Category Archives: News

The Music of 2015

Pretty sure I saw more shows in 2015 than any other year of my whole life. Between Monday nights at the Griffin, the occasional punk show in a bowling alley, and dancing the night away at Funky Sole, I stayed busy. I attended Coachella, Austin Psych Fest, and Burger Boogaloo this year, somehow all for free. I got to preview the new Snoop record at a Columbia Records listening party with the Dogg himself. I travelled to a lodge in the middle of the woods to see Father John Misty, drove out to the desert to see Black Lips under the stars, and went down to the beach to watch Ariel Pink on the pier. The list could go on but I’ll just say this year has been nothing short of magical.

Like most years, 2015  came with strong deliveries from established favorites and a couple fun new discoveries. I spent lots of time listening to familiar old music, most of which was released 30+ years ago – my 4 months at Light in the Attic Records helped with that. But I also  consumed wayyy more hip hop this year, thanks to Los Angeles radio and my required freeway fuel.

So. Here’s an honest and very self-indulgent list of 50 songs that stuck with me in 2015. I doubled and tripled up on lots of artists. I included songs from mediocre albums or even (arguably) terrible artists because they are great songs. Enjoy.

Misc 2015 Stats.

  • Artist of the year:
    Wand (They also win “Band I Saw Most Often in 2015.”)
  • Album of the Year:
    If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late – Drake
  • Song of the year:
    “Pretty Pimpin” – Kurt Vile
  • Favorite new discoveries:
    Diane Coffee, Sheer Mag, Drug Cabin
  • Most Streamed Song This Year:
    “Go Back” – Tony Allen with Damon Albarn (2014) Honestly wtf is up with this song. It is PERFECT.
  • Show of the Year:
    I already know it’s the one I’m going to see tonight. Thee Oh Sees, Fuzz, and (duh) Wand.

Til next year, dudes.

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Leon Russell: A Poem is a Naked Person

In a scene from 1974’s A Poem is a Naked Person, a young Leon Russell (both the subject of and collaborator behind this very film) and songwriter Eric Andersen sit, cameras rolling, and try to work things out after an argument. Andersen’s studio session had just been interrupted by Russell’s camera crew, causing a heated outburst between them and now the inflamed egos are dancing around each other, trying to make peace without total surrender.

“How old are you anyway, 42? 38?” Andersen jabs at a graying Russell.
“I’m quite sensitive about that so you can’t talk to me about that anymore.” Leon Russell responds, sounding less abrasive and more genuinely wounded. “I’m barely 30 years old, man.”

It’s a brief but telling moment, one of several in this documentary, which shows the sensitivity behind the swagger of piano playing legend Leon Russell. This same sensitivity kept the 1974 documentary in a cardboard box for 40 years.

If you haven’t heard the tale yet, I’ll summarize; fresh off the Mad Dogs and Englishman tour with Joe Cocker, Russell enlisted director Les Blank to direct a film about the making of his country rock album “Hank Wilson’s Back.” They set up in Oklahoma and started rolling film on the live shows, sessions, parties and transparent moments of conversation which followed. When Les Blank finally presented the finished product to the subject of his film, Russell hated it. It was shelved.

Blank was still very proud of APIANP and was known to show it in spite of Russell’s disapproval but for decades the only way you could see the film was with the director in person. Eventually, after Blank passed away, his son took up the cause to give this beautiful film an appropriate release. Four decades later, a bit softer with the passing of time and vanity, Russell finally approved the release of A Poem is a Naked Person.

Now 40 years later, when asked directly about the specific reason for the delayed release, Leon hesitates. He’s reluctant to delve too deep, but each version of his answer scratches the same self-conscious surface. He told one source that the film wasn’t what he wanted it to be, that it was more the director’s vision and not his. “More style than substance, in my opinion,” he says, eluding to some personality conflicts between Blank and himself. He told another that he didn’t want his midwest methodist family seeing him smoking and cursing on screen. Once he even left it at, “I don’t know why. I just didn’t like it.” But at a special screening last night, on the stage of the Ace Theater in downtown Los Angeles, he told us, a full room of fans who had just watched the film with him, that “sometimes, when you really see yourself, you just want to cry and go to bed for a week.”

A Poem is a Naked Person is about so much more than Leon Russell. Unlike the typical rock documentary, this film turns the camera lens away from the star at every opportunity in order to better understand what was going on around him at the time. While Russell’s performances are moving, ranging from wild and energetic to somber and spellbinding, it’s the wide focus – the one that lets in all the chatter of Russell’s surroundings – which really tells his story.

