots vibes.  It’s like a musical representation of the Ancient Astronaut theory, getting that Familiar/Other hybrid in, bugged out alien beats with some dope MC’s and not-corny tribal percussion.  Exactly what I try to do when I’m mixing.

So check out this Lil Silva mixtape for Bridging the Gap:
[audio:https://keepalbanyboring.com/deliverables/BTGMX004-Lil-Silva.mp3] or download

Tracklist:
Wiley – Roaming
Seiji –Weed Killer
Donae’o – Oi Mate
Marcus Nasty – Untitled
Macabre Unit – Tensor Jam
Seiji – Timber
Chase & Status Ft Tempa T – Next Hype
Gyptian – Hold Yu – (Funkystepz remix)
Lil Silva – Cheese & Bun
Redlight ft Ms Dynamite – What You Talking About
Lil Silva – Untitled
Mc Creed – We Doin it Again
Lil Silva – Seasons
Breach – Fatherless
Teedra Moses – Be Your Girl (Perempay & Dee remix)
Macabre Unit – Dem Na Ready Yet
Ms Brat – Selecta (Redlight remix)

Also gotta share some stuff a little closer to home.  First off is Looney, whom I DJ with, has a new track called “Cool Jenkem Dealer”.  Wut!  It is proper Looney fashion = the percussion is powerful enough to stand on its own without the music.

Cool Jenkem Dealer by looney

Second, I gotta shout out Murder Mark from Bmore for giving me a taste of some his new tracks to play out for the people.  If you didn’t see my first post on here about Bmore Club check that out – he’s keeping that sound developing and moving, YES!  Be sure to check out his blog and ‘Get Busy’ below, still my favorite Murder Mark track..it stands up with the best of Bmore.

Get Busy 2010 by AyoMurderMark1

I’m Trying To Find This Girl

There was this girl in middle school who was pretty, and nice, and she talked to me once.  That was enough for me to fall in love with her.  I’d like to think I’ve matured since then but that’s still about all it takes.  By my count, I fall in love on average about four times a week.  Sometimes I sneak in a stipulation regarding intelligence in an attempt to augment my standards but I often find my regard for it muddled in the sub-conscience desire I have to put my penis in, on, or at least next to the girl in question.  It’s not a conscience choice because I’m so self deprecating that even in a state of reverie I can’t get laid.  In my imaginary world, that I have complete fucking control over, I somehow manage to shit all over everything.  I end up with a modest fantasy about getting coffee with a girl I know nothing about, and with Pygmalion like control, shape her as I see fit, chiseling away the imperfections and filling in the cracks until she is perfect.  Having carved a woman from ivory who is far too good for me, I am of course rejected and am forced to go home and masturbate myself to sleep.  But that’s in my fantasy.  In real life I’m actually masturbating fantasizing about masturbating after rejection.  Rejection itself seems great but I never get that far.  It’s very confusing.  It’s like watching Inception but with your dick in your hand and considerably more crying.

I blame all of this on Marry Poppins of course.

You’d like me to explain that wouldn’t you?  Okay.

Every person around my age or younger had that one movie they would watch over and over again as a child.  Usually around the age of three or four we would come across a cartoon, fall in love, and that’s all we’d ever want to watch for the next year.  I think this might be the first thing we ever love actually.  I didn’t know this until about a month ago, or maybe I had banished it to the deep, dark recesses of my forgotten nightmares, but when I was four years old my cinematic love affair was with a retarded musical by the name of Mary Poppins.

Sweet merciful Christ, there’s no way that didn’t fuck me up, right?  You might be able to watch that movie a couple times and still maintain your sanity, but not everyday for a year straight.  This rosy cheeked nanny, who clearly dabbles in cocaine as much as she does witchcraft, comes down from the clouds on a fucking umbrella, blows a bunch of little old ladies down the street, and then has the audacity to declare herself perfect in almost every way like she’s the the second coming of the messiah.  She’s a selfish, disciplinary bitch who is about as pompous as the pope and is so implausibly happy she can actually sit through a fifteen minute dance routine between five animated, indentured penguins and a lunatic chimney sweep pretending to be a penguin.

I’m surprised I have my shit together as well as I do now.  It should be considered child abuse to let that happen.  Make me watch racist shit like Dumbo.  Hell, make me watch Dwarf Goes Fishing or Ernest Scared Stupid.  Anything.  But Mary Fucking Poppins?  Really?  Children are very impressionable at that age.  It surely messed with my developing brain.  I have undoubtedly been carrying around some serious mental baggage from it that will stick with me until I die, like one of those nasty STDs you get from banging a Tai hooker.  Instead of letting your kid watch Mary Poppins, do them a favor and just give them herpes instead.  They’ll be better off.

But instead of having a parent who loved me and would never do that to an innocent child, I was subjected to a crazed musical countless times over and now I am incredibly attracted to Marry Poppins.  That’s the amazing part.  It freaks me out but I can’t help it.  Maybe it’s something about her outfit and the way she speaks.  She’s all proper and has a nice British accent.  She has really great hair too.  And nice hats.  That has always sort of done it for me.  It’s enough for me to excuse the fact that she probably abuses LSD on a regular basis.  In my defense, when the film came out Julie Andrews was only 29, so not all that much older than I am now.  I tested to see if maybe I just have the hots for a young Ms. Andrews.  I threw on The Sound of Music.  Nothing.  I actually sort of hoped the Germans would kill her whiny, singing ass.  Victor Victora?  Too old already.  Cinderella?  She was my age in that film but I’m not feeling it.  No, I don’t care for Julie Andrews.  That’s not it at all.

While I was visiting Albany over the holidays, one of my best friends had me chart out my ideal woman.  He thinks I’m a sad, lonely bastard who drinks too much and needs a nice girl to make me happy.  This activity was supposed to help.  It involved describing this elusive damsel’s disposition, personality, interests, tastes, desires, and of course her body.  I had to come up with places I might meet her, the first thing I’d say to her, and how I might go about seeing her again.  It filled up several pages of a Moleskin and took multiple cups of coffee to finish at the Ultraviolet Cafe (trying desperately to relate this to Albany somehow).  Of course I just had to run Mary Poppins through this gauntlet of dissection.  She didn’t do too well.  She got points for her looks and having a fashionable wardrobe.  I figured she can cook pretty well and probably has a nurturing side even if she is a total cunt.  Personality suffered a dreadful loss however.  I doubt we’d have much in common.  I definitely wouldn’t be running into her outside a Scorsese flick.  But I don’t care.  I still want to do nasty, perverted things to her.

This has been a difficult revelation for me to live with.  For the longest time as a child, being raised by an athiest, whenever people talked about God, I thought they were talking about Godzilla and they were just abbreviating it.  When I found out what they were actually talking about I was very confused and my insides felt funny.  That’s how I’ve felt the last month.  Maybe I’m overreacting.

I think this might have leapt the boundary from comical into bizarre.  Actually, I think it sprinted across that boundary naked almost five paragraphs ago.  I’m writing this with my friend Jim Beam and he whispers peculiar things in my ear while I’m trying to think – stops the dogs from barking at least.  I suppose I’ll just end with a warning: If there are any pretty, nice, optionally intelligent girls out there (preferably with a Mary Poppins costume), who are willing to talk to me, prepare to be fantasized about in really weird ways.

Party with Tina Mix 2

Duncan and I slapped this together a few nights ago when we were snowed in. Fun little mix to get your dance on to! If you’re really in a dancy mood, check out the B-more mix Scotty posted, it rules really, really hard. Anyway, enjoy.

Take 2 Mix by ents