30.9.07

Crystal Castles @ Neighborhood Festival, 9.29.07


The Neighborhood Festival was pretty good. Pretty solid line-up, pretty decent crowd, pretty cool press area, pretty cool people floating around; an overall good time, even if they did maybe try a little too hard.

I finally saw Crystal Castles, though, so that made everything all the better! The duo -- now a trio on stage (they use a real drummer!) -- tore it up. Alice looked completely and absolutely possessed, Ethan brooded over his synth with the most sever and cold gaze I could imagine, and it was great. Carrying a festival-sized audience it a tough thing to do, I'd imagine, and they did a spot-on job. Not only are you singing out into the wild as opposed to a small concrete block of a building, but you're on a huge stage, being practically molested by cameramen, fans, and maybe the hot or cold air, depending where you are and when.

So they did well. Check out the slideshow of their performance after the jump or right here







Soho Dolls - Trash the Rental (Crystal Castles Remix)

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29.9.07

Hail WHITE WILLIAMS


"Inevitably, Joe was saved by pop music."

It's about time that Cleveland comes back as a new music hub. The city and NE region of Ohio in general was, at one point in the not-so-distant past, exploding with musical creativity, whether through the experimental rock/proto-post-punk (you like that one?) of Pere Ubu, the mechanical meanderings and totally new, off-kilter synth explorations of DEVO (from Akron, actually), the more recent industrial creations of Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails, or uh ... Bone Thugs's ... ? No, maybe not that one.

You get the point (and you've established now that I'm definitely from Cleveland). It's refreshing, then, to see someone like White Williams, then. This guy, Joe Williams, made a name for himself as a happy hardcore, noise-rock mastermind (and as tour buddy of Gregg Gillis/Girl Talk who actually went to college at Case Western Reserve which resides in Cleveland -- woo!), but at some point he was completely and utterly "saved" by pop music. The result is a wonderful blend of the sweet, heartwarming and defiantly sincere lo-fi melodies of the Unicorns, the bizarre yet meticulous guitar noodling of say, Dirty Projectors, and the jovial quasi-funky fun of other flamboyant and colorful bands like Of Montreal.

This band is very good. Very, very good. Very solid. I can unfortunately only post "New Violence," but you really ought to buy the album when it comes out on Novermber 6 on Tigerbeat6!







White Williams - New Violence

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28.9.07

Iceland Airwaves Eruption: Gus Gus


My first encounter with Iceland's Gus Gus (MySpace) was when I impulsively bought one of their albums five or six years ago. I was hooked. The electronic act justifies the persistent existence of techno: they seamlessly meld more generic electro beats, jumpy, warped bass lines, and glitchy minimalist layered melodies with something less rigid and computerized; something soulful, even.

That sort of organic feel that underlines everything Gus Gus does is a tremendous asset, to the say the least, and should be reason enough to keep coming back to them. They're creative guys working in a genre that's unfortunately been extremely tarnished by time.

They'll be at the Iceland Airwaves festival (which runs from October 17 to 21), too ... enjoy this new track, "Moss."







Gus Gus - Moss

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Cheyenne


Named after the small Wyoming city (?), Cheyenne (MySpace) is the hot new power-pop band whose bandwagon you should now board. The Brooklyn-based five-piece fills the gapping hole that Grandaddy's breakup left behind, proves that pop can indeed incorporate some elements of country into it and not sound cheesy or bland, and just makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

These guys are a lot of fun ... a gem in a big heaping pile of junk, to say the least. The band originated in the mid-West, a characteristic that shines through pretty brightly in most of their songs. There's a crispness and a cleanness to these songs that's unlike others from middle America, something they must've picked up in NYC, but it's all offset by endearing hooks, sincere lyrics, fun and loose bass lines and catchy melodies.

Check out "The Whale" below, and buy The Land Rush here!







Cheyenne - The Whale

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27.9.07

New HEALTH Remix


My favorite L.A. band at present -- HEALTH -- just rolled out another remix, this time by Pink Skull, and it's rawkin' to say the least.

HEALTH released their stellar eponymous debut last week (September 18) on Lovepump United Records (one of the greatest small independent labels of this day and age), and with it, a whole slew of remixes. The Crystal Castles one has been around for a bit, but the quartet's augmented the dance-ready material with tracks by Curses!, CFCF, and many, many more (more to come, folks!)

Anyway, the Pink Skull remix is for "Heaven" and is really phenomenal. Dark, ambient dance music, perfect for say, the club night caper or something. I love this "set" of remixes because they all sound like HEALTH but filtered through various DJs' soundboards, computers, and whatnot. Instead of the new tracks sounding like cheap promo fodder for the DJs and remix artists, they truly sound like a genuine hook to get more interested in the noise of HEALTH. Dig it, guys, these four are seminal.







HEALTH - Heaven (Pink Skull Remix)







HEALTH - Heaven

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More Bangers & Cash


I think we've nearly the entire Bangers & Cash EP now, thanks to free downloads and all. (But these are uber-low quality ... go for the real stuff!)

Spank Rock and Benny Blanco teamed up as Bangers & Cash to create this super thumpin', old skool ghetto rawkin' EP. Man do they tear it up in six songs. Now, to add to the ever-growing collection of downloadable mp3s they've been giving away, I offer you ... "Bitch." This track is slower, a little more gangsta than "B.O.O.T.A.Y.," "Shake That," or "Loose." It's sort of what you'd expect, but hey, that's exactly what I want.