Sure, the shots of baby-faced Willie Nelson and George Jones are captivating. But it’s about rural Oklahoma, a wedding, an empty swimming pool, a building torn down, a church service – they show us not just one facet of one man, but a complete picture. Perhaps the whole story wasn’t interesting to Russell, at least not in 1974. It makes sense that a man with a rock and roll music career on the rise wouldn’t be excited to show extended footage of catfish in the middle of a film which was supposed to be about him. It can be hard to see value in the details of your own story.

The miracle of Leon Russell is that he possesses within himself both the personality and charisma to carry his own stage and the ability to seamlessly fuse his talent with the biggest names in music history. He could sit at a piano and melt perfectly into the background of more songs on the radio than you could imagine. The Crystals, The Beach Boys, George Harrison, Doris Day, Gram Parsons, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Sinatra, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones – every one of these names (and more) owe something to the talent of Leon Russell.  A master collaborator, he played, wrote, and arranged the very foundation of what we know as 60s and 70s rock and roll. He could be energetic, commanding, even abrasive, but at the end of the day, he just wanted to get in a room and play good music.

A Poem is a Naked Person – the title alone points to the vulnerability required to make art. Here the film is the poem and Leon Russell, the naked and exposed person. The man and his art are one and the same, equally honest, unassuming, and vulnerable to the critic’s eye. Maybe it was the profanity or the Oklahoma tractors or just his gray hair on a big screen which made him hesitate to undress for so long. Those reasons are in the past. As he said to those of us in the theater last night, still basking in the afterglow of what we had just seen and experienced, “That’s me, I did those things.”

Wand Announces New Album, 1000 Days

Wand has announced a new album entitled 1000 Days, set to drop September 25th. This will be the band’s third studio release in just over a years time. Prolific, hard working and ahead of the curve, the boys recorded 1000 Days even before Golem saw the light of day and will be releasing it right in the middle of a daunting world tour. Drag City is putting this one out so don’t expect to see it on any streaming services.

Check out their slightly subdued synth-heavy single below.

Tour dates:
07/17 – Los Angeles, CA @ MOCA
07/29 – San Francisco, CA @ Brick & Mortar Music Hall
07/31 – Happy Valley, OR @ Pickathon
08/14 – Saint Malo, FR @ Route du Rock Festival
08/18 – Haarlem, NL @ Pastronaat Café
08/19 – Luxembourg, LU @ Exit 07
08/20 – Brussels, BE @ Homeplugged (house show)
08/21 – Charleville-Meziere, FR @ Cabaret Vert festival
08/22 – Trondheim, NO @ P Stereo Festival
08/23 – Biddinghuizen, NL @ Lowlands Festival
08/27 – Dublin, IE @ Whelan’s
08/28 – Paris, FR @ Rock En Sein Festival
08/29 – Geneva, CH @ L’Usine
09/01 – Zurich, CH @ Kinski Club
09/03 – Lisbon, PT @ Lux Fragil
09/04 – Vlieland, NL @ Into The Great Wide Open Festival
09/05 – Maastricht, NL @ Bruis Festival
09/06 – Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, UK @ End of the Road Festival 
09/07 – Bristol, UK @ The Exchange
09/08 – Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store
09/09 – London, UK @ Electrowerks Upstairs
09/10 – Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen
09/11 – Glasgow, UK @ Broadcast
09/12 – Birmingham, UK @ Rainbow House
09/13 – Le Havre, FR @ Le Tetris
09/14 – Tilburg, NL @ Incubate Festival
09/15 – Copenhagen, DK @ Loppen
09/16 – Helsinki, FI @ Kuudes Linja
09/17 – Antwerp, BE @ Trix club show
09/18 – Angers, FR @ Levitation Festival
09/19 – Leffinge, BE @ Leffingeleuren Festival
09/21 – Barcelona, ES @ BAM Festival
10/31 – Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom w/ Mac DeMarco
11/01 – Seattle, WA @ Narwhal
11/03 – Missoula, MT @ The Real Lounge
11/05 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Entry
11/06 – Iowa City, IA @ Witching Hour Festival
11/07 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
11/10 – Toronto, ON @ Adelaide Hall
11/11 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz
11/12 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East (upstairs)
11/13 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
11/14 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade NYC
11/15 – Washington, DC @ DC9
11/16 – Asheville, NC @ Tiger Mountain
11/18 – Atlanta, GA @ 529
11/19 – Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone
11/20 – New Orleans, LA @ Siberia
11/21 – Austin, TX @ Red 7 (inside)
11/22 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
11/24 – Tucson, AZ @ Solar Culture
11/25 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar

More on Wand

West Ghost Is Looking For Contributors!

