I am a grown man and it’s about time I started acting like one. That’s something along the lines of the conversation I may hold with the stranger staring at me in the bathroom when shaving. Regardless, I find myself seeking some sort of sign or omen that I have, in fact, not only changed but progressed over the past several years of my short yet seemingly significant existence. My journey for some kind of achievement worthy of even that title is a work in progress however for Self Help Records and its short existence as even a Bandcamp url, they have perhaps completed their first significant goal; releasing one kicka$$ compilation of everything one loves about the surreal and sweaty underworld that is the DIY music scene in Philadelphia.
A hodgepodge of the sentimental mixed with the heavy, the elegant mixed with the euphoria, the Philadelphia Comp. 2013 features everything and everyone from Girl Scouts to Grower, Mumblr to Jet Set Sail, and Mallard to even Travis‘ (of Self Help Records) own Ted Nguyent. If you’re familiar with the acts then frankly, you’ve probably already heard of this release and ideally have secured yourself a cassette or, at the very least, a digital download of your own. For those of you who haven’t, well here’s the best introduction to the truly local Philadelphia music scene that you’re gonna get.
For under $5, don’t be a cheap skate. Yes, it’s available for free streaming online but if you want any hope of further awesome releases like these being available in the future, then go ahead and buy it. To address the obvious: yes, this article is clearly vastly late. In case ya couldn’t tell, I had other things on my mind. Better late than never? I think that’s an expression, that or an excuse for one hell of a lazy individual. The larger point is simply this: the Philadelphia Comp. 2013 by Self Help Records is not only brilliantly organized, but also recorded and mastered in a truly awe worthy manner. Listen and enjoy.
Eureka the Butcher, the solo pseudonym of Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez (of Zechs Marquise/The Mars Volta) releases his debut album today! The recording, Music For Mothers, is dedicated to Frances Sarah Rodriguez-Lopez, Marcel‘s mother who passed away last year. In regards to the dedication, Marcel writes that “she is the reason why I started playing the piano. She told me that it was great that I wanted to play drums, but if I played the piano, I could create music and play to a room full of people by myself. I didn’t start playing drums for another 4 years, and I wouldn’t start playing piano for another 7 or so. That’s when I started making electronic music. Making music under the Eureka name gives me that ability: to make music.”
Made while on tour with The Mars Volta and Zechs Marquise, the project progressed in buses, vans, planes, dressing rooms, airports, hotel rooms, backyards, sidewalks, and what I can only assume was a couple of really dingy dive bars. Music for Mothers is intended to serve almost as a testament to the idleness and boredom which inevitable lingers while on the road. While the album was intended as a therapeutic journal of sorts, the music is specifically intended “for all mothers…for all families. I hope that it will inspire other people to make music for their mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers… if my mom hadn’t pushed me to learn other aspects of music, I would be sampling records and it wouldn’t be as rewarding to me. Sampling records properly is an art form in itself, but i knew it wasn’t for me.”
As far as the act itself, Eureka the Butcher is a barrage of sound, chopping and slicing bits and pieces of rhythms of the larger Rodriguez-Lopez including The Mars Volta. Marcel explains to Fusion Magazine that the name “comes from the nature of editing; the Butcher part from cutting up sound, chopping up beats to make up new things; the Eureka part comes from when it all comes together.” With a collage of psychedelic samplings and prog-rock meanderings, I’d say that name fairly sums up the experience in an elegant manner for those scared of the emotional connection explanation provided earlier. You can snag your copy of Music For Mothers via Rodriguez Lopez Productions and be sure to check out all them social network sites below to figure out what the hell they’re up to. Here’s to mothers and great music: who would’ve guessed they’d be hand in hand?
Eureka The Butcher – Sargent House
Eureka The Butcher – Tumblr
Eureka The Butcher – Twitter
“Excellently skewed, arty rock, like Sonic Youth and Liars colliding.” — NME
Ten Kens, the Toronto based ethereal artrock group, is streaming their entire forthcoming album, Namesake, a week early via the massive Canadian entertainment conglomerate, Exclaim! This is also in conjunction with their recently released video from Namesame for the song “Gently Used“, which is presented by Tiny Mix Tapes and available above. Finally, to give you a probably way over the necessary dose, the video for “When A Door Opens” also premiered via Consequence of Sound. which, you guessed it, is also available above.
Released after two years of nerve racking tranquility and a sophomore album glow, the aptly titled Namesake moves the band away from their signature genre-bending dither into a more darkened psychedelic day trip experience. The result of an intense yearlong recording period and masterfully engineered/produced by Ten Kens‘ own Brett Paulin and Dan Workman, the band jumped from one recording facility to the next in order to find each individual sound which makes this whole. Apparently, the band enjoys disappearing “into complete isolation to keep their vision focused and devoid of any outside influence” which may come across from just the first 2 mins of “Gently Used“.
It is this insidious exploration, though, coupled with an almost ambient prog rock, that makes Namesake such an experience as for as an album. An abstract art-piece constructed from the remains of decaying genres, Ten Kens’ Namesake is an unapologetic trance of post-rock meets prog rock with a whole lot thrown in between. Basically, it’s beautiful. Grab a download or don’t be stingy and grab the vinyl (Release Date: May 21, 2013, if it’s a great album, it’s a worthwhile buy and yes, Namesake is a great album). Here’s to hoping a tour is in the works.
What do you get when you blend the likes of Broken Bells, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, & Red Sparrows? Well, from the latest news, something along the lines of LVMRKS. Neil Busch, former vocalist/bassist/songwriter in …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead is back with LVMRKS as well as work nearly completed on their forthcoming debut album, Pale Fairytale. The all-star group includes, of course, bassist Jonathan Hischke (Broken Bells, Hella, Dot Hacker, et al.) and drummer Dave Clifford (Red Sparrows, The VSS), making a well rounded act with an extremely potent potential.
To appease your undying desire, LVMRKS has already shared the first song from their debut album, the cupid-themed song, “Valentine” which is available to stream above. As far as the album, Pale Fairytale, it will be available on LP and download on May 21st, 2013 and was recorded and mixed by Toshi Kasai (of Melvins, Tool, & Big Business notoriety). So I will not say much since I don’t want to look back in several months and feel like a jackass despite to say, I’ve got a smile on my face. And yes, that’s a good thing. Take a peak and get excited.
LVMRKS – Valentine