Bangers & Cash - Bitch

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26.9.07

The Dodos: Not Extinct!


The wonderful San Francisco-based experimental folk-pop duo, the Dodos (MySpace) are, fittingly, hitting the road with Akron/Family (tour dates after the jump). These two have been compared to the likes of Animal Collective and other such experimental folk-oriented groups (AKA all groups and musicians from Baltimore).

This is terribly heartwarming stuff, and really, the band puts it best:
Long's psych-folk-pop compositions are smart and tight and melodic and his hammer-handed, fleet-fingered acoustic attack always meets Kroeger's thumps halfway, awkward toe to toe, chin to chin, heat to intensity. And his voice is great. Warm and wobbly and familiar like a brother's or a best friend's.
See? So you really ought to check them out. Imagine a beautiful blending of the Unicorns and Animal Collective or something. They'll melt your hearts, enchant you until you're sick, and practically force you to buy their merchandise and recordings.






the Dodos - Horny Hippies







the Dodos - The Ball


10.10.07 Stanford University/Palo Alto- w/Akron Family
10.11.07 The Independent/San Francisco, CA w/ Akron Family
10.12.07 Troubadour/Los Angeles, CA w/Akron Family
10.13.07 Fernwood/Big Sur, CA w/Akron Family
10.14.07 Crepe Place/Santa Cruz w/ Akron Family
10.18.07 Richards on Richards/Vancouver BC w/Akron Family
10.19.07 Crocodile Cafe/Seattle, WA w/Akron Family
10.20.07 Doug Fir/Portland, OR w/Akron Family

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David Shrigley's Worried Noodles


It's finally happening, it's finally happening! The great people's poet/doodler extraordinaire/average man's philosopher David Shrigley's Worried Noodles album is finally coming to fruition! The D.S.-curated compilation -- which compliments the actual book -- is being released on October 23 on Tomlab.

But to ease the anxiety of waiting, Mr. Shrigley posted to videos on the Worried Noodles website today, one for the Grizly Bear track, the other for the Tussle one. In the following weeks, more will be put up.

The track Liars are contributing used to be available on their MySpace, but it seems to have gone missing ... you'll just have to wait unless you've already heard it!

You can view the two videos after the jump or here and here. Enjoy!

video
video

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25.9.07

Division Day's "Reversible" Remixed


Division Day (MySpace) have already released their album, Beartrap Island, digitally, and are now prepping for the old school, hard-copy release (October 2).

I weirdly like this band. I don't generally like this vocal style, I don't usually like the sort of pop-punk throbbing bass line and speedy drumming that the group uses, I don't generally like most of the L.A. quartet's characteristics. But for some reason, I'm down with Division Day. Maybe it's the "Enjoy the Silence" cover, maybe it's surprises that they throw at you ("Colorguard" was an unexpected treat as was "Taptap Clickclick," a sort of CYHSY-inspired pop tune), maybe it's the sweet remixes ... I don't know. Division Day's X Factor is very compelling to me, and I'm glad I gave them a listen.

Pick up the album from Eenie Meenie when it hits stores and download this week's stellar remix of "Reversible." Smart dudes.







Division Day - Reversible (Ginormous Remix)








Division Day - Tigers

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New Hot Chip, "I Became A Volunteer"


That's right folks, new Hot Chip's floating around the 'net. Aside from "Shake A Fist," a song that the group's been playing for a long time, "I Became A Volunteer" is available for free as well.

I like it. It's a slick, groovy song with a strangely ballad-y feel. Classic Hot Chip revamped for whatever this forthcoming album is ...







Hot Chip - I Became A Volunteer








Hot Chip - Shake A Fist

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Iceland Airwaves Eruption: Seabear


One of the more notorious acts out of Iceland at present is Seabear (MySpace), a folksy singer/songwriter based out of Reykjavik (but who isn't!?) who is signed to the wonderful Berlin Morr Music.

While I'm sure quite a few -- if not all -- of you have heard of Seabear and are familiar with their stuff, they've got a new track out, "I Sing I Swim," and it's delightful and they're also playing at the Iceland Airwaves festival.
The song is one of my favorite Seabear songs. No, my favorite song I've heard. It's got more energy to it than his other stuff; it's less restrained and more "true" sounding. Seabear's singer flaunts his vocal shortcomings and lo-fi leanings, and that's one sure way to any music lover's heart, I'd say. I'm curious to see what Seabear's got up their sleeve, but for now, just relax and sit back to this one ...







Seabear - I Sing I Swim

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24.9.07

Boys Noize @ the Echo Plex, 9.22.07


More on all of this later -- we got some rad photos and plenty more to report -- but I just wanted to briefly mention how killer Boys Noize is. The meek little Berliner caught me totally off guard when he started his set. Never have I seen such a charismatic and energetic DJ. He's jump around, hop up and down with a giddy little grin on his face, and handle the tables as though he was dribbling a ball, leading us -- the uh ... dancing guards -- on with incessant beat after beat, barely noticeable pop hook after hook, mash-up after mash-up, and so much more ...

He kept the party going after the rad Simian Mobile Disco set for nearly two hours, and every minute was worth it. Wow!

Photos after the jump ... remember how killer "&Down" is?






Boys Noize - &Down





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Choreo


Saturday marked Simian Mobile Disco's first foray to Los Angeles, and it was phenomenal indeed (photos to come!) ... I love those guys. They're older, they're professional, they're all analog, and they just seem pleasantly and fortunately removed from the in-one-day-out-the-next electronic scene of now.