West Ghost Media is gaining momentum, but is in need of more magnificent content. I’d love to bring in some new voices and push the boundary on styles and genres covered. If you feel you have an ear for quality, are looking for writing experience and want a chance to get published on this blog, I’d love to hear from you.

Please contact me (Autumn) at westghostmedia@gmail.com if:

  • you love scouring crates of old records and want to share forgotten and unearthed gems you have found
  • you go to shows and find hard working, talented bands who could use some exposure
  • you have a unique story to tell about how music effects lives and social situations
  • you want to share a well written perspective on new track, album and video releases
  • you hangout at shows, in practice spaces or music related events and have a dope camera
  • you wanna say hi and give constructive feedback on the site

Please hit me up with a writing sample and an idea you’re excited about right now.

Turbo Fruits: The Interview

It’s a busy and exciting moment for Nashville’s Turbo Fruits. At the moment, the skilled and seasoned road warriors (Jonas, Kingsley, Dave and Matt) are gearing up for a little SXSW pre-release tour. As soon as they arrive home, the band will barely have a minute to catch a breath before their much anticipated 4th studio album, No Control, is born into the world of rock and roll. And from what we’ve heard so far, No Control is going to be a serious treat for the turntable.

The hard working, heavy rocking, good time lovin’ and endearingly chill guys of Turbo Fruits took a little time to answer a few questions for me. Here’s what they have to say about the place they call home, the perfect 4/20, and losing control. 

West Ghost: Once again, I’m talking to a band I love out of Nashville. Is Tennessee actually the greatest state in the greatest country on god’s green earth?

Turbo Fruits: Damn right it is! It’s got everything you need (including plenty of ice at the moment).

Ok, prepare me for an upcoming visit to Nashville. Where am I going to get the best southern meal: Arnold’s
Best bloody mary: The Southern
Best karaoke: Everyone usually goes to Santa’s Pub, but the real spot is Twin Kegs.
What else do I have to check out? You gotta eat some hot chicken (either Prince’s or Hattie B’s)Do you or do you not fuck with the honky tonks?

If you find yourself drunk and downtown, it’s the next logical step.  Usually no, it’s pretty touristy. But Robert’s is cool.

Do you feel like the whole “Music City” reputation is something that fuels creativity among younger bands, or is it more something to overcome in a place like Nashville?

It’s a double edged sword.  You get a ton of talent in town and there’s always great bands to see. It pushes everyone to take it to the next level. On the other hand, it also makes is difficult to get a decent following consistently, since there’s so many shows all the time and you gotta work your ass off to stand out.

If Turbo Fruits ever left Nashville, where would you guys feel most at home?

We’d probably end up in California. Weed, good food, good weather, lots of outdoor activities. We have spent a good amount of time in Texas too, so that’s probably a good second option, or Colorado.

Ok let’s talk music. Butter came roaring out of the gate in 2012. What’s have The Fruits been up to since?

We spent a year writing, refining, and demo recording over 30 songs that we cut down to the 11 that comprise No Control. Then we spent a good part of a year recording the songs, then recording a few of them for a third time.  We wanted them to be the best they could be.

When the first single from No Control (“The Way I Want You”) hit the web, it got some attention for its tone and content, which was a bit of a departure from your rowdy party jams. Can we expect No Control to show the softer side of the Turbo Fruits? Did Billboard get it right when they said you guys are “slowing down and growing up?”

I can see how you could draw that conclusion, but it’s not completely accurate. Our priority with the new record was to release the best songs while maintaining the best sense of cohesiveness and continuity with the songs.  We wanted the album to flow together.  There were plenty of songs that didn’t make this record that are fast and fun, and there’s some that are really heavy and dark.  I guess “slowing down and growing up” is better than “speeding up and acting more childish,” which would be forced, contrived and inaccurate.

The video for “The Way I Want You” featured Jonas getting a pretty brutal beatdown from a professional MMA fighter. How real was that?It was 100% real.  Jonas spent half a day getting slammed and beat up and he took it like a champ.  I’m sure he had to have been sore for a few days, but it was all in the name of art, so it was worth it.


