(Screen capture from Test Patterns video)
Online music magazine Impose has just launched a brand new video feature called Test Patterns. For the two-part inaugural installment, Impose video’d Iowa City krauty, sun-soaked, pop mavens Wet Hair. The session was taped back in April, on the band’s Northeastern tour, at Shea Stadium (the now famous DIY spot, not the now-demolished former home of the New York Metropolitans). The videos aren’t quite as lo-fi as the feature’s name would imply, really, the only nod to being a guerrilla, post-test-pattern airing is the random changes of color. Otherwise both the picture and audio quality are really beyond reproach. If you don’t believe me, just get a load of either “Echo Lady” or “Tarantula” below–both standouts from the group’s brand new De Stijl-released In Vogue Spirit. (more…)


If hip-hop hasn’t gone punk yet, it has now. Death Grip, an almost militantly obscure rapper/outfit, who/that has just started shaking up the internet. Apparently this is Zach Hill (of Hella fame) and his long whispered about hip-hop project. Who his other collaborators are is unclear. (more…)

Iowa City’s Wet Hair has been getting poppier and poppier since it emerged from the ashes of art-rock darlings Raccoo-oo-oon as a solo moniker of Shawn Reed. Now that the troupe has swollen to a trio (and benefiting from writing partner and fellow Coo-oo-oon-er Ryan Garbes), the sun shines a bit brighter on their muddy, dubby tunes. Reed’s no longer burying his baritone caterwauling beneath an ocean of reverb and distortion, he now uses almost negligible levels of echo on his now melodic lines. Garbes’ drums are spirited, almost shimmering with creativity. The addition of now departed Matt Fenner (concentrating on his other band Solid Attitude) on bass, adds even more pop punch to this new incarnation of Wet Hair. (more…)

Madison, Wisconsin’s Peaking Lights, understandably, can’t stop repping their latest dish, 936. Actually, if my understanding of all the blogosphere hype is correct, this latest video for “Tiger Eyes (Laid Back)” was not actually commissioned by the duo, but you wouldn’t know it to see it.
Featuring long clips from a reputed Italian freak-folk, Native American-exploitation film, dazed dance clips, and just general drugged-out, distorted found-footage, it reeks of PL’s aesthetic. Plus, this is 936‘s real jam. “Tiger Eyes” has the head-juking, bouncing bass line that gets you swaying and the blurry, echo chamber vocals that make you feel like you’ve had a couple good tokes, even if you haven’t. Check the video below: (more…)

Colin Stetson is responsible for almost every single note, skronk, clack, and squeal on one of my favorite album of this young year, New History Warfare vol. II: Judges. The music is gorgeous, rich, textured, and expertly composed, but really appreciating Stetson’s work is to see the physical talent involved in making all those sounds.
Thanks to La Blogotheque, that’s possible. And beyond just seeing the Montrealer wail on his sax, the production quality is, as it always is with LB, absolutely beautiful. Check out Stetson at work on two standouts from Judges, “Awake on Foreign Shores” and the title track below.

You can bounce on over to La Blogotheque to check the second video which features Stetson performing “Red Horse (Judges II)” and “In Love and In Justice” here.

Madison, Wisconsin’s Peaking Lights have been flirting with full on reggae for a couple years now. When I first saw them open for High Places a few years back, I mistook their dubby shuffle for a bit of country and western flavor. They were burying all the cool sunny sounds under loads of hiss and electronic noodling. Last year, a the Mill in Iowa City, the brought some serious beats. Naturally, these were early live versions of the material for their newly released 936 which was recorded by Iowa City’s production master, Luke Tweedy at Flat Black Studios. In honor of this momentous occasion, you’ll find the video for the album’s lead single, “All the Sun That Shines,” below. This is a wonderfully sunny track to brighten your blizzard addled minds. Just get a load of that beat.

936 dropped yesterday and you can scoop it up on LP, CD, or cassette on Not Not Fun’s website.