Boys Noize followed SMD with a killer, really lengthy set. He was a more traditional DJ, but an incredibly talented one -- and quite the crowd pleasure -- nonetheless. Also one of the most charismatic DJs I've met ... lots of spinning around, jumping about, looking like a giddy school girl, stage-diving at one point; you get the idea.

So -- my point! It was fitting, then, that I received two tracks from Germany's Choreo (MySpace) the other day. The DJ/producer has that heavy, glitchy style of Boys Noize, Digitalism, or Justice, but with an extra slice of melody or another dash of 80s theme song music or something. I like it quite a bit, although it's certainly nothing new at this point. But hey, any scene that's reached saturation gets copied and reapproached a million times before sputtering out and leaving just a few artists to carry the style out in a tasteful manner.

So check out a couple of his songs ... they're solid tracks, lots of fun, and will certainly be heard on some dance floors in the near future.







Choreo - Neon







Choreo - Cut the Dust

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Iceland Airwaves Eruption: Dikta


It's been said a million times, but it really is almost inconceivable how Iceland -- a country which is home to a mere 310,000 people -- fosters such a prosperous, creative, unique, and awesome music scene! From the bizarre vocal style of Bjork to the gorgeous soundscapes of Sigur Ros to cold, distance folk leanings of Seabear to Minus and many, many more, Iceland truly does have an eclectic array of musicians and bands. 1:10 is the country's good bands to people ratio. I kid you not.

Okay, so I kid a little, but I'm sure that fake stat isn't far from what it is in reality.

The Iceland Airwaves Festival is a sort of annual showcasing of what Iceland's music scene has to offer. The event's debuted in 1999 and has been growing and going strong ever since! This year's festival will blow your socks off. While BIBABIDI cannot attend (October 17 - 21), we will be there in spirit. The roster includes a bunch of Icelandic bands, some stellar international ones, and an array of DJs as well.

One group off the Iceland Airwaves Eruption compilation really stood out to me: Dikta (MySpace). The mellow and moody quartet sounds just like what you'd expect to come out of Iceland -- cold, distant, clean and crisp, an organic mixing of acoustic, steely orchestrations, and pitch-perfect glitzy production -- but with something else in there, too. Maybe it's the easy Coldplay comparison or the innate accessibility of the music that sounds all at once a little foreboding and daunting, but ends up being rather poppy. I can definitely see these four playing on the radio.

But enough with my rant. Check out "Breaking the Waves," see what you think, and hey, maybe you've found an excuse to go to Iceland finally!







Dikta - Breaking the Waves








Dikta - Breaking the Waves (Acoustic)

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23.9.07

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ the Troubadour, 9.20.07


To say the least, this was the week of concerts at BIBABIDI. PB&J, Animal Collective, CYHSY, Diplo/Switch, and finally, Simian Mobile Disco/Boys Noize.

And frankly, the recover's coming later than expected, so this post'll be a short one. Just check out some pictures if you'd like, but you're probably all familiar with CYHSY and aware of their live awesomeness.

One of the most striking aspects of the show was how the five pretty much avoided all new material, especially for the first half. CYHSY live was like hearing and seeing an hour's worth of the best material that a jam band came up with in a full-day session. They were tight, and never really dragged on all that long, but it was spectacular, seeing them just sort of drifting off in their own directions, working together on a more subliminal and unnoticeable level. Very inspiring. Photos after the jump.

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22.9.07

You Could Be ... Torngat


Torngat (MySpace) is what would've happened to the Unicorns had they not split up and turned instrumental. Or maybe the Montreal-based trio -- which really sounds more like a full orchestra than a little band -- could be summed up more accurately as a Bell Orchestre companion. Regardless, the group write phenomenal, terribly intricate orchestral-themed tunes with bold percussion parts, mellow, sophisticated, meek absolutely captivating melodies, and clear and confident horn parts that further foster the beauty so deeply inscribed and ingrained in these songs.

The group just released an LP, You Could Be, on Alien8 Recordings on September 18, and you really ought to pick it up. If the following streaming tracks allure you, buy on that note ... everything's equally wonderful on the album!

"Minute By Minute"







"Mouton Noir"







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21.9.07

Poney Poney Go TURBO!


When the French music scene is dominated by electronic artists -- at least in the eyes of us Americans -- it's always refreshing to hear a group that doesn't conform to the standard!

Poney Poney is one such group. The Parisian trio is one such group. A blend of pretty rough and gritty garage rock and the smoother, hookier tunes of say, the Strokes. I dig it. The guys just released a new track, "Turbo," which is actually still officially a demo, but maybe that's best. It thrashed right on through, loud and brash. It's great. Can't wait to see these guys make the jump to LP format, capitalize off all that press they've been getting!







Poney Poney - Turbo

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Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya Go Instrumental!


One of favorite British acts at present is Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya, a quirky totally out-of-nowhere noise act of sorts that'll get you spastically dancing and head bobbing no matter who you are or what you like.

The two just sent me a new instrumental track they recently hammered out, "Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Yeah" (they're creative with naming). It rocks, to say the least. A sort of Y.M.O. old skool Asian techno tune for post-party stumbling and wandering home. A good come-down (or maybe even better rave-up?) that you must grab. Get it from BIBABIDI before those other bloggers catch on. A true exclusive here!