Where did the name 
No Control come from? You guys have been together long enough to have several releases (and years on tour) under the belt. Still outta control?

Our good friend and No Control producer Jeremy Ferguson (he did 90% of the album plus mixing) came up with the name.  The name speaks for the overarching theme of the record in particular.  We still have fun on the road and at the bar, but hangovers last a little longer and you don’t bounce back as quickly.  It’s a trade off.

With No Control, you guys made the decision to self-fund this record. After issuing releases with several different labels, what was the motivation behind the decision to take the wheel?

It was a matter of necessity.  We had many parties telling us what they thought we should do and when, and who with, and we realized that we had 30-something songs that we think are badass, and we needed to take the reins and make the call to release a record.

Apparently you guys linked up with heavy hitter Patrick Carney for some assistance with this record. What was his role in the process of No Control?

Pat is a good friend, mentor and fan of ours.  He heard a lot of the demos and gave advice. Eventually, he offered to record a couple of the tunes that he thought had potential.  He’s a great dude and we wouldn’t be in the position we are in without his guidance.

What’s something people might not know about Carney and his process?

He’s a really awesome producer with a great ear. There’s a lot of musicians who think that, because they found success as musicians, they are automatically qualified to be great producers as well. 90% of the time, they aren’t.  Pat can hear parts, give direction, and offers support. He’s the real deal.

What does the rest of 2015 (and beyond) look like for you guys? Can we expect a Turbo Fruits tour around the corner?

We plan to tour consistently throughout the year and maybe get back into the studio and start working on more tunes soon.

No Control comes out on 4/20. Aside from spinning your record and making good use of those Turbo Fruits rolling papers, how does one have the ultimate 4/20 celebration?

Wake and bake. Nice big breakfast, maybe some Cracker Barrel, get outside and get some sunshine. Re-up the buzz. Listen to some records (No Control for example) and hang out with some friends. Re-up again.  Then maybe grill out and have some beers (while listening to No Control).

No Control is out 4/20 on Thirty Tigers Records. Keep an eye on Turbo Fruits news, tracks and upcoming shows by following the fellas here or here or here.
 
Art by Daniel Zender

Lesley Gore: 1946-2015

Monday, February 16th, the world lost legendary recording artists Lesley Gore to lung cancer. She passed away in Manhattan at 68 years old. A sunny and soulful talent discovered at only 16, Lesley was the voice of numerous hits throughout her career including “It’s My Party” and “You Don’t Own Me”. Not only was she an original teen sensation, with radio hits that pre-dated Beetlemania, but she was an advocate for feminism and gay rights as an adult.

Quincy Jones, who originally signed Lesley to Mercury Records issued the following statement: “I am heartbroken at the news today of the passing of Lesley Gore. I discovered Lesley, almost on a dare, in 1963 when she was 16 years old and I was Vice President of Mercury Records and we would go on to make 16 hit songs together including ‘It’s My Party,’ ‘Judy’s Turn to Cry,’ ‘You Don’t Own Me,’ and ‘Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows.’ Lesley was an incredibly soulful singer/songwriter even at that young and that was why the world embraced her songs the way it did. It is important to remember that at one point, the only group that surpassed her in the pop charts was The Beatles. It was a privilege to have been a part of Lesley’s life personally and professionally from those early days until now, and although I will miss her deeply, her essence will remain with us always through her music.”

[Video] Turbo Fruits: The Way I Want You

Brand spankin’ (and slappin’ and kickin’) new video for the Turbo Fruits single “The Way I Want You” just debuted on Entertainment Weekly this morning. The single is from the Fruits’ upcoming LP No Control, due out 4/20 and its video (directed by Stewart Copeland) features lead singer/guitarist Jonas Stein getting his ass kicked in the name of a good metaphor.

If this single is any indication of No Control, we’re in for some matured songwriting material and a slightly more musically relaxed version of our Turbo Fruits in the near future – something I’m extremely excited to get my hands on. But I guess we’ll just have to wait about 10 more weeks to find out.

Kali Uchis: Por Vida

“There are two types of performers: artists and entertainers.”
20 year old Kali Uchis is on the radio, diplomatically deflecting an onslaught of comparisons to her female contemporaries. Her second mixtape, Por Vida, was released yesterday and now her commitment to stay honest and humble is more important than ever. It’s paying off, too. While her interviewer would gladly talk about everyone else on the radio, Kali controls the conversation and brings it back to Por Vida.

