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The Up-Turn

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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Hehehahahhahehah.  I wrote “fuck” in the title of a post.  But other than for that reason, I am posting Phantom Power’s brand new EP because it is really good.  Eric, the brains behind Phantom Power, has been making his rounds around bandcamp with a great deal of indie jamz varying in fuzziness and synthiness.  His newest effort, FUCK. is a great showing.  Though Phantom Power utilizes some synth sounds that have become increasingly common in the indie world over the past few years, he puts his own spin on each song.  Whether its twangy, almost funky guitars as on “Olympus” or acoustic guitar strumming contrasting the electronic backdrop, Phantom Power keeps it fresh.  With FUCK. he has incorporated a hip-hop-ish 808 drum set into a bunch of songs and it fits in really well.  Phantom Power is going to be playing a few shows around the New York area this summer and I am hoping they will get him some more attention.  Stream and link to download below…



For the past year Blackbird Blackbird has dropped frequent and consistent electro-pop tracks that have ranged from chill-wave to glitch and shown immense talent and promise.  While some of those tracks were certainly stand-out moments, nothing has left me as impressed as ‘Calypso’.  For the track, Blackbird Blackbird takes on a dub/drone sound that is pretty spectacular.  It’s song like this that validate the following and hype Blackbird Blackbird has built up.  Stream and download below…


Anthony Gonzales’ work as M83 has produced one of my all time favorite dream-pop albums with Saturdays=Youth.  Gonzales is set to release a new album soon and promises it will be “very, very, very epic”.  This teaser, even at only a minute and a half length, definitely teases that grandness and definitely has me hyped.


I haven’t written a review in over half a year!

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While Wilco’s most recent release wasn’t quite up to the band’s usual standards I still have good faith that the newly announced Wilco album could turn out very well.  First leak from the album ‘I Might’ definitely gives off good vibes for the album.  The song is really strengthened by the buzzed out bass, rolling percussion and other elements of noise that dominate what could have been a straightforward pop-song.


For me these past few weeks have been dominated by two main things: Shabazz Palace’s album Black Up and Built to Spill.  At their heart, Built to Spill is a 90s indie rock band that made the kind of music that now is heralded and iconized.  A healthy mix of jangly and distorted guitars back up the mastermind  behind the project Doug Martsch.

Built to Spill- Car:

For me, Martsch’ vocals sound like Isaac Brock minus all the growl and bite.  His lyrics deal with themes of all the wide-eyed stoners from the 90s and many times his verses turn into philosophic prose.  I could write a lot more, but I’ll let the music speak for itself.

Built to Spill- Carry the Zero:


A few years back, there was a trend of political and social consciousness sweeping the hip-hop genre.  Rappers like Lupe Fiasco were coming in and groups like Dipset were going out.  It seemed as though the hip-hop genre was warping itself to be taken seriously by people too ignorant to understand it.  Luckily, that movement is clearly coming to a close and Lil Ugly Mane is a testament to that.  First of all, I can’t help but comment on how amazing his name is.  It is a hilarious fuck you to anyone who takes rap too seriously and perfectly represents him.  Lil Ugly Mane prefers loud, rough, lo-fi beats that sound like throwbacks to early, early Three 6 Mafia, and raps with an angry drawl about the ignorant hood rat shit that made Bill O’Reilly hate rap, and does it extremely well.  His most recent single “Bust A Sag” is a perfectly crafted rebuttal to “Pants on the Ground” utilizing the cold, calculated logic that “my shirt look stupid if my pants ain’t low”.  I am completely aware that more than half of the people who listen to this will immediately decide they hate this, but I don’t care, I love Lil Ugly Mane and everything I like to imagine he stands for.  Stream his “Bust A Sag” single below and link to his bandcamp below that.