Additionally, the duo is doing a mini European tour, so, if possible, check them out. I'm sure they're super rad live. (Dates and locations after the jump.)







Bitchee Bitchee Ya Ya Ya - Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Yeah

26 sept. 2007 CUSTOM - POINT EPHEMERE w/ EL-P, BUCK 65 AND SMALLWHITELIGHT / PARIS
13 oct. 2007 CLUB MOTHERF'KER @ BARDEN'S BOUDOIRE / LONDON
19 oct. 2007 ELECTRICITY FESTIVAL W/ PREFUSE 73, DJ ORGASMIC / REIMS
24 oct. 2007 LA LAITERIE W/ TERRY POISON / STRASBOURG
2 nov. 2007 L'AUTRE CANAL W/ JUSTICE, SEBASTIAN, ZDAR ETC... / NANCY

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AutoKratz "Kratz Are People" Mix


Always a pleasure to hear from Kitsune in France. They never have bad, boring, or unwanted news ... if only all mailings could be like theirs ...

They just passed along to me a ridiculously good autoKratz mix, "Kratz Are People." The London-based duo is about to release their incessant debut single for "Reaktor" on Kitsune on September 24, and boy is it bouncin'! I love this new wave of quasi-Yellow Magic Orchestra electronic acts. The precise, rhythmic, uber-filtered, melodic melodies of Y.M.O. have been underappreciated, so while I'm not sure whether or not autoKratz idolizes them, it's hard to note some parallel there. (Same goes to you, Simian Mobile Disco.)

So "Reaktor" is great, as is "It's On," which can be found in the heart of the mix or on the MySpace page. Dig it, folks. Tracklist after the jump ...







autoKratz - Kratz Are People Mix

Bobmo - Home Alone (Institubes)
Justice - Stress (Ed Banger/Because)
Cazals - To Cut A Long Story Short (autoKratz 80's heartthrob mix) (Kitsune)
Joe And Will Ask? - Gwenbot (White Label)
Whitey - Just Another Animal (1234)
Midnight Juggernauts - Road To Recovery (Instiubes)


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Proxy - Destroy (Riot In Belgium Mix) (Turbo)
Chemical Brothers - Do It Again (Astralwerks)
utoKratz - It's On (Kitsune)
Zero Cash - Run for Cover (Television Rocks)
Riot In Belgium - La Musique (Relish)
Swen Weber - First Stroke (Craft Music)
Soulwax - Slowdance (PIAS)
John Lennon - Instant Karma

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The Hectors: Geeks, Thugs, Slakers, and Dreamers


Some of you long-time readers may know that I've never expressed a great interest in L.A.'s music scene, despite the fact that I live here. Aside from a select few -- HEALTH, Foreign Born, CokeDance -- I'm not too down with L.A.'s pickings.

That being said, with every passing day, every new discovery, my opinion softens and degrades more and more. Indeed, Los Angeles has quite a few cool bands ... quite a few awesome bands, for that matter, and the Hectors (MySpace) fall into one of those categories, no doubt.

The quartet got its name from a 17th century London gang, notorious for their aggressive and mean-spirited vandalism and "hooliganism." The Hectors would accurately describe a Sex Pistols knock-off punk outfit, then, but maybe not these four (I'm not knocking the name! I like it! Just saying it's not the first thing I would've thought they'd be called!) The new EP, Sometimes They Collide, is out on Tarantism Records, and is certainly worth checking out. A meticulous, grandiose infusion of shoe-gaze, power-pop, and something grittier ... maybe some Radiohead-esque wall of sound? Or Pixies alt-rock? That "X Factor" is the group's making point, I'd say. Check out a couple tracks below, but be sure to support these guys!
the Hectors - Proof of Sale
the Hectors - A Million Fingers

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20.9.07

More Bangers, More Cash


This Spank Rock (MySpace) and Benny Blanco collaboration, Bangers & Cash, is pretty ... raunchy to say the least. But man do I love the vulgarity of it all ... the gritty, old skool beats, the throbbin' beats, the rockin' vocals. Man, this stuff is made for the club, in the club. Too damn good.

So far we've heard "Shake That" and "B.O.O.T.A.Y.," and now "Loose (feat. Amanda Blank)" has dropped. More to spill out before the official release I hope!
Bangers & Cash - Loose (feat. Amanda Blank)

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Animal Collective @ the Fonda, 9.18.07


Before getting into anything critical here, read my Twitter messages that I wrote during the performance last night. Novel idea or absolute novelty?
bibabidi: The one song where he brought out the guitar ... we missed. no photos there! amazing climax.
bibabidi: Zombie power hour here. strangest crowd i've witnessed. stoners with techno inclinations and a stance of steel.
bibabidi: Never seen it this packed. Sam expertly stormed to the front but i was unfortunately held back by stoic hipsters!

I loved the show, although I'm certain someone will call me out here. I'd not attended an Animal Collective show before last night, so I'm far from a die-hard [stoner] fan, and yeah, I agree in advance ... it would've been tremendous to have seen these guys at a smaller venue. And yeah, it would've been rad to have seen them five, six years ago. That aside, though, they played one hell of a good show.