Her brand new collection of songs is glossy and just a little gritty, sweet and just a little sad. It’s a personal work of heavy investment which accurately reflects its young and confident creator.

With this follow up to 2012’s Drunken Babble, she still has yet to release a proper LP, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from soaking up the bright throwback sound or hyping her rising star. Por Vida is pop music, influenced heavily by the vocal layerings and romantic content of another generation. Reaching as far back as the 60’s, to the sound of girl groups (and her personal hero, Mary Wells) and catching a bit of influence from every decade since, Kali has created a soulful, sparkling contemporary work. But those sparkles reflect the light of doo wop, reggae, hip hop, R&B and even a taste of her native Columbia.

With heavy support and 2 production credits from Tyler the Creator, Kali has a lot of people paying attention to Por Vida. But while the support from Tyler (and word that she’s already worked with Snoop Dogg) is on every interviewer’s lips, Kali’s work is rightfully celebrated for its own sake. The high profile support came second – after she had already written, recorded and produced her own material.

I’ve read and listened to a fair amount of interviews with Kali over the last few weeks and am constantly impressed with her maturity, humility and ability to speak with authority about her art. From Columbia to Virginia to Los Angeles, music has been her stability and her songs are extremely personal.

This ability to articulate herself, to present her music as hers and as current, while still so gracefully paying tribute to the artists who shaped her, goes beyond her music. Kali keeps her hand on the pulse of her generation by creating a well rounded visual component for her art. She preaches the importance of self-loyalty and to following your heart any any decision related to creativity. We can see the results in her art booklets, her videos and even her bold personal look.

The video for “Know What I Want” is a perfect example of Kali’s carefully curated style – from the pastel color palette, dripping with pinks and blues, to her fashion aesthetic, which is equal parts vintage 60’s, Latina street glamour, youthful Tumblr girl and flawless west coast flavor. 

Por Vida is available for limited time free download (including art) here, or you can listen via Soundcloud below.

Essential tracks: “Lottery” and “Loner”

Art by Daniel Zender

Somethin’ Happenin’ Again: An Interview with HANS CONDOR

Nashville rock and rollers Hans Condor barreled out of 2010 guns blazing. By the time I saw them live, they’d already released an insane LP (the aggressively titled Sweat, Piss, Jizz & Blood) and had taken the party on tour.

It was September 2011 – Gonerfest 8 – and I spent the better part of 3 days wasted in Memphis’ Hi-Tone, trampled by a filthy crowd and melted by a constant wave of guitars. For a weekend which included heavy hitters like Jack Oblivian, Human Eye, Shannon & the Clams, and Ty Segall, I couldn’t deny that Hans Condor was the show stealing wild card.

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Hans Condor at Gonerfest 8, photos by yours truly.

Something about that performance, like it was both their first and last time to ever hit the stage (then the floor) left a lasting impression. I didn’t waste any time drunk texting my friends about what I had seen. But not even 2 months after Gonerfest, Hans Condor disbanded and fell completely off the map, signing off with a simple Facebook post, “Is no longer available for weddings, birthdays, or bar mitzvahs…thank you all…and good night.”

Radio silence for almost 3 full years.

The album stayed in heavy rotation, but every spin brought the bummer thought, “Man, I wish these guys were making more music.” And then, almost as nonchalant as word of their departure, came a little notification: “Hans Condor has changed their profile picture.” They were playing shows again.

hans 4

A little research proved a dream come true, the boys were back in action. I jumped at the sign of life and reached out to the band. Was it true? Was new music on the way? What happened three years ago? The fellas, swamped with similar such inquiries, generously agreed to open up and answer a few questions for me.

Here’s the West Ghost exclusive interview on Hans Condor: past, present and future.



WG: Let’s start with 2011. You guys had put in time locking in a ferocious sound, had just put out a solid LP, and were playing some pretty merciless live shows. Just a couple months after I saw you guys, it was lights out. What happened?


HC: Well, in short, life happened, i.e. Charles had a baby. The band had been going full blast for quite some time. We were touring extensively with absolutely no help in regards to a label or distribution, so the only promotion we had were some flyers we sent out, which rarely got hung up. We were constantly getting fucked over and barely paid enough to coast into the next town on fumes. These things are just part of rockin and rollin, eating out of dumpsters and stuff. And we really appreciate the fans that have put up with our antics, but of course, when someone has a kid at home there’s a certain tug there, ya know.

