Nov 5 2011

Culture Greyhound Podcast 11/5/11 – Fun Fun Fun Fest Edition

Every Saturday, I post a 15-20 minute podcast featuring some tracks I’ve been jamming the previous week, as well as some commentary and random musings from yours truly. Enjoy!

This week is a quick homage to my weekend – Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011. Enjoy this quick playlist while you gear up for Day 2!


Major Lazer – Keep It Goin’ Louder
M83 – Steve McQueen
Passion Pit – Sleepyhead
The Thermals – Liquid In, Liquid Out
Hum – Stars

Oct 20 2011

Review: M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

If Anthony Gonzalez’ breakthrough album Dead Cities, Red Seas, and Lost Ghosts was a dreamy bedroom experiment, and it pretty much was, that means Before the Dawn Heals Us was a beautiful cinematic sleeper hit, and it also pretty much was. Let’s call Digital Shades Vol. 1 an itch Gonzalez had to scratch – it was an ambient pastiche favoring mood over substance (fingers crossed for no Volume 2). And then there was the masterpiece, Saturdays = Youth. Favoring over-the-top, pathos-driven production and theme, it was a brilliant homage to the 80’s, teenage angst, and young love. It was beautiful, near flawless. It has grown to be one of my favorite albums not just of 2008, or of the last decade, but of all time. It’s one of those albums you turn on before you drift off at night, it’s a cloud that sweeps you away.

So how does Gonzalez top what will no doubt be his finest work? An epic, two-disc conceptual album inspired by Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and childhood slumber. Over 72 minutes and 22 tracks, M83 brings together an array of sounds built around the theme of dreaming, and it really does sound like it. Gonzalez has always been great at building, rather than borrowing, from his older works; here you can hear the grand tinkering of Dead Cities, the bold soundscapes of Before the Dawn, the soft ambience of Digital Shades, and the captivating emotion of Saturdays.

But there’s something more; as with every album, Gonzalez continues to grow. He is now the prominent vocalist for his band, holding his own alongside the declarative Zola Jesus and previous collaborator Morgan Kibby. And his songs now are even more direct pop statements; rather than hinting at the idea of achieving soundtrack-worthy compositions in one part of the album, Gonzalez has stretched them throughout. There is a memorable melody around every corner, in between each instrumental interlude, each playful crescendo with laughing children, each soft acoustic strum.

Sure, it’s nowhere near the brilliance of Saturdays=Youth. Maybe it does run a little long, maybe there are a few too many short interludes, maybe there are slight flaws hidden around the strong highlights. But isn’t that why we love double albums? Their ambition? Their objective? Their adventure? As with any double album, this is meant not to be shuffled around for your commute, but to be listened to in one sitting, or two, or ten. It’s meant to be fully digested as a whole over and over again. And ultimately, that is a rewarding task. It may not be the best M83 album, but it’s certainly one of the best albums of 2011.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Listen to Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming on Spotify.

Oct 15 2011

Culture Greyhound Podcast 10/15/11

Every Saturday, I post a 15-20 minute podcast featuring some tracks I’ve been jamming the previous week, as well as some commentary and random musings from yours truly. Enjoy!


G-Side – Impossible (Javelin Remix)
Boris – Spoon
Kendrick Lamar – Cloud 10
M83 – Wait

Oct 3 2011

Quarterly Review – July-September 2011

Once every three months I list the best of what I heard in albums/songs/remixes for the quarter. I do this to personally keep up with all the awesome music I hear, as it ultimately helps me at the end of the year when I do my overall listing for the previous twelve months. I also do it to introduce you cool cats to tunes you may have missed independently.

Continue reading

Sep 23 2011

FFF6 Playlist Series – Saturday’s Orange Stage

A friend of mine and I were discussing the awesome awesome lineup for Fun Fun Fun Fest this year, and recently, they announced their schedule for our viewing pleasure. My friend was excited, but admitted he knew only a few bands. Where, he wondered aloud, could he find a comprehensive rundown of each band, a sampling of their musical chops, so he could further educate himself before the finest weekend of his year? I assume the Fun Fun Fun website has such a playlist, and they do, and it’s cool, but I wanted to make my own. So every Friday, from now until the fest (that’s nine weeks), I will be posting a playlist for your educational purposes for each stage and day, excluding the Yellow stage, which is mostly comedy.

This week’s playlist covers the bands playing on the Orange (Indie) stage on Saturday – Maneja Beto, Future Islands, Joe Lally, The Joy Formidable, Tune-Yards, Tinariwen, Ra Ra Riot, M83, Girls, Lykke Li, and Spoon.

Listen to the playlist on Spotify.

Missing From Playlist (not on Spotify yet): Keep Shelly In Athens

My Stage Pick: M83

Like there was any doubt who I would be picking this time around.  Anthony Gonzalez and his crew are one of my favorite bands ever, and the new album is incredible.  You can bet I will not be missing the opportunity to hear the fresh material live and seeing them live for the first time ever.  M83 is not only my personal highlight for this stage/day, but the entire fest.  But for what it’s worth, I’m also pretty stoked for Tune-Yards and The Joy Formidable.

Sep 14 2011

Five MP3s You Must Grab 9/14/11

Active Child – Playing House (Chad Valley Remix)


Slow Animal – Heatwave


Colleen Green – Rabid Love


Pandr Eyez – Little Bit


M83 – Midnight City (Big Black Delta Remix)


Aug 30 2011

New M83 – Intro (feat. Zola Jesus)

In case you weren’t aware, I’m a huge M83 fan – Saturdays=Youth is easily one of my favorite albums of all time, so naturally the fact that the follow-up, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, drops October 18th has me all sorts of stoked. So anytime something M83-related happens, expect me to post about it with childish glee. Today, for example, M83 leaked another stellar track from the upcoming album, this one featuring the great Zola Jesus. Listen below and get pumped for Fun Fun Fun Fest and what is sure to be one of the best albums of the year.

