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Streetlight Manifesto

4 Dec

I drove down the dark winding street wearing a grey suit and holding a grenade in one hand. I paid attention intently to the road as the streetlights blurred past. The artist sitting in the passenger seat was speaking to our dear friend on the phone, persuading him not to fall yet. With his free hand he sketched what he saw through the windshield with a dried up pen. In the back seat the two oblivious lovers drank champagne and laughed as they ate the stolen cake and waved to the car fast on our trail.

“Keep a steady mind, don’t lose focus, we’re almost there,” whispered the artist in to the phone. I heard the two in the back tumble towards the right as I twisted the steering wheel left. The lights were starting to blur from the speed so I kicked the car into second gear as we flew down towards the cliff. I heard the screeching of the breaks behind me so I looked to my passenger and said “Now.” The artist repeated the word into the phone and the couple began to weep passionately. With my teeth I pulled the pin of the grenade and cut the wheel. The artist threw his drawing out the window just before we started rolling violently. The car chasing us flew by with a whiff of burnt rubber and rocketed off the edge and into the opposing cliff face with a bright explosion. The lights looked like a pretty blur as we tumbled; we were all smiles, eating cake, numb with anticipation.

The grenade exploded. All four of us were launched into the sky like cannonballs. We flew towards our friend the pilot as he parachuted down from the sky. He caught us all in his arms. We fed him cake and he told us about the fun time he had watching the heist from above. We descended slowly towards the streetlights below, upon their silent manifesto.

*********

Yo. Okay, time for a ska post. It is pretty much impossible to enjoy a good dose of ska. Especially if you find yourself wearing a suit and about to rob a bank. If you, however, are unable to enjoy ska and such things, then I will have to unfortunately inform you of your soullessness. But don’t worry, because it’s really hard.

Streetlight Manifesto is from New Jersey. The front man, Tomas Kalnoky, used to be the front man of another popular ska band Catch 22. The band is actually considered punk, with influences of ska. Basically, the music consists of many horns and fast, bass driven, chord progressions.

The songs which you may have already heard, or are still listening to, are from their albums Everything goes Numb and Somewhere in Between. The albums are fast paced and epic. The themes are dark and the lyrics depressing, yet the nature of the type of music prevents it from being perceived as anything other than happy.

Just in case you do not know how to read Youtube titles, here is the list of songs I used. “We Will Fall Together.” “Everything Went Numb.” “A Moment of Silence.”

This is the type of music that anyone can get into. It is instrumentally amazing. The man has that perfect punk voice. The themes approach something directly opposite of the vibe that the tunes puts out, a yin and yang rarely seen in the music scene. Most of their songs are pretty much about dying, yet they keep it cool with talks of guns and horns. What more can you ask for?

-oko

P.S. I ate the cake before it was a lie.

&)

Hudson Mohawke – FUSE

27 Nov

Keep this on the down low.

Sorry about last week’s post, but never mind that. I have to make this terse. I apparently have something that the government wants and am on the run for my own dear life. I honestly don’t even know what it’s about, but I have 27 dead federal agents in my house after what can only be described as Home Alone 5, and am going into hiding in the morning.

I do however have time to review a song.

Let’s see here. After a great deal of magic one night, a good friend of mine played “FUSE” by Hudson Mohawke. My mind proceeded to be short-circuited by rainbows, or something of the sort.

It starts out with light clapping and an ethereal neon flute. It boldly wastes no time as it drops into some ridiculously nice hip-hop. Grandiose as all hell, the corny preset brass in the background and the vocal “doo-wop’s” are so over the top that the song almost comes off as a joke.

It doesn’t move forward at all really. After the second verse, another vocal sample is introduced, which I honestly cannot place for the life of me, its purpose unknown to me as well. But the song picks up the beat immediately afterwards. It feels like a glorious transformation is about to take place, like the song got into a fight with the high speed drum and bass genre and is about to lose.

But lo and behold it actually wins and again we are graced with the same instrumental chorus. Just as it is getting old and you begin to notice how slow it actually is, a child whispers something and the song ends. If you aren’t confused, then you aren’t getting it.

Gotta go, snipers.

&)

-oko

P.S. The government is after my delusions of grandeur.

Trifonic – Parks on Fire

14 Nov

Hey everyone. Video game addiction and school are currently kicking my ass. My mind’s eye is crying. I should have written something nice for all of you, but there’s not enough time in a day. So instead I’m leaving you all with an incredibly chill electronic song set to a cool video. It’s the least I could do, and  I think it is sufficiently trippy to stand up on its own.

It even comes close to how I feel right now.