I could not've asked for a more outrageous show: an over-the-top light-show, Cinco de Mayo-esque skeleton props scattered about, excessively animated musicians, and an especially engaged, and outrageously stoned audience to boot! While David Portner (or should I call him Avey Tare?) could've let loose a little more vocally and the three could've really just jammed out to excess more often, the tightness that they've acquired, the craft they've organically and beautifully fostered over the years makes up for the otherwise dry elements to their current live shows. Watching A.C. at this point is comparable to say, a John Coltrane show: there's a improvisational element; a connectedness between the members, their instruments, and the sound waves they each emit, transmit, and receive. Surprisingly, they all seemed rather disengaged with each other throughout the show (little cuing, little eye contact, etc.), but they were undoubtedly connected on a more ethereal, out-of-body level. I found that to be very cool.

If anything, I wish they'd not played "Peacebone" -- one of the better tunes of the night -- so early on, and I wish they'd rocked out a bit more, but maybe they're just tired. The end, though, added a unique and unheard of twist to the group's material ... they edged on the dance-y, the techno even. With the last few tracks, A.C. whipped out some primal, Happy Mondays/Hot Chip-esque beats and rhythms which was pretty damn bizarre, but strangely fulfilling for me. Oh, and Panda Bear friggin' rocked. Anyway, below are a couple live tracks from the past year or so, and after the jump is a slideshow of my sort of crummy photos (more to come, though). You can view them here, too.
Animal Collective - Will to Joy (live)
Animal Collective - Peacebone (live)

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19.9.07

Neighborhood Festival V.I.P. Ticket Giveaway


Those of you in the L.A. area may have already heard quite a lot about this year's Neighborhood Festival. On September 29 from 4 PM to 2 AM, Exposition Park (3911 S. Figueroa St.) will be housing the likes of the Faint, Spank Rock, Crystal Castles, many, many more BIBABIDI favorites, and quite a few more after that! (There are 27 bands, musicians, MCs, and DJs on the current roster!)

The event will be awesome, I am certain. Just the idea of an all-night festival is really alluring to me. How many swelteringly hot and steamy ones did we all have to attend before the Neighborhood Festival popped up offering a way better environment and more appealing start and end time?!

Anyway, I've got four (4) V.I.P. tickets to give away (V.I.P.s get more music access), so if you'd like one, please send me an email at bibabidi@bibabidi.com with the subject "I'LL DO ANYTHING FOR THESE TICKETS," (b) include accurate contact information, and (c) tell me who you'd be coming for! The winner will be chosen at random on September 26, so you've some time. Additionally, head over to Anthem Magazine's blog to try your hand at the contest I've put up there!

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Oi Oi Oi! Boys Noize


While the debut LP from Boys Noize, Oi Oi Oi, may sound a little like an ode to skinheads, it's far, far from being one!

The glitchy, gritty, thumping electronic artist from Berlin has been tearing up dance floors for a few years now with their incessant, spastic beats and weirdly tribal rhythms, so it's about time they release a full-length, eh!?

The record is out on Last Gang Records on September 25 in the U.S.A. Coincidentally, the Berliners will be playing at ExPlex this coming Saturday, so if you're in L.A., get to that show! Make a very strong point of this! Boys Noize is not to be missed! You'll undoubtedly catch they're contagious, bangin' sonics if you're still not quite immune to the Ed Banger crew, Digitalism, and all those guys. Check out the single, "&Down," below and view the promo video after the jump!
Boys Noize - &Down

video

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Peter Bjorn & John @ the Wiltern, 9.17.07


The way I see it, when it comes to good bands, you're either visionary without a whole lot of talent (the Sex Pistols, the Unicorns, Young Marble Giants, even the Velvet Underground, I suppose), or a very talented and tight band without a whole lot of vision (most metal groups, the majority of the dance-punk folks, maybe some math rockers), or -- and this is the tough one -- a combination of the two.

Now, this is a subjective sliding scale I'm talking about here, so don't call me out on it, but I think you get the point. Ian Curtis was never a good singer, and Peter Hook not much of a bass player at the time Joy Division graced this world, but boy were they visionary. Pavement's first album was a sonic masterpiece, overflowing with creativity and bursting at the seams with grungy, relaxed hooks. And hey, everyone always says that Nirvana wasn't all that great musically, but Cobain's lyrics killed.

Peter Bjorn & John (MySpace) seem to have hit on that combined greatness sweat spot pretty damn well. Not only are these harmless Swedish guys introducing new, sparse, yet super hooky production techniques, reassessing and revamping the duet, replacing the cowbell with a worthwhile substitute (the bongo!), and justifying the tidal wave of Swedish bands that have arrived on our shores, they're, maybe most importantly, bringing solid, good pop music to our ears in a major way.

The show at the Wiltern (essentially the biggest venue for an "indie" band in L.A.) was phenomenal. John had reunited with Peter and Bjorn for this show (he was unable to be here last time), and they just let it loose! Every song was tinkering with and explored the the greatest extent possible, no stray notes and wrong keys were landed, and the interdynamics of the trio were truly mind-boggling. It was almost like seeing a jazz group play or something. John nodding off to Peter and Bjorn, Peter leading on the crowd while simultaneously feeding off the instant feedback and then divulging us all with quasi-solos and deeper musical investigations of every single one of their perfect pop songs.

It was very, very good. Check out a slideshow of the photos I took after the jump or just get 'em all here

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18.9.07

Yuksek/Pharrell (Fluo Kids) Interview


I did an interview with Yuksek and Pharrell from Fluo Kids last week through my Anthem Magazine position, and thought the content might interest some of you ...

Check out the interviews here and here. A slideshow's after the jump, too ...