In the 3 year space between then and now, would you say Hans Condor died and was revived, or has it been hanging on to dear life this whole time?  

Well, there’s a certain peace in death, and peace is something that has never been apart of the band. I would say for the past three years we have been recovering from a gnarly gunshot wound to the gut.

Now the word is, you’re “back with a vengeance.” Do you feel like you guys are picking up right where you left off 3 years ago? What has changed since Sweat, Piss, Jizz and Blood

We, Erik (bass) and Charles (guitar), have been a part of the band since the third trimester, so that will always be the same. We have since acquired drummer Ryan Sweeney, of Cheap Time fame, and we could not be happier with his can-do attitude…the dude has got it down to a science, literally. As far as the sound goes, there’s a certain ferocity now that has boiled up and over into the songs and live shows which we seem to be unable to tame, so we just let it happen now. Again, Ryan brings the science.

What was the most challenging part of dusting it off and plugging in again? 

Compiling the necessary equipment. Luckily, we commandeered Guitar Wolf’s gear….shhh. Erik has always kept his sexy, so that hasn’t been an issue. Other than that, trying to remember how to play the old songs again, but that wasn’t something a few cases of beer couldn’t fix.

Your old fans/friends are obviously stoked to see you back, but you’re going to be playing to a lot of new listeners in your audience today. What should someone expect rolling up to a Hans Condor show in 2015?  

Three dudes acting like idiots for about 30 minutes. More specifically, really loud rock-n-roll – things getting knocked over, climbing on things, guitars being tossed around, the occasional shedding of blood, sometimes a little throw-up, bodily fluids in general, band members being picked up by the audience…show up wasted and ready to have fun, participate in the chaos and be an idiot with us.

Erik's Bass Solo

Are you guys writing, recording, planning a tour? What’s going on as we speak and what’s on the horizon?  

As far as writing goes, to put things in perspective, we wrote and demoed two songs the evening we wrote these responses. I think we are so jazzed to be together in a locked basement full of gear again that we developed a rash. We’re talking to a label as well as a booking guy. We are going on a little run with Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires at the end of March. As soon as we get the record out, we have a Japanese tour lined up and we are trying to get to Europe asap. Things seem to be coming our way, and we are taking every opportunity we can to get out of town. Our plans for recording this year are to put a new LP and re-release Sweat, Piss, Jizz and Blood, as we have sold out of all the copies.

What are you most excited about, now that Hans Condor is back in the saddle?  

Honestly, we were not sure if people would respond to our resurgence, however the response has been almost overwhelming. It’s doing things like this and seeing people’s renewed enthusiasm for the band that makes us quit our jobs, dump our girlfriends and go for it like we used to. We are probably most excited about touring again. That’s where we feel most comfortable.

Last question. There’s a resurgence of the americana country sound spreading across the country these days and a lot of it is coming from young bands in your hood. The trend of unplugging has been renewed and I’m curious what you make of it. Has this influence gone so far as to affect Hans Condor?

We think it has the opposite effect on us.  We would not be opposed to do an unplugged song here and there in the past, but we seemed to be more electrified than ever. Our deafness and pile of broken cables is testimony to that. To keep the balance in the universe, the more other people unplug, the more we need to plug in. Plus, we could never. Ryan Sweeney doesn’t own a pair of brushes.

All songs posted from Sweat, Piss, Jizz & Blood. 

St. Vincent : Birth in Reverse (Official Video)

St. Vincent is ending the year as boldly as she started it, like a crazy angel-voiced bookend. Her self-titled 4th album was released in February and now, she’s once again sprinkled across the internet as the years “Best Of” lists are released. Just in time for this acknowledgement, she has released an official video for her single which led the year, “Birth in Reverse”.

In this video, as her aesthetic moves through its own subtle birth in reverse, we get to see a few sides of the Saint: an elegant and collected version of herself, the calculated mad genius of today, and a wild and youthful rock and roller. And I’m just thankful for any opportunity to see this woman shred.

This song initially grabbed my attention those many months ago for its T Rex stomp, precise but fuzzy guitar, and that killer closing breakdown. But, the year filled up quickly and this album didn’t hold my attention through all of it. In spite of the fact that her latest release isn’t on my short list of personal favorites at the close of it all, this video is a great reminder of Annie’s talented contribution to the year. “Birth in Reverse” is a banger and St. Vincent has left her mark on 2014.