&F

-oko

The Olivia Tremor Control – Music from the Unrealized Film Script: Dusk at Cubist Castle

7 Nov

This post goes out to all those good things which existed in the 90s. Most of them were and still are completely unknown to anyone because they were buried in a sea of garbage that is usually associated with that era (by me anyway). Rarely does anyone even go back to that time period even as a result, unless it is for cartoon show themes. But let me tell you, there are some things from the 90s which stand out like shining jewels among the debris, and I am proud to present one to you tonight.

The Olivia Tremor Control is definitely up there in my top 5 in terms of bands. Part of the Elephant Six Collaborative and hailing from Athens Georgia, the band is the most perfect form of psychedelic rock. They basically sound as if the Beatles had never stopped making music, and this was just actually where they were in the 90s. The album which I will be sharing is called Music from the unrealized film script: Dusk at Cubist Castle. It was released in 1996 and was sadly swept away in the unfortunate river of boy bands, rap, and other nonsense. But I have managed to fish it out (I proudly own the CD), and will write a few words about it.

The first song on the album is “The Opera House”. A barely inaudible vocal loop flies by quickly and a raw guitar starts playing its hard rock line. Don’t forget to notice the bizarre assortment of horns coming in from all angles. “We feel OK, which is how we feel most of the time now” The lyrics are only going to get trippier from this point on in the album and I feel like this song is very good warm up.

Something I love about this band is the fact that the lyrics are always approaching dark in sort of psychotic fashion, but restrain themselves just before that point. It gives the lyrics this sort of friendly sarcastic vibe, which I most definitely rock out to and practice on a day to day basis. &)

“Jumping Fences”: This title alone speaks on a more psychedelic level. Another almost downright silly guitar intro is quickly forgotten as the rhythm joins the party, especially that suave bass line. The lyrics in this song have got to be some of my favorite ever. “We both know that this world made no sense, when you jumped everybody’s fence.” I feel like you either understand what this line means or you don’t, and it all depends on your experience with magic.

This song at a little under 2 minutes is a quick, rocking display of why this band sounds like the Beatles. If you don’t hear the similarity then you may have never heard the Beatles. And don’t think that I’m saying that they are ripping the Beatles off. The Olivia Tremor Control has definitely contributed more to this genre of psychedelic rock than almost any other band, they just had the misfortune of picking the 90s.

I  really am not sure which song off this album is my favorite, but there definitely are times when I believe that song to be “Holiday Surprise 1, 2, 3”. This song starts out slow and easy, almost with a country vibe. I’d like you to notice the vocal layering which this band uses, because that is what gives these songs that darker edge. Specifically the lines “Don’t Worry” and “In a dream” employ this and definitely to great effect.

Somewhere at around 2 minutes this song plateaus at what can only be described as being launched through the clouds and peaking in to a full and beautiful sun. Immediately after you begin your descent and the song acknowledges that fact. “Please, Please, Don’t you ever change your mind on me.”

“Courtyard” can be best described as a haphazard song. The melody is wonky and rhythm is simple,the piano is just downright ridiculous, and yet it contains some of my favorite lines ever. “Going back to where you are, and there’s nothing that I can’t tell you that you don’t already know.” I still can’t accurately tell what it means. Also a short song, it is the kind that puts a smile on your face whatever the situation. It’s simple and fun.

The Olivia Tremor is rumored to have reunited to create a new album, which makes me very happy. This band deserves a lot more recognition then it currently has. Almost no one makes such well thought out and all around trippy music they use. If you are lucky enough to own a CD or Record of theirs, then you will be rewarded by being able to actually notice all the different layers each and every song contains. Seriously, there could be up to 12 sounds playing at once at any given time during a song, and mp3’s will never be able to do that justice.

The more stuff happening at once, the tripper, am I right? You just have to learn how to pry out the gems.

&)

Listen to this band, because bands like Korn definitely did not deserve the fame.

-oko

P.S. This song, Tropical Bells, is trippy enough as it is. But then someone decided to make this video for it. &)))))

Fuck Buttons – Tarot Sport

30 Oct

Hey everyone. I am at a mental loss today. No fancy intro. Not much information about the song or band either. I’ll play it off as a minimalistic post.

Fuck Buttons are a UK based experimental electronic group. The following two songs are from their album Tarot Sport. I saw them live in Brooklyn about 2 years ago. It was full or hipsters and almost everyone was on magic of some sort. The scene was one of the best.

This song is flying in a ship the size of the most massive suns, through a space were light is something which you can touch as well as change your perception of, at will. “Surf Solar”

This song is wind surfing through snowy desert dunes in a sand storm, were the previously mentioned light reacts brilliantly to your movements as well as the particles of snow and sand caught in the wind. “The Lisbon Maru”

This band makes exalting music, something you listen to when you simply want to exist in other worlds. The songs are minimalistic in my opinion because they change very little over the course of what seems ages, and I believe that this sort of minimalism is what allows the mind to roam free and create.

Sort of like meditation.

&)

-oko

P.S. Exaltation. Aptly named “Olympians”

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