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She Is So Beautiful/She Is So Blonde


Way up in college town of Madison, Wisconsin resides a neat little indie label called Science of Sound. The collective could be compared to K Records or Marriage Records or something. Originally, SOS was formed by Terrin and Ricky Riemer so that they could release their own music, but it's branched out to become a "real" indie label. Very quaint and very worthwhile. You can check out some samples on the MySpace page.

Anyway, the artist that stands out most for me is this twee folk-pop singer named Elliot Kozel, although he goes by the length moniker of She Is So Beutiful/She Is So Blonde when recording. The self-titled bedroom recording comes with the usual story: it took a long time to create and produce (four years for Kozel), it features a formidable stylistic range, and the album was by no means the only project the artist was working on during the creative process (Kozel is in the "spastic-pop trio Sleeping in the Aviary, which released its debut LP in February this year, and spent several months touring).

That being said, the music is wonderful and certainly not by-the-book (if you could call any home produced pop album such!) There's a crispness to all the songs, an unusually high quality of production and crispness to the instruments and vocals. Though there's certainly a looseness to the style ... a sluggish folksy tendency shines through many songs, a more energetic and hopeful one in others ...
Truly one of my favorite albums of this variety, certainly one of my top for the year, although there may be no sophomore effort ... Sleeping In the Aviary seems to consuming the bulk of Kozel's time!
SISB/SISB - Bones
SISB/SISB - Days
SISB/SISB - Waiting Room Blues


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The Soul of Soulsavers


I've heard Soulsavers' (MySpace) album, It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land a few times now as well as their awesome summer mix, Smoking & Drinking On a Tuesday Night several times through now, and I just can't place 'em!

The U.K. duo's sophomore effort features "grunge rock progenitor" Mark Lanegan, and I think that says a lot about the style. It's grungy, gritty, and pretty chaotic, but in this soulful, soothing sort of way. In the noise and saw-tooth vocals there is sense and peace, and maybe a little jazz and funk, too!

The album is being released in the States on October 16, so pick it up! Samples below ...
Soulsavers - Paper Money
Soulsavers - Auzoua Boy

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17.9.07

BIBABIDI Is Now Located @ BIBABIDI.COM


That's right, ladies and gentlemen. BIBABIDI.net is no more ... now the website is to be found at BIBABIDI.com.

Why, you ask? I had serious hosting problems -- there was literally no way to mend them -- so I just switched everything over to my .com address.
I'm working on getting the email address (bibabidi@bibabidi.net) to work again so that I can use that until it's phased out, but until that time, please email me at the address you know or else, if you're wanting to discuss something BIBABIDI-related, at bibabidi@bibabidi.com.

I'm terribly sorry for the inconvenience. I feel dumb beyond belief for this all. The RSS feed works still and bibabidi.net will be redirected to bibabidi.com, though, so just change your bookmarks and address book info!

Take care and I'll be posting again tomorrow!
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Junior Senior/Official Crown of Laurel Giveaway!

*This contest is being hosted by Anthem Magazine, but as I write and edit for the publication, I thought it'd be fitting to do a repost here to promote a contest we're having this week (9.17 - 9.21). Enter it here.*


The musical genius of Denmark's Junior Senior (MySpace) and their second LP, Hey Hey My My Yo Yo was overlooked in the U.S. for nearly two years after its otherwise international release! The album is a dazzling, glitzy amalgamation of old skool hip-hop, solid funk, R&B, disco, and pretty much anything else that'll get you moving and shaking, sometimes to an embarrassing extent!

But we're sure you all know that already ... probably heard bits and pieces -- if not all! -- of the album at some point over the last two years! But buy the American release and you'll also get a stellar EP called Say Hello, Wave Goobye.

In part to promote the album and in part to just make something really cool, the band got together with the Official Crown of Laurel to make some rad Junior Senior-themed hats! And we're giving a few away (pictures above and after the jump).

Just answer the below question in the comments (leaving a correct email address), write whether or not you'd like to receive periodical news about Official Crown of Laurel and/or Junior Senior (choosing not to receive news from Official Crown of Laurel and/or Junior Senior will not hurt your chances of winning), and we'll choose a winner at random this Friday!

What band were both Junior and Senior in before forming Junior Senior?

Junior Senior - Can I Get Get Get
Junior Senior vs. Lil' Jon - Can I Get Low

Also after the jump: more prizing details!
Prizing Details:

1 Custom made hat by Official Crown of Laurel
1 Junior Senior CD, Hey Hey My My Yo Yo
1 Junior Senior Poster
1 yo-yo
officialhats.jpg

Tracklists:

Hey Hey My My Yo Yo
1) Hello
2) Hip Hop A Lula
3) Can I Get Get Get
4) Take My Time
5) Itch U Can't Skratch
6) We R The Handclaps
7) I Like Music (W.O.S.B.)
8) Ur A Girl
9) No No No's
10) Dance, Chance, Romance
11) Happy Rap

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
1) Stranded on an Island Alone
2) Together For One Last Dance
3) Headphone Song
4) I Can't Rap, I Can't Sing, But I Would Do Anything
5) Simple Minds Do Simple Things
6) Simple Minds Do Simple Things Part 2
7) U & Me
8) Bonus Track
JuniorSenior_HHMMYY.jpg

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Alb


I was fortunate enough to do a bit of an interview with the French Brodinski, Fluo Kids, and Yuksek when they passed through Los Angeles on their North American tour (quite a great tour, I might add). Yuksek recommended I listen to Alb, a sort of kraut-y, Stereolab-esque, French pop group which he worked extensively with in the studio, producing and whatnot.