M83 – Intro (Feat. Zola Jesus) by knucklerumblerdotcom

Aug 10 2011

Five Cool Album Covers From Five Upcoming Albums

Surfer Blood – Tarot Classics EP (out October 25)

Mastodon – The Hunter (out September 27)

M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (out October 18)

Hella – Tripper (out August 30)

Feist – Metals (out October 4)

Aug 2 2011

My Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 Picks

With yesterday’s lineup announcement from Transmission, my heart is still a-flutter.  Though I’m not crazy about the move to Auditorium Shores, this year’s roster of talent has eviscerated any worry I had that this year might not be so fun fun fun.  The lineup is crazy good; though I’m not familiar with the Black stage as some of you (as is the case every year), I do have some picks from the other stages that you will most likely find me at come November 4-6.


This is the one I’m flipping out over.  I’ve been dying to see an Anthony Gonzalez show for about three years and there’s no way I’m missing this one. Highest priority.


I’m a big fan of “Stars” and the rest of that seminal, yet somehow forgotten album You’d Prefer An Astronaut, and the kids at Transmission are like daytime talk shows for bands – they always can make a reunion happen.  I’m there expecting some spaced-out shoegaze rock.

Childish Gambino

Community might just be the best comedy on television, and Donald Glover’s Troy might be my favorite character.  But when Glover isn’t making me laugh (he’s also doing a stand-up routine on the Yellow stage), he’s wowing me with crazy wit rhymes.  Dude is a solid rapper, and this show should be nothing but fun.


All I keep hearing is how amazing this girl is live, and I finally have the chance to witness it for myself.  Fest-goers and critics called her the indisputable highlight of Pitchfork in Chicago this year, one to not sleep on.  And as awesome as that new album is, you can bet I won’t.

Cold Cave

I saw them in 2009, but since then they’ve dropped the Depeche Mode/New Order thing for the most part – now the vibe, at least on their latest album, is more of a Bauhaus feel, and I’m curious to see how it translates live.

Radio Dept. 

One of my favorite albums of last year – Clinging to a Scheme – had that sweet, jangly shoegaze electro that I love so much down to a high-minded science.  This group has been around for a while, but they’re finally getting the hipster love they deserve, and I’m pumped to see the show they put on.

Cloud Nothings

If you’ve never seen Cloud Nothings kick out the jams, you’re in for a treat.  Just be prepared – you will not be able to stand still. At all.  Show is a rapid-fire blast of percussion and sweet hooks.

The Joy Formidable

One album most people have slept on this year is the surprisingly rock’n’roll Big Roar – I’m curious to see if these newcomers can translate their loud studio sounds and big choruses to a big ol’ park in downtown Austin.  I’ve got high hopes.

Public Enemy

This is probably the festival’s entire highlight – the one for the newspapers and bloggers and whatnot.  Austinites, riddle me this: if you had the chance to see one of the most influential, seminal, and downright badass hip-hop groups of all time, you’d go, right? Of course you would. Believe the hype.


America’s Producer is gonna rock your world, along with his Major Lazer crew on the Blue stage.  And I thought I was getting spoiled when I saw A-Trak last year!

Neon Indian

I’m gonna hold off on this one until I hear the new album in October, but if it’s good, you can bet I’ll be wanting to hear those new tracks live.

Spank Rock

Fuck yes.  If any band can bring the fun x3, I’d place my bet on these guys. Sex jams and x-rated hip-hop.  Someone had to pick up where 2 Live Crew left off, and these guys do it properly.


One of the most legit producers I’ve seen in a long while, the beats and collages this guy cooks up just blow my mind, take a listen to Cerulean if you don’t believe me.

Purity Ring

I’ve been raving about this group for awhile – their music is encompassing of great pop and subtle sounds thrown in to create a pretty progressive, yet undeniably infectious, feel.  I’m very curious to see how they bring that studio texture to the stage.

WTF Award – Turquoise Jeep

I’ve slept on this, mainly because I’m not an Internet meme-chaser or whatever, but apparently these guys are a YouTube sensation and have been for a year or so.  Turquoise Jeep is a mysterious record label, headquarters location unknown, featuring a strange roster of artists that put out hilarious R&B/rap songs and post super-low-budget videos for them.  With a straight face…it’s hard to tell if these guys are in on their own joke or not, but I’m willing to bet they are.  Anyway, they’re booked for Fun Fun Fun, which is….well, it’s not the strangest thing Transmission has ever done, but it’s likely up there.

There are a ton of other bands on the lineup that I’m excited to see that I didn’t list here – these are just the ones that rank as high priorities for me (except for that last one, which I just thought was pretty damn funny.)  Once the schedule drops in September, there’s sure to be some nail-biting conflicts.  Like I said, I’m not too familiar with the Black stage roster, which is usually the case every year – not a big metal/punk/Danzig guy.  What are your picks for the fest?  What did I miss? What Black stage bands are you pumped about that I can’t miss? Educate me!

Jul 23 2011

Culture Greyhound Podcast 7/23/11

Every Saturday, I post a 15-20 minute podcast featuring some tracks I’ve been jamming the previous week, as well as some commentary and random musings from yours truly. Enjoy!


M83 – Midnight City
Butch Walker and the Black Widows – In Bloom
JEFF the Brotherhood – Something In the Way
Pusha T and Tyler, the Creator – Trouble On My Mind
Run DMC – Ooh, Whatcha Gonna Do?