Album Review: Karen O’s Debut “Crush Songs”

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Bandaged with melancholic lyricism, raw tunes and battered emotion, The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s front woman, Karen O dropped her mesmerizing debut album earlier this week. Released on Cult records, the artist wrote the album when she was twenty-seven, between the years of 2006-2007.

Karen O isn’t afraid to be herself; she creates music because it is her art. It is evident that her objective isn’t to sell, but to express and in Crush Songs we see Karen in her most human element, in a time in her life when her quest with love was anything but sweet. This album is comparable to Kathleen Hannah’s infamous Julie Ruin, a self-created project that was anything but processed but simply a raw, exposed and intimate part of herself put out to those who appreciate the realness of being in a seemingly superficial world. Crush Songs is work of art, to say the least, and highlights Karen’s pain and emotions in a wonderfully artistic and intimate way.

  1. Ooo
    Not even two minutes, this song is a relaxed acoustic, with hauntingly soothing lyrics. A nostalgic ode to a name that invokes many memories to the heart broken songstress.
Posted in Albums, Artists, Music, New Releases, Reviews

Concert Review: Alesana

The first band, In Memory Of, was obviously well known and well liked by the audience. Right before they began playing the audience cheered at an almost deafening level and girls were proclaiming their love for the members. They began with very upbeat, energetic songs that showcased the singer’s mastery of clean and unclean vocals and pausing briefly in between songs to talk and joke along with the crowd. After their show they hopped in with the audience and began to mingle with them.

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Next up was Otenki, a band from Houston, Texas with great stage presence. Right before they came on stage audience members talked amongst themselves, discussing the band and maintaining an enthusiastic, pumped up vibe that seemed to flow throughout their entire set. The band was the first to implement synchronized jumping and had the audience mimicking them. The lead singer had a brilliant voice that echoed throughout the room, and was incredibly interactive with the audience during songs. They ended their show by taking a selfie with the crowd, which the crowd seemed to enjoy.

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Posted in Artists, Concerts, Coog Radio Updates, Music, Reviews

Ticket Giveaway: The War on Drugs & Califone at House of Blues Houston

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The War on Drugs

On Saturday, September 27th, The War on Drugs, supported by Califone, will be playing at House of Blues Houston!

The War on Drugs have been around for awhile, but recently they’ve received a great deal of buzz due to their most recent album, this year’s Lost In the Dream, which has received rave reviews from nearly every major publication that’s reviewed it, and it’s sure to turn up on many year-end best-of lists.  Their unique blend of dream pop and Springsteen-esque heartland rock has captivated listeners, and they’re looking to captivate you this weekend.

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Califone

Supporting The War on Drugs is  alt-country/psychedelic folk band Califone.  Califone has been one of the more underrated and consistently great acts of the 21st century, and are more than capable of headlining their own shows.  To call them support feels a bit weird.  This show is more of a double headliner.  If by chance you haven’t heard of Califone, you may know of member Tim Rutili from his work with Ugly Casanova, his old side project with Issac Brock from Modest Mouse.  An over-simplified description of Califone’s sound might go something like “a darker, more ambitious Wilco”.

Posted in Artists, Bands, Coog Radio Updates, Giveaways, Local Events, Music, Promotions, Venues

Throwback Shoutout: Squarepusher on Music Is Rotted One Note

Squarepusher, the stage name of electronic music composer Tom Jenkinson, made an awesome album in 1998 called Music is Rotted One Note. 

The album’s songs, both technically complex and experimental (a hallmark of Squarepusher’s signature sound),  are all composed by Tom Jenkinson. Jenkinson really is a one-man show on his recordings as he also plays all the instruments in Music is Rotted One Note. 

“Chunks”, the first track, acts as a good (if safe) hook for the listener.  Here Jenkinson’s talent as a bass player begins to show itself.

“Curve 1″ approximates the sound I imagine the sound an alien invasion would make.

Heavy drum layering and a warped, drooping sound make “Ill Descent” another standout track.

What makes Music is Rotted One Note different from Squarepusher’s other albums is the emphasis on jazz bass virtuosity. While on other albums Squarepusher might try to bombard his listeners with drill and bass synth abstractions, he relies on recordings of real instruments to give Music is Rotted One Note a warmer feel.

“Rustic Raver” on Hard Normal Daddy

“Theme From Vertical Hold” on Music Is Rotted One Note

A good half of the tracks on Music is Rotted One Note don’t follow musical conventions. Jenkinson stated in an interview

Posted in Albums, Features, Music

This Halloween: Vampire’s Ball at Stereo Live Featuring DJ MAKJ

 

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This Halloween, in one of Houston’s most cherished, premier concert venues, perhaps the most promising up and coming DJ in the music world will be fueling what will be a night charged with nonstop dancing and unforgettable fun.
Starting at nine pm, this jam packed event will be one you don’t want to miss. Performing alongside DJ Shift K3y, DJ MAKJ (Mackenzie Johnson) is set to show Houston what his music is all about. At only the young age of twenty four, this talented musician has already swept in Six Beatport top ten singles, a remix EP produced with top notch MC’s like the legendary Lil Jon, as well as a newly announced headlining tour which will be gracing over thirty cities.

 

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After a successful sold out European tour, the young artist has been moving at a nonstop rate, topping charts, hosting radio shows and creating for himself a powerful style full of talent, and skill.
Now he will arrive at our city to showcase his abilities and provide a night full of musical bliss and dancing.
Set in the cozy, and lively Richmond Avenue on Houston’s westside in the midst of Halloween festivities , this will be one fun packed show you won’t want to miss!

Posted in Concert Promo, Local Events, Music, Promotions

Upcoming Sacred Bones Releases: Pharmakon, Institute, Cult of Youth, Dream Police

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Popular Brooklyn independent record label Sacred Bones Records is even busier than usual right now, with four major releases coming up, each of which is carrying enormous promise.

On October 14th, the label will be releasing both death industrial/power electronics artist Pharmakon’s sophomore album, Bestial Burden, as well as Austin post-anarcho-punk band Institute’s debut EP, Salt.

Pharmakon’s debut, Abandon, was well received, and the debut single from Bestial Burden, “Body Betrays Itself”, has already received a Best New Track nod from Pitchfork. Pharmakon’s music could easily be described as terrifying, channeling the same raw power used by acts such as Suicide and Diamanda Galas.

Institute is a recent addition to the Sacred Bones roster, but they’re an incredibly promising act.  Title track “Salt” is a ripper, with a cool, driving bass riff and ragged, miffed, nonchalant vocals.  As a side note, Institute will be supporting Merchandise at Walters this Sunday (you can purchase tickets here), so you might want to check out that show.

Posted in Artists, Bands, Local Events, Music