The trio is part of the Rise Recordings crew (Klanguage, Yuksek, etc.), and they sound a solid part of that family. Really organic, natural prog-y sort of music that just chugs along in a mystifying way. There's an old-fashioned sort of production quality to it all as well, making the music all the more enchanting and awesome. This is the other side of French music that Ed Banger and Daft Punk have cast a shadow over.

Oh, and the debut LP, Mange-Disque, is housed in this gorgeous orange carrying case. Photos of that (and a music video) after the jump!
Alb - I Don't Need You
Alb - Sunday Morning



video

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16.9.07

Calvin Harris @ the Echo, 9.14.07


The Echo is a dying venue. Ever since the basement Echo Plex was opened, the upstairs has been rapidly decaying. It's small, hot, dank, poorly lit, and pretty poorly planned out. It's difficult to move around, even to dance, and for some bizarre reason, the place is always loaded with killjoys (I was knuckled in the back at least fifty times last night ... for dancing too much? No idea ... )

But, but, but ... Calvin Harris revived the Sunset Blvd. club on Friday night, and may have been the source for the most energetic, jumpy, and dance-y crowd I've ever witnessed there. The Echo is usually filled with rigid hipsters who nary dance nor move, although they'll occasionally sip their PBR when even they get bored by their inactivity. However, Friday night was filled with crazy, out-of-control Calvin Harris fanatics, clearly overjoyed to see their idol hit North American shores for the first time.

The Dumfries, Scotland native brought along a solid band (although his guitarist ran into visa troubles and was replaced at the last minute by "Fruit-enant Captain Zesty" from L.A., a stocky keyboardist clad in citric-themed skinny jeans, AA t-shirt, scarf, and headband), and impressed all from the first minute he bounced up on stage to his final farewell.

If nothing more, Calvin Harris has a phenomenal stage presence. For someone who doesn't play an instrument for more than a third of the time he's up on stage, Mr. Harris convinced all that he was (a) ridiculously cool and hip in his own unique, mildly dorky sort of way, (b) worth staring at for an hour mostly for his sexy Scottish accent, mesmerizing handling of his mic, and original blend of disco dancing and spasmodic jumping. Check out some of the shots I got here or view the slideshow after the jump!!
Calvin Harris - Acceptable In the 80s
Calvin Harris - Merrymaking At My Place


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15.9.07

Familjen Video, "Det snurrar i min skalle"


I professed my love for Familjen (MySpace) a while back. The Swedish dance-pop/electro act produces catchy, rhythmic contagious songs that will pull you in until you get tired of listening to music in a foreign language with absolutely no English resemblance.

They just released a video for "Det snurrar i min skalle" (above) ... New Order mixed with a punkier, grittier electronic style and minus the spectacular Peter Hook bass hooks? Plus a dash of techno? Cool stuff regardless ...

The 7" single will be released on Hybrism in October, so pick it up when it's out at the online store!

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14.9.07

Late of the Pier Video, "Bathroom Gurgle"

video
One of my favorite British groups, Late of the Pier, finally got around to releasing a stellar single for "Bathroom Gurgle" on Moshi Moshi Records (which you can purchase here), and creating a Klaxons-esque music video. It's all smoke and mirrors; high contrast and plenty of shadows; geometric shapes, shattered-glass, and half-clad British lads.

I love it. And what a great song ...
Now you're hooked, right? So buy the thing! These guys have been waiting to explode for a year or two now. Their time is coming very, very soon.

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AVALON Revitalizes Escalator


Hands down, Escalator Records is my favorite Japanese label. The small Shibuya-based indie label, shop, cafe, and studio brought us Yukari Fresh, Miniflex, Cubismo Grafico, Neil & Iraiza, and many, many more. On top of that, I see them as one of the coolest Japanese taste-makers around ...

Lately, though, Escalator the label has plateaued (while the DJ events, parties, and store do better and better, no less). There've been few new signings and not many cool albums, EPs, or singles even by the older roster artists. Yukari Fresh seems to have dropped off the face of the earth and Miniflex might be overseas right now.

It's good, then, that Avalon popped up! The Tokyo quartet mixes the hooky dance beats, rhythms, and catchy melodies of Justice with more meticulously crafted pop, reminiscent of earlier Escalator releases. It's like a cleaned-up Ed Banger; a twee Daft Punk with baroque styling; a contagious yet less repetitive Teenage Bad Girl. You get the idea.

Check out a few songs below. The band just released an EP (the sixth of the Tate House series that Escalator curates), but I'm not sure you can buy it from the states. Always worth a try, though!
Avalon - Evil Loves Devil
Avalon - Avalonian's Shrine (Demo)

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13.9.07

Spank Rock Get Classy


I kid, I kid. Baltimore's Spank Rock (MySpace) is far from classy (the new single is called "B.O.O.T.A.Y"), but I love it. For some reason, they never offend, but just provide killer hooks, throbbing bass, and a vocal style that hasn't been touched since Erik B.

Grab the track off the MySpace or just download it below. Oh, it features Santogold and Black Betty. Good move.
Spank Rock - B.O.O.T.A.Y

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Mix Masters the Slips Get Remix Treatmen


I really liked the Slips -- even wrote a post on them -- so I was obviously overjoyed to find a remix of their "Superbeat" in my inbox today. The track was crafted by Dj Jon Gill, and it's pretty solid. There's a trance-y, techno-y element to it, but I dig it nonetheless ...

Download the file below!
the Slips - Superbeat (Jon Gill's Philly Beat Mix)

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!Trash Yourself Destroys All!


Maybe it's just the confirmed news of Blur's reunification and recording of a new album, but Trash Yourself's cover of "Song 2" is right on. Right on.

The duo is unsigned (so uh ... jump on it?!), but that hasn't stopped them from hammering out a debut LP with the Toxic Avenger of all people (or maybe that's just for "Song 2," but regardless, I'm impressed). Chaotic, abbrasive, glitchy and real, real heavy, Trash Yourself is just what I want to hear the club next time. This sort of stuff never quite works for me on my computer speakers ... actually, it never works for me, really, when I'm not somewhere, and not just sitting at my desk, working, but I'm 100% certain that they'll be loads of fun live or played by a DJ live.

Grab a few tracks below and email then guys to pick 'em up! They deserve it!
!Trash Yourself - Song 2
!Trash Yourself - Song 2 (Trashed)
!Trash Yourself - Touch

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12.9.07

Boredoms Plan World Domination

video
If only I'd been able to travel from one coast to the other to see Boredoms' instantly-legendary drum circle performance, 77 Boadrum. But alas, I didn't even RSVP, making my late attendance, had the opportunity arisen, completely pointless (no negotiating in line, apparently, if you'd not RSVP'd).

After the teasing that Pitchfork gave us by posting clips of the event, and hearing plenty of mind-boggling renditions of the famed jam-session, though, Viva Radio has finally put a lengthier segment up online, a sort of documentary surrounding the event: the lead-up, the tension, the excitement, and the eventual explosion of energy, creativity, and blasting drums. If Glenn Branca's guitar symphonies were the loudest and biggest you thought you could go, think again. While the small digital file doesn't convey even a fraction of the event's grandeur, I'm sure some HDVD (or is it Blu-Ray that won?) will be released in the future. Enjoy!

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Miki Odagiri Tells Fables



Periodically, I am driven to check the spectacular, but teeny tiny NYC-based label, Music Related, and it's even smaller, digital-only imprint, Creation Centre.

This was the label that brought us the wonderful Shugo Tokumaru, the guys that opened our eyes to the splendid lo-fi, twee creations of international artists, the guys who you only hope the best for ...

Anyway, the latest Creation Centre release is Miki Odagiri's Fables. The three track EP is a more baroque and twee take on say ... Perfuse 73 or something. Looped synth lines, lopsided rhythms, and an underlying free-form style that works perfectly with Odagiri's more refined, sophisticated pop leanings and traditional Japanese style.

So definitely check the thing out ... you can download the EP in its entirety right here, grab the three tracks separately below, or read up more on here at her Creation Centre homepage. Good deal, eh?
Miki Odagiri - Vaporuing Rooms Right/Left
Miki Odagiri - Flowerless Island
Miki Odagiri - Hoarse Wind

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11.9.07

Exit Music Chart the Decline of the West


For some reason, Exit Music is really working for me right now ... off-kilter, post-punk atmospheric leanings, slurred vocals and a slow, moody aesthetic; this is what I want to hear right now. It's far from the summery pop I've been ingesting for the past few months, and it's not even what I'd called "fall music" (if such a classification could be made). It's darker, yeah, and beneath the loosely assembled eight tracks from the debut LP, The Decline of the West, there's a dark meticulousness that's heart-wrenching in an enchanting, hard-to-place sort of way.
That makes little sense, I think, but like Edit Music writes, "Sometimes the biggest influences are the hardest to pin down ... This is just how we process our days."

And this is just how I'm processing my days now. Sluggish, yet utterly confusing and perplexing. Soft-spoken yet frustrated and irritable. I love it. I love the extremeness of it all ... the black and white nature of every strained song, the languor that is squeezed into every song.

Exit Music sounds a little bit like old shoe gaze, a little bit like Radiohead, a lot like Galaxy 500 and Low ... you get the idea. Listen to a few tracks below and hunt this album down! Not to be missed ... I'm just at a loss for words now, and can't articulate its awesomeness appropriately.
Exit Music - The Decline of the West
Exit Music - Everybody Row

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Steve Goldberg Bringin' It Back


I've maintained this stance for a while, and I'm holding to it, but I'm convinced that the Next Thing for pop music will be a reproach to old rock, old soul, old rockabilly, old R&B ... you get the idea. The Beach Boys and the Beatles have, undoubtedly, been influential mainstays, but I think we're going to be hearing more real rock, more proto-punk, more swingy stuff, more stuff like that and less California-centric beach pop and Brit pop.

Steve Goldberg (MySpace) plays pretty traditional pop with a smearing of country twang and what some might call baroque pop or early Psych-pop. Regardless of how you wish to categorize Steve Goldberg & the Arch Enemies' self-titled debut LP (there was indeed a 2005 EP), the point I'm trying to make is that it sounds old yet still utterly accessible and radio-friendly. I dig it.

Buy the fun album over here. Support Pittsburgh's music scene!
Steve Goldberg & the Arch Enemies - The Road
Steve Goldberg & the Arch Enemies - The Spy (Part 1)
Steve Goldberg & the Arch Enemies - The Spy (Part 2)
Steve Goldberg & the Arch Enemies - Summers Ending

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